Summer Challenge: 30 Pounds in 30 Days!

summer challenge

My first goal for 2017 was to get fit, and I’m happy to say I’ve continued to make progress. While my fitness journey has taken some time, I have finally discovered how to lose weight effectively and quickly. With summer right around the corner, many people are starting to think about their health and fitness. And I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to safely lose thirty pounds in thirty days. All you have to do is follow these steps:

1.) Drink Water

If you’re serious about losing thirty pounds in thirty days, make water your new best friend. Seriously, water can make or break your diet. There are so many benefits to drinking water. Obviously, water has no calories. So, you can drink as much as you like without worrying about consuming a good portion of your calories for the day. Also, water hydrates your skin and cells to promote elasticity and weight loss.

If you’re like me and can’t go through the day without a little bit of caffeine, it’s okay to drink a cup of tea or coffee. But aside from your morning cup of caffeine, you should be drinking water. In order to really see the benefits of drinking water, make sure you’re drinking at least eight to ten cups of per day.

2.) Commit to a Lifestyle Change

We’ve all been there: we see a new “revolutionary” diet endorsed by a celebrity that is already thin and healthy. Although we subconsciously know the diet isn’t a smart or healthy option, we rush to store and purchase the specific food and diet pills. While some of these diets don’t even work, sometimes they do and the results are usually unsatisfactory. Instead of being slimmer and healthier, you might be slimmer, but your health isn’t better.

Instead of doing Beyonce’s master cleanse or taking Kim Kardashian’s Quick Trim diet pill, commit to a lifestyle change. In other words, start eating smarter and cleaner. This will be different for everyone, depending on their preferences and long-term goals.

For me, this meant I cut down on carbs and dairy, and ate more protein, vegetables, and fruits. In order to burn one bound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories. With this notion in mind, it’s often recommended to consume between 1,000 to 1,200 calories to lose weight. While this might not seem like a lot of calories, it’s enough to keep you full. Just take a look at what I usually eat in a day:

Breakfast:

1 tbsp. almond butter

1 cup oatmeal

Lunch:

1 cup romaine lettuce

6 grape tomatoes

¼ small onion

½ medium avocado

10 small grilled shrimp

2 tbsp. light Italian dressing

Dinner:

In-N-Out inspired Protein Style turkey burger with tomatoes, onions, and 1 tbsp. of ketchup.

3 oz. sweet potato fries

Dessert:

2.5 oz. Halo Top Birthday Cake ice cream

Total Calories: 1,110

3.) Exercise

Changing your diet is only half the effort. It’s important to exercise helps you lose weight and lowers your risk of developing serious diseases. You should make sure to do thirty minutes of cardio at least four times a week. And make sure to do some weight training because it promotes toned and elastic skin!

4.) Stay Motivated

Overall, keep yourself motivated by setting goals and telling yourself positive affirmations. While thirty days might seem like a long time, it goes by faster than you think. It’s also important to remember that you will most likely be the last person to notice how your body has changed physically. But, your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers will be there to praise your progress.

So, what are you waiting for? Start the challenge today. I believe you can do it!

My New She-Shed & Office Building!

So in case you missed it in my last post, I laid out my goals for 2017 … well, I am happy to announce that in my quest to get more serious about my business and blogging this year, I am building a new office / she-shed that will be separate from the house, so I can have a private place to work!

I didn’t even really know she sheds existed until recently. My husband started talking about how he needs a man-cave (typical man, right?), and so I began researching online and found out that she sheds were basically man caves for women. We are actually going to turn our basement into a man cave (so my beau still gets what he wants), and we’re going to build a separate workspace for me in the backyard. I’ll also be able to store my gardening tools there, which is a major plus.

I’ve hired a company in Charlotte NC that specializes in steel buildings to help me, and so far they’ve got me really excited about this project. There are so many ways you can customize a metal building, it’s unreal. They’re actually called “pre-engineered” or “pre-fabricated metal buildings,” which initially makes you think that perhaps they are pre-built and can’t be customized, but that actually just means that the steel components are pre-fabricated to your specifications, once you decide what you’re looking for. You can choose size, color, style (even roof style), and add insulation, electricity, windows, doors, etc. They even have these really cute cottage-style buildings that you can buy and have them painted to match your house or stand apart if you prefer. I definitely want my she shed to stand out from the rest of my house. I’m gonna feng shui the heck out of it too!

