10/24: Friday’s Favorite Things

Hello and Happy Friday!

Any fun plans for the weekend? I am planning to keep it pretty low key since I want to spend a lot of time studying. I would also really like to dedicate a little time to Pinterest. I have an account set up, but up until now I have not used it very much. However, I am always seeing thing I want to “pin” and it looks like this is a place where I could get swept up for hours once I start. Danger lurks ahead…

Scott and I also have plans for a date night of some sort on Saturday, but with no set agenda. We are trying to make this a weekly habit. Some possible activities include Gone Girl at the movies, a Straight No Chaser oncert, or a hike at Mount Bonnell which overlooks Lake Austin. We shall see.

Moving along to business as usual this Friday! Below is a random collection of a few things that made me smile this past week. As always, I invite YOU to share something that has contributed to making your days a little brighter in the comments section below.

10/24: Friday’s Favorite Things

  • Dolce Vita & My Paparazzi Encounter

I am very, very cautious about getting my hair done. Several bad hair cuts over the years have rendered me extremely paranoid. I find a good hair dresser and we mate for life. Well, not really, but you get the general idea. I do not hop around…finding a deal on “Groupon” or playing the field does not work for this girl.

I finally figured I had to cave and find a new hairdresser since I have been living in Austin since July now! I read about Dolce Vita Hair Salon, and made an appointment for a cut and color since it got great ratings and reviews online. I also loved that they carried organic lines of hair products which can be very hard to find.

I had an appointment with Cris, and she made me feel like a movie star! My hair was in desperate need of some TLC and had not been colored in forever. It had taken a beating this summer by the hot, Austin sun.

My Paparazzi (aka Scott) snapped this picture of me as I was walking in the door of our apartment, and I did indeed ham it up.


We actually just really enjoy taking silly pictures of each other. We delete the really bad ones of course, but they make my smile. :-)

We go outside…

Hair Cut Style

We take nice couple selfies too…

Couple Selfie

  • Overnight Oats

As I was typing up this post this morning, I started to add some strawberries and walnuts to my overnight oats, and it brought a smile to my face. No recipe concoction is as easy or healthy for breakfast in my books. I am always trying new variations on find on blogs or recipe websites.

Today’s bowl features a variation on Julie’s recipe which I have been making for years. It also does not include protein powder for those who do not care for the taste/texture. The protein comes from a combination of the oats and Greek yogurt.

Overnight Oats

  • Ikea Couch

Our new couch has made all the difference in our living room! It arrived on Sunday night and Scott put it together for us.

Ikea Couch

I love it!

It is the Tidafors model in the hensta gray fabric, and it really brightens up our apartment.

Ikea Couch

  • KC Stelter on Instagram

I follow Kasey on Instagram, and I am always blown away by his posts. He plays Wheelchair Basketball and his hashtag is #AdaptedFintess. He works out like a champion. He shares his life, workouts, and positive spirt on a regular basis. I find him to be truly inspiring. He does meal prep, works out regularly and shares positive affirmations. I love his page, and it truly makes me thankful to see people like this spreading their gratitude on social media.

Instagram IMG_3896 IMG_3897

  • Coco Channel Quote

Coco Channel Quote


I saw this quote earlier this week, and I thought it was so lovely. I am a huge collector of quotes, and this one particularly resonated with me.

  • Family Visits

I am so excited that my mother and sister will be coming down to visit Austin in February! It is a while away, and I will see them in December for the holidays. However, I am really looking forward to having them come down to Austin to see us so soon! It will be fun to show them around where I am living now.

Family Pic


Enjoy your weekend! Thanks to Heather, Katie, and Clare for getting this party started.

Question of the Day: What is your favorite thing this week? Are you loyal to your hair dresser? Pinterest – yay or no? Too many questions?? :-)

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The Bikini Training Page

Hello! Hope you are doing well on this lovely Thursday. I was up early this morning to do some writing, and now the Bikini Training drop down page is published!

The Bikini Experiment

I was all set to film the last installment of the Kitchen Essential Video Series when we ran into some i-Pad issues yesterday. I was a little disappointed, but I plan on filming it within the next week.

I decided to take the time and finish working on the Bikini Training Page instead! I had a ton of notes on thoughts I have wanted to share with you. I hope to be providing more fitness-related content in the future by including highlights of my workouts as well as sharing workouts you could do on your own either at the gym, in your home, or when traveling.

