Two Songs

Hey, hey!  It’s FRIDAY!!  It’s been a long week over here so I’m really excited for the weekend.  We don’t have anything crazy planned other than our usual shenanigans and I’m really excited to just hang out this weekend. We are getting down to the wire with the 10 Day You Challenge–only 1 more week!  As I’ve said before, this challenge gets more and more difficult as the weeks go by and the numbers start ticking down.  I am a huge music fan, when I am not reading a book, you can usually find me listening to music (or watching one of my favorite tv shows!)  So, this week to pick just 2 songs is extremely tough.

Like last week’s challenge post, I am going to pick two songs that always make me happy when I hear them.  While there are currently 100 songs I love when they are played on the radio, these two songs are from the 80′s and are two of my all time favorites.  While I listen to mostly Country music now, I am a huge 80′s music fan!  I was born in the 80′s and think the music I grew up with was pretty awesome…I mean, who doesn’t love a little Poison, White Snake, and Def Leppard? I am guilty of owning all the 80′s Monster Ballads cds and I still think they are awesome!  Anyways, I digress…here we go!

10 day you challenge

Two Songs

1. Fine Young Cannibals-She Drives me Crazy

 

2. Bruce Springsteen-Brilliant Disguise

 

Whatever you do this weekend, be safe and have fun!

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Question of the day

What is YOUR two favorite songs and why?

 

 

Slowing going crazy & why I’m an awful Group Fitness Participant

Do you all know that song with the lyrics, “I am slowly going crazy, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6….?”  If not, please see below.

AND…you can thank me if that is stuck in your head for the next few hours/days/weeks!  THIS is exactly how I have felt for the last 2 full weeks at work.  I have been working on a very large project which has injected the words oncogene induced proliferation, DNA damage response, and nucleotide depletion into my everyday vernacular.  As a result, my brain feels like it has short circuited. I’d come home every night totally drained.  Like so drained that on the commute home everyday I dreamed about having a nice glass of wine at night after Ashton went to bed but never got around to it because I just couldn’t muster the energy to do it.  I have spent every single hour of the last two weeks at work on this project and I am happy to say I JUST finished it….literally, like 5 minutes before I opened this page up to type up this post.  To say I feel like I have accomplished something would be an understatement. I think this has been the most challenging assignment I have ever undertaken in my 8+ years at work here.  While I very much enjoyed the challenge, I am really excited to move on from this and pick up the other programs I was working on before this project came up.

Okay…let’s switch to more important topics, like why I’m an awful group fitness participant.  First, you need a little back story before I begin.  If you guys have been hanging around here for a little bit, you know that I teach Group fitness classes and have been doing so since 2007.  I am certified to teach Group Power and Group Blast through Mossa (fka Body Training Systems.)  Prior to becoming an instructor I would participate in classes, enjoy them, and then leave. I wasn’t really critical of the instructors, I just knew who I liked (based on their personality and the music they played) and who I didn’t based…there was no other rhyme or reason.  Well, that all changed once I got certified to teach and started to REALLY learn how to execute the moves, teach, and learn the business of Group Fitness.

I am extremely fortunate that I teach at a club that has two master trainers from Mossa.  These people are the ones who travel internationally to train all new instructors and who we see on our quarterly programs teaching the programs for us to learn.  It’s a pretty big deal that we have two incredible trainers to learn from at our club.  Our Group Fitness Director (who is one of the trainers) expects a lot from the programs at the gym and is very selective with who is on staff to teach our classes, ensuring we have proper execution while coaching appropriately and engaging the class.  Due to her selectivity, we have a pretty amazing group of fitness instructors. I guess I took for granted how great these instructors and the management at our clubs are.  Prior to this January, I had not taken a Group Fitness class from anyone other than my co-workers at our clubs since 2007.

My work recently relocated our corporate headquarters to two big new fancy buildings downtown and as part of that move, we got a brand new, state of the art fitness facility equipt with Group Fitness classes.  I spent the last 7.5 years working out in a tiny, run down gym at our old headquarters so this was a really nice change of scenery.  I was really excited that they were offering Group Fitness classes as well since I really love taking Group classes but haven’t been able to do so since Ashton was born (other than teach my classes) based on the times.

Well, as much as I love taking Group Fitness classes, I have realized just how different programs and instructors can be and how these programs are executed at various places. Now, I know that I look at things with a different perspective because I am an instructor and know how things SHOULD go (of course my bias as to what is right), but these are just common sense things that should happen at any club and with every instructor you encounter.  Because of my experience and knowledge in this area, I have become really critical of the execution at my new gym and have let the Group Fitness Director know about some of the things that have happened (in a nice manner of course).  So, here are some of my biggest pet peeves from the last 6 months.

