Friday, December 28, 2012

Winter Beauty Secrets

Hey Preps!

I hate being cold.  Hate it.  I love snow, and skiing, but I hate ice, freezing temperatures, and everything associated with temperatures below 50 degrees.  So, lucky for Pittsburgh, we got lots of snow...the day after Christmas (weather stinks at timing)...and hear I sit next to my space heater.  Avoiding the lingering task of cleaning off my car from the ice that has covered it.

Another thing I struggle with is the dryness in the air thanks to the cold weather.  Sure, I love the west, and hope to be in California by next fall...but at the same time, dry weather means dry what's a girl to do when the weather isn't doing her beauty routine any favors?  I have found a few tricks that really make all the difference:

Winter Beauty

  1. Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream is a life-saver.  It is a moisturizer, evens skin-tone, covers blemishes (without clogging pores), and is a sunscreen.  Although I use a different BB Cream during the summer months, I really like this particular one during the winter.  It is a little bit thicker, and I feel like it is a great alternative to foundation.  As a personal trainer, I am constantly on the go.  I don't have time to always wash my face between classes or clients, and if I were to wear a powder, it would wear off and clog my pores.  This is a much better make-up routine for me that keeps me looking natural and has lots of skin benefits (like preventing dryness). 
  2. Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm is great for winter months.  I am one of those people who always seems to be suffering from chapped lips.  Wearing lip stick always dries out my lips, so for the longest time, I felt as if I was limited to just plain lip balms and glosses.  Finally, there is a great tinted lip balm that gives me the extra hint of natural color I need, combined with the moisturizing (and great feeling/smelling) balm that keeps my lips soft.
  3. Every girl wants an easy make-up routine that doesn't take all the time in the world to accomplish.  It's easy to accomplish in the summer when we are at the beach with our dewy bronzed suntans and humid weather.  Leave it to winter to destroy our tan and our dewy skin.  Get that natural, summer feel with a light shimmery powder like Stila All Over Shimmer Powder.  I love this duo.  It doesn't drastically change the color of your skin, but is a great way to illuminate your cheeks, and T-zone to give you a natural, glowy, look.
  4. Another issue with losing the sun-kissed tan, is the qualities we hate tend to show a little bit more...under-eye circles are no fun.  People think you are sick, tired, etc.  thanks to them and as we get paler, our under-eye circles become more predominant.  Stop that with Almay Under-eye Concealer.  I love it.  I have used it for years.  It doesn't crease or create fine lines after you put it on, and it really brightens up your face.  
  5. Another issue with dry weather means, frizzy, knotty, static hair.  I naturally have fine hair, so in the winter, my hair gets tangled easily, and I feel as if I am fighting an uphill battle.  I started using Moroccan Oil a year ago, and have seen a world of difference in my hair.  I just put about a dime size in my hair when it's wet combined with a little leave-in conditioner.  No more split-ends, no more tangles, and my hair feels so soft and healthy.  Moroccan Oil helps protect you hair, and gives back some of the natural oils your hair is stripped of during a shower, and during the winter months.
  6. Back to the whole chapped lips thing, I have found my miracle kit in Fabulips Treatment Kit.  It comes with a lip wash, scrub, balm, and plumper.  I use it when my lips get really chapped.  It even tastes good.  The balm is thick and really helps give moisture back to your lips...and what girl doesn't love a lip plumper.
  7. Essie is my go-to nail polish brand.  They come out with seasonal colors that are unique, and fun to use.  I am a huge glitter fanatic.  Especially during the winter months, so above I picked one of the colors I have been rocking quit a bit lately, combined with a top-coat of clear glitter.  Perfecto!
Stay warm, and chapped lips free!
God bless y'all!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Terrible Twos, and the Art of Decision-Making

Hey Preps!

Flying is a win-lose game.
Today I lost...the result?
Taking a selfie for y'alls enjoyment on the plane. 

Decisions.  Every day we make thousands of them whether they are food choices, creating our schedule, or determining what we love/hate in life.  Sometimes we really stink at making them.  We look back at times in our lives and think, "What a doofus! Why did I do that!? What was I thinking!?".

Most of the time, those decisions we thought were such a big deal at that given point in our life, are not as big as they seemed when looking back.  Sometimes those decisions result in a humorous story (even if it wasn't so humorous at the time).

Then there are the decisions we look back and wish we could change them.  I wish I had majored in...(you fill in the blank).  I wish I had moved to...I wish I hadn't quit....
Some decisions are more life altering than we wish they had been.  For example, I often joke about how as an 18-year-old going to college; with all of these ideals of what college would be like in my head, I made a decision to attend a school based off of things that are no longer important to me.

How was I to know that as a young, whimsical, 18-year-old girl?  I couldn't.

We can spend our whole lives regretting decisions we made.  I would be successful if I had done...If I had gone to this school, I would have the ability to do....

What good does that do?

For example, I am currently on a flight back to Pittsburgh, after having an interview at Stanford this past week.  So, if I were to land the job that I interviewed for...I would have a huge life decision of whether to pack up my bags and move cross country away from everything I know or not.  Sure, it's something I am sweating a little bit about...but I know that at age 50 I will look back on the decision and smile either way.

Then I made the decision of climbing on to my plane...and sitting right in front of a terrible two year old.  She has cried, kicked my seat, and pulled my hair for the past three hours.  My decision for an appealing window seat with no one sitting on either seat next to me was too much for my fast decision making nerves in my brain to resist, and without rationalizing the miserable feats of the terrible twos, I slung my bag down and happily plopped into my spacious spot.

A decision I deemed so desirable and pleasant initially has resulted in no sleep, and one heck of an uncomfortable and loud plane ride (also has clarified that I am so far from ready to have any children in my life anytime soon).

Isn't it funny how one teeny decision can result in a festering of ideas, events, and interactions in your life?

I wish I could tell you the magic formula on how to make 'the right' decision, however, I am far from figuring that one out yet myself.  I guess for me, and my random plane ponderings, I have decided that every decision that you make, helps you to grow into a better, smarter, and stronger person.  Who can maybe make better decisions based off of what they have discovered in their past.  Sometimes it's good to reflect on our past and to see how far we have come since then...yet at least for me, I am going to continue to keep striving for an even better future, living in the moment, yet hopefully getting better at planning and making decisions in my life.  I hope you will do the same.

I one wants to repeat their terrible twos...or high school for that matter....

Keep striving to be the best you can be!

