Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thinking Outside the Box

I specifically remember a college course I took that we spent a lot of time discussing "thinking outside the box."  I have been reflecting on that recently as it focused on not remaining complacent and trying new things to help you grow as a person and in life.  I recently embraced an opportunity with Younique to be an independent presenter. For those that are not aware, Younique is an all natural make up line with a mission I completely believe in.  This is taken directly from their website:

"Younique's mission is to uplift, empower, validate, and ultimately build self-esteem in women around the world through high-quality products that encourage both inner and outer beauty and spiritual enlightenment while also providing opportunities for personal growth and financial reward."
As I was explaining my thought process to my Dad yesterday I had to laugh because the series of events that led me to the point of signing up were interesting.  I am not one to jump into direct sales, I have never done it before and don't need the additional income but when I first saw this business pop up on my Facebook page, I looked at the way the business was set up. This is prior to even trying the 3D fiber lashes (which are amazing by the way), and before knowing anything about it. I thought it was impressive that a brother/sister team started this company about two years ago and it had grown into a multi million dollar company in just two years with a growth rate of 5,145%. For anyone that is not involved in business or doesn't know what that means, believe me, those stats are unheard of.  I then saw a few more posts about the 3D fiber lashes, which led me to purchase them to try them out.  I had eyelash extension for years, but the time investment going to an hour long appointment every few weeks didn't work for me anymore with two toddlers at home and working part time.  Plus after a week the lashes begin to fall out and it is costly to go every few weeks so long story short, I tried the 3D fiber lashes and fell IN LOVE.  I mean, seriously, it's the best thing ever!  That led me to have an online party, which then led to me sign up to be an independent presenter through my Sponsor and that was that.

I think some people were surprised by my decision, especially those really close to me. I am definitely not a huge makeup person.  I don't wear a lot, don't know how to apply it like make up artists do, don't have a ton of time to play around with makeup because the majority of my time is spent chasing playing with my toddlers, but there was something about the timing and my thought process of "I have nothing to lose" attitude that made me take a leap of faith and try something new.  Over these short two months, I have interacted with so many women that have such positive and uplifting attitudes you can't help but smile.  There is so much encouragement between the people on the team that you can't help but want to improve yourself.  There are so many recommendations given that you cannot help but think outside the box. There are so many people setting goals that you cannot help but strive to do better.  There are so many incentives offered that you cannot help but want to work towards them.  It has definitely been a new and positive experience for me that takes up minimal time but has many rewards.  It has been a great opportunity to learn something new and spread my wings in a way that was not familiar or comfortable at first but I believe it is helping me to learn and grow in a different way. 

Opportunities are all around us - every day. What opportunities we take advantage of or pass on can make a huge impact on our lives.  If you are interested in this opportunity for yourself let me know. Maybe this one isn't for you, but I am sure another one is out there. I encourage you to try something new and think outside the box because you never know where it could take you! :)

~Erin Leigh


Be Younique with Erin Leigh on Facebook


3D fiber lashes (amazing), mineral pigments and precision liner


Friday, November 7, 2014

Decide - Commit - Succeed

Are you in a workout rut?  I can say I definitely was.  Allll summer.  I have mentioned it before, but my frequent workouts decreased to a minimum.  The beginning of September I knew I needed to get back to where I was and make a change for myself. Then, I saw that Beachbody had a challenge pack for 21 Day Fix.  I purchased it through a college friend who I knew sold it, decided to sign up to be a coach and that was that.  It was EXACTLY what I needed to reset myself.  Now I have completed the 21 Day Fix, am 3 weeks through T25, part of an accountability group and I feel better than ever! 

Did I make that sound easy? Well, I assure you, it's not at first. That decision to change is the biggest step.  Whether you need to lose a lot of weight, a little or you just want to be healthier and/or more fit, it's all about making a decision, making a change, taking a step forward and not looking back. 

How do you take that next step you may be asking? 

