“Be Unapologetically You” – Blogfest 2018 (part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of IDEA WORLD Blogfest Highlights 🙂 Today I’m sharing the inspiration I received from the amazing Heidi Powell.

A little about Heidi: Heidi Powell is the ultimate female force. She is a trainer, transformation specialist, devoted wife, mother of four, savvy businesswoman, author, nutrition nut, and overall health guru. Heidi became a fixture in America’s living room as she worked side-by-side husband Chris Powell on ABC’s hit show, “Extreme Weight Loss.” (yes I just copied this info. from her website)  Read more about Heidi here 🙂

Here are some of my favorites:

They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care

Would you rather work with someone who knows everything or someone who cares about you? I have always got caught with “I need to know more” mindset; I can’t start sharing or blogging about wellness/fitness until I have read this many books or have this many certifications. Although education is very important in this field, caring is more important. Hearing Heidi talk about this was a reminder to myself to focus of my passion of helping people instead of waiting until I “know it all”

Comparison is the thief of Joy

When is the last time you compared yourself to someone? In person or online. I can’t tell you how many times I have. It’s so easy to fall into that trap of comparison. But not at the expense of our joy.

Embrace Failure

Why are we so afraid of failure? Take risks, do things you might not be the best at. Comfort is the thief of progress. Yes, Heidi, yes!

And now the best one of all:



This one really shouted out loud to me because I struggle with it most. Just be yourself. That should be easy. Well, it is if you’re not worried about what others are thinking.  Sometimes I think people do not know the real me because I don’t let them see who I really am in fear of disapproval. Why do I allow that to hold me back? BE YOU!!!


Here’s to being unapologetically me. Flaws and all. Thank you Heidi. 🙂


I quit my job!

Hello There,

I have been home all day for the first time in almost 9 years and its feels amazing. Why?

I quit my job! Why is it such a big deal? Because I have been waiting so long to do it! Before I say anymore, let me take you back to where it all started.

10 years ago I was a personal trainer at a local commercial gym. I loved working with  clients of all ages and fitness levels; some were limited and could barely move and some were in better shape than me! Haha. It allowed me to be creative when designing programs and I loved that.

After a couple of years, I grew tired of the “gym” environment and left. I decided I was going to continue personal training because I really loved it but this time I would be on my own.

Although it was an exciting new adventure I was scared of not making it; I was scared of not making enough income as I would have in the gym. It’s a lot easier when you have potential new clients in front of you everyday vs having to find your own clients. So instead of trying to make it on my own in personal training I got a part-time job so this way I would have stable income every month while I work on building my personal training business. I thought it was a good decision because money was tight and I could not afford to take a loss in income.

In 2009, I  took a job in a chiropractic office as a front desk/office assistant; I answered phones, scheduled appointments, collected payments, verified insurance and so on. Although it was very busy at times and required multi tasking, it was a fairly simple job. I liked the fact that it was in the wellness industry and I was able to learn more about health and wellness while I was there. It was also nice interacting with patients every day and being part of a practice that helped people feel better. ( I will miss them )


My plan was to work there until I was able to build my fitness business to a point that I no longer needed that job. So I worked there 3 days a week and the other 2 days I would work on my training business. Over the years I had 1-3 clients at a time but it never grew more than that and I became comfortable with it. I knew that if my personal training business got slow I had my chiropractic job to fall back on and so that went on for years and years until recently I became very unhappy there. Why was I so unhappy? Was it the pay? The hours? The sitting at a desk all day? Although those were contributing factors it came down to the fact that I was working for someone else not doing what I really wanted to do. I am meant to be a personal trainer; my passion is helping people live healthier.

What happened to my original plan? Did I just become so comfortable that I put my dream on the back burner?  I remembered my number #1 goal this year and it is to make myself proud! You can see the full post here.


How was I going to make myself proud if I stood in the same place year after year and not pursue my true passion? I realized it was time to take a leap of faith and let go of anything that was standing in my way so two weeks ago I gave my notice and today was my first day without a job. Kind of scary right? As scary as it is, I have such peace with my decision.

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There was a time I did not believe in myself and it left me in the same place for years, but I believe in me now! I believe I can do it!

Soon, I will turn forty and I figure it is time to let go of the fear.


This photo was taken on my 39th birthday last year. That day I had a vision of achieving everything I have wanted for my 40th birthday but have been too afraid to go after.

So what’s next???? I’ll tell you in the next post. Otherwise this is going to turn into a long book!


The whole point in sharing this story is because I allowed fear to hold me back from so much and although stepping out of your comfort zone is scary, I believe it is the only way to grow!

Thank you for allowing me to share this with you. Is there anything holding you back because of fear? I would love to hear about it.

