Tag Archives: christmas

Monday Motivation with a Basic Yoga Flow Video

Happy Monday! To get your week of to a great start, I have a Christmas themed basic yoga flow. It’s suitable for all  levels. Check out my crazy socks & look for the #catphotobomb in the video. While yoga is inspiring, after the video  I’m sharing a story about fresh starts & new beginnings for some Monday motivation. πŸ™‚ 

Christmas Themed Basic Yoga Flow

The two basic yoga flows shown in the video are variations of sun salutations which include some strength exercises for the upper body and the core. They are great for a warm up, cool down or just a quick stretch. I will build on these flow sequences in the weeks to come. 

Monday Motivation

We have all have bad days. Last week seemed to be a bad week for me as far as technology goes. It was full of technical problems! I learned a lesson in patience & perseverance. What is worth doing isn’t always easy. I was also reminded how thankful I am for second chances & fresh starts. You know that feeling when you have tried everything to get something to work & you want to pull your hair out? Yah…me too. Last week even the most basic things were not functioning. I tried to save a file to my external hard drive, it ‘couldn’t be found’ according to my computer. Tried to upload a video, the video wouldn’t process. The list goes on. All these problems caused simple tasks to become really complicated and time consuming. Time was ticking & nothing was getting done. It was really discouraging.

While I am very thankful it is a new week, the great thing is you don’t have to wait a week or a month or a year for a ‘fresh start’. Every day is a new day & within the day, every hour is a new hour. Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed or have a bad case of the Monday’s? That doesn’t mean the whole day is a waste.  Try to find the positive among the negative. As soon as a new hours strikes or a new minute begins, it’s an opportunity for the day to be different. Change your mindset. Even though things may not be perfect, or in my case, things still may not be getting done, changing your outlook on the situation is extremely powerful. Try it this week & see what a difference it makes.4c5db9a9508c7860d29c4f3b587a22be

Let’s Chat: 
What workouts do you have planned this week? 
What is your favorite source of motivation?

XOXO
Stay sweet & happy Monday!!
Sarah

My Favorite Way to Squash the Holiday Sweet Tooth

The holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Years is full of lots of sweets and food traditions. Whether it is a cookie exchange at work, family get togethers or holiday parties, desserts and sweets seem to be around every corner. Even when you go to get coffee, sugary caramel brΓ»lΓ©e lattes & peppermint mochas are calling your name. How do you get enough will power to say no to all these things?!

Not only is temptation everywhere, but there is the added pressure that this time only comes once a year so you better enjoy it while it lasts. What do you do? How can you squash your sweet tooth so your pants still fit yet not miss out on the flavors? Guess what, there is a way! 

Sure a treat or two isn’t going to hurt, but most of us don’t stop at one or two. Last year I was able to loose weight during the holiday season and I felt better than ever in January. I found ways to enjoy the holiday flavors without all the added sugar and guilt so I didn’t feel deprived.

If you have been reading my blog, you know one thing I am passionate about is helping other people loose weight and feel better. I want to share with you one of the things that helped me the most last December, a collection of my holiday smoothie recipes. The best part is, it’s free! It’s my gift to you. 3

By making my protein shakes into delicious tasting treats, I was able to enjoy all the holiday flavors without all the added calories. In this PDF download, there are 10 recipes that have all the holiday flavors from pumpkin pie to gingerbread to eggnog. These smoothies are great for a quick breakfast, post workout or even as a dessert. 

How do I get these recipes? It’s really easy, just click the big button below!

   Get Holiday Smoothie Recipes 

What are you waiting for?! Click the button above and I will send you the recipes immediately. You can print them out and keep them in your kitchen. 

Here’s a sneak peak!
the peppermint mocha smoothie 

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yep, even cats love it!

added bonus:  cinnamon apple cider smoothie, made hot!
so delicious, it was better than anything a coffee shop can make!!

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Get Holiday Smoothie Recipes

Let’s chat: do you have a sweet tooth? what is your favorite holiday treat?

XOXO
Sarah 

Update & Christmas Flow Yoga

Hi everyone!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I had the best intentions of posting while here in Mexico and we have been SO much busier than I expected. Also Internet had been questionable and it didn’t work out as I had planned, but the trip and time with family has been AWESOME!
If you want to know more of what I have been up to, check out my Instagram feed I have been posting photos there πŸ™‚

I wanted to share this video with you the other day but the internet speed wasn’t fast enough for me to upload it to youtube, so I had to wait a few days.

Today in Mexico I taught a PiYo class, it was SO much fun! I had a blast and so did all the people in the class. The video above I took at home while prepping for this class. It’s yoga flow to the song little drummer boy by Toby Mac, it’s perfect and so festive!!

