Have you heard of EVEN Hotels?

Have you heard of Even Hotels?
Me either.

This morning I booked our stay in NYC at an EVEN Hotel…solely based on price & location. Really.

The website boasted a “happy, healthy place” that “welcomes wellness-minded travelers”…I thought it was an interesting claim & mostly just marketing, but wasn’t really expecting a follow through.

After digging a little further, though, EVERY ROOM has an “in room training zone & fitness kit” (take a peek at this stock pile photo –a yoga ball & resistance bands included?! AWESOME). …and I have Beachbody On Demand that will stream the same workouts I’m used to back home in San Diego.

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I don’t even have to awkwardly go to the hotel gym and stream from my phone while people give me funny looks. #beentheredonethat It’s like they know I workout from home! 

I think this hotel was made specifically for coaches.

Other perks include: spa like showers, cooling eucalyptus sheets, black out shades, coffee maker & refrigerator (hard to come by in New York, it seems), and with all of that in the room … I can only imagine the ambiance of the public space and the food options!

I’m REALLY excited to check-in! Not sure I’ve ever felt this way about a hotel before🤔

Expect a blog post & review in a few weeks🙌🏻

 

DIY Christmas Card Photo Shoot

Last Christmas I decided to get a little creative and take photos of my munchkin for our Christmas Card. This is how they turned out (& how you can create your own shoot!).

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DISCLAIMER: I am very much an amateur and undoubtedly a professional will have quite a critiques. If you’re an amateur, too, this post is for you 😉

EQUIPTMENT USED:
white sheets
white lights with a white cord (more is better!)
tape and/or tacks
iPhone camera (bonus: use a better one!)
heating pad (optional)

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SETTING THE SCENE
I knew I wanted the “glowing white lights” look. I made a quick google search, but wasn’t finding what I was looking for so just got creative on my own.

Picking the right room: I chose to set up against a wall in a room with a window facing north…so there would be plenty of light, but no hard shadows. I think this is key! In these photos, the window is behind me so my daughter is facing the light. (This could also work in a west facing room in the morning, or east facing room in the afternoon.)
Tip: Don’t block the light with your own shadow

Setup: First, move the bed up against the wall, and make it with just the fitted sheet.
Then tape white lights to the wall (& wished I would have used WAY WAY MORE lights).
Finally, hang the loose sheet over the top of the lights.

You’ll have to fiddle with this a little bit. I found it easiest to use a little double sided tape throughout the middle of the sheet to be sure the lights were pressed up against the material and really showing through.

If you want, place a heating pad under the sheet where your subject will be to help them stay warm. Take a few practice shots with your subject, and tweak accordingly. Maybe you need to move everything to the left, maybe you need to squat down so the closet doesn’t show, maybe you’ll need to move the subject forward/backward whatever.

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THE SHOOT
Dress your babe & snap away! Just keep clicking. I use an app called PicTapGo to edit my iPhone photos; best $1.99 I’ve EVER spent. This app was recommended by my wedding photographer, and dang. If you’ve seen those pictures you know she knows what she’s talking about!

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THE CARDS
Find your favorite online card maker I like mpix.com (a recommendation from my brother’s wedding photographer for all prints & projects). They don’t leave a watermark on their cards…which I kind of like 🙂

Address…Label…and SEND!

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Merry Christmas!

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Last Minute Halloween Costume: Scuba Diver Step-by-Step

Need a simple, last  minute Halloween Costume for your toddler?

Before I was even pregnant, I saw a photo of little trick-or-treat divers on Pinterest. The kids in the photo were much older than my daughter is now, but I had this realization this MIGHT be the last year we get to pick her costume!

{PLUS, She still uses a pacifier to sleep so I couldn’t resist the “pacifier regulator” …it’s my favorite part of the whole costume!}

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It’s simple.
It’s inexpensive.
It’s clever.

In full disclosure, these directions LOOK long, but that’s only because they’re thorough. Anyone can put this costume together.

Go ahead and make your own!

WHAT YOU NEED

The Wetsuit: Solid black clothes. You can find these anywhere!
..and she’ll wear them again.

