Friday Fives


I’m back with another round of Friday Fives!  Five lists of five things.  Pretty simple, huh!?

Five Reasons I Love Summer:
1. Long days
2. Night swimming
3. Farmer’s markets
4. Ice cream with rainbow sprinkles
5. Fresh-cut grass


Five Reasons I’m Excited for Fall:
1. Football
2. Bonfires
3. Fall festivals
4. Apple dumplings
5. Boots


Five Dinners on My “To-Make” List:
1. Chicken stir-fry with zoodles
2. Whole-wheat tortilla pizzas
3. BBQ chicken sweet potatoes
4. Fish tacos
5. Avocado-pesto linguine


Five Indulgences I Wouldn’t Mind Having Right Now:
1. Doughnuts
2. BBQ potato chips
3. Stuffing with gravy
4. DQ Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Smash Blizzard
5. Fettuccini Alfredo


Five Things I’m Doing Today:
1. Working
2. Golfing
3. Going out to dinner
4. Meeting friends for drinks
5. Being happy


TGIF!  Have a fabulous weekend!

Pick a list and give me your five!

Thursday Thoughts #2

Hello, hello!

I’m back for another round of Thursday thoughts!  I feel like it might be a weekly thing around here because, as I said last week, Thursdays always seem like a good day to share thoughts!  Let’s get to it!

**Eating a plate of veggies for dinner is, totally, a thing around here. 


**The pups that live in this house are really soaking up these lazy summer days.  Sometimes, when we go outside to play, they just stand out in the yard and look at me like, “Are you serious!?”


**Powdered PB is, seriously, a game-changer and a life-changer.  Who invented this stuff and why wasn’t it invented years and years ago!?  It’s so perfect for shakes and smoothies…I just can’t get enough!


**I did some organizing in our dining room and cleaned up our little bar shelf.   I bought old wine glasses a couple of months ago and am excited to have them out on display.  Yep.  I just got excited over dishes.  I’m, totally, an adult now. 


**Yesterday, I wore a constellation shirt to work and sipped my coffee out of my constellation mug.  If you love something shouldn’t you incorporate it in every aspect of your life?  No?  Hmmm…maybe I better reevaluate. 


**I know at least six people who had taco salads or nachos for lunch or dinner yesterday.  I mean, I guess it only makes sense that Taco Tuesday would be followed by Leftover Taco Salad and Nacho Wednesday, right!?


**On a not-so-fun note, last night, after my Jazzercise class, my favorite, favorite, favorite water bottle slipped out on my hands and fell on the floor.  I picked it up and sent up a little wish that it was alright.  Well, it was not, and, to my dismay, the bottom was completely cracked.  So…I’m on the hunt.  For a new one.  For the same one?  Fingers crossed I can find it! 


Spread love and enjoy your day!

Share a Thursday thought with me!
Do you use powdered PB for anything?  Let me know!
Any weekend plans coming up?


Hey!  How are you!?

Since I’m restarting my blog and know that I may have new readers, I wanted to share today a quick recap of my transformation and how I got where I am today.  Last week, I gave a little insight into how I got to where I was with my workouts and what I have done over the past few years but, today, I’m touching quickly on how I’ve transformed on both the inside and outside. 

I shared this post yesterday evening on Facebook for #transformationtuesday and wanted to put it here on my blog, as well.  So, I am, officially, declaring today #transformationwednesday.  Is that okay with you!?  Good.  So, here we go. 

I have said before that I really think transformation stories are hard and this is why…….old pictures suck.

Excuse the language.


Looking back on my transformation isn’t always an easy thing. Sure, I like to see where I am now and I am amazed at where I was but, sometimes, looking back on my journey isn’t always easy. You see, I have always tried to live a healthy lifestyle and, in addition to that, I’ve been a fitness instructor for almost ten years…but…

During that time, I’ve gone through the darkest time in my life and, thankfully, too, one of the brightest. I’ve been a “normal” size, I’ve lost weight to the point where people told me I looked unhealthy, I’ve put that weight back on and then some, and, finally, I have reached a point where I feel the best that I ever have. It’s crazy how your inside can reflect so much on your outside. Your thoughts and your body are truly one and I’ve learned that it is crucial to take care of both.