God bless y'all!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November

To my Fellow Preppy Americans,

Today is HUGE for our nation's future.  As a young adult, I find it shocking as to how many people in my generation not only have no desire to vote, but react negatively to those who are enthusiastic about the election.  I have a job, that I work very hard at.  I have a future in this country, and want that future to continue to hold the freedoms, stability, and hard work that America was founded on so long ago.  It is my American right to vote.  A privilege, and I am honored that I have a small say in the future of America.  Although evident who I am voting for (thanks to the picture above), I will not bash those who have opposing opinions.  America is about having the freedom to state what you believe, we should never belittle those who disagree with our own opinions.  I also feel that as a writer who specifies in the subjects of fashion, college life, and fitness...that it is better that I leave my blog for just that and post my political opinions elsewhere (like my Twitter hehe).  That being said, I will leave you all with a historically famous and moving quote from one of our founding fathers:

‎"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual - or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country." 
-Samuel Adams

You have a say.  Be heard. Vote!  

Happy Election Day! Have a blessed one y'all!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Workout Wednesday: Success Isn't Straight

Hey Preps!

I LOVE running in the Fall when all the leaves are changing.  Absolutely breathtaking. 
It's October.  That means running leggings, warm gear, and bright clothing to ensure safety while hitting the roads and trails in Western Pennsylvania.  I love my North Face reflective windbreaker.  It's bright and keeps me warm.  

Today I filled in for a fitness class that I usually do not teach.  The instructor was sick, and since I practically live at my fitness center, I was guilted into helping out.  I walked into the aerobics room, and the class members made eyes at one another.  No, I am not being sensitive.  They literally rolled their eyes at the fact that (as someone put it) a 'little blonde barbie' was going to be teaching them.

Guess What?  I kicked their bums.  Instant respect from them.

Not only did I kick their tooshies, but specifically explained each exercise and why we were doing it.  After class, they told me they never knew why they were doing certain exercises.  They were impressed.

The lack of confidence in me they had when they initially met me diminished as they got to experience my teaching.  Trust me, it's not the first time I have had to prove myself.  Throughout my entire life I have had to prove to people that I am not the typical stereotype they initially view me as.  Being a biochemistry major taught me that it's best to wear glasses the first day of school.  Professors see a blonde girl, and think she's incapable of getting an A in their Advanced Organic Chem class.

Now, in the real world, I meet with a new client or a new class, and if they don't know me or my resume; they automatically think I am too young, inexperienced, skinny, blonde...little do they know that I gained 30lbs. my freshman year of college.  That I since have lost it all, and have made fitness and nutrition a priority in my life.  They don't realize how many certifications I have and long weekends I have spent researching everything on the fitness spectrum to be able to put together a program that works specifically for them and their needs.

Sure it's frustrating.  I don't appreciate being underestimated, yet at the same time it gives me a determination in my spirit to prove them wrong.

Many of you who have e-mailed me are frustrated.  You want to achieve a fitness goal whether it's running a 5k or a marathon, losing weight, even competing in your first triathlon.  You aren't seeing the results you thought you would, and you want to give up.  I have totally been there.  It took me over a year to lose the weight that I gained my freshman year of college.

It was frustrating to see girls skinnier than me at the cafeteria eating pizza and french fries, while I ate the same salad and self-made sandwich every day.  I didn't lose the weight over night.  There were many days (and still are) that I wanted to eat a huge bag of peanut butter M&M's.  It takes discipline, time, and the understanding that success doesn't happen over night.  It is a process, but I am telling you...that even if you fail once or twice, you can reach your goals if you set your mind to them.  If I can.   I promise.

One of my favorite illustrations of success is shown below:

We all want instant results when we put in effort.  I am telling you right now, that is not the way life works.  It takes perseverance to reach success.  There will be times where you find yourself back peddling, or having to start over again.  That's okay.  You will get there.  I am a firm believer that those who work harder to succeed, appreciate their success more.  Don't be discouraged if you aren't reaching your fitness goals right away.  Use your disappointments as leverage to prove yourself and others wrong.  Once you reach your goals, you will look back and appreciate the time and work it took to get there.  Keep pushing guys.  Make it happen.  Only you can achieve your own success.  

Stay tuned for a Workout Wednesday Circuit that I will be filming in my boot camp tonight!

Have a blessed day y'all!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Workout Wednesdays: The Killer Core Circuit

Hey Preps!

Did you guys know that you are awesome?  I have been LOVING the e-mails that many of you have been writing me about reaching your fitness goals, and how I have inspired you to get back at things.  Several of you have been asking me how I get a defined core.  So, I have decided to start a new series called 'Workout Wednesdays' where I will film myself doing one of the circuits that I often do with my Personal Training clients or Bootcamp members.  I know it can be hard to get back into exercising, but hopefully this will inspire you do keep at it.  This is an advanced circuit, but don't let that scare you, I promise you can make it through, and that if you do this circuit three times a week, you will start getting that rockin' core you are striving for!

When it comes to some gym motivation, I love looking cute at the gym.  I think when you feel good about the way you look, you have more confidence to get in the gym and work your cute little bum off.  So I put together a few things that I have been reppin' at the gym lately.  What motivates you to get to the gym?

Workout Wednesday Gear of the Week

Workout Wednesday Gear of the Week by pittsburghprep featuring nike

1. Asic's Zip-Up Running Hoodie.  I love zip-up warm up sweats.  I am naturally freezing all the time (unless I'm mid-workout) so anything that keeps me loose during my workout and is easy to remove works well for me.

2.  Nike Shirt.  I love shirts that are motivating.  What is more motivating than Nike's classic slogan...Just Do It? Stop making excuses.

3.  Kettle Bells.  They rock.  My bootcamp uses them on a nightly bases.  They are great for high intensity/full body workouts (I will show ya one some Wednesday).

4. Ironman Timex Watch.  I love mine.  I can wear it in the pool, on my runs, and use it a ton when I am timing my speed-work intervals, or keeping a class I teach on track.  My watch has a heart rate monitor with it, and will beep at me when I am not in my target heart rate zone.  It's so annoying that sometimes I work harder so it doesn't beep at me.  

5.  Nike Crop Capris.  Listen, I have always been a running shorts person.  I have a tiny waistline and muscular legs, so capris never fit me right because they are always too loose in my waist.  These Nike ones fit me perfectly, and I think they are a cute girly accent you can rock when at the gym.

