Fri-YAY!

Hey!! Happy 4th of July weekend! Do you have a three day weekend?? I’m pumped. I have to work today, but then it’s all about family time, teaching pump on Saturday, and soaking in some sunshine!

Here are some of the things that made me smile this week.  . .

Luke taking over my phone and seeing the results.. .

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Enjoying the sunshine with Abby puppy. And pink shoes. They both just make me happy. Smile

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Big @ss salads. Filled with Farmer’s Market fresh produce and grilled steak. <love>

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More sunshine puppy.

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And teaching BODYPUMP 97 and kicking my own butt. Man, that release is TOUGH!

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What about you – what have you been loving this weekend?

And plans for the weekend? Favorites from the week?

Looking for my linkup? I’ve decided to take a break from Friday link ups, but I’m still going to link up Friday fun with Heather!

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Filed under Abby, body pump, Friday, Luke, summer

Influenster–Mom Vox Box

As part of the Influenster program, occasionally they send me fun stuff to check out and I thought I’d share my most recent one –> the Super Mom Vox Box.

Palmolive Fusion Clean with Baking Soda and Lime . . .

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yup, so even though I am totally an adult, I can’t get too excited about dish soap. That being said, I do love the smell of this stuff and it seems to work great – especially on those baking sheets with tons of stuck on food.

Suave Kids Purely Fun – No tears = winning.

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Anyone who has a kid knows about the melt down that happens when soap gets into the eyes. . . and I don’t blame them, it’s no fun. This one is so gentle and 3 in 1 means it goes on the whole body. Done and done. And I promise that Luke is not bathing in tar. . .it’s purple food coloring. Winking smile

Plackers Flossers  – for some reason Luke loves flossing with these.. . I don’t know if it’s the kid friendly grip or the flavor, but whatever it is #winning.

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Fingers crossed that it shows at his upcoming dentist appointment!

Secret Outlast Xtend Invisible Solid – I actually really like that they sent me a little travel size.

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This guy went right into my travel bathroom bag. And I’ve used it every weekend at the Lake this summer. It’s a winner.

Pilot Acroball Pens – I love any pen that does not smear and writes smoothly. And this one gets a check mark on both of those. It’s been my go-to pen lately.

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Always fun to try out new products, right?! Have you tried any winners lately??

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Filed under product review, products

Weekending. . . in pictures.

Monday evening? Already??

but I’m still thinking about the awesome weekend we had over here. .  .

here’s a quick picture recap for you!

Running errands with Lukie. . . at Scheel’s to buy a new running outfit for Dad for Father’s Day.

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New haircut. A little shorter than I wanted but still fits into a ponytail for teaching BODYPUMP and running! #winning

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Trip to the meat market.

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The perfect end to date night. Dinner out. Dessert on the couch at home.

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Perkins with my boys.

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Enjoying the backyard sunshine.

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Is there anything better? 

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I can’t wait for 4th of July weekend! btw – how is it 4th of July next weekend already?? Summer needs to slooooowwww down!

Off to watch an episode of our latest Netflix obsession – Person of Interest! Have a great night!!

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Filed under husband, Luke, Recap, summer, weekend update

Friday Fri-YAY

Happy Friday!!! I am headed into a three day weekend, so I’m pretty excited. . . I also have lots of endorphins flowing right now after teaching BODYPUMP this morning – 84 . . . one of my all time favorites (the release I did my training on!).

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I’m looking forward to getting some projects done around the house, hitting up the Farmer’s Market and going to a local meat market, finally getting my hair cut today, date night with Scott on Saturday and celebrating a delayed Father’s Day with Scott and Luke on Sunday!

Here are a few of the things I’ve been loving this week. . .

This wreath that Laura and I made last weekend.

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I had so much fun wandering around Michael’s with Laura and planning our wreaths out. . . and it makes me smile every time I drive up to the house now. On tap for the weekend: to replace that ugly light fixture!

Hot summer sunshine runs. The weather has been gorgeous this week. High 70s and sunshine. Perfect running weather!

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Impulse buy at the grocery store. These are like crack they are SO good.

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Family ice cream date.

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What about you – what have you been loving this weekend?

And plans for the weekend? Favorites from the week?

Looking for my linkup? I’ve decided to take a break from Friday link ups, but I’m still going to link up Friday fun with Heather!

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Filed under crafts, Friday, Luke, Recap, Running

Weekending. .. 10th annual Country Fest!

Hey there! Happy Tuesday!

I am extra happy today because I finally figured out my picture situation. . . well . . .unfortunately, I really don’t know what the problem was, all I know, is that it’s working now! Winking smile 

I almost had a heart attack last week when I realized that was scheduled to work this last weekend – Country Fest weekend! In the past 9 years, Fest has always been the last weekend in June. . . and this year, they switched it. .  . but I never double checked the dates! Laura randomly texted me about getting ready for the weekend, and then I realized, OMG, I am scheduled to work all weekend. Thank goodness, I have some amazing co-workers and it just happened that one gal wanted an couple extra shifts, so I was able to have the weekend off.

And it was awesome. Beautiful weather. Great times with my sister. And Carrie Underwood!

