“Strong Bodies, Beautiful Minds”

So this is where I get a little bit sappy and tell the world way too much personal information about myself…But that’s what blogs are for, right?

So here goes.

I have struggled with my weight and body image as far back as I can remember. I have vivid memories of being eight years old and thinking I was fat and trying to figure out how to lose weight. I’ve been through phases of my life where all day, every day was consumed with thoughts about my weight and negative feelings about how I looked. There were days where I didn’t want to leave the house because none of my clothes looked good and I felt too bad about myself to walk out the door. Then I went through phases where I obsessed over how many calories I had to eat in order to lose weight and didn’t enjoy food at all because I was so focused on being thinner. There were phases where I would give up and just eat whatever I wanted because I was always going to be this way and it wasn’t worth trying. I’d end up gaining a bunch of weight in a short period of time and feeling even worse.

I hate to admit these things because I know I should know better. I know we need to love ourselves (especially as women) and be happy with what we were born with. I know that too many women have body image issues and it makes me cringe when young girls say they look fat. I’ve always been confident in who I am as a person – in my strengths, in my relationships and in my jobs. I’ve been great at giving others advice about standing up for themselves and asking for what they deserve; for women’s rights and empowerment. I’ve always told friends they need to be strong, confident women because they deserve to be. But for some reason I am extremely hard on myself.

About a year ago I started Kaia FIT to lose a little weight before my best friend, Kira’s bachelorette party because I didn’t want to be the “fat girl at the pool.” I came to my first class at her recommendation because it had been so great for her and I instantly fell in love. The women were friendly, the coaches were inviting and encouraging, and the exercises were fun. I’ve never been an athlete, but I had just recently started to like running and accomplished my first half marathon (which was a HUGE feat for me) and thought Kaia was a good next step.

In a year at Kaia I have only lost about 5-7 pounds, but I’ve learned that the number on the scale doesn’t matter when you’re building muscle. I’ve said those words to so many of my friends before “Muscle weighs more than fat, so don’t worry about the scale.” But it took me a while to really accept it as the truth. For months I was disappointed that the scale wasn’t dropping until I realized how much I’ve improved. My body has changed so much, I even stand differently than I used to. My posture is better and I never have back problems anymore. I’m the same weight I was a few years ago, but I wear two sizes smaller in pants because my body has changed so much.

I was feeling so great about myself, loving this program and believing in it so much that I decided I want to make it my life. I want to bring this feeling of accomplishment, of strength, of confidence, of encouragement and community to as many women as possible and I want to open my own Kaia location.

But then, when I signed up for certification I instantly started telling myself  that I might not pass. What? This person who finally felt so confident and ready for this was scared? I didn’t understand it either.

I got to certification and I instantly reverted back to this young, scared girl who didn’t feel good enough. I looked at all these strong, amazing women around me and felt like I didn’t belong in their group. Like I wasn’t fit enough, thin enough, strong enough, a good enough coach. I was constantly looking in the mirror saying to myself  “I look awful. I can’t believe I gained those few pounds back last month. I don’t look like I should be a trainer. I’ve never coached anything in my life, how am I going to do this?”

I tried to push those feelings aside, workout really hard and do my best. Overall I had a great time and learned SO much about Kaia, but I just wasn’t myself. I wasn’t fully engaged in everything like I should have been because I let my fear get the best of me. I let the insecure girl inside of me take over and then felt a little defeated on the way home. I got 100% on the practical exam and knew what I was doing (I do this stuff every day!), but I didn’t feel or show confidence while I was doing it. All of the women were so encouraging and extremely positive, but I was having trouble seeing that I was doing well.

I got home last night and one of my coaches and friends who knew how I was feeling texted me and gave me some much-needed support and comfort. She told me everyone has these moments and experiences the same feelings at some point. She said that confidence is key and I need to “just rock it.” She understood where I was coming from and encouraged me to work through it. I told myself that I AM making the right decision because I AM right for this and it will get better and then went to sleep.

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I woke up this morning KNOWING that I belonged in that group. I got up at 5:00am for class and drove to the gym with a huge smile on my face ready to workout even though my entire body was sore and I only had 5 1/2 hours of sleep. I was ready because I finally took the time to appreciate myself for what I’ve done. Last week I did 322 burpees in 45 minutes for our Burpees for Boobs charity. This week I worked out basically for 3 days straight and ran a timed mile in the cold, windy, snowy altitude. This may not be a big deal for some, but those are huge accomplishments to me. I’ve trained for two half marathons, I’ve improved on countless exercises and made some pretty major changes from my life before. I finally took the time to get the negativity out of my head and realize that if someone else told me they did those things I’d be beyond impressed.