1. Come to class.  This should be a no brainer, but in 6 months, there has been 3 separate occasions with 3 different instructors/classes that just didn’t show up to teach.  WHAT?  I get that people get sick, but TELL the Group Fitness manager and arrange for a sub for the class.  Just not showing up would get you fired in just about any other job, so why would you do it here?  There is nothing worse for a participant than planning out your workouts or scheduling your day around a class, then to show up and the teacher isn’t there, you are stuck waiting around hoping they will show and then realize you have to change your planned workout.  NOT COOL!

2. Get to class early.  At the clubs I work at, we have to be 15 minutes early for our classes so we have time to talk to the participants, answer questions, set up our equipment, music, etc.  Rolling in when the class should be starting, taking your sweet time to set up, going to the bathroom and fixing your hair while we are all waiting around for you is rude and unprofessional and honestly, just pisses me off.  Don’t waste my time!

3. Be personable.  As an instructor, one of your jobs is to make the participants feel comfortable in class, not only executing the moves properly, but asking questions, etc.  You genuinely have to be personable or your career as an instructor will probably be short-lived since you have to connect with the members on some level for them to keep coming back.  One of the instructors in a class I regularly take is about as approachable as an angry bear.  The only reason I go to her class is because I need the stretch out that class provides.  If she never came back, I would not be sad.  She gives off such a bad vibe, which kills me because it’s a yoga class and all the instructors I have ever encountered in yoga have always been warm and inviting. I get that bad days happen and everyday you may not feel like a happy, shiny person, but FAKE IT!  The class isn’t about YOU, it’s about the participants!

4. Prepare.  Plan out your class in advance.  It doesn’t take a lot of time, especially if you have been teaching for a while. I can put my classes together in under 30 minutes most days. Coming to class and winging it is never a good idea, it shows when you are unprepared and makes the experience for the participant less than ideal.

5. Know your music.  Similar to preparing, you need to know your music in and out.  There is nothing more frustrating as a participant than being off beat in a class.  As an instructor, I can hear the beats in the music and know where we should be in a move, and it just feels wrong if you are ALWAYS off count and this throws participants off as well.  You made a mistake? No big deal, just get back on track.  You can feel it so clearly when the music is not matching the moves and its awkward–don’t continue, course correct!

Okay, I have ranted enough today. Like I said before, I know that I am being really critical here, but I truly believe that every participant in a class is coming for a certain kind of experience.  We may all have different goals and paths to get us to those goals, but we all deserve to have a good experience and all the things that I laid out contribute to that overall experience.

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Question of the day

What do YOU look for in a Group Fitness class/instructor?

Do you find yourself being more critical in situations where you have a lot of experience in doing something a certain way or do you let it go?

 

A little sneak peek behind the scenes with ME – A Blog Writing Process Tour

HAPPY MONDAY friends!!  Did you all have a great weekend?  I know I sure did!  The weekend started off a bit rocky with me picking up Ashton at daycare on Friday afternoon and him quickly throwing up ALL OVER ME!  I will spare you the details, other than to say it was not how I pictured my Friday afternoon looking.  Anyways, he was thankfully better by Saturday morning and we went to swim lessons where he started a new class and swam all alone without Robyn or I in the pool with him.  It was awesome and terrifying all at the same time!

ashton pool

We also had a toddler birthday party and a lot of park/outdoor play time.  All in all it was a great weekend!  So, today instead of doing my usual Monday morning Weekly Recap post, we are going to switch things up a bit!  Why?  Well, earlier last week while I was checking my email I noticed I received a message from one of my favorite bloggers, Mike from Running Around the Bend.  Of course, I quickly opened it to see what it said.  Mike had been invited to participate in a Blog Writing Process Tour by Susie (another awesome blogger I follow) and he was paying it forward and inviting me to participate in it.  I had two very quick thoughts in rapid succession, first, I was really honored he would ask ME, I mean, there are a TON of other really cool bloggers out there.  Second, what was this tour really about?   I continued to read the email and basically, by answering a few questions, I divulge all of my top secrets to you.

top secretHaha!  Just kidding, I have no secrets.  It’s just a cool way to let you into my little corner of the blogisphere a bit more.  After thinking about it for a few minutes, I decided to stop over thinking it and just say “YES!”  So, that leads us to where we are today.  To start off, there are some guidelines.

- Acknowledge the blogger/blog that invited you to the Tour.
– Answer some questions about your blogging process
– Choose 3 bloggers to plug, give a short bio of the blogs and link to their sites.

Similar to what Mike and Suz did, I am going to rearrange and regroup some of these so it flows better.  Why reinvent the wheel when they did it so well the first time?  So, let’s get started.

 

Background & My Nominations

As I mentioned above Mike invited me to this tour via Suz.  You can check out both of their posts here and here.  I’ve asked Meranda, Jenna, and Olena to participate in the tour.  I’m really interested to see how they manage their process along with their busy lives!!  They are all really amazing women and bloggers, so please go check them out!

