My Favorites

Happy Wednesday my friends!!  I hope you week is going well.  Things here have been trucking along quite nicely and in the spirit of keeping things fun and light (and celebrating a consistent posting schedule this week!) let’s do one of my favorite things…a little blog questionnaire.

While reading this month’s issue of Health Magazine there was an interview with Tracy Anderson, a very well-known fitness trainer that trains celebs like Gwenyth Paltrow. I thought this would be fun to play along with!

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Here are my favorites…

Song that amps me up to workout: This is really hard, sometimes what gets me going is something slow and smooth like Sam Smith (especially on longer runs) or sometimes it’s more “popish” like Carly Rae Jepsen.  Sometimes it’s something more alternative like The Killers.  One song that I always love and makes me happy is Bruce Springsteen’s Glory Days.  It was one of our warm up songs when I was playing soccer in college and it always got me focused and ready to play.

Way to eat eggs: Is there a bad way to eat eggs (other than raw I suppose?)  I LOVE eggs and most of the time, I top mine with fresh salsa or ketchup.

Podcast: I LOVED the Serial podcast, I can’t wait for Season 2.  Currently, I listen to a lot of TedTalks, mainly on the commute to and from work.  (I don’t know of a lot of podcasts–if there are any you LOVE..please let me know in the comments and I will check them out!)

Kind of date: At this point in our lives, date nights don’t happen all that much so the bar is set pretty low.  As long as I have time to talk to Robyn and do something fun, I am happy.  Dinner, drinks and a movie are always great…bonus points for eating outdoors and going to the drive in!

App: Instagram

Item in my closet: My running shoes (duh!) :)

Gifts to give and receive: I love to give and receive experience types of gifts…a night out painting, wine tasting, cupcake tours…you get the idea.  Anything that gets me/us out and about trying new things/places are my favorites because you always remember those experiences, but may not necessarily remember a shirt, pair or shoes, etc.

Pizza topping: Fresh basil and mozzarella.

That’s it friends, some of my favorites!  Now, I want to hear from you!  Oh, and don’t forget to have a GREAT day!

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Question of the day

Share an answer or two to the above questions–I love learning new stuff about YOU!

 

Weekly Wrap Up

Hey friends, how are you doing? How was your week?  The weekend?  It was really busy here with lots of fun activities.  I really liked the Weekly Wrap up in pictures last week so we are going to do it again!  So let’s take a look at how the week unfolded!

5/11-5/17

Monday: I did an upper body lifting circuit and then ended with some box jumps and step ups.  Then I proclaimed my new-found love of…..One Direction!  Eek! While listening to Pandora over the past few weeks, I kept “liking” their songs when they came on, so I decided to give them a try to I have to say, their stuff is catchy. I have been listening to them a lot in the office.

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After work I picked Ashton up from daycare and he was complaining that his feet hurt him. We had been talking over the weekend about getting Ashton some new sneakers, so I took him to pick out a pair. We went to 3 different stores before he picked a pair he liked.  A cool looking pair of Spiderman New Balances.  He went up a whole shoe size–growth spurt??  He is modeling them for my mom you!

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He wouldn’t take the shoes off, so I brought the box up and paid for them and he walked out with his new shoes. He said no less than a dozen times how much he loved his new shoes #momforthewin

Since he was so patient in all the stores, we finished our mall trip with a ride to space in his favorite spaceship!

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Tuesday: In the morning I did a 4 mile run. I felt like I was running in quick sand, it wasn’t pretty but I got it done with an average pace of 8:45.  I was surprised my pace was in the 8’s since I felt like I struggled every single step of the way.  After my run, I was rushing around. It was a HUGE day at work, we had a FDA Advisory Committee meeting. I ran down and got a Starbucks and joined my colleagues in our auditorium for a full day of sitting and watching. We were all anxious, but it turned out fantastic!

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Wednesday: I had a heavy leg day in the gym.  I have been pushing my squat weight lately, I was in a comfort zone of doing the same thing every week but I warmed up with 100 lbs on the bar and it was, dare I say, comfortable!?! Next time I’m going to increase it a bit and see how it goes! I also noticed I was the most colorful person in the gym that day! I kind of loved it!

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Thursday:   I wanted to run outside but it was barely 50 degree and raining and I was being a baby, so I did 2 mile hill HIIT on the treadmill, 10% incline with a 9.0/4.0 speed, I wanted to die, the last few rounds felt like they weren’t going to end..but of course, they did.  Afterwards I did some glute work and called it a day.