6.  Yoga mat.  How many times do you go to a gym and there are gross people all over the exercise mats?  If I'm at a huge gym and don't know the last time something has been cleaned, I whip out my own yoga mat.  That way I can ensure I am not contracting someone else's skin disease. Ewww.

7.  Nike Sports Bra.  Colorful sports bras are so fun.  You can always see a little bit of yours if wearing a tank top.  Why not wear a cute one?

8. Asics Gel Kayano 18 Running Shoes.  These are my babies.  We ran the Pittsburgh Marathon together.  I have flat feet, and the Asic Kayanos have the perfect amount of stability that correct my over-pronating flat-fooded stride.  I used to struggle with shin splints, but since I have been rockin' these digs (for four years now) I have had zero problems.  

9. Running Socks.  I love em.  I especially love my Injini Toe Socks, but I highly recommend investing in a few pairs of breathable, padded, running socks.  They feel so much better than normal athletic socks.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Loosen Your Grip

Hey Preps!

Type AAA personality.  Ashamed to admit it sometimes, but that's me.  I set my mind on something, and I want to achieve it.  I dive head first, and I refuse to fail.  Yet, it is impossible to be perfect at everything...and everyone fails at some point in their life.  Why are we so ashamed when we do?

Perfect example was today, I was teaching a Silver Sneakers fitness class (for Senior citizens) and we were working on a drill to help with finger strength (grip).  As we get older arthritis and years of picking up heavy items can lead to the loss of strength in our digits.  So, to strengthen that, the drill we do involves a small inflatable ball.  Holding the ball, we extend the arm out; hand placed on top of the ball, and squeeze and release our fingers to exercise that finger strength.

Someone always looses their ball.  It goes flying the other direction and everyone stares...the person who lost it, rushes over to claim the ball, and looking completely defeated sulks back to their seat.
Who cares!?  I couldn't tell you who lost their ball this morning, even though I know someone did.

Yet, how many times are we completely embarrassed by our faults and cannot seem to acknowledge them, learn from them, and get back up and start fighting again?  Seriously guys.  Stop trying to hold on so tight to your life that you are unable to grow into a better person.

We really do take life too seriously.  Just like my Silver Sneakers take their grip exercises.  Little do they know that if they just loosened up their grip a teeny bit, that the ball would be easier to hold on to. When you grip the ball too tightly, the pressure in the ball is compressed, making the probability of it shooting out of your hand far greater when you go to slightly release that tension.  Just like in life, the more pressure you put on yourself to be perfect, the harder it will be when you fail.

So that is my psychological advice to you today, now for some fashion advice...

It is now officially fall, and almost October, and in Kalyn terms, Pennsylvania is officially too cold.  All weekend it rained, which is tough when I just returned from sunny California.  So, what is a girl to do if she wants to be fancy and practical huh?

For all those college girls in cold climates; what I have found is that there are many fun ways you can pair rugged pieces with classy essentials to put together a perfect casual outfit for class.  I used to see so many girls wearing pumps and 'clubwear' to class...and then turn the corner and see girls in sweats who clearly didn't even brush their hair that morning.

I am telling you first hand, professors aren't diggin' the clubwear or the "I never try" look.  You should always try to look simple, classic, and clean (at least clean for goodness sake).

Fall Practicals

Fall Practicals by pittsburghprep featuring slim pants
1. Excursion Quilted Vest by J. Crew
2. Oxford Button Down from Lands' End Canvas
3. Matchstick Cord by J. Crew
4. Large Le Pliage Femme Bag by Longchamp
5. Duck Boots by L.L.Bean

One of my favorite outfits to wear in the fall/winter months is a pair of Duck Boots combined with a polished pair of corduroy skinny pants.  I like to keep the chunky theme in place by adding a loose-fitting oxford button down shirt, with a quilted down vest.

If you get too warm in class, the vest is removable, and you still look polished.  So, ladies and gents...stop trying too hard with you wardrobe (or not trying at all) and loosen up that grip on life while your at it.

Everything turns out okay.  I promise.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bright! for Fall

Hey Preps!

Always have been a huge fan of bright of the 
many reasons I am looking forward to fall

Have you ever walked into an elementary school art class?  Some kids are chatting as they sloppily swipe paint brushes loaded with unimaginable amounts of paint onto some thin piece of paper.  You hear kids complain about having to endure the torture known as 'Art Class' if it were some type of prison they couldn't break out of.  

No offense to any of my art teachers, but kids just never took art seriously.  There was always a detention given...always that kid in my high school slinging wet clay at another person when they weren't looking...and...wack! Clay to the back of the head.  Detention for both.  

Then there was Kalyn.  Perfectionist.  Overly creative.  Those two things just don't seem to mix when I test my hand at any form of art.  I would develop these dramatized, extremely detailed, images in my head of something I wanted to create...and it just never seemed to turn out the way I had dreamed.  Would you believe that Ceramics class was one of the only quarterly B's I received in high school?  Why?  Because I would spend the whole class trying to create a clay sculpture the quality of Michelangelo's and somehow my skills just didn't seem to compare...and that resulted into mass frustration...which lead to me ferociously squishing the wet clay back into a blob.  

No. I never threw clay at anyone...but the perfectionist in me and the time constraint given for the class caused me to not complete a project on time.  B on the report card.

It doesn't mean I don't love art.  Matter of fact, art history intrigues me.  I may be a perfectionist, but my creativity does allow me to color outside of the lines a lot of times.  I love photography, writing, acrylic painting, I play the piano...the list goes on...however something somewhat unique is that I need color.  

I am not a black and white person.  I hate textbooks that have no pictures.  I hate taking notes without a hot pink highlighter...and I would chose a blog post with a big colorful picture on it over one with just words.  It's just who I am.  I am visual...I love and appreciate the colorful beauty that surrounds me.  

Just like the way I tend to lean towards colorful media...I also love colorful clothes.  I think you can make a huge statement with a pair of simple bright chino pants...and when I think of richly colored chinos....I think of fall.  

Sure, this spring and summer's fashions have been pastel colored pants...however Preps have been doing colors for a long time.  Most predominantly shown in fall fashions.  Pastels are exchanged for rich purples and burgandys, mustard and canary yellows, royal blues, Nantucket reds, and deep oranges.  Oh, you bet I am in heaven.  

So, the other day I was browsing Land's End online...and discovered all of their new corduroy crop pants and chino pants in a vast variety of beautiful colors.  I really don't even have to mention that I bought a few pairs.  

Fall Chinos

So, if the trees are changing colors this fall...why shouldn't we?  Show the inner artist off and be bright in some colorful chinos!