Try this flow with me and let me know what you think!!

Xoxo
Stay sweet!

Sarah

A December Weekend [Recap+OOTD]

December weekends always seem to be really full. Full of activities, Christmas-ing, shopping, FUN, whatever it is. This last weekend was one of those “full” weekends.

It all started on Friday. I had been wanting a peppermint mocha, and while the skinny one from Starbucks isn’t horrible, milk irritates my stomach and they don’t have the almond milk option at Starbucks, so I decided to try to remake a peppermint mocha myself. It turned out pretty great actually. See my post with the recipe here.
Photo Dec 07-5I enjoyed it in my fun Christmas cup by our Christmas tree. It was so good and so easy, I’ll def be doing this again.

On Friday night, my husband and I went on a Christmas shopping/coffee date. 
Photo Dec 05-9Thankfully the mall wasn’t like crazy and overrun. You all know that in December things can easily spiral out of control. If you think I am crazy for wearing those heels, they are actually really comfy. I am always looking for a reason to sport some cute shoes. Just wait till you see the pics from the rest of the weekend πŸ˜€

On Saturday I had to be to work VERY early. I planned to get up extra early so I could have time to workout in the morning and not be in a huge rush. I woke up at 5:15am on a Saturday! Like woah. 
Photo Dec 06-3I was a total zombie for the first 30 mins, and then after I had some coffee, I made sure to put on some cute workout clothes (this top is from Old Navy!) and I was ready to WORK.
Photo Dec 06-5Then I started having second thoughts. I was having the best hair day of all time. I mean seriously my hair looked like I hadn’t even slept on it. Do you see my bangs in this pic??? Perfection for a Saturday morning!!! I was so tempted to workout later in the day,  BUT knew that if I waited there was a 99% chance I wouldn’t end up having time. I was NOT going to let a good hair day stop me.
Photo Dec 06Then I was off to work. After I got off, I had planned to meet up with my mom and hit all the craft shows that were happening around town. For some reason the first weekend of December is like craft show central. Here is a fun fact about me: I LOVE CRAFTING!
Unfortunately it can get pretty time consuming and with everything I have going on right now, I don’t get to do much. Usually in December I end up making something. Last year I had a full on project table – check it out:
IMG_5169Coco (my cat) likes to help with crafts too πŸ˜›
IMG_5168Unfortunately this year I just have no time to make anything. More time for crafts and creativity is in my future plans.

I totally get the “manual creativity” from my mom, she is one of the most creative people. Seriously she could totally have a very successful Etsy store, but instead she prefers to just do it for fun and bless the people around her with her creativity and talent. 

This is why it is so much fun to go to the craft shows with her! Every year there is one or two shows that just blow. your. mind. Everyone that has a table is like so talented. Then some of the other shows it’s just a bunch of pre made things which I don’t enjoy as much.
Here is one of my purchases from this weekend:IMG_8891Sunday seemed to be the fashion day of the week.  I felt like I was going shopping in my own closet as this outfit came together. Have you ever felt like that?? I had never thought about pairing these together before! Here was my #OOTD (outfit of the day).

Photo Dec 07-9Photo Dec 07-7Photo Dec 07-8How cute is this necklace? So thankful my friend Sara introduced me to Kendra Scott jewelry! My outfits will forever be better πŸ™‚
Photo Dec 07-6 Hudson skinny jeans in black. Kendra Scott necklace. Chelsea 28 silk cami with lace. Halogen cardigan. Pink lipstick. Nude pumps

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 9.46.33 AMThe pumps that I wore with this outfit are the ones that I took a #shoefie with at Nordstrom when I bought them!!

When I got home from church, it was time to workout. Instead of doing my workout first thing on Sunday, I made plans to do it later in the day since I knew I would have the house to myself. 
PRO TIP: plan your workouts and make them non-negotiable, it’s a business meeting with yourself on your calendar. That is how I make sure to get them done on the weekend. 

Post workout I had a DELICIOUS mug cake. Katie inspired me to try one about a month ago. It was so easy and yummy, but for some reason I hadn’t had one since. Sunday’s was the perfect thing to have before going to a party with tempting sweets and cocktails. 
Photo Dec 07-4 Not the best pic, but let me tell you it was yummy! I made it with a little almond milk (1/4 cup), 1 scoop Quest peanut butter protein powder, 1/4 egg whites and a pinch of baking powder. Microwaved for 1 minute. It was done! You make it in a coffee mug, and then I ate it out of this bowl, although you can certainly eat it straight out of the mug. I also made a chocolate drizzle with 1 piece of super dark chocolate and little tiny bit of coconut oil.

