Gettin’ Philly With It

One of my meal plan staples has always been the stuffed pepper….there’s something about it that makes it part healthy part comfort food, and with about a million variations, it is something I am always into.

This weekend I was craving a good ol’ cheesesteak, and I’m not talking the fake kind. I’m talking a legit Geno’s Cheesesteak (Sorry if you are Team Pat’s…this girl is Geno’s all the way). Since I wasn’t in the mood for a 6 hour drive to Philly to get one, I opted to put a Philly spin on my stuffed peppers. My Instagram DMs blew up asking for the recipe… so here it is! Although I also received a few messages about my vampire pepper that I shared….

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Philly Cheesesteak Peppers

Ingredients:
-3 peppers (any color), cut in half and seeds removed
-1 yellow onion, diced (optional)
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 pound steak (I use sirloin and slice very thin)
-12 slices of provolone cheese
-1 tablespoon chopped parsley
-8 oz sliced mushrooms (optional)

Directions:

Place peppers in baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. As peppers bake, heat olive oil in pan and cook steak. Make sure it is sliced thin! Add onions and mushrooms to the pan if you are using them, cooking until brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once peppers are done, remove from oven and place one slice of provolone cheese in the bottom of each pepper. Fill with steak mixture, then top with another slice of cheese. Broil for 3 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and golden brown. Top with parsley and serve! So easy, and this recipe is always a hit!

Enjoy!

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Ready to eat!

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Dog Rescue > Richard Gere Fire Escape Rescue.

“A senior dog? I don’t know about that.” This was exactly what I told Kyle a few months ago when he mentioned wanting to adopt a senior dog.

Don’t get me wrong…..I love all dogs, but after losing our senior pug Bubba only a few weeks prior, my heart was still very broken, and a big part of me felt like I was too fragile to possibly endure another dog loss so soon. My mind was also set on adding a French Bulldog puppy to the clan mid summer. We tabled the senior dog discussion at that point….or at least I did. Every now and then Kyle would text me a picture of a senior dog in need of a home, so I knew he was still very focused on it, but I just brushed most of them off.

Two weeks ago I woke up in a wretched mood, and I texted my friend Brandee to see if she wanted to meet me at a local pet rescue. She liked to visit the cats, and I figured petting some dogs would cheer me up. Kyle mentioned there was a senior Boston Terrier there that he was interested in meeting, so he decided to come along. In my mind, I was going to pet some dogs, hit up Starbucks on the way home, and return home in a better mood. I did not intend on connecting with a dog and beginning the adoption process.

Initially I was interested in two chihuahuas that were bonded, but I quickly realized they were not only yippy, but mean. As I tried to befriend them, an employee had walked out with the Boston Terrier Kyle had told me about. His name was Spike, and he was ten years old with really no back story. All we knew was that he had been brought to the shelter from Animal Control. We spent some time petting him, got some info on what to do if we wanted to move forward, and left. I knew immediately Kyle wanted him, but I told him that I needed to think about it.

Yes, he was a senior dog. He was emaciated, his spine had an odd shape, the shelter thought he had vision impairment, and it was uncertain if he had hearing issues. I had many concerns about him, but mostly if we would be able to give him the proper care. Bubba, our pug, had lost his vision during the last year of his life, but he had also lost mobility….Spike was still very active, and I worried about how he would move around the house safely.

As the days passed, all I could think about Spike. My heart honestly hurt thinking about how sad he looked being at that shelter. Four days after we first met him I asked Kyle to go back to the shelter so we could walk Spike and spend a little more time with him. That moment we saw him I knew it was meant to be. We arranged a meet and greet with Luigi and Murphy a few days later, and luckily, they loved him. The paperwork was signed, and Spike was ours.

We brought Spike home on Mother’s Day, and in the short time he has been with us he has made it clear he belongs with us. It’s a little challenging getting set in a new routine because we had such a set one already, but we are adapting. Each day Spike’s personality comes out a little more, and you can see how much he loves the attention and plush dog beds around the house.

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The day we brought Spike home!

I have moments where I want to smack myself for almost talking myself out of getting a senior dog. Now that we have him, I can’t imagine life without him. One thing I keep thinking about is something one of the rescue workers said to me as I was waiting for another employee to bring out Spike the day we went to get him. I must’ve looked confused or lost because he asked me if he could help me with something. When I told them I was there to adopt a dog and was waiting for him to come out, he asked which one. After I told him it was Spike, he looked incredibly happy and said “We didn’t think anyone would ever adopt him.” My heart broke and exploded with happiness at the same time.

Shelters are full of senior animals needing a loving home….they tend to be the majority of what is there! While the thought of a little puppy is appealing, I encourage you to consider bringing a senior dog. Just knowing you are giving a dog the best life you possibly can is such a good feeling. I have no idea what kind of life Spike had before he found his way to One of a Kind Pets,  the rescue where we adopted him from. What I do know is that he has the sweetest temperament, loves sweet potatoes and hugs, and looks like he is smiling when he sleeps in the gray velvet bed I bought just for him. I can’t change how his life was his first ten years, but you better believe I’m going to make every year he has left the best I possibly can.

If you are local, make sure you check out One of a Kind. I’ve mentioned them before…..they host Pug Fest every year! If you aren’t, I encourage you to find the shelters near your home and give them a chance when looking to add to your fur family.

The funny thing about rescuing a dog…..they steal a line from Pretty Woman and they rescue you right back.

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Welcome to the family, Spike!

 

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Fun Facts You May Not Know About Me

Writing a blog has been something I have absolutely loved doing the past few years. Besides expressing myself through writing, I have had the ability to connect with so many new followers. Thank you guys so much for hanging with me virtually!

