Thursday, January 30, 2014

I like simplicity

So I don't know about you but I love to read magazines and it is probably no surprise but I order/buy a lot of fitness magazines. I always read the workouts. Look at the pictures. I try to comprehend and translate what kind of handstand-ish-crazy-lunge-move they are trying to tell me to do, but then when I get to the gym I forget everything I read and just do what I know.

I have thought about actually bringing the magazine but I never do.

Well last weekend I was reading away while eating breakfast and I thought HEY I should just take pictures with my iphone. That way I won't look like a loser at the gym later today flipping pages. Better yet!! I could eliminate half the moves in the article and just take pictures of the moves that make the most sense to me.

I know, I know. Sometimes I am just a border line genius.

Well I was so impressed with the new moves I tried. I did them at the gym on Sunday morning and I am just now recovered.

I hope you aren't bored to tears this week with my posts but I wanted to share what made me hurt because misery loves company & it finally seems like the whole country is stuck in a gym this week. So try these out!

First, forgive my terrible photography.

Second, if you do not want to look at another picture after this one no worries, this move is all you need. It made my whole body shake. I could not believe how hard it is.
Basically, wall sit. Grab some weights. Palms face up & you lift till you tap the wall above you. I did extend my arms fully. It looks like this girl keeps a 90 degree angle or whatever. I kept going till I thought I would die & then I did three more.

I did both moves on this page.
The first move burns. I do dips on a bench all the time. They don't burn like this. Try it.
The second move requires weights. I am such a wimp. I started with 8 pounds and went down to 5. 
Last one!!! Notice she is balancing on one foot here. I don't know if this move really is as hard as it seems but I did it last and it was worth it because my arms were already dead. Notice her "W" form. The little extra kick of standing on one leg is great. I am so boring when I lift weights. The extra challenge makes it more fun. Yes, I just said fun.

Where do you find new moves to try at the gym??? What is your favorite fitness magazine? 

(All images are from Shape Magazine)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

online shopping always makes a Wednesday better

So a few months ago I wrote a post linking you to one of the best online shops!

You can read it here.

2 Vagabonds Imports is my favorite! The girls that run the shop pick up the. best. stuff. from around the world and one of my favorite pieces is a scarf I actually got for Christmas from my Mother in law!

Right now all of their scarves are on sale!!! &&& they have added a number of new jewelry pieces.

I want to talk more about some of my favorite new pieces during Kylie and Emily's link up next week so I will hold off on showing you more, but go see for yourself because now they are featured on my side bar!!! Fancy huh?

I super LOVE their new button!


Erin over at Love, Fun & Football created it. Go check her out toooo :)

Love, fun and football

Monday, January 27, 2014

the dreadmill

I am going to admit it first, before I get into it so it isn't some big let down.

I did run 13.1 miles on the treadmill this weekend, however it didn't happen all at once. I broke it up like a big-fat-chicken-baby. Yep, I just made that name up but I deserve it. I was a baby about it and acted like a chicken, so that is what I get.

On Saturday at noon I did 8.1 miles and on Sunday at noon I did 5 more. 

I wish I had a better excuse but I honestly cannot run fast for very long on a treadmill. It has got to be mental but I run about an 11 minute mile on the treadmill. Please DO NOT think that I am mad or sad about that. An 11 minute mile is great!! but that is rather slow for me and after 8 miles I could not even imagine being in the gym any longer. 

I know that is a terrible excuse. 

I feel bad even writing it. 

Does anyone reading this run slower on the treadmill or is it just me??? For the longest time I wanted to blame the treadmill and say it was broken, but the odds that every treadmill I have been on in the last year was broken probably aren't great.

Anyways I didn't want to come on here and lie so I am telling you the truth. I hate the treadmill. I hope we find peace in the future but I don't think it is likely. 

I will say there were three new things I did that got me through the miles. 

1.  I brought a water bottle. I never actually take a water bottle on the machine with me. Genius concept right? Water helps you last longer during the run. Who would have thought???
2. I played with the incline, instead of the speed. This is going to sound like some messed up logic but when I thought I was going to die and contemplated slowing the treadmill down just one more notch, I would hike the incline up a few for a minute. Then when I brought it back down, the original pace I was at felt VERY comfortable. 
3. Watch Parenthood on Netflix. I am obsessed with this show now!! I am half way through the third season. If you loved Gilmore Girls, you have to watch it. 

Photo Credit

And if you are wondering what it feels like to live in Wisconsin right. this. second. SEE BELOW.

