Sunday, July 22, 2012

""You can't have a positive life with a negative mind"

Source: via Bron on Pinterest

Let me tell you how true that this statement really is...

Yesterday, if you read my blog, you read about my business and how I wasn't quite getting the number of people I wanted on tours but I was really happy that I have had more tours than last year and I wasn't going to focus on the negative side of the tours not filling up as much, but I AM going to focus on how it has improved and that even when I don't have tours, it's an opportunity to have a day off and enjoy life and focus on the positive. I set off doing just that yesterday. I decided that since I had no tours, I took the time to write my blog, eat a nice healthy clean breakfast and head out to dodgeball. I showed up and dodgeball had been canceled and I hadn't seen that online. I sat and chatted with a friend from the rec center there. As I was doing so, I got a phone call. Someone booked a tour! Imagine that! No, it was not a giant group, just two people. However, every tour is an opportunity for exposure, growth and practice. That is how I look at my tours - they are a learning and growing experience. 

Now, I could have been all down in the dumps yesterday, completely frustrated with how things are going and beating myself up...but why do that when I can enjoy life and take it as it comes? One tour at a time. I'm sure I have said this many times before, but let me reiterate it for you all. People are not just MADE happy. There aren't human beings who are just a little luckier than others and are given the gift of happiness. Being happy is a CHOICE. Even happy people have negative occurrences in their lives, obstacles, or things that bring them down. HAPPY people however, CHOOSE to wake up every morning and find something to be happy about and for which to be grateful. I have to WORK to be happy. I CHOOSE being happy. I could find plenty of things to be sad about, but I CHOOSE not to. It's a choice, it's not just a state of being gifted to some and not others. 

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

I look at my grandfather and grandmother as prime examples of choosing happiness. My grandfather is now in a nursing home, my grandmother having passed a couple of months ago. Nevertheless, grandpa is happy! Yes, he has his down moments like the rest of us, but he doesn't let it consume him. He chooses to be happy and thankful for his blessings every day. Nearly every time that I go and visit my grandfather he thanks me for visiting him. He says he is so blessed and so thankful to have such a wonderful family that comes and visits him. I tell grandpa that no, in fact, we are the lucky have him! My grandmother and grandfather didn't have an easy life. My grandpa was a successful farmer because he worked extremely hard but they didn't start with a lot of money or even their own land. He chose happiness and hard work and when things got tough, he didn't let it get him down. Grandma had difficult things handed to her as well. Grandma got diabetes in later life. Guess what? She didn't even do the classes they recommended her to do! She said, tell me what I have to do and I'll do it. She always had control over her diabetes and really watched what she ate. My grandma also suffered a terrible car crash when I was 15 that left her in a halo in the hospital for months and with fused vertebrae. She was in her 70s when that happened and it reduced her quality of life. She was unable to continue doing seamstress work that she loved to do (and was mighty good at) but she never complained. In fact, she would continue crafting, finding other things that should could do that were smaller projects. I would frequently see her rubbing her neck and say, "Is your neck sore, Grandma?" She would say, "Oh yeah, but it's always sore. It's fine." But never once would she complain about her neck on her own. Grandma and Grandpa always chose to focus on the positive and that's what I choose too!

The other part of all of this is that as a positive person, you have to choose WHO you want to be in your life and who you don't. Do the people in your life contribute positively to it? Do they lift you up? Do they support your dreams and goals? If you cannot answer "yes" to those questions, than do those people belong in your life? I know that in the past, I have had to let friendships or relationships go because they were not contributing positively to my life and weren't headed in the direction that I wanted to go. This isn't always an easy choice. In fact, it's usually one of the most difficult decisions one will make. But who you have around you and if they are contributing to your life positively, is an important thing. I have found that when I have let the negative aspects of my life go, it has made more space for positive ones. More positively people have filled those voids and have come my way to lift me up and cheer me on. That makes the difficult choice of having to let some people or things go, all the greater.

Source: via The on Pinterest

Today, I'd like to challenge everyone to CHOOSE positive thinking and a positive outlook. See how it changes the rest of your day. Focus on what you currently HAVE and not what you WANT. Live in the today, be thankful for the blessings around you.

What are the positive things that you are thankful for today?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Last minute thought of the day...

If you've read my blog posts, you know that I love, love, love the author, Paulo Coelho - especially 
The Alchemist. The Alchemist is the book MADE for people who chase their dreams! It's all about going forward in search of what you desire. 

One of my favorite quotes is here and I thought I would share this with you all today! 

A disappearing act...

