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.

bestvisible

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!

—————————————————————

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.

IMG_4160

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.

IMG_4170

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.

IMG_4162

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!

IMG_4164

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.

click box

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.

IMG_4166

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 :)

—————————————————————

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.

2015-04-11 13.52.21

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!

—————————————————————

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!

disney on ice

After naptime, it was time to color eggs!

coloring eggs

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.

IMG_4478

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!!

—————————————————————

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?

The Friday Five: Five “Good” things

Yippee! It’s Friday–I am SO excited for this weekend, we have so many fun things planned that I cannot wait to kick off the weekend, starting with a night out with Robyn. I can count on one hand the number of times we have been out, just the two of us, since Ashton was born so I am REALLY looking forward to our sushi date tonight!

So, first things first before we dive into this post any further,  I want to thank you for all your comments on Wednesday’s post, I truly appreciate it. I know there is no quick and easy fix, but I feel that being able to recognize when there is an issue helps you to address it and hopefully make it better! So thank you, thank you for being such a thoughtful, supportive group of people, I truly appreciate each of you!  Okay…so now let’s move on to some fun stuff, shall we?

I am linking up with the fabulous ladies that make up the DC Trifecta again this week: Mar on the Run, You Signed Up for What, and Eat Pray Run DC for their Friday Five: Five “Good” things today!  It’s good Friday, but I am not a religious  person so I’m going to go off in a different direction with this post than maybe some other people…but variety is the spice of life, right?  I’m going to talk about the five good things in my life this week–Okay..here we go!

1. The Cristelli Fit Challenge

I mentioned on Monday that I was starting a 30 day paid and structured training/eating plan and I am on day 5.  So far, I LOVE it. It’s pushing me WAY out of my comfort zone and it is just what I needed.  The meal planning is tough for me since I don’t ever cook, but it is nice to not have to think about when and what you are going to eat for every meal. I really hope the next few weeks go as well as this week has so far and I start to see the gains I am looking for!

cristelli

2. Sleep

Last week was brutal for me, the anxiety and stress of work kept me up most of the night and when I was able to fall asleep, it wasn’t restful and every single day I felt like I was hit over and over again with a baseball bat.  This week, I have been sleeping like a baby! I feel more rested than I have in a long while and it’s been wonderful. I am sure the Christelli challenge is helping me sleep better because I am so tired at the end of the day, but whatever it is, I will take it!

 3. Decorating Easter Cupcakes with Ashton

You didn’t think I would get through a post like this without mentioning my little monster did you?  Silly friends!!  Yesterday when we got home from work, we decorated cupcakes for Ashton’s daycare today.  It was a family affair.  Robyn came home at lunch time and baked the cupcakes so that we could decorate them in the evening since we don’t have time to do both while Ashton is awake at night.  It worked out perfectly.  Robyn made purple cupcakes and then we mixed together two colored frostings (Ashton picked green and yellow) and then we iced them and Ashton put in the little bunny and egg sticks.  Of course, he had to conduct multiple taste tests of the frosting to ensure it’s quality! :)

cupcakes

4. Royalty Wazer

I don’t know if you all use Waze, but it’s pretty much the best app for those of us who spend a lot of time in the car (which you all know I do) or anyone who drives and wants to know if there is traffic, an accident, etc on your route. It’s like GPS on steroids and is completely free! Robyn started using this app when it first came out and got grandfathered in as a Royalty Wazer. I didn’t start using the app until a few months ago and they changed their algorithms so it was harder to reach this status but yesterday I finally made it.  It’s been a little bit of a running joke in our house that Robyn, who commutes about 20 total miles a day had more points than me who does over 120 miles a day, so I am happy to say I am now Royalty :)  Robyn laughed when I showed this to him last night..it’s the little things we have to laugh at!

waze

5. The Weather

Now don’t go getting too excited, what I meant by that is that this is the first week in a LONG time that it DIDN’t snow!  Rain? Yes, but no snow and it even hit 60 this week!!  We got outside one night this week and even played trucks on the deck for a little bit…everyone was full of smiles and I have already been asked about 20 times when we can go to the park to play after daycare!  I am hopeful Spring is truly on it’s way–let’s keep those fingers crossed!

Okay friends, those are my Five “Good” things for the Friday Five.  I hope you all have a GREAT weekend and I will see you on Monday!

—————————————————————

Question of the day

What are some of your “goods” this week?