Finally, I will leave you with some words of wisdom from one of my favorite music artists, John Mayer:
Life is like a box of crayons. Most people are the 8-color boxes, but what you're really looking for are the 64-color boxes with the sharpeners on the back. I fancy myself to be a 64-color box, though I've got a few missing. It's ok though, because I've got some more vibrant colors like periwinkle at my disposal. I have a bit of a problem though in that I can only meet the 8-color boxes. Does anyone else have that problem? I mean there are so many different colors of life, of feeling, of articulation.. so when I meet someone who's an 8-color type.. I'm like, "hey girl, magenta!" and she's like, "oh, you mean purple!" and she goes off on her purple thing, and I'm like, "no - I want magenta!"

Be your own color! Color outside of the lines!
Have a blessed day y'all!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Running Day

Hey Preps!

Monday was HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) at the track.
I do it twice a week after a short distance tempo run, to work on my speed.
I did two 800 sprints followed by 400 easy and repeated 6 times. 
Then I ran some bleachers.  
Decided to Instagram my adventure.  Follow me if you have one!

Today is like Christmas to all those crazy people who somehow love running as much as I do.  It's National Running Day.  I'm serious.  There is a day dedicated solely to my favorite activity in the whole world.  Don't believe me check out National Running Day's Website for some cool ideas on how to celebrate.

So, I thought it would be fitting that since it has officially been a month (as of today) since my Marathon, to express to y'all (and to remind my own self) why I think running is so great.

Many of you who read my blog know my early morning habits that consist of lots of running.  Today, I woke up at 5:30AM and decided to go on a 15 miler.  I was thinking about why I loved running as my feet rolled off the pavement of the country backroad I had chosen to run.  Past farms and streams I went, and as the fog started to lift upwards and the sun started to peak over the horizon, I knew my answer.

There I was.  Just me (covered in reflective gear and blinking lights...I am sure people think I'm a freak), the music of my choice, and my pink running shoes.  Everything that had gone wrong so far this week seemed distant and unimportant.  I was alone, with not even so much as two or three cars that occasionally drove by...running down a gorgeous wooded path in the middle of nowhere.  The miles seemed to just fly by.

Why do I love running?

For me, it's easy.  It's just like putting my contacts in every day; running is a daily necessity in my life.  I don't care if I only run one mile or if I run 26, I need it.  Running is my therapy.  I am passionate about it, and I know I am a much better person when I get my morning run in.  There is just something so peaceful about that morning time to myself, and on days like today, where I finish a long run...the rest of the day ahead seems like a cake-walk.

Running is a cleansing process for me.  It is part of what defines me as a person, and I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate today than by letting you know how running has changed my life.

Representing my Marathon during my Boot Camp class last night with
one of my motivating t-shirts.  

So kids, go for a run! Celebrate running day in some way today!  I want to hear about how you celebrated!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Run Like a Girl

Hey Preps!

My pup and I post-marathon

It was 3:30 in the morning, and I gave up on sleep.  The anticipation of an event that I had spent months training for and visualizing kept me from sleeping until my 4:00 alarm sounded.  For the first time, I didn't mind waking up prior to my alarm.  I was ready.  Out of bed I went, and into my running attire.  Then there was the pre-race rituals, oatmeal, stretching, and packing my SPEEDO bag until it was jammed full (I have this thing about leaving space in bags).  I was ready.  It was marathon day.

My dad is the best in the world.  I am sure of it.  Only he, would wake up at the same time as me, to meet me at my apartment and drive me into Pittsburgh for my big race.  He is my biggest fan and best friend.  He also knows exactly what to/what not to say at all the right times.  I can't remember a single race throughout my life that my father wasn't at cheering me on.  That alone says so much about the amazing person he is.

He knows my race rituals.  He also knows I don't talk very much before races.  So, for the most part we remained mutually quiet during the drive.  A past marathoner himself, he knows exactly what I am about to endure.  He told a few stories that eased my nerves...and gave me a ton of encouragement as we parted ways at the starting line.

Here we go...

Pre-race you get corralled into different sections based on your seed time.  I made it into my corral and waited with 25,000 other people for the starting shotgun sound.  Away we went...

I had spent months training for this.  Today was the day to accomplish something I had dreamed about for years.  I couldn't help but smiling as I fell into my pace and let my feet do the cruisin.  Over bridges, up hills, winding everywhere throughout Pittsburgh, I was proud.  I had so much pride for what I was doing, and for my city.  Running through the towns of Pittsburgh, and having the incredible support of so many people was emotionally moving for me.

Every so often I would glance at my watch to check my pace, but was nervous when I passed mile 8, and my pace was right on track with what my dad had thought I should be running (I thought it was too fast).  I had a slight freakout moment.

"Am I going to fast? What if I die at the end?"

I started playing mind games...but listened to my body, and my heart, and kept pushing my pace.  I wasn't going to let the psychological part of the race beat me.

The course started heading down into the South Side of Pittsburgh, and there he was.  Mile 10.2.  My stink bug flushing, supportive, gentleman was there to cheer me on.

"Come on Kalyn, your ahead of pace...keep it up! You look strong!"

I blushed as I glanced back down at my feet after making eyes at him.  No slowing down, no giving up.

Part of the reason I decided to run the marathon was to work through my past.  I run through my problems, and I signed up for the marathon after a break-up.  Months of training, and recovering, and there I was, running the race that helped me overcome emotions, a damaged heart, and the limits I had previously placed on myself.

Never in a million years did I think I would have the guy who "made me blush" for over a year at the gym supporting me as I was running my big race.  It is so funny how life works, and how much running alone has given me.  I look back on the past few months, and running is what really has saved me.  I am a much happier person now, and I thought I was happy before.

Mile 15 came...there was my loving father.  Taking pictures and running along the road next to me.

"Great pace KK you are killing it!"

What a great dad.

I kept pushing.  I was beginning to feel the pain, my muscles ached, they cramped, but I kept going.

Mile 22...pushing through the wall

Mile 22. The wall came.  Every muscle in my legs felt fatigued, my pace started to fall...then all of a sudden, I see my dad, running along the sidewalk next to me.  He ran the whole mile uphill with me until the 23 mile marker.  He knew this is where I would be struggling, and he was there to help me through it.

Do you have amazing people like this in your life?  That will help you work through any adversities, heart break, and pain you may endure?  Who support you and your passions?  If so, appreciate them.  They don't come along very often.  

