Super Soul Sunday

Happy Super Soul Sunday (said like the late Don Cornelius of Soul Train) I don’t know about you, but when I work out I love listening to music with a good beat.  When I was younger I thought maybe I could give J Lo a run for her money and be the next Fly Girl, but that didn’t pan out, so I saved all my great moves for the gym.  I like music that will get me through those tough workouts, housecleaning or at least gets me ready to go out to the club.

Currently, my top ten go to work out songs are:

  rihanna-work-thatgrapejuice Rihanna- “Work” – I have a saying when I go to the gym.  It is DW time- Do Work.  This song helps prepare my mind for a great workout.

  cake DNCE- “Cake by the Ocean” – I love cake and this song just helps me to work out even harder so I can enjoy a scrumptious piece of red velvet cake. My husband does remind me that this song does not mean real cake but whatever, it has a good beat.

  West  Kanye West- “Stonger”- I will say this little cutie loves running to this song.

  NoDig  Blackstreet- “No Diggity”- Hello, it is a 90’s song, no doubt.

  Humpty  Digital Underground- “Humpty Dance”- How could you not like getting down in a Burger King bathroom?  Doesn’t everyone?

  nerd  N.E.R.D- “Everyone Nose”- Not everyone knows, this band is, amazing, filled with funk, rock and hip hop that can push anyone through a long run.

  Foo  Foo Fighters-“Best of You”- I am a product of the 90’s and this band carried on the Nirvana legend for no reason other than that I put them on the play list.

  LP  Linkin Park- “Burn It Down”- I have no reason as to why this song is one of my top 10 other than I just like the band and the song.

  Flo  Flo Rida- “GDFR”- I have to admit I just realized this singer’s name stands for the state of Florida.  Now that I have admitted to being a moron, I can tell you no matter where Tramar Dillard is from I adore his music.

  brunomars  Bruno Mars- “Uptown Funk”- I have saved my most favorite for last.  Bruno Mars is not only from Hawaii, my favorite place on earth, but he also has a great mix of old and new making this song my ultimate favorite workout song.

Now that I have shared my favorite top ten workout songs; what is on your top 10 playlist?

As Always,

Melissa Gayle




Alexander-Mexican Standoff


A mom in any standoff should arm herself with Wonder Woman pj’s.

A typical morning routine always involves Lucy and me in a battle of wills and wits.  I call it my daily and all major holidays, Alexander Mexican standoff.  Our standoff begins at the breakfast table. We argue over things like food demands, brushing her teeth (I know how dare me), brushing her hair because she is not Rastafarian, or just simply getting out of the bed for school.  Some mornings she wins with me throwing my hands in the air as I go running off saying, “go to school looking like Pigpen.”  I win the battles most mornings as long as I have my two cups of coffee. Just as a side note, my coffee habit did not start until after I had Lucy.  This morning like all other mornings, the battle began but I lost.  I was left with the thought of where did we go wrong with this kid?


While scrolling through Yahoo news trying to find parenting advice, ok, I lie I was reading up on Kanye West’s debt crisis; I found an interesting research article tying disagreeable personality trait with successful adults. The research is modeled after Bill Gates.  Research suggest that beyond IQ, parents’ socioeconomic status and the amount of education the students attained, rule breaking and defiance of parental authority was the highest predictor of higher income adult.   That is when it hit me, maybe Lucy is preparing herself for a successful career as a litigator, Dr., or the next President. Hey, a Mom can dream.

Paint Night 14 005

Of course we cannot allow Lucy to run the house as she sees fit.  As a parent where do you draw the line in the sand allowing your child to be this larger than life defiant personality and keeping order in your house?   I will say for us, we have to leave the room and take a few yoga breaths.  We try to give Lucy space to be Lucy.  That may mean I have to listen to a lot of Bob Marley with a glass of wine but she is happy.   I hope one day she will fondly look back on our standoffs as a way we tried to prepare her for the future and to make sure she did not have cavities.

What are your morning routines?  If you have a successful way to manage your standoffs I am all ears and would love suggestions.

