Heart Healthy Month: 28 Days of Fitness

Happy happy Friday! I have a few different reasons to be excited for today. For one, it’s pay day! Who doesn’t love pay day! Not only is it pay day, but it’s already the last day of January. Can y’all believe that the last day of the first month of 2014 is already among us? February is going to be a great month. Not only is it the month of love and the Olympics, but it’s heart healthy month! One of the best ways to keep your heart healthy is exercise! As a personal trainer, this is an important month to me. That being said, I have a challenge for y’all.

How would y’all like to compete in a 28 Days of Fitness Challenge? The goal is to complete the following by the end of February:

The idea is that you can break it up and do a little bit each day. Here is the breakdown if you split it up for each day of February:
43 Sit ups
36 Burpees
28 Push ups
22 Tricep dips
7 Pull ups
2:15 min Pank
Here’s the breakdown if you decide to do it every week day (20 in Feb):
60 Sit ups
50 Burpees
40 Push ups
30 Tricep dips
10 Pull ups
3:00 min Plank
However you need to get it done, works for me. I have a spreadsheet that adds up each of the exercises and adds together the numbers for each day you complete some of the exercises. I can e-mail it to anyone who wants to participate! Just leave a comment and make sure you’re not a no-reply comment blogger so I’ll have your e-mail address!
We’re doing something similar among all the employees at my work which is where I got the idea. 
Now who wants to join me???


How to throw a baby shower for the classy, confident mom-to-be

This past weekend I had the pleasure of co-hosting a baby shower for one of my oldest and closest friends. You may remember her from my wedding or more recently {though nearly 2 years ago} when I posted about her wedding! Nicole wanted something classy and elegant that didn’t scream baby shower and I like to think that’s exactly what we did. Now here are the steps on how to get it done!

One. Find some awesome friends to co-host it with. Throwing showers are far from inexpensive but if you find the right people to host it with you, costs are cut as well as planning. You have people to collaborate with and make sure you hit each and every detail.

Two. Include the dad-to-be and make it a couples shower. Guys can be included in a baby shower! See step three to find the best way to get the guys involved! But seriously, dads need to be recognized too. They may not be carrying the child, but they’re about to be a parent too and probably want to be more included than you think!!

**Don’t get any ideas. JP is not a dad-to-be, but he was my hot date and even wore pink for the baby girl!**

Three. Include cocktails. If the momma-to-be isn’t offended by others drinking when she can’t, bring on the drinks. It keeps the party more entertaining for the guests! You can also include a fun signature drink. We chose Pompagne as our ssignature drink! Just champage and pomenganate juice for a pretty dark pink drink. We also provided several types of beer, Chardonnay and Savangon Blanc!

Four. Limited, classy decor. Not everything has to scream baby, baby, baby! I believe you should go with the nursery colors. Nicole’s colors are hot raspberry and golden yellow. Hence the popmagne signature drink! We added a few paper pom-poms, colored straws, yellow and pink M&M’s, wrapping paper and other touches here and there.

Five. Make sure there is plenty of food. Appetizers, dinner, snacks galore! Nicole’s mom was amazing and had fajitas catered. (And did I mention she also let us use her home as the location? Miss Kathy is the best!) We were sure to include non-Mexican food appetizers to appeal to everyone’s pallets!

Six. Don’t forget the desserts. If you think you’ve made too many desserts, you’re wrong. There is a reason desserts has a double ss and desert is singe. You always need more desserts. Naturally, I was in charge of desserts.

Yellow and Pink cupcake toppers!

Seven. Open presents. It’s fun for the mom-to-be and the guests. Everyone loves to see the reaction on her face when she opens their present.

Eight. Limit games and let the guest enjoy the atmosphere. Don’t force games on them. But have some in the reserves just in case they’re necessary to get people to mingle! We had two:

Clothes Pin Game
Midnight Diaper Change
Instructions for games below!

Nine. Sit back, relax, sip some wine and eat a cupcake. You’ve done the planning and the night is sure to be a blast!

There you have it! A classy couples baby shower just need a few touches of love, a lot of food, some drinks here and there and all the people that will love and adore the baby when he/she enters the world. Princess Penelope, I am just dying to meet you! I’ll love you forever!

Have you thrown a baby shower or wedding shower before?
What other steps would you add to the list?