The other day, I ventured to Hobby Lobby to buy some DIY stuff to make my own decor and build my own storage shelves. The only thing missing will be running water and a toilet. I could add plumbing if I really wanted to, but that gets a little complicated and costly. Besides, I will need an excuse to take a break and make my way back to the house. It’s gonna be hard though … now I understand why men love their caves so much. And I haven’t even gotten my building yet!

It’ll be here in a few weeks, and I’ll take more pics then. For now, here’s a sneak peek:

metal she-shed

#Bossbabe: My Thoughts on Being an Entrepreneur

Hello again! I’ve been seeing the hashtag #bossbabe a lot on twitter and Instagram lately, and it got me thinking about entrepreneurship and what it means to be a female business owner in this day and age.

We live in a country that has already elected its first African-American president, and it’s highly likely that we could have a female president in office by this time next year. If you ask me, that’s a great reason to be inspired to really go after your dreams, especially as a female entrepreneur. I keep Michelle Obama’s picture as my computer’s desktop background to inspire me daily to keep grinding. But sometimes, even the best #bossbabe needs a break. So I’m taking one now to write this post. (I guess you can’t really call that a break, can you?) 😉

How to Become a #Bossbabe

If you’re an aspiring #bossbabe, here are some steps you can take to keep you on track to owning your own business and making it profitable.

Step #1: Create your vision. I know it sounds cliche to say “set goals” but it really is such an important part of the process. Without some sort of vision, you’ve got nothing to keep you moving forward, and nothing to measure your results against when you start to see growth. My advice is to create a vision that stays top-of-mind throughout your workdays. Whether it’s on a post-it note, an office whiteboard, or it’s a visual representation, like a vision board, this is one part of the process that you simply cannot skip. My motto, as an online marketer, is “begin with the end in mind.”

Step #2: Create to-do lists. If I don’t start my day with a clear set of steps to guide me from 8 to 5 (or sometimes from 8 to 8), I am much less focused and much less productive. Learn to live by your to-do lists, and get in the habit of writing them down the night before so you can wake up and hit the ground running!

Step #3: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are some things you’re good at and some things you aren’t so good at. Figure out what you love doing and outsource the rest to someone else who enjoys it or will do it better. It’s important to recognize your strengths and weaknesses so that you don’t waste time doing things you don’t enjoy or that will take you much longer to do.

Step #4: Network, network, network! There isn’t a week that goes by that doesn’t involve some sort of networking event for me, whether it’s a chat at local coffeehouse or dinner with a local Meetup group. Networking is so important. If you don’t have the time to get out there and meet people in person, you should utilize the power of social media and technology to make connections. Linkedin is my online powerhouse for finding new clients!

Step #5: Learn from your failures. I started with a cliche, so I figured I’d end with one too. This goes without saying, really. You are going to fail. It’s not a matter of whether you allow yourself to fail or not. At some point, it’s going to happen, even if you do everything right. I believe God allows us to fail so that we become stronger through the learning process that happens afterwards. So be prepared to embrace each failure as a learning opportunity.

Now, what are you waiting for? Go out there and build your dream! You certainly won’t become a #bossbabe by sitting here and reading my blog all day long (though if you’ve made it this far, please know that I do appreciate it and will do my best to continue serving up nuggets of useful content for entrepreneurs.)

How a Roofing Company Can Help You Save on Home Energy Costs

roof on fire

So I may or may not have mentioned in my last post that we recently had some roof repair done on our house. We didn’t pay for it, because, as I said before, we’ve been in the midst of some financial woes the past few months. And part of those woes included a little accident. In the form of a fire. Started by my oldest child. (God bless him… mom forgive him… I’m still trying.) 😀

He was playing upstairs in the rec room and managed to knock over a candle that was lit by his sister in an attempt to quench the bad smell that we later discovered was coming from the trash can. It fell and started a small fire that lit its way up to our roof. The fire department came and put it out just in time, but it was still a pretty big mess. We contacted our homeowners insurance and they gave us the funds to hire a roofing company to fix it.

