Are you too busy, too?

by Holly Thompson, December 11, 2019

This season is filled with busy. Extra busy. We thrive on it.

The hustle and bustle in the stores, the preparation for the time off of work and time with family. We run ourselves ragged and sometimes wouldn't even remember the holiday that flew by if it wasn't for the photos.

How are you?

"Oh Busy", you say. Me, too. We don't say "relaxed or happy" as if those responses aren't as worthy as being busy.

My friend, there is no luxury in busy. Busy is stressful and hard and exhausting. Yet, it's the thing we seem to be most proud of.

Ready for the Barre?

by Holly Thompson, November 29, 2019

Barre Blend - BE Graceful, Strong & Gorgeous in 60 Days

OK - this is a tagline - but I honestly already think you are gorgeous. The key is that at the end of this YOU think you are gorgeous, too!

I am so excited about the release of our newest program- Barre Blend! This low impact workout will seriously change your body- if you want to chisel your waist, define your arms, lean out your legs, and lift and firm your booty (who doesn’t?!), you will love this program!


Can you believe these changes- in just 6 weeks?! Are you ready to start yours?

What is Barre Blend?

Watch the Video on it here!

This 6 week program has 40 full-body workouts that include high-rep, small-range movements and isometric holds, as well as compound, full-range exercises, targeted core work, and dynamic stretches. And every 30- to 40-minute workout includes light weight training and cardio intervals to keep your heart rate up so you can burn maximum calories and fat.

Barre Blend requires no dance or ballet experiences and is perfect for all fitness levels. Start by following the modifier or kick it up a notch with weights and bands. You won’t believe the amazing workout you get from a “low impact” workout.

And this program also focuses on strengthening your mind! This program comes with “I AM” daily motivation cards to help you cultivate a positive mindset every day.

Here is what is included:

-2 prep workouts to introduce you to the program

-40 unique workouts - there are 4 phases with 5 workouts in each. Elise ups the intensity every 2 weeks!

-5 Bonus workouts- these 10 minute workouts up the intensity and target specific body parts

-3 Recovery Workouts

- I AM Daily Motivation Cards- Elise pulls one of these cards before each workout and bases the workout on the card. You can use them yourself to stay motivated through the program- and even use them in your morning routine!

Who is Elise Joan?

You might remember Elise Joan, the creator of Barre Blend, from 3 Week Yoga Retreat! She is a former professional dancer and has taught exercise classes for over a decade. She loves to incorporate mind/body training (hence the I AM cards and daily affirmations!). She is known for her positive, joy filled teaching style and has appeared on Lifetime Television, ABC News, CBS News, and more! Her passion for this workout shines through- you are going to love her!

Important Dates:

November 25- Sample Workout Available!

December 3- (Coaches exclusive!) Barre Blend available for purchase with an exclusive peak at the first 10 workouts! 

December 16- Barre Blend available for purchase

January 3- Barre Blend Day 1!

*Between December 16 and January 3 we will be following a prep calendar to prepare for day 1!*

What equipment is required?

Light dumbbells are required- 1 - 5 pounds should be good for most people. These are very high rep exercises so low weight is perfect!

Loops and barre socks are optional!

What support will I have?

I will be hosting a test group right inside the monthly challenge groups to motivate and support all the women who join me! We'll create a little community and cheer each other on. It's just amazing and so effective!

Since this is a test group, it will be the first time anyone has done these workouts! I cannot wait to experience this program together and see everyone’s results!

What packages are there?

For New Customers:

For Existing BOD Members:

I always recommend the Deluxe packages- especially with a program like this where you will be SORE. Having Recover will help you function the next day- and allow you to give your next workout 100% And Energize- well I can’t live without it!

I also highly recommend the MEGA pack this time! It is a great way to get everything you need- plus you can even try out our newest Plant Based Beachbars! The Mega pack also includes a 3 Day Refresh, so you can start off on the right foot after the holidays! The Refresh is SO good!

My favorite add ons: 

If you don’t get the mega pack, these are my favorite products that will be on sale!

