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Rice/Pasta: How Do I Track It?

Did you know that how you track your meat (in my last post) is very similar to how you should be cooking and weighing out your rice as well? This goes for any pasta as well!

If you’ve been tracking with measuring cups, or just measuring out your cooked rice with the grams and macros that are on the back of the rice bag – keep on reading! I’m about to tell you how to be as accurate as possible with cooking your rice!

Uncooked vs. Cooked

As you are cooking your rice, the weight of it all is actually increasing as it soaks up that water. Plus, most of the entries in My Fitness Pal, or on packaging of rice or pasta is the uncooked weight of it. If you’re measuring out 45g of your cooked rice like the back of the packaging says is one serving, you’re actually cheating yourself out of a lot of rice and carbs.

The weight of the rice/pasta changes, but so does the SIZE of the pasta. so if you’re trying to measure with measuring cups – I wouldn’t.  Every time you cook your rice/pasta, its going to be different. So measuring it EACH time you cook it is crucial, if you are wanting to be accurate.


If you’re just making one serving, go ahead and measure it DRY, and cook it. Easy as that! However, if you’re making a bulk batch of rice, let me help you figure out how to properly weigh it out and track it!

How to Weigh / Track Rice

I always start by weighing out my uncooked rice. I put my pot on my scale, and then I turn it on so the scale reads ZERO. I then put the rice into the pot and I always write that number down first.


Once I have the UNCOOKED WEIGHT down in grams (which was 782g), I throw it in my rice cooker! While that is cooking away I start preparing my little note pad with how I’ll calculate the cooked serving size!

I go by what the packaging says usually, or what MFP says one serving size is. For me, this my Blue Ribbon White Rice had a serving size of 145g for one serving. I now take my starting weight of uncooked rice (782g), and divide that by 45g, to find out how many servings I am actually cooking all together. Which turned out to be 17 servings total! (see below)


Once the rice is all done cooking, I put a container on my scale and turned it on so it read ZERO again. I put all of my cooked rice into that container and wrote down how many grams my cooked rice weighed! (2055g)


Once I know my cooked weight, I now divide that number by how many serving sizes I am cooked (which was 17 servings). Doing this is going to tell me my new serving size to use with my cooked rice!


My new serving size for my COOKED rice is 121g. That is one whole serving of my rice. So what once was 45g Raw, is now 121g cooked.

When I go ahead and enter it into MFP when I am going to have it for a meal, I actually leave the uncooked measurement in! I scan my label and it comes up with Blue Ribbon White Rice, one serving as 45g.



When I go to make my meal up, all I measure out is that 121g of COOKED rice. You do not want to weigh out 45g of your cooked rice. That will leave you angry and hungry haha!

If I want to have 1.5 servings of cooked rice, I simply change my MFP “Number of Servings” to 1.5. Then I just multiply 121g by 1.5 and put 182g of cooked rice onto my plate!

I keep that little sticky note on the side of my fridge so I don’t forget my new serving size, and every time I want to have some cooked rice, I can reference that and I know the exact amount to measure!

It is as SIMPLE as that! I hope that didn’t confuse you, but when you’re wanting to get detailed and be super accurate with your macros this is the way! Measure before, and after and a little bit of simple math in between. 🙂


Let me know if you have any questions, OR if you’d like me to help you weigh out and track something else 🙂

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Progressive Overload For Muscle Growth

Let’s talk Progressive Overload for a second. If you’re wanting to gain some muscle size and overall get stronger – you can’t stick to the same weights, same reps/sets all the time. Read on if you’re interested in how you can get some more gains!

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1 – INCREASE YOUR RESISTANCE. You have to increase the demand that you place on your muscles by increasing your weights. Each week try and increase.

2 – INCREASE REPS. If you are unable to increase your weights each week, try increasing your rep range. Try and stick to an 8-12 rep range for building that muscle.


3 – INCREASE YOUR SETS. Again, if you’re unable to increase weights, or even reps, try adding in an extra set to the mix. You’ll be placing more demands on your muscle tissue this way as well!