I slowly worked through the pain and worked back up to my pace.  Mile 25 came...ONE MORE MILE, and of course it was uphill.  I pushed myself.  I somehow found the strength to kick my stride into full gear as I sprinted into the finish.  I clocked out three minutes before my goal...and the second I officially crossed the finish line, every muscle in my body stopped working...and I peed my pants.  Yep. couldn't even hold my bladder.  Always have to make a grand entrance.

I peed my freaking pants.

There I was.  Wet pants, sweaty, exhausted, and incredibly happy.  I did it.  26.2 miles.  I had overcome pain (both emotional and physical), stereotypes, psychological negativity, and had done something I had always wanted to do.

There is nothing like setting a goal, working hard, and achieving it.  What are you going to achieve that you have deemed impossible?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Just Show Up

Hey Preps!

This week I am tapering my distance run down to 14 miles...
that means cutting more calories out of the diet.  
I feel great though! 
Cut and taper time = Marathon is sooo soon!

Last night after a Bootcamp class that I teach, I (being the crazy that I am) decided I needed to do a little bit more cardio for the day.  Sure, I had ran sprint intervals for my weekly 'speedwork' workout of the week earlier, but was zoning in on some chub above the knees.  We all do it.  There are always areas of our body that we feel self-concious about.  For me, I know that when I pack on a few pounds, they go straight to my booty and thighs.  Now that I am cutting for the marathon, I am slightly more self-aware of the areas I need to be targeting.  

So I sneak down to the Fitness Center by taking the back staircase from my classroom to avoid anyone who wants to talk to me for an hour.  The problem with being a trainer and teaching classes is that everyone wants your time, even when you are not on duty.  Being as busy as I am, I really can't talk to people during my own workouts.  That doesn't mean I am standoffish to people, it just means that I am matter of fact with them.  I love working with people and hearing their stories, but not when I have to crank out a run or a good solid lift (which I hardly rest in between sets) and someone comes over to me to tell me about the new helmet for their bike they got, I am supportive, but brief.  The point is, sometimes I struggle with getting in my own workouts because I am in the environment that is my profession.  

As soon as I enter the Fitness Center, a lady I work with comes blubbering in.  Gosh, I love her.  She has been kicking her own butt into shape and I am so proud of her dedication.  The issue was that she gained a pound in a month.  She gained instead of lost.  With anyone I am working with, I recommend that you don't obsess about your weight daily, but instead, weigh yourself once a month.  I also take my client's measurements so we can see where they have lost their weight.  To me, this is a more accurate count of how well you are doing...since the goal is to build lean muscle and lose fat...and fact known is muscle weights significantly more than fat.  

So, I got caught up in motivating her in other ways.  We measured her, and I asked her how her jeans were fitting.  She said loose.  I explained the muscle/fat ratio, and promised her that she would lose weight in the next three months if she kept up with her nutrition and workout plans.  

By the time that was over, it was an hour later.  I was cold from being sedentary so long after my class, and had to go through the motivation process again.  After finishing my run it was 10:30PM.  The fitness center had already closed, but since I work there I do have the advantage of staying after hours occasionally.  

I went home and ate something light since it was so late, and passed out.  

This morning, my alarm clock screeched at 5:30AM and I felt like I had gotten zero sleep.  To get up?  Not to get up?  I made the terrible decision to sleep in longer...I woke up at 6:30, and moved at a turtle pace to put on my swimsuit and make the trek over to the gym.  

"At least Janell and Heather will be gone by now..." 
I thought as I slipped into the locker room and stripped off the layers of sweats I had on.  

"Oh Kalyn! Good! You are here!  Heather and Ann are just getting in the pool!"
I turn around and there is Janell, a mother of two, a physical therapist, and an incredibly talented distance Triathlete.  

"Great. Busted."

Before I knew it, I was in a freezing cold pool pounding out sets of 200s followed by 50 sprints.  I was killing it.  I mean, they couldn't even keep up.  It was like every stroke I could pull even more water, as my legs propelled me forward in a fury of unsettled water.  Thank goodness I ran into Janell, or I would have been very lazy today.  

All three of the ladies I swim with are accomplished Triathletes.  They all have incredible careers, families (Heather is pregnant, and still keeps up with me in the water), and are some of the most dedicated athletes I know.  Do you think they have time to do a lazy workout?  Definitely not.  

I know there are days where you dread going to the gym.  It happens to all of us.  It happened to me today, yet getting up and showing up are the hardest steps in the process.  Sure, you will have to battle through sweat, pain, and really push yourself sometimes.  Yet, that's better than not showing up at all.  

For myself, I have found that the days I have little or no expectation about my workouts sometimes catch me by surprise and I leave the gym knowing I really did kick my own butt.  That's a really rewarding feeling.

I challenge you, to just show up.  No matter how hard it is, or what time limits you have, find a way.  I promise you won't disappoint yourself.  

P.S. to those who were wondering, yes, I am running the Pittsburgh Marathon!

Have a blessed day y'all!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Margaritas on my Mind

(Easter Sunday Outfit: Lilly Pulitzer Dress, Steve Madden Sling-back Sandals, 
and a Vintage, Changeable, Lilly Pulitzer Clutch)
I love spring, it means Pink and Green!

Ok, so I am just gonna vent for a second.  I am so hungry right now.  I am sitting at work and Food Network is on.  Fried twinkies.  Fried macaroni and cheese.  Everything fried seems to be the theme.  Of course someone would want to be watching the Food Network while they are working out, causing me to reap the cons of such a show.

My training for the marathon is coming to an end.  That means this final month is TAPER.  I love tapering because it means less mileage and a higher intensity.  Go hard or go home type of mindset its needed.  However, what I hate about tapering, is the fact that I have to start cutting back on the calories/fat in my diet.  When you are running 60+ miles a week, it's easy to let your diet slide a bit.  Trust me, I have been an eating machine.

 When your mileage decreases though, the diet becomes more important. This means no drinking in season (there goes my glass of vino until October), eating lean protein, and lots of veggies, limiting my sugar/fruit intake, and keeping the closest eye on my carb intake.  Since I am gluten-free, I turn my nose up at most carbs because of what they do to my body.  Yet, when my aunt makes me G-free Pumpkin Muffins, and it's time for me to's really not fun staring at them and having them stare back at you.

The month before a huge race is when I start watching everything I consume.  If it doesn't benefit my body in some way, and help to make me a better athlete, I don't eat it.  Trust me, it's extremely hard...and it means denying a ton of cravings and sometimes being a little bit hungry.