I went to my beloved Starbucks in the afternoon and I was happy that I FINALLY remembered to bring my own cup!  I have a few of these at home for both hot and cold drinks but always forget to bring them to work. I love drinking out of my own cups–yeah, I’m a little weird, we have already established this! :)

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After work, it was gorgeous out so I took the monster to the park.  He was very daring and was playing with the bigger boys on the monkey bars. He was having a blast!

ash at park on the 14th

 

When we got home, I had a package waiting for me…new Jamberry wraps!!  If you follow me on IG, you know I love my wraps!!  I already have way too many, but I couldn’t help myself, especially since Robyn just bought me a gift card for our anniversary!2015-05-14 17.55.44

Friday:  Friday was an insane day. I was off of work but I have a million things I had to do but I started the day by lifting upper body, back and glutes. I was spent after my workout but the day was just getting started. I won’t bore with you all the details, but after my running around, I picked Ash up from daycare and brought him to soccer.  Robyn met me there and I had to run to my evening plans…

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My sister-in-law was graduating with her Master’s Degree so I had her ceremony to attend, She also graduated at the top of her class, so I was SO SO proud of her.  Not only does she work full-time, but she is raising 3 teenage kids (and 2 VERY high maintenance dogs!)   I sat with my two nieces during the ceremony and despite it being ridiculously long, we made it through.  Afterwards we all went out for a very late dinner. I didn’t get home until after 10 p.m. and then went right to bed.

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Saturday: Saturday morning brought swim lessons for Ashton and an impromptu trip to an Asparagus Festival. I would by lying if I said I was initially excited to go to this since it wasn’t really super close to our house, but it ended up being pretty awesome. There were a ton of vendors with lots of food (with and without asparagus.) I had an asparagus pesto grilled cheese on sourdough bread that was INCREDIBLE!

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We got home kind of late so Ashton only had a short nap, so I didn’t really have time to run, so decided I would use Saturday as my rest day and run on Sunday instead.

Sunday: Ashton and I slept in until almost 9 am, it was GLORIOUS.  We must have been exhausted. I woke up feeling really refreshed.  Robyn made us pancakes for breakfast and we headed out to the Brimfield Fair.  If you haven’t heard of it before, it is the largest outdoor antique show in New England, with over 5000 dealers from all over the country.  These shows happen 3 times a year for a week each. Vendors set up in 21 fields each approximately 3 to 5 acres. It’s pretty awesome and has EVERYTHING you could possibly think of/want. I grew up going each year with my family so I loved being able to go with my boys.  However, I wish we would have went on Saturday when it was cloudy and cool. It was SUPER hot out (over 90 degrees) and the sun beating down on you for a few hours, no matter how much you hydrate is never fun.  We brought Ashton’s stroller with sun cover to protect him but it was a lot. We left earlier than we wanted to because of the weather and stopped in at a local shop for lunch.  The boys were really hungry and tired and were getting antsy waiting for our sandwiches.

boys at lunch

 

We finally got our food and headed home.  Ash went down for a nap and I got in a run. Another run where I struggled with every stride. I felt pretty dehydrated and bad and ended up cutting my run short when Ashton started crying out for us 1/2 way during his nap which never happens.

sat afternoon run

He was complaining his stomach hurt. After about 20 mins, he was lying back down and Robyn was rubbing his stomach and he puked all over the place :(  Thankfully, that seemed to help him. After a quick shower, some fluids and some cuddle time on the tv watching Frozen, he was good as new. We think it may have been the heat, but he rallied.  We went grocery shopping and then played outside until dinner time.

ash blowing flowers

We ate dinner on the deck and wrapped up the weekend by watching An Idiot Abroad.  Have you seen it? Thoughts?  Robyn and I only watched the first episode that took place in China, but we had a ridiculous amount of laughs. I didn’t realize this wasn’t a spoof kind of show, the main character is not acting at all, which kind of terrifies me.

So, there you have it my friends, the Weekly Wrap Up ! I hope you all had a great weekend, and that have a great week ahead of you and I will see you on Wednesday!

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Question of the day

How was your week/weekend?

Thoughts while at the gym

Hey friends…happy Hump Day!  Two posts in one week?? Yeah it’s been a while since that has happened!!  So, this is a random post but I was in the gym this morning doing some heavy bar squats, listening to Pandora and for some reason my mind started to wander.  This rarely happens when I work out, I am usually focused on what I am doing. I don’t see the people around me, I don’t notice what the guy (or girl) next to me is doing, I don’t think about work or what the day is going to bring, I just get in my zone, listen to my music loud and execute my plan. It’s not the greatest habit, especially when I am outside running when it’s early and dark out, but it’s the only time I have in my day where I don’t have to think, and I take advantage of that. But, for some reason today was different.  I wasn’t laser focused and I actually noticed what was going on around me and an inner monologue started with a flurry of questions/observations occurred like:

  • Why did that guy wipe down the bench before he used it but not after he left a sweat version of himself behind after he was done–is gym etiquette not a thing anymore?
  • Can that guy please stop making those sounds while doing jumping jacks?
  • A few minutes later…yeah, I just squatted more weight than jumping jack guy–booyah!
  • Is throwing weights around like that really necessary? At a work gym?
  • Wow, she has really good running form and is barely sweating! I don’t even look that good before my workout!
  • Geez- that guy just did like 30 hanging pull ups in a row, he’s a beast!
  • Seeing a VP working out and sweating next to you is kind of weird…especially when I will be seeing him in meetings later–oh shit, we just made eye contact, I have to smile and say “hi”
  • I don’t know how I feel about men were Lululemon
  • I kinda love my new shoes! They make me happy!
  • Why is he looking at me doing box jumps?  I must look ridiculous!
  • Are they playing “I can dream about you” over the gym speakers?  Yes, yes, they are!  Must be an 80’s station–I approve!
  • That guy is soaking wet…why is he wearing a heavy long sleeve shirt?  It’s hot as hell in here!