I am so excited to do this program with you! Make sure that you have filled out this form to be kept up to date! I will be sending out the sample workout as soon as it is available and an order form!

How I Eat Well on a Teacher Budget

in , by Holly Thompson, October 13, 2019
Teacher budget x 2 in the house!

Since Marshall and I are both teachers, we do our best to stick to a solid budget and be really intentional on how we spend our money.  (OK - truth - kinda intentional.  It's my fantasy life to actually SAVE money for big things. Actually, it's a big dream to just need an accountant - but I digress...  I have it all in my head for now. Baby steps.)

Free Win the Week Starter Guide!

in , by Holly Thompson, September 29, 2019

Ain't nobody busy like teacher busy, right?? Are you ready to get ALL my secrets in how I stay healthy and keep the 40 lbs I lost off.  How I transition from home to work and back with a focus on happiness and calm? I'm so so excited to share my practical tips with you in this short and easy to follow guide!

This guide is the perfect strategy for meeting the weightloss and energy goals we have. Over the last 3 years, I have helped countless busy educators and others on a budget stay consistent, reach their health goals, and in turn, their eyes are lighting up more when they see their kids each day.

Interested in learning more about what I do and how it can help you, too? My full coaching services will help you stay consistent, and my free win the week guide can help you take the same steps towards your health goals today.

Here's to a WINNING WEEK for you!

Sign up here:

6 Weeks of THE WORK

in , by Holly Thompson, September 25, 2019

Holy Moly. This one is going to be nuts. Like extra nuts. Like I think I'm nuts for thinking I should do it. Either the results are going to be SICK - or I'm going to be SICK. Not really sure on that one.

This is one of those once in a few year programs that is NOT for the masses. It's for people who want to level up and push themselves hard. Real hard. Insanity with Shaun T is STILL one of the most popular programs so I know that there are more people out there who can do this.

6 Weeks of THE WORK is an extremely intense, training program created by one of the world’s top professional trainers and new Beachbody Super Trainer Amoila Cesar. This advanced-level training program is modeled after the training regimens Amoila creates for pro athletes and his celebrity clients. Over six intense weeks, he’ll take you through 36 unforgiving workouts to help you gain muscle, torch fat, and achieve results you’ve never experienced before. The program focuses on six training elements: strength, hypertrophy, endurance, power, agility, and mobility. His workouts are intense—your muscles will burn, your sweat will pour, and your stamina will be tested—but completing them all will help you gain muscle and torch fat in just six weeks. Don’t be surprised if Amoila and the cast drop a few f-bombs while they sweat it out. After all, these workouts are brutal, raw, and real. If that’s not your style, there are clean versions available on Beachbody On Demand.

This program is not for everyone so make sure you pass the Fit Test before you begin the program. If you want to achieve results, you gotta do THE WORK!
But if you are willing to try - Here are the details! 

Meet Amoila

Sample Workout

Save the Dates! 

9/30 - VIP Access available
10/7- 10/21 Coach Launch Facebook Group with Amoila
10/29 - Mini Coach test group.  (I still have to finish MM100 so can't start right away)
11/1 - Amoila is in MINNEAPOLIS!
11/18 - I will be leading a challenge group for anyone doing this to go through the end of the year.

Would LOVE to have a few brave souls do the full program starting October 1st to show the rest of us how it's done! Look over the details and fill out this form so I can get you started!

Cost & What's Included

If you do NOT have Beachbody on Demand

If you have a current BOD Subscription

I Wish I had Their Energy!

in , by Holly Thompson, September 08, 2019
I'm so energetic and lively after the first week of school! - said No Teacher Ever. But every teacher does say, "I wish I had their energy!"

Everyone asks me all summer if I am excited to go back to school, and the answer is always YES! BUT! Yes, but I HATE the morning hustle and I miss my afternoon naps. I'm a girl that likes my sleep, and I'm not a natural morning person (though life dictates I do it anyway in this season). I actually also take a pretty icky medication for my brain condition that sucks the energy away. It's always a magical unicorn day when I forget to take those horrid pills the night before only to come back to the reality the following day when the side effects seem to multiply.

