A little back history, I had originally decided to compete in the Fall of 2014. I found a trainer, started prepping my food, decided on a show and with only two weeks in, I found out that I was pregnant. The dream was put on hold and I was secretly happy. I had an out in case I failed and a reason for the nightly Buster Bar blizzards that I was already missing. However, after our son was born and I had survived the three months of sleepless nights, I decided it was time to try again. More so, I was actually mentally ready this time to succeed.

{picking a show} I probably could have done more research when I first decided on which federation and shows to compete in because there are many options, each looking for something slightly different. But in true Shauna fashion, I found one that fit my timeline {thanks Google} and made the decision before I had even hired my trainer Karen. When I told her that I wanted to compete in the NPC Gopher State Classic she told me how long our prep would be and actually recommend taking a year to build my baby muscles and then complete if I wanted to truly be competitive and place. But me, wait? No way. I “heard” her professional recommendations and we started training.

The bucket list to compete really did start with one show but it quickly turned into two, almost three within weeks. I mean, since I’m already prepping what’s ANOTHER show, right? Thankfully, I decided to be smart with my new passion and take it slow versus going big and potentially burning myself out year one. We added the DFAC Diva Classic four weeks after the Gopher Classic and kept training.

Both federations want a feminine figure with muscle definition and a great stage presence. The posing requirements and time on stage was a bit different but both were similar enough that training simultaneously wasn’t an issue.

{the training} What is your training like? How long are you at the gym everyday? What do you eat? There is so much more to training for a fitness competition than just the time you put in at the gym or in the kitchen. Yes I was at the gym for hours a day, many times splitting my workouts up so I could get it all in. I would wake up at 4:30 am to be at the gym by 5:00 am for my daily conditioning of kickbacks, lunges and abs followed by my 30 minutes of cardio. Then I would bring little man to daycare and head to work. At night after he went to bed I would head back for my lifting and posing practice. On Sunday’s I would spend hours prepping my meals for the entire week, usually as little man napped and the hubby worked.

I knew that the training was going to be tiring and tough, however it was the mental ‘training’ that I didn’t expect or plan for. I didn’t expect to be so tired that my brain would be in a complete mental fog for 18 weeks. I didn’t expect on being so tired that I would literally fall asleep on the floor while playing with little man.

I didn’t plan on truly being away from my family for hours a day or missing out on those early memories with my son. I knew it would take time in the gym but I didn’t really think of the things I would be missing as a consequence of my decision to compete. As a mom, that was a huge sacrifice and there were days that I wanted to quit. Not because I craved certain foods or my muscles ached but because I missed my family. I missed my sons laugh. I missed watching him explore and learn new things. I missed my husband. And when I was with him, I was crabby and short instead of showing him gratitude for taking care of our son while I was chasing my goal. Because at the end of the day, this was my goal, not his and even still he was living it with me.

I also didn’t plan to find and love myself the way that I did. At age 36, I finally stopped believing that I was nothing more than the “bitch” many thought me to be. I finally started to let my walls down and allowed people to know the real me, mainly because I was finally figuring it out for myself. And after some tense conversations and reality slaps in the face, I finally started to treat my husband like he deserved and our marriage has been growing stronger as a result.

This is a mere sample of the mental training I didn’t expect or plan for. I could really go on and on {and probably would have if I posted during prep like I intended to!}. It’s the part of competing that people don’t really talk about, yet it’s the part of competing where I feel like I gained the most.

{to be continued…}

shauna ♥



FAVORITE picture from season one!  photography {Liquid Spectrum}

FAVORITE picture from season one!
photography {Liquid Spectrum}

I have spent years in the gym, jumping from one fad workout to the next. Bootcamp. Crossfit. Zumbo. You name it and I’ve probably tried it. See I love the rush of working out. I love taking care of myself both mentally and physically but I hadn’t found that one activity that I truly loved or felt motivated by to achieve the results I wanted. Until I discovered life in clear heels and oh, what an interesting life it is! 🙂

{disclaimer} My original plan was to blog during my competition prep to document my experience, emotions, etc., however; with a one year old, full time job and crazy gym schedule that just didn’t happen. So, I’m splitting my thoughts up into parts, which may or may not have a rhyme or reason to them. My Life in Clear Heels…part one

{why fitness competitions} Fitness competitions are a unique breed. I’ve haven’t found another sport that gets such mixed responses from people then when you tell them that you compete. Some are impressed with the hard work, dedication and determination it takes to walk that stage. Others are worried that you don’t eat, judge you for being selfish or tell you “just don’t get too muscular” as if it’s their body you are living in. Throughout my journey I experienced all these responses and then some from family, friends, coworkers and acquaintances. Thankfully, I decided to take those reactions; good, bad or indifferent and make myself stronger through my 18 weeks of prep.

