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The Future of Working Out + YouTube Videos

And just like that, it’s Friday! Where the week goes is beyond me. Also, where has the month gone? Doesn’t it feel crazy to think that we’re nearly halfway through February? I seriously need time to sloooooow down a little bit so I can enjoy it a bit more.

Anywaaaaaays, I wanted to dive into something I like to consider the future of working out because it gets me really excited.

CLASS PASS 

If you’ve never heard of ClassPass before, then you’re in for a treat. I was contacted by them to try out their service because it just launched in Orlando!!

What it is, is a monthly membership that gives you access to the best fitness studios in your city. Instead of committing to just one gym or studio, why not try out multiple, but pay a monthly-membership that doesn’t tie you down to anyone?! You have the freedom to try them all because ClassPass gives you unlimited classes to the studios in the ClassPass network. You can essential go to as many classes as you want to in your monthly membership cycle; try out one new thing, or try them all!

[One thing to note: While you can visit as many classes as you’d like per month, you can only visit the same studio up to three times per monthly subscription cycle.]

When I initially found out about this concept, I was very on board with it. Even the hubby thought it was a super cool idea. Why should I have to commit to one gym that may deliver amazing on one thing, but sub-par on another? I’ve been wanting to try out Barre for months and now I have the chance to do that. But, I can also do hot yoga, a boot camp, CrossFit, and the list goes on!

I promise you this word-venom spewing from my mouth is pure because I think this is a great idea and one that fitness forgoers have been longing for! Just two more things to share.

First, the log-in details of ClassPass. This is the screen once you log into your ClassPass account.

I love the simplistic nature of showing you all of your options; how to book your first class, upcoming classes, and completed classes. This might be good for those wondering if the membership is worth it to them, depending on how many workouts they’re actually getting out of it. Plus, it gives you the details on when your cycle will end – so hey, maybe you want to squeeze in another two workouts before it ends to round off a stellar month.

Next, searching for and selecting a class (by clicking on the ‘class schedule’ link seen in the screenshot above).

It shows you all the available class options for that day (or whatever day you choose to select at the top), with the ability to reserve a spot online. When I first logged into this two days ago, I loved seeing it for two reasons.

Reason #1: Being new to the area, unless I’m randomly googling for fitness studios, I really have no idea what’s out there. And even with googling, there’s no way I would have found some of the options listed above because I would have never known to type in those exact words for the search form (example: The Bar Method – did not know it even existed here!).

Reason #2: I’m a visual learner, so seeing all my workout options in one place for a specified day is music to my ear’s eyes.

I have SO many new fitness classes I can’t wait to try. I’d love to update you guys on how some of them are if you want me to. Not a full-blown post, but just a little info about what I attended and how it went.

I’ve paid $15/class the last two weeks for hot yoga, so my goal is to use this pass at the very least 5+ times over the course of the month to make it worth it (i.e.: to make it like “paying” $15 or less per class, as if I was paying for each individual class). Where we’re located in Orlando isn’t exactly centralized, which is where a lot of the classes are, and that’s one reason why I won’t be attending classes every day. You bet though that I’m going to try and attend as many as I very well can in the month. My grandparents come to Florida on February 26th and they’ve expressed that if I need to get out on my own at all while they’re here, they’d be happy to watch Nia…SOLD!

Ok, now I need to ask you some questions that go along with YouTube videos. It’s only three videos and they aren’t mandatory for watching, but you might enjoy #1 and #3…at least #1. And you don’t even want to know how many Frozen related videos are stored in my history thanks to Nia. It’s like I have a Frozen obsession or something (oh wait, my daughter actually does!).

  • Who is seeing Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend?

Originally, I didn’t think I would ever want to watch the movie or read the book, but multiple TV ads later (for the movie) and I think I’m ready to watch the film. It could be for the actor playing the lead, or just to see what all the fuss is about. But I’m not telling you which is the real answer.

Also on this subject, if you haven’t seen Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades main star) on the Jimmy Fallon show doing a Fifty Accents of Grey game, then you must watch it below. Hilaaarious.

  • Has anyone heard the Florida Georgia Line song ‘Sippin’ on Fire’?

I just heard it for the first time yesterday aaaaaand I loved it. I heard it in the car and proceeded home to listen to it another 5-10 times. There’s no legit music video yet, but here’s the song made video form.

  • Do you need some perspective on how great your life actually is?

