Happy Friday!

Keeping it short and sweet today. Happy Friday y’all! Hope everyone has an amazing weekend. Stay hydrated if you’re in TX; it’s going to be hot, hot, hot! I’ll fill you in on all the happenings on Monday. 🙂

happy friday balloons

Question: What are your plans for the weekend?

Thankful Thursday

I go to sit down at my desk to write this post and I keep getting pulled away. Today’s post is short and sweet: I am extremely thankful for my family and friends. I feel very fortunate every day that I have the kind of love and support I do from these important people in my life. I know it might sound silly, but I know not everyone is so fortunate.

When I decided to pick up my life and move to Austin, not one person said don’t do it. Okay maybe my one friend, who shall remain nameless, but she was totally kidding. 🙂 We all have good days and bad days, happy things happen to us and sad/difficult things happen to us. It is what we decide to do in those moments when times are time that shape us to who we are and help build our character.

Last year when I began my healthy lifestyle journey I join a challenge group to keep me accountable for my workouts and healthy eating. Since then it has turned into SO much more than that; these women in this group have become dear friends. We support each other in our workouts and eating, but it has become so much more. We talk about things that are happening in our lives; even the hard stuff. We talk about goals we want to reach that may seem impossible. We give each other advice and support, even when someone doesn’t ask for it. Today my coach and friend wrote this post:

“So what’s something you’ve been wanting to do but have been afraid of? What’s a goal you have but have been scared to put it out there? Maybe something physical, financial, personal? Is there something you’re dreaming of, but something just seems to be holding you back??”

all these things

Some of the ladies started responding and I was just overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude. I shared my goals and then came back and wrote this:

“I love our little group! Seriously, it puts a huge smile on my face. We’re all amazing individuals, and we’ve come together because we have a common goal & desire to live healthier lives. It’s been an honor getting to know and continuing to get to know you ladies. I’m truly amazed by each and every one of you. We all have our strengths, weaknesses, rough days, great days and are ALWAYS there to lift each other up and motivate each other to keep going and follow our dreams.
Chalene always says, “Don’t say something and put it out there if you don’t want it to happen.” For years (6ish) I’ve been saying I wanted to move to Austin. When the opportunity came up I was excited and scared. When I accepted the job I had a moment where I thought, “What did I just do. This CANNOT be good.” I look back to where I was in February when I accepted the job, April when I officially moved to Austin, and today where I can 100% without a doubt say this was THE BEST decision I could have made.
Ladies, DO NOT give up on your dreams. Put them out there; write them down; share them with family and friends. They will happen if you just believe. Have an amazingly awesome day.”

I mean who want to be apart of something so fantastic? If you are thinking about working out but can’t find the motivation, join a challenge group. I have a couple going right now and it is a beautiful thing to see people’s progress, and to connect with them on a much deeper level than what workout did you do today and what did you eat.

I’m starting a challenge group July 15 for those who are serious about getting healthy. Let me know if you’re interested. I would love for you to join and see you accomplish your goals.

Question: Are you in?

Testing 1, 2, 3

Is this thing on?

Hey there! Remember me? Miss me? Work has been ruling my life these last five days so unfortunately I wasn’t able to share with everyone what’s been happening. Let’s just right in….

Friday

Went to an Awesome Austin Happy Hour with some old friends and met some new friends. After happy hour I met some friends for a night cap (I had water since I was driving :-)).

Saturday

Up and at ’em early! Started my day with Chocolate shakeology and a nice bowl of berries.

Saturday Breakfast

After breakfast I loaded up the car. Road trip to Dallas with my co-worker for Southwest Foodservice Expo.

Road trip

ROAD TRIP! Nothing beats great company and great conversation on a road trip. Serious bonding time!

After setting up the booth my co-worker and I headed to CVS to pick up some supplies. To my EXCITEMENT, DELIGHT, SURPRISE, JOY, ETC. I discovered Uncle Julio’s across the street. I thought it was a Maryland/Virgina restaurant. WRONG. Saying I was excited is 110% an understatement.

Uncle Julios

Uncle Julio’s

Decorations

The decor

Margarita

Skinny Guava Rita. Hits the spot EVERY time!

Dinner

Fish tacos on corn tortillas for dinner. SO good.

We were highly entered sitting at the bar. Had a few good conversation with some people, and encountered one or two not so cool people. One guy actually tried to convince me that Dallas and Houston were nicer than Austin. OY!!! P.S. Uncle Julio’s is opening in Austin on July 15…I’ll be there for drinks so have a skinny guava rita ready for me Uncle Julio!

Sunday

Got up first thing in the morning and headed to the hotel gym. Ran into some old friends.

LiftingHello old friends!

Had a great strength training session before heading to the expo for the day. During the show we sampled pizzas, brownies and blondies, and talked to people about Smart Flour Foods and our products. It was a good, busy day.

photoThis was the set up for our booth. So colorful, right?

After a long day at the show we grabbed a bite and drinks.

