Archive for March, 2015

Muscle Motivation Monday

Happy Monday. New day, new week, let’s smash some goals!!!!

I officially have just 5 weeks left of my bulk. I want to keep the momentum going strong! Some tend to drudge through the end of their bulk. I will say it is harder, at least for me. I am so excited about starting prep, that mind wanders. I start thinking too far ahead. Some days, when talking with me, you would think my competition was in 5 weeks ha ha ha. I am staying focused and staying on the path. No short cuts, no easy way out. Just hard work, heavy lifting, and gains!!!!

Let’s get pumped up for the week! As always, I will start with some Lady Swole Monday 😉

Let’s get out there and conquer the week!

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Just 5 Weeks Left…Bulking Check In #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

Bulking Check In…. 5 Weeks left!!!!

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This week has been awesome! Like every lady in this sport, I go through highs and lows when bulking. It’s really weird. When I first start my journey in 2010, I was always looking in the mirror wondering how long till I lost the fat. Now I look in the mirror and wonder how long till I can grow muscle. It is hard not to develop a complex on either side of the spectrum. I certainly want to be healthy physically and mentally.

This is why progress pics are so very important! I am able to look at myself more realistically. I snapped a photo of my back early this week to compare progress from this time last year. Granted, I was in contest prep back then, but you can really see the growth difference!!! Weight difference is pretty big too. In the bottom photo I was around 125 lbs, top pic I am at 162 lbs

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Strong Lifts 5 x 5 has been really good to me 😉 Not only have I grown physically, but in strength as well!!! Back Squats are at 200 lbs on my 5th working set, Bench is 115 lb, Deadlift 225 lbs, and Barbell Seated Shoulder Press is 85 lbs. Huge difference from when I started!!!

The next 5 weeks will be full of focus and goals. I would like to reach certain weight amounts on all my lifts before my official prep starts. I know after about 4 weeks of prep, my lifts will suffer a bit from being in a calorie deficit. If I can keep them as high as possible now, I am hoping to retain more muscle during my cut. To be honest, I have never been more excited to start cutting calories ha ha ha. I plan on beating the person I brought to the stage last year, by a landslide.

Posing practice has been a struggle for me this off season. Not so much doing it, but trying to find the right pose to show off my work. It is much harder than it looks. Nicole Wilkins  has so many videos, which make learning a bit easier. She has poise and is so graceful and natural moving from pose to pose. This is my goal to achieve, before hitting the stage again in October.

Over all I feel pretty awesome. Going in the final weeks of my bulk, I am sure will be an emotional roller coaster, but I am happy to take the ride!!!!

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The Great Protein Debate…How Much Is Enough? #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

We all know that protein is essential for muscle growth as well as weight loss. In talking with a few people over the weekend, the proper amount of protein came up in discussion. Seems some think that no one should eat more than 25-30 grams in one sitting.

This is actually far from the truth. Your body is an amazing thing! As the protein travels through the small intestine, your body regulates how fast the protein moves, to ensure that it is absorbing all of the available amino acids. Your body doesn’t just discard what it can’t use right away. It holds on to it to fuel your body later.

I found this study conducted by the Human Nutrition Research Center. It had 16 young women eat 79% of the day’s protein (about 54 grams) in one meal or four meals over the course of 14 days. Researchers found no difference between the groups in terms of protein synthesis or degradation.

Do people require different amounts of protein? Absolutely! Not everyone has the same activity level. Different activity levels have different requirements.