Since I have so many new blog subscribers lately, I wanted to share a few fun facts about me that you may not know. I always love learning random things about others, and since many things about me are obvious, it’s nice to sometimes change it up! Here’s your random dose of Katetastic-ness for the day!

1. I have an obsession with tiny hats.
  I cannot tell you when this obsession began….but I can tell you it started when I was really young because I have loved tiny hats since I was a little girl. Now I find a reason to tie a festive hat in with anything I possibly can….brunches, parties, holidays….they are a great accessory! I get all of my tiny hats from Chiki Bird Hat Studio…..Corinne does amazing work!

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My favorite hat!

2. My favorite book of all time is Catcher in the Rye.
  I absolutely love to read…..and I love all kinds of books ranging from leadership books to feel good stories to fictional tales. Catch in the Rye is a book I first read back in junior high, and it is a book I have read every year since. I tend to like anything with a little bit of rebellion, but there’s something about this book that is just different that I connect to. Regardless, if you have never read it, do it.

3. My alter-ego is Hurri-Kate.
    Yes, I have an alter-ego, and when she comes out, it isn’t the prettiest thing to see. She was nicknamed Hurri-Kate quite some time ago by a friend who was present when I got extremely fired up, and that nickname just stuck. This isn’t to be confused with the name I give whenever I’m out and about…..that name is Dallas (you’ve got to choose a name after a city or a state)!

4. I was homecoming queen in high school and college.
   I was a huge fan of the small town I went to high school in and later turned down larger colleges to go to one situated in another small town. I guess I’m just a small town girl….living in a lonely world (I had to go there….you know how I love my music).  I was proud to serve as Homecoming Queen at both schools…..even though I hadn’t discovered mascara or proper brow products back in high school (I was a bit of a tomboy back then).

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5. I absolutely cannot burp.
   It is just something I CANNOT do. I know, it’s very strange.

6. I was an on air personality for Froggy,
  One of my favorite jobs of all time was getting to be on the air for Froggy, ironic since I hate frogs. My on air name was Pollywogg, and I absolutely loved getting to be on air, playing music, and going out into the community for live events. It also wasn’t a bad gig getting to meet and introduce celebrities like Joe Nichols, Bret Michaels, Toby Keith, and Travis Tritt to name a few. I often miss radio and have considered getting back into it, but then I realize I already have a pretty full life and probably shouldn’t add anything else to it.

7. My name was {almost} Greta.
   My mom really liked this name, but my dad was against it. I’m thankful my dad won on this one. Can you imagine if I was named Greta??????

8. I absolutely HATE getting a suntan.
  There was a brief time in college when I managed a tanning salon and tanned every day, but I quickly realized I didn’t want to look like leather down the road and abandoned that immediately. Now I’m that person who wears a big floppy hat at the beach, and I layer up on sunscreen just in case a little bit of sun gets in under the hat or the umbrella I hide under. I just don’t like getting tan.

9. I was born 21 days late. Sorry, Mom.
   And I’ve been a pain in the ass ever since. Right, Mom???

10. I absolutely love public speaking.
 One of my favorite things to do is speak publicly. I don’t care what the topic is…it could just be me delivering bad jokes…..give me a mic, and I will be in my happy place. I’m thankful that I have many opportunities now to speak to others, whether it be in a motivational format or to deliver training materials. I wasn’t always this way though….back in college I dreaded taking public speaking, but when I did, guess what? I fell in love with it.

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It’s always fun to learn new things about people, isn’t it? I challenge you to share something others may not know about you today!

And just like that….80 days are DONEZO!

Well, ninety days if we want to be 100% accurate.

Many of you have asked me why my time doing this program seemed longer than eighty actual days….that’s because you don’t count Sundays aka rest days, meaning ten extra days are added on to those eighty workouts! Sooo…..three months. That’s what this program breaks down to……….and it’s over now!!!!!!!!!!!!

This past weekend I officially wrapped up 80 Day Obsession, and I have to be honest….I was kind of sad to see it go. In some ways it felt like I had been doing the program foreveerrrrrrrrr, but in other ways it seemed like I had just started.

Was this workout program a journey? Absolutely.

I ended up finishing the program down 16.8 lbs and 18.4 inches lost….not too shabby! However, I have to say….the thing I’m most excited about is how strong I felt at the end of the program. Sure, losing weight/inches is cool, but actually feeling yourself get stronger as time passed….that was really a great success.

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So what’s next? This week I did some Core de Force and a little from both T25 and Hammer and Chisel. My plan initially was to do CdF then go into H & C next month (thinking I wanted a little break from weight lifting), but after two days without weights, I was missing them BIG TIME. In fact, I actually started considering going back through 80 Day and doing another round. I’m going to make a decision as to what program I want to start over the weekend and officially begin it on Monday.

Besides that, I will be getting back into my Ninja Warrior training this week, which includes rock climbing, running, and a medley of workouts with my tractor tire, sledgehammer, plyo box, and bosu ball. I’ll also be back to throwing in some kickboxing classes as well. This past week I was able to take my first kickboxing class since January, which was fabulous. Even though I teach kickboxing, I was very cautious during 80 DO because I did not want to go up even higher in the food bracket list. Teaching had me already bump up two brackets (I had to ensure I had the right amount of calories coming in), and if I had opted to take additional classes for the workout purpose, I would’ve needed to adjust even more. Since I struggled some days to eat the food I was supposed to anyway, I elected to just not take any classes until I finished the program.

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You guys all know that the FIRST thing I did the morning after I finished up 80 DO was hit the donut shop….I successfully went three months without a single donut! Donuts are probably the only thing that will get me up before 8am on a Sunday!

But……..I have to be real with you guys…..I wasn’t that into them.

