St. Louis today, A-List in 2018


Once you go A-List, you never {want to} go back. I’ve enjoyed the Southwest Airlines A-List Fly By in security for the past few years, aisle seats, and drink tickets, I wasn’t going to let one ore flight stand between me and this sweet-ass deal for 2018. Now, being a bit cash-strapped myself at this point (job contract ended and it’s the holidays, and we just got married…) extravagance isn’t in the cards. Last year I took myself to LA, rented a car to go see the beach, and enjoyed high tea at The Peninsula Beverly Hills

This year, $55 got me to and from St. Louis, and a $7.50 MetroLink rail pass got me there I needed to go, plus 6.12 miles on foot – which does a body good. First, I found a fabulous restaurant that was entirely gluten-free called “New Day“. And for those who suffer from sensitivities or celiac disease, you feel me on this. No outsidefood at all, and everything is delicious and free of that nasty little bitch called gluten. Need me to get descriptive on my symptoms?! Let’s not, but ask if u need to know. So for the good stuff, I went big with an Italian sandwich and lemon cupcake. I let go of my fears, and dug into this beautiful, carby delight. I was not disappointed.

Next, back on the train to  head to see the St. Louis Gateway Arch. This monument symbolizes the westward expansion of the United States – thus encompasses many things I love: My country and exploration. I got there a bit late in the dayand started my tour about 4pm, rushing through the exhibits. I hightailed it to the line to ride the cable cars up I to the arch tram – which to me, resembled a Lady Gaga-esque egg compartment. Two word, Super Awesome. I still can’t figure put how the people who were in the compartment to my left, then ended up on the compartment on my right but whatever… I am not that kind of scientist. Never-the-less, the view near sunset were incredible.

To round out my day and not miss my flight home, I his a brewery recommended by a friend, and and Irish pub. The brewery was not GF, and as a fairy ute tic pub. They did have acceptable dining options.

I took the train back to the airport only to discover my flight was delayed. Oh well, make he most of it and work on my blog.  Other than holiday travel, I am happy to close this year out and spend some time at home.

They call me a Jet-Setter…


The grass is always greener on the other side… Or so it may seem.

I travel A LOT. While most of the time it’s my choice, and lately it’s been more for pleasure than work, and it seems glamorous… It’s still exhausting. This post is coming to you from high over the skies on a flight from Phoenix to Kansas City. And this was a work trip, my last work trip. No, not last for now, my contact is up and it’s the last with this job anyway.

I appreciate the fun comments and people following my adventures because I make the most out of it all, work or not – I’m going to squeeze it out and maximize the time. I have been home about 10 days total since the end of October. I am tired.

  • October. Tampa to see family, friends, and my new hubby enjoyed some golf (more on that new development later).
  • November. We eloped on the beach in Key West and took about a week to adventure in the Keys and in Miami.
  • Then we came home for 1.5 days and headed off to Texas for Thanksgiving.
  • Then we came home and another 1.5 days later I left for El Paso to finish out my contract and say a proper goodbye to the Wild West.

Again, not a  complaint, but I am ready to crash and live in my house, with my husband, and our pets for the foreseeable future… Until the Chritmas travels begin. Super excited to unpack my toiletries, wash my clothes and camp out in sweats for a few days. I do have a on easy trip next week,but hey – a gal has to keep her A-List on Southwest. I’ve tasted the sweet life and can’t go back. One flight and $55 was all that stood between me and my status for 2018:)

Now, let’s back up a tick. I LOVE to travel and experience new cities and see what makes them unique. I want to eat their food, see their sites, and meet their people. This particular trip has been to shut down my project and walk away with a good relationship, dignity, and respect for the people I have serve on the past five years. I will always have love for UTEP, and for those I have worked with, but El Paso will always have a special place in my heart. So much of my life changed there – I met lifelong friends, earned a master’s degree, grew as a leader in my career, and while it would have been revealed to  me until many years after I moved out of the region, I met my future husband there. (Again, totally another story).

Over the past five years I have worked for UTEP, but in my unique role I worked in five states and traveled a lot. So a few years into my job I moved back to Florida to be closer to family. I traveled at a minimum of once a month, but visited as many of m sites as I cold during that time. And, after six months of long-distance dating my (now) husband, I moved to Kansas to be with him as I had this flexible job that didn’t need me in one particular physical location.

