Mother's Day Gift Ideas - 2017

Happy Friday, from the little snot monster and me!

I can't believe we finally made it. This week has been such a doozy. As I mentioned earlier in the week, I've been fighting a migraine on and off and have been completely exhausted and also a total lunatic (see yesterday's blog for more info on this). It's been so bad that I skipped blogging Tuesday and Wednesday, which I haven't done since starting up this bad boy and hated doing. I really enjoy blogging - it's a creative outlet and it's keeping me sane while Corporate America tries to suck the soul out of me - so for me to skip 2 days meant that I was really feeling like crapola!

Before I jump into the meat of this blog, I'd like to show you how fashionable I am. 

Exhibit A:

I pull my bangs back the second I get home. While I love having bangs partially because they look cute and also because I have a huge 5-head, they drive me absolutely nuts all day long. I'm pretty sure I enjoy pulling my bangs back every evening even more than taking my bra off, which is really saying something.

The reason I'm showing you this picture is because I somehow forgot to pull my hair back while I was changing out of my work clothes last night and I was too lazy to walk back upstairs #befitlikeme. So  I took one of Julianna's hair clips and used that instead - blue flowers to match my blue eyes...

True story: Jules kept pointing at the hair thing all throughout dinner and bath time last night while bitching at me in her baby language. She was not happy to be sharing and I thought it was hilarious. 

Exhibit B

Let's take a moment to really appreciate this sexy outfit last night. Super fuzzy and warm socks with my leggings tucked in. What you don't see is the bleach-dyed black wife beater tank and tie-dyed sweatshirt I was also wearing.

Please don't forget to remind Jason how lucky he is to have this sexy beast for a wife the next time you see him.

Rawr. (that's me being sexy)

Speaking of men being lucky, let's all be totally honest with ourselves and them and the universe and get this out there...

Our men are really lucky to have us. 

And we are some awesome moms! Even if you have a bad day and snap at your kid because they lost your em effing iPhone charger for the 14th time or you decided to finally try CIO because your 15 month old is waking up 45 times a night and she wakes up with bags under her eyes and you're convinced it's because she was crying all night even though you didn't hear a peep from her...you're still an awesome mom. And as such, you deserve to have an awesome Mother's Day and the people who should make sure it happens are our significant other. Let's be real - the kids probably won't remember and if they do, soggy uncooked toast is sweet and all, but hard to gag down. So for those of you reading this who have no clue how they would like to be appreciated or for the dude's reading who have no clue what to do for their wife/baby mama/mommy, I've got you!

Mother's Day - 2016

Mother's Day - 2016

First and foremost, Mother's Day is Sunday, May 14.

Add that to your calendar with a reminder right now so you don't forget. 

This is just my humble opinion, but the #1 thing women want on Mother's Day is to have everything planned out, with them in mind, and not having to plan/cook/do anything that they don't personally want to do. Let's say you're broke and/or don't want to spend a ton of money, here's what you can do:

Take the kids in the morning without waking her up or saying anything - this will require you to wake up before the kids do so they don't get her up first, so you may want to set a quiet alarm or even sleep on the couch and give her the entire bed so she can really get some restful sleep. Around 8 or 9, grab the kids and run to her favorite coffee place and get her the drink she always talks about - this will require you to pay attention to her while she's talking for the next couple of weeks if you're not sure what that is, but I promise she talks about it. Make sure you take an insulated travel mug with you so you can get the drink in the mug and keep it warm for her if it's a hot drink. Then go home and clean something random while you wait for her to wake-up - I recommend the refrigerator, pantry, tupperware drawer/cabinet and/or toilets. The things that she usually takes care of herself but hates doing - do it without asking and I promise she will be so excited when she notices. Once she wakes up, don't ask her what she wants for breakfast - just make her something that you know she loves and give her the cards that you and the kids made/bought for her. You do know her favorite breakfast/brunch, right? If not, now's the time to figure it out.

Make sure you and the kids handle clean-up and let her go get ready for the day. Maybe she wants to go for a run or catch another workout somewhere. Tell her to go do it and take the kids to the park or something while she's doing it. Maybe she wants to spend all day hanging out with the family - plan something fun that you know she enjoys; maybe it's a day at the park or the beach, perhaps find a cool hiking trail somewhere or a family-friendly winery. You know your wife and what she likes, so this shouldn't be too hard. The key here is to have it all planned out for her so she doesn't have to worry about it. 

Finally, plan a dinner for her that you and the kids can put together and serve her, along with her favorite drink-of-choice, before telling her to take a nice bubble bath and relax while you and the kids clean up and get ready for bed. If she wants to have some sexy time later on that's fine, but let her initiate and if she doesn't want to don't be offended; mom's are always "on" and rarely get down-time, so she may need to just go to bed after a nice day of being taken care of. 

Now there is a chance that you have no choice in what you can do for Mother's Day because your mom already expects the entire family over for lunch/dinner/all day to celebrate. This is fine - do the things you can in the morning to make her feel special and make sure she gets some down-time after you get back from whatever you have to do. Get her a glass of wine and tell her take a bath or watch her favorite show  - whatever she would like to be doing if she had no responsibilities. Then tell her you have her Mother's Day planned for the next weekend and do whatever she'd like to do for the day then and make sure you handle bath and bedtime so she can really relax. 

This is probably enough to make your wife really happy (I know it would work for me!), however maybe you want to give her something as well. Don't worry, I got that covered. 

This post will include some affiliate links. If you purchase the item through the link provided I will get a very small commission, however this does not change the price of the item. It's just a thank you to me for making the recommendation. 

Mother's Day 2017 Gift Recommendations

Get her a Target gift card with specific directions to spend it on herself. No cleaning supplies or things for anyone else in the family. Then take the kids and tell her to go to Target by herself without a time limit. More than likely she'll spend more than the gift card, but there is something about wandering around Target by myself that is so amazing and fun and everything I see online shows that I'm not the only one who loves it, so I guarantee if she likes Target, she'll like this gift. 

An Initial Necklace - I love these and already have like 3 of them. Something dainty and pretty and simple is the name of the game folks. We're lucky in our family because all of us have "J" names, however there are plenty of options on Amazon and Etsy if you need more than one initial if you're getting it for kid names. Or you could just get her initial to keep things simple. I really like this one if you're going with the one letter:

Or you can go for this one if you have three kids (there are plenty of options for 2 or more if you search around Amazon). 

 

Another great option for an actual gift is a watch. I love my Michael Kors watch (basic AF and IDGAF). I absolutely love this one on Amazon - Michael Kors AND rose gold. YASS!

Michael Kors makes some pretty quality watches, so it's worth the investment and I promise your wife will be happy with one. I've had my watch for almost 5 years and still get compliments on it all the time.

Some other brands of watches that will make your wife pretty happy are Kate Spade, Coach, and Marc Jacobs. 

You can also always blow your entire food budget for a year and get her a Rolex or something, but that's just dumb (unless you have that kind of dough, in which case congratulations)

Flowers are always nice, but I wouldn't recommend just getting your wife flowers and calling it a day. It's pretty cliché and doesn't really seem like you put a lot of thought into it. Plan out the entire day and let her relax and cater to her every need AND get her flowers and you'll be just fine though. You could also add on some of her favorite wines and some chocolate and you'd win the day for sure!

I know it's not for everyone, but I love a good massage or mani/pedi. Go here and get one at a discount!  Make sure you get at least an hour massage so she's really able to enjoy it and if you can book one that includes wine or something extra special, BONUS POINTS!

Does your wife enjoy working out? Why don't you get her some classes at her favorite gym or something new that she hasn't tried yet? I highly recommend:

  • OrangeTheory - cardio and weights and intervals and everything fun and hard about working out. You can look up if there are any studios in your area here
  • Barre workouts are all the rage and a fantastic workout. There are two primary barre brands that have classes countrywide and you can find out if they are in your area here and here. Barre classes are also really easy to do at home so if you know your wife/baby mama/mom would enjoy the classes, I highly recommend you check out Suzanne Bowen Fitness for a huge selection of classes that can be streamed online. 
  • Yoga is a fun option, but I would only recommend doing this if you know your SO wants to try/do yoga since it's not for everyone. You can usually find some pretty great deals on groupon or by doing a simple google search for a yoga studio in your area. Buy a 5-10 class pass and then plan out when your wife wants to go and take the kids so she doesn't have to worry about finding them care!

A word of caution - only get something fitness and workout-related if it's something your wife really enjoys and it won't offend her. If you have any doubt that she might be offended by this, DON'T DO IT!! 

This is a lot of stuff, but I can promise you with almost 100% certainty that if you just plan the day out with her in mind and let her sleep in, cook and clean up, and let her have a bubble bath, you will have a very successful Mother's Day. 

Don't forget to get the pets involved too...

What do you guys think? Am I crazy, or are these some pretty good ideas? Is there anything you are dying to get for Mother's Day that I forgot to put on the list? 

Also to the dude's reading - I will do one of these for Father's Day too and you better believe I am all about appreciating Jason just as much as he appreciates me. So you'll get yours too!

What are your plans this weekend, anything fun? Jason is working all weekend so it should be fairly low-key, other than when we are helping a friend move for a bit. 

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a great weekend. Make sure you subscribe so you can get notified whenever I post something new!

Thursday Truth, Things, & Stuff

I'm so sorry I've been MIA for the past two days.

This week has been a rough one, my friends. Not for any discernible reason other than my effing period is a mother effing bitch. Sorry to the dudes who are reading for that little tidbit, but it's the truth! This has been a seriously rough one. I'm weepy and cranky and REALLY exhausted and the coup de gras was this killer migraine I've been fighting on and off since Monday. 

I felt really bad not blogging, since I really enjoy it and it seems some of you do too, but I just couldn't do it. So please forgive me for my absence - I will actually try to get some extra posts written in the event this happens again, I just have to find the time to do it!

No make-up and no filter selfie from Jules and me, saying HI and sorry for our absence!!

