Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Workout Wednesday



How is it 2017 in just 4 days?! This year was a little crazy for me for workouts!

As you may recall, in June I committed to running a Half Marathon as well as the Twin Cities 10 Mile run. Now I was never a runner until I committed to running these two races. I felt so accomplished after finishing my long runs and completing that third time around the biggest block in the world. I also felt pretty accomplished after the races as well. I don't plan on doing another half marathon but wouldn't say never to another 10 mile run. The run was scenic, fun and at then end I didn't feel like I was dying (which is always a plus)!

After running my races, I really missed lifting weights. So what did I do? I jumped right back into it! I participated in the Katy Hearn Fall Challenge 2016 and got some great inspiration from some amazing girls! The challenge ended right before Christmas so for the last week or so I was just doing some exercised that I really liked from the Challenge. I also started adding in HIIT, either on the treadmill or on the stair stepper. If you have never done intervals on the stair stepper, I HIGHLY suggest it. You will be a sweaty mess by the end, be warned. I was doing this until now because....1 MONTH FROM TODAY WE ARE GOING TO MEXICO!!! AHHHH!!!

                             

If you saw yesterday's post, I talked about how I started a new 4 week program that will finish just in time to head South. We will be leaving the last week of January and staying for 8 days. I cant wait for the sand and the sun. BUT this also means some bikini time. So DOWN TO THE WIRE TIME.

The program that I started is called Erin Stern's Elite Body 4 Week Fitness Trainer (talk about a mouth full!). It is a combination of cardio as well as lifting. I have done this program at least once before and I really liked how strong I felt afterwards as well as the definition I saw. Now as you may or may not know, the working out is the easy part for me. The nutrition is the hard part. The eating is what actually gets me. Most times I think, life's too short to skip that! But I feel like I have a new confidence inside of me to drop some weight. I would like to get down to 150 but that would mean losing 9.2 pounds in month and that is going to be hard! I have a feeling though that once I stop eating out and consuming so much sodium, it will help and I will get rid of some water weight.

So here is what I am looking at:

Starting weight: 159.2

Drinking 80+ oz of water. This is the water container that I use ( I have the blue one:)). It comes with a freezable insert that I only use sometimes. It definitely helps keep hydration up!
Image result for 80oz big freeze water bottle
Big Freeze 80oz Water Bottle

Eating whole foods with as little of processed food as possible. For example, this morning for breakfast I had a whole grain english muffin with an egg, egg white, 1 tbsp of mexican cheese and 2 oz of cajun turkey. It was really delicious honestly! For lunch I will be having some ground turkey with 1/2 cup of basmati rice and asparagus.

                              

Not as good as the chinese place down the street but good for my waist :) Dinner is up in the air right now.

Getting 10,000 steps in. Most days, since I am no longer running long distances, I don't get past 7,000. My goals is to move more and eat less essentially. I have also started walking up and down the stairs at work to keep my blood flowing since I work at a desk.

Keep up with the Erin Stern program. This includes the cardio and abs part. On my days off, I may stay longer to put in more time as well in the form of walking or light jogging.


So there we go! I will update you on the next couple of Wednesdays with progress and how everything is going. I will also *probably* do a review-ish of the program. Talking about how it worked for me and the differences that I saw. Let me know if you want more information on it!


Linking up with AnnMarieJenNicole, and Michelle for Wild Workout Wednesday!

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Life Update

Gooood morning everyone! Sorry for the delay in posting this month. It has been a whirlwind with all of the events and things going on. I am sure yours were/are the same! I decided to post a life update for those of you who are curious with what our household has been up to!


In the beginning of December, me and a couple of girlfriends hung out for the night. We watched some Gilmore Girls and ventured out for some dinner at the local bar. We ended up taking a bajillion pictures so these are couple of the good ones! I have had these glow-in-the-dark dinosaur pajamas for years now but this night was the last of them. I got them from Target from the little boy section (fyi). The zipper ended coming undone and ended up being secured by safety pins (although you cant really see them from these pictures).








I have also had some crazy work weeks at work this month due to having some use-or-lose vacation time. This allowed me to experience the new Cub right by our house. It opened on a Thursday (which I happened to have off) so I went there to check out the deals. One thing I have never seen before, purple and white asparagus! Have your ever seen it? They were pretty expensive so I didn't try them, but it was definitely surprising!


In the middle of the month, we had a work holiday party type of thing. I say that because it was after an all staff meeting where we had a potluck and some people participated in a gift exchange. I received this mug with a container of Starbucks Hot Chocolate. I haven't used the Hot Chocolate yet but I have definitely used the mug!


