Motivation, Motherhood, and Muscle: The Key to a Healthier You

The Key to a Healthier You

So about 4 years ago, I was that girl who ate anything and everything, deep fried and sugary, without working out a day in my life. Never gained a pound. Then marriage and 2 kids happened. What changed?! Am I getting old? Am I just out of shape? Yes and yes.

Even though someone may not “look” overweight, they may not be happy with their health. Ever since I changed my ways of eating and added fitness to my lifestyle, I have never FELT better. It is all about the way you feel. That is the reason I choose to pay it forward to people who need help with their lifestyle change. YOU are worth it!

 I joined a Challenge Group on Facebook. I bought a Shaun T workout program and some Shakeology. 25 minutes a day at home of working out, and a glass of super-food nutrition. I can do this. The Challenge Group was a motivational tool for me to connect with others starting their journey, where we talked about healthy recipes, keeping each other motivated, and sharing our stories. I couldn’t let them down, or myself, or my family. I not only got healthy for them, but mostly for myself. This changed my life. You mean there are people who give a crap if I succeed or not? They will check on me if I didn’t post in the group to see if I worked out or ate well? This is teamwork and this is how you can join in as well. 

How to set realistic expectations:

  1. Be realistic with your goals. This doesn’t happen overnight, that is why I call it a journey. It’s a lifestyle change.
  2. Start small. If you are just beginning, don’t overdo it.
  3. The scale means nothing. Stop weighing yourself daily. Stop it.
  4. Eating small nutritious meals frequently (about 5-6 times daily) is going to be 70% of your results.

Starting small to fight the flab:

  1. Start with as many push ups and crunches as you can do. If it’s one or three, it doesn’t matter. We all start somewhere.
  2. Every day increase by one push up and 2 crunches.
  3. Take the stairs. Take a 30 minute walk, 5 days a week. Cardio is going to lean you out, especially your midsection. Once you start leaning out, you will be able to tone.
  4. Don’t mess up all your work by eating garbage on the weekends!
  5. WATER. Drink it! As soon as you wake up drink 8oz of water. You should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces everyday. This is KEY.
  6. Meal prep. You tend to go for the fast food or junk food if you’re starving and nothing is ready. When you go to the grocery store, come home and wash all of your fruits, lettuce, and vegetables and put them in ziplock bags so they are ready to eat. I even prep all my salads with chicken for my lunches so all I need to do is dress and eat. I promise, you will thank me later.
  7. Protein! Quinoa, Greek yogurt, black beans, chicken, fish, pork tenderloin, turkey, lean beef, and eggs. For a snack I sometimes eat two hardboiled eggs with a bit of salt and pepper. Yes, eat the yolk!
  8. Stay positive. It’s easy to get discouraged. Share your plan with a significant other or best friend so they can cheer you on!

 Not only did I finish the program and lose all of my baby weight, but I am now paying it forward. That makes me feel amazing that these people have found happiness in the way they feel about themselves.

Sarah Pollard is a fitness enthusiast, motivational momma of two under three, and an Independent Team Beachdody coach. For one on one coaching, tips, questions, or just motivation, feel free to get social via Facebook (send a message and introduce yourself) or at

My TargetStyle

Target Style Challenge

So last week, my new homies, Emma Arnold and Dana Weiss, and I got to compete in a style challenge presented by Target. In case, you live under a rock and do not know what Target is, it is heaven, light blinding heaven. Next. It was hosted by Zanna Rassi, who also served as judge. Let me tell you, I was peeked when she tweeted me and then I couldn’t get the courage to say hello. You guys know I am not shy and I do not swoon over celebrities but people who’s work I admire…well there I swoon. Also hosting was Courtney Kornegay and at the judges panel was Ikam Goldman, who’s words after the show woke me up inside and encouraged me to let go of fear, Mary Alice Stephenson, who’s work I’ve followed for a longtime and who hopefully can work with/for one day, and Mickey Boardman who’s fabulousness, knowledge and carefree persona has taken him so far, I mean this is home (Chicago’s suburb of Hanover Park) and look where he is at now. I mean, no pressure to be amongst these amazing people. Target Style Challenge Target Style Challenge

What I wore:

Target is my go-to for high low style, the shoes, top, jacket all from Target and the skirt is Adam Lippes. Target Style Challenge Target Style Challenge Target Style Challenge

Shannon O’Brian works her magic for Pixie on my second look.

