Tag Archives: life

Five for Friday: Stuff, Just Stuff…

1 Jun

Hey everyone! Happy Friday! Lets get right to it, shall we?

1) I have been suffering from a SEVERE case of writer’s block. Not good as a blogger, eh? So I may be a tad scarce for the next couple of weeks – I do hope it doesn’t take much longer than that to come back.

2) Speaking of that writer’s block – Chicago Marathon training begins on June 18th. So, I should have plenty to talk about very very soon. I’m following a program from Runner’s World to get me to my time goal. And this time around, I’m not talking numbers. I was dared by a certain someone to not talk about my number goals – and, well, I’m not one to back down from a dare.

3) I started my new position at work this week – and so far I really like it. I’m working with the Project Managers processing and expediting construction documents. My official title is Expediter/Submittal Coordinator. Sounds important, right? It’s so much better than the Office Manager position I was working before – I feel like a giant weight has been lifted! I know I talked about it a bit earlier in the week – but I felt like reiterating now that I really know more about the position and what’ I’ll be doing.

4) So much for heat training…temps are dropping again this week. I know, I know, I have all summer. But I was really looking forward to starting now, since, well, I already started… I’m planning on keeping up my weekly hot yoga classes to assist in this process. With two half’s (July and August) and a full coming up that could potentially be warm – I’ll run in all the hot weather I can between now and then!

5) I know, you’re reading this going, and what about all that vagueness about that someone from the other day right? I didn’t want to write about him without permission – some people don’t like their lives being talked about all over the internet. But, he said I could – soooo…I am officially no longer a single woman. My friend Jen set me up with Kevin – she knows both of us well and knew we’d hit it off, which we most certainly did do. I am beyond grateful to Jen for her involvement in our relationship (I don’t usually care to be set up!) – but we never would have met without her! We are like 99% the same person – it’s fun to continue to figure out what else we have in common. It’s great to have a running partner who can push me in pace while I can push him in distance (We’re working him toward his first half marathon this summer!). Honestly, there’s so much more, so so much more. But, there’s plenty of time for that! I just couldn’t keep my excitement to myself anymore. (Did I mention there’s so much more? Did I mention I’m a pretty happy girl right now?)

So, life is good, right?! Everything is falling into place – I feel so happy, lucky, blessed, for everything that’s happening to me.

Have a great Friday/weekend my friends (if this block continues…).




This is Your Life

22 May

Do what you love, and do it often…

We’ve all seen this, right?

I have this laminated, hanging over my desk where I can see it every day.

While I was running tonight, my brain was cranking away.

Live with purpose.

Live with passion.

Live with enthusiasm.

Live to DREAM.

I was inspired to write this because I see, all too often, people who have clearly lost their lust for life. It makes me sad for these people – to see them, just going through the motions.

But through those people who have lost their lust for life I find inspiration. I find that because I don’t want to be lust-less.

So, I live with purpose. I live to be a daughter, a sister, a niece, a friend, a doggy mama, a personal trainer changing lives.

I live with passion. Passion for running. Passion for helping others. Passion for writing. Passion for food and baking. And many, many more that keep me constantly occupied.

I live with enthusiasm.  I put 100% into everything I do. Half-assed does not exist in my dictionary. I enter into each run, each project, each task at hand with great enthusiasm. If you’re not going to be enthusiastic about what you do – why bother?

I live to DREAM.  Once upon a time someone told me “You can’t run.” That someone has been proven entirely wrong. I dream of running the Boston Marathon (by qualifying), I dream of changing peoples lives through personal training, I dream of being a certified running coach. I dream of being a wife, a mother, a homeowner…

If I didn’t live this way – what would be the point of living?

Stay true to yourself, you’re the only you that you’ve got.



The Power of Positive Thinking

5 May

The power of positive thinking

By: Ashley Michelle

Twitter: @iTweetPretty

Blog: www.prettyfitlife.com

BIO: Ashley Michelle is a self-professed health and fitness nut from Boston, MA who has a passion for all things nutrition. She is also former vegetarian, who recently took the plunge into a 100% vegan lifestyle. Ashley will be writing about her journey, her life, and her culinary experiences along with all things health and fitness in her new blog www.theprettyfitlife and on Twitter at @iTweetPretty. The blog is still under construction but will be launching full force soon! So, be sure to keep checking back!


It’s 5:30 am and you wake up to your iPhone’s blaring alarm.

