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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Do you believe in magic?

I do!

I have always had a secret love for magic…and I’m pretty sure that my brother is to blame for it. I remember one year he received a variety of magic tricks as a gift, and even though they were very simple tricks for his age, they were still interesting. Then came the David Copperfield specials on television….then David Blaine, and my interest in magic continued. I love anything that challenges your mind and makes you say “How did they do that?”

However, as I got older, I felt like the magic scene had dwindled down a bit. I caught a Criss Angel show in Vegas on one of my trips, but other than that and a few random magic acts at various kids’ birthday parties, I didn’t see much around my area.

One day I saw one of my friends posting on his social media pages that he was doing magic. I remember thinking…”I never would’ve pegged Jason as a magician.” Jason and I had gone to high schools in the same part of Northeast Ohio, then we ended up going to the same college for undergrad. I remembered him being a college athlete at Thiel, but nothing involving magic rung a bell.

As time passed I saw Jason getting busier and busier with magic. Eventually I noticed he had gotten married and his wife, Stacy, was getting involved in the magician life, as well. I saw photos and videos of their various shows and of them performing strolling magic throughout the area, and it was obvious that they were a top magical act, not just around where we were from, but the whole country.

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Jason and Stacy on their wedding day

The Alans now do magic full time and can be found anywhere from private events to corporate functions to my favorite brunch spot, Town Hall, where they not only perform magic but make incredible balloon animals for the restaurant guests. If you are looking for a great date night idea, they recently signed on to be one of the acts performing at The Metropolitan on the 9 and have a variety of dates you can choose from.

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Balloon creations Stacy made for us while at Town Hall for brunch. 

I recently chatted with The Alans because I had questions that I wanted to know, and no, none were related to how they perform the tricks they do.

How long have you been practicing magic?

Stacy: I’ve been practicing magic, mainly mentalism for around 5 years. I always loved watching magic growing up but didn’t begin learning how to perform until I met Jason.

Jason: Magic has been a part of my life since I was 13.

Do you specialize in any certain area?

Stacy: I specialize in mentalism which focuses on psychology and effects involving the mind. Some people may call it psychological illusions. I’m not a medium or psychic but rather use observation skills, psychology and body language to pick up on information from people and things.

Jason: I specialize in standup comedy/magic and close-up sleight of hand. Originally, I focused on a magic philosophy made famous by David Blaine and his mentor Paul Harris titled “Astonishment”. The idea was to strip away all of the stereotypical sides of magic (rabbits, corny jokes, glitter) and perform something with the least amount of words that was truly unexplainable.

When I began performing for larger crowds I found a passion in stand-up comedy and storytelling. I started attending open mics honing my comedy chops which complimented my sleight of hand.

What was the A-Ha moment that made you want to get into magic?

Stacy: For me it was when I first met Jason and watched him perform with such passion and could truly see that he loved what he did. I wanted to be part of that. I started off assisting and helping him set up and tear down. This was okay at first, but I realized I wanted to contribute more. I loved the idea of us being in business and traveling together. The other big push for me was early on in our marriage when I was working as a full-time therapist. Jason was performing in the Bahamas and I was at home in Akron getting stuck in my driveway full of snow. I knew then that I really wanted to have more freedom with my work to go places with him.

Jason: While visiting family in California I watched a street performer at Venice beach and I was instantly hooked. Around this time David Blaine was becoming big and I would watch and study his specials. I performed for friends and family then turned professional when I was 22. A few years later I was hired to work on a cruise ship in the Bahamas on and off for 2 years.

What differentiates you from other magicians?

Stacy: The biggest thing for me is being a female who has a lead role in our show. Most people only think of women as assistants in the magic world. We also stand out being a duo act…..again being a husband and wife act who don’t fit the typical magician and assistant mold.

Jason: I think the amount of hours I’ve spent performing in restaurants and bars has allowed me to be fully in the moment and aware of my environment. Why does this set me apart from other magicians… Performing sleight of hand is like patting your head while rubbing your stomach as you ride a unicycle on the edge of a cliff. The difference being.. nobody can know you are doing all of those things at once.
When a magician first learns a “trick” they are focused on the sleight of hand and not on how to make a human connection. I hope and think that years of working in the trenches has allowed me to pay attention to the person in front of me, to notice what mood they are in and to know which way to steer the current effect I’m performing.

What kind of events do you do?

Our main area of focus is corporate events. We travel nationally bringing our show and strolling magic to sales meetings, conferences, trade shows and corporate holiday parties. Our newest venture is our very own theater show in downtown Cleveland. We just got the news that our show has been picked up for the entire 2018 season at the Alex Theater which is on the second floor of the Metropolitan at the 9 hotel. In years past the bulk of our performances have been for private events…..now with the Alex Theater we have a monthly show that’s open to the public. It’s really exciting for us; we wrote a brand-new show just for this unique venue.

The Alans Stage

What is your favorite thing about magic?

