10.02.2015

Five for Friday

01.) Yesterday I was helping Annelise do her bangs before school (she has natural curls, tons actually, but she likes to flat iron her bangs so they lie flat). I was trying to get the sides of her bangs done and also reminding her how best to hold the flat iron so they lie smooth rather than like broomsticks (it's a toss-up) so I was saying,"Back, and to the left...back, and to the left," a few times.

Naturally that led to a Seinfeld reference, which led to a JFK reference, which led to her watching this clip in the car on the way to school.
Because pop culture tied to movies tied to real-life is like the best alignment ever.

We ended our drive to school deep into conspiracy theories. Good times.

Of course she already knows I'm a Seinfeld and JFK junkie.

02.) In a loosely related side note, I've been known to use classic country music to aid in random learning as well. In fourth grade she had to learn the capitals and states and once when we were quizzing her she couldn't remember the capital of Kansas.

Well, cue Loretta Lynn.
Annelise will never, ever forget the capital of Kansas.

03.) I can't wait until she's old enough to watch Coal Miner's Daughter with me.

04.) That original song search led to the creation of a classic country playlist on Spotify that's heavy on Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennings and George Jones along with a few others (like Johnny Horton and Merle Haggard).

Because duh.

Last year we kind of got addicted to listening to it on repeat during our drives to and from school and while Jackson might be our first Johnny and June duet to belt out together (and rightly so), I think Long, Legged Guitar Pickin' Man is the most fun and just might be our favorite.
Also? One of her goals is to learn to play Ring of Fire on her trumpet. Love that!

05.) I promise I didn't intend for this post to become so classic country music heavy, but here we are, so I guess I'll just wrap things up by sharing my playlist.
Happy weekending, y'all!
xoxo

10.01.2015

Still Working on My Fitness (This Post is My Witness)

Now I'm singing Fergalicious.

Sometime during August I made a deal with myself to workout every day. As in every. single. stinking. day.

But it was good, really, really good for me.

I tend to be all or nothing.

Here's what I rotated through, not really following a set schedule but definitely incorporating strength training along with my cardio workouts at least three days a week:
I love cardio workouts, especially dance-y-kickboxing ones, so TurboFire and Les Mills Combat were perfect for that. The music is awesome and the routines are super fun, so totally a win-win.

Sidenote: Yes, we have almost all the Beachbody programs, because they are awesome home workouts, and they are so convenient but we aren't coaches (at least not yet).

For strength I mainly relied on ChaLEAN Extreme, the PUSH and LEAN circuits (each block for three weeks-ish), but would also do Les Mills Pump or the strength choices in Combat sometimes.

Sidenote: Once I know the routines I like to pump up the jam, which is an option in the menu, so the verbal cues are muted. Sometimes all the talky-talky annoys me (not so much in Turbo Fire, but Dan and Rachel are a bit chatty in Combat and the trainers in Pump are quite chatty as well). Mute is your friend (but you still have great music).

Adding in regular strength training workouts, and challenging myself to go heavier at times, really makes a huge difference for me. I LOVE seeing changes in my body, feeling stronger and noticing more muscle developing! Granted, it's nothing huge and it might not even be noticeable to others, but it's happening slowly but surely. 

Sidenote: Don't be scared to lift weights, y'all. Increasing muscle helps us to burn more fat and get lean/toned at the same time, without getting bulky.

Over this last week I decided it was time to switch things up again and keep my body guessing, which is a good thing. Last Friday I started P90X3, which was a bit of a shock at first from what I've been doing, but I'm excited to get back into it and go further with it this time (I never made it to Block 2, much less 3, whomp-whomp).
P90X3 is like P90X on crack packed into only 30 minutes, which is good, but I'm used to working out about an hour or a bit more most days, so I decided to try the doubles calendar. During Block 1 you add in a stretching type of workout (Dynamix) with your regular one a few days a week, so I'm going to do that for now. I might go old school P90X here and there as well, (nothing crazy, just plug one in once or twice a week for longer strength training) because they are super effective workouts. Once in a while I'll probably toss in PiYo for flexibility and maybe some Cize for my inner hip hop dance queen.

P90X3 is a 3 month program.

Gulp.

Can I stick with it?

I'll keep y'all posted.

9.22.2015

Current Beauty Favorites

Y'all know I am a make-up junkie, right?

Yes.

Not to the level of some I'm sure but no where near low maintenance either.

I like to switch my make-up routine from time to time by shuffling through my stash and occasionally trying out new things. Sometime last year, I think, I started using a few IT Cosmetics products. I liked them for a while and then, of course, started changing things up again. I think my skin gets stuck in a rut and seems to respond better when I switch back and forth between a few different foundations and such.

After setting everything out for this picture I realized I am full-on back in my IT Cosmetics infatuation.

So let's take a peek, shall we? 

Starting from the left, I've been using a drop (or so) each of IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream in Light and Medium as a light foundation, blending it around with an angled foundation brush (not shown). It has nice coverage but I like a bit more so I follow up with a few swooshes of IT Cosmetics Celebration powder foundation with that flat brush shown. You can also wear the CC+ Cream or the powder foundation by itself, which I sometimes do when in a rush.

Sidenote: IT Cosmetics has amazing brushes! QVC offers combinations that include product and brush sets that are really good deals, Ulta also sells IT Cosmetics and their brushes, but separately.

I use a tiny dab, believe me a little goes a long way, of  IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye concealer under my eyes. For contour and blush and highlight I use the Vitality Face Disk from, yep, you guessed it, IT Cosmetics. So nice to have everything all together in one compact! I finish up with Bye Bye Pores powder from IT, which really makes pores vanish, fo' real. They've now come out with a pressed powder version which I carry in my purse and keep the messy loose powder at home.
Shown in the middle are my two current faves for my brows, the top pencil is from Rimmel and is a neutral shade called Hazel, it also has a brush on the cap which is really convenient. My favorite fave for brows though is Brow Power from IT Cosmetics (are you sensing a pattern?) in Universal Taupe. It works well for most brows (the depth of color depends on how hard you press) and has a spooly brush on the other side.

