TYT #11 – the non-running edition

So, we had a great weekend at the Lake.

But it didn’t go how I planned.

On the way up to the Lake, Scott asked me what I wanted to do that weekend.

My answer: “run 11 miles.”

Am I training for anything?

Nope, not really.

I am thinking about signing up for a fall half marathon – Des Moines again or maybe Mankato. . . but I haven’t yet.

I also usually like to do the 14 mile run around the Lake on Labor Day weekend, but do I have to? Nope.

So, when my plans for a Saturday morning run got derailed by my sister needing help moving out of her place. . . oh well. She needed help, and I was going to help her –> way more important than running.

And when we woke up on Sunday morning to cold, rainy and wind. Did I drag myself out for a miserable 11 miles?

Heck no.

I curled up in bed and read my book.

Ate brownies (more than I care to mention) to celebrate my Mom’s birthday.


Stocked up on Lukie giggles and family time.

And went for a long boat ride with Scott and Abby.



So, I treated myself by not beating myself up over not getting my long run in. . . . something that  is hard to do sometimes, right?

But, I look back on my weekend and I don’t think I would have it any other way.

And then I dragged Scott out for a 4 mile loop through the corn fields before heading home today. Smile


And yes that is my husband running with a sucker. Luke gave him one before we left the house. . .


It’s all about balance, right? Living life and not looking back.

Long run, I’ll get you next weekend. But until then, I’m not going to stress about it.

How about you? Anything you missed or skipped lately?

Linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday.


Filed under Running

Weekend Update: 8/17/14

Another great weekend in the books. . .

well not quite. We are still up at the Lake this morning & we headed back to Mankato soon. And back to work tomorrow.

We headed up to the Lake this weekend. . .

but first, Luke and I had a day together at home.

We made almond butter (with some direction from Beautifully Nutty).


did the advocare happy dance.


and because it’s all about balance… made some chocolate chip cookies.


and I tried out the new Supplement Your Skin cleanser – the verdict = amazing. I love it.


And yes, I do deliver AdvoCare products while out for a run in my “Get Sparked” shirt. Winking smile


Early morning 5 miles before work and hitting the road to the Lake.


BLTs = summer perfection.


Running then cupcakes, right?


Sunday it was cold and rainy, so that means reading time. Loved this series by Kiera Cass!


Celebrating my Mom’s birthday. Lukie snuggles + blowing out candles leftover from my 30th birthday.


What were you up to this weekend??

And because it was pretty marvelous, I am linking up with Katie for Marvelous in my Monday!


Filed under advocare, baby, Lake, Recap, Running, summer, vacation, weekend update

Friday Favorites: 8/15/14

Hey! Happy Friday.

I am working this morning but then after lunch we are headed back up to the Lake (story of my life in the summer, right?) for a long weekend. Looking forward to a Friday night Fish Fry (WI staple), long run (11 miles) on Saturday and some time on the water. I’ll be back on Monday with the details.

But, here are the things that made me smile this week. . . because we all know that it is the little things that matter. Smile 

–> This adorable bookmark that I got from my friend Judy at Success School last weekend.


It was so thoughtful for her to bring it and so perfect for me. Smile 

–> My latest Jamberry manicure – loving the stripes.


–> Blue diamond almonds.


The latest flavors –> Honey Roasted Vanilla and Honey Roasted Chipotle almonds. Loving the new honey flavors.


And they are the perfect afternoon snack!

–> Peek <—have you guys heard of this?? It is super fun! “Get a peek into the mind of your users. See and hear a 5 minute video of a real person using your site. It’s super fast and totally free.”  



Your turn. What made you smile this week? And what are you up to this weekend??

Spreading the link love by linking up with Heather and Claire again this week.

**This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds

 Loading InLinkz ...


Filed under Friday, product, Recap

BODYPUMP 90 review

So, as you all know, I am a Les Mills BODYPUMP instructor and I teach at least twice per week at the local Mankato YMCA. If you aren’t familiar with BODYPUMP, check out my “what is bodypump? post.” 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, and now 90. (Other reviews here) I also have learned 80, 82 and 83, since some other instructors at the YMCA had those training DVDs.


So, here are my thoughts on the very latest release. . .

#1: Warmup  -  “We Are One”

Warm up is the warm up. Hard to have a lot of innovation with this one because you need to warm up all muscle groups. They did a great job with mixing it up a bit so it doesn’t feel like the same thing. the combo move of deadlifts and upright rows gets a bit repetitive by the end, but I still like this warm up song. I also like the lyrics and think it ties in perfectly with the feeling of BP  with “We are one.”