4 – REST TIMES. The time you take in between your sets could be decreased. This can also help in progressive overload.

5 – INCREASE FREQUENCY. Add in a second leg day, or a second bicep day if you find a muscle lagging, or find it is a weaker muscle. Don’t get crazy though, keep it to 2-3 a week for a short period of time.

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Have You Been Tracking Wrong?

How do you usually track your meat into My Fitness Pal or whatever application you use to track your food? Do you type in Ground Turkey and go with 4 ounces, and dish out your cooked ground turkey into your bowl until it says 4 oz?  Or do you find a “Cooked Ground Turkey” and put in whatever ounce you want that way?

I hate to tell you this, but if you’re wanting to be as accurate as you can possibly be with your tracking – this isn’t the way to go about weighing or tracking your meat.

Let’s Get Technical

As you are cooking your meat, the weight of it all is actually decreasing as the moisture is cooked out of it. Plus, most of the entries in My Fitness Pal, or on packaging of meat is the RAW measurement of it. With that said, if you’re putting in 4 oz of ground turkey to your meal in MFP, you’re actually saying you measured it raw (most of the time). If you go ahead and put in 4 ounces of cooked turkey you’re actually getting a lot more turkey than you put into your tracking app. I hope this is making sense!

Let me help you figure out how you should go about weighing out your meat, and how to track it properly!

How to Weigh / Track Meat

I always start by weighing out my raw meat. I put my pan on my scale, and then I turn it on so the scale reads ZERO. I then put my meat into the pot and I always write that number down first.


Once I have the RAW WEIGHT down in grams (which was 1519g), I start cooking! While that is cooking away I start preparing my little note pad with how I’ll calculate the cooked serving size!

I go by what the packaging says usually, or what MFP says one serving size is. For me, this Butterball Ground Turkey had a serving size of 113g for one serving of turkey. I now take my starting weight of raw turkey (1519g), and divide that by 113g, to find out how many servings I am actually cooking all together. Which turned out to be 13 servings total! (see below)



Once the meat is all done cooking, I put a container on my scale and turned it on so it read ZERO again. I put all of my cooked meat into that container and wrote down how many grams my cooked turkey weighed (1258g).


Once I know my cooked weight, I now divide that number by how many serving sizes I am cooked (which was 13 servings). Doing this is going to tell me my new serving size to use with my cooked meat!


My new serving size for my COOKED meat is 97g of cooked meat. That is one whole serving of my turkey. So what once was 113g Raw, is now 97g cooked.

When I go ahead and enter it into MFP when I am going to have it for a meal, I actually leave the raw measurement in! I scan my label and it comes up with Butterball Ground Turkey, one serving as 113g.

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However, when I go to make my dish, all I measure out is that 97g of COOKED ground turkey. You do not want to weigh out 113g of your cooked meat, or else you’ll be getting way more fats and protein than you want.

If I want to have 1.5 servings of cooked ground turkey, I simply change my MFP “Number of Servings” to 1.5. Then I just multiply 97g by 1.5 and put 146g of cooked meat into my dish.

I keep that little sticky note on the side of my fridge so I don’t forget my new serving size, and every time I want to have some cooked ground turkey I can reference that and I know the exact amount to measure!

It is as SIMPLE as that! I hope that didn’t confuse you, but when you’re wanting to get detailed and be super accurate with your macros this is the way! Measure before, and after and a little bit of simple math in between. 🙂


I hope this helped at least one person! Let me know if you have any questions and if you’d like me to do a post like this but with Pasta/Rice! I would love to do that for you guys!

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Taking Time Off

At first all you want is a rest day. You are working so damn hard all week-long and your body is so incredibly sore and tired. You can not wait for that awesome day of nothing – of rest. I know how it goes!

When I first started my fitness journey, I used to workout all week-long just waiting for that rest day. I still wasn’t completely into working out and didn’t like it very much – so I used that rest day as a reward! 🙂


Eventually, that can flip and be the complete opposite. Call me crazy if you want to, but as you get more into your training, you can actually start to develop the “never skip a day” or “team no off days” mentality. You’ll  find yourself missing the weights or even feeling guilty for having that day of rest.

