Brooks Was Here; So Was Katie

“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” -Andy Dufresne Isn’t that an amazing quote? I cannot think of a single human being that cannot connect to that quote in some way. Ahhhhh, The Shawshank Redemption. One of my absolute all time favorite movies. I literally will watch it every single chance I get like it’s the first time, and if you have cable and TNT, you know that’s pretty often. I’m okay with it, though. It is a classic with an amazing message, and it just makes me feel great when I watch it.

Take this as your instruction to watch it if you haven’t. 

Speaking of favorites, I have blogged many times about my love of running, so when I learned about an event several months back that combined running with Shawshank, I didn’t hesitate to sign up. That event, my friends, was The Shawshank Hustle, which took place last weekend in Mansfield, Ohio.

This building is just amazingly cool to look at it.

This building is just amazingly cool to look at it.

I am fortunate to live not far from the Mansfield Reformatory (it’s only about an hour from our house), and I frequently pass Mansfield as I go back and forth to Columbus….yet after all this time I have never visited. To be 100% honest, part of me has refrained from visiting because I have heard countless ghost stories about the prison, and I think we all know I am a little bit of a wuss with that stuff. My family has continually brought up doing the overnight ghost tour throughout the years, and while part of me is intrigued….the other part is terrified. I figured if I can handle the prison during the daytime, maybe I could consider the overnight thing.

Back to the Shawshank Hustle, the run itself began in front of the Reformatory and ended in front of the Reformatory with a lovely hilly 5 mile run through Mansfield in between (lies I was told….I thought it was only a 4 miler). This was the first year for the event, and being a seasoned racer, I had some trepidation knowing that often first time races are a hot mess, as there is typically a lack of organization and mass chaos. For those of you who love running, creepy places, and Shawshank, here is my review of the race.

-Running Course: I found the course to be really great. There were some crazy hills, but the run itself allowed me to see what a cute town Mansfield was. I found it challenging (the heat had a big part of it), but it was a good kind of challenge, and I loved seeing the Reformatory displayed in front of me as I ran the final half mile, known as Redemption Road (those of you on Periscope who tuned in saw me live broadcast as I ran into the finish).

Gary, Sharon, and I getting ready to start the race!

Gary, Sharon, and I getting ready to start the race!

-Water Stops: One area that could be improved next year. There were two within the same mile (mile 2), and for a hot July morning, I definitely feel like there should’ve been another and they should’ve been spaced out some.

-Race Swag: The swag was pretty cool. All runners received a Shawshank Hustle tech shirt that glows in the dark, a custom medal upon completion, and free entrance into the Carousel and the Reformatory.

We just love medals!

We just love medals!

-Post Race Food: There was a good selection of your typical race food for all runners (Nans, mixed nuts, corn thins, chips, apples, and water). The post race food also included vendors with a variety of fair like foods if you were interested in gyros or funnel cakes.

-Pre/Post Race Party: The atmosphere was awesome….the individuals pumping up the crowd did a great job, fun music, plenty of Port-a-johns, and some great vendors around with merchandise and giveaways, like Saucony, hooking people up with cool headbands and other items.

Got to run another race with one of my BFFS, Jodi!

Got to run another race with one of my BFFS, Jodi!

-Transportation to and from race: This was my biggest complaint. Nearly 3000 runners participated in the Hustle, however the Reformatory was only able to accommodate 300 cars in its parking lot. Due to this fact, all runners who did not arrive in time to park at the Reformatory had to park at the Speedway about a mile away. There were shuttles to take runners back and forth, however, there were only three school buses that were actually transporting. When Gary, Sharon, and I arrived, the line to get onto the buses was over a mile long (this is not an exaggeration), and by the time we got to the front of the line, it was definitely closer to 2 miles. The delay in transportation actually caused the race directors to push the start of the race back a half hour.

Selfie as we wait? Sure!

Selfie as we wait? Sure!

-Post race tour of the Reformatory: Due to the amount of runners, we all did self guided tours. I was a little concerned at first because I was interested in hearing some of the stories, but I figured if I enjoyed the tour I could always come back and take advantage of a guided tour in the future. We were able to check things out at our own pace, including the Warden’s office, the tunnel Andy Dufresne climbed to freedom using, the room where Red met with the parole board, and several other sites from the movie. In addition, we got to actually walk through the jail cell area, which was super creepy to me. Some may know that I have a little thing with heights, so the small catwalk I had to scale across past the cells was extremely uncomfortable for me. Not only did it feel like it took forever (the corridor is extremely long and narrow), but it gave me a chance to see the cells up close and personal. I must say, that is how a jail cell should be……very small and confined, gross, and uncomfortable.

This place is def not the Hilton.

This place is def not the Hilton.

Because you should take a selfie with Brooks......

Because you should take a selfie with Brooks……

-Creepiness Factor: Somehow I missed some of the creepiest locations in the reformatory, including the tuberculosis room, however, I still felt really strange in most parts of the building. Sharon and I experienced a weird feeling of extreme pressure on our chests as we passed by one of the strange closets, but it was gone once we were past the doorway. Honestly, some of the creepiest locations were allegedly after we got out of the jail cell area, but since I was still in half panic mode because of the heights, I missed them. Maybe that’s a good thing….

After I got home, I did some research on the Reformatory, which I wish I had done before. Even though it is creepy and I was uncomfortable, my level of intrigue greatly heightened after reading some of the tales and talking to some of my friends who have completed the overnight tour. I won’t say Im sold on doing it yet, but I am way more on board with the idea than I was a month ago. We’ll see.

Bottom line: If you are a runner, this race was absolutely worth the entry fee. The minor hiccups of the shuttle system will most likely be addressed next year, and the rest of the experience was so fantastic I would highly recommend it to others. If you aren’t a runner, but you like cool places, absolutely check it out. And if you are into ghosts and have experienced something crazy there, I would love to hear about it.

Learn more about the Reformatory by visiting http://www.mrps.org.

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Coaches Gone Wild!

I have sat down to write this post about 5 different times. Every single time, my mind diverts to something I think about from the past week, and I lose focus on this blog entry.

I CAN’T HELP IT!

My brain is so overloaded with amazing information and my heart is just bursting at the seams from our trip to Nashville for Coach Summit, that I think it is only natural to be a little A.D.D. with things…at least that’s what I tell myself.