 

 

 

A bad week

I try to keep this blog light and fun, but let’s be honest, life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and one thing I am always is transparent, so you are going to hear a little bit of about the dark side of life and what I experienced last week.

bad week

For those of you who have been with me for a while, we often talk a lot about balance and trying to find it in our everyday lives.  Lately I feel like I’ve been really slacking in this area of life.  Last week was probably one of the worst weeks I’ve had in my organization in almost 9 years.  As many of you guys know, a few months ago I took a new job within my organization.  When I started, there was a team of four of us. As of last week, I’m the only one of the original group still here. My boss took a “six-month rotation” in another group that has the potential to become permanent (I’m not actually expecting her to return,) one of my coworkers moved to another team and one suddenly quit last Friday leaving just me and a new “temporary”/potentially permanent boss with no marketing experience. Couple that with a very highly visible project that I had to have implemented by today and an agency that was late with all of their submissions and a review team that kept making changes, I worked late every single night last week and even throughout the weekend. I was stressed to the max, not sleeping well, and even had a tight neck from stress. That’s not much for balance if you ask me.

My breaking point however wasn’t so much all of this “other stuff” that was happening at work (although it definitely attributed to it) but rather the fact that on Thursday night as I was brushing our teeth with Ashton, he asked if I was going take a bath with him (he asks this question every single night during brush time) and I almost always say yes to which he responds, “Yay, that makes me so happy Mama!” However, my agency was late getting me something and I had a very quick window with which to review the piece and get it back to them, so I said that I couldn’t because I had to get some work done.  Well, he had a breakdown of epic proportions which made me feel like the worst person on the planet. This wasn’t one of his “I’m going to fake cry so I get my way” breakdowns, this was a gut wrenching, heart breaking sob. He kept crying and saying, “please Mama, I want you to take a bath with me, why don’t you want to take a bath with me, please Mama, please?”  Talk about a punch to the face.  Was my job really more important than spending 15-20 minutes in the bath with my son, something that I do almost every single night?  I was so stressed that I couldn’t see beyond this little boy asking his mama to spend time with him because I was so focused on just trying to get this work done that I completely crushed my little boys heart, talk about feeling like such a failure. I ended up saying screw work and took that bath with him and it was worth the additional 20 minute delay of not reviewing my work so that I could spend time with my boy.

I’d like to say that this was a one time incident at work, but these are the types of things that are happening more and more in my job and I’m struggling to find the right balance between doing my job, doing it well and also balancing night-time with my family. I know I’m not the only person who deals with these struggles, we all struggle with balance on many different levels, but I have never felt this bad at work, I can count on one hand the number of times in the past 8 1/2 years that I said I had a bad day at work.  Busy? Crazy? Chaotic? Yes, but not BAD.  Everything went to shit last week and it was so emotionally and physically hard on me that I literally collapsed on Friday night and I slept so hard that I don’t think I moved the entire night (which is a rarity for me). I don’t know what I’m going to do about this right now other than to try to strike a better balance between the number of nights that I have to work after I put Ashton to bed and trying to actually spend more than 5 minutes talking to Robyn at night and maybe even watch a show that we enjoy together.

I know that we are in a very busy time at work with launching new products and indications but this clearly is not the situation or the work/life balance that I signed up for when I took this new job. I’ve talked a lot to Robyn about the situation over the last couple days, which says a lot because we don’t typically talk work once we get home, but how long do you stick something out?  How does that timeline change when you really love the work you do but the environment is just chaotic? Is it like this everywhere in this function?

What I love about Robyn is that he sees things like this very black-and-white. It’s probably the only thing in life that he says there is no gray area for him, and that is family.  I guess if you’re going to see something black-and-white, the strength of the family and the importance of that is probably the thing that you want to see black-and-white. He just wants me to be happy, he wants me to come home and not be exhausted, he wants me to be able to enjoy my time with him and Ashton and not have to work every single night and feel stressed that my work needs to get done over spending time doing things together, and generally he wants me to just have more energy at the end of the day.

I don’t really know what I’m saying or what I’m going to do, it’s hard when you actually enjoy your job but the environment is just not exactly ideal.  I’m hoping that maybe in a couple of weeks things will settle down and get better, but I also can’t count on that either, so I may have to make some difficult decisions in the coming months.  I’m trying to be objective right now and open to seeing how these things play out.  I have to be realistic that it’s going to be uncomfortable for the next couple of weeks or months until my new boss gets his footing and we hire a new team member and I have to just try to go with the flow as best I can while trying to also maintain a balance at home of spending not just a certain quantity of time with my boys, but focusing on being present and the quality of the time I spend with them. Lately I’m so worried while I’m spending time with them about all that I have to get done after we put Ashton to bed that I’m not really living in the moment. I know a lot of us find ourselves looking to the future and not being present, but it something that I’ve been terrible about lately and I really need to focus more on the present instead of worrying about the next couple of hours.  This will not only help my sanity but be better for all of us. The last thing I want is for Ashton to have memories of me stressing out in front of him over work or picking work over spending quality time with him, because really, as much as I love my job, I love my son and my husband much more.