I saw this video a couple weeks back when I was reading an email from a website I subscribe to and they linked to this video. It’s Louis CK on how everything is pretty awesome, yet we’re never happy. Obviously, he’s a comedian and you laugh at his references, but it really does make you think!

That’s it!

And now for you all to have a good weekend! I have some good content coming your way next week, so look forward to that! Also still debating whether to take Monday off from blogging or not. You’ll know by Monday, haha ;).

Disclosure: Although I am being provided one complimentary month of ClassPass to try out for myself, I was not instructed to write this post on behalf of them. I am purely doing it on my own to help spread the word because I think it’s a pretty awesome concepts for those interested in fitness.

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How To Clean Your Yoga Mat Naturally!

I hope I didn’t interrupt you mid-ohm (om? whichever you prefer), because I wanted to make sure your mat was squeaky clean before you go pressing your palms, feet, and face down into it. And not a ‘clean’ that is full of nasty and toxic ingredients. This one is purely simple and safe for you. Plus, it only takes two ingredients to make, so there’s that.

After getting a good yoga mat (this is the one I own and it is seriously the best mat ever), I knew I wanted to take really good care of it. The cleaner is the only one I’ve ever used on my mat. I’ve had the mat since 2010 and it’s still pretty close to brand new (minus all the love I’ve put into it). Now it’s my turn to let you in on the yoga mat cleaning secret!

YOGA MAT CLEANER

What you’ll need: 1 spray bottle 

Ingredients:

  • 6-10 drops of tea tree oil
  • water to fill the remainder of the bottle

1. Put the tea tree drops into a spray bottle and fill the rest up with water.2. Shake to mix, and then spray!

Before I ever started using tea tree oil, I wish I would have known about it sooner. It’s so versatile because it offers so many uses. It’s properties are:

  • anti-bacterial
  • anti-fungal
  • anti-viral
  • good for acne and athletes foot
  • can reduce warts
  • can be diffused into a room for combatting airborne viruses

How cool is that? Plus, a little goes a long way (as you can see from the above concoction).

This cleaner was definitely needed after last night’s sweat session in hot yoga. From drippy sweaty mess (me and the mat) to squeaky clean (just the mat this time, I think I’m a lost cause).

I also use my tea tree oil spray for other areas of the house, but I’ll save that for another post!

Have you ever used tea tree oil before? If so, what’s the main use for it?

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My Main Workout Motivator

Guys. I might be addicted to HGTV, and more specifically the show Fixer Upper. The hubby renos the house and the wife decorates it.  I LOVE her decorating style so much that I can’t help but want to marry her just so she can decorate my house. Her decorating style is just in alignment with how I want my house to look. All I need to do is move to Waco, Texas so I can go on the show and end up in heaven. Glad we got that out of the way.

Besides watching HGTV, I promise you that I don’t sit on my butt all day. I’ve got the Fitbit stats to prove it…and the workouts! Which for that, I owe a serious thanks to Winter Shape Up + waking up early. Those have been the keys to my success.

I also got to get back into hot yoga a week ago (with the hubby’s friend! haha) and plan on going again tonight.

I seriously missed the sweat session. And if we’re being honest, last week’s class was probably the most I ever sweated. It was really a sight to see. Shall I challenge that tonight? (And I want to review the studio because I really enjoyed some aspects of it!)

Then I did something yesterday that you probably won’t even believe unless you were there with me: I ran. I just wanted to do something quickly, so before the hubby went into work, I headed over to the gym to use the treadmill and did a speedy 2.25 miles. I have no photo evidence, so it’s up to you whether it actually happened or not.

I plan to sign Nia up for swim lessons soon (after finding a sweet indoor salt water pool offering lessons) and my main worry is getting in a bathing suit–even it’s in the presence of small children. Is it weird that my main motivator for working out right now might be to take my daughter to swimming lessons? Ha.

I guess whatever gets the job done?

The thing connecting my body and working out are my eats. Good ol’ eats. I actually asked the hubby last week if he wanted to do a smallish detox and cut out sugars for a week (or something because I honestly didn’t know if I could even go a week anyways) and his response was, “What is this? Jail?!?” So I guess that’s out the window. But seriously, I like my eating 90% of the time, there’s still a hurdle for the other 10% and I’m pretty sure it all comes down to amounts. But that’s for another post.

I do have a question for you now though: Any posts you want to see in the future? So far I’ve got a request for Fitbit review, and more food eats (adult and toddler), which is all I have in the books right now. So, give me more!