Yes, you heard right. I ate the donuts and wasn’t a huge fan. Thinking maybe it was a fluke, later that day I ordered a stuffed crust pepperoni pizza. I didn’t like that either. Later in the week I got hibachi and also McDonalds…..I didn’t like either. What does this tell us? My taste buds drastically changed as a result of my nutrition on this program, and I’m not too upset about it if we are being honest.

Speaking of nutrition, all week I felt lost. The timed nutrition aspect of 80 DO really had become a routine for me, and I actually liked how it was structured. I am definitely going back to the preworkout/postworkout timed meals for sure regardless of what program I am doing, but most likely will be following the rest of the meal plan structure because it just worked.

Final thoughts on this program if you are considering it:

The performance line is a MUST. I’ve said this before, and some of you probably thought I was blowing smoke up your ass, but I’m serious. This is a challenging program that tasks your muscles in a major way. You have to help them recover! You want to eliminate muscle soreness! The performance line is my go to. If you are going to do this program, don’t half ass it….just use the stuff. You’ll thank me later.

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-Absolutely have an accountability group. I’m always thankful for the ladies in my online fit clubs, but I was especially for this program. Toward the end I lacked some motivation and needed the extra acceptability. Luckily, I had about 10 girls following the same program I was, and they helped me keep my eyes on the finish. Sometimes you need all the help you can get.

If you fall down, just get back up. This is a long program, and some of you may be worried about stating because you are afraid you may miss a day, or mess up the nutrition. I screwed up a ton! But I always kept going. No one is perfect, and the end result is so worth it. Just try it! If you need that extra support and a fitness wingman, I’m here to help you every step of the way!

Thanks so much to everyone who supported me on this journey! Now onto the next big thing……..

P.S. Can you believe that the pineapple my magician friend Stacy made me on January 21st looked like this NINETY days after she made it? It stuck with me through the entire program! Maybe to be symbolic of the fact that my reasons for yelling out “pineapples” during the workout were dwindling????

Happy Sunday, friends.

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Week 11-12: I’m in the homestretch!

I cannot believe that tomorrow I begin Peak Week, the final week of 80 Day Obsession. In some ways it feels like I have been doing this program forever (I kind of have….I started January 22nd), and it some ways it feels like it was just yesterday that I began. It’s crazy how time can make you feel that way!

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The final two weeks of Phase 3 have not been all sunshine and roses, and I won’t even try to sugarcoat it. There’s something about this final phase that has really been challenging. Like I mentioned in my last update, this phase has been a complete mind#$k. I’ve lacked motivation, I’ve felt like quitting so many times, and I have just struggled to get through the workouts. I really just think that it is my workout ADD kicking it…..this has been such a long commitment, and as someone who loves those shorter workouts and changing up what I’m doing, that commitment has been incredibly tough. You better believe I am going to be so proud of myself when I finish this program, and I am definitely rewarding myself with some new Lorna Jane gear. I freaking deserve it.

When it comes to my nutrition, I’ve barely cheated. I had two days that involved tacos, one being after our quarterly Super Saturday, and the next being the following day for Wrestlemania. I specifically chose tacos that weren’t super bad for me and could still work into the meal plan, but I won’t lie….some plantain chips and guac were included, and those definitely weren’t. I did remain focused on my meal plan and water, and I was really happy about that. This morning I met some girlfriends for brunch at one of my favorite local spots, The Blue Door, and I was able to resist the chicken and waffles I love from there and made a meal plan approved choice instead (The Olympian….it is so tasty).

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Mine is on the right!

But….I did have some moments with my nutrition that were touch and go. This past week was a bit of a struggle for me. One of my best friends lost his father, and my heart was absolutely broken for him and his family. At the same time, watching him go through a loss of a parent brought up a lot of weird feelings and sadness that had me feeling like I was reliving the loss of my dad all over again. I was proud of myself for not emotionally eating and addressing my anger/sadness by killing my workouts, something that has served me as therapy the past few years. I cried a lot more than usual, and I slept way less than I typically do, and let’s not ignore the fact that I was a royal bitch because of the weird feelings and emotions I had going on in my head. Yet, somehow I avoided falling into the emotional eating mindsuck, and I’m super proud of that.

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Sometimes you just have to workout knowing you are doing it for those who no longer can. 

I was very pleased to complete my FINAL 8 round trip to the zoo aka Cardio Flow, and I was kind of sad to see it go. From hating the workout initially to slowly falling in love with it, my relationship with the moves was definitely one of the greatest transformations I had during this program. This definitely has been the workout that has had me incredibly sore following its completion each time, and I have remained committed to self care following that workout. Any excuse for a bubble bath, right?

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I hope you celebrated Unicorn Day like I did….I tied it together to self care day!

As of now I have lost 14 lbs and 19 inches……and I’m pretty okay with that. My strength and endurance is what really has me happy, especially since my Ninja Warrior training is going to kick into high gear as soon as I complete 80 Day.

Many people have asked if I am going to do another round. Maybe….a long time from now. My plan is to begin an MMA/Muay Thai inspired 30 day workout on the 30th, then go into one of my all time favorite lifting program, Hammer and Chisel, before beginning one of our newest lifting program early summer. In addition to that, I will be Ninja training like I mentioned and mixing in some running and rock climbing as well.

Here’s a look at my meal plan for my FINAL week of 80 Day aka Peak Week! It’s mostly protein and veggies with a few carbs mixed in.

So excited to share my final update with you…..and also eat a fat ass donut.

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Raise your hand if your blood type is Coffee.

Can you see my hand raised all the way over here?????!!!!!!!!