For some of us, you miss the weights and that awesome feeling that working out will give you – but you learn to like rest days and you know that they are so beneficial to your body and your growing muscles.

Whichever way that you feel – you still need to rest your body. End of discussion.

Mind / Soul

It is sooo good for you to take that rest day. To reorganize yourself, adjust your goals, reflect on your progress or your workouts. Whatever it may be, this is such an awesome time to slow down and think about how you’re going to move forward.


Take this time to meditate and clear your mind from any doubts, excuses, or stress that may be happening in your life right now.

Use your rest day to write out your new goals for the week and really focus in on them. Write down some positive affirmations and say them over and over again. Might sound

crazy but it does some GOOD for that mind of yours. Hearing positive affirmations can

take your negative mood (if you are having a bad day) and turn them into positive thoughts! It’s

seriously amazing.

Relax and rest your mind.

And let’s refocus!


What you don’t realize is that your body has been working hard all week-long, you’ve actually been tearing your muscle with microscopic tears while resistance training. Your muscles need that time to rebuild themselves and recover. Rest days are just as important in the process of building muscle, as your workout days are.

If you’re not taking enough rest days, you can risk yourself with over training.

“When you perform excessive amounts of exercise without proper rest and recovery you may experience some harmful side effects including decreased performance, fatigue, altered hormonal states, poor sleeping patterns, reproductive disorders, decreased immunity, loss of appetite, and mood swings.”

To me, that does not sound fun at all. Yes, we hear all the time that we need to be moving all the time, and being sedentary isn’t good for us. However, taking even ONE day of rest from your workout schedule is OKAY. If you want to incorporate a yoga class, or some stretching – be my guest! That is amazing for your ligaments, joints and connective tissue.


Take The Day Off

If you’ve learned something here, I am so happy you came! Resting is so important in your fitness journey, and I would hate to see you over-training and losing all those precious gains that you have been making in the gym.

Listen to your body, and take your rest days! If your body is screaming at you or it just feels slow and exhausted – rest up, babe! The gym will always be there, and I bet you come back the next day feeling so much stronger than if you worked out when your body was hinting at you to rest!


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Taking Back Control

I feel like I put on this facade sometimes. A happy face even when things aren’t going as planned. When you think you’re on the road to something and it back-fires, or when you think you’re making progress and yet you don’t see any sort of changes.


I want to be real with you guys and post my struggles, as well as the triumphs. Taking my progress pictures for Phase 2 of the Jessie’s Girls 3k Challenge was not fun for me (usually I make them fun and turn them into my own little photo shoot). I really wanted to post them and be all excited for the changes that were happening, but it just so happens it isn’t going to be that way this time.

My body is still getting used to the change in my macros, it’s holding water from too many drinks the night before, my intensity in the gym has been lacking and it is reflecting into my progress 100%.

I’m posting this to be honest, and for me to be held accountable with you guys. Everybody struggles with this shit.. fitness isn’t easy. If it were – everyone would be doing it.

It’s time for me to buckle down, eat all the food (I’ve been struggling to even hit my macros lately). I need to get my SHIT together and this is it.

I know that life is more than macros, and we need to have balance. And if you know me – I do. I definitely balance it all. However, when you have specific goals for yourself and find yourself making excuses, or your intensity is low, and you’re not making steps towards those particular goals – you’re going to get frustrated. I know I have it in me, but for some reason the motivation isn’t there, and I can’t seem to shake it.



Something I heard recently that I love is, “never track your progress with someone else’s ruler.” Each person’s progress and results are going to be totally different than the next. I feel like I’ve found myself comparing my progress to the next person, or comparing my body to other’s. I’ve been talking about having self-love, and finding self-love again for my readings, and yes – I have found self-love for myself. BUT, that does not mean that it’s easy, or that it sticks around 24/7. We’ll all go through times when we struggle with this.

