Fitness Friday Workout

I have begun training for my first ever half marathon! I’m excited about running, but sculpting my muscles is still important for me, and for my goals. I found a great workout from and since I am [and evidently my FitCampers are too] absolutely weird about numbers, we thought we would tack on 50 reps of one more exercise, just so we can say it was 500 reps completed.


Here it is, just in case you would like to do it at home.

Columbus Healthy Active Lifestyle’s


50 Burpee Push Ups:

50 Sprints:

Our fitness club, is maybe 20yards in length, so each time we completed that distance, it counted as a sprint.

50 Butterfly Sit Ups:

50 Air Squats:

50 Squat-Jacks [aka In/Out]:

50 Tuck Jumps:

50 Push Ups:

50 Russian Twists:

50 Reverse Prisoner Lunges:

50 Hips Lifts [or Jane Fonda’s as we call them at FitCamp]:

This was a tough, but incredible FitCamp. What I love most about doing this in a group is that I tell everyone they can tackle this workout however they would like… complete 50 of one exercise before going onto the next, or break it up into different rounds…it was crazy to see that every single person did it differently; yet we all achieved the same goal.

IMG_1416 IMG_1418

It’s a pretty strong reflection for life and the journey we are on. It’s easy to look at someone else’s progress, and compare yourself to them. Saying “they lost 5 lbs faster than me”, “they have better abs than me”, etc – but even though everyone had a different approach or journey through this workout, we all still achieved the exact same goal! [Cue happy ending music!]

I am so grateful for the community that shows up, and gives their 100% every single week. They inspire me! And every time, think to myseld that I’m tired, I’m hurting, or sore, I know my FitFamily is watching, and so, they inspire to push thru, even if they don’t know it. As humans, we weren’t designed to do things alone, we were created for community. So grab a friend or two, or a few, and do this workout together! Share your experiences below!

May your weekend be filled with love [and a sweat session]! ❤


The Best Time To Be Happy


I spent a lot of time [and worrisome energy] anticipating the future. I waited for a time for things to “get better”. Each night, I dreamt about a happier life, yet woke up and kept doing things that didn’t fulfill me and was too scared to make a change. I’ve learned that things don’t just “get better” – you MAKE them better, you make yourself better, and you leave those behind that are trying to dim your light. The time is NOW lives, you were designed to SHINE! Get happy, you deserve it!

Turkey Muffins – the Perfect Protein Snack!

Making a big batch of healthy eats for the entire week is critical to getting thru the busy week. These Turkey Muffins by Jamie Eason have been a staple in my diet, as well as my clients when they are competing in the Ohio Body Transformation Challenge. It packs in protein, hides some veggies and is low in calories – makes for the perfect afternoon snack or even an appetizer at a holiday party – in which you use a mini muffin tin instead!




  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray muffin pan with canola or olive oil.
  3. Mix all your ingredients together in one large bowl.
  4. Roll the mixture into balls and place in muffin pan. Muffins should be about the size of a racquetball.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes.


Planning Your 2015

The winds are changing as we get ready to begin a new year. It’s exciting! There’s something about January that offers such hope and opportunity. I think that’s where resolutions came into play – but the truth is, most people forget about their goals with in the month of January and live 335 more days of the year without any change. Here’s a quick guide for making your goals become real life in 2015.

First and foremost, take the lesson from the lion king…the past is the past – you can either learn from it, or run from it. There is nothing set in stone, you can make anything happen that you decide will happen. Will it be easy? NO. Will there be set backs? YES. Will it be worth it? ASOLUTELY!

Next, brainstorm your goals – nothing too specific…just take 15-30 minutes in a quite place and think about all the goals that you have. Maybe it’s a health result. Maybe it’s finances. Maybe it’s finally taking a family vacation you have wanted to take for years. Maybe its earning more money. There is no wrong answer and no one even knows what you are thinking…so go head, put this on sleep mode right now…and go do that…I’ll be here when you’re done….

Glad that you made it back! How was it? Kind of exciting when you start the goal machine, huh?!? Ok, so here’s what you are going to do next…pick ONE – yup, just one; preferably the one that gets you the most excited out of all of them. Since, I know that everyone reading my blog is highly intelligent, so we expect that our goals are SMART too! Every goal should follow this handy acronym:

S : Specific – a general goal such as “I want to be healthy” is like hopping in your car and saying “I am going east” – a goal that happens in real life. Where are we driving east to? New York? Florida? Paris? Instead of saying healthy – figure what that actually means to you. Maybe it’s “I want to be healthier by cooking at home, packing my lunches, and only eating out once per week” or “I want to be healthier by committing to being active 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes” – Again there are no wrong answers here.

