Thursday, August 29, 2013

A long time ago I served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I was in the Washington DC area for almost 18 months and while I was there I met a plethora of amazing people.  One of them was Krista (AKA Bruen).  She's such an entrepreneur and seriously amazes me.  Today I get to help her out with something really cool that I think a lot of readers will like.  I'll let her explain it:

Did you know that sharing family stories is more than a nice idea, but it's actually proven to strengthen families?  It's true!  In The Secrets to Happy Families, Bruce Feiler explains that hearing about both family struggles and triumphs creates more resilient kids. It also offers grandparents the means to connect with a much younger generation.

My husband and I have been working on to make this sharing happen!

StoryWorth makes sharing family stories super simple. Each week, StoryWorth emails subscribers a question about their lives. All they have to do is reply to that email. If they don't like to type, they can record their answer by telephone. StoryWorth then does two things: 1) it forwards the email and/or voice file to family members and 2) it saves the stories in a beautiful online storybook. Soon, you'll have great autobiographies of loved ones, and you'll be learning a lot more about people you thought you knew everything about.  

My dad passed away in 1999, so I signed my aunt up for StoryWorth.  Often, her answers include stories about my dad. I'm learning things that I would otherwise NEVER have known about him.

I'd also like to ask you a favor. StoryWorth is a nominee for Martha Stewart's American Made competition! Yay!!! National exposure is a thrilling prospect for a startup like ours. We're neck and neck for the lead in the technology category, but we can't win without your help. 

Please cast your 6 daily votes for StoryWorth on the contest site:  

You can vote every 24 hours until September 13. It's a long contest, so here are a few tips to make it easy: 
     *Set a recurring appointment on your smartphone calendar. Include the link, so you can vote from your phone.
     *Leave a browser tab open and tap to vote daily.  

Thanks for the support! Every day subscribers send us heartwarming feedback, and it would be tremendous to share StoryWorth with a national audience.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Color Run

I want to remind everyone of The Color Run Salt Lake City coming up next Saturday, August 24.  It's going to be so much fun.  My 4-year-old is excited to run and she's pretty sure she's going to win.  So don't expect to take first, but come and run for fun!

See you there!

To sign up, just go to The Color Run and put in this code:

(if that doesn't work try:)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Lamp Shade Recover

This is less of a tutorial and more of a reminder to have an open mind and use things you have and love for your decor.  

I had this shirt that I loved, but I didn't love it on me.  It was sitting in my donate pile for a while until one day I decided I wanted a lamp shade like that shirt.  

So why not just try using the shirt.  

And it worked!

I love it.  It was free.  It is different.  And it makes a statement.

Now go out and think outside the box!

And don't forget to check out my fitness posts at The Loss Cause.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The End of an Era

My life is still up in the air.  And I mean where we are going to be living next month/year/etc.  My husband is in the process of doing something that may take us to Pennsylvania for a short time.  Anyway, we will probably be moving soon.

The poor piano has been moved 3 times with us.  I decided it needed a new home with someone who would take good care of it and allow me to NOT move it across the country (or city) a 4th time.

I posted the ad online and got a bunch of calls.  One girl wanted it and came to pick it up yesterday morning with a posse of young men.

Who knew a 10 passenger van was good for moving a piano?  And entertaining on the way home!

I'm a little sad to see it go.  It was a source of creative inspiration for me and the reason I started this blog.  But as much as I loved it, I really do not want to move it again.  

Here's to getting a baby grand when we're all settled!

If you want to read my latest fitness post, go to The Loss Cause.  I'm reaching some goals!

Friday, June 14, 2013

4th of July Crayon Canvas

Hey, hey!  I just posted about perfect posture on The Loss Cause so read it here.

If you are here for and actual DIY project, you are in luck!!!!!!!  That's right, I finally did something to possibly link up... but probably not because I'm not sure if I love it enough.

I like the idea of this project but now, having "finished" it, I don't feel like it's completely finished.

I took crayons and stuffed them in my hot glue gun.  Then I pushed them in with a glue stick and made little melted crayon dots on the canvas.  I think I should make the entire stripe dense like the part around the star, then it might feel complete.  What do you think?


Oh, and this does make your hot glue colored for a while so be prepared for that.

