Snow or Sunshine, Everyday I’m Sparklin’

Every January I ask myself the same thing: Why do I live in Ohio? I am not into the snow, cold, driving on icy roads, or wearing lots of layers. I like my flip flops, sunglasses, and beach time. I don’t understand myself sometimes.

Last week I hopped on a flight to spend the weekend in Tampa, and I seriously couldn’t have picked a better weekend to do it. When I left the airport, there was a negative 20 windchill and my car had inches of snow on it. I think the people at the airport thought I was crazy because I had changed out of my Uggs and into my flip flops before I entered the airport, but I didn’t care. I was ready to get to warmer temperatures!

Yes, the weather was definitely something I was looking forward to, but I wasn’t just heading to Tampa to hang with seagulls and sandcastles. This was a business oriented trip, and I have been pumped for it since October. It was Super Saturday Weekend!

Ok, so what is Super Saturday???? Let me enlighten you.

Every quarter beachbody coaches around the country gather for a big team rally. Since they take place typically on a Saturday and they are super informational AND super fun, they are called Super Saturday. I was stoked to attend this particular one in Florida because it was hosted by the 2013 top coach, Lindsay Matway, and there were a ton of top coaches present (myself included…woop woop Sparkle Squad!). In addition, our CEO, Carl Daikeler, and the 21 Day Fix’s trainer and creator, Autumn Calabrese, were flying in for the event. I was excited to see my friends and meet so many of the Florida based coaches that I had only ever interacted with on Facebook. I was stoked to talk to our CEO, and I couldn’t wait to meet and workout with Autumn. Oh yeah, and getting some sunshine definitely was exciting for me, too. The event was totally sold out and had a theme of “Shine”, so everyone was encouraged to wear something full of sparkle. Clearly, I was ecstatic about this idea. Me, wear something that sparkled???? That’s kind of my jam, if you missed it…..

My fabulous friend Shannon was my host for the weekend, and I loved getting to spend some quality time with her. One of the things I underestimated when I became a coach were the friendships I would develop due to the business, and Shannon is one of those friendships. While we are similar in so many ways, we are polar opposites in other ways, so getting to spend some time talking about business strategies and ideas was awesome. Shan took me to some cool dining spots where I got a tad adventurous with my meals (hello, seafood wrap with sriracha mayo and salmon eggs benedict), and I got to see the beautiful water before the big event!

I love you, palm tree.

I love you, palm tree.

Super Saturday itself was amazing. Like I mentioned, I got to meet people who I had been interacting with for months and months and was the recipient of many hugs. I think I shouted “YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYA” about 500 times and scared a few who aren’t hip to my noises. Since there were over 1000 people attending, the event was held in the ballroom at a hotel in St. Pete, and it was crazzzzzzyyyyyyyyy. Not only did we get to learn about some of the hot new things happening within our company straight from our CEO’s mouth, we got to hear incredibly inspiring transformations from two women who had both been through difficult times and found their silver lining.

I am in love with what I do because of moments like that. Moments where I can see how being a part of this company has changed someone’s life for the better. I’m not just talking about the opportunity to coach and motivate others. I’m talking about the opportunity to actually see someone get healthier and happier. One of the transformation stories we got to hear was from a beautiful soul named Adriene who had lost 100 pounds thanks to drinking Shakeology daily, modifying her diet, and completing 5 rounds of the 21 day fix. When she got involved with Beachbody, she was in a dark place. Getting to see her talk on a stage in front of 1000 people (all who were crying when she was done talking) was awesome. Knowing she is healthier because a coach believed in her and helped her get out of that dark place and into a much happier one….that is priceless.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 10.32.58 PM

On the plane ride home, I thought about how much my life has changed because of this opportunity and this company. Sometimes I still can’t believe I get paid to do what I do and meet such fantastic people. I think back to the trepidation I experienced back in August of 2013 where I questioned if I should spend my White Russian money on a challenge pack so I could lose all the extra weight I had hanging out. I lost the weight, I gained confidence, and now have created a lifestyle for myself and family that is allowing us to be healthier, financially stable,  travel on free trips and able to do what we want. Above all, I have been fortunate enough to form friendships with individuals who have made me a better person. That’s what it all is about. PEOPLE. Helping them, supporting them, motivating them, loving them, befriending them, celebrating their victories, laughing with them, and challenging them.

Tampa was a great weekend that recharged my batteries and gave me the sunshine I needed to get back at it. As much as I loved my time in the warmer weather, I was anxious to get back to Kyle and the boys….even if it meant trading my flip flops for Uggs and a scarf.

Until next time, Florida…….

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

RANT OF THE WEEK: Stop Being Basic!

I have to rant about the elephant in the room.

That elephant, of course, would be the “Basic Bitch.”

Unless you have been living under a rock, chances are you have heard someone referenced as one. I, myself, have been called one on numerous occasions. As expected, I blew a gasket. A basic bitch is a term that refers to women who are fake and love things that are mainstream. Rappers and comedians have insinuated that women that fall into this category are not only shallow and attempting to buy their social status, but just like things because others do.

This. Freaking. Annoys. Me. So what are some signs you may be a basic bitch?

20 Signs You Are A Basic Bitch (According to Idiots on the Planet and Internet)

1. You love Uggs and hoodies.
2. You love Starbucks.
3. You want to visit Paris.
4. You own a cowboy hat or boots.
5. You do yoga and wear yoga pants.
6. You wear underwear from Victoria’s Secret.
7. You use the term “Girl Crush.”
8. You buy MAC makeup.
9. You watch shows like The Real Housewives of (Pick a City) and New Girl.
10. You identify with starlets like Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and Farrah Fawcett.
11. You own something (frames, jewelry, paintings) that have words on it like hope, love, friends forever
12. You claim to be spiritual and not religious.
13. You own something that says “Keep Calm and ______ On.”
14. You check your horoscope and love brunch.
15. You love to bake and make killer cupcakes.
16. You recite inspirational quotes.
17. You get excited about anything pumpkin spice.
18. You make wishes at 11:11 or 12:34.
19. You identify to a Sex and the City character.
20. You quote Mean Girls.

