The Perfect Lip

First off, let’s get real right off the bat – I’m sitting in my pj’s with dirty hair watching The Office with Steve as I write this post.  Which is hilarious – because this post is going to be about a lipstick that I’ve discovered that’s actually amazing.

But, before I get into that – I thought I would share this major throwback that my sweet friend shared with me today:

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We were 11 in this photo and I honestly look like I was living in a cave for many months before coming to this party.  Paula (far right), looks so cute and adorable that I just want to squeeze her cheeks and then…there’s me…

Just let it really soak in:

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I sent the picture to Steve today and his only response was “ouch”. HA!  Let’s just say that things got much better and I finally started listening to my mother and wearing makeup and watching what I ate.  I also eliminated v-neck sweaters with an undershirt from my wardrobe.  Thank god.  It certainly didn’t happen overnight as we saw from this post where I thought Bermuda Shorts were the answer.

But, as the years got better, I started seeking out easy-to-apply makeup that would last all day as the real world sets in and you have to work several hours a day and keep up a social life.  I have tried everything from the expensive makeup to the drugstore type and I’ve never really found a long lasting lipstick that was truly – long lasting.  I have the Kylie Lip Kit and I like it, but felt it was a little overpriced and dried my lips out.

In walks: Heather Danehy.  For a bit of background, Heather is my sorority sister from college who through the years has become very good at applying makeup and looking like a goddess.  Case in point:

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Like, hi, are you kidding me?  Those brows tho…and that lip!  So, I had to find out what her secret was.  Turns out, she actually runs a small, side business selling this magical lipstick that actually stays on all day and doesn’t wear off.  For example, this morning I woke up, drank coffee, ate a messy salad and chicken wings and my lip color is STILL ON.  THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

I mean – look at all of the options available!!

I, personally, have “Luv it” and it stands true to the name.  I honestly don’t push products on you guys because it doesn’t feel genuine, so I only bring things to you that I truly love (“luv”).  Guys, this stuff is amazing.  Honestly.

11 year old me up above is shouting “YAS QUEEN – I KNEW IT WOULD GET BETTER!”  

Because I love this product so much, I want to bring you 10% off your purchase with the code “lookswithlinds”

Here is how to order:

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Guys – take advantage of this!  I promise you won’t be disappointed!!

Have you heard of or used Lipsense before?  Tell me your thoughts!

Until next time…

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Tips for an AH-MAZING Vermont Vacation 

Hey everyone! I’m back from vacation with a fresh outlook on life and a very stuffy nose <sigh>. This week I wanted to chat a little about my vacation in Vermont and leave you with some tips that I’ve figured out over the past 15+ years of heading up there every summer! I hope it helps!

So, I’ve been traveling up to Smuggs every summer for a week since I was a kid and basically have exhausted every sort of tourist attraction/activity as possible. This year, my brother and his family joined us so we got to see VT through the eyes of a 6 year old which was a lot of fun! I also got a selfie with the famous Marko The Magician and I can imagine you’re all so jealous!

But mostly, it was a lot of relaxation, beautiful views and lots of hunting for the perfect beer (heady topper anyone?)

With all of that being said, take a look at my top few tips for having an amazing Vermont summer trip! Enjoy!

1. Know where you’re going. 

Do your research people! Make sure you have the supplies you need and the right luggage and even, sometimes, vehicle! When going up to Smuggs, you can find yourself driving through a very windy and dangerous notch that if you’re not prepared for, can freak you out. If you’re looking for a family friendly location, Stowe, VT may be the spot for you!

2. Love beer? Get to the breweries EARLY!

Vermont is pretty well known for their delicious beer options and tend to sell out pretty early in the day. For example, Alchemist Beer only distributes in a few places in Vermont and is a big fan favorite. The parking lot opens at 10am and can often be sold out by noontime. Get there early to make sure you can get your spot in line! Not to mention, the view is pretty great. See below!

3. Like to hike? Get the proper gear. 

Steve and I attempted to hike one day and realized that we were far too out of shape and NOT prepared at all! Get yourself some hiking shoes and drink plenty of water. They aren’t messing around. You can see by Steve’s outfit in the below picture that sneakers and basketball shorts weren’t going to cut it.

4. Have a love of history? Covered bridges!

Explore around and find yourself surrounded by historic covered bridges and a view for miles. You won’t be disappointed!

5. Lastly, have a little one? The Von Trapp Lodge is the place to be!

Growing up, I loved The Sound of Music and when I realized we were near the Von Trapp Family home that they lived in when they escaped to America – I had to check it out! Not to mention, they have beer there. Perfect for little kids and adults!

I know this was a short and sweet article, but I hope this helps if you ever plan to visit Vermont one day! Have any other questions or need suggestions? Just reach out! I love hearing from all of you!! In the meantime, here are a few more pictures from my trip below.  Not the greatest quality as I snapped them from my phone, but I hope this helps you feel inspired to get outside and smell the fresh, summer air!

 

Until next time! xoxox

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Life with Linds

I know, I know, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything.  I know this because my #1 fan, my mother, reminds me every time we speak on the phone.

I’ve been doing a bit of soul-searching lately about what it is that I really want to convey with this blog.  Honestly, I didn’t start this blog to become an Instagram Influencer or anything like that, but simply as a hobby.  The connections and the network that I’ve been able to build these past 6-months have been nothing short of remarkable, but I have to realize that this is for me, and what I want to write about.  It may not necessarily be about the outfits that I’m wearing or the best sales or what have you, but simply about my life.

That being said, moving forward, I’ll be writing about all things that excite me.  Most likely it will be fashion related, but you never know – I might just write about something else!

Life lately has consisted of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and my upcoming family trip to Smuggler’s Notch.  I leave on Sunday and S, my brother, his girlfriend and her 6-year old are coming along.  It’s a new generation and meaning of “family vacation” where I’m no longer the kid, but the adult on this trip.  My brother and I went up there every summer as kids and I’m excited for the little one to get to experience it the way we did.  I made a promise to myself to take a lot of pictures and I’ll post them up once I get back.

Here’s a picture from when I was there as a teen:

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Several questions come to mind when I look at this picture…

  1. Why did I think Bermuda Shorts were a good look?
  2. Popped collar?  Really?
  3. Why am I saluting?
  4. Why is my mouth wide open?

Anyway, I’m excited to be getting back there and I’m sad that the guy on the left can’t make it this year.  Being friends with someone you met at a week-long summer camp 20-years ago doesn’t just happen in the movies, and I’m grateful for his friendship (Hi, Alan!).

My hope is to create many more memories like the one above but this time, as an adult, with my brother and his little family and S.

I hope that you stick with me through this journey and check back soon!

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Bangles, Candles and Friendship

Last week, I had talked about the Sip and Shop event that I had went to and talked about Melissa and Rebekah – the founders of the event.  I loved their story so much, that I had to find out more.  I truly believe that every business has a story and I needed to know theirs.  Learning that Melissa and Rebekah had not only been friends for over 34 years, but managed to combine bracelets and candles (my two favorite things) into a small business was so inspiring.

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My Bead and Bangle bracelet giving me that pop I needed!

But why candles and bangles?  Melissa says I’ve been making bangles for like 20 years. Bracelets in the stores never fit my wrists so I made my own, and gave them as gifts. It wasn’t until last year that I did my first market at Frobie’s in Dracut, MA. I had so much fun and was immediately hooked on the vibe. So I told Bekah to make some of her candles to sell at the next event”.  From there, they started building their network and hopping over to other markets as well as house parties.  That’s when the idea of the sip and shop came about.  “We wanted to come up with our own events and markets. We started with a small sip & shop last August with 7 vendors. Then we did our first pop up shop in December 2016 over at Humanity Boutique! Both were a HUGE success!! So then came the idea for a bigger Sip & shop with more vendors and a charity to donate to.”

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Melissa, Ani and Rebekah at the Humanity Pop up discussed above

 

That’s what I love about these events – not only was it a success for all 18 vendors, but they were also raising money for a charity – the House of Hope.  With that, they raised close to $1,000.

But, with markets geared towards small businesses such as SOWA, I had to know what drew them to Lowell.  “Born and raised in Lowell, we have always been proud of where we come from. There is so much history and such a vibrant artist community. Being a part of that is inspiring! We have met so many talented people. It pushes us to learn and to challenge ourselves. We look forward to helping grow these events and also changing the minds of people who may think that there isn’t a lot to like about Lowell, because there is!

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But where can you find Melissa’s bangles and Rebekah’s candles?  “We are doing a Pop Up Shop at Fuse Bistro on Mother’s Day (May 14th – mark your calendars and get your mother a gift.  She deserves it)!  We couldn’t be more excited! From there we plan on Friday Nights! for Made in Lowell (first event is May 12th), then the Lowell Folk Festival of course!”

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A candle that smells good AND compliments your home?  Duh, no brainer.

With that, you need to get yourself one of Melissa’s bangles and one of Rebekah’s candles.  Knowing the story of friendship, empowerment and the entrepreneurial spirit makes owning one (or several) of these items that much better.

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Melissa (left) and Rebekah showing us what some creativity and a lot of friendship can do for a small business!

I’ll be at Fuse Bistro on Mother’s Day and you can count on catching me at Friday Nights! and the Folk Festival.  Will I see you there??

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One of a kind!

As I think about the direction of how Looks with Linds is going, I realized that showcasing local vendors and artists is where my heart lies.  Of course, I do shop big-box, but finding one of a kind “omg where did you get that?” type pieces is what I live for.  I think it’s mostly because I seek attention and anytime I have something on that people may not have seen before, and they ask about it, gets me excited.

I was able to participate in the chug and impulse buy sip and shop event held at the Smokehouse Tavern where local artists and vendors got to showcase their goodies all while raising money for the House of Hope.  The opportunity to shop some of my favorite local vendors while drinking a Tito’s and Soda?  I’m there.  I was able to see old friends and meet some new ones!  Check out the pictures and stories below!

Meet Melissa and Rebekah – the brains behind this event as well as bohemian beads & bangles and Rebekah Hope Design.  They are absolute dolls who I was so happy to run into and get to know better.  To be able to meet women who are about building not only their brand, but the brands of other local artists and vendors makes my heart happy.  We need to remember that building a brand isn’t easy and you often can’t do it alone.  Hats off to you both!

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Interested in a bangle of your own like the one I have on?  Check out her Insta: @mmammino1015 or her facebook page here

Looking for a Gypsy Lace Candle or a makeup application session?  Check out Rebekah’s facebook page for more info: here

*A full interview on their story coming soon!*

Meet T&C Designs – a beautiful couple who creates home designs from scrap granite as well as custom furniture and wood crafts.  They are perfect as housewarming gifts, bridal shower gifts, or even something beautiful for your own home!  Want something of your own?  Check them out on Instagram: @crdesigns16 or reach out directly for inquiries: here

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Meet the face behind Style this Shindig – bringing beautiful plants into your life as well as fun to-die-for home decor.  She has workshops and private events that you can schedule – to find out where she’s going to be next check her out at here or her insta @stylethisshindig

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Meet Jen – the woman behind Ima’Jennative creations.  She hand makes earrings using fabric and buttons. I’m wearing a leopard pair that I scooped up as I type this.  She also makes gift baskets AND cake pops.  Earrings and cake – need I say more?  Shop her creations here and check out her insta: @imajennative.creations

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Meet the couple behind Six Birches Wood Designs.  Based out of Epson, NH they hand make beautiful, rustic signs for your home!  They also make furniture pieces as well.  If only I had a bigger apartment I would have purchased more…one day!!  Check them out on Facebook @ sixbirchwooddesigns

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Lastly, meet Lexi of Lexi’s Tree Fort – she brings hand-made bags, hats and accessories from Sommerville, MA.  I scooped up an adorable magnet that has made a wonderful addition to my refrigerator!  Interested in her one-of-a-kind pieces?  Check out her shop here or her insta page: @lexistreefort

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UPCOMING: Wine and Wander!  Being held on May 20th – get your tickets HERE– I’ll be there!  Will you?

Are these the types of posts you want to see more of?  I want to hear from you!  Anything you’re particularly interested in hearing more about?  Also, if you’re a local vendor looking for a place to showcase your work – PLEASE message me!  I would love to talk to you and see what you’re working on!

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Brews and Blooms

When my friends and I attend Brew Woo in Worcester, MA the first weekend of April each year, it’s the true sign of spring. Steve said it perfectly: “Brew Woo just means summer is coming”. Every year we make the 45 minute drive down to Worcester to sip on some local beers and ciders. However, the weather is always so unpredictable this time of year. Last year, it was a gorgeous spring day and this year was a snow storm. Which means…every year is a struggle with figuring out what to wear.

This year, I really had to get creative because the festival was indoors without a coat check. It always gets really warm with the amount of people in attendance plus when you drink, most tend to get a little warm. I don’t know about you – but the bloat is real too.

I would recommend going for a more casual look for these types of events. Dressing comfortable is definitely key as well. This year, I went with black, distressed jeans that have a nice stretch to them and a white boyfriend t-shirt. I also threw on a thin army jacket for warmth. Not to mention, carrying a cross-body is key. You don’t really need much-just an ID and some cash, but there’s always free swag to grab at every table and you definitely need your hands free to sip.   I wound up coming home with a performers CD and a magnet just as an example.

The number one thing to remember is that you’re standing for at least three hours. Shout out to the chick who wore 6 inch heels – you the real fool MVP. Comfortable shoes people!!!! I wore booties with a 1-inch heel and by the end of the night, I couldn’t wait to sit down!

But, if there’s one thing I cannot stress enough – it’s not leaving home without the most important accessory – PRETZEL NECKLACE!

Check out the pictures from the event below! Are you going to any beer festivals soon??

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Friends who take pictures with giant pretzels together, stay together

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Notice the boyfriend t-shirt – helps hide the “bloat” a bit

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Ugh, too cute.  This top is also from Old Navy!!

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This was about the time when Steve told me we were leaving and that I could finally have a glass of wine – that’s where my heart actually belongs.

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#loveforhumanity

 

lindsPicture this: walking into a store front with a beautiful front window display, words of encouragement and body positivity quotes on the wall and warm “welcome!” from the owner Ani while great music plays throughout the store.  That’s exactly what it’s like at Humanity Boutique on 128 Merrimack Street in Downtown Lowell.  Ani let me and my #squad roll in and shop ’til we dropped.  With that, I got the opportunity to talk to Ani about her journey with the shop.

“In the early 2000s I followed an old boss who was fulfilling his dreams of owning a clothing store. He bought over Giovanni’s in Downtown Lowell and I went to work for him about a year after. Working in Downtown Lowell exposed me to so many other businesses and entrepreneurs. After years of success and the recession in 2008, business slowed down. I was eventually let go and was offered a managerial position at Humanity.”  With that, brought the opportunity to eventually own Humanity.  “I was actually managing here in 2012 and took it over in 2014. It has always been a dream of mine to have my own shop and be part of a community. Thus the opportunity came in 2014 when the founder and former owner was ready to start new ventures.”

Being a small business requires getting creative to get the word out.  One of the ways to do that is by participating in #ShopSmallSaturdays where she invites a vendor to come to her store and sell their one-of-a-kind pieces.  She does not take any of the profits from the vendor, but hopes that she gets the opportunity to gain clientele while helping another small business grow their brand. She also plans to grow her brand.  “We hope to grow by launching an online retail shop where there is a high demand for. We will continue to work with the community and collaborate with local artists/designers, etc. Our responsibility is to not only draw people into our shop and provide them with great hard to find pieces and customer service but to draw people into Downtown Lowell. This city has had a revitilazation and is on the cusp of something great and beautiful. We love our city and are proud to help nourish it”. 

I also find myself getting anxious as I start shopping, but Humanity makes an effort to make you feel as comfortable and relaxed.  “We believing in creating a safe space where every women (and man) feels comfortable and make themselves at home. We love to encourage trying on something new that you’d normally think “you don’t know how to wear.” The beauty of being a woman is that we have so many choices and styles where it is unlimited”. 

With that, do yourself a favor and head down to Humanity Boutique and see for yourself.  She’s open Monday-Saturday from 11-6, and don’t forget to visit on the third Saturday of the month to see a local vendor!

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*I was not compensated for this post.  All thoughts and opinions are mine

Are you still with me?

Wow – a month goes by quick when you aren’t paying attention!  Ok, February is the shortest month, but still – those days flew by.

A lot went on in February…specifically April the Giraffe and her long awaited baby.  When is she going to have it?  AMIRIGHT?

Here is an accurate representation of how I feel:

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More importantly, I’ve been consistently shopping small and stumbled upon the cutest boutique that’s walking distance from my apartment.  Humanity Boutique has everything you could ask for – style, cozy vibes and all around positivity.  They have pieces that are unexpected and helps you to think outside of the box and brand out into something unlike what you would find yourself wearing on the daily.

Not to mention, Ani Vong, the owner, is a DOLL.  I briefly connected with her while browsing and (and probably spending too much money,  but that’s besides the point) started chatting with her about how, she too, believes in the power of shopping small and supporting local businesses and women.  She snags her pieces from LA and sometimes across the pond when she travels.  That being said, it feels like you’re experiencing something new and fresh whenever you pop into her store.  I also love that there are only a certain amount of pieces brought in at a time so it always feels like you’re wearing a one-of-a-kind piece!

So – please, check out some photos below (c/o @humanitystyle) and check out the store for yourself!  See you there!

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Ani Vong, Owner

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Shop Small Saturday

 

 

A lot of people think of “Shop Small Saturday” as a day during the Thanksgiving week sale craze, but I like to shop small every Saturday (or any day, really).  That’s why I LOVE checking out Mill No. 5 whenever I get the chance!  This past weekend I headed over for their monthly Bazaar.  Several vendors who create and design beautiful artwork, jewelry and awesome trinkets and sells them the public were there!  Did I mention you can buy a beer or a glass of wine and sip while you shop?  Yeah, shopping small really has their perks 😉

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This weekend’s Bazaar was appropriately called “Love Buzz” and the vendors were decorated in pinks and reds for the upcoming Valentine’s Day.  I was able to purchase so many things that I would never find in a store and got to meet the creators of them!

What a treat – these people are so talented it’s unbelievable.  They are also so humble.  Kim, the creator of Barbara Pearl started as a hobby because it’s something she enjoys doing and makes the most beautiful pieces of jewelry (I own like, everything she’s made).  If you haven’t read her story yet, do yourself a favor and click the link – you won’t regret it.

Alyssa, the creator of Amaia Papaya makes these adorable coffee koozie’s and tumbler sets as well as makup bags, etc.  I got a koozie and cannot WAIT to start using it on Monday at work.

Not to mention, there’s a coffee shop and other really great shops in there.  No, this post is not sponsored, I just really love going there and I think everyone should visit at least once.  Check out the pictures below.

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Yup, this is a moon that is just hanging out when you enter the mill.  Another touch that I can’t get enough of!

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If you haven’t had a salted caramel latte from Coffee and Cotton – you haven’t lived.  Also, their grilled cheese?  Unreal.

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Just the scene alone at Mill No. 5 should draw you in.  Now imagine vendors throughout with gorgeous handmade pieces for sale.  As you continue to stroll down, you’ll see a yoga studio on your right and a cheese shop on your left.  Walk all the way down, and you’ll see an amazing independent movie theatre (Tonight?  They’re showing The Princess Bride).

The next Bazaar is scheduled for March 4th.  I know I’ll be there.  Will you?

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Your Health is Fashionable

Today’s post is a personal one – I have often struggled with self-image and my health and what it takes to have the “perfect body”.  Which is insane because nobody is perfect and nor was I brought up to be perfect.  However, I do know that as women, we are socialized to want to be perfect and we often forget that being healthy is far more important than having that “perfect body”.

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I know that this was the case for my friend Shannon and she did something about it.  Below is her journey.  Take a look and give this a read – I hope it inspires you as much as it did me.

How did you get involved with your new Healthy lifestyle?

“Last year around this exact time, I decided that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I had zero energy, barely any self confidence, and was basically just feeling STUCK!! I had tried the whole gym membership thing year after year…

I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I had been noticing that a friend at work was looking and feeling so much better, and I had been quietly watching her share her personal journey on Facebook for a while. One day I decided to ask her what she had been doing, and how I could do something like that for myself.
She explained that she was doing 30 minute at home workouts, following a healthy nutrition plan, and drinking a superfood shake to keep her energized each day. I thought…ok I can do this!!
BUT again, the same concerns came back. What would be different about this? What would keep me motivated to stick this thing out day after day?! If I was going to make this investment in myself…it needed to offer me something that I wasn’t getting before.
The one thing that stuck out the MOST to me out of everything that she told me was…that I would have her as my personal coach AND the online accountability groups that she was running each month! Before I officially made my decision to give this a try…she added me to one of her online groups. I was AMAZED at the amount of support and motivation that everyone in this group was giving each other on a daily basis! They were sharing struggles, successes and just everything in between (recipes, positive quotes, just so much). I knew that THIS was exactly what I needed to keep me going!
So, I made the investment in ME…I completed a 21 day fitness program, followed the nutrition plan and leaned into the accountability groups.
I decided to join my friend and become an online Health and Fitness Coach as well. Beachbody offers such an amazing opportunity for people to create a Happy and Healthy lifestyle…and I wanted to shout it from the rooftops!!
This is not just a “diet” or a “fitness program”…this is literally something that (if you commit to it and to yourself)…can become a complete lifestyle change!!
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What does your daily routine look like?
  • Getting in my at home workout (most are 30 minutes or less…which I LOVE)!!
  • Drinking my daily superfood shake for breakfast. (I had a lot of stomach issues in the past, and also wasn’t getting the proper vitamins and nutrients that my body needed)…and THIS was one thing that was working for me!! My hair and nails were growing faster, and my stomach issues became almost non-existent!! #winning
  • Checking in with MY online accountability groups to keep everyone motivated, providing them with the info that they need…helping them with their struggles, etc!
  • Checking in with my coaches on my team and working together with them to try to help as many people as possible 🙂

How do you stay on track?

The amazing team of coaches that I have become a part of has completely changed my life!! We truly have a community like NO other!! I rely on those people for support in every aspect of my life, and I now can’t imagine my life without them!!
The amazing team of coaches that have become a part of my life has completely changed my life for the better!
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Some of them have become my closest friends, and I haven’t even met them all in person!!
The people that come to me for help making healthy changes also inspire me and keep me going too!! It goes both ways 🙂  I truly need them JUST as much as they need me!!
How did this program transform your life?

I had extremely unhealthy eating habits, was barely getting any exercise (because I would get frustrated and give up), and I just was unhappy with myself in general…which was affecting all aspects of my life!!

These programs and this coaching opportunity also focus HEAVILY on personal development. Training your mind!! If you don’t have the right mindset…you will not achieve your goals!! So I have to say that my mental transformation has transformed my life the MOST…and I am forever grateful for that!! I now have the opportunity to help others do the same…which is incredible!!
  • I have worked with people that have a goal to lose 60 pounds.
  • I have worked with people that have a goal to lose 5 pounds and tone
  • I have worked with people that just want to focus on nutrition and learning about clean eating and meal prep
That is the beauty of these programs. The ability to work toward the specific goals of each person. There truly is something for everyone! That’s where I come in as a personal coach. We go over these things and figure out what is best for YOUR goals and what you are looking to accomplish.
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How can others get involved?
Anyone is welcome to message me ANYTIME to find out more! I am happy to answer ANYTHING 🙂
I offer several different online events each month.
Tuesday, Feb. 7th – Free Sneak Peek into Coaching and more of what this opportunity has done for me. This will take place in a private Facebook event! Contact me for an invite!
Monday, Feb. 13th – Free 5 Day Self Love Challenge!! This will be in a private Facebook group where we will really dive into all of the limiting beliefs that hold us back in life, and learning that self love really needs to come first before we can help anyone else 🙂
Contact me for an invite to that as well!
Seeing people transform physically and mentally and having them share their successes and how proud they are of themselves is the BEST feeling in the world, and is 100% the reason why I do this!!
 
I have always wanted to be able to help others in some way…and I have FOUND THAT!!!!
Want to get involved???  Catch Shannon on her Facebook: here!
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