 My Writing Process

So here are the questions I was asked to answer:

1. What am I working on? 

This is a pretty loaded question and the one I was the most nervous to answer.  I guess the simplest answer is I am working on me.  I want to be the best possible version of myself.  At home, I want to be a kind, caring, patient (hardest thing for me), loving, fun, and adventurous wife and mom.  I want Robyn and Ashton to be proud of me and to continue to build a home full of  lot of love and laughter.  At work, I want to continue to grow and learn and work on things that matter, invigorate and challenge me.  I have some very specific goals I am working towards career wise and everything is falling into place right now, which feels good.  Fitness wise, I want to constantly be making improvements.  I want to get faster in my running.  I want to lift heavier.  I want to hold a one-legged crow pose for more than 10 seconds.  I want to continue to build strong relationships with you all because I feel like I have found an awesome little online family and I enjoy interacting with you all so much.   I want to continue to be a great friend and confidant to my friends and family.  I want to push the limits in all aspects of my life and see what I can accomplish.  You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take…I don’t want to look back 1, 5, 10 years from now and regret that I didn’t do something I have always wanted to do or that I didn’t give 100% to everything I tried.  I expect that there will be failures, and I want to learn from them and use them to make me a better, stronger person.  And I want to blog about a lot of this stuff along the way too!  That is what I am constantly working on. Pretty simple, right? :)

2. How does my work differ from others of its type/genre?

I’m not an elite athlete, I can’t run a 5 minute mile, I am just ME…a wife, mom, and working professional who happens to love taking about running, fitness and my family.  There are a million other blogs just like mine out there. I guess what distinguishes me from everyone else is my experiences and my voice.  We all come from different backgrounds, have had different life experiences that color the way we see the world and have different goals.  We all have different writing styles, purposes for our blogs, things that drive and motivate us.  This is just my tiny little corner of the internet where I use my voice to discuss the things that means something to me.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I had been reading a handful of running blogs for close to 4 years and always found myself feeling inspired and loved reading about others experiences. I had tossed around the idea of starting my own blog quite a few times but I got nervous thinking it was way too much work or I wouldn’t have the skills to get it up and going and of course, what would I talk about and who would read it?  Finally after doing a lot of research, I threw caution to the wind and started this little blog last September.  I decided I was going to write about all the things I was passionate about…running and general fitness training, my struggles and successes, my family, friends, work and anything else that was on my mind.   At the time, I really needed a creative outlet and I figured if no one read it, it would serve as an online diary of sorts that I could look back and reflect on.  I am SO glad that less than a year later, I have this incredible group of readers friends with diverse backgrounds and interests that I truly enjoy interacting with and learning more about everyday.  You perspectives make me a better, more knowledgeable person, so thank you!

4. How does your writing process work?

say what

My process is that I don’t really have a process, I just write in the moment for the most part.  I don’t schedule posts weeks or days in advance. I usually write them the morning they post or sometimes the night before, but 95% of the time, I write them in the morning and hit publish.  I don’t revise and edit other than for grammar or spelling errors.  I typically write off the cuff and speak like I would if I were chatting with you face to face. My writing isn’t very technical and I don’t spend time pouring over my word choice, I just let it go where it does in my head.  I don’t have a long list of things I want to blog about (although I wish I did because sometimes I draw a blank.) I usually just write about my life, what’s going on in the here and now, although if I read something that I want to talk about, I will.  This is one of the few things in my life that isn’t really planned out, I just go with the flow.  I don’t want this to ever feel like an obligation, if that makes sense.  I want to write about the things I want to write about when they interest me. Pretty simple and straightforward!

Well, that’s it!  Thank you again Mike for inviting me to participate in this great tour and don’t forget to check out MerandaJenna, and Olena!

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Question of the day

What made you want to start blogging?  Do you have a writing process of do you “wing it” like me?

Three Films

Well, here we are friends…back to Friday!  It’s time for the 10 Day You Challenge, we are getting down towards the end.  I hope you have enjoyed this as much as I have.  Today, we are on three films.  This, like the other days is incredibly challenging, mainly because I love a lot of movies for a lot of different reasons. We watch a lot of movies in our house and Netflix is our BFF.  However, I am not one of those people who will repeatedly watch movies over and over again unless I REALLY love them (I don’t watch re-runs of tv shows I’ve seen either.)  So, for this part of the challenge,  I am going to just tell you three movies that I CAN watch over and over again and never tire of, they all elicit some sort of emotion in me that never goes away each time I watch them, which is why I keep going back for more. 10 day you challenge Three Films    

1. P.S. I Love You ps i love you movie I am not an overly emotional person, but I ugly cry through this movie EVERY SINGLE time I watch it.  It is such a beautiful story of love, loss and living.  It doesn’t hurt that I am also a huge fan of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and that he and Robyn look so similar (it’s not just me who says it either.)