I also have a legit recipe coming up for you soon, too.

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Trying Three New Things in Orlando

{Note about the blog: I experienced some issues this morning and had to revert to a backup from yesterday morning, so this is actually my second time posting this post. Plus, I lost my post from yesterday, which will be coming back up later. Sorry if you commented in between yesterday morning to this morning and it’s now lost!!}

Hello and happy Tuesday.

This is my attempt to take the focus away from any blog-related problems I’ve been having because that’s so boring. Instead today I want to talk about my new stomping grounds and the fact that I was able to visit three new places this past week. The neat thing is that they’re all completely different and that going to them makes me still feel like a tourist. I told Tyler that the defining moment of when I won’t feel like one anymore is when I won’t have to depend on GPS to take me somewhere. Let’s just assume that, that won’t be happening anytime soon. I can barely learn the highways, let alone understand which direction they run. This also means I’ll probably keep enjoying the tourist attractions while figuring out where all the locals hang out.

I wanted to showcase each new place I visited in order of appearance, so let’s first rewind to Thursday morning.

1. Brook Hollow Farm

A friend invited me to go strawberry picking at a farm located not too far from us: Brook Hollow Farm. The cool thing about this farm is that it’s actually a hydroponic farm. What this means is that they’re able to deliver the right amount of nutrients to the strawberries every day because the strawberries are actually not planted in the dirt. The set up looks like this:

The strawberries grow instead in a mixture of Vermiculite and Pearlite, which are both natural resources. And because there is no soil, there’s no reliance on pesticides, so they pride themselves in using only organic products, which leads to delicious and safe fruit.

You actually take scissors with you when you go picking and cut the strawberries off the stems leaving some still intact, which helps to deliver additional nutrients to the strawberry once it’s been picked and keep it fresh longer. I was thoroughly impressed with the whole process and couldn’t stop myself from filling up the basket.

It’s probably wise that you don’t know how much I ended up spending on strawberries, along with how many still remain in our fridge, but even still, it was so worth it. I’m already thinking ahead to the next time I can take Nia back.

Here she is with her friends.

2. Ethos Vegan Kitchen

I had heard about it before moving to Orlando from various people, but last week it came up with two different people on separate occasions, so we decided to check it out on Saturday night.

We didn’t book a reservation, so we had to wait about 10 minutes for a table, which was understandable because it was a Saturday night.

Ethos Vegan Kitchen is your “classic foods” style restaurant that tries to showcase the comfort cuisines you’re used to. I think it’s a great concept and the restaurant was busy the entire time we were there. Not that I can tell the vegans from the non-vegans, but it looked to me like there was a big variety of eaters there. Maybe that’s how they have the pull: it’s vegan, but it’s a dish that you’d enjoy on a regular menu, so people are a little less intimidated to eat an exclusively vegan restaurant. That’s just my theory. Roll with it ;).

We decided to do appetizers + entrees and started with garlic knots.

They were so warm and doughy, and delicious. I really enjoyed these, but I’ve become one of those picky (vegan) eaters and could tell that the butter was just with original Earth Balance, whereas we only use organic whipped in our home because it has a far better taste. I’ve become a brat, I know!

Next, we tried the soup on special, which was a vegetable medley.

This was sub-par at best because it majorly lacked flavor. It had a nice amount of veggies in it, but I really needed more herbs or something!

For dinner, Nia got the pasta primavera with parmesan off the kids’ menu.

I got the Sheep’s Pie (mashed potatoes with veggies smothered in gravy and then oven-baked).

And Tyler got Yo Mama’s Lasagna (lasagna noodles with marinara sauce and noodles).

I enjoyed my dish, but I was filled to the brim (I think it was that + the appetizer combo). I had Nia help me finish my dinner. Tyler had he was ok, but he’s also become a snooty eater. I think I probably created that problem because of the way I cook at home. Whoops!

Overall, we thought it was a good place to try, but after feeling like we had to be rolled down the hallway after eating, we agreed that we enjoy the vegan-style restaurants that focus on power bowls and the like. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but I like feeling good after a meal, also. Someone the hubby convinced me to work out that night after eating. It was probably the right call for feeling better.

3. Disney Boardwalk

On Sunday, we were trying to figure out what to do on the hubby’s day off. He usually works six days a week, so I love when he gets a day off and we can actually go somewhere. He came up with the idea of going to the Disney Boardwalk. What that is, is a collection of restaurants, entertainment, and recreation. We thought it would be something nice to do that was free – the biggest motivator for going someplace new. When we first arrived we actually ended up getting a margarita.

