Weekend Happenings and Beach with a Toddler

Happy Monday, my friends! Are you ready to tackle this week like a boss? 

How was your weekend? We had a pretty great weekend, including a nice trip to the beach. I ended up getting absolutely fried, which I'm pretty upset about since I try to avoid too much sun due to religiously using tanning beds in my youth. So to get super fried (like my legs still hurt from the burn), is embarrassing and a health hazard. Not. Cool. 

I did use sunscreen, but it's about a year old and I'm guessing it's expired or something - let this be a lesson to you; don't use old sunscreen at the beach in Florida!

Before I go into our beach trip, including some recommendations on how we make the beach work with a toddler, I want to do a quick workout round-up from last week. 

I also had to post another smiling pre-workout picture, since they're usually so grim. 

Monday - P90X Shoulders, Chest, and Triceps

Tuesday - Speed running workout (see it here) & abs

Wednesday - P90X Back & Biceps

Thursday - Hangover rest day (booooooo!!)

Friday - P90X Legs & Back

Saturday - I planned on running but overslept (booooo!!)

Sunday - I wanted to run but my legs were too sunburnt. Yes, seriously. Not. Cool. 

As you can see, I did not do 2 of my planned workouts this week. So even though I absolutely LOVE working out and it's usually a part of my daily routine, I am still human and life (and beer) happened. And I'm perfectly fine with that since I know I'll have a better week this week. So if you happen to miss a workout or two don't let it get you down, we all do it!

Moving on to the fun part of the weekend...THE BEACH!

(look...we're all smiling! That never happens! Also, how does my Justin tower over me so much? I can't handle how grown he is!)

Also, if you're wondering about my swimsuit, I found it at TJ Maxx or Marshalls and even though I'd just gotten another cute one a month before, I knew I had to get it because it's flattering and comfortable and those are rare qualities in a swimsuit. I didn't get any pictures of the backside, but it's pretty cheeky which I love because I love my booty and like to show it off #datass

We only live 50 minutes from the beach, yet we hardly ever go. Which is crazy, because we all love the beach. It is just a lot of hassle to get all of the beach crap together, plan out food/snacks/drinks, pack and unpack and pack and unpack everything, wash all the towels, sweep up all the sand, deal with the aftermath of getting a sunburn...

But still, IT's THE BEACH. Now that the water is warming up, I hope we can start going more often. I'd like to challenge myself to go at least once a month from here on out, but we all know how my challenges go *cough, cough...meditation challenge...cough cough*

(to be fair, I've been consistently meditating most weekdays, so it's still a winner in my book)

Back to the BEACH...

We went to our favorite park which is right next to Cocoa Beach - it has free parking as long as you get there early enough, lifeguards, bathrooms, rinse off stations, and no crowds. I'm not posting the name because I don't want everyone to go there and ruin it, but if you really want to know hit me up and I'll tell you. 

Since moving to Florida I've become a huge vadge when it comes to water temperature and rarely go in the water from October to May, however the water was absolutely lovely this weekend. It was warm, but still refreshing. Even Jules loved the water and we all spent hours splashing around, boogie-boarding (the waves were too choppy to ride any, but still fun to play on), and making sand castles. 

As the mom of a toddler, pretty much everything we do is a bit more difficult and complicated. I obviously wouldn't trade it or her for anything, but I'm just going to be real and say it. I'm sure most of you would agree with me, if you have a toddler or have been around one. We can't just go to the beach with a towel and some beers...it doesn't work like that anymore! However we have gotten this whole beach with a toddler thing down to a science, and luckily for you, I write a blog and love to overshare my life and tips! So without further ado:

My tips and tricks for beaching with a toddler!

Pack the car the night before...

This is very important - otherwise you will end up scrambling and running late, you'll get all hot and sweaty and cranky, and you'll miss your free parking spot which is no fun for anyone. I always make a quick list of snacks/drinks for everyone, run it by my husband to see if I'm missing anything, and make a quick store run the day before. We tend to make sandwiches and bring chips and vanilla wafers most of the time, but every once in awhile I'll make a caprese salad that we'll eat out of the container like savages or if I'm feeling REALLY fancy I'll make ceviche and we'll eat it with tortilla chips. The recipe I use for ceviche is this one and it's so freaking good - let me know if you try it! 

The evening before we are going to the beach we get all of the food made and packed up in bags and then pack the car with all of our beach gear, which is a lot of crap - beach chairs, umbrellas, sand anchors for the umbrella, towels, cooler, boogie boards, Jules float thing, buckets to play in the sand...now you might be wondering how we get all of this to our spot on the beach without killing ourselves?

Get a beach cart

For some reason I fought tooth and nail on this - I'm pretty sure that in my head this was like trading in my SUV for a minivan. Like, I'm too cool to use a beach cart - only dorky, prepared grown-ups use those! Well guess what? I'm a dorky, prepared grown-up now! My mom ended up getting this for Jason and me 2 Christmases ago and I don't know how we ever went to the beach without it. If you ever go to the beach for more than a day or two, get one of these!

However I am never getting a minivan - I don't care how cool and comfortable they are. You can mark my words here...no minivan ever. 

Sun Protection

Even though I got fried this weekend, I am usually pretty psychotic about being fully protected from the sun. I always wear a hat unless I'm boogie boarding or surfing and I try to always wear sunscreen all over. I also religiously coat my children in sunscreen and force them to wear hats/shirts/rash guards (except for poor Justin's feet, which got burnt this weekend too #momfail). Julianna always has a long-sleeved rash-guard swimsuit (we found her mermaid suit at Target this year) and she always wears a hat. We really like this one and have already purchased two of them in the past year:

As for sunscreen, I really try to avoid any of the chemical crap since it really is terrible for you. I'm not being crazy, do some research and see how you feel about Banana Boat then. One place you can go to check out how awful or amazing your sunscreen is is the EWG website here . I urge you to do a quick search on the sunscreens you currently use and see how your sunscreen ranks. Then do some additional research and see how bad some of these chemicals are for you. THEN I think you'll jump on the chemical-free sunscreen train with me.

Here's my favorite stuff to the left. To be clear, I didn't use this kind this weekend since I couldn't find it - I used some stuff I had leftover from Hawaii which worked well in Hawaii, not so much here in Florida.

I know the bottle says baby, but it's good for everyone. The EWG ranks sunscreens from 1 to 10, with 1 being the best and 10 being the worst - this type of Blue Lizard sunscreen along with the sensitive Blue Lizard (blue lid), are both ranked as 1's. It is expensive, but I've found that a little goes a long way. 

One big tip for you when you're using any zinc oxide/titanium dioxide sunscreen is to rub it in. Seriously take your time and REALLY rub it in. If you don't, you will either look like a geisha OR you'll look purple. 

Another benefit of the chemical free sunscreens is they don't harm the coral reefs - all of the chemical sunscreens we use are actually doing MAJOR harm to the coral reefs and fishes and that's no bueno. So use the chemical free stuff and save yourself and the fishes!