#2: Squats. Song – “What Now”

Totally standard squat track. Good song with a great beat. Perfect for squats. A bit repetitive towards the 3rd set but still a great leg workout.

# 3: Chest – “Conquistador”  

Awesome track. Good song too. The timing with the staggered moves = really targets the chest. Reminder – keep increasing your weight from class to class as you get stronger. Continuing to challenge yourself is the key to bodypump!


#4: Back – “Promises”

Good song. Good mix of moves. The track starts out like a standard back track with deadlifts and clean and press. And then switches to squats with squat presses at the end –> lift the big @ss plate for a killer challenge.

#5: Triceps – “Walk of Shame”

My favorite song. I LOVE P!nk and this song is catchy. I love the combo of extensions to presses and then the killer dips at the end. If you go heavy on your barbell – you will really feel this one and have awesome triceps to show for it.

#6: Biceps – “Miss Jackson

You HAVE to go heavy on this one = awesome bicep burn. LOVE the mid-range pulses. Feel the burn and watch your guns get bigger . . . do you have your tickets? to the gun show! Winking smile 


#7: Lunges – “Stay The Night”

A pretty standard lunge track. Squats, lunges on one leg and then on the other leg. A tip – go a bit heavier than normal to really feel it in the legs! I do love this song – a good beat and great to lunge to. The top halves build the pressure and the bottom halves drive it home.

#8: Shoulders – “Thumbs Up (For Rock N Roll) Kill The Noise Remix”

This is a really tough track. And I didn’t hate the song but I thought it was SUPER strange, but after watching this video –> it is super cute. I am a huge fan of pushups so I love that the track starts and ends with them. Upright rows, overhead presses, and push presses using the barbell are a longer set than normal and it is awesome. Then some standard side raises and mac raises to really make the shoulders burn = awesome-ness.

#9: Core – “Something I Need”

Good song. Slightly boring track. Lots of pulse crunches. Good to really feel the burn in the core though. . .

#10: Cool down – “How You Remind Me”

Always love cool down to focus on how awesome my body feels after working every body part during the last hour. I really like taking the stretches deeper, so that you really feel stretched out at the end.


Overall I really like this release! It changes things up a bit but is still classic BODYPUMP. I think that it works each part of the body in a challenging way and it a great release from start to finish.

Looking for more BP90 reviews? Check out Annette’s or Ashley’s!

Have you done BP90? What did YOU think??

Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud!


Filed under body pump

5 everyday things

We are all creatures of habit, right?

I recently realized that there are 5 things that I do every day without fail.

And I just thought I would share them with you. . .

#1. The very first thing I do EVERY morning. Wipe away Abby’s eye goobers. Crazy, right?

oh and kiss her on the head. :)


#2. Before Scott and I go to bed, we always go into Luke’s room and watch him sleeping for a few minutes. He looks so peaceful and sweet, which some days this is the only time those two things happen. Winking smile


#3. Drink spark. I used to drink a caramel skim latte every morning, until Advocare. . .


#4. Tell Scott “I love you.” Usually right before falling asleep.


#5. Scroll through instagram. Obsessed. Love it. It’s usually the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning before getting out of bed.


Do you do any of these things? What do you do every day?

And I’m linking up with Becky because these every day things are how I treat myself everyday. Especially IG <– seriously, obsessed.


Filed under Abby, baby, husband, Recap

Weekend Update: 8/10/14–> AdvoCare Success School


what a weekend.

I am exhausted, excited, inspired and grateful.

The opportunity to attend success school was one that I won’t soon forget.

I’m not going to go into specifics, but let’s just leave it at the fact that AdvoCare is pretty awesome and I am super happy to be part of such an amazing company. <—if you want more details about Success School or AdvoCare, just shoot me an email and I would be more than happy to fill you in.  Smile

But, let’s back up and look at the weekend.

Luke and I went for a beautiful 6.5 mile run and had to stop to check out the fountain at Minnesota State University


And play at the park and swing with the bulldozer. . .


After nap time and getting ready to go, we hit the road. . .

and made a pit stop to see Melanie (and her cute baby bump!) for dinner.


Then, it was up bright and early to the airport for my flight to Dallas.


Thankfully, a good book and some spark made my flight go by quick!


And finally reunited with my blend Becky!


And I finally got to meet Lauren! She is just as adorable in person as she is online.


The Advo team. . .


Success school was held at Cowboy field. . . even though I am a die-hard Packers fan –> it was pretty cool to be ON the field. Smile


Success school.. .


including a new AdvoCare skin care line – Supplement Your Skin. . .




And then Becky and I decided to get up at 5am on Sunday morning to knock out 10 miles before the sun came up in Texas. It was still hot – but we got it done!


