November 28, 2016

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday will always trump Black Friday in my book. Why would I want to go battle the crazies with a turkey hangover when I can sit on my couch Monday morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in my pjs?!  I've never done the Black Friday thing and I doubt I ever will.

I love getting a good deal, especially this time of year, don't you? Of course you do!  We are buying so much stuff so any penny saved is a win in my book.  Today I want to share some of my favorite Cyber Monday deals with you and get you the most bang for your buck.

First things first, I hope you already do this but if you don't GO SIGN UP FOR EBATES {all CAPS necessary}.  You earn crazy cash back on all of your purchases at pretty much every store on the planet.  It is FREE and the first time you sign up you automatically get a $10 cash bonus.  Plus today most stores are doing double cash back and you'll find lots of coupon codes here too.  To date I've made almost $1500 by using Ebates and now I'm just waiting for my commercial deal {I kid, I kid}.

OK now that we've got the most important deal out of the way here are some things I think you might love.

Amazon


Amazon seems to be all about the electronics this year.  From the Echo {save $40}, to Fire tablets {$33.33}, to the Kindle Paperwhite {only $100}, and Fire TV just $75.  If you have a gadget lover on your list this year you definitely want to check Amazon today.

Brady Bands
These are THE ONLY headbands I wear when I workout.  They stay in place like no other.  I have fallen asleep in them and woken up with them in the same place.  They come in a variety of sizes and colors.  Best part? 10% of all sales is donated to childhood cancer research.  Plus and also!  I've met the owner many times and she is the sweetest, kindest, and beautiful inside and out person you'll meet.


Shoe lovers rejoice!  Buy 1 get one FREE on over 400 shoes and boots AND free shipping on just $25!


Everyone's favorite place to buy kids clothes {am I right?!} is having 50% off the entire store PLUS an additional 25% off of $40 AND free shipping on all orders!  I can't even with this one, stuff is practically free!  Stock up, moms!

Give the gift of health & fitness to yourself or someone you love!  Today only I am offering 25% off of Beachbody products!  This applies to Shakeology {which NEVER goes on sale}, performance products and even our newest program Core De Force {which also comes with free shipping!!}.

Still need to order those Christmas cards?  I don't know about you but my MIL loves ANYTHING with pictures of the kids on it so Shutterfly is my go-to place to get her gifts.  50% off PLUS an extra 25% AND free shipping on $49+.  Deal!

Erin Condren


Everyone's favorite place to get a planner is having 30% off PLUS free shipping today.  If you haven't used one of these life-changing life planners, you're missing out.  This is another one of my favorite places to get gifts, my MIL is obsessed with their travel checklist and I get it for her every year.

If your man loves "fancy pants" like mine, you don't want to miss out on this Tommy John sale.  These are by far Jimmy's most favorite underpants {that's what we call them for James} and it's hard to find them on sale so 20% off and free shipping on $50 is a BIG DEAL.  Ladies if your man hasn't heard of these, surprise him {like I did} and he'll thank you forever.  

I'll be updating as the day goes on so stay tuned...

*post contains affiliate links*

November 26, 2016

Unique Christmas Gift Ideas

This post is sponsored by UncommonGoods but all my opinions are my own.

It's that time of year again. Time to rack your brain, trying to figure out the perfect gifts.  If you're like me you hate giving gift cards because it's just so impersonal.  You also want to makes sure you get something really cool, something that no one else would think of.  Let's be honest, gift-giving can be a little bit stressful but it doesn't have to be.

Enter UncommonGoods.

UncommonGoods is a privately-owned retailer that endeavors to feature unique jewelry, designer d├ęcor, tabletop items, and handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment without harm to animals or people.  As an independently-owned business, they have the freedom to support causes they believe in and to impact the world in a positive way. With every purchase you make, they will proudly donate $1 to the non-profit of your choice.  Since they started the Better to Give program 12 years ago, they’ve donated over $1 Million to charities around the world!

A quick glance at their site and you'll see some amazingly unique gift ideas for your dad, mom, kids, husband, grandparents, friends and you can be assured your gift will not be duplicated by anyone else.  I rounded up a couple of my favorite things I'll be gifting this year.