And my last thought while at the gym occurred as I was walking into the showers…

Holy crap, my outfit is seriously bright today– I’m was the brightest one in the gym in a sea of all black!wed am workout

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Question of the day

Do you zone out when you work out or notice everything around you?

 

 

 

Weekly Wrap Up (in pictures)

Hey friends, how are you doing? How was the weekend?  I know I have been MIA lately, I really tried to get something posted last week but every night after I put Ashton to bed and got a bit more work done, I just didn’t have it in me and my days were filled with back to back meetings and there just wasn’t any time.  We all have those times though, right?  I hope I get a reprieve soon, we will see. :)  Since I didn’t get to check in with you last week…here’s a peek into how the week went with the Weekly Wrap Up but we are going to shake things up and do it in a picture version.

5/4-5/10

Monday: I lifted upper body and then came home and played ball for an hour before dinner with this little ham!

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Tuesday: It was our 10 year anniversary…day started with a sweet treat waiting for me in my car!

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I didn’t eat it until later in the day  :)  I got in a great 4 miler in the morning with my new favorite compression socks.

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And we celebrated our anniversary with a new game called Stone Age–it was fun–yeah, we are dorks…we own it!

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Wednesday: A day of heavy legs in the gym…followed by me realizing post shower that I packed two different shoes for the day (thankfully a co-worker had an extra pair I borrowed!!)IMG_4972And then Ashton was making funny faces in the back while blowing his fart machine (yes, this is a real thing, his aunt bought it for him–it’s disgusting and funny at the same time) #boymama

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After Ashton was in bed, I did some work and my nails!

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Thursday: Another great morning run along the Boston Harbor.

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Followed by a great mail delivery–my first pair of Skoras!

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Friday: I worked from home and did a heavy lifting day before having to pick Ashton up early from daycare.  Then we had soccer…

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Then we went out for pizza and then ice cream!

Saturday: Swim, an appointment with a financial planner and a run all before 2 p.m.

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The we played outside for the rest of the afternoon and rode the 4 wheeler!

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And Ashton continued his fresh camera face post bath while modeling my flip flops.
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Sunday: Mother’s Day started out with cuddling on the couch with my favorite little man!

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And of course, the tongue pic–he is so fresh!

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Robyn made us breakfast and we ate on the deck–it was gorgeous out and Ashton made me the sweetest gift.

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We hung out for a bit, Robyn brought me to Starbucks (this is HUGE, he loathes SB!) and then we went to Trader Joes.  Then after naptime, we went hiking.

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We had a blast, but it was pretty hot and we were all sweaty…but we went for ice cream and forgot how how we were.

IMG_5042Then we went out for dinner!  It was a perfect day and the best way to end a beautiful weekend!

So, there you have it folks, the Weekly Wrap Up (in pictures)! I hope you all had a great weekend, celebrating the Moms in your life (or yourself!!) and that have a great week ahead of you and I will (hopefully) see you on Wednesday!

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Question of the day

How was your week/weekend? What did you do for Mother’s Day?

Colore Liquid Chalk Markers {Product Review}

Hey friends, Happy Friday!  I hope you are all having a great week! I’d love to be able to tell you things have slowed down a bit for me at work and life was returning to a semi-tolerable pace, but I’d be lying, so instead of talking about that, I am going to take about something WAY more fun (and colorful!!)  So, I recently was given the opportunity to review these really neat liquid chalk markers by Colore.  I knew these would be a bit hit in my house with my little monster, who is also a budding artist! :)

DISCLAIMER: I was provided these markers free of charge in exchange for an honest review of my experience with the vest. All opinions are of course, my own and 100% honest.

I received the markers a few weeks ago and I immediately opened them.

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Ashton saw me opening the box came running over and took them out of my hands and claimed them as his! You have to love a 3 year old and their sense of ownership over everything in their world!

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They were packaged nice and tight with plastic and came in a great blue silicone holder to keep them together and neat for storing.IMG_4680

So the skinny on these markers…. they can be used on nearly any non-porous surface, think things like windows (home, car, business) glass doors, white boards, menu boards, food storage containers, etc.  The pack I received came with with eight markers that were all very bright and bold with a neon quality.  The colors we received were blue, yellow, red, green, orange, white, pink, and purple.  What is great about these markers is that they have two types of tips, chisel and bullet so depending on the look you are going for, you can customize the tip.  To change the tip, you just pull it out of the marker, turn it around and put it back in, super simple.

The first time you use a marker, there are three steps that have to be followed in order for them to work.

  • First, you have to hold the marker with the tip facing the ceiling, push the tip all the way in and release it
  • Then you have to shake it with the tip still facing up so the liquid chalk mixes
  • Finally, you have to turn the marker towards the ground and put it on a flat surface so the tip fills with the ink

I just used a piece of paper and they filled relatively quickly (about 30 seconds or so.)  I did this with every marker before we got started so we didn’t have to wait around when we changed colors.  Ashton was “patiently” waiting while asking me about 100 times if they were ready to use!  Once they were all prepared, Ashton and I attacked our bay window in the upstairs living room.