Here’s a look at the weekend.. .

Sprinkle doughnuts.

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Special K bars. .. means Abby gets to lick a peanut butter jar.

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Driving the tractor.

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Picnic lunch on the boat.

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Squirt gun fights.

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All tuckered out.

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Park time.

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Country Fest time!

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Dierks.

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Craft time. . .. just wait until you see the wreaths we made – SO cute!!

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And the total highlight of Fest this year – Carrie Underwood!!

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And Sam Hunt.

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Whew. Such a good weekend. . . and now back to work!

How was your weekend?? Highlight??

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Filed under Abby, Lake, Laura, Luke, Recap, summer, vacation, weekend update

1,000 rep workout

Happy Thursday! I swear I haven’t been ditching you. . .  I am having some major issues with my phone, specifically the pictures on my phone, not syncing with my laptop. . . I had this awesome sprinkle doughnut picture from the weekend to share with you and everything. 😉 Anyway, I am working on it. .  . But today, I am off to Country Fest with Laura. So, I’ll try to fix this whole picture issue in between hanging out with Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt this weekend!

In the meantime, I’ve been meaning to share this post with you for a while, so if you are need of a weekend workout, check it out!

On Saturday mornings at the YMCA, we have a “Weekend Warrior” class which is basically a 45 minute instructor choice workout. It is typically a self led, at your own pace workout, so each person can push themselves at their level.

I taught the class a few weeks ago, and thought I would share my 1,000 rep workout. . . it was a good one!

Set 1:

40 Mountain Climbers

30 Bench Jumps *option – step ups

20 Deadrows with heavy bar

10 Push ups

–> Complete 5 rounds = 500 reps

Set 2:

40 High Knees

30 Squat jumps *option – squat reach

20 Clean and Press

10 Burpees

–> Complete 3 rounds = 300 reps

Set 3:

40 Speed Skaters

30 Sit Up with plate reach

20 Russian Twists

10 Triceps Dips

Complete 1 round = 100 reps

100 walking Lunges to Finish!

= 1,000 reps!

Let me know if you try it!

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Filed under fitness

Friday: Things I’m Loving. . .

Friday. Yeeeessss. 

Only a 12 hour shift between me and heading to the Lake this weekend for 90+ degree weather. If you need me, you can find me floating in the lake. Winking smile 

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Since it’s Friday, it’s time for some of my recent favorites.  . .

Another day, another container of watermelon. #cantstopwontstop

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This kid. Plus, I am always amazed by how long he can be entertained with playing in the sink. 

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Jennie-O turkey burgers.

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As a member of their Switch Circle team, they send me products every once in a while, and recently, I got some turkey burgers. The perfect quick summer night meal. Plus, you can’t go wrong with sweet potato fries.

26 pictures that every parent will relate to – yes to #4 and #5

Funny animal voice over – All I have to say is AL! ALAN! AL! Hilarious. 

This beautiful watch that Scott gave me for our 8th anniversary.

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Luke playing soccer. .. what is it about little kids playing sports? Equal parts funny and adorable.

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What about you – what have you been loving this weekend?

And plans for the weekend? Favorites from the week?

Looking for my linkup? I’ve decided to take a break from Friday link ups, but I’m still going to link up Friday fun with Heather!

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Filed under Friday, Lake, Recap, summer

Reading Recommendations 8

Hey guys! Happy Thursday!!

Today, I’m popping in today to share some of my recent good reads. . .

The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House

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A remarkable history with elements of both In the President’s Secret Service and The Butler, The Residence offers an intimate account of the service staff of the White House, from the Kennedys to the Obamas.

America’s First Families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family.

These dedicated professionals maintain the six-floor mansion’s 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, three elevators, and eight staircases, and prepare everything from hors d’oeuvres for intimate gatherings to meals served at elaborate state dinners. Over the course of the day, they gather in the lower level’s basement kitchen to share stories, trade secrets, forge lifelong friendships, and sometimes even fall in love.

Combining incredible first-person anecdotes from extensive interviews with scores of White House staff members—many speaking for the first time—with archival research, Kate Andersen Brower tells their story. She reveals the intimacy between the First Family and the people who serve them, as well as tension that has shaken the staff over the decades. From the housekeeper and engineer who fell in love while serving President Reagan to Jackie Kennedy’s private moment of grief with a beloved staffer after her husband’s assassination to the tumultuous days surrounding President Nixon’s resignation and President Clinton’s impeachment battle, The Residence is full of surprising and moving details that illuminate day-to-day life at the White House.

My take: It was interesting to hear a different perspective on the White House, the presidents and their families that have lived there. It was strangely organized and seemed to jump around a lot from different people and times, it made the book seem choppy and not as cohesive as I would have liked. Overall, an interesting and fun read. My grade: B 

All The Light We Cannot See

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WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

My take: This was a good read. A little slow in parts. I didn’t love the switching around from different persons perspectives and different points in time, but it got better the farther along in the book I read. It held my attention while I read it, but it isn’t a story that I’ll forever remember. . . even now when I am thinking about it, I am having a hard time remembering all the parts of the story. My grade: B.

