New Week to Slay Your Dragons

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Who is ready to take this week by storm?!

We should all be refreshed and re-energized after the weekend and reminder of the amazing gift Jesus gave us.

Now let's refocus on our goals and slay those dragons!


Why I HATED the Color Pink

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While sitting here touching up my nails as my daily to-do list is printing out, I started thinking about my nail polish. 

As a young girl and then well into my 20s I hated pink. You'd have to hog tie me down if you wanted something pink even remotely close to me.

I HATED it. As I got older I resented everything it represented. Weakness. Inferiority. Softness....all things that my machismo father did not instill in me.

I laughed to myself at girls who were much more feminine and dainty than me and associated their behavior with the color.

It wasn't until my time at Urban Jungle Self Defense, where I not only healed my soul and heart after some heavy stuff I was going through but also found myself as a woman and began to understand that the color pink and all the characteristics I associated it with were a mistake. 

Pink...the color of femininity...doesn't represent cancer (a scarey/negative thing) or anything I mentioned above. 

It represents strength, selflessness, persistence, power, self control, duty, honor, and many more positive qualities that I first saw in my mentor Michelle Torres-Aponte and then realized was in all the woman around me...including myself. 

You never know the people you will inspire in your life and the impact it will have on their future. 

The 2 yrs I spent with Michelle and her family will forever impact the legacy I will leave to my daughter and her daughters and so-on.

Many people as the question "Where were you when...?" 

Today I ask you "where were you when you found yourself or had your biggest ah-ha moment?

Harness Your Strength and Release Your Fears

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Good morning and happy start to a new week!! 

Don't let Mondays be those days you dread. Instead let them be a day you get excited for. For they are a day to start anew and create change in your life.

Life is an evolution of sorts. Some times it may be simple and small things like watching your children grow before you eyes.

Other times it may be bigger changes, like making a life changing decision to grab hold of your health and make it your own. 

Perfection is not natural, but hoping and aiming for it is a very human characteristic. The only perfect being in this world has been Jesus. So, don't be discouraged by your failures and setbacks. 

Instead...

Harness that STRENGTH He gave you...its there. Deep inside. Waiting for your to unlock it.

RELEASE YOUR FEARS. Fear is an illusion and something that we can overcome with a little perseverance and support by those around you. 

Don't have much support at home? I'm here for you ever step of the way. Let me be your coach and I'll also be your friend....you your family in fitness....your S.I.S...sister in sweat.

Have a beautiful Monday!

If You are Persistent, You Will Get It...

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Its Thursday. We're over the hump. Keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. 

The weekend will be here soon along with all its temptations. Bars. Get togethers. Movies. Dinner out with your significant other. 

You CAN do this. 

It won't be easy but those few hours of food bliss won't compare to the self satisfaction and sense of 
accomplishment that you'll have when you reach your goal. 


Hump Day, Bump Day: Week 29

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Happy Wednesday! Time for my Bump-date!

Another week and I'm stoked about my progress. On the verge of breaking into the 160's and I couldn't be happier!


My sugar cravings have seriously picked up so I've started drinking more water and I made protein bites are held together with honey, so that was helped a lot. This recipe is my own and I'll be posting to tomorrow. 


Exercise is still going. I've felt better so I've done Insanity Max 30 with my hubs once so far this week. I've primarily been doing PiYo and still love it! My joints get a low intensity workout but I still get a good sweat. It's not as slow as yoga, but that's a good thing for me. I like high energy exercise in general, so the fact that this is keeping my attention is really awesome!!

This week I have a goal of trying out new programs for when I'm cleared for exercise postpartum. My account with Team Beachbody now offers OnDemand workouts that I access on the website. I have a smart tv so I can pull them up and do them from there, but you can also do it from laptop, tablet or smart phone. I think that's SO cool!!




$750 Totally Awesome Amazon Giveaway

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Here we are in March! Th

GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $750 Amazon Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 3/31 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!


Good luck!