And I think that possibly it might work just as well if you have a candle and just melt the crayon over it little by little and put the drops of crayon on the canvas.  That would save a glue gun.  I haven't tried it though, but theoretically...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Feature Post: Momegranate

I'm excited to tell you about this fun website I recently found.  Momegranate.

Momegranate is a website that helps moms find great products that will make their lives better and easier as a woman, as a spouse, and as a mother. They feature 5 products each day. Each month on their blog they also feature Mom-owned businesses that create great products for moms and those they love. Check out the five featured products each day and visit their blog for product reviews and to learn more about the Moms behind Momegranate.

Another thing that makes them awesome is that they are sponsoring me, which makes me happy. And I really like being happy.  :)

Check out Momegranate!

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Secret of Keeping Fit while on a Business Trip

One of the things that really messes up diet and exercise is travel.  Vacations.  Work trips.  Travel.  So today I have a guest blogger, Mike from Manning's Musings, who travels a lot.  He has a few tips that I've found are spot on with traveling.

My name is Michael and I am a Fitness and healthy living enthusiast who tries to see the best in all situations. I love to hike, run, weight lift, travel, camp, cook, and be outside. Traveling the world and seeing nature's beauty is my hobby and staying healthy through that is essential to me.

Patronize Restaurants that Serve Foods on Your Personal Menu
Unless you are staying in a hotel with a kitchenette, you are going to have to eat out at restaurants more often than you do at home. However, you can find restaurants that have foods that comply with your diet. It’s also a good idea to take snack food that you can eat when it’s not possible to go to an appropriate restaurant. Don’t forget to have plenty of water with you so that you aren’t forced to purchase sugary or caffeinated drinks.

Take Your Running Shoes with You
Traveling doesn’t have to mean that you miss out on exercising. One of the simplest things you can do is pack your running shoes and take an occasional jog when you arrive at your destination. It’s a great way to stretch out your muscles after being cramped in uncomfortable airplane seats for several hours at a time.
Running around an unfamiliar town or country gives you an opportunity to see what you wouldn’t be able to see if you were riding in a taxi. You also have the chance to meet people who live in the city, and this doesn’t ordinarily happen when you remain in the lobby of your hotel.

Exercise to Reduce Stress
If you are traveling for business, you may find that your travels are causing you to experience a little stress. When this occurs, it’s critical that you exercise, but it’s equally important that you spend a sufficient amount of time breathing the country’s fresh air and enjoying the sun’s natural light. A business trip is antithetical to this plan because you are indoors a large portion of the day where you are under unnatural light and are forced to sit for long periods of time. This doesn’t help to decrease stress.

Although you may be going to an exotic location, the fact that you are going there to work means that you will have little time to take a swim in the pool. However, you must make the time to exercise in order to reduce your elevated levels of the stress chemical cortisol.

Seek a Hotel with a Fitness Center
Obviously, eating right and exercising is not just about how you look. It is what will prevent you from getting sick on your business trip and keep you in shape. The fact is that several hotels have well-equipped fitness centers that can help you continue your workout routines. In order to find these hotels you need to do a little research before booking. On a recent trip to Maui I used a site called Gogobot in order to find out which hotels had fitness centers open at all times. I was able to find a list of Maui hotels and could scan through in order to see which ones had these amenities. Due to this I was able to workout bright and early in order to save time to hit the beach all day.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Meeting with the Trainer

I posted about my meeting with the personal trainer on my new blog, The Loss Cause.  Check it out!

I'll be doing the fitness posts there from now on so follow me there if you'd like.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Vacation: Over

Oh hey, it's been a while.  I was on vacation last week (pictures to come) and the week before... well, I was so mad I couldn't blog.

It all began when my husband started getting cold feet about buying the house -- the one we were supposed to close 10 days ago.  Well, long story short, we didn't buy the house.  And I say "we" lightly.  Because I still wanted it.  But it's kind of a thing where we both have to be in on it.  Especially since the one with the job was the one who wanted out.

We are out $2,000.

Me = Angry for days.

There's a lot I could have done with $2,000.

I'm okay now.  I still have my moments but I get it.  I'm sure there will be a time where we'll both be like, "remember when we were going to buy that house?  So glad we didn't."  Someday.