The first step is to make goals.  I am a goal maker.  I even talked about it in this post from September 2013 Lifestyle - Dedication - Habit .  Although I was doing different workouts then, the overall point is the same.  Short term and long term goals. It's pretty self explanatory but I will expand: Make an attainable short term goal that you can achieve in a short period of time (within a month), and a long term end goal that you are working towards. When you achieve that first short term goal, you then make another short term goal all with the end goal in mind.  Continue this pattern until you get to that long term goal. Then reward yourself.  (Shopping spree perhaps??)

Second step: Make it a routine, part of your schedule, not an option.  Schedule your time into your day.  Early morning may not be the time for you, maybe it's the evening, if you are a mom, maybe it's naptime.  I will always encourage getting up earlier because then nothing can interfere with getting that workout in, but I know that isn't for everyone. At one point that wasn't for me either but now working out early makes my days better. The endorphin release plus my (slight addiction to) Shakeology and I feel like there is no better way to start the day.  I am a better Mom with more patience, I'm more productive because I have more energy and I feel more motivated to make a difference in the lives of others.

Step three: Have people that support you.  This is key!! You need people that know your goals and will be your cheerleader. People to help you stay focused and help to motivate you. This may not mean they mention it to you daily, but knowing that others know your goals helps you to hold yourself accountable too. 

So, what are your goals?  Take a minute and think about it now.  Where would you like to see yourself in a month? Three months? A year? What is your schedule like? Who are your supporters?  You have to start somewhere so why not today? 

I would love to be part of helping you succeed and be a supporter! Share your goals with me and let me guide you to the best program to help you reach those goals. :) 

~Erin Leigh

Workouts and Shakeology Information 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Beef Vegetable Crockpot Soup

In the fall, I love the combination of soup + crockpot more than anything! (Ok, maybe not more than desserts baked with pumpkin or apples and cinnamon).  But, there is something so simple about throwing food items from the fridge into the crockpot in the morning and then having a nice hot meal ready with no effort given during the most hectic time of the day - dinner time! I am doing my best to cook heaIthy recipes and keep us from being bored with meals so I have been trying new combinations and thought I would share my most recent crockpot soup which is definitely a keeper!! 

Beef Vegetable (and anything else you want to add) Soup 
1.25 lb lean ground beef 
1tsp minced garlic 
3 carrots - peeled and chopped 
3 celery sticks - chopped 
1yellow onion - chopped 
1 green bell pepper - chopped 
1 red bell pepper - chopped 
1 can corn - rinsed and drained 
6 cups beef broth (I used all natural with no msg) 
20 oz crushed tomatoes (I used about 3/4 of the large can). 
Season as you would like - I added parsley, basil, oregano, garlic powder, sea salt and crushed pepper. One of these days I'll measure for you but I usually give a few shakes of each. ;) 

Cook ground beef with minced garlic in a pan. Then put beef and all remaining ingredients in the crockpot. Cook for 8 hours on low. 

That is it! This was actually my leftovers photo - I totally forgot to take a picture during dinner. It was delish! 

Let me know if you try it and like it! You can really add whatever you have on hand for vegetables. I love making meals using what's in the fridge! Enjoy! 

~Erin Leigh 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Next Step

So, if you didn't already know how I got this blog started, I will fill you in. ;)  I started this blog because I wanted to motivate other Moms to live a healthy balanced lifestyle through fitness and nutrition after my journey from pregnancy to getting fit.  It was no easy task but I was very determined to do it for myself and when I really started feeling great, I wanted to help others Moms to feel the same way.  After all, carrying a baby for 10 months is no easy task and takes a serious toll on our bodies!  It then moved towards motivating others in general as I received lots of feedback from people that were not Moms trying to lose the baby weight, but those who were just looking to be healthier, more fit or shed some pounds. I now, most recently signed up to be a Beachbody coach, which a few people have been curious about my reasons so why not explain... ;)   