Seeing that picture on the left makes me realize how much I wasn’t taking care of myself even though I thought I was. I mean, I was eating ‘okay’ and teaching class so that should have been enough, right? No. It wasn’t. I know, now, I was eating too much, having too many treats thinking that, “just one more isn’t going to hurt,” and I, definitely, wasn’t giving my workouts my all. So…totally, sorry to my students for that.

I’m not exactly sure what clicked last year and made me decide to make a change but I know what helped me get to where I am today. SUPPORT. A fellow instructor and I decided we were going to work on our eating, our workouts, and, basically, our overall health. We wanted to tone, build muscle, and be the best instructors that we could be. That did it. We checked in with each other everyday and it is, truly, what pushed me and made me successful.

Over the past year, I have crushed goals and have worked on my inside which, I believe, is showing through to my outside. Every day, I strive to be that support to others that my friend was to me. Just to have someone there can make all the difference in the world. I am thankful each day for the opportunity to still be an instructor to my students, a coach to my challengers, and, hopefully, an inspiration to anyone working on their fitness journey.


My story, obviously, is longer and I could a novel on those dark times I mentioned as well as the bright ones!  However, I can’t keep you here all day and I’m sure you have other places to be and other things to read so we’ll save some of those stories for another time, okay!? 

If you ever have doubt in yourself or find yourself on a path that doesn’t make you happy, make the decision to make a change, find your ‘why,’ and find those amazing people that will be your support every step of the way. It will make all the difference in the world.

Happy Wednesday!

Have you ever undergone a transformation mentally or physically?
Who do you tend to turn to for support?
(my mom, husband, and BFFs are amazing!)
Just for fun: How are you spending your last few weeks of summer!?

The Comparison Trap

Hey, Monday! 

And, ohhh, heeey Monday that I have off from work.  SO nice to see you!  Well, I guess I shouldn’t say that I’m completely off because I am teaching a morning Jazzecise class but I don’t have to sit my butt in my office chair for eight hours and that’s ‘off’ enough for me! 

This past week and, especially, this past weekend, I was doing something that I can’t say I’m very proud of.  I was falling into that crazy trap of comparing myself to others.  I know it happens to everyone and it happens more than we like but I try to keep it to a minimum around here.  It’s something that I have to work on and something that I’m constantly trying to improve in myself.  I am so thankful for my family, my friends, my job, my childhood, my experiences, and, well, basically, everything.  Even for those tough times I have gone through.  They weren’t easy but, in the end, I know they have made me a better person. 


So, with that being said, while I don’t envy anyone or want to be anyone else…I still have a crazy tendency to look at people that are where I want to be and tell myself that I’m not sure I’m capable of making it there.  It happens when I think about where I am professionally.  To say that I am thankful for my job is an understatement.  To say that I am happy at my job…now, that’s another thing.  Without going into crazy details about my life goals, I’ll just say that I would rather be somewhere else and doing something that provides me with, not only a challenge, but, also, something that fulfills me.  I am, currently, trying to get there and working on shifting my focus.  I am taking the first steps to branch out and expand my career in fitness while, also, trying to build a business and a brand.  Phew.  Just saying it makes me nervous. 

I have been a fitness instructor for ten years. 
I have recently started a business as a fitness coach.
I have blogged for five years.

Those are the thoughts that are facts.

I want to teach other classes in addition to what I do now.
I want to grow my business and use it as a significant part of my income.
I threw out my old blog and just started fresh with a new one last week.

Those are the thoughts that scare the crap out of me. 

My fear of growing and not having what it takes to get there is fueled by looking at others that are where I want to be.  Successful trainers, top fitness coaches, top bloggers – they are all inspirations to me but, on the flip side, also those that I see as having something that I don’t think I have.  I mean, they are so driven and do so well.  I’m sure that could never be me. 

Thankfully, I have a wonderful team of beautiful ladies surrounding me that quickly pushed all of those negative thoughts out of my head.  They made sure to make me see how ridiculous I was being and how I have the capability to do absolutely anything that I want to. 