Plane ride, lunch with my Dad and Luke, back to Mankato, and getting ready for work tomorrow = Sunday.

Whew – what a weekend!

What were you up to??

And because it was pretty marvelous, I am linking up with Katie for Marvelous in my Monday!


Filed under advocare, blend, Recap, Running, weekend update

Friday Favorites: 8/8/14

Hey! Happy Friday. Smile

After I publish this post, I am on my way to the airport! I’m headed to Dallas, TX for AdvoCare Success School. Becky and I are meeting up at the airport in Dallas at noon and I could. not. be. more. excited. There is also a rumor that this girl will be there on Saturday, so I am super excited!

Anyway, I’ll be back on Monday with details of the weekend, but here are my Friday Favorites for ya!


**Teaching early morning BODYPUMP.


I was subbing for Chris this week and while it is SO painful to get up at 4:40AM, I feel amazing when I am done teaching class at 6:30AM. I get to watch the sunrise AND start my day with BODYPUMP!

**Tuesday night dinner date with Scott.


We don’t do this nearly enough, so it is a special treat to get a babysitter and have a quiet dinner on a weeknight. + those onion rings = amazing.

**My new favorite shirt.


I was totally on the fence about keeping this shirt, but Becky’s comment on my post telling me that I was basically a dumb bunny if I didn’t keep it, helped me make the right decision. Winking smile And now it is my go-to shirt. Over leggings on the weekend, dressed up with nice pants and a necklace for work. Love it.

**This lunch.


Toasted Ezekiel bread with TJs salted almond butter and strawberry jelly. Simple. classic. delicious.

Your turn. What made you smile this week? And what are you up to this weekend??

Spreading the link love by linking up with Heather and Claire again this week.

 Loading InLinkz ...


Filed under body pump, Fashion, Friday, Lunch, Recap

Stitch Fix #3

My latest Stitch Fix has arrived!!


And I need your help. Smile

What should I keep?

Teal Green Connely Horse Bit Bangle – $32


Navy Filbert Polka Dot Print 3/4 sleeve blouse – $58


Navy Redhouse striped hooded sweatshirt – $108


Coral bowie solid dolman sleeve top – $58


Navy Johnny skinny jeans – $88

So. . . . what do you think??

Thanks for your help!!


Filed under Fashion

The perfect hardboiled egg

So, my Mom is ridiculous.


Right, Laura and Jenny?


She has all these amazing recipes and ways to make things, but when we ask her for directions so we can make them too. .  instead of adding 1 teaspoon, we get directions like “add some” or “add enough until it looks right.” or some other extremely vague measurement. Super helpful, right? Winking smile

Well, at least with her hard boiled eggs, there isn’t too much measuring or ways to screw them up.

I did have to call her for directions on how to hard boil eggs until I was about 28. . . thankfully, like most Mom’s, she was always willing to talk me through it. . .

And I feel like hard boiled eggs are one of those things that can be quite hard to get exactly right, but with my Mom’s way = perfection every time.

Step 1: Put eggs in a pan.


Step 2: Cover with water. All the eggs should be covered, so if they aren’t – add more water or take out a few eggs.


After the water is added, they should be in a single layer in the pan – no overlapping.


Step 3: Add some salt. About 1 teaspoon.


Step 4: Bring to a boil.

Step 5: Boil for 3 minutes.


Step 6: Put cover on. Remove from heat. Let sit for 10 minutes.


Step 7: Pour eggs into colander and rinse with cold water.


Step 8: Make some awesome deviled eggs or egg salad. Smile

Deviled eggs:


Peel perfectly hard-boiled eggs. Cut in half. Remove yolk. Mix yolks and miracle whip – about 50/50 until smooth. Add a touch (to taste) of horseradish sauce. Place yolk mixture back into egg whites. Enjoy.

Egg salad.

I don’t like egg yolks very much, so I always make my egg salad egg whites only. And all I do is mix perfectly hardboiled egg whites with a bit of miracle whip and salt and pepper (to taste). My favorite served over toast. If I am feeling fancy – I’ll sometimes add avocado too – yum!

What’s your favorite thing to do with hard boiled eggs??

I am linking up with Peas & Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday again this week!!


Filed under Uncategorized

But I can’t give up my coffee.. .

Does that sound like you?


That was totally me.

Before Advocare.

And it was the reason that I waited so long before doing my first 24 day challenge. I just didn’t think I could survive/function/be happy without my daily latte.

But, I finally decided to take the plunge.

And now, I can honestly say that spark starts my day off 100x better than my latte ever did. ..

Don’t get me wrong, I still drink coffee (caramel skim latte), but now it’s an occasional thing – more of a treat – than an every day thing. And I still start every morning with spark.


