August 2014 Flashback Post

Good morning guys! Today is a little bit hectic but I did want to pop in and say hello, and please hang with me as my posting may be a lit erratic over the next week as we takeover our local Orange Leaf location. We would appreciate your thoughts and prayers this week, it’s going to be wild!

The other day, my timehop app told me we had been in our house for a YEAR (am I the only one who has a love/hate relationship with timehop?) That one really blew my mind. I remember it so vividly, and it really surprised me how fast this past year has gone as we prepared for baby Emma Kate’s arrival.

The day we moved in, we had NO AIR CONDITIONING in our house. August, in Mississippi, is very very hot. We had fans going and were trying to make it as cool as possible, but it was bad. I felt so bad for the movers, they worked so hard to get everything into our new home.

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As we were moving in, we also went through a big huge mess with AT&T and Comcast that went on for two weeks. We had to wait on hold for many many hours during this time. Here we are both on the phone trying to get answers. Do not mess with a pregnant woman!

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I also cant believe my baby girl was still baking this time last year. So crazy now that we “know” her to think I was just walking around with her all those months. Taking our weekly update photos was fun, and I loved comparing them to the week before. Also, I really miss my long hair.

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After we moved in we did a lot of unpacking and I finally got to do some much needed nesting. I really enjoyed getting the nursery together and making it a fun, pretty space for Emma Kate.

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A not so fun thing that happened last August: I ended up in the hospital with preterm labor. I had a UTI that was causing contractions. After some hospital monitoring, IV antibiotics, and two of the most painful shots I have ever had to stop labor, we were sent on home.

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I get tired just thinking back to this month last year. I wanted to have the house all unpacked and in order, and just be able to focus on having the baby. We pretty much got everything done, and I am thankful for such a giving and hardworking family that helped us get settled in!

QOTD: What were you doing last August?

Tips for De-cluttering Your Home

About a week or so ago, I randomly came to the conclusion that we have too much stuff. The things we have aren’t particularly expensive or fancy…just…STUFF we have accumulated over the past 10 years of knowing each other. Also, we have been in our house almost a year now, and there are things still in boxes that I haven’t touched. I mean really, if I haven’t needed it in a year, there is a good chance it should be tossed anyway.

It’s kind of overwhelming when I think about purging things from my home, and to be honest, I have to be in a particular “mood” to get this done, if that even makes sense (hopefully someone knows what I’m talking about so I don’t feel crazy? Well, at least not crazy in this instance.)

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I decided to just do a little at a time as I felt like it, and start where I felt I could do the most damage…I hit up our bonus room and guest bedroom closets and just started pulling things out. I ended up with a couple of huge piles of things and I already feel better and cleaner. I wanted to share a few tips that I used to help me decide what stays and what goes.

What Stays and What Goes:

1.) Pick a room: Pick a room and focus on it until it’s completely done instead of hopping all around your house. This will help you feel more accomplished once you get a complete room done.

2.) Make multiple piles: I like to make a “donate”, “sell” and “maybe” pile as I sift through my stuff.  Sometimes I end up going through a room and will have a huge maybe pile of things I’m just not quite sure I want to part with. At the end of it after going through everything and having some time to think about the contents of the maybe pile, I can usually go back through and get rid of a large portion of it.

3.) Pick a price: I sell a lot of things locally on Facebook yard sale groups. My rule is if it’s going to sell for under $10, it gets donated. I am not going to sell an item and then spend an hour conversing back and forth with someone about a time and a location to meet, then wasting my gas and money to go meet someone in the Wal-Mart parking lot to sell a stapler for $2. I sell a lot of baby clothes to the local consignment shop so I don’t have to waste as much time handling it myself. Also, my parent shave a used bookstore by their house that you can trade in books for money to use in the store to buy other books. I love it, so I always send my mom books I don’t want so she can go get some different ones. Search around and see what you can find!

4.) Pick a good cause: If you do some searching, you will find lots of places that will take donated items that you may not have even thought of. Find somewhere you really want to help, and that you believe in. It may soften your heart and make you more willing to give up some of your possessions for those truly in need.

