Thursday, June 29, 2017

Full Body Firecracker Workout

Photography by Jo Johnson
Happy [almost] 4th of July!  Every year we head to the lake to visit my cousin and her family sometime around the's our tradition and we look forward to it. This year is no different and I've been planning my snacks and sides for several days now that I'll be taking. I wish I could say it was healthy but if I'm being honest it's all junk food and I'm okay with that! It's a little thing I like to call balance. I'm all about a good food splurge when it comes to holidays but one thing I always try to stick to is getting a workout in. I know I won't be eating clean, healthy and whole foods but what I can control is burning some extra calories and get a good sweat session in. It's easy to make excuses to not workout over holidays because of time and especially because of travel. That's why I LOVE no equipment workouts you can literally do from anywhere. Scroll down for my full body firecracker workout. 


Full Body Firecracker Workout:

Circuit 1:
30 air squats
20 tricep dips
10 burps
x 3


Circuit 2:
30 mountain climbers (each leg)
20 donkey kicks (each leg)
15 fire hydrants (each leg)
x 3


Circuit 3:
30 russian twists (each side)
20 curtsey lunges (each side)
10 push ups


30 second plank (left side)
30 second - 1 minute plank (middle)
30 second plank (right side)
(Rest 30-45 seconds between each round of abs)

Tank via Riffraff │ Sunnies via Overstock │ Sports bra via Lululemon│Shorts via FLEO│Tennies via APL

Be Well,


PS, A BIG thanks to Jo Johnson for all the amazing photography. I was super excited to win a photoshoot from her. Go check her out HERE!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Doughbar Doughnuts + Dad's Day

Mark and I came across Doughbar Doughnuts and HAD to try them. They're a healthier option for a traditional doughnut and come in so many fun flavors. We ordered the variety of the month pack with flavors like s'mores, puppy chow, birthday cake and chocolate cheesecake. The first thing that grabbed my attention is that they're made from quality flour and are baked as opposed to fried...and the best part of all is the yummy toppings! I would definitely give these a try if you love sweets and want a guilt free sweet treat option or if you count your macros. The doughnuts come packed in cute little boxes and are individually wrapped which is nice so you're not tempted to scarf them all down in one sitting. 😜

The icing and toppings came in perfectly measured little tubs. We microwaved the individual icings and then promptly put on the toppings so they stick to the doughnut.

Each box of doughnuts comes with a sheet that breaks down the fat, protein, carb and sugar count so you know exactly what you're putting into your body. 

We put our best decorating skills to practice and got artsy with our doughnuts....or maybe lack of skills. Ha!

And I feel like I would be doing a disservice to y'all if I didn't share our "sad" doughnuts....I think I actually got some toppings mixed up because this isn't what the picture on the website looked like but we got a good laugh and the doughnuts were still tasty.

Frank got in on the action and may have got a bite or two and gobbled it up. I also have to give a shoutout to Mark for being a willing participant to support me in my blogging adventures. And a very Happy Father's Day to everyone out there... the human kind and the fur baby kind. We love you all!

Be Well,


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Happy 2 year "FIT-aversary" to me!

About two and a half years ago I was at a crossfit competition with Mark playing the role of "team mom" as everyone so lovingly calls me. I was in the hotel room getting ready for  the day and I caught the reflection between two mirrors of my backside and thought to myself "that doesn't look like my booty!" I had not been working out regularly and had been eating "healthy" through the week and eating like a NFL linebacker on the weekends. #treatyoself 😜 At that moment, I realized it was time to get back to the gym and make better food choices. So, I went to the gym and did the 30 minutes on the treadmill and intimidated by the weight room thing... this went on for about 6 months. I lost a little weight but overall nothing had changed. I then decided if I was going to spend time in a gym that I wanted to be able to see and feel a difference. In 8 weeks, with the help of a trainer, I had completely changed my diet and gained so much knowledge on lifting weights. Then, after having a trainer, I turned myself loose and put everything I had learned to practice. Some days were easy but a lot of day were really freaking hard. I learned to enjoy the suck and challenge myself. What got easier is when everything became a habit. Once eating healthy and going to workout became part of my regular routine it wasn't something I had to think about as a chore or that I HAD to do it. It really feels good to be at a place where I feel like I've accomplished something and even more rewarding to be able to share my experience with y'all.  Some things I've learned in  the 2 years to being dedicated to becoming a healthier version of myself:

👊Be consistent..with your workouts and your diet. In two years my body has completely changed but it's taken TWO years. BE PATIENT.
👊When you achieve one goal whether it be a certain amount of pounds lost, a skill in the gym or maybe it's the appearance of abs you will always find something else to improve on. I constantly hit a goal and find something else I want to get better at.
👊 Cute workout clothes in fact make you workout harder.
👊Go to the gym even on the days you don't feel like going. My rule of thumb is to  jump on the treadmill for 15 minutes...after 15 if you feel like going home then leave but I promise once you get going you will be ready to start your workout.
👊Don't let fear stop you from doing the damn thannnggggg! 