You need shade!

We never go to the beach without beach umbrellas and/or a canopy tent thing (ours broke last year). Right now we are going with the two umbrella set-up, which works pretty well. You do end up having to move your chairs every couple of hours to chase the shade, but it's better than frying in the sun and then being burnt for several days because you were too lazy to move (I'm glaring at myself right now). 

If you're going to be using umbrellas for shade, please make sure you also get some sand anchors so your umbrellas don't blow away. Seriously...it's super windy at the beach and I've seen so many people almost get impaled by umbrellas flying away.

Yes, it is entertaining for us to watch, but I would feel bad if anyone actually got hurt. 

I found this picture on Walmart.com so you know what I'm talking about, but you can seriously find these things at any gift shop or drug store near the beach. I'm pretty sure ours only cost us $8 each and they've been a real life saver. 

Literally a life saver. Don't impale people who are on the beach because you didn't anchor your umbrella.

Bad juju.

Make sure you have somewhere to sit. 

I know the beach purists are probably all, "oooooh I just like to lay in the sand and chairs are for lame-o people". Well I am totally a lame-o person who has a toddler and needs a place to park my ass. Seriously. Get yo-self a good beach chair and thank me later. We've ran the gamut from the super cheap ones you get at a beach store to our primo Tommy Bahama chairs, and I highly recommend the Tommy Bahama backpack cooler chairs - worth the splurge. We usually use the cooler part for garbage and having the ability to wear the chairs on our backs gives us that much more room in our beach cart for all of the other crap we need. 

You're obviously more than welcome to buy through my affiliate link, but we actually got ours at Costco for like $30 each. #justsaying. 

The benefit of the chair is two-fold. You can sit down while you and your toddler eat a snack and make funny faces. 

And it gives you a place to relax and enjoy a cocktail while your toddler takes a nap for an hour or so. 

Those peach-a-rita's are delicious. I had 4 (over the course of 5 or so hours so STOP JUDGING ME). Yes, I know they're terrible for me, but IDGAF. So yummy. 

Bring it all...

We always bring:

  • a ton of diapers and wipes
  • paper towels and a garbage bag
  • a change of clothes (or two)
  • a bajillion towels (one for everyone, plus a huge one we lay in front of the umbrellas for sun and a beach blanket for under the umbrellas)
  • TONS of water
  • a sippy cup
  • things to play with (sand pail, something with wheels, shovels, water toys, etc). We actually failed on this one this time and only brought a sand pail - Jules ended up playing with the contents of my bag for an hour. Take everything out, put it back in, and repeat 24 times. 
  • Bluetooth speakers - we love to have music playing while we're at the beach. This way we don't have to listen to the crap other people are listening to AND Jules loves to dance so it keeps her happy and occupied on and off throughout the day.
  • snacks (fruit especially watermelon, chips, etc.). On a side note, Jules isn't allowed to eat popcorn due to it being a pretty significant choking hazard, however we used to always bring SmartFood popcorn. Then we noticed it always became super stale right after opening at the beach. I don't know if it's the salty air or the wind or what, but I'm talking 30 minutes after opening. So I don't recommend popcorn for the beach. 
  • Lotion for afterwards so your skin doesn't feel like it's turning to stone - or is that just me?

Have your husband drive...

So you can all nap on the way home. 

The beach is exhausting and Jules and I both slept the entire way home (I think mine had more to do with 4 peach-a-ritas than anything). 

That about sums it up! How about you? Do you have any additional beach tips I may have missed? Have you tried the peach-a-rita? It's SO GOOD! How was your weekend? 

This post includes some affiliate links from Amazon. If you click through and purchase any of the items I recommend it does not change the price of the item at all, it just gives me a very small commision for making the recommendation. Thank you for your support!

Friday is my Favorite!

How about you?! I think I might like Friday even more than Saturday sometimes!

I actually took yesterday off due to needing some additional recovery time after going to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert with my husband Wednesday night. Sometimes we like to go out and fake like we're in our 20's, except we most definitely are NOT in our 20's and my body is very quick to let me know that now. 

Prior to heading out Wednesday night Jules and I took Jax for a longer walk around the neighborhood. She loves seeing the pond and water feature in our neighborhood and I knew I needed to make sure she was SUPER exhausted so she'd sleep well for the babysitter. 

Here's something fun you probably don't know about me...whenever I drink I like to climb things. Trees, flag poles, fences, the side of my parent's house (it's a log house and super fun/easy to climb...). You name it, I've probably tried to climb it. So when we were out walking around downtown Orlando late Wednesday night and I saw the PERFECT tree seat up in a tree, you know I had to climb it!

The quality of the picture isn't the best, but you get the idea. I like that I am still wearing my purse even though I'm in a tree. 

Then we had to find one of the Lake Eola swans, which wasn't too hard since they are effing HUGE! 

This picture does not do the size of this swan justice - it's probably bigger than me and I'm not even exaggerating. And I'm sure you all know how mean swans can be - this is not a swan I'd want to run into in a dark alley #gangsterswan

As I mentioned, we went out on Wednesday to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, and it was really good - I highly recommend you see them if you get the chance! I also recommend you see them if you would like to be surrounded by all the pot smoke in the entire world. People weren't smoking pot like that at the Adele and Sia concerts we went to last fall, I'm just saying. I don't partake myself, however there's no judgement from me. I'm just all about the beer. 

We ended up running into a coworker of mine and hung out with him and his wife for a bit, which was a lot of fun. Even though they're long-time Orlando residents, neither of them had ever been to Frosty's Christmastime Lounge, which is one of my favorite bars in Orlando. Where else can you get snowed on and watch Christmas movies year-round?

Needless to say, yesterday was a total rest day for me - no work and no workout. So I was ready to go when I got up this morning. 

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Orrrrrrr not so much. I didn't use a filter on that picture to really drive home how tired I was this morning. But I got up and I did my workout - no gains in weight or reps this week, but I think I'm still tired from faking like I was 25 on Wednesday night (will I ever learn? NOPE!).

Mid-workout FORCED smile picture.

I look kind of psychotic. 

And a super forced after workout smile to really stress how tired I was. But I still did my workout and for that, I'm proud of myself!

Moving on to something I think is a lot of fun...DATE NIGHT! I thought it would be cool to put together a list of my favorite date night ideas, since I don't know about you, but I get sick of dinner and a movie dates. I will list them in sequence of price, from free to Adele concert. 

Not Dinner and a Movie Date Night Ideas:

Go for a run!

I know, I know...that's not for everyone, but if you don't like to run you could also go for a walk or something. Either way, you get out of the house and get some endorphins and spend time with your love. And it's FREE!

Go hiking and bring a picnic lunch

Obviously this would be more of a day/afternoon date, since you probably don't want to go hiking in the dark. And I know some people might go all out with a picnic and try to be all fancy with cheese and wine and crap, but in our house we would just pick up some Subs from Subway or Publix and some water. #wefancyhuh

Parking is free at the parks here in Orlando, so this would be a $10-15 max cost and hiking is always a good time as far as we're concerned. 