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Workout Wednesday: Pinterest

Yesterday I wrote a post with no pictures. Today is a post with mainly pictures! Today I wanted to share with y’all some awesome workouts that I’ve found and done on Pinterest! Seriously y’all, don’t just pin those Pinterest workouts, go back and do them! You’ll find some great new moves and unique combos you may not have thought of!

Lower Body

via

Oh my glutes, quads and hamstrings! This is a great lower body burn all together, not just the butt. No worries, the booty is totally targeted though. This is great because you can do it anywhere since it requires no equipment!

Upper Body

via

You can change the 5 min run to 5 min of any cardio. The main goal is to get your heart rate up in between each exercise to increase calorie burn and improve cardiovascular fitness. 

Advance Super Awesome Full Body!

via

This has it all. Cardio, upper, lower and core. And it’s hard. This is a seriously awesome workout. If the 99 intimidates you, start with 55 and below, then you can increase each time from there!

Shameless Plug Workout

via

And because I couldn’t post a bunch of work outs without a single one of mine!

Have you tried any of your pinned workouts?
Which ones are your favorites?
Send me links or blogs! I love trying new ones!
Happy hump day y’all! And don’t forget to squeeze in a quick sweat sesh!

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A to Z Book Survey

Happy Tuesday lovelies! Several months ago, I found this fun book survey…and then I forgot about it…until now! I haven’t mentioned it in a while, but I am an avid reader. I love to read. I love getting lost in a book and finding myself in a different time and place. The main reason I don’t have a bunch of tv shows that I’m obsessed with is becuase I read while watching tv. This requires me to have pretty shallow content on πŸ™‚ Last year I read 50 books. Fifty! I’m pretty proud of that. This year, my goal is 52 which comes out to a book a week. I’ve already finished five and one was a re-read, but I’m still counting it! Now…onto the survey!

Author you’ve read the most books from: 
Janet Evanovich – I love her Stephanie Plum series. Fun and easy reads.

Best Sequel Ever:
MockingJay – Suzanne Collins

I loved The Hunger Games trilogy. Like a lot. The second book was actually my favorite in the series. I generally find that the first book is nearly always my favorite in a series, but not this case!!  The second movie is better too!
Another sequel I loved is Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover. The first book is called Slammed. Both are amazing and I was just as captivated by the second as I was the first.

Currently Reading:
A Time to Kill – John Grisham

Drink of Choice While Reading:
Red wine or water πŸ™‚

E-reader or Physical Book?
I love my e-reader, but I’m also into a real book every now and then! I’d say 80% e-reader, 20% real!

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
???

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

This one is an oldie but a goodie. It was written in the 1970’s and I was skeptical as to if I would like it or not. After a few of my close friends and husband telling me to read it, I did and I loved it!

Hidden Gem Book:
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

Okay I don’t know if I woluld say it’s a hidden gem, but it’s a gem that people don’t often give a second chance. I had to read this book in high school. At 15 I did not understand or appreciate this book. Needless to say, I’m so glad I gave it another chance!

Important Moment in your Reading Life:
Learning to read?

Just Finished:
The Davinci Code – Dan Brown

One of my most favorite books of all time!

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:
Sci-Fi like Star Wars type stuff

Longest Book You’ve Read:
Possibly Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It’s the longest of the HP series at 766 pages!

Major book hangover because of:
Divergent series. I’m obsessed and I feel like I lost friends after Allegient was over. #nerdalert

Number of Bookcases You Own:
Two. A huge one in our living room and small one in our upstairs landing area. A lot of my books are at my parents house.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
Harry Potter Series!

Preferred Place To Read:
Snuggled under a blanket on the couch, laying out by the pool or soaking in a warm bath tub!

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:
“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.” Eat Pray Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling

Reading Regret:
None I can think of right now!

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

I have an obsessive habit of needing to finish what I start. I can’t think of any series that I have started and haven’t finished with all the books out!

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:
Angels and Demons – Dan Brown

Divergent – Veronica Roth
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

Unapologetic Fangirl For:
All Dystopian book series…I’m obsessed…

Hunger Games
Divergent
Delirium
Matched
The Maze Runner
So on and so forth…am I missing some?

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
I’m not sure what I’m excited for now, but in the past I’ve been the most pumped about the last Harry Potter and Last of the Divergent series!