5.) Do the wear test with clothes: Turn all your hangers facing a certain way. Then, as you wear an outfit and hang it back in your closet, turn the hanger facing the other way. At the end of the season, anything with a hanger turned the first way (meaning you haven’t worn it all season) pull out of your closet and sell or donate.

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6.) Get rid of multiples: Yes you may need more than one ink pen in your house, but do you REALLY need 50? (guilty.) Do you have 5 of the exact same sized pot? Are you really going to be using those pots all at once to cook, wanna-be Martha Stewart? Consider maybe keeping 2. What about your cups/water bottles/glassware? Yall, I had so many water bottles before we moved last time, it was a sin. I got rid of about 10 and still have too many. I do dishes constantly, so it’s not like I run out of clean ones. GO through your house, especially your kitchen, and consider ditching things you have multiples of.

7.) Get a file cabinet: If you don’t have one already, get one. Yes you, the one with five different stacks of mail, magazines and papers you don’t know what to do with sitting on your kitchen counter. Sit by your file cabinet with a trash can, and make folders for bills, receipts and other important paperwork, and trash anything you will never read again (or won’t read once!)

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I spy a stack of papers!

8.) Clean out that pantry: When we moved a year ago, I was embarrassed at some of the things I found in my pantry that had been expired for a YEAR. a year yall…just let that sink in. The truth is we probably all have food in our pantry that is expired, we didn’t like and never threw out, or we just plain forgot about. Clean out your pantry and stop hiding things in layers behind each other so you can SEE everything in there. The same rule goes for your medicine cabinet. Get rid of expired meds and get a basket for each person in your house to put their medicine in so it’s easy to grab when needed.

9.) Buy some bins: You know those big storage bins with lids? We have a bunch of them in our attic. I prefer the clear ones so I can see the contents, but any will do. Anything in my house that I want to keep but I haven’t necessarily used in the past year like photo albums, keepsakes, etc. go into the bins and into the attic so they don’t junk up the rest of the house. You can even keep an inventory sheet of what is in each container in case you forget or are looking for something. (Keep the sheet in your file cabinet, NOT on your kitchen counter. Smile)

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10.) Get rid of excess toys: Kids rooms can quickly become a breeding ground for toys. I don’t know where they come from…they just kind of…appear… I think a great rule (and this is one we plan to implement when Emma Kate is older) is that when it is Christmas or birthday time, she has to get rid of a few toys before she can get more. It makes sense really, because a lot of the things they were playing with last Christmas they will have outgrown or will be too “babyish” the next year. If you are saving toys for a younger sibling, put them in a bin in the attic, and get them out of your child’s room. Less mess for mom and dad to have to “help” clean up when there aren’t as many toys to make a mess with! I would involve your kids in this and not just take toys form their room if they are old enough to understand. If you are donating, explain that there are other kids who don’t have toys that would so enjoy the ones that they don’t even play with anymore. A great learning experience and lesson on giving!

QOTD: What is your best tip for de-cluttering your house? Ok I’m off to put some of my tips into practice!

House Photos Part 1

I have been getting questions about the house, and because I can’t do a lot at once it is taking a long time to get unpacked. Things still aren’t exactly like I want them, but the main rooms are presentable enough to give you a peek at the space with some house photos.

The thing that drew me to this house was the big open space that is the living room/kitchen/dining room. We like to entertain so choppy rooms don’t really work well for us. Also, I want to be able to have line of sight now that we will have a kiddo in the mix! It will be so easy for me to be in the kitchen while baby M is well, pretty much anywhere in the big space. We downsized homes when we moved, but with the big open space it feels a lot bigger. There are also a ton of windows so lots of natural light!

The master bedroom is through the hallway on the right of the photo. I am standing next to the counter/bar in the kitchen and the dining room and front door are on the left.

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Front door is next to that blue table on the left. (I also really like that I can see the TV from the kitchen!)