So here is something fun that's been happening this week - we'll call it my Thursday Truth. On top of feeling like absolute crapola with a migraine and other fun Auntie Flo symptoms, Jules has not been sleeping. For the past week and a half or so she's been waking up around 8, then again around 10:30 and then she wakes up every 15 minutes or so between 2-5am before settling back down around 5:30 until I wake her up.

Before you ask, she's not hungry or cold or hot or anything like that. 

This is completely unacceptable and I finally lost my will to be at her beck-and-call on Tuesday evening around 10:30pm after the 4-5 time she'd woken up and I decided to unplug the baby monitor and let her cry. I have always been super anti cry-it-out, but there's nothing wrong with her; she just wants Jason or I to come in and hold her and put her back to sleep 9 billion times a night and we can't do it anymore! My boss told me I looked like I needed a nap on Wednesday and it's true - I look and feel awful and can hardly function anymore due to it! 

So Tuesday night she ended up crying for about 10 minutes and fell right back to sleep and I didn't hear her another peep from her. Yes, the baby monitor wasn't on, however if she really screamed and fussed it would wake me up since I can hear her quite clearly from our bedroom without the monitor. Not to mention her brother's room is right next to hers and he would get me up if she was really freaking out. Last night she went to bed without a peep and as far as I know, she didn't wake up at all. 

Before you start judging me and calling me a horrible mom because I'm sure about 50% of you are anti-CIO, she's fine. She has a bottle before bed and sleeps in a 72 degree bedroom with long-sleeved pajamas and a light blanket with a ceiling fan. We have a white noise machine going and a salt lamp in the corner on low so she isn't in a dark, scary room all by herself, and she has a little lovey (stuffed unicorn and bunny) that we put in her crib that she can cuddle with. And she's 15 months old (TODAY!), so the risk of SIDS is pretty much zero. It's not healthy for her to be waking up this much, just as much as it's not healthy for us, and it is important that she learn to put herself back to sleep in the middle of the night. 

Go ahead and judge away if you really want, but this is what is right for us at this time and I'm glad we're doing it because DAMN am I exhausted! And I promise I haven't judged you for your co-sleeping/still breastfeeding/CIO at 3 months old/whatever you're doing that's differnt than me, because we're all doing the best we can with what we can and doing the best we can is what's best for our kids.

Now onto some things and stuff! I love things and stuff and stuff and things (my mom, sister, and I always say that...we're weird).

I got new running shoes!

Finally! I have needed new running shoes for over a year. Not even kidding. 

I found the Brooks Launch 3 which is last year's model on Amazon for $70 and I had to get them. First, they're purple. And they're really bright and pretty, which are very important qualities in a running shoe. I only ran a little over 3 miles in them so I can't really review them thoroughly yet. I can tell you right away that they are way heavier than the shoes I normally run in (Brooks PureCadence 2 R.I.P.), but I think I'll like them.

Plus, they're PURPLE!!

Speaking of running, I know I mentioned this in one of my recent posts, but I ran with my Garmin watch and the mapmyrun app on my phone, and as I suspected, the mapmyrun app is WAY off. 

That's almost a 1/4 mile difference! I knew I wasn't running that slow (plus my husband had measured the distance with a survey stick thing). Needless to say, I will not be running with the mapmyrun app anymore, at least in our neighborhood. Maybe I'll give it another shot this weekend when I run the trail - I have the feeling the 1/4 mile circles are what is throwing the app off. 

You might be wondering how I'm doing with my meditation challenge. Well *cough, cough*. I have meditated on and off but have not done it the entire time. I didn't meditate at all this weekend, but managed to do it on Tuesday and Thursday this week. So...it could be worse!

I call that a win!

How about a fun running/walking/interval workout for you?

Quick disclosure: I am not a personal trainer or professional anything fitness-person. This is just what I personally do whenever I want to do an easy interval workout that keeps me busy and never lets me get bored. Make sure you talk to your doctor before doing anything new fitness-wise!

This is what I do whenever I don't want to just run, whether it's because I'm bored or I just want to get a good sweat on because intervals are a great way to get a good sweat going. The best part of this workout? You really don't have to be a runner to do it, because you will only be running/jogging for part of it.

I really like this workout because it's based on the rate of perceived exertion and not a running pace, since a lot of people aren't able to run as fast as most running/jogging/walking workouts require. Here's a super fun chart I made up of what I mean by rate of perceived exertion (which is a fairly common workout term for intensity and can be found all over the internets). 

So here's my favorite interval workout: 

  • Warm up for 5 minutes at a 2-4 RPE; start at a 2 and work your way up to a 4. This doesn't mean you have to be running; you could just be walking quickly. 
  • RUN for a minute - your RPE should be an 8 or 9! Even if you're not a runner, you can still jog - it's only for a minute so push yourself and get to the point that you can't form a sentence,.
  • Slow jog or swift walk for a minute - your RPE should be around a 5. You're out of breath but can hold a conversation if you needed to. 
  • Repeat the intervals for 10-20 minutes, just depending on how long you want your workout to be. Make your last few your best!
  • Cool down for 5 minutes at a 2-4 RPE; start at a 4 and slow down to a 2. 
  • STRETCH!!

Then be sure to pat yourself on the back for kicking some ass and drink a bunch of water. Good job!

Bonus points if you do it in the morning...

Because that is totally worth waking up for!

Speaking of my period (guys, this isn't anything gross or graphic but I know how squeamish you can get so you may want to scroll until you see the next picture), I have been keeping up with the 5:2 style of eating and having success with it up until this week when I want to eat everything in sight. So instead of trying to be perfect and failing, I decided to allow myself more calories on my fasting days to make up for being a hormonal psycho who wants to eat everything. And I've added a bit more carbs on my fasting days so I don't gorge. I don't know that it has worked completely, but I haven't binged at all this week and normally I binge like a total crazy person (on chocolate and salty things). Hopefully I can start losing some weight again starting next week when this awful time of the month is finally completely gone. I hate it. 

Why am I showing you a picture of my messy and disgusting backseat with an empty car seat in it? Why don't I tell you?!?

Ever since going back to work after maternity leave last July, I have been absolutely terrified of forgetting Jules in the backseat. The news is filled with awful stories about parents forgetting their baby/toddler in the backseat and I cannot even begin to imagine how horrible that must be for them. It's accidental in 99.9% (fake statistic I just made up) of the cases and they say it usually happens because of a change in routine - you leave late due to a schedule change or have to run by the store on the way and you simply forget. 

Living in Florida, it is already over 85 most days and humid AF and the potential for this to happen is real for most of the year. So to keep this from happening I've started putting my lunch and purse in the backseat behind Julianna's carseat. This way I always have to walk around and open her door and if she's in there, I'll see her cute, smiley face. So if you have kids that are still in carseats I urge you to do this as well. It's easy and free and will give you some peace of mind knowing you took that extra step to prevent a tragedy.

I leave you with a cat meme to describe how I feel this week.

I hate this time of the month. 

How are you doing today/this week? Anything fun and exciting happening in your world? Do you become a weeping rage-monster when Aunt Flo is in town? Do you know of any magical PMS cures? 

I hope you are all having a great week and I promise I'll be back tomorrow with something super fun and exciting!

 

I Got the Blues

The Monday Blues!

Seriously though friends - I am on the struggle bus for real today. 

I don't know what is going on, but having two Monday's in a row where I am seriously just not feeling it kind of sucks. So I have decided to keep today's post light-hearted and easy for all of us, since I'm sure I'm not the only one struggling today. 

This will be our weekend in review...with pictures and 7 word captions or less. Can I do it??

(probably not...I'm a bit wordy)

But I'm going to try! Here we go. 

Before workout - not crying, just tired.

(easy so far!)

Forced after workout smile - still tired.

(2 for 2 - yes!!)

Friday night date night with my hubs. 

Only dinner, no movie - we can't hang!

(I'm still making the 7 word thing work!)

These pictures will never get old!

Wearing pants on your head is cool!

Here's what happens while I make breakfast...

(I can't believe I'm still able to do this! 7 words isn't easy, folks!)

Easter egg hunt time!

In pajamas because we don't GAF.

After breakfast walk with daddy & Jax.

Family hike time!

Runner scared the shit out of Justin!

I love my Lillebaby (and my baby)!

Don't get in the water.

Even the gator thinks you're weird.

We're all looking at the camera!

Don't fall in. Seriously.

Quick break before heading back.

Jules isn't sure about the position change. 

She's FREE!

And she's done.

We all needed a nap. 

I did it!

That was actually a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.

I'm just glad I settled on 7 words or less instead of 5, since that's what I was originally thinking. 

Do you think you could describe your holiday weekend in 7 words or less? I know I can...

Not long enough.

BOOM!

I hope you have a great Monday!

Am I a Hypocrite AND a Failure?

Of course not! At least not at my core. However between today and yesterday I am a bit of both and I'm going to tell you why. 

But before I get into that, let's get into some other stuff. 

First, subscribe if you haven't already!

Next, HAPPY FRIDAY!! WE MADE IT!!

Is it 5 yet? 

No make-up, filtered-to-hell, right-outta-the-shower picture for you - Jules says hi!

I ran this morning...that's 3 times this week! I know, I'm just as shocked as you are.

If I were you, I'd be wondering how I'm able to run in the morning on the days my husband is working and doesn't get off until 6:30am. You might be hoping and praying I'm not just leaving my sweet baby in the house and hoping she doesn't wake up or that anything bad happens while I'm outside running in circles until I just can't do it anymore (or don't want to do it anymore...). Or maybe you haven't even thought twice about it. Well I wanted to share how I make this ish work, just in case you were wondering - and if you weren't, now you know anyway.

