Friday, May 27, 2016

7 Tips for Eating Healthy At Restaurants

When I first started taking my healthy lifestyle seriously, I really struggled with knowing how to stay on track with my nutrition when we were at a restaurant.  My husband and I love to try out new restaurants (and return often to our favorites!) and it's truly a hobby of ours to dine out!  Though we have cut way back on how often we go out to eat, we have since learned how to choose healthy options so that we can still enjoy a meal out from time-to-time without being derailed from our goals.

Here are my top 7 tips for Healthy Restaurant Eating:

1) Split a meal with another person and/or have your server box up at least half of your food before they even bring it to you so that you're not tempted to eat more than you should.  American portion sizes are out of control and most restaurants give you 3-4 times the amount of food that you need for a satisfying meal! Get it out of sight, out of mind and then take your leftovers home for the next day!

2) Always ask for the dressing on the side!  Salads may seem like your healthiest option when you're out to eat, but this is truly not always the case!  Most salad dressings are extremely high in both fat and calories! Restaurants also tend to use way more dressing than is needed, so by requesting it on the side, you can dip your fork into the dressing before each bite to add the flavor without overdoing it. Opt for olive oil and vinegar when available, and avoid creamy salad dressings (such as ranch and bleu cheese) at all costs!

3) Stick with grilled/boiled/or baked protein--preferably chicken or fish.  Avoid breading and marinades and opt for fresh squeezed lemon and/or herbs for seasoning instead!

4) Skip the freebie!  Many restaurants will bring you chips and salsa or a bread basket before your meal, but ask your server not to bring any to your table.  Again, this is additional, unnecessary carbs and if it's not there, you won't eat it!  If you are out to eat with other people who may want the chips/bread/etc, chew a piece of gum until your meal arrives so that you are less tempted to indulge.

5) Ask for fruit or veggies as your side.  These options are often available even when they aren't listed on the menu and they are a much healthier alternative to fries, potatoes, pasta salad, etc.  If they are not able to accommodate you, simply ask that they don't include a side with your meal.

6) Drink at least one full glass of water before your meal arrives.  This is important!  So many times our bodies feel hungry, but it's actually a sign that we're dehydrated and need more water.  This should be something you also do at home, not just when you're out to eat.  Drinking water before your meal will help fill you up and eat less once your food arrives.

7) Check out the menu before you go.  This is especially helpful when you are dining out with other people.  Take a peak at the menu and decide what your healthiest options will be so that you aren't pressured for time in making your decision and end up going with something you will later regret.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

My Home Workout Transformation

“No thank you, those home workouts don’t really work.”

Wait, WHAT did she just say?!

Okay....if I’m being honest, those were MY OWN words when I first came across an opportunity to purchase a home workout program!!! I’m a bit embarrassed, I must admit...but I did NOT believe in “this” kind of thing!

I was use to spending an 1.5+ hours at the gym each day without even getting great results. 30 minutes? In my basement? You’re kidding, right?? I thought this was the biggest load of crap!

And then I started seeing transformation, after transformation, after transformation, after transformation of people legitimately getting FIT right at home. And since I actually knew some of the people whose before and after photos I started seeing, I knew this was the real deal and not just a bunch of photo-shopped results! Slowly my eyes were opened to what eventually changed my whole life!

Before I started my first at home workout program, I was:
*clueless about good nutrition
*addicted to food
*chronically tired

After doing a lot of research and deciding that maybe I was wrong afterall, and that maybe these “at home workout programs” were worth trying out, I finally said yes and committed to making a change for myself. I was sick and tired of always being sick and tired--I was ready to get healthy!

My first program came with a meal plan that taught me which types of foods I should be eating every day to reach my goals, and I started to really focus on and dial in my nutrition. And I was busy, but I knew that ANYONE could make a half an hour available in their day to exercise. And so I did. One day at a time. One exercise at a time. Take a look at my picture below and you tell me…did it work?!

Once I got past my preconceived ideas about working out at home, I was able to:
*gain incredible confidence
*get in the best shape of my life
*find my motivation
*overcome my food addiction
*gain energy and strength

It’s not that I couldn’t get these same results at the gym, it’s that I didn’t have the SUPPORT that I needed when I was doing my workouts on own that thwarted my efforts. What I’ve found is that accountability is the KEY FACTOR in sticking to any kind of workout/meal’s the difference between calling it quits when things get hard and pushing through with no excuses until you find your results!

