Our house is completed today!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ahh! Our house 7 months later is completed at the end of today! I may be missing the next week packing and getting everything lined up with my free time. I am also tying up loose ends in wedding planning this week...flowers choices and cake flavors have been the hardest decision to make.

Yesterday we had our initial walk through with the builder and realtor. We reviewed all the features of the house and was shown how to work appliances in the house. We then walked the house with the builder to inspect any flaws, cracks, and scratches. I actually really liked it because I am a very detail person and do not like flaws, the struggles of being a type A personality.  We found a total of four scratches  in cabinets, and the builder found a couple things I wouldn't have caught myself with my lack of house experience.

We did have delays, which I am never okay with even with my projects are work, but I've had to accept that it was out of our control. Weather is going to weather. Although we were forced to accept the delays (not given the option to, nothing verbally agreed on, or in writing.. I recommend getting a lawyer involved if this would be a huge issue if you are moving out of state or in bind with selling your current home). We are happy that nothing was rushed with our deadline to move out of our rental and overall the house has a minimal punch list to get completed before we close.

I find myself late at night dreaming of how to design the house with all the different color options I have been imagining. Then my dreams get caught up with the reality that blinds and a fence come first before any new furniture. The luxury of building a new home is that it doesn't come fully equipped like established homes.

I will recap on the last final weeks in a video soon once we are moved in, and most importantly have internet to make a post. If I could change anything currently, it would be wedding planning and building a house at the same time. I have been overwhelmed by the two huge milestones currently and have found myself at times shutting down and ignoring the two topics until I absolutely have to. Multi-tasking is my strong point and I have picked up in high gear to get my all my action items done before we move in.  I can't believe a week from today we will be closed on the house and packing up our moving truck and kiss renting goodbye.


Week 2: Wedding Prep Diet

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Friday will mark our 3 months out from the wedding, but until then let's focus on week 2 of the wedding diet.

The hardest part about any diet is starting it. The first week is the absolute hardest but once you get over that hump it gets easier and easier. If you haven't already, logging your food is your best tracker to success. I use My Fitness Pal smartphone app and website. Now I will be honest, I did not log every little bite of food last week but that doesn't mean give up.  I look at it as an area of improvement for this week. I purchase a lot of fruit and veggies over the weekend for snack at my desk during the day. Today I packed strawberries, celery, oranges, and a banana to compliment my peanut butter stash at my desk. I want to keep myself accountable and hope others want to as well. I welcome you to add me on My Fitness Pal, my username is Bikini_Steph. You can get meal ideas, or see what I am eating.

Monday is typically my off day, and today it is much needed I am very sore from my new discovery from yesterday golf cardio which I got inspired by the new show on the Golf Channel called Altered Course.  I am also going to ‘carb up’ for tomorrow, as it is leg day or intense golf cardio day. I love carbohydrates and by no means are they meant to be neglected in any diet.

My focus for week two is getting more interested in cardio. I ran most of the golf course yesterday running to my ball, there are many hills  which is what I am feeling mostly today in my calves, glutes, and quads. Most importantly being prepared, and eliminate the laziness. We caught ourselves exhausted last week and not wanting to cook, which made a minor road block with being prepared for meals to take to work. Reflect on your first week of your diet and what you would like to improve. It is not meant to make you feel like a failure but motivate you to get better for your upcoming event.

Stay tuned for a workout video this week! Here are a few updates, announcements, and topics I wanted to share from week 1.


Rainy Day Goes Gym Ready

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Enough with all this rain! It sure can put a damper on tee times or a week's worth of runs planned. It is safe to say that I am prepared for whatever the weather may present with back up plans for outdoor fun. I love the gym after a long stressful day to let out my frustration and have me time. When I got dressed in the morning, I knew the only way I was going to go is if I packed a gym bag or wore some of my workout clothes to work.
My coworkers are now prone to know rain is expected when I whip out my Hunter Boots. As I said, I'm keeping it simple by wearing my Lululemon leggings and racerback with a splash of style. I threw on a button up and fun statement piece to make it look less like I'm ready to pump some iron. If I don't have any meetings scheduled I like to dress comfortable since I will be sitting at my desk all day. Who else thinks this way?

Once I left work, got in the gym parking lot, swapped my Hunters for Nikes, removed the necklace and button up, I was ready for leg day!

Outfit details: Top (old from Old Navy) similar J. Crew | Leggings Lululemon | Undershirt/ Gym Top Lululemon  (on sale Lululemon) | Rainboots Hunter | Sneakers Nike | Necklace Kate Spade

Painless Cardio

Friday, July 10, 2015

If you're like me and hate cardio it is the most dreaded thing to do at the gym or around your neighborhood. It only became painful when I began getting prescribed by my coaches, hours of  cardio for an NPC bikini competition. That was the moment I started to hate it. It was no longer for heart health and as a matter of fact an extreme amount of cardio is NOT  healthy. My muscles ever over exhausted, my joints screamed, my body fat was so low that my body stopped functioning like a normal female.

Well, I have been forcing myself to reignite that spark I once had with cardio. I would like to compare it to couples therapy where issues are worked out to improve the relationship. I accept cardio can be good for you and the heart at a mild to moderate level. I am starting at a very mild level and easing in to at the most running a 5k.

HIIT, also known as high intensity interval training is how I am applying myself to improve this love hate relationship with running, stair master, and arc trainer. The goal is to have a steady heart rate for a certain amount of time then switch on difficult mode to push through a high heart rate.

