Archive | July, 2012

What I’m Loving Right Now (Part 2)

25 Jul

Phew, finally catching a breath amid all this work.   Of course I should be working, but we must all take a little breather every once in awhile to recharge the batteries.   And here are a few things that really keep me going right now:

Mi Cocina Mambo Taxi

Mambo Taxi

Ice Cold Beer in a Mason Jar

Mason Jar

Better yet… Ice Cold Beer in a Schooner.


Okay.  I know what you’re thinking… What a lush!

But beyond the deliciousness of an ice cold beverage on a sweltering hot summer day in Texas, and the joy of relaxing with an adult beverage after a hard day’s work…

I’ve enjoyed all of these in the company of great people.   I’ve loved having visitors from out of town and playing hostess in our new city.   While we’re still learning so much about where we live, where to go, what to do, it’s great when you can share it with others who are experiencing it for the first time.

Plus, we’ve had so many reasons to celebrate lately!   New jobs, new engagements, new babies, you name it!   Tis the season for good news and monumental milestones in the lives of our friends and family.  Congrats to all of you.  :)

What will the next big thing be in our household???  Time will tell… stay tuned!

One significant accomplishment I’ve made over the past week??   I’m officially a Texan again!

After 3 hours of  enduring this (This should go under What I’m NOT Loving Right Now):


And this:

DMV Paperwork

I am finally legally a licensed driver in the Great State of Texas!   :)  Mission complete.

Baby, I’ma Be Your Motivation

15 Jul

Motivation, not just the name of a nasty, yet super hot, song by the lovely Keri Hilson.   I’m feeling super motivated these days.  As in, kicking ass and taking names motivated.   So many people close to me are in Rockstar mode and well, I’m on the same train.

It’s been nearly 2 weeks since my last blog post (guess I haven’t been motivated enough to do EVERYTHING), but that’s because I’ve been absolutely slammed at work.   Like working long days, late nights and weekends slammed.   But the motivation to win is keeping me going.   See I’ve been working on several proposals.  Proposals are interesting because they have a firm deadline that spins lots of people into panic mode, and they require very focused organization and management.   Sometimes I act as Proposal Manager, and often I write, edit, format and help produce proposals.  But mostly my job function is to provide the win strategy, and ensure that we’re selling what the client is buying.

Understanding your client and what their key needs are is crucial to producing a winning proposal, and really that’s the result of all the work I do in sales.  That’s my big girl job.   But most of you know that I take my “fun girl job” just as seriously, and in this concept, they really aren’t all that different.

So for my gym friends, this is Silly Season.   You all know what I’m talking about.  It’s Launch time at the gym, which means we are debuting new moves and music in all our classes, and our heads are spinning in choreography, and we’re going to a ton of extra practices, and wearing silly costumes, and basically losing our minds.   We’re selling a unique brand of “exertainment” to keep our members interested in coming to class.

The Les Mills ( education focus this quarter is on exercise motivators, as in why do people keep coming back to your class.    They divide exercise motivators into 3 categories: 1) Maintaining/Achieving Good Health, 2) Improving Quality of Life and 3) Weight Loss and Physical Appearance.

Fact is, 50% of all people quit a new exercise routine within the first 6 months.  And of those 50%, the highest percentage of people who quit are the ones motivated by Weight Loss and Physical Appearance.   It makes sense– you don’t get instant results to your appearance or the number on the scale the second you walk out of a class.   But where people receive instant gratification is in quality of life.   Reduction in stress.  Increased energy.  Social engagement.  Pride in accomplishing the short term goal (Getting there is the hardest part).   I think that hot yoga and Bikram yoga are incredibly popular b/c they sell all 3 on a short term level.  Great health by keeping the body’s key systems in order, renewal/stress reduction, and due to the sheer amount of sweat involved, you often walk out looking and feeling 4 lbs. lighter (hello, water weight!).  Plus the level of improvement from class to class is quite remarkable if you go on a very regular basis.

Too often we sell physical benefits of rock hard abs, sexy legs, big guns, etc.   As a society, we are obsessed with these things, and they’re all key benefits of working out.   But they take work.   Lots of work.  Over an extended period of time.  And they aren’t achieved in the gym alone (ahem… abs are made in the kitchen).   But we want INSTANT results.   Frankly, many people just don’t want to work that hard for that long, knowing that it will eventually happen if they stick with it.   But if we keep people focused on those concepts they can achieve in just 30-55 minutes (fun, energy, levity, relaxation, or simply doing one more push-up, pull-up, lunge or squat jump than they did last week), they will be motivated enough to come back next class, and the next, and the next.

It’s not that different with proposals… just meeting the deadline and submitting the proposal feels like a WIN.  But the real win, in the form of a contract, may not come for several months (or years, in some cases).