1.  Space Pod Playhouse.  How fun is this little playhouse? I don' know about you but my kids LOVE a fort hideout. This one is awesome too because it comes with tools so kids can help assemble it {ages 4+}.  Another fun thing to do would be to give them some markers and let them color it just how they'd like it.

2.  Bubble-Wrap Calendar.  Guys I can't even with the cuteness of this gift.  Who doesn't love bubble wrap?!  Now you can pop, pop, pop your way through they year with this unique calendar.  I absolutely adore this and I'm trying to think of how many people I can gift it to this year.

3.  Popcorn Bowl with Kernel Sifter.  I don't know about you but we eat A LOT of popcorn in my house.  The kids love nothing more than having a movie night with a big ole bowl of popcorn.  We always run into the problem of kernel though and lately James has been eating them if I don't pick them all out of his bowl.  So this is a MUST for our house.

4  Construction Plate & Utensils.  Want to make meal time more fun and *hope* that your darling will eat more of his/her food?  This fun plate might help!  My kids are suckers for when I serve up their food in a creative way and they ALWAYS eat more when I do so.  They also make this in a pink garden version too.

So, what do you think?  Pretty cute stuff, huh?  Like I said, I think you can be assured that your gift will not be duplicated this holiday season.


November 16, 2016

SO WHAT! Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO WHAT if...
  • I hate LikeToKnow.It {or whatever it's called}.
  • I am SHOCKED that I have made nearly $1500 shopping with Ebates. Maybe I should be embarrassed because that's a lot of online shopping.  
  • I ordered 4 dresses for our annual holiday dinner because I hate trying on in the store and at home I can consider all my shoe options as well.
  • I love a good dreary rainy day, always have.
  • I want to decorate for Christmas this weekend. 
  • My body has been sore since starting Core De Force but I like it, it means it's working.
  • I love that we have had such a warm fall.  You won't hear me complain about a 70 degree November day.
  • I was really into AHS at the beginning of this season but these last couple episodes have been more disturbing than I care for.
  • I just got into podcasts and I'm obsessed.
  • I try to only drink one cup of coffee per day but it never happens. 
  • I am SO SICK of hearing about the election.
  • I let all the hype over this Thomas the Train racetrack suck me in only to buy it and realize James doesn't even like Thomas.  Returning {it is super cute though, if you have a Thomas lover}.
  • I'm not sending out Christmas cards this year. 
  • I hope they do not ask Kelly Dobbs back for another season of RHOC.
What are you saying SO WHAT to this week?

November 9, 2016

Yes, I'm a Beachbody Coach

Being associated with an MLM comes with it's challenges.  People think you are just trying to shove products down their throat.  They don't think you are genuine. They think you are just out to make a buck.  Trust me I know.  I know because I've heard it many times but also because I've thought it myself.

Before becoming a Beachbody coach I would see other people doing the MLM thing and while it never bothered me I always thought, "that's not for me".  I didn't think I could ever do it.  I didn't like the idea of having home parties.  I didn't want to carry inventory.  I couldn't afford some of the start up costs.  I didn't want to just sell stuff.

When my coach approached me nearly 3 years ago I read her email and deleted it without responding. I didn't have any interest in being a part of an MLM and I definitely didn't think I was someone who should be giving health & fitness advice considering I had about 40 {or so} pounds to lose myself.  But when she followed up with me a few weeks later I was in a better place, mentally and physically, and thought I'd give it a shot.  I didn't really have high expectations because I really wasn't interested in "working the biz".  I just wanted to try T25 and she offered to let me borrow it so I said, "yes" and took a chance on something I never thought I'd do.

That was almost 3 years ago and in that time I have tried numerous workout programs {T25, PIYO, 21 Day Fix EXTREME, 22 Minute Hard Corp, 3 Week Yoga Retreat and, now, Core De Force}.  I've reaped the benefits of Shakeology.  I've completed 3 {or 4, I can't remember} rounds of the 3 Day Refresh.  I've lost 70 +/- lbs and kept it off for over 2 years and it all started because I saw the infomercial for T25 and wanted to try it.

I've shared my journey the entire way, the good, the bad and the ugly.  You guys have seen me complete these workouts, watched me lose weight while drinking Shakeology and some of you have decided to join me on this ride.  I am so thankful for each step of the way because today, as a mom to two kids in her mid-thirties, I feel the best I've felt my entire life.  I truly owe it to becoming a Beachbody coach.