The Old Routine Elevates the New Routine

in , by Holly Thompson, August 31, 2019
As I sit here in my bed on a cloudy Saturday morning, my 3-year-old son is laying next to me and watching Cars 2 for the millionth time. He specifically wanted to be in here and he insisted I stayed in here with him.  He has a sippy cup of fresh milk and I'm sipping on my lemon-y pre-workout because I thought I was heading to the basement right away to do my scheduled core workout.  Every 30 seconds or so, he is talking in a baby voice and snuggling deeper into the blankets saying sweet variations of "Mommy, I love you. I'm your little nugget." or "Mommy, I love eyeballs." (I mean #heis3) Just when I think we are settled and I can actually write this, the 7-year-old daughter comes in with her pillow and a show change request. Now in the span of this paragraph, we are enjoying the math missions on Umizoomi. #momlife. They missed me. I am happy.

After a summer of spending just about every day together, this was the first week they were back in daycare while Marshall and I headed back to work for the fall. It's been another familiar transition we have done for the last 11 years, it is different every single year. I would say that this was my favorite summer so far. The first summer with no diapers felt so freeing! We really could just leave the house to go somewhere and skip a nap if necessary. Thankfully, though naps each day were also a priority. But now as we head back into the school routine, I'm really glad the rhythm of the morning also came back easily.

Everything at work is new for me.  New people, new building, new kids, new processes, new guidelines (though not nearly as many rules as my previous district for some reason). All of those NEW learning takes so much extra time and though.  Even the simplest tasks like sending an email or printing a document for the first time takes hours.  This is the case for every new job. We don't have any habits built yet.  No previous learning to draw from that makes the day run smoothly.  We crave routine even when we don't think we do.

There were SEVERAL times this last week that as I was completing my workout or another part of my morning routine, I actually had the conscious thought of how happy I am that I have this stable routine at home that can ground me for the day.  I'm not waking up frantic and I can complete 6 important self-care steps without really thinking about them. That felt comforting in ways I haven't felt before.  When everything else was chaos in my mind - this hour of the day was calm.  I never in a million years would have thought I would want to get up before my family and to be honest - I'm STILL NOT a morning person. However, my life right now just doesn't allow for burning the midnight oil and stumbling through my morning like I want to. It took some practice and discipline, but the way I feel as I enter my day is transformed. And I was more grateful for this as the rest of my life was new than I realized.

I'm also realizing that I CAN NOT wait for students to enter my NEW library next week. Even though the space is different and the kids are new - my routine for them is going to be mostly the same as what I have done for years. The clarity in which I see this is inspiring. I can't wait to share soon how it's going!

So as you enter your own classrooms on for the first time on Tuesday - or you have been there for weeks, I hope you have some comfort in parts of your routine.  If you need some tips for a morning routine, you can check out my Freebies! I'll be cheering for you!!

A Win the Week Guide that will give you a simple way to use a weekend to plan your week.

A Rise and Recharge ritual mini-course to really dig into why and how to create your own simple morning routine.

Tips for the Fair

in , by Holly Thompson, August 23, 2019

Hooray for the 🎡 MN State Fair! (Or any fair, carnival, zoo that has amazing treats you love!) We LOVE our food on a stick, and here are some tips to keep your body working at its best so you can have the most fun possible without feeling icky!

Meal Prep is Not a Monster!

in , by Holly Thompson, August 16, 2019
There is literally no reason to be afraid of meal prep. But we so are! We cringe at the idea of spending a beautiful Sunday afternoon prepping for the week - even when we know it makes the week go so much more smoothly! Truth - I hate it too. But you know what I hate more? That "Ugh what am I going to make for dinner tonight?" question in the car on the way home that prompts a trip to the store or restaurant when I really just want to go home. So here are my hacks for a planned week without the Sunday blues.

How to Download a Podcast

in , by Holly Thompson, August 12, 2019
I got these directions from!

It's from the Happier and Happier in Hollywood podcast group - the Onward project if you want a printed version - click here to download it!