You know what annoys me most about this list (which, by the way, I cross-referenced with multiple sources and people, and the list was solid as a rock)????? That every single one of the qualities a basic bitch possesses I,TOO, POSSESS.

If you know me in the real world you know I am absolutely anything but basic. In fact, that is why this blog is named as it is. I am Kate-tastic. I am not comparable to anyone else and cannot/will not be thought of as basic. I am unique, quirky, ridiculous, lame, happy, and vivacious. Usually not all at once, but I guess that is determined by the amount of coffee I have had. I like things because, well, I like them and have a reason why I like them. P.S. I like lots of things that no one likes and that I get ridiculed for liking.

Let me just run down that basic bitch qualities list again so you know why I like these things (as if you were still thinking I may be “basic”).

1. I love Uggs and hoodies. I wear Uggs because <<NEWSFLASH>> I live in Ohio, and my feet get cold. Also, hoodies are very comfortable, and again, I get cold.

2. I love Starbucks. Yeah, and know what else I love? Dunkin Donuts. WaWa. Gloria Jean’s. Peaberry’s. Mocha House. Folgers. If it is Coffee, I like it. Heck, truth be told I was down with McDonald’s Pumpkin Spice Latte. I just need coffee for survival, ok. Lots of people do.

Starbucks is my Blood type.

Starbucks is my Blood type.

3. I want to visit Paris. Sorry, I love art. Just so happens that there are some cool pieces there. And a bridge I can put a lock on.

4. I own a cowboy hat and cowboy boots. Well, I was a DJ on a country station, I love country music, and I go to concerts. I’m not going to wear Crocs for Pete’s Sake! You dress for the occasion! That’s not basic, that’s being appropriate!

5. I like yoga and yoga pants. Let’s get real…..WHO DOESN’T LIKE YOGA PANTS??? I am learning to like yoga….my goal is to be more flexible, and it helps with stretching my muscles. It’s a health benefit!

Yoga Pants. Glitter. Uggs. My happy place.  Staring at my storage unit.

Yoga Pants. Glitter. Uggs. My happy place.
Staring at my storage unit.

6. I wear underwear from Victoria’s Secret. Yes, yes I do. Because they are the best, they are pretty, and I used to work there so I have been obsessed ever since. Every one should own cute undies, and if you don’t…well, buy some.

7. I use the term “Girl Crush.” I see nothing wrong with this. It’s called being confident enough to admit a woman is beautiful.

8. I buy MAC makeup. Yes, and it’s my favorite. Their lipstick is the best out there, and my lips would be so sad without it.

100% Mac. 100% Amazing.

100% Mac. 100% Amazing.

9. I watch RHOA, RHOBH, RHONY, RHOOC, Real Housewives of Anything! And I love New Girl! The people on the shows are entertaining and they are just humorous.

10.I love Audrey, Marilyn, and Farrah. My car is named Farrah in case you missed it! I think Marilyn and Audrey are timeless beauties, and my favorite quote on this planet is a Marilyn one. #sorrynotsorry that I would rather look to them as cool chicks than wastes like Miley Cyrus.

11. I own a ton of stuff with the word “dream.” I dream big. I am not ashamed of that. Maybe it is nice to have a reminder if you are having a rough day.

12. I am spiritual and not religious. And to be fair, I think anything dealing with religion is personal and no one has a say to judge it or make statements about it.

13. I own something that says “Keep Calm and Sparkle On.” My team is the Sparkle Squad. We believe in leaving a little sparkle wherever we go. It’s a nice reminder that even when times aren’t the best, you’ve got to keep on sparkling.

14. I check my horoscope every single day and think brunch is the greatest thing ever. Brunch menus are always the best (hello, quiche), and I don’t like to get up early, so brunch time is really the perfect time for me to start my day. Horoscopes are just cool…but I only read them at the end of the day so I don’t jinx myself.

15. I love to bake and I make incredible cupcakes. Don’t believe me? Just ask someone about the power of my banana cupcakes. Baking isn’t basic, it’s called being self-sufficient. Plus, homeade is better than store bought stuff! I can’t believe this is even on the list.

16. I recite inspirational quotes. Sure do…..because my job is to inspire and motivate people that need it, and sometimes that person is myself. Please, basic bitch creators, tell me how doing this is “basic.”

#truth

#truth

17. I get excited about pumpkin spice. HEEELLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. It is delicious. End of story.

18. I make a wish at 11:11. I’m superstitious. So what. You don’t know what I am wishing for….

19. I identify with SATC. This is my favorite show. I know every episode, and can quote it as it is happening. Yes, I identify with the show. And if you are wondering….I’m a Charlotte.

Old school pic of me on Carrie Bradshaw's stoop. Please Note: #Uggstrong

Old school pic of me on Carrie Bradshaw’s stoop.
Please Note: #Uggstrong

20. I quote Mean Girls. Its too classic not to. If you don’t, then Boo, you whore.

I can’t think of anything more derogatory than referring to someone as Basic, so ladies….since so many of you keep calling each other it….and hashtagging it (Bros, you, too), how about you just stop it. People like these things because they are fabulous and wonderful and make the world a happier place. Let people enjoy them.

And if you really think you are basic….

Do something to set yourself apart from the rest.

Adios, 2014!

Happy 2015, everyone!

So…….2014 absolutely flew by. I’m not just saying this because I am shamefully realizing how LITTLE I blogged over the past year, but I seriously feel like I was just celebrating New Year’s last year. I guess everyone who told me time flies the older you get wasn’t lying! To be fair, this past year has been so incredibly busy, so that doesn’t help the cause either. Regardless, I promised my friend Michael I would blog more this year, so…..Hi, blog! Here I am!