I have been successful, I am successful, and I will continue to be successful. 
Because I want it.  Because I know the value of hard work.  Because I am driven. 

So, there you have it. 

I was down.  Thinking I wasn’t good enough.  Thinking that my dreams were crazy.  Funny how quickly that can happen, right!? 

I’m here, today, to share with you that you, too, are good enough. 

Being yourself is all you can be so you might as well rock it. 
You can do anything you put your mind to and work hard for. 
Don’t ever doubt yourself. 
You have what it takes. 
Believe that. 
Even if you have to wake up every morning and tell yourself. 
Do it. 

Now, go and crush your day!

Do you ever doubt yourself or where you are in life?
What do you do when you fall into the comparison trap?
Share something that you are proud of!

Friday Fives

Hello, hello, and TGIF!

Today, we can get right to it and talk about my Friday Fives.  I like to describe this series as “totally random lists chosen by me.” 

Five Current Favorite Snacks:
1.  Cherries
2.  Cottage cheese
3.  Popcorn
4.  Shakeology
5.  Kale chips


Five Totally Unnecessary Things I Want but Don’t Need:
:1.  These jeans
2.  Robin’s egg blue platform heels
3.  More denim button-down shirts
4.  A MacBook
5.  More cute coffee mugs


Five Weekend Plans:
1.  Teach a Jazzercise class
2.  Organize my spare bedroom
3.  Cut the grass
4.  Grocery shop
5.  Drink wine 


Five Things I’m Excited For:
1.  Three upcoming weddings
2.  New 21-day challenge groups starting
3.  Hot summer weather
4.  A low-key work week
5.  Starbucks after work today


Five Things on my Grocery List:
1.  Blueberries
2.  Broccoli slaw
3.  Chicken breasts
4.  Dave’s Killer Bread
5.  Cashew Milk


Alright, friends, there you have it!  Five random lists of five random things!  Fridays are fun, right!? 

Have a beautiful day and weekend! 

Pick a list and share your five!

Thursday Thoughts – 08.11.16

Hey, hey!  Hello, Thursday! 

Today is my last full day of work this week!  Can I get a big high five for that!?  Tomorrow is a half day in our office and, because the doctor I work for is on vacation next week, my co-worker and I will just be splitting some mornings next week to keep up on our work…I know we’re all looking forward to this little break! 

Thursday is always the perfect day to share some random thoughts, right!?  I mean, “Thursday” and “thoughts” both start with ‘th’ and we love alliteration, don’t we!?  And, by we, I mean us bloggers, writers, and English lovers out there.  Are you one of those people?  Not surprisingly, I am!  Duh. 

Okay, so here are some things that have been going on around here.  A lot of them I have shared on Instagram…do follow me!?

**Last week, my dad, my husband, and I went golfing with my 93-year-old grandpap.  He was an amazing golfer in his younger days and hasn’t been out in a few years and had been asking to go.  I think it goes without saying that it was one of the best afternoons of my life. 


**Overnight oats will never get old.  Or, I could could also call them “Morning oats that are in a jar for only an hour.”  Recently, I’ve been throwing my mix in a jar before I leave for work and just eating them when I get there.  They are still awesome!  My favorite combo currently: oats, cashew milk, cinnamon, brown sugar, chia seeds, blueberries.


**I love this girl with all of my heart. Her name is April and she was the first friend I made when I met my husband and moved to a new area.  She lives down the street, is my outlet for so many things, and someone I can always count on.  Recently, she made the decision to join one of my challenge groups and she kicked butt!  I am so proud of her and definitely see her as an inspiration!


**I absolutely love going out to eat.  Like, totally, love it, for real.  Yep, I do enjoy cooking at home but, for me, nothing beats heading out for a dinner date with my husband and just talking while we sip on coffee or a beer.  I feel like being out is a way to step away from the distractions that can happen at home.  It’s just you, your company, and delicious food.  Don’t worry, I do make an effort to get my healthy eating in while I’m out! 


**Since I mentioned beer in my last thought, I’ll give a little shout out to a local brewery that is fairly new to our town.  It is called Levity and we are, pretty much, obsessed with it.  The atmosphere, the beer, the patrons, and the owners are amazing!  This past weekend I tried a blueberry ale…and it was amazing…especially, when paired with my aqua nails!