But to just look:

If you have an iPhone or iPad: 

1. On your home screen, find the purple Apple Podcasts icon
2. Tap it to open the Apple Podcasts app
3. To find the podcast you want, tap the “Search” magnifying glass in the lower right corner
4. In the Search Bar, type in the show’s name
5. When the logo for the show appears, tap on it
6. You’ll go to the page for the show. Hit the “Subscribe” button
7. To start listening right away, tap on any episode

If you have an Android phone: 

1. On your home screen, find the Google Podcasts icon
2. Tap it to open the Google Podcasts app
3. To find the podcast you want, tap the “Search” magnifying glass in the upper left corner
4. In the Search Bar, type in the show’s name
5. When the logo for the show appears, tap on it
6. You’ll go to the page for the show. Hit the “Subscribe” button
7. To start listening right away, tap on any episode

If you have a smart speaker: 

On Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Tap: Say, “Alexa, play _____ podcast.”
On Google Home: Say, “O.K., Google, play ____ podcast.’”

The Burned in Teacher

in , by Holly Thompson, August 12, 2019
Woooooow! YES! This is sooooo good for all teachers to listen to! This definitely is a go-to when I am feeling like I'm tired or I need a recommendation for someone who is just burning out.


in , by Holly Thompson, August 12, 2019
This woman is a FORCE! I went to her conference in Minneapolis, too! She uses her platform to lift women up (MEN too if you listen to the RISE together podcast with her husband Dave!)

They also have a robust facebook show called Start Today that airs every morning for a little pick me up while you are getting ready for work! Ditch the negative news and jump on to this instead to be HAPPY and inspired before you begin your day!

Coffee + Crumbs

in , by Holly Thompson, August 12, 2019
Moms of littles - working or stay at home, this was my first podcast crush! The women offer a sane perspective and expectation on parenting in our current world of expectation and comparison.  I also love reading their blog when I'm struggling with anything in my house.  Instead of turning to a glass of wine, sparkling water and this podcast always make me feel better. I'm not a bath girl, but I know that would help, too!

The Transformed Teacher

in , by Holly Thompson, August 12, 2019
Meredith is just so real! I actually know her from Instagram and she interviewed ME for this podcast! Anytime I need to just keep it fun and real and feel KNOWN in the classroom - this is the listen on my way to or from work.

The Ed Mylett Show

in , by Holly Thompson, August 12, 2019

My go to for all over inspiration and MAX OUT!  Ed is so passionate about making sure we are healthy in mind, soul, and body.  He interviews the most inspiring people!! This is a #1 recommnedation!

Your Kick Ass Life

in , by Holly Thompson, August 12, 2019

I'm loving this podcast right now!  It's centered around life-coaching, but there is so much girl-power inspiration to apply to any area of your work or home life.  Best part about podcasts is that they are free! Try this one and you might love it!

Surviving Summer in a Swimsuit

in , , , , by Holly Thompson, July 28, 2019

Swimsuits don't lie! They show every ripple, curve, bubble... all of it. And while we love this season of freedom from our work at school, for a lot of us it's not really a "break." Our own kids are home, too. In my case, the husband (also a teacher) is off and everyday for 2.5 months feels like the weekend.  I like to lounge at home with lazy mornings of cartoons (while I write and serve my bootcamp challengers) and coffee, and he likes to take adventures to the rec center pool every day. It's exhausting and I find myself craving the routine that "Monday morning" brings. But we are also finding a balance that feels a bit easier as our kids get older. This is the first summer without diapers so praise hands!

How to Crush Consistency and See Results Faster

by Holly Thompson, July 18, 2019
"You never rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems" - James Clear, Atomic Habits.

So let's either work on the systems BEFORE we find a program or choose a program we think we can create systems around.

When I break it down, the most universal principle that I conquered in achieving my weight loss results was consistency. This is also the thing that people tell me they struggle the most with - so I thought we would break this one down.
YAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!! I love love love this program soooo much! Join me as it launches this month!

