Launch Week And A New Recipe

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Happy Monday!!

I hope it’s been a great one so far! Mine sure has! We launched our new music and routines in class at the gym today, so I got to teach all new Cardio30 and Group Centergy releases. I spent the weekend cramming in new moves and cueing and timing and, whew, just general getting in shape for something new. It’s always a bit nerve-wracking to teach new material for the 1st time, so it’s nice to have it over with.

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On Friday, I had said how I was super excited to practice Group Centergy outside with the rest of my Centergy team… It was awesome! The weather was perfect and the sunset was beautiful as we were doing our salutations and folds on the grass. Annnnd I didn’t get any pictures. Sorry! But we did stay and pick a TON of blueberries, so I got a pic of that!

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Our practice was at the Centergy leader’s house and she lives on a blueberry farm. She insisted we all go out to the blueberry fields and pick as many as we wanted. Ok, twist my arm. ;p I probably ate a whole bushel Friday night alone (I really don’t know how much a bushel is, but it sounds farm-y). On the topic of food, I made this awesome Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread from Heather at Housewife Glamour yesterday and it was yummmmmmy!!

20140721-145159-53519212.jpg Like how I tried to make it fancy with the bananas next to it? Pure art.

The recipe calls for chocolate peanut butter spread, which I didn’t have (not sure why – it sounds bomb!), so I used regular peanut butter and added a teaspoon of cocoa powder. It turned out delicious! So moist and soft! You should check out the recipe on Heather’s post to see what yummy topping she recommends adding!

20140721-145256-53576128.jpg Patriotic banana bread (AKA I didn’t wanna do dishes Sunday morning, so I used leftover paper plates from the 4th of July).

The bananas in the first photo remind me of an article I read over the weekend. “What I Instagrammed Vs. What Was Really Happening In My Life.” Did anyone else read this? If you have an Instagram account, you’ll probably find yourself identifying with several of the scenarios the author mentions – I know I did! It was pretty funny, actually. We spend so much time…and so many filters/poses… trying to make our lives look interesting/profound/active/exciting. This article is a fun little look at what usually goes on behind those perfect looking insta-photos. Has anyone else read it already?

Before you go, you should head over to the blog, Loving On The Run. Sara was kind enough to feature me in this week’s edition of Bloggers On The Run. Thanks, Sara! 

What’d you do this weekend?

Banana Bread – love it or leave it? Normally, I don’t get too excited about banana bread, but add a little chocolate and peanut butter and I found my new fave snack!

 

Friday Favorites 7/18

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Happy Friday, everyone! It’s a beautiful day and I can’t wait to share a few of my favorites of the week with you! I’m linking up with Heather’s Friday Favorites link up, so you should head over to her blog and check out all the other wonderful favorites posts.

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Does it count as a favorite if it hasn’t happened yet? Yes? No? Ok, so I guess I should say what I’m looking forward to is doing Centergy outside today! Launch Week is next week, so I’m learning all new music and routines for Group Centergy and Cardio30 so I can teach them starting Monday. The format leader for the Centergy format invited all the Centergy instructors over to her house to practice our new Group Centergy launch, then have a picnic and use her pool. I’m so so excited because I feel like Centergy is the perfect workout to do outside on a gorgeous day – yoga, Pilates, sunshine, fresh air…ahhhh, doesn’t get any better! So maybe it’s not a favorite yet, but I am super excited for it!

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On the topic of group exercise and Launch Week, I’ve been busy trying to cram 30 minutes of new Cardio30 material and an hour of new Centergy material before Monday, so I’ve been carrying around my release DVDs and CDs to listen to in the car or in the office while I’m on the computer. Learning new material, along with having family in town, being sick, teaching my regular classes and subbing a few, and just trying to keep up with everything else going on in life has made me feel a bit like a crazy person this week. I’ve been carrying around so much stuff this week so that I’m prepared wherever I go.

My lifesaver has been this cute Thirty-One Gifts bag:

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You can seriously fit so much stuff in this sucker!

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This past week, I’ve had it crammed full of all my normal purse essentials plus: my group ex DVDs/CDs, clothes to work out in or to change into after working out, my water bottle, snacks, my iPod, headphones, etc. It’s been so helpful by making sure I have room for all my crap things and still looking super cute. Unfortunately, I bought this a long time ago and as I was looking for it on the Thirty One website, I noticed they no longer carry it. They do have this Cindy Tote, though. 

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(Source)

I have this bag as well and it’s pretty comparable in size to the one I’ve been toting around. I like the Cindy Tote because it’s more professional looking and could double as a briefcase, if you have that kind of job, which I don’t. It’s a bit too fancy for the gym where I work, but I still love it.

Also on the topic of group exercise, this ecard is awesome.

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Heck yes! Because if you’re gonna suffer, someone else should have to as well!

Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

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I saw this book in Target one day and stood in the aisle for an embarrassingly long time trying to read as much as I could before some store employee threw me out or made me purchase the book. It was hilarious, but I just didn’t have the money to spend on it at the time. Wednesday, I got in Brandon’s car to go somewhere and I saw this on the backseat. I got super excited – Brandon said it was ridiculous how my eyes lit up – and asked him where he got it. Turns out, a friend of his who is moving gave it to him. I spent a good portion of the evening last night reading it out loud to Brandon which, I’m sure was a treat for him since I’m still sick and it was read in a scratchy voice with lots of nasty sniffling. I’ve only made it through the first couple of chapters but, so far, it’s quite entertaining (duh, it’s Jim Gaffigan).  