M : Measureable – When we got specific with our goals, you’ll notice that we were able to put a way to measure our success into our goals. Using the example of “I want to be healthier by cooking at home, packing my lunches, and only eating out once per week” we can track our progress by logging what we eat. It can be done with a planner, a notebook, or an app, but if we log that we are eating out only 1 time per week, we know we are on track.

A : Attainable – Naturally, our goal for the next year, would be to go from unemployed to president of the united states in 1 year…but committing to the first few steps of action to eventually get us to that big dream. If president is your ultimate goal, in the next year, you might want to 1) Get a job 2) Help a political campaign 3) Volunteer for the community 4) Design a plan to a state official and then continuing each baby step on your way to becoming president. said it very well:

You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.

R : Realistic – If your goal is to run a half-marathon in the next year, get realistic with it. You won’t wake up one morning, find a half marathon, and run it if you haven’t been practicing, or even know when the event is happening. Research your goal. Find a race, register, search for training programs, ask for help, find accountability buddies. The question isn’t if you can run a half marathon, the question is are you willing to work for it, no matter what? Again, quoting top achievement:

To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress.

T : Timely – without a deadline, you have no sense of urgency which leads to no sense of importance. I hear so many people every year that say that they want to lose weight. If asked, they could tell me that they want to lose 10, 20, 75, 100 pounds but when I ask by when  – I lose them and I think deep down they know they are lost themselves. If you have a goal to lose 100 pounds (first you are incredible and you are so worthy your goal!) but give yourself baby step guidelines along the way so when December 1st 2015 rolls around, you aren’t trying to lose 100 lbs in 30 days – I promise that won’t happen in a healthy way! In order to lose 100 pounds in a year, you’ll want to focus on 8-9 pounds lost per month. So maybe you set up an appointment with a coach, friend, or significant other that you will hop on the scale every 2 weeks to check your progress, and that by February 1st, 2015 you will have lost 9 pounds, 9 more by March 1st, 8 more by April 1st, etc and soon enough you will have hit your goal of losing 100lbs by January 1st, 2016.

Feeling confident about your goals yet? Grab your goals and go through each of them using the SMART system. We’re going to go back to your quiet space, and now you are going to shift your mindset. Pretend for just a moment that it’s December 31, 2015 and you look at your list and you made every single one of those damn goals become real life – how would you feel? How would you look? How would it affect your life? Think about those emotions and say out loud: “I am so happy and grateful that _______”

For example I would say out loud “I am so happy and grateful than on May 2nd, 2015 I completed my first half marathon” “I am so happy and grateful that I built new friendships with healthy people in Columbus through meetup” “I am so happy and grateful that I paid off my Honda” “I am so happy and grateful that I turned blogging into a profitable business and published my first e-book in November 2015”

It feels pretty great, doesn’t it?!? There’s something about saying it out loud as if it’s already happened that makes you emotionally attached to it. And you should be attached to your goals, because they represent YOU! I also recommend keeping your goals where you can see them on a daily basis. And if there is an image that you can link to your goal, clip it and paste it on there right with your goal. When you know what you want, have vision of what you will achieve, it makes fighting thru obstacles easier.

And with that – party like it 1999 as we welcome in 2015 – stay safe, and have a very healthy, happy and blessed new year! XOXOX


Fitness Review: Nike Training Club

Excuses are like booty holes…everyone has one and they all STINK!

When it comes to your fitness and health, there are no excuses, just a lack of priority. Let’s be honest. We have 24 hours in our day, if we work for 8, commute for 1, spend 2 hours eating, 1 hour getting ready, 1 hour cooking, 2 hours solely focused on your family, and sleep for an entire 8 hours, that’s only 22 hours! That leaves us all 2 hours – and again, let’s be honest…how many of us cook for 1 hours every day? Or get 8 hours of sleep? So realistically, we have the time, we choose to spend our time doing other things.

