SOCIAL MEDIA

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You ready to get kicked in the butt to improve your life in any area! Get over the excuses and read/listen to this for the motivation you need to follow your dreams! You are the only thing in your way and Jen will tell you that over and over. Loved this for confidence!

View all my reviews

The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success

The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A straightforward read on how the small changes add up to big results. This works for everything in your life. Work habits, weight loss, saving money, happiness. If you are new to "self help" This one is a great one to start with!

View all my reviews

The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy

The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy by Jon Gordon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I LOVED this! It's presented as a fable instead of a regular non fiction self help book. Each day I would get in my car and be so excited to see what would happen to George and if he would improve his life with the Energy Bus rules. There is also a book for kids I need to get for my library. This is perfect for a little pick me up to living a more positive life!

View all my reviews

It's Not Fair

It's Not Fair It's Not Fair by Melanie Dale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I actually heard about this book on my favorite podcast (coffee + crumbs) when they were talking about a totally unrelated topic of making mom friends. They breifly mentioned this book, and I knew it would be great for me after our recent loss of our amazing friend (The best man in my wedding!) This book is inspired by the feelings after miscarriage, but she touches on all life situations that mean that life isn't going to turn our how you planned with a focus on grief. It's really a great read for anyone dealing with any sort of life change. There were moments I laughed out loud and my favorite was a section on 100 things to do for someone who is grieving. It's a list. A good one. I did some of them immediately for my friend, the best man's wife, and those acts brought her (and me) just a little bit of joy.

View all my reviews

It's Okay to Laugh

It's Okay to Laugh It's Okay to Laugh by Nora McInerny Purmort
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book saved my life as we were dealing with the death of an amazing friend to Cancer. #cancersucks A grief book with humor that isn't all touchy feely - but has the perfect amount of honesty and heart really helped me understand how to deal with my own emotions of grief including the overwhelming empathy for his family. Nora started with the tumblr account "My husband's tumor" and is a young widow who lives near me in MN. I'm grateful for her work in sharing her life to make mine a little easier. I turned to listening to this in my worst moments instead of to a bag of cookies or bottles of wine. It helped my heart and soul so much!

View all my reviews

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book and the Kondo method is equally ridiculous as it is brilliant. Some of the tips like removing my wallet from my purse and storing it under my bed everyday seems crazy, but her sock drawer method has changed my sock life. The philosophy is great in general and I have dreams of actually being able to simplify this much when my kids are a bit older. If your fantasy life includes a clutter free house like my fantasy life does, this is worth the read!

View all my reviews

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From my favorite podcaster - I was already familiar with a lot of her habit advice in this book. If you don't already love her, this audio book might feel a bit preachy, but since I already feel like I have a relationship with Gretchen from listening to her for the last year along with her sister, I took her advice to heart and knew that some of her quirks are evident in the book. There are some really great "put into action now" tips in here about changing habits in general. Glad I listened to it!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Day 23


This #transformationtuesday is so different from the usual. But I suppose my life is different these days, too. I've got major workout restrictions, the top of my to do list is taking naps, and I'm eating a few extra sweet treats that are arriving at my door each day.

The photo on the left was taken the week before my surgery. It was one of my last real workouts and #tshirttuesday. I felt strong and physically ready to handle something I was honestly terrified for.  I was terrified of not surviving the surgery - of some little problem that would be out of my control. But I was never scared of my recovery.  I knew that my mind and body were as strong as they could be.  As soon as I had control again, I was confident that I would be ok. That first week in the hospital was much harder than I expected. The pain was managed, but I have never felt so weak and helpless.  I needed the nurse to feed me, I just wanted to be sleeping so I could wake up "healed." I was thankful for the strong pain meds not just for the pain, but because the week felt like a blur.  A blur I needed to get through it. The photo on the top right was my last day in the hospital and I needed a "Flex Friday" post for the end of my challenge group. I know I looked strong and great, but I felt apprehensive on how we were going to manage my recovery at home when I still needed so much care. The one on the bottom was yesterday's first "workout" selfie since surgery. (Thank you stretching yoga!!)

