Friday Favorites: 5/22/15

So, I really can’t complain about a long week this week. . . I took Monday off to spend extra time with my Dad at the hospital and Luke and I had the day off on Tuesday to have some extra time together. So, really, this was a short work week for me.  . . but still, I am super happy it’s Friday! And Memorial Day weekend! Whoop. Whoop. Smile 

Here are the little things that made me smile this week. . . because life is all about the little things, right?

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Fro yo dates.

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Pop Sugar Must Have Box. My sister, Jenny, gave me some money to spend on a Must Have box for Christmas. . . and I decided that my birthday month was a good time to try it out!

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Salt water taffy. Necklace.

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Vase. Shave cream.

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Dry shampoo. And (unpictured) a beach towel.

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Overall, I was a little meh about the box. I do like the shave cream – smells amazing. And I have never tried dry shampoo before, but OMG – that stuff is amazing! But, overall, super fun to come home to a surprise box and try new things! Thanks Jenny. Smile 

Luke and Mommy date. They have an awesome kids club at the local grocery store where Luke can get a cookie, piece of cheese and a piece of fruit every time we go grocery shopping. And they happen to have a Caribou inside the store. Win win.

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Oreos for days. . . The last time Laura came over to watch Lukie, she updated my grocery list. And the number one thing – Oreos. So, I made sure to keep her happy. Smile 

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Lukie picking flowers for me. Heart melted.

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Bedtime stories and puppy snuggles.

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What are you loving this week??

And what’s up for the weekend?? No real plans for us. Hopefully a trip home to see Dad. A trip up to the Lake. And grilling some good food!

Linking up with Friday fun with both Heather and Clare!

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Life is messy. . .

Oh man, life can be messy sometimes. 

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You are headed one direction and then all of the sudden, life throws you a curve ball and you are thrown off course. 

It makes your head spin. 

All of the sudden, you aren’t quite sure which path is the right one. 

But, all you can do, is make the decision that your heart and gut tell you is the right one. 

And you start again. 

Because, that’s life, right? 

I’m pretty sure God is laughing his ass off at me right now for thinking that I had it all figured out. 

Yup, I don’t. 

And I never will. 

I’m just here to enjoy the ride and to live life the best way I know how. 

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Because at the end of the day, it is what it is (right, Scott?) and everything happens for a reason. 

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Cheers to trying to figure it all out and enjoying every minute of it. 

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Linking up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud!

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Weekend Update: 5/17/15

Hey! Happy Monday!

Did you have a good weekend?

Mine was great. Full of all the things on my to-do list.

Friday afternoon, Luke and I hit the road back to Mankato. This was our last weekend in our Mankato house before it sells. It was nice to be able to go back and say goodbye, but bittersweet too.

Saturday morning started with BODYPUMP at the YMCA. A great group of people pumping it up. Perfection. And blogger fail. No pic.

But the weather was beautiful for playing outside and organizing things for the move in the garage.

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And a family run.

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Followed by puddle jumping.

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And fun in the living room.

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And date night!

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Amaretto sour. My drink of choice.

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Crème Brule sampler = SO good.

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Sunday morning means pancakes.

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I made this recipe with this yummy secret ingredient. OMG amazing.

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Followed by a glorious nap on the couch.

And another family run. With a stop at the fountains on campus.

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Some friends of ours had their second baby about 5 weeks ago, so we volunteered to babysit. So, Luke got to play with his good friend and I got to snuggle a baby. Win – win. Smile 

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And some father- son catch. btw – adorable.

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And a big spring storm. Which I love. The rain, thunder, lightening, cool air blowing in.

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Weekend perfection.

So, what were you up to?

I am linking up with Katie (and Erin) for Marvelous in my Monday!

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Friday Favorites: 5/15/15

Whew. Look at that date. It’s like a number lovers dream.

Anyway. .  #nerd . . . happy Friday! Whatcha up to this weekend?? Luke and I are headed back to Mankato for the weekend. Teaching Saturday morning BODYPUMP at the YMCA (8:15 – see ya there!), and then enjoying family time! Date night planned for Saturday night too. Smile 

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This week I am loving. ..

fresh salads with fruit. Love adding fruit to my salads in the summer. And this strawberry poppy seed dressing – awesomesauce!