I've become friends with my Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo cream eyeshadow collection again, as shown to the right. They apply quickly, blend easily and mix well together. I love these shades of muted brown, taupe, bronze, grey and vanilla (these last three have shimmer). They wear well and the shadow pots last seriously, forever.

Of course I use mascara and eyeliner as well, they're just not shown.

I bought this IT Cosmetics lipstick and gloss last year and never quite felt like they were right for me.  They are both in the shade Je Ne Sais Quoi, that's so fun to say by the way, which goes on clear and then changes to a lovely soft pink. Almost like a mood lipstick, I guess. It also acts like a lip stain and the color lasts for quite a while after the gloss wears off. You can wear the lipstick or the gloss by themselves or layer them for a more dramatic, and glossy, look. On a whim last week I started using them again and am now completely hooked.

In other beauty related news, I am currently managing to only wash my hair twice a week, if all goes as planned. It's so freeing! I'd love to push it to once a week if I could!

I'm sorry if y'all think that's gross, but it really works with my hair texture and general lack of motivation to go through the entire shampoo, blow-dry and style process too often. The more you wash your hair the more your scalp produces oil to balance things, so washing it less actually helps your hair. Maybe you can't stretch out your shampoos as long as I'm doing, but maybe try to go at least one day between shampoos to start with. Finding the right dry shampoo is such a game--and life--changer!

I flip between a few brands, and you might need to try out a few before you find the best one for you, but I'm currently loving the Fresh scent Batiste (I've used the original before as well).
In final beauty news, I picked up a new OPI polish last week, Don't Bossa Nova Me Around (I love their names!) which is a pale beige-y taupe, a really nice neutral shade. I also gave these Rimmel cream eye shadow crayons a whirl.They're great for a super fast swoosh of color, but I think I like the Maybelline Color Tattoos the best as far a cream shadows go.

What are some of your current favorites? Do tell.

9.21.2015

Miscellany Monday

School is in full swing, as in homework and tests and progress reports and activities and projects.
I don't know who was more excited to turn in her Indian project poster last week, me or her. Or possibly our printer.

Now she's currently positioned herself on the floor working on her book report poster for Wonder. Since it's not due until Wednesday and she might just finish it today, I'm calling that winning.

Last week we went to our first high school volleyball game for Junior High Night. The kids that went to volleyball camp over the summer got in free, which was nice. Clear Creek (my alma mater) played Clear Falls in fast paced, leave it all on the court, exciting matches. Creek won two, then lost one, then pulled out another win to win overall. Whew!

Annelise had her first soccer game of the fall season Saturday and it was a doozy because of the heat. Scott and I were melting just sitting on the sidelines so I can only imagine how miserable the players were. It was a close game but her team lost 2-1. She made one goal though and had a few other almost goals so she felt pretty good about it. Several of the same kids are still on the team, along with one other girl that Annelise has become friends with, so that's nice. 

Sidenote: During halftime one of the moms was talking with us and the convo turned to orthodontics which lead to me asking for her information, which lead to me digging around in my purse for a pen and paper and ended up in me revealing my embarrassing stash of eleventy five lipsticks and glosses and balms, along with a pen, thank goodness, however, she had to write her info on the back of a band aid.

Because I'm so prepared and organized that way.

After the game we recovered from our respective heat strokes and freshened ourselves up, we drove out to Waller to visit Scott's sister and brother and assorted others, which was nice but made for a super long Saturday.

In unrelated news, I finished reading this delight today:
Highly recommend A Window Opens.

I had been reading one of Sharon Kay Penman's historical fiction epics, When Christ and His Saints Slept, and was enjoying it, but took a little break for something lighter and faster. A few years ago I got lost in her Welsh princes trilogy starting with Here Be Dragons, so I enjoy her books, but they are very detailed and require, um...focus (but worth the effort).

Stay tuned for the deets on our annual girls' weekend and more odds and ends...

XOXO

9.07.2015

Miscellany Monday

Aren't three day weekends the best?

Yes.

We celebrated Annelise's birthday all throughout Friday (full post coming soon) then topped off the day with our first Friday Night Lights of the season.
(cool photo props to Macy, Scott may or may not have snagged this photo covertly.)

It may have also been my last, at least for a while, until the weather changes. By the time we schlepped from the parking lot and muddled our way around some construction zones I was a hot mess and never fully recovered since it was a muggy 87+ degrees even after sunset.

But it was fun to sit with friends and be sweaty and uncomfortable together. Okay, I may be stretching the word fun. It was Senior Night and we got to see two of our favorite senior girls perform, Mikayla with the band (along with her freshman sister, Miranda) and Kelsey leading (!!) the Cavalier drill team. We missed the parents escorting the seniors before the game since we were eating out for Annelise's birthday, but saw some pictures of the festivities and then got to enjoy the halftime show. Kelsey's dad, Jeff, got to dance with her, which was a hoot.
She was also gracious enough to pose for a few photos under the bleachers a little later.
It's awesome to have great role models for our younger girls to look up to (and they do)!

Sunday night we all got together again after church for taco night along with more fun and games over at the Sabs house. Pat had sent us all trivia questions to answer ahead of time and he set up a quiz on Kahoot.it for us to play on their TV using our phones to answer. It was hil. ar. i. ous. And also rather cutthroat (but all in good fun). After that game we played a few other pre made trivia games and then the kids drifted in and got in on the fun, eventually taking over, with Star Wars and cartoon and history quizzes. They got a little cutthroat too (but all in good fun). We wrapped up the festivities in the wee hours of the morning and dragged our sleepy selves home.

Thankfully, today we had no plans other than being lazy and recovering (staying up super late always wrecks me, I'm old).

How was your Labor Day weekend?

XOXO

9.01.2015

Life Lately (The I Am Ridiculous Version)

I am ridiculous.

And here's why.