2014 was an absolutely incredible year for me for so many reasons. A blog post could never, ever do it justice. This was the year that the stars aligned in my life and somehow every aspect of my life changed dramatically in a positive way. Many things contributed to that….some larger in the scheme of things, and some very small, simple changes. I honestly believe the reason why I loved 2014 so much was because I, for once, appreciated the little things in life in a much greater sense than I ever have. After all, the little things end up being the big things, right????? Since I am all about reflection and re-evaluation, I wanted to share some of the highlights of the past year and why they impacted me so much. I know everyone is busy creating those Facebook Year In Review movies, but mine never seem to focus on the important things, so here is my version of the year in review.

In 2014, I…….

-GOT ENGAGED!  No surprise here that this is the top of the list! When Kyle proposed during our Atlantic City trip in May, it was seriously the greatest day of my life. Everything about it was perfect, and I can’t wait for our one of a kind wedding in October. It’s going to be simply amazing.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 12.17.49 AM

Ah….snap!

-WELCOMED A NEW BABY TO THE WORLD! No, this baby was not my own, but the baby of one of my BFF’s, Whit. I cannot begin to tell you how I happy I was for J’s birth……or how handsome he is…..or how loved he is. He also doesn’t object to me getting into his playpen thing with him, and that’s pretty cool in my book!

The little prince himself!

The little prince himself!

-CELEBRATED THE WEDDING OF MY BFF! While one of my BFF’s was busy with a new baby, my other BFF got married! Kelly and I have been friends since we were 5 years old, so I was elated to be in her wedding and celebrate such an awesome day with her!

Love this gal like a sister!

Love this gal like a sister!

-HELPED RAISE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR ALZHEIMER’S! This charity….I love love love raising money for a cause so dear to my heart. This year I served as captain of Team Brunette in the annual Blondes Vs. Brunettes game, which was an absolute honor. Collectively, we were able to raise over $10,000 for the Association. And, as always, I participated on Team Bubu’s Bunch at the annual Memory Walk, my family’s team for my Grandma Bubu, who is suffering from the disease.

- CONFRONTED FEAR AND CONQUERED THE WARRIOR DASH! Last year my cousin Laura and I successfully completed the Warrior Dash. This year, with the addition of Kyle, we decided to give it another go. I was terrified of the newest obstacle, The Goliath, and honestly did not think I would be able to finish the course. Thankfully, Kyle helped get me over this mammoth obstacle high off the ground, and I enjoyed a major muddy plunge right before the finish (special thanks to my mom for catching this on tape).

Teamwork makes the dream work.

Teamwork makes the dream work.

-BECAME A MEMBER OF THE SUMMIT ATHLETIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS! This was a great honor for me. I have been an active member of the Summit Athletic Running Club (aka SARC) for two years, and my membership in the group has been such a blessing. This club has over 700 members and growing and is composed of some of the coolest people I know. We run together. We motivate each other. We are awesome together. When I was asked to be a member of the Board of Directors, I, naturally, was ecstatic. I love being a leader, and this club means the world to me, so to be a leader within it….just super cool in my book.

Volunteering with some SARC Board Members and club volunteers

Volunteering with some SARC Board Members and club volunteers

-HAD TWO AMAZING PHOTOSHOOTS WITH ONE OF THE GREATEST PHOTOGRAPHERS AROUND! One of the things I love about being a leader in the Beachbody Community is that I have access to an amazing photographer, Mrs. Virginia herself, Danette Anderson. This year I was fortunate enough to have not one, but TWO shoots with D, and they were both incredible. Here are a few shots that I absolutely love:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

-ATTENDED DYNASTY UNITED’S FIRST EVER DIAMOND RETREAT! This was such a fun weekend! In October, I joined about 25 other leaders within the Beachbody Community for a leadership retreat and mastermind weekend. It was amazing getting to meet these women and share different ideas with them, as well as celebrate the success we have had over the year. I can’t wait for the next one, and am already looking forward to our trips to Cancun and Nashville in 2015!

Dynasty United Leaders!

-RAN AGAINST MY DAD AT THE STAR TRAX RACE! One of my favorite things every year is this annual race where my dad and I run against each other. Every year he says he is going to beat me, every year I say I will beat him, and every year I lose. I can’t even be upset about it anymore….my dad is extremely fast, and I love the challenge. I am so proud of him, even if he beats me!

After the race!

After the race!

-GOT TO ACTUALLY BE WONDER WOMAN FOR A DAY! I’m not going to say a whole lot about this photoshoot because some elements of it are a surprise (for now), but if you know me, you know I love Wonder Woman, so this was such a blast.

A little sneak peek!

A little sneak peek!

-ACHIEVED HUGE BUSINESS MILESTONES WITH MY TEAM! I’m really, really, really proud of what The Sparkle Squad was able to accomplish this year. Collectively, we helped over 500 individuals confront their health and weight issues positively and led them to a healthier lifestyle. As I was working on our year in review video, I got pretty emotional about it. What we do is such a life changing opportunity. To know my team and I had a small part in helping them achieve healthier goals makes my heart very, very happy.

-RAN WITH A DONUT ON MY HEAD……AGAIN! As always, Running for Donuts made its appearance at the Akron Marathon and kicked some serious butt! This year my friend Holly aka Cream Stick joined the team, and she was a great addition! We also changed up our shirts and went with a bright green instead of the pink shirts we have worn in years past. Since it was such a hit last year, I ran with a donut on my head yet again. It’s the little things that I love…..

Running for Donuts 2014

Running for Donuts 2014

-WENT TO THE FROG EXHIBIT AT THE ZOO! One of my goals this year was to successfully walk through the frog exhibit at The Cleveland Zoo without having a panic attack and passing out. The thought of this terrified me. If you didn’t know, my biggest fear in life includes frogs and toads…ugh, I hate typing those words! Anyway, when I ran the Wigs for Kids 5k at the zoo earlier in the summer, I decided that was the perfect time to go through the exhibit. Kyle was with me, so I knew I had protection. I made it through the exhibit without any issues, and even was able to sit on this statue (something I haven’t been able to do in the past).