Taking Control

One thing that keeps me moving and progressing towards my goals, is making smaller goals and staying organized. I’ve noticed even that has lessened, and I’ve stopped planning and organizing me days.

To get that focus back in my life and to feel a little more organized I need to get that back. I need to write down my small goals, as well as my big goals. Organize my day and be more productive.

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I want to get back to my regular blog posts. I noticed when my stats were low it would get me down, and question if I should even write blog posts anymore. What I forgot was WHY I started this blog. I didn’t start this blog to get followers and likes. I started it to get my thoughts out, and to write. I love writing. I want to motivate and inspire people – I want someone to read my blog and say “Because I read that, I didn’t give up!” Stats are silly and they need to just be ignored. They don’t matter.

This is where it all starts.

These are my goals going forward.

  • Blog Often
  • Plan my days out / be productive
  • Practice self-love daily
  • Gallon of water a day – no exeptions
  • ZERO alcohol
  • Crank up the intensity in my workouts
  • Write a workout e-book for you guys
  • Start posting daily workouts

What are some of your goals? I’d love to hear them! Comment below!



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The title kind of gives it away… but I PASSED MY NASM CPT EXAM!! Honestly, I felt really ready by the time my exam date rolled around, and it felt SO GOOD to get it done and over with.

I want to share my experience with NASM, and with the self-study course with you guys – how the course was, how studying went, and how I think the exam went! A lot of you have been asking about it and what to expect so I thought I would just write a detailed blog post about my experience!


I originally signed up for this course back in August 2017, and started studying right away! As soon as I got access to my course online I started reading the PDF version of the textbook and watching the videos. At first I felt a little overwhelmed with the long list of modules and chapters and tests/practice exams, but after a while reading the content and learning some of the concepts I started to feel more excited than overwhelmed!

This is something that I have wanted to do for the last couple years, so I felt like I was motivated to study every day and I was excited the whole time. I’ve taken many exams over the years and I’ve been super stressed and nervous, but this time it was different. The passion for this is here, and I know this is something I want to do with my life!

Once I got the textbook in the mail, I hit it hard. I read every word of every chapter, highlighting key points and important concepts. I took notes on every single chapter on lined paper so it sunk in more than just reading it. With each chapter there are videos to watch, and practice tests to take – so I did all of those too.

Once I read the entire textbook, I went through each chapter again a bit quicker, but I focused on all the key points I highlighted or took notes on. Once I was through with that I went over to the Domain study guide and exams. There are different ‘Domains’ for each portion of the final exam and they told you how much of that domain would be on the final exam (22%, 17% 12% etc). Knowing this, I knew that I needed to really know my stuff in the domain that had a higher percentage.

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Once I studied the CRAP out of the study guide with the domains that they provided for me, I then went to the domain exams! I seriously did these domain exams til I was getting 100% on all of them. And when I say that, I’m not saying just memorize the question and answers. Really KNOW them, know the concepts and know how it all works. The exams questions change and some of the smallest words change, so each time it could be different. Especially when it comes to the final exam. There were similar questions, but worded completely different. SO, know your stuff you guys – and you will be set.

I ended up taking my exam the last possible day that I could (6 months from your sign up day), and a month or so before that, I felt like I was ready. I could have moved my test up but the dates they gave me didn’t work with my schedule at all, so the waiting game began! While I waited, I tried to keep my mind fresh by taking every chapter exam, domain exam, practice exam and the final exam. Over, and over, and over again. I was scoring 100% on all of them by the time my actual exam rolled around!

Every single free moment that I had the last couple months, I was studying. My life was work and studying basically. I needed to pass this exam – I wanted (so bad) to pass this exam!


Going into the final exam, I was a little nervous. I always get test anxiety, no matter what it is. Playing a game where I have to make a decision (cards against humanity), I get anxiety when I have to pick the best card HA! Even though I felt ready, I still had some butterflies flying around in there.

Once I got to my computer and started the exam, those butterflies all flew away and my confidence came back. I only flagged about 10 questions out of the 120 given, and once I was done I went back through the flagged questions and only changed a few answers! Once I had all the answers ready, I went back through each question just to double-check.