Other than that, our life has been pretty busy with weekend events. Here are some exhausted puppy photos. 




We celebrated Christmas with Bill's family the weekend before Christmas as they went to Vietnam for the 3 weeks. How awesome is that!? I can't wait to hear all about it! Then this last weekend we were planning on having my family come down from Fargo and have Bill's parents over for a little get together. Unfortunately we weren't able to make it happen as there was some nasty weather making its way through ND/MN and my parents didn't want to get caught in it. Bill's parents were still able to come over and we enjoyed some french dip sandwiches with homemade mac and cheese, salad and some homemade desserts. I will honestly say that I don't feel too bad after this weekend of eating. Probably has to do with going to the gym every day :) I am working on #deshedding for Mexico. We are heading out in almost exactly a month! If you don't remember, this is the place that we are going:

                                Image result for fiesta americana condesa cancun

                                Image result for fiesta americana condesa cancun

There are 4 of us going and I think we are all ready for a little R & R. I plan on doing some progress updates on Wednesdays so make sure to check in to see how its going! I have a goal that I want to get to but don't really want to share specifically what it is yet (guess you'll have to check in tomorrow!). For New Years Eve, we are having a little shin dig at our house. We have some friends in from FL so we will all be getting together. It should be a fun evening of food, drinks and catching up!

Anyways, that is our lives. I hope that the end of your 2016 is going as smoothly as possible and if I don't see you tomorrow, I might not see you until next year!


Linking up with Erin and Katie!


Questions of the day:

Are you excited for 2016 to be over? 

What are your goals for 2017?

Any exciting New Years plans?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thoughts for Thursday



Happy December everyone! Christmas is in 24 days and 2016 will be over in 30 days! How many of you are ready to conquer the new year?? I know I sure am.

Since today is Thursday, lets go ahead and get random with Amanda and Annie today!

1. 

I found this decoration before Thanksgiving at Gordmans but I just had to have it! It hasn't found a home yet but right now it is sitting in our living room. I was able to get some Christmas decoration last weekend but am looking forward to getting some more this weekend. I think I am going to be hitting up Michaels and Hobby Lobby as I have seen some pretty good hauls from people lately! I may just share on here what I find :) I also should start on our Christmas gift shopping as well. This year we are hosting a joint family Christmas event where everyone brings a gift valued at $50 (and it should be a good gift not a box of rocks) and we will exchange. I am hoping that it is fun but I should start thinking of some good ideas!

2. 

This is what our living room looked like before the Christmas tree. We took the lamp out on the right and shifted the shelves and tv stand over to the left a little bit to make it fit. I talked a little more about our Christmas tree in Monday's blog. To update, Bruce has been *pretty good*. Has only tried to climb up a couple of times. My is usually there to save the day. 




3. Speaking of Mya, LOOK AT HER. Such puppy eyes all time. The first picture I got a couple of days ago. I think she was pouting about something. The second picture I got last night. She was just laying with me as I indulged in some tv. She can take some good pictures once in a while ha! She is starting to get her winter coat so her fur is quite fluffy now. She is panting about 90% of the time but I dont think she is too hot, just comfortable. She also still enjoys snuggling with Bill and I when we lay on the couch together. She also gets jealous when Bill gives me hugs. She likes to get right up in the middle of that situation!

4. Nothing too big planned this weekend! Run some errands tomorrow, hit the gym and probably some cleaning. I should get my makeup and our spare room organized one of these days (looks off into the distance). Then on Saturday, I believe I will be having some drinks and/or ladies night with one of my good friends, Amy. We always have a good time together!

Thats about it today! Hope you have a great weekend and I can't wait to catch up on Monday!
I will leave you with just a picture of Bruce so he doesn't feel left out of the post ;)

"guarding the tree"

Do you have plans this weekend? 

How has your Christmas decoration adventure been?

Have you started Christmas shopping yet?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Weekend in Review | Thankgiving 2016


How has Thanksgiving come and gone already?! Its going to be December in 3 days. It just blows my mind.

How was your Thanksgiving/holiday weekend?

Mine was good. I ended up working 3 8-hour shifts instead of my usual 10-hour ones. I will say that it was amazing getting off work by 3:30 pm while it was still light out (I normally get off at 5:30 pm). Wednesday night we had some friends over to play Exploding Kittens. It was a good time but little sleep was had!

Thursday -

We headed up to Fargo. We took Mya with us so that she could enjoy some family time as well.