So to keep that motivation alive, let’s focus on short term goals.   You’ve heard it a million times… work one day at a time.  Put one foot in front of the other.   Otherwise, you may end up having a Jessie Spano moment.   Life’s throwing a lot at me at one time, but I’ll get it done.  And I’ll take joy in every accomplishment, no matter how small.   :)

If you’re in the Dallas area, come check out a launch class this week at Gold’s Gym’s all over the area.  Bring a friend for free.  And come find out why we keep you coming back.  Here’s where I’ll be this week:

Monday- 6:00 BODYPUMP Launch, 7:00 BODYJAM Launch at Gold’s Gym Uptown

Wednesday- 6:00 BODYPUMP Launch, 7:00 BODYJAM Launch at Gold’s Gym Arapaho, AND 8:00 BODYFLOW launch at Uptown (I’ll only be there for half of JAM).

Otherwise, I’ll be at work.   Kicking ass and taking names!

The Tourist

2 Jul

Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes.   In the past 2 weeks, I’ve enjoyed all three.  Both as a tourist in my new hometown (Dallas, TX) and my old hometown (Arlington, VA).

Over the first 100-degree temps this summer, we had a wonderful visit with Kevin’s mom who stayed with us for 5 nights.  Besides enjoying the time together to catch up, it was a great opportunity to explore Dallas.  So often when you live somewhere, you really don’t take the time to see all of the “touristy” things right in your backyard.  Man, this sure was the case in D.C.   Most folks don’t really take advantage of local museums, attractions and tours until someone new comes to visit.  Then it’s fun to show off all the cool things about where you live, and you get to enjoy them in the process!

So off we went, shopping in Knox-Henderson and Highland Park.   We visited the Dallas Museum of Art and Nasher Sculpture Garden.  Both were great activities for a scorching hot summer day and beautiful facilities.   Little did we know we’d get to attend for free, as Kevin’s cousin Grant, who also visited for a short time, is a member of the U.S. Army and is entitled to free admission for active duty personnel and up to 5 guests at 1,800 museums in the U.S.   This program is called the Blue Star Museums Initiative and runs Memorial Day through Labor Day of 2012.   What a great program in support of both our military and the arts.  I will give some credit for that one, Michelle Obama.

We also stopped by Reunion Tower for drinks and spectacular views of downtown Dallas.   This rotating lounge/restaurant holds a special place in my heart, as I frequented it often as a young girl with my dad and guests from out of town.   Back then I drank virgin strawberry daiquiries.  Now…  $15 martinis!   My favorite part about this visit though was watching my husband’s giddy reaction to seeing the Dallas skyline in all its glory.   Barnski adores skylines and skyscrapers.   The joy on his face was priceless.   You can see Kevin’s post about Five Sixty, the Wolfgang Puck restaurant inside Reunion Tower, on his last Watering Hole Wednesday review.

We also went to check out Jersey Boys, the Broadway touring production, at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Winspear Opera House.  What a gorgeous, modern arts facility!   I’m often struck by the beauty of historic theaters, but the finishes of this place were not lost of me at all.   I’d definitely recommend seeing a show or concert here.  And while it was my third (3rd!!) time seeing Jersey Boys, I enjoyed every second of it.   So did Kevin and his mom.

After a long weekend full of sightseeing and eating well (including Danielle’s kitchen), I hit the road early Tuesday morning for a work trip back to DC.   During this trip, I spent the majority of my time in the office or at the gym.  Doesn’t sound touristy at all does it?   It wasn’t.   I fell straight back into my old patterns.   I visited my fav restaurants, taught my old classes, caught up with great friends.  It didn’t feel strange or different at all.  That was the good part.

The bad… I realized just how much I didn’t like D.C.   I miss friends, co-workers and my classes OF COURSE.  But I do not miss D.C.  My two least favorite things in D.C.:  Traffic.  And Tourists.   (HA!)    Getting around was a nightmare.  First night, I sat in stopped traffic on I-495 at 10:30 at night (that 20 minute trip took an an hour + 20 minutes).   Next night, someone hit my (rental) car in the parking garage and parked so close I couldn’t open my driver side door.  I had to crawl in from the passenger side.  Joy.   Last day, I got caught up in a logistical nightmare and just barely made my flight back to TX.   I couldn’t wait to get out of there!  And yet, I almost didn’t.  OH THE IRONY.

All my moaning aside, I came back to Texas knowing we made the right decision to move here, and I couldn’t be happier.  Well, maybe if I could bring all my friends here with me.  :)

While we’ve been enjoying feeling settled and like we really live here in Dallas, I think we’ll try to be tourists a little more often as we continue to get to know this great town!

Hope everyone’s off to a great start this week.  Any big 4th of July plans???

Till next time.  :)


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