The BCD (vest): (optional) Puffy vest of choice; Old Navy (comes in many colors; bonus…it was 1/2 off)
She’ll also wear this again.

The regulator (mouth piece)*: pacifier, black pipe cleaner, black porous soaker hose tubing
*you can get creative here and really use any sort of black tubing; pipe cleaner and the porous tubing were just what I found  first

The tank: empty two liter  bottle, sand paper, silver spray paint, black electrical tape, some sort of black chord- I used bungee cord, black craft paint

The Fins: Craft Foam Sheet (I grabbed the thickest I could find), sharpie

The mask: kids goggles (my daughter wore them like a headband instead of on her face)

DIRECTIONS

img_5078The Wetsuit: grab black clothes! done.

img_5079The BCD (vest): snag the puffy vest! done.

The regulator (mouth piece):
1) Wrap one piece of pipe cleaner tightly around the knob of the pacifier. Tightly twist the two “tails” together all the way to the end, making one “tail”
2) Measure out the porous hose tubing loosely from the middle of your toddlers shoulder blades to their mouth; cut.
3) Insert the tightly woven pipe cleaner (from pacifier) into the porous tubing. It will be a snug fit

The tank: 
1) Empty a 2 liter bottle; I chose a cheap brand with the traditional round look
2) Peel off the label and lightly sand the entire bottle
3) Spray paint the tank silver, let dry
4) Paint cap with with black craft paint, let dry
5) Wrap single piece of black electrical tape around bottle about 1/4 from top. This will line up in the middle of their shoulder blades. When looking for the best placement of tape, be sure they won’t bonk their head on cap of bottle
To attach to regulator: 
1) Twist black pipe cleaner around mouth of bottle (just like you did with the pacifier)
2) Insert the tightly woven pipe cleaner into the porous tubing. It will be a snug fit
To attach to child: 
1) Put vest on child
2) With one single piece of bungee cord, make a figure 8 going around both arms and criss-crossing between their shoulder blades…much like a backpack
3) Cut bungee at that size & knot
4) Using electrical tape, tape the criss crossed X bungee cord to the black electrical tape stripe on the tank

fullsizerender-13Fins (these will slip over ankle & sit on top of their shoes)
1) Find a template of flippers online and print or trace, OR freehand draw a fin on the craft foam. Be sure width of fin is slightly wider than the width of your child’s shoes. Longer is okay
2) Cut it out
3) Trace the existing fin on the craft foam, then cut out second fin
4) Cut small hold toward heel of fins so child is able to slip foot through. Be careful not to cut too closely to the edge so it doesn’t rip
5)Trace edges with black sharpie

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There you have it! Last minute, creative, simple halloween costume…

If you end up making this for your child, post your photos below!

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What you need to know about “Core de Force”

Core de Force is the newest Mixed Martial Arts style workout and it’s getting A LOT of attention. Here’s what you need to know!

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WHAT IS CORE DE FORCE?
Core de Force is the newest Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) style fitness program.

WHO IS CORE DE FORCE FOR?
Core de Force is for anyone looking for a total body transformation. It isn’t necessarily a weight loss program, but of course those results are likely.

WHAT IS CORE DE FORCE LIKE?
Core de Force is high intensity, high impact workout. It’s almost entirely cardio with interval training built right into each round. It’s designed for people who need to get moving.

WHO ARE THE TRAINERS?
Joel Freeman & Jericho McMatthews

WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
There is no equipment necessary; you’ll use your own body weight for resistance.

HOW LONG IS CORE DE FORCE?
Core de Force is a 30 day program. The workouts are between 30-45 minutes.

IS THERE A MODIFIER?
Yes. Every move has a modification to follow as you work up to the full move. The modifier isn’t necessarily “easier”…simply lower impact.

HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT FROM WHAT’S ALREADY OUT THERE?
The biggest difference: authenticity. Joel & Jericho spent over 18 months getting this one right. Their who goal was to keep it AUTHENTIC to MMA.

