Friday, April 18, 2014

DIY: Memory Jar

Memories should be made every, single day. I'm always looking for ways to make memories... I don't want to look back on my life, and remember all the nights I sat home tucked in bed with a book (though those nights are comforting and necessary). I want to look back and remember the nights I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe, or when I made a difficult decision in my life and it ended up turning out better than planned, or those days I traveled and found a new place to explore. Pictures are great, but then I saw a fellow blogger, Kristyn at Creative with Kristyn, create a memory jar , and I just knew that I had to make my own. Filling a jar with memories and then on New Year's Eve opening it up and reading about all the memories over a glass of champagne.

Memory Jar

What You'll Need: 
A Jar
Mod Podge
Scrapbook add-ons 

Here's How:  
1. Take jar and add Mod Podge around rim and wrap ribbon around it. Make bow and add on to ribbon. 
2. Mod Podge scrapbook add-ons. 
3. Add memories - VIP bracelets, pieces of scribbled paper, ticket stubs, etc.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My New Ride

It's funny, when you buy your first vehicle, you don't think too much about the kind of vehicle it is, the color, the year... You just try and get something that you can afford, at least that was my case. I was 16, and excited that I had saved up enough money to buy myself an SUV. When I got to the dealership, it was dark, but I was excited looking at all the vehicles in the lot. I was shown ones that I could afford, and though I wasn't 100% sold, I bought an SUV. I wasn't sold on the color, I wasn't sold on the year, but I was excited to make my first huge purchase after saving money from birthday after birthday, graduation, and working. It was a 99' and red... Two things I wasn't a fan of, but it was mine all mine. It was with me through my first kiss, my heartbreak, a couple of eggings, the love of my life, my high school graduation & my college graduation, and even my first real job after graduation. This truck had been with me for years, almost 8 years to be exact.

I was ready for something new... well not exactly... It was slowly breaking down on me and I knew that if I didn't sell it now, I wasn't going to get any money for it. I took it for one last drive to the dealership and looked at all the vehicles. I originally wanted something brand new, but soon realized that I probably couldn't afford down thing brand new, but I thought even a few years newer than my current vehicle would be good. Money has a good way of slapping reality in your face. So, after looking at the preowned vehicles, I walked into the showroom, and saw a beautiful, beautiful truck, and I had to sit in it. It had everything that I wanted and more, everything you could think of and more. I still wasn't sold. I needed to test drive it, and my brother came along with me. He knew it was the truck for me, so did my dad. I still wasn't sold. I was nervous. This was another big decision in my life. I wasn't sure if I was making the right one, but when I said I'd take it, I felt confident. As soon as I sat in the chair to discuss it and sign paperwork, I looked at the clock and it was 11:11, that's when I knew it was the right decision. The angels were aligning my thoughts (see: May Cause Miracles) and I was where I should be. 

My brother and I took a Starbucks break, and came back later with a check and a pen, and I signed away my life... Kidding, but only after a minor breakdown, and by breakdown I mean a crying episode in the bathroom (decisions do that to me). I drove my new truck off the lot, and waved to my old truck. It's an odd feeling, to be giving away something that held so many memories, but it felt good to have something new to have new memories in. I was excited and felt completely comfortable driving it. I wanted to show everyone, to drive everywhere, and that's big for me since I'm not a huge fan of driving... says the girl who drives an hour to and from work. 

It's been a few weeks now, and I still smile when I see my truck in the driveway. I'm proud of that beauty sitting there, and it's just another thing off my 25 before 25 list! 

Saturday, April 12, 2014


While I'm achieving my dreams and crossing things off my 25 before 25 list, Sal's also been accomplishing goals of his this year! He started school last year at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, after a long discussion between the two of us. If he couldn't be out on the field playing football, he wanted to be as close as possible to the sport, and thus decided on broadcasting. There he learned he had a passion for much more than sports, he learned to use programs like Final Cut Pro, and was able to intern on the set of a movie. It seemed like the 17 week program went incredibly fast, and it was over before I knew it. It wasn't just the night classes that had Sal at school, it was the assignments and his determination to learn all he could while he was there. He networked at school, as well as during his internship. I was so proud that he had finally found his passion in life, so when he announced his graduation, I left work early and was prepared to be there for him during this next step in his life.

Graduation was at the school, and while we waited for it to start, they showed pictures and played sound clips from all of their classes and assignments. Though I had already seen most of Sal's work because he had to show me once he finished something, too proud to keep it to himself, it was fun to see the pictures of the class in action. During graduation, they have out awards to the class, and Sal ended up receiving the most! I clapped so loudly for him each time, even though I could have guessed which awards he was going to win! I was a proud girlfriend that day. We went out with his parents afterwards, clinking glasses and listening to Sal talk about his experience.