Hit up a brewery

Jason and I love beer and tasting new beers, so this is one of our favorite ways to burn an hour or two. Find a local brewery and get a flight or two of different beers. We tend to always try different beers than each other so we can try double the beers. Most breweries have board games or corn hole (bags if you're not from the Midwest), so we usually end up playing a game or two and have a great time for less than $30.

If you don't have any breweries near your house just pick up a few new microbrews from your friendly, neighborhood liquor store and do a tasting at your house! We do this a lot too. Just don't think about the calories you're consuming since those craft beers are usually 300-500 calories per 12 oz. It's okay to treat yo'self sometimes! Calories don't count on date night ;-)

Laser tag

Find a laser tag or paintball place and go crazy. Jason and I actually usually end up on the same team and try to dominate the game - and we usually do dominate since he's a cop and I have an expert marksman ribbon from the Air Force. We will definitely survive the zombie apocalypse. I'd guess this date will set you back $40, maybe less if you can find a Groupon. 

Take a painting class (with wine!)

We have a ton of places around here that do these classes and while we haven't done it yet, Jason and I have both discussed wanting to try it out. Some of the places do a specific "date night" painting that's 2 different paintings that go together, which is obviously more fun that painting 2 of the exact same painting. These classes cost approximately $30/person, so it's a $60 date. Getting a bit more expensive, but still not too crazy. 

Couples massage off of Groupon

This will set you back $90 for the Groupon and an additional $30-40 for a tip (always tip the actual value, not what you paid), but man is it worth it. Jason and I did this around Valentine's Day/his birthday and it was so nice. We didn't even hold hands or talk or do any of that mushy crap - we just got side-by-side massages and had some wine afterwards, but it was still really nice and we both felt great afterwards. 

Go to a concert!

This is probably our favorite non-conventional date night - in the past 6 months we've seen Sia, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Adele. Those are listed in the order of expense - for Sia we were in the nose bleeds and it was in Orlando so it was probably around $150 total (not including drinks/parking). The Red Hot Chili Peppers was a bucket-list concert for Jason so I got some pretty good seats using American Expense pre-sale prices. However it was still pretty effing expensive and that doesn't include food/drinks/parking/shenanigans. And then Adele...we had nose bleed seats that cost a bajillion dollars and had to drive and stay in Miami for the night - so it was expensive but SO worth it. Jason and I always end up having a blast whenever we go to a concert and all three of those shows were amazing (Adele was the best and I don't even like her that much). 

Here we are at Frosty's after the Peppers concert - see how happy we are? DATE NIGHT!! 

So now I turn it to you - do you have any unconventional date night ideas? From free to Adele concert, I'm open for ideas!

What do you have planned for this weekend? We are going to the beach tomorrow morning and then it's pretty open after that. I have the feeling I'm probably going to end up getting a poke bowl because I'm an addict. STOP JUDGING ME!!

Have a fantastic weekend, friends!

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!

How I Deal with My Anxiety

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a great weekend! 

We had a super busy weekend, beaching and beering it up in the Fort Lauderdale area. Don't tell my husband that I agree with him since I always push back whenever he says it, but I really enjoy southern Florida. Jason always talks about wanting to move there and I argue that it's too expensive and hot, but I really do enjoy it there. We just both need to make a ton more money and then I'd be okay with it. Time to play the lottery.

Before I jump into my anxiety stuff, here is some weekend stuff.

Jason has family in town at their Florida condo in Sunrise, FL, which is 10 minutes west of Fort Lauderdale, so we made the trip down to see them Friday afternoon. We didn't end up leaving until 2 or so and hit some nasty traffic on the way down, so we stopped for dinner around 6:30 to try to avoid some of the rush hour traffic. The place we stopped was an Italian joint and it was pretty good, however the average patron age was approximately 70 and that's not a joke. Since we had Jax with us we ate outside and had a grandparent of some sort stop by our table every 2 minutes or so to talk about our dog and our kids. It was actually quite amusing and made me miss my grandparents a lot - my grandparents are awesome and I wish we didn't live so far away!

I managed to get a cute kid picture but failed on the group shot... #reallife

At least Justin looks good! We still had about an hour to drive after leaving the restaurant, which is no fun, and we didn't make it to his uncle's condo until 8 or so. Jules was all amped up and ended up staying awake until 9:30 or so, which is insane because it's a solid 2 hours after her bed time. But then she ended up sleeping through the night, so I'll take it! We all actually ended up sleeping until 9:30 Saturday morning, which is super late for us. We'd planned on going to the beach early in the morning, but by the time we had breakfast and got everything together, it was closer to 1 before we got down there. Oops!

As usual, the beach was absolutely beautiful. The water was warm-ish and clear and we all had a great time. I was a bit worried, however Jules absolutely loved being in the water. We bought her this float off of Amazon last year and she didn't really enjoy it last summer but absolutely loved it this beach trip. After we eased into the water (it was a little cold for us Floridians), Jason and I set her into the seat and after a few minutes of clinging to my fingers she started kicking and squealing with joy whenever a wave would rock her around. 

We obviously kept a really tight hold onto the float the entire time as this float doesn't really provide any life preserving elements - Jules was actually pulling herself halfway out of it by the time we were all ready to get out of the water. She's an insane daredevil baby. 

Then Jules and I played in the sand for awhile - throw sand into bucket, flip over to make castle, destroy castle, and repeat. I somehow managed to forget to put any sunblock on myself, but made sure everyone else was taken care of, so I guess that was a mom-win, me-fail?

By 3 or so we were all starving and since we were in the area, we had to stop off at Funky Buddha, which is our favorite brewery of all time. This was our first time going to the actual brewery - we usually just pick up their beers at the store - and we were not disappointed. Jason and I tried a few beers and we all got some food and just hung out for awhile, which is always a great time. 

I of course got a flight (always get the flight) and I really enjoyed all of the beers I tried. Jason tried a variation on Last Snow called Last Buffalo (or something like that) which is aged in liquor barrels, meaning it was strong AF. 

Still good. Still my favorite brewery.

The picture below is the best picture out of 5 pictures that I took of all of us in front of Funky Buddha... I'm going to start making everyone wear hats and sunglasses so we can get more consistent pictures together. That's essentially my secret to looking good in pictures. Wear a hat and sunglasses and smile #photogenic 

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We ended up sleeping pretty well on Saturday night too and got some donuts to share with Jason's aunt and uncle before leaving to make the drive home. Jules was awesome in the car (Justin's always awesome) and slept half of the way before we stopped to get some Subway, and then she just hung out the rest of the time. I can admit I'm pretty lucky that my kids are both awesome travelers!

I meal planned in the car while Jason drove the first part of the trip and no, I haven't forgotten about doing an entire post on that sometime soon, I promise!

