Bombshell Spotlight: Courtney Daniels

 

The Bombshell Spotlight this week is a fit momma, hard worker and blogger! Her name is Courtney Daniels and she has an awesome, inspiring Instagram account and blog that you NEED to follow! She proves that being fit and healthy isn’t about a diet or short workout program but a lifestyle. Let’s get into the interview so you can get to know more about her and her struggles!

courtney daniels-yoga

 

Janie: Give us your story. What got you started on your fitness journey? Have you always been fit and healthy?

Courtney: I have always been active. I did ballet from 3-18 and loved it despite never being excellent at it. As I went through college I discovered yoga and running and that became my jam. I graduated with a degree in chemistry and had a bit of downtime post graduation while I was looking for jobs so I even completed my yoga teacher training and got my instructor certification during that time. It has never been my intention to make a career out of it, but it was a great way to deepen my practice and I love teaching on the side.

Pre-pregnancy, running and yoga were where it was at for me. I ran 5-9 miles 5-6 days a week and taught/practiced yoga 2-3 times per week. I really loved being active and doing these things but always found I was disappointed that my body wasn’t ever as toned as I wanted it to be. I was one of those girls that had the mindset that lifting would make me bulky and the best thing I could do to get skinny was to calorie restrict and get in as much cardio as possible. After I found out I was pregnant I really wanted to be active and fit so I could “bounce back” post baby. I continued running and teaching yoga up until I hit my third trimester, that’s when things got messy. I ended up in the hospital in terrible pain. The pregnancy was causing my kidney to back up with fluid and it  was extremely painful. The pain also radiated into my chest making it difficult to breathe. There are not very many options for handling it so my doctor asked that I discontinue running and yoga and take it easy for the remainder of the pregnancy. Anyone who has had a child knows how hard that last trimester is. I had to be pretty sedentary as well and it just made me crazy. Up until that point I had gained a healthy amount of weight through the pregnancy but was on the low end. The lack of activity and the cravings ended up with me gaining more weight in that single trimester than the rest of the pregnancy. I knew all of this so I started planning how I would get back in shape post-baby, that’s when I found Kayla Itsines on instagram. The transformations she was posting were incredible! I wanted that. I wanted to feel fit and toned and get back to my pre-baby shape. I decided this is how I was going to get back. I purchase the program that day and just waited until I could start.

My doctor gave me the okay to begin working out 6 weeks postpartum. I started right away with Kayla’s bikini body guide. I cannot even tell you how weak I was! My core was completely gone! There was just no strength. I was also still sore and swollen from having the baby. It was discouraging but I modified all the exercises I needed to and just kept going. I was sure that by the end of this 12 week guide I’d have a 6- pack. Well, 12 week progress photos came around and surprise! No 6-pack. I was still far from my pre-pregnancy body and kinda discouraged but I figured my body couldn’t fight it forever. I definitely saw changes and knew that if I kept going I’d see more. Was the change slower than I wanted? Definitely. But it was better than being stuck in a body I didn’t recognize forever. Around week 24 I was finally feeling like I was making real progress and I was hooked. This program is amazing and fits so easily into my crazy busy life.

I’ve now been doing bbg for 20 months and have no plans to stop. I’m in better shape now that before I had my baby and I feel amazing. If found a whole new level of confidence and strength and am truly grateful to Kayla for that. I so thankful for the women who posted their before photos back when I was looking for a fitness regimen to follow. It takes guts to put those out there but their transformations and now friendships have really motivated me from the very beginning. I just hope I can be that motivation and inspiration for women who are struggling like I was.

courtney daniels-before-after

Janie: Where do you live?

Courtney: I live in Salt Lake City, Utah

Janie: Are you married, single, taken?

Courtney: Married to an awesome guy. We just celebrated our 9 year anniversary.

 

Janie: Is there a motivational mantra or quote you love?

Courtney: Progress, not perfection.

 

Janie: Anytime you reach a certain level of success there are haters. How do you handle any negative feedback, comments?

Courtney: The negative comments always sting a little. You have to develop thick skin. I’d like to say I just don’t engage but I usually call them out on it. Sometimes I don’t have to because friends and followers who know me step in and let them have it ha ha. Honestly, in most cases, the individual usually apologizes and you never hear from them again. Other times, you just have to block them and move on. My account has received very little of that negative energy, luckily. I know many other accounts get hit a lot harder than mine.