Monday

Got up and worked out before heading to the expo.

BikingRecumbent bike

This is a good mode of cardio right now since I’m still waiting for the green light to get back to my regular routine. It was good to put some miles in on the bike.

After my workout it was back to the convention center for another day of sampling and chatting with people who came by the booth. All-in-all it was a great show. When it was over we broke down the booth and loaded up the cars. 3 hours back to Austin. I was on a mission to get back to see some of the hockey game. My friend who moved to Austin from Chicago is a Hawks fan. I promised her that I would watch the Stanley Cup games with her, but I keep going out of town. When I got back into town I sent her a message saying I was heading to The Tavern; she followed up with this:

Convo with MaryYep, that’s a great friend!

Congrats to her Blackhawks on winning the Stanley Cup. It was hilarious being in the bar surrounded by dozens of Hawks fans and watching them watch their team win.

Tuesday

All about catching up and moving things along. It was a good day. Really excited about the next projects I’m working on, and a little quiet time to work on those things that I had to set aside. Here’s to another amazing week in Austin and an amazing week ahead!

Question: Which city do you think is cooler: Austin, Houston or Dallas?

Fun Facts (and Random Thoughts) Friday

Thursday was crazy at work. We’re getting ready for a tasting, a tradeshow and the launch of our topped pizzas all at the same time. Crazy is really putting it mildly! I have so many random thoughts today that I decided to make this fun facts and random thoughts Friday. Ready… ?

  1. It was 100 degrees yesterday. Hello summer time in Texas! tempature
  2. I ordered stools for my kitchen when I was home in Pittsburgh. They came Wednesday night. I’m not sure how I feel about them. I don’t think that they really “go with the space.” I thought they were going to be more of a steel finish than a flat grey/silver finish. Not to mention the backs are short, comfortable, but look weird. What do you think, keep ’em or ship ’em back?   stools 1stools 2stools 3
  3. Last night I made the Asian Stir Fry from the Ultimate Reset, with a sweet potato as my side (instead of putting the veggies over rice). I love how flavorful and colorful my food is, and the recipes is SO simple and gluten free. How yummy does this look?  Dinner
  4. Even though I can’t be in Vegas this year for the Beachbody Coaches Summit, I was fortunate enough to watch the opening show via the web. I’m excited to announce that T25 is launching THIS Monday, June 24. This is one of the best programs Beachbody has ever created. The workouts are 25 minutes, 5 days a week. There are three phases: Alpha, Beta, Gamma. Each one builds you up to the next level. It’s different than Insanity and Asylum, but still Shaun T bananas. T25 (photo courtesy of Kelly H.)
  5. If that wasn’t awesome enough last night at midnight (PST) Beachbody launched the all new VANILLA Shakeology. My friends tried it this morning and they said it is INCREDIBLE! The best part of Shakeology is that it is all natural meal replacement that provides you with over 70 minerals, vitamins and nutrients. Now through July 7 you can get FREE SHIPPING on ONE-TIME orders.  vanilla shakeology

If you want more details about either of these and how you can save money by ordering them together send me a message and visit http://www.lstern412bbcoach.com I CAN’T WAIT TO GET MY HANDS ON BOTH!

After what I am sure will be very busy Friday in the office, I’m kicking back tonight since it’s my only free night of the weekend. Can’t wait for happy hour!

Question: Do I keep the stools?

Working Out

I miss my workouts. Plain and simple. I haven’t worked out in three weeks. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I have walked a few times, used the recumbent bike, and did upper body light weights. However, it’s just not the same as my regular workouts. Tomorrow I go to the doctor about my back and I hope she has some good news.

i love to workout

What do my workouts mean to me? EVERYTHING! They mean

  • a healthy lifestyle;
  • a clear mind;
  • a good night sleep;
  • a perfect start to my day;
  • a boost in energy;
  • a good avenue to release stress and negativity;
  • an opportunity for “me time”;
  • an excuse to do something good for myself;
  • an increase of self-confidence;
  • a positive sense of self and self-worth;
  • a chance to treat my body the way it was meant to be treated;
  • an ability to live a meaningful life;
  • a platform to encourage others to do the same for themselves;

I know I’ve said it before, but I grew up playing sports. I always liked a good workout, but last year I FELL IN LOVE with working out. There are so many benefits to working out; the main one being a healthier YOU. We deserve to do right by our bodies – eat whole, clean foods and increase our heart rate from working out. I challenge each one of you to find a workout routine, program, or class that YOU love. For me it is Beachbody programs, running, barre classes, antigravity yoga, and of course lifting weights.

Question: What do you like to do to workout? How many days a week do you workout?

My Grandpa George

As I sit down to write this post this morning I realize that I didn’t post something yesterday. Life has been a bit hectic and unfortunately I wasn’t able to get to my blog yesterday. No worries. Good things come to those who wait, right? 😉

This past weekend I spent some much needed time at home with my family. Unfortunately, my brother wasn’t able to make it, but we still managed to have a good time nonetheless. At one point my mom and I were lying around reminiscing about my childhood. She told me she has always been curious about what I remembered from my childhood and what I thought of her growing up (she was equally as interested in knowingt what my sister and brother thought as well).

