Friday, June 13, 2014

new phase of fitness and health journey.

As many of you know, for years I have struggled with figuring out the "right" mix of workouts and meals to achieve my goals.  It's genuinely not just about losing weight for me. Sure, I absolutely want to lose weight like most people but I also genuinely want to be a stronger, healthier person, and live as long as I can. Several months ago, I started to see a friend, Kelly, posting transformation pictures about her journey and her incredibly positive experience with Mallory through Edge Fitness.  I told Blake I was considering reaching out to Mallory a few months ago and for different reasons decided to give it more time, certain that what I was currently doing in the gym and in the kitchen would start to pay off soon.  It didn't.  Kelly had continued to tell me, in the nicest way possible, that there's more to it than 1200 calories and cardio. I knew she was right but kept holding back for some stupid reason.  After reading Kelly's blog posts and seeing more and more amazing transformation pictures she had posted, my decision was finally made.  I officially started with Mallory and Edge Fitness this past Monday.  Clearly, I have a LOT of work to do before I can claim to be successful. However, I can already tell how much I'm going to enjoy this.  

Mallory makes the process so easy to understand, efficient, motivating, and fun! As soon as I signed up I was invited to the private Facebook group for Edge Fitness.  Feeling like you are a part of a group, working towards a common goal together really keeps the motivation high.  Everyone checks in and shares how their week is going, posts progress pictures, and even vents when their week/day isn't going so well.  Edge Fitness has an Application (see picture above) where you can check in with your trainer so they know you are on track, see your assigned workouts for the day, watch videos to understand proper form, and things of that nature.  I have only had four days of work outs so far, but I'm loving the variety--it's a mix of lifting, cardio, HIIT, plyometrics, etc  

You can pay/sign up for the work out plan alone, the meal plan alone, or a combo of the two.  Since I signed up for both, I'm also really enjoying the meal plan!  Mallory had me complete a questionnaire which tells her what foods I like, what foods I don't like, what are absolute deal breakers, etc.  From there, she sends you your meal plan which is incredible because you get three options to pick from for the week.  I was expecting the options to be foods I wasn't completely in love with but could stomach--this was not the case at all. I truly look forward to the meals, enjoy every single one of them (including the snacks,) feel full/satisfied, and even get to eat ice cream! This is all done through macros and the science behind it is fascinating!  Over time, you continue to provide Mallory with feedback, progress pictures and measurements which helps her understand how the workouts and meal plan should be tweaked, if necessary.  Either way, she will change things up but possibly in other ways, depending on the progress. 

Below you will find some of my favorite pictures Kelly has posted on her blog and Instagram account.  You will quickly see why she motivated me to sign up with Edge :) 

A HUGE thank you to you, Kelly, for inspiring me to sign up and try something new.  If it wasn't for you, I am certain I would still be a cardio bunny, eating the same foods and not seeing improvement.  Keep up the amazing work-- I can assure you I am not the only one who has been inspired by your amazing journey!

You can check out Kelly's blog here. 

You can check out Kelly's Instagram here. 

Here are some pictures of my amazing trainer, Mallory! She has competed and clearly knows her stuff!!  Another huge thank you goes out to Mallory for sure.  She has already put up with so many questions and simply has the best attitude about everything.  My goal is to, one day, be able to share my "before" pictures because I will be so proud of what we accomplished together to get to my "afters/currents."  If I didn't have you helping me, I wouldn't be so confident.  Thanks to you and Kelly, I have faith in the process and know if I'm consistent, it can happen.  

There are a few other ladies I wanted to mention who have motivated me along the way as well.  I have mentioned Chelsea on the blog before (you can see the interview I did with her here. ) She is still a huge inspiration to me and continues to impress. You can check out Chelsea's Instagram page here. Seeing these pictures makes me want to pursue Yoga/Pilates again!! So cool! 

Not long ago I came across Kelly Kantor through Instagram.  Another Kelly inspiration :) You can see her page here.  Her transformation pictures are unreal.  She even competed recently and put in some serious work to make it happen.  She has busted her butt and had very consistent progress along the way but here lately, whoa! Truly amazing progress. Way to go, Kelly! You look fantastic!

Last, but certainly not least, is Meg.  I initially found her through Instagram (do you see a pattern here?) However, as of recently, I have also spent time on her blog which is awesome!! You can see her Instagram page here. Her blog link can be found here.  She has a hilarious sense of humor and comes across very down to earth.  Her pictures are the epitome of why I want to get stronger.  Go check her out! 

If you are interested in learning more about Edge Fitness, you can check out the website here.  Although I'm a newbie with a lot of growing and learning to do, I can already say I would highly recommend the program and this trainer.  