I know there are a few of you who may not know exactly what Coach Summit is, so let me take a quick moment to share with you a little bit about it. Each year, Beachbody holds a HUGE event that combines celebration, recognition, and mastermind trainings with the release of incredible new products and programs. This event is known as Summit, and this year it took place in Nashville for the first time ever. Recent years held the event in Las Vegas, so needless to say, I was happy with the change of venue because 1) I love Nashville and 2) Kyle and I could drive there easily.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook, Periscope, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter were exposed to glimpses of the experience….especially those of you on Periscope! I hope you felt like you were right there in the action with me! Those of you who don’t follow me on any of those social forums but follow me on here (Hi, Papa), here is a breakdown of the trip!

Wednesday, July 15th: Day 1

Kyle and I got a later start on the day due to the fact he didn’t get off work until 8:30am that day. After he got a little sleep, we were off! Nashville from our house is about an 8 hour drive, so by the time you factor in stops for coffee, gas, the one hour time difference, and one random stop at a Waffle House, we didn’t hit the Nash until about 11pm our time/10am Nashville time. Throughout the trip I found quite a bit of enjoyment in the stupid city markers on Snapchat. I am convinced they need to hire me for artwork.

I was THRILLED with the location of the hotel, thrilled with our suite, and beyond thrilled with the jacuzzi whirlpool tub in our bathroom. Much needed. We literally chilled for about 10 minutes then decided to grab Kyle a drink on Broadway so he could scope the city.

The stache also joined us.

The stache also joined us.

It was mass chaos……as expected when 25, 000 Beachbody coaches roll into town….but we found a little bar that we frequented the rest of the trip called The Second Fiddle. I was stoked to see walking by one of my favorite pals, Julie! After Kyle had a quick drink, we were off to sleep.

Still rocking the sweet car ride outfit #noshame

Still rocking the sweet car ride outfit #noshame

Thursday, July 16th: Day 2

Officially the first day of Summit! Woohooooooooooo. Lots of fun things going on!

Our morning officially kicked off with a team breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, don’t skip….even at Summit!

Fit Buzz Squad Breakfast

Fit Buzz Squad Breakfast

After breakfast, Kyle and I had to officially sign in to get our medals and lanyards, workout bands, and the rest of our exclusive bracelets to rock thoughout Summit (you’ll see them throughout the pics). I was amazed how organized Beachbody was with this….I mean, they pretty much shut down the town for us. I like that.

Next up was our big Dynasty United Photo. Our team is so amazing…not only are we led by the number #7 coach in the company (Love you Brit), but we seriously have such a close knit and supportive group. There were about 150 of us in attendance….that’s a lot of orange. Can’t wait to see the final group pic, but here are two women super important to me!

My coach Laura and I!

My coach Laura and I!

Love this girl....so proud of her accomplishments!

Love this girl….so proud of her accomplishments!

After the group photo, Kyle and I had a very important date: a workout with Shaun T! Not just a Beachbody on Demand workout, a legit live workout with the man himself. I was so excited. I think everyone knows (or should by now) how I feel about T25 and this trainer, so to do one live with him….awesome.  I also got to meet up with a friend through Facebook I had never met, Amy, and she joined Kyle and I for our workout.

Just as inspirational during a live workout as he is in the DVDs.

Just as inspirational during a live workout as he is in the DVDs.

I think my favorite thing about the workout with Shaun T was what came after…..Kyle told me he liked the workout and wanted to start doing it. I was ecstatic. His first workout with the program will be Wednesday, and yes, we will be doing before and after photos and all that jazz!

Thursday night was the opening ceremony, and Beachbody made sure we had plenty of space…..they were held at LP Field, as in the stadium where the Titans play! Those of you on periscope know I got to walk out of the tunnel where the players come out, parade across the stage, then cruise up on the stage facing all 25,000 people in attendance. I actually did a broadcast live as I did it so you all could see how neat it was. It was awesome……and I think that now I want to be a rock star so I can be on a stage more often.

On the field before the ceremony!

On the field before the ceremony!

I cannot even begin to describe how hot and sweaty this tunnel was....we were housed back here for the first 30 minutes of the ceremony!

I cannot even begin to describe how hot and sweaty this tunnel was….we were housed back here for the first 30 minutes of the ceremony!

Leave it to me to dance like an idiot.

Leave it to me to dance like an idiot.

That's me in the aqua dress!

That’s me in the aqua dress right in the center!

My chickadees and I!

My chickadees and I!

The ceremony also let us coaches in on some new products coming out….The Master’s Hammer and Chisel (a hybrid program with Sagi and Autumn)…..a sneak peek of this will be released in October on Beachbody on Demand. Plus the brand new Boost line for Shakeology! This company never ceases to amaze me…..always on the cutting edge with new programs and products, plus cool techy things for us as coaches to run a more effective business.

After the ceremony, I was like SSSLLLLLEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP. So that’s what happened.

Friday, July 17th: Day 3

Whoops…..

Kyle and I slept through our workout with Sagi, and I missed one of the general sessions. No sweat though…..at least I wasn’t rushed to get ready for my photo opps! Since I was one of the top performers in May, I was awarded a photo opportunity with Sagi, Chalean Johnson, and SHAUN T! I was so excited to meet him and get a chance to personally thank him, and that’s just what I did.

There’s something about that moment that will always give me goosebumps. After getting a big bear hug from Shaun, he told me how great I looked, and I told him what I did with T25. I honestly think he was more excited than me at that moment. I guess when it comes to this industry, having the ability to influence someone and inspire them to do more and become healthier and hearing about it never gets old. I was able to tell him how much he changed my life and saved my life (No, I didn’t cry..surprisingly), and I was able to tell him about the commercial, too! Those of you who watch his channel on periscope saw him give me some massive high fives and give me the one piece of advice that I wish everyone would listen to : “Always be yourself because you are amazing.” Thanks, Shaun!

An amazing birthday present!

An amazing birthday present!

Meeting Chalean was pretty cool, too! She complimented me on my style and was so sweet. She also was…..so tiny. I wore flats on purpose, and even with her in heels, I tower over her. Here’s a proof from that meeting!

Hi, Im a Giant.

Hi, Im a Giant.

Finally, I got to meet Sagi aka the Beast! I love Body Beast, so I was excited to meet him. I DID NOT tell him I slept through his workout, instead, just chose to flex with him!

Ive got some work to do to catch up.

Ive got some work to do to catch up.

While it may seem like a lot of fun was being had (trust me, it was), the training that went on was priceless. I took notes furiously and had a fire lit under me like I have never had before. As I listened to some of the workshops led by some incredible leaders, I cried, I laughed, I related, and I saw a vision that I cannot wait to come true. Oh, and guess who I got to sit next to and chat with? Just some of my ladies from the T25 DVDs, Tania and Susan. No Big Deal.