It seemed like signing up to be a Beachbody coach fit me on many levels.  Quite honestly, I have thought about it for years and am surprised that I hadn't signed up already.  First things first, I love their products and have been using them for years - I have done Insanity, Brazil Butt Lift, T25 and now 21 Day Fix. I did Brazil Butt Lift right after both pregnancies which worked out great.  Next, I wanted to start drinking Shakeology which goes hand in hand with their workouts and proven to give better results and you get a discount as a coach. Bonus! Put those two together plus my desire to help motivate others and it seemed like a no brainer.  In addition, as a coach there are tools that help you learn and a network of awesome people that all have the same goal - to be better every day and help others!  Signing up was very self-motivating as well. You should "be a product of the product."  In other words, you can't motivate others if you are not motivating yourself.  It's helping me stay on track for sure! There are free accountability groups that are great to be a part of and there are Coach's groups to teach the ins and outs of the programs and business.  I am definitely still learning but I feel like this is a great step of self motivation minimally, and I hope to help others in the process.

That being said, if you have any questions about signing up with a free membership or as a Beachbody Coach I have learned a few things that may help your decision making. 

1. Some people sign up to be a coach just for the discount - If you like Shakeology, you receive a 25% discount off of the products. So, you can sign up as a coach just to save money on your monthly Shakeology purchases and any program purchases as well.  Many people choose this route because of the savings and they love the Shakeology (it really is amazing).

2. Other's do it to motivate - If you like the products and want to motivate others as well, you can sign up the same way, receive the discounts and have people sign up to have you as a coach. That is when it becomes self-motivating (at least for me).  You can guide people to the right programs for them and help encourage them to stay on track, get them into free accountability groups etc. You don't have to be a fitness pro.to be a coach. You just need to have the desire to help others and want to improve yourself more and more each day.

3.  Some do it as a career - Coaches make a commission off of purchases and as coaches sign up to your team, it becomes a tiered business.

4. If you aren't looking to motivate others, a cost savings or additional income, but are just looking for some direction and guidance towards finding a workout that is a fit for you can sign up with a coach for free (like me ;) ) to help motivate you and keep you on track. 

I am excited about this journey and would love others to join me. That's the point! To help each other live a healthier lifestyle.  If interested or have questions let me know. :)

~Erin Leigh
My Team Beachbody Page - where you can explore the options of a free membership or sign up as a coach.
My Beachbody Coach Page - where you can explore the different products including Shakeology.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


The results are in!  We officially finished 21 Day Fix on Monday night.  Here are some facts about our 21 Day Fix journey.

1.  We stuck to the portions about 85% of the time.  It did not help that my birthday was the day prior to finishing and that we celebrated on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

2.  We finished the workouts in 23 days rather than 21 - two days we had to skip because of toddlers being up sick at night and us not being able to peel ourselves out of bed at 5 am those two mornings.

3.  We did double up on some videos during the last week including the 10 minute ab workout (which I actually happen to LOVE)!

4.  We are hooked on Shakeology and are continuing to drink it.  We both feel so great!  Placing another order today!

My results are that I lost 4 lbs and 3.5 inches. My clothes fit better, I feel healthier and I feel like it completely reset my food intake patterns.

Starting T25 next week.

For anyone that is looking for a jump start whether it's your eating or workout routine, I would be happy to help you find a program that is a fit for your lifestyle.  I can also have you join an accountability group that I am a part of which helps to keep one another motivated and help persevere through the different Beachbody workout series.  I find that it is so important for me to spend some time focusing on "me" so that I can be a better "me" for my family.  Take that next step for yourself!  Let me know how I can help.  :)

~Erin Leigh 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


I (we) are still plugging along on the 21 Day Fix journey! We are over 2/3 of the way there! I feel like it has really reset my eating and workout routine.  You can catch up on my pre 21 Day Fix summer routine here.  In the first week, I lost the 5 pounds I had gained over the last year and fit into my smallest pants comfortably.  I have to say, that felt like quite an accomplishment after just 7 days! :) 

I blogged the last time about my plan to do another round of the 21 Day Fix but plans and timing have changed.  I really want to do and complete T25 before my Aruba vacation in January - and I can't fit them both in prior to our departure so I am going to continue 21 DF workouts for an additional week and then start T25 the week of October 19!  I am excited to do T25 because I have had the program since last Christmas and have not done the whole program through from beginning to end.  And, we (my hubby and I) will complete the program right before our next tropical vacation!!  Sounds like perfect timing to me!!