Friday, May 30, 2014

youtube/instagram spotlight: mizkatiehill.

It's that time again!! Time for another YouTube/Instagram spotlight! Katie Hill "MizKatieHill" is one of my absolute favorite "YouTubers/Instagrammers."  Not only does she produce incredible content on both her YouTube channel and her Instagram account, her personality is so down to earth, witty, and fun!! Seriously, I want to go to happy hour with this girl or go get coffee.  When I see a new video of hers in my subscriber uploads I get so excited! When you watch her videos, you feel like it’s an old friend you have known for ages.  She comes across so laid back and easy to be around. Katie does monthly favorites, tutorials, Q&A, Get Ready With Me and all kinds of other entertaining/helpful subject matter. Seriously—go subscribe to her and add her on Instagram. You can thank me later J

Katie was oh so kind as to take the time to answer my interview questions. I think you will really enjoy her informative responses and hilarious comments. Let's get started!

Favorite Starbucks beverage? If I am feeling like a chubba-wubba then I will get an iced upside down caramel macchiato. I rarely get hot drinks from Starbucks, not sure why. If I do then there is likely a blizzard outside and I live in Southern California so, yeah, it never happens. 

Favorite drugstore cosmetic product? Maybelline Color Elixirs. Hands down. I am a sucker for anything that feels good on the lips. Okay, insert awkward innuendo here. 

Favorite high end cosmetic product? Blush, blush, blush. I have never really found any drugstore blushes that are up to my higher end brands. I like Nars, Kat Von D and Tarte blushes for their longevity on my oily skin. 

Favorite foundations? I switch these up so often it is hard to name just a couple. Right now, I am really loving my Urban Decay Naked Skin for an everyday foundation. If I want something more full coverage, I really like my Becca Matte Skin Shine Proof Foundation. It is perfect when you know you are going to take pictures because there is no SPF.

Favorite mascaras? YSL babydoll and the Too Faced Better than Sex mascara. 

Favorite moisturizer? Believe it or not, I have not found the perfect night time moisturizer yet, but someday my prince charming will come. On a more serious note, the daytime moisturizers that I really like is the Lush Enzymion and the Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream. When I purchased the Lush moisturizer, the sales girl told me that the citric properties in the product literally eat the oil on your face and that alone was reason enough for me to make a purchase. 

Favorite blushes? Kat Von D Belissima. It is the perfect peachy pink and if I was alone on a deserted island I would take that blush with me. Although it may be smarter to bring other necessities, I would probably still bring that blush. 

Favorite lipstick, chapstick, gloss, etc? I LOVE the Buxom lip glosses. I am a huge fan of the Dior Fluid Sticks as well. They feel so comfortable on the lips you hardly feel like you are wearing anything. 

Favorite makeup primer? Benefit Porefessional. Nothing compares that I have found. 

Favorite places to shop? My favorite place to shop is at Nordstrom or . I am a HUGE online shopper. I am constantly having to hide UPS boxes from my boyfriend. Oops! :)

Favorite meals/snacks/bars/protein powders/supplements? Quest bars are really good. You can pop those in the microwave for a couple minutes and it is almost like a soft cookie. Who am I kidding? It does NOT taste like a cookie, but they are really good! ;)

Favorite hair products? Styling tools? Probably one of the most frequent things I get asked about is how I curl my hair. While everyone is using their curling wands, I am kicking it old school with a regular curling iron! I can’t live without my Paul Mitchell 1.5 inch curling iron. Because I style my hair so often and have colored it, I also really love any sort of hair oil. I am not too picky on the brand. I have tried the Agave Oil and Moroccan Oil and I love them both. 

Favorite websites? Youtubers? Blogs, etc I just adore a girl that I just found on YouTube named LustreLux. She is so effortlessly cool and her makeup is always on point. I genuinely enjoy watching her because she just seems so real and she has a great sense of humor. 

Career goals? I hope to become an elementary school teacher next year once I am done with my credentials. After a couple years doing that, I would eventually like to get my doctorate and teach at a college. I think it would be fun to teach young minds who (for the most part) actually WANT to be in class. I have always wanted to teach online college classes on the side as well for the working adult that does not have the time to take a class on campus. 

Top beauty tips? If I am ever out of dry shampoo and don’t have time to wash my hair, I will work some baby powder into my roots and voila! Fresh, clean (kinda) hair. 

Favorite music/bands? I love country music and have been to Stagecoach every year here in Southern California. (Think the Woodstock of country music) I go with my mom, aunts and sister every year; just the girls. Such a good time.

