#14in2014 1st Quarter Check In

Posted on by Melissa Burton in #14in2014 | 24 Comments

Welcome to the #14in2014 1st Quarter Check In!

2014, fusebeads

My logo is from a fusebead project so I had to use this image from ArtisRams

Last year, I made the commitment to yearly goals and I followed up on them every 3 months.  I did the same thing this year and invited anyone who wanted to do it again with me in 2014 to join in on the effort.  Today is the first check-in of the year.  How’s it going for all of you?  Here’s the progress that I’ve made on my written goals since January 1st:



1.  Fully launch a Women’s Health Focused Nutrition Private Practice by 3/31/14 – Revision required

  • Full launch is looking closer to June even though I am doing some nutrition projects like the Mama Shred with Bobbi@NHerShoes and seeing a client or two.
Mama Shred 2014 with nhershoes.com

Mama Shred 2014 with nhershoes.com


2.  Cultivate at least 5 professional referral sources for nutrition clients – YES!

  • With the above mentioned projects and contacts I’ve cultivated, things are moving in that direction.


3.  Redesign blog and promote to raise traffic and subscribers 25%. – Nope

  • This is been a stumbling block.  I have a bunch of ideas but time to execute them has been scarce.  My Fabletics Review post though has been proven to be popular though.  I guess I’m not the only one who has a fitness wear obsession.  Stay tuned – Fabletics Review Round 2 is coming soon.


4.  Develop (and stick to) a system to maintain/grow social media presence/blogger interaction and achieve life/work balance. – Not even close.

  • This has been seriously lacking and requires improvement in the future.  I need to utilize the many daily lists I’ve compiled and starting using at least one of them!


5.  Become an ambassador for a favorite brand and/or receive revenue from blogging – Yes, sort of.

LoziLu Women's Mud Run, charity, 5K, girls day out


  • I did obtain a paid Ambassadorship with LoziLu Women’s Mud Run but the company abruptly canceled the program (and my potential income).  I did make a small amount of money with a donation pending to charity as I promised.  I haven’t given up yet though and I’ve learned that mud runs are fun.  Post pending.


6.  Showcase at least 50 women for the weekly Friday’s Featured Female series. – On track

Friday's Featured Female, #FFF

  • While I may not be able to hit 50 women, I’m definitely on my way.  I’ve gotten the chance to let the world know about some awesome women and I’m exceptionally proud of the Friday’s Featured Female series.


7.   Engage in a monthly Professional Development endeavor. – Actually, yes.




8.  Run 2+0+1+4 (7) races (including So Cal Ragnar Relay) – Yup!

  • So far, I’ve run the LA Chinatown Firecracker Run, the LoziLu Mud Run and as of next week will run the So Cal Ragnar so I’m doing all right with this goal.  I’m thinking about some future runs including the Live Ultimate Run LA in May, and maybe a few other races later in the year.
LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, LoziLu Mud Run, LA, running

Firecracker Run above and LoziLu below


9.  Perform 14 Random Acts of Kindness – Slacking.

  • While I know I’ve done a few of these, I’m certain that I haven’t done enough.  This will also be a focus in the next quarter of the year.

10.  Improve self-care with focus on one monthly/quarterly goal – Fail.

  • My quarterly goal was to get organized.  I succeeded in buying 2 organizers but not yet putting them to good use.  This quarter, I’m going to name my goals and set them up for the month.  I know this is supposed to be more self-care focused – but my lack of organization has led to me taking pretty piss poor care of myself so I’m hoping a little redirected focus will allow other things to fall into place.  Therefore, I’ll be taking the month of April to get organized, the month of May to overhaul the blog and the month of June to be private practice focused.


11.  Try one new fitness class/video per month – Stretching it, yes.

Viveca Jensen, Piloxing

Me with Viveca Jensen, Creator of Piloxing. I’m a dork and blocked the banner.