I DO belong in this group with these women. They’re MY group of women.574919_267506386714671_1786966701_n

I can’t even tell you everything this program has done for me. Not to mention what it has done for some of the other women in my life. My mom who is turning 65 next month used to go to the gym and only walk on the treadmill because she thought running would be bad for her joints. Now she’s doing burpees, lifting weights, running sprints and lifting 20 pound bags of dog food at the grocery store like it’s nothing. I am so impressed with her determination and hard work.

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I have never felt more supported or encouraged in my entire life than I have since workout out with these women. This is the greatest group I have ever been a part of and I am so thankful for everything they’ve given me. I cannot WAIT to open my own Kaia and bring the same love and support to other women. I will not let my insecurities get in the way of what I want to do. It may take me a while to be comfortable coaching, but that’s ok. I know I don’t have to be an expert right away, but I also know I’ll get there. And I know it will be great.

cf356603b1710f26f9759dfbbc1ba4ca“Kaia F.I.T.’s mission is to create strong bodies and powerful minds. Working together to get fit, feel great and know that we Kan accomplish anything.”

Check out this video of Kaia F.I.T. Owner Nikki Warren!

And check out our Burpees for Boobs fundraiser!

Staying F.I.T. on Vacation

Get it? F.I.T….cause I do Kaia F.I.T…. :)

So for Christmas this year we visited my husband’s family in Oahu for 10 days. It was so nice to leave the cold weather and head to warmer climates for the holidays, but I was concerned I would “fall off the wagon” when it came to my fitness. Kaia was on a winter break for a few weeks, so my timing worked out pretty well, but I didn’t want to come back to class and feel like I was starting all over again. So, I decided to try my best to keep working out and stay active while we were there.

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My father-in-law lives at the top of some seriously steep hills. Each day we’d go for a jog or a walk down to the bottom and back up. Some days we ran 2-3 miles and some days we just did hill repeats on the super steep hills right by the house.

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Some days we would drive down by Waikiki, park the car and run up Diamond Head Road for a beautiful 3 or 3 1/2 mile run with a view along the water. Then we’d run back to the car, go change into our suits, and head to the beach. That, right there is THE perfect day in my mind. I hope to have lots more of those when I move there.

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While Kaia was on their winter break, the coaches sent us a new at-home workout for each day. On days I was feeling extra motivated I pulled out a yoga mat and tried some of them after my run. They weren’t easy..that’s for sure. I can definitely say that having the coaches and a big group of girls by your side makes you feel like you can keep going, even when you feel exhausted. Completing these tough workouts alone is definitely harder, but I tried to do my best and I was so glad the coaches kept us in mind while we were away!

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Now, if we’re being honest here.. I was on VACATION…so there was a little bit of beer drinking and relaxing going on as well. Probably a little more than there should have been..but it was vacation, right? I tried to stay away from the super sweet drinks like mai tais and pina coladas that are loaded with sugar and calories (I only had one in the 10 days I was there) and tried to stick with wine and the occasional cold beer on the lanai. We ate a ton of fish and healthy home-cooked meals, but I also splurged a little and had chocolate for dessert when I wanted something sweet (or the occasional shave ice).

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We also drank coconut water straight from the source. YUM

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We did one of my favorite hikes on Oahu on Koko Head (favorite because of the gorgeous view at the top) and of course I had to take a Kaia planking picture at the top.

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We spent one day out on the boat wakeboarding in the marina, which was SUPER fun, although much harder than I’m used to on the warm, smooth waters of Clear Lake.

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I have to say, what a difference a year can make. The last time we went to Hawaii for vacation, back in July of 2011, there was no running. There was very little hiking (and it was WAY harder than it was this time). There were definitely no Kaia-type workouts done solo on a yoga mat. And there was LOTS AND LOTS of eating bad food and drinking too many pina coladas. Yes, I am a firm believer in working hard and playing hard. When you’re on vacation, you should feel like you’re on vacation. But that doesn’t mean the same thing to me as it did a year ago before I started Kaia.

