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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!

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Rock the Reset: Day 5

One day closer, my friends, one day closer. 

I woke up feeling refreshed and committed to the day and meal plan. As I went to bed last night I felt really awful from my pizza mishap…not just emotionally, but physically. It’s crazy how bad your body can feel when you eat something bad for it…I literally looked like I was 9 months pregnant because of the bloat and had sharp pains. Sorry, stomach. 

Today though….today I was a champ. I stuck to my meal plan even with travel AND a stop at my favorite place ever: Peace, Love, and Little Donuts to pick up an order of the little treats (not for me) . 

My workout, Flow on the Go, was a bit easier and I was happy to do it in my pajamas. But seriously….even though it is getting a little easier, I still don’t feel as challenged as I wish. Yogis, does it change?? I hope so.
This weekend is going to be challenging….I’ll share more about that later. 

Have a good St Patty’s Day, peeps! 

Rock the Reset: Day 4

Guys…..

I knew it was going to happen.

I had a little error with my meal plan today….and when I say error I mean….I cheated. 

Before I started the Reset, I told myself that I was going to be strong and stick to the plan….and I also told myself that if I messed up I would forgive myself and just be stronger the next day. 

So tonight, as I watch Scandal, I forgive myself…..because today I had a smidge of pizza.

When I say a smidge it was truly a smidge…about 1/4 of a regular piece. 

My day got kind of crazy, and I ended up missing my window for lunch and dinner….when I got to my house I was ravenous! I ended up grabbing the little piece of pizza in my fridge and shoving it down…and immediately regretted it. 

I could’ve kept going to town on the pizza, but I didn’t….I got myself together, was angry at myself for a quick second, then remembered that it was just one tiny mess up. You have to do that when you screw up. 

The rest of my meals went as plan, similar to the previous days. I enjoyed the Southwest Veggie Taco for dinner and had a beautiful fruit plate for breakfast….stuck to my supplements and Water as planned. 

Workout wise, today’s workout was Flow and a little more intense. I’m realizing my balance really stinks and am hoping that is the one thing that improves with this program. We shall see! 

I hit the grocery store today and loaded up on fruit for the next few days. My beloved eggs and toast are gone…so is the salmon and corn tortillas. Now it’s all about the fruits and veggies. I’m ready. 

I think. 

If today didn’t go as plan, remind yourself tomorrow will be better. We’ve got this! 

Let’s play with Diapers!

If you are like me, you spend countless hours on Pinterest saving potential DIY projects to boards with the intention of someday creating them. Hi, I’m Katie, and I’m a pinaholic who NEVER gets around to this projects!

I finally finished up with the wedding circuit (we had 8 this year!) just in time for baby shower mania. I love that so many of my friends are expanding their families…and determined it was finally the time to make one of the projects hidden away in my Pinterest black hole: the diaper cake!

One of my rockstar coaches, Nancy, had been making them for awhile, so between her wisdom and the various Pinterest boards this project seemed like it would be a piece of cake. It was! I was so pleased with how easy the diaper cake was to make, and I loved that I could customize it for whomever it was going to!

Let me walk you through how I made this super cute dinosaur themed diaper cake for my friend Ashley’s baby shower!

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My diaper cake!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

-Box of diapers, any brand. The amount depends on how large of a cake you are planning to make. I bought a box of around 50 Swaddlers (whatever that means) and used the majority of them for the size I made.

-A base. I used a cardboard cake base, but you could use whatever you want that is sturdy.

-Small rubber bands. I purchased a box of tiny rubber bands for hair (or braces) at the dollar store.

-Large rubber bands to hold the layers together.

-Ribbon.

-Decorations of your choosing. 

-Hot Glue Gun. I used this to secure the ends of the ribbon.

-A center base. I used a paper towel roll. You could also use a wrapping paper roll and cut to the correct size if you want to go a little bit bigger.

To assemble:

The most tedious task of this entire cake is rolling the diapers. Roll each diaper as tight as you can and secure with one of the small rubber bands. I put on an episode of Sherlock and knocked all of these out at once just to get through it! After the diapers were rolled, construction of this cake only took about 10 minutes.

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Who knew there were so many kinds of diapers?!?!?!?