And that’s exactly what I provide for the people I work with! Not only do you get the home workout program and nutrition guide, but you have ME as your accountability coach to keep you on track and make sure that you actually achieve all of those big goals that you have!!

I could truly show you a thousand before and after photos of people who have rocked out their results using our programs in their own living rooms at home, but I’d MUCH RATHER show you YOUR OWN transformation!! 

Oh! And how could I forget to mention that you can take these workouts with you anywhere you go...we rocked out a couple of these workouts on the beach in Florida this past weekend! Making fitness FUN is so important!!

Did YOU use to be a skeptic of home workouts like I was?!

The Freedom Of Running a Business on Social Media!

Girl, can I ask you a question??

Tomorrow is Friday and I can already hear so many of you rejoicing about the upcoming weekend (especially since it's a long one for most of you!!)! How would your life be different if your work week was really no different than your weekends? What would that look like for you if you could have lunch with a friend or take a nap on any given day as you wish? How would you feel if you could volunteer in your child's classroom once a week or be able to stay home with your baby while still financially supporting your family? Would life be any different for you than it is now? 

Would it be better or worse?

How would your life be different if you got to decide when you went into work everyday?!
I LOVE getting to make my own work schedule and run my business on my own time! Some days I let myself sleep in, but most days I choose to wake up early, grab some fresh coffee, and get to work! Because I LOVE what I do and I'm excited every single day to help people build a body and a life they are proud of!! And because when your hard work translates into FREEDOM for you and your family, it's worth every second of it!!

If you aren't happy at your job, it's time you start working on you OWN DREAMS instead of building someone else's! Don't be fooled, there is NO opportunity out there where you can find great success without a LOT of hard work!! The difference, however, is that when you love what you do and you're working on your own terms, building your own dreams, the daily hustle is FUN!

Envision your life 2 years from now...if you're still doing what you're doing now, what would your life look like? Would you be HAPPY? Would you have the MONEY to do all of the things you want to do? Would you have the TIME to do all of the things you want to do? If you want something different, you have DO something different!!! And nobody can do it for ya girl, it's all YOU!!

Most people can't just quit their current jobs and start a new business from scratch simply because they aren't happy with what they're doing. We all have bills to pay, right?! However, ANYONE, no matter how busy they are, can start this business on the side and grow it until it replaces their full-time income and allows them to leave their current position and start living their dream life.

That's what I did!!! And that's what I'm here to help you do as well!!

I'm selecting 10 courageous, hard-working women to work with me one-on-one next month and learn how to grow your own health and fitness business from home on social media. You must commit to a Beachbody fitness program to work daily on your personal health journey, have BIG DREAMS and be willing to learn because I'm going to give you all of the tools and resources you will need to be successful, but YOU will have to do the work!!

APPLY HERE to join my GirlBoss Mentorship Program:…/barbelles-strength-dig…/

**Because there are always those crazy people out there looking to make great money without putting in any work, I have to mention that Beachbody does not guarantee any level of success or income! Each coach's income is dependent upon their level of effort, commitment, skill, and the work they put in!**

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fun Home Workout Challenges

Looking for a fun way to get some exercise from home?!  Try these unique workout circuits below and get your sweat on!!

Have a penny or a quarter in your pocket?!  

Pull it out and get to work!! 

Let's hope your name isn't as long as mine!!  LOL

Like card games?!  This one will give you a good workout!

Ready to feel the BURN?!

12 Days of Christmas!!  

Do 3 sets of these!

Roll the Dice 25 times!  

You will do 10 sets of each exercise!

GAME DAY!!  No excuses for not getting your 

workout in when you can exercise during the game!!

Pick your category and work your 

way from the top to the bottom!

Another fun card game!

It's always fun to switch things up and add a little variety into our workouts, right?!  Tell me which one of these workouts is your favorite once you've tried them!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Is Hello Fresh a Good Investment?

Received my very first box of Hello Fresh today!!  

All of the food arrives together in one big, 

insulated box like this!

Pretty cool how they also included the ingredient list of everything included right here on the side of the box!

