Sparkly & Slimming….a Weight Loss Blog

Samantha's journey to slim down, while remaining sparkly!

The Best of 2013!

I always love reading end of year lists – best songs, movies, moments etc. I decided to put together my very own Sparkly and Slimming – Best of 2013 list. 🙂

best of 2013

Best workout song – Oooh so many to choose from! I have to say Lil Jon “Work” – we do this at Studio Poise in Danielle’s class and at the YMCA with Stef and I just LOVE it.

Best workout – this has to be the Sunday/Monday Zumba classes this week – we did all the favorite songs from the year and a ton of friends were in attendance (including my BFF Jewels taking her first Stef Sweeney class! Woo!). Zumba has to be one of the best things to happen to me this year – I’ve shaken my ass off (and lost 47 pounds from this time last year!!). made new friends and truly found cardio I LOVE doing.

Best trip – In May I took a whirlwind trip with my sales manager to Atlanta/Chicago/Detroit. The trip was excellent from a work relationship/meeting perspective but also from a food/fun perspective (we ate at some great places!). Sadly it was also the last time I got to see my aunt before she passed. However, I’m happy for this memory because as always she reminded me of the important things in life (appreciating sunsets, getting lost and found again and spending time with my Mom!).

Sunset from my aunt's hospital room - there was something very powerful about capturing this moment and sharing it with her.

Sunset from my aunt’s hospital room – there was something very powerful about capturing this moment and sharing it with her.

Best song for aimless driving (a favorite pastime of mine!) – Don’t Stop Believin” by Journey is always the right answer – but given that’s not new I’ll have to vote for “Take Care” Drake and Rihanna – I’m not a huge fan of either artist but this song is just my JAM in the car especially. My favorite line is “You hate being alone and you ain’t the only one – you hate the fact that you bought the dream and they sold you one“. Truth.

Best treat – I found a company called Sugarfina on Instagram and their cute candies looked almost too good to eat – I bought some for Christmas for stockings and mine were gone by the 30th. Haha. Highly recommend the Champagne Bubbles or the Peach Bellinis. Mmmm.


Best epiphany – Sometimes letting go really does make you stronger than holding on. In personal relationships and with organizations you were once devoted to. Patronizing a place that mocks and belittles their clients isn’t good for soul – and finally accepting that I was better than the behavior I encountered was a powerful moment (see: A Lesson Betrayal).


Best quote – Ooooh so many to choose from! I think I will go with “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” – Buddha. Thanks to my friend Stephanie for posting this on Facebook!


Best accomplishment – I have two—- conquering my fear of actually going to Zumba and then falling in LOVE with classes (and being able to keep up!!) AND fitting in to a tank top from Lululemon that my friend Stasia bought me in January for my birthday. When I first tried it on I couldn’t get it past my shoulders! Woo!

Best new food obsession – ARUGULA! So delicious and so versatile! It goes with every salad, you can wilt it and it tastes amazing without any dressing. Roasted beets (with goat cheese) might a close second.


Magic in a bowl!

Best new habitCutting out the salt! Who knew salt made SUCH an impact?! I am less bloated, less sore and overall much happier!

Best book read – “The Good Cop”  by Brad Parks (I love a crime novel!) for pleasure and “The In-Between” Jeff Goins for blog research – this was one of the best books I’ve ever read – so good I’m actually rereading it!

Best new TV show – Oh god I can’t choose! “The Americans” is tied with “House of Cards” – you need to see both!

TV shows

Best new accessory – I am shocking myself right now but I am going to say a naked face! I love being comfortable enough with myself to leave the house without makeup. 🙂


This is me as I write this blog post! No makeup – hair in a messy bun and ya know what? I think I’m pretty!

Of course this wouldn’t be a Best Of post without a few funny ones…..

Best phrase I cannot wait to retire: TOTES. I freaking hate it when people say “Totes” instead of totally! Drives me batty.

Best band I can’t wait to stop hearing: ONE DIRECTION! I hope they fall off the earth in 2014!

Best meme I saw all year: Thanks to my brother for sending this gem along! LOL.


Thank you all for reading – messaging me – commenting and being my support system. I am a lucky girl to know so many fabulous people!!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year


Random Friday Thoughts!

<< Editor’s Note: My mom informed me my sunglasses are actually Gucci. I’m sorry Patrizio di Marco, please forgive me! >>


Thursdays are my least favorite day. I have tough meetings in the morning that try my patience. I usually dread Thursday. Until I found barre method @ 7:30 with Julianna….that made my Thursday way more bearable. 😉

Yesterday was way more than just bearable – it was an amazing day!

The weather was glorious – sunny with a little breeze (80s!). I looked cute (I’ll go ahead and be completely vain – when I look cute I feel better. Sue me). I got my hair done last night and it looked all perfect still (only my hair dresser can get my hair this shiny!). I got to work and had a nice email waiting in my inbox from one of my problem children clients. Always nice! The rest of the the day rolled through with laughs and good meetings (a first, literally).

Here I am with sleek pretty hair on lunch (note my new Michael Kors Gucci sunglasses. Love):


I head out for my favorite barre class (method!) and the weather is dreamy. Julianna is in torture mode and class is insane. I’m sweating buckets. I even teased her that she ruined my nice hair!

Driving home the cool air felt amazing and I purposely took backroads instead of the highway so I could savor it. (My mom will tell you I love fresh air. Haha.)

When I got home I was seriously craving junk food. But, I had the inner monologue of “you didn’t sweaty buckets to come home and eat shit. Make a sandwich, count your calories and don’t you dare touch junk!”. It worked and a 452 calorie grilled cheese hit the spot.

This morning I was thinking about Lent (no dessert, not even one cheat since I started!) and my lack of coffee….have I mentioned I haven’t had Starbucks in 17 days? Ha! Insane huh? I started having fresh juices for breakfast and that negated the need for morning coffee. I cheated once and had half a coffee at night….it made me feel terrible! Jittery and unsettled. I didn’t fall asleep until 4am. That cemented in my mind that my body is better without coffee. Crazy I know…..Starbucks and Samantha were once synonymous! Maybe we’ll be acquainted from time to time but we are no longer joint at the hip.

Again I’m reminded that if you want to see a change you have to *make* a change. I’m making lots of changes. I’m seeing the differences. It feels awesome. :0)

This morning I took measurements and guess what? I’ve lost 16 inches overall in 3 weeks! AMAZING!!

I’m only down 6 pounds, but i’m not upset. Seeing that my stomach is 5 inches smaller blows me away! Seeing my hips are 2 inches smaller and my chest is 4 inches smaller makes my super proud. Oh and did I mention my thighs are 4 inches smaller? No wonder those dressy pants look so nice and loose! Hooray!

I feel like I finally have it. The magic formula. Exercise you love + healthy food = results.

This weekend I have to pack for my whirlwind trips (Tampa, LA, possibly Vegas) and get some sweaty cardio in. I also need to find some good things to do with parsnips. I bought them on whim ~ anyone have good recipes?

Have a great (sweaty!) weekend!


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