You want to form your layers, but to make sure they stay put you want to secure your center base to the bottom of the base. To make my paper towel roll attach to the base, my mother had the idea to just cut the ends of the roll so the bottom fanned out a bit, which we then taped to the base. Nancy, my diaper cake making muse, actually uses a bottle of Barefoot wine as the center of her diaper cakes….a great option if you know mama is a wine drinker anxiously awaiting the day she can have a sip. Here’s an aerial view of layer one of my cake.

****PIECE OF ADVICE…..those of you who know ZERO about diapers like me…..some of them are printed. I did not realize this until I started rolling the diapers and realized I had bought Winnie the Pooh diapers. Fortunately the green coloring worked with my dinosaur theme, and I hid most of the Poohs, but be cautious!

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Once you have placed the rolled diapers around your center and have the layer the size you want it, you will want to place a rubber band around the ENTIRE layer. This helps keep them all from moving. Some tutorials excluded this step and just advised using ribbon, but I wasn’t taking any chances….I used both.

Repeat this for remaining layers. I wanted a three tiered cake, but you may want more or less depending on your vision.

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Here is a look at all three layers of the cake. Your center base will be hidden by the third layer. Look at all of those Poohs………..

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I really wanted to do a dino themed cake because, well, I freakin love dinosaurs and thought they would be super cute for Ashley’s little babe, Emerson, when he arrives in January. You don’t have to get crazy with decor….I kept it pretty simple using dinosaur onesies and little socks, as well as a teething ring and pacifiers. I tucked the items into the layers of the cake, but in some tutorials I saw people roll them like they did the diapers and place them in the actual layers.

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My absolute favorite thing about this cake? The adorable dinosaur slippers that I used as the cake topper! I found them at Wal-Mart of all places, but when I saw them I knew they had to be a part of this creation. I finished the cake off my securing a piece of ribbon around each layer.

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I was so pleased with how the cake turned out and felt like it was a fun and creative way to bring an item that I know the baby will be needing! I definitely encourage you to make your own for the next shower you have to attend!

Check this off my Pinterest “To Do” List. Only about 11,543,857,344 to go!

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February: Sparkle or Dull?

I think I could literally test out makeup and beauty products all day, everyday and never get sick of it. It is so fun to me to try things out and just share an honest opinion on what I like/dislike about them!

This month I decided to try out two products that I’ve had friends chirping about more than usual, and I’m excited to share with you my findings! Before I go any further, I must reminder you that my Sparkle or Dull opinions are strictly my own, no one else’s. I don’t get paid by any of the companies for the products I review. With that being said, you may love/hate products that I feel the opposite about, and that is okay! I do these segments to hopefully help people learn more about a product before buying them. After all, no one likes wasting money on a product they will use once or twice.

Product #1Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

I certainly hope by now you have realized that I love lashes….like really, really, really love lashes. Even though I rock falsies most days, there are still days where I opt for good ol’ mascara. I won’t pretend that I have one mascara that I am committed to; there are so many great ones out there! My top two favorites have been Too Faced Better Than Sex Masacara and Urban Decay Perversion, but I am always open to trying others just in case one strikes my fancy.

A couple of my friends kept mentioning this mascara by Smashbox, so I finally figured it was time to give it a try. I’ll be honest: of all of the makeup brands that trend, Smashbox is probably the one that I have tried the least. I love their Photo Finish Primer, but that’s about as deep as my investigation in their products goes.

When it comes to mascara, I look for how easily it goes on (aka the clump test in my world), how it lengthens/volumizes, and overall quality. I’m not one who wants a natural look with lashes…..ever…but I’m not one who wants to look like I am wearing tarantulas on my eyes either. Immediately upon applying my first coat of the Smashbox mascara, I already knew how I felt about it: I was not a fan. In my opinion the brush didn’t provide the volume I like to see in a mascara, and after a second, then third, then fourth coat I didn’t see the look I like. Honestly, I would’ve picked Maybelline’s Great Lash mascara over this and saved myself the money. For the price I thought the quality was terrible and it did absolutely nothing to my eyelashes. I took one picture because I was so annoyed by it and had to move on to one of my go to mascaras.

Final Vote: DULL

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Product #2Younique’s Splurge Cream Shadow

Anything that has to do with eyeshadow, and I’m down. I’m serious. Eye shadow is like paint for your eyes, and every day you can create a new painting. I love the freedom and creativity it brings into my life!

