Tag Archives: Family

Movie Night Themed Birthday Party

My step-daughter was about to turn 11.  We were in the middle of selling our home, moving to a new neighborhood and I had just succumbed to the fact, I was now in my 40’s.  It was a bit of….well, a “busy” time in my life.  When asked what she wanted to do this year, she replied(with the shriek of a lottery winner), “A sleepover!”.  This is where as a step-mother, proceed with caution.  Refrain from answering, “Are you ** crazy?!!”.  So, I decided I better not battle this one and looked to it as a bonding experience.  She decided on a Movie Night Theme after spotting some adorable invites at Hallmark that looked like movie tickets.  We put together the invitations, picked out the paper goods and decided on a  menu.  I created an inspiration board on Pinterest.  I added pictures daily and we would spend our afternoons, swooning over all the creative ideas.  For the menu, we served crap.  Hotdogs, popcorn, candy and more crap.

And though it wasn’t as elaborate as my creative side would’ve liked, it turned out sweet.  My biggest accomplishment was the cake.

I baked a box cake in a 9×13 pan.  Frosted it entirely in white and then used red Fruit By The Foot for the stripes and “label”.  For the popcorn, I used marshmallows.  I kept some whole and tore the others in half.  I have a lot to learn about cake decorating, but the giggling girls didn’t seem to mind as they consumed and then later threw it all over each other and our new backyard.


Courtney Nelson of Fit N’ Fine Fitness

I’m very happy to announce our first official Wednesday’s Woman~ Courtney Nelson.  If you are not yet familiar with her fitness studio Fit N’ Fine then you should probably plan on attending her next class after reading this article.  I had the pleasure of meeting Courtney last year through mutual friends.  After, getting to know her I decided to attend one of her fitness classes.  Myself and about 6 other women, kids in tow met Courtney at a local park.  After an hour of blood, sweat and tears ~I was impressed.  Her class was hard but not to the point of no return.   She was upbeat and supportive without being too pushy.  And I saw results.   Her classes grew too big for the park so we took them to her driveway of her home in Santa Paula.  By this time, there were several classes a week with each having at least 20 women in attendance.   Women weren’t dropping like flies, as I had seen in other fitness classes~ they were more like flies attracted to…well you know, what I’m saying.  This year has been huge for Courtney~she opened her studio in the spring, got married and is now training several hundred women.  I am so thankful she took time out from her business, husband and two children to let us in on how she does it.

When did you start Fit N Fine Fitness?

**I opened the doors to Fit N’ Fine Fitness on March 14, 2011 …

What inspired you to start your business?

**Well… I never had a plan of opening my own business, it kind of just happened!! I decided to leave my job at Gold’s Gym of Oxnard and be a Stay @ Home Mommy. I did need some income to pay my car payment and to buy groceries, so in 2010 I decided to start training a few groups around Santa Paula; groups of Friends, 5-7 at a time. I loved it! I realized that this was my niche! Throughout the year my groups of 5-7 slowly started to grow to 10-12, the 15-17, then before I knew it, I had 25 girls at a time training outside my house in my driveway! It was obvious that what I was doing WORKS, and it wasn’t gonna slow down anytime soon!!! I found a location on Main St that, at the time, I thought was plenty big enough to train my 100-110 girls. Now, just 4 1/2 months later I have well over 400 women in the Fit N’ Fine Family and have out-grown my space! It’s just AMAZING what has happened..I never expected this!

What are your plans for the future of Fit N’ Fine?

** I am currently looking for a bigger location and plan to offer spinning, Pilates, salsa dancing, and -YES- it will continue to remain Women Only  🙂:) I don’t know exactly How Big it could be? This, right now, was more than I ever expected! We’ll see… I plan to remain a steady part of my business, plan on continuing to make Fitness FUN, and to make sure every woman who joins gets RESULTS!!!!

What does a typical day look like for you?

** Ha!!!! BUSY!!! 🙂:)
Today… woke up at 6:45am, trained a group at 8am, and at 930am.  I rushed my kiddos to swimming in Ventura by 10:45am… dropped tanks, sweaters, bags and pants off to be printed, and am now answering these questions to all of you 🙂:) I will make my kiddos lunch when I’m done with this, take them on a short hike, then go to Vons for some groceries… I will pick up some printed clothing at 3:15, be back at the studio by 3:30 to train at 4pm, 530pm, and 7pm… Yeah, that’s just today, everyday is a little different, but all-in-all, BUSY 🙂:)

What is one piece of advice for the women out there that, you would like to share?

**Life, Business, Family It’s all Can and Will work if you stay Organized, and can manage to balance it out daily!!!…. I live by my organizer/calendar … My Children, Husband, Family, and Clients are all happy, so it must be working! 😉;)

If you could trade shoes with anyone for a day who would it be?

**Honestly… I love my life… I can’t think of anyone

Thanks, Courtney! Fit N’ Fine Fitness is located at:

939 Main St Santa Paula, CA 93060;  Find them on Facebook  here

Hello Summer…Goodbye to Another School Year

I find myself with mixed emotions at this time each year. While, I am happy to welcome the lazy days of summer~ I also feel a bit of sadness, that my children have completed another year of school.  Don’t get me wrong~ I am very proud and excited for each of them and I don’t consider myself a “glass half empty” kinda gal.  But simply put~  I don’t want these days to end.

So, being the list-maker that I am~ here is one of a few things I am looking forward to enjoying with my four groms over the next two months.

1.) a break from yelling, “Bedtime!”

2.) water park conveniently located across the street

3.) jr lifeguards

4.) family trip to utah

5.) saving gas $$ by not driving to 3 different schools(yes!)

6.) camping at local beaches

7.) playing soccer & football in our street until the street lights actually come on!

8.) sun-kissed/messy faces

9.) home-made popsicles

10.) bare feet



**photo courtesy of deskko

Making and Appreciating Family Memories

{an eve of bocce ball may/11}



To settle in after dinner last night, I decided to pull out some old, home videos.  We started in 2003(when we only had 3 kids ages 2-9) and after 2 hours finished up in 2007(with 4 kids 1-13). Between the scenes of school plays, temper tantrums, snowball fights and holiday gatherings, I think we all felt this was a great way to kick-off our summer.  We munched on Popcorn and M&M’s, while laughing at bad hair and baby voices.

As, I tucked everyone into bed, and we each giggled about our family movies, I couldn’t help but think we all felt quite bonded after our evening.  Personally, it reminded me of where we’ve been as a family and how much more we have to look forward to.  My advice, video tape as much as you can of your children, pets and home. And if you do so, on a smart phone~ be sure to back it up weekly. And most important~ make time to watch them!!!