Category: Mindset

Big Changes Are Coming, Y’all

Photo by Ashley Caroline Photography

If you follow along on social media it is no secret that Mike and I are Charleston obsessed. We vacationed there almost 3 years ago and I totally fell in love (he had been before for baseball tournaments but this was my first time). During that trip we loved it so much that we went around to all different islands/areas/neighborhoods to see which we liked the most and then looked at a few homes. Not too seriously, just to give ourselves an idea of what was on the market. We knew that when the time came we wanted to buy down south. Not only is it cheaper than living in the CT/NY area but it’s a different way of life down there. People are so genuine and kind, EVERYTHING is pretty (seriously, I take a billion pics any time we go down), the weather is awesome, beaches are beautiful, food is so good and there’s a big emphasis on enjoying the smaller, simpler things in life.

From our wedding which I’ll hang in our house! Photo by Caroline Ro

Fast forward to currently: We’ve been to Charleston a bunch since my first time down, got married there, have looked at lots of homes and we found OURS. Ok, it’s not ours until the keys are in our hands but we are under contract and are set to close the beginning of July! I can’t even believe it! We are so happy, nervous, excited…. basically all the feels.

That being said, we’ve got a lot of shit to do. Likeeeeee whoa. New business proposals, selling stuff in our current apartment so we don’t have to move much down, figuring out how we’re going to get things down there including 2 crazy dogs (one of which hates the car), getting new furniture, doing a few things to the house and the list goes on and on and on. It’s super exciting but stressful AF.

And all I can think about is decorating. I’m becoming obsessed.

I’ve always liked that sorta thing but never did much of it, our current apartment is basically a bunch of mis-matched furniture and decor from mine and Mike’s previous places. A new home that is ours is a big clean slate for me and I can’t wait to get in there and do my thang. Or try to at least, we won’t really know if I’m any good at this until we see a finished product. *Fingers crossed*.

My life is very much about health and fitness. I love helping others achieve goals of losing fat and getting stronger. I love creating simple yet healthy recipes (which I can do so much more of once we have a kitchen with counter space!). I love coaching clients on how to do an exercise properly to prevent injury and make workouts more efficient. It’s what I’ve been doing for 10 years. But it isn’t my whole life. And sometimes I feel that when I blog or post on social media I have to hide other parts of my life because they aren’t health or fitness related.

Well, that ends here. Coach Cait will be getting an overhaul in the next few months (once I figure out how the heck to build a new website!). I may even change my biz name. But I’m telling you this because I want to share more with you, I want to make this a lifestyle blog that encompasses my everyday life, activities and interests.

You betcha real life involves champagne. Photo by Ashley Caroline Photography

Of course there will be tons of content on wellness, nutrition, fitness, recipes (all gluten free, duh) and motivation. That is a huge part of who I am and it’s not going anywhere. In addition to the healthy sections you may begin to see some wedding stuff (because how the heck have I not posted about our southern wedding yet?!). You’ll also start to see some home and design inspiration. When we move you’ll  join me in the process of fixing some stuff up, decorating, seeing what type of organic mattress we end up buying (yes, that is super important!). I’ll be posting different guides for Charleston as far as gluten free restaurants, best hotels, cool spots for drinks etc. because you all need to come visit at some point. Seriously, it’s just the most amazing place.

Basically, you’re gonna get the ins and outs of life with the McDonnells. And maybe you want to stay up to speed on everything or you might just like the workout stuff or are only interested in our house hunting journey. That’s cool too. Blogs are so easy to navigate giving you the ability to look up what you want and leave the other stuff behind. No biggie to me, as long as I’m contributing something helpful/inspirational/or just entertaining you.

This ride is certainly not going to be perfect. But I can promise you that I’ll be honest and transparent with you. You’ll get to see the beautiful mess that moving forward in life creates. You’ll also get to see me freak out when my OCD goes a little cray and there are a billion boxes and no furniture in our new home. That’ll be entertaining to say the least.

Please continue to share feedback on what I’m posting here and email me if you have anything you’d like me to write about. As always, thank you for reading and taking part in this with me. It’s my sweet little group of followers who keep me going and motivate me to create more content and not give up on this new lil’ business of mine. <3 <3 <3

3 Intense Workout Finishers

Over the past few years a cool thing has happened in the online health and wellness world: We are learning to love our bodies a little bit more and judge them a little less. Body shaming is a real thing. We’re constantly looking at hot bods all over social media so it’s easy to “wish our arms were as toned as hers” or to comment #AbGoals on someone else’s picture.

It’s almost beach time! FINALLY.