Then we started to do the walk around the boardwalk (which is 0.8 miles in length, which I discovered on a sign).

After a bit of walking, we went back to where we arrived and decided to rent a bike for 30 minutes. That way we could tour around the full boardwalk; something that wouldn’t have happened while on foot with a toddler.

It really is a gorgeous setting. There’s a little beach at one point (but don’t swim in the water – eek!), a path that would lead into Epcot, and access to a bunch of hotels, including the Swan & Dolphin.

We ended up looping around the boardwalk twice but stopped on the beach on our second lap because we had some extra time before we had to return the bike.

I can tell Nia had a lot of fun because whenever we stopped pedaling (i.e.: after getting up the hills, while huffing and puffing the entire way up) she would tell us, “Keep going!” We know who runs the show.

The bike, itself, was awesome too. We got a 3-seater, but they had bigger options to accommodate more. Whatever option you choose, the two seats on the outsides can pedal, and the person in the “driver’s seat” has control of the steering.

After we finished up on the bike, we headed out because we had a tired little conductor on our hands. As we were leaving, I thought I saw my fellow ZOOMA ambassador, Mary Beth, but I wasn’t quite sure. Turns out it was her (I sent her a message on twitter!), and wish I had stopped to say hi. Next time, MB???

That adventure made me want to get a Disney pass even more than ever. I mean, it honestly is in our backyard (as I learn the more as we venture over there), which means it’s pretty much a given that it should happen soon.

I can’t wait to keep updating you with Orlando attractions as we continue to find/visit them. I received an email about doing an Orlando post on non-touristy places to visit and it seriously is my mission to make that happen. Oh darn, it just means that Nia and I will have to start venturing out more. Such a tragedy!

Every been to any of the above?

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I Suck at Decisions, So I Need Your Help

My blood bleeds indecisiveness.

It’s a terrible thing to have. Don’t leave me as the one in charge of decision making or else I’ll crumble, get flustered, and then put it on someone else.

Despite setting a goal this year and writing it daily (“I am confident and satisfied with my decisions every day”), obviously, there’s some hesitation in changing this habit because I’ve had a bit of indecisiveness over one thing, in particular, this week: the blog switch.

If you talked to me on Tuesday (aka the day after I launched the new site), I was having anxiety and panic attacks. My mind was going a mile a minute wondering what the heck I did. Moving forward, the indecisiveness was still there, but then my thoughts then started jumping between: ‘it’s ok’ to ‘switch it back’ to ‘start with something new altogether!’ Naturally, I still don’t know where I stand.

That’s where you come in… I need your help.

The more I started thinking about things, the more I wonder, did my old blog actually fit me better? I mean, I am more food-focused (but so still love fitness and running), so why the heck did I even want to switch in the first place?! Was it just a blog facelift I needed (like a legit good one) and then I would have been fine (because I really am obsessed with this font that I have right now–and that was enough for a switch?)? Or, did I truly need this change? I battled with that in-between panic attacks on Tuesday and ultimately came to no clear decision. Are you surprised?

So, can you help?

Tyler told me that if I do decide to just go back to the old blog that I should just say, fake out! which would have been nice if I wasn’t typing up this post. But I’m honestly fine putting my indecisiveness out there. It’s what keeps me real and allows me to hear more about what you think instead of battling the demons internally.

I think my biggest anxiety comes from: Is this where I want to be in 5 years from now/will it match what I want to be doing? I think the beauty of creating a new, mystifying blog can cloud your judgment. You just automatically assume that it will all be good. Or at least I did…until it became real. And now I’m in the regret/am I thinking clearly stage. Should I just start a new blog altogether (the answer is: I actually thought up a brilliant other blog names during my workout on Tuesday morning/also when freakout set in, and sadly it was taken, so maybe that’s a sign to steer clear–but it was a really clever name!)?

No, seriously, help me out. Because come Monday, could mean the difference between going back to what I know and just laughing it off, or sticking this one through and never speaking of it again. (One thing that’s actually not working in favor of keeping this blog is how I failed to successfully transfer any pictures from my old posts. That’s annoying on a lot of levels.)

Maybe the ultimate advice should be to just stop blogging because clearly, I’m not one to follow the concept of picking something and sticking with it.

Until then, I really appreciate ALL the words you have to say. Make them harsh. Make them helpful. At this point, I’ll take anything I can get.

