My Life Being Renewed

Winter Getaway!

December 3, 2016

 



We are leaving for Mexico in less than an hour!!! I'm currently up at 3:00 a.m. enjoying a latte and finishing up this blog post. I am so excited you guys! We have been working extra hard this year trying to finish house projects, so it will be nice to have a week-long break. We will be visiting both Costa Maya and Cozumel- we have been to both, but it's been a while since we last visited.

I am looking forward to catching up on some kindle reading, writing in my journal and hopefully get some clarity on my business/career for the upcoming year. I have been so overwhelmed with my business that I really need some time to just step away from it all and do some soul searching about the direction that I want to go. And let's just be real, I am especially looking forward to some sun and tropical drinks on the beach! I will be back soon with some photos to share!

What are some of your favorite spots in Cozumel & Costa Maya?

Merry Christmas + some new healthy eats!

November 30, 2016


Like I mentioned in my last blog post, the holidays have been insane! The good part at least is that I am pretty much finished with Christmas shopping. Between online BF shopping + Cyber Monday, We purchased several big ticket items this year, including a 55 inch 4K Smart TV & a new personal touch screen PC.  I opted against wrapping them for Christmas because we had plenty of gifts under the tree already & I personally prefer not to have to wait almost an entire month to enjoy them. The hubby bought me a new PC for my home office last year, so now we each have new computers for our office. I will post some pictures in a later post so that you can see.



Besides decorating and shopping for Christmas, I also recently received some healthy bars in the mail from Thunderbird Bar. I was so excited to try these out for myself!


These bars are dairy free, grain free, soy free, sugar free, gluten free, vegan, paleo certified & Non-GMO. Perfect for my diet! I requested the Fruit & Nut to try, but they also carry Nut & Seed bars.


I love that these bars are all whole food ingredients- fruits, nuts, seeds and spices, nothing else added!! All of the bars were amazing, but my favorite bar was the hazelnut + coffee- of course! I love how these are chewy instead of crunchy bars; so much less messy to eat when I'm out and about. These would be perfect for before or after a workout or for hiking, especially with the added protein.

To see more flavors, you can also check out their online shop. I am looking forward to trying the nut & seed bars next time!

What type of healthy snacks do you like?

Disclaimer: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. These opinions are entirely my own, based on my personal experience.  

I survived Thanksgiving week!

November 28, 2016




Wow, this Thanksgiving week has been INSANE, you guys! The holidays always wear me out with so much work to do before the new year + cooking, shopping & decorating for the holidays. So much more reason to look forward to this upcoming vacay!! I did enjoy our Thanksgiving with my family, so much so that we ended up at my Mom's for almost 5 hours. I slept in this morning after such a hectic week, which was nice.

Most of our weekend consisted of shopping for three days online and one day shopping in store.  We have purchased so much that I am thinking of waiting next year to get the new TV and camera. Shopping is extremely time consuming for me because I do so much research in reading reviews & trying to find the best quality product until it takes me an entire day to buy one item!

In between shopping, I was able to get some other things done during the week:

>> Made Christmas Wreath for front door
>> Put out lighted Christmas trees on deck
>> Picked up our Frasier fir Christmas tree & decorated it that same night!
>> Wrapped more Christmas gifts
>> Joined more Blog FB groups
>> Emailed companies to collaborate with for Blog
>> Applied for some Blog campaigns
>> Finished several SoFab University classes
>> Updated Twitter, Pinterest to reflect my Blog instead of Business
>> Designed a new Twitter header
>> Did my first sponsored post with Groupon!
>> Posted some items on Swap + Shop
>> Made some larabars + home-made chili + 2 broccoli casseroles for the week
>> Ordered some more kcups
>> Ordered a Cuisinart 6 slice toaster & convection oven from Kohl's (excited for this!)
>> Went to TJ Maxx Members Event
>> Finished food shopping for the week
>> Had hubby's glasses repaired
>> Bought a couple of groupon deals (Starbucks + hair salon)
>> Created some social media graphics
>> Finished all client work
>> Had pallets delivered to get ready to DIY our garage walls next year (or end of this year)
>> Finished sorting dirt pile & filling up driveway + flowerbeds
>> Painted flower pot for citrus tree
>> Re-stained deck chairs & side table
>> Spot-cleaned patio cushions
>> Planted Rosemary Christmas Tree
>> Hubby pressure-washed deck
>> Finished our retaining wall + flower beds!
>> Hubby unclogged sink drain (I have never been so happy!)
>> Washed all sheet, bedspread covers
>> Reserved parking for our upcoming trip