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Below, the kitchen is to the left, and back behind that wall where our wedding photo is, is a hallway that has stairs going upstairs to the bonus room, and the laundry room. There is also a mudroom and a desk, and a door to the garage. Out that blindingly bright window is the garage. My next project is that ugly kitchen table. My parents had it when I was a child! The table isn’t in bad shape so I want to paint it, and just find some new chairs I can paint as well and re-upholster maybe. Haven’t found anything I like just get on Craigslist. Also as you can see baby stuff is already taking over!

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Next to the Kitchen is the keeping room area, which could have also been  breakfast nook, but we already have a dining table plus the bar stools so we thought it silly to have a third eating area and opted to make a cozy sitting space instead. That hallway leads to the other two bedrooms and the second bathroom.

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I’m not showing the whole kitchen because well, I didn’t feel like cleaning it up. But there is a big bar that goes across the room and the refrigerator is on the left of the microwave and stove. hallway to mudroom/garage is on the right.

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If you will remember from my move in day post, this will give you an idea of what the kitchen space looks like from the living room area.

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My next set of pictures will be bedrooms/bonus room etc, that one may take a little longer to do because those rooms are what I have saved for last as far as unpacking goes since no one really sees them. Smile

QOTD: When you move, how long does it take you to unpack? Do you prefer an open floor plan or closed off rooms?

On The Move

Hey guys! We are actually down in Biloxi today. The movers are here picking up all of our stuff, although we won’t be moving into the new house until next week. The closing on our old house got pushed back (NOT our doing!) but we still decided to come down and get everything moved on the original date. So, here I am, at the house I lived in since February 2010, for the very last day.

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Not going to lie, I have mixed emotions. On one hand, I have wanted out of this town since the day we moved in, but on the other hand I still have a lot of good memories in this house. Bobby and I designed/built it together, and it was home during some of the most difficult parts of our married life. We dealt with job and family crisis, loneliness, and confusion about where we were supposed to be. But, we made it through, learned a lot of valuable lessons, and I am more than happy to close this chapter and open a new one back in “our town”.

It’s hard to believe we packed up our first home together in Madison, MS nearly four years ago, and now we are coming back! That move was quite stressful because we ended up getting ripped off by the moving company (another lesson learned, always get a guaranteed price!) and our closing had been moved back twice on that house before we finally got to move in. I was living with my parents while Bobby lived with some friends in our new town as we waited for our home to be complete.

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Ooohhh the boxes. Not looking forward to that again! We eventually got settled in, and truly enjoyed a lot of the aspects of our home and neighborhood.

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In the end, the area wasn’t a great fit for us and we longed to be back in Madison. We were very thankful to have a beautiful home, but I learned a very valuable lesson during our time in Biloxi: You can’t make up for lack of friends and relationships or a good church home just because you really love your house. The newness will fade and you will still feel very lonely.

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Our years in that house may have been very trying, but I believe it taught us the importance of relationships, being plugged into a great church, and that “things”, while nice, won’t keep you happy for long. We have already started to invest ourselves in our church and community, and cannot wait to raise baby M here! Now, we are praying that the closing goes through on the 31st, then I think it will feel more real and official once it is all done, and then I will share more about our new home and some other things going on with us! I just don’t want to jinx anything until papers are actually signed. Smile

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I will be back this afternoon, but doubt I will have time to blog, so just hang with me as things may be a bit sporadic as we go through this process.

QOTD: Do you have bittersweet feelings when you move out of a house? How important is the area in which you live in comparison to the home itself?

My Home is Organized Chaos

 

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Piles of paper, magazines, clothes and fitness gear are nearly everywhere. Sometimes I can’t find what I’m looking for, but typically I know where most needed items live.

Husband’s missing belt?

Last I saw it, on the dresser.

Flashlight? No, the backup flashlight. The good one’s broken.

On top of the roll top desk.

Cable bill?

On top of the microwave, next to our theater tickets.

My husband calls me regularly questions like these.(Today he asked where the Windex is kept.) You see, he works from home, which means we have piles of stuff everywhere in our 189-year old farmhouse in upstate New York. Plus, he’s taken over the kitchen and dining room tables as his workspace.

Like I said, piles everywhere.

