Blog: Lifestyle

Life is Beautiful. I love serving the world by capturing beautiful family memories, encouraging others to believe in life’s greatest possibilities, and inspiring others to realize their full potential. Everyone has a story... make it a beautiful one.  

5 Tips to Achieve Your Health Goals

Health and fitness seems to be one of those things in life that many want to achieve but is one of the top things that most loose motivation because of time, not seeing the results right away, or it just gets hard.  Trust me I know I was one of them for the longest time.

Over the years,  I have found a system that works to help create the mindset health and fitness as a lifestyle and part of daily life rather than the thought “I have to get it done today but I just don’t have time”.

1. Find your ultimate goal: when setting your goal, be realistic. Instead of thinking I am going to run 6 miles tomorrow (and you have never ran before) start out be running a mile or walk a minute/run a minute for a mile and build yourself up to the 6 miles.  It took me about 3 months of run/walk to build up to run 3 miles straight.  Have patience with yourself!

Be specific about your goals.  Specific that you want to loose one pound a week or I want to run 3 miles a week.

Choose a goal that is meaningful to you and makes you WANT to achieve your goals.  I had a big goal and that was to create a healthy lifestyle for myself to be an example to my family. That is a pretty ambitious goal, but having gestational diabetes can really make you think.  Your goal that is meaningful to you doesn’t have to be so ambitious like mine but it must make you really want the change.

2. Find what works for you to achieve your goal: Once you figure out your ultimate goal, its time to figure out how your going to achieve that goal.  It can be working out 30 minutes a day, cut back on fast food, eat smaller portions, increase your veggie intake, and drink more water.

My current routine is working out at home 30 minutes 6 times a week with running 3 days a week.  It has taking me 2 years to get to this point.  Starting out, I worked out 3-4 times a week and went running for 30 min maybe twice a week.

Working out at home has allowed me to get my workout in without the limitation or excuse of not having someone to watch the kids or “boy I have to drive in 20 minutes of traffic to go to the gym”. It just works for me and has helped me create a lifestyle out of it.

Eating smaller portions throughout the day has really helped too!  If there is one thing I have taken from having diabetes, this is one of the most valuable takeaways from the experience.

3. Set small specific goals: I had mentioned this a little earlier but setting small goals you can accomplish everyday.  One thing that helped me stay on track with my goals is mentally telling myself what time of day I am going to workout.  Before my second son, I was going to the crossfit gym around 4:00 everyday.  When I started my routine at home, I kept it around the same time everyday.  That eliminated my “TIME” issue.  Now, somedays I tweek the times around, but I am to the point that its not an excuse I just get it done.

Set a goal of drinking 1 oz more water everyday, or substituting one cracker snack with carrots and hummus instead. Find food that you like and that work for you and stick to those foods everyday.  Find ways to elevate them if needed.

4. Monitor your activity: But in moderation.  I used to be the type of person that would step on the scale every single day and be crushed when it didn’t move.  to be honest, that can really hinder your mindset… “Why keep going?  Nothing is changing anyways so whats the point?”  The truth is your body is changing.  The scale just doesn’t show it.  Some ways you can monitor your progress is by taking before and after photos.  This for me has been a huge win.  I take a before photo before I start a new routine and upon completion I take an after… this right here speak more than a scale.  Yes, the scale is our friend, but if its not working for you, try doing photos instead.  Another way is by the old fashion measurement system and measuring your waist, arms, and legs.

Find a healthy, positive way to monitor your activity.

5. Adapting to circumstances: Life happens and there are simply circumstances that can change your routine for instance traveling. My workouts are through an app so I take my workouts on the go and I commit to doing them even on vacation.  If I am somewhere I can go running, I go for a run too.  Eating out can be a huge hinderance, BUT with the right mindset you can still eat out and enjoy it while on vacation.  Recently we stayed at an AirBNB and that was great because we could cook our own breakfast.  I purchase all my normal ingredients of what I eat in the morning and cooked it.  I found this was perfect because I didn’t feel full the whole trip.  I started the day healthy and had the room to enjoy dinner a little bit more.

Becoming sick can really put a damper on your routine.  If I just have a cold, I normally still workout.  Depending on how I feel, I will keep my higher impact routine or I will do something more lower impact.  Working out while sick has really helped get rid of it faster.  The key is to listen to your body, but if you are able to something more while sick, do at least something lower impact like yoga or some weights.  If you have the stomach flu… Just rest up.

Achieving your health goals is going to take time and work.  The most important thing is be patient with yourself and have grace.  making it apart of your lifestyle is achievable but it is NOT going to be overnight.  The first 3-6 months are going to be the most challenging because your body is adapting and may not show any changes but KEEP GOING!  It took me about a year of consistent daily steps to see results after my second son.  When I had such a fit pregnancy with my second and after his birth, gaining that extra 10 pounds made me depressed.  I kept going every day and so happy I did because I am now the healthiest I ever been.

Keep going.  Make it fun. Do your best. Have a Grace with yourself. Change will come.