One of my online pals, Kim, suggested that I give the cream eyeshadows a try. She had mentioned that she was obsessed with them and that they had great staying power…..and sold me when she told me that they stayed on without an issue when she taught her spinning classes. Spinning is no joke, so I figured it was time for this splurge stuff to try out an Insanity Live class!

I did have some concerns initially when I received the shadow in the mail. I’ve never been one that liked cream eye shadows….mostly because the ones I tried in the past did not stay on my lids, even with primer. There is nothing worse than creating a beautiful masterpiece on my eye, then having it vanish into nowhere within hours. However, I was open to trying it. Since Kim sells Younique, I’ve seen her makeup looks and knew she wouldn’t steer me in the wrong direction.

She didn’t.

I tried the Splurge Cream Shadow by itself first, using only a basic liner and some lashes for a low key day look (yes, I do participate in low key every now and then). One thing I noticed immediately was the quality of this product. For a cream shadow, it felt like I was putting something rich and decadent on my eyes, and I liked the silky feeling it had when it hit my eyelids. The color I am wearing below is Elegant, which I figured would be a great neutral option. I loved that it had some shimmer to it; that gave it enough pizazz to wear on its own. I put this shadow on around 9am and wore it all day long, which included an Insanity Live workout (if you have done one of these, you know you sweat like a beast). When I returned home I was pleasantly surprised to see that my shadow was still in tact and looking as great as it did earlier in the day. Previous cream shadows often had noticeable creases after some wear, but not this Splurge shadow.

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The nice thing about this shadow is that you can wear it by itself or you can jazz it up and do a more dramatic eye, using this as the base shadow. Earlier in the week I had to record some training videos for my team of rockstars, so I decided to do a smokier eye. I used Elegant as the base shadow to provide the shimmer I wanted, and used some of my other eye shadow palettes for the rest. I loved the final look. The cream shadow held the other pigments well, showed no creasing, and provided a dressier look. When I reviewed the footage I had shot, I couldn’t help but notice the subtle sparkles that would hit the light as I moved my head. When you serve as the leader of The Sparkle Squad, those are the little details you fall in love with…gotta have a sparkle! I actually love this product so much I am going to purchase it in another color. Thank you so much, Kim, for insisting I try it!

Final Vote: SPARKLE!

I’ve got a whole bevy of products in the hopper for March…it’s going to be hard to narrow them down! I may have not to a few more than two……we’ll see.

sparkleon

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January: Sparkle Or Dull?

It is no secret that I love me some makeup.

I tend to accumulate a ton of beauty products….it’s almost like they multiply when I’m not looking (think of the scene from the movie Gremlins….it’s kind of like that).Because of this, and because of the fact that I just love to share my opinions on things, I’ve decided I will start doing a beauty review monthly on two products to determine whether they are worth buying or not.  I don’t know about you, but I purchase a lot of items based on reviews that people I know share, so my hope is that I can help you find some cool new things or save your money if something is downright terrible.

I’m not doing anything crazy with a rating system or anything like that. An item will either get the SPARKLE seal of approve from me, meaning you definitely should look into purchasing it for your collection. If I review a product as DULL that means it isn’t worth the money. Of course, these are strictly my opinions. I’m not compensated at all by the companies whose products I am reviewing. Therefore, the reviews are 100% Katetastic.

Let’s get to my January products.

Product #1: Thank Me Later Eye Primer

Back in December I fired Ipsy after they sent me pretty much the same stuff two months in a row. I love samples and all, but I don’t like getting the same stuff back to back, especially when they include products I won’t use like a gross seaweed mask (more on that another time). Anyway, my final bag with Ipsy included a primer by Elizabeth Mott called Thank Me Later that i finally decided to try. When it comes to primer, I have always had a difficult time. Some change the color of my eyeshadow, some make it impossible to blend eyeshadow, and some just make my eyeshadow look greasy and strange. For the past year or so I have been in a committed relationship with Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion, and I must say….it will be difficult to break us up.

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I decided to try Thank Me Later for a few days on its own with my eyeshadow, and one day I used it on one eye while I used my Urban Decay on the other eye to compare. I have to be honest….I didn’t see a difference on the day I wore both brands. Thank Me Later has a good consistency to it, eyeshadow colors don’t change at all, and there was absolutely no creasing. The day I opted to wear it with the Urban Decay I wore my makeup for about thirteen hours, so I really put it to the test. It is similar in price to Urban Decay (about $20) for those of you wondering.

