Bikini Series 2018 | Week 6 Re-Cap | #TIU

Hello friends!

Happy Monday!

I cannot believe it’s week 7 of the Bikini Series already!

It has been a busy week of fitness for me. I added in the Summer Body Challenge with Tracy Campoli and it was so much fun! I love working out with her and this challenge, she hosted live workouts. So amazing! If you’ve never heard of her, you have to check her out! She has a YouTube channel filled with a variety of workouts and inspiration. She also has a monthly subscription for ladies who want to take their workouts to the next level. (It’s closed right now, but you can sign up for email notifications to find out when she opens it up again.) She’s the real deal and I adore her!

I’m proud to say that I worked out every single day this week. Woot Woot! Most of those were morning workouts and I logged three cardio sessions.

Who is she? hahahahahahhaha!

So.. moment of truth.

Measurement time.



Sigh. It’s really hot, so that means I can subtract 5 inches right? Kinda like when you are fully clothed, wearing jeans, a sweater, and boots, and you have to step on a scale – you subtract at least 5 pounds because of clothing. haha!

Maybe I should have stood in front of the freezer for a few minutes before doing this. haha!

Okay.. good news and bad news.

Bad news – I gained .25 inches in my right thigh.. um what?

Good news – I lost:
-.25 inches around my stomach
-.25 inches around my hips
-.25 inches around my right arm

I stayed the same everywhere else. So a total of half an inch lost.


Being 30 is great.. minus how slow it takes to see results. But you know what? At least I’m moving in the right direction, albeit slowly. I’ll keep working hard and we’ll revisit this again in two weeks.

Fitness is a lifestyle and a journey.

Time to get moving.




A Fitness Guide for Summer

Hello friends!

Happy Sunday!

Summer is upon us…

Time for cute dresses, shorts, tank tops… and swimsuits! Today I am sharing my favorite exercises to help you get everything tight and toned so you feel confident in whatever you are wearing!


This is my ultimate guide to getting fit for summer. I give you my favorite exercises to lose fat, tone up, and look amazing!

The Best Exercises to Get Fit for Summer



If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend that you do!

If you are looking to tone up a certain trouble spot, try one of these options below:

For tank tops and dresses:

The Best Arm Workouts for Women


In this article, I break down my favorite exercises for tight, toned arms.


For those cute crop tops and your bikini:

The Best Ab Workouts for Women


In this article, I break down my secret to obtaining a sleek and sexy midsection.


For those cut-off shorts and bikini bottoms:

The Best Booty Workouts for Women



In this article, I break down my favorite exercises for a lifted and toned rear view.

If you are looking to switch up your normal routine or are curious about the workouts I like to do, check out these options below:

5 Amazing YouTube Fitness Channels for Womenย 


In this article, I share my five favorite YouTube channels, guaranteed to have you sweating and feeling amazing!

If you are interested in yoga:

3 Best Yoga YouTube Channels for Beginners


These channels are my go-to’s for a guided yoga practice.


I hope these are helpful to you! Share your favorite summer tone up tips in the comments!



Bikini Series 2018 | Week 5 Re-Cap | #TIU

Hello friends!

Happy Monday!

I can’t believe we’re entering week 6 of the Bikini Series already. This past week flew by.. I have so many amazing things coming up this summer and I am so excited! I now also have a little more motivation to kick it in gear and achieve my goals.

This past week I took it easy to try not to get any worse. Last Monday was a beautiful, sunny day. I went outside with my son for about an hour. The sunshine was warm and felt amazing on my skin. I did all of my yoga in the backyard and we made a little bee friend.



From Wednesday on, I was pretty consistent. I did cardio three times this week and made my morning workout each day. Goals met! Crushed it.


This week, I’m upping the intensity and amount of workouts to try to accelerate my goals. Tracy Campoli has a new Summer Body Challenge, a week of live workouts. I’m going to be joining in on that. I’m planning on adding in more Tonique and Tracy Anderson workouts, as well. All of that is in addition to my daily yoga practice and the Bikini Series. It’s going to be a busy week! haha!

Next week, I will take measurements..

So it’s time to get to work!


5 Simple Tips to De-Stress

Hello friends!

Happy Sunday!