Be Awesome,

Amber

 

 

 

A Bei Be Beautiful Story

 

In today’s society, we are surrounded by so many beliefs for who the person we should be to have success in this world. Our home must look like it came out of a magazine, our clothes need to like we just walked out of a personal shopping spree from a department store, or we need to to have thousands of followers to make us look like we are making it.  To be honest it gets exhausting to have this belief in our heads that we just aren’t good enough to make it in this world.

The truth is, This belief of not being good enough has been instilled in my brain from a very young age.  Finding my circle of friends was like trying to figure out how to get over a barb wire fence, I often got criticized for what I wore, and wracking my brains just trying to figure out how to fit in and feel like I was worth something to everyone.

Today its still a personal struggle, but I have learned something over time… we ARE beautiful inside and out.  No matter where we are at in life and doesn’t matter how many followers we have.  We can be worthy of all the things and have the confidence in ourselves.  We just need to take a stand and realize it in ourselves to be the person God intended us to be. To take a look at our selves in the mirror and tell ourselves that we are enough no matter what.

Through my journey of becoming a better version of me, I have stepped out of my comfort zone and started sharing my journey. It has given me hope and confidence within myself.  It was a big step for me, but by sharing the things I have overcome has made me realize that through my challenges, I can help serve others.

What started out 7 years ago a photography business, has turned into something more.  A story of purpose, love, and hope for life through photographing stories, helping others live better and healthier lives, and making women feel beautiful and confident through a simple hair accessory.

Bei means beautiful in Italy.  Such a simple word with so much power to it. A daily reminder to be beautiful inside and out. To let go of fear and the things we can not change. That we have that we have the ability to believe in who we were created to be. A reminder that we are doing better than we think we are and to stop comparing ourselves to others.

Life is about living our passions.  I came across a quote the other day, “I learned that if you are passionate about something, that you can move mountains. passions is more precious than gold, and it’s a currency that everyone craves. It’s something thats hard to fake, and when its real, everyone wants to be on that train.  It’s about giving people something that they can believe.” Stephanie Allain.

Passion, purpose, love, faith and hope is what it’s all about.  My secret sauce to becoming the confident women I am becoming.  Sometimes I feel like I am standing alone, and not doing all the right things for the others to accept me.  The true Bei Be Beautiful story is to know the person you are becoming is better than the person you were yesterday and that is a authentically real and beautiful person.

xoxo,

Amber

 

 

Photography Tip Friday 01.25.19: photographing your story

I posted on Instagram about how our lives are like a blank canvas.  We are each given a canvas to choose to do with what ever we want with it.  We have the choice to paint our own beautiful story with imperfections or we can choose to do nothing with it and keep it blank.

This inspired me for this weeks Friday photography tip.  It has been so much fun taking the boys out and doing our own photoshoots during winter down time from regular photography sessions.  Down time is a perfect time to get inspired, go location scouting, and get the creative juices flowing, all the while I am creating and capturing my own story.

Last Valentine’s day my husband bought me my first tripod.  I always thought tripods where silly and for the really serious pro photographers.  I always classified myself as being the having fun and breaking the rules kinda photographer. Up until this last year being at home mom with Ethan and Nate, I have whole heartedly embraced the tripod.

I taught myself to use the tripod and timer on my camera. It has allowed me to create a story of me as a mom, with my kids, and telling my health and fitness journey.  

I set up my tripod where I want it to be and I will use Ethan as my focal point of where I want to stand.  I focus and set all my settings in my camera and set the camera on the tripod.  Most tripods are super easy to use.

With the knowledge I have learned by using a tripod and camera timer, I’ve been able to create self portraits.

I can do fun action shots with my kids.

Or just a fun snuggle photo with them wether they like it or not ha!

I have also been able to create photos to share my health and fitness journey too.

You can create such a beautiful story by using a tripod and camera timer and if anyone where to ask me what camera equipment is a must have… a tripod is at the top of my list!  It has been a such a blessing in my life!

Be Awesome,

Amber

 

A fitness story: Tips to workout at home with kids

Health and fitness was always in back of my mind even before kids.  Growing up wasn’t easy.  My family wasn’t super into health and fitness and through this I experienced first hand what unhealthy habits can do to a person over time and its one of the hardest things to see to some one you care about.

I knew I wanted to live a better life for me and my future family, but the truth is, I didn’t know how.  Before having kids, I had the personal trainers, lost weight and all the things but after having to cut costs, I had to figure it out on my own and that is when the weight came back because I didn’t have the accountability, tools, or the know how.

In 2013, I found out I was pregnant with my first son.  His pregnancy was very challenging and exhausting.  I found out I had gestational diabetes with him and doctors told me if I didn’t change my life around I’d have it even after birth.  I retained so much fluid that my foot size expanded 2 shoe sizes! I had to adjust my diet, exercise (Yeah that was so fun when I was so heavy with water weight), go see a nutritionist once a week,  prick my finger twice a day, prick myself with a needle in my belly every night before bed, and see the doctors twice a week.  Man, it was relief when they scheduled my delivery.