As you jolt out of bed and scramble to silence the devilish sound, you try to remember the last time you had a restful night’s sleep. 

You can’t recall. It’s been too long.

After struggling to open your eyes, you finally muster up some energy to trudge your way to the shower.  While stripping down, you happen to catch a glimpse of your naked body in the mirror and instinctively grab at your trouble spots. Your mind becomes swollen with negative and self-deprecating thoughts. You feel unworthy and unlovable unless you have a perfect figure like the models in the magazines. This moment has defined your attitude. For the rest of the day your mind will be bombarded with negative self-talk and “fat thoughts.”

As usual, you’re running late and now you don’t have time to make that healthy, nutritious lunch you were so looking forward too. As you hurry out the door, you see your bus go flying by. Looks like you’re going to be late.

When you finally do make it to the office, you are greeted by an inbox full of angry e-mails, demanding requests from you boss, and endless customer complaints. No one seems to be happy today.

By the time noon rolls around, you have too much work to catch up on, so you either skip your lunch altogether and down an extra-large coffee instead, or chow down on a couple energy bars and energy drinks at your desk to keep things going. By 5:30, when it’s finally time to head home, you race to the gym to get in a mediocre workout, but you are far too tired to overexert yourself. The lack of a nourishing lunch is wearing on you.

Once home from the gym, you scarf down a quick dinner while paying bills online and watching television. Your mind starts to race and panic sets in when you realize rent is due in a couple days and you are behind on your credit card bills. That night, you fall asleep feeling stressed, anxious, and worried. Tomorrow, you’ll do the same routine over again. No wonder you wake up so tired every morning!

Not too long ago, this was a typical day for me, as I’m sure it is for many. But the important detail is, I’m not willing to allow negative energy define my life anymore and neither should you. Once you turn a blind eye to the negative, your life will immediately begin to improve and change in ways you can only imagine. Trust me!

But first, close you eyes and take a moment to ask yourself these questions:

Where do your days go?

What do you spend your time doing?

When do you take time just for YOU?

When are you happy?

Chances are, if you find yourself simply going through the motions of your daily routine, without putting much thought or love into anything that you do, you probably can’t find suitable answers to these questions. I’ll even go as far as to say that you’re probably not as happy as you’d like to be.

The good news, however, is that YOU alone have the power to attract happiness, love and satisfaction back into your life. You have the opportunity to turn your life around. I know this probably sounds crazy coming from a normal person like me, especially if everything in your life seems to be out of your control and going so wrong, but there is plenty of research that backs this up!

And it all starts with a little rule called the “Law of Attraction.”

If you have not heard about the Law of Attraction until now, Google it! And if you haven’t read Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret or The Power, or Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’s The Power of Intention (or any of his books)…I suggest you do. (Please note: there are many other wonderful books about the Law of Attraction out there, but these ones were the first books I ever read about it. They had such an amazing impact on my life I’d recommend them to anyone. They will also clarify my explanations further). These quick-to-read books will not only teach you how to benefit from the Law of Attraction, but they will open your eyes and help you understand how to achieve a happy, successful, and fulfilling life step by step.

The concept is simple– everything happening to you, whether it’s positive or negative, is being attracted into your life by YOU alone. This means you have the power to attract only good experiences and diffuse bad ones depending upon the direction of your thoughts.

In short, you can manifest what you desire with positive thoughts!

The easiest time to start employing the Law of Attraction is first thing in the morning. The moment you open your eyes, you have a choice to make. You can face the world with a positive, loving attitude of gratitude, or you can dwell on all the things you lack or wish you could change. When you think positively, you can be certain that positive, happy things will be attracted back into your life, but when you are consumed by negative thoughts about what you don’t have, you can be sure and abundance of negative experiences to match those bad thoughts will come your way.

According to the book The Secret, the proof is based upon the idea that “Thoughts are magnetic, and thoughts have a frequency. As you think, those thoughts are set out into the Universe, and they magnetically attract all like things that are on the same frequency. Everything sent out returns to the source. And that source is You.”

Now, I’m sure you are thinking this is easier said than done, and I agree! It’s challenging to be happy all the time. Bad things happen and people get upset. The world isn’t perfect and neither are you, but that’s okay! You don’t have to be! You’re human! And because everyone IS human, you can bet you’ll be surrounded by some degree of negativity each and every day whether you like it or not.