HOW DID THEY DO THAT?
-They themed it with 3 minute rounds (there’s even a bell!)
-They took the moves OFF the beat of music.
-They trained in a boxing gym.
-They consulted muay thai fighters.
-They scratched any moves fighters said they’d never use in a fight.

WHAT IS THE FOOD PLAN LIKE?
Very simple…plan on eating A LOT of food. Because this is a high intensity workout, you’ll be fueling your body and eating MORE than normal..including carbs (yay!). There are delicious recipes included like BBQ Chicken Pizza and Kobe Protein Burgers. The portion containers are optional.

WHAT SUPPLEMENTS ARE RECOMMENDED TO COMPLEMENT CORE DE FORCE?
The Performance Line & Shakeology are recommended for maximum performance.

CAN I TRY CORE DE FORCE BEFORE I BUY IT?
Yes! On October 24th for one day only, there is a free preview of an entire workout available on Beachbody On Demand. For every ONE person that tries Core de Force, Beachbody will donate $10 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Ask me how to get the sneak peek; I’ll direct you!

WHEN WILL CORE DE FORCE BE AVAILABLE? 
October 31: “Challenge Pack” available (bundled with Shakeology for a big discount)
November 1: “Base Kit” available through Beachbody Coaches
December 1: Released to the general public

ALI, HAVE YOU TRIED IT YET?
I have! Check out our quick sneak peek here:

ALRIGHT- I’M INTRIGUED! HOW DO I STAY UP TO DATE?
Join this event page as we count down to the release date! Stay tuned for more info about the free trial on October 24th.
email: alischroeder.fit@gmail.com

The Best Basic Day

[originally written July 8, 2016]

I have a dear friend that sits in her closet with a cup of coffee (but I bet sometimes it’s wine) when she needs a sec.

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I can’t fit in my closet, but the corner of my bedroom floor is working very well tonight. Yes, that’s a glass of wine.

Today was basic. 
Almost as basic as it could ever get, yet somehow one of the best days I’ve had in a while.

My daughter is becoming my most favorite human. It really wasn’t overnight, but all in one day she learned how to give kisses, blow raspberries (hilarious!), knows what you’re referring to when you ask her to find the puppy or baby (her toys), was fascinated with the ball pit for her birthday party, and is taking 3-4 steps on her own.

She is such a neat tiny little human.

I didn’t get nearly enough work done, but what I did do was structured and organized.
I’m very happy with that…I wish I could say that was normal.
I’m sure it’s no coincidence I had the best workout in a while.

I took the dog for a walk in a new neighborhood; I do that sometimes. Our same old block gets boring for both of us, sometimes driving a short mile in any direction first is just what we need. It might be one of the best walks we’ve had together—I don’t think she realizes how much I cherish those times, too.

My house is a mess. Not even just a mess, but actually dirty. Somehow, though, it still seems like a comfy home…even as I sit in the corner of my room.

You see.
Super basic.
The me five years ago never would have claimed this to be one of the best days. Yet somehow today was just that.

Beyond blessed to be in a place in my life that is filled with so much love & happiness…no matter how ordinary. I like this life we’re building.

Alright- picking myself up off the floor to go spend the remainder of the evening with the best man I know❤️

Thanks for being my listening eyes & ears. I hope you’re in a happy place, too, no matter how ordinary. If you’re not, I hope this chaotic moment you’re going through right now makes you appreciate that place of basic contentment when the time comes.

Cheers🍷

WEEK ONE RECAP: “Having a Martha Home the Mary Way” by Sarah Mae

It might not have been until 10:00pm on Day 7, but I am still on track after one week!
WEEK ONE RECAP of my experience reading Having a Martha Home the Mary Way by Sarah Mae.
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If it was just completing the reading/studying/MARY portion of this book, I’d probably already be done. It’s how I roll…I love to read and absorb knowledge, often at a pretty quick pace.
It’s that execution/follow through/MARTHA portion that always has me stumbling…and this pretty much rolls over into every area of my life!
{Amazing how different aspects of life roll over to each other. Nonetheless, I’m on track!}

Here’s how the study works:
Each day there is a short 3-4 page reading on a life lesson. Maybe it’s about personality, or the author’s story with an applicable theme.