Guys, it’s a pretty well known fact that I absolutely love love LOVE coffee, so when I say it is my blood type, I’m fairly certain that it’s the truth. I drink it as soon as I wake up…..I drink it throughout the day….and pretty much every barista in a five mile radius knows me by name and my order of choice. I’m not ashamed; coffee is my spirit animal and with it I am a magical sparkle-slinging girl boss.

Everywhere I go I try to scout out amazing local coffee shops or companies that are independently owned, have a fun story behind them, and aren’t your run of the mill corporate chain. In my world, it’s all about supporting small businesses. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts…..but if I have the choice of one of those two or a local company, I’m going with that local biz. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Awhile back I was trolling Instagram and checking out some different hashtags related to (you guessed it) coffee, when I stumbled across a business that had me at hello: Bones Coffee Company (Make sure you drop everything and follow their IG by clicking HERE!).
Another fun fact you may/may not know about me: I love skulls and skeletons, so when I saw the name and logo I just HAD to buy some of their coffee.

But then…..then I started to look through their website and the love at first sight feeling was solidified. They had a Chocolate Orange Coffee. CHOCOLATE ORANGE!  French Toast! Peanut Butter and Jelly….and so many more! Did these people jump into my brain and steal all my favorite things then go make a coordinating coffee???!!!! It sure seemed so.

Thus, a love affair was born.

Let me tell you all of the reasons why I love this coffee company:

1. The flavor selection is unparalleled. As someone who loves flavored coffee, I’ve never found an extensive flavor selection like the one that Bones offers. Besides the flavors available every day, they have amazing seasonal flavors, such as my personal fave Red Velvet (available around Valentine’s Day) and Carrot Cake (available for a few more days). Take some time and check out their website HERE. Isn’t the flavor selection insane???!!!!

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My current Bones collection. 

2. You have the option to buy a sample pack. Even though I was incredibly excited after surfing their website, I was still a little worried the coffee may not be as good as I had hoped. Luckily, they have a five pack option where you can select 5 sample packs and try a variety of flavors that you can choose. The sample packs are a decent size, which truly gives you an opportunity to determine the flavors you like best before buying the full size coffee.

3. Fast shipping. You know how to really win me over? Killer customer service and shipping. I tend to lack patience when it comes to waiting for items I can’t wait to receive…I can’t help it! The day I ordered my sample pack I had an email a few hours later stating it shipped, and just a few days later I opened a mail box with a wonderful coffee aroma. Was that an isolated incident? Nope. Every order I have placed since then has been shipped and received within a few days, and everyone who has ordered thus far on my recommendation has commented how impressed they are with the speed of their orders arriving as well.

4. You can purchase ground or whole bean. It may be weird to some, but some days I prefer using whole bean coffee and grounding it myself. I also use whole coffee beans as a base for all of my makeup brushes (I love having my makeup room smell like coffee) so I love having a wonderful flavored aroma in the air.

5. Clever packaging. I LOVE a solid marketing strategy, but when there are some clever references or pop culture humor infused, I am SOLD. Check out my personal favorite…..does this skeleton look familiar?

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Photo courtesy of BonesCoffee.com

6. You can drink your coffee in style. I love a solid handmade mug, especially unique shapes. The minute I saw the gorgeous mugs on the Bones website, I had to have one, and it has quickly become my favorite mug. If you are more of a travel mug style person, they have those as well, plus apparel.

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7. K-Cups! I was so excited when I saw Bones offered K-cups. I obviously make my own coffee at home, but when I go to my kickboxing studio I like to have coffee options on hand, so K-cups are the way to go for me. I always have them in my purse or gym bag.

8. They always have a fun deal or promotion going on. Had it not been for a recent promotion where every purchase received an additional random sample, I would’ve never fallen in love with Red Velvet or their Jamaican flavor (Kyle’s favorite). Recently I received a decal from them with a purchase and proudly rock it on my planner which goes with me everywhere.

9. New flavors happen often. Recently Bones released a Bluesberry Coffee that is beyond incredible….it smells just like a blueberry muffin. My hope is one of these days some type of doughnut inspired coffee is introduced..you guys all know that the doughnut is my second love right behind coffee.

10. The Bones staff is amazing. I have loved getting to chat with those involved with Bones and was very excited about their willingness to let me learn more about their company and share the info with you. I admire their entrepreneurial spirit and how innovative they are in an industry where a lot of companies are afraid to push boundaries.

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Cheers to this fab coffee company!

I asked the Bones crew to answer some questions I had…..here’s what they had to say:

How did Bones Coffee get started? We are a family owned and operated business with roots in the Pacific Northwest, where we were deeply submerged in an artisan coffee culture. When we relocated to Southwest Florida, we wanted to bring that culture with us and launched Bones Coffee Company with the goal of making delicious, freshly roasted artisan coffee accessible to everyone.

How did you come up with your name? We wanted to project the vibrance and edginess of our flavors on our packaging. When we were developing our first variety, High Voltage, we imagined a skeleton in a lab concocting the highly caffeinated brew. Our brand name really developed from that point and Bones, our beloved mascot, has been present on every label (in some form or another!) since.

What makes your coffee different from others on the market? We really wanted to bring our customers coffee that they couldn’t buy at the local grocery store, and we also wanted to ensure that each bag is of the highest quality – so we roast to order in small batches. I think another thing that really sets us apart is that we provide the coffee drinker a really unique experience from the aroma of the coffee when they open the box, to the distinct artwork on each label, to the robust flavor from a freshly brewed cup.

Where are you based? We’re owned and operated out of Cape Coral, Florida!

Are you only a retailer, or are you found in any coffee shops? Bones Coffee Co. is currently online only, but we just recently rolled out a wholesale program and our coffee is starting to show up in gyms, restaurants and other specialty shops.

