Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Live Free

As you all know, I'm a teacher, and I love what I do.
I love teaching kids.
I love creating readers and writers out of them.
I love being around people all the time, especially middle school teachers, who, like the kids we teach, are a unique tribe of people themselves.

But I'm also passionate about so many other things.

Health and wellness.
Open lines of communication.
Taking time to take care of yourself.
Seeing the world.
Experiencing new cultures.
New outfits, with the perfect accessories.

The list could really go on and on.

Except I'm kinda stuck, because my teaching career can only afford me so much in the way of financing the life I dream about.

I don't want to be two days out from payday asking a friend if we can grab a coffee instead of lunch because my checking account has taken a hit. Or saying no to another friend's trip to Europe because I'm buried in some credit card debt.

I'd love financial freedom.

I don't want to be so exhausted from teaching that I do not do what I need to do for myself, which is work out after work. And I really hate that alarm going off at 5:30am every morning calling me from my peaceful slumber into a cold (litearlly - it's like 10 below in Chicago the past few days) world.

I'd love time freedom.

I certainly do not want toxins in my daily care products. If I am going to get myself toxic, I'd rather do that with a bottle of wine and a friend than with my shampoo and mascara.

I'd love freedom from toxic chemicals that infiltrate the products we use on a daily basis.

As much as I love teaching, it just won't give me certain freedoms I desire. That's why I said yes to Arbonne about a year and a half ago.

Now, in my free time, I get to teach others about health and wellness, how it means more than just what we're eating and how often we exercise.

I get to share the joy of our culture and community with anyone who is interested, and introduce them to a whole bunch of women who are all my new friends now!

Let's get a coffee and talk more about it! I'd love to show you how you can create a willable asset for your family and loved ones by simply changing where you shop... and get a whole crew of new friends as a result! Just drop me a message and I'll reach out!

And until then, be well, friends!

Winter break for DAZE

I am really loving Christmas break this year. We worked up until the 22nd of December, and while that was hard to be so busy preparing for Christmas without having many days off, I made it work. Fast forward traveling, seeing family, celebrating Christmas, eating a lot of food, New Years, and then a flight back to Chicago, you know, feeling that holiday hustle and DAZE, but now... thankful for the seemingly unending DAYS of Christmas break, because I'm out till the 8th!

It's been so nice, too, to slow down. Take today: slept until 7:30. Stayed in bed until 8:30. Got up, did a few chores around the house, ran by school (don't judge me, but the main reason I went was to take the Christmas decorations down and put up the Valentine's Day ones! hahah), then visited a friend, and now I'm chillin' at Starbucks with a tea and writing.

And it's pretty neat.

I still have a few more days off and I'll be able to spend time with my coteacher tomorrow going to yoga, do a little bit of work with my side hustle (Arbonne), work out at home a bit, prepare for a healthy living challenge, and not have to wake up to an alarm.

These breaks certainly make a difference for creating balance in teacher's lives.

I've also realized how important it is to have some plans on the calendar. I've got two trips in a few months: Vegas in April and Denver in May. Having plans to look forward to make such a difference, especially in Chicago when it's a tundra and below zero with the windchill.

Wishing you peaceful vibes on break or school days that are blissful with your kiddos!

Cheers to 2018!

Monday, May 22, 2017

10% more chill

You guys, can you surrender? Try not to control everything? In moments of anxiety, try and be more chill? Even just 10% more?

Something happens with your travel plans and it's stressing you out.
10% more chill.

The guy you've been talking to on Bumble flakes out.
10% more chill.

You're upset with someone you love. Call them, but in the mean time,
10% more chill.

You're running ragged, teacher style, end of the school year.
10% more chill.

You forgot your favorite ingredient for your stir fry.
10% more chill.

You overdraft your bank account.
10% more chill.

You thought your BFFs birthday was the 20th, but it's actually the 16th.
10% more chill.

The rain ruins your plans.
10% more chill.

What if in every moment of anxiety, you surrendered a bit, you chilled a bit, even just 10%? How could that improve your day?

Thanks to my fave HPF yoga class for this reminder today.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

fighting overcarbsumption

I'm five days into my second Whole 30 and it's been a combination of emotions.

I gave up coffee. Whole 30 doesn't require this, but Arbonne's 30 days to healthy living does, and so I haven't had coffee since Monday. I've had a pretty persistent headache all week. A few of the days I took Aleve, including today, and it's still here. So that's definitely not my favorite part of this.

Someone this week asked me, "Why coffee?" It's acidic. What I've learned about food in the past year since I began consulting with Arbonne is that ideally, our body should be alkaline rather than acidic. In an alkaline state, your body can relax, it doesn't have to work to "fight off" chemicals or rescue itself from ingredients in our foods that are not in our best interest. Check out this link for a cool graphic and see where your favorite foods lie on the pH scale! I also found this article (not sure of the source, but seems legit). In addition to the acidity, I always flavor my coffee with a sugary, flavored creamer, and if I can't have creamer, then may as well just forget it.

On day two I had zero energy. Like I couldn't even return a text in the evening, I just wanted to lay there with my eyes closed. My energy ebbs and flows, hasn't leveled out yet, but I did go for a run/walk last night after school so that was good!

The biggest thing has just been the ongoing narrative in my head, about the cookies, carbs, and wine in my vicinity. I haven't cheated once, but I have to seriously talk myself out of it each time. As I'm rereading It Starts With Food, I'm reminded that this isn't my fault - we are living in a world of FrankenFood - it's all manufactured to get at our senses of pleasure, but it's not nutritionally sound. To compound this problem, because of the overcarbsumption, the signals in our body do not function properly. We're eating superficially flavored and chemical-laden foods, but because they have zero nutritional value, the hormones in our body don't tell our brain we are full. So we keep eating and the pattern continues.