Photography by L.Taylor Photography 

tank via Lululemon
sports bra via Lululemon
shorts via FLEO (shorts in photo are sold out but I've linked one of my favorite prints from their brand new collection.) 

Be Well,


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Berry summer salad + avocado dressing

If you follow me on Instagram then you know that I'm kicking off my summer series with Gabbie Cox of Ciao Bella blog. A couple of weeks ago we made a pit stop to Whole Foods here in Fayetteville to grab some ingredients for the perfect salad. Summer is unofficially here and I don't know about y'all but it has me craving all the fresh fruit especially berries! I wanted to share one of my favorite meals with y'all along with an adapted avocado dressing recipe from Whole Living Lauren.

The best part about this salad is you can add chicken to it to make it the main course or leave it out for a side salad.  I'm all about simple ingredients and easy preparation especially when it comes to dinner. Ain't nobody got time for all the mess of a complicated meal! (Or maybe I'm just too impatient! ha!)

I wanted my dressing to have a thicker and creamier consistency so I went with an entire avocado... if you want a thinner dressing than use half of an avocado for the dressing.

Once Frank realized Gabbie and I weren't sharing a bite he was ready to head outside to enjoy the cooler temps. We shot this a few Saturdays ago when we had lots of rain.

Ingredients:(feeds 4)

1 lb of chicken (4 oz. per person.)
2 cups strawberries
1 1/4 cups blueberries
1/4 cup feta cheese (optional)
4 cups spinach
2 cups arugula
garlic powder
1 tbs coconut oil

fresh basil (I used thai basil which is a bit stronger than the regular)
2 garlic cloves
1 whole avocado (you can adjust amount of avocado to desired consistency)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1.5 tbs white wine vinegar
2-3 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


1. Combine all the dressing ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth and chill in the fridge. Adjust liquids/avocado for desired consistency.
2. Cut chicken into strips and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. 
3. Heat coconut oil over medium/high heat.
4. Once the coconut oil is melted place strips of chicken in the skillet and continue to cook on each side for 5 minutes.
5. In the meantime, wash the berries and cut strawberries into slices.
6. Combine spinach, arugula, berries and the cheese in a bowl. Once the chicken is finished cooking place chicken and top and serve promptly as to not wilt the spinach and arugula.
7. Add dressing as desired!

Click images below to shop the post.

Be Well,


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sweet Potato Pancakes

About a month ago Mark and I took my dad to brunch at one of our absolute favorite local spots in town called The Farmers Table Cafe. Other than having the most delish, locally sourced food and unique menu, its claim to fame is Pharell (Yes, the "Because I'm Happpyyy" Pharell) ate there when he came to town and gave them a shout out on Instagram. And can we talk about how cool our little town is to have Pharell visit??! Anyways, back to the point... There were too many things on the menu and we all had decided we would split an order of their sweet potato pancakes to start with and each order an entree. When that big, fat stack of pancakes was sat down on the table it didn't take us 3 minutes to have them completely devoured.

Mark asked if I could mimic the recipe at home and so I gave it a whirl! I'm no chef but I must say the at home pancakes turned out pretty dang good. I even came up with a spread to go on top as an alternative to syrup. These are a must try and would be great for an at home brunch. I wanted to share this because I had posted about my pancakes on my social media accounts and had several of you message me about the recipe.

If you know me then you know I LOVE Kodiak Cakes. Kodiak Cakes is a brand of waffle/pancake mix that doesn't have any added sugar or artificial additives. Plain and simple ingredients. They also make mix with added protein which is what Mark and I always opt for. I chose a pancake mix over "homemade" because I'm all about simplifying. If you're wanting to try Kodiak Cakes you can get them locally in Arkansas at YTFS and in Target stores nationwide.