On a happy note, our vacation was awesome!  If you follow me on Instagram (@theturquoisepiano) you already know that we went to Disneyland.  We drove and decided where to stay and for how long as we went.  I can be a planner, but we had no plans when we left except for the dates of Disneyland and Sea World.  It was really relaxing.

I did't watch what I ate the whole time and I don't think I even ate a vegetable, unfortunately.  The crappy thing is that no matter how I look, if I don't eat well I feel fat.  But sometimes (like on vacation) the hassle isn't worth it.  And a big part of traveling for me is experiencing the food.

I have a meeting with my trainer tomorrow and I'm pretty sure I'll be eating egg whites and oatmeal for the next 4 months (until the figure show I'm planning on doing in October).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Life Likened to a Children's Book

You know the story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar?


In case it has been a while or you haven't read it yet, this caterpillar starts out as an egg, then hatches to a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.  Monday through Friday he eats healthy fruits, but then on Saturday he has a junk food binge and gets a stomachache.  Then on Sunday he eats a leaf and feels much better.

Hey, that's my life.  

Actually I hadn't had a treat (besides one bowl of ice cream for my birthday) for two months.  Then last Friday I mentioned that we should go out for sushi.  

So we did.

Then I thought that chocolate chip cookies sounded fantastic.  We made a batch and I ate a ton of cookie dough. Then like a dozen cookies.

Hey, when I make a commitment I go all the way.

That night I had a stomachache.  

And the next morning I had an even bigger stomachache, as well as nausea.  

For some reason I thought that I should try to run off the ickiness -- because running always makes you feel better -- so I strapped Sophie in the jogger and took off.  

You know that for me, what happens in the bushes stays in the bushes... and on the blog.  Let's just say that poor Sophie had to park it at the edge of the road while I was sick in the bushes.  

Right next to an auto expo and a million people.  


I'm not sure if it was the raw eggs or the raw fish but I was pretty much out that day.  

The moral of the story is either to not eat raw food, don't go running when you are about to throw up, control your binges, or all of the above.

But I am going to start my figure show training in June and wanted a little binge treat before then.

Friday, May 17, 2013

National $5 Off of The Color Run

Yesterday I was cleaning our house and I came across something that told me Tom is cheating.

Remember how we tried eating solely vegan for a month and decided to make it a general lifestyle with meat a couple of times a month?  Well, let me tell you that this was Tom's idea.  I was thinking of having meat like once or twice a week and he was the one to suggest it be per month, not week.

Then I saw room service receipts from his business trip last week.  On that list (and these were the only things on it), rack of lamb, crab cakes, and hamburger.

Well duh!  He doesn't need to eat meat more than a couple of times a month!  He's already doing it while he's away!

So I called him and told him I knew of his cheating ways.

And for the record, I don't really care if he eats meat or if we eat it more than a couple of times a month.  I eat eggs almost every day though.  I'm not vegan.  I'm not vegetarian, but I try to eat mostly like that.

Onto a great thing for all of you (who have The Color Run in your states/cities).  I just got a $5 off code for all The Color Runs in the US.  So now you can all get $5 off!

Just go to and put in this code:


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New Blog

Hey (say it like hey-ay!)!  Do you ever have your mind so full of ideas that you are just overwhelmed?  That's my life.

This idea has to do with the figure show that I committed to doing when I was Blogger of the Week on KSL.  I'm serious about it.  I talked to a trainer who trains people for shows.  He can get me there by the October show... but it costs $1200 for just the training.  Then there is supplements and training on how to stand and spray tanning... you get the picture.  We're not poor but we are buying a house right now so it's not like we have a lot of extra cash just hanging out to be spent on a vain goal.  You know?

So I've been contacting companies, large and small, about sponsoring me with either cash or product.  So far Nike and Gap have turned me down.  But I have some awesome yes's and I'll reveal them when things are finalized.

Anyway, if you know of a company that you think would like to sponsor me, let me know!

Oh, and I have a new blog focused on fitness.  It's called The Loss Cause.  Check it out.  It's under construction but any followers or FB likes I can get are very appreciated.  Sponsors like that stuff.  ;)

The Loss Cause

Monday, May 13, 2013


I had such an awesome weekend.  My mom babysat on Saturday while I went to an Insanity certification class, then we took her to see our new house (that we just found out passed underwriting).  On Mother's Day Tom and Morgan made me breakfast in bed, gave me flowers, a gift card, strawberries and a watermelon (Mo's choice).  It couldn't have been better!

