Tag Archives: ideas

Arm Yourself with the Best

iGnite team

The iGnite team during our 2015 summer boat outing

Point to Ponder:
Are the five people you spend the most time with causing you to give up on your dreams, or do they nurture your dreams and your life?

“If we surround ourselves with people who are successful, who are forward-moving, who are positive, who are focused on producing results, who will support us, it will challenge us to be more, do more and share more. If you surround yourself with people who will never let you settle for less than you can be, you have the greatest gift that anyone can hope for.”
– Anthony Robbins

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

It was just over nine years ago that my short, yet colorful life journey began making sense. All of the “who, why, and what for” puzzle pieces created a vivid and crystal clear picture of my purpose, which is when I created iGnite. The process wasn’t sophisticated nor predictable. Rather, it consisted of a few meetings with a dear friend and mentor at Starbucks where I revealed my heart’s desire and vision, coupled with challenging questions and critical thinking. Within a few weeks I answered his tough questions, though my business brainchild remained nameless. We both recognized that the name had to be something I loved, and that conveyed an inspirational, energetic and timeless message. As we tossed around different ideas he said, “it sounds like you want to ignite their lives!” “YES!”, I shouted. He smiled, I wrote it down, and the rest is history.

I love to share and reminisce about that story simply because of its spontaneous nature. There are also many more stories like this, all of which have provided me with unforeseeable lessons and growth opportunities over the past nine years. One of the most important pieces of advice that has provided me with the most personal and professional value, is “Be intentional with whom you surround yourself with, and arm yourself with the best.”

iGnite began the first Monday in October of 2006, and by February I had hired a professional business coach, Michelle Ewalt, who I worked with for three years. She was aware of all of my thoughts, plans, and ideas for iGnite, which for a one-woman show was a giant feat. She also knew that Russell and I wanted to have children one day, so during a meeting she suggested I spend my time determining the five, non-negotiable characteristics I wanted in an iGnite leader. I explained that I wasn’t interested in sharing this business with anyone else, simply because I couldn’t imagine another person loving and caring for our members and aligning with the vision as I did. But what she knew that I didn’t know at the time was this; “no branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain on the vine.” (John 15:4). I realize this verse has much greater meaning beyond my situation, but Michelle knew that on my own, the mission would not be fruitful. She also knew that if I wanted to see my personal goals come true, like having a family, forming a team was essential. And so, that exact day I identified and wrote down the five, non-negotiable characteristics of an iGnite team member. Within one year, the inspiring and wonderful women began appearing, and continue to, which currently make up what I think is the most beautiful, talented and special team in all of Austin and beyond. As a result, our membership is a mirror-image of our team, making up a spectacular community of love, health and kindness. The fruit is rich and we are blessed!

One of the unforeseeable lessons I learned is that in order for me to give my gift, which is the ability to personally and professionally give and be the best Neissa and pursue my dreams and passions, it can’t happen alone, and I must arm myself with the best. Per the words of the late world class track athlete Steve Prefontaine, “to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” I’ve decided that I don’t want to sacrifice my gift, and so with intention I not only arm myself with those who are the best at what they do (both personally and professionally), but I also arm myself with people who are better than me (personally and professionally) so I can up my game, grow, and become my best. As the late Jim Rohn says, “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.”

This week I invite you to be intentional with me and arm yourself with the best so you don’t sacrifice your gift. And, so we can be our best, we must constantly be evaluating and asking ourselves the following questions from Jim Rohn: “Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question. Is that okay? Life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.”

Action Item:
Make a short list of the five characteristics of the people you want and need in your life that can help you become your best.

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Our 7 Favorite Halloween Costume Memories & Ideas

With Halloween just around the corner, the iGnite leaders share their favorite halloween costume memories & ideas.

baconcostume

Kathleen:  In Walmart I found the perfect costume…my favorite food. Bacon! I love bacon! Best protein ever. I like it best when it doesn’t bend — nice and crispy!

glowmanpic
Sha: One of my daughter’s friends did this and it was awesome!  Glow in the dark stick figure: Dress totally in black, head to toe. Buy long glow in the dark sticks of all different colors. Activate the glow sticks. With clear packaging tape, tape the glow sticks to your black outfit, for example: two yellows down your arms, two blue down your legs, girls make a triangle shape for a skirt, then a circle glow stick goes around your face. It looks so cute to see full life , glow in the dark stick figures walking down the street or on the dance floor.

scoobydoocostumes
Neissa: Pre-children, we did absolutely whatever our niece Claire wanted, and six years ago she loved Scooby-Doo. So, my husband Russell and I headed to the thrift store and pieced together our Shaggy and Velma costumes- all of which we felt like turned out quite well. Claire was a very happy four-year old!

joker
Amy:   One year my daughter Sarah was fixated on the Joker and worked on her costume for months. Halloween came along on a Friday night and Sarah found herself without a trick-or-treat buddy (she STILL likes to trick-or-treat!). Hating to see the Joker so distraught, I ran to Walgreens at 9PM to get the last Batman costume (child sz. 14-16)….squeezed into it and hoped desperately that our neighbors would not recognize Sarah’s “partner in crime.” It ended up making a big memory and being lots of fun for both of us!

flash mob 2 (2)-2
Betty: My costume for this year is a Go Go Dancer — this picture is from a party flash mob I did for my sister’s birthday in California. It was so fun!
crybabyCC
Cary: the funniest I’ve ever seen was a friend dressed as a baby. It was very brave…a guy, and he wore a giant homemade diaper with a pin in it, and that’s it. I think he carried a rattle too!
Ice Bucket Challenge costume
Catherine: I always love when people cleverly turn a current event into a DYI halloween costume. My favorite I’ve run across this year is an Ice Bucket Challenge costume. One option I saw for not dumping water on yourself all night is to use bubble wrap and cut strips into smaller pieces and attach them to a bucket so you can re-create the experience over and over again while staying dry. My favorite part: take pictures of other people in costumes going through the challenge with your bucket. It’s always fun when your costume makes you interact with other people!