It’s recommended that we move our body 30-60 minutes every single day. I make it a realistic goal for 3-4 times a week, to use those spare two hours for a workout! If things are really hectic and making it to the gym is a struggle, I have found an app that I can utilize right in my own living room! Nike Training Club builds a workout for you. You select everything from the type of workout you want to do [Get Lean, Get Toned, Get Strong, or Get Focused] that have different aerobic levels, to your level [beginner, intermediate, or advanced] and the time you are looking for [15, 30, or 45] and then it tells you when to do various exercises and even provides videos of each move just in case you need help. It’s a trainer in my back pocket but it’s FREE!

I also like taking this to the gym with me. I do a warm up on a cardio machine, and with my headphones plugged in, fire up my app. It’s prompts me thru my headphones, which is a pretty fun game because no one else knows what is going on and you look like a  total badass! haha!

Fitness shouldn’t feel like torture. And if you’re traveling for the holidays, these are easy way to still be active [especially since we all tend to eat more this time of year. Burning off what you can is super important so we have to tack on 10 more pounds to our list to lose in the new year! Have fun with it! Make it a family affair!

What do you and your family do to stay active during the holidays?


Be Your Best Version of You

The past couple months have been incredible! Every month, I attend a training called the Success Training Seminar.

Most people think that after we are done with college that we are done learning. It’s true than an education can teach us how to make a living, but self taught education can earn you a fortune. And that’s why I go every single month. I plan my life around them.

I am made different.

Most people hear weekend, I hear strongBEGINNING

Most people think, Saturdays I can sleep late, I think I can get up early to become great

Most people believe I can skip that so I can spend more, I hear I will be there so I can earn more.

The women that have come into my life are my dearest friends. We love and support each other. And I look forward to knowing that no matter what I get to see them on 1 day of the month every single month. But what they may not know is how much the events need them. They radiate happiness, positivity, and worth. They carry themselves with respect. They care. And I am forever grateful to be with them on our journeys!

They have joined the movement towards health, happiness, and body positivity –

Are you ready?! 🙂

My Girls - STS Dec 2014 My Girls - STS Nov 2014 New QP - Alli New Supervisor - Alli Powerful Women STS BFF's

8 Tips to Beat Winter Skin

I loathe being cold. It’s just not my thing. And it’s not my skin’s thing either. Every winter it seems that I battle painful cracked hands, chapped lips, and skin so dry that it hurts after I shower! Moving to Ohio last year, forced me to make some changes in my routine, that has made allllllll the difference in my winter skin and wanted to share them with you – because winter skin sucks!

1) Drink plenty of water – it is recommended that we drink HALF our body weight in ounces every day. If we drink anything with caffeine or bubbles, we will want to replace that with additional water. (Example: A 120lb person should drink 60 fluid ounces of water, if they drink a 16 oz coffee, they need to consume a total of 76 oz of water).


2) Increase your Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Omega 3’s are great for helping our insides as well as our outside, they provide cushion for our joints, power our brain, encourage our heart health, and do wonders for the skin. Great sources come from fish and can also be found in flax meal and chia seeds. Consider supplementation from a quality source. What’s good quality?! If you put your supplement into the freezer, it shouldn’t get cloudy or freeze over, and burp up that fishy taste – it could be a sign of a poor source of omega 3’s or a rancid oil. Below is the one I use & recommend. It’s endorsed by Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine, Dr. Lou Ignaro Ph.D.


3) Read your ingredients on your products – alcohol helps products dry off your face, but also inhibits total moisture and can even cause drying…read your ingredients and see how close it is to the beginning of the ingredient list. If “alcohol” doesn’t show up, check for scientific names (anything ending in “-ol” is chemistry’s way of saying alcohol). Aloe is a very soothing and hydrating ingredient and something I completely recommend. See below for my exact morning routine.

4) Don’t dry off before applying moisturizer – Learn to love wet rugs in your bathroom. The best way to lock in all over hydration is to STOP drying completely off! Ring out your hair with a towel, pat your face quickly just so you can open your eyes, and immediately lather up with moisturizer head to toe.

5) Consider adding in coconut oil – All of my products are the same year round. The only difference is that I add in coconut oil to my routine in the winter. It goes on my face and all over my body before I apply my daily moisturizer. I feel a little like a greased muffin tin for a bit, and my cat thinks I smell tasty enough to lick…its awkward…but I hang out in a t-shirt and shorts while I finish getting ready and my skin stays crazy soft all day and all night long! (This goes for my hair too! See my DIY leave in spray below).