My first look was a fun mix play on prints but I missed the mark with the shoes. I would share a picture but the only one I have had me looking crazy in it. So here is the Instagramed version! Not a the judges favorite from the ankles down so it ended up being last in the first round. My second, shown here got me a 39 out of 40, earning me top score. I was getting 10s across the board until Zanna declared that no one should get a perfect score so she had to give me a 9. But a 9 from Zanna is a 10 in my book. And at the end of the day, the competition came down to Emma Arnold’s first look and my second. My girl Emma took home the bragging rights and I went home with the Dana’s second look. Yes, I bought it. Vegan leather joggers are everything. These girls were a blast to work with and PS shout out to the amazing team that put this thing together. Awesome people to work with.

If you are out in LA, catch the action tonight once more in West Hollywood


This post was written as part of my collaboration with Target for their Ready, Set, TargetStyle challenge. Words written are my own. 

5 Pieces Every Fall Wardrobe Needs

5 Pieces Every Fall Wardrobe Needs 5 Pieces Every Fall Wardrobe Needs

5 Pieces Every Fall Wardrobe Needs

When fall rolls around, it becomes open season on layering. It is 30 degrees in the morning, 70 at noon, and 50 by the evening. You just have to be ready because Chicago’s weather man is the biggest liar. Yes, I just blamed him and no, I do not care to listen to anyone’s explanation on how that works. Let’s just roll with it. Here are my 5 pieces every fall wardrobe needs and yes, I wore them all at once. And these boots have been worn with everything. Also, if you are expecting (ahem, pregnant y’all) check out the 5 pieces you need here.  

Leather Jacket, Target in-store, (Similar) | Hoodie, F21 | Printed Pant, The Limited (old) | Draped Sweater, NY&Co | Flat Bootie, Dune London

Things I Learned and Loved This Week

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I talk a lot about things I want to do. I am a dreamer. I love to day dream and at night before I doze  off, I imagine all the amazing possibilities this life holds. I love to dream, it is a beautiful thing to do. Unfortunately dreaming and doing are two different things and fear is the deciding factor between my dreams and my actions. I sometimes lose sight of the faith I have in myself or that others have in me and I second guess myself. Just this week, I did the Target Style event in which I competed in a two part styling competition. The first challenge, well, I bombed. It wasn’t a bad look by any means, it just wasn’t me. I had a look set in my head and when they read the challenge, I second guessed myself, I got scared and I panicked. I wanted overalls with a blazer and a pair of white sneakers with layers of necklaces. I am still dreaming of that look but I questioned myself and picked something outside my own character and well, I received 7 of of 10 across the board. That is the equivalent of being a C average student. I couldn’t even defend my look, I didn’t want to because I know what I am capable of so instead I went backstage and thought okay, I already lost so the next challenge I’m just going to do me and not care. I did. I got a near perfect score of 39 out of 40.  I did lose the competition, I came in second but I stayed up all night thinking, not dreaming, of why I do not trust myself more. What am I afraid of? My fears will always cause me to fail. Always. So this weekend, I am going to bury myself in less dreaming and I’ll be busy doing me.  I’m glad I lost, it was a lesson in faith and fear and the latter is a real bitch.

But first, lets unwind, grab a cup of coffee and get inspired by the amazing things around the web I found this week in…


Sometimes new beauty discoveries are amazing, but sometimes keeping it old school just works.

Jennifer of The Daily Connoisseur did a TEDx Talk of The Ten Item Wardrobe. I love TEDx Talks.

Jordan talks about someone with problems and that someone is her. A very honest view on mental health awareness.

My work elsewhere…

What to Wear in the “In-Between” Season When Expecting

The Pregnant Elite at NYFW

Multi-use Products Every Mom Should Own


Top 5 Trends in Jewelry for Fall

Top 5 Trends in Jewelry for Fall

Image via K/LLER, one of the lines carried by GEM

Jewelry is about as personal for some as fragrance is to the French. German born, Laura Kitsos, owner of GEM Jewelry Boutique in Oak Park, now in it’s tenth year, get personal on a topic she holds dear, jewelry trends. She shares with us the top 5 trends for fall in jewelry.