Sedentary Person: .4 grams per lb

Recreational Exerciser (adult): .5 -.75 grams per lb

Competitive Athlete (adult) .6 – 1.0 grams per lb

Teenage Athlete: .8 – 1.0 grams per lb

Dieting Athlete (reduced calories): .8 -1.0 grams per lb

Dr.  Donald Layman, Ph.D., a professor emeritus of nutrition at the University of Illinois stated that most people would benefit from eating more than the 56g recommended daily intake. In his studies, he found most on average eat about 40g a day. WOW! To me that is really low, but makes sense. Most people I know eat 2-3 times a day and eat the bulk of their protein at dinner. With that being said, most are missing out from the essential amino acids. Not all proteins we eat, have the 22 aminos that our body requires. Especially if you are only eating a couple of times a day. Protein Powder Supplements Like Saturn Supplement’s Nitrox-Pro and Smart Whey are full of those amino acids and make hitting your protein goals much easier!!!

Nitrox-Pro

Protein powders aren’t just for bodybuilders. They are great for everyone! With fast absorbing quality whey protein, like what Saturn Supplements provides in Nitrox-Pro and Smart Whey, you not only get your daily amount, but also all the amino acids. Dr. Jeffrey Volek, Ph.D., R.D., a nutrition and exercise researcher at the University of Connecticut, stated this about quality protein powders “It appears in your bloodstream 15 minutes after you consume it” That is good stuff! Fast absorbing means better protein synthases, which equates to building lean muscle mass.

Smart Whey

High quality concentrated protein is an essential macro nutrient in everyone’s diet. Many that are deficient, could benefit greatly from adding it to their daily consumption. I usually recommend those who tend to skip breakfast, to add a shake in the morning. You will see so many differences. Energy levels go up, curbs hunger which lowers your fat, helps prevent diabetes and heart disease, and gives you gorgeous hair skin and nails. It’s a no brainer in my book 😉

Saturn Supplements is still running their 25th year anniversary sale!!!! Just enter code 25YEARS to get 25% off your total order. Shipping is a flat rate no matter how large your order is and once you spend over $75 you get a free gift!!!

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References: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10867039       http://www.muscleforlife.com/the-truth-about-protein-absorption-how-often-you-should-eat-protein-to-build-muscle/     http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/guide-to-protein/printer.php   http://www.drlwilson.com/articles/protein.htm    
 

No Negative Monday! #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

It’s no negative Monday! I find that so many people have a very negative view towards Monday. That changes TODAY!

Monday is a new start to a new week. A day to assess new goals and conquer your dreams! I won’t take this life laying down and certainly am not going to look at a day I was blessed to wake up and chase my dreams, in a negative light. 😉 NO NEGATIVE THOUGHTS ALLOWED!!!

As always let’s kick this week off with a little Lady Swole Monday…

Let’s get out there and make progress!

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Bulking Check In Less Than 6 Weeks Left #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

It’s time for a check in…..

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The past couple of weeks have been interesting to say the least. As I told on my last check in, I have been busy trying to figure out this whole making my own suit idea. The steps in my head seemed easy. I had taken the time to research what I wanted and watched videos on how to execute it. In the end, it turned out to be a huge project that seemed to consume me and my dining room table ha ha ha ha. It left me thinking….

I redid the pattern 4 times for the bottoms and twice for the top.

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Thank God for my hubby who took time out of his busy schedule to help me draw it the way I envisioned. I ended up making 4 different bottoms, before I was finally satisfied. I also had started a top, but quickly realized that it wasn’t going to work.

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My first pair of bottoms, I pulled the elastic too tight, second pair came out too big, third pair too small, and finally last pair was just right 😉

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The top was easier to do as was the strap. Overall, I am very happy with how it turned out and am very grateful to be done with it!!!  It still needs connectors and crystals, but the hardest part is over. Thankfully I purchased 2 yards of fabric, because I knew that I would probably mess something up ha ha I used most of it 😉 So far we have put around $35 into the suit, so extremely happy about that!  Having this extra project on my plate did make training a bit harder, but it was all worth it in the end. I can now say, that not only am I self made, but so is my suit!

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Tuesday, instead of hitting the gym for a short session of biceps and delts, we had a family fun day hiking. It was about 5 miles. It was pretty rocky terrain in some spots. Definitely a great heart pumping hike. We all had a blast. Beautiful views and wonderful company.