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He loved being able to draw on the windows and told me he was drawing a picture of his friends playing! So cute. He asked me to draw with him as well and I don’t know who enjoyed these markers more because they were SO fun! In full disclosure, I have NO artistic ability, so I just made some swirly marks with him!

markers collage

The colors came out very smoothly and were so easy to use.  The lighting doesn’t show the colors well, but they are very bold and visible across the room on the window.  I can see us using these a ton together throughout the year, and I think they are going to be awesome for the holidays where we can create seasonal pictures on the windows and sliding glass doors as decoration. They are really easy to clean up too, you can just spray a little glass cleaner and wipe and it’s gone! No scrubbing or anything which is great!

Overall, I think these Colore Liquid Chalk Markers are really cool and are great for people with or without kids, as they can be used for a ton of adult projects as well. I can’t believe I never thought to get them before this, but I am so glad we have them now and know we will continue to stock these in our house for many years to come!

Well, that’s it folks, I hope you have an awesome weekend and I will see you next week!

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Question of the day

Have you heard of liquid chalk markers before?  Ever used them?  Are you artistic?

 

 

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The Weekly Wrap Up

Hey friends, how are you doing? How was the weekend?  I know I have been in and out a lot lately, I am going to try and be a bit more consistent in posting this week–we will see how it goes, okay? So, the biggest news this week is that I finished my 30 day lift challenge, so let’s see how it wrapped up with the Weekly Wrap Up shall we?

Week of 4/20-4/26

Monday: Week 4, Day 1 of my challenge was an upper body workout.  We warmed up with a squat, lunge and push up combo followed by A LOT of planking.  Then I did 5 super sweaty sets of upper body moves like barbell bench presses, cable flys, dumbbell presses, T bar rows, curls and skull crushers and then topped it off with 4 sets of 4 dumbell glute exercises.  As if that wasn’t enough, I did a 20 min HIIT run on a 10% incline and then I was DONE. Like, stick a fork in me, I’m done.  SO TOUGH, but so good!

Tuesday: I did a new ab warm up that was super tough with 11 different movements each done for 20 seconds ending with a 2 minute plank at the end of each of 3 rounds. Then the focus was all on the lower body.  5 rounds of 9 movements like lots of step ups, single leg work, lunges (oh the lunges!)!  I finished this workout with 15 mins of running in the high 8s. I’d be lying if I said it was easy, it was anything but.

Wednesday: Same work out as Monday with the upper body focus but the lower body focus moves changed and I did 3 sets of step ups, leg presses, lunges, and stability ball glute squeezes with leg separation. Then I did a 20 min HIIT run at the end. I switched my run and did the 1:1 intervals instead of the 10% incline hill intervals.  Neither is easier, I just mentally needed something different.

Thursday: Same workout as Tuesday with 15 mins of steady state cardio at the end. I wanted to use the stair climber but it was being used so I ran in the high 8’s on the treadmill and wanted to cry my legs were so dead, but I got it done, it wasn’t pretty though!

Friday: Same upper body as earlier in the week but the glute section changed again and I did 100 reps of squats, reverse lunges, dumbbell lying glute raises, dumbbell donkey kicks and lying body weight sidekicks at a 45 degree angle. At this point, I was exhausted but still had to do my cardio portion but ran out of time so I had to do it when I got home.  20 mins of HIIT running with 1:1 speed intervals.  Afterwards, I showered and decided to get my feet in shape. I had a new pair of my favorite summer sandals delivered but needed to do something about my toes.

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Yes, I am always THAT pasty white, but my toes usually look MUCH better than that (even runners can have semi-nice nails!! HA!)  I did my first Jamberry pedicure and I LOVED how it came out.

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I went to bed tired from all the workouts this week, but excited that I got through the final week!

Saturday: We woke up, took Ashton to soccer and then ran around until lunch time.  We hit up a local farmers market where I got these beautiful flower bunch!

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They are called Ranunculus flowers and I quickly went home and bought a package of 50 bulbs of them because I loved them so much. I want to plant them in some planters so I can have cut flowers in the house all summer!

After this, we stopped in and had drinks and a snack at a local bread/bakery and checked out an exhibit I took part in (more on that later this week) and then went to a kid’s festival focused on healthy eating for kids.  They had a lot of great activities for Ashton.  he colored his own bookmark.

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Painted a point and then planted his very first flower in it!

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Worked on his hand/eye coordination while calling out all the colors to us!

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Then he played in the jumpy house for about 20 mins.

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It was an awesome morning.  We got home, ate lunch and then Robyn left to get his haircut and Ashton went down for a nap. I had to take my “after” pics for my 30 day challenge so I did that and since the challenge was essentially over, I opted for a run during Ashton’s nap.  I popped up the Bruce Jenner interview on my iPad and ran 7 miles at an 8:22 pace.

