Monday, January 21, 2019

It's All Fun And Games Until You Break Your Leg

Some of you who have been following me on social media for years already know that just about five years ago, I broke my leg.

In half.

On roller skates.

It was pretty brutal.

Not only was it a blow to my body, it was a huge blow to my ego! How could I get one step out of my front door and break my leg right in two?!

I am a child of the 70s/80s and a teen of the 90s. There was no internet (yet) and so I spent A LOT of time outside, hanging out with friends on my roller skates. I went to the roller rink every weekend and had a blast. 

Fashion through these eras changed a lot. The 70s are a blur as I was a small child then but I remember the 80s as being very....bright. I didn't really take an interest in fashion until the 90s hit and it was allll about that flannel

Through all of those years, I still had my trusty roller skates. I carried them everywhere. By the 90s, the 4 wheel roller skates had gone out of style for the newer, modern roller blades. No, thanks, I couldn't stay up on those, heh. Skateboards had a sneaky way of sliding out from under me so roller skates it was!

As time passed, my skates became less and less important as I had oh-so-important teenage things to do. My skates were hung up without so much of a blink and I didn't think of them until many, many years later.

Life went on as it does and I was busy with life things, until one day as I was talking to my daughter, I thought I had a great idea! Because I was in my late thirties and my metabolism had slowed to barely even a crawl, I was trying to think of something fun we could do that would get us all healthy and in shape. My daughter was ready and excited with me to go for it, so after we rock, paper, scissored it, my daughter was going to ride the bike and I was going to slap on my knee socks and roller skates and we were going to have a great time! She ran around to the backyard to get her bike, and I slipped right on into my awesome knee socks and skates, rolled to the front door, opened it, stepped one skate out, and....


No skating for me that day, or ever again. 

And that, my friends, is the story of how breaking my leg at 37 years old, 10 days before my oldest son was supposed to graduate high school (I was still in the hospital when he walked across that stage), made me realize that I wasn't as young as I "felt" I was.

It took me awhile to process because I always felt healthier and younger than I actually was. I learned with a quickness that I was absolutely NOT. Since then, my constant focus has been my health and I am happy to say that today, things are back on track. I'm losing weight, exercising, and eating a lot healthier than I ever have. Will I ever step into roller skates, again? NOPE.

However, any time that I would like to feel young, I can just throw on a flannel and, yes, I still wear my knee high socks (from Chrissy's Knee High Socks!) as well, because they are perfect with boots and many of the things I still wear. 

Well, ok, and because they are sooo cute and will never go out of style!

When did you realize that you aren't as young as you used to be?

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Women Are The New Business Leaders

We had a record breaking year for women in 2018. 

I'm pretty excited about it! My daughter is going to college right now to get her business degree so I am so glad that she has role models in all fields to look up to and help guide her. Women are becoming leaders in record numbers and it is helping girls everywhere see that they can be a leader as well!

When I think about women in America starting out with barely any rights, to now leading large companies, to running for president of the United States of America, it's incredibly inspiring. I was raised in the generation of shoulder pads and sneakers. My mom raised my brother and I, went to work, bought the bacon, brought the bacon home, and cooked it up. All while serving in the Navy Reserves on the weekend and being an active parent in our sports/extracurricular activities.

Just writing that made me tired.

However, seeing this as a daughter, it was an inspiring way of leading. She showed and made me believe that women could do anything and I believed it! Too see it in action, and that fire, drive, and ambition in my own daughter, is supremely gratifying! I knew when my daughter was very young that one day she could grow up to be a leader. She slays her studies like dragons and laughs  as she is handed more. She has such an imaginative mind and loves to solve problems like nothing I've ever seen before. She has the drive to persist until she finds a solution.

 As you can probably guess, I'm very proud of her. 


A good role model for young women today is definitely Chrissy Weems. She has such an inspiring story!

Chrissy Weems started Origami Owl Jewelry in 2010 with her daughter, Bella. Bella had saved up $350 of her babysitting money at just 14 years old and told her mother that she wanted to start a jewelry business. Chrissy liked that idea and matched her $350 and with help from investors Tyson Basha and Shawn Maxwellthey began crafting the beautiful living lockets for Origami Owl JewelryJust 8 years later, they are the successful owners of a 250 million dollar business! 

Whether it is in business or congress, women are proving that their roles are important and valued. Young women today have so many role models to choose from in any field they are interested in! With consistent role models and proven success in many fields, young women have no limit to what they can accomplish! Women lead the way in 2018 as I hope they will continue to do so on into the future! It's wonderful to accomplish goals, and I am using these ladies as my role models to smash some goals in 2019! 

What is your opinion on the future leaders of the world?

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Office Of My Dreams

When we moved into our first home, I didn't know where to start! I could barely believe we were able to get financing so quickly. Sometimes, I guess the universe likes to drop some good luck into your lap every now and then.

I have always wanted an office in all of the houses we have lived in over the years. I just never had an extra room to make that happen. With a son and a daughter, all of the rooms were taken up by kids and we surely could not afford more bedrooms than we needed. Now, I have enough rooms to have my office and a guest room for when they come visit!

After we finished the bedroom, living room, and guest room, I could finally start on my office! I started with the rug and went from there. I had a great time painting my desk (it needed it). I've always wanted one of these cube shelves with removable storage bins. I have so many cords to things that I have to keep and those bins are perfect for keeping them handy. 

One of the essentials I definitely need is a space heater. January and February are the worst. Add that on top of my feet always being cold, I was glad New Air reached out to ask if I'd review their portable heater! I have worked with them a few times before so I knew they would be great. No more cold feet! 

I liked the heater so much that when they asked if I'd like to review a Limited Edition Pepsi Mini Fridge, I accepted happily. When I first started thinking about an office, I didn't really think I'd need any appliances, but I was wrong! It's so convenient for when company comes over as well. I drink a lot of soda (it's my only vice) so a full beverage cooler equals a very happy me!

I put some decorative things up (my husband spoiled me this holiday season)  and I think it's just about ready. Maybe I can actually finish that book this year. I was hoping to publish by the end of last year, but life happens! January is the month of setting goals and mine is to definitely focus more on work. Once I get a printer and a desk chair, it will be perfect. I started out with no idea of what I really wanted for my office, to making the perfect office space just for me. 

GOAL: By March of 2019, finish my office. Done, January 2019!

I am considering sash windows for our next project: WINDOWS. But, that is still months away. I love the windows in our house, but they really need to be modernized. It's like watching money fly right out the window every time I turn the heat or ac on! We wanted to focus on the essential (meaning cheaper) things first, though and I'm so glad we did!

How would your dream office look? What are your office appliance essentials? Do you have a current project? Tell me about it in the comments!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

A New Game For Fashion Lovers: Lady Popular

I have a confession to make.

My name is Stephanie and I L O V E mobile games. 

Oh, I've played them all. Farm games, Time Management games, there's even a Sims game, and you can bet I've played it.  My favorite mobile games are the fashion games. I love being able to dress up virtual paper dolls as I wait in line while running errands.

I was searching for a new fashion game when I was invited to try Lady Popular! I couldn't wait!

Lady Popular falls under three categories: dress up, time management, and simulation. When you first sign in, you're greeted by Emma and asked for your player name. You can pick from one of the hairstyles, eye brows, skin color, and smile and you're ready to play! 

Emma is your guide through the game and gives you your challenges. Your first challenge will be to go to city and find the beauty salon. In the next challenge, you must go to the mall and find a new outfit.

Once you've found the mall, you get to try on and purchase a new outfit.

The more style points you get, the more things you can purchase! Every challenge comes with certain points (style, fashion, generosity, charity, creativity, devotion, etc) that you must build up to advance to the next level. 

After you have assembled your perfect outfit, makeup, and hairstyle, you are ready to participate in a challenge with another player!

Once a player is found, you are ready for your duel. So far, I've won all of my duels so I don't know what happens if you don't win. After you win the challenge, you keep checking your popularity bar to see what points you need to build up for the next round.

I am thoroughly loving Lady Popular and I hope you like it as well. Use this link right here to sign up (you can play on your mobile OR desktop) and get 40 diamonds for free! There is also a great forum where you can find tips and tricks from other players.  Let me know how you like it in the comments below!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Orange Theory Fitness Center Grand Opening In Greenville, NC

Here's something that I never thought I would do: I attended a fitness grand opening class on Tuesday!

Maybe it's the beginning of a new year, or finding out my cholesterol is WAY too high, or because I was working on losing weight after healing a broken leg and hit my plateau and got frustrated, but when I received the invite to cover the grand opening of Orangetheory Fitness in Greenville, NC on Tuesday I accepted right away!  

The Orangetheory of fitness is a science based, FULL body workout that uses technology to measure performance so members can see that they are improving. During a 60 minute class, the target is at least twelve minutes in the orange zone. After twelve minutes in the orange zone, your metabolism gets a boost and keeps burning calories for the entire length of the 36 hour recovery period afterwards. 

And, you better believe I'm still feeling it today.

You aren't alone through your workout. You get to participate in a class with a bunch of other folks because, this workout is really for everyone. Your coach is your guide through the different workouts. Having the coach also makes this workout incredibly fun! 

I arrived at the Orangetheory Fitness studio inspired and ready to learn about this class. They set me up with my OTbeat , asked a few questions about past injuries, current fitness regimen, and what my goals are. 

Ater a quick tour of the facilities, which includes showers, a blow out bar, and lockers, I met our coach, Toni! Toni was my favorite! The girl is F I T and ready to get you fit, too. After an awesome pep-talk as a group, we walked into the gym. I set my eyes upon my old nemesis

So we meet again...TREADMILL...

and got ready to begin. Toni told us exactly how the workout would go and what to expect. We found our stats on the monitor above as she ran through how to work the equipment, demonstrated exactly how to do each exercise, and assigned us our numbers that would correspond with the machine we would be using. Toni turned the music up and away we went!

Toni, my coach

My first machine was the rower. I actually like this one because I am focusing so much on my arms lately. After 3 minutes, we were on the floor with weights. We ran through three different exercises: 8 reps of lower ab leg kicks, 12 reps of goblet squats (which are now known in my mind as the DEVIL because OMG), and 8 lateral arm raises. Next, it was on the treadmill as I started to feel it. After treadmill time it was back to the rower, and then I was really feeling it. On the monitor it read that I had got myself into the orange zone! More floor exercises with the 8, 12, 8 reps again. A big push on the treadmill and just like that it was time for cool down! I hadn't even realized an hour had gone by! We got a complete rundown of our workout from Toni with suggestions and how many times a week she'd like to see us in a class.


I had a blast! The class theme for the day was endurance and they weren't kidding. I really, really liked the quick change up of exercises then machines. Everything was super simple to follow along with and it was fun meeting other ladies in the class (at least I wasn't the only beginner!). I felt motivated and didn't get bored, as I had found myself getting with my normal routine. Two days later, I feel amazing. I took a break on Wednesday, even though I wasn't nearly as sore as I imagined I would be, and actually got up today ready to hit my old routine! Toni suggested that I come for 3 to 4 days a week and I love that schedule because I really feel like I could stick to it. Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY. 

The Orangetheory Fitness Center of Greenville, NC is open everyday from 5am to 8pm. You can find them at 518 Greenville Blvd. Suite D in Greenville, right by the Greenville Mall. There are also locations across the United States so click here to find one in your own area. Tell them Steph sent you!

Have you visited an Orangetheory Fitness? I'd love to know how you liked it!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Holiday Hangover

How was your holiday? Mine was exhausting.

I had a great visit with all of my family and caught up on so much that I don't think my brain has started to function properly again. It's been rough trying to get back into the swing of things but I was suddenly revived today when I realized I hadn't spent any of my gift cards yet.

SIGH. I guess I have to shop again. Darn.

So, it was off to DealSpotr once again to find some awesome deals! I found one right away and jumped on it! Right now for their grand opening is offering 25% off sitewide! TotallyFab is a ladies fashion website that has, well, just about everything! I am a self-confessed T-shirt hoarder so that's exactly where I went first. I couldn't decide between


So, the logical thing to do would be to buy both, right? Don't worry, that's totally what I did.

I moseyed on over to the home decor section and

I don't think I'm ever going to get tired of decorating our new home. It feels so adulty. Like real fully grown adults live here and it's not a Lord Of The Flies free-for-all of toys, clothes, and JUNK everywhere. An adulty house, with adulty stuff. Talking about adulty things over adulty food. Yep. 

Anyway, don't forget to put the code STEPHSTEB in at checkout on DealSpotr to get your 25% off! I'd love to know what you liked and/or bought!

Are you recovering from the holiday hangover yet?