I called around and spoke to the owners of a few Charlotte roofing companies, and we finally found one that seemed reputable and gave us an estimate within the budget designated by homeowners insurance. They came out and inspected our roof and decided that it needed repair above the room that was set on fire. Thankfully we didn’t have to get the entire house re-roofed, or I don’t know what I would have done!

I didn’t expect this to happen, but our energy bill has gone down by $100 a month since these guys came out and fixed our roof! I guess the moral of the story is that everything happens for a reason (as cliche as that sounds, and as much as I detest cliches). My husband and I were right in the middle of a financial meltdown and on the verge of separation. So I prayed for God to provide, and it really is true that He works in mysterious ways… ahem. Please pardon the cliche. 😀

I called the energy company to see if maybe they had mistyped our bill, and they said no. Our energy use has significantly decreased. The only culprit I could think of was the roof repair, so I called the roofing company, and they confirmed that the eco-friendly materials they used in the construction job likely contributed to a drastic reduction in our energy bill. Who knew?!

I am one happy mama…

Happy New Year! My Goals for 2016…

I know, I know – I’m a little late here. I’ve been a busy mama though, so please pardon my tardiness and my absence over the last few weeks … er … okay, months. I’m usually much better about keeping up with my commitments, and I won’t make excuses for myself. I’ll admit it: I’ve been severely slacking on this whole blogging thing. Which is why I’ve decided to embrace the whole “set goals for 2016” trend that’s happening in the blogosphere and document my goals for the new year. Even though it’s January 8… LOL.

"Our goals can only be reached through the vehicle of a plan..."

First, I’ll just recap 2015. It’s been a crazy year for me and the kiddos. My husband and I went through a period of struggle. Our relationship hit the rocks when he lost his job and we started to cave. And by “we” I mean our bank account. We were not doing well financially. Which should have motivated me to blog more and really pursue this whole mompreneur outlet, but I had to pick up where we were lacking and find work. I’ve been getting a steady paycheck from a company for about 2 months now, and we’re finally getting back on our feet, but it was a pretty scary time for a while there. The good news is, he finally found employment last week, and it’s going to be enough to cover us so that I won’t have to work anymore! So I’m going to quit my job and get back into blogging and raising our kids. 🙂 If you can’t tell, I’m really excited about it…

So, here are my goals for this upcoming year:

  1. Blog consistently. I’m kind of new to this whole thing, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned already, it’s that consistency is key. Whether it’s once a day, once a week, once a month, or once a quarter, I will not succeed without some sort of regular editorial calendar.
  2. Learn affiliate marketing. I hear it’s a great way to monetize your blog and bring in passive income, so I’m going to learn and implement it as soon as I can. I may not do it here though (this is more of my personal ranting sphere). I have another business website that I’ll use to post affiliate links and ads to bring in extra change.
  3. Write an ebook. Another great way to monetize (or so I hear.) Plus it will give me great practice and help me hone my craft. I keep seeing all these ads on Facebook from successful entrepreneurial women who are making massive amounts of money from writing blogs, ebooks and conducting courses on how they achieved success. If they can do it, so can I!
  4. Spend more time with my family. Here I am going on and on about all my work plans that I almost forgot to mention the hubs and kiddos. It’s so important that I don’t get buried in my business that I start to neglect my family, so I’m committing here and now, on the world wide web, to spend at least 2-4 hours with them every day – preferably in the evenings, after work and before bed. It’ll be easier since I’ll be working from home.
  5. Create a passive income of $50K by the end of this year. At least one of these goals needed to be a hard and fast number, or you and I both know this whole exercise is just a waste of time. I’m committing to an exact income level and a deadline of December 31, 2016… Can I do it? We shall see! I’ll keep you posted on my progress right here on the blog, so check back for updates!

Welcome to my website!

Hey guys! Shae here… thanks for visiting my blog.

My friends and family have been begging me to start writing, so I decided to create this site as a means for me to express my thoughts to the world! I’m really excited to be doing this and hope you enjoy my musings!

For those of you that don’t know me and are just meeting me *virtually* for the first time, here’s an intro: I love all things related to home improvement, fashion, photography and parenting, so you can expect to find those topics and more scattered throughout these pages. (Speaking of “scattered”, FYI: I bring new meaning to the word scatterbrained.)

I’ll be writing more later, but just wanted to post a brief note to let you know what I’m up to… stay tuned for more soon. 🙂