5 Things That Surprised Me About Owning a VARIDESK

Once again, I’ve partnered with VARIDESK to bring you this blog post. If you don’t have a stand-up desk in your life, read on to see why I am so obsessed!

It’s been nearly 4 months since my VARIDESK came into my life, and, if you couldn’t tell already, I’m totally and utterly in love. It’s completely changed the way I work – for the better, of course! I’ve started to notice positive little changes in my everyday that I wanted to share with you – everything from making healthier choices to being more eneregized throughout the day. I’m telling ya, if you haven’t tried a standing desk yet, you absolutely need to give it a try! Here are 5 things that surprised me about owning a VARIDESK.

I’m much more active throughout the day – Standing while working means I’m SO MUCH MORE active during the day. I feel like I’m always moving around, especially on conference calls. 😉 I’ve totally turned into one of those people, who does toe raises while talking on the phone, but it’s really not that strange. I also feel like I’m not completely exhausted by the end of the day like I use to be when I sat for hours at time. Of course, feeling this way means I’m a happier wife and mom when my family gets home! 🙂

My concentration and focus lasts well into the afternoon – Oh, man, that afternoon slump is killer, right? I’m much more of a morning person, so I was typically really productive, but then I’d often hit the wall come 3:00 PM. But now I rarely experience it. I mean, it’s tough to lose focus when you’re standing!

I prefer working from home now  I’m much more productive at my VARIDESK, so I try to work from home as much as possible now. I actually used to avoid working from home because I got so distracted, but my stand-up desk has had just the opposite effect.

It’s drastically reduced my mindless snacking – One of the reasons I didn’t enjoy working from home is because I found myself in the kitchen every couple of hours looking for a snack. I just could not focus, so I turned to food to cope. Now that I’m much more focused and productive, I stay in my office and don’t mindless snack the afternoon away.

VARIDESK was easy to add to my life – I actually debated getting a stand-up desk for months before VARIDESK even contacted me. I thought they were so cool, but I didn’t want to go through the trouble of assembling one. Last year was so nuts, it was just another “thing” to add to my To Do list. Well, if you missed my first post, you can see just how easy it is to put together a VARIDESK. It took no time at all and totally worth the effort.

So, there you have it. I love my VARIDESK and tell everyone about it and how it’s changed my life. I know that sounds a little cheesy, but it’s totally true. Standing while working is a way of life now! And owning a VARIDESK supports (and even encourages) my desire to live a healthy lifestyle even when it comes to my work life.

Question of the Day

Do you typically stand or sit while you work? How often do you move around during the day?

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4-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Ole

This recipe for Crock-pot Chicken Ole is a one that we make again and again in our house. It’s delicious and super versatile. You can serve it over rice, pasta, or with your favorite veggies. It’s also really good served inside a soft tortilla. We also love this recipe because it’s only 4 ingredients, which you might already have in your kitchen and you can just throw them in a crock-pot to do the cooking for you. Dinner doesn’t get easier than this! Check out the video below for a quick tutorial.


  • 2 pounds chicken breast
  • 1 jar of salsa of choice
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • juice of 1/2 lime

Directions: Combine ingredients in a crockpot. Cook on high for 2-4 hours (or low for 4-6 hours) or until chicken is cooked all the way through. Serve over rice, pasta, and/or your favorite veggies. I like serving the extra sauce over steamed broccoli or potatoes. 🙂

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Austin Highlights + Healthy Travel Tips You Might Not Have Tried

Hi, guys!

Just wanted to pop in and share some highlights from my trip to Austin last week as well as some healthy travel tips you might not have tried yet. I think most of us are familiar with the common ones, like pack nutritious snacks or wear your sneakers, but I rounded up a few that I recently started doing that maybe you haven’t heard. If you think they sound like ideas that would fit into your travel life, definitely give them a try and let me know what you think. And, of course, if you have “nontraditional” ones to share, please do so! I’m sure a lot of us are looking for ways to make our travel adventures healthier, more efficient, and less stressful. But, first, let me tell you about some highlights from my time in Austin!