Feeling froggy.....kind of

Feeling froggy…..kind of.

-TOOK ON THE PITTSBURGH MARATHON! Originally I was scheduled to run to full Pittsburgh Marathon in May with my pals, which was another goal of mine this past year. Unfortunately, in February I got really sick and was in and out of the hospital and doctor’s offices for about 5 weeks. This majorly impacted my ability to run, and I wasn’t officially cleared to even go out for a leisurely jog until mid April. Because of this, I made the decision to drop from the full to the half, as I knew it would be dangerous to run my first full with minimal training. I was lucky enough to run with some of my favorite SARC friends and one of my BFFs, Jodi, and had the support of my mother and friend Julie on the streets cheering me on. This race was a great personal victory for me….mostly because my headphones shorted out right after the start, and I was forced to run the whole 13.1 course without music, something I had never done. It was a challenge, but absolutely changed how I experienced the marathon, and I am so glad it happened as it did.

After the race!

After the race!

-WORE CLOTHES 3 TIMES SMALLER THAN LAST YEAR! I love that my job allows me to help others lose weight, gain self esteem, believe in themselves, and create a healthier life for them and their families. What I also love is how much it has helped me do all of those same things. This year I was ecstatic to buy a dress THREE TIMES smaller than what I have been wearing! Beyond that, I feel better and am stronger than I ever ever.

I don't even know who that person on the left is anymore!

I don’t even know who that person on the left is anymore!

 

-I SUFFERED THREE MAJOR HEARTACHES. While this year was very, very good to me, it was also extremely difficult. I lost my Aunt Jean unexpectedly in March, which absolutely broke my heart into a million pieces. In August, my dear friend Andy, who I have written about several times on this blog, lost the battle he had been fighting over the past two years. I also had to say goodbye to our family beagle, Wrigley. These losses were all so difficult (still difficult, to be honest) to process, but if anything, they made me realize how fragile life is and how we should never ever hold a grudge, go to bed angry, or leave loved ones without loving words.

Miss this guy every day.

Miss this guy every day.

I could go on and on and on, but I think that list covers the biggies. 2014, thank you for being a banner year in my life. I am thankful for the love, lessons, and laughter I experienced this past year, but I welcome 2015 with open arms and can’t wait to see what it has in store for us. Here’s hoping you have a fantastic 2015 as well!

 

Oprah, my list is better than yours.

I am going to say the one thing that always seems to enrage people.

I am NOT an Oprah fan.

Not one bit. I’m not going to get into all of the reasons why (maybe that’s blog material down the road). However, I will be honest and state that ever year I do review her favorite things of the year…usually hate most of them….but I do look at them. This year was no different….I finally checked the list out earlier this morning between cookie baking sessions. Surprisingly, there were a lot of cool things on the list….most unrealistic for people on the hunt for the perfect gift. I mean, are you willing to drop $700 on a pair of headphones? Probably not. ( Missed the list? Click here to view it! )

For that reason I decided to craft a similar post sharing my absolute favorite gifts to give and receive this year….only mine are much more friendlier to the wallet. As stated on her website, Oprah “tasted, tested, sniffed, snuggled, brewed, steeped, read, shared and dared” every item on HER list. I have done the same for the items on MY list. Here’s hoping this helps some of you last minute gift givers that need so help.

Katie’s Fabulous Favorite Things of 2014 List

1. Sorel Boots. I can’t begin to express my current obsession with these boots. I love love love them. They are fun and practical…..and cheaper than Uggs!

www.sorel.com

2. Orange Ginger Lotion and Body Wash. This is, by far, one of my favorite scents of all time. The best part? Very affordable and now it comes in lots of your favorite Bath and Body Works products. Click here to view all of the products in the line!

Photo Courtesy of Bath and Body Works

3. Anything from Lola and Darla. Ok…I think we know the obvious. I love sparkle. My team is named The Sparkle Squad, for Pete’s sake! This site is naturally up my alley because everything is about sparkle. Bonus: Lots of cute stuff for kids.

http://lolaanddarla.com is where you can go for cool Sparkle gear!

4. Beny Design’s Gold Bar Necklace. This is an awesome classic and simple necklace that anyone can rock. Best part? Only $19 and from a little shop on Etsy (my favorite!) You can view purchase options by clicking here.

I don't know anyone who wouldn't love this.

5. Coffee Tumbler. Everyone knows a coffee addict. If you know me, you know I am one, and you’ve probably seen me cruising around with with this neat mug that screams Katie! Bonus points for that hot pink lid, Bando!

I love that this lets people know that I need coffee in a serious way.

6. Urban Decay Naked Palettes. My favorite eyeshadow. Even though I own all of the Naked palettes,the Naked 2 palette is what I use 90% of the time and is my favorite. If you are into makeup or know someone that is, check out a little happiness for the eyes from Urban Decay.

This makes my eyes happy.

This makes my eyes happy.

7. House of Lashes false eyelashes.  I wear false eyelashes a lot and am constantly trying new brands out. My favorites come from the glam line at House of Lashes. When you see me rocking really serious ones, those are the Femme Fatales. I am also a big fan of the Starlet lashes. There are some really lovely holiday gift packs right now, and if you sign up on their mailing list you will find out all the great deals!

Photo Courtesy of House of Lashes.

8. Lush Bath Bombs. I’m not sure what I love more….the way they smell or the names of the different items. Either way, these things are rad. I’m also a huge fan of the soap….My favorites are Snowcake and Honey, I washed the kids! Here’s the site to check out all of the fabulosity!

Now that's a good looking bar of soap!

9. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It’s an incredible book and so inspiring. Every one should buy this for themselves and for people who like to read. And get it soon before the movie hits theaters! You can get it for $9.60 on Amazon so get it now!

I can't put this down! And the movie drops Christmas Day!