I can't say enough good things about this! But here's a little video with the details that explains WAY better than I can!   Morning Meltdown 100 What is it?

You can try a FREE Workout HERE!

What is Morning Meltdown 100™?

Morning Meltdown 100 is a high-energy, fast-paced, and fierce fitness program designed to be completed first thing in the morning. Commit to 100 workouts, and Beachbody® Super Trainer Jericho McMatthews will get you fired up to build strength and melt away fat. These are high-intensity cardio and resistance-training workouts that will blast your total body, while a live DJ keeps the energy high so you’re motivated to burn off the pounds. The goal: complete 100 workouts and unlock the best version of you.

What makes it unique?

This is the first Beachbody program designed to be done in the morning. When you wake up and commit to giving Jericho everything you’ve got, you’ll go into the rest of your day energized, refreshed, and ready to take on the world. This is an intermediate-to-advanced program that features 100 workouts broken into 5 phases of 20 workouts each. In each phase, you’ll do a 10-workout cycle of 20- to 30-minute workouts, and then heat up the intensity and repeat those 10 with added 100-second challenges—all designed to give you a solid rotation of cardio, resistance, and mind/body training. However you want to complete your 100 workouts is really up to you. Jericho has included recovery days along the way to give your body some TLC, so if you miss a day or want to plan for a day off you can stack that day’s workout with the next. The program outlines exactly how to do that. The most important takeaway is that you make a commitment to every single morning workout. Morning Meltdown 100 also features music mixed live by DJ Jesse Blake, who ramps the beats to speed up moves, adding intensity and excitement. It’ll make your workout feel like a party and give you the motivation you need to keep going. At the core of the program is the Be 100 Book, a beautifully designed, interactive, daily motivational tool and tracker that will help you unlock your potential and guide your commitment as you melt off the fat. START EVERY DAY STRONG.

Who is Jericho McMatthews?

Morning Meltdown 100 creator and Beachbody Super Trainer Jericho McMatthews holds multiple personal training certifications, including National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the American Fitness Association of America (AFAA), and the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and has over a decade of experience in the fitness industry. She’s also the co-creator of CORE DE FORCE®, the Beachbody fitness program built around her love of martial arts. Prior to collaborating with Beachbody, Jericho spent 8 years traveling the globe training LES MILLS™ instructors at some of the world’s biggest fitness events.

For NEW Customers WITHOUT Beachbody on Demand! 

For CURRENT Beachbody on Demand Subscribers!! 

Atomic Habits

in , , by Holly Thompson, July 03, 2019
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad OnesAtomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Drop the mic and order this book right now!!!!!!

If you are struggling with being consistent with ANYTHING AT ALL! (Losing weight, saving money, cleaning, exercising, being more productive) YOU NEED THIS!!!!

James Clear just explains habits in the most practical and simple way possible - but with so much information that's soooooo interesting! A lot of it has sffirmed my own healthy habits and given me a bteer language to help others with them in my coaching and teaching.

I loved the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, but this one builds on it, add the focus on TINY habits over time, and also addressed the emotional part of changing!

This will be a go to and first recommendation for ALL of my challengers and coaches on my team. Simple, Powerful, and Easy to listen to/read!

And the teacher in me LOVES the bulleted summaries at the end of each chapter! YES!

View all my reviews

This is my favorite planner/journal for my Rise and Recharge Ritual.

It's different than a "calendar" per se that we think of when remembering doctors appointments or play dates - for that, I use google calendar and share it with my husband so we know our commitments.

It's also different than a plain journal that I would always start and never finish more than a page or 2. I don't really like writing like that - but I love just the little bit of reflection this prompts!!

This is for day to day wrapping your head around your tasks for the day.  Sort of like a calendar, planner, journal, to-do list, and gratitude journal all in one.  There is space to set goals and plan ahead, look simply at where you are spending time, and writing down important reminders.

The process that they teach is really easy and the books are inexpensive, portable, and sturdy. I use this method and book daily and I encourage you to try it too!