Thanks, friends!

And I think this picture appropriately sums me up in a nutshell right now (both because of how my body hurts from working out and how my mind hurts from too much over-thinking).

Before I go, I just want to give a shout out to my sister- today is her 20th birthday! I wish I was at home to bake her a delicious cake and see her enter her twenties today :(. I hope you shine bright, Jaclyn! You are a determined and hardworking lady, and I’m so proud of you! xoxo

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Munchkin Meals: A Vegan Two-Year-Old

Hey there! it’s been a while since I linked up for Munchkin Meals over on Brittany’s blog (and go congratulate her on her new book!), but today I am. I’ve had some people interested in seeing what I feed Nia, so I thought it would be fun to show you some of her meals from the last few weeks. Of course, I started off with having every intention of taking a picture for each of her meals, but then once I start snapping pictures of my own, hers goes out the window. Oops! Let’s take a look at some of the meals I did manage to get a picture of!

Dinner from last week: brown rice vermicelli noodles with raw veggies (shredded carrot, red bell pepper, cilantro, purple cabbage) in a peanut-lime sauce (garlic, ginger, water, lime juice, tamari, peanut butter, rice wine vinegar).

A reoccurring dinner lately: BBQ tempeh quesadilla, and I smashed some avocado on top of hers. In the queso: Mozza and cheddar Daiya cheese, tempeh marinated in homemade BBQ sauce, diced bell pepper, onion, corn, and kale.

A common breakfast at least once a week: pillowy pancakes (from Isa Does It) with organic blueberries added in and topped with maple syrup + organic unsweetened applesauce on the side.

A dinner made almost weekly, or at least biweekly: rainbow power bowls. Comprised of quinoa on the bottom, sautéed kale, raw yellow bell pepper, shredded carrot, green onions, and purple cabbage, topped with a lemon-tahini-garlic dressing.

A dinner that is a recipe in progress: the sides were ready before the main. She was on the counter when I was dishing out her kale salad and avocado and must have been hungry because she dug in. I wasn’t going to stop a girl from eating her kale, so I let her go to town and then she enjoyed the curried chickpea and sweet potato burger when it was finally done baking.

Dinner from a few nights ago: pan-roasted tofu (in coconut oil + mountain salt), sweet potatoes (baked with coconut oil, cinnamon, and cayenne), and green beans (sautéed in EVOO with garlic, ginger, and a splash of tamari).

And then finally this was last night’s dinner: pan-fried tofu with noodles and veggies. This is a recipe I’ve had for a while, but it’s one of our absolute favorites. The flavors are amazing.

And here are some of her snacks right now: applesauce (x one million), Annie’s bunny crackers (all variations, minus the ones with cheese), fruit, raisins, chips and hummus, toast with PB & jam, and smoothies.

;)

And there you have it, some of Nia’s meals! I don’t want to jinx it but she’s eating really good lately. No complaints or disputing anything put in front of her. And for the most part, it all gets eaten. Mind you, sometimes the tail-end of the meals has to get accomplished when she’s back into playing, but still. Sometimes she’ll run into her bedroom and I’ll say, “Come here and have another bite!” and she’ll run out to get it, as I’m thinking: she’s burning everything off as she eats it! But it’s all fun. 

Tell me: What is your child currently loving to eat? Are they a busy body?

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What Products I’m Ready to Try

Can I be honest for a second? When I was typing this post up last night, I was exhaaauuuusted. I love waking up early thing, but I really am done sometimes as early as 7:30pm. Nia actually came over to me lying on the couch last night and said, “mommy get UP!” Luckily she has the oomph to make that happen, but after the kid went to bed, I was blogging from the couch and not moving. I guess it’s a good habit to get in though…if I’m waking up with the sun, I probably shouldn’t be going down super late.

Anyways, I thought it would be fun to do a midweek post on some products I’m ready to try in the near future. I know a lot of people are taking to the “Friday Favourites” type posts, which I love, but I think it’s also neat to see products not yet tried, but could soon become a favorite. Here are a few I have my eyes on.

1. FABLETICS

I’m a big lululemon wearer, but as we all know: it is pricey. Granted, it is good clothing, but when do you say enough is enough with paying those prices? The answer for me is: when you have a well-established lulu collection and are looking for some new looks that lulu doesn’t currently have, for a fraction of the costs. I absolutely am crushing on the top above, along with a few other sleeveless ones, plus some pants. I just haven’t quite hit the ‘purchase’ button yet, but trust me, the desire is there!

