BODYPUMP 94 {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. Interested in becoming an instructor? Check out my posts about that too.


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, 92, 93 and now 94. (Other reviews here) I also have learned 80, 82 and 83, since some other instructors at the YMCA had those training DVDs.


So, after teaching it for a few weeks, here are my thoughts on the very latest release. . .

#1: Warm up – “Heros (We Could Be)”

I like this song and I like the mix up of adding some different moves – the power press and top half upright rows. This release has over 1,000 reps and you can tell this release is going to be fast paced and lots of reps right from the beginning.

#2: Squats – “Everybody Go!”

I’ll be honest. It’s not my favorite. It’s a little repetitive. And IMHO you need bottom halves to really get that burn/quads on fire feeling.

#3: Chest – “Burnin’ Up”

Yes! And yes! Love this song. And love the track. It’s a mix of the bar with the standard chest press and pushups. The quick pulses in the bottom are killer and awesome.

#4: Back – “Today (Scooter Remix)”

Back to basics with this back track. Standard deadlift, deadrow, and power presses. The song is decent. Nothing to write home about. . . But I do like adding weights with each set – makes it progressively harder and that last set is killer!


#5: Triceps – “Lips Are Movin”

I like this song and I like this track but it just doesn’t do it for my triceps. It’s missing something to make my triceps burn and feel like my arms are going to fall off… I’ve tried to increase my weights, but that doesn’t seem to do it either. Needs some pushups or more dips.

#6: Biceps – “Get ‘Em Up

While this song is repetitive – 4 sets of the same thing.. . I still love it. This song makes me want to rock out and the pulses gets the guns burning. Smile 

#7:  Lunges – “We Make It Bounce”

Yes! My favorite of the entire release. You want your legs shaking and burning? Do this song. It’s also a fun song and the lyrics go great with the movements. Make it bounce!!

#8: Shoulders – “This Is How It Goes”

Pushups + bar work. Now, it would be super hard to beat how challenging 93 was – man that was tough. This is a good shoulder track but I miss using the plates a little bit. Hoping they bring back the plates for BP95.


#9: Core – “Baby Don’t Lie”

Super fun song. Not super challenging. I like working the posterior chain with hip bridge but I think hovers are much more challenging. <—ironically, the exact same thing I said for BP93.

#10: Cool down – “Only Love Can Hurt Like This ”

Good ending for this release. But every time I hear the lyrics, I think to myself that whoever wrote this song must have never done BODYPUMP, because BP obviously can hurt more than love. . . Winking smile 


Overall I thought this was a really strong release. 1,000 reps is no joke. And even though I thought some of the songs were a little on the “easy” side, putting the entire release together is awesome and kicks my butt every time. I guess those Les Mills people must know what they are doing, huh? Smile 

And if you want another 94 review, check out Annette’s.

Have you done BP94??? What did you think?

Linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday – because if you’ve ever done bodypump, you know it is an amazing treat for your body. Smile


Filed under body pump, Recap

Weekend Update: Lake relaxation

Hey! Happy Monday. Smile 

How was your weekend? Ours was exactly what we planned and what we needed – low key and at the Lake!

Thumbs up for Friday. . .


New haircut!


Ice cream.


Weekend read.


Lake time.


Snack time. Love cheese plates – seriously the perfect thing in the summer. And can I just tell you how much I l.o.v.e brie cheese? Ah-mazing.


I paired some cheeses with Artisan nut thins from Blue Diamond – Flax Seed and Multi-Seed. Both delicious. Smile 


My spot.


My dock buddy.


Boat time.


Drink time. Amaretto sours.



Family run.


Bloomer parade fun.




The rest of Sunday was laundry, getting ready for the week and dinner with my sisters.


So, what were you up to?

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

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Nut Thins.


Filed under Lake, product review, Recap, Running, summer, weekend update

Friday Favorites: Last week of July!

Happy Friday!! We are headed back up to the Lake this weekend. . .. bring on the sunshine and family time. Hoping for some slow boat rides around the lake, time at the beach playing in the sand with Luke, family runs, and some good food. Oh and binge watching House of Cards at night. Smile

Here are a few of my favorite things from the past week. . .


Lunch with my sisters. Panera for the win. We sat, talked and laughed for almost 2 hours. It was exactly what I needed.


Running!! First runs after my surgery this week and they felt great. . . I also spent the day with Dad on Tuesday, and was able to stop for a run at my all time favorite spot – Summit Ave in St. Paul.


And the steps on the cathedral behind me is where Scott proposed.

My Mother In Law’s lemonade. When she brought dinner last weekend, she also made a batch of her amazing lemonade. . . and I have been enjoying the leftovers all week.