I believe in it so much, that I applied to be an ambassador for them! So here's a special code to get a discount on your first book!

Click HERE to Order one! 

Also enter the code HHTEACHER for 15% off your first purchase!!  

Happy Journaling!

Rise and Recharge Ritual - FREE Workshop!

in , by Holly Thompson, June 30, 2019

This workshop is based on my work over the last several years as a health and wellness coach and a teacher in a high needs school. I watched my overweight self get frustrated and tired with my own energy and health and that became evident in my library with my students. I struggled to manage the behavior in the large space and I became frustrated and knew I was getting burnt out. I yelled a lot, went home exhausted and just didn't understand why I was failing so hard. And I was kind of mad that no one could help. I was the one that needed to figure it out. But I couldn't and didn't do it on my own.

I dug deep into the practices of health, fitness, nutrition, mindfulness, habits, and teacher burnout. It has made me SOOOOO passionate to help others feel as great as I do now!! There is so much information out there that it can be overwhelming, so I've taken the best and created my own ritual every morning. This ritual has actually CREATED time in my day for the most important things and I've been doing this most days now for years, I've finally laid out a 5 day workshop that guides you through the exact steps to RISE and RECHARGE your busy life.  

I've developed this course with the intention of helping YOU!!!
  • "I love life and my work, but also feels like I am drowning and not doing ANYTHING well or to my potential." 
  • "I know what I need to do to improve my health, wellness, productivity, attitude - i just need to actually do it."
  • "I just don't have the time during the school year to be consistent with anything. Frantic is a way of being, but I WANT to feel calm"
  • "I start strong, but my I stop being motivated before I see results." (weightloss, classroom management... any new thing!)
  • "How do YOU do it ALL, Holly?" (PS - I don't do it ALL , BUT but I do a LOT because of this!)
The workshop is a series of short videos that will be emailed to you over the course of 5 days and a 20 page workbook that will teach you the customizable ritual that starts my day. There is also an invitation to join the FREE Facebook community where others are doing this work -  as connection is actually a step in the ritual!  Most importantly, you will see how this ritual doesn't just keep you consistent on weightloss goals as originally intended, but it actually RECHARGES your soul to be happier, positive, more productive, and a better mom, wife, teacher , YOU to serve and live with love. 

This ritual is best done in the morning as the very first thing you do each day.  If mornings simply are un-doable, you have a newborn, or you work a rotating shift, you CAN do this ritual anytime of day! The goal is to make it work for you and be intentional about doing it. Each step has time saving hacks included to help!

If you could use a kickstart in order to practice this ritual NOW as we are enjoying the summer, sign up for the workshop! I'm just thrilled to help you RISE and RECHARGE!!

Join the FREE 7 Day Grilling Challenge!

in , by Holly Thompson, June 12, 2019

If you are anything like our family we live for grilling all summer long! As a 2 teacher household, we feel like we load the dishwasher ALL day long! But grilling is quick & easy & helps keep the mess out of the kitchen!

So I want to share a chance hang out with me for the week and grab tips on how to stay healthy all summer long! Plus a chance to win some prizes!

Bonus for signing up now: A delicious 7 DAY MEAL PLAN with you! Includes breakfast, lunch & dinner plus some super yummy treats & cocktails!

Enter your email here for the Recipe PDF and the link to join the group!

Posts will start dropping on Friday the 14th!  Can't wait to see you!!

In Between Two Dreams

in , by Holly Thompson, June 10, 2019
When I left my old school on Friday, I felt lost. Honestly, a little discarded - though so many people have reminded me how valued I was there.  The last month, the staff had weary eyes filled with excitement. Ready for a rejuvenating break, but also already looking ahead to the possibilities of the next school year.  This is what teachers do. We are constantly looking for the next chance to be better, make a difference, and encourage learning. But this year, that excitement didn't include me. I wasn't sure how to feel when I left. But because of the work I've been doing through coaching, I am able to just recognize that it's ok to feel confused or different than expected. 

