Weekend Update: 1/25/15

Hello from Texas!

We are currently enjoying a little family vacation on South Padre Island.

Here’s a little weekend recap. . .

vacation nails. a very light sparkly pink.


quick stop at the library to pick up reading material. (Pearl in the Storm)


Saying good-bye to Grandpa Tom at the airport.


Trying to get a picture with a 2 year old. #reallife


boys and planes.


The beach!




The waterpark.


Running on the beach at low tide. Glorious. 4 miles.


The view from our room.


More play time at the water park = the lazy river captured Luke’s attention for about 3 hours. . .


Dinner at Burger Fi (thanks for the recommendation Emily!)


And now off to the beach. . . not warm enough for swim suits but perfect for a 2 year old to dig in the sand with his shovels. Smile

What were you up to this weekend??

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


Filed under Recap, vacation, weekend update

Friday Favorites: 1/23/15

Woo hoo for Friday.

So happy. Smile

Extra happy because we leave for Texas tomorrow! Which means that I should probably start packing. . .

Here are my smiles from this week. Feel free to play along in the comments or link up with Friday Favorites from your blog –> what made you smile this week?


My Wicked CD.


My all-time favorite musical. I just recently found this CD when I was going through some boxes from moving. . . and I’ve been listening all week. Defy Gravity and Making Good are my favs!  btw – thanks Laura for making it for me. Smile

This jar of goodness.


Also known as Reese’s spread. I was lucky enough to be sent a jar from Influenster. Love it. I mean seriously, what’s not to love? Peanut butter + chocolate. Amazingness. I am thinking it is destined for some baking. . .maybe these or this or OMG these?

Puppy love. Really she is just begging me to play tug with her. . .




Ok, so I don’t really love the snow, but I do love the look of fresh fallen snow in the trees. So pretty!



Such a great workout. Sure, I still think the lunges are good, but boring, and those pushups in the shoulder track get me every time. But I know I am getting stronger and really killing it by how much this release pushes you. And I would not survive without my spark – thank you AdvoCare!

The Bachelor. So, Jimmy Kimmel this week – equal parts hilarious and awkwardness, right?


And with that, I am off to pack. . . I am not looking forward to packing a 2 year old. Less stuff than a baby but still needs lots of things! I don’t worry to much about forgetting something – nothing that a quick stop at Target can’t fix! Smile

See you on Monday with a weekend update from Texas! Have a good one!!

Linking up with Heather and Claire this week!

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Filed under body pump, Friday, Recap

Currently {the Luke edition}

Have you seen these surveys? I always like reading them. So, I thought I would do my own version and it’s been a while since I’ve done an update for Luke. . . so here is currently. . . a Luke edition!

Current Book: How to Train your Train. We have read it every night since he got it for Christmas.


Current TV Show: Anything Thomas the Train. Yup this kid is all trains all the time. And when it’s not trains, it’s cars or construction equipment. . .


Current Excitement: Heading to Texas in a few days! We are staying at a resort with a water park and he is going to love it!


Current Exercise: Running around everywhere. And sledding.


Current Song: Even though Christmas is over, he still wants to sing Rudolph every night.


And he asks for Hippopotamus (I want a hippopotamus for Christmas) whenever we are in the car. Close second is Daddy signing anything from Frozen – In Summer is always a hit.

Current Bane of My Existence: Time-outs or brushing teeth.


Current Food: Cinnamon Toast Crunch and M and M cookies. Those are his favorites – but he will eat most things we give him.


Current Drink: Chocolate milk – he only gets chocolate milk when we go to Grandma Mary’s. . . so he always asks to go there so he can get some chocolate milk.


Current Indulgence: anytime he gets to watch the iPad. Bonus points I guess for sitting in Abby’s toy basket. Winking smile 


Current Enjoyment: playing in the sink.


Current Photo: too cool for school . .  .


Current Outfit: PJs. He never wants to get dressed – any day he can stay in his PJs all day long = winning.


Your turn – what are you currently. . . ?

Linking up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud!


Filed under baby, Recap

BODYPUMP 92 {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.” And find a class near you.


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

#1: Warm up  - “All We Need Is Love”

Standard warm up song. I think it has a good beat and sets the tone for a great class. I love doing the slow clean and presses and then speeding it up – helps to cue and work on form right from the beginning. And #truth – all we need it love. Smile

#2: Squats – “Go!”

I really like this one. It has a great beat for banging out the combos. Working from the bottom is always a good quad burner. And I really like keeping the whole focus in the mid stance. That really helps to build up the muscle tension so by the last slow ones, you are shaking!

# 3: Chest – “The Phoenix”

Ahhh back to the bar for the whole song. Love it. And same combo from the squat track with singles + holds. And again, working from the bottom = amazing results. I also love this song and unfortunately for my class, I like to sign along. Winking smile

#4: Back – “Dream and Dance” – Alternate

I sub out the alternate track for this one. I just didn’t love the song or timing of “Letting Go.” But the alternate is amazing. Tons of power presses, which really pumps up the heart rate and works the upper back.

