A Leap of Faith in Poland…Finding Family Roots in Auschwitz

National Holocaust Remembrance Day is April 27, 2014. This is a repost from my adventures in Poland a few years ago, and the adventure of finding my great grandmother’s records at Auschwitz in Krakow Poland.

He never knew his grandmother. She died before he was even a twinkle in his own mothers’ eye. That was why one of the first places I had to travel on my adventures in Europe was to the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Krakow Poland to pay tribute to the woman I had been partially named after, and to give my dad a chance (even if it was just in seeing her name) to try to put the pieces together of what had happened in our family more than 70 years before. Continue reading

What’s Your Excuse? What can the Facebook Fitness Mom teach us about Success?


Maria Kang, a mother of 3 and fitness blogger, has been getting a ton of backlash for posting a photo of herself showing off her scantily clad, yet toned physique alongside her 3 young boys with the above caption: What’s YOUR excuse?

Although intended to be inspirational, the photo seemed to rub many people the wrong way and Kang received a barrage of negative comments. In response, she posted the following “apology” on her Facebook page, which has since received over 16 million views:

What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn’t create them. You created them.

Perhaps Ms. Kang’s choice of words may have been a bit harsh, and rather than dousing the fire she fanned the flame. Yet should she really have to apologize when her original intention was to inspire and motivate? Have you ever watched Jillian Michael’s on the Biggest Loser? She isn’t exactly all roses and cupcakes when she’s trying to push people through to get better results.

As a mother of 3 young children (the youngest being 8 months old when she took the photo) as well as running two successful businesses, Maria’s message was that if she could find the time, others could too. Is that to say that fitness and a 6 six pack of abs should be everyone’s priority? No. Is it saying that only fit women can be beautiful? Of course not. She is simply showing that she had a goal, and despite other obstacles, was able to accomplish it.

What do successful people do that failures don't?

What do successful people do that failures don’t?

Why is it that when we see someone achieving success we are so quick to judge them, or make our own excuses as to why we can’t have the same results? Rather than being inspired and motivated, we become the victim and refuse to take responsibility for our own actions, which in turn gives us the results we are unhappy with.

Rather than looking at the work that was accomplished to get where she is at, they allow her results to be a reflection of their own insecurities, and in my opinion miss the entire point that Mrs. Kang was trying to make.

It’s always annoying when I talk to people about traveling the world and when asked why they don’t travel themselves, an immediate flood of excuses comes: I don’t have enough money, I have kids, I have no one to travel with. These are merely obstacles. If you want something bad enough, there is always a way to work around those obstacles.

Success in any endeavor, whether that be in lifestyle, fitness, wealth, business, or relationships, requires action and persistent effort. I once heard success described as “the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” We all have our own ideals and priorities to strive for, and there are going to be obstacles and challenges along the way. These are what help build the character (or muscles) to become who and what we are striving to be, and are just merely part of that journey.

So the next time you catch yourself giving excuses for your own success or hating on someone else for accomplishing their own goals, stop and take a moment to think about the results you currently are receiving in your own life and how happy or unhappy you are with those results. If you are not happy, perhaps it might be wise to take a moment to listen to those who have paved their own way through a similar (or maybe even different journey) and plan and take your own action steps to change, rather than putting them down for accomplishing theirs. What are we? A bunch of jealous high school girls?

To Maria, I say: You Go Girl! Rock on with your bad self!

What’s your opinion of the photo and all of the backlash from it? Do you feel inspired or offended by her photo? Please write your comments below, and if you enjoyed this article, sign up for our weekly newsletter to receive more tips and tricks on how to live YOUR best life wright now!

My Top 5 Adventure Tours

My first canyoneering experiencing in the French Alps.

If you couldn’t tell already, I LOVE adventure. So many of the activities and tours that I choose to participate in center around getting that extra boost of adrenaline. Because I save so much money in some of the other areas I travel, tours are something I am happy spend a little more money on (especially if it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.) I have listed my top five here (so far) based on the level of adrenaline they provide as well their pricing.

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Where did Corned Beef even come from? 5 Food Myths and their real Origins

Another Saint Patricks day. A day full of parades, drunk college kids, the annoying pinch if you forgot to wear grean, and the delicious smell of corned beef simmering in a pot, filled to the brim with cabbage, pototoes, and carrots. As we prepared to sit down for our “Irish” feast to celebrate the holiday, (a tradition in my family since I was a little girl)  I thought back to my travels in Ireland last year. The funny thing was, I couldn’t remember ever seeing the salty feast on a single menu. But isn’t it a “traditional” Irish feast? The answer, unfortunately no. While I’m bursting that bubble, I thought I would dispel a few other food myths I learned on my travels. Continue reading