First and foremost, our neighborhood is literally just a quarter mile loop. I can run that in less than 2 minutes if I really need to. However I still wouldn't feel comfortable leaving Jules alone in her bedroom with me out running around in circles a million times (or at least it feels like a million times). I'm really lucky to have a pretty awesome 13 year old in the house who is willing to be woken up at 5am and shuffle/crawl into our bedroom where he finishes his sleep until I get him up for school around 7. This way he either has the baby monitor to wake him up if Jules is stirring in her bedroom or she's already in our room sleeping in the pack-and-play because she slept like shit (like most nights) and then he can come out and get me. In all of the months we've been doing this, Justin has only had to come out once. Which is totally awesome. 

Justin has been sleeping like that for as long as I can remember. I even have some baby pictures of him sleeping with his arms like that. I wonder if Jules will always sleep like this picture then? Because that would be cute (but ridiculous). 

My run was a decent one, but my GPS app on my phone is off and it's pissing me off. It used to overestimate my runs by like a quarter mile or so which means it would show me running 7 minute miles (not that fast), but now it's underestimating my runs. So it keeps saying I'm running way slower than I am and it drives me nuts! My husband has manually measured our neighborhood with a tape thingy (you know, the things surveyors use) and it is exactly a 1/4 mile so I know the GPS is actually off and I'm not just crazy. 

Nothing better than a sweaty post-run selfie, right? I'm sure there are actually a lot of things better, but whatever. This is my blog and I do what I want :-)

Also, this is probably my favorite part about running/exercising in the morning...

Getting to watch the sun come up. I usually get to see more of it, but I had to be done early today so I could take Justin to school due to him having a detention. For wearing a hat to school. Yep.

How about we do a fitness round-up for the week? I would normally say food too, but I don't really remember everything I ate for dinner this week and don't want to strain my brain trying to figure it out. 

On a sidenote, I fasted twice this week and they were pretty much picture perfect fast days (for me). And guess what happened? I gained almost a pound this week. Guess who's really not that upset about it? ME. And why not? It's about that time of the month (sorry, dudes who are reading) and that always throws my weight all over the place. So I'm not even going to stress about it. 

Back to fitness...before and after picture from this morning (they don't get old to me; I think they're hilarious)

Will I ever look happy in my before workout picture? Stay tuned to find out, but I doubt it. 

My workouts this week, which were kind of all over the place:

  • Sunday = rest day!
  • Monday = Core Synergistics from P90X
  • Tuesday = 2.5 mile run (9:30 pace) and 12 minutes of yoga
  • Wednesday = 2 mile run (9:00 pace) and 21 minutes of yoga
  • Thursday = Core Synergistics but couldn't do the bonus round due to Jules being awake and about the lose her shizz so I only did 53 minutes instead of 57 (no biggie)
  • Friday = 2.5 mile run (9:21 pace)

The plan tomorrow is to run 4 miles or so and then take Sunday off, although we may go hiking on Sunday, which I would call an active rest day instead of just a rest day. This week was the "rest" week from P90X before going into the next cycle of workouts, which I'm really looking forward to starting on Monday, so I don't think having an active rest day is a problem since my workouts all week have been toned down.

Moving on...do you want to know why I'm a hypocrite AND a failure?

First, I didn't do any meditation yesterday so I already failed my challenge - 3 days in. I FORGOT. I made up for it today and did a 10 minute meditation instead of my usual 5, so I'm going to fake like I didn't fail and it's okay. Don't judge. 

Finally, I am for sure a hypocrite. Remember when I posted a picture of someone else's shitty parking job and made fun of them and was like, how hard is it to park in between the lines or fix your parking job if you don't?

Here I am eating crow...

Because I parked like this at Starbucks...

And that's actually the second time this week I parked like an asshole and didn't realize it until afterward. 

I actually made fun of someone (in my head) because she tried to park next to me earlier this week when I parked like crap and ended up backing in and out like 4 times to make her car fit. To be fair there were a ton of other spots and she just wanted to be close to the door so she could have parked in a lot of other spots . However once I got out of my car and saw how crappy my parking job was - and it was way worse that the picture above - I felt like a real jerk. And a hypocrite. 

So raise your hand if you're a hypocrite!

Because I sure am!

That's all I have for today. Do you have anything fun planned this weekend for the holiday? Jason is working all day/night tomorrow so we'll be taking it easy and doing some more spring cleaning and errand running tomorrow before getting in some serious family time on Sunday. 

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had just ranted and raved about something only to do it yourself? Tell me about it and reassure me I'm not the only one!

Have a great weekend!

I'm a Happy, Peppy Person - How I Keep My Energy Up & Stay Positive

Happy Friday Eve, my friends! How is your day/week going so far? 

I'm still having a crazy-doozy of a week, and I'm blaming it on the full moon. I know these are super small potatoes in the grand stew that is life, but here are some of the fun things that have happened so far this week:

  • Jules is sleeping like crap. Like super duper crappity crap. She has been waking up 1-3 times and waking up for good earlier than usual, which is throwing my entire morning routine off. This morning she decided to wake up at 5:30, which was about 5 minutes into my workout. Instead of stopping (not an option), I brought her downstairs, gave her some cereal and some water, and put the Minions movie on my iPad. It kind of worked. 
  • The wifi wasn't working yesterday morning, but I didn't know it was the wifi and assumed it was the AppleTV (we don't have cable, FYI). So I did a hard reset of the AppleTV and then figured out the wifi was broken. Meaning I need to reinstall all of the apps on the AppleTV and I don't know any of the dang passwords.  
  • Julianna's hairbrush went missing and it was picture day yesterday - I attempted to do cute pigtails using my brush, but it just wouldn't work because her hair is fine. So her hair wasn't done for pictures.
  • Speaking of the pictures, Jules refused to smile and is actually super teary-eyed and sad in her picture; the upside of this is we didn't pay $50 for a ton of pictures we won't use the majority of!
  • There is still egg everywhere from our shenanigans the other day - I found a bunch on the floor and wall of Julianna's play enclosure in the living room, which is pretty far from where the stupid egg exploded. I am not a real grown-up and I refuse to adult. Obviously. But now I have to clean it up, which is dumb.
  • Scooby is still on antibiotics and absolutely hates them, so any time I go near him he tries to hide. This resulted in him running under the bed yesterday morning and missing a dose because I couldn't get him out and I needed to leave for work like 5 minutes earlier. 
  • I tried to make my breakfast yesterday before going to work; I have been doing a copycat Bacon Gouda Egg sandwich from Starbucks the past few weeks, because I love that sandwich, but it costs like $5 and it's hardly big enough for a snack. So I've been making it at home. Went to make it yesterday and the cheese I'd just opened a day or two prior was freaking MOLDY. I don't do mold. I know some people will cut it off and still eat it, but I can't. My stomach won't allow it and I'd puke all over. 

So just in case you haven't figured it out, I'm cranky and I'm tired and my house is covered in egg and I don't want to adult. At all. So how in the crap am I still energized and (mostly) positive? Let me let you in on my ways...

Crack. 

Just kidding. Don't do crack, it's wack.

First and foremost, I exercise.

Even on the nights when Jules is up several times and I'm so effing tired I can't even, I just get up and do it. As long as I was able to get 4-5 hours of sleep, I'm forcing myself to get up and get my workout in. Now you might be thinking to yourself that this is dumb and how is it possible that waking up 60-90 minutes early to do something active gives you energy, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that I have never regretted a workout. Ever. Sure it's sometimes hard to roll my happy ass out of bed, but I know that by getting my workout in I'll feel great when I'm done and it will give me energy to get through the day. I do always have my preworkout aminos and sometimes will have a small bowl of cereal prior to starting my workout, which gives me that little burst of energy I need to push play or run out of the front door for a run. 

I know a lot of people struggle with that 2-3pm slump where they are dead tired and need to get another coffee in them to survive. You're probably going to hate me for saying this, but I don't have that slump (anymore). And I really think it's because I workout in the morning. 

Another reason I don't get that slump?

I don't drink any caffeine after noon. 

Ever. Like never ever. As I've mentioned in the past, I only drink one caffeinated drink a day, and that's usually my preworkout amino drink. Any time I do drink caffeine after noon, I struggle to sleep that night and have anxiety attacks that day. So if you're really struggling with your energy and you have the dreaded slump every day, try cutting that caffeine out in the afternoon and do a workout in the morning. It might take a couple of weeks, but I promise you will see some positive results and feel so much better!

So now you're like, but Jamie, how will I make it through the day without my mid-afternoon caffeine? 

Don't worry, I have more!

Get up and move around. 

Get up  and go for a quick walk. Shoot, just get up and go to the bathroom or get some water. Go outside for 2 minutes, even it it's cold and snowy and cloudy. That might even jolt you awake even better than when it's warm and sunny. Either way, get outside and move. I work in an environment where we're all expected to be available to answer phone calls and questions as they come, but it's still okay to get up for a few minutes and shake your legs out. So if we can do it, you can do it!

Eat a balanced diet. 

Don't be like 26 year old Jamie. 

What this means is protein, fat, and carbs. I've done the low carb thing and I understand the appeal - you lose a lot of weight quickly and it really leans you out. But I don't give a crap what anyone says, I have NEVER had more energy on a low carb diet. I always have a headache and feel like shit and my brain doesn't work. On that same token, you need to balance the carbs you eat with protein and good fats. Don't just eat a donut or pop tarts for breakfast, wash it down with a soda, have some "healthy" veggie pasta for lunch, and then wonder why you're so tired and gaining weight and feel like crap every afternoon.

Make sure that whatever you're eating for breakfast and lunch (and dinner too) has carbs and protein and fat. If you want to eat oatmeal for breakfast that's great, but don't just eat oatmeal. Have an egg or two on the side, or add some chia seeds and protein powder to the oatmeal. One of the best benefits of eating more protein and balancing out the carbs you eat with protein and fat is that the food you eat will keep you full for a longer period of time. I think this is probably another reason I don't get that slump - every lunch I have includes carbs, protein, and fat. I rarely need to eat after my lunch until I get home from work and get dinner ready...although I do sometimes snack on chips because I love them and I can't quit them. #imnotaquitter

That pasta was the bomb.com. 