Everything is super organized!  They had a welcome packet, a little book with each of my recipe cards, and 3 boxes of ingredients (one box per recipe)!

Big ice packs help keep the food cold 

while it ships to your house!

There are 3 options when you sign up: The Classic, The Vegetarian, and The Family box.  I selected the vegetarian box for this shipment and this week the recipes I got were: Rigatoni Al Forno, Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl, and Sweet Potato Nicoise Salad!  

This shows you how all of the ingredients are packed!  They give you the exact measurements of what you need so that everything is simple, healthy, and super convenient!  This is especially great when you're using "specialty" type ingredients that you don't use often because nothing goes to waste!  You use everything you are given!  The ingredients below are for the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad :)

Each of the recipes come together in a little book that you can save so that you can recreate these meals again another time!

The recipes walk you through step-by-step instructions that include pictures! They make it super simple for even the most "beginner" cooks!

Ingredients for my Sweet Potato Salad!

And for the Rigatoni Al Forno!

I jumped right in and prepared my first meal!  I decided to start with the Rigatoni--below is the eggplant that I cut up, ready to go in the oven!

Start to finish this recipe took me about 30 minutes! 

Soo...I'm following the 21 Day Fix meal plan, can I still eat this?!  Yes, I will definitely be indulging!  This is 100% homemade with healthy ingredients!  When I make this on my own next time, however, I will certainly substitute whole-wheat pasta noodles and homemade whole-wheat bread crumbs.  The biggest factor here is just going to be portion control!

I got out my yellow container and measured out 2 portions of the pasta (for me, I try to stick to 2 servings of carbs per day, following the 21 Day Fix plan).    

Ready to know what COMPLETELY SHOCKED me about my Hello Fresh order???  I was concerned about the price and whether or not it was going to be worth the money or not!  I ordered the smallest box, which was 3 meals, each for 2 people.  See the pasta photo above?  Look at how much was left after I plated my lunch today!! I continued to portion out what was left to put in the refrigerator for the rest of the week, and I seriously got FIVE meals out of this!!!  This one recipe was supposedly 2 servings, but if you're like me and you're following a healthy, portion-controlled meal plan, you will get WAY more than they say you are getting for what you pay!!  

Now, not only do I have lunch for the rest of the week ahead, but I still have two more boxes of deliciousness to prepare as well!!  If the other two recipes portion out the same way, this one small order of Hello Fresh will have given me 15 meals!!!

I should also mention how TASTY the Rigatoni Al Forno turned out!!  It included eggplant, garlic, onion, basil, fresh Mozzarella, tomatoes, Parmesan and bread crumbs!  It truly did taste so FRESH, I'm already looking forward to lunch tomorrow!!

So will I order Hello Fresh weekly?  No, I won't.  Believe it or not I actually love to grocery shop and this really isn't the most budget-savvy way to go, even though you get WAY WAY more than I expected for what you pay and I do think it's a good deal for the service that's provided!!  However, I will most certainly be ordering these on occasion when I know I have a busy week ahead or when we plan to have guests over!!  

Hello Fresh is coming highly recommended from me--I've loved every bit of this experience so far!  Can't wait to hear about your own experiences if you give this a try at home!

No More Competition! We are Better Together!

I feel like there is some sort of weird, secret competition within the fitness realm that needs to be discussed and eliminated. I’m talking about the judgement, both spoken and silent, between different groups of people who are all striving for a healthier lifestyle.

We’ve got:
*The gym-rats
*The running enthusiasts 

*The cross-fit athletes

*The home-workout fanatics

*The yoga lovers

And the list could go on and on, right?!

Here’s my question...why do people feel like they need to go all-in and sell out to one particular group? I mean, it seems to me like there is some unspoken animosity between the people who pursue fitness in these different ways!

“I would love to do an accountability group with you but I actually go to a gym!”
“I don’t do home-workouts, I do crossfit”
“I would love to become a coach but I’m just a total gym rat!”

These are all phrases that I have heard on many occasions from many different people! Why do the ways in which we get healthy have to be mutually exclusive? Why do so many people think that they can’t belong to a gym if they are an online health and fitness coach or that they can’t benefit from doing a workout from home if they do crossfit?