But really, why? Often my knee-jerk, smart-arse reaction to that question is “why not?” but seriously, “why not?” As mentioned, I have tried almost everything in search of that something that fuels me. I love to box. I like to road bike. I even like a yoga class once in a blue moon, but none of these activities push me like the thought of stepping on that stage. None of these activities make me WANT to be better. DRIVE me to be better. After having our first kiddo in 2015, I was completely amazed by what our bodies can do, especially when we take our minds out of the equation. With that the decision to compete was made and it was a 100% personal decision. So yes, I guess this can be a selfish sport. But if I can teach my son the lessons of a) taking care of yourself b) that hard work pays off and c) it takes dedication to finish what you started in the process and still be labeled as selfish, then I’m ok with that.

{next steps} So I made the commitment to compete, fantastic! What’s next? Personally, finding a female coach around my age and who had kiddos was really important to me. I wanted someone who knew the female body and understood the postpartum hormones. Once I found my amazing coach Karen Capezza we determined the shows I would compete in {part two} and got to work! We started training in September; lifting heavy, trying to build as much as possible before my cutting phase {part two} started in January.

Karen really was more than a trainer to me. She was a coach through all the crabby times, a friend through the fun times and really my rock during the whole experience. Not only was she training me, but she was competing in both shows along side me as well. And I can honestly say that our 7 month journey has been a blast!

{to be continued…}

shauna ♥


Looks like my other shoe has dropped and it’s snapping memories along the way! 🙂

I have spent years looking at the memories and stories that a picture can tell. In college we would run to Target Sunday mornings and laugh as we flipped through the memories from the night before. Our wedding was captured in the form kisses, smiles and family portraits. And after a year, we have a healthy little boy covered in cake to remind us just how blessed we truly are. Pictures tell a story. They share a moment that otherwise may have been forgotten. I want to capture as many of those moments and memories as we grow and share all of life’s passions together.

Today’s memory, practice practice practice with one of my favorite monsters. Let the fun begin…

shauna ♥

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what year is it??

So, my mind is still blown that it’s 2016, especially given that our last post was in 2014! Obviously, so much in life has happened since then; simply loves wedding & design was blessed to enjoy two more wedding seasons filled with loving couples, creative ideas and lasting memories. On a personal note, my husband and I have entered a new chapter in our lives, the exciting world of {PARENTHOOD} and it’s hard to believe that our little guy will be celebrating his first birthday in just a few short days. With all the adjustment and transition, I made the decision to limit the number of weddings per season and recently decided to “close up shop” for now while I enjoy and savor every precious moment I am gifted with my family. I wish I knew if this was forever, but something tells me it’s not… who can stay away from blushing brides, elegant décor and the rush of love! 🙂

While we may not play in the wedding world right now, I always have something to talk about and plan on continuing to share via simply loves. Please continue with me as I share my life as a wife, mother, friend and whatever shoe I’m wearing that day!

shauna ♥



What is more beautiful than two people in love? How about two people proclaiming that love AGAIN in front of their family and friends with their three gorgeous children by their side? On a sunny fall afternoon we were blessed to witness Dan & Melissa Conway’s such love. And of course we just HAD to share this sneak peek!

Together with the fabulous Brooke Ringdahl Photography, Studio B Floral, Paper Thick Ink, Simply Modern, Little Dreamers Tutus and Apres Party Rental, we created the perfect backyard affair for the Conway’s to share with their guests.

shauna ♥

5.13.14photography {Brooke Ringdahl Photographyflorals {Studio B Floralpaper {Paper Thick InkDesserts {Simply Modern} tutu {Little Dreamers Tutus} tableware & rentals {Apres Party Rental}

may you find inspiration in the big picture, but find love in the details