Now, a vacation isn’t complete to me without getting out and being active. I’m still going to enjoy good food and a little relaxation, but in a different way. I’ve always loved the outdoors, but now I get so much enjoyment out of exercising and pushing my limits that my outlook on physical activity is completely different. We’ve always hiked when we went to Hawaii, but I was queen of requesting the “easy hikes,” because that way I wouldn’t feel miserable the entire time. Now, I want each hike to be more challenging than the last. I am so looking forward to moving to the island and finding new trails and hikes that will challenge me even more.

What do you do to stay F.I.T. on vacation?

Oh…and I thought this little guy was too cute to leave out… IMG_5889

Island Living Here We Come!

Whoa. The last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind to say the least. In the last 40 or so days we have sold our house and all our furniture, given notice to our jobs, decided to change our careers and move from Northern California to HAWAII. It sounds even crazier when I write it down.
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Here’s how it all went down… long story short, I wasn’t happy. My job wasn’t exactly the right fit for me and never really was. There were parts of my job I loved, like the people, the event planning, etc., but I’ve always wanted to be the one in charge and after four years I felt ready to take on more responsibility and risk. When I graduated college I moved back to my home town and bought a house with my now-husband and had a mortgage and all the things that go along with owning a home. We lived in suburbia surrounded by neighbors with children and mini-vans (there’s nothing wrong with that if you’re ready for it). We spent all of our time (and money) painting and doing upgrades to the house, decorating and doing yard work. Most of it we enjoyed (like being able to throw big get togethers and parties, grow our own vegetable garden, etc) but it left us little time and money to get out and enjoy the world. Don’t get me wrong, in the past 4 years we did some traveling and we had a lot of fun, but it just wasn’t right. I wanted to get out and enjoy my “childhood” before it was over.

Fast-forward 4 years and it’s time for a shake-up. We listed our house on the market to test the waters and see what would happen with the economy the way it is. Our realtor told us it probably wouldn’t sell for what we wanted it to sell for, it’d be upside down and we’d have to short sell if we wanted to leave. We didn’t want to lose money so if we didn’t come out even, we weren’t going to sell, which means we’d be stuck unless we could rent it out. We listed the house and within 24 hours it sold for over our asking price. We accepted an offer a week later and entered escrow. 30 days later, it was moving day. My first thought… “Sh*t. We don’t have a place to live!”

We started talking about our options. Do we move to another city? In only 30 days? That sounds crazy. Do we move downtown to be closer to work and our friends and enjoy the city life? Probably. Well at least my parents live nearby and have a spare bedroom if absolutely necessary.

A few days later we got an amazing offer to move to Hawaii from my husband’s family who lives on Oahu. They happen to own a condo that we are able to move into as soon as we’d like (rent free) until we get on our feet. Who says no to that, right? So we’re now staying at my parent’s house until we make the big move on March 18th.

Am I nervous? Yes. Of course. There are a lot of aspects of  my life here that I absolutely love and will be very sad to leave. I have never lived more than 2 hours away from my best friend (besides when we each studied abroad, but that was only 6 months at a time) and that will be a very difficult adjustment for me. I will miss my family, my friends, my Kaia girls and my co-workers. Being so far away from friends and family is scary, but we just have to try. You only live once and I know I would regret it if we passed up this opportunity before giving it a shot.

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What am I going to do for work? Well, that you’ll find out soon. I have a business opportunity there that I will share at a later time (it’s a pretty damn good one!) and I am beyond excited about it.

I look forward to sharing our journey and I hope you’ll stay tuned!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

15 Reasons to Run

Good morning friends! Today I am feeling so incredibly positive I just had to share. I am loving the Runner’s World Running Streak Challenge because it is keeping me active and motivated every single day. The challenge is to run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Years. Some days I run just over a mile, and some days I run over three. Hopefully soon some of those longer runs will end up getting closer to 5 or 6. The best part about the challenge for me is there is never a good enough excuse why I can’t run ONE mile. There is always 10 minutes in the day to fit this in, and once you get out there, you might want to go further. Either way, it is helping me keep health , fitness and running on my mind and in my schedule. If you haven’t started yet, it’s not too late! You can just make up for the missed days by increasing your first few runs by a few miles.

I am also loving my Kaia family (as always) and for the first time (probably in my entire life) I am confident that I can get through this holiday season without getting into an unhealthy rut and gaining the usual 5-10 pounds I always seem to pack on during this time. Click here to check if you have a Kaia in your area, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

My husband and I will be visiting family in Hawaii for Christmas this year and I am really looking forward to the hikes and long walks while we’re there. I plan to participate in the Running Streak every day and am really looking forward to the beautiful views along the way.

