Introductions: New Video!

A few weeks ago, we worked with the fine folks (and our great friends!) at Jess Creatives to create some new video content for the blog. The first of those has been posted on the Our Love Story page so go check it out! For those of you who hate clicking, it’s also below for your viewing pleasure. We love using video wherever possible and Jess and Aaron made it so easy. Be on the lookout for a lot more coming your way!

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Southern Date Night Y’all

I love the south. I love the food, the hospitality, the fact that it is okay to sit and rock on the front porch for an hour. I also love the sense of community that comes from the common thread of the culture. Conner and I recently crafted a southern date night to embrace the culture and the uniqueness of it all. We made a southern feast complete with oven baked chicken lightly coated in bread crumbs with a side of cauliflower mashed potatoes and a biscuit.

Do the Mashed Potato

We then set out on a treasure hunt for the most recent publication of Southern Weddings. Now, you probably are wondering why we would even want to read a wedding magazine when we have already been married three years, but I will tell you why- the magazine is a conversation starter for us. The ladies who write the magazine understand that marriages simply begin on the wedding day and the true magic comes from the moments that take place beyond the I Do’s. We wanted to search for the magazine because it is only released in certain stores once a year. It only took us two tries before we found our very own copy!

Ignore the red cups

We took it over to the Starbucks so that we could read the pages together about savoring married life. It was fun to see that they even included a few words from us in regards to our married family traditions! Fan girl moment squeals ensued! Beyond the advice amongst the pages they give a great mad-lib style questionnaire, which was fun to ask questions of each other beyond the typical conversations we have. I want to never be too busy to sit down for a cup of coffee and ask new questions of each other or rock on the front porch in the evening.

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Where to begin on a fitness journey?

We have come a long way since Day 1 of our fitness journey, but our progress definitely didn’t happen all at once. Just like it took us years to gain the weight, it came off slowly as well. Luckily we used the accountability that each other provided and the commitment that we both shared to keep us on track. I do Crossfit every day now, but I couldn’t have dreamed of even doing one WOD (workout of the day) back in June 2013. We get asked a lot about how we got started so we wanted to share the top things that we found helped us the most when we were kicking off our transition to a healthier lifestyle.

  • Find a partner to be sure you do what you say you will

Football Season before and afterWe were lucky in that we had each other to bounce ideas off of, hold each other accountable, and provide motivation from seeing each other’s results. Even if your partner doesn’t workout with you, having someone available to check up on you and be sure you are staying on track is incredibly valuable.

  • Know what you are eating.

Ice Cream Date SplurgeIf you had asked me a year and a half ago why I was overweight, I would have told you it was because I didn’t exercise. I had no idea that my nutrition was as poor as it was. Looking back, I was eating over 4,000 calories on an average day. I would snack mindlessly and generally ate to the point of sickness just because I enjoyed food so much. Once we started using MyFitnessPal and knowing each and every thing I ate (and being honest about it!), I realized that I could eat less at one sitting and still be satisfied without overdoing it.

  • Get active consistently.

Spartan RaceNo one is going to be able to jump off the couch and go run a 10K. Shoot, our first week I could barely walk a mile. But now I enjoy running because we have put in the time and effort that it took. It’s not about how fast you run or how much weight you are lifting; however, it’s all about putting one foot in front of the other and maintaining progress. I loved swimming when we first got started and I would diligently do my 5-10 minutes a day and be exhausted afterwards. To Michael Phelps that would have seemed silly, but for me it was a vast improvement over the alternative and my results built from there. Staying committed to doing something active every day – even if it is as simple as walking the dog around the neighborhood or doing push-ups in a hotel room – is of paramount importance.

  • Don’t weigh yourself every day.

Want to know something fun I learned as a high school wrestler? You will float 1-2 pounds in your sleep every night. Combine that with your increased exercise and improved nutrition and your body will fluctuate weight drastically. In order to measure your results accurately, weighing yourself once a week will give you the best look at your actual weight loss. The number on the scale can be affected by how much water you drank that day, the intensity of your workout, or the meals you ate. Tuesday’s were our weigh-in day, but however you do it celebrate the successes as you see the pounds shed away each week.

We hope that you all will make strides to improve your own health! We would love to help out so let us know however we can assist to make you the best version of yourself!

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An Open Letter to the Food Channels

Dear Food Channels:

You have been put on hiatus indefinitely. Some people have parental blocks on their TV for channels that show X rated content or what not. For me, those blocks are on food channels. Watching food shows always end up sabotaging my healthy efforts. I find myself watching the latest episode of Paula Deen and then find myself in the pantry looking for the ingredients to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies or whatever else she was cooking up. Watching food shows make me hungry, even when I’m not hungry.cookie simplifiedFor that reason alone I put a ban on watching those shows. My waistline can’t handle you. Sorry to part ways like this so abruptly but I can’t take any more unnecessary eating. My body was made to be fueled, when I am hungry, by foods that are equal parts tasty and good for me. Yes I will pull out some less-than-healthy recipes when I want to splurge from time to time, but it will no longer be 100% of the time. I’ve worked hard and do not need to be distracted. Sorry if this seems like a harsh break up, but know that your programming is just too delicious for me to handle.