I'm on the front row above "FIRST."  Yeah, the pasty white one.  That's me.
Have you heard of Insanity?  Until now it was really only available on DVD like P90X.  Maybe you have seen the infomercials.  Anyway, I bought it through Beach Body a couple of weeks ago and decided to get certified to teach it live.

It focuses on working your body in anaerobic intervals to allow your body to burn the maximum amount of calories possible.

It is a killer workout.

But anyone can do it.  

Don't be discouraged.  You can go at your pace, modify if needed, and push yourself as hard and fast as you want.

Originally it was designed to be a 60 day workout plan, which is what the DVD's are.  The live classes basically are in the hands of the instructor.

Now I just need a place to teach!

If you want to get it on DVD you can buy it here or click on that ad to the right.  Also check out your gym.  There were a lot of cities doing the certification on Saturday so maybe a class is coming to you.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

House Update

I'm going to tell you a little thing that annoys me about buying houses.  

But first I'll explain the process because I know how confusing and overwhelming it can be if you have only purchased one or two.

So first you make an offer and that is either accepted, rejected, or the seller makes a counter offer.  Either way, let's say you have a contract signed by both parties, which means you are "under contract."

In your contract you have a list of things that need to be done and the dates you have to do them.  You can choose these things.  For example, we are under contract on a house and on our list are seller's disclosures, inspection, and financing.  We have passed the deadline for inspection and seller's disclosures already and that's fine because things are looking great there.  This list is there so that if something is wrong with the home or the buyer is unable to get financing, the buyer can get out of the contract without losing the earnest money (certain amount put down with the contract).  

Our financing deadline is tomorrow.  The bank got the appraisal back yesterday.  This is where my annoyance comes.

Back in 2006 and earlier, agents, mortgage brokers, investors, and pretty much everyone else had a lot of influence on appraisers.  I remember my agent just telling the appraiser what the house needed to appraise for and the appraisal came back at exactly that.  It turned into a problem where home values climbed way too high and the market couldn't be supported.  You know this.  

Now the bank hires the appraiser.  It's supposed to make it so the appraiser doesn't feel pressured into appraising the house for too high, which is a fantastic theory.  My problem is that, in our case, the appraiser got to see the contract and the price we offered.  The appraisal of the house came back at $*20,000, almost exactly the $*19,000 of our contract.  

It's frustrating to me because I would really love to see what the house actually appraises for, not what the bank needs to have.  I don't think appraisers should see the contract.  It seems like that would make the appraisal more accurate.  

But whatever!  Not that it really matters.  We're buying a house!  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Post That Was Ready Monday But Posted Wednesday

You know when you go to Costco for some samples and end up with a Blendtec blender?  That was my weekend.

Plus I went to an introduction Cross Fit class at my gym.  I was expecting an hour of a killer workout.  Instead I got a class on the Paleo diet and how to do a proper Cross Fit squat.

Let's talk about this.  The Paleo diet, as explained by this guy, is mostly lean meat and veggies, light on the fruit.  They don't eat dairy, grains, or legumes... "because legumes have to be boiled and if something has to be boiled to be digested it can't be good for your body."  There was also a comparison to boiling a shoe and eating it.  I don't really see the similarity but this guy did.

Anyway, that whole thing sort of ruined the actual exercise part for me.  Well, the 5 minutes of actual exercise.  But guess what, I am completely sore today.  So I guess I would try a whole class.

But I am not eating Paleo!

Aaannnnndddd, I was going to give a bonus workout plan for week 13 but I can't log onto my account.  So let's talk bras.

My girls are, as some would say, normally kind of small.  When I'm not pregnant or nursing I wear a 34 B.  Before kids I was open to the idea of an augmentation.

Not now.

Having had big girls, I hate them on me.  I feel like they just make me look fat.  Maybe that's partly because when I have them is when I AM heavier.

I worked at an athletic shoe store when I was in college and sometimes men would come in to purchase sports bras for their ladies.  This was pre babies for me so I had always been small.  They would ask if we sold bras.  I would say yes and show them the one bra that we sold.  They would ask if it was supportive and I would say yes because it worked for me.