As I'm sure you all have noticed, I haven't been as on top of posting this summer as I am regularly. My job as well as my business have been keeping me busy this summer...which is good, but I can't post as much. I wish that my business was keeping me busier than it currently is, however. One of my goals for this year was to hopefully see an increase in my business. I've been working hard, adding my business to websites, handing out flyers in person and trying to market through various means. It seems the main difficulty and obstacle to increasing business, is simply getting the word out that my business exists.

The other weekend, when talking to someone who works for my bike shop, he had a great idea! Why not invite some of the concierges from local hotels on a free tour. That way, they can experience the tour and will know more about it and HOPEFULLY be more likely to tell guests about it as an option for unique activities to participate in while visiting the city.

Last weekend, I spent some time putting invites together so that I could get them out ASAP to the hotels. I came up with this invite which is printed on a piece of photography paper. It's pretty simple, but I was actually very proud of it.

The backdrop is my family! Nieces and sister and brother-in-law! Love it!

I also decided to buy some sticker which will be put on my helmets and I am also working on ordering a flag for my bike which will have my logo. That will increase visibility for my business as I'm doing my tours. Check out my stickers! 

It has also been a very hot July here in Minnesota, so I have hopes that when fall rolls around, with more people knowing about it, that business will increase. That would be awesome! Although I am not as busy as I would like, I am happy that I think I have, even thus far, accomplished my goal. My business has certainly increased and I am hoping that it does even more in the fall and next year. 

This weekend, I had no tours though! That feels really frustrating! However, rather than dwell on it, I am taking each day at a time, praying about it, and trying to continue to market. I am know that growing a business simply takes some time.  Since I am not one to dwell on the negative, I am keeping positive and I use my time without tours to take advantage of life, since I am not working. I drove down (about an hour and fifteen minutes) to see my Gramps the other day! Grandpa is 92!!!! He certainly doesn't look it and he has the spunk of someone much younger! Grandpa has been in a nursing home because he had a fall in the winter and it left him kind of confused. However, with therapy and some time in the nursing home, he is coming around and seems to be getting more memory back and be less confused! I took Grandpa on a short walk yesterday to get him out in the fresh air! It was great to see him! We have a date once every other week. I try and go visit him on Fridays after tours or during the mornings if I don't have tours! I love it! 

Grandpa and I on a walk.

Like I said, I've been trying to enjoy the days given to me to be free. After my visit with Grandpa yesterday, I hopped to the beach with my friend Lindsey!

Those are the things that have been keeping me away from writing! I am busy, but I'm still here and working on my goals! One thing that I was thinking about the other day was that I haven't accomplished my goal of my century ride this year. I think I may take a day off of work, find a biking partner who is up for the challenge and do just that! For now, I'm off to dodgeball to throw some balls at people! May as well as enjoy my weekend off! :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Not So Wednesday Recipe...

Yes! It's quite past Wednesday! lol Okay,'s Friday! But come on, whose paying attention anyways?! I am here and sending you a lovely little recipe that my wonderful sister forwarded to me on Pinterest! I love this recipe! It reminds me a lot of a similar recipe in  DAMY Health's repertoire! You can find DAMY's similar recipe HERE.

The one I want to talk about today though is below! :)


THIS is a wonderfully clean little beauty of a recipe that I found on Pinterest that is SO GOOD! It was created by Erin who writes her own blog on  You can find the recipe HERE. She is right when she says that these are best when they are warm! I keep mine in the fridge and I heat them up usually in the microwave each time. Now when Erin says that the batter isn't good to taste, I have to completely disagree. On the other hand, I have been eating clean for about a year so my palette is likely quite different to others' palettes. :) I did change a few things in Erin's recipe however. I, of course, used dark chocolate chips. I also added a scoop of whey protein powder for some extra protein. I eat two of these as a snack! So delicious!

I hope that you all had a fantastic week! 
I hope to be around and posting some more this weekend!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday Recipe

My second post of the day! Woo hoo! Today's post isn't as much of a recipe as it is a TACTIC! A tactic to be clean eating in times of temptation. 

I think that many times blogs offer advice about a good option to make when choosing between one thing or another, but how about how to avoid that thing altogether?! Of course, it's perfectly okay to divulge every now and again. That is no problem. But what happens when you are out and you DON'T want to divulge that particular day, but feel like it's a social peer pressure type of situation? I'm not saying the peer pressure like when you are in high school. I'm talking about just the pressure of being in a certain place and feeling that you have to participate in certain activities...simply because you are there! What are one of those adult activities? Ah, of course! Going out for a drink!

Source: via Randi on Pinterest

Yes, there are tons of drinks you can choose that are cleaner than others. However, what if you don't want to drink at all? Well, I've found my sort of "non-drink" drink that is clean but makes me feel like I get some of the yumminess of a cocktail, with no alcohol at all! So, it's 100% clean! It's not  a HUGE mystery, secret, or anything I'm sure many people haven't done, but it's helped me get through some social situations where I really didn't WANT to have a drink. 