Stealing Luke’s snacks. So, I snagged this container of animal crackers from  my parent’s house and when Luke didn’t want them, I was more than happy to help him out. Winking smile


Luke’s first gymnastics lesson. Oh the cuteness.


Cheers to a great weekend!! What are you up to??

Linking up with Friday fun with Heather and Clare!

And finally, the winner of my Balance Bar giveaway is Amy. Smile

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Filed under Friday, Recap, Running

Balance Bar Summer Shape Up–staying active this summer {+giveaway!}

Hey guys, I am back today with my 3rd post from the Balance Project. Not sure what I am talking about? Check out my first post here. And my second post here.

This summer Luke and I have been staying active by checking out new places around our new town and soaking up the sunshine as much as possible. Our current favorite is the splash pad!


I am always on the look out for a quick, healthy, easy snack for both of us. And Balance Bare bars are a really good option.


I really like the sea salt caramel nut bars. . . they are pretty sweet, so I use them for a healthy dessert option during the week. I will also pack the mixed berry nut bars into Luke’s backpack for a snack on the go.

Balance Bar offers an exclusive bare value pack at Walmart. The 4+1 value pack of the Balance bare bars at Walmart includes an extra free bar and a $1 off coupon!!


Each bar is only 160 calories, non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free and vegetarian. Mixed Berry Nut is also dairy-free and vegan.

Balance Bar is all about helping all of us all have a great and active summer and Gabby Reece has some quick & easy workout moves –> check them out here! Then refuel with some bare bars. Smile


–> 1 lucky reader will get a $15 Walmart gift card and a variety of Balance bare bars. . . . To enter just leave a comment on this post about how you are staying active this summer.

Giveaway ends on 7/31/15 at midnight. Good luck!!

**I received a gift card from Balance Bar in exchange for this post. . . but per usual, all opinions are my  own, thanks for your support.


Filed under giveaway, products

Easy as Breeze Smoothie Recipe

This “Easy as Breeze” post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk. For more “Easy As Breeze” recipes made with five ingredients or less, visit Almond Breeze on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

I don’t know about you but during the hot and humid days of summer, when it comes to food, I want something fast, easy and cold. That means lots of smoothies, salads, cereal, iced lattes, ice cream, fresh fruit and veggies.

So, when Blue Diamond offered to send me some of their chocolate almond milk, I was super excited to try it out.


And of course, I had to make a smoothie. Smile 


Quick, easy, cold and delicious. Perfect for summer time.

Just blend 8 oz Blue Diamond Chocolate Almond milk, 1 frozen banana, 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder, and 1 T of nut butter.


What’s your favorite thing to eat in the summer??


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Filed under product review, Recipes, summer

Weekend Update: The Lake

Such a great weekend!!

On Friday night we headed up to the Lake.

And we were up bright and early on Saturday. . .












Scott’s family came over on Sunday evening. . . and Scott’s Mom was wonderful and brought dinner. Including fruit salsa with cinnamon sugar pita chips for an appetizer, fajitas and salad for dinner and caramel brownies for dessert. Delicious. Smile 



And Scott and I finished the evening with our current two favorite things – House of Cards and The Tonight Dough. Both are amazing!


So, what were you up to?

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


Filed under Lake, Recap, summer, weekend update

Friday Favorites: Post-surgery smiles

Happy Friday!!

As you know, I’ve been off work since my surgery, but I am still super excited for the weekend. It is supposed to be HOT here, so we are heading up to the Lake. Excited to soak in some sunshine, boat time and splash in the water. Smile

Here are the little things that made me smile this week. . .

Having Scott here!


He took 2 weeks off of work to help out around the house and with Luke following my surgery. It has been so so so nice to have him around. Another bonus – he’s been making all of us smoothies every morning for breakfast. #spoiled

Family walks. Summer is the perfect time to get outside. Usually we go for family runs, but I am taking it easy and with the heat of summer, walking is just fine with me!


Luke is finally feeling better! He came down with strep throat last Sunday and we started him on antibiotics, but he just didn’t get any better. And he developed a terrible rash from the antibiotics. . . Seriously, I felt so bad for the little guy. Thankfully, we got him on some different antibiotics on Tuesday and he’s doing much better now. And also, thank goodness for HGTV and Netflix because Luke and I were pretty much on the couch for all day Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Sweet surprise from a good friend. Spark + chocolate = does Becky know me or what? Smile


Incline walking workouts. With running on the back burner for a few weeks, I’ve still been working up one heck of a sweat on the treadmill. I forget how challenging incline walking can be. . . #sweatyselfie


Feeling good. Recovery from my surgery has been going really well. I am still sore and laughing is the most painful thing ever, but I have been able to do some things around the house and play with Luke.

Cheers to a great weekend!! What are you up to??