Worst Bookish Habit:
Becoming obsessed with a book and finishing it qicker than I thought I would. This means I’ve probably…

…stayed up too late
…neglected chores around the house
…ignored my husband
…need to buy another book soon πŸ™‚

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
Something Blue – Emily Giffen

Your latest book purchase:
UnEnchanted – Chanda Hahn

Cute, easy read. I got it on my Kindle for $0.99 and then read the next two in the series. Nothing too deep or exciting, but I enjoy fairtytale type stories.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
The Bone Season – Samantha Sannon

So good and interesting once you get into it! It’s supposed to be a 7 book series like Harry Potter. Can’t wait!

So there you have it! My A-Z Book Survey! 

Now what books do I need to read? 
I need some new ones to read!!!

Meet ups and Showers and Dinners, oh my!

Monday, Monday, Monday…you came so soon. And after a super fun weekend, it’s safe to say I wish you would have stayed tucked away for a bit longer. Oh well, Mondays are for reminescing over our weekend fun right? It’s safe to say that I had a very busy and jam packed weekend. Here’s my weekend in a nutshell!

This weekend I…
…had a dinner date night with my main sqeeze including margs and fajitas!
…watched Harry Potter Weekend on ABC Family. Always. Duh.
…baked and baked and baked for Nicole’s baby shower!

…attended the first Houston Blogger Social Club meet up at Hearsay! It’s always so great to see my lovely #houstonbloggers

…didn’t take nearly enough pictures with my girls at the blogger meet up! At least I was able to snap this on of Amy, me and Whitney!!!
…co-hosted a beautiful baby shower for Nicole, Cliff and Princess Penelope! (Full post to come later!)
…stayed up until 11:00pm on Saturday. Anyone who has read my blog recently should be amazed. I don’t remember the last time I stayed up past 10:00! #oldlady
…ran 5 miles Sunday morning. Definitely recovered from my marathon!
…had a blast grocery shopping with my momma πŸ™‚
…went to dinner at Grub Burger (hello delicous…Houstonians you should go!) with my favorites.
…packed my scheudle so full that I had no time to rest!
I’m good at being busy. I’m bad at saying no. Luckily everything was timed just perfected to fit into my schedule this weekend!
Do you tend to jam pack you weekends or take it easy?
Have you even been to a blogger meet up or met blog friends in real life?

All the Sugar!

Happy Friday to all and happy Icemageddon to my fellow Houstonians! I’m not going to lie, this whole ice thing is kind of cracking me up. Us southerners can’t handle things like this! I will admit that there are several roads that are dangerous though.

Anywho let’s get back on track…today’s topic…sugar.

I talked about decreasing my sugar intake as one of my 2014 health and fitness goals. I knew that I wasn’t going to change my diet much until after the marathon so I wasn’t too worried about it…until now. Guess what y’all, the marathon is over and I need to tame my sugar cravings! I love cookies, cupcakes, chocolate, ice cream and all of life’s deliciousness. I love them too much. My goal is to bring it down to once a day. Right now, I’m good in the morning but after lunch I feel like I need something sweet as a nice little finish to my meal! Not cool. Then again after dinner, it’s ice cream time! Am I alone? Anyone else crave sugar too much?

So here’s my plan of attack, I need to find something that is healthy and slightly sweet to have with my lunch to keep my sweet tooth toned down. This way I can still have a little something after dinner and not feel guilty. Here are some of the foods I’m thinking may work…
Fresh Fruit (I eat this with breakfast a lot but may be a good afternoon snack too!)
Pitted Dried Dates
Small Smoothie
Unfortunatley, our pantry and fridge has not had the best snack foods lately. I’ve been trying to clear out things in the freezer and pantry this year. It’s great for making new dinners out of things I have, not so great for an easy grab and go snack. JP and I are tackling our big grocery store trip this weekend! Any thoughts on some good afternoon snacks that I should have on hand? I’d love to hear what y’all do to tame your sweet tooth!
And because I don’t have a picture in today’s post, here is an adorable one of my babies snuggling me last night when the temps dropped outside!

Wishful Thinking


I’m sure y’all are getting sick of hearing me talk about running πŸ™‚ It’s kind of been on my brain quite a bit lately…crazy, I couldn’t imagine why! Today I have a lighthearted post about just a few things on my wish list. Yes, I realize that Christmas was only a month ago. No, I don’t expect all of these things, but I’ve just had my eye on a few things…



Cinderella Tutu for my Disney Princess race!
This is obvious, I just need it! I decided to be Cinderella this year and I thought I might go all out with my tutu! This one is so perfect, but is it worth the $40 price tag???




Tory Burch Wallet
I’ve been eyeing Tory wallets for a while and I almost bought one at the outlet here in Houston during the New Year sales, but decided against it! Boo.