However, before that comes your way I thought it would make sense to explain a little more of my philosophy, what I believe in terms of training, and discovering your personal fitness identity.

Check out the new page either by going to the menu at the top of the page or clicking here.

I am linking up with Amanda today to share my thoughts!

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I hope you have a moment to check it out. Enjoy your day!

Bikini Training





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WIAW #15: My Anti-Aging Weapon

Hello, hello!

I was so excited to see my interview go live today on Daily Fitness Interview.

Daily Fitness Interview

There were a lot of fun questions to answer, and I enjoyed the Q&A witth the founder Dustin Sanchez. You can check it out here.

If are new to reading the blog then welcome. :-) I have been participating in Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday as a way to showcase a regular day of eating for me. It is in no way edited or altered from my normal routine. I hope to inspire you with a few of my healthy creations too. Since I am sharing my eats, I do attempt to make the food look a little prettier than usual. Perhaps I will use a plate or nice dish rather than just standing up in my kitchen. Something crazy like that…so onto the food!

What I Ate Wednesday

Time for a full day of eating with WIAW!

What I Ate Wednesday Tuesday

If you follow me on Instagram, I shared that I followed Brittany’s recipe the other day for Protein Pumpkin Oatmeal with Egg Whites. I had been looking for a creation like this ever since I posted a breakfast of oatmeal a few weeks back, and a few of you lovely readers suggested I add egg whites to get more protein in my breakfast.

I was out of pumpkin so I decided to make a variation of her oatmeal creation:

  • Vanilla Oats with Egg Whites

I heated a half a cup of coconut milk and a half a cup of water on the stove along with a half cup of oats. I cooked it for 5 minutes and then added a teaspoon of cinnamon and ½ a teaspoon of vanilla extract. I then included a ¼ cup of egg whites and stirred vigorously for two minutes.

The egg whites make the oatmeal a little fluffier, but the texture is still the similar. I added raw pecans, a packet of Stevia and a little MCT oil to top off the oatmeal. Stevia is my go-to sugar replacement. It is completely natural and I have come to really like it. It does have a little bit of a bitter aftertaste at first, but I think you start to adjust to it. It is a great way to lower your sugar intake.


After breakfast I spent quite a bit of time editing my pictures and going through all of the information I received from the R3 Summit over the weekend. I went through all of my notes and wrote my post. I had a great time at the conference, and it was so fun to share the highlights on the blog.


There were some emails and such mixed in there too. I realized I had better make lunch before the afternoon completely got away from me…

I am a big fan of Applegate Farms and was very happy to see them in attendance at the R3 Summit. I cooked up their Grass-Fed hot dogs for lunch and enjoyed them with mixed veggies and a wedge of avocado. Even though we are deep into fall, the temperatures are still high in Austin, and I am still enjoying iced tea as a nice cold beverage that has more taste than just water alone.


After lunch I put together a workout for a client who would be arriving to work out at the garage gym.


I also had to clean the gym and organize some equipment so this took up quite a bit of the afternoon.


I stopped home to grab a quick snack, and had a few raspberries:


Plus a Quest Bar.

Quest Bar

Dinner was another staple of mine: Grilled Chicken, Broccoli and leftover butternut squash. I had a glass of wine because well, why not. And then I concluded the day with a piece of dark chocolate.


I also realized that I have never shared my little “anti-aging” cocktail with you before since I craft it later at night right and I forget about snapping pictures. I mix Collagen Protein from Vital Proteins (this is a staple in my protein shakes) with Natural Calm. Natural calm is magnesium which has been shown to aid in sleep. Magnesium is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies so I hedge my bets with this little concoction which is part of my nightly ritual.

That is all folks!

I guess that does it for this edition of WIAW! I am plan to head to the gym, study for my nutrition certification, and work on some writing. In no particular order. Have a great Wednesday!Nightly Ritual

Question of the Day: Do you have a nighty ritual? I have my “cocktail” and then read for a little bit before shutting down.

If you liked this WIAW post, head over to Peas & Crayons to check out plenty others, or even link your own!

You can always find my latest What I ate Wednesday posts by searching selecting “WIAW” in the category drop down menus.

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R3 Prevention Summit

The Ultimate Health  & Wellness Weekend

R3 Prevention Summit

Refresh. Revive. Reinvent.