Coconut Oil

6) Turn Masks and treatment creams into Spot Treatments – I love love love my Mint Clay Mask…but it’s designed to pull out oils, which can over dry your face and in turn cause it to go into overdrive oil production (YIKES!) This goes for acne treatments too. I tend to be the person that thinks “Well, if a little is good, then LOTS has to be awesome!” … Not always the best thought process and especially in the winter with dry skin. Instead, I apply my weekly mask just to my Twe-Zone because that place sweats when I workout and actually gets oily, whereas the rest of my face doesn’t. And I use an acne lotion AFTER I have applied my moisturizers to just where I breakout instead of all over.

7) SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN – After working for a dermatologist, and watching skin cancer surgeries, I have very clearly learned that sunscreen must be on your face and body YEAR round, not just in the summer time. Most people skip this in the winter and it’s a huge no no! The most common places I saw skin cancer was on left side of the face (because that side faces the window when we drive, and the back of the left hand, again, because that’s the hand that gets exposure when we drive).Make sure you are applying a broad spectrum SPF and that the skin cancer foundation endorses it.

Herbalife Sunscreen

8) What goes IN must come OUT – The things we put into our bodies have to come out in one way or another. If your skin is really struggling and you have followed the 7 tips prior, make sure you have your diet in check. If we’re eating lots of processed, high fat, and sugary foods but lacking in our fruits, veggies, and protein it will show up in our skin. I advice getting with a nutrition and health coach that can look over your daily diet and make suggestions to help you get on a plan that is based off your height, weight, age, and gender.

Here’s my routine that has helped tremendously! All the products I use are paraben-free, sulfate-free, dermatologist tested, and animal cruelty free!

Herbalife Skin

  1. Herbal Aloe Hand & Body Wash for my body & Soothing Aloe Facial Cleanser for my face (double wash in the shower, first to rinse off dirt, sweat, and makeup, next actually cleans the pores. Always make gentle circles on your face, don’t go crazy and scrub hard – it won’t help)
  2. Energizing Herbal Toner (its a spray that helps lock in hydration, and it’s alcohol free)
  3. Coconut Oil – I just scoop out the size of walnut and it goes head to toe while my skin still has water droplets on it.
  4. Daily Glow Moisturizer with SPF 20 goes onto my face before I apply a BB cream.
  5. Herbal Aloe Soothing gel to any spot where I shaved, totally prevents razor burn!
  6. Herbal Aloe Body Cream to my body and under my eyes to remove old mascara.
  7. Herbal Aloe Body Lotion with SPF goes onto my  body where the sun will shine – hands, neck  & ears

I also use the Herbal Aloe products on my hair. And when I get out of the shower, I spray my hair with a mix of 4oz warm water + 1 tsp herbal aloe concentrate + 1 tsp coconut oil. This keeps for awhile. I put in the shower when I am in there because the heat will turn the coconut oil into a liquid again.

Hope this helps everyone beat the winter skin blues! If you’re wanting to order any of the products mentioned in the article, send an email to:

***I don’t claim to cure, treat or prevent anything including dry skin…this is just my routine and what has personally helped me.***

Fitness Friday – Where to Begin?

Ready to get into shape, but don’t have a clue where to start? First I beg you to not walk into the first gym you tour, buy a year of personal training that was so expensive that you can only afford to eat top ramen for the next 12 months, and decide that you really don’t like working out with a trainer anyways so you become a cardio drone that walks in, hops on with your drop 10 lbs fast magazine and scoots your legs for 60 minutes before heading home to make your ramen instead of a healthy breakfast…

[OUCH!] Brutal honesty right there…Did I hit home for anyone, I apologize if I did, but the above story is something that I hear way too often. First and foremost, 80% of the result that you get is because of what you put into your body, only 20% is because of what you do to be active. So make sure you set a budget before you do anything else, if you can’t afford quality nutrition, you won’t be seeing any result! Example: If your typical monthly spending is $900 for entertainment, groceries, restaurants, your ladies nights, and your drive thru coffee; figure out what you can change around to get the best out of everything. Put your priorities first…FOOOOOOOD, the good for you, came from a store, or it’s your vitamins kind, easy for a couple to spend $500 a month on that, still leaving us $500 for other things. 2 quality dates a month will run you $200. A gym will run you $65-150 depending on where you go. So that leaves us $50-135 left in our spending – this gives a cushion for the sign up fee, or in later months, use this for 2 coffees and a ladies night, plus a new shirt for your guy.

