The Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast

It’s pouring here in Houston and it does not seem like summer is as close as it is. But in the meantime I’m going to wear these beautiful pieces from the Chloe+Isabel summer collection and pretend I’m on vacation. 


Advertisements

Synergy 

Synergy 

Help your friends in direct sales!

If your friend sells Younqie try it!

If your friend sells Scentsy, try it! 
If your friend sells LulaRoe, try it!
If your friend sells Chloe + Isabel, try it!
If your friend sells Pampered Chef, try it!
If your friend sells Jamberry, try it!
If my friend owned a restaurant… Guess what, I would eat there! If a friend of mine owned a bakery, I would go there! If one of my friends owned a dance studio, I would have my child take lessons there.
So the next time you are walking into a Yankee candle, think about your friend who sells Scentsy and how she struggles to keep up with bills.
Next time you walk into Sephora, think about that Mary Kay / Younique presenter who has a house full of kids and needs to save up for their college education.
Next time you go to a nail salon think about your friend who sells Jamberry and how she wants to help her daughter be the bell of her senior ball.
Next time you walk into Wiliams Sonoma, think about your friend who sells Pampered Chef and how she needs to put food on her table to feed her babies.
And the next time you walk up to KAY Jewelers or Forever 21, think of your friend who sells Chloe + Isabel and how she’s trying to save up money to buy her first house.
At the end of the day these big corporations are going to give absolutely NOTHING back to you, but when you help a small business owner you’re not only helping them but you’re also helping put money back into our economy. 
PS- we give WAY better incentives and hook ups- like FREE stuff too. And sometimes a big hug!!!

Giving Up Not An Option

Giving Up Not An Option

Last Thursday I was unexpectedly laid due to “budget cuts” they said. Yet I’m aware that the current political climate within the Union I was employed by is unstable so I am certain that the “budget cuts” excuse is not accurate but I have no way of proving it. So there I was feeling like a pitiful sad-sack of emotions. The thirty minutes it took me to reach the bus stop I alternated between worrying about projects I left behind and sobbing uncontrollably. My friends M, K & R all called to let me vent and reassure me. As did my Sister, my Father, Aunt, and cousins. My Facebook friends all rallied to cheer me up. Even my son’s father called to let me know I can count on him if I need anything. I am loved. My cup runneth over…

  

So now what?

While I would love to be able to work from home and/or create my own business truthfully I am terrified!  How am I going to make ends meet? What bills am I going to have to defer and for how long? I forgot how disorienting, stressful and difficult it can be to be unemployed and without any prospects.  

Although I did start updating my resume I mostly gave myself a break over the weekend and allowed myself to mourn the loss. Then early Monday morning I finished updating my resume and scouring the want ands for my next admin gig. 

  

The immediate plan is to use my severance pay (when it finally arrives) to pay rent this month while I search for a new gig. The fear is still there. However, I realize that  the layoff is simply the end of one chapter in my life. I have to take this opportunity to build myself back up and find that new beginning for myself and my Son.  

img_4156

The lack of a 9-to-5 also opens up my schedule to market my online Chloe+Isabel jewelry boutique full-time which I really didn’t have time for while I was stuck in the office.  

Generally I market my business through social media, holding online events to drive traffic to my boutique.  Now that my schedule is completely open I am excited about using this time to have some personal or group styling sessions.   

 

If you haven’t already, please visit my boutique. The jewelry is so versatile, especially the convertible jewelry.  Each piece can be worn in a variety of ways for maximum use and value.  Plus, all C+I jewelry is hypoallergenic, lead safe, nickel free and comes with a LIFETIME REPLACEMENT GUARANTEE. Yes, I said lifetime!!! 

 

You can find a something that suits your personal style on my boutique:

http://www.chloeandisabel.com/boutique/bymaruca

 
I’ll be re-launching my boutique and am working on a special offer. In the meantime please feel free to message me at candibymaruca@gmail.com, if you have any questions. 

Feeling Accomplished

Feeling Accomplished
12294748_10153728372549655_3345922760426252216_n
Exhausted, swollen and tomato-faced but very proud of myself.

I did it!  I completed my very first 5k and jogged most of the way. YAY ME!!!

 

The thought of a 5k was intimidating but I wanted to push myself just to see if I could do it.  I am supper grateful for the nice lady that kept me company for the entire race – even though she’s an experienced runner and could have easily left me behind.

My intentions were to walk most of it but with her encouragement and in an effort to keep up with her I did a mix of jogging and walking and managed to finish in 58m 30s.  Of course other people’s time was better while others took longer to finish the race so I am not concerned about how long it took me to complete the race.  The important thing is that I got up on Thanksgiving morning and kept my word.  Instead of sleeping on my day off, I rose up at 6am, drove myself to the Turkey Trot and FINISHED the race without quitting even when I felt like throwing in the towel. It took a lot of willpower to keep pushing while my body felt like it was about to collapse but I was proud of myself that I didn’t give in.

While my body certainly took a beating yesterday I am actually thinking about doing another 5k and see how I can improve.  I know, me, the gal who hates running is looking forward to another race!!!