Hello! As promised a review of the R3 Prevention Summit is here. I was fortunate enough to attend this health and wellness conference through the generosity of Austin Fit Magazine. I was awarded tickets to enjoy the event at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Austin this past weekend. It was a weekend full of great health, fitness and wellness resources.

This is only the 2nd conference I have attended, and I have some advice for you if you are ever planning to attend any in the future. Do not make yourself crazy trying to get to every event, and see everything. The nature of these events is that there are multiple speakers, workshops and demonstrations happening simultaneously. Inevitably there will be two things you want to attend at the same time and you have to choose. There is a little bit of an art to enjoying a conference, and I am only scratching the surface. I chose a mix of panel discussions, fitness classes, cooking demos and happiness workshops to attend, and it worked out very well.

My other advice is to bring a snack, a pad/pen for notes and to wear comfortable shoes.

R3 Prevention Summit

The Set Up

I loved the setup of the conference since it was on the rooftop of the performing arts center and all the workshops and discussions were close by. Sometimes you can get lost trying to get to one end of a hotel or conference center, but this was very well situated. It also helped that it was a gorgeous Saturday. This was the mainstage set up for the panel discussions.

R3 Prevention Summit

  • A Conversation with Andie MacDowell


Find the best “you” you can be…

I was a little star struck at the idea of seeing Andie MacDowell in person. I have followed her career since I saw her in movies years ago. She is probably best well known for being the tolerant reporter/love interest to Bill Murray in Groundhog Dog. I always thought she was seriously beautiful and growing up I would pick up magazines where she was giving beauty tips or advice.

Andie talked a bit about her history as a model and the years she spent starving herself on grapefruit and eggs to stay as skinny as possible until she could not do it anymore. Who can be happy starving? Since putting her foot down and choosing to be a healthy weight she says she started to work more than ever? Her advice was to stay active through the things you enjoy doing and to fuel yourself with the best food possible.

Andie MacDowell

This star’s recipe for happiness was to be your own best parents and discover what makes you happy. It is not always getting what we want and that is hard to remember. She also reminded the audience that “stuff” does not make us happy and she is currently trying to get rid of hers! Instead of a big house that a movie star/model could afford she lives in a smaller cabin style home and dedicates a lot of her efforts towards farm land preservation. She also keeps busy working with her new show on The Hallmark Channel – Cedar Cove.

  • Conscious Breathing & Guided Meditation with Mallika Chopra

Mallika Chopra

I am not very good at meditating. Scott and I have gone through periods where we tried to do it together and even though I relaxed I never truly “meditated.” For me, if the anxiety and random train of thoughts stop I consider it to be a successful meditation. I struggle even with the corpse pose in yoga. For real.

So I was excited to see what I could learn from Mallika Chopra who is the daughter of the famous Deepak Chopra. I loved her tip for moments of anxiety and I am going to try to incorporate it into my daily living.

In moments of panic or anxiety we should practice the “Stop” technique:

  • Stop.
  • Take Three Breaths.
  • Observe.
  • Proceed.

It will help to gain contract over situations and our reactions. In moments of stress it can be a real lifesaver.

Sometimes we don’t even know what we want…

In the 2nd workshop I attended later in the day she took us through a guided meditation which was really neat to do as a group. She explained that there are no rules in medittaion and we focused on our breathing for 5 minutes. That 5 minutes can make a huge difference in your whole body.

  • AHA Moments

Some thoughts on those “AHA Moments” when it all clicks and comes together.

This was another panel discussion that included Dr. Gary Kaplan and Dr. Holly Phillips who went into a more in-depth discussion on inflammation, and how it is an underlying cause in many of the health issues we face such as headaches and stomach issues.

R3 Prevention Summit

Sleep is a huge problem behind what Dr. Phillip’s referred to as the “exhaustion” epidemic. The women she sees in her practice do not get enough sleep and have expressed they feel tired every day. This leads to losing enjoyment, productivity and that feeling that can creep in of existing and not really living.

Their recommendations for feeling better were straightforward:

  • Diet: Nothing processed or from a box. No bleached white flour products
  • Sleep: Strive for the same bedtime and wake up time every day and sleep in a dark room.
  • Exercise: 30 minutes of activity three times a week.

I liked how they made it really simple and actionable. I think those are all good tips for everyone.