10. Any bag by Olivia and Joy! Bonus…..right now all handbags are 40% off! Shut the front door. My favorite is the Tamara satchel because it holds so much stuff (as most of their bags do) and comes in this awesome pink color.

www.oliviaandjoy.com

11. Old Navy workout leggings. I live in these pants, and they are on sale for $18 right now! Plus, they have an awesome message running up the leg…..pretty cool, right?

You never know who your workout gear is inspiring!

12. USB Flash Drive. I am always losing mine because it is small and just easy to lose. Not this one, though….. look how cool it is….and realistic! And just $8!

I won't misplace this thing!

13. Leggings. I’ve shared my favorites from this store on Facebook before, but they are just too fun and affordable not to include on this list. Online Legging Store is where I purchase my cool leggings that I always get compliments on. My favorites? The skeleton ones and the muscle ones! Clothing doesn’t have to be boring….and these leggings definitely have personality.

Seriously, this store has leggings for ANYONE!
14. Skeleton Egg Shaper. If you have foodies on your list….or grown ups who refuse to grow up…. you absolutely must shop at Perpetual Kid. This has been one of my favorite secret websites for years because they have the most random finds for your home and great stocking stuffers. Pens that smell like pancakes? Bandaids that look like Ninjas? Bacon toothpaste? YES! This little egg shaper is only $3.99 and I love it because, well, I love skulls. I love eggs. And the two got married and had this item.

This screams Bad Ass Breakfast.
15. Tea-Rex Infuser. For my tea lovers, this little bad boy is so cute and also a necessary purchase. It’s on sale right now on Kohl’s website….and you know they have great coupons to save you more!

T-Rex is just great.

Regardless of where you are at with your shopping, I hope it wasn’t a stressful experience….there are so many neat things out there to fit anyone’s budget…..And remember…..the greatest gift of all is your PRESENCE, not your presents, so spend the holiday with the people you love doing the things you love. That really is the greatest gift of all.

Happy Shopping! Only a few more days until Christmas!

Let’s Address the Mess!

This weekend was supposed to be filled with fun Sparkle Squad bonding, running, laughter, and chocolate….lots and lots of chocolate. However, a super nice sickness decided that would be on the agenda instead, so while my friends are in Columbus getting ready for The Hot Chocolate Run, I am at home guzzling hot tea and watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta marathon on Bravo.

In an attempt to NOT feel like a total waste of space, I decided to tackle one item on my mile long To Do list. My T-shirt collection. Since I moved in with Kyle in July, I have tried rrreeeeaaaaalllllllllyyyyy hard to keep my clothes organized. I don’t think it is  a secret that I have a lot of clothes and shoes……especially t-shirts that I have accumulated from all of my running endeavors. When I moved in, I put about 80% of my stuff in storage, still I sometimes can get a little messy. My t-shirts has slowly been getting messier and messier and messier…..time to organize.

Here is how I organized my t-shirts so I could easily find them and save space. I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner. Seriously. I mean, look how easy this is:

Look at the difference!

Look at the difference!

Literally took me no time at all, and I had so much more room once I was done. 5 Quick Steps is all it takes!

Now get to folding!

Time to get Beasty.

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 10.53.09 PMSometimes I stereotype. I just can’t lie about that. In my mind I think things or people are a certain way, and I tend to make decisions off of these ideas I think to be true. I’m mature enough to admit it, but I can also say that I am slowly getting better with it. Ssssssllllllloooowwwwlllyyyyyy. To be honest, a big chunk of where I am stereotyping is in the fitness arena.

By now we all know that I work as a Beachbody coach and am very proud of the work that I do. I think it is awesome to help others get in amazing shape, and I love motivating them and inspiring them to do more. The crazy thing about this career that I fell into is that I started coaching FOR ME. I am the one that needed a health makeover. I am the one that needed my confidence back. I am the one that needed inspired. I didn’t think I would actually become an active business building coach with the opportunity to work from home. I didn’t think I could help others. In the beginning, I just needed all the help I could get to get my butt in gear and my life back on track.  Because of coaching, I did. That’s the thing about coaching: it’s a cyclical thing. You challengers may not know it, but you are helping me as much as I am helping you.

In the 15 months since I became a coach, I have lost about 60 pounds total. That is incredible! Beyond that I have learned I can do absolutely anything, which is something I am more proud of than losing those pesky pounds. I’ve also learned that when someone tells me I can’t do something, I am going to turn right back around and do it. Which leads me to how I recently stereotyped….and how I recently was proven wrong.

I lost that weight using a high intensity interval based program called T25. It was 25 minutes a day, focusing on a different workout each day. I loved it because I like variety and tend to get bored easily…plus it helped me lose 47.5 pounds the first 60 days I used it in a challenge group, so I knew it worked. After I finished up that program, I told myself I had to stick to similar programs to keep my interest engaged and stay away from slower paced programs.

And then someone told me I couldn’t handle The Beast.

Photo Courtesy of Beachbody.com

Photo Courtesy of Beachbody.com

The Beast, of course, is Sagi Kalev, the creator and trainer of Body Beast who also is a former Mr. Israel (kind of like our Mr. Olympia). The program he created blends old school weight training with what Sagi refers to as “Dynamic Set Training” and is focused on helping those who use it to pack on muscle, get beasty, and segway into body building. When I was told I couldn’t do it, I immediately thought the person stating this was right. It sounded like something only a Creatine-obsessed meathead would like, and I knew very few females who had tried it out. So I stereotyped and told myself I would not do a “Dude workout” and stick to my higher intensity stuff. Yet I still purchased the program and let it sit with my Dvds for months.

Last month I got to thinking about my goals, not only with my business but with my own health and fitness as well. I thought about how I wanted to do chin ups by the end of this year and how I wasn’t strong enough. I thought about how I wanted to rock climb, but I didn’t have the upper body strength to do it. I thought about how I want my arms to look amazing in my dream wedding dress when I walk down the aisle in October.

That’s when I decided I would take on The Beast the beginning of November.