I would like to talk about anxiety. 

Before I start, I do want to remind you all that I am not a medical professional or trained counselor or anything like that. I'm just someone who has been dealing with anxiety for a very long time and has some tricks that have worked for me that I'd like to share. 

I have had anxiety for almost 20 years now and for whatever reason, people are usually surprised to find I suffer from it. I've been told "you seem so confident and put together" and they just can't believe that I deal with anxiety, so I feel it is important to share my experience.

There are tons of different types of anxiety and lots of different people can be affected by it, but what I suffer from are panic/anxiety attacks. I still remember the first time I had an anxiety attack - I was 15 years old and laying on my bedroom floor watching Les Miserables on tv when my heart started pounding out of my chest at a rapid pace and I literally thought I was going to die. I ran downstairs to my mom in a total panic and she ended up rushing me to the hospital. I underwent a myriad of testing - cardiovascular tests, MRI and CT scans, blood tests, etc. In the end, the dr said I had anxiety and gave me Paxil, which I took for a couple of days, hated, and stopped. At that point, just putting a name to what I was experiencing was enough for me to feel better, and I don't believe I had another serious episode until I hit my 30's. Then for whatever reason, my anxiety came back with a vengeance and has stuck around pretty consistently since then. Here are the symptoms I experience, along with some of the things that will set me off:

Symptoms

  • Erratic or exaggerated heartbeats (heart palpitations, random large beats, etc); if this is happening to me you will often see me taking my heart rate to confirm it's fine - my resting heart rate is actually usually in the 50's because I'm in good shape, even while having an attack - but I always have to track my heart rate to make sure my heart is still working whenever I have an attack. 
  • Tunnel vision
  • I'm convinced I can't swallow which leads to me actually struggling to swallow
  • Vertigo
  • Light-headed
  • Breathing heavily

Triggers

  • Being over-tired
  • Driving long-distance
  • Driving through mountains
  • Driving over a bridge or even a tall overpass
  • Feeling constrained, like in certain roller coasters
  • Heights 
  • Elevators

As you can see, driving is a huge trigger for me, but I also have attacks at work on a regular basis. While I do have the attacks often while driving, I am fine while riding in the car. I find that I do better in the morning and as the day goes on, I start to have more issues. I don't have anxiety attacks every day, but I would say I have a few of them on a weekly basis, whether it's just the beginning of one that never actually comes to fruition, or sometimes giant, full-on panic where I have to excuse myself from what I'm doing or pull over if I'm driving. I also find that the frequency and severity can vary based on where I am at in my cycle - it gets really bad right before, during, and after my period.  

My anxiety never comes for any reason that I can quantify. For example, if I'm in an emergency situation I am always absolutely fine - in fact, I've often been complimented on how well I maintain my composure during an emergency. However I can be sitting at work having a normal conversation with a co-worker and go into a full-scale attack for seemingly no reason. 

Anxiety has no rhyme and reason and often makes no sense. 

There is one place where I never seem to have any panic/anxiety attacks and that's home. So there are times when I am really suffering when I will look forward to getting home for an entire day since I know I will feel better immediately.

If you're suffering from anxiety, the first thing I want to tell you is that you're not alone. I can almost guarantee that if you ask around you will probably have a number of friends/acquaintances who suffer as well.

I would also encourage you to see your doctor first to rule out any medical issues, as there are a number of medical conditions that can cause anxiety attacks. There were a few months in 2013 where I was having constant anxiety attacks on my way home from work, where I just happened to be eating almonds for a snack each time. Turns out, I'm allergic to almonds and was experiencing anaphylaxis - yeah, really. So go to the doctor. They'll run a bunch of tests and rule out anything medical and you can also look into medication at that time if you would like, since I know a lot of people have success with medicine. Although I do have a prescription for Xanax, I use it very sparingly - I will take 1/2 a pill an average of every 2 weeks whenever I can't sleep due to my anxiety, but that's it. I've had my prescription for over 3 months and still have over half of my 30 pills left. 

Other than the minimal medication I take when I need it to sleep, here are the other things I have done to help minimize my anxiety:

Reduce your caffeine intake

If I drink more than a cup of coffee (or the caffeine equivalent), I will have terrible anxiety and panic attacks all day long. If you are suffering from anxiety I highly recommend you cut out caffeine and see if it helps improve your symptoms. I do actually plan to quit caffeine completely one day in the hopes it will help my anxiety issues even more, however I have cut down my intake dramatically and it's made a definite difference so I'm okay right now keeping my one cup of coffee in the morning. 

Exercise

I think the benefits are two-fold for me with exercise - it's time I take for myself on a daily basis and it gets those good endorphins pumping. A word of caution though; whenever I do a seriously intense program like Insanity, my anxiety actually gets worse for a week before it settles back down. So I would recommend skipping the super intense stuff if you're really suffering.

Limit your alcohol intake

I try not to drink any alcohol during the week and really try not to drink excessively at all anymore (except for the occasional out-of-control date night with my husband or crazy girl's night out). This is just my experience, but I have found the more I drink the worse my anxiety is, even if I just have a glass of wine with my dinner. 

Meditation

I will be honest and let you know that I have not been meditating very often lately (or at all), BUT I have had a lot of success in the past with meditation helping my anxiety and I find that the more I do it, the more it helps. There are two apps that I've used on my phone, and when I practice I'll take 5-15 minutes after my workout in the morning to sit quietly and listen to a guided meditation. The apps I have used are Headspace and Insight Timer - the second one is actually my favorite, but I know a lot of people really like Headspace when they're starting out. 

Diffusing oils

First and foremost, I'm not trying to sell you anything so don't skip through this part thinking that's what I'm doing. I had read that oil diffusing helps a lot with anxiety and after having several really bad weeks in January/February, I bought some oils and a diffuser from Amazon. First off, my diffuser is pretty and the lights are very soothing. Secondly, I love the way the oil blends I use smell and I have found that I can minimize or eliminate an attack if I feel one coming on by breathing in the anxiety blend deeply. 

Whenever I'm at work my diffuser is on and pumping. It might be a placebo effect, but my anxiety has lessened a bit since I've started using it. In fact, I like it so much I even bought one for home and use a blend that's supposed to aid with sleep and guess what...it does seem to be helping me sleep better! Here are the items I personally use for anxiety; most often at work, but if I know I'll be driving long distance I will take my oil and breath it in deeply if I'm feeling an attack festering. 

Finally, I also take some supplements for my anxiety

If you are considering supplements please discuss with your doctor first as some supplements can interact with medications - plus, you should really talk to your doctor about anything health related! Here are the supplements I use, which can also be found under my favorites page. 

This magnesium drink is the number 1 thing I recommend. Not only do I feel a difference in my level of anxiety on the days I take it, it also has the added benefit of helping you stay regular! As such, if you do decide to get this as a supplement, start of with a 1/2 teaspoon and work your way up to a full dose.

Trust me here.