Whether you’re an avid runner, a spin instructor, a personal trainer, or a swimmer...I admire your drive to be healthy and I’m inspired by your pursuit of fitness. Can we be friends?? Can we support one another rather than compete? Can we blend together more to make the world a better place rather than widening the divide between us and communicating to those around us that “our way is the only way to optimal fitness”?

Yes, I’m an online fitness coach and I support people like you through home workout programs that I am crazy passionate about (because they work!!), BUT I also believe in many other fitness-focused ways of becoming a better you!

So, from one health-fanatic to another, keep ROCKING your active lifestyle--you’re so inspirational to the world. heart emoticon And, if you were looking for it, here’s your permission to break away from that one specific group and create your own hodge podge of workouts and nutrition to find a unique combination that works best for YOU!!

Coaching Gives Us GIRLFRIENDS

Strangers are just friends waiting to happen💗These girls are like my SISTERS!! 

We met online after each saying "yes" to becoming coach! We live in different states all across the country, yet we talk daily via social media and text--supporting, encouraging, and inspiring one another! We are in this business FOR ourself, but never BY ourself!!

My FAVORITE is when we get to come together and grow our friendship in person!! Not only did I meet my husband online, but being a coach has introduced me to some of the most amazing people in my life--all whom I've met on social media as well!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ethiopian Adoption Journey: The First Day I Saw My Children

One year ago on this day, Patrick and I were about a year and a half into our adoption journey. We had applied, gone through our training, and completed the very in-depth process called our "home study" to adopt two children under the age of two years old from Ethiopia. We were preparing both our hearts and our home for babies!

And then on this day, May 19th, 2015 at 1:30 in the afternoon as I sat at my computer doing some work, God intervened and He showed me these three beautiful children via a post in our private Facebook group. Our agency had recently started working with a new orphanage and these kids needed a family, but didn't match the criteria listed in any of the adoptive parent's applications, including ours. It is rare that our agency posts pictures of waiting children, and in fact, I only remember them doing this one other time in the past two and a half years.

The post was a simple note to families asking if anyone knew of anyone who might be interested in adopting these 3 African siblings. There was absolutely no information given, not even which country they were from.

My heart began race and something deep inside me instantly felt the connection. Patrick was already amazingly on-board with the wild idea of adopting two children, I couldn't imagine him considering THREE. And we had been talking about babies for so long, there's hardly anything about our adoption that would be the same if we adopted older children instead. Not to mention the fact that girls are requested 3:1 in Ethiopia and since we were open to either gender, we were told it was most likely we would be adopting two little boys, so BABY BOYS were what we were ready for! And from a financial perspective...was I CRAZY? Three older kids?!

This post I saw of the kids was online for a total of 2 minutes before I emailed our agency asking for more information. The email I received back said "Yes, I can give you a little bit more information. If your friend would like any other information please have them reach out to me."

HAHA, my FRIEND?? Needless to say, our agency rep was quite surprised when I told her that I was inquiring on our own behalf (though I didn't mention that Patrick knew nothing about this yet!)!

I learned that the kids were from Gambella, Ethiopia and they were currently 3, 5, and 9 years old. And as I stared at their sweet photos, I sobbed and I prayed. All day I wrestled with God trying to figure out why I felt so strongly about these three kids who I had never met and why He would put them so strongly on my heart when I just KNEW that there was no way Patrick would go for this! And I just KNEW that there was no way we could afford this. And I just KNEW that it was unrealistic.

But I just KNEW that these were OUR KIDS!

heart emoticon

And when God wrecks your plans to implement a more beautiful, perfect story for your life, He also works out all of the wrinkles!!

When I shared with Patrick that night what I had learned about the siblings, he was immediately intrigued and excited to learn more! WHAAAAAT?!?!

And the finances?? God has faithfully showed up!

We spent a couple of weeks researching, learning, and praying over these kids and the idea of adopting them, and on June 4th, Patrick and I, with more joy in our hearts than we've ever felt before, officially accepted a referral to become their mom and dad!

Please continue to pray with us that we can complete this process soon and bring our precious children HOME!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

His Power in Our Weakness

Why do we magnify our mistakes and our failures and overlook our achievements and successes?

