Archives for December 2015

2015 in Review

2015. What a year!

A lot changed for Kyle and I over the past 12 months and I thought it would be fun to share a few of our top moments from 2015.

1. We’re homeowners! We signed our lives away a bajillion closing papers and started knocking down walls in March… and then moved in April. You can find a tour (I’ve changed our decor since then!) here.


2. Study, lift, study, run… I became a NASM Certified Personal Trainer in April!

3. Oh, hi baby. The Deanster made his debut on May 14, 2015.


4. And we’re off! We traveled to Iowa and Chicago and Key West and then Iowa again. (We have some fun trips planned for 2016 – Can’t wait!)


5. The sand and the beach and the glorious Florida sunshine. We earned a trip (to Naples of all places!) and enjoyed every minute with a few of our favorite Sparkheads.


6. Dean grew up… 1 month. 2 month. 3 month. 4 month. 5 month. 6 month. 7 month. ALMOST 8 months! Time to start planning that birthday party.


7. Fit to the ness. I started my fitness business! I’m still thinking of a name – any ideas?!

Here’s to a fabulous 2016! Have fun celebrating the New Year tonight!

2016 New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year. The time of year where everyone is contemplating self-betterment and what they can or should be doing to improve themselves over the next 12 months.

I’m no exception to this rule and even though some tend to give a side eye to us “resolution setters,” I’m a huge believer in fresh starts and there is no better time to begin anew than January 1st!

This year, instead of resolutions, however, I’m referring to them as my 2016 goals. The terms are one in the same but I like the sound of goals better ;)

So, without further ado, here are my goals for 2016… and now that they’re on the internet, they seem much more real!

Oh, and if you’d like a peek back at my 2015 goals, you can find those here. I think I did a pretty good job of accomplishing my list!

1. Grow my personal training business.

As a believer in SMART goals, I know I need to be more specific here, but with a baby and a lot of other things on my plate, I’m leaving it pretty open. Considering the fact that I JUST started my business a few weeks ago, any movement upward will be considered growth! As of right now, I’m leading a Facebook group that is meant to inspire and motivate others to stay/become physically active. I’m also launching my first online bootcamp in January! I had a much larger response than I anticipated so I increased the size of the bootcamp and am excited for it to launch in a few short days.

In 2016, I would like to begin local fitness classes/bootcamps, expand my online training, and really nail down the direction I want to take my business.

2. Make one new (and healthy) recipe per week.

Kyle and I tend to have the same dinners week after week. By the time he gets home from work and I take care of Dean all day, the last thing I want to do is spend a lot of time cooking! Needless to say, we’ve fallen into somewhat of a rut. I’m excited to put some more pizzazz into our meals and have been hitting up Pinterest and Google for some inspiration.

3.  Remember that friends’ online lives are just that… Their online – not their true, lives.

Also known as, do not compare yourself to what you see online, be happy for others’ successes, take social media posts with a grain of salt.

It is far too easy to get caught up on what we see on social media. There is a lot of boasting and self-encouragement happening – which is fine, don’t get me wrong! – but what we see online isn’t the full picture. Your friend that always posts about their happy relationship probably isn’t happy with their partner 100% of the time. Your friend that is “over the moon successful” in whatever business they’re pursuing is only showing the positive aspects online. I think what I’m trying to get at here is that while I do tend to stay very positive about my life, I shouldn’t compare (or even believe) to what other people post on their social media networks. Comparison is the thief of all joy, right?

4. Save more moolah!

Over the past year, I’ve gotten a lot better at not buying “useless” items. I take the time to think about (most) of my purchases before handing over my cash. I’ve realized that I should be saving/investing the money I am not spending. This year, I’ll continue analyzing my purchases and then putting any extra into savings… or as I like to call it, my rainy day fund :)

I get to workout

5. Continue pushing myself to achieve my fitness goals.

Beginning on the 1st, I’m cleaning up my diet and getting to work on my fitness plan. I have outlined it in my fitness group, but I want to work on my core (begin to get some definition back post-baby), transition away from modified push-ups, and increase my BODYPUMP squat weight. And I will be training for a race… specifically a half marathon, I just need to decide when and wear!

6. Stay focused on my AdvoCare goals.

A goal about a goal? Ha! Yes ;) One of the things I love most about AdvoCare is that the business is always there and even if you have/want to take a break you can always return to it. I love that the products are safe and effective. I love sharing it with others. I love helping my team. I love being able to focus on it when and how I want as well! But with that requires a lot of internal self-motivation. It’s easy to get sidetracked so I am going to make a point of staying focused in 2016.