Stacy: My favorite thing is the reactions. I love creating real moments with people that hopefully will stick with them for a while.

Jason: My favorite thing about magic… with the current volatile climate we live in it’s hard to find something that still makes us think…. Magic does that. For over 2 years we have performed at TownHall in Ohio City (Cleveland)… the most successful restaurant in Northeastern Ohio. Each week we interact with thousands of people visiting, living or passing through the city. Each week I approach people who are left wing, right wing, American or Foreign, White or black and when I start performing, none of that matters. For a minimum of 60 seconds we are just two people sharing something truly unique.

Just a week ago, during a performance in my hometown of Salem, Ohio I pulled a 6 year old girl onstage who didn’t speak English. After 10 minutes of being onstage with me she went from a shy scared little girl to the star of the show. Watching someone smile through something so simple and nonjudgmental is worth doing what we do.

Are you self taught or did you complete formal training?

Stacy: Jason taught me a lot of what I know; he also supplied me with a library of magic and mentalism books to read and study.

Jason: I’ve had hundreds of mentors over my career. From people who directly taught me to those who have passed single lines of inspiration to me.

In 2008 I traveled to Las Vegas and learned under an amazing performer by the name of Steve Daily. Steve was on Criss Angels original television show Mind Freak and currently performs on the Las Vegas Strip.

What can a guest expect from one of your shows?

Guests can expect to be directly involved. Our show is highly interactive. We are not a typical big illusion magic show. We use objects and thoughts from the audience to create unexplainable moments. Our real hope is that people come into our show not really knowing what to expect or thinking they know what magic is and we take them in a whole new direction. We want people leaving knowing that they loved it but not sure how to explain what they just experienced.

The Alans

Have you always practiced magic together or when did you become a duo?

Stacy: I’ve only ever performed with Jason, however I will be doing my first solo show for a client in April.

Jason: When we first met we had a deal.. Stacy would never perform with me. During this time I was working on a cruise line in The Bahamas and to travel with me.. she had to be onstage. During this time she would walk onstage and hand me props as an assistant. I noticed her passion for being onstage and began teaching her sleight of hand. We quickly realized it wasn’t for her.

With her background in Psychology we saw an opportunity for her to take center stage. I pointed her in the right direction and she began training as a mentalist. Around this time she spoke at the Youngstown Ohio TedX talk on breaking boundaries about woman in magic and how she is perceived.

Currently we both learn new tricks and try to fool each other.

Can I just say I have some seriously talented friends???!!!! These guys are the real deal, and I know they are just getting started with their career in magic. You need to fit one of their shows into your calendar and fall in love with magic all over again!

If you want to learn more about The Alans or book them for an upcoming event, please visit their website by clicking HERE!

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You can’t BEET these recipes!

Yep, you can always expect a pun or two on the blog! Sorry, folks….just a natural comedienne here!

Earlier in the week I shared that I finally found a way to love beets, and that was by adding them to my daily Wonder Woman Shake. I was smart about it….I purchased ones already cut so I didn’t have to deal with any of that, and I did cook them for a bit to make them softer for blender.

There are actually TWO recipes I have been using, and I encourage you to try them both!

Recipe #1: Berry Beet
Ingredients:
-14 oz liquid (I use about 4 oz Califia Almond Milk or Coconut Milk and the rest water)
-1 scoop Vegan Vanilla Superfoods Mix (message me if you need some)
-1 cup Strawberries/Blueberries ( I freeze mine)
-3/4 cup beets
-3 ice cubes

Mix and Blend!

Recipe #2: Nana Beet
Ingredients:
-14oz liquid (same as above)
-1 scoop Vegan Vanilla Superfoods Mix
-1/2 frozen banana
-1/2 cup beets
-3 ice cubes

Mix it up and Enjoy!

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Ohio gave us nice weather for a day….I had to take advantage of it. 

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Week 7 & 8: Obsession Update

Since I had taken so long to post my week six wrap up, I decided to wait until today to post a recap of Week 7 and Week 8. Sometimes it’s nice to change it up a bit, yeah?

Can you believe I just said WEEK 8???? Holy smokes! I am ONE month away from completing this program, and that will be a huge win for me. 80 day is a long ass time, and like I’ve mentioned before, I had some serious doubts if an 80 day program could keep my attention. Good news: it clearly has!
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So Week 7….for some reason my motivation this week was a little lackluster. I survived Murphy’s Birthday Party (yes, my dog) where there was pizza, and I said NO to some seriously delicious treats at a Bingo Fundraiser I attended with my Mom. My meal prep was on point…..check out my fridge that week! Week 7 ended with me feeling really great!

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I was beyond sore during week 7, more so than usual, so I made sure to really utilize my foam roller and my love for Lush Bath Bombs. My schedule was so hectic I couldn’t get into my sports chiropractor for some dry needling or a massage, but you better believe I’ll be making sure they happen this week. These bath bombs though….throw one in the tub, light a candle, grab some personal development to read, and you have a nice relaxing little time.