You may not love your job, you may feel bad about your body, you may have friends who bring down your mood, you may be worried about money or you may be unhappy in your relationship, but you MUST know…dwelling on what is bad NOW isn’t going to change anything for the better LATER. As explained in The Secret, if you focus on the negative, you are sending out a frequency to the Universe that essentially is asking for more negative situations and feelings to enter you life. On the other hand, choosing to embrace the positive, love life, feel great, and reject the negative will draw more happy situations and events your way. You will know whether the law is working because if you think positively, your reality will reflect your positive thoughts. 

You may not be able to control everyone else, but you CAN control how you choose to live your life and react to negative energy and difficult situations thrown in your path. Your thoughts, feelings, and actions will ultimately determine what manifests in your life.  Therefore, you just need to train your mind and make the conscious effort to direct your thoughts and reject your thoughts accordingly.

Something important to keep in mind is that the Law of Attraction doesn’t recognize whether you think of something as good or bad or whether you want it or don’t want it. Author and Law of Attraction Specialist Bob Doyle explains, “It’s [The Law of Attraction is] responding to your thoughts. So if you’re looking at a mountain of debt, feeling terrible about it, that’s the signal you are putting out into the Universe…You’re just affirming it to yourself. You feel it on every level of your being. That’s what you’re going to get more of.”

Buddha once said “All that we are is a result of what we have thought,” and this couldn’t explain the Law of Attraction any more perfectly. When you focus on things like your dissatisfaction with your body, job, relationships and money…you are only going to draw more things your way that affirm these frustrations. You will unintentionally remain unhappy with your appearance, work, love life and financial status. Nothing will change. But, when you play a game with yourself and flip your thoughts, the opposite actually happens.

So what are you waiting for? I challenge you to try conquering your negative thoughts today…and then the next day, and the day after that! As soon as a negative thought creeps into you mind, acknowledge it (don’t beat yourself up over it!), and then turn it into something positive or change your train of thought completely and just focus on something you enjoy until you feel good inside. Dream big, dream often, imagine all the things you love and forget about the things you don’t.

Remember…positive thinking is accessible to everyone. It is the key to a happy life, and is the gateway to all of your wildest dreams!


Deep Thoughts

25 Apr

My brain is a swirling mess lately. I need to get it all out, hope you guys don’t mind!

I need a new job. Not just because of what I wrote in this post, but because I am truly not happy. And it’s not the job. And it’s not the company. It’s the fact that it’s “just a job,” it’s “just to pay the bills,” it’s “just for the health insurance.” It is not my passion. It is not what I want to do with the rest of my life. Running, fitness, healthy food, blogging, social media…that’s what I want to do. Mish-mash it all together to make a difference in the lives of others. But if not that, for now, at least something further north. More and more each day I want to be closer to three girls who make more of a difference in my life every day than they know. And they know who they are.

About my NASM Certification – I have until May 26th to take my NASM Certified Personal Trainer exam. That’s a month from tomorrow. I’m in Chapter 13 out of 18. I have a LOT of work to do in the next month and it’s really freaking me out.

I did not make the right decision on timing for the purchase of these exam materials. You have six months to study and complete the exam – I bought the materials at the end of November. Between the holidays and training for the Rock N Roll New Orleans Marathon, my studies were tossed aside. Now with only a month to go, I’m cramming and it’s driving me crazy. But it’s my passion – I want to be a certified personal trainer. I want to start this next chapter of my life. I want  to make a difference in the health and wellness of others. I want to be that girl that others go to when they need help – with a workout, with an exercise, just for advice or input.

I have no idea how I’m going to handle life when I live on my own again. I don’t know how I did it before. Right now all I have to take care of is myself, my mother does everything else. I pitch in with some cleaning and some cooking, but not much, and yet I still don’t have time? I’m actually a little nervous about moving back out on my own because I don’t know how I got it all done before. And when that time comes, I’ll be in the middle of my Chicago training plan. Yikes.  Once PT is over I’m going to try moving all of my workouts to the morning. I’m up at 5:30 every day no matter what, so I may as well use that time to workout, and use my evenings to get stuff done.

I think I’ve been neglecting my dog. She’s always been a little weird – skittish, barks at random stuff, afraid of large people. I chalked that up to her being a shelter dog. But lately she’s been acting out, not just weird. She bit my cousin’s husband on the leg (luckily she didn’t break the skin). She shredded a package dropped on the front step by the FedEx guy. She tried to eat Zach’s food (my parent’s dog), instead of her own. She has NEVER done that. She started nipping at the heels of one of my stepdad’s friends last night, as I was reprimanding her. I think that I’m neglecting my fur baby, and if I am, how do I fit her in too? Perhaps even a short walk in the morning will do the trick? Poor little baby, I love her so much.