The hotel – I loved the Omni Downtown Austin Hotel where I stayed. I booked it last-minute through HotelTonight, who again I had the opportunity to partner with, especially since they’re ALL about last-minute bookings. HotelTonight is primarily used for hotel stays booked within a week or less, but there are several cities where there’s a 100-day advance booking window, so you can plan in advance. What I especially loved about the app was that I was able to select hotels by location, so I picked the Omni, which was less than 1/4 mile from the conference venue. It was a great hotel with awesome amenities, including a nice gym with all sorts of brand new equipment and a complimentary happy hour and breakfast. I was so pleased (and even impressed) with my experience, especially since my plans were so last-minute.

If you haven’t used the HotelTonight app yet, definitely check it out. Download the app here. And if you use my referral code on your first booking through the app, you can save $25! Just use promo code TIHAUPERT.

Jo’s Coffee – This coffee shop was perfect. It was adorable inside, featured a tasty menu, delicious coffee, and the staff was super duper friendly. It was a great recommendation by one of my Designed to Fit Nutrition clients!

Coffee date with Lauren – Lauren, my DTFN nutrition client, lives in Austin and recommended Jo’s. We met up and had coffee, and it was so nice to finally meet her in person. I chat with my clients a few times a week over WhatsApp, so I get to know them (and their dogs, kids, hobbies) pretty well, so seeing Lauren was like meeting up with an old friend.

Dan Martell’s Product Expansion Intensive – The conference was awesome – everything I expected and more! I attended with Katie, one of our coaches, so now we have so much valuable information to bring back to our team. I actually sent Kerrie a message that simply said: “1 million ideas” because Katie and I left with so many things we want to do in the coming months.

Hanging out with Katie – I was so great spending some quality time with her! She’s a long-time CNC reader (nearly 10 years) turned DTFN coach turned workout buddy and friend. She’s an all-around great person, and I’m so glad we had the opportunity to visit Austin together.

CrossFit Central Downtown – What a great gym! It’s seriously one of the best CrossFits I’ve ever been to – nice facility, quality programming and coaching, and friendly community. There was even a gym dog (always a bonus), a running store, and COFFEE SHOP inside. I know, right?! If I lived in Austin, I would never leave. Like ever.

The original Whole Foods – It was amazing. It was huge and wonderful and had every awesome product ever. My college roommate works for Whole Foods HQ, so I met up with her for lunch one day. It was so nice catching up and hearing all about her cool job! (She does product development for the 365 line!)

Voodoo Doughnut – I also got to visit Voodoo Doughnut, which, honestly, was a mixed experience. The donuts were delicious, but the guy working there was kind of rude. I dunno… it was kind of early in the morning, so maybe he didn’t have his coffee yet?

Even still, I enjoyed the donuts that I tried. In Austin, I had a vegan frosted donut with sprinkles and then brought home a couple of donuts for Mal and Quinn, which they kindly shared with me on Friday morning. I brought them a regular sprinkle donut (Quinn’s favorite too) and a chocolate frosted with crushed Oreo and peanut butter drizzled on top. Holy yum!

Healthy Travel Tips You Might Not Have Tried

I was thinking about these little things that I often do during my travel and just wanted to share!

TSA Precheck – Guys, this is LIFE-CHANGING. Let me repeat: LIFE. CHANGING. Even if you don’t travel a ton, it’s worth getting. And the whole process is a piece of cake. Local folks, I went to the Brockton location, so I didn’t even need to go into Boston, and I was in and out in maybe 10 minutes. I had the option of making an appointment online, so I showed up at my scheduled time, flashed my license, answered a few questions, and that was it. A couple of weeks later, I was approved. (FYI: TSA says it can take up to 90 days for approval, but both mine and Mal’s happened within weeks.)

With the extra time you save on waiting in security lines…

Treat yourself to a chair massage – Sitting on a plane for hours always messes up my back, so a short massage prior to boarding is totally worth it!