This is definitely a product worth investing in if you are looking for a primer (or if you hate Urban Decay). Will I make a change? Probably not. Had it blown me away, maybe. I liked it and all, but I have been loyal to my Urban Decay which never disappoints and since it was so similar, I will stick to what I know never lets me down.

Final Vote: SPARKLE.

Product #2: Lush No Drought Dry Shampoo

One of my all time favorite stores is Lush……I’ve written about my love for their bath bombs in the past….and their lip balm….I just love them and think they are a solid company. If you don’t know much about their company or philosophy, check them out.

Earlier in the month my mother got to experience Lush for the first time when she and my aunt came to town for a concert and decided to do a little shopping before the show. Of course she fell in love with the bath bombs, but I fell in love with a product she purchased for me while there: Lush’s No Drought Dry Shampoo.

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If you recall, a few months back I wrote about dry shampoo and a few of my favorite brands. Both of the ones I wrote about came in aerosol cans and contain butane and propane, two ingredients that not every wants on their hair or can have in their hair. If you fall in this category, check out No Drought by Lush. This dry shampoo is made up of various oils and fresh ingredients, such as grapefruit oil and lime oil (if you click the link above you can visit the Lushopedia to learn exactly what every ingredient is), so not only is it a great chemical free option, but it smells incredible. I personally love the smell of grapefruit, so this is makes me very happy. I have been using this for a few weeks now and can report that I don’t need to use as much product, meaning more bang for the buck.  Is this product enough to make me fire my Batiste and Big Sexy? Absolutely.

Final Vote: SPARKLE!

Never let a product dull your sparkle. Fortunately, this month, neither do.

sparkleon

 

 

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Coming for you, Beast!

Time for a little Hammer and Chisel Update for Week two and three!

So……things haven’t gone exactly as I had hoped with this program. You probably remember me sharing in my last post that I had a little back issue that had me restart Hammer.

Well…..that bitch came back.

Before we get into that, let’s chat about Week Two!

I approached Week Two with the same Badass attitude I ended Week One with…..I mean, I was slowly gaining a new obsession for weight lifting and loving the changes I was seeing in the first week.

Here’s a look at the meal plan I rocked for Week Two! I changed up a few things this week but stuck to some of the same items, mostly because if I love a recipe I tend to make it over and over. I was a huge fan of the egg salmon sandwich I had made for breakfast the week prior, however, the store was out of smoked salmon so I opted for prosciutto as the meat on the breakfast sandwich.

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How does your fridge look at the beginning of the week? I pride myself in the organization of my food….I’ve found it helps me stay on track when meals are organized together in similar containers. Don’t you agree?

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If you haven’t given meal planning and prepping a chance by now, I strongly suggest you do. It saves time, money, and keeps you on track. I can’t stress that enough!

So let’s talk workouts. The first week I was challenged and felt like a sweaty beast each day. I loved it! I knew coming into week two that workouts were going to get a little more demanding, but I was ready. Here’s the thing about Hammer and Chisel….you don’t exactly repeat workouts in the same manner as other programs. As someone who loves variety, this is probably my favorite aspect…..I never know what to expect, I never feel bored, and I am excited for my workout every single day.

Monday: Chisel Cardio Day. Anytime I see the word “cardio” in a workout I get a little bit more excited than normal! This workout was killer, and I found a new favorite move in sword pulls.

Tuesday: Max Hammer Strength. I really enjoyed this workout. It focused on tiring yourself with one move, then going heavier with the weight for an additional 8 reps. This was a mix of all the basics…..lunges, presses, sumo squats, calf raises…..a great all over workout that left my muscles tired.

Wednesday: Chisel Agility. Agility meant one thing…..lots of jumping, planking, and high knees. For some reason, this workout and I did not jive. It consisted of two rounds, and at the end of the first one I was really struggling with finishing it. Some workouts I connect more with than others….maybe I’m just not an agility girl.

Thursday: Rest Day. Much needed. My muscles were still screaming from Hammer Strength.

