Friday, July 31, 2015

Have a fun weekend + links around the web

To say this was an easy week would be an understatement. Lately I've been burning PTO as I usually do in the Summer months. Living in Wisconsin you have to make the most of the hot weather while its here because its short lived and soon we will be getting ready for wiinnnt... I can't even finish that word. Makes me cringe at this point. But even though it was a short week, since we spent the first two days frolicking up north and I have my Friday's off work, I am still happy to see a weekend on the horizon.

What are you up to these next few days? We have another wedding on Saturday and tonight I'm headed out for a girls night accompanied with a bon fire and crispy s'mores. It should be a fun time catching up with friends and relaxing by a fire. You always need some girl time, too. Am I right?

But before I sign off from the week I wanted to share a few photos from last weekend. As I mentioned before, I took the kiddos I previously nannyed for and we ventured to the Milwaukee Zoo. We had a great time and it was nice spending some quality time together.

 We tried to get a good picture... This was the best out of 3.
 Then we enjoyed our friends wedding in downtown Milwaukee

Followed by some beautiful sunsets in northern Wisconsin. I ended up with a good paddle boat workout trying snap this photo before the sun completely set.

And here's some links from around the web!

 Milwaukee lifeguard's surf-n-turf sends them to GMA

Trying this for the first time this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes!

Hope your weekend is full of fun!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Inside my beach bag

We are finally in the thick of summer and I'm left over here wondering where July went. It's about time Wisconsin have some consistent hot temps! Last night we returned from our excursion up north. It was a wonderful time with family, boating, and lots of water volleyball, just to name a few. I probably lived in my swimsuit about 90% of the time. It was amazing! 

Being on the water is my favorite place in the summer. Intertwined with adventure and relaxation, the water is the perfect place to rejuvenate and enjoy a flavor of summer like no other. Every time I head out to a beach or cruising on a boat, I always bring my beach essentials. What I bring varies from time to time, but it usually falls within the same category of items. Skin care, sunnies, and some good reads. So let's take a look at what's recently made the cut, shall we.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Have a great weekend + links around the web

Hello again! I am incredibly happy Friday's here and I would imagine you are as well. Speaking of Friday, this picture is from last week when we went to a Brewers game with a group of friends. Lately I've been soaking up a lot of Wisconsin things to do. Today I am reuniting with the kiddos I used to nanny for, Ari and Addi. We are heading to the zoo and hope to see some lions, tigers, and bears. Oh my! Its so nice seeing them again. In fact, three years ago when I stepped out of the nanny role, I vowed to continue a relationship with the family and I have. In some ways they have become my second family. Do you have someone(s) in your life like that? Sometimes we go a bit without seeing each other and this marks the longest stretch, since March. Too long! So we are overdue and I am overjoyed with the thought of seeing those precious kids and their beautiful spirits. Kids sure know how to keep things entertaining and I can guarantee to have a story or two for you in some upcoming posts.

Overall this weekend brings another wedding, so we will have lots of celebrating, followed by a quick trip up north for a few days. We will be visiting with family, celebrating some birthdays, and seeing Kyle's cousin who is returning from Afghanistan for a brief period. Per our usual weekend agendas, I am hoping for some fun outdoor adventures coupled with lots of rest and relaxation. Hope whatever your weekend brings its sure to be something great!

Here's your links around the web!

My favorite celebrity couple has called it quits. I'm in mourning.

Top 3 ways parents embarrass their kids. 

A Beautiful story in finding friendship while battling cancer

Do I dare?

Speaking of kids, here's a sale you might what to check out

Love this post

How does exercise fit in your life?

