Thursday, June 27, 2013

Vitamins & Energy Galore!

As a FitFluential Ambassador, I received Koge Vitamins to review. While the product was given to me free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  

I stumbled upon the picture above some time ago (can't remember where) and it stuck with me! So much so that I saved it on my phone as a reminder that I need to do everything in my power to take care of myself. 

That is why, when I was presented the opportunity through my partnership with FitFluential to review Koge Vitamins, I jumped at it!

Who here takes their vitamins each day, faithfully? I can't raise my hand because while most days I remember to take them, some days I forget. I know there are those of you reading this that don't supplement your diet with vitamins because they're too expensive, you don't know what you should take, you don't know what the benefits are, and the list goes on. Koge was created to help answer those questions.

From their website:

"As vitamin consumers, we're tired of being confused every time we walk into a vitamin store — you shouldn't have to search through hundreds of products and brands in the hopes of finding something that's right for you. We're also frustrated with how expensive premium vitamins are — do customers really need to spend that much every month? Koge was born out of the desire to solve these problems and to fundamentally change the industry."

Koge offers several different vitamin packs and since I am currently prepping (which can, at times, mean low energy levels), I chose to review their Energy Pack. Each bottle contains 30 individually wrapped packets and each packet contains 4 capsules. I loved the individual packets!! I could grab a handful of packets and throw them into my cooler without worrying about crushing or losing any capsules. That, to me, is always a plus!

The Energy Pack contains 1 Korean ginseng, 1 Guarana, 1 Coenzyme Q-10 with L-Taurine, and 1 Ayur Indian Ginseng. This combination, according to Koge, will provide your body with an optimal energy boost that will remain consistent throughout the day. This particular pack is also said to increase mental alertness, stimulate resistance to stress, and provide an energy boost that supports exercise.

I want to be completely honest. I am not taking the energy packs every day. Since I have received them, I have taken them at the most 3 times in a given week. With that said, I did notice a difference in my energy levels when I did take them. I wasn't bouncing off the walls or jittery but I could tell that I wasn't "running on fumes". In addition to the individual packaging, I like that that pills are not the size of my head and don't smell like garbage when you open the packaging! You guys know how I feel about stinky supplements - I will not take them if I can't stand the smell of them. This was not an issue with my Koge Energy Pack at all!!

Now, you guys know I'm not about bullshit so you know I'm being straight forward when I say that I am really impressed by Koge Vitamins. This company has pledged to "remain fully transparent and honest with our pricing, so customers know exactly what they're paying for at all times". They are also partnering with Vitamin Angel, which is a nonprofit organization working to reduce child mortality rates across the globe. You can learn more about how your purchases from Koge will support the fight to rid malnutrition among children worldwide by visiting Koge's Our Cause page.

The Koge bottle I received has been given a home on one of the supplement shelves so I guess you can say, it's a member of the contest prep-my body is a temple-energize your body family :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

When You Fall Short...

This post is sponsored by Under Armour through FitFluential. Now that the FTC compliance obligation is out of the way!  *I totally stole that line from my fellow FitFluential Ambassador Jill :)

Almost a month and a half ago I shared with you in my "What's Beautiful? I'll Show You!" post that I was going to be participating in the Under Armour What's Beautiful challenge.The goal I declared for myself was -->

"I will be a force to be reckoned with. 
I will finish in the top 10 of my first national figure competition.

Now, I knew the goal was a lofty one. Top 10?!?! At my first national show?!?! C'mon now! The biggest class I had ever competed in was 16 girls. Classes at national shows are 25 plus. I had never won an overall title, let alone my class yet here I stood. Declaring that I would finish in the top 10 of my first ever national competition.

I dieted....I trained...I had dates with the treadmill...lunch dates with the StairMonster....and then I trained some more! As the countdown on my phone went from triple digits to double digits to single digits, I knew that the moment of truth was approaching.

Then the countdown said "TODAY" and there was no turning back. The stage, the competition, the scrutiny by the judges were waiting.