Now that we have a budget, GO EXPLORE! Fitness doesn’t have to be at a gym, with a trainer or on the cardio machines. Find something that you love to do, and that way you want to do it! Whether its yoga, zumba, barre, hiking, running, plyometrics, weight lifting, crossfit, swimming, dancing…try it all until you find what you love! This is true for gyms as well. You’re going to be spending time here, make sure you love it. Pay attention to what’s important to you…is it clean? do the hours fit your schedule? Do you need a shower there? Childcare? Is it safe – well lit parking lots, video cameras, etc [super important for ladies who go in the dark]! Most places will offer a FREE introductory class [pass at a gym] or two to see if you like it before you invest.

Now that you found what you love and you’re ready to commit, DON’T FORGET YOUR BUDGET! I can speak about this because I used to be a general manager for a gym, so here’s my behind the scenes advice. Most gyms will run specials at the end of each month to get their sales numbers in. You can either take the offer, or realize you have the upper hand because they want your business. Give them your exact budget, and stand your ground. Gyms will always give you the highest offer first to see if you’d take it. It’s ok to say “that’s not in my budget.” Just be polite – remember, they need a paycheck too and they get it by selling to you. Options to ask for to help with the price:

  • Single gym [home gym] only price – make big chains will offer you the gym that you are in only at a lower price than buying the national price
  • State or Regional Options
  • End of Year / New Year Options – November is a good time to let them know you’re looking and sometimes they can extend that sale price to you now, especially if you tell them that you will wait to sign up otherwise – remember they want your business and that sales person wants your business NOW.
  • Pay the year in cash on the spot

Once price becomes established, they will without a doubt open up many options of upgrades to you – don’t buy childcare if you don’t have a child just because it was a good price for “later” [You’re laughing at this, but it’s because you have done this, or know someone that will, ha!] You can always add things on later as you really feel apart of everything.

Welcome to being the newest member of the fitness community! But please never forget, that you don’t need lulu lemon, or brand new Nikes to get started. You  don’t need to over spend. And you sure should never feel embarrassed about getting started. It’s an amazing step and joining the right community will provide an environment that is positive, and ready to help you tackle any challenge.

If you’re not quite ready to sign a dotted line and pay a monthly fee yet, that are so many fee options now a days! Many communities are now offering FitCamps hosted at Nutrition Clubs – these are usually free and there’s an option for every fitness level. There are tons of apps too [I’ll share my favorite one next week]. And there’s always the trusted DVD that you can use in your own living room – I recommend 24Fit, which is taught by Olympic athlete Samantha Clayton. You can order it from the link below after you submit your email!

Have FUN finding your FIT and now, Go get active!

Get Lean Muscles Now

Finding Balance

I stood on the mat, checked my Nikes to make sure they were tied and that my laces weren’t hanging. Behind me, I heard a whisper in my ear, “Ready?”

…I pause, in my head I take a moment to visualize what’s coming up next and think to myself, “Jump, Arch, Tuck, Look, Stand.” I nodded my headed yes, took a deep breath, and waited for my count…”1, 2..”

[[This isn’t me in the video]] Unfortunately, I never got footage of learning this skill called a “Rewind.” This was one of the scariest things I learned in cheerleading, at the same time, it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever learned in my life. I practiced for days & weeks, endless drill after drill, then countless practice attempts surrounded by teammates to catch me if I fell…which happened more often than it didn’t, and finally, I was able to try it with my partner. It didn’t matter how many times I fell It, it was something that I wanted to do. Nothing was going to stop me. It didn’t matter that practice was only 2 hours, and that I had a full time academic schedule, 3 part time jobs, and volunteering on campus, I made the time for myself to balance it all because I was hungry for success.

It wasn’t until a recent leadership development weekend training that I was able to apply this to my daily life and realized that everyone could benefit from thinking like an athlete, no matter your athletic ability.

Life Words

This photo puts my mind back to how dedicated I was to making my goals become real life. I had to be focused, confident in my ability, be precise, and trust those around me. In order to get my mind and body ready for any skill, I would first, always visualize what it looked like being done perfectly and then cue my mind with a few words. I set this photo to have my goal standout, and to set 5 words for my daily life to get my mind right. For me, the words that help me most are Balance, Focus, Results, Me, and Inspire.

ME: I have learned that if I don’t take the time to take care of myself, I am unable to care for anyone else. This means that I have to be specific about what that time looks like. For me, it means that I have to eat right, exercise, take care of my finances, read or listen to my personal development, and create a goal / dream board.