Road Trip

We got to my parents house around noon and my brothers, grandma and her husband were able to make it. After dinner, we also played some Exploding Kittens. We got a couple of games in while watching the football games. After about 4 games, we headed to bed.

Friday -

My parents took us out for breakfast. Our food was pretty good and I'd have to say I have never had such a meaty meat omelette...if that makes any sense. I will say though that they must use a lot of butter because after about half of my hash browns, I didn't want any more. After breakfast, we hit up some stores for a little Black Friday shopping. We stocked up on some litter (it was 50% off!!) and Bill was able to get a new Xbox One game. After those couple of stops, we headed back home. We were pretty exhausted and out of food, so we decided to meet up with a couple of friends at a new to us restaurant, The Muddy Cow. Now Bill was not up for going out right away but after eating the food, he thanked me. It was the bomb.com. Bill ordered the mozzarella sticks and it turns out that they hand bread these things. I had one bite but Bill said they were "the best motz sticks he's ever had".



They also have 2 for 1s all day, everyday. Our friends got the Chicken Queso Rolls (at the top of the menu) and said that they were really good. I went with the Best Buy Burger (not pictured) which was cheddar cheese, fried onions and cajun mayo. The burger as well as the fries were really good. We all decided that this was going to be our new meet up place since it was so good!

Saturday -

I went to they gym and got some stuff done before heading over to Bill's parents house to celebrate Thanksgiving. The food and company was a good time but boy were we exhausted afterwards. So much to do in so little time, I tell ya!

Sunday -

I headed to the gym and watched a couple of episodes of the Vampire Diaries. In the afternoon, we tackled putting up our Christmas Tree and tackled ordering some holiday cards. We haven't put a tree up since we got Bruce since he liked to climb up in it.



We decided to just try it this year. Right now it is in our living room with only lights on it. Bruce has tried a couple of times to go up the tree but I think he has figured out that its just not worth it. I guess me pinching him any time he tries to climb it doesn't help either (hehe). After putting the tree up, I made some dinner and then headed out to do some errands. I was able to get some home stuff, holiday decorations and some groceries before plopping my butt back on the couch for an episode of Vampire Diaries.

Linking up with Katie!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Weekend in Review | Day Late and A Dollar Short



I was going to post this yesterday but I didn't finish it in time. So we will do the weekend a little later than Monday this week :)

Linking up with Erin and Katie!

This last weekend wasn't as crazy as the weekend before Halloween but we were able to get some stuff done!

Friday:

I headed out early in the morning and got a much needed pedicure. I was debating between just regular polish and gel polish but ended up deciding on gel. I got a 25% off coupon in the mail months ago and asked if I could use it. They said yes! So that kinda "justified" the gel price! The color I got is pretty much the perfect fall color. It is a cranberry with a bit of gold sparkle. Here's a picture of the color (excuse my weird feet ha).


After the pedicure, I headed to the gym. The closest Anytime to my house (about 10-15 minutes away) is almost always empty. I seriously love it. There is a new one going in by my house about 3/4 of a mile away...and I seriously can't wait for it to open! There is also a Cub Foods opening up right by it. It will make grocery shopping and getting my swole on so much easier! After the gym, I headed to find some jeans. I have two pairs of skinny jeans that somehow found themselves to be worn out to the point of ripping on me. This happened within about a week of each other and since I only have about 4-5 jeans that fit right, I HAD to go out on the hunt. I was able to find a pair of jeans from Celebrity Pink . I have a couple of different pairs from them already and love how comfortable they really are. After only finding one pair (and some christmas decorations...oops!), we headed to the dog park, ate some dinner and watched Deadpool. I really liked this movie but I can definitely see why parents were upset when they took their children to this movie! C'mon people, they said when it came out that it wasnt going to be good for kids! I highly recommend it if you are looking for a funny somewhat superhero movie! I was able to get a good shot of Mr. Brucey chilling in the sun though. 




Saturday:

I headed to the gym and the grocery store. Then we had some people over for the NDSU Bison Football game at around 2:30pm. Which included this cutie, Wally!




We made some chili cheese dip with salsa and chips. I didn't really eat much of this food (#tryingtodefluff) or a lunch so I was super hungry. We headed out to a local place called Ole Piper Inn for some dinner. I ended up going with the Black Jack burger (Cajun seasoned burger, pepper-jack cheese, hickory-smoked bacon, ham, sautéed onions & mushrooms) with some tots and it was soooo delicious. No pictures because #bloggerfail :( You can just take my word for it, I promise! After dinner we all crashed pretty hard so it was off to bed pretty early for us! This was also the day of daylight savings time so I actually slept pretty crappy even though we all know I love to sleep!

