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Halloween 2013

Happy Halloween Kids!

I’ve had two tracks of conversation with people this year: Costumes (what to wear/what not to wear/most popular/overdone) and Wanting to Look Good (hot, healthy, wish I had MadeFitnessFun the past month.)

Whether you went out last night or you’re partying this weekend hear are some of Kj’S Thoughts on Halloween:

Costumes: I know a lot of people who plan on doing the typical/boring/lame sexy cop/princess/racecar driver (really?!) thing

C’mon people let’s try for some creativity – you can be anyone you want to be! Insert last year’s blog post: HOLLAween

And, please, don’t dress as Miley. Be creative. Be classy. I’m sorry, I’m not sorry.

On Wanting to Look Good: Now this we can talk about.  50% of looking good is feeling good about yourself. So put your insecurities on hold and own it.

The other 50% is #MakingMoves on the health front.

  1. Drink lots of water. Duh. Flush out your system and de-bloat.
  2. Eat something before you go out and drink. Cut out processed sugar and salt and cut down on your carb intake for the day or day before.
  3. WORKOUT! Workout the day of and the night before you’re going out. You’ll get some quick muscle tone. It helps with the first 50% we were talking about before too.
  4. If you’re going to drink, the above will help you the next day too if you’re feeling a little hungover.
  5. Don’t bar hop. The fashionably late thing is a bad look and the city will be nightmarish (pun intended!) Go somewhere comfortable and make the best between one or two places. Enjoying yourself is healthy for the mind!

If you don’t read anything else, read this:

  1. Don’t drink & drive. Cab it. Uber it. Or, kick it old school and get a DD (Designated Driver)
  2. Don’t be lame. Have fun and do something festive. (Even if you’re just watching Halloween movies and giving out candy)
  3. READ THIS POST: Why You Shouldn’t Pick Up The Halloween Slut – I’m still crying, from laughing. It also will be featured in a book I’ll write one day, as I’m jealous I didn’t write these wise words.

Spoiler Alert from the article: “A rule of thumb: You get what you see. A generic costume gets worn by a generic girl. That’s true whether you’re looking for a girlfriend type on Halloween (bad idea) or just the Halloween hookup.”

Guest Post: Review of Pure Barre

Hey Everyone, I’m Sami, a friend of Kupah’s and this week I am guest posting about a new (to me) fitness trend I’ve tried out – Barre classes. I have been spending a lot of time in the past 9 months really trying out some new areas of fitness to get into a better and more enjoyable routine. Barre seemed like it would be a natural fit for me and so far it’s been AMAZING! There are many different studios and variations of barre; The Bar Method, Physique 57, Figure 4, etc and Pure Barre –

Spotlight on: Pure Barre. The Pure Barre website describes the technique as follows:

Pure Barre is a total body workout that lifts your seat, tones your thighs and burns fat in record-breaking time.   Utilizing the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements set to fantastic music, Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body…. The technique protects your joints as it does not involve any bouncing or jumping.  Each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretching section in order to create long, lean muscle without bulk.

The Pure Barre studio in Boston just opened in the winter; I purchased their opening special, 5 weeks unlimited for $100 and you could start anytime. As soon as I signed up I immediately began second guessing what I had just done. Full Disclosure: I get super self-conscious exercising in front of other people and now, not only did I just sign up for this – but on Newbury St everyone is bound to be a size 0, perfect looking specimen right?

I read multiple reviews so I would be fully prepared going in (all of which said the classes were amazing and there was nothing to be worried about.) I walked in RIGHT on time because I couldn’t find parking – stress level through the roof, and BOOM girl at the front desk super welcoming, telling me not to worry, showing me to the lockers, changing room, what gear to pick up (small red ball, resistance band and 2 small hand weights<2-3lbs>) and sent me on my way. Complete calming effect.

The instructor asked if there were any new people in class, I was the only one – score! (eye roll) The class started and just jumps right in! I just started moving and trying to keep up for the first few minutes. She didn’t go over technique specifically, but the beginning was easy enough to follow. While I was a little disoriented, this was actually great for 2 reasons; you’re not wasting time and there’s no time to be worried about if other people are looking at you or if you’re doing horribly.

The first section of abs was REALLY hard for me. I was thinking about just how awkward it would be if I walked out. Then before I could finish that thought, we were switching to arms and I was fine! This was the tone for the class; as it’s getting almost unbearable and you’re ready to quit, you’re doing a change in the movement or on to working the next area of your body.