These photos are from a hike we did last summer when we were in Hawaii and I can’t wait to do it again! Maybe this time we’ll run the stairs :)

Happy running everyone!

A Little Holiday Season Motivation

I read this article on RunnersWorld.com and it got me really excited for running and being outdoors this winter. So I decided to make a list of all the things I’m personally going to try in order to keep in shape and feel good throughout the holidays.

1. Start with treating myself to some awesome new winter workout gear. They say there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes, so get yourself something comfy and warm to bundle up in for those cold outside runs! I’ve actually already started this one. For my birthday I got a few new pieces from lululemon (my new obsession) and even bought myself a little somethin. Although expensive, lulu is seriously AMAZING. From their “anti-bacterial” or “anti-stink” material to the hidden “emergency hair-ties” on their zippers to the extra material near the wrists for wrapping up your hands in the winter, they literally have thought of everything. Their workout gear makes you look and feel amazing and I am officially hooked. Who wouldn’t want to be active when you feel THAT great in workout clothes?

This is my new favorite piece!

2. Make time for myself to be active. The holidays can be so busy and stressful that we consume our lives with doing things for other people. This winter I want to make sure I take a little time every day to do something for myself, whether that is going for a run or even just going outside at lunch time for a quick walk around the building.

3. Sign up for a few fun 5ks or other runs/races. The first one I’m planning is the Run to Feed the Hungry on Thanksgiving day in Sacramento. This race is HUGE and is such a fun way to spend the morning AND help donate to those who need it. I also plan on doing as many Tuesday night Fun Runs at my local Fleet Feet as I can. Everyone meets to go for a 3-4 mile run and most weeks there are different themes and even raffle prizes!

Last week’s fun run

4. Try something new. I have never done hot yoga and have never really been all that  interested, but I saw a groupon for a stuido nearby and thought, what better time than the middle of winter to do hot yoga? So I think I’ll give it a shot!

5. Instead of meeting friends for lunch or drinks over the holidays, meet them for a long walk outside and then go get a hot coffee. No matter if you’ve worked out already in the morning or not, a walk is always doable and will get you moving and will burn a few extra “holiday calories.”

6. Try the Runners World Run Streak! This just means you log at least one mile of running every day between Thanksgiving and New Years. I know I can do this. That can be less than 10 minutes a day! Like I said in number 2, I need to “make time for myself.” This would be a perfect way to do that and would help keep me motivated and on track through the holidays. I think I’ll try it! #RWRunStreak

7. Make it to as many Kaia classes as I possibly can unless I have a VERY good reason for missing (i.e. I’m dying, sick, injured). I go to these bootcamp classes in the mornings before work and they truly make my life better. I’ve blogged about this here and here and joining was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I can easily see myself wanting to sleep in a little longer and stay in my warm bed in the winter instead of waking up at 5am, but I am going to do my best to fight that urge. I always feel better after a kick-ass Kaia workout and I don’t want to get out of my routine.

How are you going to stay motivated this winter?

M.I.A.

Six weeks. I’ve been MIA for six weeks. That is the longest I have gone without blogging since I started Artistry By Adele and I’m shocked I let it go that long. This blog has been my creative outlet and a major source of my enjoyment for such a long time that I’m surprised I let it get away from me. I always said, the day my blog feels like a chore is the day I’ll stop posting.

One day, I sat down in front of my computer and was just out of ideas. I felt like I ran out of things to write about and nothing that came to mind warranted an entire blog post. Do people REALLY want to hear about this recipe I made last night? It wasn’t even that good… Are these photos REALLY interesting enough to post on the internet? Is my writing ACTUALLY good enough to keep readers entertained? That was when blogging started to feel like a chore. I’ve been feeling that way for a while now (over six weeks to be specific) until this morning. This morning I thought, F#$% it. If people don’t want to read it, they won’t. And that’s fine with me. Each post doesn’t have to be the best blog post I’ve ever written. I started this blog to have fun and explore my creativity and interests, and that’s what I plan to do. I may not post as often as I used to (every day), but that’s okay too. It’s my blog after all. I can do what I want with it, right?

Most of my time over the last couple months has been spent helping some of my friends celebrate their marriages. Three of my closest friends, including my absolute best friend on the planet, got married this summer/fall and I was lucky enough to be a bridesmaid in two of the weddings and a Matron of Honor in one. My husband was also a groomsman in two of the three weddings so we were both pretty busy with bachelor/bachelorette parties, bridal showers, engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, and weddings.