2. The Hangover hangover I remember seeing this movie in the theater the first time with Robyn and some friends and I was laughing so hard I was crying and my stomach hurt. I remember Robyn turning to me at one point and asking if I was okay. We both love this movie and can recite lines from it and it still makes me laugh hard.  I was disappointed in the  follow-up movies in this franchise, they just cannot compare and are not worth watching (in my opinion.)

3. Napoleon Dynamite nap dynamite This is another classic in our house that cracks us up.  We have seen it too many times to count.  It’s definitely an “odd comedy” and you have to enjoy the kind of humor to understand it, but both Robyn and I love this movie.

 

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you on Monday! :)

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Question of the day

What are some of your favorite movies?  Do you tend to like one genre or do you like diversity?

Give it a rest

Grab your beverage of choice and let’s have a little chat on this rainy, gloomy Boston morning shall we?  So, lately I’ve noticed with a couple of the running blogs I follow that they are facing injuries that are sidelining them for running.  Another thing I have noticed is that these same runners were just coming off of marathons or bigger races and took little to no rest in between their last training/race and their next training/race cycle.  When reading about their injuries, I found myself shaking my head saying to myself, “Of course you are injured, your body needs to recover.”  It made complete sense to me why their injuries were occurring, our bodies NEED rest.  Training for anything, especially marathons or longer distances can be very taxing on our bodies, even for those in tip-top shape.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I get that you don’t want to put in all that hard work for months, run a race and then sit around doing nothing and lose all the fitness you worked so hard to gain, and that is not what I’d advocate for anyways.  BUT…only taking a few days off of running and then piling the miles back on, even if you feel perfectly okay, just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me and feels like a recipe for disaster injury (these are of course, all just my personal opinions, I don’t know what other people’s motivations, goals, etc are).  I am by no means a doctor and of course, everyone’s body responds differently to training, mileage, etc, but as I was reading Running Times online, I came across this article and it validated my thoughts and made a lot of sense to me. (This is just a snapshot of the full article, I recommend you read the whole thing!)

give it a restNow, this is just MY experience, but after both of my full marathons, I took a break from running and focused on a lot of cross training.  After my first marathon I took to the Insanity program and was more fit and ripped after that training cycle than I had ever been while running.  As many of you know, post Boston this year I started the T25 program.  I took a few weeks totally off from running (I was still cross training), even though I physically felt fine and have just as of late been sprinkling in more weekly runs, and guess what?  Not only am I feeling re-energized with running but I am getting FASTER?!?  I think the rest from a lot of running coupled with more intense cross training has left me mentally and physically stronger while letting my body recover from pounding out the miles during my last training cycle.  

I started thinking about this more on my drive home the other night.  Now this is just my assumption/observation, but while I love social media and blogging, I think that it’s possible that people (and the bloggers I have been reading that are in this situation) may be falling into the idea (or pressure) that if they aren’t constantly training for something and talking about it, then they are somehow less of an athlete or will have nothing else to talk about since they hear of others who are doing back to back marathons, ultras, etc.  It’s that whole comparison trap/keeping up with the Jones mentality.  Like I said, I’m going out on a limb and making an assumption, but I see a lot of that in other situations on social media so I am sure it COULD apply in this instance, for some.  Social media can be a great platform for motivation, advice, etc but I think it can also add a lot of undo pressure to constantly perform at a certain level.  

Okay, I’m going to get off my soapbox that our bodies need rest…but I want to hear from you all down in the comments. 

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Question of the day

What are your thoughts around taking a running rest period between training cycles?

Weekly Wrap Up

Good morning friends!  It’s kind of wet and gloomy here in Boston this morning, but that is totally okay.  After a gorgeous weekend of perfect weather, I am more than okay if it rains during the week if that means we can have weekends like we just did!  This weekend was full of family, friends, hiking, and lots of great food (including the most ridiculous birthday cake!) Last week was my last week with the T25 program,  I’ll do a full recap of the Beta Phase in the coming week so stay tuned!  But here’s what my week looked like!