The truth is, I set myself up for these situations. I overthink, overplan, and overanalyze, and when the time comes to take action, I change my mind a thousand times. Or I procrastinate, which is a wicked bad habit I’d like to drop (tips are welcome, please and thank you). Then I scramble and stress to get things done, or make a decision, whatever the case may be.

Sigh, I think I need a vacation.  Next weekend – 4 glorious days off. Coachy is coming to town and I’m going to tourist him around the state, then it’s race day! Friends and family time – time to be with the people that mean the most in my life. On Monday, I chill. Relax and recuperate from what will definitely be a fun but surely exhausting weekend (there are 13.1 miles involved after all).

This little “stay-cation” could not have come at a better time.

Thanks for listening friends.




I Have a Dilemma

6 Apr

Remember all of that job related stuff I told you about the other day? The stuff that sounded like it had great potential and was exciting?

I’m not in the least bit excited about it – I mean not. at. all. I was excited for about the rest of Wednesday, and by Thursday when I started to really think about what this change would entail, my excitement soon changed to worry, dread, confusion. I’m taking this as a sign, only I don’t really know what to do about it. Always trust your gut, right?

I’ve been doing this same type of work since I was 19 and I’m good at it. It’s not my dream job (that would be personal trainer/running coach/possible nutritionist too – it took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up, but now that I know I’m not letting that dream slip away), but it pays the bills and I know how to get it done.

Right now, I’m responsible for no one but me, and I report directly to the owner of the company.  This new position would change my direct report to a coworker that I consider an “equal”.  I’m unsure of how this direct report change would affect our working relationship, which right now is that of friendly coworkers who chit chat about our family and pets, and occasionally eat lunch together.

The boss’s son (who is pretty much the current boss, since the big boss is on extended vaca {early retirement} in Florida) thinks I’m unhappy in this position because I’m not being challenged, mostly because I haven’t shared my future plans with him. Most of my coworkers don’t know what I plan on doing with my life, because I tend to keep to myself with personal matters.

It’s time for me to move on down the road, follow my dreams, and live my passion.

But until I actually have a new job, how do I handle that here? I’d like to be able to maintain my current position while I search for a new job, but I don’t know how to tell my boss that I do not want the promotion.

Hence, my dilemma.

What would you do?

Five for Friday: Attitude Adjustment Time

17 Feb

Lately I’ve found myself a little whiney, a little complainy, a little not-so-positive. When I started thinking about the things I was whining and complaining about I smacked myself back to reality, realizing I was being straight up bratty and selfish.

Today I’m taking that whininess, sending it packing, and giving myself a 180 degree attitude adjustment.

