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t r i b e s.

You’ve heard enough about me! Let me introduce you to some of my people…Let’s turn the tables and questions…starting with these lovelies who graced my life after moving to Baton Rouge.

The sequence of events leading up to me finding and knowing them has God’s fingerprints ALL OVER IT. I had been praying for what my friendship circle would look like in my new frontier. God heard my prayer and here’s how it went down…

I was job searching. I stopped at Style Encore. I met Julie Finical. Julie was the mostest and the best. Julie invited me to a Propel luncheon at the church Kurt and I were already attending. Julie and I loved Christine Caine. I attended said luncheon and she introduced me to everyone, including Claire. Claire found out I was looking for work and gave me her business card. Flash forward 3 months and I was looking online for home workouts and found some reFit videos. Loved them and wanted more. Went to the website and saw there were classes right here in Baton Rouge! Groovy! Saw Claire was an instructor. What?! That’s the girl from Propel! Found her business card in my wallet and texted about classes. She invited me and even met me there early to show me around. She introduced me to Lizzie. Lizzie introduced me to Sadie…Wednesdays soon became Wine Wednesdays and from this sequence of events we now have a group message on our phones known as the 225 Tribe. We share, encourage, pray, listen and love. It’s precious and I adore these women. I feel ridiculously blessed to have them in my life.

And here they are …..

C l a i r e.

 

 

 

claire
Claire and Ty.

 

Morning Person or Night Owl?

Morning!
Morning Routine?
Meditating and multitasking on steroids.  I start by drinking Spark. After a shower, I watch Joyce Meyer on TV while fixing my hair and putting on my makeup.  My husband, Ty, and I tag team a green smoothie for the 2 of us + breakfast for the children (usually hot breakfast for the hungry teenager).  There is always a little “tooth brushing, hair fixing, shoe finding chaos” despite our best efforts the night before.  When I drive carpool I am out the door by 7:15 and then I head straight to my office.  Ty takes several times a week so that I can fit in 30 minutes of housework or dinner prep.  Car time on the way to school or work is mandatory praise music.  As soon as I get to my desk I read 2-3 devotionals to “set my mind” for the day ahead.

…and night?
During the week it includes a stop at the gym followed by homework, family dinner, occasionally a family show like Cupcake Wars or Fixer Upper if there is time.  Bedtime prayers as a family in Lucy Claire‘s room are a must.  I usually sneak in a little reading or a TV show before I can’t keep my eyes open anymore!

You have $1000 and you have to spend it in one store in 30 minutes: where do you go?
H&M! I am decisive about the things I like to wear and I am frugal.  Everything is inexpensive and I love it all! I could RACK UP with $1000:)

What are you listening to?
I am always listening to whatever is in my current REFIT playlist!  Any music that inspires and makes me happy.

3 things you are loving right now?

I am a skincare/makeup product junkie and right now I am loving ALL THINGS “It Cosmetics” (amazing CC cream and concealer) and Wunderbrow.  I am also obsessed with my new slightly distressed rockstar skinny jeans from Old Navy (a bargain at $25).

What’s in your bag?

lipstick, powder, blush, a teasing brush, and head to toe moisturizing balm from Trader Joe’s for my dry, aging skin!

Who inspires you?

I am torn between 2 answers. Big thinkers and OVERCOMERS inspire me.  Big thinkers: I immediately think about The founders of REFIT who have become personal friends as well.  They had a vision that they could equip instructors to create community and show God’s love through a fitness format.  It has been amazing to be on the sidelines of their journey for the past 3+ years and witness their vision come to life! I am also inspired by any story about someone who has been through something terrible but then they come out stronger because of it (Romans 8:28 – right?!)

What connects you to God?

Praise and worship makes me feel more connected to God than anything else.

Favorite verse?

Romans 8:28.  When I face challenges it’s so comforting to know that all things are working together for my good because HE has it all under control.  I lost my dad 5 years ago … When he was living he quoted this verse often.

What tugs at your heartstrings?

In this season of life it’s when my 13 year old son, who is now 5’9″ and weighs more than me, looks me eye to eye and tells me I am the best Mom ever and he loves me so much.

Have you binge watched anything lately?

I don’t have time to binge watch TV but it sounds fun!  A few years ago I did binge watch the first 3 seasons of Downton Abbey.  I literally threw myself into insomnia over it!

Share a recipe:

This recipe is my GO TO when someone is sick, but it’s also a FAMILY FAV.  Easy, delicious and loaded with antioxidants.

