Weekend Highlights: Zoo, Farmer’s Market and All Moved In

This weekend was a blast!

It started with dinner with my dad and roommate, and we eventually found ourselves at World of Beer sampling beers from around the world and taking embarrassing pictures (it never fails, does it?)

photo 4 photo 5

It’s all about balance, right? :-)

Then Saturday was spent moving, which surprisingly didn’t take as long as we anticipated. We were completely done moving everything by early afternoon. I promise I’ll share pictures later! I want them to be high-quality and I need to finish unpacking/organizing/decorating before you get to see the finished product :-).

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This weekend definitely had one common theme: beer.

Saturday night my friends Maddie, Bailey and I went to Brews Around the Zoo at the Central Florida Zoo. What an amazing night!

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There were tents there with food from Seasons 52 (they served their desserts — let’s just say we went back for thirds), Tijuana Flats (chips & salsa), plenty of pizza, cheesecake, BBQ and obviously lots and lots of BEER!

photo 2 How cool are these glow-in-the-dark souvenir cups? photo 1

My inner fat girl was so happy. 

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Tickets were a bit on the steep side — $40 — but I can assure you we definitely got our money’s worth… PLUS more. We will definitely be returning next year :-)

Then, to balance it all out, we attempted to buy some fresh fruits and veggies at the Lake Eola Farmer’s Market on Sunday. Turns out half of Orlando got the memo that it was the 25th Annual Spring Fiesta in the Park, and we joined thousands of people for a beautiful day in the Orlando sun. So much fun!

photo 13photo 23We also saw people doing yoga in the park and I swear I could’ve watched them for hours. This definitely piques my interest! Perhaps it will become a regular Sunday activity, followed by the Farmer’s Market. (Yes, Bailey???) :-)

I bought Cocoa the cutest dog collar there. How fun is this? It was custom-made by a brilliantly creative designer, Brooke from Dog Days Bowtique. I’ll definitely be paying her a visit again in the near future!

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Also, some of you may have noticed that I stopped posting the workouts for my challenge. I’ll go into further detail about this in another post, probably tomorrow. Let’s just say I had a big ole slap in the face by reality. But I wanted to share some of the highlights of my weekend today!

What were the highlights of your weekend?! 

Life Without Social Media: Pros and Cons

As many of you know, I gave up social media for Lent.

For those of you considering it (or wondering if you could ever live without it), I’ll give you a run-down on what I’ve experienced thus far and how it feels.

I primarily gave up social media because I found it was taking up huge chunks of my time. I’d get sucked in and scroll for hours, usually before bed. I was living for the future and recording memories, versus actually living in the moment.


I’ll start with the cons, since I must admit, I do miss it.

  • You can’t cyber stalk people you meet (don’t act like you don’t do this). How am I supposed to know if you’re the guy on Facebook with one friend and a Myspace mirror picture? Hopefully my intuition leads me far away from those types to begin with….
  • I can’t remember anyone’s birthday besides my best friend and family members. It’s nice to have Facebook tell me when I need to wish someone a happy birthday.
  • I can’t use it to advertise my blog or promote things via Twitter or Facebook. I knew this going into it, but sometimes I’ll see that people have RT my posts via the blog and I can’t even say thank you! (So here’s my virtual thank you!!)

However, in my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the cons:

  • I’ve experienced better sleep because I’m not scrolling through my newsfeed mindlessly for however long before I’m going to sleep.
  • I’ve done a lot more reading, especially before bed.
  • I feel more present in the moment and can focus my attention on bettering myself and building my dreams, goals and ambitions.
  • I’m not sucked into the drama/jealousy that social media possesses (Ugh, what she’s doing looks so fun. Um, another vacation — why isn’t my life that exciting? Why isn’t my boyfriend that cute? Do guys like that even exist? haha)
  • It forces people to contact you via text or phone call. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been “hit on” via Facebook message. WHY IS THIS A THING?! Stop it!
  • Perhaps the biggest “pro” is that it forces you to become social. Sometimes we have this false sense of inclusion, like we actually have a social life when in reality, all we’re doing is sitting there scrolling through a news feed. Some of us (myself included, from time to time) use that in place of real social interaction, perhaps because we’re too busy, exhausted or whatever the reason. In turn, we just end up looking to social media to feel included, instead of forming meaningful friendships and relationships with those around us.

