Doing it all

I’ve been listening to a ton of books on my commute to and from work (thank you audible) and this theme has been resonating with me a lot, I wanted to bring it up.

When we do what is in line with our values we are at peace.

If you value time with your family, but whenever you are home you are on your phone there will be an internal struggle within yourself.

These guys are the ones I need to put first.


But the struggle is so REAL!

I want to learn about new innovative products for skincare, dive deeper into the acne category, explore new ingredients and run a million experiments.  I want to exercise, train for a marathon, lift, swim, bike, and get yoga certified.  I want to learn about the biochemistry of nutrition, I want to understand carb cycling and macros in addition to other modes of calculating how much of each nutrient you should be eating.  I want to read motivational books, and journal, and reach out to as many people as I can and help hundreds of moms get in shape and start taking care of themselves.  BUT, at the core of everything I don’t want to miss my kids childhood.  Seriously, because I mean, how cute are they?!

I REALLY want to do all these things and I want to give 100%, but in reality I just can’t!  There are only 24 hours in a day.

I had to find a way to do some but make sure I was putting my kids and husband first. I started realizing that I was spending so much time away from my kids because I was working and I started to not enjoy my work as much. I made it a point to put my phone away from the moment I walked in house until the kids went to bed. By just making that small change, those 2 hours are for my kids. I mean, sort of. I am still cooking dinner and cleaning up during that time, but if they are talking to me, they have my attention. I am not being distracted.  I may pull it out to snap pictures here and there of dinners we are making.

I found ways to accomplish most of what I want to in the 24 hours a day that I am given.

I have my entire life to become an expert in any of those field.  I will run a marathon some day and I will get my yoga certification some day.  That day is just not today.

Think about the things that you value in your life, put them first and the rest will fall into place.


We may just have to prioritize the amazingness.

Black Bean Soup-Dry Bean Adventure

A few months ago my son and I were devouring a black bean soup so I knew I wanted to make a batch myself.  I love the website Skinny Taste, the recipes are easy to follow and super healthy too.    They always fit in my 21 day fix meal plan! You can find the original recipe here.

Confession, I have never made anything with uncooked beans before.  I have always used canned beans!   This is going to be interesting…

I actually made this recipe over two days.  I only have about 2 hours every night after getting home from work before the kids go to bed.  Luckily they are toddlers now and would rather watch Disney Junior and unwind from their school day than play with me, so I do get do some some things (like cook and clean and do laundry) before spending quality time with them.

The first day I rinsed and cooked the beans, I also chopped all the veggies and put them into bowls so I could just dump and heat everything the next day.  I seriously envy all those people on the food network.  I am not a fast chopper.  Have any of you ever used the slap chop?  That thing is seriously my best friend.   It is one of my most used wedding gifts!

The kids are professional slap choppers.

Don’t you just love the rainbow of colors!?


Day 1 in the books.

Day 2, I cooked the beans with the veggies, added the spices and liquids, sauteed the other vegetables, did the whole combo thing, cooked and blended.

The whole second day process took about an hour and half.  Just lots of heating and waiting.    The recipe made about 10 cups!

All in all, this was pretty delicious!  I would definitely try it again with canned beans to see if I can cut out all the soaking time and see if it impacted the taste.  Gina from Skinny Taste says “Yes, you can,  You could add beans with broth and boil, then add the vegetables in the last step and season to taste, cook until about 20 minutes.”  I would also cook a little longer to make it thicker and maybe blend a little less.

All in all, a super nutritious meal.  I would estimate that if following the 21 day fix meal plan It would be 2 Green and 2 Yellow, or if you are vegetarian, 2 green and a red.


Black Bean Soup 
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: about 1-1/2 cups • Points +: 5 pts • Smart Points: 6
Calories: 234.4 • Fat: 2.6 g • Protein: 13.6 g • Carb: 40.1 g • Fiber: 19.6 g


For the beans:

•    1 lb dry black beans
•    1 small bell red pepper
•    1 small onion, quartered
•    2 cloves garlic
•    3 bay leaves

For the soup:

•    1 tbsp olive oil
•    1 large onion, minced
•    1/2 cup chopped parsley
•    1 red pepper, minced
•    2 medium carrots, shredded
•    5 cloves garlic, minced
•    1 tbsp red wine vinegar
•    1/4 (2 oz) cup white wine
•    1 tsp cumin
•    1 tsp oregano
•    1 chicken bullion (vegans use vegetable bullion)
•    salt and black pepper


Rinse beans and place in a large pot with about 8 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let the beans sit, covered for one hour. (Or you can let them soak overnight in cold water)

Drain the water, then add 8-10 cups of cold water when ready to cook.