One final and totally amazing thing that I have recently started doing that keeps my energy up is...

Water temp cycling at the end of my shower. 

I have no clue where I read this, but a couple of months ago I read that at the end of your shower you can run the water super cold for 10 seconds, hot for 10 seconds, and then super cold again for another 10 seconds and it will give you energy. Guys, this has been a game changer for me. I have been running cold water at the end of my shower for a long time , but doing the cold-hot-cold cycle immediately gives me a surge of energy that is long-lasting. Plus it makes your hair shiny!

Also if you're not taking a shower in the morning, I would recommend you do it; always works to wake me up!

So I've given you some of my tips for energy, but how about the ways I stay positive? First of all, I'm just a positive person. I may complain a lot and call people assholes all the time, but deep-down inside this crazy body, I truly believe in glass half-full AND I believe in the best in people. This does sometimes get me screwed over (because there are assholes out there that take advantage of this trait), but that's okay because I also believe in karma and those assholes will get theirs eventually.  

Being positive and having a happy face can be a struggle even for me sometimes, but I'm always getting compliments on how full of energy and happy I am so whatever I'm doing is working. 

I remember reading on a blog that I read and I'm sorry I don't have the link to the specific post, but Tina had a blurb at the end of a blog a year or two ago about changing your mindset and a good way to do that.

So here's my biggest secret...instead of thinking about having to do stuff instead I think about getting to do stuff. That's it and it's one of my biggest tips for energy AND positivity! I use this almost every single morning when my alarm goes off and I just don't want to get up and workout. I may not want to do it, but I get to. The same goes for work - I will totally admit that I don't love my job. Sure, I'm good at it, but I don't really love it all that much. So what do I do when I'm in my car complaining on Snapchat before going into work because I really don't want to do it that day but I need to get my butt inside and get to work? I think to myself that I may not want to go to work, but I get to. 

So I urge you to start doing this yourself (and thank you so much to Tina for posting about this since it has made a big positive impact in my life).

You may not want to go to work/clean/workout/adult, but at least you get to. 

And there are people out there who can't do what you get to do. I promise that making this one change in your mindset will make a huge difference in your overall attitude.

Don't worry, that's not all - I have some more tips for you. 

Smile

Force yourself to smile, even if you don't want to. I know it sounds cliche, but the more you smile the better your mood will be. If I'm in a particularly shitty mood I have a guided mediation that I have bookmarked on Insight Timer that is absolutely amazing. Just don't do it in front of people because it will make you look batshit crazy due to having your eyes closed and smiling approximately 900 times during the meditation. So find a nice, quiet room somewhere and try it out. You might feel weird the first few times you do it, but even then I can ensure you'll be in a better mood. 

Do something ridiculous/funny

All of my friends and family are funny and ridiculous people. We send each other funny pictures and videos and do ridiculous things to make each other laugh.  We are all also positive people - coincidence? I think not. If you're feeling down, do something funny or watch something funny. Look up ridiculous cat meme's. Watch Vine compilations. Whatever makes you or others laugh will pep you up immensely!

This also ties into my next tip which is to...

Surround yourself with positive people. 

Negativity spreads - don't hang out with negative people! Have you ever noticed that you'll be at work or somewhere and one person will start complaining about something being wrong. Either something isn't right or unfair, but for whatever reason something just sets them off. So they're complaining and going on and on and even if they're not justified and you know it, I bet it brought your mood down, right? I do everything I can to remove myself from negative situations. You obviously cannot remove yourself 100% of the time, but by getting out of the negative situations and away from the negative people as often as you can, you remove that influence from your life as much as you can control it. And that's a good thing. 

Dress up and put your face on.

No matter how crappy I feel after being up with Jules all night long or having a crap night/morning, I always make sure I shower, put on something nice, and do my hair and make-up for work. Except on the weekend - then I just braid my bangs and don't usually wash my hair unless we have something planned, but just the fact that it's the weekend is enough to make me happy. There have even been times when I have overslept and I have called and let my boss know I'm going to be late and I'll stay late or skip my lunch to make up for it (luckily my bosses are awesome). This might just be me, but I would feel so much worse if I threw on any old thing and didn't make myself look decent.

Just to be clear, this isn't even full-on a vanity thing. It's really not so much about looking good, but feeling like I have my shit together by looking like I have my shit together. And we all know I really don't and I'm a hot mess 90% of the time - but I can fake like I'm on my A-game with the best of them! So if you're feeling really down and out, get all dolled up and I bet you'll feel a bit better (bathroom selfie is optional...). If not, maybe try my next tip...

Watch something dumb.

I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've been made fun of for watching crap tv and silly movies. Yes, I know it's crap, but while you're watching your "smart" tv shows/movies and the news and all of the negativity that's sometimes associated with those things, I am completely disconnected and watching something ridiculous and probably laughing about it and feeling pretty good about life. I don't have to think and it makes me laugh and I'm a happy, peppy person overall, so it's obviously working!

Do something nice for someone

And this part is key...do it without expecting anything in return. If you're in the drive-thru somewhere, pay it forward and buy the food for the person behind you (unless they're driving a minivan, because I'm not made of money, kay?!?). If your friend is talking about needing help with something, volunteer to help without having to be asked. When you're at the store and see something that you know your spouse/significant other/kids would love, get it for them and surprise them with it (I often do this with candy/treats for my husband and kids). If you only do nice things for others because you expect them to reciprocate, you will end up disappointed ALL THE TIME. However I've noticed that just doing something nice for someone gives me all the good feels, which is a type of reciprocation and enough for me to do it again and again and again. 

Treat yo'self!

I am a very disciplined person - I wake up early to workout almost every single day and eat well most of the time. The key words there are almost and most of the time. If I was 100% healthy and disciplined all the time I would be one miserable beyotch. You can't miss out on all of the good things in life, and treating yourself is a GOOD thing. Take that rest day if you need it. Go on vacation and don't do a workout the entire time, unless you really want to do it. Eat 80% of the cookie butter cake you make for your husband for his birthday (recipe here...make it; it was amazing). Drink that beer/wine/cider/margarita. Get a groupon for a massage and take a half-day off of work to go get it without feeling an ounce of guilt. Take a bubble bath after the kids are in bed and leave the kitchen not perfectly clean.

The best part about being disciplined and healthy most of the time is when I treat myself. Because MAN does it taste/smell/feel good to do it. So don't make every day a treat/cheat but make sure you always have some sort of treat to look forward to or something fun planned for the future, which gives you something to look forward to and in turn, makes you HAPPY!

So what do you guys think? Are any of these tips things you already do in your life? Are you going to try any of these tips out yourself? 

Also, make that cake. It's awesome. 

TOMORROW IS FRIDAY!!!!!

Have a great day!

Jamie, out *mic drop*

What it is Wednesday!

It's HUMPPPPPPP DAAAAYYYYY!

Sorry to yell at you, but this has been a beast of a week so far and I've been yelling at everyone and didn't want you to feel left out. I don't know if it's the full moon or what, but Jules isn't sleeping and I'm a cranky beyotch. Which is a really bad combination.

But I'm going to make it through this week and the weekend will be glorious! Jason is off and we don't have a ton planned, so it should be a nice, semi-relaxing weekend that I'll probably turn into a hectic cluster-fuck by cleaning too much and trying to do too many things. Yep, I just dropped an f-bomb; that's the week I'm having.

Don't forget to subscribe if you want to be notified whenever I post something new! Also, if you have already subscribed and aren't receiving the notifications they're probably going to your junk/spam folder. I know this, because that's where mine go!

Since this week is making me want to tear my hair out I thought I'd stick to something relatively light and easy and bring back another edition of What it is Wednesday! This is where I talk about the things that I'm digging so far this week. Which is actually a lot of stuff, even with how cranky I am. 

Quick mediation challenge update - I did my meditation this morning. Yay! It didn't chill me out at all, but I'm sure it did something beneficial, right?

Moving on.

Guys, I ran in shorts today. I only ran 1.75 miles because that's all I had time for after Jules woke up at 5:10 and I had to take about 25 minutes to get her back to sleep. And the shorts did drive me nutso, but I did it anyway - maybe the riding up of my shorts is part of why I'm so cranky? I really hate when things annoy me during a run - like it makes me super angry. Like the Hulk...I want to literally rip off the offending clothing/headphones/hair thing and yell at it. Like a normal, responsible adult.

You know what though? While I was running I thought back to when I used to run in shorts a couple of years ago and I remember them driving me crazy most of the time then too. And while I used to have issues with chub rub I didn't experience any of that this morning. It was more just me being annoyed with having to adjust them. So maybe I just need to deal with and stop complaining about stupid crap? But then what would I have to talk about...see, I'm cranky!!

madrediem cabinet baby

Another thing that was driving me crazy this morning that is also simultaneously adorable, was Jules pulling all of our food containers out of the cupboard. We have locks on all of the cupboards except the one with the food containers, because I was like "no, Jason...let's leave that one open so she can play in it". Sorry for doubting you, husband. You were right, I was wrong. And I have admitted it on the internet so you can rub it in my face. You might want to screenshot this and save it for later.

This picture is from Monday evening, but it's pretty much the same situation. All storage stuff on the ground, baby in the cupboard looking all satisfied and mischievous, and exasperated mommy. 

Another super cute kid-thing that I am all about this week, is these two kids and how much they love each other. I talk more about my gap kids here, but they make my heart so happy. 

I'll just leave this here for you to "awwwwww"

And then I'll put this here so you can laugh...

Yep. He's ridiculous. 

Speaking of being ridiculous, Justin and I were involved in some shenanigans last night. He had forgotten to eat a hard-boiled egg that was left in the sink for breakfast and I called him out on it when I got home. Justin grabbed the egg and squeezed the crap out of it to try to break it and said "I had heard that you can't break an egg like that"...so I took that as a challenge and decided to try to squeeze it and break it myself. 