I hit submit, and that was it. All my hard work.. and it was over (hopefully).

I went out of the testing room, and the guy who was running it asked me if I changed any of the answers that I flagged (because 90% of the time your first guess IS your educated guess, and you shouldn’t change it). I told him I had only changed the ones I for sure KNEW the answer was wrong, and he said “Good, because you PASSED!” And then we fist bumped.



The feeling after he said that, was a bunch of WEIGHTS lifted off of me. Holy HELL. I did it! I am so fricken excited about this and proud of myself, you guys!



I would 100% refer NASM to anyone wanting to get their CPT. Nothing but good things to say about them! The self-study course had enough resources, quizzes, videos, the final exam –  it has everything you need.

For those of you who have taken their CPT through NASM what did you guys think? Or if you’re thinking about doing it, drop your questions below – I’d love to help answer them if I can!



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Weeks 1 – 3!


Seriously though, where have I even been??! I apologize for that, you guys! But, I’ve been studying my BUTT OFF for my NASM CPT (which I take VERY soon – thank goodness). Once that is done, then I’ll be back to regular blog posts and getting started on my Personal Training bizzz!

Let’s talk about the #JESSIESGIRLS3K Challenge!

Weeks 1 and 2 are done and we are almost through with week THREE already! I’ve been hitting my macros dead on and getting a gallon of water in a day, and it feels awesome. It really does! Before this challenge, I was a little ‘lax’ with my macros and there was ZERO cardio going on. I figured I would relax a bit and enjoy the no cardio because I knew that this challenge took a LOT out of me physically and mentally last year, so I let myself step back a bit beforehand just for a little bit this year.

Now I’ve been forcing myself to get up at 4AM to hit the workouts AND the cardio and let me tell you – it’s been hard and I’ve been tired! Honestly though, it feels soooo good to get this routine back in my life. I love having these workouts (and cardio) done for the day! Especially now since all I do is study in my down time – it gives me the day to study and focus on that!

How are these first few weeks going for you guys? I want to hear ALL ABOUT IT in the comments!! Let me know how you are doing! Share alllll the progress and stories pleassseee!!

Here’s a little progress from the end of my bulking phase (November) til now (No cardio vs, all the cardio):


And I put together this little TRX/Ab/HIIT workout today – if you follow me on Instagram (@niicoleamberr) you’ve probably seen it!:


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Intense Booty Workout!

It has been a hot MINUTE since I wrote anything for you guys – and I am truly sorry for that! However, I am working on my NASM Certified Personal Training course right now and really putting my all into that! I will be taking my exam in the next few weeks which I am so pumped and ready for! I can’t wait to tell you all about my future plans with that. It’s pretty exciting! 🙂

For this post, it’s just going to be a short quick post with the exercises that I did and a little video that I made for my social. I’ll be creating an ab workout and a delts workout for you guys very soon!


For this booty day workout, I started off with my regular glute activation warm up! I like to do some resistance band/tube work. You can find more information on that HERE.

Lets get into it:

4 SETS x 12 REPS for EACH exercise:
Sumo Deadlift
Romanian Deadlift
HEAVY Hip Thrusts
Walking Lunges
Lying Hamstring Curls
HIGH Box Step Up (I did 30 inches)

I did this exact workout on Tuesday, and now that it is Thursday it hurts to walk around my house and sit down haha!

That’s it guys! Tag me in your Instagram and let me know how you liked it!

Want more workouts? Ya gotta show me some love and tell me! 🙂


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New Year – New Goals

Time to make some NEW goals for myself this year! If you know me at all, you know I’m a goal driven person and love to set myself up for success! They give me something to focus on and to work towards! (Check out my earlier blog post on setting goals!)