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super nice neighbors at the new place. one family brought us cookies (already gone!) and another family brought warm caramel brownies. Drool.

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this drawer pull for Luke’s toothbrush drawer at the new house.

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this puppy face. she’s totally begging. but is totally adorable. Winking smile 

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What are you loving this week??

Linking up with Friday fun with both Heather and Clare!

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AdvoCare–1 year later

It was just about a year ago that I finally said yes to trying an AdvoCare 24 day challenge. And I am so glad I did.

I started with the 24 day challenge. You can read my recaps here and here. And my results here.

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After I did the challenge, I loved the way I felt and I really loved spark, so I signed up to be a distributor.

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Basically for $79, you immediately get 20% off all AdvoCare products, plus you get a distributor kit that includes 14 day supply of spark + a case of SLAM + more information on becoming part of the AdvoCare family (i.e. the business side). At first, I was content with my 20% discount and continuing with products. I was drinking spark most days, using catalyst with my workouts and O2 gold for my long runs.

You can read my 1 month post – 24 day challenge post here.

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Over time, I started slipping into my old ways of eating. . . summertime is hard and you know how I love my sweets. . . so, I convinced Scott to do a 10 day challenge in July.

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You can read about the details here. That was a pretty good challenge, but I didn’t love just doing a 10 day one. . .  It just isn’t quite long enough to reset for me. BTW – Scott still drinks spark almost daily.

So, in October I did my 2nd full challenge. It went pretty well. It wasn’t as amazing for me as the first one was. . . but that was really to be expected because I was already eating much better than I had been before my first challenge. BTW – that’s one of the things that I love about Advo – it’s not just about the products that help you to be at your best, it really is about the clean eating too.

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Along the way, I got more into the business side of AdvoCare. At first I signed up just because I wanted the discount. . . no one should have to pay full price for spark. Winking smile

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And then, I realized how amazing I felt with AdvoCare products and clean eating and I wanted to share that feeling with family, friends and blends via the blog. I’m never pushy about AdvoCare. . . I just share what it’s done for me and what it might do for you. . . and I have grown my business to a discount level of 40% (if you want more deets on how that happens, just shoot me an email) and my goal has to been to pay for my own AdvoCare products.

AdvoCare has been a part time endeavor for me. Obviously, I am already pretty busy – full time job + teaching BP + family + life. So, Advo is a nice option because it is not really an extra thing that I have to do, it’s a piece of my life. I chat with people at Cross Fit about the spark I am drinking, or tell people who ask at BODYPUMP about the catalyst I am taking before the workout. Or I write blog posts about the latest challenge start dates or options with AdvoCare to share with you.

I know that some direct sales companies can sometimes be pushy and high intensity (and some aren’t!), but I just want to be clear, if you are interested in AdvoCare at all for the nutritional and health benefits, or as a business option, it is a great company to be involved with at any level. I’ve always had great support from Becky, and Success School last year was a great event to be involved in.

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This blog post isn’t meant to persuade anyone into becoming involved with AdvoCare, but if anything I mentioned or said, got you thinking about the opportunities with AdvoCare, I would be more than happy to chat with you about it. And per usual, no pressure, ever.

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I just want to share AdvoCare with people, because of what it’s done for me. And I think everyone should be able to feel awesome. Smile

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Linking up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud!

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Our current place + life update

I cannot believe I’ve been living in Eau Claire for 3 months now! Time is just flying by lately.

While we looked a lot before I started my new job in February for a house, we just couldn’t find anything. Thankfully, I was able to find a nice (almost brand new) townhome 2 weeks before I moved to rent for a few months. There are almost no rental options in this town if you have a “large” dog  – like over 25 pounds. It was crazy and stressful. But, it all worked out! The townhome ended up being just 2 miles from where my sisters live, and it is so nice to be close to them!!

Anyway, I thought I would give you a little tour of my current place.

Master bedroom.

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Master bathroom + closet

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Open concept – kitchen/living room/dining room

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kitchen ( + spark and bodypump choreography)

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Luke’s bedroom

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Front door/entry + garage entry + laundry room

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Overall, it’s been a great place to live while checking out potential houses in town.