As always,

Melissa Gayle

My Ride or Die

clint andi

I am ready for you to meet Clint.  Clint and I met teaching. Clint is still teaching and a good one at that. We have been married for almost 12 years but together for not quite 14.  Clint is my ride or die husband.  When I refer to him in that manner I mean if I come home with some crazy outlandish idea he never tells me no.  For instance, I came home begging him to buy me an Ice Cream shop.  Yes, me, the same girl who doesn’t like cooking nor do I like scooping.  It seems very sticky. Clint’s response to my ice cream idea was “ok, let’s go meet with the realtor.”  Or the time I begged him to put in a in-ground pool. He put in the pool and then I sold that house a month later. Clint will stick with me in any situation.  He may not agree with me but you would never know that.  For this I love him more than anything.

Clint’s likes are traveling, anything drama (he is a drama teacher), fishing and the NC Tarheels (although I don’t know why- I am a Wahoo girl myself).  His dislikes are buying me ice cream shops, reading books (sound like anyone I mentioned earlier named Lucy) and math. I guess that is why we have gotten along marvelously all these years. I am numbers and he is dramatics. Clint, like Lucy, makes me laugh every day.   

clintfish                                            clintandgirls


Lucy says, “Laughter doesn’t pay the bills and she will be looking for a rich husband not a funny one”.   

None the less, welcome Clint and give him a little shout out just so he doesn’t feel left out.

As Always,


Melissa Gayle


Defining Moment

I recently listened to a sermon on defining moments.  At this moment I was left to ponder what my defining moments are. Of course, the birth of girls, my wedding and a fun Lollapalooza concert are some to suggest but what pushes a person in life to make you the person you are today? For me, a game changer was at the ripe age of 20.  It started with a 1996 Junior Fitness competition that aired on ESPN.  I was that crazy girl who thought, because Kelly Ryan, a fitness model at the time, could bust out a 90 second fitness/gymnastics routine then I could to.  Little did I know what hard work this was going to be in order to be successful?


This picture was taken around the time I started my fitness journey

My defining moment was not without challenges but I found 4 things to help me be successful.

First, was my allegiance to God.  I put my mind to changing my life, but not without giving all the glory to God.  At the beginning of each day, I give thanks to God for allowing me to be able to put my two feet on the ground and walk.  Think about it, walking is a gift.  Not everyone has the ability to get up and walk.  I would not feel right if I did not give that glory to God.

Second is Accountability.  I had to hold myself accountable in everything including down to the last morsel that I ate. It sucks when you have to leave yourself out of things like:  going to IHOP, Waffle House, and parties; knowing that those are just unhealthy choices.  Fitness can be a lonely place if you do not have friends that feel they can be Kelly Ryan too. I kept countless spiral bound notebook journals with my meals, calorie intake and exercise for the day.  You have to remember that back in the 90’s My Fitness Pal (which I currently use) was not accessible. To make my life easier I just ate the same things which were a lot of canned tuna, egg whites and raw veggies, yummy.

Align yourself with a fitness trainer or friend.  Mr. M was my first trainer. I met him at a cheerleading event. He was trying to whip a bunch of my sister’s cheerleading team into shape. Mr. M is about 5’4 but when he said give me 20 burpees those cheerleaders were on the floor.  I hired him on the spot. For two years, Mr. M showed up at my house every week, with a megaphone (just kidding) and weights. Mr. M pushed me to see past the word “I can’t”.  He also pushed me into running.  If you don’t have the money for a trainer, then find a friend who will hold you accountable.  Pick someone that will get you through those hard workouts and bad eating days.  Currently, most all my walks/runs are with my best girlfriends.


Fit body = eating right & gym time 

Pump that aqua.  Besides my Latte addiction I am also a water addict.  I fill up my water bottle at least three times a day.

I have not always been fit but I work hard to be the healthiest mom/wife. That ESPN fitness competition changed my life for the better.

IMG_1613        IMG_1616

Fitness is simple, but you have to put in the effort.  What is/are your defining moments?

As always,

Melissa Gayle

  • Disclaimer- I am not a personal trainer or a nutritionist. I am sharing my journey and what led me through my fitness journey.  Today, I would not consider Kelly Ryan a role model.  You can read her story: Kelly Ryan Story

Very Jane

Around the age of 17 I vividly remember shopping with friends and witnessing a child throw herself down on the ground. She was throwing the biggest temper tantrum that I have ever seen at that time.  The girl’s mom just kept shopping. I have to admit at that very moment I said, I am never having kids. I could not understand why that girl’s mom did not put her child in check until I became that mom.

Fast forward to a few years ago.

