Monday, March 25, 2019

Blessing - Motivational Quote Monday

Oohhh Monday. Today was another rainy Monday in Charlotte. Anyone that lives here can vouch that this rain is straight up depressing. I know it puts me in a funk for sure. I've been struggling a lot lately. Feeling not enough.... in my job, in my relationship, in my faith, in my life...  and lemme tell you, this weather for sure isn't helping. I feel like i'm Avril Lavigne in that video of her's circa 2002 - "I'm with you" - you the one that she walks around on a cold, rainy night walking in and out of parties so lost. ahhhh my middle school emo girl is in full swing. 

I became consumed with falling deeper and deeper in how much my life sucked and thinking of all the things I wanted that I don't have.... I decided it was time to pull myself out of this. For Lent, i decided to take something on instead of "giving something up" which is the typical practice during this season. The whole purpose is to give something up that may distance your relationship from God. Some people choose sweets, cursing, etc. I wanted to take on something to bring me back to the Man with the answers. To take a step back and realize that i have one almighty power that i can give all this to. To give all my fears, doubts, stresses to. I know that i'm not where i feel like i should be, and i don't know exactly where to go - but i know where i've been and i know that i've always figured it out and have been okay. I've been able to wake up every morning with air in my lungs and in a warm bed, next to man that absolutely adores me. The more i start listing, the more grateful i feel. My family is healthy, my friends are happy, I have a working car, i have food in my fridge and heat in my house. Blessings on blessings on blessings. 

Every night I dedicate five minutes before I go to bed and I write down five things i'm thankful for. They could be the smallest of things - from a badass song that got my hype on the way to work, to a yummy salad for lunch, to a good conversation i had. It gives you a second to reflect... to go to bed with a grateful heart. <3 p="">

Image result for quote about counting blessings
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Ab Tabata Workout

Every week, i teach a kickboxing class at CKO. I've been doing it for about 3 years, just because i truly enjoy making up workouts, motivating others and empowering them to have the best/most fun work out ever. Kickboxing is a badass workout on it's own, but i like to make sure i incorporate some Tabata style rounds to ensure we are targeting certain areas and getting a full body work out.

For those who are like - uhmmm claire, what the hell is this Tabata you speak of? Well, friends lemme teach out some easy work out 101. 

One of the most common HIIT workout styles is Tabata, which consists of eight rounds of 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds or rest, for a total of four minutes. 

I personally like to double that bad boy up, and take it to eight minutes. My style is typically 4 different moves, for 3 rounds. You can do sooooo many things in eight minutes. Boil water, take a quick shower, eat a bowl of cereal, drive to the grocery store. My point is - it's not a long time to sneak in a quick beneficial workout. 

I love doing the Tabata style workout, especially for my abs. My style is typically 4 different moves, for 3 rounds. 

Here are a couple Ab Tabata workouts that you can try at home: 

1) Legs Up Toe Touch - Lay flat on your back and place your butt up against the wall, legs running parallel upwards. Keep your arms straight and reach up toward your toes and back

** 10 Second Rest **

2) In and Out - Sit up, and lower your back down to about a 90 degree angle keeping your knees bent. You can either keep yours arms out behind you for support, or to take it up a notch keep them in tight to your body. You will lift your legs and push them straight out, then bring them back in. Keep repeating. 

** 10 Second Rest **

3) Micro pulse crunches - Lay flat on your back, knees bent, feet on the ground. Your hands will cradle the back of your head, and your elbows out to the side. Make sure you keep those elbows out of your line of sight. While look straight up at the cieling, you will do micro pulses, keeping your core engaged,

** 10 Second Rest **

4) Oblique Side Crunches - Turn over into a push up position. From here you will bend your right knee off to the side, twisting your body slightly, and slowly bring it up to your right elbow. Bring it back down, and your back in push up positions. Repeat with the left knee to elbow. 

**10 Second Rest**

Complete this round 4 times and whaalaaa! Easy peazy ab workout that you can do while on commercial break from your favorite tv show, when you first get up in the morning, or when you are trying to kill some time before heading out to meet friends. Either way, a healthy lifestyle begins with small changes. Incorporating quick habits in your life daily, could drastically change your mood, mindset and life. 
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Monday, March 18, 2019

You Are Worthy - Motivation Quote Monday

I wanted to try and keep myself accountable more with posting more. I am going to start off every Monday with a motivational quote to kick start your week!