Take the Rest as it Happens

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This morning I sat down to drink my coffee and enjoy a little quite time before the house became dominated by the sounds of toddlers. The house was a a chilly 62 degrees so I turned on the space heater to help warm things up then it hit me. 

Just last night the house got up to 66 and I actually started to sweat. I didn't like it at first but like with starting a new exercise regime my body adjusted to the change after only a week.

So if you are contemplating starting exercise after a long break from it or have started but have felt discouraged that you can't keep it up just HOLD ON. Get STARTED. Keep GOING! Have FAITH. You CAN do this.

Happy Thursday


An Absolute Necessity...

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With all this snow and gloomy cloud coverage I thought I'd offer this quick reminder. 

Don't let yourself get in a winter rut. You're too important!!

Have a great day!!


Skinny Smashed Sweet Potatoes

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TASTY TUESDAY!!!

Although my meal plan is already set, I have the liberty of easily switching it out. 21 day fix is incredible in that manner that there are so many different options....

Smashed Sweet Potato 


Ingredients 

  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • 3/4 Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Agave Nectar
  • Cinnamon 
  • Sea Salt & Pepper

Instructions

1. Steam potato in the microwave or bake in the oven. 
2. Remove skins, while still warm, add 1/2 of yogurt and smash with fork.
3. Drizzle potatoes with agave and then sprinkle with cinnamon.
4. Top with remaining Greek Yogurt, serve immediately and enjoy!

After typing this out I'm so swapping this out for tonight YUMMY!!!

Enjoy!


Free Pattern: Tetris iPad & Tablet Case

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Here is a really clever tutorial by Caroline at SewCanShe. What a cute way to give a nod to your childhood as well as get rid of some scraps you may have been holding onto but haven't gotten around to using.

This  pattern is quick and easy, using straight line quilting for a patchwork design. Excellent option for a beginner of any age.

Read it here ---> http://goo.gl/kqlIYC
Pin it here --> http://goo.gl/nzbE2a

Have a great Monday!


A Heartfelt Hump Day

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Happy Hump Day!!! My bump-date will be coming in a little while. Hold on tight!

I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you SO much to everyone who has express support and encouragement to me as I continue to exercise during my pregnancy.

It isn't easy but neither is motherhood. I plan my workouts and try my best to do them at the same time everyday.

Sure. I don't feel like it a lot of the time. I'd much rather just make dinner and skip the workout all together. But then I think about my kids...both the one in my arms and the other in my belly.

I think about how I want to be around for them as long as I can.
I want to see my daughter have children of her own some day.
I want to be able to crawl around on the floor with those children.
I want to be alive when they get married and have children of their own.

So, everyday....well almost everyday...I choose to press play. I choose to workout and I choose to eat healthy.

Thank you for following along on my journey and continuing to support me. It means the world to me!! Thank you!

Happy Wednesday 


Faith is Taking the First Step...

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There's one thing I've learn over the years and that's listening to the little voice in my head. 

It may be God. 
It may be my guardian angel. 
It may be my subconscious. 
It may be my intuition. 

Whatever or whoever it is, it doesn't steer me wrong. It gives me guidance both when I'm looking for it and when I'm not. Whether it be personal, professional, family or faith, I'm guided by its whispers.

Putting faith in that whisper and taking the first step is not always easy, but I know its what I am being guided to.

I don't ever know where its leading me. But every time I don't listen to it something bad happens. Sometimes its something small and sometimes its something big.

Here's an example of a big one. I was driving home from my maternity appointment and something told me I'm right here near Target and its always so hard getting to this area of town. Let's pop in for a minute and grab a few things. 

So, I did. Took me a whole 10 minutes because I already knew what I needed and where to find it.

Driving home and coming up to my street to turn on the road by blocked by police and we were diverted to another side street. I came to realize there was a terrible accident. 

If I hadn't listened to that voice in my head whispering for me to deviate from my plans to go straight home, which my hubs was NOT happy about because he was home watching 4 kids by himself, then I very well may have been involved in that accident. 