Today I am sharing my top tips to de-stress, get rid of frustration, and eliminate the negative energy left behind from bad memories.

Let’s jump in!

  1. HIIT

There’s nothing like an intense cardio session to combat stress, frustration, and negative energy. High Intensity Interval Training is the best remedy and will help you torch calories! You can customize your own HIIT workout, alternating bouts of heart-pumping cardio with powerful strength moves. I love squats, kicks, and punches! Destroy what destroys you in a healthy way. I love Tracy Campoli’s HIIT workouts. She has an entire playlist on her YouTube channel filled with options, ranging from 5 minutes up to 30 minutes. This one ย is my favorite.


2. Take A Deep Breath

There are many things in this life that are completely out of our control. But the one thing you can control is your reaction. When you are stressed to the max, filled with frustration, pause for a moment. Close your eyes if you’d like. Take a deep breath. Exhale. slowly. Then take another deep breath. Hold it for a count of 4. Exhale slowly. Repeat a few times or until you feel a little more calm.


3. Yoga

Haha! You knew it was coming! Mindful movement really does help. You don’t need any fancy equipment, expensive clothes, or a gym membership to do yoga. You can do it right at home. I love Yoga With Adriene. She is kind, compassionate, understanding, and makes yoga accessible to everyone. She has a variety of videos specifically for stress, anxiety, anger, moodiness.. there’s something for everyone. This is the one I’ve been loving lately.

Yoga and coffee — my two favorites.


4. Lose Yourself In Another World

Sometimes the best thing to do is take a break, refresh, and refocus so you can return to your project or situation with fresh eyes and a fresh mind. Transport yourself to another world for a while. Curl up and read a good book. I love Ken Follett, Steve Berry, Natasha Mostert, Ted Dekker, and currently, I’m reading Game Of Thrones. If reading isn’t your thing, curl up on the couch with a good movie or TV show. I love the documentaries and old movies available on Netflix.

One of my all time favorite novels.


5. Laugh It Off

Laughter is the best medicine. A sense of humor can get you through most anything in life. If you have a smart phone, ask Google, Siri, Cortana, whomever to tell you a joke. Browse the humor category on Pinterest. Look up some funny videos on YouTube. A few minutes of lightheartedness will help ease stress and leave you feeling a little more relaxed.


This always makes me laugh.

What are some of your favorite ways to de-stress? Let me know in the comments!


Have a great week!



Bikini Series 2018 | Week 4 Re-Cap | #TIU

Hello friends!

Happy Monday!

We are officially on summer break!!

And it seems I’m coming down with a slight cold. I took it easy yesterday and I have plans to do the same today. I have some exciting plans this week, so I want to make sure I don’t get any worse.

But it is time to recap week 4 of the Bikini Series. There isn’t too much to report this week…ย  although, I must say, I did the Flex Friday pose and my bicep is looking better and better.

Good morning friends! โ˜•โ˜•โ˜• I missed #TIUFlexFriday, so here’s my #TIUFlexSaturday ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜‚ . . . And hey there little bicep. It’s nice to see you again ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿค— . . #TIUBIKINISERIES ๐Ÿงœโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‘™ #TIUBootyCall ๐Ÿ‘ – Carmen Electra workouts 1 and 2 โœ… 3 miles toward #100bysummer – #TIUMermaid workout โœ… – Tracy Campoli standing abs โœ… – Tracy Campoli 10 min amazing arms โœ… . . . Amazing workout this morning! I think I deserve some more #coffee ๐Ÿ˜‹โ˜• . . . @toneitup #tiucheckin #butfirstcoffee #tiuohio #TIUTeam #tiugirl #fitness #intention #fitspo #inspiration #redhairbeauty #messyhair #thisis30 #goals #tiuliftmeup #trainlikeanangel #sweatyselfie #gratitude #caffeinatedaf

A post shared by Alyssa (@crimsnmacchiato) on


This past week, I decided to switch it up. For cardio, I traveled back in time to 2009ish. I did Carmen Electra’s Aerobic workout and her hip hop dance routine. It was so much fun and a welcome break from traditional cardio. I did manage to fit in two cardio sessions this week, which means I met my goal. I’m down to 74 miles left for the summer. I do need to get cracking on that, though. We’re on week 5 and only have 3 weeks left.