I have always loved lifting weights and was excited to get into a regular regimented lifting routine. However, I was terrified that I would become a beasty looking woman, and I wasn’t interested in that. Before I got too involved in my own stereotypical thoughts, I did what I should’ve done in the first place: read “The Book of Beast”, the instructional manual that comes with the Dvds. I quickly learned there are two different versions of the program, Lean Beast and Huge Beast….of course I went with the Lean Beast program, and this made me feel better about the whole process. I adopted the meal plan, but decided against adding the extra protein and supplements as suggested for the time being. I was nervous about the food, nervous that a workout longer than 25 minutes a day would bore me, nervous I didn’t have all the weights a “beast” would need, and just nervous I wouldn’t finish the program. To me, quitting is not an option at this point. I don’t let my challengers quit on me so I cannot quit on them.

Yesterday I wrapped up my first week of Body Beast, and I cannot lie. This program is my new favorite. I never thought something or someone could dethrone Shaun T and T25 from the fitness pedestal in my brain, but Sagi has done it already. In one week I am seeing new muscles. I have muscles that are sore that I didn’t even know existed. And I have completed every single workout right alongside Sagi and his dudes without missing a beat. With T25 there were some workouts I liked more than others, but that isn’t the case with Beast. I have loved every single workout so far and look forward to them every night. There are modifiers, too, so if you don’t have a bench or all kinds of EZ bars and weights at home, you can still do the workouts. I do everything  in our living room with my stability ball and dumbbells, and they work perfectly.

The meal plan has been incredible for me so far. Other than a handful of Cheetos (whoops) and five Teddy Grahams (double whoops), I have stuck to my meal plan and am feeling good about it. If you haven’t yet, make sure you check out the Beast Chili recipe I made… you can find it here. I made it last week and loved it so much that I made a double batch this week (only this time in a crock pot…easy and effortless).

I am over the moon excited that I stepped out of my comfort zone, ignored the preliminary stereotypical mindset I had, and decided to give The Beast (yes, he refers to himself as that) a try. The program is three months long, and I will post an update when I finish along with my before and after photos so you can see if I became beasty!

Sorry, Shaun T. This girl is on #teamsagi now.

RANT OF THE WEEK: Tiny Doors No More!

Something you all should know about me by now: I love things that aren’t “normal”. My definition of normal is what everyone thinks is “right” or standard. I’m a whimsical human being who loves all things whimsical and different. Things that are oversized or super tiny fall into this category because both aren’t your typical size, and that fascinates me.

Let’s talk about something else I love: gnomes. Gnomes as in the little mythical beings that exist in fairytales. Did anyone else watch David the Gnome on Nickelodeon back in the 80’s? I was obsessed!

Imagine my excitement when my friend Marcia and her boyfriend discovered a tiny gnome door at a park in Columbus. When she sent me this picture, I literally wanted to jump in my car and head to Schiller Park immediately!

Photo Courtesy of my gal Marcia Edwards and her love muffin.

Photo Courtesy of my gal Marcia Edwards and her love muffin.

The picture prompted me to complete some online searches to determine why this door existed, and I was pleased to find out its existence was partially sponsored by Keebler (Man, do I love an EL Fudge Cookie….no lie). The door was part of an initiative put on by both Keebler and City Eventions to promote creativity and imagination in the minds of children while also encouraging individuals to take advantage of their local parks. Of course I love that…this country is beyond obese, and I don’t understand why people would ever want to be unhealthy. There are so many amazing places that you could walk to and enjoy on a weekend….now you have the opportunity to see gnome doors as you exercise! That’s a win/win to me.

We had a hectic schedule, so it took about a month before Kyle and I could travel down to Columbus. We ended up heading down last weekend to visit our dear friends, Rick and Kelly, for Rick’s birthday celebration. I had shared with Kelly the tiny door story, and she, much like me, was anxious to go, so we made plans to grab breakfast and hit Schiller Park to find the door ourselves. I don’t think Kyle and Rick were super pumped to go scope out a gnome door, but they agreed to come with us on our hunt. Marcia was down in Columbus that weekend as well, so I called her as we were getting to the park so we could meet up at the door and take an obscene amount of pictures with us by it. Let’s be honest, your newsfeed would have probably hated gnomes had we been able to.

That’s when my gnome door dreams were shattered. Marcia told me that a local woman had informed her that the gnome door had been stolen earlier in the week and all that was left was the empty space in the tree where it had once been. I literally wanted to cry.

What is wrong with people? Honestly, I am well aware that people in this day and age lack respect and morals, but to steal a little door? C’Mon. I really really hope that whatever idiot took the door is tarred and feathered old school style, and when they are found, I’d like whomever is reading this to know I am available to help. Don’t mess with gnome doors, don’t mess with Keebler, don’t mess with an attempt to promote exercise and health, and don’t mess with Katie when she is on a mission to see something whimsical.

My hope is the door shows back up so I can drive back to see it. However, after consulting a map of all of the existing gnome doors in the country, I was delighted to see there was a gnome door nearby where I used to live in Pittsburgh. Looks like it’s time for me to cruise on over, see some pals, and try this gnome door hunt thing again.

If you are bored, do a little research on the Tiny Door Project. I also encourage you to like “Keebler” on Facebook….they have a whole album of Tiny Doors you can see! Just avoid their cookies……they aren’t calorie free (some of us learned the hard way).

RAVE OF THE WEEK: Because, Hey! It’s Been Awhile!

Let’s just address the elephant in the room: 2014 is the year my blog has been neglected. It is what it is. Sorry, little blog. Sometimes things just happen.

My last blog entry was such a difficult thing for me to write about, and as much as I would like to think it hasn’t affected my writing, the truth is, it has. I have logged into my blog several times a week since Andy passed away, but never am able to write anything once I revisit my last blog post, which in this case was about him. I am very much a creature of habit with my writing, and the one thing I do when I log in is read what I last wrote, then I proceed to start a new entry. In this case, I still get very emotional about the loss of my friend, and that usually results in me shutting my computer and telling myself I will write later in the week.  Sometimes you have to just push on, even if it is tough. So this is me pushing on with my blog. After all, life has been quite Kateastic lately.

