If We Were Having Coffee…

Coffee is good for the soul. Something about it makes me feel so at home and so open. The smell of coffee brewing is invigorating. It isn’t just about the caffeine, although that doesn’t hurt. It is like a loyal friend. Always there for you when you need to wake up, take a break, have a pick me up after a long morning, or just need a warm hug for your soul.

 coffee hugs

And thanks to Starbucks advocating for their “third place” experience, a lot of my deep musings and conversations have happened over a cup of coffee. So today I’m going to chat (or type) with you over a cup of coffee. I used to do this all the time but then life happened and the only thing I do regularly is eat, sleep, work, and workout. So, let’s have a fun little Coffee Date!

If we were having coffee… 

I would tell you how excited I am to be able to connect again. I miss this space. Writing has been something I’ve always loved. Really, it has been a therapy of sorts. There have been so many times that things don’t make sense in my head but as I start to write they just seem to make sense. I would tell you how I have been writing a little more in an actual paper journal! For a long time the only place I journaled was here on the blog, but not too long ago I found my collection of paper journals from the year before I got married and it was so enlightening to read through those. Let’s just say I’ve come a long way since then… Oh the thoughts that go through a 19 year old girl’s mind…

If we were having coffee…

I would tell you that I am thiiiiiiiis close to finally finishing my Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. I registered in September and got most of my materials close to October of last year. I’m extremely thankful that it is a go at your own pace program. It took me awhile to get through the first half of the program, which is the science based portion. I’m cruising through the second half, which includes a lot more practical coaching education. The coaching portion comes a little more naturally to me as it is more psychology based… Good to know I will actually get some kind of use for that Psychology degree I have! I’d tell you that I am really excited about being able to help teach others how to have a healthy relationship with food and to get the results they are looking for. One of the biggest thing I’ve noticed, especially in women, is that most of the clients we see come in to our CrossFit are not eating nearly enough of the right foods. Especially Protein. Let me step on my soapbox for a moment…

LADIES… Lifting weights and eating adequate protein will not make you look like some she-hulk body builder! I wish to the Dear Lord in heaven that it did, because I would be jacked. You should aim to eat protein dense food with every meal, even your snacks! If you aren’t getting enough protein from whole foods, or you are traveling or crunched for time,  you can supplement a protein shake.

IMG_0625

I have used several different brands of protein, most recently getting the opportunity to try out Lean1 Protein from Nutrition53. The most important thing is to find a quality protein that you will actually drink (The regular Lean 1 Flavors all tasted great, the Vegan flavors tasted very… earthy. Which is cool if you like that taste. I wasn’t a fan). All that to say I don’t care how you do it, but eat you freaking protein.

*steps off soap box*

Sorry, I get really worked up about that.

Deep Breath.

Let’s get back to coffee…

If we were having coffee…

I would tell you I have been doing my best to read more. I really love reading. I recently finished the Book Start by Jon Acuff and I really enjoyed it. Now I’m working on Tribes by Seth Godin and Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. I have several other titles on hold in my online library… Did you know you can get ebooks from the Public Library? I read them from my ipad. That was life changing when I figured that out! Some of the more popular titles have a long hold list but I like that having them on loan makes me want to read them before they have to go back to the next person on the hold list. It’s so easy in this fast pace busy society to forget about the things we enjoy. For me it is reading. I love learning and reading is one of my favorite ways to learn. Plus Leaders are Readers!

Truman-quote

If we were having coffee…

I would ask you what was one thing on your to do list that has been sitting there for awhile. I’ve been using my Passion Planner to keep track of my chores and errands. That means whatever I don’t complete for that week has to be rewritten on the next week’s page. I had a huge stack of things in my garage that I was supposed to mail to someone for the last month or so. And I just kept putting it off for no real reason. I finally bit the bullet and packaged them up and mailed them out the other day. It felt so good. I would tell you to bite the bullet and get that thing done. The energy you spend dreading it is more draining than the energy it takes to actually get it done. So like Shia says… JUST DO IT!

doit

If we were having coffee…

I would tell you I have been really enjoying training lately, but it has been hard. I feel stronger than ever. I’m trying to dial in my nutrition (PROTEIN, remember?!) and work on my form. I’ve found some major errors in my pull that I’ve been doing for so long they are miserable to try to correct now. But I’m working on it and making progress. This week was tough. I posted this on Instagram after Wednesday’s workout:

This week training has felt hard. The heat was crazy and the weights were heavy. I feel strong, hitting just 10lbs below my 1RM max split jerk for 5×3 today. Some days it feels easy. Most days it doesn't it. If you want something worth having, you are probably going to have to fight for it. I want to to be a better athlete and coach. I want to be stronger, faster, leaner. I want to be better than I was yesterday. And that is worth fighting for when it's hot… And the weight is heavy… And you suck at double unders. Now I'm just thankful that tomorrow is rest day 🙌🏻 #Crossfit @crossfit70 #meds4pets #worthit #fableticsmaster #humanxcrew ((pants and headband from @fabletics – tank from @thick2thin_apparel – sports bra from @wodgear ))

A post shared by Courtney Norman (@courtnorm) on

“This week training has felt hard. The heat was crazy and the weights were heavy. I feel strong, hitting just 10lbs below my 1RM max split jerk for 5×3 today. Some days it feels easy. Most days it doesn’t it. If you want something worth having, you are probably going to have to fight for it. I want to to be a better athlete and coach. I want to be stronger, faster, leaner. I want to be better than I was yesterday. And that is worth fighting for when it’s hot… And the weight is heavy… And you suck at double unders. Now I’m just thankful that tomorrow is rest day”

Rest day was amazing and today’s workout felt good. I would tell you that I think your mentality about your training effects the outcome of your training more than we realize. I have been in a good place mentally and I feel like it is making all the difference in my training.

If we were having coffee…

I’d thank you for putting up with my random rambling and tell you we have to do this more often!


If we were having coffee… What would you tell me?

StitchFix as an “Inbetweenie”

I’ve been seeing StitchFix Blog Reviews and Social Media posts forever but I was always so skeptical about it because finding clothes that fit me is stupid hard. I’m in a weird place size wise. I’m not fully “plus size” and I’m not exactly “straight size” either. I’m what has been labeled an “Inbetweenie” in the fashion world. I’m a pretty solid size 14 in pants, which is the largest size StitchFix currently offers. In most tops I’m a large, unless it has no stretch and then I usually size up to XL. When I go clothes shopping I am one of those people who go in with 9823 pieces and comes out empty handed because nothing fits right. I’m a CrossFit coach and spend the majority of my time in workout clothes, which is awesome. Except for when I actually want to try to look like a grown up who has their act together on occasion and I realize I have no fashionable options because I really don’t know how to dress like a grown up.

Despite my skepticism I signed up for my first fix back in May. I answered the questions in the style quiz, filled out the sizes to the best of my ability, signed up for my first fix with my only hope being that I could at least fit into 1 or 2 of the pieces they sent me. They charge you a $20 Styling Fee, which you can use to put towards your purchase if you decide to keep the items. If you keep all 5 items from the fix you get a 25% discount. The clothing they select is, for me, on the higher end of the price point I usually spend on clothing. Since I don’t buy “grown up” clothes that often I figured it would be worth it to invest in some versatile pieces that would last awhile, even if it was above what I would normally spend for clothes.

After I spent some time making sure my style profile and sizes were right, as well as updating my fashion board on pinterest and writing my stylist a note I scheduled my first fix. It showed up right on time in a beautifully packaged box with a note from my stylist.

Despite the fact I had just gotten home from the gym and looked like a hot mess, I ripped the package open and tried everything on.

 

 

IMG_1891

The first thing I tried on were, of course, the jeans. Ohhhh the jeans. They were buttery soft. They fit over my butt and thighs, but they were AT LEAST 6 inches too long. and they were supposedly a petite cut. They were $78. But they fit over my butt and thighs! Ultimately, I decided I didn’t want to pay $78 for jeans that I would have to pay to hem. Looking back now I kind of wish I had kept them. Lesson Learned!

The top was a fun color and I loved the crochet, but it wasn’t stretchy at all and I felt so constricted in it… if it had been a knit material I would have kept it for sure. But it was a return.

IMG_1889

 

Next was this adorable tank top. I loved the print and the length, but again, it wasn’t stretchy at all and it was way too tight on my boobs. I felt trapped. Another tank that if it had been in a more flexible fabric would have been a keeper. But I returned it.

IMG_1890

 

Ah, this dress. I love love love loved the way this dress looked. It was rather formal though. I had asked for a summer dress and this was a bit of a thicker material. It was also $74. And I have no where to wear it. I literally am in workout clothes 80% of the time and the other 20% is casual. I go no where fancy. If I had a special event coming up I would have kept it. But to pay $74 for a dress I would maybe wear… I couldn’t do it. Return.

So – Good news from my first fix is that most of it fit. Bad News is that none of it was something I wanted to keep. Good news – they sent a cute pair of dangly earrings that were $28, I don’t normally buy dangly earrings but since my $20 styling fee would be lost if I returned the entire fix I figured I could make good use of a cute pair of earrings instead of forfeiting $20.