I missed two days of workouts this week. One day, simply because I ran out of time in my day. The other because it was son’s last day of school and our day was filled with activities.

The biggest struggle was acclimating to the heat. Last year, I loved it. This year, it’s a little more difficult to get myself in that mindset. I really have to dig deep to get through the workout. But, I manage to get it done, which is all that matters.

Now that summer break is officially here, my plans are to get my workout in early. Minus this cold, it’s a great plan. haha! I’m still going to be moving, whether it’s a simple yoga session or mindful movement within a more gentle workout.

It’s almost noon now as I type this and enjoy my coffee. A late start to the week, but a start nonetheless.

Let’s go week 5!


11 Powerful Quotes to Inspire Confidence

Hello friends!

Happy Sunday!

This week I thought I’d share some tips and quotes to help you feel confident and ready to tackle any task that comes your way this month.

Having confidence in yourself and your ideas is paramount to success. People are naturally drawn to those who are self-assured. The ones who have a go-getter attitude, who seem to accomplish everything with ease and grace. These are the people who have a positive, upbeat persona, don’t let the little things get them down, don’t allow set-backs to stand in their way. They are organized, take action, and have an air of confidence.

If this is an area where you’ve been lacking lately, no worries! Click here to read:
8 Simple Ways to Boost Confidence — My top tips on how to rediscover or draw out your own inner confidence!

And for more inspo… I’ve compiled a list of my favorite kick-ass confidence quotes to get you fired up and ready to put your best foot forward!

Let’s jump in!

Everything that you want to be,you already are,andyou're simply on the path of discovering it.

Attitude is everything.Own the room.Don't wait for permission.Worry less, do more.Invest in accessories.Don't settle for boring.Follow your passion.Ask for what you want.Never let fear s

The woman who does not requirevalidationfrom anyone is the most feared individualon the planet.

Confidenceis not,_they will like me._Confidenceis,_I'll be fine if they don't._

Just believe in yourself.Even if you don't,pretend that you doand at some point,you will.

Confidencecomes not fromalways being right,but fromnot fearing to be wrong.

Show upin every single momentlike you'remeant to be there.

I am not what has happened to me.I am who I choose to become.

Don't compare yourself to others.That's when you start to lose confidence in yourself.

If you improve by1%everydayWithin a year,you'll have improved by365%

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.Small people always do that,but the really greatmake you feel that you, too,can be great..jpg



May Favorites – 2018 Edition

Hello Friends!

May is complete, which means it’s time for another edition of monthly favorites! I have quite a list this month.

Let’s jump in!

Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Lotion


I love the smell of coconut.. it reminds me of summer… warm weather, beautiful sunshine, lazy days at the beach… my favorite season. I’ve tried another name brand coconut lotion in the past and it’s awesome, aside from the hefty price tag and the little bottle. On a trip to Wal-Mart back in April, I was in the lotion aisle, comparing and contrasting lotions. I really wanted that coconut lotion, but I just couldn’t reconcile the price. As I stood staring at the shelves, I spotted this cocoa butter lotion on the bottom. The large bottle caught my eye, along with the yellow price tag: $2. (give or take) I thought, why not give it a try? Oh my goodness, friends! What a steal! I used it that veryย  night and fell in love. It’s creamy, it glides on the skin like silk, and the smell… heaven! My skin is so soft and maintains that feel all day. I use this everyday and I’ve only used up a quarter of the bottle. This stuff is amazing, and if you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend that you do!


Aussie 3 min Miracle


By now, you all know that I have extremely long, thick hair. It’s a vibrant red, my signature. But it’s also a pain in the tush to take care of sometimes. The past few months, the weather has been so ridiculous.. cold, dry, wet, snowy, warm – rinse and repeat. The constant change in temperature left my hair so dry and stringy. The deep conditioner I love isn’t readily available in the tub near me. I can get a small packet of it for a dollar and some change, but that would be good for one use on my strands. Not worth the value at all. I browsed the shelves for something new and landed on Aussie’s 3 min miracle. I’ve used this in the past and loved it, but I typically don’t buy it because it only lasts me two weeks. However, Wal-Mart had two packs of it on sale and I opted for this over something new. I’m glad I did. I love Aussie’s products and this hasn’t disappointed. I haven’t tapped into the second bottle yet and my hair is so soft and silky. Now if I could just break down and get a hair cut…


Olay Pro-Retinol Eye Treatment and Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream

Disclaimer: I received the Olay Pro-Retinol Eye Treatment and Microsculpting cream complimentary for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.