After I lost my baby weight from Kendall I felt great and hit {my then} lowest weight as an adult.  In a years time, however, 20ish lbs of that had started to creep back.  I kinda hit my goal weight and thought, "I'm here!  I'm done!" and more or less quit working.  After James was born I didn't want the same thing to happen.  I wanted to hit my goal but then I didn't want to stop striving to be better.  Thanks to my amazing team, the community that is Beachbody and the accountability of our challenge groups I have been able to stick to that goal.  Not only have I stuck to my own goal but I've been able to inspire others to reach their goals in the process.  It is truly the most incredible feeling.

But I like to think of myself as the "un-coach".  I am not going to spam you.  I'm not going to sell you on Shakeology.  I'm not going to beg you to join my team.  I'm not going to tell you all of the programs are great.  My approach is a lot different than most and perhaps that hurts my business but I can't and won't run it any other way.  In order to be successful {my own definition of success is probably different than most} is to be true to myself.

So when you see me talking about a Shakeology recipe or how it makes me feel it's because I truly enjoy it and I really do feel the benefits when I am drinking it on a consistent basis.  When I tell you I love a program it's because I actually look forward to doing it every day.  You may remember my 21 Day Fix EXTREME "review" from last year, it wasn't positive.  A lot of people have seen amazing results from this program and LOVE it but I didn't, it wasn't for me.  The same is true of Country Heat.  When they announced a country line-dancing workout I literally thought it was an SNL parody, this couldn't be real.  Do people really want this?  And that's why you never saw me promoting it.  So when I am promoting a workout it's because I really believe in it.

If you express an interest in any of our products, I am more than happy to share more information with you.  I get excited helping someone find their soul-mate workout.  If you are curious about the coaching opportunity and what it entails, I would love to get you added to one of my Intro to Coaching groups so you can make the decision for yourself once you have all the information.  But I will never try to sell you on anything because that is not my style.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is we are not all bad, us MLM-ers.  We aren't all out to make a buck and sell you some crap we don't think you need.  Some of us are truly in it for the community.  We enjoy what we do, we want to help others and we want to better ourselves in the process.  I think that's what sets Beachbody apart from some of the others out there though.  We aren't just selling a tangible product and sending you on your way.  We provide the support, motivation and accountability to make sure that you hit your goals. This isn't just another diet or workout that you spend the money on, have good intentions of sticking too and then fall off the wagon in a month.  As a coach it is my job to help you every step of the way and when I say I want you to succeed, I mean it.  That's what this is all about, to me.  Sure, the extra money is nice, I won't lie and say it isn't.  The extra money has paid for my electric bills some months, our mortgage others and sometimes just provides a little fun money that we otherwise wouldn't have.

So yes I am a Beachbody coach.  I am proud of what I do.  I am honored to be the one people turn to when they are ready to make a change.  I love running my challenge groups and getting to surround myself with like-minded people.  This is truly the best job I never knew I wanted.

SO WHAT! Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO WHAT if...

  • I already started listening to Christmas music.
  • I had very low expectations of the Trolls movie and ended up LOVING it.  Seriously go take your kids to see it TODAY.  
  • I really didn't want to vote this year but I did.
  • I am officially done Christmas shopping for the kids {with the exception of stocking stuffers}.
  • I really can't stand Ben & Lauren Happily Ever After but I watch it anyway.
  • I am anxious to see what the new #redcup looks like this year.
  • I'm appalled at how people are handling the news of the presidency this morning.
  • I own lots of PJs but I prefer to sleep in Jimmy's old t-shirts.
  • Potty training might drive me to Betty Ford.  
  • I hate DST the most because I don't like the sun coming up before 7am.
  • I love a good rainy day. Always have.
  • The most upsetting thing about the election was that This Is Us wasn't on last night.
  • I ate 4 slices of toast and 2 beers for dinner last night.
  • My Christmas list is full of furniture and home stuff.  #youknowyou'reoldwhen
  • I only get the mail when I am expecting something good.
  • I'm sad we didn't have family pictures taken this fall because now I have nothing for the Christmas cards.

November 7, 2016

Pep Talk

Every morning,  on our drive to school {approximately 5-7 minutes} I give Kendall a little pep talk.  As soon as we turn out of the driveway, I glance back at her in my review mirror, smile, and I say, "it's a good day..." and with a little eye-roll and a smirk on her face she moans, "to have a good day".