It was cool to thank these ladies, too!

It was cool to thank these ladies, too!

I also got to spend lots of quality time with my pal, Heather, who I had never met in real life prior to this trip!

Berry!

Berry!

Thursday evening was the Exclusive Invite Only Stars, Stripes, and Success Party for coaches hitting a certain benchmark  in the months of May and June. I was excited to wear my fabulous Red Nha dress and hang with my friends. Beachbody shut down a certain park in Nashville near the hotels, hired some fun bands, catered food, and let us rock out. It was a blast.

Don't let the smiles fool ya....it was so hot!

Don’t let the smiles fool ya….it was so hot!

After the party, a huge group of us gathered at the second fiddle to hang out. Being the nondrinker it the group, I worried I wouldn’t have any fun, but that wasn’t the case. Our group is such a crazy, eccentric, unique group, and I honestly know I am better because of their presence in my life. Im thankful that I no longer have to rely on alcohol to help me have a good time…..my pals are enough.

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Saturday, July 18th: Day 4

Friday was exhausting. Sleep was minimal. That’s okay, Saturday brought the Superworkout, which was INSANE! The workout started at 6am and was led by Autumn Calabrese, Chalean Johnson, Sagi, Tony Horton, and Shaun T. Beachbody, again, got crazy and shut down all of Broadway. This occasion made me break out the selfie stick.

Please note: third cup of coffee right here. Not even 6am yet.

Please note: third cup of coffee right here. Not even 6am yet.

My Selfie Stick is like a go go gadget arm.

My Selfie Stick is like a go go gadget arm.

My success partner and dear friend, Payton!

My success partner and dear friend, Payton!

Oh yeah, and I was part of the Guinness Book of World Records New Record for largest workout ever that day. Pretty neat!

Confession…..I skipped out of the workout early. I know, i know!

I was on a mission to get to The Core aka the Beachbody Mall when there wasn’t a line. Lines had been nuts…like 3 hours long nuts. No thanks, I have the patience of a two year old. Since everyone was at the super workout, I snuck out and got right in at 7am. It was perfect! Not only did I score the brand new workout CIZE early (it is now available for purchase on my site!), but I loaded up on Autumn Calabrese’s new 21 day fix cookbook, Fixate!

These recipes.......yes!

These recipes…….yes!

Saturday afternoon brought more trainings…more tears…more feelings of pride for what I do. I don’t care what anyone says. You can think that this is a Pyramid Scheme all you want, but I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that this role I have….the ability to be a coach and make a difference….and the ability to work for a company who believes that everyone matters…..nothing has made me prouder or feel such a sense of self fulfillment and accomplishment. NOTHING.

Sadly, Saturday night was the closing ceremony. It’s hard to sum of the awesomeness of the evening. When one of your VPs zip lines into the stadium with fireworks to open the show, you know it is going to be bananas. I was proud to see the Beachbody challenge winners share their stories, I was proud of my friends who walked the stage, and I was exceptionally proud of my friend Brittany Legette Shumard for being in the Top 10. The theme of the event was country chic, but for me, i also made it whirlpool chic, as I hit that tub up in our room as soon as we left the ceremony.

Mirror Selfie for the Win.

Mirror Selfie for the Win.

Coming home was difficult…..I love the time I got to spend with my team and friends. Good news…..we are already registered to head back to Summit in Nashville next year, the rooms are secured, and my team in rolling in with sooooo many people. Already looking forward to it!

We got home late last night, and I spent about 12 hours at home before taking off to New York City, where I am now. Im up bright and early to start shooting for the T25 commercial, so Im going to get to bed so I can avoid looking like a puffalump in the shoot. Cant wait to blog about that experience soon, too!

Night, Y’all!

Someone was excited to see me last night.

Someone was excited to see me last night.

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Sunday Morning Brunch, Freezer Meal Addition.

My Facebook followers may have noticed I was a wee bit absent this morning/afternoon……..which is very much unlike me. Don’t worry….I had a good reason! No, I wasn’t brunching (though I do brunch well)…….I was getting down and dirty with some goodies for my freezer!

Sundays are typically the day I meal plan and prep like a banshee, and technically that’s what I did today……just in a different format. I guess you could say that I kicked it up a notch.

Those of you who know me know that I am one busy bee. I’m always coming or going or doing two things at once. Heck, that’s the fun of being an entrepreneur. Because of that, I love how meal planning cuts out time and even thinking and hooks me up with a healthy meal that I can heat up in seconds. I’ve talked about it before, but meal planning and prepping seriously has been a HHHUUUGGGGGGEEEEEE help in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, plus it saves me a ton of money. I’m sure most of you can relate…..life is busy!

Awhile back I noticed my cousin Kirsten, a Pampered Chef consultant, posting about some freezer meal workshops she was hosting at her house. I thought they sounded really neat, but couldn’t make it because she lives in the Chesapeake/Virginia Beach area….not exactly an afternoon drive. My mom and aunt also liked the idea of them, but since they were in the same boat as me (aka 8 hours away), we sadly did not partake.

About a month ago my mom was hard at work getting things organized for the upcoming Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk. Many of you may remember that my Grandma Bubu suffers from the disease and has for about 15 years, so this is a cause we all are very passionate about. My mother has handed the silent auction portion of the Youngstown walk for years and is always working tirelessly to raise funds for Bubu’s Bunch, the team we have that walks in honor of my Grandma. Kirsten, a cousin on my mother’s side, approached my mom about doing a Pampered Chef fundraiser. Not only would she donate a portion of the profits, but she would hold a freezer meal workshop for us. YYYYEEESSSSSSS! My mom and Kirsten coordinated it to fall during a weekend trip that Kirsten had planned to Ohio for a wedding.

Today, my friends, was the highly anticipated workshop!

Kirsten emailed us a list of all of the possible meal choices to choose. There were so many…..one for vegetarians, one for grillmasters, soups and stews, kid friendly, gluten friendly, etc. I chose Paleo since I know meat and veggies is what this household prefers. Once you chose the menu you wanted, you purchased your spices and received a grocery list and brought everything, along with a cooler and freezer bags to the workshop.

Bright and early this morning I loaded my car with seriously about 500 pounds of meat (my entire fridge was packed with it) and a cooler and was off! On the way I swung by my BFF Whitney’s house to pick her up since she was joining me for the event, grabbed a coffee from DD (duh) and hightailed it to good ol’ Leetonia! (SIDENOTE: Today was Whitney’s birthday, so if you haven’t make sure you send her some birthday wishes!)

