Thursday, March 21, 2013

instagram spotlight: chelssmariee.

Chelsea is my absolute favorite person to follow on Instragram.  To be honest, I don’t recall how I stumbled upon her profile but I’m so thankful I did!  Not only is she a huge inspiration/motivation to me, we have a ton in common!  I asked if she would be willing to participate in a blog feature and she was kind enough to answer some questions that I thought some of her followers and mine might enjoy (and learn from!) Something tells me you will become a follower too after reading this post J Enjoy getting to know my Instagram (username: chelssmariee) friend, Chelsea!

1.       Can you remember a moment when you decided to focus more on fitness and clean eating?  Was it a gradual progression or something specific that motivated you?
          *This is not a fun question to answer, but my choice to change happened from being bullied on social media. It was not directly targeted towards me, but there were comments on a photo directed toward me that said “she would be pretty if she lost some weight” “that girl would be hot if she wasn’t so fat”. This was right around my 21st birthday (I’m 23 now) and it devastated me. I started on my journey and never looked back.
2.       What is your favorite gym routine?
          *Gosh. Everything?! Haha I would definitely have to say leg day is my favorite J my legs/glutes are the easiest muscle group for me to build and I love seeing progress.
3.       How often do you work out? 
          *It depends on how busy I am with work. 5-6 days a week at a minimum unless something comes up. Sometimes twice a day. The gym has become my escape/stress reliever so I really do like to go whenever I have the chance.

4.       Favorite places to shop?
          *I’m a bargain shopper! I love places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross. Oh, and Nordstrom Rack or Last chance J
5.       Favorite Starbucks beverage?
          *If I’m running to Starbucks I usually stick with coffee, black. (Its an acquired taste). But if I want a treat I’ll order a skinny soy vanilla latte, so amazing.

6.       Favorite drugstore cosmetic product?
          *MASCARA! I think I’ve tried every mascara brand/type known to man. That and foundation because I can’t seem to justify shelling out for high end foundation when drugstore works just as well.
7.       Favorite high end cosmetics?
          *This is emotional for me (okay not really but I haven’t been cosmetics shopping in a while so I feel like I’m missing out). I will definitely have to say MAC Cosmetics. I’m in love with everything they stock and their range of colors is incredible. I collect their mineralize skinfinishes. A close second would have to be NARS blushes. My best friend Macie could attest to that one. They’re incredible.

8.       Favorite meals/snacks/bars/protein powders/supplements?
          *I have an obsession with brussel sprouts. And any kind of fish.
*My favorite protein bars at the moment are QUEST and Larabars. They are both gluten free (I’m very sensitive to gluten) and they taste amazing. I love the range of flavors that Quest has and I like that Larabars consist of like 5 ingredients are less. Natural food is incredible.
*I swear by BCAA’s and preworkout supplements. They get me through the day. Currently loving Aminolast BCAA’s and Swole Sports Nutrition preworkout.

9.       Who are your inspirations?
          *My biggest inspiration is my mom, for many reasons. She’s been the strongest influence in my life. She’s an amazing mom, wife, and friend. She has let me make my own decisions in life and encouraged me every step of the way. If I could be half the mother she is, I’ll be satisfied. She’s also in extremely good shape and most often my workout partner!!
10.   What motivates you today?
          *I’m very self motivated now. My fitness journey used to be about looking good for others or positive attention, but now I’m more focused on beating personal goals.
          *I would also have to say the people I communicate through social media inspire and motivate me daily. Some of the emails I’ve received from complete strangers have touched me in ways I didn’t think possible. All of you girls keep me going!!
11.   Favorite hair products? Styling tools?
          *I use argan oil in my hair. Any brand will do J and I absolutely ADORE my hot tools styling wand. It’s a tapered 1” barrel if anyone is wondering how I curl my hair!

12.   Hobbies outside of the gym?
          *I love spending my down time with my family and friends. And my 2 year old little Italian greyhound mina. I love people watching and shopping and being outside (when the AZ weather permits.)

13.   Favorite websites?
          *GOOGLE (haha, but seriously, google is your best friend)
          *I also love etsy and ebay J
14.   Favorite books?
          *I love reading memoirs. David Sedaris is amazing.
15.   Career goals?
          *I’m currently working for an organization that is partially funded by CPS (child protective services). I work in a behavioral health unit and work with therapists to assist children with behavioral and other disorders.
          *I majored in psychology in college and graduated in 2012. I wanted to go ahead and get my masters in counseling (to become a licensed therapist) but I’m currently working in the field to see if it would be the best fit for me. I’ve also thought about teaching.
          *I’m openly excited about the idea of being a stay at home mom. (Probably have to have a boyfriend for that first J)
16.   Top beauty tips?
          *WASH YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES. The bacteria those things hold (as well as oils from the skin) is terrifying. Clean brushes= clean, clear face.
17.   What has made the biggest impact on your body transformation?
          *Really taking the time to experiment. Everyone’s bodies are different. Things that work for some might not work for others. PATIENCE and CONSISTENCY are key. I’m very impatient so it’s taken a while to get used to that J

18.   Favorite music/bands?
          *I grew up listening to country music and I’ve recently fallen back in love with it again. But if you asked me what I listen to in the gym I would either say upbeat house mixes or some kind of rap/hip hop like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, The weeknd, etc.
19.   Are you a student? If you have graduated, what did you major in? Are you glad you did or wish you had studied anything else?  What is the “dream job/s?”
          *kind of answered this above J
20.   What does a typical day look like for you? Weekends?
          *My schedule is always unknown. I’m in social work and I work with kids so things can be last minute, cancelled, or crisis.
          *Weekends are my time to relax! I like to go to the gym midmorning with my mom and do whatever needs to be done. Usually grocery shopping and then either relaxing or spending time with friends J
21.   Favorite movies/tv shows?
          *I hardly have time for TV! But when I do I like the food network, DIY network, and definitely the Voice. (Blake Shelton AND Adam Levine?? HELLO J)