Theee holy grail of running shorts

What are you plans for the weekend? Do you have someone in your life you consider family even though they may not be blood related? What's your favorite thing to do outdoors? 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How to make exercise a part of your life

Ever have those days when you're not in the mood to workout? How about those seasons in life where it takes so much energy to push past the workout dread? Exercise is a word some people despise and other people praise. But a workout out doesn't have to be a chore. It can be an experience you can enjoy and perhaps even learn to love.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Have a peaceful weekend + links around the web

Want to know what beats a Friday? Falling into a staycation weekend that lasts through Monday, which I am greatly looking forward to since I am dragging today after a week leaving me feel less than energized.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Weekend in Review

Weekends fly by way too quick. I swear it was only yesterday I sat with my computer on my lap and coffee in hand while writing Friday's post. Fast forward a few days and voila! I'm back already giving a recap of my weekend. And I am not going to lie for a minute. Monday was one tough gal. One of those it definitely feels like a Monday days. All starting with the painful noise of my alarm clock. Reminding me it's time to get up. SO I am so happy to say by the time you're reading this it's Tuesday which means we have knocked one work day out of the ballpark. Oh yeah! 

We had a super busy but fun filled weekend. On Friday afternoon I went for a six mile run...

Friday, July 10, 2015

Have a fresh weekend + links around the web

Who's happy about Friday? This girl! And I'm assuming you're riding in the same train as me, so hello + Happy Friday to you! This was a short week for me since I had Monday off work and my days are still a little hazy as a result. Nonetheless it feels good falling into another weekend. I kicked it off with a few coworkers and a little gigantic margarita. Last night peeps, not this morning! I didn't realize how huge they were before ordering, but I wasn't complaining either. The lizard made it all worth while. Wouldn't lizard be more frun to write AND read with two Zs? LIZZARD!!! I thought so too.

Speaking of a fresh weekend (see title of post) I never mentioned my fresh hair cutting extravaganza. About two weeks ago I threw up the peace sign to a nice 5 inches of hair. Too short to donate and I discovered this post pony tail chop, albeit a new hairdo feels amazing. And take heed. Sometimes you need to be spontaneous and just shake things up. And that's exactly what I did.

Okay, so apparently I haven't taken many pictures of me since I chopped it but hopefully you can kind of see where it lands.
Have any plans this weekend? Some of our great friends are getting married in Milwaukee and we will be in tow. We have all the traditional pre and post celebrations. So with the rehearsal dinner tonight, wedding day tomorrow, followed by a friends brunch in Tosa on Sunday, I think our weekend is set. It should be a fun filled time, and I'm hoping for good weather since Summer has proved to be quite a doozy. 50s one day and 70s the next. I'm crossing my fingers, eyes, and toes for some consistent 80s! Woo!

Here's some of the girls at our friend's Bachelorette party from a few weeks ago. Happy wedding weekend Lexi & Andy!

Here are some links I loved this week:

A friend sent me a video of the most amazing guided meditation

Start gathering your wishlist for Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale!

A sad but important reminder for the power of words on a child's self-esteem

What do you think of the bucket bag trend? I think I'm warming up. 

Cricket flour the new craze! Would you use it?

Looking behind the business

A repeat of the black or gold dress debate. Only with nail polish this time.

Thank goodness there are benefits for this

In case you missed this AWESOME recipe I'm putting it on repeat

And I read a line earlier this week that has stuck with me... 

"The health of your mind tomorrow depends on your thoughts today"

This has been my mantra when I need a good reminder to be in the present moment and not be dwelling in any worries. I had to share in case it's something that resonates with you. 

What are you up to this weekend? Have any mantras that help keep you grounded? Do you have those spontaneous moments where you change up your look? Whatever your weekend gives, I hope it brings plenty of pleasant moments and fresh feelings. Ha ha, whatever fresh feelings may be. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Small Business Start-Up: BodyWise Wellness & Spa (+ A Giveaway!)