Then I met up with my sis and my mom in downtown for the Nordstrom Christmas shopping party.
Photo Dec 07-12Doesn’t red and sparkles just SCREAM Christmas?!? haha.  I decided to ditch the heels this time and ended up wearing some black flats. Going downtown always involves lots of walking so I decided to take the easy route πŸ™‚

The Nordstom party was so much fun because the store was decorated, there was a DJ, appetizers, cocktails, and lots of special offers from different brands/designers. They do it after hours so it feels “exclusive” even though there were a ZILLION people.
Photo Dec 07My sister was like, this is so fun it just makes you want to buy something. DUH! That’s why they do it! We laughed about that for a while. Despite their efforts, we did mostly looking and very little purchasing. It was so fun to be together, look at all the Christmas stuff and laugh at the women who had OD’d on champagne. πŸ˜›
Photo Dec 07-3I saw this shirt while we were looking around and it made me laugh so hard. I mean really?!? HAHA. See it still makes me laugh. I just had to take a pic with it. Too funny.

Then to top off the weekend, my new iPhone 6 came!!! I was eligible for an upgrade and I really couldn’t have timed that any better. Now I need to find a cover for it. Does anyone have any suggestions???

XOXO
Stay Sweet!

Sarah

Our Christmas Tree + a Workout!

O’ Christmas tree, o’ Christmas tree… How lovely are you branches
πŸ˜€

I can’t believe we have had our tree up almost a week now! Because we are going to be out of the country for Christmas, we decided to start celebrating a bit early, so we actually got our Christmas tree the weekend before Thanksgiving. 

Our first Christmas together, we had a real tree. We went and got it at one of those parking lot tree stands somewhere. It was only $20 and huge and beautiful! We couldn’t justify spending over $100 on a fake tree, we didn’t have that amount of $$ to spend that year.

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our first huge, cheap and beautiful tree (and coco)

So the following year, we decided to buy a fake tree on black Friday, we got a smashing deal! Yay right?! Wrong… we have 2 cats, and they decided that the artificial tree was their new play ground. They would lay in the branches, knock off ornaments, the whole bit. Aggravating to say the least. 

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the crazy cats and our fake tree.

My husband was able to fix the damage that the cats did to the artificial tree and it looks fine, we were also able to get them to stop laying in it…finally! But then randomly one day we would come home and there they were again. I don’t know what it was about the artificial tree that attracted them so much…

So we debated about putting up the fake tree again this year.
WELL, we decided that with our trip we have planned and all the other things going on, we didn’t want to have to deal with cats in the tree again, ruining it and worrying about ornaments etc. Since they seemed to leave the real tree alone, that was the solution – we would get a real tree! 

I thought, “okay so if we are going to get a real tree, then lets go cut it down!” We used to do this every year when I was younger, but stopped after my mom decided a artificial tree was easier and didn’t make all the mess.

It was SO hard to find any U-Cut Christmas tree places open before Thanksgiving. I finally found one, and we made plans to go. We invited some of our friends to join us, and it turned out to be SUCH a fun day!

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the U-Cut tree farm we went to

We got there, they gave us a saw, told us where the different kinds of trees were, and we were off! 

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There were acres and acres of trees! 

DSC01619It was fun to see the different types of trees, and they came in ALL shapes and sizes. It smelled wonderful out there too! It was so peaceful and pretty. 

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After checking out the different styles of tress, we decided on a Douglas Fir.

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We then had to decide which one was going to be ours! There was this funky fluorescent green tree. Seriously, it’s not the pic, it was REALLY that color! 

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There were some pretty perfect looking trees as well. 

DSC01624See the little baby trees in-between the big ones? SO cute. 

DSC01626It might sound silly, but it was fun being surrounded by so many trees. So then after some browsing…

DSC01621we finally decided on “THE ONE” …. it’s this one!!!

DSC01630The boys did most of the work…. 

DSC01631DSC01639Here we go with the tree!!!!
We got it all wrapped up to put on top of the car, and of course I had to take a selfie with the tree too! 

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Now it here in our living room, all set up and covered in lights. The cats have been leaving it alone! YAY! 

It was so much fun to go pick out a “fresh” tree. We were so fortunate to have nice weather, no rain, very little mud, it was great! Such a fun experience and so happy that we were able to share it with our friends too. 
I will post more pics of the tree decorated in a later post πŸ™‚

And since it is workout Wednesday…here is a pyramid body weight workout (in honor of Christmas trees) πŸ˜€

Here is how a pyramid workout works, you start at the top, work your way down, then come back up the pyramid again. So in the workout below, you would start with star jumps, and then work your way down to the burpees, then work your way back up to the star jumps. 