A few goals that I’ve set for myself for 2018 are:

  • More family time
  • Pass my NASM & start an online coaching business (PUMPED for this)
  • Go harder than ever with my fitness and nutrition
  • More blogs/recipes
  • I would love to do more Maskcara Makeovers on people (if you’re interested message me!)
  • Make more time for friends
  • Continue to get out of my comfort zone
  • REALLY consider a bikini competition (bucket list item)
  • Good vibes ONLY – everywhere – and to everyone

Are you somebody who likes to set daily goals for yourself? How about monthly goes, or yearly goals? Comment below if you’d like to share them with me – I’d love to hear them!!

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Top 5 Tips For Staying Motivated

It’s almost the end of the year and I’m starting to look into my 2018 goals. I started taking my lifting and nutrition seriously this year, back in January (2017), and I have learned a few things along the way.

I will never ALWAYS be motivated. Yes, I have learned to push through the hard times, and keep chugging along with my workouts, despite the lack of motivation. However, I know how hard it can be during those challenging times and what it really feels like to not want to work out or keep up with my nutrition.

Even though you may feel this way – change is still happening. Get up and get that workout in, even if it feels like a crappy one. One bad workout is better than no workout, so push through! Try to keep your nutrition as best as you can, and stick to those macros! This time will pass shortly and you’ll be so glad that you pushed through!

When I’m feeling a little unmotivated, I like to do a series of different things.

1. Write out your goals

First thing I like to do is organize myself, and write down my goals on paper. I like to see them and look at them often to remind myself of why I am doing all of this, and what my goals are! This alone helps me to stay accountable and motivated.

Start with daily goals that you want to accomplish, and then move into weekly goals. Eventually you can set up monthly/yearly goals! But for now, just focus on the now. Focus on one day at a time. Write out your daily goals, and cross them off as you accomplish them. This alone will help you feel more organized, and a little bit more successful with your goals. Give it a try!

If you want more on goals, check out my post Let’s Talk Goals!

2. Progress pictures

Taking your before pictures is a MUST for any transformation journey. Not only because you want to show people how far you have come afterwards, but to keep yourself accountable! Take monthly progress pictures to keep yourself on track and focused. If you take monthly photos, you’ll see the changes in your body and you’ll want to keep going. However, if you’re slacking a bit and ignoring your macros, you might see a different change in your pictures. This usually will light a fire up under my ass when this happens, and makes me get back on track and start to push a little harder!

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If you want more on taking good progress photos, check out my post 5 Tips for Great Progress Photos!

3. Support system

I like to surround myself with awesome, supportive people in my life. Having that support system to fall back on when you’re feeling down or unmotivated, makes all the difference! If I didn’t have a supportive husband, or my supportive family I don’t know where I would be right now! I can talk to them about my goals, how I am struggling and they’re there to give me words of encouragement or to remind me why I’m doing all of this!


Even having a workout buddy can make all the difference! You can motivate one another in and out of the gym every single day. I work out alone in my garage, but I have a few peeps that I check in with every day and we all talk about our lifts, and how it’s going! Its so fun to have that connection with someone who is going through the same thing you are!

4. Track everything

When I see myself falling off the ol’ macro wagon a bit, indulging way too much or just my care level is down on if I hit my macros at the end of the day or not, I check in with myself and PROMISE myself to track everything. Even those little bites here and there or

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that sugar cookie that you ate.. track it! You’ll see how much of a difference it makes in your macros, and how many precious carbs you’re wasting on those sneaky bites.

Doing this always reminds me that I have a choice to make, and if I really want to stick to my macros you have to DECIDE what is important. Stay strong and stick to your daily macro goals and you’ll find that your tracking habits will come back! It may take a day or two to get back on the wagon – but it’ll come! Give it time.

5. Remembering your “WHY”

With all of that being said. Remember WHY you are doing all of this. Is it solely for you? Do you want to get healthy for your children? Grandchildren? Do you want to compete in the future? Are you trying to gain muscle? Lose fat? Whatever it may be, just remind yourself of the reason you are doing it.  If you lose that WHY factor, you’ll start to question yourself what all this is for, and fall off of the wagon.