Friday: Hammer Power. I was just starting this workout when my back said HELL TO THE NO to me. I had messed it up earlier in the morning and didn’t realize how serious it was until I attempted to do a clean. Immediately I felt awful spams in my lower left back and knew I had to stop.

The following two workouts, Chisel Balance and Hammer Conditioning did not happen. Instead, I focused on my nutrition and resting on the couch. I figured a couple of days rest and I would be back to the program. When it came to my nutrition, I knew that even though I couldn’t work out, it was incredibly important for me to stay on track. Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym!

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For the following couple of days I rotated the heating pad and ice method until I could get into my sports chiropractor. It didn’t hurt to walk, and I was even able to have a quick three mile run early in the week. However, when I sat down or attempted to sleep the pain was unbearable.

Thank heavens for my sports chiropractor. Having one on my speed dial is one of the most important numbers I have. If you are an athlete or you teach fitness classes, I recommend doing the same. The thing with back issues is that all too often we think we can just heal them ourselves with time or some at home remedies. If I have learned anything with this injury it is that I should’ve gone to the chiropractor a few weeks ago when I first had the issue.

During my appointment I found out that it wasn’t actually a back muscle that was the problem, but my sacroiliac joint. Yeah, I know what you are thinking…..I didn’t know what that was either until I saw a diagram. Here’s where it is located:

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Photo courtesy of sportsinjuryclinic.net

The good news is that after some stretching, a little stim treatment, and work with my chiropractor I felt like brand new. Best part? I was cleared to start some light exercise and could resume to normal activity within a week with a few follow up appointments with my chiropractor to make sure my joint was okay.

The rough thing about having an injured back is not just having to skip workouts, but having to cancel my live classes, too. I love teaching in front of people and helping them get into shape. Taking a few days off meant I wasn’t able to help as many people as I could’ve. Fortunately I will be able to return to my Insanity Live and CIZE live formats in the upcoming week!

Since I can’t do anything with weights until the end of the week, I will be doing a week of PIYO before diving back into Hammer and Chisel next Monday.

When life hands you lemons, find a way to turn them into chocolate cake. Find a way to make it work…think outside of the box. I hate delaying a week of H & C, but subbing in a week of PIYO will help me stay on track when it comes to exercise and endurance and allow me to ease back into the weights next week.

I’m ready for you, Beast. I may not conquer you on my original timetable, but trust me.

I will conquer you.

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Locked and Loaded.

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This past week I officially began a new journey with a new workout program featuring Sagi and Autumn Calabrese known as The Master’s Hammer and Chisel…..

For the second time.

I had started the program with a test group two weeks earlier, and, like many of us know, life sometimes gets in the way. Midway through that first week I was horsing around the house and jacked up my lower back enough for me to know I needed to take a little time to let it heal before I jumped back into this lifting program. I hated doing it, but sometimes you just have to listen to your body. My experience with Body Beast and “The Beast” Sagi in the past had taught me how extremely important this is. I completed basic cardio workouts that focused on my lower body and ran instead, as this did not cause any back flare up or issues. Mentally, I now knew what to expect, so I came into this week “locked and loaded” (one of my favorite phrases of all time), meaning I was beyond prepared to go at prepared to go at full speed.

Many people have been asking me about this program, so I figured the best way to answer everyone’s questions is to blog about it each week sharing my thoughts on the week, meal plans, and tips and thoughts that may assist you in determining if this is the next program for you to try.

So what is this Hammer and Chisel program all about?

Hammer and Chisel is a program that combines two heavyweight Beachbody trainers, Sagi Kalev, aka “The Beast” from the Body Beast at home lifting program, and Autumn Calabrese, mastermind behind the 21 Day Fix and Fix Extreme programs. The goal of this program is to shape, sculpt, and chisel your body using 30-40 minute workouts with focus on the SSP Training Method. The SSP Method is a combination of Stabilization, Strength, and Power that  works the entire body using 12 hardcore resistance training workouts. Here’s a look at the complete 60 day calendar.

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Let me share with you a little about the workouts I completed this week.

MONDAY: Chisel Balance More like….what balance? I came into this workout ready to crush some iron and had not thought about something like balance. This workout had great moves that had me questioning if I ever have had balance. I can’t wait for it to improve.