Now I know that bra was like wearing a tight t-shirt.

No bueno!  Sorry to the ladies whose men bought them from me!

When I got pregnant with Sophie they grew like crazy.  I may have complained to Tom about how much harder it was to workout with them.  And being the smart guy that he is, he remembered and bought me what the sales lady said was the best sports bra for my birthday.

The Moving Comfort Juno

It really is amazing.  It holds the girls still!  

However, I am not going to recommend this bra to my small chested friends.  

Why?  Because if it has never really hurt to run small distances without a bra, you probably don't need this kind of control so save the $55 and just buy a nice [name brand] bra from Ross. 

It is super cute though, so if looks are what you are after and the money isn't an issue, go for it!

Well there ya go.  

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Age of Jesus

When Tom was 33-years-old we had a family from my LDS mission come visit us.  I spoke Spanish on my mission and these people mostly spoke only Spanish.  The dad asked me how old Tom was and I said that he was 33.  Then the dad said, "Oooohh, la edad de Jesus!"

The age of Jesus.


Now, as of April 29th, I am the age of Jesus.  Thirty-three.

The weather on my birthday (last Monday) was perfect.  Like very light breeze, 70 degrees, no clouds, perfect.  As soon as Tom got home from work we loaded up the car and made the 1 mile drive to the Tulip Festival where I wanted to take some pictures of my girls in their lace rompers before they grow out of them.  Here are a few of my faves.  The first one of Morgan is actually in our back yard.  The others are at the festival.

Mo and I have an annual pass to the gardens where this festival was so we only had to pay for Tom to get in.  I mentioned something about taking pictures after we had paid and the girl that works there was all, " are you taking pictures of your day or here to take pictures?"

I asked what the difference was and she replied, "we usually charge $100 for people to use the gardens as the background for their pictures."

Oh, well definitely of just our day then.  Hello!  I already paid that much for a pass.  I'm going to take pictures!!!  Of our day, obviously.

Some more about my day... the cake.  It was so delicious!

I previously mentioned that I was going to try to make this raw, vegan carrot cake.  I did it.  And it was amazing.  Amaze-balls-amazing.

Get the recipe at This Rawsome Vegan Life.
Mine wasn't so pretty, but it was good.  

Did I mention that it was yummy?  Because I really liked it.  And it wasn't cooked (hence, "raw").  Just carrots, dates, dried pineapple, cashews and a few other things thrown together.


I also got super spoiled for my birthday.  I had mentioned that I wouldn't mind new workout clothes since I was working out in cut-off t-shirts and running shorts that I bought in the 90's or some that I got at a garage sale (look, until Instagram came along and I see all these cute workout clothes, I couldn't really care less about what I wore to the gym -- not there for a date, people!).  Anyway, I wanted new workout clothes.  

So my mom gave me some money to buy some and then Tom came home with a few bags from Scheels and now here I am all stylish for my kick boxing and (coming soon) Insanity classes.  And then I returned some things to get the right size and ended up with these yellow cross fit shoes (I wish I liked the pink better -- they were 1/2 the price).  How did that happen?  #ohTomtookthekidsandIgottoshop #paidretail #firsttimebuyingReeboksin15years
Reebok CrossFit Nano

Here is a before/after (current) pic in my new workout capris.  Those abs will be toned and awesome by October.  #hopefully #fitnessshowready #dontmindthemess

And last, but not least, I got a crown for my birthday.  It's like I'm a princess.  Only more painful.  And not as pretty.  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

As Seen on the Tee Vee

Photo: Wish me luck!

I just saw the KSL interview that I did yesterday.  Nailed it!

No, for real.  It could have gone a lot worse.  But at the end he asked me what I have coming in the future and I pretty much committed to do a fitness show in the fall.  So, uh, I guess I'm going to be standing in a teeny tiny bikini in front of lots of people being judged by my body.  There's not a problem with that, is there?  Totally in my comfort zone.

Who wants to do one with me?

Really.  You can do one in your own state.  It doesn't have to be in Utah.

Let's just be each other's support.


Oh, and PS, my name is Kelli Rich.  My email is kellinielson.  Apparently that is confusing and people think my name is Kelli Nielson.  Which it was.  Before I was married.  And I can't be bothered changing email addresses.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Hi!  Welcome to The Turquoise Piano!  I'm Kelli.  A special welcome to those who saw me on KSL!