In most emotional situations I often wonder if I'm missing a sympathetic gene. While I usually feel empathy or shared sadness for others (I don't think I'm a sociopath) I am not a crier. Like hardly ever. All my friends will be red faced and sobbing over something and I'm just putting on my best sad face and feeling left out of the tear fest feeling like a cold blooded oddity.

But then out of the blue, say during the season (series?) finale of The Astronaut Wives Club when Neil Diamond sings Holly Holy at the end, and BAM! I'm doing my own small version of the Ugly Cry.

Like I said, I am ridiculous.

But I do have a severe fondness for the space program and all the movies (The Right Stuff, Apollo 13, various documentaries) and mini-series (From The Earth to the Moon and now apparently The Astronaut Wives Club can be added to the list) and of course, Neil Diamond and when the two are combined, well I turn all Patsy Cline and fall to pieces (see what I did there?).

Another way I am ridiculous is that I bought another MAC lipstick last week.
Yes, two weeks after I got three MAC lipsticks in the mail from Nordstrom.

Y'all know I have a weakness for lipstick. And gloss. And basically all things make-up.

But Fit Rocker Chick got a new lipstick and shared what it was on her Periscope and it was SO pretty that I just couldn't help myself.

Pink Plaid by MAC and Fashion Scoop Cremesheen Gloss together is pretty much perfection.

Like gum from Jill Goodacre while stuck in an ATM vestibule.

(Chandler Bing anyone?)

I also got a new eyeshadow, MAC Mulch, a warm bronze-y brown, that is my new fave.

Sidenote: I did a Scope about what Periscope Told Me To the other day, you can see my old scopes at Katch.me/marathonbird if y'all have time to kill while clipping your toenails.

Scott and I are both ridiculous because we had a date night and were kind of boring.

But we were TOTALLY okay with that.

Annelise went to a birthday party/sleepover Saturday evening so we talked about going to the movies since we hadn't been in a while. But then when it finally came down to it we just couldn't commit. All the movies were after 6:00 and that's way too late (we're old) none of them were MUST SEE (we hemmed and hawed about Mission Impossible Whatever #) or were too questionable (I adore Jason Bateman  (Arrested Development, yo') but a lot (most?) of his movies lately have been raunchy) and we didn't want to wait to eat until after the movie (priorities people) so...
we went to our favorite Mediterranean dive that we always go to instead.

And it was GOOD.

We were the youngest people in there, yes, we ate with the Early Birds at 5:30.

Also? There was live music and even a sing along (we abstained) but no bellydancing this time.

Pity.

XOXO

8.31.2015

Back to School 2015

We are now in the third week of school.

I say we because getting back into the swing of the school thing involves more than just the student.

And because I'm nothing if not timely, I'm finally getting around to posting about it.

In preparation of the start of sixth grade Annelise got a hair cut. As we are not ones to waste a good blow-out and style (and are huge fans of dry shampoo) she was able to stretch her straight hair style a good four days. #winning
She loves to wear her hair straight, because that's the popular look among the tween crowd, but doesn't like to put in the time required to style it that way herself (even with my help), so now she's back to her curls. It's a good thing that she has options but she doesn't always see it that way.

Monday afternoon, the day before school started, was meet-the-teacher.

Also known as I GET TO FINALLY DECORATE MY LOCKER!!

Brace yourselves, we may have gone a bit overboard.
But really, who's to say what constitutes too much when there are chandeliers involved?

Along with all the locker festivities (there were lots of sixth grade girls decorating and both boys and girls practicing opening their lockers, so there was um, a LOT of drama going on in the hall), we met Annelise's teachers. Like last year there are three rotations plus electives, PE and of course lunch.

She was highly excited to see the class lists and figure out who was in her class and such. 

Girls are so funny. And dramatic.

After all the meet-the-teacher brouhaha we treated ourselves to Starbucks, because, duh.
She loves Double Chocolate Chip Frappes, because who wouldn't love all that sugary goodness. I got an iced Americano because it was August I didn't want/need all that sugar.

The first day of school dawned bright and early for both of us (rude), but she got scrambled eggs out of the deal so she was happy.
All too soon it was time to scurry to the car and scream on over to school.

Rude.

But I managed to coax the new sixth grader into a quick photo before we left.
Her school's main parking lot is undergoing some construction (long story) so they've had to make changes to the drop-off process and asked parents not to walk their kids in the first few days because parking was extremely limited. This hurt my heart because I've always walked her in the first few days but I obeyed the rules (others did not, which made me hrrumph and roll my eyes) and just did the drop off. Cue sadness.

She had a great first day and has enjoyed being back in the swing of school.

Except for the homework, of course.

8.22.2015

Six for Saturday

01.) Annelise started school this week, complete post on all the school related shenanigans to follow at some point soon-ish.

Stay tuned.

02.) Since I'm technically a Young Living Essential Oils distributor I've been thinking about getting myself together and setting up a webpage or link to you know, actually try and distribute. But only in a super laid back way because that's the only way I roll.

Stay tuned.

03.) I've also been stewing and brewing about signing up to be a Beachbody Coach.

I know!

If I do, can we still be friends?

I need to look into it more seriously and weigh the pros and cons, but I figure since I'm such a fan of their products anyway and I'm using them regularly, why NOT go for it?

Stay tuned.

04.) I've been playing around with Periscope and have actually made a few Scopes. As per always, I'm kind of all over the place and random and am still figuring things out. I do think Periscope will be more helpful once I get myself together with the oils and possible Beachbody situation. I have learned tons of tips, on a variety of subjects, from other Scopers though.

If you'd like to follow me over there just download the free app and search for @marathonbird or @hollyshaw. Scopes disappear off the app after 24 hours but are available on Katch.me/marathonbird if you want a good laugh. Live video ain't no joke yo'.

05.) This has been another good week for my workouts and such, which feels great. I've managed to get a workout in every day for the past three weeks, (!!) which is so the opposite of what I was doing previously. I mean, I was working out but not really pushing myself with a combination of weights and cardio and I was frequently making excuses for not working out.