All three weddings were photographed by the lovely Bre Thurston and you can see more of these photos on her website.

So once all the craziness subsided, I got bored. I was happy to have a break and get back to normal life, but when I got there, I went into a bit of a funk. So I figured, what better way to get out of my funk than to plan a spontaneous trip to New York to visit two of my good friends, especially since I’ve never been before. I was so excited for the trip, but then Sandy hit and I wasn’t able to go. Thankfully both friends are just fine, but I decided to put that trip off until the Spring and instead my hubby and I just booked a trip to visit family in Hawaii for Christmas AND I’m planning a girls’ trip to Vegas in January. Vegas fixes everything.

I also turned 27 on Tuesday. For some reason, I wasn’t very excited about this birthday. 27 is just such a strange number. To celebrate, a couple of my girlfriends and I did the fleet feet neon fun run where we got to wear these awesome hot pink, light up vests. My best friend won a pair of new running shoes in the raffle, and we ended our run at a nearby bar and had a couple of beers to celebrate. Not a bad way to start a new year of my life. The vests definitely helped.

In other news, I re-joined the world on Twitter. I am still figuring out how to use it properly, hashtags and all, but I think I love it. My tweets are private, but if you’d like to follow me I’d be glad to accept!

Plan on seeing a lot more of me from now on. I miss all my blogging buddies! Happy Friday!

On The Coast

My husband and I had the best weekend celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary on the Northern California Coast near Jenner, CA a few weekends ago. We stayed at a cute little hotel, called the Timber Cove Inn and had an amazing ocean view. We went hiking, wine tasting, listened to live music, ate a few delicious meals, and even roasted marshmallows for breakfast one morning. I loved this little mini vacation and I would go back any time!

The weather was perfect with no fog in sight until the day we left. This was just what we needed- a nice, relaxing weekend to be outdoors and have fun together.

 View from our room

S’mores for breakfast

If you go to Jenner, make sure you stop at Cafe Aquatica. It’s delicious! This was one of 4 different meals we tried there (we ate there for lunch two days in a row). Hummus sandwich may not sound all that great, but trust me, it was delish! And check out that view.

Pumpkin Spice Fig Muffin. O.M.G.

We found a wonderful place to wine taste- Fort Ross Winery. The tasting room was brand new, the view was spectacular and the people were wonderful. We would definitely go back!

Chili Lime Chickpea Salad

This was the easiest and tastiest chickpea salad I’ve made yet! It would be great to take to work for lunches during the week or to have as a side with dinner like I did here.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 ear of corn, kernels removed
  • 1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped

Chili/Lime dressing:

  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder, depending on preferred spice level
  • salt and pepper to taste

That’s it! Mix all of the ingredients together and cover with dressing. Enjoy!

DIY Kick-A** Bride Cup

A few weeks ago we went to Las Vegas for my best friend’s bachelorette party. She needed a bride cup….so I made her one. And it turned out kind of f$%*ing amazing. Belvedere optional.

If you have lots of time and don’t mind repetitiveness, this is the project for you. I’ve done it before here, so I knew I could do it again. And, I already had most of the supplies.

All you need is a strong glue (I used flip-flop glue I found online), a clear plastic cup with a lid, some letter stickers, and a ton of rhinestones. I placed the BRIDE stickers on the cup first, so I could work around them and then started gluing from the bottom. The glue dries fast so do a small area at a time. (Disclaimer- don’t use a hot glue gun, it will melt the plastic!) I used different size rhinestones because that’s what I had on hand but anything will work. I used a needle to pick up the tiny rhinestones one at a time. Yes, this took me forever. Yes, I’m kind of crazy..but look how awesome it turned out!! It’s missing the lid in the picture below, but you get the point!

It was definitely the coolest cup in Las Vegas.

A Beautiful Day in Napa

Northern California has some of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world. We are so lucky to live so close to so many beautiful places. A few weeks ago our friends took us to Napa to barrel taste their wine. They started a wine company, MSix Wine Group and are in the early stages of creating delicious wines. We drove to Napa for the day, toured the amazing wine cave where they are storing their wine, enjoyed salami and crackers while sharing a bottle of wine with a beautiful view, and then took a tour through the vineyards to see their wine grapes. It was a beautiful day in wine country and I was happy to capture some of the beauty with my photos.  

Our gorgeous view for the afternoon

Our expert tour guide for the day :)

Straight from the barrel!

Chardonnay grapes

BFFs