These types of near misses have happened more than one time in my life. Something or someone is certainly watching out for me and I'm positive you have someone watching out for you.

But if you don't listen to that voice and have faith it is telling you something for a reason, you never know what you will be missing. 

If you've been thinking about it and keep putting if off then maybe its time to stop staling. That voice in your head hasn't given up on you so maybe its time to have a little faith and dive right in!

Happy Sunday!



Day 6: Cross Posting for Maximum Exposure

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If you are writing a health and fitness blog to market your Beachbody business then posting your



Welcome back to Day 6 of the 7-Day Blogger Quick Start Series. These last two days are when things really get fun! If there are only two things that you are can focus your attention on when writing your blog is should be 1. Content and 2. Cross Posting.

Miss Day 5? Read it here.

You can have awesome content with great graphics, but if you can't get your article seen by enough people it won't be able to go anywhere and most certainly won't be going viral any time soon.

On the other hand, if you are cross posting you articles like a made woman...Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc...but your content and presentation is week then again all your hard work and effort will have gone to waste.

A few people may get curious and pop over to take a look, but they won't be engaging and leaving comments or reaching out to you. And equally as important, they won't be sharing it on their on social media accounts.

Simple enough, right? Ok so let's move on to where you should be posting. This really is a personal decision, but my recommendation is at least 4 different social media outlets. The most important being Facebook.

Facebook

article on Facebook is a no-brainer. It's where you run your business and where you will be finding most, if not all, of your initial clients.

The second reason you should be posting your blog article links on Facebook is because of the sheer magnitude of its user base. Facebook is publicly traded so when they released their fourth quarter earnings three weeks ago they announced they have surpassed 1.23 billion monthly active users.

Let's just attempt to wrap out minds around that for a minute... WOW! MIND BLOWN!

Aside from it massive user base, marketing expenses are rather managable for the mom-and-pop business like us. We can boost a post or our page for as little as $3/day with a minimum of 24 hours. That's pretty great.

So that means for as little as $12 we can boost our page the 4 most popular days people are online, Thursday through Sunday. That's great! I personally did this last week and gained over $100 new likes, or followers, of my page. SCORE!

Twitter

Twitter may come after Google+ when it comes to monthly active users, but I personally don't really use Google+.  I'll be honest. I don't really use Twitter that much either but that's because I'm new to it and understanding how it is meant to be used.

I do know that the the kids younger than me use it and those will be my eventual market, so until I see a reason not to I'll keep cross posting there.

With a 140 character limit it is pretty tricky knowing what to type that will bring attention to me. From what I've learned, one great trick to get your tweets seen is to check out what hashtags are trending and try to incorporate one of those into your tweets. That way if anyone clicks on one of those hashtags, the goal is that they will see your tweet as they scroll down through them.

Instagram

I LOVE Instagram! This is my personal favorite after Facebook. In this world of instant gratification and 2-second attention span this is a great place to show off your awesome pics. Yup, content comes in the form of pictures here. Your biggest bang will come from how well you are able to grab people's attention visually.

Yes, this platform is pretty weak compared to Facebook, at only 200 million monthly active uses. However, it does have over 20 billion pictures shared on it to date. That's pretty impressive. Another interest fact. Of the 200 million monthly active users, 50 million signed up just within the last 6 months. WOW! People are flooding in. SO, let's give them something to look at!

What do I post on Instagram?
Definitely my morning motivation posts, which I post to Facebook and my blog daily. I post family pictures on there as well because it appeals to my demographic, mothers of young children, as well as it fits my name....@aFitFamilia.




My 2 most popular posts so far have been a picture of my daughter's birthday dress (24 likes) ...








and a funny workout-related quote (29 likes).




Pinterest

This is another fav of mine because of the nature of how it works. It specializes in "graphic form of conversation initiation". In this world a picture really is worth a thousand words. And the fact that there has been close to no efforts to monetize their pins means its fair game for EVERYONE. You're not going to have to pay just so your followers can see you pins, like Facebook who's algorithms have really made it tough.