I shared the below graphic in last year’s post but it is mostly definitely still relevant in 2016! Here’s to a healthy and happy new year!

2016 Goals


Christmas 2015

Dean celebrated his first Christmas on Friday!

We attended Christmas Eve service at 5pm – It was the “kids’ service” and as Kyle mentioned as we were leaving, it was much more fun than the adult service ;) The church hosted a paper bag pageant and each adult and child were given a prop upon arrival which determined the part they would play in the pageant. Dean, Kyle and I were stars and Dean loved looking at our shiny stars as we sang Silent Night.

I started a Christmas Eve tradition with Dean – Each year we will fill a box with Christmas jammies, a DVD and a book (treats too when he is old enough!). He loved his book and jammies this year and the DVD was more for mama and daddy ;)

We woke up around 7am on Christmas Day and got right to the presents! Dean was a little confused about what to do with the gifts but was excited when he saw all of his new toys, books and clothes. I didn’t keep track of everything he got but a few of the highlights were a water table for our patio, a lot of books, college money, and stuffed animals.

Kyle was a great gift giver and gifted me a gift card for a massage and facial to a local spa that uses wine treatments and a gift card to a Lilly Pulitzer store – Can’t wait to go shopping! I also received a Clarisonic facial brush, wine, wine glasses, and a couple of tops from J. Crew. Kyle got a ton of golfing accessories, a new ski jacket (for our CO trip), a pair of new Birks, and a few gift cards. I know I’m missing a lot of items here but I wasn’t great at making a list this year – I was too busy keeping Dean out of the huge pile of  wrapping paper ;)

After gifts, I made this chocolate-strawberry pancake bake (<– SOOOO good!) and then we hit up the beach!

It was HOT (felt like 92…) here in Naples so the beach was packed. Neither Kyle nor I had any desire to cook a full Christmas meal so we baked up a ham steak, bought Hawaiian bread buns and enjoyed ham sammies and mimosas on the beach. It was the perfect Christmas activity.

Here are a few – okay… A LOT, of photos from our day!























Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Naples, Florida!


From our family to yours, we hope you have a wonderfully happy and safe holiday with friends and family… and lots of wine ;)


January 2016 Arm Bootcamp!

I’m excited to be offering my first online bootcamp beginning January 4th!

We will be focusing on our upper bodies for four weeks and improving our strength, lean muscle mass, muscle tone, and showing everyone the way to the gun show ;) All workouts can be done in either a home or gym setting (all that is required are a few hand weights and a mat!) AND I’ve decided to throw in an optional 4th full body/cardio weekly workout to mix it up.

January 2016 Arm Bootcamp.1

Because I want to provide the best coaching experience to my bootcamp-ers, I am limiting the spots for January. I opened it up to my awesome Fit Squad earlier this week and still have a couple of spots available – The first two people who email me are IN! You can contact me via my contact page or through the email in the above image.

If you have any questions or would like additional details, please let me know. I’m super pumped to get this started and cannot wait until January 4th!

Time saving tips for your next holiday party!

The gift of time. Isn’t that we would all like this holiday season?

Between finishing up end of year projects at work, buzzing around finding family and friends the perfect holiday gifts, attending and hosting fancy holiday parties, setting goals for 2016, and remembering to take a breather for yourself, this time of year is only lacking in one thing… TIME.

Let’s get a raise of hands for everyone who is hosting a holiday party this year! (Did you just raise your hand in front of your computer? I hope so!) Hanukkah? Christmas? New Year’s Eve? Regardless of the specific occasion, holiday parties can be stressful! Especially for us Type A-ers out there ;) We want everything to look perfect, to taste perfect, to smell perfect, and to be perfectly clean. The struggle is real.

If we only had time to spend hours on end doing creative, Pinterest-y crafts, cleaning our homes, and baking up delicious treats, every party would be top notch. While I may not have any tips on how to make your party prep more smooth (I am NOT a crafty one although I can bake up a mean dessert ;) ), today I am sharing a few tips on how to easily clean up after your holiday party so you have more time to relax and enjoy time with your family and friends.

1. Hire a local teenager.

I don’t know about you, but when I was a teenager, I loved doing odd jobs for extra cash. Hire one of your neighborhood teens to help with your party! They can set/clear the table, refill drinks/food trays, hang guests’ coats, and assist with cleaning up post-party. This will not only save you time and reduce your stress, you will be helping build a great work ethic (and providing some spending money) for a young adult.