I would love any ideas opinions and suggestions on ways to find better balance because clearly it’s something I’m still struggling with.  It’s weird, I go through these ebbs and flows and I swear sometimes I have it under complete control and life seems to work like a well oiled machine and then something completely throws us off track and everything becomes so chaotic and I feel like I’m starting from square one again trying to regain that balance.

Okay, well that’s it folks. The good news is I do feel better this week. Things aren’t perfect, but I don’t feel like I’m in a constant state of flight or flight–so I guess that is progress, right?

—————————————————————

Question of the day

Suggestions? Any words of wisdom?

Weekly Wrap Up

Happy Monday my friends, how are you today? Did you have a good weekend?  Please tell me you didn’t get snow like we did in MA!  It was crazy, it literally snowed the ENTIRE day and night on Saturday, thankfully it didn’t accumulate too much more than a dusting that stayed on the ground!  This weather is so crazy!  Anyways, let’s take a look at last week in the Weekly Wrap Up!

Week: 3/23-3/29

Monday:  I ran 2 miles and then lifted biceps, shoulders and back. I was still not feeling 100% from that little stomach bug over the weekend, but I felt good enough to get a little workout in. The day would get worse as the hours passed at work, however, thankfully it wasn’t my health, just the day in general. It was one of the worst days I have had at work ever and I left feeling very frustrated, angry and overall, just down. I also ended up working well past 10 pm which was even more annoying to me.

Tuesday: I didn’t sleep more than a few hours on Monday night but I pushed myself to do an interval run of 3 miles at an 8:12 overall pace and thankfully it didn’t feel too bad! I had another pretty crappy day at work and felt off kilter all day, thankfully, I was looking forward to game night with Robyn.

Wednesday: I didn’t sleep well again on Tuesday night, tossing and turning all night, stress really messes with me but I trudged through Spin class and the rest of the day.  My agency was late sending me critical materials in the evening and I ended up working really late again.

Thursday:  Another night of little sleep and I just didn’t have a lot in me to give. I ran 1 mile and then lifted shoulders, biceps, legs, back and triceps and was exhausted.  Spent another night waiting for my agency to miss important deadlines and worked until almost 10 pm again.

Friday:  Broken record? Can you guess how I slept? Yeah…but I was able to muster through 3.5 miles while watching 1/2 of Grey’s Anatomy.  By the time I got out of work, I felt sick to my stomach because I was so tired.  My agency owed me something before I left for the day and didn’t make the deadline so I spent a few hours on the phone with them while driving then picked up Ashton from daycare.  We went to an indoor play place he loves and then grabbed pizza and headed home.  We were being goofy for the camera too! I just love this kid!

fri play with ash

Saturday: We woke up kind of late on Saturday and were rushing around to get breakfast and get to sports camp.  This week was football and Ashton was hamming it up like usual! (And yes, he needs a haircut desperately!)

sat sports

We got home from sports camp, had some lunch and then during Ashton’s nap, I ran 7 miles in 60 minutes flat while finishing up the rest of Grey’s and then watching the newest episode of Scandal. I tried my new shoes for the first time and they felt great! I think I am really going to love having a treadmill at home! The convenience of being able to go downstairs and run during nap time is amazing!

sat 7  mile run

 

After nap we played for a while, had dinner and then I headed out to meet the girls. We are trying to do a monthly get together where each of us gets to pick a place that we want to go and we do it.  Aislyn picked bowling, so we headed out to bowl. I hadn’t been bowling in many years, but it was a lot of fun and let me tell you, it was PACKED. Who knew bowling was such a popular thing to do on a Saturday night?

We also ran into a furries convention at the bowling alley, there were about 100 of them in costume. Don’t make the same mistake I did and Google it, just look at the picture because you can’t unlearn what it is!

bowling

Sunday: On Sunday I rested. We didn’t get up until close to 9 am, had a leisurely breakfast and then went grocery shopping at Wegmans (my favorite place to go–seriously, its amazing!!) We got home, had lunch and Ashton took a nap while I prepped all my meals for the week (I am starting a new plan today that I will talk more about later on the blog).  When he woke up, it was pretty nice outside so we went for a little family walk/hike outside for about an hour or so.

hike collage

It was so nice to get outdoors and play and it made me hope that Spring gets here as fast as possible! Afterwards, we had dinner, played a little more and then it was bedtime.