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The beginning of the hike

You can see the trail carved into the mountain

You can see the trail carved into the mountain

It took us to a gorgeous lake.

It took us to a gorgeous lake.

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We continued further up the mountain in search of a waterfall, but never found it.

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We did find a small cave, some bear tracks, and cougar tracks. glad we never ran into either animal ha ha ha

You might be wondering why I was okay with taking off a day of training? Well, hiking up a mountain is no easy feat With a 30lb backpack in tow I certainly still put work in. And technically I did not miss any training, I added my normal Tuesday training to my other short day. We decided that this will be a regular thing, so now Thursdays will consist of Biceps, Triceps, Delts, and Lats. It works out well, because now we can have a more active family fun day and instead of having 2 short days in the gym I have 4 long days, which I enjoy better 😉 Training is going great! I have just under 6 weeks left of my bulk. I feel like I am growing more. Now that my suit is done, I am even more excited to peel these layers off and see what I have built!!! Still haven’t taken any measurements, but my weight has gone up. I am currently sitting at 167.8 lbs I feel great about this! I can see some of what I have built, so very proud to carry the extra weight right now. PR’s are steadily happening, which also gets me excited! My most proud one as of late, is I finally was able to pull  225lb deadlift on my 5th working set for 3 reps. HUGE for me!!! Before we left Springfield, Missouri I was struggling to pull 195 for 1 and still keep my form. So with getting bigger, I am most definitely getting stronger. I am comfortable in my skin and happy at this stage, which is a new feeling for me.

Excuse the booty ha ha  I didn't realize I was out there till after I took the pics ha ha ha

Excuse the booty ha ha I didn’t realize I was out there till after I took the pics ha ha ha

Posing is still a little wonky. For whatever reason, my right arm likes to go out further than my left. Posing is still something I am working hard on! Going to keep pushing the envelope over the next 6 weeks and see where it takes me. I have never been so excited to start cutting calories in my life ha ha ha. Prep will be a slow process, but I plan on enjoying it every step of the way!

Have you ever planned a big project? How did it turn out? Do you have family fun days? Do you hike? Does gaining or losing weight make you uncomfortable?

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!!!

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Tips To Get That Summer Body Ready Now!!! #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

Summer is right around the corner….

Some spend the winter getting ready, while others scramble at the last minute. If you are typically the latter, no worries, because there is still hope!!! Here are some tips to get you started….

Figure Your Nutrition Plan Out~ I personally do flexible dieting, but research what works best for you. Fact is, losing fat is a matter of calorie deficit, not what you do or don’t eat.

Work It Out~ There is a misconception when it comes to working out. Some think that you have to be in the gym for 3+ hours 6 days a week. This couldn’t be further from the truth. To get  tight body I recommend weight training for 30-45 mins a day, 3-5 days a week, depending on your goals. There are a ton of training programs that you can just Google. I started with plans on Bodybuilding.com they literally have hundreds to print and take to the gym with you. Ladies, don’t be afraid to pick up some heavy weights. If you want that tight toned body, there has to be some muscle there 😉

Get Your Supplement Stack Right~ I only use and trust Saturn Supplements. They have been a trusted source in the industry for over 25 years. If you have shopped for supplements, you know that there are literally hundreds of companies out there. Many have just popped up out of nowhere in the past couple of years. There has been a ton of controversy over some of the more popular brands as of late (CLICK HERE TO READ MORE). It can be a confusing situation. This is my Lean Mean stack of choice 😉

Nitrox ProIn my opinion, Saturn’s best protein powder! Nitrox-Pro is the perfect source of dietary performance nutrition.More than a Hi-Protein Lean Meal-Replacement, Nitrox-Pro provides your body with all the latest advancements in protein absorption, breakdown and utilization, allowing greater support for creating muscle mass and strength. In conjunction with our Ultra-Efficient Isolate Protein we have added Myo-Vasogen, our proprietary Arginine-Lysine based complex creating the ultimate muscle / vaso – nitric booster. Nitrox-Pro is 100% Non-GMO, containing ZERO Genetically Modified Organisms, and is Lactose & Gluten-Free. So what you are getting is a 41 gram protein serving in addition to Nitric boosted amino acids. This is hands down a high quality lean formula! Best bang for your buck, since you get a 5lb tub. This is 50 servings of 41 grams of protein!!!! You truly can’t beat it!