This week I stuck with a combination of ChaLEAN Extreme Push Circuit (there are 3 to rotate through each week), Les Mills Combat for my main workouts, then a little TurboFire HIIT, a little Les Mills Pump and one Tony Horton One on One Arm workout from Beachbody on Demand here and there.

06.) I don't have a #6. I was going to do a Five for Friday post yesterday and chickened out.

Happy weekending, y'all!
XOXO

8.14.2015

Five for Friday

01.) Okay, are y'all on Periscope?

If not, you should check it out. It's a free live streaming video app that is connected to Twitter. I don't follow a ton of people but I've already learned a ton of new things. It's so cool because since it's live you see the real deal, not all perfectly edited video, so you get a truer sense of who these people are. You can also engage in conversation through chat bubbles. 

I've gotten the biggest kick out of @bretjohnson11 (@ChaleneJohnson's husband), the Hangry Chef, who's doing a 30-day clean eating challenge where he shows us what he fixes for his family. I already have a list of meals to try. The fabulous thing is that they all use easy ingredients, look delicious and are pretty healthy.

I stumbled across @ErinCWoodbury through @CoachGlitter and have learned a few more healthier cooking tricks and tips. She did a Scope about potato-less potato salad I must try and 2-ingredient Paleo Pancakes.

I've already made the pancakes twice this week.
I probably shouldn't eat these too often since bananas have a lot of carb/sugar but they are very filling and quite tasty, and don't forget simple! I put a little almond butter between the pancakes and it was so yummy.
02.) Annelise starts school next week, Tuesday to be precise. WHAT? We have an open house/meet the teacher thing Monday afternoon. She's excited to see her friends and meet the teachers but is also a little nervous. 

03.) On a related note, she's curious about any sixth grade girls wearing make-up. I think some might and some won't so I told her to wait and see what the general vibe is after school starts. 

She really just wants to try out mascara, which is fine, but isn't interested in anything else yet, so that's good. We bought her some clear mascara which was pretty much a waste of $7.00 because it didn't do anything. But she might start with that anyway. A light schwoop of real mascara isn't that big of a deal, so maybe. She does wear a light powder (Cover Girl) sometimes to help cover any breakouts (yes) and lip balm (Baby Lips) or light gloss sometimes.

04.) I've been consistent with getting my workouts in every day which feels great. I think I am the type of person that needs to workout every day, or at least 6 days, or I start making excuses. I'm also learning that a combination of weights and cardio make the most impact (I knew that but hadn't been following that for quite some time) and I can see progress sooner.

This week was a combination of ChaLEAN Extreme Push Circuit and Les Mills Combat, again, and I tossed in a Les Mills Pump and TurboFire HIIT for some variety.
You know it's a good workout when your messy bun starts out on the top of your head ends up low on your neck. I hadn't done Turbo in a while and it was SOOO fun!

06.) I know it's not too pretty, but this is my favorite go to breakfast or snack.
Hard boiled egg, half an avocado and some Sriracha for some kick.

Clean, fast, and filling!

Happy Friday, y'all!
XOXO

8.10.2015

Miscellany Monday

This was tax free weekend (is that a national thing or just a Texas thing?) and for the first time ever we actually did a little shopping, but not at the mall because that's just full on crazy. On Saturday Annelise got some new Nikes for school and Scott got some just for life from Academy. Sunday, after a yummy lunch at Jimmy Changa's...
where the Machete salad is my love language (along with chips, salsa and their white queso of course), we popped over to JC Penney to see if they had red Converse for Annelise.

They didn't.

But she happily settled on white Converse.

And Scott got some new workout clothes.

I got nothing.

But I carried our leftover Tex-Mex with me (in a bag), oh yes, I did, because it was too hot to leave it in the car, so there was in a smelly taco truck-y fog all around us, but oh well.

In other unexpected news, our hot water heater went on the fritz yesterday (after 15 years, so I guess it was time) and we had to get a new one today. Thankfully it's summer so cool showers are actually refreshing, my dad has helped us tremendously which saves on labor $$$ and we should be back in business, er...hot water later tonight or tomorrow.

Okay, we are currently obsessed with a show that's new to us but apparently is like, a thing. Since we switched to Direct TV last week we now have Discovery Channel and one thing led to another and we found ourselves checking out Naked and Afraid.

I know.

What in the world?!?

I had heard a few people chatter about it and then saw Chalene Johnson go on about it on one of her Periscopes last week so here we are. They blur out most of the bits, so there's that, thank goodness, but the main thing is watching them try and survive in remote jungles and such with nothing but a machete and a fire tool (each person gets to bring one survival item, it varies, no one has brought mascara or coffee yet), for 21 days.

Did I mention they're naked? And apparently afraid?

It's oddly addicting.

The moral of the story seems to be that things turn out better when you learn to work with your partner and adapt to the situations. And find water and food of course, things take a hangry turn quickly when there's a lack of water and protein.

I have NO desire to ever do anything like that. Let's just say I related to the mom that arrived with painted nails and toes and one of the first things she did was make a comb. #priorities.

In recent fitness news, I tried the Dirty 30 workout from 21 Day Fix & 21 Day Fix Extreme on Beachbody on Demand (I have a free 30 day trial right now) this morning and was pleasantly surprised by how sweaty it left me. I've been on the fence about ordering the 21 Day Fix Extreme because I wasn't sure it would be challenging enough to keep me coming back, although I like the fact the workouts are varied with a mix of cardio with weights, pilates and yoga too and only 30 minutes. #winning. I did think Autumn comes across a little, um... shrill. But not as angry as Jillian Michaels, so that's good. Personally, I'm just not sure she can motivate me as well as my favorite trainers (Chalene, Shaun T., Tony and Rach and Dan from Les Mills) do.

However, I saw today that there is an option to order the program without the containers, because while I think they are a clever way to get in the habit of proper portion control, I think they would annoying to use. I could be wrong, but I think you could still follow the food plan without them. Plus Shaun T's CIZE food plan is supposed to be basically the same anyway and I already have that.

So, in a nutshell, I don't know.