 

Janie: Who are your inspirations? Give us two or three, and why.

 Courtney: When I first found Kayla’s profile she had a transformation post featuring @Kim_fairley . She was a mom who was just like me, trying to get back in shape after recently having a baby and I immediately connected with her. Despite being intimidated by her large following, I sent her an e-mail and told her she had inspired me and I was just starting this journey as well. I asked for any insight she had on how to best go about this. She responded and was so sweet, supportive, and just wonderful. I continue to chat and message with her and really need to meet her someday. She lives in Australia so I guess I’ll just have to connect with her and Kayla at the same time.

In general though, women who are out there just killing it. They know what they want and they’re doing it with confidence. There are so many of them and it’s incredible to connect with them and feel and be surrounded by that energy. It’s so empowering.

Janie: Besides fitness what are your hobbies? Things you love to do and enjoy?

Courtney: Life is so busy. I currently work for a biotech company that is focused on cancer genetics. That and normal family life occupies most of my time. I love spending my days with my mister and my little Hudson. We have such a good time together. When we’re not working we love getting outside, hitting the lake, and traveling. Though far from the ocean I’m drawn to it. I’m sure the husband is getting bored of beach vacations and would like to see other things in other places but I have a hard time taking time off when there is no beach!

I’m also like 80 years old at heart and can crochet like nobody’s business ha ha.

courtney daniels-jeans

Janie: What are some future goals of yours?

Courtney: Honestly, I try not to focus to heavily on goals. I have them, but I don’t want them to be so in focus that I can’t enjoy my life. I want to just keep doing what I love with the people I love. I want to really live.

 

Janie: What are you most grateful for?

 Courtney: My health. I have had several times in my life when my health has declined and it really changes your perspective. It is such a blessing being able to do anything I want to do. I try not to take that for granted.

Janie: People are often criticized for only showing the “good” things in their life on social media. So let’s relate to the readers for a second. What is something you struggle with?

Courtney: Ha ha, so much! I get that, you want to post photos that are pretty, not the weird one where you’re making a weird face and your arm is blurry because you can’t hold still long enough for a picture. I struggle every day. I don’t always eat like I should or push through my workouts. I struggle to make time in the day for important things. My house isn’t always spotless. I’m clumsy, awkward, loud, and I interrupt people waaaay more than I should or intend to. We’re all a mess. All of us. No one has it together no matter how much it looks like they do. I try to be real. I try to post what’s really going on with me. If you know me or if you follow me and read my captions, you know I’m a crazy freaking mess.

 

Janie: Everyone loves good food. What is your favorite treat?

Can one have a favorite? I’m a sucker for thai takeout. I love getting a giant thing of pineapple curry with so many substitutions the thai place almost just hangs up on me or kicks me out. I have a local place here that know my order by heart, pineapple curry with tofu- no eggplant no tomato, add carrots and broccoli, brown rice if you’ve got it. Also, who can pass up mango sticky rice? No one!

 

Janie: What’s something most people don’t know about you?

 Courtney: I’m terrified of spiders to the point that I’ve had actual anxiety attacks when they’ve gotten too close to me.

 

Janie: If you could give one piece of advice to the readers, what would it be?

Courtney: Be kind. Be real and be kind to others and  to yourself, in whatever you’re doing.

courtney-blueshirt

 

Janie: Where can readers find you? What’s your social media, website etc.

Courtney: @courtneysfitlife_ on insta

courtneysfitlife@gmail.com

courtneysfitlife.com

 

And that concludes the interview! Isn’t she so inspiring and charming? I love her style and how she’s been able to overcome her struggles, being a busy working mother and wife! Go find her and follow her for continued inspiration, cute outfits and more.

 

-Janie

 

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Bombshell Spotlight: Brittany O’Barr

Let me introduce to you the beauty blogger bombshell, Brittany O’Barr! (that’s a lot of B’s) aka my lil sister. I’d like to say she learned everything she knows from me but I can’t take ALL the credit lol. She’s got her own style and you definitely need to follow and learn more about her for tips on make up, hair and all things beauty. Now let’s get into the interview!

brittany O'barr-makeup

brittany o'barr

Janie: Give us your story. What got you started on beauty blogging and videos?