TUESDAY: Hammer Plyo Yessssssssssss! Obsessed with this workout! Plyo workouts are notorious for being challenging, so I came into this one excited. I love a good challenge as well as jump training! My favorite move of the program thus far, the crazy horse, was introduced to me in this workout.  I honestly look forward to doing it again.

WEDNESDAY: Iso Strength Chisel This workout can be summed up in one word: BURN. An isometric 10 second hold takes place between each set of exercises. Yeah, I know what you are thinking….just 10 seconds? No. More like longest 10 seconds of my life.

THURSDAY: Rest Hallelujah!!!!!!!!

FRIDAY: Iso Speed Hammer The tempo and pace of this workout was incredible. When I pushed play and noticed that it was only 22 minutes (including warm up) I wasn’t sure what to expect. This also features isometric holds, but its focus is on a 3 part hold before powering into speed. My muscle were screaming when I was done but I didn’t care. I felt awesome.

SATURDAY: Chisel Endurance  Ummmmmm. My body hates me. I really have nothing to say other than that. Least favorite workout of the week.

SUNDAY: Total Body Hammer and 10 Min Ab Hammer.  My body still hates me from yesterday and now my abs have joined in. I’m questioning if I will be able to lift my arms or climb stairs for a few days. 

A big part of the success with any workout program is what happens in the kitchen. Nutrition is the key that most people overlook and is one that took me awhile to get the importance of. Using the color coded containers that Autumn introduced with the 21 Day Fix, Hammer and Chisel features a customizable program to help you maximize your results and ensure you are eating the right portions for your body.

Here’s a look at my meal plan for the past week. One thing that differs with this program: You consume way more protein. I’m a big fan of all of the recipes I had this week and am even prouder for sticking to my plan. My Cheat Meal was on Wednesday and of course, it was Pizza…Homemade courtesy of my friend Lindsay. Quite a few of these will definitely be repeats each week….the salmon egg sandwich is my new favorite breakfast item!

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What tips do I have for someone after completing a week? A few.

1. Make sure you have the right equipment! I use a stability ball and do everything in our living room with the exception of pull-ups. I do these at our gym only because my pull up bar is in storage and I don’t want to go digging through my stuff to find it. I definitely think using a bench is better than the stability ball, but if you are using a bench, make sure it is stable. Carpet is rough unless you place a mat under it to give it more stability. Here is an equipment list to make sure you are prepared!

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2. Track everything! I’m not a big fan of tracking weights….for some reason I never have been. I have found that it is very helpful to track with these workouts and strongly recommend it. Track the weights you use, track your meals, track your water intake, track your non scale victories. TRACK!

3. The performance line is my new best friend. I posted a picture of myself holding an electric yellow drink and everyone thought I created a new crazy Shakeology flavor. Nope. This is the color of our pre workout, called Energize. It is such a glorious friend of mind. The performance line is NSF certified and was designed by Harvard trained scientists and physicians to assist with performance. The products in the line are made of plant based extracts and phytonutrients with absolutely no artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives.

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Just to quickly break down of what makes up the performance line for you:

Energize: A pre workout that is lemon flavored. 

Hydrate: Designed for consumption during your workout (citrus flavored).

Recover: This chocolate drink is enjoyed within 30 minutes of your workout and helps facilitate muscle recovery and repair.

Recharge: The most delicious vanilla flavor ever! Recharge helps with muscle recovery overnight and eliminates muscle soreness.

Creatine: Assists with muscle growth (NOT SOMETHING I USE).

I definitely recommend trying the performance line with a program like this. If you aren’t sure about any of them, no worries. We have a sampler pack that’s less than $20 that will let you try each of these items!

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So Week One is done. Tomorrow I will be taking my measurements as I will be doing every Monday (not stepping on the scale until Day 30….I know better than to focus on a stupid number). I’m excited to see what kind of progress I make with this program and sharing my real and raw experiences with you each week. If you have any questions along the way don’t hesitate to contact me so I can assist you!

I’m off to get the meal prep show on the road…and to dream of American Ninja Warrior. You do know that’s my motivation for doing this program, right?

New Year, New You, Blah Blah Blah.

Happy Freakin New Year!

2015 was the weirdest year of my life. How do you classify a year where you have your highest high and your lowest low? You don’t. You just say “Bye Felicia,” and you move on.