That's enough miscellany for now.
XOXO

8.08.2015

Six for Saturday

01.) In my last post about my recent fitness goals I talked about drinking more water each day. As in trying to gulp down at least a gallon throughout the day. The flip side of that is pretty much breaking up with diet soda (Diet Coke to be exact), I'm definitely making it only a very occasional thing, so that's progress.

I still crave the fizz though, so I have turned to La Croix sparkling water to fix my fizzy cravings. I've actually been drinking them for over a year and there's no turning back, they are fantastically refreshing.
My favorite flavors are grapefruit and this new pineapple-strawberry blend, both are very tasty, and there's nothing nasty in them. Give them a try if you get a chance!

I do still drink coffee, but I drink it black. Trying to cut out junk bit by bit.

02.) Y'all probably already know I have a terrible sweet tooth and very little self discipline. Like none. I have managed to make a compromise with my weak-willed self with the help of Quest bars. While yes, they are still processed and they do contain artificial sugars, they are gluten free, high in protein and fiber and low in carbs. So...they're not perfect but not too terrible either.

I allow myself one per day and that has helped curb my sweet tooth without guilt. If you warm them in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds on medium heat they are truly scrumptious and you feel like you are really treating yourself (I eat it on a small plate with a fork, like a real dessert).

I am also a fan of stocking up on things that I like.
Are we still friends?

I used to order them on Amazon Prime but recently found out that a local supplement store sells the boxes at a better price (TF Supplements for any locals). My favorite used to be chocolate chip cookie dough, because c'mon, but s'mores now takes the top spot. Oh. My. Yum.

03.) Okay, I just love this video. I love that it shows REAL women doing what they love, sweating it up, being active, no matter their size. 

Everyone's fitness journey starts somewhere and we never get anywhere if we don't start!

So get ur freak on.
04.) I managed to get my goal of 6 workouts in this week and feel SO much better. I love combining weights and cardio and even though I end up working out longer, that's okay. The challenge of pushing myself to lift a little bit heavier or do another rep or punch and kick with more intensity is worth it. Each day means progress and it ALL adds up over time.

This week I was all about ChaLEAN Extreme, Les Mills Combat and CIZE, next week might be something different, we'll see.

(I hope y'all don't mind but I'll probably be posting more about all this fitness stuff more often because it keeps me more accountable.)

05.) In other news, I think we've gotten everything under the sun for Annelise's 6th grade locker.

I know.

It's ridiculous.

But she's excited.
I'm not sure when exactly she/we will be able to actually decorate the fool thing, but I promise I will post pics of the final result.

I know y'all are on the edge of your seats.

06.) I don't think I really have a sixth thing after all.

Y'all are welcome.

Happy weekending!!
XOXO

8.06.2015

Fitness Update & Goals

I have a confession to make.

I'm fairly certain I have exercise ADHD.

But I'm accepting it and making it work for me instead of fighting  against it.

Instead of feeling guilty over switching from a DVD program to running and then over to something else I'm telling myself it's okay, variety keeps things interesting and challenges my body to engage different muscles. Of course, finishing the expected 30, 60 or 90 days of one particular program would be fantastic (!!) but...my ADHD usually kicks in long before 90 days.

Last month I participated in the #60milesinjuly run/walk challenge on Instagram and made it to 38 miles, which was great for me because I hadn't been running at all in months, but I quit on Insanity and pretty much didn't do anything else except PiYo a couple of times. I felt like just focusing on running was too one dimensional and while it's great for my legs, I was slacking with my strength training (Insanity incorporates various body weight exercises along with cardio).

In one of my recent posts I mentioned how I was trying out Shaun T's new dance program, CIZE. I really, really like it. He is such a good teacher, breaking things down into simple movements and then building upon them until before you know it you're dancing a hip hop routine and thinking you're cool. I've done the first three routines so far, Crazy Eights (Hands in the Air by Timbaland) and Full Out (Lose Your Breath by Destiny's Child) being my favorites. I'm anxious to try the fourth one (called In the Pocket to Problem by Ariana Grande) because it looks really fun but also more complicated.

Just for fun one day I kept my hair down, because apparently that's what dancers do so they can also do some hairography along with the choreography.
I was a hot mess.

But I felt like my dance street cred went up a teeny tiny bit.

While CIZE is going to be tons of fun and will be good for cardio, I don't want to only do that. I'm so glad I have several different Beachbody programs to choose from, the variety keeps me motivated and challenged.

And my exercise ADHD is calmed.

This week I went back to my tried and true ChaLEAN Extreme for strength and mixed in Les Mills Combat for cardio. I'm only four days in but it's been fabulous. I'm doing the PUSH Phase which rotates three heavy lifting circuits. Chalene Johnson knows her stuff y'all and is such a great motivator. It's also been so fun to get back into kickboxing, I just love punching and kicking things (don't worry, I'm just hurting the air).
These gloves make me feel so kick box-y, yo'.

Y'all know that TurboFire is my soulmate workout, which is also kickboxing based, but it's more dance-y. Les Mills Combat is kickboxing but is more mixed martial arts-y. Both have fantastic music that really keep you motivated while you melt in puddles of sweat.

Sidenote: I'm not a Beachbody coach (although I have toyed with the idea), I just like to share info about their programs in case y'all want to try them too.

My current fitness goals are:

***Get in at least 6 workouts a week***

***Make sure at least three of the workouts include strength training, muscle burns fat, yo'***

***Drink 1 gallon of water daily***

***Limit sweets and junk***

***Get a good night's sleep***

I know that a gallon of water seems like a lot but it's totally doable once you get used to it. Really! I have a 32 oz. water bottle and I try to empty it and refill at least four times throughout the day. Of course, I have to tinkle all the time, but that's okay.

Shaun T always says to incorporate exercise into life doing what you enjoy, whatever that is. Tony Horton says variety is the spice of life. Often the biggest hurdle is just getting started, so doing something you like and that challenges you is a win-win. Try to do something active most days, that's my new mantra.

What's challenging you lately? Let's keep each other accountable!

8.05.2015

Life Lately

Hello August.

Really? We're already five days into August?

Apparently so.