Lululemon Push Your Limits Tank
It’s adorable and has a criss-cross back! Plus it’s mostly black so I can wear it to work. Running top + workout top + work top = I need it…right?


Push Ur Limits Tank


My Marathon Pictures!
Despite the hefty price tag, I kind of want to buy some! You can check them out here!


Girl Scout Cookies
Seriously, I want some so bad. Anyone have a daughter/niece/sister/any little girl selling them? I’ll buy!


Now onto the intangible things on my wish list…

I wish I could eat all the sweets in the world and have them not be bad for me.

I wish I could travel to all the places we’ve been invited this year and not have it affect my bank account.

I wish I could sleep in on the weekends. My internal clock won’t let me!

I wish I could cook amazing meals with the snap of my fingers and have them “Pinterest worthy”!

I wish my teeth weren’t cavity prone. I have to get a filling today!

I wish I could crawl in bed right now and snuggle with my puppies for the rest of the day…

Seriously though…bed sounds pretty fantastic! Happy Thursday y’all!
What’s on your wish list? Reasonable or unreasonable. Tangible or intangible!

2nd Chevron Houston Marathon Race Recap

Wow…it’s hard to believe that two days ago I ran my second full marathon. Twenty six point two miles of joy, pain, smiles, tears and pride.

Last week I posted my open and honest feelings about training for my second attempt at the marathon distance. I woke up Sunday morning feeling mentally positive. I was ready to get out there and conquer the distance that I had trained 5 months for. That’s a lot of miles. Chandra spent the night, so we had to take some pre-race get pumped pictures!

After some sweet pics, we were off to pick up Melanie which of course required more pre-marathon snaps! Then we were off to George R. Brown!

Of course more Runner’s High pictures were taken inside George R. Brown, good lucks were exchanged and long port-o-potty cans were endured before we were officially off! And when I say long lines, I mean long. Note to runners: If you know there is a line, don’t form a new one. All it does is make those of us who have been waiting almost late to the race! We literally had to jog to catch up to the end of our corral. Call it a mini warm up I suppose!

This year’s Houston Marathon was on a brand new course. The last several miles were the same, but the beginning was very different and I LOVED it! Once we cross the start line, we were on our way through a 26.2+ journey. The first few miles we tried to reign in our excitement and adrenaline. Our plan was to start with a 9:30 then 9:15 pace for the first two miles. We ended up with a 9:20 and a 9:10 which isn’t too bad. By mile 3 we were still feeling amazing and on a runner’s high, so we picked our pace up to low-mid 8:50’s for the next several miles as planned.

Around mile four we saw Michael and JP, camera ready and decked out with signs and all! Unfortunately, girlfriend in the pink with the black socks photo bombed but you can see Melanie just on the other side!

The first half of the race went exactly as planned. We paced well and felt strong. The spectators were beyond amazing and truly kept us going. We started to tally how many awesome, random strangers called out our names! I think it’s great that our names are on our bibs, so spectators can give you the boost you need. And trust me, sometimes, you NEED it. You know what’s even better? Seeing people you know on the course. Non-runners don’t understand just how much their support means. You know what’s the best? A surprise visit from one of your best friends at the top of the Montrose hill on Allen Parkway at mile 24! Oh and she made me a pink and sparkly sign…y’all know how I feel about all things pink and sparkly πŸ™‚

Unfortunately the halfway mark as far as distance goes, is far from the halfway mark mentally. I slowed the pace down to about a 9:00/mile around mile 15 and began walking through water stops to give my joints a break. Chandra, Melanie and I stayed together for about the first 17 miles. Chandra felt great and pulled ahead and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to hold that pace. I saw my co-worker Caitlin at mile 18 and that kept me soaring for about a mile! I was still feeling pretty solid despite the rising temperatures until about mile 20. That’s when the pain started to really kick in. My left hip felt this sharp pain that I couldn’t seem to shake. I started having to walk a bit more but got another pick me up when I saw my friend Eric at one of the Gatorade stations on Memorial!

As always, Memorial leads us to the dreaded Allen Parkway…or should I say Allen Walkway. Runner’s get to go down and up all the under passes which means rolling man-made hill miles 22-24. Ouch. My goal was to run up each one of those hills. I would give myself a walking break if needed at the top of the hills, but there was no way I was going to walk up those hills. I stayed strong mentally and ran up each one. The best part was seeing my sweet hubby at the bottom of the last hill ready to run up with me and help me finish strong!