“When you feel like stopping, think about why you started”

Write down sticky notes all over your house, set alarms on your phone that say why you’re doing what you’re doing. Just write it down somewhere, often, so you are reminded. You want it fresh in your mind, at all times. I’ve found that this really helps me to stay motivated and to stay focused!


When all else fails, just please do NOT give up. The worst thing you can do is give up on yourself. Just keep pushing, and keep chugging, even if it’s ugly. All we can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep trying every single day.

I hope these tips and tricks can help you out if you’ve been feeling unmotivated, or if you feel like you need a little kick in the butt to get you going again! It happens to everyone, so do NOT feel like you are alone in this. Reach out to someone and just keep trucking, my friend. You got this!

“A little progress each day, adds up to BIG results!”

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Glute Activation: My Routine

Happy Wednesday you guys!!! I hope you had such an awesome Christmas and that you were surrounded by your loved ones! I am up here in Canada with my WHOLE family, loving life and spending good quality time with my everyone. Card games, drinks, snowboarding, sledding and tubing is all going down this week while we are in the mountains – it is soooo much FUN!

I wanted to write-up this blog post for you guys because it is SO important to warm those glutes up EVERY SINGLE LEG DAY. Every time. I’m not joking you guys. I start out all of my leg days with this exact routine below, varying the band strengths for each exercise or however my legs are feeling that day. 

It is important to get those muscle fibers firing, and the blood pumping into those glutes before you start your workout. Activating those glutes beforehand can really help you to engage them during your squats, deadlifts, lunges, etc. which will then enhance those lifts and make them even better!


1. Banded Side Steps

This is the first exercise I always start with. I wrap the band around my shins and side step down my garage one way, and then return to the other side facing the same way. Squat down into position and move the left foot out, following by moving the right foot in (the right foot should move the same distance that you moved the left foot). Keep the tension in the band and feel the burn! I like to do 15-20 steps per leg.

2. Banded Front Walks

I keep the band around my shins and as I step forward, I keep the tension in the band always. I then bring my foot forward and push out, and repeat with the other leg.

3. Banded Back Walks

Same as the Banded Front Walks, but only in reverse 🙂

4. Banded Kick Backs

Hold the wall, or a bar in front of you and keep the band around your shins. With the tension still in the band, kick one foot back using your GLUTES only. Keep your back and neck neutral throughout the whole movement. You want to feel this in the glutes, and only the glutes. I like to do 20 per leg.

5. Banded Hip Thrusts

Move the band around your quads, and place your shoulder blades on a bench. You’ll want your feet shoulder width apart, with your toes slightly pointed outward. Perform body-weight hip thrusts (be sure that your legs are at a 90º angle with the floor). I like to do these until my glutes are burning, so rep range may vary. Be sure to engage your glutes at the bottom and use them to bring your body up.

6. Banded Clam

This is the last and final exercise that I like to do. Laying on your side, keep the band around your quads. Bend your legs so they’re at a 90º angle with your body and lift your top knee up like a clam shell. I like to do 15-20 on each leg.


Let me know what you guys think and if you give it a try! You’re glutes are going to thank you!

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Instagram: @niicoleamberr & @nicolehuntermakeup
Twitter: @NicoleAHunterr

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Travel Tips

What is UP you guys, happy SATURDAY!! We are off to Canada today (ahhhh so freaking excited!!) and I wanted to share with you some of my favorite travel tips and tricks while trying to stay on track, or while you’re traveling with young kids – because we all know, it ain’t easy!!


Just breathe.. you can do this!

1. Lay It All Out

A few days before our trips, I like to start getting things laid out and ready to be packed. This is where my OCD really shows.. ha ha! Plan out your snacks, and what you will need on the plane as well. Doing this really helps me to see everything that we will need and to not forget anything important.

Lay it out and plan out your outfits that you will wear, plan out your children’s outfits for each day as well. No need to over pack – and most likely wherever you are going, you’ll be able to do laundry! I like to pack my clothes in my suitcase in outfits. Instead of a pile of pants, a pile of shirts, pile of shorts, etc. I like to put them into actual outfits and pack that way. I get more of an idea of how much I am packing and it keeps me from over-packing (for the most part 😉 I still over pack a bit)!