Stacking bracelets still remains popular, as is layering necklaces with a mix of delicate to more statement pieces.  For a fun update, Laura says to start with a base layer of gold and metallic flash tattoos, and finish the look with a few layers of fine or delicate pieces of gold and/or diamond accents. 


Geometric shapes are widely popular right now. It is edgy and bold while remaining simple due to the fact that they are small in size this time around, not like their 80′s influence of larger pieces.    


A simple front and more detailed look on the back of the earlobe is a quick way to look stylish and innovative with just one pair of earrings. Some of the more interesting materials used in these studs are gold, and increasingly popular are pearls.  


Organic, raw stones are an updated classic look.  Big bold set stones are just as eye catching as smaller cluster set. Great stones that are popular at GEM are diamond slices, and raw agate geodes.  Laura, who also designs a collection carried in her store, has a hand drilled limited production baby geode earring that are always the perfect anytime earring.  


Black and gold is a great modern and sexy combination. A great way to pair these two are to wear gold midi rings with black nails. The contrast is undeniably chic.  Another way  is to pair gold and black bracelets over gold and metallic bracelet tattoos.  The tattoos add a bit of edge to an already chic trend.  

Laura is a jewelry designer and owner of Oak Park’s GEM JEWELRY BOUTIQUE, recognized as one of “America’s Coolest Small Stores.”  For more information, please visit GEM online.

Ready, Set, Targetstyle.

Target Style

 Geeked about this news everyone. So a few weeks ago, I received an email to discuss the possibility of doing a project with Target. I was going to say yes without knowing the details simply because well…that bull’s eye is hypnotizing. I, mean, I go in for toilet paper or whatever and come out with shoes. Anywho, after chats back and forth I was told it was a styling competition. Fun right? I know, I’ve been doing this for years but now I have an audience, I’m competing against Emma Arnold of Trés Awesome and Dana Weiss of Possessionista. Oh and and Marie Claire’s Senior Fashion Editor watching so yeah, no pressure. I posted on Facebook that I was looking for muses to style that day and of course, got my muses within 5 minutes. Seriously guys? You are ALL just as bad as I am, obviously. That is why we are friends. Speaking of…friends…just because I cannot dress you (that day at least) doesn’t mean you cannot come out a support your girl and have a cocktail or two. So this Thursday, October 9 from 6:30 -8 at Target  (1200 N Larrabee St, Chicago, IL 60610.) go to to RSVP and a list of all the fabulous people who will be there with you. Are you going? But seriously, what will you wear? 

How to Decorate with Scarves and The Bouqs

How to Decorate with Scarves

Since our formal dining room is bare bones, no extra seating, no art (until the end of this month), no window treatments, no chandelier (until October), I’ve avoided the room by closing it off with the pocket door that leads to the kitchen until I find what to do. Unfortunately, when guests come to visit, they want a tour or they will sit in the formal living room (which is coming along nicely by the way) with the bare bones dining room in their line of vision. So when guests come over, I do what I can to ensure that it doesn’t look like a forgotten room. The fastest way to dress up a bare table is with a pretty printed scarf as a table runner and fresh flowers, in this case a dozen roses from The Bouqs. The Bouqs is an easy and time effective flower ordering service that cuts fresh flowers direct from the source, cutting out the middle men, making your flowers not only last that much longer but also that much cheaper. So in the meantime, I can still serve tea for my guests in my bare dining room without feeling guilty about the lack of decor. This is the simplest way to decorate with scarves. 

How to Decorate With Scarves How to Decorate with Scarves How to Decorate with Scarves How to Decorate with Scarves How to Decorate with Scarves

These roses lasted almost two full weeks by cutting the ends in a diagonal,  changing the water to a cool temp every two-three days, and putting in one uncoated aspirin into the water. Once they started wilting, however, I tried them together and hung them upside down. Once they dried out, I sprayed them with hair spray, cut off the buds, and placed them in this beautiful Tiffany’s bowl I received as a house warming gift. 

How to Dry Roses How to Dry Roses How to Dry Roses How to Dry Roses

This post was not sponsored but it does contain affiliate links and I did receive the roses with compliment of The Bouqs.