Andrea snapped this just a bit after the last hill during a quick walk break with my hubby! I’ll admit, I was fakin’ it in this picture because I was HURTING! The last two miles were bad. My hip was shooting pain causing my glutes and low back to cramp up, but I wasn’t going to quit. I was beyond thankful to have JP by my side. I think he helped me stay strong mentally. Despite the pain, I kept my walking breaks to a minimum and was able to run a majority of the last two miles. For that, I am SO PROUD.

Four hours, three minutes and thirty nine seconds after I crossed the start line, I completed my second marathon with my hands in the air, a smile on my face and pride surrounding me. I may not have come in under four hours and once again I was so close, but I did exactly what my body needed me to do. More importantly, my body and mind allowed me to accomplish this distance once again! The human body continues to amaze me.

Naturally post race was rough! I grabbed my medal, finisher’s shirt, mug and snacks and waddled through George R. Brown to find the rest of the gang. Thank goodness JP crossed the finish line with me so I had a human shopping cart to carry all my SWAG!

After a shower and lunch, I was on my bum for the rest of the day. JP made me a congrats mimosa and I was good to go after just one πŸ™‚

Of course I had to post a picture of my medal! So beautiful and marathony!

I’m proud to say that not only did I meet my B goal (sub 4:10 finish), but I met my overall goal with fierce pride. I kept strong mentally. I knew how bad my hip was hurting and I pushed through without making it worse. I ran up each of the hills while others were walking. I ran a majority of the last two miles despite my body physically telling me to just stop. I took 3 stretch breaks for my glutes and back in the last 4 miles, but they were quick and other than that I didn’t stop.

Above are some fun facts about my finish! I can’t believe only 37% of the finishers were female and that I beat 60% of the males! Overall I was in the top 34%…yeah…I feel pretty awesome and so proud of that finish!

As for today, you can find me yet again hanging out with the foam roller and walking around the track at my gym. My hip still hurts but I’m hoping it will start feeling better in a day or two!

Last, but not least, I’d love it if y’all could take a quick second and vote for me to win a trip to Napa for the Zooma Women’s half marathon! You can vote once a day and I would love it so much if you could help!!!

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This Weekend I…

…ran a marathon!!! 
Let’s rewind a bit first shall we?
This weekend I…
…went to bed between 8-9 pm every night,
…explored the Memorial Hermann EXPO and bought lots of Sweaty Bands!
…hung out with some of the coolest ladies I know.
…ate lots and lots of carbs.

…sat on my bum most of the day Saturday.

…woke up really early on Sunday morning with lots of pre-race jitters!



…ran 26.42 miles (according to my Garmin) in 4:03:39 and couldn’t be more proud of myself!

…sat, rested my legs, soaked in the bath, sat some more and enjoyed a mimosa with my hubby!




Full recap with pictures to come tomorrow! Just gathering all my thoughts and pictures to share with y’all!!! Happy Monday my lovelies! I hope that walking, sitting and standing is easier for you than it is for me!

Marathon Friday Five

It’s Friday and I’m going to let y’all guess what’s on my brain…
Five. The number of miles I’ve run this week! Tapering is no joke and decreasing mileage is important for your body to rest and recover before race day. You would think that resting is easy, but it’s just the opposite! My legs have been so antsy the past week and my two short runs didn’t quite cut the jitters. Today and tomorrow’s goals are to rest rest rest!
Four. The number of hours until I’m done with work for the weekend and will have nothing but marathon prep and excitement on the brain! {Well at least 4 hours from when I post this!


Three. The number I hope to see first in my official finish time! Don’t worry, if something goes differently then planned and a four is the number I see, I’ll be okay with it as long as I run a positive mental race!


Two. The number of days until I conquer my second marathon. I can’t wait!
One. The number of people I am focusing on for this run. This run is about me! 
Okay let’s be honest, I’ll probably talk about it next week. I mean I have to let y’all know how it goes! 
Today is race expo day so that will pump me up and hopefully allow for a bit of energy release! Hope y’all have a great weekend! If your interested in tracking me on Sunday, you can do one of a few things…
1. Download the Houston Marathon app on your phone. Select Marathon then go to runner tracking to see your options!
2. Go to chevronhoustonmarathon.com. Click Spectators at the top and select Track – Technology. Then go to Athlete Alerts!
3. Follow along if you’re friends with me on Facebook! The marathon race app will be posting my splits πŸ™‚
I’m bib number 5992!!!