2. Carry On

Make sure to only have what you need in your carry on bag. No point shoving things that you don’t need or that you won’t use on the plane in there. My biggest tip here is to put all of  your liquids that are in your carry on, and place them in a zip lock in a pocket right on the front of your bag. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting to that security line, and digging through your carry on trying to find that bag of liquids that have to come out. Put them in the front pocket so you know exactly where to grab, and GO.

3. Kids Carry On Bags

I like to make sure that both my kids each have a small bag, or one big bag designated just for them. I never want to commingle their stuff with mine on the plane, because when they want something on the plane, you’ll want to grab it as fast as you can so they stay happy! Ha ha, there is no room for unhappy kids on an airplane – it is no fun, trust me!

Snacks should be easily accessible and make sure to have their toys ready to go. I keep their toys a little chunkier for plane rides so they’re easy to find when they drop them.

4. Security Tips

Security lines are what cause a lot of families a great deal of stress. Long lines, taking everyone’s shoes off, taking off a layer of clothing, all those bins you have to use, people staring at you making you feel even more rushed than you already are.. it gets to be a lot!

First, make sure everyone is wearing slip on shoes – NO LACES. No under wire bras, no belts, no metal at all. Comfy clothes make security a breeze, and why not be comfy and Screen Shot 2017-12-21 at 4.35.45 PM.pngcozy on the airplane? I’m down with that! It is no fashion show, you guys. Know that they will probably make you want to take off sweaters and watches and jewelry, so make it easier on yourself and wear a cardigan, and opt for no jewelry that day.

As you’re waiting in line, think about how you’re going to tackle this. I’ve been told multiple times while traveling with my kids how efficient I am in the security line, and its all because of these tips! I think about how I’m going to get through the metal detector and in what order. Take the kids sweaters off in the line before you even reach the bins, have all the liquids out of the carry on bags, ready to be put in a bin. Know that your laptop is in your bag and needs its own bin. All I’m saying is plan it out ahead of time, and you’ll be golden!

5. Stroller Tips

The great thing about if you need a stroller, is that you can get a tag for it at the front desk, and you can use it up until the gate! They ask for you to fold it up, and they’ll put it under the plane for you – and you’ll get it as soon as you step off the plane!

Another great feature of having a stroller, is they usually will move you and your family into the priority line at security. When we are standing in a long line with the kids and the stroller, and they pull us aside to by-pass all the people, it makes my heart (and my kids) so, so happy.

I recommend keeping your stroller empty at all times, so when you do have to fold it up and hand it over there is no fussing around with garbage or bags underneath the seat.

6. Healthy Snacks

I know you’re worried about eating on travel days, I know.. so am I! It’s so hard to stay on track while flying. There are ways to get those healthy snacks and protein in – it just takes a little bit more planning!

In your carry on, bring a bag of oatmeal mixed with protein powder. This can get Screen Shot 2017-12-21 at 8.51.04 PM.pngthrough security and all you need to do is ask a coffee shop for a cup of boiling water. Add your oatmeal and wait a few minutes – you’ll have a healthy meal just like that!  You are allowed to bring supplements as well on the airplane. I always put them in zip lock bags and label them just to be sure.

You can bring pretzels, crackers, bagels, cereal etc. Just make sure that you don’t have peanut butter (yes they will take that away), or any liquids. You can purchase yogurt at a coffee shop, or milk for your cereal!

7. Drink Your Water

Being in an airplane, and traveling alone will make a person dehydrated. I want to make sure that you are drinking enough water and staying hydrated through out your traveling. If you’re working out and drinking a gallon of water on a daily basis like I am, and then you go to one or two glasses while traveling.. your body is going to be THIRSTYYY.


So drink up buttercup and stay hydrated as best as you can!

Let me know if any of these tips have worked for you by commenting below!

• • •


I’m Social!
Instagram: @niicoleamberr & @nicolehuntermakeup
Twitter: @NicoleAHunterr