I also mentioned the last time that I couldn't really say much about Shakeology yet because I had just started drinking it, but I can report a little bit more now.  Both my hubby and I talked since then about it and agreed that we both love it! We both feel so much better drinking it, have more energy, it's filling and healthy and giving us a lot more nutrients than we get just eating our regular meals.  We actually placed another order and it came right when we finished the previous pack!  More perfect timing! :)  Many people seem to be scared away by the investment, but if you put $4 a day away for a month, then you can pay for it.  I can honestly say our food budget has not changed because it is a meal replacement.  I am very happy with our decision to try it out!

So, we are finishing up the program this weekend. I cannot wait to take our measurements.  I feel better and healthier though which is what matters the most!

Let me know if you are interested in joining me in T25! It is a great program - I have done the workouts and the intensity level is reasonable and also offers modified moves available for beginners.  The workouts are only 25 minutes per day, 5 days a week.  If you are looking to get back into a workout routine, this is the perfect way without overcommitting yourself! 25 minutes per day - at home - no excuses! You will thank me later! ;) I plan to start an accountability group for anyone that wants to join me so let me know if you are interested!

Happy Tuesday!

~Erin Leigh

Friday, September 26, 2014

21 Day Fit Review

So far, so good! I have completed 5 days of the 21 Day Fix, which is a 21 day workout/portion control challenge.  What's great is that I am already seeing a difference in my body in just these first 5 days.  I am loving this workout series!

Here are some of reasons why:
1.  I love that the workouts are 30 minutes - perfect for those with busy schedules!  Some of the videos are specific to different muscle groups which I also like such as Upper Fix, Lower Fix and Pilates (which targets core).  The other two I have done so far are Total Body Cardio Fix and Cardio Fix.  It is a great series of workouts and I feel like they are great for toning (which is my focus).  There are less jumping and explosive moves like in Insanity (which is great too, just different).

2. I love the portion control part of it.  Yes, it is somewhat difficult (and my poor husband feels like he is always starving), but I think it is great for discipline, focusing on HOW MUCH we are eating, and focus (a little more than usual) on WHAT is going into our bodies. It is especially great after my summer of eating/drinking too many calories and wanting to reset myself. 

3.  We have actually saved money this week on food (who doesn't love saving a little money??), even including our Shakeology investment.  I think this is because I planned ahead for our meals and bought specific foods at the grocery store, we are eating less portions so there are more leftovers and we didn't go out to eat at all (which is a weekly occurance for us) for fear of losing control! Haha

The other part of the series is drinking Shakeology which is highly recommended for maximum results.  So far I am liking it.  We got the chocolate, vanilla and strawberry combo pack so we could try out a few different kinds.  My favorite so far was Wednesday - 8 oz of black coffee and the chocolate Shakeology - my hubby made it on my way out the door for work and it was delish! (He is the best). :)   I cannot give much feedback on the Shakeology in general since I have only been drinking it for 5 days but I can say that it tastes good, it is filling and I do feel like I have more energy which is a plus!

Goals on fridge + Shakeology = Following the plan to a T :)

I also am happy to be getting up at 5 am again and starting my day earlier. I know that may sound crazy but there is something so satisfying about working out, showering and having some time alone before the day begins! :)  Starts the day off right!