If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my posts about these products. I received these complimentary samples to try from The Insiders. I am so happy I was selected to participate in this campaign because these products have drastically improved my skin! My eyes look brighter, my skin is radiant and soft, my face looks amazing! I’m almost out of my samples and I’m going to have to purchase full sized bottles next time I go to the store. I went to the dermatologist last week and my doctor was even impressed at how amazing my skin looked. If you are 30+, definitely check out these products! I highly recommend them!


Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer



I love being tan. When I was in my early 20’s, I was always going to TanPro. I loved the lotions and laying in the warm bed. It was so relaxing. About a year and a half into it, my husband noticed three purple spots on my shoulder. It looked a little like skin cancer and I got freaked out. Needless to say, I had to give up my love of the tanning bed. But I still wanted to be tan. I’ve tried many different products, some were successful, some made me orange. This year I decided to give this Jergens lotion a try. Wow! They’ve definitely improved their formula! After three days, I noticed a little glow to my skin and I could see a difference in the quality of my skin in my yoga photos on Instagram. It’s the slightest bit of color, not a bronzed tan, but more of a sun-kissed glow. I love it!


Epsom Salt


All of these new workouts plus the changes in weather have left my muscles feeling achy. Thank goodness for epsom salt! I love a hot epsom salt soak. It’s so relaxing and really helps my muscles recover from all the work I’m making them do. Wal-Mart had bins of 1lb. bags for 88 cents. What a deal!! Each time we go, I grab a few to stock up.




I have a confession my friends. I love soda. More specifically.. diet soda. Even more specific… diet Mountain Dew. Now, before you get on my case, I know it’s not healthy. I know it’s bad for me. But it’s soooo good! However, I know that I need to cut my habit and drink more water. On hot summer days, I definitely crave plain old ice water. But let’s be real, plain water is hard to drink sometimes. There’s really no flavor, it’s bland, and it just doesn’t quench that thirst, ya know? So, I decided to give these Mio flavors a try. I’ve used Mio in the past and loved it. Again, I understand it’s not good for me. But I figure — at least I’m drinking water. And I have been! I drink more water when I add a little Mio to it. I have been slowly weaning myself off of the sweetness and getting back to drinking regular ice water. Now that it’s hot out, I’m craving that ice cold water. So refreshing! If you are having an issue with breaking your soda habit, I’m sharing my top tips to help you kick the can to the curb. Read the tips here.


Bacon Wrapped Chicken


My husband and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary this month. We enjoyed a lovely, relaxing day at home, spent the afternoon chatting with our dear friends and neighbors, and made this delicious dish for dinner. It is so yummy!! Get the recipe here.



The 49th Mystic – Ted Dekker


Ted Dekker released a new novel this month and it was an amazing read! If you’ve never read a Ted Dekker, this is the one to read.

“Welcome to all thingsย Beyond the Circle, a wild journey of discovery set in the worlds of The Circle (Black, Red, White, Green). It doesn’t require reading those books, but will add layers of meaning for those who have.ย Take a deep dive into a nail-biting story that covers two volumes, both delivered in 2018. Continue that journey with a companion book that will blow your mind.
It all begins withย The 49th Mystic,ย a wild quest story that will draw you in and refuse to let you go.”
I finished this in a week and I cannot wait for October for the second installment!

Lego Pinball Machine


I saved my most favorite thing for last. My son made this Lego Pinball Machine for me for Mother’s Day.ย  It’s a real working pinball machine! I was so happy when he presented it to me — Pinball is one of my favorite arcade games. He is incredibly creative with his Lego creations!


Well, that’s it for me this month. What were your favorite things? Share them in the comments! Also, feel free to leave a link to your post or video if you made a May Favorites. I’d love to check it out!