One thing I learned upon arrival: people in my life like to meal prep and have delicious healthy meals they can pull from their freezer and make in a crock pot. Joining in on the fun: my aunt, cousin, other BFF Kelly, my mom’s BFF Bobbie, two of my mother’s coworkers, and a few family friends. It was an awesome turnout!

Here’s how a workshop like this goes, and let me tell you….it seriously is a meal prepper’s heaven.

Each workshop attendee has a small station with cutting board and all of the awesome tools you need to cut, zest, juice, measure, or grate the items in your recipe collection. Apron on, fun begins! You follow each recipe by dumping all of the ingredients into a nicely labeled gallon ziploc freezer bag, then move onto the next recipe, and so on.

Each menu provides 10 freezer meals that will feed between 4-6 people. Do the math…that’s a lot of prepping! Whitney and I decided to split the meals between us, but still…..there was a ton of food.  Here’s a look at the meals we made from the PALEO menu:

-Chicken Lettuce Wraps

-Apple Pie Porkchops

-Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

-Balsamic Braised Short Ribs

-Lemon Herb Chicken

-Chipotle Shredded Pork

-Savory Jerk Chicken

-Moroccan Beef and Butternut Squash

-Dill Chicken

-Mongolian Flank Steak

When I was shopping for everything, there was a time I did think to myself….man, this is expensive, especially when I was carting around enough meat to feed a small army.  When looking at that menu, I’m guessing you may think that, too. However, all of those servings and all of that food break down to about $4.50 a person per meal. Pretty Darn Cheap. That’s what I love about meal prep, my friends….I know I am eating good quality healthy food AND sticking to a budget.

Once everyone had their meals prepped and in their baggies, the coolers were loaded and that was that! Several hours of prep for 10 meals???!!!!!! That means 10 nights you can spend more time with your family. 10 nights you can do something you love rather than slaving away in a kitchen. 10 nights you can feel good about the food you serve your family.

My favorite part? I got to hang out with incredibly fun cousin who I haven’t seen in years AND her husband AND my loved ones, all while getting things ready for the week. It was a great day! As soon as I got home Kyle requested I heat up the Mongolian Flank Steak, and based on his snap chats and my taste test, it was freaking the bomb.com.

Some of our crew had already left by picture time. Thanks so much to everyone for attending!

Some of our crew had already left by picture time. Thanks so much to everyone for attending!

If you live in the Chesapeake/Virginia Beach, VA area, you definitely should have one of these fun workshops, especially if you are newer to the meal prepping world and not sure how to make it work. This is an awesome way to get the ball rolling. If you are interested, email my cousin at mcginn_pampered_chef@yahoo.com, or message me and I can connect you with her!

Kirsten, thanks so much for helping us raise funding for Alzheimer’s AND stocking our freezers. I can’t wait to come visit you and Mike soon (and whoop his butt at Cards Against Humanity)!

 

 

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Let’s Pee Our Pants…..

……..with excitement!

Ahhhhhhhhh my favorite month!!!!!

If you are a loyal Katetastic reader, you know my birthday falls in the month of July, and I kind of have a little habit of celebrating for a month straight. I can’t help it….birthdays are so fun!

I’ve got to be honest though. My birthday is 10 days away, and I haven’t really even thought about the kind of cake I want this year or anything. I’ve been so freaking busy! In fact, I haven’t even really nailed down how I will be celebrating on my actual birthday or when I will have my traditional birthday dinner with my family. For me, this is b-a-n-a-n-a-s!

This month officially begins an incredible summer/fall jam packed full of amazing amazing events that have me just bursting at the seams with excitement. It also means I am slammed when it comes to my busy-meter, hence why I haven’t as much time to write lately as I would like. Trust me, I have a big announcement coming soon that means lots more blog posts!

Here’a look at some of the exciting things that have been keeping me busy and that are on the horizon!

Engagement Photos

Kyle and I FINALLY got our engagement pics done. I say finally because we have had to reschedule them numerous times because of weather, Kyle being sick, then me being sick, and just plain ridiculousness. Our wedding photographer, Stacy Candow, is just straight up amazing and takes beautiful photos (Seriously, if you are in the Cleveland area and have something going on that requires more than just a selfie, I need to hook you up with Stacy). We aren’t sharing many of them publicly because we do love a little privacy, but here are two of my favorites:

Beachbody’s Coach Summit

I literally have been waiting for this all year long. Last year I won a free ticket to Summit for achieving an awesome goal in my business the first three months as a coach, however, I was unable to go because of a conflict in my schedule. I made sure that Kyle and I could go this year, and I was super stoked when I found out it would take place in Nashville as opposed to Las Vegas, where it had been housed the past couple of years.

Why is this event important? For starters, 25,000 of the nearly 320,000 coaches across the country and in Canada will be there. There will be trainings and presentations by some incredible keynote speakers, super swanky invite only parties (hint: I’ll be rocking my favorite dress designer yet again), workouts with celebrity trainers, and just lots of celebrating our teams and our success throughout the year. In short, lots of glitz, glam, and gams. Kyle and I will get to work out with Shaun T as well as Sagi Kalev, the beast himself. Due to my hard work throughout the year, I will get to have a little hangout session with Shaun T, and you guys all know how I feel about this dude. Most importantly, I will get to spend some quality time with some of my dearest Beachbody pals in a city that is such a blast AND this happens right before my Bday, so it’s an early celebration, too!

Our CEO, Carl, took this shot earlier today. A week from now I will be walking across that stage at LP Field in front of 25,000 coaches. Let's hope I don't trip.

Our CEO, Carl, took this shot earlier today. A week from now I will be walking across that stage at LP Field in front of 25,000 coaches. Let’s hope I don’t trip.

And Some More Shaun T

One of the biggest things coming up in the next few weeks for me is an amazing opportunity I have been given to travel to New York City to film for the T25 infomercial. That’s right….I get to hang a little more with the person who motivates me and in my mind, helped me change my entire life. The day we get home from Nashville I will unpack my bags from Summit and hurry up to pack for my flight the next day. I am nervous, excited, scared, empowered, and READY for this.

As a coach, I am so thankful I get to help my friends and family get to a healthy and happier place. Since the majority of my business is done online, I also have the ability to meet new friends through existing friends and help them get on track as well (thanks Facebook) This opportunity to appear on a commercial that millions of people will see will allow me to (hopefully) inspire complete strangers and give them the strength to make the change I did. All I have ever wanted to do with this opportunity is positively impact as many people as possible. This will be a great way to do so.

I hope Shaun doesn't yell at me at when grab my favorite breakfast: a NY bagel with lox.