Pyramid Body Weight Workout
2 star jumps
4 tricep dips
8 squats
10 push ups
13 plie squats
15 mountain climbers
20 burpees

Photo Dec 03

ENJOY!

XOXO
Stay Strong!

Sarah 

Christmas Travels & The Grinch

In a few of my past posts, I have eluded to the fact that I won’t be home for Christmas, and that I allowed myself to start Christmas earlier than normal this year because of that.

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Usually I don’t start Christmas until after Thanksgiving, but I started getting in the spirit earlier this year given that I wouldn’t have as long to enjoy it here at home. I didn’t see much point in decorating and putting all this stuff up to only be able to enjoy it for a few weeks. I even considered not putting up a Christmas tree since we were going to be gone for a few weeks, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. I love the Christmas season too much not to put up a tree. 

Christmas holds a very special place in my heart. I wouldn’t say I was obsessed with Christmas, but I LOVE the season, the traditions that come with this time of year,  all the crafting that I get inspired to do, the sparkles, glitter lights and decor that come around this time of year. 

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This is NOT my entry way, but one day I could see my entry way looking like this 

I also LOVE the time with family, the time off from work, and of course, the reason for the season – Christ’s birth. It’s a wonderful time of reflection and centering before the new year starts. I love it. 

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I have traveled at Christmas time before, but it has usually been before or after Christmas. It has been a long time since I have been out of town on the 25th. The few times I have been gone on Christmas, I have been with my immediate family.  This year is going to be different. I will be with family, but not my side of the family. Since getting married, my immediate family is obviously my husband and I. This year, we are going to Mexico to spend Christmas with his side of the family. 

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this is seriously me every time that I pack for a trip… LOL

So you may think, what is the big deal? You are still going to be with family and you husband on Christmas. Well… a few years ago, there was a tragedy on my side of the family RIGHT before Christmas. Christmas that year was far from normal and ever since that year, it has been so special for us to be able to be together. The traditions in Mexico are also different, they celebrate on the night of the 24th, not on the morning of the 25th. I am going to miss celebrating in the way that is near and dear to my heart. I am excited to be there are spend time with my husband’s family, but I couldn’t help but be a  little sad. 

I never used to be able to put my finger on it, but in reflecting about what I was going to miss most, I realized  that my favorite part of Christmas is Christmas morning. Waking up with excitement, having coffee and a special breakfast, opening stockings and just sitting around together in our PJs just being together. 

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I knew it would still be Christmas, just different. The climate, the decor, the lights, the traditions, everything would be different. I kept telling myself, “Sarah, get over it, it’s gonna be different but there is no reason to be upset or sad”. I think the traumatic situation from a few years ago still sticks with me and I just don’t want to take a second with my loved ones for granted. It seems to bother me more at this time of year than any.

THEN, the other night, we watched The Grinch. That is one of my most favorite Christmas movies. Boy did the message of that movie HIT ME HARD an right at home. 

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The Grinch tries to “steal” Christmas from Whoville by sneaking into the town on Christmas Eve and stealing all the decorations, presents, stockings, wreaths, trees, the Christmas feast and EVEN the roast beast! 

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Then he takes all of Christmas up to the top of the mountain to dump it off. When he gets to the top of the mountain, he thinks he will hear the people crying and being sad about Christmas not being there. Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 2.14.06 PM

But, instead of hearing that, he hears them singing and celebrating the coming of Christmas as they normally would, even though all the “material” part of Christmas is gone. 

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Then you know how the movie ends, the Grinch brings everything he stole back to Whoville and celebrates Christmas with them. 

I heard that message loud and clear. I tear up a little watching The Grinch, but this time I full on cried.
I realized I was spending time being sad about not being able to celebrate Christmas the way we had since we got married. I was focusing on traditions and STUFF, not WHY we celebrate Christmas.

Even though we will be gone, and things will be different, Christmas is still Christmas even without stockings, a special breakfast, PJs and traditions. Christmas is going to come and is celebrated no matter where you are, no matter who you are with, and no matter what decorations are up. Of course I will miss my sister and the rest of my family, BUT I still get to celebrate the birth of Christ, I will be with family and I will be with the man that I love. 

I am thankful to have been reminded about what is important. I am looking forward our trip, to the warmer weather and getting to know my husband’s family more. We won’t be on the beach πŸ™ but it will still be in the 70s, so you already know I am going to be getting some outdoor runs and workouts in. 

Are you traveling this Christmas? Will you be with your family? What is your favorite part of the season? 