This platform also speaks to its ability to send pins viral! Nearly 4 years ago I pinned a picture of a wall decal from a shop on Etsy that I liked. For over a year I kept getting notifications from Pinterest that my pin had been repinned. It reached over 3000 pins. Crazy, huh?

So, every time you write a blog post make sure you have an eye catching image and pin it your Pinterest boards! You never know who you will touch.


Tips for HOW to Cross Post

Ok, so we covered the different social media platforms that I personally post to. There are many so, again, choose the right ones for you. Here is how I write my post the cross-post it throughout the other platforms.


Step 1: Blogger

I write my blog post and make sure to have an image at the very top of the page. In Bloglovin' posts that don't start off with a picture tend to not have one. It's weird. I have no idea why it does this.

Step 2: Pinterest

Right after I finish writng my post I will pin it to one of my many Pinterest boards. Quick tip: Make sure to click "see pin" after you've pinned it to a board. We'll be needing it again for Step 3.


Step 3: Facebook


Next, I highlight and copy my blog post from Blogger and paste it into Facebook, making sure to add the same photo I used on my Blogger post.

If the blog post is particularly long I will only post a shortened version of it. I don't want to lose people because they've given up on reading. Facebook is more quick posts. People that look around at blog posts generally know that the post is gonna be long and have some meat to it. So, they're more inclined to read the whole thing.

If my post was to long I type "Read it --->" then provide the link to the blog post. Make sure you are using the link to the actual post and not the main link to the blog site. People could come across it at a later time and you want them to be able to go straight to that exact post. Next expect people to search for the post. Chances are they'll give up before they've found it.

Next, I do the same thing with "Pin it --->?"

Step 4: Instagram/Twitter

Next I pull up the image I used for the blog post on my phone via my Dropbox. I hit "export" and open it up in Instagram. Now remember, Instagram only does square images. So, if you are trying to post something narrow like the little hanging guy from the image above, you are going to need to use something else like PicMonkey.com to create a square version of it first.

Once again I keep my words to a minimum. Instagram is about immediate impressions. Say a little something the leave a short link to he blog post. You can use tinyurl.com or goo.gl (Google version) to create a shortened link.

Just before hitting the post button I select the Twitter icon so it also posts to twitter.

Ta da!!

So, dive on into cross posting now. It really is that simple. I'd love to hear how it goes for you and which social media platforms you end up choosing.


Happy blogging!



Females with AMAZING Athletic Skillz

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There's nothing I love more than seeing females that do what they do so well that even the boys have to give them some credit!

For the record I think they should ALWAYS be given credit for any level of skill they possess but in this sexist world let's be real...they seldomly are, but I digress.

The women in this video have a lot to teach people. The ball handling skills are truly superb and they didn't aquire them over night. So, whether you are 13 or 31, there is something to learn from them.

If you want to do something...
If you want to achieve something...
If you want to accomplish something anything whether in sports, fitness, or professionally the key to being successful is hard work, persistence and the ability to overcome your failures.



Happy Friday


Road map to Success: Fitness Edition

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Have you ever started something new thinking it was going to be so awesome but ended up feeling disappointed?  Yea? Me too. Many many times.

How much time to you give yourself to because successful?

How much energy did you put into it?

When it comes to fitness and health most people tried and stopped. Tried again and felt they failed.

That's been me many times in my life. But I didn't give up. I had an idea on a different approach to take... different gym to go to... different exercise to try... different trainer to work with.

I came up with the new approach (idea)...tried it out and did it over and over again.

One important thing I learned along the way was that as soon as I stopped doing this new approach because I thought I had reached success I ended up back where I started. Unhappy and looking for new ideas, new approaches to take, feeling like a failure.

It has taken me a long time and many failures but I've finally learned that when it comes to health and fitness in order to be and stay successful you have to KEEP DOING the doing.

Exercise and healthy eating are as essential as breathing and sleeping. As soon as you stop doing them your body doesn't like it and your health weakens.