Last night I was texting my girlfriend, and mentioned how super bummed I was that my race was the day after Cinco De Mayo.  Kids, I love me some mexican food.  Everything I can eat.  Corn tortillas, rice,'s a carb heaven for G-free people like me.  I also love me some Margaritas.  Mucho grande por favor.  

So, as soon as this race is over, and I am fully hydrated and functioning again.  I WILL have a Margarita, and the biggest enchilada I see.  Then it will be back to training and cutting for Triathlons.

What is the point of writing this?  First, I just needed to express my hunger.  Now I feel much better.  Second, I wanted to stress the importance of nutrition.  It is equally if not more important than your daily cardio and weight session if you are trying to lose weight.  I know it stinks sometimes, and isn't easy to always eat well.  Trust me, I am a huge fan of Skittles and Ice Cream.  However, you have to look at how the food you are eating will benefit or hurt you in the long run.  Doing so, will help you make better decisions.  I promise.

So I challenge you to eat well for a week, deny those processed foods, sugars, and fattening cravings.  You will feel so much better...and be on your way to a healthier lifestyle!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Polo Dresses and Stink Bugs

Hey Preps!

(Outfit of the Day: I love my green Vineyard Vines Polo Dress, it's as comfy as sweats.
I paired it with a Lacoste headband, and Coastal Skimmers from L.L.Bean)

Have you ever seen a stink bug?  They practically invaded Pittsburgh.  Recently I moved into a new house, and we have this little issue with stink bugs finding some way inside the house.  Yuck.  So last night I was reading, and glanced up just to see a stinker scurrying up my wall.  I had a minor freak-out, and calmed myself down enough to grab a wad of toilet paper, gently pluck the insect from the wall, and drown it in a swirling fury down the toilet.  Kalyn 8, Stink Bugs 0.  My count was up to eight in a 24 hour span.  Disgusting.  

Did you know that if you smash a stink bug, that they give off an odor that attracts more of the gross little things?  SEE BUG.  FREAK OUT. SMASH BUG.  It's practically human nature for us to attack at first glance when seeing a bug, yet if we do that with a stink bug, we are fighting an uphill battle.  You must wait for the right moment to snatch it up, and dispose of it somewhere far far away, or do the barbaric thing a flush that sucker out of your house.  

I am the weirdest.  After this post, I am convinced I am...but how many times do our impulses attract more hard decisions in our life?  Impatient and stubborn are two words that I will honestly call myself.  I admit they are flaws of mine.  I have always been one who wants what she wants the second she wants it, regardless of whether it is the right thing in the long run or not.  How many times has that hurt me in my life?  Just like the instant thought to squish a stink bug leads to a much bigger problem?  

Sometimes, we just need to let go of situations, and know that not everything is in our hands.  There is not a single time that you will be in complete control of your life.  Sure, you can do all the right things to prepare yourself in a way that avoids trauma, but in the end nothing ever works out the way we planned it.  

I have always been one to try to take rein of my life.  Every time I try, I am taught to be patient.  It feels really good to say that for the first time in my life, I am fine with letting things happen the way they are meant to be.  Sure, I give everything my very best, but I know that I can't keep smushing the stink bugs in my life...because they will come back to bite me eventually.  

I am currently in the taper stage for my marathon.  I am anxious for it to be over so I can start fully training for Triathlons again...yet I know I can't over train.  How did I learn that?  A past full of shoulder, shin, knee, and ankle injuries.  I now listen to what my body is telling me, and I know the difference between a good hurt and a "I just fractured my foot" kind of hurt.  Sometimes that means not doing everything I wanted to (which is very hard for me to do), but I know that listening to my body will pay off in the end when I didn't over train and hurt something.  

The same goes for careers and relationships.  I kept forcing my last relationship to work, when it clearly wasn't meant to be for quite some time.  I was up late at night in tears waiting to hear from him, exhausted, and mentally and emotionally drained in class.  Why did I stick with something that was making me so unhappy for so long? I was stubborn.  I kept trying to dispose of the stink in our relationship in all the wrong ways.

Now I am so happy.  I am finally doing things I only dreamed of doing.  I have an amazing support network to fall back on if I need them...and I can honestly say that I am just Kalyn.  Just me.  A little girly who loves pink and green, writing, running her feet off, swimming like a fishy, teaching fitness classes, and appreciating the world around me.  

I recently wrote that when you are happy being by yourself, someone who appreciates you for who you are will find you.  Well guess what?  Mr. Makes Me Red in the Face and I are still talking.  We are taking it super slow, and I like it that way.  Yet, he supports me for the freak I am.  He respects the fact I wake up at ungodly hours to hit the pool or go on a long run.  He wants to be there for me at all my races.  My ADHD stories that are overly enthusiastic and detailed make him laugh...and it is great to have someone who does appreciate the weird Kalyn.  I don't know where the future is for us, but I am fine not knowing.  Who knows if we will ever end up in a serious relationship...but never have I spent time with someone who is so grounded in who he is, and so driven to do his best...not to mention someone who is caring enough to listen to me ramble about my distance run and what each mile felt like and the philosophical meaning behind stink bugs.  

I laughed last night as I was leaving his house.  He is a financial advisor, which means suits and ties and brief cases.  I am a personal trainer which means running shoes, kettle bells, and sports bags. As I was leaving, I picked up my lifting shoes (I never wear my running shoes except to OCD thing of mine) next to his dress shoes, my mesh swim bag up that had been covering his brief case, and thought "oh the irony".  He sees me in sweats every single day, and still likes me.  Now that is saying something.  

The point is, we both have our own paths in life.  Striving for the best is something that is important, and the focus and balance between work, athletics, and relationships is evident in both of our lives.  I appreciate him for the person he is (even if he does prefer gory movies and giggle like no other man I know) and he appreciates me.  

For the first time, I feel no pressure to impress a significant other...if I even will call him that one day.  Who knows, I am taking it day by day...but, I will say this:

I noticed this gent when I first started working at the gym.  I can talk to anyone about practically anything, but whenever he would come in, I found him so attractive, I couldn't even make eye contact with him.  I did think it was a hopeless cause until he asked me on a date a few months ago...but the funny thing is, he thought the same about me.  We both had little teenage crushes on each other and were too nervous to talk to one another.  Not only that, but I was dealing with another relationship that was already a squashed stink bug on the wall.  If that stink bug hadn't finally gotten flushed down the toilet, I might still be a mess...and would have missed out on the opportunity to get to know someone who I have the utmost respect for (and find incredibly sexy).  