Unfortunately, as a society, we’ve grown accustomed to using social media almost like a barrier. We forget what it’s like to participate in real life experiences – actually touch someone, hug them or tell them how you feel IN PERSON. It breaks my heart to see people, kids especially, sit and play video games ALL DAY instead of going outside and experiencing what life has to offer.

When’s the last time you went outside and just looked up at the sky? Watched the clouds go by? Pondered the meaning of life?

When’s the last time you saw something beautiful and just soaked in all it’s glory, versus taking a picture of it to upload to Instagram?

If it’s been a while, I would really encourage you to take a step back and reevaluate how much time you’re spending on social media. I’m not going to lie and say I’m not looking forward to having it back in a few weeks, but I’m going to use it much more carefully.

I’m going to use it to enhance my life versus take away from it. 

We’re blessed to be able to document memories so easily, but don’t let that take the place of actually ENJOYING those memories.

beautiful-live-moment-wallpaper-favim-com-520574Of possible interest:

Unplanned Rest Day: How do I Deal?

Today was a HUGE step in the right direction for me! Here’s the story:

I was house sitting this weekend and didn’t get much sleep, plus I’ve been working out on top of it all. On Monday, I could barely see straight and ended up taking a SIX HOUR NAP in the middle of the afternoon (red flag #1). So, Tuesday rolls around. I woke up feeling slightly refreshed, but knew I had a workout on the books.

Here’s where the change in my mindset comes in:

Old me would’ve said: “Just push through it. You don’t need to rest. You’re going to blow up into a Beluga whale if you don’t go to the gym.” (lol)


Balanced Julie said: “You need to realize that you’re probably doing too much. When even the THOUGHT of working out sounds miserable, and you can’t imagine gathering the strength to push through a workout, PLEASE give your body rest!”

I started noticing myself slipping into old habits of overexercising and being addicted to exercise, which I wrote about here.

As you know, overexercising is in my nature. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because I’m a 100% kind of person (in everything!) With food, I’m either eating ALL THE THINGS or not eating enough. With exercising, I’m trying to do my own workouts on top of teaching classes, when in real life my classes should suffice (two total body weights classes and a boot camp, currently) with maybe a day or two of cardio or targeted weight training added in.

Sometimes we just need to listen to our bodies and give them rest when we need rest. Am I going to gain 40 lbs. if I don’t workout for one day? No. Two days? No. Three? No. You get the point.

It’s all about balance and quieting that voice in your head that tells you that you absolutely NEED to be working out, when your body is telling you absolutely NOT! More change actually happens when our bodies are resting and repairing themselves, along with many other key points:

  • Our muscles build themselves through rest! We NEED IT in order to see the changes we want. Alternatively, if we’re overexercising, we can actually reach a plateau in terms of progress. No rest = no repair = no results.
  • The body adapts to the stress that training requires. Weight training especially is stress on the body, so just as we need rest from stress mentally, we need rest from physical stress as well.
  • Overtraining can lead to exhaustion; trouble sleeping; lack of motivation to do ANYTHING, especially going to the gym; and in some cases, lack of menstruation in women (amenorrhea).

So, today I will be doing nothing that involves any kind of activity.

restdayAnd I am starting to be OK with that :-) 

Of Possible Interest:


Come Saturday, I’ll be all moved into my new condo with this gal! Brunette Girls

[Saturday night... I wish I could share the rest of the hilarious pictures and videos. I love my friends haha]

Get used to her pretty face because I’m sure you’ll be seeing it a lot around the blog (which isn’t a bad thing… she IS a babe.) ;-)

I spent the weekend house sitting near my new condo and we painted my room on Saturday!