Travel with a backpack – I use this huge one for most of my travels. It can fit up to a week’s worth of clothes if I pack well. Carrying it is like a mini-workout and it frees up my hands, so I can help Quinn, hold an iced coffee, use my phone, etc. I kind of look like a dork, but it makes travel so much easier!

Pack a combo water bottle + protein shaker – I love this thing so much. It’s the best of both worlds. No need to bring a water bottle and a protein shaker when you travel.

Pack a baseball (or lacrosse or tennis ball) – It’s so great for rolling out tired feet, calves, shoulders, and more after a long day of travel and/or sightseeing. Plus, it doesn’t take up much space in your luggage.

Question of the Day

Do you have any “nontraditional” travel tips to share? 

Who has the best donuts in your opinion? 

P.S. Traveling in the coming weeks and need some hotel workout inspiration? Here’s one of the workouts that I did while in Austin!

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Beef and Tomato Stew (Instant Pot, Slow Cooker and Stove-Top)

This classic hearty beef and tomato stew is true comfort food at its finest!  Perfect recipe for a chilly weekend at home and can easily be made in your instant pot, slow cooker or even right on the stove!
This classic hearty beef and tomato stew is true comfort food at its finest and can easily be made in your instant pot, slow cooker or right on the stove!

So I actually posted this recipe over 7 years ago (I can’t believe I’ve been blogging that long!), but it has always been such a favorite of ours that I wanted to refresh the photos and share it with you all again 🙂  Plus this recipe was passed down from my Grandma so you KNOW it’s gonna be good.

This is such a great meal to make on the weekends because it’s super simple, you just throw everything together in one pot, and you can enjoy the leftovers for a few days!  Oh and the best part?  Your house is guaranteed to smell amazing!

This classic hearty beef and tomato stew is true comfort food at its finest and can easily be made in your instant pot, slow cooker or right on the stove!

Packed full of fresh veggies like carrots, peas, celery and onion (you know, the usual suspects) along with some baby potatoes and cubed beef, this stew is definitely bound to be a winner in your home.  It’s more tomato based than typical beef stew recipes, but we love tomatoes over here and this is how I grew up eating it 🙂  I also threw in some fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary to give it an earthy flavor that really brings it all together.

This beef stew can be made so many different ways which makes this recipe super convenient!  If you want to make this during the week, but don’t have a lot of time on your hands, you can simply throw everything into your instant pot (THIS ONE is my favorite!) and you’ll have delicious fall-apart-in-your-mouth meat with tender potatoes!  It really is incredible how amazing the instant pot works and it’s great for busy families who don’t have time to wait for a slow cooker.  If you don’t have one yet, trust me you’ll love it!!

On the other hand, if you DO love using your slow cooker and want to let this simmer all day then this is also a great recipe for that!  Stove top is another great way to cook this as well, which is really the classic way, the only difference is I sauté the onions and celery along with searing the meat really well before adding the rest of the ingredients.  You can also do this in your instant pot too which is nice!

This classic hearty beef and tomato stew is true comfort food at its finest and can easily be made in your instant pot, slow cooker or right on the stove!
Hope you all enjoy this comforting bowl of my favorite beef stew!  Feel free to adapt this to your liking too, like adding other veggies if you prefer or omitting the potatoes if you’re watching your carbs.  You really can’t go wrong and it will definitely warm you up this winter!
Beef and Tomato Stew
Serves: 8 servings

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (if searing the meat first)
  • 2 lb. cubed stew beef
  • 1 (15 oz) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 lb. baby potatoes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary (or ½ tsp dried)
  • 1 bay leaf

  1. To make in your instant pot: Drizzle olive oil in the bowl of your instant pot and turn on the sauté function. Wait until it’s nice and heated then add meat, browning on all sides. Add the rest of your ingredients, seal the instant pot and select the meat/stew setting (about 35 minutes). Once cooking is complete, let the instant pot sit for about 12 minutes then release the steam by placing the valve to the venting position.
  2. To make in your slow cooker: Add cubed beef (except the oil) along with the rest of ingredients, cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
  3. To make on your stove top: In a large dutch oven or pot on medium high heat, drizzle oil and sear meat on all sides. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 2 to 3 hours, until meat is tender. Serve and enjoy!