What is your #1 selling coffee? Maple Bacon! It’s sweet and smoky – an irresistible flavor combination!

How often do you change flavors? We’re constantly trying to come up with new, innovated flavors that people haven’t tried yet with coffee. We aim to release a new one each month, but it really depends on when inspiration hits!

How do you determine what new flavors would be? We base our flavors off of things we love! Then we try and come up with a way to make it work with coffee. It’s a lot of trial and error and testing so that we bring only the best to our customers.
Do you sell anything else besides coffee and mugs? Yes! We’re always trying to expand our offerings due to high demand, but we currently carry tumblers, hand thrown mugs by Deneen Pottery, decals, hoodies and t-shirts!

Describe your coffee in three words: Ultimate. Coffee. Experience.

Thanks so much, Bones, for your amazing coffee and customer service! Now let’s do something fun together………

How about a GIVEAWAY so we can begin the quest for Bones Coffee World Domination…….
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*Giveaway Time**

Who wants to win some free coffee???? By now you probably want to try Bones, and I want to hook you up!

I’ve partnered up with my pals at Bone to give you the chance to win a $50 gift card toward any coffee you want! That means you can choose peanut butter and jelly, bananas fosters, chocolate orange, sample packs….whatever flavor you just have to try!

The giveaway begins NOW, and the winner will be announced next Tuesday, April 10th.

To enter, head over to Instagram:

☕️ Follow me @sparklefitnessbabe
☕️Follow Bones Coffee @bonescoffeecompany
☕️Tag a friend who also loves coffee (one tag per comment; no limit to number of comments and tags)

All three steps much be completed for your entry into the giveaway to be valid! No purchase necessary.

I can’t wait for you to fall in love with this coffee like I have!

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A slutty cookie?

When it came to St. Patty’s Day this year, I really knocked it out of the park. Besides the corned beef ruebens I made (get that recipe HERE), I made a dessert item that I always love and that is well received, the brookie!

My brookies also go by another alias……the slutty bar…so if you’ve heard me mention them, they are one in the same. The brookie aka brownie-cookie is a layer of brownies, followed by a layer of Oreos, then topped with chocolate chip cookie dough. Yeah, I know what you are thinking….super healthy, right?

Since it was St. Patty’s Day, I put a little spin on my typical brookie and used mint oreos and mint M & Ms as a decorative topping. However, you could change that up depending on your taste buds and the occasion. The recipe is super easy, and again, you can change it up and use your own brownie or chocolate chip cookie recipe if you prefer.

Katie’s Brookie/Slutty Bar Recipe

Ingredients:

-Brownie Mix (I make my own, but if you prefer to buy a mix I recommend Ghiradelli Brownie Mix)….you’ll need any ingredients that the boxed mix you get calls for as well
-Oreos (I use about a dozen)…..you can use regular or mint like I did here
-1 1/4 cup flour
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 cup softened butter (unsalted)
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
-1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-1 egg
-1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
-M & M’s to garnish (you could use additional Oreo pieces if you prefer)

How to Make: 

Preheat Oven to 350 and Spray 9 x 13 pan. You can also use parchment paper or foil if you prefer. Prepare brownies as directed by box or your personal recipe. Pour into Pan. Smash Oreos so they are in chunks and place on top of brownie layer like below.

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Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, then set aside. In a separate bowl, cream together butter, both sugars, egg, and vanilla until well blended. Slowly mix in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips by hand, then separate into three parts, flattening each before placing on top of brownie and cookie layer. The dough doesn’t have to cover the entire mix (I like to let brownie pieces show a bit). REMINDER: You can also buy chocolate chip cookie dough or use a different recipe. Press M & Ms or Oreo crumbles on top and bake for about 35 minutes. Allow to sit for about 45 minutes before cutting and serving.

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The finished product!

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Week 9-10: Obsession Update

It feels like a long two weeks since I’ve shared an update on my progression through 80 Day! I am just TWENTY Days (18 workouts) away from graduating this program, and I can’t begin to tell you how stoked I am! Earlier in the week I was talking with a friend who is considering beginning the program and we were discussing how it seems like it has been forever since I started….guys, it has been! Since Sundays don’t count in the workout countdown, I have been at this already for about 70 days….and it will be about 90 when I finish it! That’s crazy, right?

The past two weeks have been a little more challenging for me that I had expected. For starters, I am now two weeks into Phase Three, the final phase of the program, and it is a phase I haven’t been particularly fond of. I’m not sure if it is because of the fact that I’m not a huge fan of some of the workouts (and I hate the warm up moves this round), or because it is just a mental mind#&*k right now since I’ve been at it so long. Regardless, I’ve had to give myself more pep talks this month already than I have the entire rest of the program. I’ll tell you what has been the silent killer this phase: these sliders! They seem so innocent but really they are challenging you and making your abs work in crazy ways. I’m not going to be too upset to say goodbye to them at the end of this program, that’s for sure.

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Nutrition-wise, I definitely have been a little off my game the past two weeks. I’ve never been perfect with a meal plan, and I didn’t expect to be with this one, but I did have some  days where things didn’t go as planned. One day I ate a bag of Cheetos (gosh, I love them), another day I ate chips and queso, and I may have a few Starbucks even though I had said I wouldn’t. And don’t get me started on a few highly emotional days I had these past two weeks!

Last Friday my little pup, Luigi, had to get fixed, and that surgery ended up going much longer and being a little more invasive than we had planned. He had been pulling a Lance Armstrong with one ball, and the vet had to open him up to find where the other one was and safely remove it, leaving him with a ginormous incision, staples, and a sweet cone. The day of his surgery I couldn’t eat at all because I was so nervous, and I literally went from having my post workout wonder woman shake at noon to not eating anything at midnight. And what did I eat? Pizza….and I immediately regretted it.