Picture it, the weekend before school starts, people are out in full force shopping.  We spent an entire Saturday shopping for classroom supplies and fall clothes.  Our last stop was the shoe store.  We had not planned to stop here until I got a wild hair that Lucy needed a pair of Sperry’s.   Lucy hates to shop so much that she will fake a sickness or tell us she is going to puke. Quite frankly she can puke on demand, and it is a site to see. At one time we thought maybe she would have a career in horror films, but  I digress.   We never know if she is really sick or sick of being out. This particular day, Lucy had her fill of shopping.  She did not want Sperry’s or any other pair of shoes.  Every pair she tried on Lucy hated.  The excuse was shoe was too tight, the lines in her sock made the shoes slip or she hated the feel of the string.  Lucy was lying on the floor crying, Clint was pacing the floor yelling let’s go, and I am walking around trying to find a pair of Sperry’s that Lucy liked.   Yup, I was that mom just ignoring the fact that my daughter does not like to shop.  After this day I started to shop online.

Let me introduce you to Jane.  A mutual friend introduced me to Jane after she heard I was starting to shop online.  I have to say everyone should have Jane in their life.    Jane is an online boutique, featuring a variety of items that last for 48-72 hours. You see new items every day.  The best part is Jane offers a FREE membership.  If you are browsing through Jane let me give you a hint.  if you find a deal you like, then I would  purchase it right away because, the item(s) may be sold out if you wait too long.

The items I have ordered from Jane have been A-Mazing.  Here a few pieces that I have ordered recently.



Let me know if you have additional questions on the outfits.

As Always,

Melissa Gayle


Meet my Littles

If you are going to roll with me then you need to know my main peeps. 

Meet Lucy and Delilah. 

Yes, I am one of those moms who brag about their kids.  These two chicks are my pride and joy.  It would be a crying shame to keep them all to myself without sharing their crazy antics.  


Lucy came to us by way of luck and I will leave at that. I honestly wanted to jump off a bridge when I found out I was pregnant but as luck would have it my sister in law talked me down off a ledge (figuratively). 

Lucy’s likes are giving out daily Kung Fu Panda kicks when you least expect it, playing field hockey and Chick- Fil -A.  Her dislikes are homework, people who sit in her spot on the couch and anything that I cook.  Lucy is full of wild, outlandish stories filled with melodrama. She truly is a gift from God. I promise she will not disappoint in the humor department.  



Delilah was God’s gift to me when I was in a dark place in my life. I had lost my Dad a year earlier, I may write about Pat (my father) but for now I am not in a place where I can do so without crying.  I had Delilah when I was 24 (which to me, is young) and, she went with me everywhere.  She was a great baby. 

Delilah’s current likes are driving (she is a new driver, yikes!), listening to music, taking pictures of sunsets and learning to cook (since I don’t).  Delilah’s dislikes are Lucy’s unannounced visits to her room to karate chop her, people who talk a lot (I am not sure how we have made it work all these years because I love to talk) and cleaning her room.   Delilah will also be a guest photographer for the blog. 



I hope you enjoy briefly meeting my greatest pride and joys.  I would love to hear about your family dynamic, so be sure to leave a comment. 

As always, 

Melissa Gayle

Snow Day= Organization

I had every intention of shopping and going to lunch with friends yesterday. Imagine my surprise when I woke up to snow and school had been cancelled. I decided to not brave the cold weather and save my money instead. I will say that I have been putting off organizing school papers since September, call me a procrastinator. The first place I needed to start was the kitchen.  

Our kitchen bar is filled with paperwork.  If your family is like ours you start accumulating school papers at the start of the school year. We have art projects, study guides, graded papers how to get into college workbooks and list goes on and on and they are all lined up in piles on my kitchen bar.   


I hate to throw away the papers but I also do not want my neighbors to sign us up for the show Hoarders.  So I did what any neurotic OCD mom would do; organize a space for the girls to place these ever so important papers. Thankfully, I already had these neat little plastic drawers from when I taught high school.  


I have recently seen these inexpensive drawers at Walmart.

I dusted them off and put them to use.  15 minutes later, we had papers organized and a perfect solution to our disorganized kitchen.   



These little guys are nestled neatly on a bookshelf in our office


Nice and Clean Kitchen Success

What did you do over the President’s Day weekend?

Make sure to follow me on Pinterest here



Happy Organizing,

Melissa Gayle