Bikini Series 2018 | Week 3 Re-Cap | #TIU

Hello friends!

Happy Monday!

It week 4 already for the Bikini Series! Time is flying by. I took my measurements this morning….

Overall, I lost a total of 1.75 inches..

I gained half an inch around my stomach (Although to be fair, I wasn’t feeling well last night and still not feeling great this morning.)

I lost 1.5 inches around my waist. (Yes!)

I gained half an inch around my left thigh, but lost a quarter of an inch around my right thigh. (um..?)

I lost an inch around my left arm, but stayed the same around my right.

Not great, but not too bad. I’ve already done 40 minutes of cardio this morning and it’s going to be hot this week.. so I think I’m on the right track.

This past week wasn’t too bad. I only missed one day of working out. ๐Ÿ™‚

As for my goals:

I fit in 2 morning workout sessions. My goal is three, but I’m not going to be myself up about it.

I did get 3 cardio sessions in this week. My goal is two, so I exceeded this one! ๐Ÿ™‚

My son is finally feeling better, too. This is his last week of school and we are both looking forward to summer break!

And more good news.. I think my shadowban is over! Finally! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m looking forward to this next week! It’s been so hot… which means it’s easier to sweat and burn calories!



Life is a Journey: Check-in and Re-Evaluate — May Edition

Hello friends!

Happy Sunday! I hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Here we are at the end of the month. As most of you know, I dedicate this post to focusing on goals. I think this is the perfect time to check-in with yourself, taking time to reflect:

-What you’ve been doing.

-If you’ve been working on your goals.

-If you’ve slipped up. If you have, why?

-How are you feeling?

And then evaluating your current goals, adjusting as necessary. There’s nothing wrong with abandoning a goal if it no longer serves you. Set a new goal if necessary, maybe something more realistic, maybe something more risky. Whatever speaks to you. Create an action plan.. figure out how you’re going to achieve that goal. And then get started!

There’s no better time than the present. I was rewatching Carpool Karaoke the other day, and chose the one with Sir Elton John. It’s one of my favorites and something he said stuck with me.

You’re not. It’s so simple, but I think we forget.

Elton has two young sons at the age of 71; Betty White is in her 90’s, still acting and being amazing; Phil Collins announced that he was going on tour: Not Dead Yet – hahahahahahha! But seriously.. you’re never too old.

Watch James and Elton:


Let’s make June amazing!

Have a great week friends!

Bikini Series 2018 | Week 2 Re-Cap | #TIU

Hello friends!

Happy Monday!

What a week.

What a week.

I felt a little off all last week… and the pinnacle point was Thursday morning. I woke up to a fire in my shoulder and sharp aches in my lumbar spine.


I don’t actually know. I’ve been very mindful of warming up my back before attempting any back bend moves… and since doing yoga regularly, I don’t typically have any real back issues. The shoulder is par for the course.. That’s been bothering me for awhile. So, no workout on Thursday.. I spent the morning attached to my heating pad, had ibuprofen, and reminisced Will Ferrell’s scene in Talladega Nights…

We celebrated our anniversary and had a nice, quiet day, but our son is now not feeling well. So, no one is doing that well at the moment.

But, there is always something for which to be grateful… We did manage a yummy yoga flow with Adriene yesterday. It was nice to get on the mat and stretch.


I didn’t meet each of my goals this week:

I worked out 2x’s in the morning (goal is 3)

However, I did meet my cardio goal:

I did HIIT on Tuesday and pulled out my Air Climber on Wednesday.
A total of 4 miles toward #100bysummer
Only 90 miles left to go!

So, technically, I missed three days of working out this past week.

I’m a little disappointed, but it happens. That’s life. So this week, I’m going to make a point to get on my Air Climber for cardio as often as I can. I will definitely get it in twice, but ultimately, as long as my body is feeling okay, I will get on it everyday. Other than that, I’m just planning on getting in more Tracy Anderson and Tonique as long as my body allows it.

As far as that shadowban issue goes… I’m reporting it everyday to Instagram. I hope it gets resolved soon.

I’m looking forward to week 3. Next week is measurement time. We’ll see if I’ve made any progress.

Let’s get to work!