So, if you have fallen off the Resolution bandwagon you were on just last month, don't be discouraged. Allow yourself to think its time to try again. Come up with an idea and Try, DO, REPEAT.

In the words of Nike and Mountain Dew.....Just do it!.....Do the Dew!

Happy Thursday


Day 5: Apps and Blog Resources

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Welcome back to Day 5 of our 7-Day Blogger Quick Start. So, we've covered a lot of stuff that has gotten you the look and started to set you up on content. That means its time for the fun stuff.....APPS and other Blog Resources.

Miss Day 4? Read it here.

You - What do you mean? There's help out there for me? I don't have to do everything myself and can make it look professional when its just a Susie homemaker doing all the work?

Me - HECK YEAH! 

One of the best things that has happened in the world of blogging have been the technological revolution. I swear. There are SO many new things that come out everyday that not only benefit your 15 year old kid in high school, but yes Mom...you too.

Here is a collection of just a handful of apps and blogging resources that I have come across over the last 2 years of blogging. At the end of this if you know of any more PLEASE feel free to leave a comment so I can go check it out myself.


Picture Apps

If you have been a Beachbody coach for more than a few weeks then you have probably already heard about this site from your sponsored coach. It is FANTASTIC! 

This site is like a laymen's version of Adobe Photoshop. Unlike Photoshop, it is very easy to learn because of its limited capabilities. Although it may not have all the features of Photoshop, this site offers more than enough capabilities for the novice to expert in photo editing.

As mentioned earlier in this series, you can use PicMonkey.com to remove or change out the background of an picture you might have. It also features tons of preloaded fonts, filters, sticker aka "overlays", shapes, themes, frames, and even touch up capablity. Like I said, more than enough to get your started and really bring your banner/image making skills up. You're new prospects will never know you just started because you will look just as legit and the top coaches. 

Care to see an example? Check out the banner below that I made for February's launch of the 21 Day Fix Extreme. After Googling "21 Day Fix Extreme" and "21 Day Fix png" I found the image of Autumn and the product image already with a transparent background. Score! If you are interested in watching a video of how exactly I made this banner I would be more than happy to record one. Post a message in the comment box if you would.




Adobe Photography Plan - $9.99/mo or $119.99/yr

If you are looking to take your picture editing to the next level then Adobe's Photography plan is what you want. This bundle comes with access to both Photoshop CC as well as Lightroom. These programs are powerful and the capabilities are endless. Truely the creme de la creme of photo editing.

These programs require a 12-month contract to either make monthly or annual payments. This might seem expensive, but it's seriously a bargain considering each of them has their own single-app membership of $19.99/month. Want ALL the Adobe Creative Cloud apps? That plan is $49.99/mo with a 1-year commitment. 


Email Service


MadMimi

This is a great free service. It is a more female friendly version of Constant Contact or ChimpMail. I
haven't used Constant Contact but a previous employer did. I have tried ChimpMail. It was ok. I like MadMimi the best. It was easier to use and I like the colors and graphics. I've been using the free plan for over a year now and have not found the need yet to upgrade to premium. In time when my list out contacts exceeds the limit for the free plan I probably will.

It is has multiple features that I really like. You can keep multiple contact lists. So let's say you want to get info across to all your personally sponsored coaches, but not your challengers. No problem. Just create a separate list for each. Want people to be able to follow your blog by email, you can make a small form like the on in my right banner and have it linked to a separate list where just your blog followers will be.

My favorite thing to use MadMimi for is sending periodic newsletter with sales and update info to any people that choose me. Here is an example

Set up Free account here 

3rd Parties Apps that help People Follow You


Bloglovin'

Bloglovin' is a website that allows it users to collect or kind of bookmark all their favorite blogs in one spot then email them daily with all the new posts for each blog. This is a great place to also find new blogs to follow. So by creating an account here (aka linking you blog to Bloglovin') you create another avenue for you to be seen. I use Bloglovin' and have quite a following. This website also works with 3rd Party apps like Rafflecopter that blogges use in giveaways. So by having an account here you can participate additionally in giveaways. I'll elaborate on this more on Day 6.