2. Donate leftover food to a local women’s shelter.

Rather than hassling with finding space in your refrigerator for leftover food and struggling to consume it all within the next few days, donate to a local shelter. It make take a few calls, but there will be a shelter serving those in need in your area that would love to take extra goodies off of your hands. This time of year is hard for many individuals so why not give the gift of food to those in need?

3. Wash your wine glasses IN the dishwasher (no more hand washing!) with the Samsung Waterwall dishwasher.

I don’t know about you, but if I have to hand wash wine glasses, they sit in my sink FOREVER. At a holiday party, your wine glasses will be a hot commodity so the quicker they can be cleaned and ready for the next beverage, the better! All this means is that you can enjoy an extra glass (or three) of vino with all of the clean stemware on your hands. I don’t see anyone complaining about that!

Samsung’s revolutionary WaterWall™ technology reinvents dishwashing. Unlike conventional dishwashers, the WaterWall™ line uses a powerful sweeping wall of water to leave dishes remarkably clean. No more hand scrubbing wine glasses – Just pop ’em in your Waterwall dishwasher with the new Flex Glass Rack and voila, sparkling clean stemware ready to be refilled at a moments notice.

4. Use fun and festive (yet disposable) tablecloths that can be thrown away rather than sit in your laundry pile.

Oh the laundry pile and its never ending growth. Why add to it with your holiday parties? I have seen plenty of festive tablecloths – everywhere from fancy to fun to kid-themed – that are disposable. Anything that offers less mess is a huge time saver this time of year!

5. Be ready with a cleaning “plan of attack”.

Going into your holiday party, determine who is going to be cleaning what post-party. Maybe you will tackle the vacuuming while your friends clean the kitchen. Or your spouse will clean up the empty wine bottles while you take the garbage out. Having a plan of attack will not only save you time but eliminate any post-party cleaning battles ;)

With all of this extra time on your hands, we can get creative in the kitchen with some tasty holiday spritzers! Don’t these recipes from Samsung Home Appliance look INCREDIBLE? I know I’ll be mixing these up come New Year’s Eve.

How do you find time to relax during the holiday season? Do you have any fun recipes (desserts, appetizers, drinks) that you like to serve in wine glasses?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Samsung. The opinions and text are all mine.

Big Slice Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins & Giveaway!

We are talking healthy snacking today.

Yes, HEALTHY during the holiday season! Holidays and healthy eats can go hand in hand, especially with some help from flavorful Big Slice apple products.

Today I have an amazingly simple recipe and a deliciously healthy giveaway for y’all… Perfect timing for all of those New Years’ resolutions if ya ask me ;) But first, let’s cover this whole healthy snacking thang.


If you’re anything like me, you want your snacks to be quick, easy to grab, and packaged to take with you when you’re on-the-go. We all live busy lives – Who has time to spend 30 minutes on prepping a snack?! I definitely don’t! Between running to the gym to teach, responding to emails and chasing after my now on-the-go baby, snacks need to be consumed in 30 seconds or less.

I was so happy when Big Slice sent me a big ol’ package full of goodies a few weeks ago. I’ll be honest, I was not familiar with Big Slice prior to my goodie package so I’m going to give you a few details in case you were in the dark about this amazing brand like I was.


Big Slice features 17 delicious flavors that are available in glam on-the-go pouches (They are perfect for the gym bag!) that are all approximately 100 calories per pouch. They use all-natural ingredients with no artificial flavors or preservatives and let me tell you, the apple and fruit chunks are juicy, chewy and taste super fresh!

I’ve been snacking on these pouches pre- and post-workout, mixed in with my oatmeal and yogurt at breakfast, and when I’ve craving something sweet but want something on the healthier side. Big Slice has yet to disappoint!

Another thing I love about Big Slice is that a portion of each purchase goes to the Spark Foundation – an organization that supports women and girls in need.


I decided to try my hand at mixing Big Slice into the most popular recipe here on Olives ‘n Wine… The result? An amazingly moist, perfectly sweetened, chewy and healthy muffin. The recipe is exactly the same with a slight addition… 2 pouches of natural Big Slice. The apple pouches were a total game changer for this recipe, I won’t be making them without them again!

Oh! And I used dried cranberries rather than raisins in the recipe… I like to use what I have on hand and cranberries were in my pantry ;)


Now, for the fun part – One of YOU are going to win a fun package from Big Slice!