I dissolve a teaspoon or so into 2 ounces of hot water before leaving for work in the morning, let it sit for a minute or two, and then swish the water around to make sure all of the powder dissolves. I also add my next supplement to the hot water, which is Inositol. 

Inositol is supposed to help with anxiety and is also supposed to help alleviate PCOS symptoms. I discussed this in another blog, but I was diagnosed with PCOS and suffer from many of the symptoms of this disorder, including anxiety. I haven't been having as many of the PCOS symptoms since having Jules, but I would prefer they don't come back and as such, continue to take this supplement in the hopes it will stay away (PCOS really sucks - look it up). 

That's all I have in regards to my anxiety and what I do to try to alleviate it - do you have any issues with anxiety and panic attacks? If so, what have you tried to fix it and/or do you have any tips for me? I am always open to more ideas since it's still something I struggle with almost daily. 

Thanks for stopping by!

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.  

Food & Fitness Friday

YAYYYYYYYYYYYYY we made it!! I don't know about you, but I'm so happy it's Friday. It's been a really busy and really crazy week and I'm ready for some relaxation. We're actually driving down to Fort Lauderdale and spending the weekend with some of Jason's family, so I see some beach days and some delicious Puerto Rican food in my future - YES!

Before we start, please don't forget to subscribe if you'd like to be notified whenever I post something new.

I also highly recommend you follow me on Snapchat - the only reason you shouldn't follow me is if you are easily offended and/or don't like funny shenanigans. 

No one can blue steel as hard as me. No one. Actually it almost looks like I'm blue steeling and smizing here. America's Next Top Model. 

Speaking of modeling and kind of piggy-backing off of what I talked about yesterday, one thing that has helped me with my body image recently is knowing that people who look perfect probably don't look like that all the time. Let me expand on this - the media sets all of us up for failure. There are very few people in the world who look like the people you see in movies/tv/magazines/Instagram. In fact, most of those people don't even look like that in real life. It's all about angles and editing, my friends. 

Before I show you what I'm talking about, I want to clarify that I don't always sit around slamming my body or thinking bad thoughts about myself. I was a bit worried my post yesterday might make it seem that way. I do have those thoughts sometimes, but more often than not, I'm proud of my body and what it can do - mommy apron and all. 

Work those angles...

These pictures were taken seconds apart and the first thing these pictures show me is that I really need to clean the mirrors in the bathroom - gross. I am actually quite happy with the picture on the left - my stomach is pretty flat and my butt is pretty high and lifted. The picture on the right looks AWESOME but it makes me laugh because that is so not how I look in real life. When you do that twist, lift up a butt cheek and suck it in like your life depends on it, anyone can be an Instagram model! 

The whole point of these pictures is to show you how deceiving a picture can be and not to let the pictures you see all over of these super fit, perfect-bodied people get you down. They probably don't look like that in real life all the time. And even if they do, it's their job to look that way. Also, high-waisted shorts/leggings are life if you want to look thinner AND they hold everything in. 

Now onto some quick happenings this week before I do a review of my food and fitness this week. 

First, I'd like to formally thank Moana for allowing me to eat dinner last night. I always start feeding Jules while I'm getting dinner finished up and recently she never sits still or let's me eat without throwing a huge tantrum. You know, since she's in her terrible two's at 14 months. Last night I was able to put her down in front of the tv and eat all of my dinner! Thanks, Moana!

 

 

Jules has also gotten really into "helping" with everything and helped me make fish tacos the other night. When she's not being insane she is super cute and sweet. <3

I want to show you guys my new contouring trick I learned last night for my eye makeup!

All you need to do is fall asleep while reading and drop your iPad on your face. Hurts like hell and it may not look like much now, but a shiner is forming! Yes, I do constantly have crazy shit happen to me. No, I don't know why. But I always have good stories to tell!

Onto food & fitness

This was a pretty good week! Not perfect, by any means, but I ate pretty well overall. 

As I mentioned in a prior blog, I am back onto the 5:2 train, which is a eating style that involves fasting 2 days a week and then eating normally the other 5. I do eat on my fasting days and actually eat more than the plan recommends, since I'm so active. My fast days this week were Tuesday and Thursday - I ended up stress eating a bunch of cereal and chocolate Tuesday night after taking Scooby to the vet, but yesterday went pretty well and I managed to drop 2.5 pounds of water weight from last week's craziness, so woohoo for me! Here are my dinners for the week:

  • Sunday - Wings and pasta salad
  • Monday - Steak, mashed potatoes, and asparagus and mushrooms
  • Tuesday - Chicken drumstick (or 2), rice, broccoli
  • Wednesday - Fish tacos
  • Thursday - Chicken sausage (chipotle from Aldi's), rice, asparagus, and sauerkraut

Breakfasts varied from a 2-egg sandwich on normal days (with a slice of bacon, gouda, and little butter on an English muffin - the triple health kind) and fasting on my fast days. I typically break my fast on fasting days between 11 and 1 with a soft boiled egg or 2. 

Lunches were either pulled BBQ chicken or pork from Trader Joe's with rice and broccoli or a chicken sausage with broccoli on my fast days. I may go get a poke bowl for lunch today because I'm an addict #dontjudgeme

Look at the two food pictures I took this week. I'm the worst, but I promise I'll get better about taking pictures. On the left you have my pre-workout snack before leg day and on the right you have a typical fast lunch. Still plenty of food!

Workouts this week were pretty awesome - again, not perfect, but I'm proud of myself:

  • Sunday - REST
  • Monday - P90X Chest & Back
  • Tuesday - Run 3 miles and Ab Ripper X (which destroys me - abs are my weak spot)
  • Wednesday - P90X Shoulders & Arms
  • Thursday - The schedule was to run 4, but I didn't want to. So instead I ran 2 miles of sprints, jogging the short (top and bottom) and sprinting the long (left and right) in my neighborhood. See the picture? Our neighborhood is essentially a 1/4 mile track. I also did a 5 minute plank workout
  • Friday - P90X Legs & Back
  • I plan on running tomorrow morning, but kind of doubt it will happen. If it doesn't, I'll try to do it when we get home from SoFlo

I love my before and after workout pictures. Too bad I'm not as good at taking food pictures as I am workout selfies! Maybe one day.

So that about does it for me today! What about you guys? Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend? Did you meet your goals for eating/workout out? 

Have an aweseome weekend!

Being a Law Enforcement Wife

Happy Monday, friends! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. I don't know about you, but my weekend seemed short as a mother! Short like this mother, anyway - I'm 5'4", which I guess isn't really that short, but it sure seems that way when Jason or Justin put something on the top shelf in our kitchen and I have to climb onto the counter to get it!

Before I jump into the topic at hand, I thought it would be fun to do a quick weekend check-in. Jason was working this weekend, which means we ended up having a pretty low-key weekend, which was nice after having a pretty crazy past 3-4 weeks. 

First things first, I was not a hypocritical bastard on Friday!! I actually ended up doing my workout Friday around 7:30 after putting Jules to bed.