Painting Room GraySlateGrayWalls

I decided to go with “concrete gray” walls, and I’m decorating with mustard yellow and white accents :-) I’ll be sure to upload pics once I’m all moved in!


By the way… I went to a spin class on Saturday and let’s just say that was completely unnecessary. I’ve painted my room in nearly every house I’ve lived in, yet always seem to forget what a WORKOUT it is! Holy cow!

Side note: Target, aka a woman’s holy grail, is my JAM! Once I upload the pics of my finished room, I’ll include details about where I bought everything (Target, Target and Target). I could seriously decorate for a living. Housewife, heeeeey! :-P I have my eye on this storage bench because it perfectly matches my pillows, but I don’t know if I can pull the trigger yet. We shall see.

After a weekend full of rest and fun workouts, I was back on track today teaching my Body Works class and also completed this back and biceps workout:


I’ve also decided to leave out the “fat loss” title of this 12-week workout plan. While my goal right now IS to lose some fat, I don’t want to give off the impression that I’ve gone back to my old ways of caring only about appearance.

This decision was sparked by a comment I received from someone asking me why it seemed like I was going back to my old ways. My response in my head: WELL DAMN. It does seem like that, doesn’t it? (Old ways meaning disordered, only caring about body image, etc.)

Here was my response to her:

I’m still accepting and appreciating my body :) I’ve just made a goal to get in a little bit better shape since at first I was stuck bingeing, then I wasn’t eating enough, and then went back to bingeing. Now I’m just trying to balance it all out and figure things out the healthy way :) I’m accepting my body the way it is in the process, and loving it every step of the way (which is a way different mentality than I would’ve had before– focusing solely on looks and not how I felt or fueling my body properly.) Now, I’m fueling my body properly, loving it how it is, but still striving to improve my health and fitness. Thanks for your concern!

Again, I’m still a work in progress and my NO MEANS do I have everything all figured out just yet. Who knows, maybe I never will. But that’s why I have this little space over in my corner of the internet… to share my struggles, share things that make me happy (working out is one of them, which is why I’m sharing my workouts for 12 weeks), and help others live a healthier and happier life overall. I hope that helping YOU also helps ME, as I write to learn and learn from my own writing.

Thanks for reading :-) This was way longer than I expected! But my heart it so full of gratitude for you all. And it also happens to be my one year blogiversary! Dawwww :-) <3

The Root of Emotions and a Shoulder Workout


“No one has direct power over your emotions except for you.”

I’ve been told this many, many times, but it’s not exactly comforting to me. What if someone is rude to me? What if I’m criticized? What if everything seems to be going wrong and there’s absolutely nothing I can do to control it?

These are all outside factors that have the power to affect us internally. But here’s the key: only if we left it. 

We have no power or control over what happens to us; what others say about us; the words that come out of another person’s mouth, with or without malicious intent. All we have control over is how we react to it. Ultimately, we’re responsible for our own emotions. No one has the power to make us feel sad, happy, guilty, worthless, inadequate, etc. Those emotions are rooted within.

Think of your emotions as a tree. The fruits of the tree are the emotions that you outwardly produce. These emotions stem from deep down in the root of the tree — your heart, your soul, your values. That’s why we’re more likely to talk bad about others if we feel bad about ourselves. Alternatively, we’re more likely to give others compliments and fill them with joy if we’re internally happy.

This is why it’s so important to spend time on self care — giving ourselves love and nurturing ourselves. We can’t take care of anyone else if we’re feeling down about ourselves.

Sometimes (actually most of the time) as I’m writing these posts, it’s like I’m speaking directly to myself. There have been a lot of things going on in my life lately that I’ve let steal my joy and happiness and who I am at the root of my being. I’m producing some rotten fruit because I’ve let outside factors affect the deep-seated roots I’ve worked so hard to build over time.

Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with our lives, we need to focus on what’s right with our lives. Negate any negative emotion by replacing it with a positive:

“Joe said I don’t produce good work.” –> “I’m well able to create great work. I am talented in what I do.

