Life

Vacation Every Day

It is no secret that we love our vacations! One of the things we decided was important to us as a family was going out of the way to make special memories and experience new things. For the last several years we have made it a point to have at least one family vacation. Living in the midwest we find ourselves aching for a tropical getaway, so most of our trips have been to the beach, on a cruise, or some other warm and sunny climate. A born and raised Florida girl living in Missouri, I crave the beach!

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Vacation memories are filled with the smell of sunscreen, the warmth of the sun, and the taste of tropical drinks. We are actually getting ready to head out to the beaches of Mexico next week! I can’t wait!

The good news is you don’t have to spend a lot of money to experience a little vacation in every day! As we gear up for vacation I’ve been looking for little ways we can bring that relaxing vacation feeling into our every day life. As it has started to get warm out the hubs and I (mostly him!) have been investing time and effort into creating a beautiful outdoor space to relax in. It may not be a tropical beach escape, but it is as close as we are going to get in land locked Missouri!backyard1

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It’s just a start, but we are loving it so far! Our favorite thing to do is sit out back and relax after a long week. Along with a beautiful and relaxing area to sit in another way to bring a little vacation to the everyday is to enjoy a tropical drink while sitting in our personal backyard paradise. I was recently given the opportunity to try Palm Breeze, a sparkling alcohol spritz that comes in two tropical flavors, Red Ruby Citrus and Pineapple Mandarin Orange. Pineapple is a tropical vacation staple to me, so I picked up the Pineapple Mandarin Orange from my local grocery store.

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Palm Breeze is a flavored Malt Beverage which means it is an alcoholic drink made with a malt base, kind of like beer. I brought it out on our back porch and sipped it as I enjoyed our new water feature, which I pretended was the ocean. After a week of laundry, cooking, cleaning and work it feels good to take a few minutes and enjoy a little #VacayinEveryday. The Pineapple Mandarin Orange was a sweet burst of tropical delight.

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Palm Breeze has partnered with Blo Bar to create a mini getaway experience for you and your girlfriends. If you are in Dallas, Austin, DC, or San Diego check out the event pages to RSVP for an evening of drinks and fun!

How would you bring a little vacation to every day?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Life

Life is more than THAT MOMENT

We dream of it so long. Plan it out. Play it over in our minds. What the “after” is going to look like. What it feels like when we have “made it” and are finally successful. I guess in all those years of dreaming and planning and imagining THAT MOMENT that I never thought about what the next day would look like. But What happens after that?

As a little girl I dreamt of my wedding day. I loved the jewelry and the ballgowns and spent so long dreaming of THAT MOMENT when I’d walk down the aisle. Married- October 2007I watched every.single.episode of TLC’s A Wedding Story. When life happend different than I had planned I realized that the moment I dreamed of was so insignificant. It wasn’t about that moment, it was about every moment after that. We eloped and never had a wedding but have had a better marriage than I could have ever dreamt of. I should have seen how this lesson would play out in the rest of my life, but I didn’t. I still kept searching for, planning, and dreaming about “THAT MOMENT” in other areas of my life…

THAT MOMENT when your child is born.

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It is truly magical and absolutely life changing… but it isn’t just that moment that changes your life. It is every moment after that. In the spectacular moments like when she says “Mama” or takes her first steps… or those frustrating moments when you get in your first fight over what she wears and you realize that she is her own person… or when you realize you can’t protect her from pain the way you wish you could. It isn’t just one moment… it is every one of those moments strung together in a lifetime of memories that is truly special and absolutely life changing.

When I was overweight the thing that kept me pressing on through every workout or sticking to my meal plan was the dream of THAT MOMENT when I would look in the mirror and see Skinny Courtney staring back at me. When I would fit into a size 10…. or weigh a certain weight. When I would feel “done” with my weight loss journey. I dreamt about that before and after side by side. I never thought about the day after that. In some twisted dream world I am sure I thought it would look like it did before, eating whatever I wanted without caring. But it doesn’t. I thought I would never think about parts of my body I didn’t like. But I still have days where I struggle with parts of my body.

