The Weekly Wrap Up

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

Week of 4/20-4/26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Question of the day

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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My thoughts on the features:

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

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

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

Have a great weekend my friends!

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Question of the day

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

 

MYPROTEIN {Product Review}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Impact Whey Protein Powder in Cookies and Cream Flavor

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

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Double Chocolate Chip Protein Cookie

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

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Crunchy Peanut Butter

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

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Food Click box

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

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.

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

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

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Question of the day

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

Weekly Wrap Up

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

This is week 2 of my Fit Challenge….

Week of 3/6-3/12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Question of the day

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

 

 

 

Weekly Wrap Up

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

Week: 3/30-4/5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bemis farms

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

disney on ice

After naptime, it was time to color eggs!

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

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

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

bunny pancakes

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

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

I hope you all have a great Monday!!

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Question of the day

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

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!

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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?

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Question of the day

Suggestions? Any words of wisdom?