“I look fat today.” –> “My self worth is not defined by my appearance. I’m going to focus on the way I love others, my passion and ways I can contribute to make others’ lives better.

“I’m spinning my wheels because I’m taking on too much.” –> “I’m blessed by all the opportunities in my life. Is there anything I can get rid of or spend less time doing so I can have more time to care for myself?

These are easy to say, but you actually have to believe these positive reinforcements in order for change to happen within. And the more you repeat these, the more you will start to believe them. It may take time, but eventually the truth will seep down into the roots of your soul and you’ll begin to produce healthy, beautiful fruit on your branches. :-)

PHEW!!! That was a deep one.

Do you feel like a weight is lifted off your shoulders? Not for long ;-)… Physically, at least. Day 5 will leave your shoulders burning and looking sculpted in no time!


I hope you take some time for yourself today. In the end, you must love and take care of yourself in order to do the same for others.

Love you guys. MEAN IT!

Day 4: Arms and Abs

Hey, lovelies!

I’m not feeling too hot and it’s a busy day here at the agency, but here’s day 4 of the program, as promised!

On the sets you’re performing 10 reps, challenge yourself with heavier weights. Also, the cardio can be done on ANY machine, just do 30 sec. at high intensity (about a 9 or 10 on a scale of 1-10) and 30 seconds medium intensity (4 or 5 on a scale of 1-10). For example, I did this on the Arc Trainer this morning and put my resistance at 45 for 30 sec. and 15 for 30 sec. (the resistance went up to 100). I was a super sweaty mess by the end!

armsandabsday4Happy, happy Thursday!


One-Word Survey + Leg Workout

Happy hump daaaaay!

Can you believe it’s already Wednesday? This week is flying by. Before I know it, I’ll be all moved out of my house and into my condo with my friend Bailey!


My plans to stay in Orlando have officially been extended. I always pictured myself living elsewhere and even planned to look for work out-of-state when I graduated in December, but God has me here at this time in my life. Don’t know exactly why yet, but I’m going to trust His plan. Can’t argue with the Big Man Upstairs, can I?

Speaking of Florida, shorts season is upon us! (It’s coming soon enough for you too, northerners.) Either way, it’s time to shape and sculpt the booty and the legs with day 3 of the 12-week fat loss challenge! What better time to work our lovely lady (or male) humps than hump day ;-)?


Annnnd for some Wednesday trivia… Here’s a little survey I found! I used to love surveys back in the day and I still do. The rules for this one? Answer everything in one word. Ready…. GO!

1. Where is your cell phone? Desk

2. Your hair? Natural

3. Your mother? Amazing

4. Your father? Wise

5. Your favorite food? Mexican

6. Your dream last night? Weird

7. Your favorite drink? Water

8. Your dream/goal? Happiness/Joy

9. What room are you in? Office

10. Your hobby? Fitness

11. Your fear? Moving

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Happy

13. Where were you last night? Gym

14. Something you aren’t? Energized

15. Muffins? Nope

16. Wish list item? Heart rate monitor (oops… three words, one item)

17. Where did you grow up? Orlando

18. Last thing you did? Meeting

19. What are you wearing? Jeans

20. Your TV? Untouched

21. Your pets? Adorable

22. Your friends? Awesome

23. Your life? Changing

24. Your mood? Sleepy

25. Missing someone? Family

26. Vehicle? Toyota

27. Something you’re not wearing? Necklace

28. Your favorite store? Grocery!

29. Your favorite color? Mint

30. When was the last time you laughed? Today

31. Last time you cried? Lastweek (lol sorry for cheating!)

32. Your best friend? Far

33. One place that I go over and over? Gym

34. One person who emails me regularly? Grandma

35. Favorite place to eat? Season’s 52

Now it’s your turn! Answer 1-2 of the questions below, or if you’re a blogger, take the whole survey! Do we have any similar answers? Any completely different?

Love you guys!!!