The good news is Luigi is recovering well and has a follow up appointment next week. It’s been challenging monitoring him constantly since he has to be limited in his movements and refrain from playing, running, and jumping, but he has done well for the most part. However, since I wanted to make sure his recovery went well and wanted to be cautious just in case he had any additional issues, I made the decision this week to cancel the free trip to Riviera Maya I had won with my company  for my hard work this past year. I’m a little bummed, but I know I can travel there whenever I want, and I will always put my dogs and their care above a trip.


I’m going into my third week of Phase Three more focused. I’ve tightened up my meal plan, and I’ve set some very specific nutritional goals for myself  to end the program as well as I started. When it comes to the little slip ups I’ve had, I don’t regret them one bit. Life isn’t perfect….meal plans aren’t always either.

Besides…..I’d say my progress to this point is pretty freaking fab, slip ups or not.

Down 12.5 pounds and 17 inches in the first two phases.

I was forced to watermark this picture because my previous side by side comparison after Phase One resulted in some chick who sells those ridiculous weight loss patches trying to pass my photos off as After photos for her product. Give me a break, people.

This is hard work. This is dedication. This is pizza and cheetos and imperfection at its finest.

But this is me, and I am beyond proud of what I’ve done so far.

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Now off to get ready for travel and Easter dinner with my family! I hope you have a lovely holiday and refrain from eating a lllllllll of the Cadbury eggs and Peeps (my faves).

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Team #SelfLove

You know those people that make an impact on you the moment you connect with them? The ones that get you right in the feels and are so passionate you can’t help but be passionate, too?

That’s Kortney Olson, and that is exactly how you feel when you connect to her. I love her confidence, her drive, how real and raw she is on her social media, and the example she sets for others. She’s an overcomer, like me and like a lot of us, and she has used her past to catapult her into a place where she can motivate and inspire others.

The moment I learned about her mission for empowering women I wanted to support her, and I did….initially starting out by supporting her clothing line, GRRRL Clothing. Those who follow me on social media or attend my fitness classes know that my favorite leggings and shorts come from GRRRL…..have you ever seen a more Kate-tastic style of legging than these? They are incredible quality…look super badass….and they stay up when I squat, jump, run, lunge….you name it….my fellow big booty girls know this can be a real struggle. So if you ever see a pair of really bomb ass leggings and want to know where they are from, you should most likely check the GRRRL site first.

Back to the real point of this blog…..my girl Kortney, who I asked to help me out by writing a blog on a campaign she is currently running that has an incredible meaning and purpose. I’m so thankful for her to be a guest on this blog, and I’m excited for you to learn more about her and support her incredible cause!

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Make sure you follow Kortney @kortney_olson

{A Message from Kortney}

Hello All.

I’m so jacked up right now, I’m not even sure where to start this blog. There is so much to say, to share, and to explain, I feel like my heart and my eyes are going to explode out of my body. And no, don’t worry… I’ve been clean off of meth since 2007. Keh!?

The problem we’re going to run up against is that the average person will spend no more than 5 minutes to read a blog. I guarantee this will probably take you closer to 20. However, if you’re tired of the world sucking, and fear the future and where we are heading as a human race, I suggest you read the f**k on (you’re welcome grandma for the **).

Most of you reading this will know a fair bit about GRRRL Clothing, and where our vision and mission derived from, who I am as the MFCEO, and what our BIG picture is as a brand. But my HOPE is that all of you who know, will SHARE THIS SHIT from sea to shinning sea. Because we are at a crossroads as to wether or not we can sustain the growth level we have, and how soon we can start implementing the bigger projects we want to tackle and take head on.

So let me start out with some background:

My name is Kortney Olson, and I’m the (MF)CEO of GRRRL Clothing. I say “MF” because ’girls aren’t supposed to curse’. In fact, girls aren’t supposed to do a lot of things: Like sleep around as they please (by choice), lift heavy weights, have personal rights and freedom to their bodies, get an education, be in business, always be smiling, etc x100000.
I’d like to say I’m ”kind of a big deal”. I’ve been crowed as the ‘woman with the world’s deadliest thighs’ by THE Stan Lee (creator of Marvel comics), and have a wrap sheet of cool accomplishments. But this blog isn’t about me. I’m a recovered drug addict and alcoholic, so everything sometimes still tends to evolve around me, and being the center of attention because I’m still a self-seeking little shit due to my childhood.

BUT, as a person who grew up absolutely HATING her body (primarily her legs) to such a point that I used drugs and alcohol to change the way I felt about my body (which resulted in me being diagnosed with depression, an eating disorder, and a full blown drug addict/alcohol as well as having had experienced a rape by my boxing mentor at the age of 17), PLEASE BELIEVE I’M ON A MISSION TO CHANGE THE WORLD.
If you want the full story of my story, we’re about to release our professionally produced documentary called “GRRRL: Beauty is the Beast” as soon as the premiere is over during our live annual event in Las Vegas April 28th. (Standby for more info on this shortly)
To sum all of the backstory up, due to a certain chain of events (and they’re pretty interesting events that involve me being labeled an “ex fetish porn star” by the Australian media… leading me to my 1st “waking up moment” in life after realising how the media is owned by only 6 corporations world wide, and all syndicated… again- that’s a blog in and on its own), I was prompted by my higher power (God- whatever you want to call “it”), to create a program for teenage girls called “Kamp Konfidence”, where we taught the “5 habits, lessons and principles” that lead to the development of self love. The aim was to teach these girls all of basic things I wish I had been taught in school.
It was a 2 day/2 night wellness retreat, where the girls learned everything from self defense, nutrition, fitness, journaling(personal development), body acceptance, meditation and the effects of stress, to assertiveness training, self belief and how the mind works, to cyber safety.