One day at a time is not something I do well, but that is what it has taken to get me to today. 3 weeks later - a head clear enough to write a meaningful post, enough energy to work on some cool stuff I've been wanting to do for awhile (stay tuned!), and a time frame far enough away to understand the seriousness of what I have gone through, how far I have come, and the patience I need to finish recovering. I couldn't have done this with out the amazing support from so many friends and family - especially the husband.

What hasn't transformed is my focus on healthy eating to fuel my body, getting in some sort of light movement Beachbody style and walks when the weather cooperates, listening to my favorite podcasts and audiobooks to keep growing my mind, drinking my amazing Shakeology for fuel and energy even when I don't feel like eating, and checking in to cheer on my challengers who get to be sweaty for 30 minutes everyday (sooo jealous!). Even with the amazing #mealtrain dinners, leftovers, and extra treats because this healing body is STARVING, I'm still implementing the healthy habits that I encourage in my challenge groups.  

So this week, I have learned that transformation doesn't always mean doing something new.  Even though my body is in place of healing, my healthy habits and attitude have remained the same. #iamteambeachbody #gratitude #brainsurgery #recovery #day23 #hardestthingiveeverdone #butididit 

Ashley's Carrot Soup



In November 2016, some of the coaches did a free crock-pot challenge. This was hands down my favorite recipe. You can do it in the crock-pot, but the recipe calls for the stove. It whips up quickly, freezes well, and pairs nicely with a grilled cheese/apple sandwich on whole grain bread. The only thing I would do differently is double the recipe.

INGREDIENTS
  • 5-6 carrot sticks 
  • ½ large onion 
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 2 tbs olive oil 
  • Pink Salt
  • Ground Pepper 
  • Italian Seasoning 
  • 3 cups chicken broth 
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Drizzle olive oil in pot
  2. Add chopped onion, carrots & garlic 
  3. Add salt and pepper 
  4. Add broth and Italian seasoning.
  5. Bring to a boil then turn down low and simmer till carrots are tender and a fork is easily pushed through carrot.
  6. Transfer soup to blender and blend with a towel on the lid so it doesn't pop off due to hot steam.
  7. Slowly take lid off away from your face and let steam out. 
  8. Pour back into pot and it's ready to eat!

Your Kick Ass Life (Podcast)


I'm loving this podcast right now!  It's centered around life-coaching, but there is so much girl-power inspiration to apply to any area of your work or home life.  Best part about podcasts is that they are free! Try this one and you might love it! http://yourkickasslife.com/

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life by Hal Elrod
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, Hal really taught me to just get my A** out of bed and get my day started! The thing that stuck with me the most was to just decide to get up and get over the excuses. Then when I did get up and follow his SAVERS routine in the hour before everyone else got up, I LOVED starting my day that way! Workout, reflection, quiet, PD... calm before the crazy of getting a family out the door. However, then my son decided he was going to start getting up at 5 instead of 6 and it blew all out of the water and I never got it back. I'm really hopeful to get that alarm set for 5 again in the fall and crush this! But for now, summer is here so I might try for 6 or 7. We shall see! This book will definitely motivate you to try his method - and who knows, it just might be perfect for you even if you are not a morning person (like me).

View all my reviews

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my first dive into Personal Development. And boy, am I glad I downloaded this. I got the audiobook and listend as I did dishes and cleaned my house. It ALREADY made me feel more productive. I definitely found strategies for doing some of the things I hate first - and can put a language to my procrastination. Eating my frog (workout, sending messages, laundry) as soon as possible in the day makes me feel calmer and happier the rest of the day. This is a great productivity book to start your personal development journey with!