There have been some very influential voices in this industry, however, who say “Hey, you’re fine just the way you are.” We’re realizing we can love ourselves, flaws and all. I think this is really great as it allows us to show respect for ourselves and others while not feeling the need for comparison. I can read a post from a woman my age who has an amazing body and think “Damn, she works really hard to maintain that physique, good for her,” and I feel more inspired than jealous. That’s HUGE and I think/hope more people are feeling this way.

That being said, I see nothing wrong in wanting to change your body for the better. I mean yikes, it’s my friggin job to help people achieve this! Where the mix-up lies is the reasoning behind it. Do you want a six-pack because it’ll make you feel more worthy? Mehhhh, probs not a good reason. However, I think a six-pack would make me feel pretty badass and I KNOW that in order to achieve this I’d need a kickass workout routine. I’d have to be kind to my body when it comes to nutrition and I’d need lots of discipline –> And there’s nothing wrong with those things. 

I got to thinking about all of this because now that it’s getting nice out we are going to start seeing lots of material about getting “beach body ready.” And a few people will definitely come through and say “Noooo, your body is so great just the way it is, love yourself, be who you are, don’t change just so you can feel comfortable in a bikini!”

But, what if I want to change? What if I want to lean out a bit for the summer because:

A. I wasn’t being super mindful of my nutrition over the winter and gained a few pounds and

B. Having nicer abs and an overall strong looking body makes me feel really good?

Is that so bad? Am I an awful human for saying that if I look better I will feel better about myself? I think the point certain people are trying to make on this topic is that having a goal to make yourself better should come from a place of self-love rather than self-hate. This makes sense but can be a tough mindset shift. Personally, if I look at my mid-section in the mirror and am not loving what I see, I will feel more motivated to workout and eat well on a consistent basis rather than thinking “Oh I see a little more fat there than I’d like but I am beautiful just the way I am. Now let me go workout because it’s so wonderful for my mind, body and soul.”

See the difference there? We all have different reasoning behind wanting to change and to me, one way of thinking is no better than the other as long as we aren’t constantly throwing negative thoughts at ourselves. To me, what’s important is that we want to strive to be better for ourselves and our loved ones and that we do so on a healthy and mindful journey.

Ok enough of the inspirational, self-worth talk. It’s honestly not my area of expertise, the above is just my two cents at this moment in time. It’s also my reasoning for the next bit of this post:

3 workout finishers that will make you a lean, mean, fat-burning machine. LOL, did I overdo it there? I had to. Because it is my personal opinion that if summer being just around the corner makes you want to lean out then that is totally ok. Get it going.

Eat well, work hard and feel friggin good. 

These 3 finishers can be added into your workout at the end (hence why it’s called a finisher). (And you should feel really, really spent when done. If you don’t then you aren’t working hard enough.)


Numero Uno:
>1a. Row 150 meters
1b. Plank shoulder taps 8x each side
**Row, Plank then repeat for 10-15 minutes

Numero Dos:
1a. 15 kettlebell swings
1b. 30 sec mountain climbers
**Swing, Climb then repeat 10 times

Numero Tres:
1a. 30 sec sprint on cardio equipment of your choice
1b. Rest 30 sec
**Sprint, Rest then repeat for 10-15 min

Give these a try and let me know what you think! And if you feel you need a modification for an exercise head to the “contact me” tab on my page where you can either email me or message me on social media 🙂

Weekly Workouts

This week was a little subpar with workouts. There were one or two days where I really MEANT to get to the gym, but didn’t go. It happens to all of us right? I said I’d go after sessions but then I was too hungry so I’d go after lunch instead, but then the dogs needed to be taken out and I had to answer emails and program for clients. Then it was time to make dinner and the thought of going to workout was not appealing. 

Luckily on days like this I can go for a nice long walk with the dogs and still get moving. It’s also important to understand that if you don’t exercise, you don’t need to eat as much on those days and so I keep that in mind. It’s all good and lesson learned: If the workout isn’t written down in the schedule, it very well may not get done. So write that ish down! 


Long dog walk




BB reverse lunge 3×8 ea
KB OH press 3×8 ea
Ab wheel 3×8
Lat pulldown 3×8 ea
Stairclimber 20 min


Rest (unintentionally)


Long doggy walk


Barbell sumo squat 5×5
Chin ups 5x 1-2
Single arm plank 5x 15-20 sec
Ski erg 5x 20 sec
90/90 stretch 5×1 min


Bench press 5x 8/6/6/3/1
Pallof press 3×10 ea
OH tricep rope extension 3×10
DB lateral raises 3×10