I wasn't really surprised, however, at how I felt leaving the space.  I would guess it's what a lot of people feel after leaving a home they have lived in for 10 years. I completely redesigned the space in the last 10 years.  Anytime I thought about leaving, I always said "I don't want to leave my library. I built it. I'm not ready to go."

My first year, I made decorations for above the shelves.  It was before the murals, before I got rid of empty shelves to create all of the open space, when the walls were cream and beige. I do not claim to be an artist, so my first decorations were people with rectangle and triangle bodies, faces with hand drawn smiles, and little cloud bubbles above their heads.  Each cloud had a different “profession” that they were dreaming of.  I wanted students to know that the library would open up their dreams to a world of possibilities within the pages of the books and the screens in front of them.

The decorations have changed, the students and staff have changed, But the feeling of emerging dreams has remained exactly the same. I have walked into this space everyday for 10 years thinking about how lucky I am that I still get to show kids and my coworkers just how big our dreams can be.

My very favorite part is the quote on the library doors. It’s from a book of poems and that is actually the inspiration behind the murals the decorate the walls as well. It’s simply called “Imagine a Day”

Imagine a day
when the world swings open
on silent hinges
and a place you’ve never seen before
welcomes you home.

Imagine today.

As I left, I was so grateful for that home, but also really sad. I took one last photo on my way out. 

Thankfully, I was able to visit my new school today. I had a couple of chairs to drop off that I didn't want to store over the summer.  My reading chair - which has been the glider in our nursery for the last 8 years - is now placed perfectly in between a wall of windows and the story rug.  It's going to be my new home away from home in just 3 short months. 

I was able to chat with my new mentor and our conversation made me feel so darn happy to bring my favorite songs, stories, and lessons to this new community. It's a really fun feeling to already be excited for fall and the summer has only just begun. So today - I thought of the poem again as I saw my reading chair in it's "spot." (REALLY wish I would have taken a photo of that!)

A new world has swung it's doors open for me and after a summer of relaxation, fun, productivity, reading, yoga, family, and helping others reach goals, too - This place will welcome me home. I can't wait to inspire my new community to dream bigger! 

(But I think I'll skip the triangle and rectangle people) 

You are a Bad Ass

in , by Holly Thompson, June 10, 2019
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You ready to get kicked in the butt to improve your life in any area! Get over the excuses and read/listen to this for the motivation you need to follow your dreams! You are the only thing in your way and Jen will tell you that over and over. Loved this for confidence!

View all my reviews
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved so much of this! A book that starts off with the example of an adult figure skater certainly got my attention! So much of my library and coaching jobs are creative and this was a such a great inspiration to keep going! I loved hearing about her struggles as a writer and really connected with her on not wanting to have my creative outlets take the burden of providing for my family. I'm also getting even more excited to continue working on a personal blog and update my work one.

View all my reviews

Mastering Your Mean Girl

in , by Holly Thompson, June 10, 2019
Mastering Your Mean Girl: The No-BS Guide to Silencing Your Inner Critic and Becoming Wildly Wealthy, Fabulously Healthy, and Bursting with Love Mastering Your Mean Girl: The No-BS Guide to Silencing Your Inner Critic and Becoming Wildly Wealthy, Fabulously Healthy, and Bursting with Love by Melissa Ambrosini
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you haven't jumped on the PD bandwagon, this is a great starter book! I'll be personally recommending it to all of the women (and maybe even men) in my life! Each chapter holds a little of so many of the other books I've read in the last year. Productivity, positive thinking, re-framing your thoughts to be happier, healthy eating, and even grief. So many of the other books like this I have read, I have thought, "But does she really REALLY get it? Has she lived through terrible grief or a personal health scare?" And the answer for this one is YES! I connected with Melissa on quite a few things, and some things I didn't identify with still helped me look through a window of lives I see in person so frequently. Her accent is delightful to listen to and she has a podcast to enjoy as well (The Melissa Ambrosini Show)

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Happier in Hollywood

in , by Holly Thompson, June 10, 2019

This podcast is a spin off of the long time Happier by Gretchen Rubin podcast. This one is led by Liz Craft and her writing partner Sarah Feign. They currently are writers in Hollywood and they concentrate on being happier at work, the writing profession, and balancing life in Hollywood. It's fun, funny, and informative. And they swear. I like that. 