  • Ok, if you don’t count my 4 classes in one day, then I did try a Jillian Michaels Yoga and a Blogilates video and liked them both.  In February, I took a yoga class with Mary Beth La Rue at the #MuradCares event (link to event coverage by Chris@WhatIRunInto).  This month, I tried Studio Metamorphosis – a megaformer and cycling studio.  I’m still woefully behind in covering the very amazing Murad event and once Studio Metamorphosis opens, I’ll be writing a review. My friend Jennifer@RealMomSFV wrote about her experience as a Megaformer newbie here but if you want to know more about what a Megaformer is – here’s my post Meet The Megaformer.  FYI – Just wanted you all to know that I haven’t given up my WundaBar Pilates love despite other fitness endeavors.


12.  Read 14 books (it’s scary that I need to make this a goal). – Woefully behind.

  •  I’m such a loser.  I find time to stay up to watch “Friday Night Lights” but I haven’t been reading.  I do, however, have some excellent reading material to catch up on:  Romance Is My Day Job by Patience Bloom and This Is The Sound Of My Soul by Melissa Reyes and Mad World by Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein.


Books, Romance Is My Day Job, Patience Bloom, This Is The Sound Of My Soul, Melissa Reyes and Mad World, Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein

Romance Is My Day Job, This Is The Sound Of My Soul and Mad World


13.  My secret goal:  To be revealed at year-end. – Still working on it.

  • No, I’m not giving any hints about it…yet.



Image: Alex


14.  My shallow goal: Meet Simon Le Bon on the next Duran tour. – Sadly, not going to happen this year.

  • It looks like there will be no Duran tour this year because the new album is likely not going to be released until late 2014 or early 2015.  Whenever the tour happens, this is going to be a goal for me.  #SimonOrBust and I’ll take any help I can get to make it happen.  Until that time, I’ll have to live with being close enough to take this shot in 2012:
Duran Duran, Simon Le Bon, Terminal 5, NYC

My photo of SLB from the 2nd row at the Duran Fan Show at Terminal 5 6/20/12

Not surprisingly, I still have quite a lot of work to be done in 2014.  Good thing there’s still a lot of time left in 2014.  Let’s see if I’ve done any better come the end of June.

The link-up at the end of the post is not just for those who originally signed up for the original #14in2014 post.  Link up if you’d like to join for the remainder of the year!

We’ll check in each quarter (June, September and December) not only to keep us honest and on track but to support one another to keep the goals/resolutions/intentions that were important in January top of mind year round.

How has your 2014 been going so far?  Think you’d like a little support.  Join in, blogger or not in the comments and we’ll loop you in at the quarterly check-ins.

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Tunes For Tuesday – The Plimsouls

Posted on by Melissa Burton in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Welcome to Tunes For Tuesday!

Music, Tunes For Tuesday

Image: Daisy


The early 80′s have been on my mind lately (surprise) given my Top 10 80′s Movies Geek Guys post that I did for AJ@Confessions of a Fat Girl, and since the movie “Valley Girl” was on that list, I had to feature this band, The Plimsouls, this week.  The Plimsouls actually perform two songs  in the movie but “A Million Miles Away” is my favorite one  I have feeling with the So Cal Ragnar Relay fast approaching, this is a song that’s going to mean something entirely different in a few weeks.




What is your favorite song from a movie soundtrack?

From Susie’s Kitchen – Review of “Whole Grain Mornings” Cookbook

Posted on by Melissa Burton in Food & Nutrition | 14 Comments

Susie’s back everyone and she’s giving you the scoop on a new cookbook about my favorite meal of the day – breakfast!  Enjoy!


Oatmeal, Buckwheat & Rye—Oh, My!