Just a few randoms of late to share...
Annelise finished her second volleyball camp of the summer last week and really enjoyed it. We got fliers about two of the volleyball camps in the area and when I told her there was another camp offered this week at AVA she said no way Jose, two were enough, #thankyouverymuch. We need to seriously look into club volleyball for this year since she can't try out for school until seventh grade. She loves soccer and basketball and I think she will like volleyball even more once she gets more experience actually playing the game (she's all about the action).

She did get voted best hitter and her team won the championship, so she was feeling all the happy feels, mainly because the winning team all got a Gatorade, but whatever.
We spent Saturday evening at my dad's house for burgers and such. Peggy's sister from Mississippi, Ellen, was there visiting, along with Peggy's grandson, Ray, so that was the perfect reason to have an impromptu family gathering. Annelise was beyond thrilled to hang out, swim, play basketball and don't forget, shoot targets with pellet guns with her cousins, Cole and Colin. Good times.

We hadn't been to the Egg & I in a while so we popped in for lunch there after church, which we'd never done before. I got the Vera Cruz, which is a staple in my Egg & I rotation.
It's an egg white omelet with chicken, green chiles and cheese with avocado and it's DEE-lish. I probably shouldn't eat the english muffin, especially since I always use jam, but I figure it's better than a pancake or waffle with syrup. Yes, I live by rationalizations, don't you?

In other news...there has been much drama the last several days over something crucial, well, as crucial as our entertainment is, haha. Scott has laid down the hammer and is switching us from DISH Network, which we've had for 18 years, to Direct TV so he can see Root Sports which has the Houston Astros and Rockets coverage that DISH has not had for, um...a while. He's also adding the SEC for A&M football, so whatever. I'm glad that we'll get some channels that Direct offers in their basic package that are extra on Dish and that we'll save some money for the first year as new customers, but we'll no longer have any leverage as loyal 18+ year customers AND I get to spend the hours of 12-4 tomorrow waiting for installation.

In case y'all have been living under a rock, y'all probably heard about the Nordstrom Anniversary sale that was tempting women everywhere for the last few weeks ended Sunday night. I am proud to report I did not order anything. Not. A. Single. Thing. Nada. I had things in my cart but when it came down to the wire I decided my life could go on without them.

Womp, womp.

Are y'all on Periscope? Have you heard of Periscope? If not, y'all MUST check it out. It's a free app for live video or you can catch the replay for 24 hours before it vanishes. I follow it for fitness and lifestyle motivation and I've learned tons of health/fitness/beauty tips in the last week and a half or so. I follow @ChaleneJohnson, @Shauntfitness, @nataliejill and @iamfitandfunky for health, fitness, workout ideas, tips and motivation and @CoachGlitter is great for lifestyle/make-up type tips.

I like the fact that it's unedited so what you see is what you get, it's more real than a YouTube edited video. You can also interact by posting comments or questions live (if the broadcast isn't too full), which is cool. Check it out when you get a chance!

And since it's August and the start of school is looming on the horizon, like in less than two weeks--what the what?!?--I finally checked out Annelise's uniforms to see what she might need replaced since she's been growing like a weed and of course there's not a sale right now at Lands End (the overachiever moms ordered their kids' clothes last month and got 30% off, and...I didn't) so I put a few things in my cart and am patiently(not) waiting for a coupon code, even if that means Annelise has to start school in last year's duds (don't worry, they still fit, the shirts are just a tiny bit snug).

We will be shopping for new shoes (Nike and Converse probably) and locker decor.

Locker decor. What the WHAT? When did decorating lockers become a thing?

My inner middle schooler from the early 1980s is highly jealous.

XOXO

7.29.2015

Life Lately

Last week one of the mom's from school invited all the 6th grade girls from volleyball camp (9 girls plus two 8th grade girls) over for lunch and swimming after camp which was really fun.
Most of the moms dropped their daughters off and I was on the fence about staying or not right up until we got there. I had a back up plan of taking myself and my book on a date to eat Pho but then decided at the last minute to stay and chat with the moms (there were two at first and then two more came near the end). So props to me for being social.

This week Annelise is doing another volleyball camp, this time at my old high school. I know it might seem crazy to do two camps back to back, and it probably is, but it's good practice for her without the commitment  (and expense) of a volleyball club, at least for now.
The camp starts at 7:45 (as if!) and is over at 9:45 so we've been stopping for a second breakfast because she's usually starving again. Monday found us at Dunkin' Donuts, yesterday was Shipley's for donut holes and today was Whataburger for taquitos.

Volleyball camp is an enabler.

She's getting in lots of skills and drills and tomorrow (the last day) will be a tournament.

Yesterday I snapped a picture during a drill and it looks like she's adding a bit of jazz hand flair to her skills.
In other news, I've taken a break from my #60milesinjuly. Last week I tripped on a stupid raised part of the street and went splat onto the concrete. It wasn't too bad, just road rash on my calf, a bruised hip and of course, bruised pride (a truck was driving by right when I ate it). My legs and lower back were sore the next few days so I took a break and then this week with volleyball camp being so early I haven't gotten my runs done in the morning (and yes, I could go in the evening but...hush).

But I made it to 38 miles and that's way better than my track record of the previous months, as in, zero, zilch, nada, so I'm okay with this particular failure.

And now for something completely different...I'm excited to add CIZE to my home workout arsenal. 

This white chick can't dance.

But Shaun T is teaching me.

And it's crazy, sweaty fun!
I ordered the DVD set Friday and am still waiting to get it, but Beachbody offers a free 30 day trial of their streaming on demand workouts so I've been able to go ahead and get started with the first two songs/workouts. You learn everything in small segments and go over it all from the top each time you add on and then at the end of the workout you Cize It Up where you do the dance three times to popular music. You can do the Cize It Up section as many times as you want without doing the entire workout over, which is really cool. Each workout is 30-45 minutes and it doesn't even feel like a workout, you're just dancing and sweating up a storm. So fun!