Add 1 bell pepper, 2 garlic, small onion and bay leaves to the beans. Bring to a boiland reduce heat to low. Simmer for about an hour, or until tender, stirring occasionally. (Add water if necessary)

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat oil on low. Add chopped vegetables (onion, parsley, carrots, pepper, garlic) season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until soft.

Add the vegetables to the soup after it has simmered an hour, then add wine, vinegar, cumin, oregano, bullion, salt and pepper and adjust water if needed. Cover and simmer on low about 15 – 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves, then using an immersion blender, partially blend the soup for about 10 seconds to thicken. If you don’t have an immersion blender, put about 3 cups of the soup in a blender, then add it back to the pot. Adjust salt, pepper and cumin to taste and ladle about 1 1/2 cups into each bowl.Top with sour cream (extra points), chopped onions, scallions, chives or/or cilantro and enjoy!

Family weekend

I just love family weekends!  My sister in law and family were visiting from MA for the holiday weekend so we all gathered at my mother in law’s house for the weekend!  Nothing like 6 adults, 2 toddlers, and a teenager in one house all weekend.  So fun!   

The kids loved waking up to everyone hanging out.  

Saturday we decided to spend the day at iPlay America.  The place was insane!  Like an indoor Boardwalk, arcade, carnival, and sports bar.  There was something for everyone.   

Sam rode her first superman ride with her cousin.


Jimmy was in awe.

Jimmy liked the spinning dinosaurs.

   He also loved going fast with dad!

  There were games for everyone.

We had a nice dinner out too! 

Sunday was a day filled with art.  We make valentines, we colored, drew pictures, and did some finger painting.  We made a nice big breakfast, pancakes and omelettes!  Dinner was fabulous assortments of soups.  James and I also stole away for a Valentine’s Day lunch.  

Finger painting session.  Jenn made potato stamps!   
My first piece of the weekend 

  Lots of coloring and lots of tea  
My second piece.  Colored pencils and markers

Sam is a pro.  

We also got a nice surprise, we had Jimmy sit on the potty and he pooped!!! The first poopie on the potty is a huge deal.  We did a dance. 

James and I got our daily workout in too!  Saturday was Chisel Agility and Sunday was Hammer Power.

The kids got one last book out of Gaia before we left.  They really love her!  

Monday was our last stay home day.  We spent the morning at the gym.  I ran 5.5 miles on the treadmill while I watched Downton Abby.  The kids got in a good monkey maze session too. It snowed a bunch today.  I made it to the grocery store and stocked up on fruits and veggies!  

Onto another week!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!  

Reality Testing

I’m listening to this book on my commute to and from work called “Motivational Legends”

One of the guys had such a great speech I wanted to share a piece.  He called it reality testing.  

What is your go to excuse?  Have no time?  Why don’t you?  Want to be skinny? Why aren’t you?  Want to be in a good relationship?  Why aren’t you?  Want to be financially independent?  What’s stopping you?  

Take any of your excuses and do a reality check.  Has anyone in your situation accomplished what you want?  How about 5 people?  How about 10 people?  How about the 500,000 people since the beginning of the republic of the United States that have had it much worse than you but have accomplished what you want.  

Your excuse is invalid. It has no substance. It is merely a fantasy. An illusion we use not to make progress.  

Wow, that is some heavy tough love.  But rings so true. What is stopping you?  

We need to get out of our own way.  It isn’t our external environment that is stopping us. 80% of what we want can be achieved by our internal mindset and our willingness to do, to be, to change. 

The other piece is you have to refuse to believe in failure.  

He has a whole other piece on self efficacy.  Check back next week for more on manifesting your dreams into reality.



“I don’t know what to do.”  It’s something I’ve been hearing a lot lately.

Inaction and indecision can be crippling.  Sometimes we KNOW we need to do something, or we really WANT to do something, but we just don’t.

We want to exercise, or change up our eating, try something new, apply for that job, tell someone our feelings but we are in this freeze mode.  An almost panic.

What’s stopping us?  Fear of the unknown?  Fear of change?  Fear of possibilities?  Fear of success?

I am telling you right now, no matter how uncertain you are about an opportunity in your life, just say YES.

Go for it!  Really, what do you have to lose?  I promise, the minute you make a decision you will feel so much better.

I saw this quote by Tina Fey and I hung it up at my desk.  She said:

YES Tina.  I totally agree!

We only regret the chances we didn’t take.  So take them now!  Jump in with both feet.  You got this!


And, if you “don’t know what do to” when it comes to exercise or nutrition, that’s what I am here for!

Be Intense

As a health coach, I run a private group on facebook providing daily motivation, tips & tricks, support, recipes, and inspiration to those looking to live a healthier lifestyle.