I'm exhausted just from typing all of this! Later this week, I plan on doing some more VA job research, wash the car, cut the hubby's hair, going shopping with my MIL & having a spa day! I'm just glad that I got through Thanksgiving & most of my Christmas shopping!

What was your most favorite part about Thanksgiving?


Enjoy this Healthy Chocolate without the Guilt!!

November 23, 2016



So I recently was in contact with the nice people over at ChoNanga about reviewing some of their chocolate products & they sent me one of everything! Let's be honest, I'm not about to turn down chocolate, especially gourmet chocolate!


I really love how all of the chocolates have added benefits such as peppermint, maca, hempseeds, turmeric, matcha green tea, bee pollen & more! It made me feel so much less guilty about enjoying chocolate! My favorite was the Energy & Vitality but they were all so amazing that I would probably just order the sampler pack so that I can enjoy them all again!



I love supporting companies like ChoNanga because all of their ingredients are free of gluten, soy and GMO's. They use organic and fair trade ingredients whenever possible. When you purchase ChoNanga chocolate, you are also helping farmers get better prices, educating children in rural communities & keeping pesticides out of the environment. In addition, they pledge 2% of their profits to organizations that support a healthier planet, such as the Sacred Valley Project, which provides boarding and education to low income young women in rural Peru.

To grab some of these amazing chocolates for yourself (or as a stocking stuffer for your loved ones), you can check out their online shop here. Their prices are very reasonable too! Let me know if you try some and which is your favorite!

Disclaimer: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. These opinions are entirely my own, based on my personal experience.  

Home-made Larabars!

November 21, 2016


I have a confession to make.. I have a slight obsession with Larabars. I love pretty much every flavor that they make, but let's be honest, they can get pretty expensive at almost $1 per bar!! So the other day when I was browsing on Pinterest, I saw a few healthy bar recipes and it convinced me to try my hand at making my own! So here goes, hope you enjoy!



Homemade Larabar Recipe:
1 1/2 cups pitted dates
4 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 pinch sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract 
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup walnuts

Blend all together in the blender, slowly at first and then speed up. You will need to keep mixing and pushing down until it blends into a cookie batter like consistency. 

Put into a casserole dish and place in freezer for about 20-25 minutes. Cut into pieces & enjoy! I keep these refrigerated.

Even my picky husband loves these! Not to mention, they are really quick and easy to make. You can also add extra ingredients such as cinnamon, chocolate chips, raisins, etc. If you make some, let me know how yours turns out!


Getting my Christmas Shopping done with Groupon!

November 15, 2016

Okay, so you know how I mentioned that I already started wrapping some Christmas gifts last weekend? Well, I am currently trying to finish up my gift shopping online. I have to be honest with you, I prefer to do all of my Christmas shopping online. Who wants to drive to different stores and fight traffic and lines when you can sit at your computer and get it done so much easier?

My husband is probably the most difficult to buy for, but I decided to check out Groupon to see what they had to offer. I have bought everything from phones to beauty products on Groupon and they never disappoint. I did some searching and found a couple of items that I knew the hubby would like and at a great price to boot!

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine. #Groupon #ad





If you would like to get a head start on your Christmas shopping, I would suggest heading over to Groupon Goods and checking out what they have to offer. You can find something for the husband, wife, kids, parents and in-laws- there is something for everyone! You can find Groupon on Facebook or Twitter to stay updated on all of their deals! 