2. COMPRESSION SOCKS

I’m still wondering how I haven’t tried compression socks yet! Isn’t everyone wearing them now? I especially want them just to see how it compares to all my non-compression sock running. It’s probably my driving force for wanting to test them out. I’m just looking for a super good deal on them because I can’t justify paying $50 for a pair of socks!

3. DISNEY ANNUAL PASS 

Now that we live in Florida and super close to Disney, I thought it would be a good idea to get an annual pass. I’m thinking this needs to happen ASAP because children are actually free under 3, so I would only need to purchase one pass between the two of us, and we’d be good for nine months. I say ‘two of us’ because I was thinking about getting the cheapest pass option which is a select weekday pass (valid Mondays to Fridays, with blackout dates though) and since Tyler works during the weekdays, he won’t need one. That way I can take Nia whenever I feel like we need something fun to do in the morning/afternoons during the week…and because it’s where dreams come true. I hope they mean for adults, too!

This last one isn’t necessarily for me, but still…

4. KIWI CRATE

With so many personal box delivery services from clothing to make-up to pet-focused items, obviously, they made one for children. This one is an activity box (or as they call it, crate) with activities to engage your child and help them learn. They actually are designated to your child’s age; Kiwi Crate is the one for ages 4-8, whereas Koala Crate is for ages 3-4, so that’s the one I went with, figuring Nia is close enough in age. I’m not really the Creative Cathy like my former high school self was, and that’s why I decided I wanted to give this service a try. I ordered her first box last week and I’m anxiously waiting for it arrives. I’ll let you all in on what we get and how it goes when it gets here!

So those are just a few products I’m ready to hop on board with and try soon.

Anything you like above? Have tried? Ready to try?


Disclaimer: This post contains NO affiliate links. These are just products I am genuinely interested in trying out and would purchase with my own money.

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My Fitness Motives

I first wanted to say thank you for all the congratulatory comments yesterday. I’m hopeful that this new space will work out perfectly!

Next, I wanted to clear something up: just because I switched to a blog with “run” in the title does not mean I am any less interested in good food! Remember how I said yesterday that ALL the other things in my life are what make for happy running conditions? Well, food is a big part of that! You can still expect to see a lot of food pictures on my Instagram feed and recipes on here. I have been slacking on the recipe front, but actually have a new one coming your way soon. I just re-tested it again on the weekend and it still tastes just as good as I thought it did the first time! So look for that.

Now, I wanted to switch gears to a more “fitness-focused” post because well, I’m finally getting back into the swing of things. The hubby had kind of said for the new year that he wanted to get moving somehow and some way, every day. I was definitely on board for this, too! I find as a SAHM that I can get used to just going through the notions of home-life and push fitness to the back of my mind.

No more, my friends! And that’s why I’m here to tell you about my fitness motives.

I never knew that this first thing would make a million times difference, but it does: waking up early (6-6:30am) and working out right away. You know how good it feels knowing it’s only 7:30 in the morning and you’ve already worked out that day?! It makes me feel like a million bucks. It means I have SO many more hours to do other things. Versus what I found typically happened before: hours would drag on before I got my workout in, and then it wasn’t as enjoyable because I felt like I “had to” work out before I ran out of time in the day. Definitely not as effective. This way, I get to not only workout with the hubby (vs. doing it solo), but we help keep each other accountable for actually getting our butts out of bed in the morning and doing it!

As you can tell from the above picture, my current regimen is based out of the home. I don’t have a gym membership, but we do have a fitness room where we currently live so sometimes the hubby and I will take Nia over there. This allows us to work out with weights and equipment that we don’t have in the home. It helps out the hubby more than me because the weights are heavier for him to use than what we own! We went there on the weekend to do a Winter Shape Up workout, and the bonus is Nia loves the room!

Another thing that’s helping to keep me on top of workouts is the above mentioned Winter Shape Up. Not only are Gina’s workouts hard, but man do they make me feel good. I feel like I’m not in a place of loving my body right now, and instead of beating myself down over it, I’m building myself up. It takes time to see noticeable changes, and thankfully I have another 3 weeks of Winter Shape Up to work on that…and to know that I’m actually doing something about what I’m not happy with.