As a result, I’ve needed to hone my organizational skills. I added shelving and bins to our spare room and his office, I reworked the pantry and laundry room. I introduced underbed bins to make up for the lack of closet space. (We have one closet for 3 bedrooms. And like 6 pegs, thanks 1824 ancestors.)

In the process, I also learned what types of messes I can handle, and more importantly, what I can’t handle.

Using all available dining room chairs as auxiliary tables- for printers, filing systems and laptops? No problem.

Playing an ongoing game of kitchen sink Jenga? Absolutely! I’m all about moving dirty dishes around the sink so I can use the faucet…without washing the dishes.

But ask me to clear off the sofa before I can sit on it and its all over.

Here are a few more tips to save your sanity.

Keep a basket near the bottom and top of the stairs. Toss items in rather than walking them upstairs each time or leaving them on the step (a huge pet peeve of mine and unsafe to boot.) When you DO head up, take the basket with you. When you head back down, don’t forget the upstairs basket

Have specific tasks assigned to each day. Clean off the counters on Sunday, scrub the toilets on Saturday, clean the stove on Tuesday. It’s not as overwhelming if the dreaded tasks are already part of your daily routine. They’re less likely to back up and take over.

Sift through drawers while watching television or on the phone. I often empty desk and kitchen drawers and wade through the contents while catching up on my favorite DVRed show or chatting with my mom. You’d be surprised what builds up when you’re not looking. I also use this tactic on the pantry, where I tend to stockpile canned foods.

Put small trash cans in every room. You’re less likely to leave trash lying around if you have a place to immediately toss it. This goes double for paper trash. Junk mail in our house goes directly into the recycling bin.

Stop by my blog and say hello! http://scootadoot.com/about/meet-vic/

QOTD: What’s your favorite not-traditional tip for clearing clutter and organizing your home?

Family Time

 

Sometimes it’s just nice to go home by myself (with the pups) and see my mom and dad. I had somewhere to be in my parents hometown yesterday, so me and the girls drove in for one night. Good for my mental health sometimes. I got to hang out with my parental unit, and they took me to dinner at Longhorns for a good steak. Yum! This steak had white cheddar and bacon on it. Holy yum! It was amazing. (We had a coupon, too which always makes food taste better!)

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I look just like her don’t I?

After dinner we did my favorite thing to do in my hometown, get snowballs! I got wedding cake cream. My favorite.

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My dad always gets ice cream cream. Oh, and we always fight over who is going to ride shotgun. Like…running through the parking lot to be the first one at the car. Mature adults what?

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We sat outside and enjoyed our desserts then headed home for a night of vegging out (and blogging for me!) Today I am going for a run in my parents neighborhood and then mom and I are going shopping before I head back home to enjoy the weekend with Bobby. Sometimes it’s just nice to go home, even if just for 24 hours.

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Also, a huge thanks to the folks at Cascadian Farm. They sent me an awesome care package in the mail for being one of their blogger friends, I may or may not have already opened some of these boxes…So so yummy! My favorite is the chocolate chip granola bars. If you haven’t tried these, run…don’t walk to your store and get some!

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QOTD: Thoughts on going “home?” Anyone else feel the way i do? Where is home for you?

Back Home

 

I love going back to my hometown to visit my family. It’s always like I never left, and and hanging out with my parents is always a treat. I came to get the dogs groomed and bring them for a visit to grandma and grandpa’s house (my parents, of course).

I dropped my babies off at Petsmart and met my mom for some shopping. We also hit up the brand new Steak N Shake in town. I will admit, I have never been to one of these bad boys, and wow was it good!

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I haven’t had a milkshake…or a cheeseburger for that matter…in months! So I happily dug in to this heath bar shake and my mom and I split a burger and fries. It was just one of those days where calories just didn’t matter. Everyone needs to splurge sometimes!

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We were pleasantly surprised and will have to be back when we are wanting to splurge!

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It was raining while we were eating, but finally let up so we could go for a run. But first, we had to pick up the babies from Petsmart.

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Look how precious these bows are!

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Look how fun, mom and daughter running skirt duo.