A girl trying to maintain the 83 lbs she lost over the past year and a half.

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Decatur Where It’s Greater: What If?

You know we love date nights and community, so what could be better than community date nights?

We recently went to dinner and coffee with our friends in downtown Decatur…where it’s greater. Or something like that.Date night in decatur

It is always fun to explore cool places and connect in real life with people, but sometimes keeping the conversation flowing can be a little difficult. I think that is because we are so used to being connected online that we can forget how to connect in real life. Or, the dreaded lull in a conversation happens and everyone whips out their phone to distract themselves with social media. I am SO guilty of this and I have to remind myself to be present, put the phone away, and kill the distractions. But that is easier said than done sometimes.

If bookI love our friends, because there was a lull in the conversation and they instantly whipped out a book of questions for us to ask of each other. No time to get distracted in our cell phones. We ended up spending the next few hours picking random questions from the book and going around the table asking “what if’s” to each other. Things like “What if you were to be a character in movie. Who would be the actor or actress to play your role?”.

Or “If you could start your own company, what would it be?”

Or my favorite “If you owned a boat, what would you name it”?

These questions were equal parts serious and silly which really helped us to connect and laugh. It was so fun and I even purchased the book “If” on my drive home. That is how much I loved it. So it’s your turn. Tell me your “what if”…

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Halloween Recap: Costume Edition

We kicked off the Halloween week with a festive holiday lunch. I introduce to you, ghost tortilla chips with soup.

Halloween FoodOur goal for Halloween this year was to have fun and not spend a dime on costumes. I mean, when buying candy for the neighborhood that has two bus loads worth of kiddos for school pick-up, we needed to save costume moohlah to buy chocolate. So here are a few costumes we pulled together using what we had around the house. Granted, we do have a big orange box that we fill with costume supplies as they appear in our house, but the box is a bunch of random items that needs a little imagination to make any sense.

For starters, my work day costume was a “work from gnome costume”. I thought it was punny since I work from home. After work I decided to keep it on long enough to go for a run along a busy street near our house. What was going to be a 3 mile run turned into 5 because I couldn’t help but keep running because of the double takes people would give me as I ran past. What can I say, I am a sucker for making people laugh. Work from Home Gnome

Costume number two was for handing out Halloween candy. I was super excited that my sister came over to join us in handing out the candy. I pulled together a mime costume while Conner pulled together a character from Harry Potter. But according to grumpy cat, our costumes were awful. Grumpy Cat and Mime

For the final costume of the weekend we went with punny couple’s costume. We were going to our friends Halloween party and really wanted to pull out all the stops for the costume contest. Can you guess what we were?

I was a hula girl…

Hawiian PunchConner was Rocky….

Together we made Hawiaan Punch.

What did you go as for Halloween? I need to start brainstorming ideas for next year!

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Around the world in 30 days.

Okay not literally the world, but the US of A for sure. I spent the month traveling from California to Colorado to Nashville to Atlanta. 5 speeches in 4 weeks felt like a marathon in the best way possible. SpeechesI love speaking at conferences and helping others know the best practices of marketing with social media for their event venues.

speaking headshot 4This month I also had a new opportunity of speaking with the women at Georgia Tech about marketing themselves online and creating a work-life balance both while in school but also in their post-grad lives. I think one of my favorite things about these different speeches was the places I got to visit and the people I got to meet and spend time with. I was extremely nervous to go to the conference at the beginning of the month because it was on the opposite side of the country, I knew no one, and I was going to have to spend the whole day on a bus with strangers making chit chat. Some people love networking, for me, it is a little uncomfortable. I tend to go with what I know, and not knowing anyone totally made me step outside of my comfort zone and trust.

Y’all, I was amazed at the way that first week showed me how much the plans I try to make for myself are not the full picture of what God is wanting for me. I planned to sit in the back of the bus, in an empty row, and just fade into the masses. But no, there was a seat at the front of the bus, next to a sweet looking young lady, and I was brave and asked to sit down. That is when I met my new BFF. Have you ever met someone and instantly clicked? It seemed random but at the same time totally meant-to-be.

I can’t really describe it but this was the verse that I stumbled upon in that very moment that captures how I felt about that whole trip: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is” – Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2While the trip was for work, the people I met, the dinner spent ocean-side, and the ideas that were breed from the workshop gave me a lot to think about and to implement. I think the biggest thing I learned, is that getting out of your comfort zone can be SO good. It is uncomfortable, yes, but new friendships can bloom, new ideas can arise, and you can be reminded of the fact that being brave and taking the step out on to the water can in fact be the best step of the whole month.

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