Wednesday, April 26, 2017
For the past year or so I’ve been in a rut. Life happened. I not making excuses, it is reality. And quite frankly, I just hadn’t been very focused on living the healthy lifestyle that I was accustomed to. For the most part I made fairly good food choices but exercise didn’t happen very often. My weight crept up but I was still in my personal “normal” range. But this January and the subsequent months, things just became really hectic in my world. I have been overwhelmed by stress in just about every area of my life and I totally fell back to my emotional safety net - eating. Well, I take that back, I really didn’t eat much but when I did......I had hot wings, red vines, ice cream, pasta, YOU NAME IT! I knew getting my health together would help me both physically and mentally but I just wasn’t ready.
I’ve been working on finding the joy during my challenges and slowly but surely began every day with a more positive outlook, didn’t let depression keep me down and became much more productive. I still didn’t get my health together but I was seriously thinking about it. And then, my friend Rene aka Good Enough Mother hit me up in my inbox on facebook and asked if I was interested in the Ladimax Lifestyle Hollywood Beatdown Bootcamp Atlanta. It was led by Celebrity trainer Nicole Sanders and having watched Rene’s transformation, I knew Nicole was the truth and this opportunity was like a blessing from Heaven.
For five days, I along with 7 other women ate clean healthy meals (3 were prepared for us by the Ladimax team, WINNING!), woke up at the buttcrack of morning and made our way to 6am bootcamp. We worked out together, laughed and I am quite sure a few tears (the good kind) were shed as we all made a commitment to ourselves to do better! Well, I tell you what, it worked! I lost 4.75 inches, 8.6 pounds and 7.3% body fat. I am most proud of the drop in my body fat because when I started last Monday I was at 36.6% and anything over 30% puts you at risk for heart disease! My goal was to get below that number but I had no idea I’d do it in 5 days!
The Ladimax program is focused on dispelling the myth that you have to reduce calories and do cardio like it is going out of style to make a difference. The goal? Build muscle and reduce fat. Get off the scale and look at the inches lost to measure progress. All of the meals I ate were clean and healthy but I ate 5 times a day! The exercise was about 30 minutes daily. It works people. I am so inspired by my results and am feeling so great that I’ve partnered with Ladimax Lifestyle to be on their program. Ladimax Lifestyle is a virtual training program for women that works....if you work it!
Not convinced by my five day results? Well, watch me work as I prepared for my upcoming college reunion. Check back here weekly for updates on my progress. This is going to be good folks, I just know it! You can check out the program for yourself and join me here. Look out world, I’m feeling good! Here is a video...I just can't contain my excitement.
Disclosure: I partnered with Ladimax Lifestyle and attended the boot camp in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions. I think the results speak for themselves!
Friday, April 21, 2017
Matilda the Musical is unlike any show I have ever seen. I think that is saying a lot given I’ve been attending Broadway shows since I was a child! I had the pleasure of seeing Matilda the Musical at the fabulous Fox Theater last night and the experience was amazing! I truly understand how this show won 4 Tony Awards during its run on Broadway. Matilda the Musical is based on the book Matilda written by Roald Dahl. It is the story of Matilda, a young girl genius who at 5 has read classics like A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Pride and Prejudice and many many more. Unfortunately, her genius is not appreciated by her parents, as a matter of fact she is verbally abused because of her intelligence. They are more interested in their son who watches “the telly” all day.
At school, Matilda also finds herself being the bullied, by none other than the headmistress of her school. However, she is taken under the wing of her teacher Ms. Honey, who chooses to nurture her genius despite not receiving support from the administration or Matilda’s parents to do so. In spite of everything, Matilda remains a child with a happy disposition who enjoys creating and telling tales to the librarian. Deeper meaning of her story unfolds as the musical progresses and the story deepens for all characters involved.
I was totally blown away by the amazing set design, the singing and the acting. Especially of the ensemble comprised of Matilda’s classmates. Although the storyline concentrated on very heavy topics, the show was filled with comedy, great songs and lyrics and was aesthetically pleasing. I highly recommend a trip to see Matilda at the fabulous Fox Theater, it is running from April 18-23rd. If you are in another city, check out the website to see if the tour is stopping near you!