Wizard of Oz

Image: Just Jefa

So sorry, all, but I couldn’t resist a slight cheesy homage to one of my childhood favorites, The Wizard of Oz.  Now, I know every single person reading this is thinking, What the hell does The Wizard of Oz have to do with cooking?!  (It doesn’t. I just needed the rhyme, OK?)
See, after February’s delicious but admittedly, er, calorie-laden chocolate extravaganza, I was eager to road-test something a little lighter. Given that it was still below zero every day most of this month, I was still leaning toward something that would offer some warm, cozy dishes—the culinary equivalent of a woolly blanket and feetie pajamas. (Come on, East Coasters—you know you’d have bought a few pairs if they made ‘em in our size!)
WHOLE GRAIN MORNINGS by Megan Gordon author of the blog, A Sweet Spoonful and also the purveyor of MARGE Granola, turned out to be the perfect choice. The book features recipes that not only highlight morning faves like oatmeal, granola, fruity muffins and pancakes, but most importantly, showcases flavorful new twists on these comfort classics, as well as dozens of really yummy-looking other dishes.


Whole Grain Mornings


Another whole grain book? What’s so great about this one? Read more

Friday’s Featured Female – Heather Reese @ It’s A Lovely Life

Posted on by Melissa Burton in Friday's Featured Female | 19 Comments

Welcome to Friday’s Featured Female!

Friday's Featured Female, #FFF

This weekly series features inspirational stories from admirable women.  IMHO, it’s always good to be reminded of how strength, determination, hard work, heart and ingenuity can impact the quality of one’s life and I’m proud that these women will allow me to share their stories here.

I’m exceptionally thrilled to have Heather@It’s A Lovely Life here today.  Heather and I met briefly at my first Bloggy Boot Camp in Las Vegas  in 2012 and even though we only spent a short time together, we hit it off instantly.  Through social media, we’ve become friends and have discovered we both share passion for all things 80′s (as all smart people in the world seem to do).  Heather is not only sweet, smart and dedicated, she’s got a great heart.  She even asked me to appear on her blog today so after you read this post, pop over to It’s A Lovely Life and see what 80′s song has been one of my motivating forces (hint: It is NOT a Duran Duran song) and on that note, I ask….

Sooo, have you met Heather?

Hello! I’m Heather Reese from It’s a Lovely Life! I’m so excited that Melissa invited me to be a part of Friday’s Featured Female. I’ve been following along on all the awesome women that she has featured and I’m totally honored that she asked me to participate! So cool!


Melissa and I share a love of 80′s music and I pretty much knew I wanted her as a friend within seconds of meeting way back at a blogging conference in 2012! We were only talking for a few minutes when she made a reference to an 80′s song and we’ve been friends since then! I’m always super inspired and motivated by Melissa’s dedication to healthy eating and exercise!  She makes it all look easy and she reminds me that no matter how busy you are {she is one of the busiest people I know} there is always time to take care of yourself.

I love how Melissa is sharing A-ha moments. I had a pretty big one myself a few years ago and I love to talk about how life changing it was. It’s not only changed my outlook on life, it’s also shaped me into the person that I am today and motivates me to help others. 

Back in 2009 I was in a pretty sad place emotionally. We had been trying to have a third child for over 3 years and after many rounds of IVF and too many miscarriages to mention I was slowly dying on the inside. My spirit and my body were both tired and broken. I was watching the world through eyes that could only see pain and not joy. I was not the mother to my surviving children that I needed to be and I had stopped caring about my physical wellness. I had accepted that my body was damaged and I didn’t make getting healthy a priority. 

One day I looked in the mirror and decided I was done being sad. I wanted to find joy again. I wanted to be the mother and wife that my family deserved. Life is for the living and I intended to start living again.


I had to train my mind to focus on the good. I had to stop stressing about all that can go wrong and I had to celebrate all that can and did go right. Three months after I changed my attitude my life changed in a way I could have never imagined. We were able to grow our family and add that third baby of our dreams via domestic adoption. I was there the second our daughter was born and I’ve been her Momma ever since.


This never would have happened with a bad attitude. It just wouldn’t have.


I understand my journey now. I appreciate all that I had to go through to get to this point. It was all worth it. It’s still a daily battle to keep positive, but it gets easier everyday. All I have to do when I start to go down a path of negativity is to remember all the good that has come from staying positive. I also remember that negativity never helps a situation. It just steals joy from today.