Brittany: When I was a kid I was actually a “tom-boy”. I didn’t really like anything beauty related, not even brushing my hair! I grew up as an artist so makeup eventually got really interesting to me around 12 yrs old because I thought “Wow! It’s art for your face! I bet I would be good at that…” So I tried it out and here I am! My sister Janie, who is the Bombshell Initiative, my cousin, and my mom also threw in some tips to get me started. YouTube makeup tutorials weren’t a thing when I was 12… but I sure wish that they were!

 

brittany o'barr-hair

 

Janie: Is there a motivational mantra or quote you love?

Brittany: I like all sorts of motivational mantras and quotes, but one I came up with myself has been my favorite over the years and has boosted my confidence a ton. I’m not sure if it’s exactly a “mantra” per say, but I decided not to think negatively about myself. Every time I came across a mirror I would face away, then quickly turn towards the mirror and say, “You are gorgeous!”. I then would compliment any features(physical, personality, etc.) that I was struggling with. Eventually I had the highest confidence ever! I also write down a weekly mantra and stick it on a sticky note where I see it most.

Janie: Anytime you reach a certain level of success there are haters. How do you handle any negative feedback, comments?

Brittany: I just laugh at them. In the online world you can’t expect anything less than to have some haters!

Janie: Who are your inspirations? Give us two or three, and why.

Brittany: George Washington because of he reminds me to be courageous, patriotic, and religious. Cara Loren because she is beautiful and in great shape, has an awesome Instagram, and I love her blog. She does all of this while balancing a family! The Blonde Salad is also and awesome inspiration to me too because of her insane success with blogging while she was still in college. I’m in college too!

Janie: Besides the beauty what are your hobbies? Things you love to do and enjoy?

Brittany: I really love drawing and anything to do with art. I also love reading and writing, learning(yes I consider it a hobby haha), hosting and decorating parties, cooking, yoga and running, and more. I like to try new things!

Janie: What are some future goals of yours?

Brittany: Probably my biggest goal is to have my own makeup palette, lipsticks, etc. I even have names picked out already! Also I am currently trying to learn Spanish and would like to become completely fluent in it, along with at least two other languages(any language suggestions?). Traveling around the world and doing travel diary videos are definitely on the list too. Ahh they’re so much fun to watch!

Janie: People are often criticized for only showing the “good” things in their life on social media. So let’s be relatable to the readers for a second. What is something you struggle with?

Brittany: Something that I have very recently struggled with is breakouts! My entire life I have been one of those girls with naturally clear skin with an occasional pimple here and there. In the past couple of months or so my forehead started out with little bumps that eventually spread across my whole forehead and I had no clue why! It’s so weird to think of “adult acne” as something to have happened to me. Skin is a huge confidence thing and has been getting me down. A couple of days ago I did some research and found out that they are clogged pores and that I must be using the wrong kind of face wash(I used to be a dry skin girl, but am I oily now?). Anyways I have switched my face wash and have been using Mary Kay acne cream and it has been improving tremendously!

Janie: Everyone loves good food. What is your favorite treat?

Brittany: Zingers, an Oreo Shake, and some delicious homemade lemonade. Not the healthiest things, but definitely some yummy treats!

Janie: If you could give one piece of advice to our readers, what would it be?

Brittany: Believe in yourself. Build your confidence in any way possible, be positive and happy where you’re at, and go for your dreams and don’t stop until you get it. Ignore all of those naysayers, doubters, and haters along the way. Having a daily schedule also helps too!

You can find Brittany at www.brittanyobarr.com on YouTube/Instagram @brittanyobarr. Go follow her!

Brittany was also married last year to her bestie Josh! Aren’t they the cutest?!

brit-josh obarr

brittany obarr-bridals

 

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Bombshell Spotlight: Kimie Shrum

It’s BOMBSHELL Spotlight Friday! The day I post an interview of a Bombshell of a woman, one that you NEED to know about and most definitely follow for inspiration. The beautiful Kimberly Shrum aka Kimie runs a fashion blog and has a the cutest pictures on Instagram. You’ll want to check her out for sure!

kimberly shrum

kimie shrum

 

Janie: You have a master’s degree from Vanderbilt, a good job and run a fashion blog which is amazing! Give us your story on these three things. Like what’s your degree in, where do you work, and what got you into blogging?