There are constant changes flexing your foot, going up on your toes, moving to tempo and then you’re moving from abs to arms to legs/thighs to seat to abs and stretching in between each. This made the time FLY!

The instructor, Courtney, could not have been nicer. The instructors walk around and will help you with your form, you can’t hear what they’re saying to someone else, so it’s never embarrassing and she specifically left me alone quite a bit, I’m pretty sure it was because I was new and I think she didn’t want to mortify me; I totally appreciated this. When she did approach me, she would ask if I was feeling it in the part of my body we were working on and I would say yes or no and she’d advise accordingly. I thought this was a great teaching tool, rather than just saying, “you’re doing this wrong!”

Your muscles are supposed to be shaking and burning.. And you may wonder how intense this was.. I think the best way to explain my experience is that it felt like my legs disengaged from my body and Michael Flatley Lord of the Dance took over. But, this felt AMAZING! I enjoy feeling the burn when I exercise, whether or not it’s true, it makes me feel like I’m actually getting something out of my exercise.

I stayed after to ask for some pointers from Courtney who was more than happy to help and very encouraging. I’ve since taken a few other classes and honestly need to stress that the instructors have all been SO NICE! They’re helpful, they’ve shown me modifications and told me that it’s tough in the beginning and you just need to build up strength in certain areas.

I do want to add that they say you’ll start noticing changes in as little as 9 classes. I have finished 6 classes and do already see some small, but measurable changes; some lifting 😉 , I fit into a pair of pants I haven’t been able to wear for a year and my core is stronger – I can now complete ab work without stopping or modification!

Between instructors and other people in the classes, not one person has given off a negative or judgmental vibe. No one has been paying any attention to me; there are women of ALL shapes, sizes and age. I have never felt LESS self-conscious in my life.

I highly recommend Pure Barre for anyone looking to add some variety to their routine, or to ease into fitness. It doesn’t require knowledge of complex fitness moves (ex: Clamshells – what ARE those? Sounds like a sex position to me.) The movements are simple and small, they’re not strenuous but you will burn so good and FEEL your workout. If you’re like me and a million other women who feel self-conscious and insecure, you can check your fears at the door. Everyone is encouraging, positive and kind. Check out a class and let me know what you think!

How do you challenge yourself to #MakeMoves?

How do you challenge yourself? I write a lot about #MakeMoves and how I strive everyday to accomplish as much as i can and live as much as possible. But, how do I do that everyDAY? How do you?

I have days like everyone else when I don’t want to leave my place and I just want to watch movies or play a game and ignore my phone. And, I definitely take time to do those things, but usually it will be a part of my day, not my entire day. So I don’t call them bad days I have unpleasant “Moments” lol these moment are part of life and I take them and do my best to find the good in every moment. Usually just by trying a little harder those moments become motivators and I continue on a better, happier, healthier path.

I focus on my goals. My goals exist for a reason, they’re things I WANT and ENJOY. This is motivation enough for me. I am very disciplined when it comes to reaching my goals, because my goals are pretty dope as it is! There are times when others will attempt to change my focus and provide unsolicited advice. It may sound a little harsh but I would implore you to not listen to these individuals. Yes, it is in a good nature that they are trying to help. But most cases people never fully understand all the variables and factors going into every/any situation therefore they advice, opinions and thoughts are off by default. It is no fault of theirs and if you tell them then for sure they will be insulted so stay focused on the goals and for goodness sake trust yourself. If you got yourself to Monday and Tuesday then there’s no reason why you can’t make through Wednesday and Thursday, Friday and the weekend will take care of itself. Lol.

I remind myself of how great it feels. It feels pretty amazing to look at what I’ve done in a day and FALL into bed with NO regrets. People want to know why I smile so much.. I’ve made moves all day and created my own happiness what?! It feels great to get new events, meet with new event planners, new clients, new equipment and at the end of the day it feels great doing what I love and even better people love WHAT I DO! So remind yourself of how great it feels to do something good for another or yourself. DO IT!