Feel free to browse my blog.  If you're interested in tutorials, fitness, real estate, or making hair bows, I have links at the top for all of those things.

Here are some recent DIY projects:
Anthropologie Inspired Lamp

Painted Curtains
Coat Hanger

Contact me if you have any questions ( or go ahead and leave a comment.  I'm so happy to have you here!

On TV!

[deep breath]

I get to be on TV today!  In just a few hours.  If you live in Utah I will be on KSL (NBC) between 12:30 and 1.  So just before your Kathie Lee and Hoda segment of The Today Show you can check me out!  I am the Blogger of the Week.  

Also, I promised that I'd find where you can get TurboKick if you don't have a class at your gym.  Beach Body owns it (and tons of other familiar workout programs like Insanity and P90X) so I signed up to be a Beach Body coach.  If you want to do TurboKick it is called TurboJam on DVD and you can click on that banner ad at the top of the screen to buy it.  If you have questions feel free to ask me.  I can't promise I know answers but I'll find out.  

I signed up for Beach Body because I got a discount on Insanity and their meal replacement shake, Shakeology.  So if you want to do that with me, do it!  But sign up with me as your coach.  :)  And no, I will not be replacing all my meals with the shake.  

Monday, April 29, 2013

Week 12 and a Birthday (or two)

I have some big scary news for me!  I'm going to be on TV on Wednesday.  I've never been on TV before.  The time I was a guest on a radio show I stumbled over my own tongue the very first time I spoke.  It turned out alright but I'm hoping it doesn't happen this time.  I'll give more info on Wednesday at least on Facebook.

So, it's my birthday today.  I'm 33 years old.  On Friday I was asked if Sophie is my daughter or granddaughter.  It really made me feel good.  The dude said that he wondered if I was a young grandma.  Um, yeah, never a good question to ask.  It's like asking if someone is pregnant or just fat.

My half marathon was on Saturday.  It was fun but I was a little sick with a cold (sore throat, cough, etc).  And I'm used to people talking during the race.  I guess now everyone thinks they have to wear headphones.  Nobody talked.  So that was a little boring.  I should have brought my headphones.  I finished in 2 hours and 3 minutes.  My worst time ever.  But not bad for being sick.  By mile 4 my pelvis was aching (dang labor and delivery!).  My minute/mile started around 7:51 and ended around 9:45.  I'm happy though.  I just wanted to finish.

Then Morgan ran the 1 mile race for kids.  She said, "I'm winning!  And so is everyone else!"  She did so great.  She ran the whole time except for the water break at the 1/2 mile point.  I love her guts.

Then we went home and had a birthday party for her.  If you follow me on Instagram (@theturquoisepiano) you probably know these things.  We rented a bounce house, decorated cupcakes, played Duck, Duck, Goose, and opened presents.  She had a great day.

Then I made a Barbie birthday cake for her family party on Sunday.  I think it turned out well.  I would have tried to do it with fondant but the last time I made fondant I got super sick for a week (not because of the fondant but now I associate it).

And here's Sophie.  Just getting all big over here.

It's week 12 of my workout plans.  If you've been doing them, great job!  You should be stronger and leaner by now!  I have one more "bonus" workout next week but your 12 week plan is finished.

Run, Elliptical, Bike, Hike... whatever!  Just do it for 45 minutes 5-6 days this week.

DayBody PartExerciseSetsRepsWeightRestSpeedNotesExercise Info
1ChestDumbbell Chest Press on Ball310Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with back exerciseDetails
1BackCable Lat Pull Down310Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with chest exerciseDetails
1ChestDumbbell Chest Flyes On Ball310Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with back exerciseDetails
1BackSeated Cable Row310Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with chest exerciseDetails
2LegsInner Thigh Machine310Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with exercise belowDetails
2LegsOuter Thigh Machine310Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with exercise aboveDetails
2LegsWalking Lunges310Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with exercise belowDetails
2LegsBall Squats310Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with exercise aboveDetails
3ShouldersDumbbell Shoulder Lateral Raise310Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with exercise belowDetails
3Core/AbsForearm Bridge360 secSuperset No RestHold ConstantSuperset with exercise aboveDetails
3ShouldersDumbbell Shoulder Press310Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with exercise belowDetails
3Core/AbsBall Crunches310Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with exercise aboveDetails

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Don't Be Greedy, Yo -- Your House Isn't As Great As You Think

It's story time!