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As an owner of several different businesses I dreamt about THAT MOMENT when I would feel like we made it. Many people already feel like we are successful, and I feel like we have done well for ourselves for sure… but I struggle with feeling like we are the success others believe us to be because it doesn’t look like I thought it would. I figured we would struggle through our 20’s and then somehow turn 30 and BAM… we would have arrived. We would be living large with fat bank accounts and have “people” to do the busy work for us or something outrageous like that. I thought that somehow making it would mean it would be easy… but it’s not. It’s still early mornings, late nights, and doing a lot of stuff on our own… like business taxes, business license, budgeting and fees…. It’s still a lot of work.

For so long I lived for those moments, temporarily suspending life waiting to enjoy it until I reached that moment I was working towards. Once I was married…. had a kid… lost the weight… had a successful business… than I would enjoy life. This cycle will continue to consume me unless I stop it. There will always be some goal to chase, some moment I dream about. Yes, it is good to have goals to work towards… but as soon but I don’t want to look back on the life I missed out on because I was focused on chasing that one single moment in time when everything was perfect. Just because you aren’t where you want to be doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy where you are.

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So live in the now. Enjoy the life you’ve already built. Chase your dreams, but not at the expense of missing out on the many moments that happen before they come true.

How can you enjoy the life you already have?

Life

Finding Me

Oh, Hey there. Remember me?

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I’ve been pretty absent here, but not without reason. If I’m being totally honest I’ve struggled with the whole “healthy living blogger” label lately. When I started blogging about my weight loss journey it was to inspire others and keep myself accountable. My intentions have always been genuine. I never once wanted people to think there was only one way to lose weight, exercise, or eat. I just wanted to share that “hey, this is what I’m trying” – and I’ve tried a lot. I’ve vascilated from super strict paleo/whole 30 to a prescribed meal plan from a nutrition coach, to counting calories and macros… and found myself in a “screw it all” mindset a few times in between. I’ve done my fair share of “preaching” about what is right and what is wrong…. and sharing pictures of every.damn.thing I eat. I’ve watched people I care deeply for follow some of the advice I gave or things I’ve tried and take it to extremes which I, personally, find unhealthy. Again, this is just my point of view. What is right for me isn’t what is right for everyone. I am at a place with my body right now that I truly love it. I don’t care about the scale. I don’t care what size the tag of my clothes are. I know I am healthy and I am happy. I have no desire to restrict what I eat because a blog/article/”expert” said I should. I am confident that I know my body and what is good for it. I make good choices most of the time. I also make choices that make my soul feel good. Like sharing a piece of tiramisu with my husband at dinner.

I spent so long chasing the answer, but I had it all along. Don’t restrict foods you love because someone told you that you should. Carbs don’t make you fat. Fat doesn’t make you fat. Food isn’t scary. Enjoy what you love, but be smart about it. I don’t feel like I need to write more than that about it. If anything, I hope this gives you permission to explore something other than the latest fad that is supposed to be the answer we have been looking for all along… you don’t need that. You know your body and what works and what doesn’t. If what you are doing is working, don’t change it. If it isn’t getting you where you want to go than you need to change it. It doesn’t have to be some super spiritual life changing “join my team” type experience…. Just do what works for you. Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be.

This journey that I’ve been on has been about much more than weight loss. It has really been about finding me.

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In the last month or two I feel like I’ve really started to bloom. I don’t know if turning 28 was like my “turning point” or what. I’ve really done some deep soul searching, explored feelings that I previously avoided, asked and answered some hard questions… And guess what? I can honestly say with 100% confidence that I am the happiest, healthiest, and least stressed that I have ever been. I feel like I’ve realized how short life really is and how much time and energy I put into things that really don’t matter. So I’ve been saying yes to things I find important, and no to things I don’t. I stopped doing things just to do them. I’ve discovered what really makes me feel alive, makes my heart beat louder and my eyes sparkle is helping others become their best selves. If that means listening to them tell me about their life, coaching them through a WOD, or a simple comment of encouragement on social media… that is what I want to do. I want to be my best and by doing so help others do that too. I don’t want to be fake. I don’t want to post just flowery words and food journals. I want to share my raw, unorganized, and sometimes unpopular points of view. Because life is too short to try to be someone you’re not.

What makes you feel alive… makes your eyes light up and your heart beat louder?
Now, Go do that thing.