They say tomorrow it should feel like -43. 

And that my friends makes me want to cry. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

I surrender

I am really really sad but I think this half marathon just wasn't meant to be. 

5 short days ago it was supposed to be 30 and sunny tomorrow morning. Now it is going to be NEGATIVE 15 degree windchill and 20 mph winds. 

I hate to say it but I am surrendering to the weather and choosing not to drive two hours to race in the morning.

Honestly, I have tried to be positive all week but I realized leaving work today that it was 10 degrees warmer than it will be tomorrow and I could barely walk to my car without wanting to die. If you don't live in a northern state, I realize this might sound ridiculously dramatic, but it actually hurts to breath right now outside. Running is supposed to be something that is fun for me and tomorrow just couldn't possibly be fun. 

So I moped upstairs tonight after calling my mom to tell her I wasn't running...because I am still 12 years old and need to run big decisions by her, and I saw my bib and shirt for tomorrow ...
They were just laying on our bed and it hit me that I spent money and committed to running 13 miles tomorrow & dammit I am going to. 

I immediately called Jake and asked if he felt like standing next to a treadmill for two hours tomorrow morning with a motivational poster and camera. 

He obviously said no!! you crazy loser! but he will be going to the gym with me :)

So Monday no race recap but I will tell you all the details of what it is like to run 13 miles on a treadmill...unless you have already done this before... Than you are a freaking beast and leave me some tips :) 

Happy Weekend !!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I should let my husband plan days more often.

Jacob’s birthday was on January 8th, which was a Wednesday.

I kissed him good morning and gave him his card. Those ten minutes in the morning was the only time I saw him all day *tear. Our schedules really suck. Anyways I tried to think of some clever gifts but I ended up writing in his card that Sunday January 19th was Jacob Day. He could choose anything and everything he wanted to do that day. He was so happy. He acted like it was the most creative gift ever.

So the week before he started planning out our meals and everything he wanted me to do. I would hear bits and pieces or catch things left up on our computer but I didn’t get the final “schedule” till Friday January 17th. He took this incredibly seriously : )

I was shocked. Jaw dropped. Couldn’t believe my eyes!!! when the first thing on the schedule after breakfast was a 5K at the Milwaukee Zoo!!!!

I have two words for you. RHINOS & RUNNING. What are the freaking odds??? Talk about blog material. (Unfortunately they would not let me in the rhino house to ride a rhino in my running gear. I was disappointed.)

But even more importantly than that, lets talk about how Jacob chose running on his special day!!! Not for me but because he REALLY wanted to do it. I think free zoo admission for the day helped, but I was so excited.

I am rarely excited about 5ks. They actually make me sick. It is that weird thing about distance runners that no one gets. 

“Why would you rather run farther???” 

Well by the time your legs get warmed up, the race is over! On top of that you put pressure on yourself to go FAST and speed is an icky feeling without 5 warm up miles. Ya know? No you don't? Ok. Just me. Weird.

Anyways it was a blast. The sun was out on Sunday and it warmed up to 30 degrees & I set a PR. The coolest part though was that it was the first finish line I got to wait at to cheer on Jacob. We have started races together, but I always take the longer distance (8k, 10k, etc.) so he finishes first. This time we both did the 5k.

I finished officially in 25:11 and Jacob in 31:43. He was kind of bummed. I still think he did great. It was actually very hilly and both of us have not been running much because of the stupid temperatures here.

Splits (According to my Garmin)
Mile 1: 7:58
Mile 2: 8:14
Mile 3: 8:06

I honestly think that the amount of muscle I have gained this winter has really helped my speed. I remember my last 5k in the summer and I thought I was going to die. I am not kidding. I seriously remember going to get froyo after because it was the only thing I could even think about eating because I felt so nauseous & I went home and napped the entire rest of the day. I ran almost the exact same time on Sunday. I didn’t really prepare running wise for this race (because I didn’t even know about it!) and it was hard and uncomfortable but I was fine. Totally fine. I don’t know... I am really starting to believe in picking up those weights.

After walking around the zoo we headed to Dave and Buster’s. We ate wings and drank beer. Big surprise ;) & played games. Jacob set the high score on his favorite game so I would say the second stop of the day was a success.
I need a skee ball machine.

record holder

Then we played tourists in our own town and went to Sprecher Brewery for a Brewery tour. More beer. Huge surprise ;)

I bought myself a hat. This could be the first selfie on my blog.
Wear your seat belt. It is the law. 
Then we headed home to make dinner and catch up on our DVR. It was petty much a perfect day. Even for me. I guess that is why I married him : ) : ) : ) We like to do the same things. Probably a good sign. 