BALANCE: When I wanted to achieve something as a cheerleader, there was no stopping me no matter the amount of time I was able to pursue it. Although I may not be balancing school, part time jobs, home work, and school; my life balances out other things now – a full time job, my dreams, a healthy relationship, maintaining a home, my physical health, coaching, friends, and family…the list seems never ending and it’s been a really hard struggle figuring out how to balance it all. I often fall victim to giving 100% of myself to one area and forgetting the others until I burn out. This also seems to be a struggle for my clients, teammates and really, everyone out there! The best thing I can do offer advice is to schedule your day and be intentional with your time. I get to bed on time because I need to be up early so I have the time to get stuff for me done. This means I use the time to get the gym 3 times a week, 2 days a week I have the time read, work on my online coaching business. I have to schedule when I will be coaching, when I will be at church, and fill in a full time job in between.  The other very important thing for me to plan and schedule is my time with Jeremy. It’s easy to get so busy with making a living, that you forget to make a life. It’s also so easy get so busy making a life that you forget to pursue your dreams. Jeremy and I schedule a date every week, even if its as simple as cooking dinner together and watching our 1 TV show a week together, we have also started reading together and plan to spend a couple of hours each week setting up the upcoming week together, and discuss the book we are reading [more on that book as we get thru it!] Setting aside our time allows us to handle many things, but also for each of us to pursue our dreams and goals. I encourage everyone to use a planner, whether it’s a phone or on paper [Type A personalities use this to your advantage, break out the markers, color code everything and rock your week! Type B, don’t stress, its something new, and will take practice, don’t analyze it too hard, just do it and do it  until it becomes a habit!]

FOCUS: Without balance, focus is impossible. In cheer, if I attempted anything at all without being focused, I could guarantee I would fall. If I going to do a rewind and was even an inch off in my precision, there was no way that my two [even tho tiny] feet  could land in my partner’s single hand. Imagine going thru life being that focused on your goals and dreams. It would become impossible to not achieve them. I have to keep my focus on the things that matter most.

Body Under Construction

RESULTS:  As a health coach, it is imperative that I get other people ultimate results…in both physically and most importantly, mentally. Yet, I have to always be reaching for a new result myself. The human body is an incredible machine, I am so excited to reach new results, to take my body to new levels proving that anything is possible without crazy diet pills, crash diets, fad diets, or obsessive behaviors. I am always representing my own business, and as one of my cue words, its a daily reminder to me!


INSPIRE: Everyone has something deep down that they feel compelled it do. Something that doesn’t seem to go away, it’s hard to put it into words…it’s just this knot in your stomach…a deep passion about something that you just feel you were “meant” to do. It’s in the forefront of my mind to do this for myself – fulfill my dreams, and inspire a healthy change and body positive movement, and in turn, inspire other women to pursue their dreams! I have always been inspired by powerful and positive females, Oprah makes the top of my list. She states,

“There is no greater that you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.”

So I ask you, if you were to set up to the mat that allowed you to catapult the life you’ve imagined, what 5 words would you use to stay on track? We are all worthy of our dreams, or living out our calling, worthy of health, happiness and joy. Share your cue words with me on here or send me an email –!

Hosting Healthy [on a budget]

This past week was Jeremy’s 31st birthday. If you have a healthy and selfless individual in your life, this is the post for you to read. I faced [[and ultimately conquered]] how to host a healthy get together and give a gift that keeps on giving.


A few facts about Jeremy: He adores time with his family, hates getting presents, prefers to give gifts instead, and pays very close attention to each and every ingredient in food, and loves marinated mushrooms. ❤

I’m awful at keeping secrets from Jer, so hiding birthday surprises is crazy hard. So I let him know that we had dinner reservations at a Milestone 229 [a swanky restaurant in downtown Columbus with a n appealing gluten-free menu] and would be heading there after we ate a few appetizers at home. What he didn’t know was that his sister, brother-in-law, brother, nephew, and cousins would be joining us!

I should have taken more photos, because everything worked out perfect! I themed everything around the feel of autumn. Warm colors and smells, and savory flavors. I updated our Wallflowers to the yummy smelling scents of Pumpkin Cupcake and Vanilla Chai. Picked up a few decorations from the $3 section at Target [a pumpkin, lantern, scarecrow and a wreath] to give our tiny place a warm autumn feel.