While my mom and I were talking it dawned on me that the anniversary of my grandfather (my dad’s dad) passing was right around the corner (i.e. it was yesterday). I was fortunate to have all four of my grandparents around while I was growing up. My grandpa George (my dad’s dad) passed away when I was about 15 and my other three grandparents passed away within the last five years. (side note: it was weird to have all three of them go around the same time; one minute I had three grandparents and then the next minute they were all gone).

I loved each of my grandparents equally, but there was something a little extra special about my grandpa George. He came over to the U.S. from Hungary during WWII while his parents and only brother stayed behind and eventually were all killed. My grandpa lived with his uncle, and began working. He built a life for himself from the ground up. When he passed a guy from the synagogue came to our house and shared stories with my family about him.

It was really comforting to hear those stories, and see/hear what others thought about him. My grandpa would help others out, even if he didn’t have the means. He built his business and life from the ground up. He owned a couple of movie theaters in Pittsburgh (which is where/how my parents met) and he started his own agency. That same work ethic and humanity my grandpa exuded was definitely instilled into my dad who has passed it along to us kids.

I personally remember him bringing over Arby’s every Sunday after he went swimming at the PAA; watching “The Sound of Music” with him for the first time (still one of my favorite movies to this day); swimming in the pool at the apartment where he and my grandma lived; going to baseball games with him; celebrating the Jewish holidays with him, especially passover and how he ran seders (I remember his last one and the first one after he passed); running around his apartment and making silly faces in the mirrors of the one hallways and thinking their place was so cool because it had a soda machine; talking to him on the phone and him calling you “stranger” if he hadn’t talked to you in a few days (my dad’s parents lived 5 minutes from us and a few days was a long time for him to go without talking to us); visiting him at his apartment one of the last times he got sick and my grandma telling me how much it meant to him that my friend Lauren and I came to see him. I have so many more wonderful memories of him and remember some of the little things that seem so silly, like how he rub his bald head or moved his hands when he was thinking. Most importantly though, even though he didn’t always say it, I knew he loved me and my siblings unconditionally.

I’m sad every day that my grandparents aren’t still around, but I’m grateful for the time I did get to spend with them. They loved my sister, brother and me, and spoiled us like grandparents do with their grandchildren. I believe that they are watching over me (and the family) and are proud of all that I’ve accomplished.

This is a picture of my grandpa George, me, my brother Michael, and my sister Erin.

Grandpa George with Erin Michael and Me

This was probably one of the many times he was at the house for dinner or just stopped by to say hi.

This is my grandma Helen (my mom’s mom), my sister and baby me!

Grandma Helen with Erin and Me

My mom’s parents lived in Muncie, IN during the summer’s and California in the winter’s. It was ALWAYS great to spent time with them in Pittsburgh and California. When I was in college I would spend my spring breaks in California with my mom (who would meet me out there), my grandma Helen, grandpa Jim, my Aunt Kathy (my mom’s oldest sister) and on most occasions my uncle Mike (my mom’s youngest brother; side note: she was one of 6 kids). I have so many wonderful memories of my mom’s parents and my aunt and uncle, but we’ll save those for a different day. I just wanted to share this picture that I found when I was home this past weekend because it made me really happy! 🙂

Question: What are your favorite memories with your grandparents?

A Special Message to my Dad

I was fortunate enough this year to spend Father’s Day with my dad. I haven’t been home in almost 4 months, so I was grateful to be able to get in some quality family time. As I said for Mother’s Day, I truly believe every day we should honor our father’s or loved ones who took care of us. I don’t think we should set one day aside. They don’t just set one day aside to take care of us, so we shouldn’t just set aside one day. Every day we should be thankful for those things that they do for us and have given us.

I’m not sure I could ever put into words just how much my dad means to me. He has given me so much in my life, and continues to, but more importantly he has given so much to others. He is truly an inspiration and one of the wisest men I have ever met (not something I would admit to his face because I would never her the end of it). 🙂 My future husband has A LOT to live up to.

I continue learn about life and business from my dad. The knowledge is greater than anything I could ever read in a book or find on the internet. I feel so lucky to be in such a position. Thank you dad for instilling in me what it means to be a hard worker and to follow through on a promise. Thank you for all the lessons about finance and advice on how to handle life’s challenges. Thank you for supporting and encouraging me to follow my dreams. Even when things seemed impossible, but I was determine I could make it happen, you and mom always stood by myself. Thank you for all the life lessons and knowledge. I am where I am today because of your love and support.

LoveYouDad

My dad, me and my grandpa (his dad).

MeDadandGrandpa

My dad, sister and me.

DadErinandMe

My dad and me.

MeandDad1

Question: How did you spend Father’s Day?