Because it gives me more energy, makes me feel more awake, doesn’t give me coffee breath, and is cheaper than my daily latte.

So, this post is for you, if you aren’t ready to give up your coffee, but are still interested in the benefits of Advocare. . .

Option #1 – “Good”

Try SPARK. Make a commitment to forgo your coffee/latte/pop for a week a to see if this gets you feeling even better. And I’ll make it even easier, you can still drink your coffee (if you want!). . . just drink spark first thing and then later if you still want your beverage, you can have it. I’ll challenge you, that you will feel so much better with spark that you won’t even want your other beverage OR if you do have it, you will notice that it doesn’t have as good of effect as you thought it did. …


From the Advocare website:

This is for someone who:
**Someone who has trouble waking up or feels “energy slumps” throughout the day
**Someone who can’t work up enough energy to live life the way you want

AdvoCare Spark® is a unique multi-nutrient system that was developed as a nutritional source of energy and enhanced mental focus. It’s a sugar-free with more than 20 vitamins, minerals and nutrients that work synergistically to provide a healthy, balanced and effective source of energy that won’t overburden or over stimulate your body. This amazing product serves as an all-in-one solution that gives you a quick boost of energy that lasts for hours.

  • Available in Watermelon, Mango Strawberry, Pink Lemonade, Mandarin Orange, Fruit Punch, Grape, Citrus and Cherry
  • Offered in pouches and canisters
  • Sharpens mental focus
  • Fast acting and long-lasting energy
  • Contains 21 vitamins, minerals and nutrients designed to synergistically provide a healthy, balanced source of energy*
  • Just 45 calories per serving

Option #2 – “Better “

Spark + Catalyst

Catalyst has a rapid toning effect (BCAA’s) that help if you are working hard in the gym to show more muscle definition = you look more toned.  Affectionately referred to as “liposuction in a bottle.”

From the website:

This is for someone who:
**Someone needing an added boost to your current weight-loss program
**Someone who wants to tone, define and preserve your lean body mass

  • Helps maintain muscle mass during exercise & weight management
  • Aids in preserving muscle and energy levels during times of calorie restriction*
  • Helps repair & protect muscle tissue
  • Works great in conjunction with AdvoCare Spark® Energy Drink and one of the Metabolic Nutrition Systems (MNS®)
  • Catalyst™ Amino Acid Supplement is a blend of essential branched-chain amino acids and L-glutamine that supplies your body with muscle-building components and sustains your muscles during exercise and reduced calorie intake. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or gain muscle, Catalyst helps repair and protect muscles. Combined with a healthy diet and exercise, Catalyst helps you retain muscle and reduce fat for a more toned and better defined look.

Option #3 – “Best”

Spark + catalyst + meal replacement shake for breakfast.

You know that how you start your day is super important. This is a 1:1 protein/carb ratio with 24 grams of each.  220 calories, 50% DV of calcium and 5 grams of fiber.  It’s a perfect meal and tastes great.


From the website:

This is for someone who:
**Someone who wants a nutritious meal on the go
**Someone seeking a balanced, low-calorie meal for your diet and exercise program
**Someone seeking to lose or maintain weight in a healthy manner
**Someone who has limited gastric capacity or requires an easy-to-digest, light meal
**Someone looking for an additional source of protein to supplement your diet

  • Available in Chocolate Mocha, Chocolate, Vanilla, Vegetarian, and Berry
  • Offered in pouches
  • 24 grams of protein
  • 5-6 grams of fiber
  • 26 vitamins and minerals and only 220 calories
  • Contains 50% of the daily value of calcium
  • Try it with a Metabolic Nutrition System (MNS®) for amazing results

When you need to cut calories or you need a nutritious on-the-go meal, grab a Meal Replacement Shake. Meal Replacement Shakes have a 1:1 protein-to-carbohydrate ratio, which studies show supports weight loss and sustained energy. And since they’re loaded with 24 grams of easily digestible protein, 26 vitamins and minerals and just 220 calories per serving, you’ll satisfy your rumbling tummy, feed your muscles with high-octane fuel and give your body wholesome nutrients for a healthier you. Meal Replacement Shakes also work great as part of the Metabolic Nutrition Systems (MNS®).

As usual, feel free to email me (running4cupcakes@gmail.com) with any questions. . .

but as you can see, Advocare is MUCH more than just SPARK or the 24 day challenge. There is really something for everyone, depending on what your goal is  – weight loss, more energy, feel better, more muscle definition, etc.

And have I inspired you to think outside of your daily coffee or pop? Smile

Linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday!


Filed under advocare