Who else to start off your week with a badass mentality than with a quote from wonder woman, Rachel Hollis. Lemme tell you something, if you have not read this BeyoncĂ© loving, quirky, fun-loving woman has written two books – Girl, Wash your Face & Girl, Stop Apologizing, GIRL you better take your butt over to target quick and pick you up a copy. She will become your best friend, mentor and cheerleader in your head. I picked up a copy of GWYF back in August 2018 and I think I read it in about two days. Which is huge for me, because I have successfully only finished 3 books in my entire lifetime. She is also a mom of four, which even though i'm not - she is still MY PEOPLE.

I love this quote because it reminds me that i'm allowed to be a big dreamer, i'm allowed to want more for myself and not feel like i'm ungrateful for what i do have. Your dreams are YOURS, and the beauty of life is that this one if yours. Just yours. and you can do whatever you want with it. i am worthy of having a dream, to not want an average life, and to fight for it. So, go for what you want! Why spend every day just thinking about "someday..." when it could be day one.


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Monday, March 4, 2019

The 5am struggle

Sitting here re-watching season 1 of Very Cavarelli - AKA my only of the most addicting shows in the game. For those that haven't seen it yet, everyone's favorite mean girl from Laguna Beach and The Hills, Kristin Cavalleri has a show out on E! following her build up of her new jewelry line, Uncommon James. Not gonna lie, watching Laguna Beach was part of my weekly routine when i was in high school. My best friend, Christina and I would make special dates to watch it, snack on junk food, quote the hell out of everyone on the show, and basically talk about them in our daily lives like they were our bffs. Very Cavalleri is my 27 year old dream coming to life and gives me all the drama/pretty people/Jay Cutler that i could want and more.

ANYWAY, i digress. This post is not about Very Cavarelli. Even though i could definitely write a million pages about how amazing/perfect Kristin is.

Before the clock hit 5pm everyday at work, 99% of the time i'm writing down my list of all the things i want to do when i got home - Work out, sit down and write, do some laundry, vacuum, but i accomplished nothing. This has definitely become a daily thing and i beat myself up every damn day. I've come to realize that i need to just get my ass up in the mornings to do the things i want to get done so i can have my evenings to just unwind.

I decided to put my new plan to motion last week. I find it 100000% harder to get up when Cory is there.  Sharing a bed with another person and being the one to get up before the sun does while they cozy up and continue to sleep just makes me come up with 57 more excuses to hit snooze and pull the covers up. So, while he was out of town for work i went to bed at 9:30pm and set that alarm for 5:00am on the dot. The first day was hard. REAL hard. I woke up, scrolled insta on my phone for 45 mins, then got up to drink coffee. Accomplished nothing other than adding to my weekly screen time. I took to the app that feels like my second home to ask advice of the experts (aka my instagram friends)

I posted a story asking for help, tips, tricks, etc for those that habitually get up early to get shit done and to share the magic secret with me. I was nervous to post that simple story about my struggle to get up, i felt stupid. But, i knew i needed help from people who i wouldn't talk to during my usual day. I would've been happy if one person responded - but i got over 25 messages!! From old friends, new friends, high school friends, cousins of friends, friends of friends that gave me SUCH a plethora of ideas to get my ass up. and you know what? I felt accountable the next day to actually pull through for those people. 

I set my clothes out, i drank water as soon as i woke up, i LAUNCHED myself out of bed, i turned to coffee on ASAP. The simplest things, but it came from people who knew it worked.

Moral of the story - don't be afraid to ask for help. It's not stupid, and it might just give you that one push you need to start doing something to change your life.
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Monday, January 28, 2019

Valentine's Gift Guide For Your Guy

Let’s admit it ladies, men are hard to buy gifts for. Whether you've been dating someone for a couple weeks or 5 years, men are just definitely tougher to find something for when the holidays/brithday roles around. Valentine’s Day has always been a struggle for me, because you want to make things a little more personal/romantic, but nothing too cheesy. As we know, this crazy holiday full of hearts, chocolate and flowers is definitely one for the females – but I LOVE being in love, and love celebrating it with any excuse to show my boo thang how much I appreciate him.



