Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Harrell Family Beach Vacation 2014

Usually when I'm out on Vacation, I'll make arrangements for guest bloggers, however this year I didn't. I'm sorry. I've got the blogging lazy. True Story. I've been out all week long on vacation with my family. I made a conscience choice to disconnect. I really enjoyed just being with the people that I love, and stepping away from social media for a minute. So forgive me. MMkkk, it's all good in the hood right?!



My maternal family all went on vacation together, and it wasn't something that has ever happened before. Sure, I've been on vacation with an Aunt or Uncle and their family, vacation with my family and my grandparents, visiting cousins, etc, but never all of us together. My G hit a milestone birthday this year, and her request was for all of us to go to the beach. Ask and you shall receive G, you are the Queen B!

Family Photos by Emerald Coast Images

all those gorgeous Harrell girls

My Man

We stayed at the Ledlow Beach House which was perfect for such a large group. The home was divided into three units, we occupied two of the units. We were able to open the door between the two units and enjoy togetherness with two kitchens, two laundry rooms, two living rooms, two dining rooms, eight bedrooms with each bedroom hosting it's own private bath. This was truly an ideal situation with so many people. 

I've been on a few vacations in my day, and this one is up there in the favorites category. I laughed until I cried on numerous occasions. We hit up the bougie boards, we buried a poor someone in the sand, we saw dolphins, we fished, we ate, we drank, and we loved one another. 

At the start of the trip, my husband insisted on taking a detour down Dauphin Island, and the ferry across Mobile Bay. It was quite the experience, and we saw a dolphin before ever hitting the sand!

Mom and I on the Ferry, with a photo bomber ;)

We went deep sea fishing, which definitely counts as an upper body work out

Catch of the Day

Ahoy Maity - My fearless leader!

I did some running! One of the coolest parts about being a runner, is the travel run. I look forward to exploring a new place every time I'm in a new space. Plus, ya'll know I can eat and drink #likeachamp. The running is necessary on vacay. Where there are no calories or carbs. It's a magical place!


We went down to Florabama, only this selfie available to document that experience

My cousin Jamie and I, love her big time!

We were Beach Bums, for days and days. It was glorious. I put make up on one time. Real talk, that was the best!

Nick's bourgie beach set up

We avoided a pesky shark attack- yet again ;)

Timmy (the shark) is quite the traveler. He lives in my beach bag

Day two back in the real world. I gained FOUR yes four pounds on vacation. Some of that is water weight. Some of it is real weight. I've gotten in a few work outs since we've been home, and I'm feeling better each day. Absolutely worth all those good times we had. 

Tomorrow, I'll fill ya'll in on how I'm taking care of that vacation bloat! Hope you're having a safe and joyous summer!


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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Healthy Life: Finding the Balance

Last summer I was on a mission. A mission to hit 18% body fat. I just knew, when I hit that number, I'd finally be 100% happy with my body. During the struggle to hit this goal, a number that I literally snatched out of thin air, I began to have some real issues with food. Restrictive eating was not working for me. Some days I'd make myself commit two a days, killing myself with half assed work outs, because I was energy-less.  Lesson learned: It's better to give 100% for one hour than 50% for two and a half. 

I reached a point where I had to look inwardly and ask myself, 
Why do I feel the need to be smaller and leaner? 
What am I really not happy about on the inside? 

At 6'0 tall, wearing smalls and a steady 4-6 and the occasional 8, why did I really need or want to be smaller? Why couldn't I be happy with what I had already achieved? I had to do some soul searching. I don't want to spend my life critiquing my physique and always wanting to be smaller. To look better. To be blunt, I want my life to have more focus than to simply be aesthetically pleasing. I have more to offer the world than my pant size. Over the last six months, I've allowed myself to maintain. To be happy with the status quo. 

It's really incredible, for me personally given my yo-yo history, to have all of the same cloths fit year to year. To not stress about summer vacation, to not stress about I have to buy something new because XYZ doesn't fit anymore, and it also feels incredible not to be putting pressure on myself to become even smaller, my body goal since 2011. I needed a break. I needed a break from so much body focus. Enter the marathon, another reason why I love running. A goal to focus on outside of physical appearance. It felt like weight loss had become me. A definitive characteristic of my life. That was scary to me.

I'm Leigh Ann. I'm a goal oriented, type A, cafeteria neat freak who is focused at work, and determined to succeed. I'm competitive to a fault.  I dominate on Cadillac night. I can sniff out a bargain and hold on to some dollars. I love to entertain and party plan. I've got an arsenal of fun stories and things I've done that I would NEVER share on social media. I am supportive and loyal to those I love and who love me. If you share a secret with me, I can honestly take it to the grave. 

In my mid 20s, I once lost more than 60 pounds and 15 percent of my body fat. That's not WHO I am.

This all plays into my re-brand here. I need more balance.

I've stopped obsessing about food. I weigh myself meh once a month, and I stay within 3 pounds up or three pounds down of the same number. At social functions on the weekends, I allow myself to sample the appetizers, eat a small dessert, have drinks, but I always make sure my entree is the healthiest option I can muster. My husband and I have a deal, when out to eat, one does not mention the C words: Carbs and Calories. I really truly feel that I'm finding the balance that I need to live my best life

The less I stress about food, the less it controls me. When I stress about food, it controls me. I feel like I can not get enough, and it's not a fun way to feel. I admire people who can count their macros in a healthy way without it affecting their day to day life, I'm just not one of those people.