I think a cocktail of choice for many people - probably many women - is the all famous MOJITO!
I love mojitos! There is something so refreshing to me about the combination of citrus fruits and mint. The real mojito has the lime, mint, sugar and rum. The trick that I have come up with to get my clean mojito is pretty simple! Take out everything that isn't clean! 

On a night out at the bar with friends, I will simply ask the bartender to muddle mint leaves and lime together in a glass and then pour in water! That's it! Water, mint, lime and ice! Anyone else in the bar that sees me, doesn't know I'm not drinking a REAL mojito. They think I'm enjoying a drink with the rest of them! Truthfully, I AM enjoying my drink! Plus, it's sans "unclean" foods so I am feeling great about it! You can also ask them to add club soda if you want some lovely fizziness! 

This is something that I've done several times while I'm out in social situations. Everyone there thinks I'm out enjoying an adult beverage with them! I can drink something clean and still be social! It CAN go hand in hand, you just have to figure out tactics that work for you! This is one of mine! If you are invited out but fear not being able to be "clean" and social, give this tactic a whirl! Works like a charm for me! :)

Happy Wednesday Everyone! You're halfway there!

Time with Family

Wow! It's been a while since I posted! I had a few days I didn't post before the 4th as well! This weekend I spent a lot of time catching up on the activities that I didn't get to do the week before because I was busy spending time with some of my favorite people!
My sister, brother-in-law and nieces and nephew all came for a visit last week! It was a really fun time to spend time with them! We spent days at the Mall of America, the zoo, a Twins game, swimming at the lake and the pool, we even had a pedicure and manicure night!

Poor nieces didn't know that Auntie is AWFUL at nail painting! They discovered my 5 year old-ish  nail painting skills! :)

Another fun event was that I got to give them their own personal bike tour!

Bike tour with the family!
Since I had 5 or so jam-packed days of fun, I had no time to invest in completing other tasks waiting for me. That said, I spent much of my weekend this past weekend playing catch up! I spent Friday and Saturday evening working on my accounting for my business and organizing all of my paperwork. I was up Saturday evening until 3AM! Sunday I got busy in the morning and I also visited the farmers' market and got some shopping done. I bought these cute little buttons! I thought they suited me well!

Bike Buttons!

I spent some time making some snacks as well, but per usual, didn't get as much done as I had hoped. Which left me staying up late again Sunday night. Boy, was I tired on Monday! So much so, that last night, after work, I conked out at 7pm and woke up at 4:30am in the morning! It reminded me how important my sleep is and how much I really need to be focusing on getting to bed on a regular time and getting my 7-8 hours of sleep in! However, I took advantage of my 4:30am wake up time and hit the gym early and got some more cooking and cleaning done before work! Felt nice to have it out of the way, but I don't think I'll start waking up at 4:30 am to get workouts done anytime soon! :)

I've been busy, busy, busy, but it feels good to be busy! Tonight, I will attempt a second post for my Wednesday recipe! Something simple, but I'll bring 2 posts to you all in one day! :)

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July to all of my fellow citizens! 

I have to say that throughout my travels abroad, it was always interesting to state that I was an "American". (I know, there are other Americans too - South and Central Americans and others in Northern America - but for practical purposes, I'll just use the term "American" for "United Statesans"). For, you never knew the reaction you might get.

Americans, as we know, in some parts of the world, are not very accepted. Also, just as with other countries, there are many stereotypes about Americans. However, I never once denied where I was from and I was happy and proud to say where I was from because, if anything, I thought that I could debunk the myths about Americans and their knowledge and willingness to travel the rest of the world. 

Throughout my travels, I had many people tell me, "You don't seem American." I didn't  know what this meant so I would ask. Frequently, the fact that most Americans don't travel much was pointed out to me. To this, I was able to remind people that most Americans pay massive amounts to get an education (unlike people from most other industrialized countries). Starting out your early adulthood with $40K+ in debt is no easy fact to swallow. Thus, many Americans, don't have the funds like other people from other countries to roam the world. People would often say, "Oh, yeah." Realizing that this fact hadn't occurred to them and from the start, many young Americans have a bit more on their plate in terms of financial stress. 

One thing, however, that I did learn and was able to appreciate,  is that as an American, we have the right to openly state our dislike for our country or its actions. I can be a proud American and still dislike the actions of my government or its politicians. I can openly state that and strike in public if I feel that way. I can also read books that opine that the actions of my American country are incorrect. Not all countries and citizens can say that. Are Americans censored to some degree? Yes, just like people in most countries. Is our news skewed to how the government or certain parties would like it to be seen? Yes. But guess what, I have the ability and resources to go beyond our news sources and seek out other information. Not everyone does. 