  • Vendors

I decided it was time to wonder around to check out some of the vendors and get a snack. I enjoyed two Grass-fed hot dogs courtesy of Applegate and a mini Peanut Chocolate Chip Larabar. I also drank tons of the iced tea provided by Salada. It was an herbal mix and very refreshing.


I also went out of my comfort zone and got a henna tattoo. I had never thought of getting one, but figured it would be fun. It took 5 minutes at most and it is holding up really well!

Henna Tattoo

There was a huge line to get one and everyone was showing their body art under the hashtag “R3 Summit” on Instagram. Very cool stuff.

  • Farm to Table Cooking Demo

There was a great little kitchen set up near all of the food vendors where they did various food demonstrations throughout the day. I chose to attend the Farm to Table Cooking Demo with Chef Sonya Cote.

Cooking Demo

Sonya truly believes in sourcing produce and meats from local farms and helps run two Austin restaurants I am dying to check out soon – Eden East and the Hillside Pharmacy.

After her demo they served her grilled shrimp on a lettuce wrap to the audience which was delicious.

Cooking Demo

  • Love Your Lower Body

Getting out of balance will help you find balance…

After my snack and catching up on a few emails via my phone I decided on a whim to check out Sadie Lincoln’s Barre3 demonstration.

I was not really dressed for it but I decided that if that were any moves that did not work I just would skip them. I enjoyed the quick demo which included a background on Sadie and how she started Barre3. As a working fitness professional for many years, she and her husband took a mortgage out on their house so she could start her own studio. She is thriving and recently published the book “Love Your Lower Body.”

I introduced myself quickly after the class and took this quick pic of Sadie. She was absolutely lovely and you could tell everyone taking the class really connected with her.


  • Eat Clean

Health is dynamic, not static.

The clean eating panel focused a lot on digestive issues and understanding what eating clean truly means. The things we do every day make the most impact on our health. If we are getting take out for dinner every night it is going to become a problem.

There was a real focus on the reality of needing to live a lifestyle of homemade meals, but how difficult it can be in today’s society. Even if we focus on farmer’s markets and shopping organic we have find time in our day to prepare food.

Sonya Cote, the chef, was on this panel and said that you need to commit large portions of your time to shopping for and preparing food to avoid needing processed meals and snacks.

Even as a “healthy” person I still eat processed foods. Almond milk, nut butter, and yogurt are a few things that come to mind that I eat that are pre-packaged for me. In this instance, I think we just continually gain more knowledge, read the labels and do our best to make smart choices when eating home or out at restaurants and such.

  • Shake Your Supplements

This panel focused on a lot of what I currently believe in terms of supplementing our diets. I take supplements, but my regime is primarily through guess work. I have not gotten around to have my blood panels done so sometimes I have no clue if I need some of the vitamins I am taking.

Vitamins are truly personalized and there is no true way to figure it out without the scientific data. I mentally reminded myself about the blood test that is a to-do item on my health checklist after finishing to hearing the speakers discuss it in depth.

  • Passion 10x

The Daily Zen Zone…

This workshop was the perfect way to end the day. It was led by Anne Alexander who is the Senior Vice President and Editorial Direction of Prevention Magazine. She discussed an activity which she has found very helpful in finding her daily Zen zone. She made a pie chart and broke down her day and the items she needs to get done on any particular day.

Pie Chart

She has an amazing job that requires quite a large percentage of the pie, but she has found small ways to discover her own Zen.

When she wakes up she has stopped grabbing her phone to check email and avoids LED screens when she wakes up and right before bedtime. She takes 10 minutes to sit, think and enjoy her coffee every morning. This lead to starting to meditate. She also started a support group for women at Prevention where they come together every 3 weeks or so to discuss different helpful lifestyle habits.

If Anne does not look at her email first thing every morning than I can too! She recommended this habit can be a great gateway to meditation, and I am hoping it might work well for me.

  • The Swag

I left with an absolutely amazing bag of treats. There were magazines, snacks, coupons. You name it. It was a very generous goodie bag.

Though I was not compensated to write this post I received my ticket to the conference for free as well as the bag of gifts from the vendors who attended.


Thank you Prevention Magazine and Austin Fit for an amazing day! It was a pleasure to attend the conference.

Question of the Day: Have you ever been to a conference?

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10/17: Friday’s Favorite Things

Hello and Happy Friday to you! Excited for the weekend? Can I get a TGIF?