So you’re probably asking, “How can I do HIIT cardio?” HIIT cardio doesn’t require a gym, although it can be nice if you prefer machines than the outdoors, it’s raining, or weather temperature is too extreme.

Here is an example of my routine: This version can be done outdoors or treadmill.


1.      Stretch! Be sure to point and flex your foot to warm up the most prone area for shin splits.

2.      5 minute warm up. This is without any elevation if I am on a treadmill at a walking pace.

3.      2 minute jog

4.      1 minute walk

5.      1 minute sprint / run

6.      30 second walk

7.      1 minute sprint

8.      30 second walk

9.      2 minute jog

10.  1 minute walk

11.  1 minute sprint

12.  30 second walk

13.  1 minute sprint

14.  30 second walk

15.  1 minute sprint

16.  2 minute cool down – walking slow

I challenge you to try it out this weekend! I’d love to hear how you do! If 20 minutes is too much try it for 15 or 10 minutes.


Happy Friday loves!


Wedding Diet Kick-Off!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Our first week of our wedding diet and preparation for our honeymoon has began. Let's be honest here, anyone wants to look good for their wedding day and honeymoon. Heck, even the guests want to look good. We are 14 weeks away from the day we say I do and our goal is to have steady (NOT aggressive) progress. I welcome anyone to join us on our health fix, not just for any special occasion but also for long term health.

If you are looking into beginning a diet for an event, I recommend starting sooner than later. Allowing a longer period of time for dieting to avoid crash dieting and bloating instantly at your rehearsal dinner by having one bad meal that is polar opposite from how you have been eating. When dieting at a steady pace, you are giving yourself a bigger opportunity to maintain your weight loss achievement. When people go to the extremes with diets, as soon as they stop their diet it is very common to gain even more weight that they had originally began with. That is because crash or extreme diets are very harmful to your metabolism. The more it is manipulated the harder it will be to lose weight the next time you diet.  I'll get more into detail on that later. We will be eating our staples we normally eat when we behave on our diet, and not drastically reduce our calorie intake or totally ignore carbohydrates (aka carbs). That's right we will lose weight and still get carbs.

The rules are to eat things we like and not set limitations for example, no carbs, sodium, or sweets. The goal is to stay sane, not to hate each other while dieting with wedding planning. We are only drinking on the weekend in moderation. We get many of our meal ideas from Fit Men Cook which there is now an app, we are big fans of Kevin! Check out his instagram @fitmencook and website! We have yet to have a bad meal when we follow his recipes. Kyle also bought his book, No Cheats Needed we begin implementing next week. We follow IIFYM also known as If It Fits Your Macros which is a set amount of calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, and fiber that is a goal for us to hit daily. I track my macros by logging what I eat on my fitness pal after every meal. You can follow me on My Fitness Pal at @Bikini_Steph. If want to know more about IIFYM watch this video:

Our goal is to be active 5 - 6 days of the week, which luckily our activity of choice is golfing. We are not limiting ourselves to only golf since our heart rate doesn't get very elevated for a long period of time. We plan to start running our neighborhood with the dogs, and doing sprints in front of the house for high intensity interval training. On the weekend we have an afternoon by the pool and swim. We are in our final month of our gym membership that we paid in full and then had the closest locations close doors, so we are have been getting creative for workouts. Yep, we won't be renewing our membership. After the cost we have paid up front for a year membership for the two of us, considering the few machines we use (team free weights and power rack), and the gas we use to travel 50 miles round trip, it made more sense to invest in our home. We hope to set up a home gym in our new garage after the wedding, but for the mean time we will use the office gym. I am on a mission to maintain my shape on my lower body for my wedding dress and bikinis. Stay tuned for home gym workouts! I am super excited for the day I can start filming and sharing it on my channel.

 The difference between our bodybuilding diet and our wedding prep is that it is not to be stressful or intense, but to dedicate time together to cook our meals and spend time being active together, rather than being hangry (hungry and angry), or driving each other nuts from being carb deprived. Expect the first week to be difficult. If it were easy, America would be in tip top shape. Share any thoughts or comments and even encourage a friend to join the fun with you for a support! Stay fit and stay sane my friends. Health is not just about being physical but also mental.

Stay tuned for my next wedding diet blog post!! I'd love to hear your questions, or thoughts please comment below or email me Barbellesandcurls@gmail.com


New Home Construction Woes and Woahs

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Allow me to begin by stating, Kyle and I are extremely blessed that we are buying our first home, not only that but building it! It is such a big year for us and we are excited to begin our married life in our new home.  A while ago in this post, I shared the news and some tips on deciding to build or buy. I am making a return in celebration of our anticipated closing day...

Which was a HUGE disappointment. We should be moving in this week and getting ready to host our first party for the 4th of July. When we signed the contract, we noticed some strange verbiage over the amount of days the builder can exceed from our anticipated completion date. Well that verbiage is not defined well whatsoever and it is to cover our builders behind to delay as long as they wish.

We would much rather take the delay than sacrifice quality. As the saying goes, "Good things take time". We were given the news two weeks from our closing date of the delays. It was a big upset since the reason was from the cold weather in March and our realtor failed to mention it to us. We actually found out through our mortgage agent.

Hairflip, and excepting that it is what it is. We got our weekly update call from our realtor and builder, and the news is starting to look on the bright side.

Here is the progress prior to the most recent updates. I will share those in my next video.

If you have any advise on delays, or experience from building your home I'd love to read your comments!!

Stay lovely.
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