XOXO


7.21.2015

Life Lately

Annelise is going to volleyball camp this week at her school and here is a terrible photo to document said event (she's in the purple shirt). It's one of those typical tween situations where she balked and complained and refused and so forth every time we talked about her going in the weeks leading up to it and then walked in the gym yesterday morning to find a handful of her friends there and was as happy as a clam.
It would be immature of me to tell her I told her so, wouldn't it?

In related news, she's had a flurry (ish) of social activity lately, which has been quite the treat for her. Last Thursday she went to a friend's birthday party where they played, made a few spa type things and swam. I guess I've gotten used to her wearing her bikini this summer (remember, this is a new thing) and do think it's a modest two piece with a ruffled halter style top, so I really didn't think twice about her wearing it to a girl's birthday party.

As it turned out she was the only girl out of 6 or 7 wearing a two piece and it was a little awkward, not so much for her, she got over it, and maybe it was my imagination (fingers crossed) but I worried the other moms (moms I don't know that well yet) have now pegged me as an overly permissive mom that allows her daughter to be immodest and I am so not.

Well, except for her bikini.

(Ha.)

Friday morning, since Scott was off from work, we went to breakfast at The Egg & I, which you know is a favorite, even though that meant Annelise couldn't sleep late. We then met Grace at AcroSports for an open gym which was fun. Annelise went home with Grace for a sleepover and had, as always, a fabulous time.

In completely unrelated news, Scott and I (and Annelise in fits and starts) watched all, yes, that's right, ALL the Rocky movies over the last few weeks. Neither one of us had ever seen them, except maybe snippets over the years (although I may have seen Rocky IV in the theater years ago) so we sort of just jumped in (Rocky I-V are all on Netflix streaming, how convenient). While not the best movies ever, there is something captivating about an underdog and Rocky and Adrian's (yo' Adrian) love story/marriage is really sweet. My favorite parts of each of the movies are when Rocky is training and of course, the fights. Duh. Rocky V was our least favorite, like, it was terrible and we both thought the last one (Rocky Balboa) finished everything up for Rocky nicely.

Last night the Girls and I went out for supper at The Cheesecake Factory, which is always our go-to place. We always get the same thing, four Factory Chopped salads (two without tomatoes), four tropical teas, three coffees and two cheesecakes to share (the flavors vary). Last night we told the waitress that we would be an easy table.

And then things took a turn.

I don't know if it's because we ordered the Skinnylicious Factory Chopped instead of the regular, although I thought they were basically the same, but maybe not, or there was a new salad guy or what but they were not up to snuff.

Whatever snuff is, my grandfather used to say that and I still don't know what it means.

Now we are not difficult people. Really. We don't complain, we don't send things back, we are not ones to try and take advantage. Really. Like ever.

But our salads were smaller, they were missing the avocado and the chicken was, um...burned.

And we spoke up. But politely, I promise.

The waitress was so nice and apologetic, even though it wasn't her fault, and then the manager was very nice and apologetic and generously offered to take the salads off our bill.

Whoa.

He later stopped back by our table and told us he was treating us to our cheesecake too. We protested and told him he didn't need to do that and he told us we weren't the boss of him.

Double whoa.

So...that was really nice.

But I still feel strangely guilty because I know that there are people that deliberately start a fuss in restaurants just to scam free food and I would NEVER want to be lumped in with them, because that's SO not us and I am slightly mortified that the waitress and manager might think we did that.

We really just wanted the avocado that was promised to us.

But the rest was really nice too.

7.13.2015

Miscellany Monday

A few recent bits and pieces to share...
I got an early run in Saturday morning and barely eked out 5 miles, it was already a sauna. I should have gotten out there earlier, I know this, but I didn't, and paid for it in sweat.

Are you Amazon Prime members? We love it, mainly for the convenience of two day shipping. The Prime TV and music features are nice too but we don't use them as much as Netflix and Spotify.

Over the weekend we ordered Annelise a new case for her iPod (much cheaper than what was at the mall) and she just thought Amazon Prime was the coolest thing ever.

And then I checked my shopping cart a little later...
Um, no...you're not ordering a penny skateboard just because. Anyway, they can't even spell skateboard correctly so it's probably shady.

We went to see Inside Out yesterday afternoon (and took a selfie just because).
We gave it six enthusiastic thumbs up! Highly recommend it for all ages. I thought they did a fabulous job showing how it's not healthy to have only one emotion in control, we need a balance of all of them. It was so sweet the way they showed how joy and sadness can work together. I laughed a lot and even got a little teary a couple of times. All in all, a great movie.

We eat a lot of hard boiled eggs around here, they're so convenient. Scott usually takes one to work for breakfast, Annelise has one in her lunch during the school year and I eat one most days for breakfast as well (usually with half an avocado and always with Sriracha chili sauce, seriously yum-ola). I'll boil a batch up and store them in the side basket shelf in our fridge. 
Whenever we have one or two eggs left and I've boiled another batch I'll draw on the remaining ones so we know to eat those first. Or at least I know, Scott and Annelise only noticed this last night and I've been doing it for a while. Hrumph.
My shadow runs faster than me.

I got my run in this morning and realized--once again--that I feel so much better once I get it done early in the day instead of waiting until evening, although I still need to go even earlier, because, HOT.

Sidenote:  I went old school with Joy and Pain by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock on my play list and thought it was totally appropriate for running. It also reminded me of Inside Out (a little).

In other running news, I'm now at 23 miles and will keep chipping steadily away at my #60milesinjuly goal. My plan is to get four weekday runs in and a slightly longer run over the weekend, fingers crossed. The other part of my plan is to get back into PiYo regularly for flexibility and strength and to balance out all the running. I did the Sweat workout today and immediately felt looser through my hips and legs and wobbly in my arms, because PiYo, while low impact it's still an intense combo of Pilates and Yoga. The sweat flows, yo'!

Happy Monday, y'all!
XOXO

7.10.2015

Five for Friday

01.) Monday found us at the pediatrician's office with a not so peppy patient.
Diagnosis: Swimmer's Ear.