The one thing I never slack on his a work out. I genuinely love hard exercise. I love whipping my own ass at the gym. I love being strong. I love being fit. I love out running myself. I love being able to use my body in a practical way. I will never have six pack abs, because it's not important to me. What's important to me is that I feel good in my skin each and every day. I still critique myself. I still have the dreaded fat day. I still feel insecure at times, but I'm working towards total self acceptance. Living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. That's the way I want to live my life.

OOTD: All pieces from last summer. That feels purty darn grand

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Monday, July 14, 2014

So Many Options, So Little Time

This weekend was spent getting settled into the new house. We've been fishing cloths out of boxes for a few weeks now, being all unpacked has made the space feel like home. Moving can be a logistical nightmare the do list keeps growing, making the check list seem small. I am a list girl. I like to see things checked off. No one is surprised.

Since we moved, we've been sleeping in a guest room while we got things painted and waited on the arrival of our new bed. I had been collecting little pieces here and there in preparation for our move.

To clarify, when I say we got things painted, I mean our incredibly generous friends who came in the weekend we closed and said, We're here to work now give me a job.  No amount of food and booze that's how you say thank you in the South, made us feel we could thank them enough. I could cry when I think about how much work they took off of our plate. We are incredibly fortunate and blessed with rich friendships. Plus, they tolerated my evaluation of every color in the wheel while choosing a living room color. It's hard to find people who don't mind putting up with your BS.

 Painting our space made the house feel like ours. It got us to that blank canvas space so that we could make this house our home. Here are the colors I selected:

Living/ Hall


Spare Bath


Master Bedroom


Obviously colors look much different once they're on the walls. However, I have to finish covering the Earth in Damask prints before I can share pictures. Pfff Chevron whatever.

Here's my dilemma, I have two spare rooms that still need painting. I want to pick a neutral color that will work in both rooms. Nothing too dark. If it were only up to me, I'd paint the world Antique White and move on with my day. Boring Betty says hey!

What are your favorite neutral colors?


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Thursday, July 10, 2014

2014 - 2015 Race Goals

Running, training for a race, each run has purpose and a goal.  It's off season down in South Louisiana. The treadmill is boring but the AC is oh. so. nice. I've spoiled myself to watching the news, racing the person next to me, wondering where so and so bought those cute work out pants, running my yap when I see someone I know, and enjoying the ac. The ac ya'll. It can not be underrated.Wednesday night however, I took my cardio back outside. I needed to sweat. I needed to move. I needy that soupy humidity feeling covering my skin. I needed to run.

Last run season was a heart breaker for me. I trained in the heat and humidity for my second half marathon, bound and determined to PR. The weather had other plans. Jazz was a miserable run. I was able to shake off that failure, and continue with Marathon training. Training was tough. There were some hard runs, a few Why am I doing this melt downs, but after each mammoth run I felt more determined than ever to get to the marathon finish. My body had other plans for me.I busted my knee after months of training for my first marathon, on race day, and after that, my heart wasn't really in the run. I went through the motions to get through my last half marathon of the season.I had already paid for the sign up, there was no way I was going to back out. Thankfully, that race gave me the confidence booster I needed when I was able to set a new PR. 

After that last half marathon, I was ready for a break. I had been actively training for some form of a race from July 2013-March 2014. I was injured. I was tired. I needed to miss running to remember why I loved it so much in the first place.

Wednesday evening it was humid, and as I was heading into my last lap, I thought to myself that's good girl you did a lot today.  I was tired. My legs have been sore all week from Monday's leg day, Sprints on Tuesday, and I wanted to bring it down a notch. I wanted to cut out my last lap. I started thinking about that marathon finish line again. Would you quit on race day? Just thinking about getting to the finish gives me chills. It gives me the ability to pick of the pace and empty what's left in the tank. I never feel as great post work out as I do when it ends with a run. 

I'll be your ghost, your game, your stadium.

I'll be your fifty thousand clapping like one.
And I feel alright, and I feel alright,
'Cause I worked it out, yeah I worked it out.
I'll be doin' this, if you ever doubt,
'til the love runs out, 'til the love runs out.

I got my mind made up and I can't let go.
I'm killing every second 'til it saves my soul.
I'll be running, I'll be running,
'til the love runs out, 'til the love runs out.
And we'll start a fire, and we'll shut it down,
'til the love runs out, 'til the love runs out.

OneRepublic- Love Runs Out 
Current Power Song


I'm looking forward to exploring my new neighborhood and establishing new run routes. I'm looking forward to the incredulous feeling, the high, that comes after the mammoth distance. I'm looking forward to the highs, the lows, and solving the worlds problems out on the run. I'm looking forward to the early morning run, the cold run, the freakish January hot run, the camaraderie on race day and all those days leading up to the race.  I've got to find out how it actually feels to cross the marathon finish line. The madness continues.

2014 - 2015 Race Goals

Cajun Cup 10K- November 8, 2014

Beach Half Marathon - December 6, 2014

Louisiana Half Marathon -January 18, 2015

Rock N Roll Half Marathon - January 25, 2015

These three races will qualify me for a Half Fanatics medal

Zydeco Marathon - March 1, 2015

Crescent City Classic 10k - April 5, 2015


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