Well, that’s it for the Weekly Wrap Up.  Overall I was pretty happy with my workouts given the hellish week I had a work and what little sleep I was running on. I REALLY hope this week is better at work and that I can get into a groove with my new workout plan.  Wish me luck!

I hope you all have a great Monday!!

—————————————————————

Question of the day

How was your week? Do anything fun this weekend? Do you bowl?

Friday Five: Favorite Springtime Foods

Happy Friday! I am sorry I missed you guys on ANOTHER Wednesday!  Two weeks in a row…eek!  Work has been especially tough this week with lots of really late nights of work and not a minute to breath during the day. I feel like I am failing at life, but we will leave that for another post.

I cannot tell you how happy I am that it is Friday and I get a little reprieve.  So, I am  linking up with the DC Trifecta: Mar on the Run, You Signed Up for What, and Eat Pray Run DC for their Friday Five: Favorite Springtime Foods today!

I had to think for a long while on this post, mainly because you all know I don’t cook, like hardly ever. Robyn loves to cook (and bake) and is incredible at it, so he takes that on in our house.  I have no complaints, I never have to worry about what I am eating and always know it tastes great!

Here are my favorite Springtime Foods:

Berries- ALL THE BERRIES!! I don’t care what kind, blackberries (my fav), blueberries, raspberries, strawberries…if it’s a berry, I will eat it! I LOVE going berry picking with my boys, a tradition Robyn and I have passed down and now share with Ashton.

berries                                                                                 source

Stone Fruits – Along the same line as berries, I love stone fruits, nectarines (especially white flesh ones,) peaches, cherries, plums, apricots, mango–you get the idea!

stone fruits                                                                                 source

Veggies on the grill-A big pile of grilled veggies makes me so incredibly happy. We cook a lot of veggies in our house all year round and they are always great, but I especially love them on the grill.  The extra flavor boost is making my mouth salivate right now!

veggies                                                                                 source

Corn on the cob- Throughout the year, pretty much the only time I eat corn is when it’s in salsa, but come Spring/Summer one of my favorite things at a BBQ is corn on the cob.  There is something about biting into a piece of corn on the cob that just brings such good memories of my childhood.

corn on the cob                                                                                 source

White Sangria- Let’s be honest, shall we? Anytime is a good time for Sangria, but when the temps start to warm up and you are spending more time outdoors, especially eating outdoors, there is nothing more refreshing to me after a long day than a cold mason jar of my special, homemade white sangria!

sangria

 

That’s it folks, my Friday Five: Favorite Springtime Foods!  Join in below and let me know what yours are and have an awesome weekend!

—————————————————————

Question of the day

What’s your favorite springtime food or drink?

 

 

Weekly Wrap Up

Hello my friends, how are you today? I hope you all had a great weekend. It is officially Spring, but you would never know it based on the weather we are having here in MA, but I am going to choose to ignore it because I know it will get better…it HAS to, right??  So let’s take a look at last week in the Weekly Wrap Up!

Week: 3/16-3/22

Monday:  I tried running but something was on my work treadmill that was really slippery.  Everytime I took a step I felt like I was going to fall.  I let the fitness director know and they put an out of order sign on it.  I really wanted to run but all the other treadmills were taken so I did 10 mins on the stair climber then I lifted upper body and did abs. It wasn’t the workout I wanted but I got it done.

Tuesday: I was bound and determined to run since Monday was botched.  I did a 4 mile progression run that felt pretty great and then in the evening I did some abs. Yes, you read that right….I did abs!  I need to get better about doing this–we will see how it goes!

Wednesday: I did abs (AGAIN!!) before taking my usual spin class. I got in 17.1 miles in 40 minutes. This distance irritates me so much, I tried to get to 17.5 but I had a meeting so I had to cut class short. Anyone else hate ending on weird distances? I like to end on .0 or .50!

Thursday:  I did a quick 3 mile tempo run then finished off my workout by lifting shoulders and biceps. In the evening, we put together my new treadmill! 

Friday:  You know those runs that feel totally effortless?  Yeah, this was the complete opposite of that.  I ran 5 miles while watching Grey’s Anatomy and the entire run hurt like hell, I don’t know why but it felt impossible to hold a pace that is normally easy for me. Every step was a struggle. I wanted to stop but I kept telling myself I could stop after the next mile and then would say that again after the next mile.  It was a total struggle but I am really glad I fought through it to get the full 5 miles I had planned.