Throughout the entire weekend, we slowly got the girls onboard in seeing how we are programmed by society to see each other competition and work against each other as females, hence why we are held back as a gender. After nearly 2.5 years, we had 62 girls who successfully graduated, and went from self harming, bullying, severe Low self esteem, to having new best friends, and shining.

Well, what happened after they got home? The tools started to fade, and old patterns started to reappear. Although we had life Long impact on these girls, we started to realise it was the mothers we need to be talking to. We also learned that we needed some kind of funding to grow the business, and some women that knew what the hell they were doing in that regard. Myself and my team were great at changing lives, but shit at building a business. I even tried my hand at network marketing though Isagenix, thinking this was how I was going to fund Kamp Konfidence. #EpicFail

It just so happened that one of my partners got pregnant, and we had to put the program down. Well, a girl’s gotta keep moving right? In the downtime, I embarked on creating a weekend retreat for women that was similar to Kamp Konfidence, called “UnKonditional Self Love for Mum”. It started out by offering a $47 half day workshop to mothers called “The 7 Steps To Nurishing Your Mother/Daughter Relationship”. I worked on this business for 5 months, then decided that yet, once again, I was only going to be reaching 8-10 females every other weekend in little old Gold Coast Australia, and asked my higher power to guide me into what was “next”.

A few months later, GRRRL Clothing was born.

It’s been amazing. We are a clothing line created off of a WHY, not created to sell cool shit. By this point you probably know who we are, and what we do. If not, take one look at our website and you’ll see. No photoshop or airbrushing, all body types/colors (although we’re working on expanding the color part… again, another blog in and on its own) and we do NOT use traditional sizing. Dope right? We have women:
-leaving abusive relationships
-wearing shorts for the first time in 20 years
-finding alternative ways out of suicide (we have a closed group on facebook that has worked magic, legit wizardry shit)
-etc x100000

Now, 2.5 years into trading, we’re growing so rapidly because EVERYONE GET’S WHAT WE’RE DOING! They’re (you’re) onboard with this notion that if the female energy isn’t lifted up, we’re doomed as a human race.

So to get over this next hurdle of growth, we’ve launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign (crowdfunding works by you buying stuff from us, called “perks” and that money goes towards our growth without having to give up a % of our company to venture capitalists who only care about numbers). Plus, network marketing was clearly too hard, so lets instead choose to launch a GLOBAL CLOTHING LINE WITH ZERO CAPITAL AND AT THE SAME TIME SPEND OUR ENTIRE MARKETING BUDGET SPONSORING HOLLY HOLM A FEW WEEKS BEFORE SHE BEAT RHONDA ROUSSEY IN THE BIGGEST UPSET IN UFC HISTORY…. but hey, sometimes The Universe has “a plan”…
Not only that, lets launch an ONLINE BRAND WITH NO TRADITIONAL SIZES, and THEN shortly after our first year of trading, organise and launch our first annual event in a country we’re not even based in! (GL17) Which I’ll let you know nearly bankrupted us. BUT, so many women had their lives changed, we decided, WHY OF COURSE LETS DO THAT SHIT AGAIN! (GL18)

OH, AND THEN RIGHT AFTER THAT, LETS DECIDE TO PRODUCE A FULL-FLEDGE HD PROFESSIONAL DOCUMENTARY TO HELP CHANGE THE WORLD. OH, AND I KNOW!!!!! LET’S PREMIER IT DURING THIS SECOND ANNUAL EVENT JUST TO MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT TO MANAGE AND ORCHESTRATE WITH NEXT TO ZERO CASHFLOW. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! They say it takes “crazy” people to change the world. So bring that SHIT ON (sorry grandma, that one needed emphasis).

Now, let me explain what this campaign is all about.

So, GL18 is our second annual event in Las Vegas. Think of it as a Kamp Konfidence, but for grown women (and 11 years and older). An all female empowerment event where we blow the lid off of everything. You can view the agenda here:
http://www.grrrl.com/live/live.

So not only are we trying to run a global clothing line with 4 distribution centers, (which should have a staff of about 20-30 people as is) but now we’re putting on our second annual life changing event, rolling out a documentary, then doing a road show (a mini ‘grrrl live’ aka GL18…. GL= grrrl live, 18 = the year it’s going down) in September and October in the region that helps us raise the most amount of money to back our brand.
Because as you may have gathered by now, this brand isn’t about selling clothing line. The clothing is just the flag we fly so we can identify one another, because when you see another grrrl in the street, you KNOW that that’s your Sister. ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL!

So as far as the campaign goes, you’ll see all sorts of different stuff.

If you’re a person who doesn’t wear ‘women’s active wear’, that’s totally cool.
You can buy a trucker hat, buy a fridge magnet of me choking out donald trump (love or hate him, the magnet is f**king funny), spend $20 to bring our road show to your town during the month of September and October of this year (free empowerment event for females, where I’ll also make myself available to the public for younger girls to become grrrls and for my fan boys who want me to sign their tits), sponsor a female to attend GL18 and change a life forever, be the naming right sponsor for the entire event, come train with me in Abu Dhabi (and Trish Cadden… amazing legend) and spend a week with me all to yourself for 6 hours a day, OR you can buy the “self love success academy” online, which is straight out of Kamp Konfidence. The next blog I write will be specifically what the SLSA is: the what, where, how and why around how it works.
If you ARE a person that wears ‘women active wear’, you can run with all of the above, as well as get some of the raddest, highest quality leggings at a cheap AF price! And not only that, the leggings come with a choice of a digital program from MY MASS LEG or ARM building program which is normally $99 a level! Because in the new world, we’re encouraging women to GO FOR GAINS. TAKE UP SPACE. OCCUPY SPACE. NO LONGER WILL WE SHUT UP, SHRINK, OR BACK DOWN!