If you are interested how your blog looks on Bloglovin' versus Blogger scroll up and click the "Follow me on Bloglovin'" button I have in my sidebar.

When you are ready to connect your blog to Bloglovin' check out my tutorial How To Add Bloglovin' To Your Blog.


Continuing Education

Skillshare

If you are anything like me you are not only a do-it-yourselfer but also someone that really wants to learn. This website is fantastic! There are hundreds of amazing classes online that cover topics in Design, Photography, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Blogging, Culinary, Gaming and a lot more.

So, if you are wanting to step up your photo editing skills with Adobe Photography then this is GREAT addition. They also have a partnership with Adobe and can now offer you 15% off Creative Cloud. Check out the Skillshare website for details.

Use the link below to get a free month of Skillshare Membership and unlimited access to these classes.

For a FREE month of membership check it out here.


So, theses are my favorites and websites I strongly recommend you checking out as you get settled bother into the blogging world but also your Beachbody business. If you think there is something missing from my list feel free to drop a message in the comments below and I will gladly check it out. I'm always open to learning new things.

Ready for Day 6? Read it here.

Happy Tuesday!


$400 Target Gift Card Giveaway

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Valentine's Day will be here before you know it. Do you know what you're getting your sweetie? Are you DIY-ing it? Are you buying something you know they've been wanting? Are you getting a joint give that both of you will enjoy??? .....Haven't figured it out yet? Yeah, that's me too.

Here's something that won't help for that because the giveaway ends AFTER Valentine's Day. hahah 

Gotcha! But it sure could help towards another holiday or special occasion on the calendar. So, good luck and I hope you find some cool new people and shops to follow on Instagram!!
GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $400 Target Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 3/4 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

21 Day Fix EXTREME Launches TODAY!!!

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NO equipment. NO heavy weights. NO long hours in the gym! And you don't even have to leave your house! Let's do this!!!!
Give me 30 minutes of your day and we'll sculpt your body and learn to control your portions with our FUN custom portion control eating system. NO counting calories!
All workouts are done in the comfort of your own home.. on your own time. You will have ME as your Coach... walking you through the program every step of the way...24 weeks pregnant and all!!

This program includes: 
- $70 OFF as a bundle
- A complete home workout kit with DVDs - 7 color coded portion control containers - Complete custom meal plan designed for your 30 Day Challenge - Bonus 3 Day custom plan to quickly get you picture or beach ready when you are short on time. - Shakeology to help kill all your chocolate and carb cravings - Shaker cup you can take anywhere - ME as your personal coach - access to my EXCLUSIVE VIP LIFETIME support group



This challenge starts February 9th, but ALSO includes our custom VIP Accountability Group, that will keep you on point throughout the first quarter of the year. Wouldn't it be great to lose 5 lbs before Valentine's Day?? Do it with us, the safe and healthy way.

If you can commit to changing your life, I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!! I am looking for 5 ladies and gents who are serious about strating the 2015 year stronger and healthier than ever! SPace is limited so pre-register NOW to save your spot.

How successful are my challenge groups?? Average weight loss is 5-15 lbs in 30 days!!



Reading this after 12:00 noon Eastern Time? Feel free to click the "Join now! button. They have a delayed response so keep trying if it doesn't go straight to the Challenge Pack.

New to exercise? The Extreme sound a little TOO extreme for you?


That's ok. The ORIGINAL 21 Day Fix is also on sale this month. How does $70 off and losing 5-15 lbs sound? Pretty amazing, huh? It is! I lost 6 lbs my first week! 

I'd love to help you do the same. No need to wait for this challenge pack. It is available NOW! Just click the yellow "YES!" button below.



Questions? Feel free to reach out to me by email at hello@sassysmidgens.com or at my Facebook Page Fit Familia.

Can't wait to hear from you!






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