Shawshank Hustle

July 25th will be a really fun day for me. Some of my running pals and I are cruising to the Mansfield Prison where we will partake in the first ever Shawshank Hustle. If you are my friend in real life, you know I love The Shawshank Redemption….this Hustle is actually a 4 mile run that includes checking out spots where the movie was filmed. I’ll be in heaven pretending I’m Andy Dufresne.

Yayayayayayaay! Morgan Freeman, narrate my run, dude!

Warhouse Gym

I’ve been chomping at the bit to get us into the Warhouse Gym in Leesport, PA for quite some time. This gym is the exclusive workout facility for Dana Linn Bailey, a former Miss Olympia and another individual I greatly look up to. Kyle and I will get to spend a day the beginning of August working out with her at Warhouse. Yes, between meeting Shaun T and DLB, the chances of me peeing my pants with excitement are preeetttttttyyyyyyyy high. I also love her clothing line, Flag nor Fail, so I may need to leave my wallet at home to avoid bankrupting myself.

Love this pic of DLB, courtesy of Pinterest.

Bridal Shower/Bachelorette Party

I probably have the most amazing bridal party in the history of life. Seriously. While I know nothing other than the date, I know that Whitney, Kelly, and the gang will make sure it is a day I will never forget. I can’t wait to rock my bridal shower dress (it is made of scuba material) and the custom made tutu I have for the Bachelorette Party and celebrate with women I am so lucky to have in my life.

Some of my bride tribe!

A-T-L, Baby!

Because apparently I am on a mission to get to every single state this summer, I had to throw a little Georgia in the mix. Atlanta not only houses my favorite Real Housewife, Kim Zolciak-Bierman, but it houses someone very important to me, my success partner, Payton! My quick weekend trip to see her falls on her birthday weekend, and I foresee lots of fun, laughter, and Sephora/Ulta shopping trips in our future.

P.S. Payton hit an amazing milestone in her business today, so congratulate her!

My Induction into Leetonia’s Hall of Fame

The little thing most of the friends I have made as an adult DON’T know about me is that I am one fierce athlete. While I don’t play as often as I would like, I still will take on anyone who challenges me in a game of hoops. In September I will join the Hall of Fame at Leetonia, which makes me very proud. My high school basketball coach, Coach Kornbau, will be introducing me, and my family will be there to support me, which means the world. That reminds me…..I better get to writing my speech……and figuring out an outfit….

Here's a few little highlights of my senior year.

Da Wedding of the Century!!!!!

I can’t believe that Kyle and I have only 85 days remaining until we say “I Do” in front of our closest friends and family. When the wedding day actually comes, we will have been engaged for over 500 days. Everyone told me the time would fly, and they weren’t kidding! I absolutely cannot wait to marry this man…..and for him to finally see my pink wedding dress. Yes, I have been able to keep it hidden from him so he hasn’t seen it….shocker I know. One thing’s for sure: All the craziness will definitely make the relaxing and peaceful honeymoon we have planned even better.

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This face right here….this is the face of someone who is loving every minute of life. I remember awhile back posting a quote about how important it is to be in love with every second of your life. I truly believe 2015 is the year I finally embraced that quote. I really hope you all do the same….life is too short to be anything but happy. Now go get your sparkle on!

Sparkle on, my people!

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No skin off my bones.

I have lived my life to this point very, very opposed to one item that so many people seem to love…..

The chicken wing.

I know what you are thinking. Whhhhhaaaaaaaaaattttttttttttttttttttt? Yes, you heard right. I have been leading the anti chicken wing movement with no solid reason why.

Thinking back, I can blame my disgust for chicken wings on my hatred for sauces. I don’t like salad dressings…..not a fan of BBQ Sauce or ketchup, and until recently, I was not a fan of mustard. I understand that to many of you, this is strange. When it comes to the aforementioned condiments/sauces, I have given them all the effort to say with conviction I DO NOT LIKE YOU. Mustard and I got together by happenstance, and we have been doing well ever since. I have tangoed with sriracha….may have a future there….the jury is still out. I am trying new things and attempting to add some sauces to my cooking arsenal.

Back to that wing.

This past weekend Kyle and drove back to my hometown to take my dad out of dinner for Father’s Day. Since it was his celebration, he got to pick where we went, and he chose Quaker Steak and Lube….always a crowd favorite. The Lube is known for their wings, but me….being the wing hater I am, opted for a healthy chicken salad instead of living on the edge. Kyle was the only one of the bunch who got boneless wings. The order was huge, and for some reason he didn’t clean his plate, so we had some to bring back home.

Later in the evening during our Mad MenOITNB date, Kyle decided he was ready to have the rest of his wings and offered me a bite. I had a little trepidation….I mean, the flavor he chose was called “Boom Boom”, and I am not the biggest spice person either. However, I decided to try the wing bite.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO.MMMMMMMMMMMM.GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG.

Why has no one force fed me a wing before? It was the most delicious thing ever! In fact, I was so obsessed that we ended up ordering a takeout order from Chili’s to share because #cheatmealshappen.

My deepest apologies to you, boneless wing. I promise I will spend the rest of my life making it up to you.

If you haven’t consumed a wing, first of all, congratulations on being part of probably 0 .000001% of the world, but do yourself a favor…..go to Quaker Steak and Lube, get some Boom Booms and rejoice.

New favorite cheat meal right here.

New favorite cheat meal right here.

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Birchbox Vs Ipsy: The Great Debate

I am obsessed with makeup and beauty products…..pretty sure everyone knows this by now. I’m also pretty into samples. Getting to try something gives me the opportunity to try things out before I choose to invest in them….i like saving myself money.

Insert into this discussion a concept that I embraced several years back: a sampler box being delivered to my door every month. At first I was apprehensive….do I really want to spend money on samples and products I have never heard of….is it worth it? Finally I bit the bullet and decided that I would give Birchbox a chance.

So what is Birchbox? It’s a company that launched back in 2010 by two individuals, one a self proclaimed makeup connoisseur and the other a makeup novice. Their objective was to provide beauty product lovers of the world the opportunity to try some quality products in an inexpensive way. Their idea ended up being a monthly beauty box that arrives monthly…… all for the lovely price of $10. Each box comes with 5 total items, 4 of which were sample size and one full sized.

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Then there is Ipsy. Ipsy was created by Michelle Phan, an individual who was known for her Youtube beauty tutorials. Much like Birchbox, Michelle wanted to get great products she loved out for others to try. Ipsy’s monthly Glam Bag is $10 a month and delivers five samples including full sized products.

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The two sound similar, right?