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We ended up running five miles, which went by quickly with good conversation. I can’t wait until we run the Disney Princess Half together! Today I am headed back to Mississippi but it was great to see my family for a short visit.

QOTD: Do you run with anyone in your family or are you on your own?

Finally Home

 

Hi! It’s raining here, so no running today (not that my knee is cooperating anyway, ggrr…) Anyway, I made it home about 10:00 last night, and I am still tired this morning. luckily I have the rest of the weekend to catch up on sleep and unpacking etc.

Yesterday morning we had breakfast and left early and drove about 1.5 hours to Louisiana.

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Skirted up in: Midnight RS, Sparkle hearts strappy tank, pink swift sox, and pink half zip

We DID get lost ones, because there was a lot of construction/detour stuff, but we made it to my next appointment.

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Dis-assembling and re-assembling the rolling rack 13 times got really old, but I think I have it down to a science now!

After that, we drove 3.5 hours to Lafayette for my next appointment, and then we met Karen for lunch at McAlisters! (duh, where ELSE would we eat?)

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The my mom and I drove back to my parents house…right through baton Rouge Friday afternoon 5:00 traffic. Holy moly. We sat at a standstill inching forward for 45 minutes. It took us FOREVER to get back. After being in the car since 7 am, and knowing after I let my parents I still had over an hour to drive I was getting unhappy. 3 hours later, we made it to my parents and I got to see my NOLA BEAR! She is getting HIUGE, but still just as spastic. SO spastic in fact, it is near impossible to get a picture of her being STILL!

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wwweeeee I go round and round

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sit? sit? what does that mean? I don’t kknnnooowwww

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I am a lap dog yes I am!

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I like to pounce on things like a cat, and can now jump in the chair all by myself!

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I love you and I don’t even know you!!!!

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Ok I will be still for ONE picture and one picture only…ccchheeessseee!

WHEW! She wears me out. I drove home after dropping my mom off and it was so good to see hubby and my pups! Also so nice to sleep in my own bed. Road trips are fun, but home is better.

Here is a little run down of my trip.

Stores visited: 13

Miles driven: over 1,900

Hours driven: 1 day 12 hours (my mom only drove about 3 hours!)

Number of 1 way streets I went the wrong way up: 1

Number of workouts: 1

Amount of $ spend on tolls: around $23

Number of hotels stayed in: 3

fast food eaten: too much

times we got lost: 1

here is an idea of the route we took leaving from Mississippi…yeah. A giant circle.

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Thanks so much for following in my travels! I will now be back to regular blogging…temporarily…because….

I AM GOING TO ROCK N ROLL PROVIDENCE! That’s right folks, I will be working the Running Skirts booth at the expo! I am so excited! So, who is going to be there? hhmmm?

QOTD: Do you like road trips? what was your most fun one?

Fitfluential Ambassador

 

Hiya! I am so excited to share with you why I think I should be considered for Fitfluentials ambassador program for 2011! When I first heard about this my mind started racing, thinking of all the things I wanted to share about my passion for fitness, health, and representing the SOUTH! (Which just happens to be the best place to live, in case you didn’t know…) First things first….

I currently live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, about an hour or so from New Orleans. I grew up in Louisiana outside of New Orleans, and my family still lives there, so I am in town all the time. I love the south and hope I never have to leave it. We have the most hospitable people here (as well as the most humid summers, which I could do without….and the hurricanes….but you have to take the bad with the good, right?)

I currently work from home as a travel agent, and blogger which I LOVE doing. It allows me to be home with my puppy dogs, and gives me the flexibility to workout pretty much whenever I want, and, AND, flexibility to be your ambassador! This is where my butt is parked for a good portion of the day:

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note the sweet puppy who loves having mommy at home!

As I said before, we live on the Mississippi gulf coast, just a quick 15 minute drive to the beach!

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But I also love being close to New Orleans. There are a lot of great races there.

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Of course, my family is there, too.

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We also got married in New Orleans, and had a Jazz band at our wedding, and of course danced in the traditional New Orleans second line dance!