I know I am a day late but tell me...

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway!!!

You can win a blog design of your very own by the one and only Hubby Jack. Get on it! 
Happy Tuesday, Peeps!
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Monday, January 20, 2014

iLoveYouRhinos gets official

I feel like I finally made it.

My girl Aubrey over at ALG, Uninterrupted  is the bomb dot com and is making me look cooler than I am.

She reached out to a few of us girls, who got our blogs pimped out by Hubby Jack, & asked us if we wanted to be a part of a giveaway.

My answer??? "hells YA!" 
I have no idea how to create a helicopter-thingy-ma-jiggy, giveaway-rafflecopter-gadget YET. Let's do this!! ESPECIALLY because it means one of you lucky people will get to create or redesign your blog with the one and only Hubby Jack!!!

We are giving away a full blog design-----75 dolla bills y'all!

Let me tell you. This guy is awesome. I was really hesitant to reach out. I wasn't sure if I was ready for the blogging world, but even if you are just starting up, it is so great to come to a page everyday that you are so very proud of and totally reflects YOU. Hubby Jack killed it with my design. It was exactly what I wanted and more.

So even if you aren't our lucky winner, think about hitting him up because he does a RAD job :) And yes, I know people don't say rad anymore & I probably should quit with the bomb dot com thing too. Working on it.

Ok, now like and follow all the rest of these ladies because they are pretty awesome too!

Alicia @ Brew Mama 

Aubrey @ ALG, Uninterrupted

Tammy Jo @ You Wouldn't Call It a Drinking Problem if You Knew Where I Was From

Valerie @ Fabulous Chick Gets Fit

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Running Update & the Warm & Fuzzies

In exactly one week from tomorrow, I am running in a half marathon by the Chicago Lake Front. I am going to be very cold and I am very unprepared. I have not ran over 6 miles in probably 2 months. I might have sneaked 8 in there somewhere but I don't even remember. 

I absolutely know that when I signed up I knew I wouldn't be prepared for this one. I have to remember that when I want to kick my own ass & have thoughts of disowning running next weekend. The reason I did it or planned to do it was to force myself to get a long run in. outside. in the middle of January. Simple as that.

Even though I am okay with just finishing, I have done a few things differently in the last 2 or 3 months which make me wonder if I will finish better than I think I will. So here we go...

Reasons there is a .2% chance I rock this half:

1. I did the squat challenge at work and I have been lifting more weights. 

Since I haven't been able to run as much, I have been building more muscle... which they say is the key to speed??!? Interesting. Read it here.

2. I have VERY rested legs. 

Honestly any other race I have been in my legs were pretty tired. Although I of course tapered before other races, I have tapered for 2 months for this race. That should be interesting.

3. I have carb loaded since Christmas Eve. That is almost a straight month by race day :)

So really only reasons 1 & 2 are real reasons but I guess it will just be interesting to see what happens. Right?? Just pray for me that it isn't in the single digits. 


This weekend my plan is to work on my GEAR page. I mentioned it in a post earlier this week but I want it to be awesome so I am taking my time. I love reading what other runner's love so I hope you do too and if you don't run maybe you will still find something you like on the page :)


And last but not least, my dad signed up for his first half marathon. in May. WITH ME. I wrote about him and running a little bit here.

me being too excited when my dad got his first garmin
Honestly, I could not be more excited. I pray every time I think about him running that he falls in love with it so I have a permanent running buddy... but he might not (I am trying to prepare myself). At least he says that this half may be both his debut & his finale... but if you run you probably agree with me that this is very unlikely. 

Awhile back I asked him to tell me what made him start or at least sign up. What clicked?? I wanted to share it with you all. It took him awhile but I got this in an email yesterday. He didn't exactly say YOU CAN SHARE THIS ON THE BLOG, but too bad :) He melted my heart and I cannot wait to see him cross the finish line. I might cry more than him. 

How to Learn Something Important From Your Daughter
by: My Dad

First, get a job that requires a bunch of travel (poor diet, bad hours, stress), combine that with seeking a graduate degree (no time for exercise) and emerge a stressed, well educated, overweight, human being. Then get an invite from your daughter to be at the finish line for her first half marathon in beautiful Door County, Wisconsin.