You are your own biggest critic, isn’t that the truth?! The shouting voices of shame and guilt in our minds are not from God! Be still and listen for the soft whisper of GRACE, and grab hold of that!

And let’s open our eyes and CELEBRATE the things, both big and small, that we are doing well! Life is HARD; it’s constantly throwing us around and beating us up!

So maybe you haven’t given your kids a bath in three or four days, but you’ve remembered to feed him and show her a whole lot of love!  Good job mama, give yourself some GRACE!

Maybe you ate a bunch of junk food over the weekend while you’re trying to lose weight, but you still managed to do your workouts and be a good example to your family of the importance of exercise! Way to go girlfriend, show yourself some GRACE!

Perhaps you were angry and have said some really hurtful things to your husband this week, but you spent time praying over your relationship and reading a book about how you can improve your marriage. That’s what I’m talking about!! Now go apologize and give yourself some GRACE!

It’s time to focus the positives within ourselves, and quit flooding them out with the negatives! And when we are weak, let God’s strength shine through you!

2 Cor 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Paper-Pregnancy: The Journey of my Messy Heart

Wrestling our way through the emotions of this adoption is not easy.  I know that God is doing great things in and for us during this season of waiting and that we are called to praise Him in this deep valley.  Some days my eyes are fixed on Christ and I feel the incredible joy of His beautiful promises for us.  Other days, I try but my heart is focused only on what I can humanly understand, and all of that joy is clouded by my own tears of frustration, hopelessness, and anger towards the bureaucratic hoops that we are constantly having to jump through.  It doesn't seem fair and feels never-ending.

Then isn't fair.  I know that.  This is just how things are, why am I feeling sorry for myself?  I really should be more focused on our many blessings than on our trials.  

Do you see how this exhausting emotional roller coaster works?  My brain and my heart are constantly battling between my deep desire to know and glorify God through our journey and the pain that chips away at me every minute of every day that our kids are still in that orphanage and not here with us.  

Our three beautiful children have brought out an emotional side of me that never use to exist.  I don't often openly express these feelings, and in fact, I'm pretty darn good at keeping it all together in conversation.  Not even because I try to be, but somehow that's just natural for me. I will often say things like "yes, adoption is super hard, but the wait will make it that much sweeter when we do bring the kids home" or "we are soaking up our quiet time and enjoying our time just the two of us before things get crazy."  And these things that I say are some hidden part of my heart I really do believe them.  

When I am alone, however, my tears could probably fill the Mississippi. I cry when people have recently asked me how the process is going, and I cry when they forget to ask or avoid the adoption subject all-together.  After two and a half years of this process...I'm weary and I'm a big ol' mess.  And don't even get me started on all the weird things we do these days to try and feel close to our kids! It seems that every child we see, we discuss how old we think they are compared to G, A, and M. "Oh!  That boy looks about A's age!"  We're always asking other parents what their 4, 6, and 10 year old kids like to do and what their favorite things are to play with and what size shoes they wear. We've bought clothes in every size just to be sure we have something that will fit them when they first come home. Our date nights now are often watching kids movies on Netflix to filter through which ones we think will be best for them to see and which ones to avoid.  

We even toured the Children's Museum the other day and afterwards we went out to eat at a little African Cafe down the street. There was another adoptive family in there, a mom and her two young boys, both with their faces painted and I asked them if they painted their face at the museum.  The little one said "yes, were you there?", to which I responded "Yes, we were just over there!  We watched a bunch of kids get their faces painted!  Pretty cool!!"  Patrick nudged me and told me how creepy I sounded as we sat there, no kids in tow, saying that we had just been watching kids at the Children's Museum!  I agreed, that didn't come out as planned!  And we laughed...see?  There are some light-hearted moments thrown in here too!   

We are full of questions ourselves about why this process has to take so long and almost always without answers to give others when they ask for updates. 

I am, "paper-pregnant", as they call it in the adoption circles.  Except this pregnancy has no estimated end date.  Every holiday that passes, both American and Ethiopian, I pray that we won't miss another one as a family. Every birthday that goes by I cry that I missed another 365 days with our child. We have submitted full financial reports, mapped out emergency escape plans for our home, been through hours upon hours of official training, given access to all of our history and background checks, signed hundreds of papers, and sent in tens of thousands of dollars and we still don't have these sweet kids in our arms.  
And then I see their photos.  Every Friday I hit refresh on my email like a mad woman waiting for our weekly updates to come through.  I am beyond grateful to see their smiles and know that they are in good health for yet another week.  But I'm also sad. So, so sad to watch them growing up through photographs and being reminded that we are missing out on so much.  