Chicken, Spinach, Orzo Soup
Ingredients:
1 onion
6 Garlic cloves
1/2 bag baby carrots
1 red bell pepper
2 lemons
Bag spinach
Rotisserie chicken
White wine
Chicken Broth made from “Better than Boullion Soup Base”
Orzo pasta
Parmesan Cheese

1. In food processor chop: red bell pepper, onion, 6 garlic cloves, 1/2-2/3 of a bag of baby carrots.
2. Heat 1/4 c olive oil in a soup pot. Sauté chopped veggies in oil until tender.
3. Make chicken stock in batches using chicken soup base mixed with water – 12 cups total.  Add to veggies and bring to a low boil (simmering).
4. Add juice of 2-3 lemons and 1/2c-2/3c white wine.
5. Add 2/3c orzo pasta. Simmer 15 min.
6. Add meat from one rotisserie chicken.
7. Chop a bag of spinach. Stir and turn soup off.

*we both have a heart for chicken orzo soup! I’ll have to try her recipe next! Looks super yum!

 

L i z z i e.

lizzie 2
Lizzie and Aaron.

 

Morning Person? Night Owl?

Morning person for sure. I would be as happy as a lark if I could be in bed every night for 8:30pm.

Morning routine?

Snooze my alarm about 5 times (did I mention that I’m only a morning person on the weekends?); Stretch and then ease out of bed; Turn on the radio in my bathroom to Kidd Kraddick in the Morning; take a shower and get dressed; feed my animals; make my coffee;  kiss my hubby and off to work I go! My routine easily takes 1 hour but with each press of the snooze button, I convince myself that I can do it in 30 minutes or less.

Night routine?

Aaron and I always sit down to eat dinner together which usually doesn’t happen until later in the evening after the workouts and neighbor visits are done. After dinner, I bathe, moisturize my face (my favorite step in the routine), and then jump into my nest! I make it through about 5 minutes of TV before I’m out. The next thing I hear is the snooze button at 5:00am.

You have $1000 and you have to spend it in one store in 30 minutes: where do you go?

Oh…that’s easy. Hobby Lobby.

What are you listening to?

I’m a 90’s hip hop and rap kinda-girl. I grew up listening to Motown and the Golden Oldies thanks to my music-lovin’, jitterbuggin’ Daddy. Later in life, I fell in love with hip hop, New Orleans bounce music, and Southern Swamp Pop. My music library has sounds from Reba McEntire, to TobyMac, to Juvenile. So, what am I listening to now?  If you can dance to it and sing to it…I’m listening to it!

3 things you are loving right now?

 REFIT (If you don’t know, you betta ask somebody!); IT Cosmetics Build-a-Brow (if you suffer from the I-over-plucked-in-high-school look…try it!); the concept of finding joy in contentment. It’s hard for me to be content. I’m a mover and a shaker.  I’m living in the moment and finding the joy in each situation….and I’m loving it!

What’s in your bag?

I found total freedom when I started wearing cross body bags instead of oversized handbags…Freedom from back pain and freedom from the endless search for my keys in a sea of useless junk. But what is and will always be in my bag? Mary Kay Fancy Nancy Lip Gloss.

Who inspires you?

Hands down…my Daddy. My mom passed away when I was seven and my sister was nine. In what seems like the blink of an eye, he was left to raise two little girls all by himself. He literally never missed one of my sporting events…and I played every sport. He was, is, and will always be my biggest cheerleader. We may have eaten Hamburger Helper Stroganoff at least once a week, but we never went hungry. He never let us know of his pain or his struggles even though I’m sure they were nearly crippling to him at times. Looking back on what he sacrificed makes me just about as proud as I can possibly be. He is the reason why I think I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. And he is the reason why I can love myself and others whole-heartedly.

What connects you to God?

Music. Specifically, Christian music. I react to Christian music by crying. Like, tears rolling down my face involuntarily.  And they aren’t tears of sadness. They are tears of total and absolute love and gratitude. Someone once told me that those tears and that feeling is the Holy Spirit. I believe that.

Favorite Verse:

Jeremiah 29:11-13

“For  I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

What tugs at your heartstrings?

Animals. My dream is to own an animal sanctuary with my best friend.

Have you binge watched anything lately and if so what?

Giiiirl…I binge watch Real Housewives every chance I get!