Nutritional Information
Serving Size: 1½ cups • Calories: 325 • Fat: 13.3 g • Saturated Fat: 5 g • Carbs: 24.2 g • Fiber: 5 g • Protein: 27.3 g • Sugar: 9.7 g • WW Points+: 8 • Smart Points: 10

This classic hearty beef and tomato stew is true comfort food at its finest and can easily be made in your instant pot, slow cooker or right on the stove!

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264 – Half Size Me Community Weekly Webinar 264

Click here to download the webinar recording for Webinar #264Click here to download Boundaries Worksheet_Week 6Topics covered: Boundaries Part 6 How to make sure you Boundaries stick Mastering the follow through Why you are afraid to set boundaries Boundaries are

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What I’m Loving Lately 98


Hi, friends! Happy FRIDAY to you!

I landed in Boston, safe and sound, early this morning. We ended up sitting on the plane for a solid 30 minutes before we were allowed to get off, which meant I didn’t get home until nearly 2:00 AM. Quinn was up and at ’em just after 5:00 AM, so, needless to say, I’m ALL about the CAFFEINATED iced coffee today. Pour me another already! 🙂 But, honestly, I’m just happy to be home. I missed my family so much.

Since it’s Friday and all, I wanted to bring you the next edition of What I’m Loving Lately, which, I have to admit, I enjoy writing even more now that you guys have shared so much positive feedback about this blog feature. I’ll definitely keep it alive for ya! 🙂

Our 2017 Chatbook – You guys might remember be professing my love for Chatbooks on CNC in the past, and I’m even more in love with them after receiving this hardcover book of our family’s 2017 memories. Chatbooks has an option to load all of your Instagram photos right into their system, so it took me maybe 15 minutes to make the entire book. I just went through and “deselected” the videos since the quality isn’t all great, picked a cover, and it was done. Easy as that!

The One Thing – On my way to Austin, I stumbled upon this book at the airport and remembered Kerrie had mentioned it in passing, so I bought a copy for myself. As you guys know, I’ve been a hot mess for the past several months, so I thought this book might help. It’s all about focusing on what matters most in your personal and work lives, so you can be more present, productive, and happy. I blew through the book in just a few hours and can’t recommend it enough. There are so serious gems for living a fulfilling, rewarding, and balanced life.

My winter coat – I actually bought this coat back in the fall when we were down in Newport for our annual trip, and I can’t believe I haven’t told you guys about it yet. It’s seriously THE BEST coat, and I spent months – actually years – shopping for the ultimate winter coat. Prior to this one, I had worn the same jacket for a solid 3 winters, and it just needed to be upgraded. Let’s just say it was well-loved. At the end of last winter, I looked for winter coats, hoping I could score a deal on an end-of-season sale, but didn’t have any luck. When the cold weather hit in the fall, I was determined to find the best winter coat because I knew I’d wear it for at least another 3 years. Long story short, the second that I saw this one at the Helly Hanson store, I knew I needed to have it in my life – and I’m so glad that I bought it. It’s so warm and cozy, and I get compliments on it all the time!

Home brewed half-caf coffee – The struggle is REAL when it comes to finding a GOOD, FLAVORED coffee to brew at home. There aren’t a lot of flavors to choose from on the decaf front (typically French vanilla or hazelnut) and the majority of the ones I’ve found are kind of weak. Long story short, I’ve started mixing and brewing flavored ground coffee with regular ground decaf for the best of both worlds. It really makes a difference!

Nike Dri-FIT Knit Women’s Long Sleeve Top – I mentioned this top the other day, but it definitely needs another mention. It’s just the perfect workout and athleisure top. I want it in gray and blue now! 🙂

Question of the Day

What book are you loving lately? Any favorites for work-life balance?

Tell me about your winter coat… Love it? Need a new one? Live somewhere warm, so you don’t need one at all? 


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