*virtual high-five with myself!*

That filtered-to-all-hell-post-workout-glow though #sohot

I'd also like to share my pre-workout snack from Friday with you guys, since I'm sure you've noticed that I'm a pretty big health freak...

Yes, that is Cap'n Crunch with Crunch Berries cereal. This crap is filled with all of the artificial coloring and flavoring, and I'm pretty sure there are even trace amounts of trans fat in there. Still, I love having a small bowl of cereal before a workout and Friday's workout was a leg workout so I knew the sugar would help me have an awesome workout.

PSA:

It gave me heartburn, so I don't recommend Cap'n Crunch pre-workout.

 

Saturday morning Jules and I woke up bright and early for a run, but had to take the dog for a walk first. Our dog is a 7 pound Shihtzu/Maltese (Shitese? Maltshit? Not sure what the designer dog name for him is...). Jules loves walking Jax and while he's not a huge fan, he tolerates it. 

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Jax is the perfect sized dog for her and he never pulls her or knocks her over. He's a really good boy when he's not being a jerk. 

Now if only Jules would help me pick up his crap too. 

After walking Jax we went on a 3.5 mile run and then kept it pretty easy the rest of the day before going to Jason's aunt and uncle's house for dinner (I forgot to take pictures of the food, but trust me when I say it was delicious) #worstbloggerever

We had nothing planned on Sunday (WOOHOO!) so Justin, Jules and I got up early to go to the grocery store, making a quick stop at the park for some swinging beforehand. Speaking of grocery stores, does anyone else go through phases with the stores they go to? Right now I'm on a pretty serious Trader Joe's kick, which is fine because I love Trader Joe's and they have awesome food. A few weeks ago I was hitting up Aldi's on the regular and before that it was Lucky's. I always go to Walmart for the bulk of our shopping, but hit up these other stores for meat and the random cool crap they have because I have a snack addiction and need all the chips. 

This brings me to the subject at hand, which is being married to the law. 

First off, if you had told me 20 years ago that I would be married to a cop, I would laugh in your face and walk off shaking my head. Shoot, if you'd told me 5 years ago that I'd be married to a cop I would have laughed at you. I'm a bit of a rule breaker and cops terrify me. 

But then you fall in love with someone and get married and that person just happens to want to be in law enforcement and now look at me, I'm the wife of a law enforcement officer.

He looks smoking hot in uniform, btw.  

We are only in our first year of this career change, but I can tell you that it's been a huge learning curve for all of us as a family. Working full-time with a teenager and a baby certainly don't help (although I'm sure it's just as crazy for SAHM's, just a different crazy). That being said, here are the tips that are keeping us afloat-ish. 

Be flexible. 

One of the things I learned almost immediately is that you have to be flexible. Jason works the night shift and his schedule is different every week. He's supposed to get off of work around 6, but sometimes doesn't get off until 8 or later, depending on what happened while he was on shift. When he does come home on time, he can help me get the baby ready for daycare and get out the door to go to my job but I can't rely on that happening since we never know what his shift will bring. 

Additionally, Jason has worked almost every holiday in the past year except for Christmas. We celebrated Thanksgiving the Saturday after the actual holiday and I got crunk while playing Guitar Hero with my kids for New Years Eve. Jason worked both Justin's and my birthday, but we made a point to celebrate both on a different day. You can't get stuck on the date itself - you have to be flexible and celebrate the day, not the date.

Have a schedule. 

I really enjoy being spontaneous sometimes, but with Jason's schedule we really can't do that anymore. Almost everything is scheduled based on whether he's working or not. Our weekend plans and vacations have to be more thought out than they've ever been, and our daily routine has to be scheduled almost to the hour in order for things to work. We even have a shared family calendar on Google that we are all able to access and change, so we can keep track of shifts, extra duty, appointments, dates, etc.  

To make things a bit easier I always go to the grocery store one morning of the weekend to get everything we need so I don't have to make any stops during the work week, and I plan all of our meals for the week prior to going so we get exactly what we need. I know that I have to be awake and out of bed by 5:20am (preferably by 5, but I'm a snoozer) in order to get my workout in before work. I know that I won't be able to do my workout after work, so getting it done in the morning is key.

That being said:

Make time for yourself

Jason works long hours and sometimes picks up part time work on his days off, meaning he's not home anywhere near as much as he used to be. This means a lot of the daily activities to keep the house up and running fall on my shoulders, which can be a huge responsibility sometimes. In order to keep my sanity I have to take time for myself. This includes my workouts in the morning, but I also try to take time a few nights a week to sit down and veg out on the couch for at least an hour after putting the baby down for the night. I also make it a point to take time to paint my nails once a week, since this makes me feel like a lady... 

Let it go (you're singing it now, aren't you?)

This applies to so many facets of our life. Jason and I both like certain things in the house to be clean, but different things (he hates clutter and I leave clutter all over my side of the bed/night stand, but I hate clutter on the kitchen counter and loathe dirty floors and toilets). We have both learned to just let things go when it comes to the house being spotless all the time. We clean when we can and when we can't, we can't. 

This also applies to fighting. Jason and I get along 95% of the time, but just like anyone else we do fight sometimes. However I never know for sure that he will come back from his shift when he leaves for work - that's the reality of the gig. So when he leaves we always make it a point to kiss and say I love you and in doing this, we tend to get over whatever we were upset about sooner. 

Make time for each other (we're still working on this)

One of my goals for 2017 was for Jason and I to have a date night once a month. I know we never made it out in January, but we went out a couple of times in February so I think we're on track to average a date a month so far this year. We've both acknowledged that this is something we need to make a bigger priority though. When we don't make time for each other, we start to nitpick and argue with each other more and that leads to insecurities and issues that probably don't even really exist. With all of life happening it can be really hard to find time, but once the kids are out of the house and we've retired we will need to be best friends and it's imperative we still like each other in order to do that!

Enjoy the time you do have together (put the phone down)

This is something I've gotten really crazy about myself and after nagging Jason enough, he's started to see the importance as well. I make it a point to put my phone down and away when we're spending time together, both as a couple and as a family. I may even have my phone more than he does now since I'm always trying to remember to take blog pictures (and failing 50% of the time, SORRY!). That being said, I try to snap a few pictures and then I put my phone away, since I want to remember the experience of what we're doing, not the pictures of the experience. I even force my teenage son to give me his phone when we are all hanging out so he gets in the habit of being present. 

If you need it, get help.

They say the divorce rate among law enforcement officers is higher than the average population, and I can definitely see how it's more difficult being married to the law than a regular citizen. However Jason and I both agree that we're in this for life and will fight for our marriage as hard as we need to, including going to counseling when/if we feel it's needed. Don't be ashamed to get help!