Since graduation Sal has scored a position as a writer for Football Nation and recently started a sports radio show on his school's radio station - The Sport's Firm. He just graduated and has already had all of these opportunities because he's a great networker and he is persistent! He will not give up or settle for anything less than he deserves, and that's why I love him. I cannot wait to see what's next for him! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

On Becoming a Certified Personal Trainer

Ever since I started working out, seeing results, and sharing them with every other person I meet, I have had the thought of becoming a personal trainer in the back of my mind. In the beginning, I thought this was a far away dream - I mean what did I know about working out and training other people to get fit? I was focused on my own journey, and while I was happy to share what worked for me, I didn't know if I had it in me to take other's on their own fitness journey. Each month that would go by, the feeling would get stronger... you know, that feeling of watching everyone else attain and accomplish what you so badly want. I started to really picture it, and eventually became a BeachBody coach, until I realized that I had to sell products in order to make money, and I didn't like the way it went about helping people. Instead, I wanted to design my own programs and bootcamps to help people get fit, and provide them with grocery lists and meal plans daily to help them get and stay healthy. I didn't want to sell anything, but health... their own health... to show others that their health is important, what they do now, what they eat now, and what they think now will affect them tomorrow and next year!

When I was able to score a stable job as a Child Life Specialist, I knew I could afford to be taught everything I needed to be taught by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). You might be thinking how does she work with children, and yet want to become a personal trainer too? Ultimately, I want to help people - whether it's children or adults. If I can go about doing so in multiple ways, I'm going to. When I decided in my mind that this was my next step, I took a look at the clock and it was 11:11... now I don't know if anyone's read May Cause Miracles by Gabby Bernstein, but 11:11 is a sign that the angels are manifesting one's thoughts into form; in that instant I knew, I just knew. I was still nervous to press that order button, but when the mailman came with my NASM package - I was ecstatic, and slowly felt the nerves disappearing. It was what I was meant to do. 

I didn't open the book right away, things got busy at work, and I didn't feel as if I had the energy to really commit. However, with the support of my family, friends, and Sal, especially, I was able to start - to reserve time during the day, either after work or on my days off, and focus on what I wanted to accomplish. Sure, I have 180 days to take the test, but I'd rather not be cramming in those last two weeks. I didn't major in anything fitness or science related in college, so most of this stuff is new to me, but I'm willing to learn and determined to pass. It's not easy, I'll admit it, but it's what I want. I'm watching the online presentations, reading the chapters, taking notes, making flashcards, and reviewing at the end of each chapter - going over the flashcards, doing the crosswords and practice quizzes. I've got this. 

I created a Facebook group quite recently to let people that I mean business; I will become a personal trainer by the end of the summer, and I will be there for anyone that needs advice, meal plans, workout plans, or a personal trainer. I'm hoping to make something big out of this. My dreams actually might be bigger than my own head right now. You can check out my page - Get Fit with Kristyn - & like it! I post recipes, inspirational quotes, fitness advice, and soon I'll be posting workout videos and nutrition advice. 

Meanwhile, I'm posting regularly on my Instagram - kristynnicole1 - with my daily meals and workouts!

I will keep you updated with my studying, as well as when I take the test - look out 25 before 25, I'm going to check another thing off soon enough! 

Any advice about studying, the NASM test, or being a personal trainer is always welcome! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

25 Before 25

I haven't been writing often, and maybe it's because I've been busy at work, and mentally exhausted when I come home, or maybe it's because I have nothing to write about, but it's as if a switch has gone on and I must write, I must. Before I get into the details of what I've been up to and what exciting events are coming up in my life, I wanted to share my 25 before 25 list. I was inspired by a friend of a friend when I saw pictures of all of the things she was doing, and planning to do before she turned 25. That was when it hit me... I would be turning TWENTY-FIVE this year... no, it can't be. As much as I've been trying to push it aside, it's going to come along, and I thought why not make this year all about doing things I've never done before, traveling where I've never been, and becoming more of an adult every day of the year. I decided to make my own list ... 25 things I want to accomplish by the time I'm 25, which just so happens to be in December. 25 is just a number, not at all feeling 24, almost 25.

It took me quite some time to figure out my list, because I was afraid of putting huge things on the list, huge life-changing things for fear that I would not accomplish them, and be able to cross them off. I put small things, at first, but then realized I wanted to make this a big year for me. I pushed aside my fear, and wrote.

25 Before 25

1. Read 1 book a month.
2. Get certified to be a personal trainer
3. Write a children's book
4. Buy a new vehicle
5. Run a 10K
6. Run a half marathon
7. Go on a hot air balloon ride
8. Visit Ground Zero
9. Picnic in Central Park
10. See the Statue of Liberty
11. Attend a broadway play
12. Start & continue practicing yoga
13. Pet a penguin
14. Shooting range
15. Zip-lining
16. Start & finish Life Projects 2008-2014
17. Spa Day alone
18. Take a spontaneous trip with Sal
19. Present at a Child Life Conference
20. Publish another article in Child Life Bulletin
21. Travel to a new state
22. 5 minute plank!
23. Save at least 10K
24. Paddle-boarding
25. Make a 5 year plan

I will be writing about each of these as I accomplish them. Two are already checked off of the list. You'll just have to wait to find out which ones!