Which we kind of predicted after Schlitterbahn, swimming at my dad's house and swimming with friends on the 4th of July the writing was pretty much on the wall. Or the ear. 

The doctor prescribed antibiotic drops (CiproDex) which has been helping, along with a heating pad, occasional essential oils (lavender, eucalyptus and/or purification around the outside of her ear) and ibuprofen. Of course we've also had the late night drama of "I'm going deaf!" and "Can I Google busted ear drum?". But she's feeling better, mostly. 

After the doctor visit we self-medicated with a late Chipotle lunch. As you do.
02.) Tuesday involved a follow-up eye doctor visit for Annelise, which she of course forgot her glasses for (left them at Pappo & Gramma's house and they're RVing it) so the whole thing kind of started out DUMB (they said it was fine, they checked her eyes anyway, but I still felt loser-ish) and a grocery store trip. 

Now I know a grocery store trip is no big deal, but for us it was.  For the last sweet forever we had just been picking up a few essentials and eating most of our meals out/take out. I know. So it felt really good to stock up on real food again and so forth. After schlepping it all inside and putting it away and throwing out old stuff from the fridge and cleaning and cutting fruit and veggies and cooking lunch (baked potato with baked bacon for Annelise, roasted brussel sprouts and other yummy veggies for me) and washing dishes I was kind of over it.

We ordered pizza for dinner.

03.) In my last post about beauty routines I didn't talk about hair or nails. Sorry! I've struggled with my nails the last few years with them being thin and/or peeling a lot and that's been frustrating. I blame hormonal issues, but what do I know? There have been occasional signs of improvement here and there and right now they are much better. I increased my vitamin B intake a couple of months ago along with changing my multi-vitamin and drinking Ningxia Red regularly for the the last several months (I now use Young Living Super B, their Master Source for Her daily multi-vitamin and Ningxia Red is their Wolfberry and essential oil superhero drink). I also use various oils topically every day so they might also be making a difference.

I try to keep my nails short and take breaks from regular polish, maybe that helps too.
For the summer I like to use bright colors, usually shades of pink or coral. This week I used Off the Shoulder by Essie and really liked it. It's from a couple of years ago so I'm not sure if it's still available, but Essie always has tons of fun colors to choose from. It's dangerous! For the rest of the year I stick with grey or taupe. My current favorite in that color family is Taupeless Beach by OPI. It's the perfect neutral.

I usually use Essie (love their tiny brush) or OPI the most often because they last the longest on my nails, although I also like Sally Hanson Complete Manicure polish too. Last summer I tried China Glaze and like a lot of their bright summer-y colors.

Last summer I discovered DIY gel nails and still follow that method, loosely (I use Gelous as a base coast and a final top coat over Seche Vite top coat).

You can read even more about my nails here and about my favorite drugstore beauty products here (there's a photo of Taupeless Beach by OPI).

04.) I was going to do a whole separate post about my current fitness journey, and maybe I still will, but for now I'll just share a semi-quick update. Back in April I blogged about the workouts Scott and I were doing and...cue drum roll...we finished. 

(!!)

We did five weeks of T25 Beta and then four weeks of T25 Gamma (which is an extra 2-disk program that focuses on strength). 

Y'all.

It was tough. You might not think a 25 minute workout would be tough, but Shaun T packs it in, yo'! The workouts are a mix of cardio and strength and definitely challenging but totally doable since it's only 25 minutes. No excuses! Scott definitely liked that fact since his time is limited and hates committing to a long workout. I highly recommend T25 for all levels of fitness, you can modify or go harder if you need the challenge and...it's only 25 minutes of your day (though one day a week you do double workouts).

I feel like I improved my endurance, don't hate burpees so much any more and also gained muscle.

To keep my motivation up I treated myself to some new Nike Lunar Tempo shoes in neon volt with a hot pink swoosh and a new pair of Nike Tempo shorts in pink and volt, both on super sale, so yay!
I usually wear shorts like these with a tank or t-shirt to workout. I've tried to wear workout capris, and still do occasionally, but I think Nike Tempo shorts are more my jam.

Sidenote: What's your take on women who wear workout capris out and about? Like without enough of their nethers covered? I don't know, even if your hiney looks awesome I don't think it should be flaunted at the grocery store or the mall. Now workout capris with a longer tank or t-shirt or layered with a jacket where at least most of your bottom is covered are okay. Maybe.

Leggings are NOT pants, in any context.

Moving on...

After T25 I started Insanity, which I've started and stopped numerous times for numerous reasons but maybe this time will be different. Right now, in phase one, the workouts are about 40 minutes, which isn't terrible, but an adjustment after being spoiled by T25. The second month has longer workouts, like about an hour. Yikes! It's cardio based but you also do body weight exercises with push-ups and such.

I've made it to week three so far (yay!) but have added a bit of a wrinkle to my routine.

I decided to become a runner again and try for #60milesinjuly. I've done these Instagram challenges before, or at least participated from time to time, and they give me a little accountability.
The first few runs were really hard. Even though I'd been working out at home my legs, mainly my quads, had to get adjusted to the repetitive motion again and my feet had to get used to my new Mizunos. It's really proven to me that you shouldn't just do one type of workout, your body needs variety.

I'm now at 15 miles for #60milesinjuly and my running groove, such as it is, is finding it's way back. My problem is finding a balance for running while not bailing on Insanity and maybe also fitting in the occasional PiYo or strength workout. I don't know.

I'll keep y'all posted.

(Whoa! That was crazy long--sorry!)

05.) Are y'all as excited, or at least as curious, about next week's release of Go Set a Watchmen by Harper Lee as I am? She wrote it before To Kill A Mockingbird and put it aside after publisher's told her to focus more on the character of Scout (Jean Louise) and tell the story from her perspective. I definitely plan to buy it, I mean, how could I not? But I'm a little wary just the same.

Sidenote: I adore TKAM and try to read it every few years. Once we had a bloggity book club chat about it and recently shared it with Annelise.

Linking up today for Friday Favorites & Five on Friday.

Happy Friday, ya'll!
XOXO
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