Here are some gift ideas that I’ve had luck with my man

If you don’t want to break the bank:

Date Idea Jar I took a cheap mason jar and filled it with cut up small strips of paper which I wrote cute/fun date ideas on. This could include a trip to the batting cages, dinner at a restaurant of his choice, start a puzzle together, or go see a new movie! Go as big or as small as you want, just be sure to include ideas that you would both enjoy, and maybe throw in some fun new things to experience together. I did a little spin on this classic idea and took a different color of paper and added in sweet compliments on a different to mix it up


Burn a CD Super old school right? But, pretty darn romantic. I did this on our first Valentines together since we hadn’t been together all that long, but I still really wanted to show him how much I cared about it. This included current songs I had heard on the radio we both loved, and older songs that I would hear on my own playlists that made me feel all fuzzy inside. He still has the CD 4 years later, and it’s sweet to pop it in and remember that first valentine’s together. This is a great way to really customize it for you significant other and show you think about them when they aren’t around



Framed Picture I spent a little more money on a nice frame and printed out a bigger picture of us (i chose an 8x11) – Free Prints is the best app that allows you to upload pics from your phone, choose your sizes, then have them printed and mailed directly to you for super cheap! I wrote a little sweet note on the back of the pic along with the date it was taken. This will be a sweet reminder of that moment that he can place on his bedside table.



Bake Some Goodies My honey is a sucker for sweets. He loves the classics, so occasionally, when I know he’s had a rough day or just want to show him that I can be domestic – I’ll whip up a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, or chocolate chip cookies recipes. I’m no bake queen, so the recipe on the box suffices for me, other than that – I’ll call up my mom for an old family favorites. Here is another post for my grandma’s chocolate chip cookie recipe – and they are THE BOMB. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, right?






If you are willing to drop some $$

L.L.Bean Slippers – the perfect gift that no one ever buys themselves but LOVES when they get them! For those super cozy nights when you cuddled up binge watching the latest Netflix show.

Men's Wicked Good Slipper Mocs
https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/70921?page=men-s-wicked-good-slipper-mocs&bc=474-629-503380&feat=503380-GN3&csp=f

Personalized travel size toiletry bag – have your boo looking stylish when you go out of town for a weekend get away while not forgetting to pack the important things.


Solid Colored ¼ zip pull over – my boyfriend is pretty picky when it comes to clothes, but you can’t go wrong with a good pullover! I personally love the way that the Eddie Bauer ones look on guys – simple, yet versatile and come in a lot of good colors. These are perfect for chilling at the bar on a Sunday, or having him layer with a button down underneath for a date night dinner!
Image result for eddie bauer 1/4 zip camp fleece 
https://www.eddiebauer.com/product/mens-camp-fleece-14-zip/prod2250001?showProducts=&color=363&sizetype=&size=

Whiskey Glass Set – Cory actually got his work team these sets for Christmas and they could NOT stop raving about them. There are so many of these to choose from on Amazon, most of them you get a decanter along with 4 glasses. It’s the perfect addition to grow your bar set, and will 100% make your man feel like 007 while sipping on his fav cocktail

Elegant 5 Piece Whiskey Decanter Set - Spectacular Gift Box - Whiskey Glass Set of 4 with Decanter - Rocks Whiskey Glasses Square Engraved | Lead-free Bourbon Scotch Liquor Dispenser
https://www.amazon.com/Elegant-Piece-Whiskey-Decanter-Set/dp/B078TNQNP9/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1548719515&sr=8-3&keywords=elegant+5+piece+whiskey+decanter

Tickets to a Game/Concert – One of our favorite things to do is enjoy a concert or sporting event together. The excited feeling of looking forward to a super fun event paired with a set-in stone date night is a total win/win in my book. Do a little research of smaller music venues or smaller league teams too – you’ll be surprised how much more fun they can be!


No matter what you decide, just put a little thought into it and your man is guaranteed to love it – as he does you!


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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Tuesday Stigma

I've always found about halfway into January, i begin to develop this overwhelming feeling of blahhhhhhh. The "Tuesday feel" i call it. Because in my mind - Tuesday is the worst day of the week. Worst than Monday, too far from Friday. UGH. The hype of the new year, and the freshness that it seems to bring all just seems to start dying down. All the resolutions i had in mind - how i was going to start writing in my blog everyday, how i will hit the gym more, how i was going to stop eating so much sugar, how i was going to stop cussing so much and be more positive.... all that came to a pretty quick stop. You know why, my friend? Because of the insane amount of pressure that comes with the "new year, new me" stigma leads to tons of promises that i vow to keep, some of those i voiced out loud, others were just floating around in my head.


On New Years Day,  i spew off about seven or eight more resolutions i had for myself to my boyfriend. Learn to play the guitar. Pick up a new language. Eat less chocolate/sweet (lol...okay), Cook healthy dinner every night. Pay off one of my credit cards in full. Read at least 10 books. Stop coming home and just watching tv every night. Getting up an hour earlier everyday to work out. "hahahahahaha damn claire. you sure are setting the bar pretty high" Cory mocks.

but yall... he ain't wrong.The dreamer in me went way too hard. The drive i felt on the first day of the year, has long dwindled away by the 15th, which guess what - IS A TUESDAY. My problem was instead of setting smaller obtainable goals - i went big... way too big, then almost immediately had a horrible sense of anxiety and failure before i could start on any of it.