Nitrox-Pro

Aminos Pump 50000~ Part of their new Hyperion Series, this is an easy-to-digest soluble concentrated amino-protein formula enriched with a powerful ratio of BCAA’s, Nitric Oxide and a full spectrum of Pharma-Engineered predigested amino acids that can be quickly and efficiently utilized by the body. The ultimate way to build solid muscle is to have a constant intake of powerful, pumping amino acids, and that’s exactly what Amino Pump 50000 does for you. Each serving provides your body with an impressive nitrogen retention source of amino acid protein which helps you to achieve maximum muscle growth and protein synthesis while improving the time of muscle tissue recuperation. Amino Pump 50000 may be mixed with water or your favorite protein shake or juice. Saturn’s Amino Pump 50000 can help you enhance the overall muscle protein needed for building a healthy and muscular physique. I drink this before, during, and after my training.

Amino Pump 50000

K-Pump HydrateThis gem is also part of their new Hyperion Series. This is the ideal Pre-Workout Muscle Pumping / Strength-Endurance Energy Formula! Packed full of Performance Enhancing Activators, Muscle-Building Amino Acids, Mental Focus Actives, and Body Trimming Energizers, K-Pump contains the means to deliver! To enhance the overall effectiveness of our Pump & Endurance Drink, K-Pump is formulated with an impressive burst of muscle-building protein, enriched with amino acids. Calorie Burning, Muscle Building, Nutrient Replenishment, Performance Powerhouse – K-Pump makes the perfect addition to any strength and health program. I combine this with the Aminos Pump 50000 in my water bottle before I hit the gym. It is like my sweet power punch. Providing me with plenty of energy, hydration, pump, and focus to get me through my grueling training sessions.

K-Pump

One Source Multi-VitaminThe absolute strongest Vitamin & Mineral Pack on the market, Saturn’s One-Source delivers! You cannot always be sure of getting all the nutrients you need from food, and Saturn’s One-Source Pack is designed to enrich your body with a complete dietary supplement-perfect for everyday taking. Each Freshness-Assured packet provides the best that natural vitamins and minerals have to offer. All of your micro-nutrient needs from A-Z. All packaged in individual sanitary packets, so no sorting and no worries, just grab and go.

One-Source

Creatine Silk~ Saturn’s revolutionary Creatine Silk provides the body with the most technologically advanced powder form available. Our Micro-Screened Ultra-Fine powder provides a smooth and instant dissolve for maximum delivery. Each serving offers a pure, premium grade of Micronized Elemental Creatine Monohydrate, known for its role in health and fitness.
You will notice a qualitatively difference when you open each package of Creatine Silk. It’s silky-smooth texture mimics the grade of materials found in Saturn’s Buffered-Creatine. Enhanced refinement of powder with enhanced method of delivery! This is what you can expect from Saturn’s Creatine Silk – an absolute mass building formula for athletes and everyday fitness. Build lean muscle,have energy, and mental focus. It’s a no brainer that this is an important part of my stack!

Creatine Silk

Lipo-Ex~ This is an Ultra-Pure synergistic complex designed to enhance the body’s natural power to utilize, energize and metabolize. Our formula provides your body with all the necessary means to maximize energy and burning force.Each serving provides your body with a premium blend of the most advanced power-charged ingredients which take on an immediate effect. We have made the addition of several supporting minerals to further enhance the effectiveness of this formula. This thermogentic provides a ton of energy with no crash, but be prepared to sweat. Your energy/power level goes through the roof and you can train harder, longer, and more effective. I would definitely call this my not so secret weapon 😉

LIPO-EX

Amazing products from a trusted company! The only products I use!!!