The Silent Sister

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Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. It was a belief that helped shape her own childhood and that of her brother. It shaped her view of her family and their dynamics. It influenced her entire life. Now, more than twenty years later, her father has passed away and she’s in New Bern, North Carolina, cleaning out his house when she finds evidence that what she has always believed is not the truth. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why, exactly, was she on the run all those years ago? What secrets are being kept now, and what will happen if those secrets are revealed? As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family. Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality. Told with Diane Chamberlain’s powerful prose and illumination into the human heart and soul, The Silent Sister is an evocative novel of love, loss, and the bonds among siblings.  

My take: This book grabbed me right from the first couple of chapters. I listened to it on audio book and found myself sitting in the car after I had gotten home on more than one occasion to keep listening. . . And it had lots of crazy twists that I didn’t even see coming – the best kind! After the twists happened, the ending was somewhat predictable, but overall still a good and fun read. My grade: B+

Reconstructing Amelia

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In Reconstructing Amelia, the stunning debut novel from Kimberly McCreight, Kate’s in the middle of the biggest meeting of her career when she gets the telephone call from Grace Hall, her daughter’s exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Amelia has been suspended, effective immediately, and Kate must come get her daughter—now. But Kate’s stress over leaving work quickly turns to panic when she arrives at the school and finds it surrounded by police officers, fire trucks, and an ambulance. By then it’s already too late for Amelia. And for Kate.

An academic overachiever despondent over getting caught cheating has jumped to her death. At least that’s the story Grace Hall tells Kate. And clouded as she is by her guilt and grief, it is the one she forces herself to believe. Until she gets an anonymous text: She didn’t jump.

Reconstructing Amelia is about secret first loves, old friendships, and an all-girls club steeped in tradition. But, most of all, it’s the story of how far a mother will go to vindicate the memory of a daughter whose life she couldn’t save.

My take: This book sucked me in from the beginning but I was disappointed with the ending. No spoilers! It was a good read, but I’m not sure I would recommend it because of the ending. Sad smile My grade: C 

Just Between Us by Mario Lopez 

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With a star that rose from unforgettable child acting roles, such as A. C. Slater in Saved by the Bell, to the forefront of today’s entertainment media, Mario Lopez is nothing short of a pop culture sensation.

Now, as he turns forty, Mario looks back on his life with a newfound perspective and a humorous sensibility of how things have changed with age, divulging for the first time the endearing, surprising, and sometimes difficult experiences that shaped him into the loving father and husband he is today.

In Just Between Us, Mario shares a behind-the-scenes look into his successes and disappointments in the entertainment business and how his tight-knit family and long-standing values helped keep him grounded, no matter what.

With wit and candor, Mario reveals his most intimate never-before-told stories, including the details of his often tumultuous and largely public love life—giving readers a look at the ups and downs of his romantic past leading up to his happily-ever-after with his beautiful wife and their two children.

This is Mario Lopez unfiltered, for the first time ever.

My take: This was a fun read! I’m not a huge Mario fan, but still think he’s a fun guy to watch on TV, so reading about his life was interested. Did you know that one of Mario’s first kisses was with Fergie?? My grade: B

Have you read any good books lately??

Looking for more? Check out my other reading recommendation posts:

Reading Recommendations
Reading Recommendations 2
Reading Recommendations 3
Reading Recommendations 4
Reading Recommendations 5
Reading Recommendations 6
Reading Recommendations 7

Linking up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud!

*Links and italics text are from Amazon.com.

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Filed under Recap

8 years!

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Wow.

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Today, is our 8 year anniversary!

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The last year certainly had it’s challenges: new job, new houses, living in two different states, losing my Dad. . .

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And I’m happy to say that we came out of it as a stronger team.

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I’m going to get sappy for a minute and say that I cannot believe that I got so lucky to have an amazing husband, father and best friend in my life. And that I am looking forward to many more years together.

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Recap of how we met, our engagement story and wedding day here!

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Filed under husband, Recap

Weekending: 4 pictures

Happy Monday! I’m a little happier than normal today because I have the day off. . . longer weekend in the summer?? heck yes. No plans for today, which is even better!

But the weekend was perfection. Gorgeous weather, tons of family time, getting stuff done mixed with a good amount of down time too. . . but whomp whomp, I looked at my phone to start this post and realized I only took 4 pictures the whole weekend! But I didn’t want to disappear on you again, so figured I’d still pop in and share our weekend. . .

Luke headed to school on Friday. .. too cool for school.

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Luke and I ran errands on Saturday. . . the Farmer’s Market, Starbucks, car wash. . .

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The rest of Saturday included a family run, vacuuming, and watching The Heat <—super funny!

This was my view on Sunday. . . Watermelon for life.

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Sunday also included laundry, another family run and a family trip to the park. Luke and I watched Frozen together, and Scott and I watched Gone Girl together.

And now off to finish up laundry from yesterday (it is seriously never done!), go for a run and check out BODYPUMP 98!

Hope you had a great one. . . what were you up to?

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

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Filed under Luke, Recap, weekend update