After work I took Ashton to the mall so he could ride the space ship ride they have there.  While we were there, I stopped in to get a boba tea and then this happened.

ash boba

He is lucky he is so cute because I only got 2 sips of my drink before he started trying to drink it all up. He was drinking so fast I was worried he was going to choke!

After we picked up dinner, we headed home and I found these beauties waiting for me!

new brooks

I’ve been wearing the Brooks Ghost model for a while now, but they discontinued the model I was wearing and I was still able to find them online but now they are completely gone and I was forced to upgrade to the newest model, I hope they feel the same!

Saturday: I finally took my new treadmill on it’s maiden voyage, I ran 3.5 miles in 30 minutes while watching Scandal.  The run felt effortless, the ride was so comfortable and it almost felt too easy. I don’t know if its because its a new treadmill so everything is very cushioned, or that I was just so excited to have my own treadmill, but it was amazing! I have a feeling we will be spending a lot of time on the weekends together and I can’t wait!

new treadmill

Sunday: I am glad I got my workout in yesterday because at around 9 pm on Saturday night I was struck with the worst stomach bug. I was up all night long and I will spare you the details, but it wasn’t pretty. I was really weak and had nothing in my system so I clearly made it a rest day. I took it really easy, did some work, caught up on House of Cards and didn’t move all that much.

Overall I was pretty happy with my workouts with the exception of the broken treadmill on Monday and the stomach virus on Saturday.  I am hoping that this week will be great and I am looking forward to logging some more miles on my new treadmill and maybe even getting outside if the weather cooperates for a run too!

Happy Monday, have a great start to your week!

—————————————————————

Question of the day

How was your week?  What did you do this weekend? Do you like to switch up your running shoe models often?

Friday Five: The Spring Edition

Hey, hey–Happy Friday! I am sorry I missed you guys on Wednesday, work has been a little nuts since we got FDA approval for an expanded indication on the product I work on this week and it’s been super late nights of work and insane days in the office.  BUT….the good news is that Spring is almost officially here, even if we are getting snow today!  No, you read that right, SNOW…on the first day of Spring…oh New England, why are you so messed up??

I am choosing to ignore the white stuff right now and instead, I’m linking up with the DC Trifecta: Mar on the Run, You Signed Up for What, and Eat Pray Run DC for their Friday Five: Spring Edition to talk to you about what I love about the Spring!

So here are the 5 things I am looking forward to this Spring:

Consistently running outside

I’ll admit it, I didn’t run outside all Winter.  I ran one freezing cold race in December and broke up with Winter running.  I ran through the Polar Vortex last Winter because I had no choice while training for Boston, but this Winter, I chose to stay warm and cozy in the gym.  I don’t regret my decision but I do miss running outdoors and being able to consistently run outside is getting me super excited for Spring!

The Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

Nothing signals Spring to me more than watching the marathon, and this year will be even more special since I now knows what it feels like to have run it!  The race is run each year on Patriots Day and that is a state holiday in MA so everyone has the day off. I love the excitement of watching the race and being so incredibly inspired that it fuels my passion for running even more than what it already is.  It’s just a really magical day.

Peonies

There is nothing more fragrant or gorgeous that a bouquet of Peonies, they are my absolutely favorite flower and the only ones you will ever catch me buying.   They have a short season that starts in the early/mid Spring and ends in June.  I stalk the local Whole Foods near work and as soon as they have them, I buy a bunch for my office at work so I can smell them throughout the day.  They just make me really happy!

peonies

Playing at the park 

Pretty much every night as soon as the weather gets nice I pick Ashton up from daycare and we hit up one of the many parks in our area.  I absolutely love spending time with him outdoors, running around and laughing.  We have been cooped up inside for so many months and we are both waiting for the snow to clear so we can get outside and play!

park

Decorating our house

Remember in my 2015 goals I said I wanted to redesign/decorate our house this year?  Well, after hours and hours of researching and talking to designers, we found the designer we want to work with and we have an all day appointment scheduled at the end of April to start the process. She is going to spend the entire day going through each room in our house, helping to pick paint colors and design every space in the house.  I am SO looking forward to getting the inside of our house redesigned! We have been living it in almost 2 years (Whoa..where does the time go??) and we still have one empty living room on our main floor! We need to paint every room, remodel our master bathroom, and gets lots of furniture and furnishings and redesign the kitchen.  I cannot wait to get started on this and Spring always feels like the time to start fresh and get things done, so that is what we are doing!!

So there you have it folks, the 5 things I am looking forward to this Spring.  I hope you have a great weekend!

—————————————————————

Question of the day

What do you love about Spring?  What are you looking forward to?