Up until November 20th, I would say 2015 was the best year ever. I had such a blast planning my dream wedding with Kyle, and the wedding itself on October 3rd was by far the most amazingly perfect day of my entire life.  I had retired from my career in education and officially became a full time work from home girl boss. We had celebrated great friends getting married and giving birth to beautiful babies, met huge business milestones, and gone on fun trips. Things were going absolutely fabulously.

Until they weren’t.

When I lost my dad, my world changed as I knew it. It officially became the worst year of my life. As most of you were celebrating the holidays, planning super fun parties, and deciding what appetizer to make for New Year’s Eve, I was sitting at home wondering how everyone’s lives were moving forward when mine had stopped on November 20th. I still feel like I am in a bubble, even as I write this.

When the clock struck midnight last night and Kyle, my mom, and I watched the ball drop on tv, I had only one thought: this will be the first year without my dad. I got to spend eleven months with him in 2015. I will get to spend zero with him in 2016. My mind was seriously in a bad place.

When I woke up this morning, I thought more about this year and what I wanted it to be like for me. I know that my dad would smack me if I wasn’t approaching the new year going 90mph with big goals and big dreams, and I wanted to smack myself for the same. Thus came a shift in mindset.

I’m a huge fan of quotes (clearly), but one that I have been thinking about a lot lately is this one from Charles Swindoll:

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I’ve heard this quote so many times over the course of my lifetime but have never really gotten it until now. Have you really thought about it? How the direction of our lives is tied directly to how we react to what happens to us?

FACT: Something really bad happened to my family and to me. It happened. We can’t fix it, we can’t bring my dad back, and we can’t keep living in a bubble of sadness.

FACT: Now is the time for us to CHOOSE how we react to losing my father.

I understand now how so many people spiral out of control when something difficult happens. Trust me, I get it.There have been moments where I have wanted to spiral out of control. There have been moments where I have questioned my choices, like why I have given up alcohol, when boozing seemed like it would cure my sadness and pain temporarily.   I refuse to be someone who is destroyed by the bad hand that I have been dealt. I choose to overcome the sadness of 2015 and be magnificent in my own mind again…..I mean, 90% is a huge percentage!

I’ve never been a big resolution person; I’ve always focused more on goals and achieving them. I have some big goals for 2016 and I’m choosing to approach them with the same happiness, joy, and zest for life that I have always had. Yes, I am different than I was last year. I will learn to live with that. Until then, I will focus on the things that make me happy, being a good person, changing as many lives as I possibly can, overcoming obstacles, and living a life that makes my dad proud.

Regardless of how your 2015 ended up, remember that today was the first page in a very blank 365 page book. This year can be whatever you want it to be and can be filled with whatever you want to fill it with. Dream big, work hard, and react to life in a way your future self will thank you for.

I’m going to own 2016. I hope you do the same!

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Unforgettable

It’s been a long two weeks since I have checked into LifeisKatetastic.

I will be honest…I’ve been avoiding this blog big time. In the past I have had a few times where I have spent an extended amount of time away from it, but that usually was because of the fact that I was overwhelmingly busy. I wish I could say that I have been busy these past two weeks, but that would be a total lie.

It is crazy to think how fast your life can change. I have always been one to think that my life would have seamless transition after transition. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that isn’t always the case.

Two weeks ago I had just finished writing a blog article on Don Draper, one of my favorite characters from Mad Men. It was a show I had fallen in love with and wanted to share a thing or two about with those of you who hadn’t given the show a chance yet. After publishing the article and closing my laptop I decided it was time to get my daily workout in and focus my attention elsewhere. I was happy with the way the article turned out and in a very solid, happy place.

Minutes later, life as I knew it would change.

As I was firing up my Beachbody On Demand, Kyle came downstairs and asked me to sit on the couch. He then said the words I would never forget:

“Your mom just called. Your dad had a heart attack….he didn’t make it.”

What happened next I cannot tell you. I remember throwing my phone and crumbling to the floor as my legs gave out. I remember vaguely talking on the phone to my mother and brother. I did not even know how to comprehend what was happening. How does a heart attack happen to literally the HEALTHIEST guy I know? Someone who, at 61, was in better shape than most of the people my age? I didn’t understand then and still don’t understand now how this happened to such an incredible man, and I know I never will.