The other day, a woman in my group inspired me.  She runs her own kickboxing studio outside of Philadelphia.  She is training a group of students and shared with me the following:

Intensity is a real way of being, and super positive when put in to action in the right ways. No one wants an intense boss, but an intense fitness partner is always wanted and appreciated. Plus, intensity gets YOU to your goals. You know the student that you think is “psycho”? They’re intensely working out – and they’re getting shit done and getting results.

Challenge: your next fitness endeavour (doesn’t matter if it’s yoga, running, crossfit), be intense. Be 100% present and give every move 100% effort. See what that feels like (because it’s amazing) Awaken your inner beast. We all have one.


This really got me thinking.  Am I being intense enough?  Have I been pushing to my max?  I really had to think about it.   The answer was no.  Even though I exercise every day, I wasn’t always doing so with intensity.    I started challenging myself to dig just a little deeper, squat deeper, use heavier weights, push harder, move faster.

Think about this the next time you exercise.  Are you being intense enough?  Dig Seriously Deep (as Shaun T would say) you may find something within you that you didn’t even know was there.



Post courtesy of Master Joanna @ Palangi Kickboxing If you leave near Philly, check her out.  You won’t be disappointed.

22 Minute Hard Corps Review

On Feb. 7th I was so pumped because there was a sneak peak at Tony Horton’s new workout which is launching March 1st.  It is called 22 Minute Hard Corps.  When I came home from skiing, I was so tired, but I had to try it out, and it was only 22 minutes, so why not right?  Needless to say, I got in a great sweat!!!

What is 22 Minute Hard Corps?

22 Minute Hard Corps is your no-nonsense, boot-camp-butt-kicking fitness program. Legendary trainer Tony Horton has created a challenging, but simple to follow workout program inspired by training program techniques used in the military.

Each workout is a quick–and intense–total body drill designed to get participants “boot camp fit” in just 8 weeks. Each day of the program consists of a series of total body rounds within the 22 minute workout window, rotating through functional resistance, cardio, and core focused workouts.  It was quick and it was FUN!

8 weeks,  22 minutes.  Period.

In the video I tried out, there were jumping jacks, burpees, bear crawls, shuffles, etc.  No equipment needed, I did everything in my living room and sweat my butt off.

Check it out!


Want to do it with me?  JOIN ME NOW!

You can try right away, if you purchase with the link above because you get on demand 30 days for free!


This is seriously another reason why I love club memberships to beachbody.   You get to preview new workouts or premium workouts and stream them from any wifi device.  The next preview of 22 Minute Hard Corps will be available on Feb. 22nd.

If you aren’t sure about doing a program, or want to try out a bunch, on demand is the way to go.   This video does a much better job of explaining how awesome it is.

I literally JUST realized I can do ALL of T-25 and PIYO on my $3/week online account.  Those were all locked last month.  AH! I am sooo freaking pumped!!!

You can stream the following workouts in their entirety.

T-25 • PIYO • P90X & P90X Plus • P90X2® & P90X2 Deluxe • P90X3® & P90X3 Deluxe • P90X ONE on ONE® Volume 1 • P90X ONE on ONE Volume 2 • P90X ONE on ONE Volume 3 • INSANITY & INSANITY Deluxe • INSANITY: THE ASYLUM® Volume 1 • INSANITY: THE ASYLUM Volume 2 • TurboFire® & TurboFire Advanced Workouts • Brazil Butt Lift, Brazil Butt Lift Deluxe, & Brazil Butt Lift Master Series • ChaLEAN Extreme® & ChaLEAN Extreme Deluxe • 10-Minute Trainer® • Hip Hop Abs® & Hip Hop Abs Deluxe • Tai Cheng® & Tai Cheng Deluxe • RevAbs® & RevAbs Deluxe • Rockin’ Body® & Rockin’ Body Deluxe • Shaun T Dance Party • Power 90®. Turbo Jam® & Turbo Jam Deluxe • Total Body Solution® • Yoga Booty Ballet® • Ho’Ala ke Kino • Power Half Hour® • Great Body Guaranteed!® • CJ’s Get on the Ball • Kathy Smith’s Project: You! • Slim in 6®, Slim Series, & Slim Series Express

There are also some exclusives you can unlock like Insanity Max 30, 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, and CIZE

Sign up, then send me a message and I will add you to my support group too!

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Birthday Weekend Festivities

It’s a birthday weekend!  My husband’s birthday is Monday so of course we got to celebrate for 3 days!

Saturday night we had a wonderful family dinner at my mothers.  It is nice to have everyone together.  I am blessed there is so much love and my children get to be surrounded in it.


We had the kiddos stay the weekend with their grandparents.  My parents, Oma and Opa.  It is a treat for them to have sleepovers and a treat for us to have adult time!

To celebrate, James and I went to Camelback Mountain for a ski day!