  1. “I need a new job so bad, I just can’t stand this one anymore.”  It is no surprise that I don’t love my job. I’ve been there almost 7 years, doing just about the same. damn. thing. while I went to school. Well, so? At least I have a job right? The unemployment rate is Rhode Island is 10.8% – that is a HUGE number. So today, instead of whining about my job, I’m grateful. Grateful I’m not struggling to make ends meet. Grateful I’m not stressing day in and day out about not having a paycheck. A less than ideal job is always better than no job.
  2. “I’m always so busy all the time, it’s exhausting.” Yet everything (almost) that I do is FUN. I blog. I run. I do yoga. I bake. I cook. I travel. I’m studying to be NASM Certified. Well duh, of course I’m busy! I’ve very recently started really listening to my body in terms of being tired – learning the queues my body gives me when it’s truly tired, or when I’m just being lazy and unmotivated. If I’m for real tired, I take a break. I unwind with a book and a glass of wine. No more complaining about being so busy when everything I do to make me so busy is stuff I have chosen to do and enjoy.
  3. “Tapering sucks. I’m way more tired than I am when I run. I haven’t run since Sunday (don’t run on Mondays, was too lazy to get to the gym yesterday morning since I had a night time appointment).” A direct quote from me on Facebook. I’d like to thank Jess for setting my ass straight on this one, she said: “whenever I get anxious during taper or whatever, I try to remind myself: at least I’m able to run and am only not running today because I’m in taper mode. Not because I’m injured or literally unable to run for another reason. it usually gives me the slap of perspective I need to snap out of the taper-sucks funk” I love that girl! And you know what? I had a totally butt kicking tempo run last night too.
  4. “I’m so sick of the treadmill. Is it Daylight Saving’s yet so I can run outside?” I don’t feel safe running outside in the dark near my house because I live on a 45 mph road – and you know that the speed limit is merely a suggestion to most people. WHAT THE HELL AM I COMPLAINING ABOUT? I was nervous going into this training cycle that winter was going to F with my training, and my long runs. I’ve run every single long run outside in stellar weather. (Other than my 16 miler the day after a snow storm). So I have to run 50% of my runs on the treadmill and I’m COMPLAINING. Bad me. Very bad me. No more. Especially because the treadmill has it’s benefits – such as last nights run. Forcing myself to negative split 3 fast tempo miles. I could’ve done it outside, sure. But on the treadmill it’s do or die. No slowing down, keep pace or fall off. I don’t want to be scraped off of the wall behind the treadmill at the gym.
  5. “My family is driving me crazy, I can’t wait to get my own place so I can have some peace and quiet.” Really Samantha?! BAD ME. Again. My family is noisy (that’s where I get it from). They’re quirky. My mom has this crazy obsession that every time the dogs go out at night they’re going to get sprayed by a skunk. My dog is petrified of my step-dad (90% of the time) and he loves to make a point every day of how bi-polar she is. Me and my brother get along awesome – most of the time. When we don’t? We fight like we did when we were kids. But without them I’d be struggling. And living alone isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be – although I do miss the peace and quiet coming whenever I wanted it. But I’m grateful that they’re here for me, they helped me through a rough time, and are helping me get back on my feet. They put up with me when I wander around the house all day after a long run eating, and defending myself with “I ran blah blah blah miles today.” Who else would put up with that?

Thinking about this, and writing it out, was really therapeutic. Next time I want to get whiny/bitchy/complainy about nonsense stuff – I’m going to remember this.

What do you do for yourself when you need an attitude adjustment?


Defining Self

23 Jan

If you had asked me a year ago if my life would have taken the turn it has taken I would’ve answered with a  resounding “ARE YOU CRAZY?”

I never imagined I’d be a blogger writing for anymore than my friends and family who are nice enough to just read it for me.

I never imagined I’d be involved with the most amazing group of men and women that exists – my FitFluential Family.

I never imagined I’d be sharing my story, day in and day out, with all of you.

I never imagined I’d be a 2x (soon to be 3x and 4x) marathoner.

I never imagined I’d change my entire career path so that I could help people find fitness like I found it.

Running is my #1 – I put everything I have into running.


Toenail Headband

Skin/Scars (I still haven’t figured out how to remember TO ACTUALLY USE the Body Glide…)

Sweat. Lots of sweat. Lots and LOTS of sweat.

Tears. Happy tears. Sad tears. “My legs don’t want to move and I have 3 more miles to go” tears.

I pour every ounce of my heart and soul into my training to get farther, faster, stronger, with every workout.

But it’s not just about the run. Without a fully fit lifestyle – I wouldn’t be able to reach the running goals.

That’s why I share with you my passion for yoga, strength training, healthy recipes. It’s why I tell you about my relationship with food.  It’s all part of living a fit and healthy lifestyle. 

I share my photos with you and crazy stories about my dog and family to prove that living this fit and healthy lifestyle is fun, fulfilling,  and it’s the fuel that keeps me going. 

It’s also why I’m training to become an NASM Certified Personal Trainer – I want to extend my passion for health and fitness to anyone I can possibly help.

Just ask my family – I am always doling out advice – whether they asked for it or not.

You may be asking yourself, why is she telling us all of this?

I am at a place right now that I finally feel like I can define myself – and every word I use to define myself will fuel my workouts, my food choices, my writing, and my personal relationships. And that makes me HAPPY.

I am a runner


I am strong

Early RaceSamJimFinish

I am a baker/cook, forever looking for ways to healthify that recipe so that me, my friends, and my family can have the best of both worlds – nutritious AND delicious

2011-12-18_17-35-52_362  Choc Cherry Cupcakes 2Chicken N Pasta

I am a writer – sometimes serious, sometimes silly, always ME, always original

I am a daughter/sister/friend – always there to lend a hand, an ear, advice, or a shoulder

I am a little lot crazy

001 (7)CrazyFun

I am free, happy, and ready to continue on this crazy journey we call life.

I hope you will all continue to follow along because there’s LOTS more where this came from.


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