Present Over Perfect

in , by Holly Thompson, June 10, 2019
Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I needed this right now!

My life is all of a sudden crazy. School started, I have this coaching gig, I'm still teaching skating - but now my daughter has activities, the husband is beyond busy with his own work and passionate professional pursuits, and the 2 year old is - well, 2.

To slow down and build a life you can maintain is such a freeing idea. Listening to her story of how she followed her heart instead of her mind to a happier, calmer, more joyful life has already inspired me to re-evaluate and reign in the chaos. Her approachable voice made me feel like I was a friend listening to her story over cups of fresh coffee.

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The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life by Hal Elrod
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, Hal really taught me to just get my buns out of bed and get my day started! The thing that stuck with me the most was to just decide to get up and get over the excuses. Then when I did get up and follow his SAVERS routine in the hour before everyone else got up, I LOVED starting my day that way!

Workout, reflection, quiet, PD... calm before the crazy of getting a family out the door. As a teacher, we are spending so much energy just getting through the day, that an evening workout or chapter of a book sounds like the last thing we have time for.  But solving the problem of not being able to get to the gym by doing a workout at home before the family needs me has created the very best demeanor for my mornings at home that extends far into the school day.  Now, when I sleep in until after the kids wake up, I always regret it.

This book will definitely motivate you to try his method - and who knows, it just might be perfect for you even if you are not a morning person (like me).

The Power of Habit

in , by Holly Thompson, May 28, 2019
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holy cow! This book is so freaking interesting! I started it with the expectation that it would convince me to workout and eat better and change some lifestyle habits. It sort of did that, but mostly it told me stories of how the habit loop works and how habits change people, groups, and entire societies!

I actually connected a lot of this more with how to help my students be successful at following basic rules at school. It explains the science and research of how habits work in our brain in such an interesting way. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to stay in my car listening longer or yelled, "That is so interesting!" At my steering wheel. This one did more teaching instead of persuading like a lot of the PD books I have read. I loved all of it!

The Happiness Project

in , by Holly Thompson, May 28, 2019
The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think Gretchen Rubin is my soul sister. Except we have different "Tendencies." I couldn't stop writing little tidbits on post-its as she said so many things I connected with. Each month, she focused on one different thing to be happier each month. This is one I need to buy the hard copy of. I need a highlighter. I need to remember to do happier things in my relationship with my husband, kids and friends. I also need to remember that it's ok to just be me.

A light, fun dive into a quick burst of happiness without being heavy!

Happier by Gretchen Rubin

in , by Holly Thompson, May 28, 2019
This is the podcast that I recommend and listen to the most.  Writer and researcher of happiness and habits, Gretchen Rubin, and her sister Elizabeth Craft chat easily about being happier everyday through habits, small changes, and mindset. It's a well produced show and I get little tidbits each week. It follows a predictable format and is easy to listen to.

There is a new episode each week and I binged the seasons during brain surgery anticipation and recovery.  They really did bring me a lot of calm and happiness in some very scary times. I highly recommend this one for a commute after work for a happy distraction and stress free transition into your home. 

Gretchen also releases a nice "Little Happier" episode each week that's just a little 2 minute tidbit. Love that, too!  I highly recommend this - especially if you have read or are interested in Gretchen's books on habits, happiness and motivation. LOVE!
The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday CourageThe 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Freaking MIC DROP!

First of all, Mel's voice and flow on the audio book is really fun to listen to. It's one of those where you feel like she is standing with you as you clean your kitchen, holding a cup of coffee and sharing her life story.

Though repetitive for a reason, it's never boring, absolutely accessible for EVERYONE no matter what you are trying to change in your life from getting out of bed earlier, to finishing that load of laundry, to getting that grading/paperwork done. The story she told at the end with the story of her dad brought me to tears of absolute connection with my own life.

WOW! 5 seconds really can change your life.
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