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I now know without a doubt this challenge made me stronger.  I haven’t run more than 2.5 miles in 30 days so to be able to bang out so many miles at this pace without any  hard effort shows that the strength training I have been doing made me a stronger runner too!

After Ashton woke up we took him to the park where he played and also started to learn how to ride his new Spiderman bike we got him for his birthday.  Next up, a video from a super proud mama!

Sunday: A day of rest.  I took Ashton to visit my Mom and sister in Western MA and we spent a few hours laughing and playing and grabbed lunch out before we headed home for his nap.  When he woke up, we went grocery shopping and then played until it was time for dinner.  The weekend felt like it was over in the blink of an eye, but I guess every weekend is pretty much like that!

So, there you have it folks, the Weekly Wrap Up!  I am done with my challenge and I got some great results and gained SO MUCH strength. I am so glad I took on this challenge and really gave it my all. I learned a lot about what I am capable of and it gave me so much more confidence in the weight room.  I am excited to continue with my weight lifting but also building running back into the mix.  My plan is to do these lifting workouts on M-W-F and run on T-Th-Sat moving forward.  I think that will balance out well. I loved the lifting but doing it everyday long term is just not realistic for me, I missed running too much!

Well, that’s it friends. I hope you all had a great weekend and have a great week ahead of you and I will see you on Wednesday!

A shout out to my friends who raced this weekend!  Lauren who ran the NJ Marathon, Julia who did her first full marathon at Big Sur, and Kendra who completed her first half marathon!!  Congrats ladies, you are rockstars!

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Question of the day

How was your week? Weekend? Who raced? What’s on tap for you this week?

 

Stay safe in the dark!! {Product Review: Bestvisible Vest}

Hey friends–Happy Friday!  I miss you guys!  I have been a really bad blogger, I mean, this is my first post of the week :(  I have been trying to catch up on my reading of all your great blogs, but I must admit I am falling severely behind.  Work has been killing me now that I am the only product marketer on my team. I am doing all the patient, HCP, and digital marketing for my team right now and I currently have over 30 projects in different stages. To say I’m a bit overwhelmed is an understatement.  But, what does help with my stress levels is a good workout. I have one more day of my 30 day challenge and will recap it soon but I also got outside for a little bit and did my first run outside in a VERY long time. It was glorious.

I typically run very early in the am when it’s still dark out and I’ve never worn anything reflective.  Bad Sara, I know!  It’s dangerous in the early morning (or late evening) hours when it’s dark out, so when I was given the opportunity to review a reflective vest from Bestvisible I jumped at the chance.

DISCLAIMER: I was provided this vest free of charge in exchange for an honest review of my experience with the vest. All opinions are of course, my own and 100% honest.

When I received the vest, I opened it and at first glance it looked very durable and it was super light. When I first put it on, I laughed because it was SO big. Like even big for my 6’4, 225 lb husband. Thankfully, it has adjustable straps that are super easy to adjust and I was able to get a snug fit within seconds.

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My thoughts on the features:

  • It provides maximum visibility: This vest offers maximum visibility in the dark. It has 30% broader reflective stripes than most other vests and offers 360% degree visibility with its yellow stripes.
  • Comfort: The vest is easily adjustable using the adjustable straps and ergonomic buckle to fit men and women of all sizes from xs-xxl. It has an elastic stretch band that allows for a great fit around your torso and it doesn’t ride up, which is key for me and I also liked the extra wide straps that didn’t dig into my shoulders when I ran. It’s super lightweight and I didn’t even notice I was wearing it while running, which is another big plus. I also liked that I can use it under bulky Winter attire or with just a tank or t-shirt. I tried both and it was comfortable both ways.
  • Ease of use: It took me less than 10 seconds to adjust the size of the vest for a customized fit. It is also a clip-on vest vs. an over-the-head vest so it’s extremely easy to take on and off. I hate when I have to struggle out of clothes, especially when I am sweaty, but this is a breeze, you just hit the release button and you’re done.
  • Excellent, sturdy quality: The vest material is very heavy-duty and the buckled closure is solid, not flimsy like you see on other snap in closures.  I am confident that this will be a very long-lasting piece I add to my running accessory arsenal.
  • Multi-functional: This vest can be used not only for running, but walking or riding your bike. I love to be able to rationalize multi-functional purchases at home–how about you?? :)
  • Excellent Customer Service: They have a satisfaction guaranteed policy.  they offer a “No questions asked, money back guarantee” in case their product doesn’t live up to its expectations. You can’t get much better than that!

I took this vest for a test run in the pitch black, literally there was NO light anywhere and I didn’t use any flash on this photo just so you could see that the straps are visible with no light outside.  Clearly, to get the true reflective qualities, light has to reflect off it (like a car light, house light, etc.) but you get the idea. I am very confident that oncoming cars saw the vest’s reflection well in advance of when they would have seen me if I wasn’t wearing the vest.

2015-04-12 20.05.47I wasn’t able to run long enough due to early morning meetings to show you the view when the sun began to rise but as you can see in the pitch black, it is visible!  Moving forward, I will be using this vest anytime I run when it’s dark out, I can’t believe I have gone this long without doing so.  Let’s all stay safe in the dark–okay?  If you are interested in getting one of these great vests, they are on sale at Amazon right now for $12.99!