So there you have it. My summary of the beginning of the 21 Day Fix. Oh, I also love that I am almost 1/3 of the way through it!  I have this thing with working towards a goal that makes me feel like a better person in the process. :)

My Plans:

I am planning on doing another round of 21 Day Fix starting on Sunday October 19 and then move onto T25! Who's with me?? I would love a few people (or many people) to join me in one or both challenges! Let's motivate each other and help hold each other accountable! :)  What I love about these programs is that they are great for busy people (like me) because the time commitment isn't long each day.  Whether you are looking to lose weight, tone up, become more disciplined or just get into a workout routine, these workouts are a great answer.  Here are links to videos of both workouts and Shakeology with a little summary if you are interested in more details. :)

21 Day Fix - 30 minute videos daily for 21 days paired with portion control. 

T25 - 25 minute videos - a 60 day program.

Shakeology - A 1 day meal replacement shake, is $4 per day and helps to: lose weight, reduce cravings, feel energized, improve digestion and regularity. 

~Erin Leigh



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Anya Turns 2

Another "better late than never" post!  Our little Anya turned 2 on September 11, 2014!  I seriously cannot believe 2 years has gone by since she was born.  I must say, I am enjoying her more than ever now that she speaks, is interactive and has her own personality. I am loving and appreciating our developing relationship more and more everyday!

We celebrated on her birthday evening with both sets of grandparents, Gigi, Uncle Ry and of course our two new kittens, and then had a donut princess party for her friends the following Saturday (which consisted of 16 boys and 5 girls, so it wasn't very princessy), but nonetheless, she (and we) had a great time!

Here are some photos of our 2 year old :)

Being a goof, as usual ;)

Sometimes that little face takes my breath away

Our "hot air balloon" tradition picture

Sibling Love

What a difference in two years!

Birthday morning surprise


Followed by chocolate chip pancakes with pink sprinkles

And then her first dance class!

The beginning of her spaghetti and meatball dinner that she asked for for weeks!

Afternoon balloon fun!

Happy Birthday Anya!

Donut Cake!

Party food!

The birthday girl is all ready

My heart

I cherish moments like these.

Daddy's girl

Birthday candles round 3!

Love this shot! Photo credit: Jen Mattson :)


And the mustache fun begins!


The goofball herself

So that sums up some of Anya's party.  Wish I got more pictures of the kids and other guests, but I was busy playing with them!  It was lots of fun with a bounce house, swinging, mustaches, running around...and lots of donuts.  What more could a toddler want??

Anya Leigh:
2 years old
34 inches
26 pounds
Talks in full sentences, knows her abc's, counts to 12, knows animal sounds, some colors, some shapes
Favorite songs: Jesus Loves Me, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Loves: babies, dolls, dancing, singing, wrestling Jaxon, squeezing her kitties, making a huge mess when eating, untying shoes, wearing Mommy's shoes, reading, chocolate
Doesn't like: vegetables, brushing her teeth, being told what to do
I am so proud of the person she is becoming! 
~Erin Leigh

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A New Adventure

I'm baacckkk! ;) New season, new adventures right??   In my house, we are always talking about adventures.  We take adventures down the street to check out new construction, adventures down to the basement to explore, traveling adventures and seeing new places. You name it, it's an adventure!  Well, this fall I am off on my new adventure. 

As anyone who has followed my blog knows, I began it to document my post pregnancy steps to a better and healthier and more fit me.  I like to create healthy recipes for my family and share them, try new fitness adventures and help motivate others to do the same, and document some of my favorite family memories (and some over the top parenting moments).  Last winter I stopped blogging and I have learned over the past nine months that motivating others is self motivating for me.  It helps keep me in check and helps me work extra hard on being the best I can, in many areas.  I mean, you can't try to motivate and encourage others to do something you aren't doing right?!  I have not had as much self discipline these past 9 months and I can directly link it to the timing of holidays/trip to Mexico/taking a break from blogging. 

So, here I am...nine months later ending a summer that definitely consisted of a few too many ice cream cones, s'mores and cheese burgers, more drink calories than I can count and putting workouts on the back burner and instead choosing beach trips, park trips, zoo trips, play dates, froyo dates for dinner and all the other fun things that happen with toddlers in the summer.  (I will say, it was a VERY enjoyable summer if you can't tell)! ;) Yes, I ran a few times per week, but just to maintain my fitness level and not to push myself further. But, now I am ready to push ahead.  And what better time than now, with a trip to Aruba in less than 4 months to get ready for!