I want to tell you about how I got started "investing" in real estate.  And I say "investing" lightly, because it's not like I've bought and sold a hundred houses.  We're on #7 in 7 years, and 4 of them have been houses we've lived in.  So yeah, not a great repertoire (can you use that word here?).  Take from it what you want.  But I think all beginners have something to learn from this...

The year was 2006 and the real estate market was booming.  Houses were selling as soon as they were listed and they were going for top dollar.  Everyone thought it was a great time to start investing because nothing could pop this real estate bubble.

[insert hindsight laugh]

I had finished just finished college and was still looking for my dream job (at least one I didn't hate).  I moved from my apartment with roommates to a basement apartment with my cousin/friend/Realtor.  And what came next on the list?  Buy a house, of course!  I mean, I could only make money with it.

So we looked.  And looked.  And looked.  And found one that was in my price range.  So I made an offer.


I got this beauty (let's call it 376 W) for $136,000.  It was on .07 acres and only had on-street parking.  There were 4 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.  One. Tiny. Bathroom.  But it was mine.  

The deal closed on my birthday in 2006 and I slept on the floor that night.  I had a house!  I was a grown-up!

My mortgage broker was friends with my Realtor (who is my 4th cousin) and liked DIY so he surprised me and over the weekend when I was gone, he painted the bedroom and scraped off and refinished the popcorn ceilings all over the house.  I don't even want to know if there was asbestos in them, which there probably was and it's illegal to DIY that.  

So I painted the rest of the inside of the house and replaced the carpet downstairs.  It went from dungeony to not so bad.  The ceilings downstairs were 6 feet high so it wasn't a place for everyone. 

I had some friends become my roommates and together we paid the mortgage.  It was $900/month then because the prime interest rate was 6% (it's around 3.5% now).  

Then I decided to see what I could sell it for.  I'd fixed it up.  The market values had gone up.  I was hoping to make $20,000.  So I put it on Craigslist for $160,000.

I got a response.  I don't know how many offers there were but I remember one of them.  It was another investor.  He offered me $145,000 cash, or $160,000 if I would seller finance it.  Well, I wanted the money so option 2 was out and I wanted a lot of money so option 1 was out too.  I turned him down.  

And that's something I kicked myself in the butt for for years.  Seriously, years.

A couple of months later the market went south.  Not just south for the winter, but south for, well... is it out of the South yet?

I got married and moved to my husband's house about 30 miles away and I tried to sell my house with a Realtor.  Then another Realtor.  And another.  A year went by, then 2, then 3.  We moved to another state.  It was not stress-free time.  I mean, we weren't doing bad financially but an extra $900 a month just for a house that was losing value and sitting there empty really sucked.  

We tried to rent it but had a bad experience with a property management company where they couldn't seem to find anyone to rent it to for months and I still had to pay them a thousand freaking dollars!  So as stressful as it was paying for the house to sit there with a for sale sign, it was less stressful than dealing with more people.    

Finally.  FINALLY!  We used one of Dave Ramsey's endorsed Realtors and he found a person to lease with the option to buy.  That worked for a few months, then the guy couldn't pay and moved out.  

So it was sitting there all empty again.  Then a miracle happened.  It got an offer.  Someone offered to buy the now thorn-in-my-side house that was so cool a few years earlier.  

The offer was for $130,000.  We would be losing $6,000 from what I paid, but we had already lost thousands from it being empty for so long.  We didn't care.  It would no longer be our problem so we jumped on that and were happy to fork over the money!

The moral of the story:  Don't be greedy.  I'm sure you got that from the title.  But for real.  If you want to sell and get a good offer, don't wait for a better one.  Unless you don't mind waiting years.  Then don't accept the offer.  Usually the best offers happen within the first month or two.  Keep that in mind!  

And know that as much as your house means to you, it's probably not worth that to anyone else.  Memories are not for sale.  If you think it's worth $300,000 and your Realtor thinks $250,000, it's probably closer to $250,000.  Don't feel bad.  It just is how it works and everyone thinks their house is worth more.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Week 11 and Some Turbo Kick

I'm sulking right now.