Week 7/7-7/13

Monday:  It was REALLY hard coming off a super long weekend.  I felt really refreshed mentally, but had a hard time getting going until I stepped into the gym and queued up my T25 Beta Rip T Circuit video.   A few minutes into my workout, the switch flipped and I was super focused and felt like I got a REALLY great workout.  After T25  I wanted to get in some ab work so I tried a new Blogilates video, Extreme Abs, it was hard and it felt good.  I felt like Monday really set a good tone for the rest of the day!  I couldn’t get to my normal lunchtime yoga class because of a meeting, so I was glad I felt accomplished in the morning.  Ashton didn’t have daycare on Monday so my niece watched him at our house so after we got home and had dinner, we all went out for ice cream.  It was such a great treat during the week and of course, Ashton was in heaven!

ash ice cream mon night

Tuesday: Tuesday morning I started off with T25 Beta Core Cardio and then decided to do a short run.  I got in a relaxed 3 miles in 27:15, so a 9:03 pace run and my ankle felt really good, which was a great sign, so for all intents and purposes I think it’s better.

tuesday run

After my run, I wanted to get in some ab work but didn’t feel like a video so I put on some of my favorite tunes and had a plank a thon.

Wednesday: I had plans to take my normal Wednesday morning spin class but when I got to work and tried to get into our second tower, the doors were on lock down and the fire alarm was going off.  I went back to my office and called up to the gym and they said they were not evacuated so I thought it was just a drill.  I tried to walk outside and enter into the second tower from the ground level but there were 6 firetrucks and they weren’t letting anyone in.  A bunch of us early morning gym goers were waiting outside hoping this was just a drill and we could get back in quickly but after waiting 30 mins we realized that wasn’t happening. I was really irritated because I had a full day of back to back meetings which meant I wouldn’t get to work out.  Luckily at 11:30 a.m. I saw that my noon meeting was rescheduled so I had an hour free.  At noon I ran up to the gym, got in a quick 3 mile run with an average 8:17 pace, showered and was back in my office for my 1:00 p.m. meeting!

wed lunch run

Thursday: In the morning I did T25 Beta Dynamic Core followed by my usual vinyasa yoga class. The instructor was playing around with some different moves in this class, which kind of threw me off. I won’t say it was a bad class, I just like our usual style/format better.  It was good to learn some new moves, but I don’t feel I got as good of a workout.  Anyways, in the evening I taught Group Power and did some very basic core moves for about 5 minutes when I got home.

Friday: It was my last “official”  T25 Beta workout, I did the Rip T Circuit and Speed 2.0 and then had to rush to get to my yearly physical.  Always fun! :)  I didn’t get anything else done because my Mom was in town, staying with us for the weekend, so the rest of the night was spent running errands, trying to get ready for the Birthday BBQ I was throwing for Robyn on Saturday afternoon!

Saturday: Today was a rest day and I spent the morning running around trying to get everything ready for Robyn’s birthday party in the afternoon.  I kept it small, only to about 15 close family and friends as Robyn really doesn’t like to celebrate his birthday.  Everything went really well and we had a lot of fun and ate some ridiculously good food, including the dark chocolate/PB cake I ordered for him from a delicious bakery in our area.

robyn bday cake

It was so rich and flavorful and super dense.  I think the cake itself weighed over 5 lbs, it was HEAVY, but the good thing is you could have a super small piece and feel satisfied!! I just wish we didn’t have 1/2 a cake still sitting in our fridge right now :)  All in all, it was the best kind of rest day!

Sunday:  On Sunday I drove my Mom back home in the morning and was sad to say goodbye.  We all had such a good time with her, especially Ashton.  He just loves his “gramma.”  When I got home, we did our usual Sunday things like grocery shopping, etc and then in the afternoon we headed out to a local trial and went on a little over 2 mile hike with Ashton and some of our friends and then we all went out for ice cream.  Ashton must have been beat up from the weekend because he was so tired when we got home that he couldn’t even sit up to play with his truck!

ashton too tired to sit up and play

A hike and ice cream was the perfect way to end an already awesome weekend!

Overall, this week went pretty well.  I am happy and sad to say goodbye to T25, although I definitely will incorporate the videos into my normal routine, just not in such a structured way.  I did pretty well with my core workouts, but there is always room for improvement.  I have a few things I am going to tweak over the course of the next few weeks and start to increase my weekly mileage again, so I am interested to see if/what will change as a result.  More on that to come!  I hope you all had a great weekend and your Monday is off to a good start!

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Question of the day

What did you do this weekend?

Anyone have suggestions for good core workout videos other than Blogilates?

Four Books

Hi all–how’s your week going so far?  I can’t believe another week has gone by and it’s Friday! Today is going to be quite busy, my Mom is coming to stay with us for the weekend, which I am REALLY excited about, I have my annual physical at the Drs, and I have a TON of shopping to do tonight, including picking up what I hope is an amazing birthday cake to get ready for Robyn’s birthday party tomorrow.  I am glad to have an extra set of hands to help for tomorrow, that’s for sure!

Anyways, sticking with our Friday theme over the past few weeks, we are continuing the 10 Day You Challenge.  Today is about four books.  As most of you who have followed me for some time now know, I LOVE to read, almost as much as I love to workout. I read at least 1-2 books a week, sometimes 3-4 depending on what is going on at home, so narrowing it down to just 4 books may be the hardest part of this challenge thus far. Because of that, I decided to list my 2 all time favorite books and 2 that were childhood favorites that I read to Ashton frequently and I still love.