Favorite movies/tv shows? I really love Scandal. That show keeps me on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait for next season! 

Favorite alcoholic beverage? This question is easy. Two parts pear vodka, one part St. Germain, lemonade and a splash of club soda. So good! And beer. Unfortunately for my waistline, I really like beer. 

What are you most proud of? I feel like I have a lot to be proud of. I am proud of my relationships with my family, friends and boyfriend. I am proud of my mom for raising two daughters on her own and putting them through college. I am proud of the audience I have on my Youtube channel. But, I think I am most proud of my education. I went to school to get my BA degree in Liberal Arts/Elementary Education, went back for a Master’s in Health Care Administration and now I am going back for my teaching credential to teach elementary school. 

Future aspirations? Looking forward to what is to come on my YouTube Channel and hopefully becoming an elementary school teacher next year! 

Favorite vacation spots? I went to Cabo and swam with the dolphins last year. I will never forget that. It was something that I had been wanting to do for so long and finally crossed it off my bucket list. I have dreams to go to Fiji someday. Yeah, that would be nice. 

If you could live anywhere? I am really happy where I am living now in Southern California. I used to live in downtown San Diego in the gas lamp and it was so much fun, but there were good and bad things to living there. Sometimes, you just want a back yard! 

Do you prefer to work out in the morning, afternoon, or evening? This is a tough question because I am NOT a morning person, but if I put it off until later, then I probably will talk myself out of going! I usually just go right when I wake up before I have time to talk myself out of it. 

What do you do if you are lacking energy/motivation and still need to get a workout in? I have lots of things that motivate me to workout. Recently, I have been working out with my sister a lot so we help each other out when we are feeling lazy. 

Guilty pleasure? The Real Housewives of…anywhere. Sephora. Red wine. Red blends are my favorite. Apothic wine is a really good red blend. 

What does a perfect day look like to you? Waking up and getting a workout in, heading across the street to the lake to go paddle boarding with my boyfriend, and then heading back to the house and laying by the pool and grilling some food. To me, days out in the sun are the perfect days.  

Favorite animal? Pets? Yes! I am definitely a dog person and I love all animals. (Although snakes give me the creeps) I have a French bulldog named Sunni and a Lab named Lily. 

You can check out Katie's YouTube channel here. 
Instagram: MizKatieHill
Twitter: MizKatieHill

Thank you SO much for taking the time to answer the interview questions, Katie. You are a doll. It's clear to me that your presence in social media is going to increasingly grow in a very short period of time (not because of our little blog but because you are simply awesome) Keep doing what you are doing!!  

Friday, May 9, 2014

life lately according to mere's iphone.

Since we went several months without updating the blog (before the belated vacation post on 3/2,) I felt it was only appropriate to update you in iPhone/Instragram pictures through another “life lately according to mere’s iPhone” post.  I’ll start back in September of 2013.

These chairs (and table) belonged to Blake's grandparents.  Last year we recovered them with this fun fabric and, clearly, the kitties approve.

Blake and I had a serious Breaking Bad addiction, but, then again, who didn't? Still having withdrawls..

Little minions.

At the Texans game!! They lost (of course, considering it was last season haha) but we still had a great time!


Thing 1 & Thing 2 

A blue wig for work costume as well-- apparently a blue wig kind of Halloween! 

Blake and I were "real original" with our Halloween costumes for a neighborhood party. Ha! 

Team Purple.

Team Orange.

Team Leopard.

Arrow necklace twinkies.

Some of our favorite Christmas guys.

I'm absolutely obsessed with the book series (not for the reasons you would assume! ha!) Cannot wait for the movie to come out next year! 

Blake and I before my company's holiday party.

Christmas kitty, Bella.

Cott & Elissa's annual Christmas Bingo party. SO fun!

Meet "Cherry"-my new car. 

I WON the Fantasy Football Championship.  Go Killer Kittens! Rawr. 

My parents gave me these boots for Christmas and I haven't stopped wearing them since.

Eye shadow pallet in the making.

Brew tour with three of my favorite guys!

A new tradition is born with Elissa and Kristi.  

He's just so dang cute!

The BEST Quest bar flavor, in my opinion. I'm hooked and have one almost every day.

Adore my niece and nephew.

Georgia and I doing what we do best.

Gorgeous day at the Houston  Kite Festival!

Shooting range date.

Adorable Easter traditions.

Look at that smile!

New hair stylist did a great job with cut and color.

Blake and Chase at Liam's birthday party! Boys will be boys :)

Libation of choice: Moscow Mule. Delicious!


Been very focused on healthy meals/snacks.

Thanks for stopping by! Cheers to May!