Adoption is hard, and this is only our beginning.  So to my fellow adoptive moms going through this process, may I challenge you to consider this with me: it's both natural and even understandable to lose hope and feel pessimistic at times throughout this process.  However, what is natural and understandable is not always Godly, and we are always called to keep our eyes on Jesus and to be the LIGHT of the world--sharing with others the love, joy, and hope that is of His Kingdom.  May we give Him our best, even on our weakest days, and let His strength brilliantly fill in our gaps.  

I believe in a mighty God who moves mountains for His people.  I am thankful for a loving God who welcomes our tears, our questions, our fears, our frustrations, and our anxieties.  And His blessings are TRULY ABUNDANT amidst these difficult times. Let us continue to run into His arms, I have faith that He is working even when we don't see movement. 

Lord, write your promises on my heart so that in my times of great distress I can so strongly feel your presence and glorify you through our story.  And our kids, Lord Jesus, I pray that you keep them safe and healthy and always with HOPE.  Amen

Monday, May 9, 2016

You Are Awesome! OWN IT!

I think being WEIRD is FUN, okay?! And if you don’t relate to can get off my bus!! LOL

No, but seriously!! Why are we always trying to CHANGE who we are?! Why do we try to act differently around different types of people?! Why do we try SO hard to impress others?!

Think how boring the world would be if were all the SAME! We have hilarious, quirky, brilliant differences and these are what make us SPECIAL!!

So don’t tone down your loud laughter, spend your money on clothes you can’t afford, or try to hide your nerdiness to impress the world. Be YOU--straight up, 100%, all-in, without anxiety of others will think!

You are unique and really freakin awesome, so OWN IT!

Be CONFIDENT in who you are and in the person you continue to grow into!

“Don’t try to win over the haters; you’re not the jackass whisperer.” -Scott Stratten

(Also...this is what happens when you grab the wrong hair product, flip your head upside-down and spray!! haha)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Working From Home: The Freedom to be Your Own Boss!

As I casually walked into my living room just now to do some work, I got to life is drastically different than it use to be!

I should start by saying that I've always enjoyed my full-time jobs outside of coaching. I use to be a nanny and I got to spend my days raising little kids! Working with children has always been a true passion of mine. I was blessed to work for some incredible families who I love to this day as my own!

However, being my own boss and working on my own schedule is the BEST!!

I use to have to set several alarms in the morning to be sure I would wake up in time for work...NOW, I wake up when I want to!

I use to have rush out the door and battle with traffic every day, always stressed out that I wasn't going to get to work on time ...NOW, I wake up casually, brew some coffee, read a little bit of a good book, and my day starts off calm and stress-free!

I use to work for other people and have to request vacation time when I wanted to go somewhere (and as is typical with most jobs, PTO was limited)! Not to mention, since I worked with families, I would get serious anxiety over inconveniencing them with my personal plans...NOW, I can go anywhere, anytime, and choose to bring my work with me (or not to!) and never have to worry about losing income! STRESS-FREE!

I use to spend so much time and money commuting to and from work every day...NOW, I hardly spend any money on gas and I have a ZERO minute commute, which means extra time and money I can spend actually doing the things I love to do that I never use to have time for!

You've probably seen my hashtag ‪#‎yearofcreatingFREEDOM‬ that I use every day--and THIS is exactly what I'm talking about!

FREEDOM to do the every day things that we all do to the beat of YOUR OWN DRUM!

FREEDOM to work where you want, when you want, from wherever you want!

FREEDOM to live life on your own terms!!

FREEDOM to freakin pour yourself a nice glass of wine on the job if you feel like it!

These are the ways my life has changed over the past year and a half since I became a coach!

And coaching may or may not be for you--but I encourage everyone to take a true, hard look at what you are doing now and ask yourself if FREEDOM like this is worth pursuing for YOU and YOUR FAMILY!! 

Opportunities are knocking at your door, the only question is whether or not you will open it!!