XOXO
Stay Sweet!
Sarah

My Fav Finds & Deals – Cyber Monday!!!

Happy Monday! This is arguably one of the best Monday’s of the year if you enjoy online shopping. There are some great deals out there this week and I want to be sure that you know about them. 

This is NOT a sponsored post, I am just sharing with you brands that I love and use that are having GREAT sales right now. πŸ˜€

My Thanksgiving weekend was great, full of family, a little bit of fashion, took some time off from my job and blog and just chilled. It was so long and wonderful, why can’t every weekend be a 4 day weekend??? haha. Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 1.30.53 AM

Sooooo, if you need me today, I will be shopping online and decorating for Christmas… check out these deals!!

1) I’m particularly excited about QUEST NUTRITION’s SALE!!
I may or may not have already placed an order, and may place another. It’s 25% off the whole entire site!!!!!! (minus protein powder because it’s new & they don’t have a huge enough supply – said they will do a separate promo later for the powder) They are also offering FREE SHIPPING if you spend over $39.99! 

Use code CYBERUS for the 25% discount
The chips are yummy and fun to use in recipes…but my FAVORITE are the protein bars. Since I am going to be traveling come Christmas, I am 100% stocking up on the protein bars! They are awesome to use in fun recipes, like this one, GREAT for traveling, to keep in your purse to avoid “hanger”  or when you want a treat. 

In case you didn’t know, they are GLUTEN FREE! They are also the least doctored up protein bar out there (minus a homemade bar). My fav flavors are white choc raspberry, cookies & cream (pictured above), choc chip cookie dough, double choc chunk and apple pie.

Click the image to view & use code CYBERUS for 25% off
OR click here
These NEVER go on sale, so you definitely don’t want to miss out.
Check out the sale here! 

2) Blendtec Blender – refurbished models & $50 off + free shipping
Do you like green smoothies or protein shakes? Tried of drinking chunky smoothies??? You need a high power blender like the Blendtec! Seriously, my life changed when I found high powered blenders. They can pulverize anything, including ice and whole fruits. You can use them to make soup/sauces AND they will basically do anything your food processor will do. 

This is a SCREAMIN’ deal because not only are they allowing you to buy a refurbished blender which is at a hugely discounted price, they are also giving you an additional $50 off. If you have ever wanted a high power blender, now is the time! These are normally $400-$600 blenders, and they are MORE than half off! 
Click HERE to see what blender models are available and don’t miss out on this awesome offer!

Blendtec Blenders
3) 30% off TRX!!! (& free shipping!)

Again, something else that NEVER goes on sale. To get 30% off and free shipping, use the code CYBER!
The TRX is the ultimate in body weight workouts. These straps can be used anywhere there is a doorway and provide resistance using your own body weight. They are super cool and allow for low impact exercises with high impact results. Save up to 30% on Everything TRX.

TRX would be it’s own blog post, so to avoid writing too much, click on the image above  to read more about what TRX can do for you and the possibilities. I had talked about purchasing one before, but opted to do yoga instead. At these prices, I am probably going to purchase one! 

Click HERE to get exclusive access to this sale – be sure to use the code CYBER at checkout to get the 30% off and free shipping

4) 25% off select Under Armour gear and free shipping!

I LOVE UNDER ARMOUR! Whether you run, are a yoga fanatic or just like to lounge, they have it all and it’s all high quality! The basic UA big logo hoodie is 25% off & it’s a super comfy hoodie for anyone on your list. Be sure to check out the GIFT GUIDE too! Great suggestions! They also have FREE SHIPPING (this will last longer than just cyber Monday I believe)

5) Kate Spade 30% off EVERYTHING!

Need I say more… 
Just be sure to use the code CYBER30! 

Check out some of the super cute new arrivals in this fun video starring Anna Kendrick who you probably know from Pitch Perfect πŸ˜€

6) Nordstrom – 10 pts per dollar spent
Many of you may be like, who cares, BUT 10 pts per dollar is a huge deal! It’s normally only 2 points per dollar. If you have gifts to buy from Nordstrom, NOW is the time to do it!
 Nordstrom points is basically a loyalty program and after spending so much money, you get a gift certificate you can spend on whatever you want. You can read about them here.
They also have stuff on SALE! Up to 40% off online. Cool-ness!!Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 1.49.57 AM

Hope you enjoy browsing these deals as much as I will. Online shopping is fun to me because I can browse and don’t feel as much pressure to buy. It’s like window shopping but from the comfort of your own home (or office hehe).
Let me know if there is any other sales you are excited about!

XOXO
Stay sweet!

Sarah