I was competitor #337. When they did the first round of callouts and I didn't hear my number, my heart did drop a bit. The judges excused the first group and began calling out the second round of numbers. #337 was not among them. My heart didn't just drop - I think my lip trembled and I felt like I might cry. If I wasn't in the second group of girls, that meant I wasn't in the top 10. In the end, I was in the third round of callouts...possibly 15th or 16th place.

A few moments after prejuding ended

I didn't make it happen.

I fell short.

I was unable to accomplish my goal.

photo credit

In the end, I didn't meet my specific goal of making the top 10 but I accomplished other goals that I am super stoked about. 

* I finally competed in a national competition
* I nailed my posing
* I wasn't afraid to ask for feedback
* I finally visited Chicago!

So what's next? Well, I am still participating in the challenge with a "revised" goal! I am still determined to be a force to be reckoned with! I have some things on the horizon and I'll share them with you soon. Just know this, I might be down but I'm definitely not out. 

To quote a line from my favorite poem by William Ernest Henley,

"In the fell clutch of circumstance        
  I have not winced nor cried aloud.  
Under the bludgeonings of chance  
  My head is bloody, but unbowed."


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

In the End....

Hi everyone!

I'm back from Chicago and slowly getting back to my "real life"! It's hard shifting gears after goofing off & having no responsibilities for several days but that's what happens when you're a grownup :)

Chicago was AMAZING! What a great city. I honestly can't wait to go back! But you don't care about the city right now, you want show results :)

In the end, I placed 16th out of 22 (or 25...I can't remember the exact number) girls. I am honestly happy with this placing. I had never stepped on a national stage before or competed in such a large show.

I held my own. I didn't get lost in the crowd. I didn't come in last. #winning

I have so much to share with you guys about the show...about meeting Genie for the first time (I cried. I'm serious. There's video proof that I will share!)...about my competition plans....but I have to get back to work.

Head over to Genie's Journey to read Genie's the first part of her show recap! Before you do, enjoy some pictures :)

Black & Yellow's Excellent Adventure!
Gotta get the girls in place ;)

There's my Genie Beanie!

Before stepping on stage for prejudging. Ignore the weird look on my face!
Backstage at finals!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

It Happened!

Black and Yellow's Excellent Adventure is officially in effect!!!

This happened! I met my Genie Beanie (aka Yellow) face to face for the first time today and it was, in a word, A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!

We conquered athlete check-in at the show venue and are now relaxing at the hotel. I'm pretty certain there will be lots of chatting, giggling, and little sleep. In other words, we're (yes, I'm speaking for both of us!) are having the time of our lives ;)

Monday, June 10, 2013


YOU GUYS!!!! It's been more than week since my last post! That's completely unacceptable - don't let me get away with that crap! :)

The Birthday Boy & I
The last week has been busy busy busy! It was Tom's birthday and I had all of these things planned for him, gifts I wanted to surprise him with, etc. It's a little hard to be sneaky when he is on his 6 days off but I pulled it off. I even ventured into Harbor Freight for him! I was so proud of myself for going into the store, finding an aluminum jack I knew he wanted, and carrying it out to the car all by myself. I did all of that...only to find out that he bought the damn jack for himself months ago! Oh well. It's the thought that counts, right? :)

The Princess has started physical therapy at local rehabilitation center and has been about to use a device we recently learned about called the Bioness L300. It helps with mobility and flexibility by stimulating the nerves and muscles in the leg that you are wearing it on. I gotta tell you - it is the coolest thing ever. The first time The Princess put it on and walked with it, I could tell an immediate difference in her foot positioning and her foot strike. It is incredible to see the look of pride on her face each time we go to therapy and she does things she hasn't been able to do before! We're in the process of ordering one for her so I forsee lots of improvements and progress videos!

Before I jet off (because I have like, a million, things to do), I wanted to share with you this video Under Armour put together. These are just some of the inspiring women who are participating in the What's Beautiful challenge (that you still have time to sign up for!!) and I find such motivation from them. It really is an amazing community. Watch and enjoy the might even see a face you recognize ;)