So, what is my new adventure you might ask?  I am starting with the 21 Day Fix which is a workout by Beachbody and ordered Shakeology for the first time to go along with it!  It just came yesterday so the plan is to start Sunday (I like starting things at the beginning of the week). I am getting my hubby on board too! :) The 21 Day Fix is 30 minute videos once per day paired with portion control to lose weight/reset/tone up.  Shakeology is a meal replacement shake you drink once per day that is supposed to curb cravings, increase energy levels and has several other health benefits! I am excited to see if it increases our energy level because we are always exhausted! I am looking at this as an end of summer jump start for myself! :) I plan to follow it up with another workout once I complete it.

Now is the time for me to get back on track! Is anyone else feeling the same way?  That being said, I would LOVE a few people to join me in doing it to be in a little group and keep each other accountable!  If you are interested in checking it out first you can check out the 21 Day Fix .  It is highly encouraged to purchase Shakeology with it. There are thousands of success stories with this one shake a day meal replacement, but I can't say from experience because I haven't tried it yet. I will let you know after my 30 days of it, but they do recommend better results pairing the workout with the shakes!

So there you have it! I am back! :)

~Erin Leigh

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer Vacation 2014

Seeing as August is half way over, and our family vacation was already a month ago, I figured it was time to document our trip.  We went to Maine...my July stomping grounds growing up. 
It was very meaningful having my husband and two kids come to the place that I enjoyed going to every single summer as a child and have so many memories built around that time. I love that we are continuing the tradition and look forward to making our own yearly vacation tradition as well. :)

Well, needless to say, we had a blast.  We always do.  Our kids our the best little travelers alive.  They don't complain (well ok, there were a few complaints within the first 10 minutes, but once we really got on the road it ended...for the most part), they go with the flow, they sleep in the same room and enjoy it (which I am sure someday it will come to a screeching halt), and are so much fun to be around.  It was the first time that Nate and I went with the two kids. Our last trip we went, I was about 33 weeks pregnant with Anya...walking, moving, bending, lifting, cooking, sleeping, breathing and anything else you can imagine was painful for me at that time...but that can be saved for another time...Anyways... this was our first trip to Maine as a family of 4 with my extended Dearing side of the family!

It was a pretty simple trip.  Wake up (a little earlier than I had hoped), breakfast, coffee and relaxing at "our beach house" as Jaxon called it (and still calls it), followed by beach time, late afternoon naps for the kids corresponding with beverages, board games and cards for us with parents, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles - whoever was around, followed by seafood dinners, move beverages, s'mores and hanging out on the deck.  It also included ice cream cones, a night out with my hubby, some running (ok, a run) and last but not least, some QT with Grammy D.  Just a typical New England summer vacation and it was actually pretty relaxing...as relaxing as a vacation is with two toddlers.  I didn't want it to end!

So, here are some pictures to sum up our week of fun :)

And we're off!

My heart

The bench was the spot to take shoes off each trip to the beach.

Daddy and daughter time

Our evening hangout

Getting warmed up

Some hide and seek with feet

Sticks and stones

Our evening view

Naptime fun!

And some morning fun!

Sunset selfie

A house full of pizzas from Portland Pie

Of course had to play some beach volleyball with my brothers!
Playing with Bigbee
The girls
Nothing like having my favorite humans all in one place!


Best brothers ever :)


A vacation isn't a vacation without some ice cream!

The kid loves boogie boards

The little princess

Card tricks with Uncle Kev

Parents night out!

A pit stop at the bench

And a smooch ;)

Our final trip to the beach.

Good by Maine - until next time! ;)
There is not much I love more than travelling with my family!  Can't wait for our next adventure just around the corner!

~Erin Leigh

"Travel as much and as you can. As far as you can. As long as you can.  Life's not meant to be lived in one place."

"Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer."