Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Teal Pumpkin Project: Allergy Friendly Halloween

Keeping it Teal!   If you've haven't heard of the Teal Pumpkin project, I'm really excited to share what it's all about ...and give you some ideas on how to implement it for Halloween!
2016 will be the third year this has been promoted and it's really simple!

So many children (and adults) have mild to life threatening allergies sensitivities...or just flat out don't want to have a house full of sugary temptation on November 1st. As a health & fitness coach, I promote BALANCE! I'm all about having a treat here & there....but NOBODY needs 10 lbs of chocolate in their house haha

If you or your child does have an allergy (peanuts, soy, dairy, gluten, eggs, etc...), October 31st can be a serious buzzkill.

The Teal Pumpkin Project is a campaign encouraging families to paint a pumpkin TEAL and hand out non-food items (instead of just traditional candy) so that everyone can safely enjoy the fun!

A Teal pumpkin on your porch lets families know that you have some allergy free options.

Honestly, I think this is brilliant. There are plenty of houses handing out traditional candy that will be devoured.... but when they get something fun like bubbles, stamps, snap bracelets, etc... the fun can last a little longer. (And children who can't eat candy get to participate in the festivities!) 

Sometimes the prizes are more coveted than the candy!
I snagged a blank chalkboard pumpkin at Michaels & added my Allergy Safe message with chalk markers


This is the fun part! There are endless ideas on Pinterest that you can simply convert to a teal color scheme.
Everything from adding faux flowers, stamping it with cool doodles or designs, modge podging it with fun paper, keeping it simple...or even buying an already painted pumpkin at Micheals.

I'm all about creating something I can use again and again. I deciding to go with three simple designs

-- Mummy Pumpkin (using a prepainted Teal pumpkin, gauze & googly eyes)
-- Yarn (wrapping a white pumpkin with teal yarn)
-- Paint & Glitter (creating an "ombre" effect with different shades & glitter)
White Pumpkin: Wrapped in yarn & used a dab of hot glue on the bottom to hold it in place. 

How to Make Teal Paint

  • Two parts Blue
  • One Part Green
  • Dab of Yellow
  • Dab of White
I went with more mint/aqua colors...just cuz. 

Paint away! You can add glitter to wait paint or use modge podge/glue to hold it on!
Mummy Pumpkin: Wrap in gauze. Secure with hot glue. Add googly eyes with hot glue

Non-Food Ideas:
  • Mini Bottled Water (Florida gets HOT even on Hallow's Eve)*
  • Glow sticks*
  • Spooky Toys (Vampire teeth, spider rings, etc)
  • Mini notebooks*
  • Slap Bracelets
  • Sticky hands *
  • Kazoos, whistles, bells
  • Beaded Neclaces, halloween jewelry
  • Crowns
  • Sidewalk Chalk
  • Bouncy Balls
  • Coins! Real or fake
  • Temporary Tattoos & Stickers
  • Pencils, Pencil Toppers, Erasers
  • Glow-in-the-dark ANYTHING
  • Play-doh*
  • Halloween Mini Kaleidoscope*
  • Poppers
  • Mini Slinky
  • Novelty Stampers* (I loved these as a kid!)
  • Bubbles!* I got Halloween themed ones but you can get mini white wedding ones and draw a ghost on them!

    * = What we are handing out! I added some links to make shopping easy!

    You can find all of these at Target, Michaels, Amazon, dollar store, party store, etc... And if you shop now, you can usually find a great deal! I always Google Michael's or Joann Fabric's Coupons before popping into the store. 

    Winston is healing from eye surgery. More on that in another post!
I absolutely love this idea and you can get as creative as you want. It's a great way to get people talking and raise some awareness.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Beachbody's Health Bet

ONWARD & UPWARD! You've GOT this baby! 

There are some days when you just don't want to workout. I GET IT. Trust me. 

And that's totally OK to take days off occasionally...I'm all about creating a FUN, easy balance with fitness, nutrition and life 

BUT sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone if you want to achieve something you've never done. You have to push through those lazy thoughts, defeating thoughts and CHOOSE the thing that's hard. The thing that's going to get you one step closer to your goal.

I'm not saying it's easy...but I AM saying I can help set you up for success. And I have about 1.4 MILLION little helpers on my side!

.....Would you be motivated to get results in your fitness if it meant your participation would qualify you for an equal share of a ($1.4MIL) cash prize pool?

Beachbody is trying something NEW for September (You don't want to miss this!) And I get to host one of the BEACHBODY HEALTH BET CHALLENGE groups!!
Beachbody is building this prize pool UP TO 3 million [dollars]. All challengers who participate in the BEACHBODY HEALTH BET CHALLENGE qualify for their equal share of THAT prize pool.
You won't be on Facebook, you'll be on the app - so anyone can do this (weee!!! )

...want to qualify?
During my September challenge group you must:
๐Ÿ’๐ŸผCommit to a Beachbody home workout
๐Ÿ’๐ŸผPick your Shakeology {superfood} smoothie flavor
๐Ÿ’๐ŸผLog your workout on the app 3+ days a week
๐Ÿ’๐ŸผLog your Shakeology 5+ days a week
๐Ÿ’๐Ÿผ change your life...your body and your outlook!

Have a bestie? A partner? A sis? You can do it TOGETHHERRR and share in the cashhh prize.

the bestttt part?

Ask yourself... would you invest in yourself & COMMIT TO WHAT MATTERS --- your health?
And then.... would you PAY YOURSELF to get healthier?

IF SO - let's do SEPTEMBER together!! 

Grab your hubby.
Grab your bestie.
WHOEVER - and let's get you set up!!

You can stream your workouts on your phone/tablet/laptop, do it at home, bring it to the gym, do it in a hotel, make it a family event, opt for an intense workout, commit to low impact or dance cardio, start small, or go big.

No matter what your goal is - I can help you find your soulmate workout to commit to. No excuses!

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ If you need some more details or need some help getting set up, fill this out:

I've opened up the CHALLENGER RSVP LIST here to allow for as many people as possible - so let's get our friends on board & tackle some healthy and wellness goals BEFORE all the halloween treats, TURKEY and mashed taters, and holiday craziness! right?!

*if you're already working with a coach - make sure you reach out to them to chat!
**If I'm your coach & you are just ready to RE-commit, let's do it!

More deets on Beachbody's Health Bet 

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Gluten Free Life (and Hashimotos)

Just living a gluten free life!

Over the past 2 years, I've learned A LOT about food, thyroid, autoimmune diseases and how we can HEAL our bodies. I'm thrilled that I'm able to use my STRUGGLES to help others.

I'll start with brief history...

For starters, I think I jinxed myself. For as long as I have been seeing Gluten Free labels in the grocery store, I have been proclaiming my sheer joy.

It's not what you think.... :P

I used to say, WOW Thank goodness I am not one of THOSE people. So glad I can eat the REAL pancakes and not the dehydrated cardboard they are passing off as Gluten Free!

...yea, I know.. I brought this upon myself.

In 2010, I was an overworked stressed out retail manager who needed to lose about 20 lbs. At my wits end, I ordered P90X hoping for a miracle. Though it wasn't easy, I lost 20 lbs & felt absolutely incredible.
During that time, I fell in love with fitness and learning about nutrition.I also fell in love with Beachbody Coaching- sharing my journey and support others who were taking their first {somewhat terrifying & overwhelming} steps towards healthier choices.

As a coach, it's my personal MISSION to lead by example. Practice what I preach. So in 2012 when I started experiencing symptoms like bloating, nausea, stomach pain, weight was not only frustrating... but I felt like I was dropping the ball and letting people down.

I didn't understand what was going on, but I felt like I needed to soldier through. To push my body harder, to DO MORE... but that was only serving to stress me out and make me feel even tired/rundown.

You can read more about my journey to find answers & my diagnosis here ( I was was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. I think it took me at least two weeks to remember the name lol But it's an autoimmune condition where your body attacks your thyroid.

"You have to be GLUTEN FREE for the rest of your life" my doctor told me.

CONFUSION + DEVASTATION (and Karma right?! :P )

I went through what I call the 5 Stages of Gluten Grief:

---Denial - No way! This doesn't happen to me- I eat healthy foods! "Gluten Free" is a marketing ploy
---Anger & Overwhelm - This is bull crap and Gluten Free Foods suck butt. I don't even know where to start. This sucks.
---Rationalizing - What if I just eat ONE GF meal a day? What's the harm? It's less than I was eating before.
---Depression - My life is never going to be the same. Going out to eat is going to be awful- I'm just going to stay home forever.
--Acceptance - Ok, Im hungry. I better figure this out.

Which led me to the creation of a free gluten free group on FB. Instead of letting myself sink into a hole of pity, I decided to partner up with others going through the same thing. I became the MASTER of my Gluten Free Education- researching online, on Pinterest, and purchasing a bookcase worth of GF books.
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While it has taken some time, I DECIDED (I made a choice) that I was going to ROCK this. I decided that I wasn't going to eat "Gluten Free" but rather, I would eat the absolute BEST nutrition.

What does that mean?
It means there are tons of GF options like cookies, pancakes, brownies... BUT just because they are GF, it does NOT mean they are good for you.

Do I expect you to make the same decisions or changes as me?
Absolutely not. BUT my hope is to inspire you, to encourage you, and lead the charge so you can make the BEST decisions for your health.

This is not just a group, this is an opportunity for ALL of us to BAND and become PROACTIVE about our health.
My hope is that you are not just along for the ride, but that you will share your tips, best practices and how the changes on your plate have impacted your health/mood/energy/etc...

I named my group The (Gluten) FREE Life because we are not focusing on what we have lost... but rather... what we are GAINING (improved health, energy, mood, etc).
Sure, we might not be able to dive in to the birthday cake with everyone, but that just means we have MORE time to socialize.
We might not be able to have the hotdog at the Baseball game, but we are saving our body from processed foods and chemicals.

Changing my diet has completely changed the way I view food and I believe I have a MUCH healthier outlook on it. I no longer feel like I'm 'jonesing' for some sugar. AND with 100% certainty, changing my food changes has helped HEAL mannyyy of my issues.

I look forward to getting to know you, swapping best practices and sharing how GF has changed your life!

PS don't be shy! If you're up for it, I would love for you to share your story/journey below!

If you would like to be a part of my group, you are welcome to join.

((INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTORS: You will be promptly removed for any salesy posts, poaching, or trying to use this group as a customer base. It is STRICTLY for all of us to support one another in this gluten free journey. Thank you for respecting my guidelines. ))

Join here -->
Find me on Facebook --> Kati Heifner

For more posts and resources, check out my other blog posts

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Dynasty Surge! Featuring TOP Coaches, Autumn Calabrese & CEO Carl Daikeler

Ever wonder if you sign up as a Beachbody coach, will you be on your own? 

Have you ever wondered what kind of support, tools or training you get in this business?

Well....YOU CAN TAKE ONE LOOK AT THIS GRAPHIC and know that ON OUR TEAM, you are anything BUT alone! We go the distance (and beyond) to bring THE MOST SUPPORT, Training, encouragement AND we always strive to practice what we preach.
I am so excited for arguably one of the MOST EPIC team calls / training we've ever hosted! The Dynasty has come together with some of the BIGGEST powerhouses in this business to bring a NIGHT of training, inspiration and FUN! Complete with Autumn Calabrese (Creator of Country Heat) AND Beachbody's CEO Carl Daikeler!

I am THRILLED and honored to be included in this lineup!

IF you are on my team or The Bombshell Dynasty, YOU DO NOT WANT to miss this! <3 a="" and="" back="" be="" br="" gift="" give="" it="" of="" over="" part="" so="" thankful="" this="" to="">
As my friend Brittany would say, "When you get some success under your belt - make sure to turn around and help the next."

If you are not a coach and have been considering it, let's chat! I can help answer questions and figure out if it's a good fit for you.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My Perfectly Imperfect FITNESS Journey

Sometimes I think I'm crazy for posting such terrible pics of myself LOL... but as someone who wants to continue paying it forward...I feel compelled to share...

Sometimes I will get a message from an exasperated woman who feels like they have tried everything. 
"Oh but it's EASY for you. You were BORN with good genetics." "I doubt you really know what it's like to be frustrated with your weight."
The truth is... while I love my body... I haven't always been happy with it...and it hasn't always responded to workouts.
Once upon a time, when I first started...I wasn't fit. I wasn't confident and I was CLUELESS about how to eat or workout. I felt LOST.
I didn't know where to start...but I knew I wanted to change. I wanted to be happy...and even more importantly...I wanted to be HEALTHY.
Every transformation story begins with being tired of your own BS and excuses. I was TIRED of feeling like crap. I was TIRED of envying other girls. I was tired of having to plan my outfits around how chunky I felt.
So I drew a line in the sand and COMMITTED (to myself).
After getting insane results with P90X, I allowed myself to get a little off course in 2013... Back in the saddle I went! I committed to my workouts, portion control and taking things day-by-day.
Some of you may remember my weekly progress pics from 2014. I was feeling SOOO good. Rocking some cute outfits and I've never felt better...
But...then I really hit a wall. I started struggled with fatigue and bloating. My workouts were making me even MORE tired and I not only was not seeing results...I was somehow GAINING weight.

In that time, I reached the HIGHEST weight I've ever been. I didn't know what was wrong with me...or how to fix it. I was moody, uncomfortable and felt sick pretty much all of the time.
After countless doctors, I finally found some answers...HEALED my gut, got rid of the parasites, and had to change the way I was eating. Even though I was eating HEALTHY...I was still eating foods that were causing my inflammation (gluten, dairy, soy being the biggest culprits).
I educated myself and started following Whole30/Paleo. I discovered that low impact workouts work best for me right now.
And I realized that I can share my struggles/experience to help others who have struggled with Hashimotos/Hypothyroidism/or other health issues.
Every woman deserves to be confident and feel strong. Trust me, I have days when I want to give up...or dive head first into a giant VAT of ice cream..... But in those moments, you have to DIG DEEP.
You have to remember WHY you have to focus on your goals....and KNOW that it's okay to have a jagged line to success. It wasn't always easy and it doesn't happen overnight BUT we all start somewhere!
If I can do it, I KNOW you can too!
The best part is...It is LITERALLY my JOB to help! In case you don’t know... I’m an entrepreneur who works from home.... helping others get healthy (and helping others build businesses of their own).
If you are ready to draw a line in the sand and COMMIT to pursuing wellness with home workouts, clean eating, and online coach support from me, message me! I want to help 
We will find the PERFECT program for you & get you all set up for my upcoming online fitness accountability group.



Thursday, June 30, 2016

Country Heat RESULTS: Beachbody's New Line Dancing Workout

OK eekkkk...My 30 Day Country Heat RESULTS are in! SOOOO flipping nervous to post hahah

I will be the FIRST to admit I was SKEPTICAL about this workout (to be fair..I'm skeptical about evvvrrythinggg until I read reviews from other people lol )

When Beachbody started promoting it...we thought the promo video was a spoof haha

HUH? a ...workout...uhhhh Okkayyyy?!

But...once I popped that baby in... I could seeAutumn Calabrese was a master...and she wasn't messing around haha

I love the music. I love the moves. It's SO fun to do WITH people (hellloooo workout dates!!) and the workouts go by so quickly.

The first week or so was a bit frustrating...I'm not naturally a dancer..I have absolutely NO rhythm and I felt a bit ridiculous trying to copy Autumn's smooth moves :P
But...I just focused on MOVING. Much like I did when I started P90X... If I couldn't do the move, I would go slow, pause the dvd or simply do what I could.

But week by week...I've been feeling more confident and actually able to add my own flair.

  • You Sweat. 
  • You're sore (in places you didn't even realize you're working)
  • Once you get the moves down, you end up having so much fun you forget it's a workout. 
  • You twist, turn and shimmy so much that it really cinches in your waist! YAY! 

I found myself checking in to the private Beachbody facebook group to see what the other girls were share struggles...share tips and really reminded me why I LOVE CHALLENGE GROUPS. The support and motivation is like none other ...which is why I CANNOT wait to host my own County Heat group! (COMING SOON!)

Before we started...I was DREADING the "DAY 1" pics because I got a little fluffy. We'll call it happy weight... from all of the fun date nights and dinners out haha

I am SO glad I took the pics though because while I'm "only" down 4 lbs...I FEEL so much better! I feel like ME again.

I would HIGHLY recommend this workout for...
  • Anyone who struggles with hypothyroidism/Hashimoto's like me
  • Anyone who needs a LOW impact workout
  • New moms who want to get back in the swing of things
  • Anyone NEW to fitness who wants a program that is NOT intimidating
  • Anyone who gets BORED with their workouts and wants something FUN
  • Anyone who loves country Music
  • Anyone who wants to learn how to dance haha
  • Anyone who wants to shake things up! 

If you are considering this workout...I say GO FOR IT! And that is coming from someone who really was NOT convinced it was going to be good (but it is!!) hehe

Feel free to share if you are excited about this program =)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Story About Love

This is an exciting post to it was so unexpected...

Like completely unexpected.

As I look back on my path... I can't help but think the entire universe conspired to help me meet him. 

Isn't it funny how a broken path can lead us exactly where we're supposed to be?

On paper, he's everything I imagined my ideal partner would be.. He doesn't know this (unless he reads this haha) but sometimes I look at him and wonder if I wished him into existence ... Impossible since he is older than me lol ... but still ....I like to imagine we were crafted to fit.

While I've never wanted a man to "complete me"... I have always wanted a true partner. (Random side note: Shel Silverstein's book, "The Missing Piece" perfectly illustrates this. It's my favoriteeee!)

A relationship where....
...we help one another

...inspire one another to be our best
...we respect one another
...encourage one another
...have each other's best interests at heart
...and we're best friends.

Someone who has my back and does what they say they will do... someone who I can count on. 

Now before I get wayyyy to ahead of myself... our relationship is just about rounding the 4 month mark. A mere speck on the relationship longevity meter...but I just can't help myself as I have never felt this way before. Cue the fireworks, butterflies and stars in my eyes.

While I don't want to put any pressure on this new relationship, you guys know that I always do my very best to listen to my gut. My instincts & my intuition tell me to stay the course =)

I, without a doubt, have learned more about myself in the last 6 months...than I have in the last 30 years of my life. As I look back on previous relationships, I can so clearly see the lessons, the reasons they could never work out, and ultimately I am grateful for them because they led me to this point.

This is hard to articulate... but I've realized something a bit astonishing. Something I think I always knew (deep down) but was afraid to admit... so let me see if this makes any sense...
In the past, I was hurt very deeply in a relationship where I felt like I gave my whole heart. When it dissolved, I couldn't imagine that I would ever recover or love that way again.  Along came my next relationship...someone who was totally different... kind and patient.... BUT wasn't a perfect fit for me. It was an okay fit. It felt like a "safe choice" where I could avoid getting hurt...because I  could 
never love him deeply, passionately and truly. 

However, we all know how that story ends (see my previous blog posts lol). It was unfair to both of us...and I wish I could have spared us both the pain.

But as hard as it was... it makes me appreciate how I feel now about 100 million times more. (And hopefully he feels the same way)

"God blessed the broken road that led my straight to you."
Ok so I know many of you have been wondering how this all happened...


At the end of my last relationship, I started seeing the Christian Counselor my best friend recommended. As we were working through things like forgiveness, my patterns, behaviors, and beliefs... I became slightly obsessed with just becoming BETTER. Everything from my spirituality...current relationships (family, friends etc) ... to future romantic relationships...

I started reading a book that inspired me to take action. Now I feel like I should say... my counselor was against this lol  She felt like I needed to take a year to myself, to process everything and focus on me. While I think that is solid advice, I just didn't feel it was right for me.

As I mentioned above... I was basically trying to make the wrong relationship work... Fitting a square peg into a round hole... we just weren't right. In that sense, I felt like I had already spent a couple of years "sitting on my hands."

I wondered if I would ever meet someone that I was truly head over heals crazy about.

My friends know... when I get an idea in my head... I like to ACT on it. IMMEDIATELY.  It's how I've ended up painting my entire house in the middle of the night because I got the inspiration to change the walls at 8pm. Or how all of my furniture ends up completely moved around in a single afternoon.

Anywho, this book talks about a concept called "Duty dating." Basically, you go on some dates with guys you might not necessarily have chemistry with to practice... By practice I mean... work on your conversation skills & practice being a lady.  During this process, you might end up going on a date with someone you DO have chemistry with.
(Disclaimer: This does NOT mean to go on a bunch of dates and act scandalous.) Does that make sense?

Ok so I know the concept sounds a bit... odd?...but it got me thinking...

With my current situation, the ONLY way I was going to meet a nice guy was...

  • At Target
  • At the grocery store
  • At the dog park
  • ....maybe Home Goods? 
I'm still fairly new to Florida (aka still clueless about what to do/where to go)...and I am not going to be heading to the bar anytime, ever.
Let's be honest... What are the chances of me bumping into a single, handsome, put-together guy...who I have chemistry with...   It wasn't looking good.

One of my very dear friends moved to a new town after graduating. Between work and all of her responsibilities she didn't have time or the desire to go out... making it nearly impossible to meet someone. Now, she's happily engaged to a great guy she met on Match.

That got me thinking...

I do everything else online...why not give it a whirl? I thought surely it would take 6 months...maybe a year before I met someone I really clicked with...

Made a profile...which I nearly nearly deleted the next day. I have no reference point for how many messages people typically receive... but it was a bit overwhelming... and... let's just say I got some reallllyyy interesting proposals haha

(An awkward side story: My last relationship was over for months & months before I was ready to make it "Facebook Official." In the meantime, I had just created my Match profile. A girl here in Tampa, who was also on Match, sent me a very kind message warning me that someone created a fake profile with my pics on Match. I was SO caught off guard that I fibbed about it! OH MY!  I definitely owe her an apology! Since I was just testing the waters, I didn't expect anyone I knew to see me! haha WHOOPS! ) 

I ended up going on two very boring coffee dates. One decent but VERY platonic coffee date... but they were a nice distraction and a nice way to ease myself back into the single world.

I decided my main focus was going to be on living my life to the or no love...


I saw a very handsome guy pop up. I was intrigued... but didn't want to make the first move.

Thankfully...he saw me and messaged me.

I had a lot going on that week...and wasn't in a huge hurry to waste an evening LOL 

In hindsight, I'm glad I was so "whatever" about us meeting up because it just made our first date that much more memorable.
I thought it might be fun to share some of our first texts =)   Basically... Saturday... Feb 13th... he had dinner reservations... which I declined. I was volunteering at the animal shelter until 9pm... at which point I would be a sweaty mess (not the best scenario for a first impression)... but hey, how 'bout tomorrow?  ....
...then I got home and finally realized "tomorrow" was VALENTINE'S DAY. Uhhhh I basically just asked a guy to take me to dinner on quite possibly THE most awkward and weird day for a FIRST date... 
....He was sweet enough to find out whether or not we could get a reservation...  but leave it to me to forget to respond with whether or not I wanted to go.... 

...and then get lost on my way there. Park WAY too far away ...and I had to call him for directions even after he sent me the name of the restaurant, directions to get there and instructions on where to park! LOL I don't drive well under pressure haha

I didn't know what to expect...and while I threw on a dress and some heels... I spent too much time at the dog park to bother fixing my hair or put a lot of effort into my makeup. 

BUT... it was worth all of the hassle... because as soon as I walked up... sparks... weak in the knees...took my breath away. I instantly regretted not doing my hair LOL

We had such a nice dinner... during which he said I barely looked at him. We laugh about that now, but o.m.g I was so nervous. I can't even remember what I babbled about.. What I DO remember though... 

A nice dinner. Great company. And never wanting the night to end. 

He took me for a nice (but windy) walk through the park after dinner... was so polite, kind, well mannered (my weakness)! 

Since our first date, I haven't been able to get him out of my mind. He has awakened parts of me that I didn't know existed... That might sound a bit sexual? But to clarify.... I mean... he lets me be feminine.  With him around, I feel safe. I can put my guard down - I don't have to worry or be a stress ball.

One of the challenges with being a girlboss is feeling like you have to be in charge of EVERYTHING. While I LOVE being a BOSS and running my own business, in my "personal life"'s such a relief to trust someone enough to call the shots. 

I feel a little crazy saying this...I realize it's SO soon... but because of him...I have this desire to start a family.  
 I've always wanted kids in a very abstract "one day" in a galaxy far, far away kind of way...  But now, I've literally almost blurted out..."I want to have your baby" hahah (dear Lord, help me if he reads this LOL)  

What I adore about him... He's brilliant. I love his brain and that he is constantly teaching me new things. He's RELIABLE, sincere, open and truthful. 

I love that he is so thoughtful and affectionate. He will randomly bring me flowers...or do little things like pack my favorite drink for a trip to the beach.

I asked him to grab me strawberries at the store. Normally, I will spend about 5 secs looking at the packages before picking one... but he was considerate enough to look through all of the strawberries and pick the very best one for me (PS they were to die for!)

When he kisses me, it feels electric. I still get butterflies and little hearts in my eyes when I see him. 

It's not just about passion. It's about the quality time spent together...holding hands, sitting together, enjoying one another company. It's about all of the meaningful and meaningless conversations. We can laugh about everything and nothing. Serious or silly... I love it all. 

When all you have to do is look at one another and you both feel warm and cozy inside.

I love that he's willing to try new things with me (like painting portraits of the dogs) or going on both grand and mini adventures alike.

I love that he's a realist...always prepared for what may be around the corner.

I love that we can work as a team...something as simple as doing the dishes together. I feel like we have each other's back.
It's about being happy to be together....even when you wake up and your hair is explosively look at one another (with bags under your eyes haha) and smile.

 I wanted to share something my counselor gave me that was super helpful. I didn't want to jump into a relationship that might not be right for she gave me a list. It's 4 pages long...

You can see it here: Ingredients for a Successful Relationship

Group 1: Deal Breakers & Red Flags
Group 2: Characteristics for Compatibility
(Example: In the past, I overlooked a lack of ambition in my partner (even though that was very important to me... but over time that became a HUGE issue).
Group 3: Things you will have to continually work on in any relationship.

As we started dating, I went through this list and even talked to Rich about some of these things to make sure we were on the same page. Honestly it's a great list of topics to think about and would have saved me a lot of heartache if I had it years ago haha

Our story is so DIFFERENT from what I expected...something I never could have predicted. It just goes to show that God always knows what he's doing - even when we feel lost or clueless. We may not always understand his plan, but over time it becomes joyfully clear. 
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.