Friday, January 4, 2019

Why You Need A Mentor

When you started your first serious job, did you have someone that you learned the most from? Did someone help you out in your career path, and you consistently went to them for advice? Do you still seek them out for advice?

That's your mentor.

In many different professions, mentors are an important part of what makes a business great. I had a mentor when I first decided to quit law and get serious about my life and work. My mentor talked me into pursuing my writing, and helped me with so many decisions along the way. I found my mentor's advice so useful that I still keep in contact with him today, to still ask for advice and what he thinks about certain choices I have.

He is invaluable. Priceless.

Matt Redhawk has been an entrepreneur, an executive producer, a philanthropist, and most importantly, a mentor.

Matt Redhawk has had success in multiple ventures and his main priority is to help families become self-sufficient by teaching them to live off the grid. Some great photos of people living their simple life off the grid by Parker Michels-Boyce with The Washington Post can be found by clicking here. Redhawk also wrote Drought And Dreams: Stories of Self-Reliance During America's Darkest Times, a project that came about from his studies of The Great Depression. It's great and full of information! He wants everyone to have easy access to the supplies they need to be prepared for anything. His inspiration came from his own experience of living in the mountains in Northern Idaho. The more self sufficient you become, the more confidence you have in yourself. This helps you work through any critical problems that may arise on your own.

Matt’s dedication to the preparedness movement has led to him becoming a prominent authority within the community. In recent years, he has produced several movies. His first movie, Radioflash, showed what it could be like to live and survive after a natural disaster or other disruptive event. The incredible success of this movie led to him creating Home, a brand-new short movie touching on similar subjects.

He always has his hands in numerous projects, but he's never too busy to mentor up and coming entrepreneurs and philanthropists! He is based in Salt Lake City, but does a lot of work in Northern Idaho. 

Mentors are invaluable and can help you grow as an entrepreneur and philanthropist. When you first start out in any industry, it's always nice to meet someone who knows the ropes. The resources and help you receive from your mentor are inestimable and should help you with anything that may come up for years to come. Mentorship is a great way to put your best foot forward and focus on the future of your venture.  I know I wouldn't have been able to make it without my mentor!

Who is your mentor? How did they help you? Tell me about your mentor in the comments below!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Your First Home Purchase

When we finally decided to start shopping for a house, I really had no idea what to start looking for. We didn't have a set city or state that we had to live in, we could go anywhere. Finally, the US Navy isn't telling us where we have to go next! I knew what kind of home I wanted, but I just didn't know where!

At the time, my daughter was attending college (Go Rams!) in Richmond, Virginia and my son had moved to Wilmington, North Carolina for work. So, I got out my map and started looking for a place that was close to both of them and found that Rocky Mount, North Carolina was exactly two hours away from both of them. Finally, I found the location and began looking for houses. 

I found our current dream home completely and totally on accident. I didn't realize it at the time, but it turned out to be perfect. 

We've been moved in since August and I am so happy with our decision. The kitchen was renovated right before we moved in so I have brand new cabinets, floors, and appliances. The French Doors to the dining room make me feel glamorous.  I have a shelving unit for my books built right into the mantle. The  TV fits perfectly above the fireplace. Finally, my living room is super cozy.

However, not everything has been peaches and rose'. Since moving in, we've found some places that need work. They need work as in for the first time in my life, I have to call for roofing services

It's not our house roof, but the workshop roof. Hubs has an entire little house in the back that is set up like a workshop/garage (and yes, he is stupid happy about it) and the roof sustained damage in Hurricane Matthew.  The house roof is brand new, it had to be replaced after the same hurricane. Oak City was hit pretty hard by it! 

We had the hardest time at the beginning of the winter with our heat. The air conditioning works wonderfully well but we could NOT get the heat to turn on. After about 4 times of the guys being out here to work on it, they finally got it working. Yeah, I don't think that was a brand new HVACC system...but things happen. 

Our driveway has a giant hole right as you are turning in. Hubs drives a truck so it's not a problem for him but no one else can park in the driveway. I don't even know where to begin to fix it but, it's on the Honey-do list, definitely.

Even with these little snags, I am tremendously happy with my first home purchase. There's nothing really that we haven't been able to work through. Our next project will definitely be windows. Don't even get me started about how much heat and air conditioning we're losing right out of these windows!

What was your first home purchase like?