Disclosure: I was provided with media passes to see the musical, all opinions are my own.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
|Pete the Cat set|
My son and I had so much fun during Spring Break. Our staycation was filled with activities and he woke up every morning asking me “what are we doing today?” On one of the first days of Spring break we visited one of our favorite places, the Center for Puppetry Arts. During this trip we saw Pete the Cat, based on the book series by Kim and James Dean. Before seeing the show I was unfamiliar with the series and my son said he had not read any of the books. However, once the show was underway, on more than one occasion he said “I know this story!”
|Pete photo credit: Darrel Hazelrig|
The show is comprised of short stories based on some of the books in the series. My favorite story was Pete and his Magic Sunglasses. I loved the theme of changing your perspective and seeing things in a positive light, even when you are in a bad mood. It is a lesson both kids and adults can benefit from. The music from the show was so much fun and we especially enjoyed having the live guitar player on stage as each story unfolded. The show is perfect for young and old alike, the approximate hour run time is perfect to keep the attention of the littlest viewers. After the show we received a build-a-puppet kit for Pete the Cat. We chose to bring it home to build it, but there was a workshop to create the puppet too! The show is playing from now until May 28th and you can find showtimes and purchase tickets at puppet.org
Following the show, we toured the Worlds of Puppetry Museum and the Jim Henson Labyrinth 30th Anniversary Special Exhibit. This was the first time we explored the museum since it was renovated and it is amazing. We started at the Labyrinth and my son got a kick out of all of the elaborate puppets used in the movie. We added it to the list of movies that we want to see in the near future. Next we ventured to the main museum and toured The Global Collection. We both learned quite a bit about puppetry art in both the U.S (with puppets from favorites The Lion King, Coraline and more) and the world. I think our favorite was the hands on marionette show!
We ended by touring the Jim Henson Collection. In a word.....OUTSTANDING! We spent a considerable amount of time in the “television studio” where we were able to have our own puppet show on set, incorporating cue cards and watching on the monitors to make sure we got the right shot!
And because we were there when the weather was frightening (thunderstorms and tornado watch), we had the whole place to ourselves and played for a good hour!
I highly suggest you take a trip to the Center for Puppetry Arts, catch Pete the Cat with a child in your life and explore the museum. Or, check out one of the shows for teenagers and adults. I can tell you no matter what your age, you will have a great time at the Center for Puppetry Arts!
Monday, March 27, 2017
Spring has sprung here in Atlanta and spring break is fast approaching. If you are looking for an exciting event to share with the kiddies over the break, Medieval Times is sure to be a hit! It is so much fun. We have a ball each and every time we go, I think it has something to do with being able to scream our heads out without restraint. This is both a dinner and a show and they are both amazing. I won’t give you a lot of detail about the show itself because I don’t want to spoil it for you, just be prepared for a night of jousting, sword fighting, and horse prancing! I will tell you that you are assigned to route for a particular knight and can wave flags, cheer for him and of course jeer at his competition.
The food it so good and very plentiful. There are options for both omnivores and vegetarians/vegans, each time we’ve gone we’ve taken some of the food home because there is so much of it! Just be forewarned, this is Medieval Times when utensils were not used and eating with your hands is mandatory! On this visit I was lucky enough to be thrown a rose by my Knight and I felt very special indeed!
Disclosure: I received media tickets for this event, all opinions are my own.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
|photo credit: S on flickr|
Times are changing. The political climate has driven all of us to take a closer look at what is happening in the world around us. Regardless of where we stand, one thing is clear - we are all being affected and taking action. However today I am not going to talk about politics, there is more than enough of that dialogue going on and I don’t want it to take over my life and bring me fatigue. Self-care is important to me and in recent months this has been my focus. This ties into the world around me because of change.
Change. For the first time I am not only acknowledging I have to meet my own needs, I am actually doing it. This has been beneficial. I have stepped outside of my comfort zone and been more open about my needs. I’ve shared my vulnerabilities. I’ve received support from unexpected places. None of this has been easy and I am still in the midst of very trying times. But the one thing I’ve learned is that I am not alone.
For most of my life I have isolated myself in times of trouble. Sometimes the isolation is physical but most times I withhold information from friends and loved ones because of pride. My fear of judgement and because as an only child I’ve always handled things on my own. I never realized how freeing it would be to share more of myself. It has fostered deeper relationships, greater self reflection and has resulted in a better me. This journey is far from over but I’m liking the results I see.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but I know this isn’t true. By making small changes I am beginning to live a fulfilled, more well-rounded life and am comfortable in my own skin. I’m making choices the best for me and not resorting to old coping mechanisms that were not beneficial to me. This change isn’t easy but it is getting a little easier every day. Do you have a similar story?
I share because I want to remind you that although the world around us is seemingly spiraling out of control and you can’t breath, please don’t forget to put on your oxygen mask first. Ask for help when you need it. Take a timeout from social media. Turn off the news and listen to great music. Dance. Eat. Pray. Make love. Be happy! And if you aren’t happy manifest happiness until it becomes a reality. Self-care is the most important gift you can give yourself and the ones you love. Do it now, the life you save will be your own!