I have about a million and five things I need to blog about because it has been so long, but I have decided that after a lengthy hiatus, I am bringing back my Rave(s)of the Week. These entries always were my absolute favorites to write, and since this is my blog and I do what I want…..Raves are back. And I think they deserve the first of the million and five entries.

Let’s talk about some Raves, shall we? And since it’s been awhile, I’m sharing some of my favorite Raves of the last two months.

- I SAID YES! Ok, we all know I jubilantly said YES when Kyle proposed in May, but since my last blog, we’ve been busy. The date has been set, the venue, caterer, cake, wedding colors, and lighting company all secured. And I said Yes to the Dress! Naturally, I can’t be sharing those details on here because Im superstitious and don’t want Kyle to see the dress or know much about it until the day I walk down the aisle, but I will share that it is very unique and very Katetastic. I can’t wait to wear it, and the chances of me refusing to take it off ever are high.

Here's a shot of where our reception will be held! Photo courtesy of our amazing lighting company, Solus Lighting Ltd!

Here’s a shot of where our reception will be held! Photo courtesy of our amazing lighting company, Solus Lighting Ltd! Yes, that is a dinosaur you see.

SQUIRRELS, SQUIRRELS EVERYWHERE! I like animals, especially baby ones. However, I don’t like when they are hurt…or when I can’t keep them. Imagine my delight when Kyle called and told me not to be alarmed but he had rescued a baby squirrel from the dogs and placed in a box in the garage. Unfortunately, he found it next to a dead sibling (we imagine they fell from the nest in the tree). This then became an all out homework assignment on what to feed this little guy, what to do with it, etc. Fortunately, I have many animal loving friends in the veterinary field and was eventually directed to a Squirrel Rescue by our house. We were able to deliver the baby squirrel, named Alfred Corn (or A Corn for short) to a caregiver to be rehabbed back to good health. It was amazing to learn how many Squirrel rescues were nearby and all the special things needed to care for a squirrel. I’m happy we were able to save little A. Corn.

 

- DONUTS ROCKED THE HOUSE! Once again, my trusty Donut headpiece held up during my 5.5 leg of the Akron Marathon Relay in September. I write about this race every year, and I look forward to it every year….in fact I was strongly opposed to having our wedding in September next year because it could interfere with this race (fortunately this didn’t end up being a problem). I do so many individual races where the end result is based strictly on what I do and how I perform. This race is a team event, and while we are all so competitive, it is just an absolute blast to run with my friends through such an amazing course. This year we ended up 269 out of 849 teams! Yes, we ran three minutes slower than last year (I take the heat for that since I haven’t been running as much), but we still did awesome!

Holly, Me, Jason, Mandy, and Jodi

Holly, Me, Jason, Mandy, and Jodi

-I JOINED THE SARC BOARD OF DIRECTORS. I am so excited about this venture with SARC, short for Summit Athletic Running Club. The running club has opened up so many doors in my life and introduced me to so many wonderful opportunities and people. To be able to serve as one of the few members on its board is such an honor. Honestly, anyone who is considering running one race should join. We meet monthly, eat pizza (yes, pizza), and do so many cool things. You can visit out website, http://www.summitathletic.com, to learn more about the club or read our monthly newsletter (P.S. This month I wrote a fun article…check it out).

 

-HEADBANDS, HEADBANDS, HEADBANDS! I am an absolute headband freak…I love them and wear them daily. Fortunately for me, one of my dear friends, Sharon, has been my own private headband maker for the past year, so I always have new and exciting sparkly numbers to show off. I was super excited when Sharon finally opened up her headband shop to others this fall! If you are active, you know that some of these headband makers (i.e. Sweaty Bands, Boulder bands, etc) charge you an arm and a leg to have a cool headband. I purchased a few sweaty bands before for a race and they cost me $20 a piece. I was really happy when Sharon started making her own because they are so much better than those fancy ones, they can be personalized to my interests (Yes, she even made me an Adam Levine one), but they are such a reasonable price. If you are after some cool headgear and are on Facebook, find the group Blossom’s Originals and Sharon can hook you up, too. I’m all about supporting small businesses, especially when I can tell you first hand how great something is. So proud of you, Sharon!

Just a few of what Sharon has made me.

Just a few of what Sharon has made me.

-GO TEAM BUBU’S BUNCH! Last weekend was the annual Alzheimer’s Memory Walk, and as always, my family and I were there to represent our love for our beloved Bubu, my grandma who is battling the disease. This year brought a change of venue, but the same energy and support that I have grown to love. My mother once again led a successful Chinese Auction….and I, for once, won something. It was a beautiful day for such a great cause, and I am so thankful that so many people support out family every year.

Team Bubu's Bunch 2014

Team Bubu’s Bunch 2014

 

-THE SPARKLE SQUAD IS BRINGING IT! My business has continually been in the forefront of what I am doing, and it has just been blowing up. When I celebrated my year anniversary in August, I couldn’t believe how much has changed since I began this venture last year. We went from a team of one (me) to a team of nearly fifty individuals. I had no idea what coaching for Beachbody would bring into my life, but I am so thankful. This past week brought the rank advancement of one of my coaches, Britain, which is a big deal for our team. And with so many of my other coaches close to getting their business to that level only means more celebration to come. I am so proud of what my team does every single day and am so lucky I get to call this “work”. The best is yet to come for The Sparkle Squad!

Congrats to my team for their hard work and special thanks to my coach, Laura, for this cute announcement.

Congrats to my team for their hard work and special thanks to my coach, Laura, for this cute announcement.

I could keep going and going with my raves, but the day is beautiful, and I’m off to enjoy it! Fall is my favorite time of year, so that is a rave in itself!

Have a lovely Sunday, friends!

The Real Warrior.

Define “Warrior.”