Get yours today! They are still running the Anniversary special, use code 25YEARS to get 25% off your total order. they also have flat rate shipping, no matter how large your order, the shipping rate is always $6.95, and with orders over $75 you always get a free gift!!!

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Merry Monday & Happy New Week ;-) #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

Merry Monday…..

I am pretty pumped this week! I have less than 7 weeks left of this bulk. Feeling strong and awesome! There was a local show over the weekend. Although I wasn’t able to make it, I did follow all the action on social media. Pretty exciting and definitely motivating!!!! The figure division here is fierce!!! I am so excited to start my prep and compete with these phenomenal ladies. I also spent the weekend working on my suit. I am happy to say that my bottoms are made, and half my top is done. I ran out of elastic ha ha, so to the store today to get that and finish my sewing. Then on to designing and stoning my suit. Gah it’s all coming together…. Can it be October yet ha ha ha

Okay, as excited as I am to compete, I am still in my off season. Focusing on my current training is very important. This last week I added some extra shoulder and lat exercises as well as up’ed the weight on quite a few of my lifts. I really want to grow as much as possible before I start cutting. It’s Monday and I am so ready to make this week epic!!! As always, let’s kick it off with some Lady Swole Monday….

Let’s make this week count!

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Time To Earn That Reward! #MotivationMonday #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

Mondays are rough for some. I always try to remind people, if you are awake and breathing, it is and will be a wonderful day!!! 😉 Happy Monday xoxo

As I said yesterday, this week marks the beginning of the 8 final weeks of my bulk. I have been pushing myself as hard as possible. I am hoping to grow just a bit more before I start peeling away the layers. This week, I am going to try to focus on each day instead of the week as a whole. Each exercise I want to put my all into it! I will train like my competitors are watching (which they could be, since I won’t be traveling this year) Staying focused, determined, and motivated through each and every rep!!!

Let’s kick this week off right with a little Lady Swole Monday…

Today is your day. Today is my day. Let’s sit down full face to face with ourselves, let ourselves know our true goals. Get up and start this week strong! Earn your goals, earn your sweat, earn your reward!

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Bulking Check In #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

It’s been a while since I have done a check in. 😉

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I am officially just under 8 weeks from the end of my bulk. I have started to slowly change my training. I am still doing the 5 x 5 strong lifts. I have lightened some of the load on certain lifts. On those sets, I started doing pause sets. For example on squats when I get to my lowest position, I will hold it for 3 seconds before I rise back up. Once my prep starts I will begin speed training and will be adding in some more movements. With speed training it will be controlled,  faster, explosive movements. Basically to help me burn more calories.

This week is shark week, so I am definitely feeling bloated and am weighing in heavier than usual. My weight has been staying steady between 154-155 lbs. Today, I weighed in at 157.3 I know it’s water weight from my monthly. I haven’t been great at keeping my measurements for the past several weeks, so to be honest I have no clue where I stand as far as that goes. I will be sure to get them the last day of my bulk, so I know where I am starting from. I am very happy with how much I have built since last season!

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Lats, delts, back, legs, and glutes are much thicker this year. It will be very exciting to peel the layers and see what I have built! Posing has also been an important factor this off season. I have spent almost as much time doing my posing practice as I have been in the gym. Still on that learning curve, but it is noticeably improving! This past week, Zoe and I also finally started on my suit. We scoured the internet for a style design, then spent hours trying to make a pattern. It was much more time consuming than I had anticipated, but we did get it done!

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I also got the fabric cut and ready to start the sewing process. Obviously the more difficult part of the project ha ha. i seemed to have misplaced my straight pins, so I am gonna pick some up this weekend and start my big project next week. I haven’t ordered my crystals yet, because I want to make sure I can pull this off before investing anymore money in it ha ha. Although, I do think this is going to come out fabulous! If all goes well, I will continue to make all my suits 😉

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How have you all been progressing? Do you change up your training to your goals? Have you ever taken on a big project? How did it turn out? Hope you all have a Happy Sunday!!! xoxo

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Monday Motivator #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

Happy Monday!!!!