The sweet potato added to the pancake mix makes the batter much thicker so you may want to add about 1/4-1/2 more water than what the box calls for. Sweet potatoes also add a lot of moisture to the pancakes so these will be "cakey".  I've made this recipe both waffles and in pancakes and obviously both are amazing its just whatever you prefer.

Kodiak Cakes mix
1 sweet potato
Vanilla flavoring
Coconut milk
Peanut Butter


1. Heat sweet potato in microwave until fully cooked through.
2. Follow recipe on the box of Kodiak Cakes Mix. (1 cup of mix/1cup of water for 2 servings) and mix.
3. Stir 1/2 cup sweet potatoes into the pancake mix until lumps are mostly gone.
4. Add in the mix and stir 1/4 teaspoon vanilla flavoring and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
5. Heat pan on med/high heat and spray with nonstick spray.
6. Pour a 4-5 inch circle of batter and cook until the edges of pancake begin to brown and the middle begins to bubble then flip and cook fully through on other side. Remember the first pancake is usually the worst so do your first one fairly small as a test run.

Mix 1/4 cup of peanut butter, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla flavoring and a pinch of cinnamon in a bowl.  Once the pancakes are finished drizzle with honey and add a dollop to the top of a hot pancake.

Be Well,


Monday, April 17, 2017

No equipment needed workout

Hope y'all had a good Easter weekend! Mark and I relaxed worked on the new house but did manage to binge watch a few shows on Netflix. 😀 (Always open to new suggestions by the way!) If you follow me on Instagram than you may have seen my Instagram story of how we celebrated Easter... church, homemade brunch with the most delish sweet potato waffles and an active rest day that consisted of walking around Lake Fayetteville. Some of you messaged me about the sweet potato recipe and I'll try to get that up here in the next week or so.

If you're like me and had one too many eggs this weekend... and by eggs, I mean of the deviled and cadbury sorts than you're probably ready to get some good workouts in to burn off those extra calories. I came up with a little workout that can literally be done from anywhere and no equipment is needed. Which means NO excuse to not be able to workout. You can modify this workout a million different ways to make it harder or easier depending on your fitness level which is why I love this so much. The entire workout is in the video..give it a whirl and let me know what you think. I also have to tell you this was filmed with a camera sitting on top of a stack of boxes which makes me giggle just thinking about it!

Be Well,


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Healthy breakfast hash

So, a couple weeks ago I had left over spaghetti squash from dinner the night before and wanted to be able to reuse it for another meal. I absolutely love being able to use ingredients throughout the week on different recipes to not only cut down on grocery bill cost but also because it's one less ingredient to forget to buy...  can I get an amen??! I was trying to come up with something different to eat for breakfast because I was tired of my usual breakfast meals. And that's when it hit me... turn that spaghetti squash into "hash browns".  This was seriously the easiest meal to prepare with very few ingredients which to me is key. This breakfast hash has all the good fats and protein to keep you fueled throughout your morning.

Some quick tips before cooking: 

* Be really careful when cutting the squash because it's tough to slice and I don't want anyone to get hurt... ouch!
* Cook the squash the night before to cut back on prep time (steps 1-4)
* You don't have to brown the spaghetti squash all at once if you're only making 1-2 servings and can eat on it throughout the week.

Photography by Caroline Stelte 

1 small/medium spaghetti squash (about 4 pounds which yields approx. 5 cups)
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
5 eggs (1 for egg white)
1 avocado (optional but we all know avocado makes everything better)
Salsa (optional)
salt + pepper to taste

Yields approx. 4 servings- 1 1/4 cups of spaghetti squash + 1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Cut the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds like you would in a pumpkin. Be careful to not take out the "meat" of the squash while removing the seeds.
3. After the oven is preheated place the squash cut side down on a prepared baking pan for 35-40 minutes. When the squash is finished you should be able to pull apart the center of the squash into tiny little strings almost like noodles. To cut down on prep time do this the night before.
4. Scoop out the squash. If you made the night before place in an airtight container and place in the fridge. (Throw the rinds away.)
5. Squeeze excess water out of the squash. If you don't get the water out the squash doesn't cook properly and is soupy.
6. Mix spaghetti squash and 1 egg white in a bowl until all the squash is coated. Salt and pepper to taste.
7.Once you're ready to brown the spaghetti squash heat 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet.  Cook on medium heat and cook for 10-15 until golden brown and spaghetti squash begins to look like traditional potato hash browns.
8. In a separate pan, prepare eggs to your preference. I like to do mine over easy with this recipe.
9. Place egg on top of the squash  and garnish with avocado slices and salsa. Enjoy!