I know I only have me to blame. This sounds negative but stick with me. I’ve built my circumstances and I’m my own boss, if I stop and fail it’s on me. I not only let down myself but I let down those that support me and believe in me. It’s a big responsibility and enough to keep me moving. There are no excuses in the world of Entrepreneurship and I won’t make any. I come off harsh at time to those I care about and I can only hope they understand the pressure I am under to answer every question when it reaches my desk. I don’t think many understand and I don’t need you to. But My role is a role I welcome gladly, the good/perks and the whole bag that comes with it.

I want to be the change. How can I tell other people to #MakeMoves and to expect more of others, if I slack myself? Let’s face it, I talk about this all day long and I’m not about to be a hypocrite. Lead by example. I didn’t make it up but I remember that phrase in my head all day everyday. But know that if I get my job done you better get yours done as well. Accept responsibility for all not just the rewards.

 

When it’s hard, I try harder. If I am walking into undiscovered territory, I’m nervous (it DOES happen,) or maybe I’m not feeling 100% I just push forward. I usually end up meeting someone new, LEARNING something new, having a blast or challenging myself physically or mentally. People want to believe in other people so give them something to believe in. If you sound like your knees are trembling then that will show and then your message will get lost in the fray, but if you stand tall and look people in the eyes (STRUT) then with everything you got… Fake it till you make it! It works trust me (wink, wink.) You think I woke up one day and said “Oh, I wanna host events of the highest regard with celebrities and fancy venues, mitvahs and weddings at the State Room?” Haha. Not a chance… I faked it and made it. Period.

You might say, that all sounds great, but is it really a big deal to just say screw it once in awhile? No, it’s not a big deal. But, it’s a choice and it leads to other choices. Giving yourself a reason to dial it in is giving yourself a reason to sell yourself short. No debating about it. Still not convinced? Let’s try this, next time you want to take a “Day Off” think about some man or woman somewhere who isn’t and how much they are accomplishing in those hours you wanted to CHILL. Then, and only then if you still feel like your “Day Off” is justified then go nuts. But if you’re, like me or people that I MakeMoves with, then your picking up what I’m putting down.

How many of those days are enough days to get you off track? How many of those days are days that could have brought you that much closer to something? And honestly, how many of those days do you feel as good about yourself and energized in comparison with the days when you #MakeMoves?
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What are your motivators?

How do you challenge yourself?

 

Fruits of Labor Now Or Later?

MakeMoves everyone!

Like most things I write about this one comes from a conversation I was having with a dear friend whom I respect very much (DD.) We were discussing the wealthy and how many of them spend so much time building empires or their net worth that they neglect the freedoms they have created for themselves.

Allow me to explain. I am now 30 and I am always having conversations with others about how to save, invest & spend. Most people don’t know my entire history so let me share that I didn’t come from private schools, annual family vacations, toys or other luxuries. In fact I remember going food shopping with my mother and we had a little game where I would take my friends to the car when it was time to check out because I was young and embarrassed that we were paying with food stamps. So to avoid the awkwardness we would go start the car and wait there.

Please know that I am now a young entrepreneur who has been fortunate enough to change my situation dramatically from Buick’s Discover Boston to Boston’s Stuff Magazine Sexiest Entrepreneurs, to AOL’s Authentic. I have also been able to create fitness classes and work as a Peer Mentor to teens in the Norfolk County area.

The conflict I have is the ‘how much is too much’ to indulge with what I have built for myself. I currently have a company which supports my life and I’m fully self employed. I have no kids, wife, girlfriend, I don’t do drugs of any kind, zero drama (That’s right, I said it ZERO) yet sometimes I feel as if I shouldn’t be able to go to the movies twice in one week because it costs money?

Let me say this, I understand saving for the future is important and I have a retirement plan already in place. But if I can’t buy iPhone’s and go to the movies or order take out or drive something I like then WHAT IS THE POINT? I don’t want to be 60 and buy a convertible (LameSauce) I want to be 31 and drive a Bentley! Period! I don’t want to be 60 on a beach in Malibu looking at the young couples running around. I want to be the young couple running around being watched by the 60 yr old. Feel Me?

What I’m trying to say to all of you is what ever you like to do that makes you happy DO IT. And then DO IT AGAIN! Then talk about it with friends and DO IT AGAIN. Don’t wait for tomorrow or $100,000 of net worth. The movies are expensive but if you like Movies… Go to the Movies. If you’re a Gamer, GAME ON! You like Vacations? Then VACA! All I’m trying to say is that if you are a hard worker and you are doing what all adults are telling you to do all of the time you will miss what’s right in front of you which is Parks, Walks, Talk, Travels and experiences that don’t need Donald Trump’s Equity to do so either.