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Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!!! I have actually been a little under the weather. Back at it today and more than ready to get started on goal smashing!!!

Let’s kick this week off right, shall we? 😉 Lady Swole Monday coming up!

I don’t know about you, but I am ready to make myself!!! Happy Monday and let’s get to it!!!

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New Month, New Goals. Welcome March!!! #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

New Month, New Goals Welcome March!

March marks the beginning of spring and 9 remaining weeks of my bulk. The following weeks are important. I need to stay focused and keep my drive strong. March will a busy month, so lots of goals!!!! As I constantly say, set small goals to reach your big ones. It makes the process easier and more attainable, when you take it step by step. Sharing your goals with someone helps keep you accountable. Let’s check out my March goals….

Goal 1~ Make It Count! I had this goal last month as well, but it is important that I make every one of these last days count. My training has been hard, but I have seen growth. I want to maximize as much as I can in the coming weeks. 9 weeks is enough time to grow that little bit more! 

Goal 2~ Game Plan My Prep Training. My training for prep will be different than my bulk. The game plan is to drop weight and define the muscles I have built. This year I will do it in stages. I will be sitting down, researching, and re-configuring how the first 4- 6 weeks will go. I am taking a different approach than last year. I am constantly educating myself on new approaches and what will work for my body. 

Goal 3~ Plan My Diet Approach. Just as I will sit down and plan my training, my diet will also be re-configured. As I have said a million times, to lose fat, you must be in a calorie deficit. With that being said, my prep is 23 weeks. I certainly don’t want to drop it as low as I can right off the bat. I need to establish a plan where I will gradually drop, while still seeing results! I want maximum fat loss with minimum muscle loss. 

Goal 4~ Strike A Pose. Posing practice has been huge for me this year! I honestly spend almost as much time posing as I do training. Training and diet are important, but if you can’t showcase your work properly, you will lose points and not place. This was one of my weak areas last year. going into the competition, I thought I was good, but after seeing all of the photos of Pre-judging and the night show, I realize how off I really was. I have been studying and practicing to perfect what I lacked last season. This year, you can guarantee, I am bringing it!!!!!

Goal 5~ Start My Suit. Now that I have most of the materials, I can get started. I made sure to buy way more fabric than I needed, just in case I make any major mistakes. Ha ha ha ha I always plan ahead!!!! I am very excited about the suit. I have been brain storming ideas for quite some time, so to see them come to life will be awesome! Plus I am saving a ton of money making it myself!!!! I am ready for the challenge! 

Goal 6~ Make-up And Hair. Last year I thought I knew exactly what I was doing when it came to hair and make-up. When asking around for opinions, I found out my ideas were not ideal for Figure competitions. I did my best to rework what my plan was, but in all reality it fell on the back burner and come competition day I was just thrown together. I paid a company to do part of my make-up, which in turn looked horrible on stage. This year, like everything else, I will have a game plan. I have been researching hair and make-up just as I do training and diet ha ha ha. 

Goal 7~ Business Planning. I have something in the works, although I am not ready to share the details. I will be spending a lot of time figuring out how, what, when, and where my plan will unfold. All I can say is, It is really exciting!!!

Goal 8~ Challenging Lesson Plans. Just as I like to be challenged, I want Zoe to be too! She has been excelling in mathematics, spelling, and reading. I want to make these areas more challenging for her and have her moving ahead! I sometimes think my plans for her are too challenging, then she shows me how wrong I was ha ha. I love lesson time and I am happy she does too. Keeping it fun and challenging has been quite a struggle, but I love that she is learning!!!

Hope you all have set your sights high this month! March will be a phenomenal one!!!

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