Why is this happening? Money. Nabisco wants to sell you massive amounts of Oreos, so they process the cookies with the best chemicals so you can sit and eat the whole pack in one sitting, getting not one ounce of nutrition, and since your hormones probably aren't working right, you never become full.

There's so much more behind the science of this, I am not even fully grasping it yet, but I highly recommend the book.

I tell myself this is hard, but then I read this:

So, I will persist, and hope for a dream of wine or Oreos.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

thinking about croutons, dreaming of tortilla chips

Three years ago, on this day, I finished a Whole 30 (thanks, Timehop!) Today I'm starting another one... modified. Here's my plan:
  1. Eat whole, clean food: fruit, veggies, meat, berries, nuts
  2. Eliminate toxins: gluten, anything processed, sugar, alcohol, coffee
  3. Add Arbonne supplements - protein powder, fiber boost, digestive enzymes, fizz sticks, detox tea, and a 7 day body cleanse
  4. Workout (already did two miles today!)
  5. Mind my mind - pay attention to the emotional stress that comes with all of this, and
  6. Blog as I go, because it makes me more accountable and your comments motivate me (hint, hint) : )
Have you read It Starts with Food? I had to order another copy of the book because I'm already living the emotional hell of this food challenge, but it's definitely necessary since I had such a great time over the Easter holiday and gained 4 pounds in 4 days. #GrowUpMichelle

Today, I sat there at lunch eating a super healthy Greek Salad, with homemade dressing, and all I could think about were the croutons that were not in the salad. (Even though the salad was delicious.)

And then, I just came home, and had some guacamole left over and was seriously considering the tortilla chips - Just a few, I told myself - and was even reaching for and grabbing the bag.

I'm only on DAY ONE of this 30 days to healthy living!

(I put the chips back.)

Anyways, I know I always feel so much better when I am more proactive with my health and summer is coming so it is certainly time to do so. If you read my blogs the next few weeks, I'll be sharing from the book I mentioned above and also reporting on my status. Stay tuned for more!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Live Free

If you picture your life five years from now, how does it look? Do you have financial freedom? Time freedom? Are you able to spend your time doing the things that you love or are you spending most of your time building someone else's business?

About a year ago, I asked myself that same question and realized if I didn't change something or add something, in five years I would be in the same place I am now - living paycheck to paycheck, wondering how I would ever pay off my student loans and only dreaming of my next vacation. And so when Mary shared Arbonne with me and asked me if I was interested in changing my life, I said yes.

Yes to super-premium, botanically based skin care.

Yes to personal care products free of parabens and other nasty ingredients that are, unfortunately, business as usual here in the States.

Yes to a nutrition line that is Vegan, non-gmo, Kosher, free of chemicals, formaldehydes, and dyes.

Yes to better gut health and sleep, and more energy.

Yes to continuous education in health and wellness.

And in that moment, that was all I thought I was saying yes to, but since then I've realized there's a few more things coming my way...

Yes to a tribe of women who are amazing and positive and some of my best friends.

Yes to financial freedom and time freedom. As much as I love my career in education, as much as I love to teach middle school kids, as much as I love my colleagues, teaching is never going to afford me the lifestyle I desire, a lifestyle that includes financial freedom and the ability to leverage my precious time.

And today, I ask you... where will you be in five years? Arbonne isn't the only opportunity for creating passive income and the opportunity for legacy money. Perhaps you've got a plan. But if you don't, maybe Arbonne could be for you.

Let's grab a coffee or a have a Skype date. I'd love to share with you what I've been blessed to learn in the past year!

Be well,

Monday, March 20, 2017

good to glow

Our Liquid Sunshine line has awesome products from chapstick to sunscreen to a tinted self-tanner that I've been using the past few months of this gloomy time of year in Chicago. I just did four applications this weekend and at school today, got some pretty great reviews!

First I saw a teacher in the lunchroom, and she asked me, "Have you been tanning? You look great!" I told her no, just using a sunless tanner, and she said, "It looks so natural!"

And then, walking into my classroom after lunch, one of my kids blurts out, "Have you been tanning again?" You know, they just speak what's on their mind!

Definitely noticeable, but not in a Ross kind of way...

So what sets Arbonne apart?
We are formulated to be pure, safe, and beneficial. We're the best of nature with a little bit of safe science on the end. No need to worry about hormone disrupting ingredients in any of our products, you know you're safe and taken care of with Arbonne!


  • Lightweight, non-oily, quick drying formula provides a natural-looking tan, visible within 2 hours after application
  • Lightly scented, creamy lotion rubs in with no sticky residue, streaking or color transfer
  • Tan can be built to a deeper tone with continued application, delivering a healthy, natural glow to the face and body
  • Hydrating, refreshing formula recommended for ages 18+
  • Allergy and dermatologist tested
Personal Experience
When I first used it, I didn't notice much difference after one application. After two, there was a barely noticeable change. Personally, I've found that four applications is the magic number. Over the weekends, I will usually do one application in the morning and another before bed on Saturday and Sunday- that seems to be the sweet spot for the perfect bronze look.

You can learn more about the Liquid Sunshine Tinted Self-Tanner here. And I'd love to share with you how you can shop Arbonne anywhere from 20-80% off!

Be well!