"here, hold my beer"

I wasn't actually holding a beer, but that's the kind of ridiculous situation we're dealing with here. I squeezed the shit out of that egg and it exploded in my hand and went everywhere. This egg was a beautifully prepared soft-boiled egg, so the yolk really flew. It ended up all over the counters, cupboards, and floor, and I made Justin clean it up since he dared me and it was his fault #momlikeme

I am also all about kids doing their chores. 

When we got home from work I made Jules walk the dog...haha, made; that's funny. If I don't let Jules walk the dog she loses her shit and throws herself on the ground. The terrible, almost 15 months is a thing, right? 

I also had to make Justin take the recycling out because he forgot. Again. I would have him set a reminder on his phone, but he keeps getting in trouble and losing his phone. So I'm thinking I may need to resort to waterboarding. Just kidding...there's nothing funny about torture. 

Jules is currently insisting on using utensils and eating from bowls. Which is super messy, but the adorableness makes up for it...mostly.

She just stabs the crap out of the food in her bowl until she spears something and proudly shoves it in her face-hole. Which is pretty much how I eat too!

I LOVE this stuff. No, it is not ice cream. The texture is not like ice cream and if I really want ice cream, imma get REAL ice cream, kay? But it's a pretty good substitute when you're trying to watch what you eat and not eat so much crap all the time. Especially on a fasting day; I was fasting yesterday and need to eat something sweet in a seriously fierce way. So I had a few (or 10...maybe 15) small spoonfuls of this stuff and I felt satisfied-ish. Didn't need to shove any chocolate or Life cereal in my face later on, which is usually what I would do when I'm hit with the sweets craving as hard as I was yesterday. These are kind of expensive (I think like $5 at Publix, but cheaper at Walmart if you can find them), but I think they're worth it.

Introducing...two of the worst pictures I've ever taken of myself! Why am I showing you these? To show you another thing I'm all about all the time, which is multi-tasking!

I'm not the only one who multi-tasks all the time, right?

"They" say that multi-tasking takes away from the effectiveness of whatever you're doing, but I have no choice so "they" can suck it. 

Just in case you're wondering why I'm making that face in the picture on the right, Jules is pulling my hair maliciously while looking all cute and innocent. I've got your number, little baby. 

I've mentioned this before, but this place has the best poke bowls other than the bowls you get in Hawaii and I had to mention it again to make sure you know I'm not messing around. I'm not even ashamed to admit I went there twice this weekend. Well kind of ashamed. But not ashamed enough not to admit it. So there. 

If you're ever in the Orlando area I highly recommend you stop by Big Kahuna and get a poke bowl. Then you can hit me up here and let me know how awesome it was and thank me for the recommendation!

I also mentioned having Apothic Rose and didn't really go into it at all. I found it at Publix. It was $10. I would buy it again. 

End of that story. 

Just kidding, there's more. I don't actually have a lot of experience with rose since I usually drink reds (red blends and Pinot Noir), but I really enjoyed this. It was easy to drink and didn't have the bite I've experienced with other rose's that I've tried. Some of the reviews I've read on the 'gram state that people don't like this year's batch, but I really like it. So if you trust me, try it. If you don't trust me, why are you reading this??

So what are you all about right now? 

Also, please tell me you have some wine recommendations for me. Oh, cider too...I love cider right now! Are you being affected by the full moon like I am? Maybe I'm a werewolf!!! 

I hope you have a great Wednesday! 

Why I Run, Plus My Gear Recommendations

Happy Tuesday! We made it through Monday, and oh what a Monday it was! That was probably one of the Monday-iest Mondays that ever Monday-ed!! It was such a Monday that Jules couldn't even handle it and slept terribly and woke Jason and I up a bunch of times and we're both zombies today. Needless to say, waking up this morning was a bitch.

Holy crap am I beautiful first thing in the morning or what?!? 

I didn't even take an after picture, so I'll just leave you with the above gloriousness and move on.

First, I want to let you guys know about a challenge that I'm having...with myself. I'm currently the only participant. But it's something I really need to do and I think it will help a lot with my anxiety, which I talk more about here.

I've decided to challenge myself to meditate every day for the next two weeks.

It doesn't have to be a long and crazy meditation with om'ing or heavy breathing. Just a 5-20 minute guided meditation in the morning or at night or even at work when I need a mental break. I decided to do this challenge this morning when I had a few minutes after my workout before I needed to jump into the shower and did a quick 6-minute guided meditation and love the way it made me feel. So I'm putting it down in my blog, which makes it official and public and you guys can chastise me if I fail. Deal? Do any of you want to join? I'm using the Insight Timer app, which is free and totally awesome! Let me know if you want to join in!

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This is usually where you can find Scooby whenever I meditate - this is an old picture, but 9 times out of 10, he's trying to sit on my lap or rub all over my face, which is suuuuuuper relaxing. *insert sarcasm here* 

Speaking of Scooby, he does seem to be doing a little bit better after being on antibiotics for a week and a half. He's still not 100% his old self, but he's started sleeping in bed with me again (he wraps himself around my head) and he and Little Cat were playing like crazy people this morning, tearing up and down the stairs and all over the house. He's also put on 0.2 pounds from last week, which makes me very happy. Hopefully he continues to improve - thanks again for your happy thoughts while he was sick!

Today I thought it would be fun to talk about why I run.

Running is such a scary thing for so many people and most non-runners seem to be intimidated to start. Coming from a prior lazy AF non-runner, I truly believe that anyone can be a runner and reap the benefits. Which are many. I also use these reasons to fight the voice in my head telling me to hit the snooze button in the morning or stay on the couch and surprisingly enough, it usually works. And when it doesn't I take that as a hint that my body needs the rest and I listen to it. 

Most people start running because they want to lose weight, which is precisely why I started. My ex-husband and I had just gotten divorced and I wanted to drop the baby weight so I could be a MILF. So I started running. Coming from being a person who simply hated to exercise at all, it wasn't the easiest thing to force myself to do, but I have the feeling getting out of work an hour early to go exercise (this started while I was in the Air Force) helped motivate me from the start. I wouldn't run a ton - just 10 to 15 minutes to start, sometimes indoors on a treadmill and sometimes outside. 

Cool story about running outside in Alaska...

I was running by my house on base and the base wildlife officer came tearing down the road and told me to get behind his car. Not even 10 seconds later a huge black bear came running out of the woods, right in the path where I was running. Holy shit-my-pants moment, right? I'm pretty sure I stuck to the treadmill after that. 

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. After a few months of adding running into my routine, I noticed I had dropped all the baby weight plus some. AWESOME!

My original reason to keep running was for continued weight loss. 

I think this is why most people start and continue running, because it does work remarkably well for weight loss at first, especially if you've been pretty sedentary. While this worked well for me when I was younger, I've since had to add in a lot more strength training and other methods of working out to try to lose weight, but that's another post for another time #gettingoldersucks

So you may be thinking to yourself, why in God's name are you still running if you no longer think it's the most effective way to lose/keep weight off?  Good question! Here are the other reasons I run. 

Endorphins

Even the worst runs I have ever had still give me endorphins. And I have had some serious bitch of a doozy runs. I've been halfway out on a 10 mile out-and-back in April in Florida, ran out of water, and starting having heat exhaustion symptoms. Meaning I had to walk/jog the rest of the way back, stop in a gas station as soon as I could find one to get water, and try not to cry about it where anyone could see me (this happened while training for the Country Music Half Marathon). But even then, I was still amped up and happy afterwards.

The runner's high is real and I love it!

Also, I need that shirt. 

Running helps me cope

Some of my favorite runs have been when I'm either super pissed about something or super sad about something. For whatever reason, I go out there with those emotions and I either pound the SHIT out of the pavement to get out my aggression or run a seriously therapeutic cry out of myself. I am not a big crier and have a hard time getting myself to cry, but when I'm super sad or bummed about something I've found that going running always gets me to cry and then I feel a bajillion times better afterwards. And then I smile and take a selfie. 

Pigtails

Where else can I get away with wearing my hair in braided pigtails? I've even learned how to Dutch braid my pigtails now which is a bit more complicated than the French braid, but way cuter. Braided pigtails are my go-to long-run/race hairdo now because they look cute and keep my hair out of my face. And no one judges me for being a 30-something runner with pigtail braids, when it may not be socially acceptable elsewhere. Not that I care or anything, because I don't. 

I run to be a good example

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Even though Justin absolutely loathes being active, he knows that by doing it he will be a healthier and happier person. I can only convince him to do a workout with me every once in a blue moon, but even when he refuses to participate I know that by being a good example and having running/exercise a part of my regular routine, he'll get to that stage eventually himself. Luckily it usually doesn't even take that much convincing to get him to join me for a run while he ripsticks (newfangled skateboard thingy) so I'm able to make him be active without running since he currently hates it. 

 

 

Jules has had no choice but to be a part of my runnin, since she's been my running partner through both a half-marathon and 5K training. She usually just sits nicely in the stroller for about 20 minutes before falling asleep for the remainder of the run, and she almost always wakes up when I've finished and laughs and smiles through my stretches.

I have this super secret hope that one day we'll run races together - shhhhhh, don't tell anyone. 

I run to always do better. 

I am super competitive. Sometimes with other people, but most of the time I am competing to beat myself. When I started really getting into running and started running races with my dad's wife at the time, I found out that I was actually pretty fast; I think I was running 8 minute miles without any training, just some recreational running here and there. I stuck to short races (5K to 5 miles) for years until I ran my first half marathon in 2012. I didn't train very well for the race and didn't run it very fast (I think I finished in 2:06 or something like that), but even though I hated the race and it hurt and I was way slower than I'd planned, I knew I had to run another one so I could beat my time. The next half-marathon I ran I knew I had to get under 2 hours, so I trained and really pushed myself and managed to meet that goal in 2014. Every race thereafter, I've been trying to beat myself in one way or another. My newest goal is to run the Mount Dora Half Marathon (my PR course; I've PR'ed twice there) in under 2 hours postpartum after totally blowing up during the race in 2016. I would also like to PR my 10K, since I actually have a really slow 10K time (in my opinion, 56:11) and there is nothing more motivating than a new PR. 