Sunday:


I originally was going to say that this was a lazy day but I forgot that we were finally able to get our second bedroom set from Bill's parents house. They gave us Bill's set from when he was living at home and also offered his sister's to us since they didn't want it. So we took it! We were up pretty early so we were at their house by 9 am to get it taken apart and get it to our house. We wanted to try and get it done before the Vikings game. The bed is down in our basement in the other spare room. I can't wait to decorate that room now! The bed set also comes with drawers in it so now we have #ALLTHESTORAGE. After getting the bed together we watched the Vikings end up losing the game. I struggled really hard and didn't want to go to the gym but I got my lazy ass up and went. I ended up doing a butt load of calf raises and my calves are still sore...2 days later. 

Well there you have it! A little round up of the weekend! Sorry its a little late but I hope you enjoy it anyway!



Thursday, November 3, 2016

Thoughts for Thursday



Hello all! I have not had a chance to post all week so I thought I might as well do a little randomness with Amanda and Annie today!

We'll start with a little wrap up of last weekend! On Friday, Bill and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary by going out to dinner. We decided on a nicer restaurant called The Melting Pot. We have never done a "nice dinner" place so we thought this would be the perfect opportunity. The Melting Pot is a fondue type restaurant where you have multiple different options to choose from. We decided to go with the four course option. For this you chose a cheese, a salad, a meat option and then a chocolate. For the cheese we went with the Fiesta option which was made with cheese, beer, salsa and jalepenos. It was a medium spice cheese and it came with a bunch of different dipping options.

                  
                               Before digging in.
The first course - cheese

For our salads, I got a normal house salad and Bill got a caesar salad. We thought they were both pretty good. Then came the meat coarse. I went with the option called the Pacific Rim and Bill went with the Steak Lovers option. Essentially they bring out your options uncooked with a cooking liquid of your choice. We went with the Mojo option which is described as a Caribbean-inspired bouillon bursting with flavors of garlic and citrus. 


 For my meat (the bottom plate in the picture above) I got honey orange duck breast, chicken and vegetable pot stickers, shrimp and teriyaki sirloin. All of them were really good but my favorite was the duck. Bill got a bunch of different steaks and he said his favorite was the filet mingnon. I didn't try it but he said it melted in your mouth. You can also see some little containers by our plates full of sauce. They give you these that compliment your different types of meat. Honestly this place was really good. Not an every day type of dinner but definitely a special occasion place.



After the meat, you were asked to choose a chocolate. We went with the Flaming Turtle which was milk chocolate, caramel and candied pecans. It also came with this awesome plate of dipping options. It was really good as well but we were only able to finish about half of the plate from being so full!



Since the weather was so nice after dinner, we decided to invite some friends over for one last bonfire. It was a perfect night for it. 


Saturday, Bill and I did some house stuff and ran some errands. Then Saturday night I met up with my friend Amy and we hit the town for some Halloween action. I went as Cruella Deville and she used an old costume that I had. People kept calling her Bernadette (from the Big Bang Theory) so that's what she started telling people that she was! It was a lot of fun!



Sunday was a couple more errands and some laziness. 

Monday was Halloween so we handed out candy to some kids in the neighborhood but also it was this girl's birthday!


Our little Mya is a year old already! She got a cookie treat and a new pumpkin toy. She loved them both!

The rest of the week has been filled with working, working out, eating and repeat! This upcoming weekend we have no plans (that I know of ha) and we always look forward to weekends like that!

Hope you are having a great week! Catch up soon!


Do anything crazy for Halloween?

How often do you go on nicer dates with your significant other? 

How do you celebrate your pet's birthdays?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Twin Cities 10 Mile Run Recap



A long time overdue, I know. But late is better than never right?! ;)

On Sunday October 9th, I took part in the Twin Cities in Motion | Medtronic Marathon Weekend by running the 10 mile run. If you missed it, I started training for my half marathon back in June and signed up for this one in July. Check out my half marathon recap here!

Now back to the 10 mile run! Although I am not a huge fan of races on Sunday, I was really excited for this race the whole week before. Since I knew that I had already ran my half marathon, I had a good feeling about this race! I ran with two other friends, Rachel and Kelli. It was a balmy 38* so I knew that I had to choose my outfit carefully. I picked up a headband from Target and this bright yellow long sleeve in my photos below. I know you shouldn't wear anything new on race day...oops! The race started at 7am in Minneapolis so I knew that I had to be there pretty early to make sure I was on time. Bill and I were up around 5:00am so I ate an english muffin with some honey and peanut butter. So. good. I made it there around 6:10am and felt like I had a good amount of time to spare. I hit the porta potties and grabbed some coffee. I didn't actually drink the coffee, I just wanted it to keep my hands warm :) This race was a lot better organized than my half marathon. There was music playing and everyone seemed to be in a good mood, despite the utter coldness.