(don't judge my amazing outfit in these pics - aka, don't be jealous of how awesome it is)

Be each others #1 supporter

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I think this is important in all marriages, but especially important in ours. Jason knows that I support him in his career and that I want him to be happy and successful. Even more, he knows I believe in him 100% - he can truly be/do whatever he wants and I am proud of him for doing such a difficult job. And I know that he appreciates all of my contributions as a wife/mom/boss lady and he makes it a point to tell me he appreciates me/what I do on a regular basis. 

I remember when Jason first told me he wanted to go into law enforcement on a city/county level and I went online to look for some resources and experiences and all I could find were people griping and divorce statistics - SCARY! I hope this post is able to help someone out who's finds themself in the same boat as I did. I'll probably update this as I learn more and we get better

That wraps things up for me today. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

 

 

Fri-yay - Flashbacks, Fitness, and Food

Happy Friday, friends!

As I'm sure you'll all agree, TGIF! Please hit subscribe below if you'd like to be notified any time I post anything new!

A lot of my posts in the past week or so have required me to dig through social media and find some old photos, which has led to a lot of reminiscing on my part. So I thought I'd do some quick Flashback Friday stuff which will consist of some really old flashbacks along with some more recent stuff and then end with my fitness and food thoughts for the week. 

Look at these young kids! I was only 30 (he was too)! This was taken in NYC a little over 4 years ago, when we went to see Mamma Mia for my wifey's birthday and brought our men with us to torture them with ABBA songs - it was a test of their love. Jason and I had only been dating for about 3 months and I was getting ready to leave to move to Florida soon after and our future was kind of in the air at that point. How cuuuuute. Oh how life has changed in the past 4 years! (for the better, obviously)

My skirt on Monday. Rocking the raw hem look - it's a new trend, look it up. Orrrrrr I was running late and grabbed it because it was on the floor and forgot that I'd noticed the entire hem had fallen the week prior and threw it on the floor so I wouldn't try to wear it before getting it fixed. But I wore it anyway and faked like it was a trend and pointed it out to everyone just in case they thought I didn't know it had happened. No one cared but me, but that's usually how it goes, right? #myownworstcritic

So there was this one time in 2010 during my last semester of college where I had just donated my eggs and was having a bit of an existential crisis (not because of the egg donation itself, but probably related to the hormones they pump you up with). So I decided Justin and I needed a break, booked us a flight to Orlando that left several hours from when I booked it, and we went to Disney World. For a day. Just one long and craaaaaazy day in Disney. Justin being the awesome kid he is just went with the flow and we actually had a really great time. I remember being shocked by how expensive Disney tickets were that day and they are probably $20-30 more a day now. 

Regarding the egg donation(s), I will post an entire blog about that soon, since I'm sure it's something people might be interested in finding out more about. I am a 6-time egg donor!

Moving on to banana face...

Ridiculous.

Now for some Flashback Friday Shenanigans, featuring Justin and me!

Some quick thoughts on the above shenanigans

  1. There is booze in a lot of my pictures *shrugs*
  2. Can my arms please look like the picture from Lollapalooza again? Sure, I was like 25...but come on. 
  3. Rock and roll!!
  4. How straight can my haircut possibly be? Also, go Cubs!
  5. Yes, Justin wore just his underwear for the majority of his life from 4-10.
  6. Awwwwwwwwwwww <3
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How about that time I ran a 5K when I was 24-ish and got 2nd place in my age group compared to running a 5K when I was 34 and getting 1st in my age group while stomping my 24-ish aged time in the face? So suck it, age!! Like a fine wine, I keep getting better...ish.

This is the evolution of emotions I experienced yesterday morning before/during/after my workout. I was sad because I was tired and didn't wanna do it. Then I was mad because I actually got my non-running-butt outside and was ready to run 4 miles for the first time in months when it started to freaking thunderstorm 10 minutes into my run (homie don't do lightening, kay?). However I decided not to let it ruin my workout and finished my workout with 25 minutes of HIIT and a 5 minute core workout, which made me happy. #endorphins

Enough with the flashbacks. I don't even know if anyone really cares about them other than me, but unless someone says something, Imma keep 'em coming!

Fitness & Food

Workouts this week:

Sunday - rest day

Monday - P90X Chest & Back

Tuesday - 3 mile run, 5 minute core workout

Wednesday - P90X Arms & Shoulders

Thursday - 10 min run, 25 min HIIT, 5 min core

Friday - SLEPT THROUGH MY ALARM >:-/ I'm either going to do my workout tonight (fat chance OR I'll have to make it up on Saturday)

Saturday - P90X Legs & back, 3 mi run, 5 min core

Food this week (just dinners, since breakfast and lunches were all over the place)

Sunday - Corned beef & cabbage

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Monday - Mexican after Disney

Tuesday - Steak, macaroni salad, & asparagus that my dad and Tracy made #yummy

Wednesday - Burger & tator tots from Oblivion Taproom (best tator tots on Earth)

Thursday - Fish tacos that were so good and pretty effing healthy, so 1 out of 7 ain't bad, right?

Friday - Pizza night

Saturday - We want to get wings, but looking at my eating all week has me second-guessing that idea...

Wow, I've eaten like crap this week!! This was one of those weeks where pretty much nothing went right food-wise. My dad was in town Saturday - Wednesday morning and we went to Disney World on Monday, so I knew that time frame was going to be a loss. And I had a going-away party Wednesday night, so I knew that day wasn't going to be perfect. But I ate really well yesterday and will be careful not to go crazy this weekend. And guess what, I still managed not to gain anything since I ate well the times I wasn't eating like crap (don't think about it too hard...it makes sense). Having a lot of fun with food the past 3 weeks or so due to having people in town nonstop has been great, but I'll be happy to get back into 5:2 next week and start really working to get this last 8 pounds of baby weight off. And if you've been reading regularly you may have noticed the "x" pounds of baby weight changes on the regular. I've been hopping between 5-10 pounds that I still need to lose - right now I'm at 8. Not sure why I felt the need to explain that, but I did and you read it. So there. 

That about does it for today, folks. I hope you all have something super fun planned. Or not, if you want to be lazy like I plan on doing. We have had visitors for the last 3 weeks, so I'm looking forward to lazing around, getting some cleaning done, and catching up on my stories. 

Have a great weekend!

Never Skip a Monday

How is it Monday already?

Did anyone else seriously struggle to wake up today? And also struggle to fall asleep last night, meaning today is going to be a struggle squared.

Especially the day after daylight savings...why is this even a thing anymore?&nbsp;

Especially the day after daylight savings...why is this even a thing anymore? 

Before I jump into the real subject of the day, first I thought it would be fun to share some weekend happenings. Jason was working this weekend so that means I was on my own with the kids. We spent a lot of the weekend running around and doing errands, grocery shopping, and threw in a hiking trip for good measure.