On the surface, they seem like they are the same fabulous deal. To be honest, they are both great. If you are a beauty lover like me, getting new products to try is a great thing…..especially when one is full sized, so it’s hard to not love samples. I can honestly say that some of my favorite new beauty products were discovered after I gave a sample a shot. With both companies you create a profile based on what kind of beauty products you like so they customize the samples they send you, which makes it even better.

I have declared a winner in the Birchbox/Ipsy debate. If you are trying to determine the best of the two and where your $10 should go, let me share with you my thoughts. After all, this month I officially canceled my subscription to one of these companies and now only subscribe to the company I think it better. Who would that be?

My winner!

Ipsy is my winner! Let me share my reasoning:

1. The packaging. Birchbox does come in a different box each month that has a fun design….and don’t get me wrong….I love the boxes, but I don’t really have much use for them after I take the items out of it. Ipsy not only comes in a cute metallic pink envelope (screams Katie), but each month your samples come in a different bag. The bags are great for traveling, plus they are very modern and chic….nothing lame like some of the bags you get from department store makeup counters (Clinique comes to mind).

2. The Quality. I have gotten many great products from Birchbox, but I don’t think they hold a candle to the products I get from Ipsy. The past couple of months my Birchbox items included fun products, no doubt, but the only brand I really knew about prior to the box arriving was Benefit. In addition, sometimes I got items that I didn’t want….like shampoo and conditioners when I had specifically asked not to have any of these items sent. With Ipsy, I have received Too Faced Melted lipstick (one of my all time favorites), Smashbox, OGX, and Not your Mother’s (if you read my article on hair you know how much I love this brand). I’d much rather receive the items I love…..great for having on hand for trips and to meet airport regulation size, and I have yet to receive something outside of the profile I created when I set up my account.

3. The Benefits. If I wanted to purchase anything from my Birchbox, I didn’t feel like I saved much, sometimes 10% was the max. With Ipsy, I save 40%. That’s called being shoppertunistic.

You may agree with me, you may not. Regardless, I truly support anyone who gives either a try. $10 is a great deal for the items you add to your makeup vanity and can help you save money in the long run. You won’t be sorry….especially if you are new to the beauty game and want to determine what you like.

In the meantime, I’m leading Team Ipsy.

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Shaun T and I are like peas and carrots.

Ok, maybe I just have been eating a lot of peas and carrots and have them on my brain. Regardless, you get the idea. We are like virtual BFFs….he just doesn’t know it yet.

However, in 41 days I will be in Nashville getting to work out right next to my man Shaun T and getting to talk with him, and you better believe I am going to tell him how much he has changed my life. And then I will cry. Yep, that’s a guarantee.

I. Can’t. Wait. In fact, I have an app on my phone with Shaun T’s face and a countdown. It is going to be great. Oh yeah, it’s also going to hit during my birthday week, and I think we all know how I like to celebrate my birthday………

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This week started Week 3 of Round 3 of my T25 journey with one of my clients. After the  last post I wrote on our joint T25 experience, I realized that I needed to give this client, who has asked to be anonymous, a name for blog purposes. I understand her desire to keep things on the DL, but referring to her over and over as “The Client” makes me feel like Im hanging out with Brad Renfro, and I don’t really dig that. Moving forward, I am going to simply refer to her as Tania the Machine.

Now, if you have rocked out T25, you know EXACTLY who Tania the Machine is…..she is Shaun T’s right hand lady and also the modifier in the T25 workouts (Beachbody lingo…the modifier is someone who does the same movements, just at a lesser impact. She is a great resource for beginners!). Check out these pics….Tania’s before and afters. She had a baby and used T25 to get those abs of steel back. I like to think of Tania as a quiet riot….when I first saw her, I had no clue what a bad ass she is. Now I know.

This photo courtesy of Tania's FB page.

This photo courtesy of Tania’s FB page.

Back to my Tania the machine, the lovely lady who challenged me to complete T25 alongside her. How is she doing?

FANTASTIC!

Every day Tania and I have communication. She texts me after her workouts, tells me how they went, tells me what she was most proud of completing, and shares where she needs to improve. You see, my job as a coach is so much more than posting cute selfies on FB ( No shame in my selfie game….just saying). It’s about holding those who choose to work with me accountable and helping them stay on track. It’s about helping them meal plan and find a way to LIKE healthier options. It’s about being that one person that serves as a cheerleader when you think the whole world is against you. Every Sunday, as I do with all of my challengers, I have Tania send me her meal plan for the week. The meal plan is always a beginner’s nemesis. You don’t know why you have to plan all these meals out and you certainly don’t want to spend time on Sunday portioning out ground beef when you could be indulging in a Sex and the City marathon. In time, you get it. You do it, and in time, it becomes a part of your weekly routine. Meal planning and prep is the single most underestimated tool in the war against obesity. Just plan, people! And if you are local to me, I will even come help you do it.

Being in Week 3 means one thing: We are almost done with the Alpha workout block, which lasts a month. Once this is complete, we move onto Beta, which is another 4 weeks. The time flies when you are doing pike ups, I tell ya.

On the first day of this challenge, I made something very clear. NO SCALE. We weigh ourselves the first day, and we weigh ourselves on Day 60. The scale is the other nemesis my challengers face. I was once a scale addict, too….stepping on that thing constantly and beating myself up when I wasn’t losing weight.

Here’s a newsflash: you need to focus on the NSVs. What does that mean?

THE NON SCALE VICTORIES!

This is exactly how Tania and I have been measuring our success these past three weeks. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite NSVs………

Tania’s NSVs

– Started the program using the modifier 100% of the time; now using modifier about 20% of the time

-Completed 2 real pushups with perfect form

-Stopped taking the elevator at work

-Has not had a Diet Coke in 3 weeks

-Pants feel looser and her once favorite dress is now too big

-Feels more confident in groups because she feels good about herself

-Has not missed a single workout

My NSVs

-Have not missed a single workout

-Completed every single oblique knee pushup in every Total Body Cardio workout (I used to not even be able to do one)

-Pants and skirts feel looser

-Said NO to my mother’s delicious home made Strawberry Shortcake because I had not planned for a cheat that day

-Finally can do a Pike Up without looking like a complete moron

-Have eliminated gluten from my meal plan and feel healthier, cleaner, less bloated, and not as sluggish

Feeling like Wonder Woman 3 weeks in!

Feeling like Wonder Woman 3 weeks in!

This T25 game clearly isn’t new to me. I know I’ve lost weight. BBBUUUUTTTTTTTTTTT the one lesson that I have learned and that is the most important thing I can share with all of you is:

The Non Scale Victories are where it’s at……it’s not about the number on the scale, but how you feel. 