Live the life you have while you have the life to live it. Don’t wait until some bodily malfunction limits your comforts at a later time in life when you can enjoy the very same comforts right now.

Let me know what you like to do and what you do if Money wasn’t an object. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siu6JYqOZ0g&sns=em …)

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Google image search

As I’ve mentioned, I’m not huge into the scary movie thing, but I do find myself watching some during the month of October when I happen to be home and can’t figure out what to watch. The Roomies (or the Happy Couple) are always watching them in the living room during October, so sometimes I find myself grabbing one too. Some of those have included:

28 days/weeks later movies

–          I like the second one better than the first (I know I know.. sequel, really?!) BUT, if I’m going to watch a zombie movie, I want it to be a zombie movie. The first one was fine until they get to the base (won’t give any spoilers) and, as a film, I understand the element of the” living trying to survive” aspect and drama etc. But, I just enjoyed the second one being more zombie-centric.

Halloween (remake) movies (I know I know.. remake?! I don’t own the originals)

(maybe all of the judgement from the movies I want to watch is why I don’t watch these.. hmm)

Dusk Til Dawn (Salma Hayek.. nuff said)

From Google Image search

The Crazies

Google image search

Dawn of the Dead (Legit zombie movie for you fans out there!)

Google image search

Paranormal Activity

What Halloween movies do you enjoy?

What Halloween movies do you ALWAYS watch?

What Halloween movies do you NOT enjoy?

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I hope you all had fun! And, as always, were safe (and send me pics of your costumes below, to my FB or Twitter/Instagram @KlassUniversal or @KupahJames!)

Final Note: My thoughts go out to all families that were affected by Sandy this week. It’s important to appreciate what you have; tomorrow is never promised. 2 live is 2 love.

Two Glasses of Wine

“When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 glasses of wine…

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two glasses of wine from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor, as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things; your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions; things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.’

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else; the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.’

‘Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. Do one more run down the ski slope. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first; the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.’

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented.

The professor smiled. ‘I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of glasses of wine with a friend.’ ”

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Where I am in my life has been really exciting for me. I feel like I have accomplished many things; some of them expected and some things unexpected. It feels like an accomplishment, being a minority from the background that I have, but it’s also incredibly humbling.

It’s allowed me to look at my life and look to the many things I still want to do: own some property, streamline the business, expand the business. But, I’ve also always appreciated and enjoyed the many great people in my life. I want to, as a person, be more productive, grow, learn, read more and really spend more time enjoying life with the people I care about.

I think I do a pretty good job most days of appreciating what and who I have in my life and focusing on the “golf balls” of my life. But, having read this story recently, in light of my 30th and all that meant to me, I thought it was a great reminder and something important to share with my readers.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section & subscribe!

Summer Memory: Family Gatherings

So I’ll be 30 in a few short months and I got to thinking about how I got here. But rather than the story about struggle and my education, I took a trip down memory lane. I recalled a fond memory of early Summer mornings (4-5am) when my mother woke me and the lil sis up. There wasn’t much packing because mother made us pack the night before : ) After a quick faking of the brushing of teeth (shhhh!) we would grab a light snack and some last minute rechargeable batteries for the Walkman and head towards G-Ma’s house for Roll Call.

Once we arrived at G-Ma’s it was time to meet and greet with the fellow cousins. This interaction usually resulted in the first of many warnings about “turning the car around and going straight home” HA, empty threats. Pffft. After a game of Hide n Seek or Tag in between the cars we are all sat down and read the rules of engagement. Then it’d be time for the road trip. 

Destination: Laconia. The most important thing on any of these trips was the Sony walkman and at least 5 compact discs (remember those). Of course you had to have the coolest headphones around which at the time were not wireless and did not have a Beats by Dre slogan anywhere in sight. Car ride was always decent because you got to see different neighborhoods and the air was always so much cleaner the farther north we went.  