It's peaceful...

Yes, seriously. Sure it hurts and you're sweating and breathing heavily and sometimes your IT band or piriformis starts acting up and you know the run is going to end up being a shitshow, but even then it's still peaceful. My runs are my time that I get to myself, when I otherwise don't often get any time to myself (even in the bathroom right now #toddlerlife). I always try to make it a point to look around me while I'm running and appreciate the view. Whether I'm running on the beach, running through a neighborhood, or running through mountains - there is always beauty to be found. I can listen to music (just not too loudly - be safe, people!), zone out a bit from the every day stressors, and pound the pavement. 

The above pictures are from a run I took in Upstate New York in July of 2015. I miss running in the mountains!

You have to buy new stuff all the time - any excuse to go shopping is a good reason for me!

Overall running is a pretty cheap sport. You really just need decent running shoes to start. But once you get into it and start doing crazy things like running races or long distances, you will need to start buying some new stuff - some of this will be so you're comfortable and some will be so you don't die (see above story about the time I started to have heat exhaustion halfway into an out-and-back 10 mile run). 

On that note, here are my top recommendations for gear. 

I will be including some Amazon affiliate links. These links do not change the price of the item or do anything other than give me a small (very small) kick-back for making the recommendation. Thank you for the support!

Shoes

I started with Aisics, moved to Mizuno, and finally found Brooks. 

I love Brooks running shoes. 

I've actually had my gait tested and was fitted for running shoes and hated the shoes they told me I should wear. So my motto now is to run in what is comfortable. I also prefer the shoes to be purple - it makes me run faster (runner's superstition). My absolute favorite running shoes were the Brooks PureCadence 2, but they were discontinued like 3 years ago. I actually still run in them sometimes (I have two pairs). I don't like the way the new PureCadence models or the PureFlows feel, so I haven't been able to commit to a different shoe just yet. However I've heard a lot of really good things about the Brooks Launch, so I think I'm going to give them a shot next. ASAP, since I really need a new pair of running shoes. 

The picture on the right is from a couple of years ago - let's just say I have a few more purple running shoes thrown into the corner of the closet right now. I have an addiction.

Along with shoes, you really need good running socks

 

I used to run in whatever I could find, but found that my feet would slide around and I'd sometimes get blisters during longer runs. So I did some research and ended up finding the Thorlo brand of socks and haven't looked back. They're comfortable and supportive and amazing. Buy them. 

 

 

Clothes to run in

When you first start out, you'll probably be fine running in any old pair of shorts and a ratty old t-shirt (I know that's what I did), but once you start factoring in heat and cold and sweating and wanting to look cute, you'll want to start investing in some good running clothes. 

For pants I've always had really good luck with the running capris from Target. I also picked these beautiful dip-dye leggings up on Amazon a few months ago and they've quickly become a favorite because I'm basic AF and love anything dip or tie-dye. And the high waist keeps everything tucked in tight, which makes me a lot more comfortable than when my waistband falls down and my stomach flops all over (true story - not comfortable)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a hard time with running shorts right now since I'm still a bit over my pre-baby weight and find my shorts tend to ride-up whenever I run, which drives me bat-shit crazy. Chub-rub sucks.

However one of my goals for 2017 was to get back into running in shorts, since it's so god-awful hot in Florida 80% of the time.

I had really good luck with the Brooks Chaser short and Oiselle Roga, so I'm planning on breaking those out this month and giving them a shot during one of my shorter, morning runs. I know they fit since I use them for other workouts, but haven't gotten up the nerve to try running with them yet since having Jules.  

As you can tell with both pairs of the shorts, they have a wide waistband, which is key to prevent any muffin top digging. They also both have several pockets throughout the shorts, which are a good enough size for a GU, chapstick, or your car key.

As for shirts and sports bras, I tend to buy what's on sale and what's made for the heat. I like the UnderArmour heat gear tanks and love the sports bras from Target. I'm not super well-endowed, so I don't have good advice in regards to sports bras for more support, but I've heard the bras from Moving Comfort are pretty amazing. 

Sun Protection

I live in Florida, otherwise known as the Sunshine State. That's not a misnomer since it is SERIOUSLY sunny here most of the time. Unfortunately I struggle to run with sunscreen since it makes me sweat even more than usual (and I'm a sweaty beast). I'm taking sweat pooling in your shoes and streaming into your eyes here. Due to this, I don't usually run in sunscreen unless I'm on the beach or an unshaded area, and I try to run as early as possible and on a shaded trail. I do recommend that you run with sunscreen when at all possible. I do take extra precaution to wear a hat or visor because I suffer from melasma and getting any sun on my face results in some serious skin discoloration. I tend to use whatever hat I can find laying around the house until it starts getting super hot out and then I break out my visor. And I love that the band soaks up all of my sweat from my forehead and scalp so it doesn't get into my eyes. 

Running watch

I used apps on my phone for years and they worked just fine, but I love having a running watch. I've owned two Garmin's and highly recommend them, but especially recommend the newest one we got in January. Yes, it's refurbished - I buy everything refurbished since it usually just means a customer got it, didn't like the color or something, and returned it. This watch can do everything I need during a run including vibrating at me if I'm running under the pace I want to be running at, which is super helpful if you're training for something. It's easy to read and I was able to set it up without reading the directions, so it's easy to set-up too! 

My Garmin runs always tend to be more accurate than the apps I use on my phone, which is also really important when you're training for a race. Also, this watch comes in purple if you can find it (but the refurb price was more important to me than it being purple)

Water bottle

This is especially important in Florida or for any run over 4 miles or so, but I prefer to run with water all the time. I used to run with this and it works okay for shorter distances, but it was never enough for anything over 7 or 8 miles and if there weren't any water fountains on my route...heat exhaustion. I'm not a huge fan of the water bottles that you wear on your waist, so I will probably look into getting a bigger handheld bottle when I start training for my next half marathon in September. 

Technology crap

Since getting my new phone (the iPhone 7+), I had to upgrade most of my gear, since I preferred a pair of wireless ear buds and something to carry my phone in that wasn't an arm band due to the phone being so effing big. I did a lot of research and settled on...

The above ear buds, which are only $26 and are FREAKING AMAZING! I have a seriously terrible time getting ear buds to stay in my ears for any length of time during a run. Which is infuriating when I'm sweating and need my music to keep me going and the ear buds keep falling out. These suckers NEVER fall out or need adjusting. I'm not even kidding when I say I love them. And the music quality is so much better than the other ear buds I've tried. Needless to say, I highly recommend them. 

And this waist belt, which is only $8. I start my music, shove my phone in, zip it up, and turn it so the phone is on my booty. And then I run and forget it's there. It doesn't fall off or really even move the entire time. 

Fuel

Prior to leaving for a run (or in the morning before whatever workout I have planned), I always drink my watermelon Aminos. I've said it before, but I love this stuff and highly recommend it. It gives me clean energy without any jitters, there's no artificial colors (with the watermelon flavor), and I don't experience a crash later in the day. Also coffee gives me heartburn if I drink it prior to running and this stuff doesn't.  

If you plan on running more than an hour, you should plan on bringing something with you to snack on/replenish the salt lost through sweat/replenish electrolytes/give you energy. I have always had good luck with GU, and almost enjoy the salted caramel flavor - I think it's the most palatable.

A word of caution, I only eat about half at a time and eat it slowly while drinking water. This stuff is very thick and sweet and sticky and it's hard to swallow if you try to eat too much. This might be disgusting to some of you, but when I do have one I slowly eat half and then shove the other half in my sports bra for later. #extrasalt #frommyboobsweat

The thing that I LOVE to eat before a longer run is a honey stinger waffle. I usually have a bagel at home an hour or two beforehand and then have a waffle right before taking off. These things are delicious and I always eat one before any long run that's more than 6 miles. I have a fairly sensitive stomach and these never bother me and give me a nice burst of energy #carbs

That's all I have for today! Please let me know if you have any recommendations for gear you love for running. Do you have a favorite running shoe that you're diehard loyal to #brooksforlife, or do you think I'm a crazy person? 

I hope you have a fantastic day - thanks for stopping by!

I Don't Wanna Monday

Blog Post Sponsored By: ME, wishing I could call in sick to work and watch Parenthood all day while wearing my unicorn onesie pajamas and relax after a crazy, hectic weekend. But I'll go to work and be an adult because I'm responsible. LAME!

Happy Monday, friends! How was your weekend? Was it nice and relaxing or were you crazy active like me the entire time? I swear this weekend was so crazy and busy that I never even had a weekend. 

Today's post is going to be a relatively quick one because I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment and just want to lie down and relax but can't. Do you ever get that way? But I didn't want to leave you high-and-dry and thought I'd pop in to say hi and review our weekend with you. So HI!

No here's our weekend in review:

Friday I ended up staying a bit late after work trying to get caught up. I figured I could stay for an extra 30 minutes, clear all my work out, and still be at daycare in plenty of time to pick-up Jules. I was almost done with everything and feeling pretty good about myself when I get a call from an Orlando number that I don't know. Luckily I answered, because it was Justin who was at an after-school activity that I completely forgot about, and in order for me to pick him up on time I needed to leave 15 minutes earlier. 

Mom Fail

I felt horrible, but Justin really didn't care so I guess it's not a big deal. I think he actually apologized that I'm so busy and overwhelmed right now and said we should do something easy for dinner that night so we don't have to cook or clean up. #smartkid

We ended up getting wings from Publix and I finally found Apothic Rose!! My review? It's yummy. That is all. I'm a wine connoissumer (get it? Connoisseur & consumer combined? FUNNY!!!)

Then we lazed around and tried to get caught-up on The Walking Dead so we could finish the season. We managed to weekend pretty hard Friday night which was good, because we were fairly busy the rest of the weekend. 