Has some awful things come out of my country? Most certainly. The industrialization of war, mass production, mass consumption, and so many other things that have plighted the minds of many Americans and have instilled in us the desire to always want something more, something better. With that said, that drive and those businesses that provide for mass consumption have also provided me with liberties. Technology that wouldn't have otherwise been discovered. As how I sometimes felt about my citizenship, it's a double-edged sword. 

One thing I am certain of is this: I am proud to be an American because I can write this blog, voice my opinions and be heard. I do not agree with everything that my country does (and really, who does?) but I can state that and take action to change things in my country. Yes, when things happen that I don't agree with, I could choose to move to Canada, but why would I? The real truth of being an American is staying here and fighting for what you believe. Change doesn't happy from overseas, it happens from within. I can choose to participate in the things I believe in just as well as I can choose to not take part in those things and hopefully as my citizens join me, we can make change. 

For this simple fact alone, I am happy to be an American. I am happy for the freedoms provided to my by my forefathers who fought bloody battles to ensure that I could be here today, writing you all about my country and the things I like, dislike and the way that I can change them.

So, I will say it loud and clear, "Yes, I am an American."

Happy Independence Day!

The key to being fit: Eat A LOT!

Some of you may have noticed a post on my Facebook Page last week. I had made a comment with regards to a keyword that was utilized to find information and how someone happened upon my blog. Sometimes I look at the stats for my blog. I'll sometimes look at the keywords entered to how people get there. Some of the keyword or phrases that I see being utilized, really make me sad. This week, I saw this: "when do you see results when eating once a day." Wow! This search really bothered me. The fact that anyone is searching for when they'll start losing weight when just eating once a day is sad! Of course, this could be someone doing research and I could very well be jumping to conclusions, but either way, I still think this is an important post to make. After making my Facebook status update my friend, Lindsie, urged me to write a post, so here I am! :)

First things first: No one should EVER be eating only once a day! In fact, you should be eating around 6 times per day! Food is fuel and without it, you're body/brain, metabolism, everything doesn't function correctly or efficiently. Food isn't the enemy - it's eating the WRONG types of foods. As a matter of fact, the less you eat, the less likely you are to lose the weight you want. When your body doesn't get fed, it thinks that it may not ever get fed again, so it begins to burn your muscle. Then when you do begin eating again, your body is still in "reserve mode" and it starts storing the food you do begin to eat again as fat. Don't believe me?  See HERE

That said, eating is a necessity to losing weight. You are doing yourself a huge disservice if you are not eating. In all likelihood, you are really messing up your metabolism and NOT speeding it up. The more you eat, the more of the right fuel you have, the better your metabolism will work. 

With regards to myself and eating the RIGHT food; this is something that honestly, I have been slipping on major time lately. I have once again, gained some weight. In fact, I haven't even been honest with myself and don't REMEMBER the last time I stepped on the scale. I am a little disappointed with myself, but I know that the best thing I can do is forgive myself, clean up my act and move forward while making the RIGHT choices.  Not only did I gain some weight, but I also while eating those foods, never even felt good! I felt sick most of the time but was addicted! I always take full ownership of my downfalls. Even while working out (I never miss my workouts) you will gain weight and lose tone when not eating the proper foods. Yes! Diet is THAT important! I recognize that these were MY choices and I can turn it around and make the right choices. 

This summer has been full of many things that I think have led me to eating foods I wouldn't normally eat; stress, being busy with my business and not being able to eat on schedule and, of course, making excuses because I am at a bbq or whatever event and allowing myself more of the "unclean" foods that I normally wouldn't have, simply because I haven't prepared myself or eaten properly ahead of time. I know that my one weakness is eating in moderation at times. Not eating clean foods, but eating the stuff I shouldn't be eating. However, I look at my failures and where I go wrong, attempt to learn from them and not do the same thing again. So that is what I'm doing! The last 2 days have been clean, clean, clean! I know that I can get back on track and lean once again! :) I know that I can do this not eating only ONCE a day, but SIX times a day!

Source: via Alyssa on Pinterest

I want to encourage anyone who is reading this and may have unhealthy diets or be having a slip up like myself - whether eating too much or eating too little - to work on getting fit again with me - the healthy way! Anyone who runs across this and thinks - yeah, that's not possible. Look below - I ate clean (6 times per day) for one week! Look at the difference! 

In fact, look at the results I had overall! 

I want to encourage anyone who reads this and is at the point that they are READY to treat themselves well, work hard, and dedicate themselves to nurturing their body properly to check out DAMY Health and lean down with me! You will eat six times a day and feel SO healthy! I am already started! Who's ready to join me?!?!