Keep Calm I'm the Birthday Girl

Today is my birthday! It crept up a little bit on me this year, because I wanted to keep it a relatively low key day. Scott and I are going to venture out this morning to Picnik in Austin which is an awesome outdoor Paleo-Cafe. They serve all kinds of butter coffee, gluten-free baked goods as well as healthy smoothies and gourmet local food. It is a pretty amazing place that is unique to our area. Here is a picture from when we went several months ago and enjoyed lunch.

Picnik in Austin

We are looking forward to going back today! I plan to go to a yoga class and tonight is the first session of the conference I am attending through Prevention Magazine. We will be heading out on the town for a birthday celebration dinner tomorrow night.

So let us get down to business and get started with this week’s edition of Friday’s Favorite Things! As always I would love to have you share something that is bringing a smile to your face in the comments section below.

10/17 Friday’s Favorite Things

  • My Birthday

I think it is really important to celebrate your birthday however makes you happy. It should be a little special, and out of the ordinary. Make it unique to you, and the way that you love to experience life. Sometimes my expectations get out of control because I feel everything should be executed perfectly on this one day. We all know nothing ever truly goes according to plan!

I am just looking forward to having a nice day hanging out with Scott, and doing a few of the things that I love to do. I am lucky it is a gorgeous day in Austin so that makes me happy too.

It is touching I have received so many lovely birthday cards this week. I happen to love greeting cards, and I especially love this Wonder Woman card my mom somehow found to send me. Wonder Woman holds a nostalgic place in my heart.

Birthday Cards

Last night when I was shopping at Trader Joe’s…

Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer

The checker gifted me these lovey flowers.

Birthday Flowers

He felt bad that I mentioned a few items in my last shopping trip went bad extremely quickly. He not only gave me replacement items, but he placed a flower bouquet with my order. He did not know it was my birthday, but I consider them birthday flowers.

  • Hot Yoga Towel Mat

I go to yoga about twice a week. Sometimes the classes are hot and sometimes they are just very warm. Either way, I have totally been in need of one of the cool hot yoga towel covers that I have seen other class attendees using. My sister sent me this fabulous one from Yoga Design Lab, and it is perfect.

Hot Yoga Towel

I love the hot pink color, and I cannot wait to use it. This company is also eco-friendly and the fabric is free of harsh dyes and chemicals.

Having your own accessories and such makes yoga feel much more personal. Thanks for the nice b-day gift, Les!

  • Gray Nail Polish

I am a complete devotee to nail polish, and enjoy the process of switching up the colors. I felt a little sad retiring my coral and pink shades, but it was time to proceed with the seasonal change. It is still hot in Austin so I am celebrating fall by mostly eating pumpkin and wearing darker nail polish.

I am currently crushing on this gray color from Zoya called Normani. Who gets to name all the new nail polish colors? That would be such a fun job. I have mentioned Zoya on the blog before because I am a huge fan of their products. They are free of unwanted chemicals and hard ingredients, but still do a great job. I highly recommend them if you are a nail polish addict like me.

  • Amazon Prime

No matter how many times I seem to write a list for the grocery store we always seem to run out of that thing. You know, the one thing that you must have on hand like paper towels or tissues. After coming home from the food store the other night I realized we were indeed on our last roll of paper towels.

I decided to check to see if I could somehow order them online, and there they were on Amazon. The price was also much cheaper than I normally pay. My model was feeling shy, but here is the HUGE box that showed up on our doorstep.

Amazon Delivery

I also threw brown rice in my order for good measure.

Amazon Package

We might be eating rice for a while here. Thank goodness for my rice cooker

  • Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate is a staple in our apartment, and I typically have a piece after lunch and dinner. Or sometimes in the afternoon with coffee. You get the gist…it is an everyday thing. Any habit that you have every day ends up being some sort of cost. Scott and I typically buy Endangered Species or Lindt Chocolate brands because we love them. They are also a reasonable price point.

Well, this week we decided to branch out. Divine Chocolate was on sale at Whole Foods, and the other two were finds from Trader Joe’s.

Dark Chocolate

The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar is seriously amazing. It is also very inepensive at approximately $1.50 per package. Plus there are two full bars in each package. Run out to buy it for yourself. You will not regret it! :-)

Hip hip hooray it is finally Friday! Thanks to Heather, Katie, Clare and Cynthia for getting this party started.

Question of the Day: What is one thing that brightened your week?

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