#5: Triceps – “Problem”

This one is awesome. Make sure you go heavy on your bar to really feel the burn. I love that the timing is bit slower with the song to really feel the movements and triceps isolation. And then the kicker at the end with extensions. Love it!

#6: Biceps – “Come with me now

You can’t help but rock out along with this song. All while getting bigger guns = win win. I LOVE this one. The pulses with a hold + no breaks = awesome.

#7: Lunges – “NRG”

Ok, so this one is a bit boring. It’s a lot of the same thing over and over again. BUT I use that to my advantage teaching it. Lots of time for cueing and challenging to take it to the next level by getting lower and really aiming for that front thigh to be parallel to the floor. And it’s a fun song. Smile

#8: Shoulders – “Ping Pong”

Whoa. Pushups are killer. like seriously killer. But it makes this track totally awesome. Just make sure you do them on your toes!

#9: Core – “Love Runs Out” – alternate

I subbed in the alternate for this song too. I just wasn’t a fan of “Fancy”. But this one has the same moves – leg extensions and hovers. It isn’t the best core track ever, but it gets the job done.

#10: Cool down – “Chandelier”

I don’t love this song but by this time of the workout, I am just happy to be done and to have a chance to stretch out and check in with my class. I use this time to remind them about hydrating, taking care of their bodies, and thinking about prepping for next class and how to take BP to the next level.


Overall, I really like this release. Every time I teach it, it kicks my butt. I have been sore in some new places – thank you power presses and pushups. Smile But, like any BODYPUMP enthusiast, I am already anxiously awaiting for 93! Winking smile


Have you done BP92? What did YOU think??

Linking up with Becky for TYT!


Filed under body pump, review

Weekend Update: 1/18/15

whew. monday. I am still mourning the end of the Seahawks v Packers game last night Sad smile . . . but here is a quick look at my weekend. . .

Treadmill run.


Saturday morning BODYPUMP.




Furniture shopping.


A 2 year olds dream = checking out the vehicles at Daddy’s work.


Hearing the amazing results of people from my AdvoCare team checking in with results from the first 10 days of their 24 day challenge! Love it. It never gets old.


Sunday morning breakfast. Simple but delicious.


Sink play time.


Treadmill run.




Meal prep for this week – egg cups with Jennie-O breakfast sausage.


And oven chicken fajitas for Sunday night dinner.


And now off to work. Have a great one!!

What were you up to? Did you see that game? Craziness!!

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


Filed under body pump, Running, weekend update

Friday Favorites: 1/16/15

woo hoo for Friday. This week took for-ev-er. But we made it. Smile

We have nothing on the agenda for the weekend and I am tickled pink about it. Obviously, I have my super long to-do list like always. . .but nice to know that nothing “has” to get done! So, don’t be too suprised if you check back in on monday and find out that all we did was binge watch Orange is The New Black. Winking smile What are you up to this weekend?

On to this weeks list of favorites. . .the little things that made me smile.


I really love doing this post every week because it helps me remember that it really is the little things that make life, well, life. And because smiling is my favorite. Smile Buddy the Elf quotes are cool year round, right?

My new iPhone case. Pink Kate Spade perfection.

Clean eating. Oh man, after reading It Starts With Food, I started back on clean eating this week with a twist towards the Whole30 lifestyle.


And while it’s more 80/20 right now, I am feeling SO much better already. Thinking about doing a full Whole30 in February!!

Teaching BODYPUMP 92. Loving it. Those pushups on the shoulder track? Hurts SO good.


PJ day at Luke’s school. Not having to get a 2 year old dressed in the morning + wearing cute puppy slippers = winning.

Puppy snuggles.


Morning (before work) runs + speed work. It just feels SO good to have it done before the day even really starts. Plus the extra time in the evenings is amazing.


Alright. . . off to tackle that to do list! Have a great one!!

Linking up with Heather and Claire this week!

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Filed under Abby, body pump, Friday, Running

Clean-eating spaghetti sauce {family recipe}


If there is one recipe that will always make me think of my Mom, it’s her Texas sheet cake, but this one takes a close second. Winking smile

This is the meal my older sister would always request for her birthday dinner. It is a hearty, meaty sauce that is full of flavor. Super easy to make. You will seriously never want to buy jarred sauce again. Oh, and always make a double batch and freeze half. You won’t regret it. Unfortunately, for me, no one can make it as good as my Mom – isn’t that always the case?

Anyway, this is the perfect cold weather meal. Side salad + garlic bread = meal perfection.

And bonus points because this sauce is totally clean – no added sugar. We loved this during our most recent AdvoCare challenge over spaghetti squash with zucchini noodles (zoodles!).

Bushnell spaghetti sauce


1 large onion – diced
1 lb hambuger
1 t oregano
1 t basil
1 t thyme
1 t garlic powder
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
12 oz can tomato paste
1 can (12 oz) water

1. Brown hamburger and onion. Drain.
2. Add seasonings, tomato paste and water.
3. Simmer to blend flavors.
4. Serve over pasta, spaghetti squash or zoodles.