So my advice to you?  Stop squashing the stink bugs with impulses, and have the patience to wait for the right moment to gently remove them from your life.  Impatience gets you no where in life.  Take the time to grow up, and figure out who you are before needing someone else in your life...appreciate being single, and strive to be the best person you can be.  Someone will find that drive irresistible, and will love the weirdness in you.  You have to just let yourself be weird first.

Stink Bug number nine comes creeping by the window.  Mr. Makes me Red in the Face volunteers and flushes that sucker down for me.  What a gentleman.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Strong Little Girls and Pink Running Shoes

Hey Preps! in you can see it in this picture.  Yummmm.

Such an attractive picture right?  I am a sweaty, smelly, mess.  Mile number nine of an 18 mile run.  Finally up to 18 miles this week.  Next week is 20.  Yikes.  Doesn't that sound terrifying?  I thought 18 was terrifying but the whole two before the zero thing terrifies me.  It's just a psychological barrier that I am nervous about getting passed on my way to running the marathon.

So I started off on my 18 miler, and I was hurting.  I have flat feet, so my shins sometimes hurt because of the way I pronate.  I was tight, and I was dreading the distance I had to run.  The first two miles, I huff and puffed away...fighting a battle in my head to stop, to quit.  I forced myself through it though, and after those two miles of a struggle, came 16 miles of cruisin'.

"Yep, nobody could catch me at this speed" 

I kept telling myself that, and eventually I believed it.  My stride fell back into place and the struggles of the beginning of my run were long gone by the end.  I felt strong.

In life, we are faced with so much adversity.  Maybe we lose someone, struggle financially, or are faced with life altering decisions.  There is an initial struggle when faced with these situations.  We don't see light at the end of the tunnel, and are anxious about the outcome.  However, I have never been faced with adversity that didn't make me stronger and better in the end.  

A guy at my gym calls me "Lil' Grit".  He says I am intimidating to the male species because regardless of how little I am, he knows I could lay anyone out who crosses me the wrong way.  Well duh...that's why I weight lift dude.  Anyways, I like my nickname.

Grit means lasting strength.  Always.  When it's easy, when it's tough...someone who has grit will make it through.  That means when my shins are killing me, my legs are tight, and I don't think I have taken a heavier breathe in my life...that I push through it.  It also means that when I am struggling with something in real life, that I take it day by day...and try to make the most of it.  

I was reading through a magazine yesterday, and came across an article about Micha Burden, one of the top open-water swimmers in the country.  She isn't the most talented swimmer, but she has grit.  She wanted to be the best, so with perseverance, she accomplished just that.  

While reading the article, Micha said something that really stuck with me:

"Athletic ability shuts down when there is adversity.  Grit doesn't."

So my challenge for you today is to keep working at whatever you are struggling with.  Keep striving to reach your full em' you've got grit!

Believe it or not...out of all of the shoes I own...these are my favorites.
We have spent a lot of time together.  We fit each other well.  
They are pink.  Girly, yet strong.  They make me smile,
and I know it's going to be a good run when I lace them up!

Have a blessed day y'all!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Frozen Boogers

Hey Preps!
(Outfit of the Day: Lands End Canvas Gingham Oxford Shirt, Lands End Canvas Cardigan,
Delia's Red Corduroy Pants, Sperry Top-sider Sheerwater Boots)

My nickname from a favorite college professor is Smiley.
Hmmm I wonder why.
This past weekend I was out with "red in the face" boy,
and someone I know came over to us...and told him
ALL about my huge glasses and retainers that I used to rock in the 90's.
"Red in the Face" boy laughed, and said he really wasn't surprised.
Great. He already knows I'm a freakazoid.  
A freakazoid perfectly happy being who she is. Retainers and all.
Can't you tell from this picture? Or this post title?

It is freezing here in Pittsburgh.  Early this morning, I sprinted to my car to avoid the cold and shivered the whole way to the gym.  I have a secret spot I park in at the gym that is actually a lot closer and cheaper than the meters, but no one has figured it out yet.  I feel so sneaky.  Anyways, I made another mad dash into the gym...and announced to the lady at the front desk that my boogers are officially frozen, as I took a big sniffle in.  She lost it.  I think she will always laugh at me when I make my entrances into the gym now, thanks to my half-awake but blatantly honest comment.  

I feel like I could write a novel about all the things I hate about the cold.  I hate dressing in huge layers and feeling like a rollie pollie all the time, I hate the possibility of wiping out on ice, and I just hate being cold in general.  Honestly, frozen boogers are the least of my worries in the cold.  

Usually on crummy days like this, I just want to curl up into a ball and go back to sleep.  However, today I am just plain happy.  Maybe it was my 'off the cuff' comment that I made, or maybe it's just the balance that I have been feeling to great extents in my life lately that keeps me happy...regardless I cannot stop smiling.  

In my personal opinion, I have found that happiness is something we often lack.  We are always complaining about how tired we are, the to do list we have to accomplish, and anything else.  There are so many days that I hear numerous people make "whoa is me" statements.  We are always making excuses about why we are unhappy; constantly examining other people's lives and wishing we had something they do.  

Why do we do that?

There are so many times I compare myself to others.  Oh I wish I had her pretty curly hair...Oh I wish I was taller...Oh I wish I had (you fill in the blank).  We are always wanting what others have, always feeling as if we are somehow missing the mark in our own lives...and it makes us completely miserable.

Instead why don't we focus on how much we DO have in our lives?  I am blessed with an incredible family who supports me and loves me unconditionally.  My puppy is the best snuggler in the world.  My friends keep me grounded but still know how to have a good time...I am a college student but already have a career teaching fitness classes and just got paid to become a personal trainer.  I can beat the boys in a lot of sports.  I proudly dress modestly and rock side pony tails.  There are so many blessings in my life and so many things I am proud of.  I really need to remember those more instead of focusing on what I am lacking in.

I am not saying that if you are struggling with something that you should ignore improving yourself as a person, I'm saying start appreciating what you have a little bit more! How can we truly be happy if we are always focusing on the negative things in our lives when we really should be focusing on everything we DO have.  

So be happy. Count your blessings...and laugh at your frozen boogers. 
 Life is too short to not appreciate it.

Have a blessed day y'all!

Friday, March 2, 2012

I Believe I Can Fly

Hey Preps!