We have less than forty days until Christmas; can you believe it? So don't wait until the last minute; get your shopping out of the way so you can actually enjoy Christmas with your family & friends. Happy Shopping!!

Have you ever used Groupon & if so, what did you purchase?

2016 Goals Accomplished + 2017 Goal Setting!

November 14, 2016


2016 Goals Accomplished:

Travel
Cruised MSC Cruise Line for the first time in May
Had couples facials at the cruise spa
Went paddle-boarding for the first time (& most likely the last time because I was so scared that a shark was going to pop out of the water, so I didn't really enjoy it)
Went on a catamaran with free flowing margaritas/beer
Went to the beach 2-3 times
Visited St. Augustine again
Visited Disney Springs- went on the hot air balloon ride

House Stuff
Bought new weed trimmer, pressure washer for the home
Ordered Surround speakers & installed in ceiling
Bought + installed butcher block in laundry room
Ordered new woven blinds online & put up in bedroom
Had concrete poured on both well-house and garage
Hubby designed new retaining wall with flowerbed by garage entrance
Cleaned out garage- can actually fit 2 cars now! Made $1K + selling things & + donated to Goodwill
Finished painting exterior rafters
Finished painting exterior hardi-siding + trim
Worked on Landscaping- planted crepe myrtle trees, fruit trees, trimmed around all trees, put down pine-straw around flowerbeds
Hubby installed hood vent in kitchen
Put up interior window trim & painted
Painted 5 interior doors
Bought new furniture- coffee table, buffet table, TV stand, European clock, bedroom mirror, living room mirror, 2 living room end tables
Made over IKEA bedroom stands with new pull handles
Purchased new pillows for living room & new dinnerware
Cleaned out my closet & got rid of lots of jewelry, shoes and clothing since I work from home Consigned & made over $200 this year

Business
Published 3 books on Amazon
Started a new Book Club on Facebook
Collaborated on a live Facebook Marathon for a top business leader
Applied for some new virtual work & submitted 2 video interviews (got out of my comfort zone creating videos of myself!!)
Learned how to design a Square Space Website from scratch
Created styled stock photography & opened a store on Creative Market
Created a free opt-in & grew mailing list
Grew FB Business page
Re-branded entire business
Began writing 2 more books- hope to finish in 2017
Updated my LinkedIn + Resume
Learned much more about social media scheduling, accounting systems & lots of other geeky stuff!

Blog
Had a blog makeover!
Grew my FB Blog Page
Designed new email banner for blog inquiries

Health
Discovered Bullet-Proof Coffee + Golden milk
Eliminated soy, gluten, dairy, eggs, stevia & any organic products with sneaky additives

Spiritual
Learned to trust God even more
Prayed over my anxiety and God delivered me of it!  I now hand over all of my problems to God and don't worry about them anymore!

Self Improvement
Set better boundaries with people
Eliminated more negative people out of my life/personal space

Miscellaneous
Purchased Amazon Prime
Costco Card Renewal
Found a new organic market- Lucky's Market! My new favorite store!
Purchased newer car/better on gas
Sold Suburban
Sold Lake Lot + buyer agreed to pay 2016 taxes! (prayed over this & God blessed!)
Visited Aldi's for the first time and actually liked it! (our closest one is in Jacksonville)
Bought a replacement Keurig + Kcups
Helped Brother on his new house + made some extra money
Won an amazing $50 Gluten Free Giveaway package from Canyon Bakehouse

2017 Goals:
Finish up house projects (well-house, kitchen back-splash, trim, fire-pit, stain concrete, garage walls, a/c cover, landscaping)
Travel more, work less! (Use up free plane tickets)
Enjoy weekends more doing local things
Keep praying about my business vs working for another company
Goal Weight/Tone up
Grow nails
Have professional photos done

I was so busy this year as you can see! I really just want to slow things down next year and enjoy life more. I'm so done with being busy all of the time and I just want to enjoy our new home and have more travel and adventure.

What did you get accomplished this year?