Be Well,


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Baby Steps

Happy Sunday y'all! I want to challenge everyone this week to change something small in either your diet or workout routine. Trying to stay on track with your diet and exercise can be realllllly intimidating and overwhelming and I want to remind everyone to take baby steps. Please tell me someone gets the What About Bob reference??! 😎 If you're struggling with unhealthy eating habits then I encourage you to make small changes at first. For instance, if you stop by Starbucks every morning and order a  venti caramel frappucino with extra whip try ordering something with less sugar like a grande nonfat latte with cinnamon steamed in the milk. My personal fave and easier on the waistline! We tend to forget that something as harmless as a coffee in the AM can have negative results on our diet. If you're having an issue to committing to routine workouts start with something small like 2-3 times per week for 20-30 minutes or have your best girl be your accountability partner. Once you've mastered something small in your diet and exercise plan then add something else to up your game. This week I challenge you to take baby steps...Comment below with a baby change you're going to make to improve your overall health.  Remember, small changes equal big results...

Photography by Caroline Stelte

Top + pants via Marshalls and under $40. 
Shoes via Nike

Be Well,


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Things I always keep in my gym bag

I've got into the habit of packing my gym bag in the mornings before I head to work so I have absolutely no excuse to not workout after. All my "Tesori girls" (about me) call me the bag lady between my gym bag, purse, and snacks bag...I look ridiculous walking into work! 😅 At least once a week I was always forgetting something... There's nothing worse then when you get to the gym and you don't have what you need which is why I have learned to keep a stocked gym bag. I used to see other girls at the gym and I couldn't comprehend what they could possibly need in the hour or so to justify bringing in an entire big ol' bag. I'm now backtracking and bring a bag every time I workout. I came up with a list of items I can't live without before, after and during my workouts.

Photography by Caroline Stelte 

1. Blender Bottle with protein powder:  Your muscles break down during a workout and are basically crying to be replenished. My go-to post workout protein is always in some sort of shake form because it's so easy and convenient... mix with cold water and you're done!  I like ISO-100 in just about any flavor. As for the shaker go for Blender Bottle brand. They're BPA free and I'm not sure I've had one break on me yet. I've linked both products to shop these online but if you're local in Arkansas you can find them at YTFS. (Yayyy for shopping local when you can!)

2. Face wipes: Most times when I'm going to workout I'm coming from work which means I have a full face of makeup. I always try to take good care of my skin so when I'm finished with a workout I like to use wipes to clean my face and prevent breakouts. I found these wipes at Target by Pacifica. Bonus points for the cute packaging!

3. Deodorant wipes: I use these as more of an all over body wipe for the days that I have to be somewhere after the gym but don't really have time to go home and shower. These are also made by Pacifica. (Also found at Target.) I went with the coconut flavor and love them because the scent isn't too overpowering.

4. Mini first aid kit: I can be clumsy and in case I have a small accident I've got band-aids on hand along with antiseptic wipes to combat any little cuts or skin tears (from bar work like pull ups, etc). I have moments at the gym where I think to myself "that's definitely going to end up on one of those gym fail YouTube videos" which is why my little first aid kit gets used often. You can find this little kit at many different retailers but I got mine at Walmart for just under $5.

5. Wireless headphones + backup pair of headphones: The better the music the better the workout in my opinion. My music is more important to me than my pre-workout drink... if I don't have music I'm probably not working out. My favorite wireless headphones are made by Jaybird. I've had my pair for a couple of years now and haven't had any issues. They stay charged for several uses and have long range of bluetooth with my phone. And the sound is really good!  The biggest issue is me forgetting to charge them which is why I always keep an extra pair of regular headphones in my bag... they've saved my workout on more than one occasion.

6. Mario Badescu's rosewater facial spray: This is something new I've added to my bag thanks to one of my oldest friends, shout out to ya Kirsten! I got this in my dirty santa gift at Christmas and literally am addicted to it. It's basically just a refreshing mist that when sprayed over makeup will set it with a dewy glow but on bare skin is soothing. After a full day wear of makeup, sweat, and then wiping it all off this spray is so refreshing and hydrating.