I’m also learning (only took two years!) that it’s ok to combine my needs with Nia’s. I always come back to feeling like Nia needs to come first, but especially since moving and being away from family and not having the help/support, I know that I need to get this thinking out of my head. My sanity is just as important as hers. That’s why I’m figuring out more things that I can do for her that also benefit me. Take: running to the park a mile away from us. It allowed me to get a 2-mile run in and her some outside playtime. We’re both winning!

And finally, adding some more yoga in! We actually did a bit this morning before Nia woke up and I’m going to a class tomorrow night with one of Tyler’s friends from work. I miss the calmness of it and the lengthening. Ah yes, the stretching that is much needed as I lose my flexibility a little more each day (it feels).

I also think it’s important for Nia to see us working out, as well. She already grabs the 2lb weights when we go to the workout room and calls them “my weights.” Start ‘em young!

Do you have a lot of fitness equipment in your home?

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The Start of Something New

Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. So glad you could make it!

If you’re reading this post than the secret is revealed…my new blog name (and space of the web). So, what do you think? Was it anything close to what you expected? Far off from it? Is it juuuuuuuust right?

I’m most excited for a fresh(ish) start, a new and cleaner look, and the future. Because the future is pretty exciting, amiright???

I really wanted to do an intro post to let you in on the reason for the switch and how it all began. So, let’s go!

It was back in June 2014 when little blogger Char really didn’t have any intention of switching her blog (especially not in the near future), but had picked up the latest copy of Runner’s World for a weekend away and the vision hit her. (Would it be a good time to switch to first-person instead? Ya, I thought so too…)

I was noticing a reoccurring theme throughout the magazine that started resonating with me. Something that not only made sense but I practiced a lot. Something that started getting me thinking.

I think you know what that was…

It started with seeing this:

“Whoa, this really is so right.”

Then came this:

“Happy running life…are you kidding me?!”

And finally, this:

The signs were all there…literally.

It put in motion the start of something new, but it didn’t progress very quickly in the beginning. I was content with my blog, but as time passed, the desire grew. I waited patiently for the URL to become available (it was taken until late September – I even offered to take it off their hands earlier than that for a small fee, but they suggested I pay way more than it was worth). I took the risk and hoped they wouldn’t renew their domain and luckily they didn’t. Otherwise, this might not even be happening.

Then, I spent the last few months doing minimal, small changes at first–trying to choose a theme that worked with what I wanted (simplistic and a lot of white)–and then switched to full-fledged get this thing ready! mode. I had times of altering code that completely ruined my site (doh!), which lead to having to start from scratch again, which then lead to me making very careful decisions going forward. (Just don’t think I was actually writing code. I was Googling the heck out of a lot of topics and taking already formulated code and pasted it in to my editor.)

Finally, I got to a place where I liked what I saw (read: I just couldn’t put any more work into what I already had), came up with the January challenge and purposely put launching my new blog at the end of the month as something to do before I changed my mind altogether. And here we are.

Although things are not perfect and probably won’t be for a long time, I’m happy with the result. No pun intended! And just know that some old links probably won’t link back properly (because I’m not the master coder), my font is sometimes different for bullet points and various other random spots in posts that I don’t want to spend time pinpointing, and I still have to work on switching my social media accounts over to the new name. (Also, I’d love your feedback: Tell me what you like/dislike, especially as a reader and commenter, so I can make it better for YOU.)

Edited to add: I’m also finding out that old and new photos aren’t loading now on some posts. Go figure!

So, that’s how the site, itself, came about, but let’s dig deeper into the ‘what’ for the blog name (articulated as close as I could to my overall feelings for the blog name, even though sometimes it’s extremely hard to just get out what you mean):

I love to run, but only when I want to. If I don’t want to run, I won’t, and I won’t feel bad/guilty/upset over it. I’ll just run the next time when I absolutely want to…or when I’m happy.

But it doesn’t exactly stop there. I also think that my choices for when I run or workout have a lot to do with my lifestyle, which is equally as important (if not more) as the workout/run, itself. For me, this includes a huge focus on (plant-based) nutrition/food, sustainability/green living, family & friends, and let’s be honest, wearing lululemon clothing. These things make me a well-rounded person and when they’re working properly, I feel more compelled to be my best me. My best me = better at doing the things in life I like to do (which just so happens to include running).

Happy life = Happy me = Happy running.

That’s it!

I explain a little more on my about page if you want to check there, but for now, I’ll leave you with this. I’m so excited to start this new journey. One that I hope you tag along for and enjoy. And hey, maybe we’ll get the change to run happily together sometimes.