Life can be busy and chaotic at times. Or let's be serious, most of the time. There always seem to be some event popping up, a project due at work, or daily duties that outstretch even the most organized person on the planet. Working in the mental health field myself, I noticed a trend contributing to accumulated stress and fatigue. Pointing to a common theme of self-care. Or should I say a neglect of self-care. When life gets stuck in autopilot mode it's easy to forget how imperative it is to take care of ourselves. But at the same time it's such a necessary part of a fulfilling life. Even success with work, relationships, and our own personal goals depend on how we are taking care of ourselves in the process and responding to our needs.

Therefore today we are talking self-care as we are back with another installment of our small business start-up series, where we take a behind the scenes look into the minds and hearts of entrepreneurs who take the leap of faith and follow their dreams. Today we are talking with the passionate and visionary owner of BodyWise Wellness & Spa, Kristina Ochoa. 

I have had the pleasure of personally knowing Kristina from our high school days, and one thing that still stands out in my mind today was her drive and determination with setting and achieving goals. We competed in sports together, and even at the time, I knew she could take off in life given the right resources. And boy has she succeeded. More like dominated.

 How calming is this yoga studio? You can even do aerial yoga!

 A tranquility room where you can rest and relax before, after, or in between services.
 Enjoy a beverage while you wait.

Pamper with a little pedicure...
Or massage. Or grab your buddy and get a couples massage!

Kristina designed BodyWise as a space for individuals to meet all their wellness needs in one place. I was SO impressed after touring her building and learning about all the various services they offer, such as: yoga, acupuncture, health coaching, and massage therapy to name a few. I couldn't wait to have her be a part of this series. 

So without further ado let's take a look behind BodyWise and the incredible mastermind who created it all...
Your Name: Kristina Piehl-Ochoa

Hometown: Kenosha, WI

What services/products are offered? Therapeutic Massage, Esthetics (Facials, Microdermabrasion, waxing, eyebrow threading, body wraps), Yoga, Pilates & Meditation Classes, Tai Chi,  Nails, Ayurveda (Abhyanga, Shirodhara, Bliss Treatments, Rain Drop Therapy), Health Coaching, Acupuncture (Herbal Consultations, Shiatsu, Blood Type Diet), Essential Oils

How would you describe BodyWise? BodyWise is a wellness center and spa that offers a combination of services that work well together, because as a person becomes interested in one aspect of a healthier lifestyle, it naturally leads to interest in other aspects of the health and wellness field, and the components we offer are part of a larger healthy lifestyle continuum. The atmosphere and ambiance allows our clients to relax, calm their minds and feel peaceful. BodyWise is a great place to escape from all the stress and chaos we tend to have in our everyday lives.

Where can readers find out about the services you offer?

What prompted you to start your own business? I’ve just always liked the idea of having something of my own. I chose to open BodyWise in Kenosha because we need something like this here! I have a passion for health and wellness and I want to share that with everyone.

What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself as a result of launching BodyWise? That I am a strong person and I will stop at nothing to reach my goals. I basically lived at BodyWise for a few months through the renovations. I would be there some days from 5am – 2am non - stop working.  I’ve realized that nothing is ever easy and the only way to get what you want is to work hard, figure it out, stay positive and have a good sense of humor.

What was your biggest challenge bringing your idea from concept to fruition?
Getting everything done in the time frame that I gave myself. I set very lofty goals and I haven’t always been able to accomplish everything in the time that I planned for it. I wish that there were more hours in a day; that’s for sure!

How do you find inspiration? I give about 25 massages a week and each massage is usually an hour long. I have a lot of time to think about ideas and brainstorm plans that I have. I am obsessed with Pinterest and that is where I’ve found my inspiration for the décor and room set up. 
What motivates you? I’m very self motivated. I’ve always been an independent person with big ideas.

How do you find balance in your life between work and personal time? Now that all the dust has settled, I’m starting to find a balance again, but for a few months during the build-out, my life was pure chaos! I came to work one day with the same clothes on that I slept in and wore the previous day. For a while sleep, showering and eating were not priorities. But when you do something like this, you have to make some sacrifices. I figure while I’m still so young and have all of this energy, I’ll work really, really hard and one day it will pay off and I can relax a little more. 