And we found one!

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Moving in next week. I am so excited. Smile

While, I am super sad to be leaving our brand new house in Mankato (we sold it!), I am looking forward to new opportunities and adventures in Wisconsin.

Linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday!

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Weekend Update: 5/10/15

It was a long weekend. It is pretty late on Sunday night, and I need to get to bed to get a good night sleep for work tomorrow. . . so here is a quick look at my weekend. . .

A nice run = sunshine makes me happy.

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Scarf winner from Le Tote.

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A good visit with Dad.

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Scott’s helper.

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Time with Grandma Mary.

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Lukie taking pics from his car seat. . .

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Mother’s Day. Luke (Scott) gave me some new Feetures! socks (yes!!) and candles.

Laura made this super cute craft – with Luke’s help. ..

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And Jenny and Luke picked out this balloon for me.  Smile 

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Overall, a great weekend!

How was your weekend??

I am linking up with Katie (and Erin) for Marvelous in my Monday!

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Friday Favorites: 5/8/15

oh Friday. Finally!

I am so looking forward to this weekend. Planning on hitting up a cross fit class – Saturday mornings are usually partner workouts and are pretty fun! Thinking about checking out the local farmer’s market, doing a few family runs, and enjoying the nice weather. And, of course, Mother’s Day on Sunday that hopefully will include a visit to the hospital to see Dad.

Here are the things that made me smile this week.

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Dinner with my sisters.

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Laura made nachos for dinner on Monday night. They were awesome. And it is so nice to be close to my sisters, especially right now.

Yasso frozen yogurt bars.

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After seeing these around the blogosphere, I finally got to try them for myself! The company was nice enough to send me a few coupons for me to pick up 2 boxes. Salted caramel and cookie dough ftw. These fro yo bars are the perfect post-dinner snack. A little sweetness to end the evening. and only 100 calories. Winning.

This.

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Totally made my day. Thanks Melanie. XOXO

Good news. We heard this week that my Dad’s sister is a PEFFECT bone marrow match for Dad. So happy. . .

Grocery store helper.

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He just L.O.V.E.S the little carts at the grocery store. And is so adorable with putting items in his cart and picking out things that we “have” to buy.

Le Tote. Have you guys heard of this? Basically for $49 per month, you have a personal shopper sending you items from your “closet”. You wear them, keep them if you want (for a discounted price) or else just send it back – no washing required, and then they send you another box with 5 more items to try out and wear. The company offered me a free month to check it out and I’ve just received one box so far (striped blazer and blue polka dot scarf), full review to come, but so far, I am loving it!

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If you want to try it too, ou can use the code RUNNING4CUPCAKES to get 20% off!

Cross Fit. Still loving it. Smile

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Whatcha up to this weekend??

Linking up with Friday fun with both Heather and Clare!

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BODYPUMP 93 {review}

So, as you all know, I am a Les Mills BODYPUMP instructor and I teach a few times a week at different fitness clubs in Eau Claire.

If you aren’t familiar with BODYPUMP, check out my “what is BODYPUMP? post.” And find a class near you.

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Every quarter, Les Mills puts together new moves and music for the latest release.I think that it almost always takes me a few times of doing a new release before I really love it. Now, there is usually a song or two that just aren’t my favorite for whatever reason. . . but overall, I really have enjoyed all the releases so far.

I took my training on BODYPUMP 84. Since then, I have learned the releases since then – 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91 and now 92. (Other reviews here) I also have learned 80, 82 and 83, since some other instructors at the YMCA had those training DVDs.
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So, here are my thoughts on the very latest release. . .
#1: Warm up – “Break Free”

Good warm up song. I love when we use plates to warm up the shoulders too. Really gets you ready to get your pump on!

#2: Squats – “Booyah

I actually really like this song and the movement. However, I feel like this squat track is a bit easier than normal – use that as a reason to increase your weight to the next level! I like the combo with an extra hold at the bottom and top. If you concentrate on really pushing through the heels and driving up from the floor, you can feel the burn in the quads.

#3: Chest – “Kings and Queens”  

This track is a big change from the standard chest track. They slowed the pace down and changed the movement to a chest fly with plates. And man, if you take the plates to the full range of motion, you will feel your pecs by the end of the song. Those pulses are killer good. I’m not in love with the song. But I think it is a great switch up to challenge the chest.