Have a great weekend my friends!

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Question of the day

Do you run, bike, walk outside with a reflective vest? Blinking lights? Other safety items?

 

MYPROTEIN {Product Review}

Hey friends–Happy Friday!!  Sorry I missed you guys on Wednesday again, this is becoming a trend! :(  I hope it won’t continue, but you know, this blog is called Life Between the Miles and life right now has just been really busy, especially at work and sometimes I just don’t have the time I need to write to you guys as much as I want to.  Just know that I love you guys!  So, today I am excited to share a review with you guys on some products from a company called Myprotein.  They contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I was interested in trying some of their products.

***Disclaimer: I  was given the opportunity to participate in this review and was provided  various products to try out for this purpose.  I received no other compensation for this review and the opinions expressed in this blog about this product are 100% my own honest, unbiased opinion.***

Of course, I jumped online to look through their products and the ingredients before I made a decision as to whether or not I would be interested in trying them. A little bit about their company from their website:

“Established in the UK in 2004, Myprotein® has quickly grown to become Europe’s leading online sports nutrition brand. In 2014, Myprotein® launched in the USA to support our goal of offering the best quality products, value for money and customer service on the market.

In our short history, the company has won several prestigious awards. Most recently, in November 2009, Myprotein® was included in the prestigious 2009 TIMES Fast-Track 100 list of fastest growing companies in the UK. Ranked 21st, the company has firmly established itself as one of the leading businesses across all industries.”

From their website, I found out they were a reputable company and I liked their product offerings so I accepted and they sent me this great box filled with goodies below.

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They sent a whey protein powder, peanut butter, protein cookies, caffeine pills and a plastic food container for when I’m on the go.  So let’s discuss these products in a bit more detail, shall we?

Impact Whey Protein Powder in Cookies and Cream Flavor

I drink a protein shake every single day, sometimes, especially now during this 30 day challenge, I am drinking 2 a day.  According to their website, “Impact Whey Protein contains over 82% of top quality, undenatured protein, providing a range of both essential and non-essential amino acids which are important for recovery and stimulating muscle growth.”  My take on this powder–I really liked it.  The cookies and cream flavor tasted great (come on–cookies and cream anything is AMAZING–am I right??), it mixed super easy in water, but tasted like a milkshake when blended with almond milk.  I also love that it only has 100 calories in one scoop and 20 grams of protein.

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Double Chocolate Chip Protein Cookie

I’m not usually a big fan of protein bars, not just because of the taste but because they contain a lot of junk, are super high in calories and never give me the amount of protein I really want.  I was a bit skeptical of these protein cookies, but I found them to be really tasty, soft and was a good alternative to having a shake at night if I was craving something sweet.  They have over 37g of protein in one cookie and just over 300 calories.  Because of the calorie count, I never ate a full cookie, I always ate 1/2 of one.  They are really big and dense, so I felt satisfied enough with just that amount (plus it made them last longer!) They also come in other flavors like Chocolate Orange, Chocolate Mint, and White Chocolate Almond. I had the double chocolate chip.

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Crunchy Peanut Butter

Oh, how can you go wrong with PB?  I am a HUGE PB lover, smooth, crunchy, extra crunch, almond, peanut, cashew, I don’t care, I don’t discriminate.  This peanut butter comes in both smooth and crunchy and the only ingredient in it is peanuts.  No additional oils or additives. It was great and I admit, I may have eaten it directly out of the jar with a spoon!

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Food Click box

This was a great, unexpected add because its a great storage container for carrying snacks on the go. Since I am currently doing this challenge, it has been great to carry all the snacks I need with me throughout the day!  What also I loved about it is that it has different compartments so you can separate your different foods so they don’t touch.  Yeah, I think about those kinds of things.

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This is clearly not my lunch, my lunch is never this pretty looking! :)

Caffeine Pro

This is the only product I didn’t try, mainly because I am just not into taking caffeine pills but here is a bit of info about them from their website:

Caffeine Pro Benefits

Caffeine is widely recognised as being the most popular drug around and is an alkaloid that acts as a stimulant to the Central Nervous System (CNS).

Who is Caffeine Pro Suitable for?

Caffeine is ideal for anyone looking for a high intake of caffeine prior to exercise. We recommend consuming 200mg (1 tablet) 45 – 1 hour before your work-out. Due to its stimulant nature, in order to avoid any issues with sleep, it is best not to take caffeine too late in the day.

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If anyone is interested in the caffeine pills, I have a full bottle that is still sealed and unopened, I am happy to send it out to you. The first person to email me at lifebetweenthemiles@gmail.com with your name and address will get them!

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to watch the Boston Marathon on Monday :)

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Question of the day

Do you use protein powders, bars, etc? What is your favorite brand/flavor?

Weekly Wrap Up

Hey guys, long time no talk.  Sorry about that…last week got away from me after Monday and I am just finding time to sit down and chat with you guys now.  I only have about 30 minutes until my next meeting so let’s look at the Weekly Wrap Up shall we?