These quick pages are followed by the “Mary” portion of this study. Typically there is just 1-2 verses to reference followed by a short 2-3 reflection points. Sometimes these points encourage you to reflect on yourself along with the bible reference, other times it’s a place to make a list or schedule for the day.

Finally, the “Martha” tasks come. And now that you feel rejuvenated from reading & reflecting…you’re ready to tackle your house! Each task has a step-by-step process laid out in very BASIC bullet points.

I’ve learned a few things about myself in this first week of this book. The BIGGEST lesson I’ve learned is that I can be just as effective (if not more effective!) by doing smaller things all the time.

Generally speaking, I tend to be somewhat of an extremist; both my husband & I are this way. Either we’re not getting off the coach OR the entire house gets renovated in one day flat – haha. In terms of housework, this typically means the entire house is spotless and everything is crossed off the list OR everything is disheveled.

Clearly I need a little “smaller tasks all the time” mentality. {enter this study!}

This week, I’ve followed the execution portion step-by-step (even when instructed a different way than I’m used to…no matter how basic!) and guess what?! IT’S WORKING.

The one change I did make from the beginning of the week is how & where I study the Mary portion of this book. In the beginning, I’d grab my coffee, settle in on the couch, get cozy and open my book. My coffee would barely be at a drinkable temperature before the chapter was over (because they’re short!), but I wasn’t done with my own “relax” time. You can see where this is going. I wasn’t ready to get up and move on to Martha section, which completely defeated the purpose of this study!

Now, I actually just open the book and my bible while standing at the kitchen counter. This makes it much easier to hop to it!

Excited to see what week 2 brings!
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“Picking Up” a New Book: Having a Martha Home the Mary Way by Sarah Mae (& progress calendar information)

I stumbled across this book on accident; an acquaintance on social media shared she just finished it and is happy with the way her home looks (& soul feels!) for the first time in quite a while.

It’s titled “Having a Martha Home the Mary Way” written by Sarah Mae.

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I was intrigued.

I run my own business from home and have a standing joke with one of my partners that “Either my house is clean or my business is doing well…never both!” Haha- isn’t that the truth.

I wonder, though, if I could have both?

If I’m being COMPLETELY honest, I feel as though delegation of house cleaning will happen in the near future, but it’s not a reality yet so this book obviously caught my attention.

If I was going to do this, though, I knew I’d need a calendar (read: instant gratification) to stay on track. There’s just something about those ✔️s that get me excited!

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{Send me an email (alischroeder.fit@gmail.com) if you plan on reading this yourself someday & would like the PDF of my calendar. I am NOT selling this; I’d love to simply pass along a free resource that I think will work well for me.}

Do your homework- what you should know about Shakeology…

“I don’t really want to give Shakeology a shot- I’d rather eat whole foods.”
I. Hear. You.
…the longer I’m in this business, the more often I hear this phrase. Let me tell you that I understand you COMPLETELY. I was in this place, too…I wasn’t always a “supplement person”
I get you!
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You should also know I drank Shakeology DAILY FOR ELEVEN MONTHS before I ever started a business — so let me preach about a product I LOVE (just like I’d tell you about that cute new restaurant downtown, my awesome experience at the genius bar AGAIN, or a worthwhile new movie…)
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Here it goes. What is Shakeology?
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Let’s start with what it’s not…
👉Shakeolgy is NOT a protein shake. Yes, there’s 15+ g of protein in it (depending on flavor), but if you’re looking for just a post workout protein drink, let me help you look elsewhere.
👉Shakeology is NOT diet trick/pill or a chemically appetite depressant.
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It is…
👉a dense dose of nutrition, made up of quality superfoods
👉natural with zero additives or extra junk
….all that and it STILL tastes like chocolate. or strawberry. or cafe latte or greenberry. or vanilla. {disclaimer: When I used to bend up the entire produce section, it definitely did NOT taste like chocolate….😝}
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Yes – there are protein drinks or meal replacement shakes out there that cost less than Shakeology. I’ve done my homework; I can tell you the whole “you get what you pay for” is certainly true in this case…especially when you break down how the ingredients complement each other to work for your body OR whether or not the ingredients have been isolated from their enzymes. They’re not all made the same….
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AND get this.
There are VEGAN options, too… You know when you pick up an orange at the grocery store and can’t find a nutrition label because one orange might be slightly different than the one next to it? Same deal. The vegan formulas are SO RAW they’re considered unprocessed.
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Since I know you’re still reading, you’re probably curious why YOU should check it out even if you’re not a supplement person.
🍎regular digestion (said it. meant it.)
🍇experience cravings switch from junk food to healthy choices
🍊increased energy levels
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…and a few more bonuses my challengers were JUST talking about this weekend:
🍍clear skin (even when switching medication)
🍒thicker hair & nails
🍏increase in milk supply for nursing mamas
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Ready to give it a shot? Good.
Let me tell you how you can get a discount when you bundle it with our Workout Streaming Service (Beachbody On Demand)
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alischroeder.fit@gmail.com is the best ways to get in touch with me.
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Let’s do this💪🏼