The thing with T25 that I constantly think about is how hard it was for me the first time. I’m not saying it is easy now…nothing with Shaun T IS EVER EASY……but I downright struggled every day with the workouts that now I am killing. I could’ve given up every day. I could’ve told myself being fat and feeling like garbage was ok. I could’ve talked myself into skipping workouts every day and watched television instead. I could’ve settled for a life of elastic waist pants that grew with me as I shoved disgusting fast food down my throat.

I didn’t. Because I didn’t, I am now stronger and able to do things I couldn’t do the first time I did this program. I shared this with Tania after the first week when she was convinced she would never be able to do some of the moves without modification. Every day you do something, you are making progress. You are one day closer to meeting whatever goal it is that you have. Giving up won’t get you there. Believing in yourself and doing it…..even if that means doing a Pike Up looking like a complete mess like I did for a looooonnnnngggggg time…..will eventually get you to the point where you can say, “I did it.

I am so proud of Tania for sticking with a program that will completely change her life. In fact, I know it already has.

And for those of you who wonder why I love Shaun T so much, here’s a little video from Beachbody’s Summit in 2013. His passion, his love for what he does…..that is what inspires me every day to give everything I have to my clients and challengers.

This guy helped me get my life back. 41 days from now I will get to tell him this in person.

I have goosebumps and tears in my eyes just thinking about it.

Inspiring someone is the greatest thing you can ever do. Don’t waste that gift.

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Rave of the Week: Being a Good Witch

If you ever have to interact with me before 10am, there is one piece of information about me that you absolutely must know.

I need coffee.

Correction: You need me to have coffee.

I wish this was legit.

I very much like to get up early, and I very much like to be productive. Often I am doing work before the sun comes up….sometimes even holding conference calls where interaction is a must. When this happens, I am already about 3 cups in. I’m a busy person with deadlines, an Inbox constantly full of emails, videos to record, trainings to lead, meal plans to create, exercises to do….coffee is to me what gas is to a car. I don’t go without it.

During the month of May I had an amazing little surprise from Panera: free coffee for the entire month. I like having a My Rewards card, but to be honest, I don’t use it all that much because I pack my meals and stick to my meal plan. However, when I learned of this little gift from the coffee fairy, I took advantage of it every.single.day. In fact, I am now on a first name basis with the barista, Brianne, and I have a little morning gang I see daily that is composed of 4 gentlemen all in their 80’s. Panera, I love you and please, feel free to share this with me any time you wish. It absolutely was an amazing gift.

Coffee. It happens.

One day a few weeks ago I posted this picture on my Facebook to showcase my coffee cup cemetery (and my strong lipstick game). An acquaintance of mine messaged me and told me that I needed to stop drinking coffee because it was healthy. No, no it’s not, acquaintance. You clearly haven’t had your coffee and are not thinking correctly.

Go get yourself one of these IVs, sister.

Back when I didn’t care about my health, I had no problem ordering the fattiest drinks on the menu or overloading my coffee with those delicious creamers (hello, Samoa creamer….I am talking to you). However, I have learned about how bad some of those drinks are for you and have made modifications. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy a Gingerbread Latte from Starbucks here or there, but when I do I get my soy milk fix and drink them sparingly.

My favorite way to have my coffee involves the secret gem of the kitchen, coconut oil. Are you using it? Im serious, you should be. I use coconut oil for so many things that I probably should devote a blog to it so you can learn how versatile it is. My favorite use is putting it into my coffee. Not only do I love the taste, but it helps me avoid the “I need the sweet creamer taste” that I used to get back when I was going through creamer withdrawal.

Here’s how I make my coffee. P.S. You can use any kind of extract your heart desires, but I love caramel, hazelnut, and vanilla.

Hello, lover.

So back to my acquaintance telling me coffee wasn’t good for me. I’d like to share with you some of the health benefits so you can see for yourself that, just like milk, it does a body good.

Reasons why Coffee is the bomb.com. 

Benefit #1: It increases energy levels so you don’t feel as tired.

Benefit #2: It helps boost your metabolic rate by as much as 11%….. meaning it helps you burn fat.

Benefit #3: It DOESN’T contribute to high blood pressure, like sodas do.

Benefit #4: It assists with the increase in adrenaline in the bloodstream.

Benefit #5: The smell of coffee decreases stress.

Benefit #6: It is a huge source of antioxidants and helps fight free radicals.

Benefit #7: It helps your memory…..moderate amounts of caffeine increases the size of the hippocampus, which assists with long term and short term memory.

Benefit #8: 200 to 300mg of caffeine helps your heart perform better by improving the blood flow.

Benefit #9: It helps reduce the risk of diseases such as cirrhosis, Alzheimers, diabetes, gout, liver disease, and cancer.

Benefit #10: It can help suppress your appetite .

Here’s to all of you whose blood type is also Starbucks. And based on the fact this blog entry is posting at almost midnight, someone better make sure I am caffeinated in the morning…..or else you may be seeing the Wicked Witch.

Found this online...so true.

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Third Time’s a Charm….Ok, the First and Second were, too.

Do you know that feeling when you are about to embark on something really, really, really incredible??? It’s like a mixture of excitement, fear, trepidation, adrenaline, and happiness. I hope you know what that feels like because it is one of the greatest feelings ever. Can I? Will I? I just love those feelings all mashed into one.

I’ve had that feeling ever since I received a request from one of my clients last week asking me to join her on a very specific journey. The email said:

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In the year and a half I have been a coach I have not had anyone ever ask this of me. Most of what I do is coach and motivate through online support groups, but occasionally someone will prefer a different method, which I always welcome. Without hesitation I called this woman, told her I would do the program with her, and that I would support her the entire journey.

Let’s bring up some feelings again, because I had a pretty strong feeling hit me when I read this email and spoke to this woman on the phone. It was the same feeling I mentioned earlier and the same feeling I felt when I was in the same familiar place as this woman.

Those who don’t know me or don’t follow me on Facebook may not realize that a year and a half ago I was a totally different person. I was someone unhappy with many aspects of my life which led to a domino effect of alcohol abuse, fast food binging, and excuses that overcame my desire to exercise. I was 60 pounds heavier and could barely fit into the very extensive wardrobe I had collected over the years. One day a college friend reached out to me and asked me to join a challenge group. He told me about the special that month, a little program named T25, and how I would be getting this awesome shake called Shakeology to help me curb cravings and help me jump start healthier eating habits. I knew virtually nothing about either.