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


Filed under Recipes

Beat Treadmill Boredom Workout

Hi guys! Happy Tuesday. Smile


As you know, I love my treadmill. Words that I never thought I would say, but with the cold and icy MN winters, I have become a treadmill lover. Only with Netflix instant play on my iPad though. . . otherwise I would die of boredom. Winking smile

psst – looking for a cheesy Holiday movie? Watch The 12 Dates of Christmas! I love watching cheesy Holiday movies during the month of December. . . and that has been my favorite one so far this year!!

I wanted to share with you the treadmill workout that I have been doing lately to help beat treadmill boredom. We all know the key to running on the treadmill is to mix it up.

How boring is it to stay at the same pace the entire run? I know, right! Horrible.

But I also get a little bored and burnt out by interval work depending on the timing. . .I am not a fan of having to mess with pace and press buttons up and down every minute. . .


So, I came up with something that is easy to do, not too tedious, and helps me to increase my speed and intensity.

Now, I realize that what I am about to share with you is nothing earth shattering and you’re probably already doing it, but it was new to me and I am really loving it, so I thought I would share.

It’s so simple.

Basically, you start at any pace you’d like. For simplicity sake, let’s say 6.0, Do your warm up, then when you are ready, increase the pace by “0.3″. So, up to 6.3. And stay there for 2 minutes. Then, bump back down by “0.2″ – so 6.1 and “recover” for 3 minutes. Then, increase by 0.3 again (- 6.4) x 2 minutes, then back down by 0.2 (- 6.2) for 3 minutes. So, every 5 minutes you do a cycle of 2 minutes faster and 3 minutes slower, but overall, every 5 minutes you are increasing your base pace. By the time I get to 5 miles, I am doing a pretty decent pace, but I am not dying with super hard intervals, more of a slow and steady increasing intensity.

Warm up – 6.0
Increase to 6.3 x 2 minutes
Decrease to 6.1 x 3 minutes
Increase to 6.4 x 2 minutes
Decrease to 6.2 x 3 minutes
Increase to 6.5 x 2 minutes
Decrease to 6.3 x 3 minutes
Continue until you reach your desired miles.
Cool down! :)

Let me know if you give it a try!

Want to make it harder? Increase the intervals to 3 or 4 minutes of the faster pace and then 2 or 1 minute recovery (slower) pace!!

What’s your favorite workout to beat treadmill boredom??

Linking up with Becky for TYT. .  . because not having to run in the snow and ice and cold is definitely a treat during the winter in Minnesota! Winking smile


Filed under Running

Weekend Update: 1/11/15

Hey! Did you have a good weekend? What were you up to?

Here’s a quick look at what we were up to this weekend. . .

We headed to Eau Claire on Friday to look for some housing options. Fingers crossed there looks like there might be a good option or two. Smile 

Saturday was pancake breakfast.


Time on the treadmill.


My least favorite activity – cleaning the bathrooms. . .


And reading a new book.


Have you read It Starts with Food? OMG super interesting!

Sunday was more of the same. . .

treadmill time.


Wearing my favorite Packers shirt for the BIG game. GO PACK GO!!


Homemade Orange Julius from this recipe.


Meal prep for the week. . . egg cups with onion and spinach.


My first attempt at homemade mayo with lots of help from Scott = seriously takes two hands. . . but whoa – I don’t know if I will ever be able to go back to store bought mayo again. Life changing. Planning to add it to chicken salads for lunch this week (chicken, carrots, red grapes and walnuts).


Plus this in the crockpot for Sunday night dinner.

Crock Pot Beef Carnitas Tacos from www.eatliverun.com

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


Filed under weekend update

Friday Favorites: Minted!

**This post is sponsored by Minted, but per usual, all opinions are 100% my own.**

So, have you guys heard of Minted?

I thought that it was just for Holiday cards and was totally surprised when I checked out their website.

Don’t get me wrong, they have a huge collection of trendy Holiday cards, but there is SO much more. ..

They have stationary, day planners, calendars, fabric and home décor. I know, right?!

In honor of Friday Favorites, here are a few of my favorites from their website.

Wouldn’t this be perfect for Luke’s room? Or any little boys room!

Rescue Squad Room Decor Signs

And adding real foil to a portrait? Beautiful.


And don’t tell Scott, but I wish I was getting married again. How cute are these Save The Date cards? Love the foil accent. Adorable.


And did you know they sell ART? Like seriously, some pretty cool pieces.


Anyway. . . check out Minted, it’s a pretty cool site and seems to have a little something for everyone!

Right now they are running a pretty cool promotion –>

15% off wedding invitations and save the date cards with code: WINTERWED

And I almost forgot – HAPPY FRIDAY!! Smile

Any big plans for the weekend? We don’t have anything right now. . . thinking a trip to the pool might be nice and continue binge watching Orange is The New Black with Scott. Winking smile

Linking up with Heather and Claire this week!

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Filed under Friday, product