I now spend my days motivating others to be the best they can be. To never give up and to stay positive. I surround myself with others that are happy and I remember how far I’ve come…

I’d love to connect with you more! You can find me all over the internet… but my favorite places are:

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest

Healthy Snack Preparation from Raquel@OrganizedIsland

Posted on by Melissa Burton in Food & Nutrition | 11 Comments

The Walk A Mile In Another Blogger’s Shoes #BlogSwap continues!  Monday I was at AJ’s blog with my view on the Top 10 80′s Movie Geek Guys and today I get the chance to feature, Raquel@OrganizedIsland. 

I could really use a permanent Raquel in my life since time management and organization are not my strong suits, here’s hoping Raquel can help some of you (and me) with healthy snack preparation.

Organized Island, healthy eating

Raquel from OrganizedIsland.com


Thank you Melissa for having me on your blog! The theme of our swap is “Walk a Mile in Another Bloggers Shoes”. A few of us are swapping blogs that may be out of our comfort zone. I was assigned to Melissa, I was a little intimidated at first, because while I do not mind exercising, I have never enjoyed running or jogging because I am not very coordinated. I tried roller blading and just could not do it, so I sold my blades. I tried tennis and could not master that either.

But I do love cycling and swimming and walking. I also do want to maintain a healthier lifestyle since I truly believe you are as old as you feel. I also love to organize which I talk about on my blog, Organized Island. So today, I am sharing a few tips on how a little organizing and planning can help head toward this goal for anyone else that is might be trying to achieve this.

Healthy snack preparation, healthy eating

When it comes to snacks, it is not always easy to choose the healthy ones. We are so mobile these days, that it has become simpler to grab a bag of chips or cookies, or drive through somewhere for a quick meal. This is fine once in a while, but with a little pre-planning, it is easy to make healthier snack choices.

Cutting vegetables, portable snacks, healthy eating



I love vegetable snacks, but I rarely buy them pre-cut. Sometimes preservatives are added to keep carrot and celery sticks fresh and they just do not taste right to me. What I do is, when I get home from the grocery store, I wash the vegetables and store a few in small plastic bags. I do this with bell peppers, cucumbers and edamame. If I do it before putting the vegetables in the refrigerator, I do not have to think about it anymore.



Almonds, pistachios and peanuts are great sources of protein. If you buy the portion-sized packages, while they are convenient, you can be spending up to 200 percent more than if you prepackage them yourself. It just takes a few minutes to divide the can or jar into serving sizes, ready to go. I find it helpful to place these bags next to granola bars in the pantry. Also, move those Girl Scout cookies out of there….


fruit, portable healthy snacks


Similar to vegetables, cut and prepare a day in advance. It takes a few minutes but is so worth it. It also is much cheaper. Have you seen what they charge for pre-cut melon these days? It is ridiculous. I tend to pick apples, pears and bananas so I do not have to cut them up. Grapes are a great choice and I will store some in little containers and place them in the refrigerator.


Cheese is a great choice but it is unlikely that we will eat it unless they are in portion-sized pieces. String cheese is great because they are already packaged this way however, cottage cheese and softer cheeses will need to be moved to smaller containers. I find that repurposing take out containers (you know, the small ones for sauces) are perfect for soft cheeses and hummus. Also, by cutting a block of cheese into bite-sized portions, makes it a more convenient snack.

healthy portable snacks


Now that all the snacks are prepared, I recommend placing them on a plate or tray. Then place the tray in a visual shelf in your fridge or cupboard. By placing a variety of items, it will allow you to switch up the snacks from day to day, so it doesn’t get boring.


Then you can just grab and go. Once it becomes a habit, you will be on your way to a healthier you. Thanks again to Melissa for allowing me to visit here.




Visit Raquel at all of the following places:

Blog: http://www.organizedisland.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OrganizedIsland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OrganizedIsland

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/OCRaquel/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+RaquelPineira/posts


Confessionsofafatgirl.net, AJ Feuerman, Walk A Mile in Another Blogger's Shoes

Find my post over on ConfessionsOfAFatGirl.net

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