22.   Favorite alcoholic beverage?
          *Red wine It’s healthy, right? J
23.   Biggest weakness/challenge?
          *SWEETS AND CANDY!
          *Sometimes, time management. I’m a professional procrastinator (yikes!).
24.   Favorite quote?
          “Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first.”
25.   What are you most proud of?
          *My education.
26.   Future aspirations?
          *Helping people! Marriage! Family! Kids J J
27.   Do you ever plan to create a youtube channel, blog, etc?
          *I want to start a blog! But I don’t know where to start. Once I have more free time I’ll start getting down to business J
28.   What are your top tips and tricks for anyone who wants to lose weight, get into shape, and maintain a healthy lifestyle? Did you have any “Ah ha” moments where the light switch went on and you noticed a drastic change because of something you learned along the way or something someone taught you?
          *I’ve learned so much in the last few years! I cannot stress enough how important it is to be patient and consistent. Slow progress might be disappointing at first but my goodness how quickly it adds up!
          *I’ve also learned that a journey like this is never ending. So much of the time I will deprive myself of things in order to get to an ultimate goal that I will binge and backpedal. DON’T DEPRIVE YOURSELF. Feed your mind and your body and your soul adequately and you’ll be amazed with the results.
29.   Favorite vacation spots?
          *Spain, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Mexico, Portugal. I’m lucky to be well traveled J
30.   If you could live anywhere?
          *I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Arizona is my home. But I love the idea of traveling! Spain is my favorite place aside from AZ.
31.   Do you prefer to work out in the morning, afternoon, or evening? 
          *I have most energy in the early afternoon but that doesn’t mean I always get to work out then. Pre workout is a lifesaver!
32.   What do you do if you are lacking energy/motivation and still need to get a workout in?
          *Take pre workout. You almost don’t have a choice. Haha. Or just put gym clothes on! Most often you’ll surprise yourself and get to it!
33.   Guilty pleasure?
          *PEANUT BUTTER. Dark chocolate, sleeping in, wine, makeup shopping.
34.   What does a perfect day look like to you?
          *Not having plans! To have more hours in the day J
          *To be able to workout, have an awesome makeup/hair day, have a celebration of sorts with friends and family (I love other people’s birthdays) and maybe get swept off my feet by someone amazing prince charming type guy. That actually sounds pretty fantastic. I’m a heart on my sleeve, typical, romance-loving girl!

35.   Something you want the readers to know about you?
          *I’m very approachable. Please if anyone is reading this and has questions about my lifestyle or needs help with ANYTHING, email me! I love people and I will do my best to pay it forward.
36.   Favorite animal? Pets?
          *I LOVE OWLS. I don’t know why but they’re fantastic.
          *I have a mini Italian Greyhound/ Chihuahua mix named mina J

Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions, Chelsea!  You are a true inspiration to so many girls out there.  I appreciate your efforts beyond words can express.   

Monday, March 18, 2013

natalie's bridal shower.

My baby sister is getting married!!! Eeeee!!!  I'm so excited/happy for her! Several family members hosted a shower for Natalie this past weekend at my Grandparent's house in San Antonio. Their incredible efforts did not go unnoticed.  Enjoy the pictures!

Natalie/Sissy/Bride-To-Be with her future Mother-In-Law & Grandmother-In Law.  Too cute!

Natalie with two of her besties--love these girls! 

Heidi's house was beautiful as always. 

Mother of the Bride :)

This champagne punch was ridiculously tasty.  

Nat opening her gifts.

Look who crashed the party!?!? Those little sneaks! Three of my favorite men!

My only regret is not getting a more clear picture of the hostesses and the other guests.  My most sincere apologies to anyone not pictured.  I did snag several pictures from around the room during gifts but they were too blurry or the lighting was crummy :( A major thank you and hats off to the hostesses who put this together for Natalie.  The decor, food, drinks, company, gifts--everything! It was absolutely perfection and couldn't have been more special. We love you Natalie and Chris!! Congratulations!!  Cannot wait for your special day! xoxoxo

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

spaghetti squash.

Who would have thought you could make "pasta" out of squash!?!  I made this last night and it was definitely a success!

Spaghetti Squash
Parmesan Cheese
Tomato/Marinara Sauce (or any type of pasta sauce/olive oil, etc)
Spices of your choice (we used a little garlic salt, oregano, and basil)

Preheat your oven to 375

Cut the spaghetti squash in half (which is deceptively hard!)

 Scoop out the seeds and the “pumpkin-like-goo” from the middle of each half  

Flip them, facing downward, onto a foil-lined baking pan and cook for an hour

After they cool (this should take 20-30 minutes,) start scraping out the stands with a fork

Add any toppings you want (cheese, sauces, spices, etc)

Voila! Enjoy :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

katie's baby shower.

Our dear friends, Chase and Katie, are having a little boy this summer!  Some friends, family, and I hosted a baby shower for Katie this past Saturday. I hope you enjoy the pictures :)

My sister-in-law, Amy, made these incredible cookies and petit fours.  I know, they truly look like a professional made them.  Amy is a wizard in the kitchen! Check out her blog where she explains how she made these in detail here.

Hostesses + Mommy-To-Be: Jessica, Holly, Jennie, Katie, Amy, and I :)

We love you Katie & Chase!  Cannot WAIT to meet your precious son! xoxo