We all met up and were able to take some "before" pictures. There were three corrals and we all lined up in the last one. We started a little bit late but I think that is because corral one happened on time and then they gave them time to get out running. We ended up taking off around 7:20am.


The picture above is us walking up to the starting line. We had to walk down a street and then turn the corner to actually get to the starting line. There was music playing and everyone seemed to be really excited to start. Rachel and I started together but after about mile 3 she took off at a faster pace. At about this time is when I tore my headband off due to being so hot. Then at about mile 5, Kelli caught up with me and we ran together until about mile 8. Our husbands/ fiance were around mile 6/7 so it was nice to see them! Then they headed to the finish line. After that I had to walk a little bit due to some stomach issues. I always think Powerade is a good idea mid race but it never is. Make a mental note this time Ashley! My goal was to run the race in under 2 hours, and I did it!


The ending of the race was downhill and I booked it. Although I think I thought the finish line was a little closer because by the time that I actually hit the finish line, I was gassed! At the finish line they gave us these aluminum blankets and had different food/drink options. I grabbed a water, mini salted nut roll, chips, little chocolate milk and some chicken broth. I didn't think the broth would actually be appetizing but it turned out to be exactly what I needed. The only thing that we didn't really like at the end was that you had to go quite a ways around the event to actually get out. I get that they want an area for runners only to kinda cool off and get themselves back together, but when you just wanna get out of there it got a little frustrating.



The metals were really cool for this race. The silver part of it is actually quite heavy and has a space on the back if you wanted to get it engraved. After getting home, I relaxed on the couch and didn't do much. My race days are definitely lazy days!

All in all I really liked this race but I will say that I don't think that I will ever do it again. I also said kinda the same thing for my half marathon but I know I won't do that one again. I think this girl is sticking to shorter distances from now on!

So what now?
I have actually been running a little bit but have shifted my focus back to weight lifting. During my training, I could see that I was losing some fat on my upper body but gaining muscle in my legs (which led to no change in the scale). While I enjoy that, I want to work on getting my strength back. I will still keep running but not to the extent that I was before. 30-45 minutes is good for me. I am also enrolled in the Katy Hearn Fall Challenge right now. It is mostly weight lifting and she provides you with the workouts to do. If you haven't heard of her, you should check her out here. She has made some amazing progress, is a great coach and is just real and down to earth. Not to mention she is B.E.A.UTIFUL!

Well that is all for now! See you soon!


Any races you are looking forward to or have ran recently that you enjoyed? 


Linking up with these pretty ladies!

AnnMarieJenNicole, and Michelle for Wild Workout Wednesday!

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Also linking up with Running on HappySuzlyfeCrazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for Running Coaches Corner!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Weekend in Review | Rugs and Weddings

Geeze, Monday crept up fast!

In honor of Monday, we will do a little weekend in review!



Friday:

I ended up going into work for a little big to catch up on some paperwork. I really didn't want to but if I went in on Friday that meant that Monday wouldn't be so crazy. After work, I headed to a nearby dog park with Mya to meet up with one of my favorites Amy. After that, I ran some errands which included picking up another rug.


Ta-da! This is the second rug that we have gotten for our living room and we like this one a whole lot better. It just makes the room feel more open and spacious. I will be posting an update soon for our living room (since now I feel like it has all come together).

Saturday:

got a quick workout in and then headed to Spicer, MN for a friend's wedding. Our wedding season is officially over! The one thing that I forgot to do was get a picture with Bill. Come on Ashley. Gah I still can't believe that we didn't get one picture :(





It was a very beautiful wedding and we had a lot of fun!

Sunday:

What a lazy day! Bill and I drove home and watched some football. Dinner was some sloppy joes with salad and mini tator tots.

Perfect way to end the weekend.

Now today is our 1 year wedding anniversary and 7 year dating. I can't believe we have been married for a year already! Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from our big day.






We don't have any plans for tonight really but we do have plans to go out for a nice dinner this weekend. I also got some amazing flowers delivered to my work:


He's a keeper, let me tell you!

Hope you had an awesome weekend!


Linking up with Erin and Katie!