So that all brings me to today. Heading home after my last work trip – my contract ends in a few days and it’s time for the curtain call on our work over the past five years. It’s the nature of grant work, and I knew this would happen someday. no while I knew it would happen, and I knew I wanted to go out on a high note, I’m a sensitive soul and have never been good at drawing a line between work and personal life. I’m passionate about this project and never felt the need to get it out of my head. Anyway, I can’t help but be a little crestfallen – it’s the end of an era.

So on this last trip, my last travels to my beloved Wild West, I tried to take it all in. I hit some of my favorite restaurants.

Exercised at some of my favorite spots . And hugged a lot of really wonderful people that I know I’ll see again.

I am tired. I am thankful. And I am full of love for those I have been so fortunate to call co-workers and friends. Goodbye for now. Adios, El Paso.

Still on my workout program Week 3…


I’ve gotten behind on my workout schedule. Week 3 has turned into Weeks 3&4. Now, I wasn’t skipping out, I just saw something shiny/physically challenging and gave it a try in place of my daily workout. NOW, I know consistency is key to reaching my fitness goals, so I am going to finish it out without substitutions. Which means no more shenanigans and I can finish on Saturday. Self-talk works for me…

What was yesterday’s shiny object? Well, nothing. Instead of downloading my workouts as recommended, I generally stream them… and today the internet didn’t play nice. So to get some exercise I decided to take a run. Hell, I’ve got a Santa Dash 5K coming up anyway, might as well give it a go.  So today the pup and I did 2.86 miles in 38 minutes. Great for me, maybe not so good for real runners, but we all have to start(over) somewhere.

So today’s victories are many. I didn’t let technology rule my life. The pup and I enjoyed a beautiful crisp Fall day. I burned a few calories and got my running started again. Not a bad way to improvise.

Otherwise, what’s up? We get married next week!! YAY! So trying to be the best me I can and keep this body moving.

When I wake up I can see abs! Then gravity sets in… but I’ve always said that I have got washboard abs, just have a few loads of laundry on top. 

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Until next time… Xoxo

Shift Shop Week 3/Two weeks to the Wedding!


All of the thoughts in my head…

WOW – I am in my third week of Shift Shop and can’t believe how this program is flying by. I’ve been traveling for a few days so I got off of the schedule for a bit, so I’ll take time and catch up and complete this workout cycle. From just a few weeks of work, I can actually see muscles, and I hope I’ve made a difference on the scale.


But either way, I know my clothes are a little looser. And we call that a non-scale victory! I feel better, my energy is better, and I am looking forward to my daily burn. OK, that’s a few non-scale victories and I will celebrate them all.


So, I will say that I already love myself. It’s take a long time to be able to say that, but I do. While I am happy, I always believe there is room for improvement and that’s the positive road I am on. I do not believe all people need to have the same keys to happiness, but part of my quest is to be physically fit and lower my body-fat percentage. I want to be a healthier me, a healthy wife, and hopefully someday a healthy mother.


In previous posts I have mentioned my WHY and that continues to evolve. While I have long-term goals, looking and feeling better for my elopement is a short-term goal. So what could be more perfect for my short-term engagement to my private elopement than a 3-week intense workout program?! Enter trainer Chris Downing and his creation of Shift Shop.


In two weeks and 4 hours I’ll be marrying the man of my dreams on the beach, just the two of us. And I’m going to feel as good as I possibly can while doing it. As of this moment. I’ll also be abstaining from alcohol and sugar to just get a little more bloat and puff out of my system, as well as feel the best I possibly can!


With Shift Shop, each week builds on time with cardio and strength while cutting out carbs little by little. Sounds perfect for a bridal-bootcamp and countdown to the wedding. Not only am I already seeing results, and still have a week to go, but I know challenging workouts help me to balance stress and anxieties too. Surprisingly, I have zero wedding/marriage stress or anxiety. Now changing careers and finding a new job, that stresses me out, but that’s a story for another day – but it’s all part of the ball of wax in the next 30 days anyway. See why I’m purposely cutting sugar and booze? Could be a hot mess otherwise!


Anyway, I cannot wait to share my Shift Shop results with you – and when the big day arrives, I’ll also share a few of those pics too!


Wish me luck! xoxo


Shift Shop day 1


HouseOfAnnaM – Facebook live video!!

As a say in the video above, today is day one of Team Beachbody’s newest program -Shift Shop.

The workout has had people lose up to 10 pounds during this three-week program. So I’ve got the time, let’s try. This is a great short term goal for me and the next four weeks I am getting married, and if I can get 10 more pounds off, all the better.

Who couldn’t stand to lose 10 pounds? Ask yourself why you’re not joining me on this adventure.