This is week 2 of my Fit Challenge….

Week of 3/6-3/12

Monday: Week 2, Day 1 of my 30 day challenge began with a warm up that could have been a workout by itself…think distance burpees, shuffles, cartwheels and sprints…3 rounds. I was a sweaty mess.  Then we moved to chest and quads. By the time we were done working legs, I wanted to die, but I had a 20 min HIIT run to complete. I was SO glad to be done with this workout.  It was so hard, but good at the same time. I know you guys know how that feels!  My hair is soaking wet!

2015-04-06 07.24.45Tuesday: Day two began with an ab warm up, 3 rounds that took about 15-20 mins when all was said and done. There were russian twists, V sits, and planks…all good stuff.  Then we worked back and hamstrings. My lower back was feeling the back extensions let me tell you…wow!  I finished off with 15 minutes on the stair stepper at a level 12…again, a sweaty mess but it felt good. I was glad today in comparison to yesterday was a bit easier.

Wednesday: Same warm up as Monday then I hit shoulders, biceps and triceps- all super setting moves. I love the supersets, it makes the workout go by faster (at least in my head.) I did some moves I have never done before like a Cable Side Lateral Raise.  We had another tough round of glutes (the Stability Ball Glute Squeeze with leg separation was a KILLER.) This was a LONG workout and I didn’t have time to finish the cardio before getting into work so after I put Ashton to bed, I headed down to my treadmill to bang out a 20 minute HIIT run. I did my max speed (9.0) at a 10% incline for 30 seconds, then recovered for 90 seconds.  It doesn’t seem like much, but after the leg workout, those 30 seconds felt like a lifetime and the recovery felt like a blink of an eye.

2015-04-08 20.18.36Thursday: Same ab circuit warm up as Tuesday and then the focus was on chest and quads with a lot of barbell and dumbell work–all supersetting again followed by a 15 minute run. This workout felt relatively easy compared to the rest of the workouts so far this week.  Famous last words right?

Friday: We had the same warm up as Monday/Wednesday and then focused on back and hamstrings again. You would have thought this would have been easier the second time around, but you would be wrong! HA! I was totally feeling it and then finished with another HIIT hill interval run for 20 minutes. I was SO happy to be done!2015-04-10 07.28.31-2I didn’t have my egg whites for breakfast so I ran down to our work cafeteria to get some egg whites and this is what I was faced with.

2015-04-10 07.55.13I am not even a donut fan, but those oreo donuts in the back looked SO DIVINE.  Of course, I just stared and drooled while I got my egg whites and went back up to my office.  Man, it’s amazing how much you want things you don’t even normally like just because you know you can’t have them!

Saturday: I didn’t get up early like I had wanted to on Saturday and we had sports camp for Ashton early in the morning.  It was pretty nice outside (in the 50’s) so we took a long hike before lunch and it was SO NICE to get outside!!  I am hopeful Spring is here to stay!  Once Ashton went down for nap, I did my scheduled workout.  It was probably a good thing I didn’t try and do it earlier in the morning since it took me almost 2 hours to do the workout and shower! I started with the ab circuit as a warm up and then lifted shoulders, bis and tris, all super set moves.  Then, the glute workout began with 100 squats, 100 reverse lunges, 100 dumbbell lying glute raises (these KILLED), 100 weighted dumbbell donkey kicks and then 100 lying body weight side kicks.  The thought of having to run after this nearly did me in, but I got it done.  I finished strong with 15 minutes of running at an 8:03 pace.

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I think I’m getting stronger since that pace didn’t feel too hard to me at all.  It could have just been that it was only 15 minutes too, who knows?  After Ashton woke up we took him to see the movie Home.  It was pretty cute and then we went out to dinner.  All in all, a perfect Saturday with my boys!

Sunday: A day of rest.  We went grocery shopping in the morning and then I had my nieces confirmation in the late afternoon/evening so I did all my food prep during Ashton’s nap and then spent the rest of the day in church and then out for dinner.  Trying to eat out when you are on a specific meal plan is NOT easy, let me tell you, but I did well so I’m giving myself a pat on the back.

So, there you have it folks, the Weekly Wrap Up!  I am still enjoying this challenge.  The food aspect is getting much easier, it’s just the dinners that have been the hardest for me.  Watching Robyn and Ashton eating food I’d rather be eating is tough, but I am staying strong.  I really like that the warm ups rotate every other day, it makes it easier than having to learn a whole new warm up everyday and gives a feeling of slight consistency.  These workouts overall are HARD. I am pushing myself harder with weight lifting than I have ever before, doing moves I have never heard of and in general just feeling stronger (and so very tired at the end of the day.)  Another bonus is that I am sleeping like a baby, likely because I am so exhausted by the time my head hits the pillow. This is NOT normal for me, so I really like it! :)

Let’s see how this week goes!  Knowing that I am half way through feels good! :)

Have a great day friends and I will see you on Wednesday!

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Question of the day

How was your week? Weekend? Did you have great weather too?