Share a recipe:

Maw’s Sweet Pea Salad

My grandmother, Lillian Gonsoulin, was a sweet Cajun beauty from Loreauville, Louisiana. We had Sweet Pea Salad at every family holiday dinner. Maw cooked so well. She had this thing that she would say when she was done preparing dinner. Julie and I would be so eager to eat and Maw would say “It’s not quite ready yet.” The meal was actually done…it was just sitting there! What I’ve come to learn is that in those brief minutes (that seemed like an eternity when you were 9 years old), that’s where the magic happens and all the flavor is absorbed! Enjoy this Gonsoulin treat!

Ingredients:

3 cans of Le Sueur Petit Pois Pease (Very Young Small)

3 boiled eggs (diced) minus one yolk

2 tablespoons of Hellman’s Mayonnaise

¼ teaspoon of sugar

1 ½ teaspoon of minced garlic

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together, carefully, as to not crush the peas.

Remember, let it sit… “It’s not quite ready yet.”

S a d i e

sadie
Sadie and Kerald.

Morning Person or Night Owl?

This is me…

Seriously, I love a good snooze in the morning but I’m definitely more of a morning person

Morning routine?

Snooze the alarm at LEAST 3 times. Get up, take my fur baby Mar Man outside. Get in the shower then rush to do my hair and makeup, put on 2 or 3 outfits before I settle on one, which is a total time killer yet I never learn to just pick out my outfit the night before…scramble 1 egg and throw it in the microwave, scarf it down then I’m out the doe!

Nightime?

Netflix and a glass of wine (sometimes/most times?) sign of cooking…never, mostly take out and cereal – don’t judge me. Wash my face and I’m in bed by 9:30

$1000 to spend in one store in 30 minutes, where and what?

DSW but of course! Shoes are bae.

What are you listening to?

Country music has my heart so I love me some old time George Strait. Right now Chris Stapleton and Whiskey Myers have my attention. I listen to reggae; Bob Marley when I’m feeling creative or needing to feel creative! Black Keys on my Spotify at least 4x a week ANNNND some random Toby Mac and Taylor Swift on Pandora.

3 things you are loving right now?

Boxing/Kickboxing class! My doTerra essential oils…. All of them… and my Farm Fresh hat I just bought at the vintage market! I seriously wanna wear it every day!

What’s in your bag?

More like, what isn’t in my bag?!

  1. Most of my mail/bills
  2. Makeup bag
  3. Wristlet
  4. Fingernail polish… hot pink!
  5. 3 travel size perfume bottles
  6. Multi-vitamins
  7. On Guard doTerra Protective blend softgels – love these!
  8. Travel size dry hair shampoo
  9. Lavender essential oil roller bottle
  10. Bug spray
  11. Hotel sized lotion bottles (2 to be exact)
  12. A mini emergency kit – which has 17 small things one must have at all times!
  13. 3 koozies…. never know when you’re gonna need to open up a cold one!
  14. My checkbook
  15. Bandaids
  16. Cough drops
  17. Earrings
  18. Medicine
  19. Pens
  20. Teeth whitening strips
  21. Peppermints
  22. Peppermint wrappers and other candy/gum trash.. cant leave that out and yes I just threw them away.
  23. Breath mints
  24. Deodorant
  25. Old pictures
  26. A broken necklace
  27. And last but not least… A little toy solider

Who inspires you?

My husband, Kerald. This guy is a rockstar and his willingness to always be better inspires me to want to do better, plus I have a very competitive spirit so he can’t be getting all wise and stuff without me trying to out do him!

What connects you to God?

God’s love for me connects me to him. I have to take time for just him to refuel and feel His love and I do this through my morning devotions and through prayer. It truly does regulate my spirit.

Favorite verse?

Soooooo many of them!!!! God is within her she will not fall – Psalm 46:5. I have made you. I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you- Isaiah 46:4. I can do all things through him who gives me strength – Philippians 4:13 and of course; Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.   It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.   It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

What has your heartstrings?

Little kitties! And rescued animals… well ALL the animals. Also adoptions, I love love love hearing about baby adoptions, it literally makes my heart melt. So I guess rescue stories tug at my heart ha!

Binge watched anything lately?

Ummm YES Netflix is my homie. Fuller House, Hart of Dixie, Revenge, New Girl and I’m currently watching Fixer Upper.

Share a recipe:

This is my FAVORITE recipe of ALL TIME — my husband cooks it for me:

Spiced Chipotle Honey Chicken with Sweet Potatoes!

here is the link

Oh my goodness I love these girls. Is it any wonder?! They fuel me. encourage me. inspire me and lead me to be a better me! So thankful! We may only see each other once or twice a week, and sometimes less than that, but I know that they are in my tribe.

They are on my side.

 

…and I am on yours.

love gina

 

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