I do love my unicorn onesie, however I wish it zipped instead of buttoned. The buttons let in a draft and you need to wear something underneath it in order to not show off all your wobbly bits, and I think it would be a lot more comfortable with a zipper. However it's a unicorn onesie and it's amazing regardless. So ignore me and my first world complaints.

We managed to catch up on two episodes of The Walking Dead before I started to fall asleep on the couch and went to bed. #partyharderthanme

Saturday morning Jules and I woke up to go for a run. I wanted to push myself and run further than 3 miles since that's pretty much all I've been running for about 3 months now. Mission accomplished. Jules didn't sleep well all weekend, so she took a nice nap in the stroller and I had a nice, sweaty run. 

Afterwards, we watched a movie and ate our toes...

Then it was time to get down to business. Justin and I didn't quite get to cleaning all of the closets, but we cleaned out two of them, got the bathrooms/tubs completely cleaned and de-molded (Florida is a bitch with mold, no matter how clean you are), vacuumed and did a myriad of other chores around the house. 

We do plan on getting the upstairs closets cleaned out next week and then Justin's bedroom needs a deep clean since he's a disgusting, smelly 13 year old. I also really need to clean and organize the garage sometime soon, because it is a disaster. One thing at a time though!

cleaning madrediem

After putting it off and trying out cheaper wraps/baby carriers, I finally broke down and got the Lillebaby...why didn't I get this sooner? Jules has been extremely needy and whiny the past couple of weeks and this allowed me to get cleaning done without having a screaming toddler at my feet. Other than the time I turned into the door frame and she banged her head (just earning my Mother of the Year award over here), we both really enjoyed it. She especially enjoyed yanking on my ponytail and pulling on the little hairs on the back of my neck. 

Such a little sweetheart :-)

Seriously though, we went with the Lillebaby Complete Airflow and I found it on Amazon for $89, which is a like $35 off of the normal price. It looks like they're all back up to the normal price, but if you're in the market I highly recommend stalking the page on Amazon like I did and maybe you'll get lucky. It's SUPER easy to use and I have the feeling we're going to get a ton of use out of it over the next couple of years. No regrets! 

The link is an affiliate link for Amazon (like I shop anywhere else) - it does not change the price or do anything differently other than giving me a small percentage of the purchase for making the recommendation. Thanks!

We managed to finish the final two episodes of this season's The Walking Dead on Saturday and got to bed at a decent hour - I still didn't sleep because Jules was up 3 times, but whatevs. Jules also woke up really early both days this weekend (6:30 on Saturday and 6 on Sunday), so we were up and at 'em earlier than usual on Sunday. 

First Jules seriously noshed on some blueberries. She probably ate 4-5oz on Sunday, which I totally support. 

This is probably my favorite picture of Jules that I have take recently, since it completely epitomizes her - crazy hair, goofy smile, food all-over-her-face, super-sweet little girl. 

After making and cleaning up breakfast (eggs, sourdough toast, and blueberries FTW), we got Justin up and headed out to get groceries and lunch. We hit up Trader Joe's, got my car washed, stopped by WalMart to round out the shopping for the week, and then got Subway for the kids and a poke bowl for me (I have a problem).

The rest of the day was spent cleaning, doing some meal prep, relaxing on the couch with Jules during nap time (thank God!), and painting my nails. Oh, and drinking a bit too much rose because I'm obsessed. 

Meal prep this week consisted of me making a menu for meals for the week, going to the store, and throwing together lunches for Monday and Wednesday. The rest of my meals will be prepared while I'm cleaning up the dishes from dinner every night. And yes, I still plan on doing a full post on meal prep once I get my shit together and take some decent pictures.

Waking up for my workout this morning was a bit of a struggle (understatement), but it's the "recovery" week so I knew I needed to get it done and it wouldn't destroy me too badly. It ended up being a decent workout, although I did hate pretty much every second of it. I'm sure I'll feel better about working out tomorrow. 

I realize I didn't do a fitness summary from last week, so here we go...

  • Sunday - rest day. Always. Actually, sometimes I workout on Sunday instead of Saturday, so I guess it's not always a rest day. Last Sunday it was. 
  • Monday - P90X Chest & Back in the morning and 22 Hard Corps Cardio 1 in the evening with Justin
  • Tuesday - Ran 20 minutes and Ab Ripper X
  • Wednesday - Overslept and had to do my P90X Arms & Shoulders after Jules' bed time. Managed to get Justin to do the workout as well and he only complained for 95% of it.
  • Thursday - P90X3 MMX and the 5 minute Core de Force ab workout. It's all planks and pretty effective (it hurts good)
  • Friday - P90X Legs & Back
  • Saturday - Ran 4 miles 
  • Sunday - REST DAY

And that's all I have for today. How was your weekend? How's your Monday? I can't be the only one who wanted to call in, right? Am I the only one who wanted to call in sick for work for Monday on Saturday because I just knew I wasn't going to be feeling it Monday morning? 

Have a great day!

Fri-YAY Part Deux

We made it to Friday!! THANK GOD!

I am still of the mindset that I could use another day to get all the work done that I need to do, but regardless of how much shit I have to do at work, I'm so happy it's Friday!

I thought I'd do another edition of Fri-YAY, or the things that are making me say YAYYYYY today. 

First of all, I managed to get all 5 of my workday workouts in. YESSSSS! I did oversleep on Wednesday and had to workout that evening, but managed to get Justin to workout with me. So a big YAYYYYYYY to that!

Also, the pictures I get with Justin both before and after our workouts are classic. The above shenanigans were on Wednesday - it's insane how much taller he is than me now! I'm on my tippy toes for all of them but the last one, and you can really tell how freaking tall he is in that picture - what happened to my sweet little boy?!? 

There he is!

He might be a dumb teenager sometimes, but most of the time he's still my fun, crazy, Justinsane. He worked out for about 15 minutes with his shirt like that. Yep. 

This song is a huge YAYYYYYYYY for me right now. I know that everyone else has been loving and listening to this song for months now, but I just got on that train. So don't judge me and let me enjoy it. 

Speaking of music, I might be a little bit biased but the playlist I use for running is pretty effing awesome. The vast majority of the songs have a BPM (beats per minute) of 170 or more, so when I run to those songs I match my strides to the beat of the song and it helps me run faster and more efficiently! Click on the link above and let me know if you give it a listen. The songs are kind of all over the place in regards to genre, but I promise it will get you moving quickly if you just go with the flow!

Also if you're into alternative music at all, check out the new album by Spoon. I've been a fan of Spoon for many moons (I had to rhyme it, sorry), and their new album is probably their best work. CHECK IT OUT!

Here's something that makes me say YAYYYY but can be a bit of a frustration for other people...assholes who can't park!

nice parking job madrediem

I love when people do something jackassery that I can put on snapchat. So please, keep being inconsiderate and lazy so I can blast you on the internets!

Seriously though...how hard is it to fix your parking job? 

I love spaghetti night. For reals though. We had spaghetti Monday night and there was more than enough leftover for everyone to eat it on Tuesday (I was fasting so I didn't partake, see my post from Wednesday). As far as what we use to make our spaghetti, I saute a pound and a half of ground turkey with some EVOO and minced garlic.  I'm way too busy to make my sauce from scratch, so I get the Bertolli Organic brand, which is one of the lowest in regards to added sugar (6 grams vs over 10 for most of the other brands) and dump that in once the turkey is cooked and heat it up for about 10 minutes. And I really like the Dreamfields pasta since it has a lot of fiber. And fiber makes you poop. Pooping is good. POOP!! 

I was feeling pretty good in two of my outfits this week and when that happens, you know I'm taking a bathroom selfie! YAYYYYYYY!! The outfit on the left is a dress from letote (clothes rental - highly recommend it!) and shoes from TJ Maxx and I was wearing some awesome shapewear that my me look like I have some pretty nice tatas, and the dress on the right is a PRE-PREGNANCY dress from The Limited (R.I.P.) and the same shoes, no shapewear. Sometimes you just gotta selfie!

Something that will always make me say YAYYYYYY is Jules running towards me all excited and stuff. I can't even with this one.  

Poor Jax.

Ridiculous pictures make me say YAYYYYY.

Apparently we're not supposed to have any dogs at Jason's Uncle's condo. So poor Jax had to get carted in and out in my beach bag to go to the bathroom. By the time we were ready to leave on Sunday morning, the poor thing would run away and try to hide from me. SORRY, BUDDY!

Twinning - madrediem

Can I get a YAYYYYYY for twinning with my daughter? She's so effing cute. 

And yes, I did draw a t-shirt on my daughter - she always eats in her diaper since it cuts down on stains on her clothes, but I'm not trying to have my pictures targeted by pervs. So stay away, ya effing pervs - you're not getting any content here!!

Do you have anything fun planned for this weekend? I am going to be relaxing and spring cleaning; hopefully doing more relaxing that cleaning. My main focus is going to be on closets, bathrooms, and my car. Cause my car is gross, mmmkay?

Happy Friday, everyone! 

My Favorite Workout Programs

Happy Friday Eve, everyone - thanks for stopping by! I know I mentioned this the other day, but this week is flying by for me! It's good because I really need a weekend at home (I'm exhausted), but sucks because I have so much to do at work that's not getting done. 

Blog 7.jpg

I didn't get my run in this morning because there was a tornado watch and it was seriously storming outside, so I had to sub another workout in. You can see how I felt about that in my picture (I was tired and meh), but I ended up doing MMX and Core on the Floor from P90X3 and Core de Force and felt pretty good about myself by the time I was done. 

Today I thought I would do a quick review of all of my favorite workout programs. A lot of them are Beachbody workouts - again I'm not a coach, I just really like their programs and have done a lot of them. I also have a few favorites that you can pick-up on Amazon. I love Amazon and buy pretty much anything I can from there, including a lot of my workouts. 