View all my reviews

Coffee + Crumbs (Podcast/Blog)


Coffee and Crumbs is one of my absolute favorite podcasts.  It's one of the first I started listening to, and I can't even remember how I found it.  The very first episode was recorded in a closet and I fell in love instantly with this group of moms who were just being real. Their podcast and Blog is centered in messages to mom with heart.  When I listen I sometimes cry, laugh, and overall just feel calmer, happier, and less alone in this crazy motherhood journey.  It's like getting a giant mom hug every other week.  I recommend this most to moms with littles.  Enjoy! coffeeandcrumbs.net

The Universe Has Your Back

The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to FaithThe Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith by Gabrielle Bernstein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was skeptical, but I listened to this audio book weeks before my brain surgery. It REALLY helped me to go with the flow and accept that my energy matters in how I feel and my anxiety. Gabrielle is relateable and interesting. I am looking forward to going back and actually trying some of her meditation strategies (didn't really work when I was listening in my car... tee hee).

The only thing I struggled with was that we have had some pretty crazy life blows where we didn't feel and will never feel like the universe had our back. Cancer sucks, death of good friends in their 30's and 40's don't inspire hope and love. But where there is hope, like with my benign brain tumors, I was able to feel grateful for things like competent surgeons, great health insurance, and that the universe lead to a diagnosis before I had symptoms. - THAT was extremely helpful! This book doesn't touch on the really hard things, like death, but there are others that do.

View all my reviews

Monday, May 22, 2017

Day 22



Ugh! That felt go good!!! 1st "workout" in over 3 weeks! 10 minute PM Yoga (from beachbody- on demand- picked because I know it well and it's a great relaxing stretch!) Planning on a walk later to keep my energy up. #brainsurgery #recovery #day22 #gottakeepupwithmychallengers #slowandsteady

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Chicken & Turkey Sausage w/sauteed veggies (w/optional brown rice)

IMG_20161203_114245852.jpg

A 21 day fix approved/clean (or close enough) review and recipe. (Yield 5-6 servings)

This is my favorite recipe for bulk lunches. Why? Because you can add different sauces at the bottom of the jar to make it taste very different. I like to eat this like a mixed up casserole, but you could pack it in containers with separators, too. I also like to mix the cauliflower rice with rice for a little more carb/bulk midday, but it would taste the same without it if you are saving yellows (carbs) for dinner/wine. It freezes well and I just never get sick of it.

If you are “fixing” - Each serving is 1.5 Red (protein) , 1.5 Green (veggies), .5 (optional) Yellow (carb)

INGREDIENTS 
  • 5 frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 turkey kielbasa sausage
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 bag Trader Joe’s Riced Cauliflower
  • 1 bag Trader Joe’s Microwave Brown Rice (optional)
  • Various sauces - this is where my “fix approved is close enough” (A1, teriyaki, BBQ, Buffalo, etc)
  • 5 wide mouth pint mason jars (or other 2 cup containers)

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Bake chicken breasts per package instructions until fully cooked (or cook in crockpot)
  2. Microwave the rice per instructions
  3. Drizzle ½ of the olive oil in large saute pan and saute the cauliflower rice until warm
  4. (optional) Add the rice and mix together
  5. Remove rice mixture from pan
  6. Drizzle remaining olive oil in the pan and add chopped onion & peppers and saute until tender.
  7. Slice turkey kielbasa and add to the pan along with the cooked, diced chicken.
  8. Cover and let flavors simmer together.
  9. Layer your jars in this order: 1-2 Tbsp sauce of choice, 1 ¾ cups of the meat/veggie mixture (or 1 green + 1 red container), ¼ cup packed of the rice veggie mixture. 
  10. Screw on the top of the jars and freeze the leftovers.



You have 5 healthy meals ready to heat and serve!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Gratitude

This is about gratitude. Life is unexpected, unpredictable and wonderful. Sometimes it's terrible. It's always life. I have been influenced by so many positive stories, I feel the need to share mine. The joy, the struggle, the truth. My goal- to help someone be happy, healthy, and hopeful. I can't help everyone, but it's worth it if I help someone.