I’m not talking about burn your bra, and fuck the world- I’m talking about real equality where we listen to understand, not listen to be right. We learn tools and skills to be respected, revered members of society. A world where our bodies are safe, on the streets, in the media, and at home.

So…. with that being said, start doing some research, and understand that we are leading the front lines of a revolution of women and girls waking up everywhere to realise that our worth is not equated to the exterior of our bodies. That we can do, be, say, and act however we damn well please. That we are not each other’s competition. And that a brand new world lies in front of us. We want to co-create, collaborate with other female Brand’s who are down to ride, and help build this massive platform in which we call the #grrrlarmy for those who’ve taken the pledge to understand what it is we’re aiming to achieve.

Beyond clothing, we have some goals that are pretty next level, and will be a blog in and on its own, yet once again.

Thank you for reading, and please share the F**K out of this.

Love,
MFCEO
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Can you feel the passion this woman has for her mission? I’m so proud of her and to be a part of the GRRRL Army. I’ve already supported The Self Rebellion Project, which has FIVE days left before the campaign closes. The cause is amazing, the swag is dope, and you can check it out by clicking HERE! Bet you can’t guess what items I got!!!!!!

I had a few additional questions for Kortney….questions I thought would help you better understand the importance of her mission of women empowerment and The Self Love Rebellion Project. Here’s what she had to say:

KK: If you could describe GRRRL in only one word, what would it be?
KO: REVOLUTIONARY

KK:What is the one thing you are most proud of accomplishing since starting GRRRL?
KO: THE SISTERHOOD

KK: What female(s) do you look up to and admire the most and why?
KO: WOMEN LIKE SHARYL ATTKISSON AND JEAN KILBOURNE . THEY’VE BEEN EXPOSING THE TRUTH BEHIND MEDIA AND ADVERTISING FOR A LONG TIME. AND MY GRANDMOTHER. SHE’S MADE IT THROUGH SOME INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT LIFE EXPERIENCES SUCH AS MY GRANDFATHER DYING A SLOW LONG DEATH FROM A BRAIN TUMOUR TO HER HOUSE EXPLODING WHEN A PG&E NATURAL GAS PIPE BLEW ACROSS THE STREET FROM HER HOUSE. SHE’S NEARLY 88 AND SHE’S MORE AGILE AND ACTIVE THAN MOST ADULTS I KNOW. I’VE NEVER HEARD HER TALK BADLY ABOUT ANOTHER WOMEN (EXCEPT POLITICIANS HAHA!) OR COMPLAIN ABOUT HER CHALLENGES.

KK:How can someone get involved with your campaign?
KO:BUY THE SELF LOVE SUCCESS ACADEMY. IT’S LIFE CHANGING AND WILL HELP CHANGE THE WORLD

KK:If a young woman is reading this that needs to feel empowered is reading this, what is your message to her?
KO: YOU ARE BORN PERFECT. THE WORLD IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK IT IS, WHATSOEVER. WE HAVE A DOCUMENTARY COMING OUT MAY 15TH THAT WILL HELP YOU UNDERSTAND THIS. I PROMISE YOU, EVERYTHING IS ABOUT TO SHIFT.

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I take the pledge. You should, too. 

Kortney, thanks for being a guest writer on my blog! I am so excited for your campaign, for GRRRL, and for all the women out there who are gaining strength and confidence through your work! I’m so proud to support you!

And because it has to be said…..in case you missed the mention, Kortney has one talent that is INSANE. She can crush a watermelon with her thighs. Don’t believe me? Watch this video:

All I’m saying is…..when Schwarzenegger is taking a selfie of your watermelon talents, you know you are next level Bad Ass.

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Photos courtesy of Kortney Olson

Here’s to a successful finish to The Self Love Rebellion!

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I don’t give a kraut if you are Irish or Not…

Because in my world, you can eat like you’re Irish everyday!

St Patty’s Day may be over, but I am still getting requests for my corned beef reuben recipe! That’s okay with me…..you can make these fabulous corned beef reubens anytime you are feeling a little Irish!

I make these every year and have loved this recipe for as long as I can remember. It is simple, the beef is tender, and the flavor work so well together. I hope you love it!

Katie’s Corned Beef Reuben Recipe
Ingredients:
-Prepared Sauerkraut
-Marble Rye Bread
-Sliced Swiss Cheese

For the Corned Beef:
-3 bs corned beef brisket +spices that accompany beef
-1 large white onion, peeled and cut into quarters
-1 Bottle of Apple Cider Beef (I use Angry Orchard)

For the Sauce:
-1 cup mayo
-1 large garlic clover, grated and pressed
-1.4 cup ketchup
-2 Tbl sweet pickle relish
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-Salt and pepper as needed

Preparing the brisket:
Layer onion on bottom of crockpot, laying brisket on top (fat side up). Sprinkle with the pickling spices that accompanied beef. Pour beer over beed and cover, cooking for about 12 hours on low. You want brisket to be able to be shredded by fork when done cooking, so cook until it does. Shred when done to serve.

Preparing the sauce:
Mix all ingredients together and keep refrigerated. Trust me, it tastes so much better than the bottled thousand island dressing.

Putting it all together:
Butter one side of each slice of bread and top with the cheese, sauce, sauerkraut, and beef. I use a panini press, but you could use a regular frying pan. Serve with chips and a pickle and get ready for your family to ask for seconds!

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