Accept the invitation and watch a bunch of fit and not-so-fit bodies cross the finish line with a common, easy to recognize, look of total accomplishment on their faces. Music is pumping and smiles are everywhere.
with my mom & dad after my first half

Repeat the process again at Miller Park in Milwaukee, only this time be sure that not only your daughter finishes but your older brother as well. It helps if you and your brother are close in age so you feel a real kick in the butt. 
with my mom & dad after my 3rd half @ miller park
Fast forward to winter and have your daughter invite you out for a run. Knowing time with her is precious, you jump to it, forgetting that you are 53 and stretching might be a good idea. Do some damage to your calf muscle. Work the recovery stuff.

Have her start a running blog, talk too much about wine drinking (do young folks these days not know future employers read these things?), open up about her feelings and stress her love of running.

Belly up to making next year’s Door County half marathon your first and start preparing in advance for the 12 week training regimen you Googled.

If you do so, you’ll get to elliptical to training music on the Ipod Shuffle you figured out how to use (Nickelback – Rockstar – best running song thus far), swim a bit, lift a couple of weights and watch the pounds start to come off. You’ll find yourself watching what you eat and get off the couch much more than you used to. All the while, you won’t give up because you told your little girl you’d be running the Door County half marathon and you know you will not let her down.

Never quit learning especially when you love the source.

How AWESOME is that!? 

I love this blog and I hope that someday I have a platform here to inspire people, but I think it is pretty amazing that I have inspired those close to me. Honestly, I am okay if that is all I ever do. 

Queue the warm & fuzzies.

Love y'all! Happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Oui Oui

Hmmm so I was going to write about running today but I think I might save it for tomorrow because I tweeted this little gem today and I want to talk about it because...well I do.

 So I am not actively trying to lose weight. Yep I know. Go ahead and hate me. I haven't really shared a lot about my weight or my struggles with weight yet but I promise to be brave enough to do that one day.

Until then though, I want to mention even after you hit your goal you will still have hard days trying to maintain and still struggle. I know hate me again, maybe even a little more this time, with a side eye.
I'll take it, but it is the truth.

You may be thinking "pppshhhh maintenance is probably easier than Miley Cyrus on any given day" and I guess for some maybe it is, but I really don't know a lot of people who are good at maintaining/finding balance. It is going to be a weird, hard switch from losing to just being and then staying there. On top of that it takes a lot of faith in yourself and an ability to be really honest with yourself.

&&&&&& since I mention honesty I should also mention I haven't really been taking great care of myself. I have been eating too much of the good  junk and not enough rich nutritious foods. Between our trip to San Francisco and our Birthdays I have drank indulged way too much and I can feel it. Not really in pounds but bloat, no energy and I am starving when I shouldn't be.

I don't need to diet, but I need to clean it up and falling upon this article {one} made me feel better & {two} gave me some motivation to think differently for a little while. Changing the way we think & keeping it fresh just might be the key to life... or so somebody wise once said.

So apparently if we were kids in France this is what we would think...LET'S DISCUSS, shall we???

1. Eat, but not all day long.
Three meals a day. Stop the snacking! When mealtimes roll around, you eat with real pleasure because you’re hungry.
Hmmmm. I don't know about you but I am a snacker. It does not help that Jacob and I never eat meals together during the week. This has been going well for me for awhile. I eat all day long because I have no real reason to "save room for dinner" but maybe changing it up and eating real meals with real food would be a nice change of pace.Challenge accepted.
2. Eat real foods and generous portions.
Consuming three meals a day without grazing in between means you can eat well when you sit down at the table — and that includes a starter, main course, cheese and dessert. Portions are generous without going overboard. 
YEP. I can do this, especially if CHEESE is a course :)
3. Choose water.
Supposedly the French don't drink their calories. I already aim not to either. I have started to add lemon juice to my water especially in the morning and at night. Talk about instantly feeling better?!?!? It is a weird trick. Try it.  
4. Sit down.
It’s rare to see people eating while walking or shopping. There are no cup holders on caddies, or even in most cars. You eat at the table, not in front of the TV or computer screen, then you leave the table and do something else.
Hmm. I am totally guilty here. I need to change this. 
5. Eat lighter at night.
Lunchtime is the main event. Dinner should be light: soups, salads, an omelet, a simple pasta dish. Dessert might be a yogurt or fruit. And you sleep so much better.
I know I am winning here because of my snacking issues. I don't leave room for big dinners because I eat all day at work, but I 100 percent agree & think I should keep this up. Even on weekends, Jacob and I are known for HUGE lunches. It is usually when we go out to eat anyways. Night time is usually something lighter. 
It makes sense.
6. When the kitchen closes, it's CLOSED.
I need to work on this on the weekends. THAT is for sure.
7. Know your limit, then stop.
Set eating times help you tune in to when you are really hungry or full.
Key words here are probably TUNE IN. I could definitely do better. 
8. Taste your food, guess the ingredients.
The French don’t just like to eat fabulous food and drink wonderful wine, they love to talk about it. Discussing how something tastes, its ingredients and how it was made heightens awareness; children love to join the conversation. They learn about real food and where it comes from.
I love everything about this number. Food is just food, but at the same time it can be viewed as almost an art form. Meals shouldn't be fast and you shouldn't become obsessive, but food should be fun & interesting. I like the description above A LOT.
9. Get cooking!
This is obvious. We should be eating real food that WE prepare. I need to ditch the frozen stuff. This is a big one I need to work on. Jacob would agree.
10. Eating well is not a sin; it's a pleasure.
Eating great food — no matter how simple or how elaborate — is one of life’s great pleasures, not an endless guilt trip. Especially when it's in moderation. 
AMEN!!!! If you want any piece of advice from me (even though I need to be taking my own advice half the time) it is that you should enjoy what you are putting in your mouth. You can make substitutions for things to make your life a little healthier but check your quantity before your quality. 