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So we run around the neighborhood, and play volleyball and throw the Frisbee in the park that is right in our front yard! Having a park in our front yard is what ultimately drew us to building on this particular lot.

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Yes that is our house in the background!

We also have enjoyed running at the beach. People watching makes running more fun!

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It’s no secret I love to run and race even though it gets to a million degrees here in the summer which makes running more…difficult.

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If Fitfluential were to have an event around here, there would be so many options of places to go, things to see, I just can’t name them all!

On the gulf coast, there are condos on the beach to stay in, and plenty of casinos with banquet halls and conference rooms. There are also concert halls at the casinos, great bands, singers, and comedians come here all the time! (Trust me, they are on EVERY billboard!)

In New Orleans, what can I say? Pick any beautiful French quarter hotel and there is space for events! SO much to sightsee and do, places to eat, history to learn about. Not to mention New Orleans is extremely walkable, which is a nice touch for a gathering of people. The music and food is not to be missed! (Did you not see the picture of me with the beignets from Café du Monde earlier?!) If you don’t know what a beignet is, don’t worry about it. It’s ok. I will try not to be insulted.

So why do I even care about all of this? Because I LOVE helping people. I love to inspire, to teach, to coach. (Hence why I used to be a teacher and a coach!) I love helping people get started with a running program. I love getting e-mails form people asking how to get started, telling me I am an inspiration. I was honored in February to be named the New Orleans Times Picayune Fit magazine role model. The tag line they use is “if she can do it, so can you!” and I honestly BELIEVE that. Never did I think I would run marathons, blog everyday, or be an inspiration to ANYONE! I was so honored to be on the cover of the magazine and have an article inside.

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I really don’t get nervous public speaking, I am so passionate about sharing the knowledge I have that it just overtakes any fear. It is a true joy to see others succeed, and know that you were a small part of it. The awesome readers I have is what keeps me blogging. the support and encouragement I have received makes me just want to pay it forward to anyone who will listen!

Check out this video I made of why I should be a FitFluential Ambassador!

and check out this slideshow I made! I’m pretty proud of it.

Bittersweet

 

Gloomy hump day in south Louisiana! At least its warm. Sorry northerners, I don’t mean to gloat. Today is a bittersweet day for me, as it is my last full day with my parents before moving to my new house with my husband. I am one of those extremely sentimental people who thinks they are Peter Pan and will never grow up. I had a great childhood and even though I have done the leaving home thing once already, it feels like I am having to do it all over again. I never thought at age 25, married for four years, I would have such a great time living at home again I would be sad to go.

It has been nice getting to see my family everyday, but sad to only see my husband on the weekends. It’s been nice to not have to cook every night, but sad to not have my own kitchen or house. I get along great with my family and am so thankful they have allowed me to live here. I have had my moments where I couldn’t WAIT to get out, but when it comes down to it, I am really going to miss it. You would think I was 18 all over again going away to college! I try not to think about it because it just makes me more sad. I love my family and the house I grew up in.

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There are, however, a couple of things that are exciting and fun about this new change in my life. Things are about to be a LOT different. I am about to be in a new town where I know no one or where anything is, and I will have a new house to unpack and settle into.

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(they finally painted the railings white! I was starting to wonder…)

It will be fun, exciting, scary, overwhelming, and a big adventure. I never thought we would move, but then again I am not in charge. You know what happens when you try and make your own plans…God laughs. I am a pretty planned out person, so this shaking up of everything I know has been difficult, but I am excited for a new chapter of my life. I am trying to stay focused and not let any anxiety get to me….and eat lots of king cake.

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A huge part of health to me is mental health, so I am going to try to achieve a good balance so I don’t go crazy the next couple of weeks! A part of that will be a couple of guest posts coming up this weekend! (moving plus not knowing which day your internet will be hooked up has a role in this. Don’t worry I will be back, with tons of pictures!)

Ok, off to run, then pack. I really mean it this time, I HAVE to pack!!

QOTD: Are you sentimental like me? Do you get along with your family?

***Have you entered my giveaway yet?

***Please nominate me for this on Women’s Health!