Did you ever look up what that word means? I can honestly say I never had until earlier today. I looked through various dictionaries to see what they all said, and while they all had variations, the consensus was that a warrior is someone who overcomes all obstacles to become successful. Hmmm. I disagree.

I spent the majority of my day focused on this word.

When my alarm went off this morning at 6am, I awoke with a sense of jubilation and excitement…it was Warrior Dash day, and I sure do love me some muddy races. This race was going to be extra special, as I wasn’t just running it with my cousin Laura, but with my fiancee Kyle…and it was our first race together.

I love the Warrior Dash for a multitude of reasons. Contrary to belief, I don’t mind getting dirty and like jumping around in mud. I obviously love running. I love challenging myself and taking on crazy obstacles. And you better believe I love getting a furry helga helmet. When I get to do all this with the people I love most, I love it even more.

It was a beautiful day for a race. Seriously, the weather couldn’t have been any better. The mud was perfect: messy but challenging. As with any Warrior Dash, we had no idea what obstacles we would encounter. I was so proud of us for killing it on the obstacles and showing incredible teamwork….and then the next to last obstacle presented itself: the Goliath. Let’s talk about the Goliath for a second. From the ground it doesn’t seem too bad. I mean, you climb up a high cargo net, then walk across a little beam to a huge slide that in turn spits you out in a giant mud puddle. Fun, right?

WRONG. That little beam is very small and takes place about 15 feet in the are over a shallow little mud puddle. It’s long, and all you have for balance are two small ropes. I don’t need to elaborate, but I was scared to death. Thank heavens for Kyle being there to help me through it. It was terrifying. Once we crossed the finish, the terror of the Goliath disappeared and I began to felt like a real warrior. I had beat the obstacle course; I was awesome. Being a warrior means doing that, at least according to the dictionaries I consulted.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One of the greatest moments one has after a race like this isn’t that moment when they finish, but that moment when they get a hot shower, wash all of the dirt away, and hop into bed for a cat nap. This was exactly my plan for the remainder of the day. After my shower, I found myself feeling the same jubilation I had when I first woke up: time to rest! And right when I went to put my head on my pillow, my phone lit up.

Nap over.

My phone blows up all day long. As an entrepreneur, it’s just how it is. I  have to be available to take the calls and respond to the messages when those who I coach need me. This text though wasn’t one of those messages. It was one of the worst messages I possibly could’ve received.

My friend Andy, who I have written about several times on here, had lost the battle he so bravely fought for the last nineteen months. As you may remember, he was involved in a terrible car accident that left him in the ICU for many months before he was able to move to an assisted living facility where he could receive proper care. His journey had been a rough one, but I don’t think any of us ever questioned whether or not Andy would be okay. I honestly believe we all felt in our hearts that someday he would be back to his old ways, that he would laugh with us and talk to us all again. After all, Andy is a warrior.

Let’s go back to that definition the dictionaries shared with me: a warrior is someone who overcomes obstacles successfully. Andy left us this morning after being found unresponsive. Over the last nineteen months he had faced more obstacles than I can even imagine. He fought and fought and fought and overcame so many things that most people couldn’t. To me, that is a warrior: someone who fights until the bitter end giving everything they have. This is what our Andy did.

To get a furry helmet and jump through some mud puddles…..that doesn’t make someone a warrior. Staring the worst of the worst in the face, looking it dead in the eye, and still taking it on…..that is a true warrior. And that is what Andy Buehl did.

I’m heartbroken to have my lost my friend. Im heartbroken that a family lost a son, a brother, a stepbrother. And I’m heartbroken that the world has lost one of the greatest guys I have ever known to walk it. As heartbroken as I am, I am so thankful I was fortunate enough to know such an awesome human being and call him my friend. I know a lot of people can agree with me when I say Andy truly made the world a better place.

When someone close to you goes through something crazy and terrible like Andy did, you can’t help but think about life in general. Life is so short….we never know when our last day could be. Love with all your heart….passionately and completely. Evaluate your priorities…spend more time with those who mean something to you. Forgive for pain and hurt….learn from it, but don’t grudges. And when something scary comes your way, think of my friend Andy and the warrior strength he showed until the very end.

I’m proud to have known a real warrior.

We'll miss you, Buehl. May you rest in peace knowing how loved you are and how much you meant to so many.

We’ll miss you, Buehl. May you rest in peace knowing how loved you are and how much you meant to so many.

 

 

 

Hail to the victory…..rolls

I like to think I’m known for a lot of things. Bright lipstick and big hair are definitely two of them, and I’m okay with that.

When it comes to my hair, there is one trend that I love love love and do often, and even though I love and adore it, I am always surprised when someone asks me “what’s wrong with your hair?” That, my friends, is my beloved victory roll.

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 7.21.16 AM

I love the pin up culture, and while I sometimes dress in the way the beautiful pin ups do, the victory roll is a piece of the 1940’s that I choose to keep alive.

Do you know what victory rolls are and why they are called that? No? I’m about to educate you.

Back during World War 2 there was a major shortage of metal meaning women did not have access to bobby pins. Because of this women had to be creative with how they curled their hair, often using pipe cleaners and other random household items to create the curls they desired. For those off in war, this hairstyle proved to be helpful, as it held the hair off the face.

Some say they are called Victory rolls because of the “v” shape that is associate with the curls; others claim it is because women wanted a connection the the war effort, and repurposing and recycling helped them have a connection and bring a sense of victory within the household while their men fought in the war. I personally think they are called this because it is a fun, creative victory for the hair, but that’s just me.

I’m a huge fan of this hairstyle and love what it symbolizes. I also love how things once were and how unique a victory roll can make you. I do all different kinds of victory rolls (the Classic example below that I found on Pinterest is one of my favorites), but I will strongly state that these tend to take a lot of practice, so don’t give up if you don’t get it just right from the beginning.

Want to know how to rock out an awesome victory roll? Here’s a great resource to show you how!

Click here to watch a great tutorial!

 

IMG_4762.JPG

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 981 other followers