**Lettuce wraps have taken over in our house.  I was a little hesitant to intro them to the hubs…I mean, he’s not a salad man and I was going to try to feed him a lettuce leaf?  I was skeptical.  However, one, night, I made tacos and only gave him the option of lettuce for his shell.  He loved it.  I was shocked.  Now, we eat them with everything.  Below, they are stuffed with a tuna + pepper mix.


**I have a pretty crazy Jazzercise schedule coming up.  We have a couple girls out on vacation and, since my work schedule is light, I’m doing what I can to help out and cover.  I have eleven classes crammed into eight days.  Last night, I got my first two out of the way.  Only nine more to go.  We got this! 


Have a fabulous day! 

Share a random thought with me!
Do you like going out to eat?
If you’re an overnight oats fan, share your favorite combo!

Workout Wednesday

Good morning!  How is it the middle of the week already!?

Today, I thought I would touch on my fitness journey and what I’m doing today in my everyday routine.  I’ve always enjoyed mixing up what I’m doing and having a variety of things to choose from because I tend to get bored easily.  If you read my old blog or follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that I’m a Jazzercise instructor and have been for a while.  Next April, it will be ten years.  Don’t even ask me where those years went because I, seriously, have no idea.  Joining and, eventually, training to be an instructor seems like a lifetime ago…but, I can say it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because, after all these years, I still love it! 

(me getting ready to torture my Saturday morning class last weekend)

Anyway…I, usually, teach about 2-4 classes a week, depending on if I’ve signed up to do a weekend class or not.  I live about an hour away from the center where I teach so, a lot of the time, I’ll come and double at night so I can teach multiple classes when I’ve made the trip down.  Since I’m not close enough to teach every day or attend other’s classes, I depend on a lot of at-home workouts to supplement my classes. 

Over the years, I have tried a ton of at-home workout programs…starting way back with Tae Bo and Gilad in my bedroom when I was in high school.  Please tell me someone out there knows who Gilad is!?  He was on the fitness channel and would do his workouts on the beach…I think I secretly just wanted to be on the beach and that’s why I tuned in!  Okay…anyway…fast forward through the years and I find myself, present-day, totally in love with, not only cardio, but strength training, as well.  Jazzercise classes are a combination of both so I have always incorporated both types of training into my plans but, recently, I have really buckled down on my weight work and, specifically, trying to tone and build muscle. 

Last year, I came to the realization that, even though I did a lot and was teaching, running, biking, etc., I felt like I was just skating through and not really putting my all into my fitness.  I decided to really make a change and start to, not only work harder on my workouts, but, also, work harder on my nutrition, as well.  I loved Beachbody’s Turbo Fire workouts so, in addition to teaching, I started a cycle of those workouts, including both cardio and muscle work.  I, also, started paying closer attention to what I was eating.  I love food and will never restrict my diet but I concentrated on how much and when I was eating.  Through the combination of hard work, I ended up losing around 15 pounds. 


Getting to where I wanted made me feel incredible and I set a plan to work on my next goal, which was to continue to tone and build muscle.  Enter The 21 Day Fix.  I knew I wanted to start a new workout program and that seemed like the right choice at the time…and, I couldn’t have been more right!  I fell in love!  Since the latter part of last year, I have worked through multiple cycles of the Fix and have, also, moved onto 21 Day Fix Extreme.  The workouts are killer but short so it’s not hard to fit them into my schedule!  Also, the eating plan is super simple to follow.  I am not one for following specific meal plans but I use it as a guide to tell me how much I should be eating to fuel my body properly. 

I am so happy to say that I am in a good place when it comes to my fitness.  I love teaching, I love challenging myself at home, and I still love to get out and do those different things I like to throw in every now and then like running and biking.  I may do a trail race in the next few weeks so I may have to switch up my routine a bit so I can get some training runs done! 