I, like pretty much every other person on the planet, i am ridiculously impatient. I feel the need to see immediate results to whatever i'm putting efforts in on, or i instantly become discouraged and give up. I decided no more of this... that to take a step back and stop being so damn hard on myself.

I refocused and decided to just stop giving a hoot and have one resolution - to stop being so mean to myself, and just do what makes me happy. That's it. To revel in the crappy days, because it will help me enjoy the good ones. To not stress so much when things don't work out, because maybe they weren't supposed to. To do little more everyday toward what i do want, and allow myself to relax and not feel guilty on the days where i just need to rest.

I have no idea what 2019 will hold, but i do know whether i learn to play the guitar or give up sweets for good - one thing will be for sure, i will be happy with it.
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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Curbing Your Sweet Tooth During the Holidays

I hate such a love/hate relationship during the holiday season. The last 90 days of the year is so marvelous and magical obviously because of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas - visiting family, showering my friends and family with gifts, and eating mass amounts of food. But, I start slowing down on getting my butt up and going to the gym (or being active in general), I’ve officially changed my regular old boring bedsheets to my warm comfy snowflake flannel sheets from target making me want to live in my bed, I start losing all motivation and again, eat mass amount of food – especially sweets.

I have a freaking sweet tooth like no other, like it’s not just one tooth – it’s my whole dang mouth. I’ve struggled with this since I was a little one, and this time of year has become my heaven – BRING ON ALL THE PUMPKIN PIE, SNICKERDOODLE COOKIES AND PEPPERMINT BARK. I tried giving up all the sweets one year, and lemme tell you… it didn’t go well.  I literally was almost crawling out of my skin and ended up in a circle of Christmas Tree Shaped Reece’s wrappers (because let’s agree that reecees in different shapes just taste better) bundled up in a blanket burrito, sitting on the couch, crying and watching another re-run of Friends. Not pretty.

Let’s get real, trying to give up one of the best things about the holiday just turns me, and a lot of others into a straight up scrooge. You don’t want to sit off to the side and eat your kale salad while everyone is enjoying the holiday potlucks, company parties and friend get together that includes all the delicious foods. But, you also don’t want to completely throw your body into a food and sugar overload the last ¼ of the year. Here are some tricks I’ve learned that help me get through the holidays without packing on the extra pounds



1)      Eat a big healthy breakfast every morning – My go to is avocado toast on Ezekiel bread, two scrambled or over east eggs, and 1 cup of mixed fruit. The mix of protein, carbs and fats keeps you full well until lunch.


2)      Keep healthy snacks at your desk or easily accessible during the day. I am snack queen at work. I used to sit right next to the empty cubical where my department kept all of our snacks (ie chips, cookies, banana bread, candy, etc) and lemme tell you – I would roll my little self the 5ft across the walkway to that desk several times a day. I started my own “snack drawer” with healthier options of almonds, kind bars, and I keep fruit and yogurt in our break room kitchen. At home, I do a clean-out of my pantry and get rid of all the goldfish, chips and bad snack foods so I’m not tempted to snack away when I’m at home.


3)      Stay hydrated – I cannot express the importance of this! Most of the time when you get the 3pm munchies, it’s probably because you are just thirsty. I keep a lot of different types of tea bags at my desk or around the house for something different than water. Typically some hot green or earl gray tea in the afternoon can keep my sweet cravings at bay


4)      Try to keep your thoughts busy – read a Buzzfeed article, write an email to your mom, go talk to a coworker, call your best friend, or play a quick game on your phone. Keeping your mind occupied and brain stimulated and focused on something other than food will help distract you and keep your hands out of the candy dish


5)      Check your portions – When heading to the buffet line at a party or corporate event, your eyes become bigger than your stomach. You are much more willing to eat more if it’s already on your plate. Take much smaller portions than you typically would, and take your time eating. This will help you feel fuller faster, and you more than likely will not feel the need to go back for seconds.

*tip – if you are CRAVING a sweet or junk food like nobody’s business, take a second and remember all the goals you have for yourself the rest of the year and don’t break the promise to yourself. If you slip up and give in, IT IS OKAY. If you feel the fire burning inside that you have to have it, then do it. This will help you from unhealthy eating habits and binging later on.



Either way, just keep your goals in mind and you will be more confident going into the new year. 

xoxo, Claire


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