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I’ve mentioned this several times before, but the single most important thing to use when doing this program is the performance line. The pre workout, post workout recovery, and overnight recharge formulas help my muscles so much. Those of you who aren’t using it are feeling pains you don’t need to. Trust me on this!

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And then there was Week 8…probably my favorite lifting set up of the phase. I love doing 2x15s because I love feeling that muscle fatigue and really having to dig deep to push myself. I honestly have loved the majority of the workouts this phase, and even the ones I didn’t love as much I still liked, I just disliked a move or two. Workout wise, I killed it and feel strong AF.

Nutrition wise….ugh. I was a hot ass mess! I slipped up on our themed night at the kickboxing studio because one of my coaches had made macarons (you guys know how I feel about them)….I wasn’t even mad, they were delicious! Then I fell victim to one of the leprechaun trash treats I had made (whoops), and since I was making corned beef reubens for St. Patty’s Day, I had one, too. So there’s that….a few slip ups, but nothing that I am beating myself up over.

 

Since it was Week 8, it was a refeed week, which was on Wednesday, the same day the macarons happened. This time around I avoided the vanilla wafers and enjoyed the chickpea brownies for several of my carb servings. I also had a bagel with salmon and spinach and a big fat ol cheeseburger! I’m thankful refeed day is only once every two weeks, because the day after I was so sluggish and felt like garbage. All that white flour and sugar will do that to you.

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Hey, beauty!

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about where I get my groceries and how much I’m spending on my groceries each week. Honestly, I’ve been spending pretty much exactly what I was spending before I started this program, which is about $40 a week. You guys see what I eat…..I’m not skimping on food!

I shop mostly at Aldi, Whole Foods 365, and Earthfare, and I’m just strategic in how I shop. I check the grocery store ads, I focus on one or two main proteins, and I buy in bulk if I can. Having a list helps, and so does going through your pantry before you shop to make sure you aren’t buying what you already have.

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I love Whole Foods 365…if there’s one by you, check it out!

Tomorrow begins the start of Phase Three….my final THIRTY days in this program! I can’t wait! Here’s my meal plan for the first week of the phase!

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Did I tell you guys that my final week in the program aka PEAK WEEK, I’ll be at an all inclusive resort in Mexico????? That will be interesting.

Off to meal prep! Hope you’ve had the best Sunday!

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Get Kate-tastic.

Lately my social media has been BLLLOOOWWWIINNNGGGG UP with people asking me about all the things that make my life Kate-tastic….the products I love, the stores I frequent, the people I support….and I love that! I truly love sharing my opinions on the things/places/people that are a part of my daily life, and I’m letting you know right now that I’m going to start sharing wayyyyy more about them from now on!

I know it is easy to look at a lot of my blog or Instagram posts and think that all I’m about is health and fitness, but there is so much more to me than weights, protein shakes, and fun headbands. Most new readers know I retired at the age of 34 from a career in education to fully operate my own fitness empire, so obviously fitness is a huge part of my life. However, most don’t know that my blog actually started years ago as a way to share the things I love with the people who I loved the most (at that time, only my family read my blog). While my family still reads my blog (Hi, Mom), my following has grown to over a thousand visits a day, and I want to make sure I am sharing things that all of you can find valuable, which includes going back to some of the material y’all loved in the beginning when my blog was a little baby blog.

One of my greatest loves is entrepreneurship, and I truly admire anyone who has  goal and goes all in to make it happen. I am very lucky to have many entrepreneurs in my life who I not only call my friends, but that I support because of the amazing products and services they offer. Supporting local entrepreneurs and small businesses is my jam, and I encourage you to support your local pals, too!

Be on the lookout for posts coming your way on the things I love….they’ll be categorized as “Make Your Life Kate-tastic!”

Because, after all, you’re bringing a little of my life into your life, so that makes you Kate-tastic by association, right?

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Leprachaun Trash

I know….that title is so appealing, right? Sometimes you shouldn’t change up a good thing and just need to call it what it is.

I shared earlier in the week on my Instagram that I had made (and eaten) leprechaun trash, and immediately I was bombarded by private messages for the recipe. I don’t blame you…it looks pretty and is super tasty, and both kids and adults alike love it.

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Here’s the easiest recipe in the world:

Katie’s Leprechaun Trash

Ingredients:
-4 tablespoons butter
-5 cups Lucky Charms cereal
-1 10.5oz bag of mini marshmallows + 2 additional cups
-Rainbow Sprinkles

Melt butter on low heat in a large pan, adding in bag of marshmallows until completed melted. Add in remaining marshmallows, allowing them to melt partially, then mix in cereal and stir until completely coated in the marshmallow mixture. Pour into prepared 9×13 pan and press into pan evenly. Sprinkle immediately, then allow trash to sit for about 2 hours before cutting.

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Easy, right? And very similar to a Rice Krispie treat!

I hope the leprechauns in your life love them!

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