First I will review my favorite Beachbody programs and then I'll go into some of my other favorite workouts/plans/ways to get fit. I do have a subscription to Beachbody on Demand, which I love. It's their online streaming program that allows you access to all of their programs for $100 a year. I like working out at home and don't like the gym so much, so it's perfect and justifiable for me!

I am not a personal trainer or fitness professional and as such, I want to remind you that this is just my opinion and in no way, shape, or form a recommendation as something that you should start doing. As with all workouts programs, check with your doctor before starting anything. 

P90X

P90X after pic

I'm currently in my 3rd or 4th attempt of completing P90X - I talk about this more later in this post and have also discussed in past posts, but I always quit due to gaining weight initially whenever I try P90X. It has happened again this time but not as much; just a couple pounds. However I'm not even worried about it because I know the pounds will come off and then some, just like they did with Chalean Extreme (and I'm going to be so jacked #doyouevenliftbro). 

So far I'm really enjoying P90X this time around. See all the mascara all over my face? Wash your face at night, friends! (I was too tired yesterday). 

P90X Pros & Cons

Pros

  • I know some people think this is a con, but I think Tony Horton is hilarious AF and I love his commentary and ridiculous jokes throughout the workouts. And if you don't like his commentary, you could mute the tv and play music - problem solved. 
  • The workouts change monthly, so you'll never get bored!
  • If you track your workouts and the weights you use (I use a notebook and jot down the weight and reps for each exercise), you will start to see results on a weekly basis. Every single workout I improve on something. Either I do more reps or I increase weight, but it's a trackable improvement and it makes me happy!

Cons

  • I personally think all of the P90X cardio workouts suck and I don't do any of them. I either run, use a HIIT or kickboxing workout from Turbofire, or sub a P90X3 cardio workout (MMX is my fave) on my cardio days.
  • Time commitment. The workouts are all around an hour or more and that's a lot when you have a family and work full-time. This is why I wake up at 5am to complete my workout. Sometimes I sleep through my alarm and then I have to do it in the evenings and it's a huge time commitment. I will say that I'm sure the results are worth it though!

Insanity

I have done three complete rounds of Insanity, one in 2012 which I had my best results with, another the summer of 2014 and then I did a postpartum round in July of last year. I love Insanity, and I love Shaun T. That being said, Insanity is an extremely intense program that I would not recommend for beginners. 

These pictures have never seen the light of day, but I've already showed off how I look right now so I may as well show off how I looked when I was at what I consider to be my peak shape. These pictures are from my round of Insanity in 2012. I didn't lose a ton of weight (only like 4 or 5 pounds), but MAN are those results amazing!

Insanity Pros & Cons:

Pro:

  • Results. Not only will you see some serious physical results in regards to your body composition, but you will also experience some serious results in your athletic performance. I find that whenever I do Insanity my running performance improves exponentially, due to the fact that you seriously improve your cardio conditioning with Insanity. All of that jumping and the back-and-forths and CRAZINESS really help with your slow and fast twitch muscles/response, so my leg turnover during runs is faster which helps me to run faster and more efficiently. I will probably continue to do a round of Insanity every early fall so I'm better prepared for running season (which is fall/winter here in Florida)

Con:

  • This workout is hard AF. I'm talking super intense. So I would not recommend it for beginners. 
  • Very hard on your joints - probably not doable if you have any joint issues (talk to your dr)
  • Lack of strength training. There are some body weight strength moves in some of the workouts, but this is primarily cardio-based. As such, you'll lose some muscle mass. I will probably try to do some short weight workouts the next time I do a round. 

Chalean Extreme

Prior to completing a full round of Chalean Extreme last month, I'd attempted the program probably 3 or 4 times without ever completing it. Why didn't I ever complete the program? I'd always gain a few pounds in the beginning and give up, since I was hyper-focused on wanting to lose weight. Well now I finally know and believe that it's okay to gain some weight in a strength program - your muscles hold onto water whenever they are repairing themselves and when you're doing a crazy workout program with lots of strength training, you'll gain some water weight. It's okay...even if you don't lose a single pound, I promise your body composition will change. You will see muscles and get toned and your clothes will start fitting better. 

Also just to clear things up because this drives me nuts...muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound of muscle weighs exactly the same as a pound of fat. However, muscle is a lot more dense than fat and as such, takes up less space. So a pound of muscle looks smaller than a pound of fat. When you're adding muscle to your body and losing fat but not losing any actual pounds, do yourself a favor and take progress pictures and measure yourself with measuring tape. This is how I keep myself from getting discouraged when the scale doesn't budge. 

Here are my results from Chalean Extreme that I finished in March. I wasn't initially very happy with them and blogged about this before, but I did have some pretty good results (more proof that you should be happy with the body you're in!!)

Pros & cons of Chalean Extreme

Pros

  • The workouts change every month, so you don't get bored. 
  • I really like Chalene Johnson as a trainer - she's funny and very personable. She also makes me laugh, which is super important to me - Shaun T and Tony Horton also make me laugh on the regs. 
  • You will see results in your body composition as long as you lift heavy weights. Go outside of your comfort zone and really push yourself; you might be surprised with what you are capable of!

Cons

  • Those boots...just no.

Turbofire

I've still never completed a full round of TF, but I do really enjoy the workouts and will often sub either a HIIT or one of the longer workouts on a cardio day when I don't want to run. These workouts are super dancey and I think they're a lot of fun! Plus, there are low-impact options so this is great workout for beginners and if you're pregnant (with your dr's okay). I've shared the picture on the right twice already, but I am super proud of my 6-month preggo kickboxing picture so I'm posting it again! Plus, it's Thursday so I can call this a Throwback Thursday. DEAL WITH IT!!!

Turbofire Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It's a lot of fun...once you get the moves down. 
  • Chalean is so positive and uplifting that you are excited to workout with her; she's a great instructor with awesome cues. 
  • I've worn my heart rate monitor while doing a TF workout and I burn almost as many calories as when I run, so they're very effective workouts!
  • Good for beginners and people who need to modify
  • The long stretch workout in the program (it's 40 minutes long) is one of my favorite yoga-ish routines. 

Cons

  • I don't like the strength workouts - they just don't do it for me
  • There is a bit of a learning curve with the workouts since it's super dancey and requires some coordination. Keep trying and I promise you'll get it down!

Now onto some non-beachbody programs

Half Marathon Training

carb load.jpg

After doing a round of Insanity and when fall is upon us, I am always ready to start running regularly and seriously training for a half-marathon.

There's something about cooler temps and long-run Sunday that makes me super happy.

The carb loading and beers after my long-runs certainly help with my enthusiasm. 

That being said, running is hard and training for a half-marathon is a serious time commitment. 

Here's the plan I used to PR a couple of years ago. You do need to be an experienced runner before trying this plan - I had ran 3 half marathons before doing this plan. But it worked and I killed my PR by 6 minutes!

(sorry about the shitty picture quality)

Half Marathon Training Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • The accomplishment of finishing the race is such an awesome feeling. And even though you'll swear both during and immediately afterward that you'll never run another distance race again, I can almost bet that you'll sign up for another within a year!
  • Carb loading before and beer after my long runs. So much fun.
  • Having 2 hours to myself to listen to music and just be alone - for whatever reason, I tend to really enjoy my long runs (when I don't feel like I'm going to die)
  • You have to go shopping to buy new stuff. You'll need shoes, clothes, GU, water bottles, hats, socks, etc. I love to run in purple - it makes me run faster...

Cons:

  • Weight gain - I always gain weight during every single training cycle. I do lean out at first, but by the end your body is so beat up and tired that you start packing on some weight (usually around 5 punds for me)
  • So hungry. All the time. See the above. 
  • It's time consuming - you'll be running at least 3 days a week for 30-140 minutes or so depending on your schedule. That's a lot and it can be overwhelming. Just take it one run at a time.

The Butt Bible

One of my friends gave me this and it is a killer. I like to use this during half marathon training for cross training and strength. The only problem with it is you will not be able to sit down to pee for days. Not even kidding. 

Pros: 

  • I like the trainer; she has a lot of great form cues and she's very pleasant.
  • Seriously effective. 
  • The workouts are pretty quick
  • I think the instructor is funny (in a ridiculous way) but a lot of people complain about her. If you don't like her, mute the tv and listen to music. Boom.

Cons:

  • You won't be able to sit down for days the first few times you do this workout. It's seriously effective, but that leads to serious pain.

MTV Pilates Mix

I've had this workout since having Justin and still recommend it. The instructor is obviously very well-trained and knowledgeable and I really enjoy the workouts (but hate them at the same time, because they're hard). 

What I love about Pilates is that it helps me to strengthen my supporting muscles and helps to fix any muscle imbalances I might have. This is especially important when you're a runner, since runners are notoriously weak in random places, which leads to injuries. 

Pilates also puts a lot of emphasis on strengthening your core, not just your abs. This means your back, obliques, and transverse abs get a workout, leading to a stronger core overall. 

And if you're lucky, your cat and dog will do the workout with you, so you have an accountability partner!

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • If you combine the workouts, you get a full body workout in an hour. 
  • Helps strengthen your supporting muscles, which helps to decrease injury

Cons:

  • No cardio or strength training, so you'll have to use this as supporting workout. I used to do it on a shorter strength day while doing P90X3 and counted it for my ab workout as well
  • If you enjoy doing seriously intense workouts all the time you'll probably get bored at first when you try this, but I encourage you to stick it out to the end. The constant core work and small movements will seriously destroy you - in a good way. 

That's all I have for today! Have you tried any of these workouts? Do you have any recommendations for me? I love working out. A lot of people think it's because I'm crazy, but I just really enjoy how I feel when I'm done. If you change your mindset from "uggghhh...I have to workout" to "I get to workout", I promise you'll feel better about it and start to do it more!

Have a great Thursday!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a percentage of the sale if you make a purchase using the links. This does not change the price of the item (at all) and is something I have just decided to start trying since I do make recommendations on a regular basis. The opinions are still 100% my own and not at all influenced by me using the affiliate links.