Do As I Do

Do As I Do

Growing up I heard the words “Do as I say, not as I do” often enough to know better than to use them on my own child.  In fact, I consider it hypocritical of me to ask him to do things that I wouldn’t do myself. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I am not athletic in the least.  I do my best to get a minimum of 6 hours of sleep (and if I can sleep in, I will), eat healthy and exert a minimal amount of energy just enough to keep me on the edge of NOT developing heart problems and/or diabetes.

Often our meals are made from scratch using whole foods such as lean meats, lentils, brown rice, kale, spinach, carrots, green beans, turmeric, coconut oil, veggie or whole wheat pastas, etc. (You can find a recipe HERE and HERE.)  BUT…oh boy, do I LOVE my sweets!  I’m a sucker for cookies, cakes and ice cream – most desserts really!!! Unfortunately, so is my son.

cake-meme

Most parents think that if we “teach” our children well enough with our words they’ll be able to make better decisions than we do, but let’s look at the latest research, shall we?: Moms’ and kids’ activity levels are directly linked to each other.   We know better. Obviously.  We know what the healthy choice is: to eat our (not deep-fried) veggies. To get a good night’s sleep. To make time to play and move our bodies. And yet, again and again, we avoid getting physical at all costs.

My excuses and “reasons” were inexhaustible: “I’m happy the way I am.”; “I’m too exhausted to wake up at the crack of dawn and/ or after work to contemplate going to the gym.”; “I am beautiful enough already.”  Not realizing that, all the while, my son has been picking up on my habits, developing the same behaviors towards fitness and, much to my dismay, gaining unnecessary weight.

LaMaruca
Casting a disapproving look at myself.

After numerous failed attempts to coax, and even bribe, my son into becoming more active it finally dawned on me that he wouldn’t do anything if I didn’t first set the example.  So, I joined a gym and reluctantly reactivated my old MyFitnessPal account to keep track of my meals.

Now, I hate counting calories and wouldn’t know how to determine the amount of calories in my home cooked meals but thanks to this app I can record my food with just a few taps on my iPhone.  It’s actually shocking to see how quickly the calories, fat and sugar grams start adding up. Just this morning I’ve already consumed half of my target sugar grams for the day!

FoodDiary
Today’s Food Journal Entry of First and Second Breakfast  😉

Keeping track of my food has forced me to face the fact that, regardless of my fitness goals, what I consume affects my body in ways seen and unseen.  One of the things that I’ve found interesting is the importance of keeping track of the macros in one’s diet.  What are “macros”, you ask?  Macros short for macro-nutrients like protein, carbs and fats.  These macros are the basis of all calories you consume. Rather than obsessing over calories, targeting macros helps keep you focused on food composition and overall healthfulness rather than just low-calorie options.   And again, with the help of free apps like MyFitnessPal it’s easy to stay on track! (No, I am not getting paid to say so.)

MacrosCalculation
Calculate your optimal macronutrient ratios based on your age, height, weight, gender, and activity level using a Macro Calculator.
IMG_2115
MyFitnessPal helps me keep track of my macros without an extra app.

Although I have yet to see any visible results on the scale I have noticed that my clothes fit a lot better. AND I am happy to report that my example has not gone unnoticed.  On Monday, as I was going about my new routine, my son approached me and asked if he could join me at the gym.  For a brief moment it seemed like the clouds parted and a chorus of Angels sang in triumphantly!

FINALLY!!!

For the last two days we’ve been walking 30 minutes to the gym, lifting weights then walking 30 minutes back home.  Monday when I asked my son if he was ready to go home he replied, “One more exercise.  This is strangely addictive!”  Then yesterday on our walk home he said, “We should have started this years ago.”  To which I replied, “I know.  I’m sorry.”

weight-lifting-quotes-tumblrworking-out-pfitblog

Ciao Bella!

AddioRagazza_Pic2

Every brochure about studying abroad makes it sound like the most sublime experience.  It truly sounds like students get the best of both worlds: you get a comprehensive selection of courses that count towards your home university’s requirements and you get to explore the beautiful and historically rich city of Rome!  She’ll get to visit some of the world’s most beloved and iconic landmarks, monuments, and museums, all while living and studying in a culturally and politically dynamic environment.  Studying abroad always appealed to me but I never got the opportunity to do so. Now my gorgeous cousin has the opportunity to travel to Rome, Italy and turn her education into an adventure!

10952844_365591603627758_132379365473381029_o

As the eldest in of three in children in a single-parent household, Kristy is has already beat the odds by being the first in her family to go to the college.  Doors are opening up for her and opportunities like this this study abroad program are only going to expand her horizons!  I am so proud of her!!!

Kristy has worked really hard for this opportunity both in school and at work but I’d like to contribute to her trip by sending her off with some spending money.  To that I’ve organized a Chloe+Isabel online trunk show.  Every now and then I’ll post something here about the jewelry I sell as a merchandiser for Chloe+Isabel.

The party will run through Friday, March 20th and I plan to donate 100% of all sales commission to Kristy’s Rome Travel Fund.

It would mean the world to me if you would check out the Pop-up link:
http://www.chloeandisabel.com/boutique/bymaruca/78cba9