The arrival to the beach was cool although you were almost ready for a nap after the 90-120min car ride. At that point you’d want to go run off with cousins and friends but that was not going to happen; First you had to set up shop with family. The routine: place blankets and coolers down, set up umbrellas and of course, run back to the car numerous times for things forgotten. 30mins later we were off! Water splashing, playing games of chicken in the water, Frisbee, Football; anything you can think of were all part of the experience. Sun & Fun was all that mattered; didn’t have a care in the world. I miss those days but I also am thankful for the memories that came from them. : ) 

Looking forward to some fun, sun-filled memories this Summer! Please share any of your Summer memories in the comments section!

Have a great weekend!

I see many of you on a weekly basis or I might see you at a party, in the club somewhere or, we were high school buddies. Regardless of how I know you, I wanted to share this profile with you and let you know that whether big or small you all play a role in who I am. I thank you for that. I learn every day and I have big ideas, dreams and goals and I won’t be able to reach them without your love and support. I wish you all the best and as always #MakeMoves
 
 

Something worth HEARING

Happy Hump {giggity}  Day Everybody (I guess that’s what they call it?) Here’s a little something different I wanted to share that is 100% KJ #CoSigned:

“FROG”
Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs who arranged a running competition.

The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower.

A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants.

The race began….

Honestly, no one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower.

You could hear statements such as:

“Oh, WAY too difficult!!”
“They will NEVER make it to the top.”
or:
“Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!”

One by one, the tiny frogs began collapsing.

Except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher.

The crowd continued to yell, “It is too difficult! No one will make it!”

More tiny frogs got tired and gave up.

But ONE continued higher and higher and higher….

This one wouldn’t give up!

At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog that, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top!

All of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it?

A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal.

It turned out….

That the winner was DEAF!

The wisdom of this story is:
Never listen to other people’s tendencies to be negative or pessimistic because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you.

Always think of the power words have.

Because everything you hear and read will affect your actions!

Therefore:
ALWAYS be….POSITIVE!

And above all:

Be DEAF when people tell YOU that you cannot fulfill your dreams!
-Anonymous

This topic has been coming up a lot lately in my life. It’s classic #KupahJames101! The only thing I want to add is that there isn’t only power in what you hear or what you read; but also in what you say. Believe in yourselves and don’t let negativity affect you, and be sure to #MakeMoves and share that positivity with and towards others too! #StayKlassy and #LiveYOURDreams

Black Swan

So, I just watched Black Swan for the first time. Before I watched it I had of course heard many mixed opinions about it. So going into it I tried to remain objective and just let the movie dictate my thoughts, emotions etc. Now after watching the movie, realizing that I am no expert by any means, I do have some thoughts I felt like sharing. I would like to state now that the following is completely just from MY point of view as a man. It doesn’t apply to all men or all women or all situations, and I realize there are a variety of themes and points and layers to this movie. I’m just going to hone in on one aspect that struck me personally. (DEEP INTAKE OF BREATH) now GO:

I don’t understand how anyone could watch this movie and not feel some sort of extreme sympathy for women. If I didn’t already realize all that women had to go through and all that they’re capable of emotionally; bearing children, nurturing, building, organizing, supporting, unconditionally loving (in many ways they’re the stronger sex),  this movie certainly added a new element to a woman’s range. It’s the psychological element that I feel the average man would be totally excluded from understanding, yet it’s an element that is so easily influenced positively and negatively by men. And granted, not just men, the character Nina was influenced by herself, Lily’s character, her mother etc. But the point is more about giving insight to men into how they’d never realize the majority of women could probably relate on some level to Nina’s character.

The forced narcissism, the idea that they’re never enough, the striving to be absolutely perfect, it’s just this psychological stew of thoughts, emotions and pressure that go through a woman’s brain every few seconds while trying to appear totally fine and play it all off. It’s not a weakness, it’s amazing and humbling as a man. Asking a woman how her day was: she could easily have been stressed, excited, happy, felt attractive, felt unattractive, let her mind run away with itself with worry, laughed and felt care-free, all in the first three hours of her day and so when she just says “it was fine” there were SO many more layers to her day and to each interaction she had.

I think there should be a call to men to make a solid effort to be more of a woman’s companion, than say, a woman’s provider for example, because men really are not accountable on this level.  Men shouldn’t be “saving” women, but they should have an active role in developing a healthy self-esteem and PARTNERing with women. This movie opened my eyes and I recommend it to all of you. Men, don’t judge try to understand. Women, learn from it and own your emotions and your dreams. All of you, be confident and honest in your lives. Harmony and love! Kupah James