The Menu [Everything is Gluten-Free]

  1. Marinated Mushrooms [Jeremy’s favorite!]
  2. Tomato-Basil Soup
  3. Organic Tortilla Chips with Spinach Dip
  4. Mini Flatbreads [a sturdy gluten-free, organic cracker] with Applewood Chicken Sausage, tomato sauce and parmesan sprinkled on top
  5. Green Apple Slices with Cinnamon or a caramel



I did most of my shopping at Wal-Mart and Target. I picked up a 72 piece appetizer kit from Wal-Mart for only $7 and got tons of tiny dishes, plates and silverware, that we wouldn’t have to wash after!

I used mushrooms that were already marinated for Jeremy’s favorite appetizer. I placed 4 mushrooms on each plate alongside a fork.

I used the [Simply Balanced] Tomato-Basil soup [from Target & it’s gluten-free] – placed 1/2 cup of soup into a small clear cup and topped with finely cut fresh basil leaves.

I used a premade Spinach Dip due to lack of time, but here’s a great video on how to make healthy spinach from R.D. Susan Bowerman: – I then placed dip into a mini bowl and stuck in 4 healthy rolled tortilla chips [Simply Balanced brand from Target]

I also made mini flatbreads. I started with creating a healthy pizza/pasta sauce by mixing together { 1 can [Hunt’s] Fire Roasted Tomatoes + 1 can [Hunt’s] Tomato Sauce + 1 can [Hunt’s] Tomato Paste + lots of diced garlic + Italian Seasoning } – I placed 1/2 tablespoon of sauce on top of each cracker [Simply Balanced, Brown Rice and Chia Seed] and then used 2 chopped applewood chicken sausages [also from Target] that I briefly cooked on medium high heat to brown the sausage and finally sprinkled the top with a shredded Parmesan Blend. I placed the entire plate of mini flatbreads in the microwave just long enough to melt the cheese and served immediately.

Last was a green apple [Granny Smith], thinly sliced [3 slices per mini plate] and either topped with cinnamon or with a caramel candy.

Hot [non-alcoholic] Apple Cider Bar 

Jeremy had picked up fresh milled cider from the store and thought that an apple cider bar would be perfect! I set out the cider, alongside mugs, and self serve dishes with caramels, red hots, and cinnamon sticks…if you really enjoy other spices in your cider feel free to use Rosemary, Orange Slices, Lemon Slices, or even honey.

[Portion Controlled] Dessert & Wine

I made sure Jeremy knew that I had a special idea for us planned for post dinner. I had purchased a really sweet Raspberry Wine from Cooper’s Hawk [it seriously tasted like Raspberry Jam] along side a homemade label kit that was a chalkboard label. I skipped buying a card and instead wrote my Happy Birthday love note on his own personal bottle of wine and served it with Brownie Cake Pops. They were super sweet so the easy portion control in individual dishes were a great way to go!


Gifting Giving

Since I knew Jeremy didn’t want anything, but he has a generous heart, I gave him a challenge of doing 31 acts of kindness. I put together 31 challenges, in a small photo book so he is able to document and reflect on everything that he did in the 31 days. It included:

  • I started him off by anonymously vacuuming everyone’s rugs in our [indoor] apartment complex and buying air fresheners
  • [5] pre-packaged meals to give to homeless members in our community – each meal included a vegetable style soup, crackers, and clean drinking water
  • [5] Thank You notes to fill out
  • Books to donate to Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • [5] $5 gift cards to various stores to either pass on to the person after him at the grocery store, buy someone’s coffee at Starbucks, or just to give a gift
  • [5] challenges to help someone take groceries to their car
  • Organize a shoe drive thru Soles for Souls
  • Organize a community clean up in Dublin
  • Organize a neighborhood clean up at our apartment and park
  • Set up the ALS walk in Columbus
  • Volunteer at the Mustache Dash to create awareness of men’s health
  • Make a clothing donation of winter clothes to out community
  • Volunteer with the Mid-Ohio Food Bank
  • Buy flowers for a stranger that needs a pick me up


These are the meal packs he now has in his card to give to someone asking for assistance.

Jerem’y birthday went great! Everyone arrived, we enjoyed a delicious array of appetizers and then out to dinner. At one point, I looked around and saw Jeremy’s 6 year old nephew sitting on his lap, and everyone chatting and laughing, and Jeremy grinning ear to ear – it definitely filled my heart with joy to see him so happy! Jeremy has an awesome family and it was so great to spend time all together! Best Healthy Birthday [EVER] ❤