I’ve taken my measurements, done “before” photos, and I’m ready to rock. I’m going to tighten up the low-carb diet and I’ll give you a truthful and honest review when this program is over.

Maybe you’ll join me for the next round. It’s up to you – and I can show you how to do it for free. Just ask.

Workout for the wedding? Kind of…


Just give me one reason… to workout. My health is important to me inside and out. Over the past weekend, I fell off the low-carb/keto wagon and have started over, yet again. I am a member of the camps that tell you “it’s better late than never,” or “try, try again.” I won’t give up. I won’t let a few weak days crush my overall goal.

Now, my WHY or my reason for my health and fitness goals continues to grow, change, evolve, or however you may describe it.

These days, my WHY is a short-term goal and like many enfianced, I am working out for the wedding. I’ve joined the stereotypical legions of men and women who want to look good for the big day.


Losing a few lbs, and toning up is an ongoing goal for me. But what I feel like we’ve done here is set a reachable date in the near future to look forward to. Our short-term goal is rapidly approaching as we officially chose a wedding date about 12-weeks out. No big one-day event here, we’re eloping and doing what works for us. None-the-less, I want to look and feel as good as I can. I deserve it, and so does he. We’re in this together and have been working towards our goals for almost as long as we’ve been together. So am I #workingoutforthewedding yes, but no. I am aiming towards a short-term goal, and dammit, I am excited to do it.


I am on week-10ish of an 8-week program. Yep, got a little behind with stress, work, travel, natural disasters and more. But did I quit? NO. My accountability partner and I are pushing through and doing each workout on our calendar no matter how long it takes us. Well, this is IT and we’re starting a new program together on Oct 15.

Will I be in the best shape of my life, actually in overall health and muscle building, I might be. Will I be in my best aesthetic shape? No. But will I let that hold me back? Absolutely not.

Would you let aesthetics keep you from your version of happiness?


Now, to learn a bit about me/us. This is marriage 2.0 for both of us. We’ve been there and done that, and have realized that for us, priorities include the only two people who are going to be participants in this marriage – US. We are secure, happy, and ready to unite civilly, as we already feel married emotionally, spiritually, and for the most part financially:)

Will this magical piece of paper called a marriage license change our relationship? No. Do we want it? Yes. I am done ignoring my bridal excitement and ready to let a rip. I am excited to be his Mrs. I love that we made this decision amongst many other life changes, and it makes sense to us since we’ve been on the journey to be the best versions of ourselves anyway!


We’re never going to be any younger than we are right now. But we can be healthier and happier – and that’s the journey this chick is interested in pursuing. I’m gaining an accountability partner for LIFE!

I am always game for more accountability partners on a variety of levels – nutrition, fitness, finance… Do you have short-term goals to meet?


I am participating in #CleanWeek and invite YOU to join me. Yes, it’s FREE!


I am participating in #CleanWeek and invite you to join me. One week designed to help those who are not yet ready to commit to a #Teambeachbody #ChallengePack, but want to see what it’s all about. We’ll meal plan, workout, and try the products with no further commitment.

Participants will experience a full week of a well-rounded plan including plan: Shakeology, Clean Eating, Fitness and Coach Support. We start October 3 – the time to commit is now.

{DM/PM me for details. Who’s in?!}

#TBT What a difference one year makes. T


#TBT What a difference one year makes. The chick on the left, while smiling, was nervous and didn’t feel comfortable in her surroundings and certainly not in her own skin.

While I may not have seem much change on the scale, I certainly have made a redistribution in my muscle to fat ratio. I could give you the list of things contributing to that, but it’s whiny and boring. Just ask if you really want to know.

While the woman on the right might not seem too different, she’s much more confident inside and out. Through a lot of hard work physically, and some serious work on self-acceptance, I am finding me again. She’s not the hot-ass old me from 7 years ago, she’s much more badass, and by far, happier.

I am redefining myself by accepting my inner Sweaty Betty who won’t take no for an answer anymore. This woman is a Lady Boss who’s new mantra is “Why NOT me?” On the road to becoming a hotter and sharper me.

So why not you?

Ever play “Clean the Fridge” or “Kitc


Ever play “Clean the Fridge” or “Kitchen Sink”??

OK, i just invented them now. But this salad helped us get down to nil leftovers before some travel. I hate to waste! My goal was to not buy new groceries and not waste anything before we got on the road. I am proud to say we did it (on, one butternut squash left, but I am confident it will survive until we get home).

One of my favorite websites to help use up groceries & ingredients is Allrecipes you can input what you have, and they’ll give you back a recipes! Give it a try!