What are your thoughts??? 

Bon Appetit, Chickens!

Source and Article Referenced was written by: Rebeca Plantier 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

San Francisco {part-two}

On to part two today. If you missed part one yesterday, you can read it here.

I left off telling you about 17 mile drive. On our way back to San Francisco we stopped at the Artichoke Capital of the US, Castroville. Pretty big stuff.

Pezzini is the stop to make. They sell freshly fried artichokes. They are to die for.

You read that right...artichoke cupcakes!!

We bought this soup to go with our dinner that night!

Fresh crab!!!

I had to throw a picture in of my god daughter.
I am not a cat person but I like her a whole lot :)
So for you cat people who read my blog, and have had enough Emma pictures, meet Lilly :)

{Day Three}
The next morning we got up and toured Alcatraz.

I really should have had Jacob guest post about Alcatraz, because he could talk about it all day. 

The history of this place is amazing. I only thought it was a prison but it was so much more.
This is a MUST if you ever visit CA.

The views are pretty great too! 

This is a straight view of San Fran from the island. Can you see the crazy streets!
They are so steep they look like waterfalls.

A former prisoner was there while we were & he was signing his new book. 

I looked him up (see link below)! I think I might have to pick up his book. How crazy right??

The tour on the island is pre-recorded. At first I wasn't sure if I would love that but it was pretty awesome. Prisoners and officers are the narrators and you can pause whenever you want & go through at your own pace.
It was pretty impressive.
After Alcatraz we needed some food. So we headed to the Wharf for clam chowder bread bowls :)

{Day Four}
The next morning we headed to Napa Valley with Lauren & Kyle.

Our first winery was Castello di Amorosa. 

It was beautiful. They only sell their wine there but it is very well known
and they have a close relationship with Disney/Pixar. 

You kind of feel like you are in a story book when you walk up to it
OR that you have been instantly transported to Italy. 

I would be happy to be locked in this dungeon :)

Our private tasting room.

Next stop was Freemark Abbey.
This is where Jacob and I did the most "damage" Freemark's merlot is heaven in a bottle. 

I wish this was an acceptable diet :)

Markham Winery was our third stop. We hit two more after this. BV and Franciscan. Also GREAT stops. 

Please laugh at how ridiculous this picture is. We packed a bag not knowing whether we would stay the night in Napa or not but we ended up going with it. We picked a little inn on the main road and it worked out wonderful.
Check out those cheesy headboards! 

For dinner we hopped around the town of St. Helena. I think we ate calamari 6 times in 6 days :)

{Day Five}
The next day we headed back to the city. We had lunch at Pier 23.
Check out Jake's seafood sandwich !! 
We had some afternoon drinks and the sadness started setting in...we were leaving the next day :(

Our last stop of the evening was Chinatown. 

Jacob got some egg rolls and we all helped devour them.

We had our last dinner together in the Italian section of the city. I have never heard much about this part of the city but it is wonderful and another great place to walk through.

Honestly, I think the best part of where our friends live is how close they are to so many amazing places. On our last full day, we woke up in Napa and by 6 pm we were eating egg rolls on the street in Chinatown. For a Midwestern girl that is pretty exciting. 

Tomorrow back to running on this blog! I have some good ideas for the rest of the week. I might actually fill my gear tab and let you know what I use :)