Sometimes all it takes to feel fancy is the right pair of earrings. Thanks @stitchfix #stitchfix #fancy

A post shared by Courtney Norman (@courtnorm) on

After my first fix I had a better idea of what kind of feedback to give my stylist. Stretchy material on everything (I live in Spandex!), more casual dresses, no earrings. I scheduled my second fix for the next month. I have been searching high and low for some cute, casual and stylish tanks to pair with my shorts for a pulled together summer look. Maybe a casual light weight maxi. And jeans that weren’t made for someone with legs as long as Taylor Swift.

My second fix showed up and I was just as excited as when I received the first one. A cute note from my stylist about the things she saw on my pinterest board and tips for styling each of the items included in my fix.

FullSizeRender

 

Of course, the first thing I tried on was the pair of jeans she sent. I wanted them to work, I really loved them… but there was no way they were going to button or cover the top 2″ of my butt #liftingprobs

IMG_2551

The shirt was cute. And comfortable. But not something I felt like I couldn’t get at Target.

IMG_2552

 

This was a fun option, it was actually a split back tank – which is something I had pinned on my Fashion board on Pinterest.

IMG_2553

 

I liked it, but it was one of two split back tanks in my fix and I didn’t want to keep both. Oh darn, now I spoiled what the next thing was! Another split back tank!

IMG_2555IMG_2556

This one seemed a bit more grown up. It was a neutral grey, which also was more versatile. I like that I can wear it by itself and it can be a little more fun and sexy, or I can layer it over a cami for a more professional look. Keeper!

IMG_2557

 

And the grand finale. I loved this dress when I pulled it out of the box. It was soft and I felt like it really complimented my figure. I liked it, I just didn’t like it $58 worth. Maybe I’m just too cheap. Maybe it’s the fact that I wear “real” clothes only 20% of the time. I don’t know. I’m really looking for more versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched for several different looks. And while this was a stellar find, I just couldn’t pull the trigger. Returned.

Overall I’ve really enjoyed my StitchFix experience. I was concerned with fit at first, as I am the largest size they advertise, but I feel like the stuff they sent fit me just as good, if not better, than the stuff I would go try on in a store. I don’t think I’ll keep doing a fix every month because, like I said, I’m cheap. But when I feel like I need to spice up my wardrobe I’ll let StitchFix help me with that. If you want to try it, use my referral link! I get credit for everyone who uses my link and signs up for a fix. So basically you get a fun new wardrobe and it helps me pay for mine. Winning.

Have you tried StitchFix?

Summer Travels

Traveling is one of my all time favorite things to do. Not only do you get to disconnect from the every day hustle and bustle and recharge, but you also get to experience new things and make memories with your family. We have made travel a priority and have worked hard to make vacations a special experience for our family. Aside from plain old hard work you can also make planning vacations a little easier by using travel rewards Credit Cards, like the Discover It Miles Card. It has no annual fee, the miles never expire, and you can fly any airline at any time! Just use it for regular purchases and you can rack up rewards to use towards your summer travels.

 

Just before summer started we spent a week in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. We stayed at The Gran Porto Real, our first all inclusive!

 

GranPortoReal

 

The pool was by far our favorite place. We had a view of it from the balcony in our room. Payton was in the pool within the first hour we were there and it feels like she didn’t leave for the whole week!

We made it!! #normanfamilyvacation2015 #mexico

A post shared by Courtney Norman (@courtnorm) on

We spent most days hanging out by the pool. Lounging, reading, swimming, napping.

 

IMG_1644

 

An all inclusive vacation was a bit different than our typical Disney vacation or our previous Costa Rica and Baja trips, we spent more time relaxing and having no plans instead of planning out every detail and adventure. We did a spontaneous bike ride tour of the area one morning and ended up down by the beach and toured some Mayan Ruins.

 

P1010533

 

We also saw these awesome palm trees – they had been blown over by a hurricane but continued to grow even though they were growing sideways!

 

P1010522

 

One of my favorite things about taking vacations is being able to share these experiences with Payton. Growing up with memories of spending quality time together exploring, adventuring, and relaxing is something you can’t buy.

Travel is something that helps keep us focused during the busy seasons. I am so thankful to be able to work hard along side my husband and best friend and know that we are building our dream, working hard so we can play hard. With that hard work and smart planning with rewards card like the Discover It Miles card, nothing seems out of reach. Work hard, plan smart and you can experience the world.

 

Mexico was our one big trip this year, but we also have some travel plans to spend a few days in Minnesota next month and then we are going to Jamaica in September for Chris’ 30th Birthday/Our 8th Anniversary Celebration! For that trip we will be leaving the kiddo with grandma and enjoying ourselves sans kiddo on 7 mile Beach!

 

7milebeach

 

I Can’t Wait!

 

What are your Summer Travel plans?

 

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