This is only my second year skiing,  I am learning all about different conditions and such.  We live on the east coast in the US, and I learned to ski last year in Utah.  Then we took a nice little trip to Vermont in January.  This was my first experience with real east coast snow conditions.  YUCK!  I was told that what we skiied today was granular snow.  Basically chunked up ice.  I was not a fan.  I felt like I was on the defensive and was always unsure of what I was going to hit, whether it be an ice patch or huge mound of snow.   Even though the conditions were pretty blecky, we still had a great day.

After skiing we got in another workout then headed over to a friend’s house for a Superbowl party.   Nothing is better than spending time with good friends.



What is your favorite place to ski?

What are your favorite birthday traditions?

What was your favorite superbowl commercial?

Practice Patience

It all started this morning, bright and early at 5:30 am when I went in our basement to get in my daily workout and found a flooded basement.

We spent 2 hours pumping the water out and it just kept coming!  Where was this water coming from?    I decided to work from home to bail the water out every hour or so and James went to take a shower… no hot water.

Our water heater was done.  It was leaking water everywhere!   A few calls and lucky we got someone in to replace it today.  Owning a house really is a money pit.

It took the gentleman 3ish hours to pump out the old one and install the new one.  He said it was so old and rusted that when he unscrewed the connector the piece disintegrated in his hand!    I didn’t really believe him until I went downstairs and saw the rust particulates everywhere.  What a mess!   That took me another 2 hours to clean up and put everything back all the while managing conference calls and actually getting work done!



Even though it was not a pleasant experience, I am proud of how we handled it.  In the past when things like that would happen we would B* and moan and yell, but that doesn’t accomplish much.  Although we were extremely upset and frustrated, I am glad we didn’t let it ruin our day completely.   On a positive note, I got an enormous amount of work done because I could sit in silence and just work with no interruptions.  Another bonus, I got work done in my pajamas all day since we didn’t have any hot water!  Plus number 3, our basement is back to normal and so clean!  Ready for my workout tomorrow!

   I am happy with our new water heater, it is quieter and takes up less space too.  I wonder what will break next.  We thought it would have been the furnace!
After dinner the kids had some cuddle time with daddy.  Finding Nemo was on.  It’s a classic!  

I found this article really insightful about How to Practice Patience in Stressful Times.

Check it out.  Here are some of my favorite parts…

Patience is really made up of three aspects. One is persistence. That’s the capacity to keep on going even though you can’t yet see the end result. It’s what keeps us moving toward our goal and thus helps us make our dreams come true. Two is acceptance. Accepting that whatever is happening right now is the way it is. The third is a sense of peacefulness or serenity or calmness in the face of what is. 

Why is patience important?

To understand that, we need to look at the other side and ask, “What is impatience?” Impatience is on the anger continuum. First you have irritation, then impatience and then anger and, at the far end, rage. So, besides helping us reach goals, what is important about patience is that it keeps our anger turned off.

What do we gain by being patient?

Ultimately, patience allows us to act more mindfully and wisely. You get peace of mind when things are challenging, and you also have better relationships with other people — parents, kids, co-workers, spouse. Lord knows, patience is a quality we most need for high-functioning relationships. It allows us to hang in there and keep going, whether with a person or with a process, or in a business.

That’s some good stuff right there.
What was the last appliance you had to replace?  Was it a catastrophe?

What’s your favorite Disney movie? 

How do you practice patience? 

A little 9pm cleaning

Do you ever look at your house and just think “ugh,  I really need to clean.  Do I really have to?”  I got that feeling today, and the answer was yes.  I had to clean.

First up, I live in an old home, with hard water.  We have a water softener, but we still get buildup everywhere!  These pumice stones are amazing!  $0.99 at Walmart and they get rid of all the water rings.  No bleach or anything necessary.

Next, floors.  Having toddlers means food everywhere!  No matter how much I clean we find little ants.  So we finally got them to listen to the new rule, no food in the living room.  Only in the dining room.  They “forget” sometimes but we are getting there.

So far under the couch I found an empty bag of pirates booty, a few headbands, legos, balls, coins, random other toys and tons of popcorn kernels.  We’ll see how long things stay clean.  For now they are nice and shiny clean!

There is still a little laundry to do… And two more baskets in the basement.  Maybe I’ll tackle some before work tomorrow.

As for today’s workout, Hammer max strength.  One minute of each exercise then 8 reps at max weight.  Then a little 10 minute abs!

Here is a little preview for you!  Do 1 minute of each exercise.  For all the oblique exercises (the ones on your side) make sure to do 1 minute per side!

What was the weirdest thing you have found under your couch?

What is your least favorite chore?  Mine is laundry.

Do you have a favorite ab exercise?