Kimie: I got my undergrad in business at the University of Arkansas and I was lucky enough to do marketing campaigns for Walmart for five years. After being around so many brilliant, amazing leaders, I decided I wanted to further my education so I went to Vanderbilt where I got my MBA (master of business administration). That landed me in Dallas where I currently live and work for a “large telcom”… Again, I’m fortunate to be surrounded by some really amazing and strong female leaders who are making a name for themselves in the business world. I’m totally soaking it up and just trying to become a better leader every day. The blog is something I do totally in my spare time. I have always had an eye for fashion and beauty (check out the thing most people don’t know about me below!) so the blog is a fun way for me to express that creativity that sometimes gets stifled in the office environment. I just started doing it last fall and it has grown incredibly fast!

Janie: Where do you live?

Kimie: I currently live in Dallas. I lived in Nashville, TN before moving here and I have to say that might be my favorite place I have ever lived.

Janie: Married, single, taken?

Kimie: Taken by an amazing guy named Michael. He is actually the person who suggested that I start blogging!

Janie: Any children?

Kimie: Just a little fur baby – my lhasa poo Kikka

Janie: Is there a motivational mantra or quote you love?

Kimie: I don’t know that this is motivational, but my favorite quote from recent literature is from Paper Towns by John Green. “And it occurred to me that the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again.” As an introspective person, this line really spoke to me and I remember it when I’m feeling like the things I’m doing aren’t enough – ambition is great, but I think there is something to be said for enjoying your successes – especially in a day in age where everything we do seems to pale in comparison to what others are portraying their lives to be on social media. (Hey, my Instagram is full of professional photos! What you see isn’t always reality!)

Janie: Anytime you reach a certain level of success there are haters. How do you handle any negative feedback, comments?

Kimie: To be honest, I was really excited the first time I got negative comments on my Instagram! At that moment, I felt like people were engaged and paying attention to what I was doing. I know that you can’t please everyone, but I do try to take the negative constructively and see if there is any way that I can help that person.

Janie: Who are your inspirations? Give us two or three, and why.

Kimie: My mother for her ability to love and support, Ashley Graham for body confidence, and the Notorious RBG for how she has stood up for and paved the way for women!

Janie: Besides the fashion what are your hobbies? Things you love to do and enjoy?

Kimie: Well… shopping is probably my most loved hobby! But I really enjoying taking long walks with my pup and traveling with my boyfriend. We’ve been all over the world together – experiencing new cultures and seeing beautiful places together is a great bonding experience.

Janie: What are some future goals of yours?

Kimie: I would love for my blog to be my full time job!

Janie: What are you most grateful for?

Kimie: My family. I was so blessed in that arena!

Janie: People are often criticized for only showing the “good” things in their life on social media. So let’s relate to the readers for a second. What is something you struggle with?

Kimie: I have always struggled with my weight. I can remember being a kid and not eating certain things because I thought they were making me fat – and I’ve had some pretty hateful things said to me about my weight that really tore down my self-esteem. I know that so many women struggle in this area, and I have even told my photographer to please not photoshop my cellulite out! Yes the photos have great lighting and angles, but it’s important to me as someone who has to work daily on her self-esteem that I not put out unrealistic images that make others feel poorly about themselves.

Janie: Everyone loves good food. What is your favorite treat?

Kimie: Affogato. It’s a shot of espresso with gelato. There is an adorable place near my apartment that reminds me of Italy. They have authentic Italian coffee and crazy good caramel gelato. I go there every day! But I usually have a caprese salad and coffee. The affogato is for cheat days only!

Janie: What’s something most people don’t know about you?

Kimie: I went to beauty school…. And I dropped out!

Janie: If you could give one piece of advice to the readers, what would it be?

Kimie: If you love it, wear it!

Janie: Where can the readers find you? Whats your website and other social media?

Kimie: Follow me on Instagram @kimiewantsdior and check out my blog www.marilynsays.com

kimie shrum

kimie shrum

 

That’s the end of the interview. Kimie is smart, gorgeous and sweet! Follow her on Instagram and check out her blog for fashion tips and inspiration!

 

-Janie

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