I had a fantastic weekend.  I went to a birthday party girl's night out (after 9 PM) on Friday.  On Saturday I got certified to teach Turbo Kick (formerly known as Turbo Jam) and bought a house.  On Sunday I had a spiritual epiphany that I thought meant that I wasn't doing such a bad job as a mother and as a person.  Then last night someone pointed out my flaws -- that I already know I have, by the way -- and deflated me.  Like I think maybe I should just hire a nanny to raise my kids and get a job where I don't have to deal with being nice.  Because apparently I'm bad at both of those things.

So I'm just sad right now.  And I'll probably delete this post later when I'm embarrassed that I wrote it.  If I had motivation to stop feeling sorry for myself I should probably practice my Turbo Kick skills.  Have you ever tried it?

I'm in the blue shirt.  And yes, the girl in pink is 7 months pregnant and did the 9 hour certification.  My kind of girl!

I'm the top left (blue shirt).

My class, post training.  I'm the one on the right in the black jacket.
It's so much fun!  I bought 11 DVD's to eventually teach.  If you don't have the option of taking a class at your gym, I highly suggest getting a DVD (I'll find out where for you and let you know).  It is a full body workout with interval training, which is fantastic for weight loss or just to tone up and feel good about yourself.  

Here's my workout plan for this week.  My half marathon is on Saturday.  I must have planned it a week off because I am on week 11 and should be on week 12, so maybe I'll combine the two.  Oopsies.  

Cardio (week 11):

(Cross Train)
(Cross Train)
1Rest30 Minutes
(3 Miles)
30-40 Minutes30 Minutes
(3 Miles)
30-40 MinutesRest4 Miles
2Rest30 Minutes
(3 Miles)
30-40 Minutes30 Minutes
(3 Miles)
30-40 MinutesRest5 Miles
3Rest30 Minutes
(3 Miles)
30-40 Minutes30 Minutes
(3 Miles)
30-40 MinutesRest6 Miles
4Rest35 Minutes
(3 Miles)
30-40 Minutes35 Minutes
(3 Miles)
30-40 MinutesRest7 Miles
5Rest45 Minutes
(4 Miles)
30-40 Minutes45 Minutes
(4 Miles)
45-50 MinutesRest4 Miles
6Rest45 Minutes
(4 Miles)
30-40 Minutes45 Minutes
(5 Miles)
45-50 MinutesRest8 Miles
7Rest50 Minutes
(5 Miles)
30-40 Minutes50 Minutes
(5 Miles)
45-50 MinutesRest9 Miles
8Rest45 Minutes
(4 Miles)
35-45 Minutes50 Minutes
(4 Miles)
45-50 MinutesRest6 Miles
9Rest50 Minutes
(5 Miles)
35-45 Minutes50 Minutes
(5 Miles)
45-50 MinutesRest10 Miles
10Rest45 Minutes
(4 Miles)
35-45 Minutes45 Minutes
(4 Miles)
45-50 MinutesRest7 Miles
11Rest35 Minutes
(3 Miles)
35-45 Minutes35 Minutes
(3 Miles)
45-50 MinutesRest6 Miles
12Rest30 Minutes
(3 Miles)
30 Minutes30 Minutes
(3 Miles)
RestRest13.1 Miles Race Day!

DayBody PartExerciseSetsRepsWeightRestSpeedNotesExercise Info
1ChestDumbbell Chest Press on Ball310 Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with back exerciseDetails
1BackCable Lat Pull Down310 Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with chest exerciseDetails
1ChestDumbbell Chest Flyes On Ball310 Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with back exerciseDetails
1BackSeated Cable Row310 Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with chest exerciseDetails
2LegsInner Thigh Machine310 Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with exercise belowDetails
2LegsOuter Thigh Machine310 Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with exercise aboveDetails
2LegsWalking Lunges310 Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with exercise belowDetails
2LegsBall Squats310 Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with exercise aboveDetails
3ShouldersDumbbell Shoulder Lateral Raise310 Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with exercise belowDetails
3Core/AbsForearm Bridge360 sec Superset No RestHold ConstantSuperset with exercise aboveDetails
3ShouldersDumbbell Shoulder Press310 Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with exercise belowDetails
3Core/AbsBall Crunches310 Superset No Rest2/4/2Superset with exercise aboveDetails

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