 

10 day you challenge

Four Books

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Leemockingbird

I can’t remember the first time I read this book, I believe it was an junior high school, but it was a very powerful and moving story to me, one that I continue to go back and read and is by far, my all time favorite book.

2.  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Gatsby_1925_jacket

The Great Gatsby comes in a close second and is another classic that is so well written.  I actually do remember the first time I read this book, it was in 9th grade English Lit class and I remember feeling so engaged in the book that I could barely put it down.  I love the book so much that I can’t bear to watch the movie because I am so afraid they didn’t do it justice.  Anyone see it?

3. On the Night You were Born by Nancy Tillman

night you were born

I still tear up EVERY SINGLE TIME I read this book to Ashton, which is often.  It is my all time favorite book to read him.

4.  Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Where_The_Wild_Things_Are_(book)_cover

It was a toss up between this book and The Monster At the End of this Book by Jon Stone. I love both so much, but I REALLY love the pictures in this book, so that along with the story push this one to the top of the list!

 

That’s it my friends. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  Be safe, laugh a lot, get a good sweat on and I’ll see you all on Monday! :)

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Question of the day

What is your favorite book (adult or children’s)?

VERY INSPIRING BLOGGER AWARD

Hi friends, Happy Hump Day!  This week has been a whirlwind, starting off with my computer crashing at work,  leaving my Monday basically a wash and I wasn’t back up and running with my new laptop until almost 11 a.m. yesterday, so I was am in a bit of a panic with all the work I still need to get done.  Then, I got into work super early this morning as usual to get in my workout, well no dice.  The tower that our gym is in was evacuated and there were 5 firetrucks outside.  I waited for a half hour hoping it was just a small incident and they would open the building back up for us, but no.  So now I am sitting in my office bummed that I didn’t get my workout in this morning and I have back to back meetings from 9-4, so getting there during lunch just isn’t happening.  Well, like they say…gotta roll with the punches.  Anyways, I am going to keep this as short as I can.  While reading some of my favorite blogs over the course of the past few day, I saw that I was nominated by four pretty awesome ladies, Helly, Olena, Jenna and Hailey for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award! I was really flattered and honored since all of these women are incredibly inspiring and I love following their incredible journey’s, so for them to think I am inspiring means a lot to me, so thank you all for thinking I am worthy of this award!

 

veryinspiringblogger

Like a lot of other blog awards, there are rules!  So here they are:

  • Thank and link to the person who nominated you
  • List the rules and display the award
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated
  • Optional: display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you

I feel like you guys know so much about me…but here we go, maybe you’ll learn something new ;)

1. I haven’t eaten red meat or pork since 1999.  I eat a 95% vegetarian diet with a very occasional piece of chicken or turkey on Thanksgiving. I will eat seafood and love it, but it’s not Robyn’s favorite and since he cooks, we don’t eat it a ton.

2. I was in the Tri-Delta sorority in college. I NEVER thought I’d join a sorority, but I did and it was pretty awesome. Our house had most of the athletes in it, so it was a natural fit for me since almost all my soccer team was a part of it.

3. Similar to Helly’s not liking the distance stickers people put on their cars, I don’t like those family stickers, you know, the ones that show stick figures or whatever (sorry, I don’t mean to offend anyone out there reading this that has them.) I just personally don’t like them.   I would however laugh if I saw this on someone’s car.

stick family

4. I was a Political Science major with a focus on Latin America and minored in European History in college. I wrote my thesis on Drug Trafficking in Colombia and the political, social, and economical impact of Plan Colombia. I totally geek out on history and politics.

5.  Tying into my #4, I did a semester abroad my Junior year of college in Brazil.  It was heaven.

6. I used to chew my nails so badly that they would bleed and hurt to touch, then in my sophomore year of college, I bit them so badly that I got a terrible infection and had to be on IV antibiotics.  The Dr scared me so badly that I stopped chewing my nails and have had long nails ever since.

7. Robyn nicknamed me Sprinkles when we first started dating because of my freckles and it stuck, he still calls me Sprinkles 9 years later!

I read a ton of awesome blogs and I am sure a lot of these people have been nominated by others, but I want them to know I think they are pretty amazing and each one of them inspires me in one way or another.  Also, go check out HellyOlenaJenna and Hailey if you don’t already know them!!  My nominees in no particular order:

1. (My beautiful and bad ass IRL Friend) Kristin @ Sweat Courage

2. Courtney @ Tri Girl Chronicles

3. Michael @ Running Around the Bend

4. Susie @ SuzLyfe

5.  Julia @ Vegas Mother Runner

6. Kels @ The Blonder Side of Life

7. Kristy @ Runaway Bridal Planner

8.  Meranda @ Fairytales and Fitness

9. Cynthia @ You Signed Up for What

10. Rachel @ Undercover Diva

11. Lauren @Lauren’s Glass Slipper

12. Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes

13. Annie @ Strong Brees

14. Running Bear @ Spiritual Creaminess

15.  Miranda @ The Cupcake Triathete

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Question of the day

What’s one random thing I don’t know about you?