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Go-To, Healthy Summer Dinners

We all get into routines when it comes to at-home cooking. It’s simply a lot of effort tracking down new recipes and thinking of new things to cook, right? We couldn’t agree more, so we asked the iGnite Leaders for some of their favorite go-to dinners to provide you with fresh inspiration for healthy dinners to prepare at home. No more boring dinners!

Neissa Neissa’s Pick: Salmon + Quinoa + a Big Delicious Green Salad

Molly Molly’s Pick: Quesadillas Loaded with Veggies
(recipe below)

Kathleen Kathleen’s Pick : Turkey Burgers and Corn Salad
(recipes below)

Cary Fyfe Cary’s Pick: Tilapia (olive oil and lemon) + Roasted Mixed Potatoes (regular and sweet) + Spinach/Arugula  Salad with Pecans & Sweet Yellow Tomatoes (…and a brownie for dessert!)

 Amy’s Pick: Chilled Gazpacho + Pistachio Spinach Salad + Crusty  Olive Bread
(recipes below)

Catherine Hearn Catherine’s Pick: Roasted Chicken Breast + Baked Sweet Potatoes with  Oregano + Kale Salad with chopped Walnuts & Dried  Cranberries
(recipes below)

FEATURED RECIPES: 

Photo: Southern Living

Photo: Southern Living

Kathleen’s Summer Go-To: Turkey Burgers and Corn Salad
“Really fast & easy!”

TURKEY BURGERS
2 lb. Italian Seasoned Ground Turkey (two 1 lb.pkgs from grocery store)
Chopped Red Onion
2 Cups Chopped Spinach (I just use the frozen package and thaw it)

  1. Mix all together and make burgers!
  2. Cook in oven or on Grill.

CORN SALAD
3 Cans Shoe Peg Corn
3 Cans Black Beans drained and rinsed
1 Chopped Red Pepper
1 bunch Chopped Cilantro
1 bunch Chopped Green Onions
Salt and Pepper
DRESSING: 1/2 c. Red Wine Vinegar and 1/2 c. Olive Oil mixed together– just pour over and chill!!

Amy’s Go-To: A big healthy bowl of chilled Gazpacho along with Pistachio Spinach Salad and Crusty Olive Bread

Photo: cookistry.com

Photo: cookistry.com

WHOLE FOODS GAZPACHO
1 large onion
1 1/2 lbs. tomatoes, seeded
2 large cucumbers, seeded
1 medium red pepper, seeded
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (I like more!)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups tomato puree
1 cup tomato juice
1 Tbls. lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
1/8 cup good quality balsamic vinegar

  1. Combine the olive oil, tomato puree, tomato juice, and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  2. Pour half the liquid ingredients into a Vitamix or blender and add half the onion, tomatoes, pepper and cilantro, roughly chopped. Pulse to chop coarsely. Repeat with the remaining vegetable and liquid ingredients.
  3. Combine both batches in a large container.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste, and blend in the balsamic vinegar.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
  6. Add fresh cilantro before serving and drizzle some good quality extra virgin olive oil over the top (optional.)

SPINACH SALAD WITH PISTACHIOS (easy, healthy and Paleo-friendly)
5 ounces baby spinach
1/2 cup roasted pistachios
1/2 cup dried cherries
MUSTARD ORANGE DRESSING
2 Tbls. olive extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbls. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbls. orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp. dijon mustard

  1.  In a large salad bowl, toss together spinach, pistachios and cherries
  2. In a jar, combine olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, mustard and shake well
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad
  4. Toss and serve
Photo: allrecipes.com

Photo: allrecipes.com

Catherine’s favorite: EASY BAKED SWEET POTATOES WITH OREGANO
(Makes 4 servings)

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large sweet potatoes
2 pinches dried oregano
2 pinches salt
2 pinches ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the bottom of a glass or non-stick baking dish with olive oil, just enough to coat.
  2. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into medium size pieces. Place the cut sweet potatoes in the baking dish and turn them so that they are coated with the olive oil. Sprinkle moderately with oregano, and salt and pepper (to taste).
  3. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 60 minutes or until soft.
Photo: myrecipes.com

Photo: myrecipes.com

Molly’s quick & easy go-to: QUESADILLAS LOADED WITH VEGGIES
Corn tortillas
Refried black beans
Any and all veggies….spinach, onion, bell pepper, avocado (or pre-made  guacamole)
Salsa
Cheese to your liking
Add any other protein you’d like (preferably a lean protein such as chicken, shrimp, etc.)

What are YOUR favorite healthy summer dinners? Leave a comment and share your ideas