So, this post got a little wordy but I like to look back over my journey and see how far I’ve come.  I’ve had many ups and downs…there were times when I’ve struggled and others when I’ve felt on top of the world.  I think any journey in life is like that and can be expected.  However, nothing compares to when you reach the point when you know you’ve found something that works for you and something you love.  I’m there, now, and am grateful for every step I’ve taken to get here! 


Do you workout at home?
Are you a cardio or a strength person?  Or both, like me!?
What is your current fitness routine?

Weekly Meal Prep

Hey friends!  Happy Tuesday!

I know most people prep food on Sundays and get all ready for the week before it begins but, for some reason, my night to grocery shop always happens to Monday.  I should say that my preferred time to shop is on a Saturday morning around 7:30am…the aisles are empty and I feel like I have the entire store to myself.  However, I, usually, never get to the store at that time so, Monday, after work, it is!! 

Yesterday was my husband’s last day of vacation and, sadly, he is headed back to work today.  Even though we didn’t take time off together this summer, we were still able to enjoy the time by spending our afternoons together during my lunch breaks grabbing a coffee and our evenings together working out and either cooking dinner or heading out for a date night.  We decided to eat out last night and, then, take our Monday night trip to the store.  I didn’t get a huge haul but I got enough essentials to get us through the week on lunches and dinners. 


Here are some things that will be coming out of our kitchen this week:

  • Zoodles with turkey meatballs
  • Overnight blueberry oats
  • Tuna salad (tuna, red peppers, dijon mustard, S&P) lettuce wraps
  • Grilled chicken and super greens salad
  • Chicken stir-fry over farro
  • Egg white and veggie scrambles

…and, we also picked up some cherries and bananas to throw in our smoothies and cottage cheese and Greek yogurt for snacks and to pair with berries! 


I am not the best at sitting down at the beginning of the week and planning out every single meal or snack for each day but I try to have a general idea of what I plan on making during the week even if I don’t know which day it will happen.  I like to have the ingredients I need and, then, while I’m sitting at work during the day, think about what I’m craving.  It works best that way! 

I’m always on the search for new and healthy recipes…I like to experiment and, while I’m at it, make my husband try things he’s never tried before.  He gets a little nervous but he is definitely a trooper!  I’ve, somehow, even made him love broccoli…so I’ll call our marriage a success! 

Have a beautiful day!

What recipes are you currently loving?
Do you meal plan or make things on the fly?
When is your favorite time to grocery shop?

Welcome to The Life of Kell

Hi readers! 

Welcome to my new blog, The Life of Kell! 


Five years ago, I started a healthy living blog called Laughter, Strength, and Food.   I used my blog as an outlet for my writing, which is something that I have always loved to do.  Throughout the five years that my blog existed, much like everything in life, it had its share of ups and downs.  I used to blog almost every day and loved it but, eventually, I started stressing myself out if I didn’t get a post up.  I put an insane amount of pressure to get content out even if that content was less-than-stellar.  Ugh.  Nobody wants to read boring content. 

So, I took little breaks here and there but every time I wasn’t writing, I felt like something felt missing and I would go back to the drawing board and type out my thoughts again and share them with the world.  Then, again, I would start to feel stale  I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong or what I needed to do to fix it.  I would change my headers, change my fonts, change my colors, and so on, but, would only feel fresh for a couple of days before feeling like I was back in my rut. 

Then, one day, it hit me…I didn’t want to revamp what I had…I wanted to start over.

I wanted a new name.
I wanted new content.
I wanted something fresh.
I wanted new photos.
I wanted a new niche.

…and, so was born The Life of Kell. 

The name popped in my head and I fell in love with it.  It’s a name that signifies exactly what this blog is – ME. 


I knew that I would still write about health and fitness because it is a huge part of my life but I feel so free now that this will be just my overall journey through life – family, friends, random thoughts, random pictures, deep conversations, exciting news, and anything else I can share!  I plan on posting M-F and giving myself a break on the weekends but, this time, if I don’t have anything to say, I’ll skip a day…and know that it’s okay!  Or, if I have something to share on a Saturday, I’ll post it…and, know that it’s okay, too! 

I want to make this space a place where readers love to come!  So, thanks for stopping by and checking me out and I hope you’ll stop back!

Hello to The Life of Kell!