Weekly Wrap Up

Good morning! I hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July weekend.  I kicked off my long weekend on Wednesday,which is why I have been fairly silent this weekend unless you follow me on Instagram where I have been posting bits and pieces of what has been one of the best long weekends ever.  Since I am totally slammed at work this week with a big project, I am going to get right into the Weekly Wrap up…so here we go!

Week 6/30-7/6

Monday: It was a pretty typical Monday, I did my T25 Beta Rip T video followed by some ab work then I did my usual lunchtime vinyasa Yoga class.  For some reason, I am really getting into my yoga classes lately, it’s a great feeling when everything just comes together (the moves and breathing!)

Tuesday: I woke up not feeling my workout but got in the T25 Beta Dynamic Core video and tried to run.  My right ankle was still really tender from the trail race on Saturday, so I only make it 1.15 miles before I decided to stop.  It wasn’t worth it for me to continue to aggravate my ankle and delay my recovery.  I finished off the workout with the Blogilates 5 best moves to flatter your lower belly video.

Wednesday: I woke up and my ankle was feeling a bit better thankfully. I did my T25 Beta Core Cardio video and then had my Wednesday morning Spin class.  I was sweating buckets and felt on top of the world after class.  In the evening I did some planks at home.

Thursday: My vacation had officially started so all I did was my T25 Beta Dynamic Core workout during Ashton’s nap since my Group Power class was cancelled because of the holiday weekend.  I kind of felt bad, like I should have done more, but we were too busy having fun for me to worry about taking any more time to workout.  After Ashton woke up, we ventured over to one of the local libraries that has an incredible toddler play area and stayed there in the glorious air-conditioned building for 2 hours.  It was 100 degrees out when we left at 6 p.m., I felt like I was melting ;)   

ash at library

Friday: When we woke up, the weather was nice but we knew we were in for some pretty bad storms so we headed to the Ecotarium in the morning to explore.  We love the Ecotarium and am thinking a yearly membership is in our immediate future!

ecotarium

During Ashton’s nap I did my Beta T25 Speed 2.0 and Upper Focus videos and then Blogilates 5 best muffin top melting moves video.  After Ashton woke up, we got on our rain gear and since it was still fairly warm outside, we played in the pouring rain for about 90 minutes.  It was such a blast. I won’t lie, as we were getting ready to go out, I wasn’t too excited, but once we were out there, jumping in puddles and catching rain in buckets, my mood shifted and I had a blast.  I know I say this a lot, but I truly am thankful for Ashton, he really helps me let loose and enjoy the little things in life.  Seeing things through his eyes is such a wonderful experience.

Saturday: I woke up early and wanted to get a run in since my ankle was feeling better.  The rain helped cool everything off and it was in the low 60′s when I headed out, it felt amazing.  I decided I wasn’t going to pay attention to my Garmin and just try to run by feel at whatever pace felt comfortable. I knew the course I was going to run, an out and back for 4 miles since I knew I would have enough time to run and then get in and shower and change before Ashton woke up.  Well, here is how it turned out.

sat july run

I am pretty shocked at my paces. An average of 8:10 is great for me and the fact that I got in 2 miles in the 7′s was so exciting for me.  It was a progression run without trying to be, which was even better. I sometimes think that when I don’t pay attention to my Garmin I run even better than when I pay a lot of attention to it (which is most of the time!)  After I got home, showered and dressed, Ashton woke up and we played with his bubble machine on the deck.  We laughed so hard and chased hundreds of bubbles!

bubbles on the deck

After running around all day, playing at the park and having a good nap, we headed to my brother and sister in law’s campground for the first time.  He got to play on the beach, walk on the docks with Robyn and took a dip in the water with me.  After we got all cleaned up, my brother in law Matt grilled up some dinner and we sat by the fire hanging out.  Ashton was enthralled with the fire pit and just sat in the chair staring at it, it was really cute!

camping

Around 8 p.m. we left the campground and headed to see the fireworks.  Ashton has never seen the fireworks before and we were a bit nervous to see how he would react to the loud noises, that and this was the first time ever that he was not in bed at 7:45 p.m.  We are pretty militant with his nap/sleep schedule and the fireworks didn’t start until 9:30 p.m.  Thankfully he was a total rock star.  He not only loved the fireworks, but kept talking about them all the way home saying, “Mama, the fireworks were fun, they go BOOM!”   We headed home and got him to bed around 10:45 p.m. and he (and me) passed right out.  I am really glad it all worked out!