Linking up with Friday fun with Heather and Clare!

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Filed under Friday, husband, Recap

A to Z survey

Almost to the weekend. ..  time for a little survey fun. . . Smile 

A – Age: 33.

B – Biggest Fear: Snakes.

C – Current Time: 9:36am

D – Drink You Had Last: Smoothie made by Scott. Delicious.


E – Easiest Person To Talk To: Scott. Laura on long car rides. And my Dad when we are running.

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F – Favorite Song: Hmmm that’s a tough one. I think anything Keith Urban is a good bet.

G – Grossest Memory: I can’t think of anything for this one! I guess that’s a good thing?

H – Hometown: Born in St. Paul, MN

I – In Love With: Scott. Luke. And Abby.


J – Jealous Of: the girls at cross fit that can hammer out pull ups and make it look so easy!

K – Kindest Person You Know: Scott. He goes above and beyond.

L – Longest Relationship: Married for 7 years, together for 12.


M – Middle Name: Elizabeth

N – Number of Siblings: Two sisters.


O – One Wish: That my Dad will successfully kick cancer’s butt!

P – Person You Spoke To On The Phone Last: My Mom.

Q – Question You’re Always Asked: What’s for dinner? #momproblems

R – Reason To Smile: Scott being home for 2 weeks to help out while I heal from my surgery – it’s been amazing to have him around.

S – Song You Last Sang: Honey by Andy Grammer. Love it.


T – Time You Woke Up: 7am.

U – Underwear Color: grey.

V – Vacation Destination: Anyplace with a beach.


On my current wish list – Key West and St. Thomas

W – Worst Habit: Not flossing regularly? I just don’t like it.

X – X-Rays You’ve Had: The typical dentist ones + an MRI before my surgery.

Y – Your Favorite Food: Pizza, cookie dough, blueberries, caramel lattes.


Z – Zodiac Sign: Gemini.

Your turn – what’s time did you get up this morning? Last person you talked to on the phone?  And the last drink you had??

Linking up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud!


Filed under Recap

Rocksbox {review}

Recently, the nice people at Rocksbox asked me if I’d like to try out their service in exchange for sharing my thoughts with you guys. Heck yes, right? I’d had a lot of fun with Le Tote and this service seemed very similar. And it’s always fun to get mail. Smile

So, I jumped on their site. You start by filling out a style survey and putting items on your jewelry wish list.

Then, they send you a box with 3 pieces to wear on loan. The jewelry in each box is designer and averages $200.



In my first box, I got one piece from my wish list and 2 other pieces that my stylist thought I would like.

My favorite was this bracelet.


I also got this necklace. . . which I wore to work one day. It was delicate and simple and I liked it but I didn’t love it.


And this necklace. .. which wasn’t my favorite. I actually didn’t wear it at all because I didn’t have anything to go with it.


You can wear each piece as much as you want and then you sent them back and get 3 new pieces sent to you.

Also, each month you get %10 of “Shine Spend” that you can use towards any pieces you would like to purchase. But, there is no pressure to buy anything at anytime.

The service is $19 per month with no limitations for how many boxes you can get throughout the month. Free prepaid shipping both ways via USPS and zero commitment.


While it is nice to get designer pieces to try out, I did have a little bit of sticker shock when I went to look at the prices. I had considered buying that bracelet, but at $86, it was too spendy for me.

But, I am excited to see what’s in my next delivery!!

Want to try it out for yourself?

Use this code –> running4cupcakesxoxo to get ONE MONTH FREE!!

Linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday. Smile


Filed under product review

Weekend Update: 7/19/15

Hey! Happy Monday! How was your weekend? What did ya do?

We kicked off the weekend with a family walk.


Saturday started with doughnuts and fireman boots.


A trip to the park.


Luke and I took a long walk.


Scott painted.


And we enjoyed some sunshine. Reading for me. Playing with the sprinkler for Luke. Mowing the lawn for Scott and laying in the shade for Abby.



Saturday night was rough. Luke didn’t sleep well and was up multiple times. There was strep going around at school this week, so I checked out his throat and yup – classic strep throat. So, I sent Scott to the store to pick up medicine and popsicles and settled in to spend the day on the couch with Luke.

I whipped up a smoothie using Blue Diamond Chocolate Almond Milk for breakfast.


And Luke slept.


Ate popsicles.


Needed Mom snuggles. And more napping.


Scott finished painting. We finished How I Met Your Mother – no spoilers, but from what I had heard about the ending, I was prepared to be disappointed, but I really liked the ending. And thank goodness for HGTV. Smile 

Thankfully, the antibiotics seem to be starting to work and fingers crossed he’s back to his normal self when he wakes up this morning.

So, what were you up to?

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


Filed under Recap, summer, weekend update