On Saturday we stopped by a puppy store and looked at two different puppies, a husky and a goldendoodle. Both were adorable and we loved them, but they're not "our" dog. And yes, I am actively looking for my new dog - I think I'm finally ready and I miss having one (Jax is awesome, but he is definitely Jason's dog). Can you see the husky's eyes though? They are so blue and he was so playful and fun, but after living in Alaska and hearing the constant howling of the husky's at the dog sled houses, I have always said I don't want anything to do with a husky. Plus, we live in Florida. It's hot here and they like the snow - it almost seems cruel to have a husky here, but they're actually a really popular breed in Florida right now.

On Sunday, Justin, Jax, Jules and I decided to go on a hiking adventure before hitting up Subway for lunch and going to the grocery store. We went to this place outside Sanford/Lake Mary called Black Bear Wilderness Area Trail. It's a 7.1 mile loop, but we only did about 1.5 mile out-and-back, since it was hot and we didn't really plan for a 3 hour hike. Jason went here once with one of his friends and they saw alligators and all sorts of stuff - we only saw birds. But I'd rather see only birds than come across a bear or an alligator up close. 

Moving on to today's topic, which is never missing a Monday.

This is something I try to abide by every single week unless I have the plague, which was where I was at last week. I've found that as long as I get my lazy butt out of bed and get my workout in Monday morning, it starts my week off on the right foot and I have a more productive week overall. On those occasions that I miss my Monday workout for whatever reason, I tend to be less active overall. Case-in-point, my workouts last week were less than stellar:

  • Monday - no workout, I had the plague
  • Tuesday - no workout, plague-recovery
  • Wednesday - strength training & pilates
  • Thursday - kickboxing
  • Friday - strength training
  • Saturday - nothing and no excuses for it; I was lazy
  • Sunday - strength training & 50 minutes of hiking

That's actually about half of what I would normally do activity-wise. A lot less cardio than usual and while I obviously needed to take Monday and Tuesday off, I could have been more active the rest of the week. But I skipped Monday and it threw everything off (that being said, my body probably needed me to be less active than usual, so I don't mind.) Respect your body, people!

So this week I'm going to hit-it hard, especially since it's my last week of doing Chalean Extreme before starting a new P90X/Running hybrid I made up and will post below. First, my schedule this week:

  • Monday - Run 3 miles (done)
  • Tuesday - Chalean Extreme Lean Circuit 1 & pilates
  • Wednesday - Run 4 miles, short yoga
  • Thursday - Chalean Extreme Lean Circuit 2 & pilates
  • Friday - Run 3-5 miles, do some sprints in there somewhere
  • Saturday - Chalean Extreme Lean Circuit 3 & HIIT
  • Sunday - Rest Day and I'm going to need it because starting on Monday.......
MadreDiem P90X & Running Hybrid
See the definition in my tricep? Love it!

See the definition in my tricep? Love it!

This is going to be a really intense schedule, but I think I'm ready for it. My body has changed a lot since I started Chalean Extreme, and it's all for the better! I've pr'ed in the 5K distance (and won 1st in my age group, NBD), and I've lost 7 pounds, some inches, and gained some serious muscle definition. I will do a final weigh-in and results post later on once I'm completely done and have been able to get everything noted down.

But now I'm ready to get really fit and badass again. I want to be able to do pull-ups again, and P90X is heavy on the pull-ups.

I'm talking constant pull-ups...

Also, while I've really enjoyed Chalean Extreme, I haven't really been sore. Like so sore you can't sit down to pee sore...and I remember being like this the last time I tried P90X and hope for more of the same this time. I like to be sore, at least for a day or two. 

One of the reasons I have never finished a round of P90X is because I'd always gain weight whenever I'd do it. I was always like, noooooooo I need to lose weight, I can't gain it. And then I'd quit and run like crazy until I lost the weight and then injure myself because you can't just run; you need strength training. Well it's been a few years since my last attempt and I've since learned a thing or two more about fitness than I used to know, including the fact that you tend to gain weight whenever you start a new program, but especially a strength program. So I know I may gain a couple of pounds here and there, but they'll drop off and eventually I hope to lose the final 5-7 pounds that have been hanging around since having Jules. One part of this will be cleaning up my diet, but I'll post more about that later another time since I've already written quite a bit. 

Needless to say, I will not be skipping next Monday.

And I highly recommend you don't skip it either. Find something active that you like and/or can look forward to, and make sure you start every week off right. 

What are you currently doing fitness-wise that keeps you active and excited?

Monday Mania

Happy Monday, friends!

75% of our house has been fighting a stomach bug since Friday which has been less than fun, to say the least. Jason's friend was in town and we weren't a very fun bunch to be around, but we managed to get out for a little bit on Saturday and catch some lunch and hit up the park before we went back home and all fell asleep for several hours. You know it's serious when I take a nap!

Here, Jules is explaining our options for starters, drinks, and specials. She's a magnificent server.

Typical picture of Justin whenever we go out to eat or do anything #teenager

He is an awesome big brother though and I love seeing how much he adores Jules. 

And these two also make me super happy. This is right before Justin got knocked over by the swing, which I put a video of on my Facebook page. That was a completely accidental incident and it was so funny. To everyone but Jules. She was just like, why's everyone laughing and not swinging anymore?

Today I wanted to briefly describe my current exercise routine/schedule. 

Before I start I need to again stress that I am not a physical trainer or nutritionist and I am in no way qualified to give anyone any advice. This is just what works for me right now. If you're thinking of starting a new program be sure to discuss with your doctor first to make sure you're in good enough physical condition. 

I am currently doing a program that includes Chalean Extreme, which is a Beachbody program, running or sometimes kickboxing when I don't feel like running, pilates, HIIT, and some yoga. 

Here's my current plan and schedule.&nbsp;

Here's my current plan and schedule. 

As you can see, I originally planned on running a 15K in April, but I've since decided that's crazy. So I'm just using the plan to keep me motivated and on a schedule. I've missed very few workouts, simply because I just love working out. I am missing my workout today because i'm sick, which I hate. But it's better to miss a day or two and get better than make things work because you're stubborn and need those endorphins. Even though I rarely miss a workout I have substituted a workout several times, especially recently when it's 5:30 in the morning and I just don't feel like running. When that's the case, I will usually substitute a kickboxing workout since I get a similar calorie burn with kickboxing as I do with running. 

Here's what I use for equipment:

My selecttech weights that Jason got me for Christmas in 2015. These are huge and can sometimes feel a bit awkward since I'm pretty petite in size, BUT I love that I have a huge array of weights that I can use all in once place. I believe they go from 7.5-52.5 pounds EACH, which means I have a lot of weight I can be throwing around if I want!

Then I also have this bin filled with some 3lb, 5lb, 8lb, 45lb (Jason's), and some toning bands and other random crap that I use. With all of this, I really don't ever find that I need any other weight sizes. The selecttech weights are a big investment, but if you're serious about working out at home and lifting heavy (which I highly recommend), they're worth it! 

I'll be starting a new program at the beginning of April - I'm thinking about doing a running and P90x hybrid program, since I'm loving lifting weights right now. 

Does anyone have anything fun planned for fitness right now? Anyone else feel like they're dying from a stomach bug?