The past two weeks have been a series of minutes and days running together. Im not sure how my family and I would have survived had it not been for our family and friends who have been with us nonstop. I always knew my family was strong and our friends were amazing….but I realized they were even more amazing than I had ever even imagined. When my mother and I expressed our desire to not partake in the usual holiday traditions, no one questioned us or expressed disappointment. Instead, they stood by our sides, bringing over Chinese and just BEING there for us.

Throughout the past few weeks I have been going through an emotional roller coaster and have realized grief really is strange thing. Unfortunately, I have many friends who have lost parents who have been trying to help me, and for that I am forever grateful. I know there are stages of grief and have been reading a lot about them in place of the daily personal development I typically read. Right now I am really in the denial stage where I just keep thinking my dad will be coming home. There are moments where I somewhat acknowledge what has happened, but most of the time I just am not getting it. I know in time I will come to terms with what has happened…it just isn’t going to be anytime soon.

One big step I am trying to make is just getting back into my routine. On the days I have been able to eat and exercise I feel like a little part of me is alive again. I’m getting back into my daily routine with my business and team, and getting back to this blog definitely helps. Most people don’t realize that my biggest motivator and reason for this blog even existing was my dad. He was a phenomenal writer and liked knowing about the things going on in my life in detail, so I started this blog to not only share our mutual love of writing, but to keep him informed, too. Even though we talked daily, I know he loved opening his email and finding a notification stating I had a new blog article posted. He liked making fun of me for some of the blogs, too.

I cry a lot these days. In fact, I have only worn makeup twice in two weeks…..and we all know how I love makeup. I cry mostly for selfish reasons….I feel robbed of many more memories with my dad. So many people have said to me throughout the past two weeks that everything happens for a reason. I believe this to an extent, yet I have a difficult time thinking that there is something good that will come out of so much pain and sadness. Regardless of that feeling, I trust that something will. I have to.

I’ve written so many times about how Beachbody came into my life, and it is one of those things that I truly believe happened for a reason. For the past two years, I have thought that reason was for ME. I needed to become healthier, both mentally and physically, and I believed that was what this company and opportunity had brought into my life…..a healthier me. Now, after losing my dad, I realize the reason it came into my life had nothing to do with me.

Instead, this opportunity had come into my life so I could be a support for my mother and family. Had I been working my old job in higher education, I would’ve been given a day or two of bereavement and been forced to return before I was emotionally ready. Now that I work from home, I’ve been able to stay with my mom for two weeks without having to answer to anyone. I can be with my family whenever they need me or I need them. It has been the greatest blessing to all of us. I remember back when I first told myself I wanted to coach full time so I could spend more time with my family….It have never occurred to me something like this would happen, and while I desperately wish it hadn’t, I am thankful I can provide in the ways I have been able.

I could go on and on and on in the blog about my dad, but the truth is, there are no words to describe the greatest man in my life. Instead, I have opted to share with you the eulogy I wrote for his service. I am thankful our pastor was able to read it on my behalf because I emotionally could barely speak.

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Those of you who knew him….you were very lucky people. I wish all of you could’ve had a few moments to chat with him . So many of you have been sharing stories and funny moments that involved my dad, and I encourage you to keep doing so. His memory will be alive with me as long as I am breathing, and even though sometimes the memories make me sad, I love hearing about them. To all of you who visited, called, sent flowers, made us meals, came to the service, or simply sent your love……thank you so much. It has meant the world to us.

I am proud of the work that I do because I can serve as a beacon of hope and positivity and inspiration to others. These past few weeks I have not been able to exude the positivity I usually do, and for that I am sorry. You all have been MY beacon of hope, and I thank you a million times for that.

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We rise by lifting others.

You have lifted me when I needed you, and I am grateful.

Please keep lifting others. You never know the battles people are facing. Your kind words, your hugs, even a smile to a stranger….they are all small moments that can impact someone. NEVER question your ability to change someone’s day.

This life event has been the most difficult thing I have ever been faced with. I know the road ahead of me will not be easy. However, I am a fighter, and I am one tough bitch. Losing my dad may have caused me to stumble and fall, but I will get up again, and I will be stronger than I have ever been. My parents raised me to be a strong woman, and that is exactly what I shall be.

I wanted to leave you with a moment of my life that will forever be one of my favorite moments: the dance I was able to share with my dad at my wedding two months ago.

I’m so proud to be this man’s little girl.

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