What advice would you give to any readers looking to start their own business?
Don’t do it if you think that by owning your own business you get to set your own hours and do whatever you want. Running a business is a 24/7 job and it’s not easy. 

What’s your favorite quote? I have a ton of favorite quotes, but this one is perfect for the place I’m at in my life now. I will breathe. I will think of solutions. I will not let my worry control me. I will not let my stress break me. I. will. simply. breathe. And it will be okay…because I don’t quit.  –Shayne McClendon (The Good Girl)

What do you enjoy most about running BodyWise? I enjoy the clients we have at BodyWise. I love hearing the positive feedback they give about how much better they feel and how our wellness professionals have helped them to reduce their pain or reach their wellness goals. 

What is your vision for BodyWise this year? My vision for this year is to keep growing and build awareness in the community of our new location and all the amazing services/classes that we offer.

About the Giveaway! 
Kristina is giving away a FREE WEEK OF YOGA CLASSES at BodyWise in Kenosha for one lucky à la Carte reader! What do you have to do??? Simply write a comment below on why you love yoga, and "LIKE" the BodyWise Facebook page HERE to be entered.

*Giveaway will be announced on Tuesday!

Don't forget to link up with me HERE!

In case you missed them, check out other Small Business Start-Ups below:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Delicious Oatmeal Pancakes

My heart feels so full after a weekend overflowing with gratitude, joy, and peace. Having Monday off of work put the cherry on top of a successful fourth of July. I prefer to equate the fourth of July as a weekend long celebration versus one isolated day. For simplicity I will refer to the 4th as the weekend.  

Kyle and I spent time with friends...

Enjoyed long bike rides...

Relaxed on the water...

...and finished our extra long break with a Monday Funday bucket list that included a trip to the movie theater and we watched, dun-dun-dun, Jurassic World! Definitely worth seeing in theaters and overall really good with the exception of a few cheesy parts. I also couldn't get over Claire, one of the main characters, wearing high heel stilettos the e n t i r e film. I will say if I was running from dinosaurs shoes would be the first to go. Buhbye!

Another favorite part of the weekend was Kyle cooking breakfast. We are a breakfast crew and I firmly believe how you start your morning can reveal how you will feel about your day. I love setting the tone and creating an atmosphere for a meal, which may include fancy dishes, eating outside (when it calls), and trying new recipes. Breakfast is always better when someone else cooks, too. So Kyle you can cook whenever you want! Ha!

With his culinary skills Kyle discovered a new and healthy recipe for us to enjoy—oatmeal pancakes. The name may create some aversion and I'll admit I was a bit skeptical myself, but I promise these are delicious, healthy, AND easy to make. For this version we use oatmeal, banana, and egg whites as the main ingredients. In place of your traditional syrup we opted for agave nectar, which is a natural sweetener made from a plant, and used as a substitute for sugar or artificial sweeteners.

 Even Zoey approves!

Today I am sharing the recipe so go ahead and give it a try. What do you have to lose? 
Here's how to make it... 
Yes, we use a clean water bottle to suck up the yolks!

Oatmeal Pancakes
Difficulty level: Easy
Servings: 6 small cakes

What you'll need:
1 banana
1 cup whole grain oats
4 egg whites
~1 tsp. cinnamon (we usually sprinkle some in)
1 tsp.vanilla Extract 

Using a blender combine oats, banana, egg whites, vanilla, and cinnamon until thoroughly mixed. Heat oiled pan and pour mix into small circles. Cook and flip pancakes until lightly browned.Top with any of your pancake favorites!

Hope you had a beautiful weekend. Enjoy!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Give Thanks- July's Challenge

Whelp here we are, swinging into July, which happens to be one of my favorite months (and houses one of my favorite holidays). I can't believe we are already talking another monthly challenge. And as you know with a new month comes new goals!