"Mom, that doesn't even make any sense", she says.

I'm sure many of you heard the term, "filling your bucket" or "being a bucket filler".  It comes from the children's books Fill a Bucket, Have You Filled a Bucket Today, and How Full Is Your Bucket? and others that talk about how kids can spread kindness, appreciation and love.  The gist of it is when you are kind you are being a "bucket filler".  When you compliment someone or help them you are filling their bucket full of love.  The opposite, being a "bucket dipper", is obviously when you are rude, talk nasty, or bully someone.  I love this concept and I think it gives kids a great visual to really understand that lifting someone up is filling their bucket but putting someone down is emptying it.  We always want to be "bucket fillers".

When Kendall asked me what I mean when I say, "it's a good day to have a good day" I delighted that she asked and wanted to take that opportunity to explain how that ties in with being a "bucket filler".

"It's easy", I said.  "Every day is a new day, right?  And every day is an opportunity.  We can chose to make it a good day or a bad day.  Our attitude, the way we react to situations and our mindset determines what kind of day we are going to have.  But every day is a good day to have a good day."

I'm still not quite sure she totally got what I was saying so I went a little further and told her that when we are "bucket fillers" we are making someone else's day good.  "It's like a domino.  When you build someone up and make them feel good that makes them want to do the same.  Not only will they extend a kind hand but it will also make you feel good knowing that you made them smile today."  She knows that when people are friendly and kind to her it makes her happy so it makes sense that doing that for others would make them feel good.

To make it more understandable, sometimes I put a "challenge" with it.  For example, the other day I told her I wanted her to compliment someone.  I told her it could be whoever she wanted but that I wanted her compliment to be genuine.  Now Kendall's a bit shy, even around people she knows well it can take her a while to warm up.  I knew giving her this task would be a true challenge but a good one.

When I picked her up from school that day I had kind of forgotten all about it, if I'm being honest. But the first thing she said to me when she hopped in the car was, "MOM!  I gave someone a compliment!!"  And she couldn't wait to tell me all about it.  After she told me who it was and what she said we talked about how that probably made him feel.  I asked her how he responded and how that made her feel.  The next day she couldn't wait to go to school and do it again.

This is my favorite tradition we have started and I only wish I had thought to do it sooner.  I am blessed that I am able to drive her to school and have these types of conversations with her.  She knows that whether we had a crazy morning and barely made it out the door on time or just have a case of the Mondays, she can always count on this little pep talk each day.  On the chaotic days I feel that these talks are even more important because it shows her that even though the day started out rocky, we have the opportunity to turn it around.

Do you have a school age child?  I encourage you to try this with him/her.  It doesn't have to be on the car-ride in the morning. It could be at the dinner table each night or during bedtime.  Having this kind of positive dialogue has not only helped Kendall realize what it means to be kind but has also been an eye-opener for me as well.  When I am spewing these things to her I am reminded that the best way I can instill this type of character is by displaying it myself.

Now, go be a "bucket filler".  Throw kindness around like it's confetti and watch the world around you change.

October 26, 2016

SO WHAT! Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO WHAT if...
  • I have never seen Hocus Pocus.  I tried to watch it last year but could not get into it.  
  • We didn't take family photos this fall.  I'm kind of sad about it but at the same time I'm kinda glad to have a year off.
  • I can't wait to get the BIG Toys R Us toy catalog in the mail.
  • I've never tried Nutella.  Gasp, I know.
  • I could not get on board with Country Heat.  It, honestly, was embarrassing to me.
  • I'm really sad my Positivity Project is wrapping up today.  It's been so amazing. 
  • I've just discovered podcasts and now I'm obsessed.  
  • I am the only person alive who hasn't seen or cares about Gilmore Girls.
  • I'm obsessed with all things Halloween themed this year.  All the shows.  All the activities.  All the pumpkin.
  • I can't help but look at houses even though we won't be ready to buy till spring.
  • I'm getting the warm and fuzzies when I see these holiday commercials.
  • I'm asking for a bike and a new iPhone {still rocking the 5s over here} for Christmas.
  • I am really REALLY excited about our new program, Core De Force, that launches next week.
  • I was tempted to listen to Christmas music yesterday.
What are you saying SO WHAT to this week?