Until next time,

Marlene 🙂


2018 GOALS!!!


Happy New Year! Yes, I’m a little late to the party but what else is new?

This is a big year for me. I’m turning the big “40” Can you believe it? I can’t! Whether I accept it or not, it’s happening and I am going to make the best of it!

I have so many goals this year but the most important is to be proud of myself. I can honestly say this one has been a struggle for me. I have found every excuse not to accomplish what I want and I am tired of it. I am tired of having the same goals every year and never achieving them. This year is going to be different! Continue reading

21 Day Challenge (Week One)

Hey Friends,

How are you?

A little over a week ago I decided to join Noelle Benepe’s “Booty Core and More” 21 day challenge. I have been following Noelle on Instagram for quite some time because she is pure inspiration. I have been in what I call a winter slump and needing a change and motivation so I decided to give her challenge a try. I just completed week one and I’m feeling good so far.
This challenge has been filled with squats, lunges, bridges, and every
“booty” exercise imaginable. My butt has been on fire this week and I’m loving it.

Continue reading

Is Black Friday worth it?      


I hope you had nice thanksgiving.  We had a great time with our family and enjoyed some yummy food but after a couple days of splurging, I was glad to get on track today with a green smoothie and some sweet potatoes and a veggie burger. Splurging on food I don’t normally eat is fun but I always look forward to going back to healthy eating.

So, did you do any Black Friday shopping??? I am normally anti-black Friday because I personally do not have the patience to deal with huge crowds and long lines to get a “deal” For the most part, sales are offered all month long and you can buy a lot of gifts online so I usually don’t bother on Black Friday. Years ago, I used to show up on Black Friday to find what I came for was already sold out so I have been against it ever since.

This year however, something spiked my interest at Target. The $250 giftcard with Iphone. What? I have been wanting a new IPhone for years. I’m not one to get the latest and greatest when it comes to phones or electronics. I couldn’t afford to anyway. So as much as I dislike crowds and chaos, my daughter and I went to Target on black Friday which now starts on Thanksgiving at 6pm. It seems to happen earlier every year which seems a little unfair for the employees.

My daughter and I showed up 30 minutes before the store opened to find a long line already. When we got in the store, there was already about 8 people lined up for Iphones. It took each person 20-30 minutes to get their phone purchased and activated so I knew it was going to be a while. We waited in line for an hour and then we left for an hour thinking that would be enough time. When we arrived back at the store, there was still a long wait. I was getting a little inpatient and starting to get a headache.

This is what we looked like after a few hours. Drained.


Thankfully, we had some nice people around us to talk to while waiting.

While we waiting, we took turns looking around the store. My daughter found a pair of boots and some cute scarves. All apparel and boots were 40% off!

After 4 long hours, I finally had my new Iphone in Rose Gold. Btw, it was the last one in the size and color I wanted.


And my $250 Target giftcard.IMG_0013-0

I came home with a headache but I also had a new phone and a giftcard.

So was it worth it?


Because I go the phone I wanted with 0 down (just tax) and was able to buy some things we needed like a new printer.


And of course some gifts, which I purchased online.


Would I do it again?


Unless its something big that’s going to save a lot of $$$$ I will pass.

What are your thoughts on Black Friday? Do you think it should be on Thanksgiving or is that taking away from the whole meaning of Thanksgiving?

If I ever go again, I will not go on Thanksgiving.

How far are you willing to go to save big?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.



Vegan weekend Part 2


How is your week going? This post is part two of my vegan weekend which was suppose to be posted over a  week ago but I got super busy and didn’t get to it; but it’s never too late to share good food, right?

Although I eat a lot of vegan food, I’m still vegetarian especially on the weekends. That’s usually when I splurge on something like pizza but I’m trying hard to move away from that routine of eating so healthy during the week and eating whatever I want on the weekends so I made it a goal to eat vegan all weekend. It felt great. I didn’t feel deprived one bit. I actually enjoyed it.  Since we barbecued I had to be creative so I searched vegan BBQ recipes on Pinterest. Don’t you love Pinterest? 


Mushroom, zucchini and onion kabobs. Marinated with some liquid aminos, salt and pepper. Yum.  

I found a lot of great recipes but some were a little too complex for my taste so I made my own simplified versions.  

Sweet potatoes. My Favorite!

I simply brushed them with grapeseed oil and sprinkled with Italian seasoning.    My potatoes took longer than expected. Maybe it was the way I cut them. We had to start dinner without them But when they were done, they were so good!


So there’s a glimpse of some of the food we barbecued on a very hot vegan weekend. What foods do you enjoy on the weekend?

I’ll be back soon to tell why I’ve been so busy.