Yesterday morning started with an alarm clock sounding off at 4:30AM.  Does it surprise you that waking up that early every day is my choice? Don't answer that.  Sometimes it doesn't feel like my choice.  I drag myself out of my bed kicking and screaming, all while trying to dig the yuckies out of my eyes.

"Why am I doing this?  Why am I up so early?"

Sure, there are days where I just want to go back to sleep, but I don't.  I force myself out the door, and into the pool or out into the wild for a crazy morning run.  Yesterday consisted of jumping into a freezing cold pool at 5:30AM.  I got used to doing so my freshman year of college, given I was a D1 swimmer.  I hated it then.  It was a job, but hilarious as it sounds, now that it isn't a job, I love it.  There is nothing better than a hard swim workout...  

Especially if your swim workout involves women who you look up to in so many ways.  The gym that I train at has hosted a great deal of triathletes and successful marathoners.  Many are quite successful in major events such as Ironmans and the Boston Marathon.  These women have careers, families, and are so busy, yet they are waking up at ungodly hours, getting on that bike...and hitting that pool.  Why?  

They love it.  They love the intensity.  They love working towards and achieving a goal that was gleamed impossible...and you know what? I do too.  

Admiration doesn't even describe the upmost respect I have for the women I train with.  I hope that my whole life I will be just as dedicated and committed to my fitness, while maintaing success in the real world like they are. 

I have said this before, but in order to live a balanced life, I need my workouts.  I need those swims that seem challenging at first but result in such a refreshing burst of energy and accomplishment...and more than that...I need my runs.  

Training for a marathon can be just as much a psychological struggle as it is a physical struggle.  I always tell myself the first two miles of a distance run are the hardest, and they truly are for me.  Yet once I reach that two mile mark, my pain and forced running is gone...replaced with pure joy and ambition that carries my legs up hills across fields, and anywhere my heart desires.  

One of my favorite runs starts with a huge uphill battle.  I hate it at first.  My legs burn, and my heart rate increases at an exponential pace...yet overcoming that first hill allows me to have the motivation to conquer the next 10 that follow.  Hill after hill I stride.  Farm land, mountains, and unreal fields decorate my runs, and I am constantly reminded how blessed I am.  

Yesterday after my swim, I decided to go on a distance run.  Sopping wet hair in a matted bun, hat to cover the mess, running leggings, reflective jacket, and my worn down I went.  I reached the very top of the last hill of my run and stopped for a second to take the picture shown above.  I was just overcome with the beauty...the beauty of the world synchronizing to the pounding of my tired feet.  The rhythm took me away.  I felt as if I could go on forever.  

I started descending the hill, and couldn't help but spread my arms out as if I were flying.  That's exactly what I felt like I was doing.  My feet, hardly touching the ground, chest open, arms out, and I couldn't hold back my smile.  I was truly happy, and it's moments in my life like that, which I never want to forget.

As I was finishing the last leg of my run, I decided to avoid my normal route because the last street involved happens to be where my "I turn red every time I see you" gent that I am dating lives.  I was proud of myself for creating a detour, but as I ran a road parallel to it, and started to turn back to the gym, who did I bump into other than this dreamy guy in a light blue tie and beautiful navy suit...headed to the office.  

"Oh hey, don't mind me, I am just a sopping wet, sweaty, smelly mess...Great seeing you at this time in the morning, when you look simply sexy and smell delicious, and I am completely out of breath and smell like chlorine and body odor."

Yep.  I guess you can't always stay on the runner's high...sometimes you have to fall back down into reality...or bump into a guy who you adore and it completely flusters your focus.  What am I? A middle schooler again?  That's what it feels like.  

I like when things happen that way.  I love running, and I am glad life doesn't always work out the way I planned...because more often than not, it works out better than I could have ever bumping into just the right person at just the wrong time.  Sometimes I think my life is a sitcom.  God definitely has a sense of humor. I like it.

Have a great weekend y'all!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Anchor Yourself to Something Great

Hey Preps!

Kitty always has to sneak into the pictures...
He thinks he's a dog...I swear.

What are your goals?  Do you ever think about them? Sometimes I think we all have dreams that we are too scared to follow.  We get scared we will miss the mark, and fall flat on our faces.  Americans are great at making excuses, and putting on a front of who we want people to think we are.  We are all guilty of it...we want the perfect resume, and are scared to admit failure.  Worse than admitting failure, some of us are so scared to fail, that we don't even try to reach our dreams.  It's really heartbreaking to see.

I will be the first to admit that I hate failure.  I have slight OCD and really hate when I don't achieve a goal the way I wanted to.  Therefore, I feel as if I sometimes shortchange my dreams, and exchange them for second best.  Why?

Furthermore, I constantly struggle with talking about my real dreams.  I am terrified that if I talk about them, put them out there for all to see...that if I do fall short, I will look like I failed.  

So today, I am going to put a few of my life dreams out in the open.  Hopefully this will inspire you to do the same, and give you the heart and motivation to keep striving.  

This past weekend, I was at a Women in Business Conference at Colombia University.  We listened to a panel of entrepreneurs speak, and it was incredibly rewarding.  I have always wanted to own my own business.  I have no clue what that business would be due to the fact I am passionate about so many things in life.  Regardless, I have the heart to be out there in the real world making my mark.  I love working with people, and I can't imagine sitting stuck behind a cubicle desk my whole life.  Actually cubicles terrify me, and I am pretty sure I would be incredibly unhappy if I was squished in one for a career.  

Maybe I am not a normal human being.  I have no clue, but I hate being in solitude.  I would chose a room full of people over a cubicle any day.  Considering these characteristics about me, I know I need to apply this to my future career.  Where do I start though?  I have no clue.  

However the uncertainty is almost exhilarating, and I know that if you give me something I am passionate about, I will ensure that it becomes a success.  Sure I may fail a few times, but through failure, we grow. Failure allows you to step back and look at yourself or your business and see where it is lacking and improve.  

If we always look at failure as something that can help us change for the positive, maybe we would be more vocal about our faults.  Additionally, we might be able to be held accountable to our far fetched dreams.  

Sure, life doesn't work out the way we planned...but in my experience it works out in better ways than we can imagine. So, my advice to you today?  Find something you want to achieve, something you are passionate about...and go for it!  Anchor yourself to the positivity of doing something you love...and forget about the possibility of failure!

(Outfit of the Day: Sweater: Polo Ralph Lauren, Pants: Tommy Hilfiger Chinos
Sperrys, J.Crew Critter Bracelet, Etsy Sailor Bracelet)

Have a blessed day y'all!