7. Mini wet brush + hair ties:  Everyone knows what a wet brush is...we all love them. We're obsessed! But now they make a mini which is the perfect size to throw in your bag. I found the mini at Target and more or less squealed with excitement because of my affinity for wet brushes. AND, duh, about having extra hair ties in your bag but I swear no matter how many hair ties I buy they always seem to disappear. Which really makes me wonder...where are all my hair ties??!

8. Elizabeth and James White Nirvana dry shampoo: If you are going to listen to one piece of advice (other than the've got to have your protein post workout 😆) then listen now... this is the BEST dry shampoo you will ever try. Just trust me! I've tried many of  the other brands out there. This is the holy grail of all the dry shampoos.  I am able to still workout and only wash my hair every couple of days so I like to keep this in my bag to freshen up in between shampoos. It not only works but it also gives your hair lots of texture and body. And the smell is to die for. I loved the smell so much I also purchased the perfume. This little gem can be found at Sephora.

9. Deodorant: This OBVIOUSLY goes without saying but you can't not talk about a stocked gym bag and not include deodorant. PSA: please wear deodorant!!!

10. Hand sanitizer: I can only imagine the things we'd see on gym equipment if we did the black light test (you're welcome for that visual) which is exactly why I always use my hand sanitizer immediately leaving the gym. Bath and Bodyworks always has yummy fruity smells so that's my go to for hand sanitizer.

11. Healthy snacks: I'm not sure when I became so obsessed with having healthy snacks on me at all times. I think it has to do with my big hubby who is constantly hungry and is always digging in my bag for something to snack on. It' now just a habit! I'm also one of those people that when I'm starving I will eat whatever is in front of me...if it's a cupcake then I'm going to eat that and on the other hand if it's veggies I'm happy to eat that as well. When I'm at the point of no return when I'm starving it's dangerous so I keep healthy options so I don't have to sacrifice what I'm putting into my body.  Two of my favorite bars are One Bars and RX bars. We by them by the case!

12.  Teikis Water bottles: This isn't just any 'ol reusable water bottle. It's made of glass so you don't have to worry about the BPA's and chemicals that are associated with drinking out of plastic bottles. I'm not going to get too much into this but google it and I promise you'll want to drink out of glass bottles. Mark and I were avid plastic water bottle drinkers and would buy water bottles by the truckloads. We switched over to these glass water bottles  (purchased on Amazon)  and love not having plastic water bottles take up so much room in our recycle bin. It's important to stay hydrated especially when you're working out.  1/2 ounce to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight is a really good way to calculate how much water you should drink.

And if you've made it this far in the post...I can't end without saying that there are two pieces of equipment that I think you should always have in your bag and that's a jump rope and resistance bands. Both are really inexpensive and can be used anywhere!

Be Well,


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Be a belle and a beast

I've got butterflies in my belly while I'm writing my first blog post....y'all this has been a long time coming! Almost 2 years ago I thought about starting a blog and honestly didn't have the grit at the time to actually do it. With a lot of encouragement from close friends, family, and fellow bloggers I have officially done it and can not wait to share with you. Barbelle + the Beast is a kitschy take on my workout style....weightlifting mixed with HIIT (high intensity interval training). It's also a reflection of my personality which is bubbly and laid back but I've always got a little lot of fight in me! I love interacting with people and I'd have to say it's what energizes me the most. I truly want to connect with people through my love of fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

I get asked often what my favorite workouts are, where I get my gym clothes, and what I eat to be healthy and that's what I want to share with y'all! Working out and coming up with recipes for the week is just another thing to add to your long list of to-do's and I'm here to break it down and make it easy.  I'll be sharing more next week but in the mean time check out my most favorite workout get up at the moment....

Photography by Caroline Stelte Photography 

Varley crop top via ASOS

Varley tights via Sculptique

APL tennies via Bandier

Be Well,


PS, The winner of my very first Instagram giveaway is Payton Lyon (@patonyy). Please send an email to to claim your prize. Congrats and enjoy! 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

BB + B going live in April!

Hi all! Thanks for visiting my (almost ready) blog....I plan to go live the first week in April. Check out my Instagram to stay connected with me in the mean time. I can't wait to share with you my love for all things fitness + health along with my silly quirks, my sweet family that includes one super cute english bulldog and of course meal plans and workouts.

PS, I'm going to be doing a HUGE giveaway on my Instagram that you will not want to miss so stay tuned!

Be Well,


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