4 Day Bathroom Transformation

We’d love to completely demo our main bathroom and build it up from scratch, but it’s probably the LAST project on our list and YEARS down the road. We woke up one morning and decided to give it a fresh coat of paint and a little face lift to hold us over until that time.

It turned into: patching drywall, painting, adding fresh caulk, and coming up with a plan B when we saw what was behind the medicine cabinet. Here’s the story!

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My husband was gone a few days for work and came home late on a Thursday night/Friday morning…and with him he brought good news of a 4 Day Weekend!

Friday morning during coffee time, I brought up the idea of repainting the bathroom since we had plans to get a new shower curtain “soon” anyway (what he didn’t know is that I already sent pictures to my interior designer Aunt the day before to ask for suggestions!).

Here is what it looked like that morning:

(I really don’t like those sea tiles!)

We took a Friday Family Trip to Bed Bath & Beyond and actually had boat loads of fun picking out curtains and mixing & matching accessories. A quick stop on the way home at Home Depot for paint and we got started!

The first thing that needed to go was the medicine cabinet. It was old & dingy and we didn’t really even use it. Our thought was to put a flat mirror in it’s place to open up the room a little bit more…per the suggestion of my Aunt 😉

As it turns out…the tile was cut to go around the medicine cabinet and we had zero desire to customize a mirror to fit that spot. BONUS: We ended up getting a huge mirror that covered these awful fish tiles! It ended up being perfect 🙂

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(goodbye sea tiles!)

Next project was to paint….and after taking everything off the wall re remembered there was a huge hole from where the previous owners had CAULKED on the hand towel hanger (yes, you read that correctly). Initially we just hung a clock over it, but figured it was time to make it right…and Robert was eager to learn a new skill anyway.

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Last thing to do was paint, hang the towels, and lay down a cute rug!

It took about four days from idea to complete — then another 3 weeks to actually hang the clock & photo. Ha!

Here’s the final result:

 

…and we honestly had a fun time putting this together!

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Believe in your SELFie

I’m DEFINITELY “pro-selfie”…here’s why!

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{I’ve been there…the “why does she post photos of herself?!” mentality}

Here’s the thing, though:
It could be MUCH, MUCH worse. Instead…
●She might have terrible self-image.
●She might not think she’s pretty “enough” (whatever that means).
●She might have this unrealistic expectation of herself.
●She might feel she can’t live up to YOUR standards.
…and all of that is far worse than posting a photo of herself. 

Does it matter WHO took the photo?

Now…I know PLENTY of CONFIDENT women who choose to share pictures of their dogs & kids & adventures instead of themselves…I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about the women who think about posting a photo of themselves, but ultimately DON’T do this because they feel judged.

It’s YOUR profile. People come to see YOU.

#loveyourSELFie #empowereachother #nojudgement #positivity

I dare you to step outside your comfort zone & post a selfie today!

{…and give a second thought to clicking that “like” button next time “she” posts a selfie. She might just be needing it 💜 }