 

 

 

Weekly Wrap Up

Hey friends, Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great Easter weekend (if you celebrate)! We had an amazing weekend and to top it off, I didn’t work at all over the weekend, so I am feeling refreshed this morning! I just finished the first week of my 30 day Cristelli Fit Challenge, so, let’s take a look at last week in the Weekly Wrap Up!

Week: 3/30-4/5

Monday:  Day 1 of the challenge, I was ready to rock!  Every workout starts with a 15 or so minute warm up circuit, then I moved on to lift chest and triceps then glutes.  Every workout is finished off with 20 minutes of intense HIIT cardio.  We have 3 options to choose from, I chose to do 1 minute speed intervals. The meals seemed HUGE and frequent, but I tracked everything in Myfitnesspal and they are not excessive at all, I am right where I normally am for calorie intake, but with just a lot more (clean) food and no sweets at all. My protein intake is off the charts at just under 200 grams a day.  Maybe that is why I feel so freaking full all the time!

Tuesday: Day 2 I wasn’t sore which I took as a good sign.  I did my warm up circuit that was all abs then worked my lower body.  This took me over an hour so I had to go back to the gym during lunch and finish the workout, which was HIIT cardio for 20 mins. This time I did hill sprints, these are NO JOKE!  Food choices are exactly the same everyday this week so I know what to expect. I missed a snack today though because of my meeting schedule–oops!

Wednesday: Still feeling great! I did my warm up circuit–it’s funny, these warm ups sometimes are REALLY tough and you are super sweaty, not like a typical warm up for me! HA!  After the warm up, I lifted back and biceps then glutes.  Again, these workouts take WAY longer than I have time for in the morning so I did the HIIT cardio for 20 mins at night after I put Ashton to bed.

Thursday: I started my workout with the warm up circuit then shredded my shoulders and finished with some HIIT cardio for 20 mins. I just barely got the whole workout in and I was moving.  No rest in between sets and was a few minutes late for work so I wouldn’t have to do anything later or in the evening.  The repetitive food during the day doesn’t bother me one bit, the same dinner every night, especially while watching Robyn and Ash eat super yummy food is getting old.

Friday:  Almost through week one!  I did my warm up circuit, then hit my lower body minus calves then finished with HIIT cardio for 20 mins. Again, I barely made it through the whole workout before work but I got it done. I hate feeling super rushed at the gym, but it is what it is. This is only a 30 day challenge, I have to keep reminding myself of that!

In the evening, Robyn and I went out for dinner alone, a rarity for us.  While I hated having to stray from my strict eating plan (I am generally a rule follower), let’s be honest, life happens and spending a few hours out with my husband alone is going to trump some grilled chicken, brown rice and broccoli any night of the week.  We went out for sushi so I ate clean anyways with some (cooked) fish, rice and veggies, so it wasn’t anything too off track with my meal plan at all and it was worth it.  We had such a great time just being able to sit across from each other and really talk without any distractions.

Saturday: I woke up early thinking I would get my workout in before Ashton work up, but he decided to wake up early too! Isn’t that always the way?  Robyn and Ashton played around while I did my thing. I warmed up with an ab circuit, then lifted biceps, triceps and calves. I  then did the glute workout (every exercise for 100 reps–it was CRAZY!) and then finished off with 20 mins of HIIT cardio.  I was so happy when I was done because that meant tomorrow was a rest day!!

After my shower, we went to a local Easter Egg hunt and Ashton got to see the Easter Bunny again!

bemis farms

Then we had tickets to see Disney on Ice: Passport to Adventure! It was an entertaining show and our seats were great, so it made the experience really fun!  Ashton brought along his Mickey Mouse too, which I thought was really cute!

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After naptime, it was time to color eggs!

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It sure was a busy, but fun Saturday for us!  After Ashton went to bed, we got his basket and eggs ready for the next morning!

Sunday: I was thankful it was a rest day today so I could enjoy all the Easter morning activities.  We didn’t get up until close to 9 am and then we started our Easter!  We stenciled bunny tracks from our sliding glass door in the kitchen all the way to where we left our colored eggs and Ashton’s Easter basket, it was really fun to see him freak out over the tracks through the house!  After we opened his basket, we quickly got changed for the egg hunt.  Again, it is so much fun to see these activities through a child’s eyes, he was so joyful and happy hunting for eggs.

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After the hunt, we opened the eggs to see what was inside and the Easter Bunny gave a few treats, but it was mostly pieces of legos in each of the eggs that built a bunny themed lego set (that we put together in the afternoon as a family!)  Robyn made bunny pancakes and then we headed out for the rest of the morning!

bunny pancakes

We went grocery shopping and then I did a whole lot of meal prep for the week during Ashton’s nap.  It was a really great, low key Easter for us.  We watched a family movie after nap time, had dinner and got ready for the upcoming week!  A perfect way to spend a Sunday if you ask me.

So, that’s it for the Weekly Wrap Up my friends.  With the exception of the length of the workouts for this program (and the repetitive dinners), I am really liking it and how much it’s pushing me out of my comfort zone. I look forward to a new week and seeing how hard I can push myself!

I hope you all have a great Monday!!

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Question of the day

If you celebrate Easter, how was it? What did you do? If not, what did you do this weekend that was fun?