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.


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.


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.


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!


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!


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.


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!!


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!


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.

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