The giveaway consists of:

  • 12 sample pouches, assorted flavors
  • Big Slice tumbler
  • Spork

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment for each of the following for your chance to win!

I will select a winner on Monday, December 28, 2015!

Disclaimer: I was sent Big Slice products in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

Goofus and Gallant: Postpartum Edition

Do you remember when Molly and I did a little healthy pregnancy series? The ones all about our eats and fitness throughout our three trimesters?

Goofus Gallant


Yeah, didn’t think so – It’s been a few months (8 to be exact!) since our last post. But have no fear, today we’re back with the final edition covering our postpartum fitness routines.

Head on over to Molly’s space on the internet and read about how two different women focused on fitness post-baby.

In case you missed the first three editions, head on over for Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3.


FOUR days until Christmas – FOUR!!

We’re a little bit excited down here in Naples if you couldn’t tell ;)

But let’s chat the weekend!


Friday kicked off with my regularly scheduled Spinning class… followed by getting our daily ounces of water…


… and eating my weight in Christmas Peanut M&M’s.


Dean has started paying close attention to Mitchell so we also practiced being nice to the puppy.



Mitchell earned an early Christmas present after being nice right back ;)


Saturday kicked off with a little BODYPUMP action – Always a great way to start the day.


We received Dean’s 6 month canvas prints in the mail so I continued our “family hallway” – I think it’s coming together well!


On Saturday afternoon, we visited Santa in Wonkaland along with ALL of the other families in Naples.


Pizza afterwards… because pizza!


It was a chilly morning come Sunday – 56 here in SW Florida… Brrr! Dean had to bundle up for our morning walk.


The rest of Sunday was pretty chill – we hung out at home, I taught BP, Kyle made dinner and we just caught up around home.

And now it’s Christmas week!!! My goals for the week (I use the term “goal” loosely here, haha) include making Chex mix and puppy chow TOMORROW, hitting up some new classes at the gym, get our ingredients together for our Christmas Day beach picnic (new tradition for our family!), helping a few friends get set up for our New Years challenge, and mailing our few remaining Christmas presents :)

How was your weekend?

Friday Favs!

Another Friday?! How are the days passing by so quickly?

Christmastime… I tell ya – It’ll be over in the blink of an eye.

Since last weekend was super low key, we have lots on the plate for the next two days! Tonight I have an Ugly Christmas Sweater party with friends (I still need to find my sweater… Kohl’s maybe?!), on Saturday there is a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Christmas event for the kiddos (I’m hoping it’s as cute as it looks!) and we want to hit up our new fave wine shop, grab lunch out, go to BODYPUMP, etc. Sunday calls for sleeping in (BAHAHAHAHA <– I wish!), BODYPUMP, relaxing, and I feel like we have something else on the agenda – hopefully I remember by then!

What is on your list for the weekend?

Now that we’ve chatted weekend plans, let’s talk about this week’s favorites!

1. My new favorite workout class – HIIT on Thursday afternoons. It’s a new class each week (which I secretly love) and yesterday we did a crossfit-style workout that kicked my butt. Box jumps, sprints, kettlebell swings, burpees… and about a bajillion more things. Plus the room was HOT so I got a nice sweaty detox for the hour as well ;)


2. This post. Laura is one of my favorite bloggers – Her posts are always well written and provide an intelligent and easy-to-read story that gives her readers something to take away. I’m also fairly certain I owe her an email from 8 months ago (because I am awful at replying to emails!) but she doesn’t hold it against me ;) Bonus points!

Anyways, as a fitness instructor (and fitness-lover) I absolutely agree with her post. I see many different types of people in my classes and almost 100% of the time, my classes are there to improve their bodies. What do you think about her perspective?

3. Yesterday’s announcement. Holy moly am I excited! We have a fun group this time around and I cannot wait to get started.

4. Little Deany crossing his hands while waiting for his zucchini the other night at dinner. Babies can be too cute sometimes! Let’s hope he continues to be this polite as he grows older ;)


5. CHRISTMAS IS ONE WEEK AWAYYYYYYYYYY!!! Savin’ the best for last ;) Who else is sharing in my excitement?

I hope y’all have a wonderful pre-Christmas weekend – Safe travels to everyone making their way to their Christmas destinations over the weekend and good luck to everyone finishing up their shopping over the weekend… I’m terrified to step into Target today, ha!

Linking up with Katie and Heather for Friday Favorites :)

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