Like this woman, I had been scared to purchase it….to commit to myself that I would try to be healthier. I remember that feeling when I purchased it…..when the box showed up at my door….how I felt (and how much I cried when I took my before photos)…..how I felt during my first workout….and how I felt 60 days later when I stepped on the scale and realized I had dropped 47.5 lbs. Oh yeah, and three dress sizes.

My first experience with T25. I'd say it was a total success.

My first experience with T25. I’d say it was a total success.

That picture is so much more to me than just a before and after photo. That picture represents two of the most defining moments of my life: The moment I realized I wanted to change more than I wanted to stay the same and the moment when I finally was able to say I DID THIS. I will never forget the emotions I felt in either picture. As a coach, I want everyone I meet to feel those emotions. Beating your inner demons, excuses, and feelings of complacency…..guys, that is something that will change the course of your entire life. It did mine, and it has for so many people I know and have had the privilege to work with over time.

What is T25? Besides being the #1 program in my life for the rest of my life, it is a program created by my main man Shaun T that delivers crazy fun workouts in 25 minute a day segments. The first month you spend completing the Alpha program, the second month is Beta. If you are new to the workouts, don’t worry….there is a modifier, and there is absolutely NO SHAME in utilizing her. In fact, I spent the majority of the first month using her moves, which are not quite as intense, but still killer. Here is a look at the workouts:

To date, I have done this program twice start to finish and have lost a combined 60 pounds. I’m at a point now where I want to lean up in a few areas while building more muscle in others. Is this program still for me? Absolutely. This program is great for you regardless of where you are at in the game. I am pumped to see what my third round will bring me as far as success.

Monday my client and I officially began our T25 journey together, and I decided I would recap the 60 day journey throughout to share more about how it went and so my readers could learn more about it and how I do things.

Day 1 of Round 3!

Whenever anyone begins a group with me they know I expect one thing from them at some point in the game: a meal plan. Meal planning is one of the most neglected areas when it comes to getting healthier. Abs aren’t made in the gym, people. They are made in the damn kitchen. Don’t forget it!

Since my client is doing a one on one approach with me, some things are the same while some are obviously different. She sent me her meal plan Sunday night, and I sent her mine. Here’s a look at how mine is structured for the week. I am in the middle of a clean eating group, so I am following a clean eating meal plan a little different than my usual. I like to repeat a lot of things each week because it is easier and honestly, I like to eat the same thing. I eat to live, not live to eat. If something comes up where I don’t stick 100% to my meal plan I don’t beat myself up. As long as I am eating clean 80% of the time I am a happy camper.

May 18th

After our first workout, Cardio, my client and I messaged each other. She had struggled through the workout much like I had my first time. I found myself pushing myself harder than ever…..telling myself I could get my knees higher when I ran and deeper on my lunges. I pushed the heck out of myself. When I finished the 25 minutes I still felt like I earned my shower.

Now, halfway through Week 1, I can assure you I am just as sore as I was during round 1. I love it. The feeling….that nervous, exciting, adrenaline filled, trepidation lingering feeling…..yep, it’s still here. I welcome it now. After all, it helped me get from the girl on the left in the picture below to the girl on the right.

Stay tuned for updates on how our journey is going! I have no doubt that the third time will be an absolute charm for me….nor do I doubt it will be anything less for  my client during her first round.

I love hearing someone say “I did this.”

In 60 days someone will be saying it that questioned if they ever would.

And that, my friends, is why I love what I do.

Giveup

RANT of the Week: Tradition Schmadition

I haven’t had a ton of rants lately (shocker), but there is one that has slowly been growing to the point that it is time to finally do a little rant about it.

My Upcoming Wedding.

My excitement for my wedding is off the charts….I literally cannot wait. As the countdown becomes shorter and shorter, there is one thing that I am learning. Lots of people seem to have opinions.

I don’t know if you know this or not….but I am a little different. I do things different than most people,  so my wedding will be absolutely no exception. Therefore, this rant is for those who keep telling me how things “should be” or just straight up sharing their ridiculous ideas on weddings. Not that I feel I need to, but I WANT to address a few topics that seem to really hit my nerves the hardest.

  • MY DRESS. I knew the moment I got engaged that I didn’t want a white dress like everyone else. My favorite color is pink….and I wanted pink. Therefore, I went on a hunt to find the perfect pink dress….which was a success. The dress I will be wearing on my wedding day is 100% Katetastic and the perfect shade of pink.I have gotten many looks from people when they have asked me to describe my dress and then hear the color. I think most people think it is some hot pink taffeta masterpiece, but let me assure you, it is not something that will rival the dresses on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding or whatever that TLC show is called. Here’s the thing….you should wear a wedding dress that is reflective of you and your style. It is essentially the most important dress I will ever wear. Why would I want to wear something that isn’t me? You don’t like a pink dress? Cool. Then don’ t wear one on your wedding day. Problem solved.
  • WEDDING WEBSITE. I think most people expected me to set up one of those wedding websites where people could go online, read our story, learn about our wedding party, creep on all of the details, yadda yadda. I get it. After all, a big part of my life is online due to the nature of the business I run. However, there are some parts of my life that I do keep relatively private, and while I may mention little snippets about the wedding here and there, there are some parts everyone doesn’t need to know. Moral of story: stop asking me to make one. It isn’t happening.
  • THE CHURCH. There is NO CHURCH for my wedding. From the very beginning, Kyle and I knew we did not want a church wedding. From my point of view, I wanted our wedding to be an amazing experience for our loved ones, not just any run of the mill event. I wanted things to be different and the day to be something they all would remember forever, just like Kyle and I will. Therefore, we rented a museum so our guests can enjoy the ceremony and reception at a cool location with some really neat things. There will be nothing religious with our ceremony….in fact, one of Kyle’s best friends is marrying us. It is exactly the way we want it to be. A church wedding may be great for some of you; it isn’t us, and that is why we aren’t doing it.
  • ASSUMPTIONS. Oh, there’s been lots of these. They are annoying. We made the decision to have a smaller sized wedding because that is what we wanted. Realistically, we both know a lot of people and could’ve easily invited a ton of people. I can see how people struggle with this, because drawing the line is hard. From the jump we decided on our family (which we have quite a few of) and closest friends. We wanted it smaller…we are keeping it smaller. That is that. I just don’t understand why people Ive talked to like twice in my lifetime feel like they should be invited to the wedding or even be a part of the bridal party (yes, that assumption has happened).Our wedding will be 100% us. I am excited about every little detail we have worked on to ensure it is just that. If you have an issue with something we are doing, go plan your own wedding or event and do it your way.

    After all, your approval is not needed.

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    RANT OVER.

 

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