Sunday: For all intents and purposes, this was a rest day.  When I woke up, my ankle was pretty tender again.  I can walk fine, but when I try to rotate it, I feel it.  The trail race last Saturday did a number on this ankle with the crazy terrain, so I think it just needs a bit more TLC.  Anyways, we got up late since we were out late and decided to kick off the last day of our long weekend with a leisurely breakfast at a new to us local restaurant. After we had our fill of eggs (for me) and waffles and pancakes for the boys, we headed out to the local outdoor market for some shopping and then grabbed lunch at one of our favorite little delis. After Ashton’s nap, we went grocery shopping and played outdoors.  Our niece came over in the evening and stayed overnight since she was watching Ashton Monday while his daycare is off and Robyn and I both have to go back to work.

So, considering the long holiday weekend, I am pretty happy with my workouts this week and all the family time I was able to enjoy.   I definitely got in more core workouts than last week which was the goal and I got in some good paces during my run on Saturday morning.  I hope my ankle feels a bit better this coming week so I can start logging more miles.  Next week is my final week with T25, so I have to figure out what I am going to tackle next, but I am definitely going to start increasing my weekly running mileage again, even though the only race I am currently signed up for is a 10k trail race in August.

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Question of the day

How was your holiday weekend?  Any fun stories?

Five Foods

HAPPY 4th of July!  I hope everyone had a great day celebrating.  We had kind of a washout here in MA today, but it still ended up being a great day.  We started the day off at the Ecotarium and then after Ashton’s nap we all got suited in our rain gear and spent about an hour and a half in the pouring rain, jumping in puddles, playing with Ashton’s water table and just having fun outdoors!  I would have never enjoyed being outside in the rain so much if it weren’t for Ashton, I love how he helps me find joy in such simple things, it’s so awesome!

So, because I was out enjoying the day with my boys, that is why this post is so late.  Keeping up with the 10 Day Challenge, today’s post is about 5 foods…as usual, its REALLY hard to narrow down my favorites in any of these categories, so I did the best I could.  Here we go!

10 day you challenge

Five Foods

1. White Flesh Nectarines

nectarine

The only fruit I don’t like is papaya, everything else is fair game for me. I LOVE fruit and eat it everyday, but white flesh nectarines are my all time favorite. I love the hard texture (like biting into an apple) and the light but sweet taste.  I have been buying these like crazy since they are in season and eating at least one a day.  I am going to be really sad when the summer is over and you can’t get them anymore.

2. Pad Thai

pad thai

I very rarely get cravings for food, but when I do, 90% of the time, it’s for Pad Thai.  I don’t eat it often, maybe 3-4 times a year, but it’s one of my most favorite dishes.

3. Pizza

pizza

Mmmmm pizza!  Every Friday night in our house is pizza night. Both Robyn and I share a deep love for pizza.  We have been trying out all the pizza places in our city for the past few years, trying to hit them all and we rate them in the hopes of finding the best pizza in the area.  We have a sticker system and everything.  I told you we love pizza!  For me, as long as it’s not Greek style pizza, I’m happy.  I’m kind of a purist when it comes to my pizza, so I love just plain cheese (or cheese with fresh basil…YUM!), but as long as there is no meat on the pizza or black olives, I will try any combination.  We recently had a crab rangoon pizza that was INCREDIBLE!  At first I was a bit leery, but it totally rocked!

4. Peanut Butter

mighty maple

I have had a love affair with PB since as long as I can remember.  When I was a young child I used to sit with the jar, a spoon and a glass of milk and be in heaven.  Not much has changed and at any given time, there are at least 3 different jars of PB in our house. Right now we have Peanut Butter & Co’s Mighty Maple, Jif creamy, Jif extra crunchy and  Marantha Almond Butter.  The only time in my life I abstained from PB was when I was pregnant with Ashton as I was told that if you ate PB (or anything with nuts) there was a higher chance Ashton would have had a peanut allergy.  I didn’t touch anything made with nuts, it was probably the toughest thing for me to abstain from.

5. Cheese 

cheese

I haven’t had a cheese that I can recall that I didn’t like.  I love cheese, especially specialty cheeses.  There is this great specialty cheese place near us that sells really unique cheeses from all over the world, many that I have never even heard of before.  It’s one of my favorite places to go.  Whenever we are hosting for a special event, we go there and get some really amazing cheeses and they help us pair them with the right meals, breads/crackers and wines.  It’s such a wonderful treat.  For our day-to-day cheese eating, we usually stick to a very sharp cheddar, muenster or a really good quality mozzarella.

 

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Question of the day

What is on your list of top 5 favorite foods?