It didn’t end there when I ended up with an unexpected c-section, baby going to NICU, and me with severe anemia for blood loss. Three days later after feeling I was going to die because I was so weak and not being able to see my baby in the NICU, I finally I had a blood transfusion and a nose tube (which by the was is the most unpleasant feeling and totally NOT needed).

This experience gave me drive to take the knowledge I learned during the pregnancy and gave me motivation to get healthy because I did not want another pregnancy like this again. So I did the things, got my butt out and started my running journey and continued working out at a local cross fit gym.

My second son Nate, his pregnancy I was doing all the things… running, push ups, wall balls modified burpees you name it.

After his birth, I ended up with severe PPD.  Nate blessed me with the gift of mental health.

With two kids, it made sense for me to start working out at home and I wouldn’t have it any other way with all the amazing tools I have in the comfort of my own home and don’t have to waste time on babysitting, or gas.

Many people have wondered how I find the time in my busy schedule and with two energetic boys to fit my work out in.  I am sharing a few ways  that have helped me to workout at home with kids.

1. Priorities.  I’ve made it a priority because I knew I didn’t want to live my life pricking the heck out of myself everyday.  If it isn’t a priority it won’t happen that simple.  If you want it to be a priority… Then just get up and get it done. No excuses. If it’s your priority, your kids will start to get it and adjust to your schedule. It’s all about the mindset!

2. Schedule. I do my workouts or running almost every single day at the same time.  This has allowed me to make it a habit and easily fit it into my life style and its helped train my kids to know when I work out so they expect it from me. It’s not an easy process, but over time it will start becoming part of your life style.  AND another tip I keep them 30-35 minute workouts.

3. Help! No Naps! If your kids nap, that is the perfect time to get focused, but if your like me and your kids won’t take naps, you still can make it happen.  Get creative!  My oldest Ethan will join in with me which is great because it’s teaching him how to be healthy. He even has his own weights.  Depending on how the day goes,  I’ll put Nate, my 2.5 year old) in his room for a quiet hour and get it done. If quiet hour/naps don’t happen, I turn on a show I know that will keep him occupied.  On push up days I let him get on my back for pushups (you can use your knees if needed).  Nate loves it and gets him involved too.

4. Don’t give up! Just find the system that works for you and stick with it.  The more you create it as a habit in your daily life, your kids will follow and start to realize it too. They will start to become your biggest cheerleaders and accountability partners. Ethan noticed during one of my recent workouts he could see I was tired. He says, “mom, I know your tired, but you got this!”

Making yourself a priority is hard… I know!  But I also know that if it is something you want to change, it CAN and WILL change and your kids for the better through being their example of what living a healthy life is all about.

Be Awesome,

Amber

 

 

 

The art of photographing your own kids

I get asked almost daily how I get my boys to take photos.  The truth is, it takes a lot of trial and error and not everyday is going to be perfect especially if you have young kids.  I will share with you some of the secret weapons I’ve learned over the past 7 years that I use at my photo sessions and with my own kids.

Sitting down: I have a 2.5 year old that always want to be on the move no matter what I want him to do so getting him to sit down for photos can be a challenge.  What I have learned is smarties is key.  I can get him to sit still for at least one shot if I give him a couple smarties to munch on.  sometimes they make into the photo but HEY its real life.  Giving a child something to play with like a book, toy or something from nature in the location your at can help keep a child occupied.  Playing peek a boo or singing a song works great too.  For older kids, you can talk about what they are into like a sport or if they have a favorite superhero let them talk to you about it, ask them questions.

Let them be little:  I prefer the candids over the super posed images and letting the kids do their own thing makes them happy.  Sometimes you just have to go with it.  It may not be what you envisioned, but sometimes the best photos are the ones not planned.

Do things together:  Get in the photo with them and do things you do together in real life.  Not only does this tell a story of your real life moments and capturing a memory of you with them, but it also can help a child to feel more at ease to be photographed.

Real Life: Capture them in real life.  Not every moment is perfect, but the moment may just tell the perfect true story.

Play: A child at play makes some pretty awesome photos.  I love capturing my kids doing things they love to do like playing basketball or swinging.  It captures them in their element and happy place… and it is a great memory to look back at what they used to do as a child.

Things of comfort:  Allowing a child to have something that comforts them or they like to hold on too can really help them to cooperate for photos.  Ask them to show you what they have and why they like that particular item.  Having a conversation with them if they can talk can make a world a difference when taking a child’s photo.  Don’t want the item in the photo?  I will . take whatever the item is as the photographer/mom and do something silly with it like put it on my head.

and if all fails… BRIBERY is a word you must come to familiarize yourself with.  Somedays if I want a photo that bad, yes I bribe with candy, cookies, and milkshakes.

The art of photographing your own kids or other kids takes practice and patience.  My advice is go in with no expectations and just go with it.  There are plenty of times I have found this picture perfect photo I wanted to try to do but then I go to recreate it and it ends up in disaster because the kids weren’t into it. Your kids are different than others kids and like different things so don’t go in with great expectations for this picture perfect photo session.

Just let them be who they are and find the things that make them happy to take photos.  If you stress doing photos, They will stress too.  So turn up the music, get the toys and candy out and just do it.

Be Awesome,

Amber