#4: Back – “Here Tonight”

Back to basics with this back track. Dead rows, dead lifts, clean and presses and power press. Three sets that are identical. I think it is a great song to go up on weight and work out keeping that form on point.

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#5: Triceps – “Bang Bang”

Favorite track of the release. Great song. Great combination of moves. Triceps overhead presses, pushups, and kickbacks. This track has quick transitions so the triceps are burning by the end! Total winner.

#6: Biceps – “Centuries

I love using plates for biceps, so this one is a winner for me. It goes by pretty quick – which is key when those muscles are on fire. Love the song – perfect for getting into the bicep curl groove. And I always joke that during this one you can see your guns getting bigger. Winking smile 

#7:  Lunges – “1941”

So, I’m totally on the fence about this song. Sometimes, I like it, sometimes, I don’t. .. I know, I know. I’m a little cray cray. But what I do love is the non-stop lunges. There are NO breaks, which means the burn is real and intense!

#8: Shoulders – “Twisted (Eptic Remix)”

Whoa. Like Whoa. This track is the hardest shoulder track I have ever done. And I love it. It’s probably my least favorite song, but the killer workout makes up for it! And I love pushups – and since they start and end this track, I am a happy camper!

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#9: Core – “All About That Bass”

Super fun song. Not super challenging. I like working the posterior chain with hip bridge but I think hovers are much more challenging.

#10: Cool down – “What Are You Waiting For”

Love love love love love love love this song. Perfect to stretch it out and think about the lyrics – because really – what are you waiting for??

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Overall I thought this was a really strong release. The music is overall good – with some great ones in there. And this workout will kick your bootay.

And if you want more 93 reviews, check outAnnette’s, Ashley’s and Ashley’s!!

Have you done BP93??? What did you think?

Linking up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud!

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Birthday List {33}

It’s my birthday month!

May 26th is the actual day. 8:22 am, if you really wanted to know. Winking smile

What’s the best part about birthdays? Putting together your birthday list, right? Hmmmm, now that I think about it, I think cake is actually the best part of birthdays. . .

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Anyway, I always like seeing what items are on other people’s wish lists, and I know that my family always likes to have a list for ideas.  . . so I thought I would share what’s on my birthday list for my upcoming 33rd birthday.

Feetures! socks – high performance, light cushion. These are seriously my all-time favorite socks. The perfect sock for working out – running, bodypump or cross fit. And it is my go to sock for just wearing around the house. Seriously, like 10 pairs please. Winking smile

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Bath and Body Works lotion. My fav. Smile

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New flats for work. .. I have been drooling over these for years.

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I’ve heard good things about these ones.

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And these are always a winner. . .

Candles. I love candles. They just make the house feel warmer. I love all candles but my favs are from Bath and Body Works.

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Couch pillows. So, we got a new ottoman a few months ago and I *almost* bought the matching pillows at the same time . . .but I didn’t want it to be too matchy-matchy. . . but now, after having the ottoman, I totally need want the matching pillow.

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They had these nice big fluffy ones that I think will look perfect on the couch.

Pink rain boots –> I’m on the fence for plain pink or striped or polka dots.

Women's Classic Knee High Rain Boots

Food Processor. . . I have no idea what brand. Something with good ratings? I for sure want it to have a tube at the top so I can put things in while it’s running. . . ideal for making my favorite homemade mayo.

Gift cards – Lululemon, Athleta, Caribou, Starbucks, Fabletics, Stitch Fix

Alex and Ani Cupcake Bracelet ..  . totally torn between the gold and silver!

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Pink pens with pink ink. They just make work more fun, right?

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New workout tops/shorts/capris #necessary #bodypump #crossfit #running I am still in love with this top that my favorite blends got me for my birthday last year!

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A new watch. . .so hard to pick one out online but I love Fossil watches. This one or this one caught my eye. . .

A new water bottle. I don’t even know how old my current water bottle is that I have a work right now. . . but filling it up 2-3 times per day and working 40 hours a week = time for a new one.

What’s on your wish list right now??

Linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday!!

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