Thanks so much. Love you guys and I appreciate the support! XO

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Stitch Fix Review #2

I couldn’t help myself. After getting all giddy about receiving my first fix last month, I had to give it another shot. Plus, I had asked my mother-in-law for a gift card to Stitch Fix (<–referral link) for Christmas, which she did end up getting me. 

Since my first fix, I’ve created a Pinterest board designated for my stylist (I’m hoping as I continually add to it, the better they’ll get at understanding my style and/or the looks I’m going for), and made sure to give the best feedback I can so they can build on it in the future. Although I still have a lot to learn.

But… I am completely sold on the concept of people picking out clothes for you and having them sent to your front door. After going to the mall last Saturday and being annoyed with how busy it was, I just made Stitch Fix that much more appealing. I clearly am a hermit at heart. Now I would like to show you what was sent to me in my second fix!

First up, was the Esten Button-Up Sleeveless Blouse from Collective Concepts ($54).

This was sent to me based on an image I had pinned to my board. And although I loved the look on the blogger from the original image, I didn’t exactly like the look on me.

Maybe it’s just my body or the top itself, but I found it made me look really boxy (because I actually do have a torso below, I promise haha!).

Or maybe I just have no idea what I’m actually looking for in terms of style!

Next up was the Mira Skinny Jean from Liverpool ($78).

At first, I didn’t know how I felt about a pair of pants there were high-waisted and had no zipper, but they did win in the super comfy department. I just don’t know if I can get over the fact that you put them on without unbuttoning anything. It almost made them feel like maternity pants because they were so high-waisted and stretchy. And let’s just say that I’m not ready for anything maternity-related quite yet! Plus, I felt like they made me look bigger in the hips and that’s not the look I’m going for – I’m actually trying to achieve the opposite!

And a side note: If you remember from my last fix, I received a pair of jeans that I did enjoy, but they were too big. Well, I had gotten an email asking if I wanted to receive them again in a smaller size, or get a new pair altogether. I somehow don’t know where the email went (I only found out that it even existed when I received another email asking to rate the first email and it included what the original email said), so I never had a chance to respond (sorry, stylish!). All in all, I’m actually glad they sent another pair of pants because as much as I liked the first pair, I was interested to see more!

Next was the Farris Faceted Stone Statement Necklace from Pixley ($38).

Again, my stylist was trying to go off the above look I liked from the other blog, where I could pair this with the top, and I totally appreciated that she was trying to maximize my items together! I’ve never owned a statement necklace before but totally fell in love with the idea of them to dress up shirts once I had it around my neck. I’m pretty sure Nia loved it also.

Next up was the Lottie Scarf Print 3/4 Sleeve Blouse by Daniel Rainn ($68).

This top was not screaming ‘me.’  I didn’t love the colors and patterning, plus, the sleeves would be really hard to keep rolled up due to fabric. I think I might need to avoid ‘flowy’ tops in the future (even though it’s what I indicated I wanted) because they just are not working for me. I also wasn’t loving the price on this top. It seemed a bit steep to me.

And finally, the Janette Fitted Open Cardigan by BRIXTON IVY ($54).

If only I liked short tops/sweaters because the color and fabric were spots on, but I just hate short anything. And the cardigan, itself, seemed too plain and style-less.

Just nothing to it! Plus, I wasn’t all that thrilled with the price tag attached to this piece either!

So overall, here’s what I ended up doing:

  • Esten Button-Up Sleeveless Blouse from Collective Concepts = PASS
  • Mira Skinny Jean from Liverpool = PASS
  • Farris Faceted Stone Statement Necklace from Pixley = KEEP
  • Lottie Scarf Print 3/4 Sleeve Blouse by Daniel Rainn = PASS
  • Janette Fitted Open Cardigan by BRIXTON IVY = PASS

I really did love the necklace, plus, I didn’t want to lose the $20 styling credit, so I went with it only (poor, lonely necklace). It does kind of stink that I didn’t get any clothing pieces from this fix, but from what I’ve heard, it does take a couple of times for your stylist to get to know you and your style. I’ll hang in there, little fix!

Plus, I know I’m only two fixes in AND still very indecisive about what I even want to wear AND still improving my Pinterest board, so I’m hopeful that future fixes will, indeed, turn out a bit better.

I am really enjoying the service though and could see how you can become addicted. I’m already thinking ahead to the next time I decide to order!

Do you like to take risks in the style department?