Hope you’re enjoying your Friday so far!

What are some of your fav’orites from the week?

Have you read “Dad Is Fat?”

Thanks For The Liebster Award!

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Allyson, blogger at AMP Runs, nominated me for a Liebster Award. She’s a fellow #sweatpink blogger and runner and I’m touched that she nominated me for this award. Thanks, Allyson!! You should go check out her blog here!

First, I think I should explain a bit what a Liebster Award is. I’ve seen it on other blogger’s posts and, from what I gathered, I knew it was an award given to a blogger by another blogger. I also had figured out that it usually goes it a newer blogger with 200 followers or less to help that blogger get more views and followers and to welcome them to the blogging community. So sweet! I wanted to make sure that was correct, though, so I Googled it (duh – always the first step when wanting to find out more about something). Lorraine over at Wording Well explained it quite nicely and basically confirmed what I thought it was. You can read a little more in depth her description here.

On to the award. This is how it works…

The Rules of the Liebster Award:

  1. Thank and link the person who nominated you.
  2. Display the Liebster Award and the rules.
  3. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  4. Write 11 facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate other bloggers (who have less than 200 followers).
  6. Write 11 new questions for your nominees.

 

11 Questions from Allyson:

1. What is the most adventurous thing you’ve done?

Hiking a 13,000 ft. mountain in Colorado. I’m not an outdoorsy girl and that’s the farthest I’ve ever hiked.

2. Where is the most beautiful place you have ever been to?

Central Oregon. The mountains are gorgeous!

3. What is your proudest moment in your life thus far?

Graduating college – I’m the first in my family to do so – and getting group fitness certified.

4. What is one goal that you have not yet met, but are working to achieve?

Being the perfect wife. Ha! Just kidding…but seriously… Being aware of the areas I need to grow in and constantly working towards becoming better.

5. In your life, what brings you the most happiness?

My family – they are the best and I love them so much!

6. What has been your biggest challenge?

Marriage. Seriously, it’s way harder than I thought it’d be. I’ve been able to see exactly how selfish I really am and it’s not a pretty sight. I’m slowly learning what it really means to put another person ahead of myself.

7. What do you like most about yourself (physical or non-physical)?

My smile. I get compliments on it. Which is good, because my parents paid a lot for it! Hear that, Mom and Dad? It was worth it!

8. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to and why?

Medieval times. I love reading about knights and castles and lords and ladies! Though everyone probably stunk and had bad teeth, so I’m probably better off living now. Plus, I’d have probably been a commoner anyway. 

9. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

Speak a second language, preferably French. I’ve bought language learning CDs and apps, but I’m not disciplined enough to teach myself.

10. You have 1 hour of free time, how do you spend it?

Reading. My Kindle is practically my best friend (pathetic? maybe). 

11. Share your favorite quote.

“Be such a person, and live such a life, that if everyone were such as you, and every life a life such as yours, this earth would be God’s paradise.” -Phillips Brooks

 

Now for 11 facts about me!

1. I’m kind of a clean freak. When I get home, I have to pick up and put away everything that’s out of place before I can relax.

2. I love musicals!! I watch White Christmas every December…and sometimes November and January as well.

3. I hate scary or gory movies. I won’t watch them. Give me a chick flick or comedy and I’m a happy camper.

4. On that note, blood and being poked with needles makes me faint. Seriously, I passed out when I got my nose pierced and again when Brandon was getting stitches in his finger. 

5. I LOVE popcorn! I eat a bag (yes, the whole bag) as a bedtime snack at least once or twice a week.

6. I love to bake…mostly because I love to eat sweets!

7. I had a perm off and on from the age of 3 through high school…..annnnnnd I have naturally curly hair. What??

8. I learned to snow ski shortly after I learned to walk.

9. I applied for a job at a coffee shop, even though I didn’t like coffee, because I loved the smell. After working at a coffee shop I’m, of course, addicted.

10. I don’t like macaroni and cheese. I know, soooo un-American.

11. I can’t stand being tickled – I freak out…..please don’t use that against me. :p

Now that you know way more about me than you probably care to, I’m going to nominate 5 other lovely bloggers. You should check them out because they’re pretty awesome.

Drumroll……

Here are your questions:

1. If you had to eat one meal all day which would it be: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

2. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

3. Favorite drink?

4. If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go?

5. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

6. Who’s your greatest inspiration?

7. Favorite place to vacation?

8. What is one thing that you love about yourself?

9. Favorite Disney character and why?

10. What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?

11. What’s your favorite way to stay active?

 

Thanks for reading, guys! And check out the 5 new Liebster nominees!

Guess What…

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I’m alive!!!!!!!!

I know you were waiting on the edge of your keyboards to hear this news. Ok, maybe not. But I have been MIA. Annnnd I don’t particularly have an excuse; it’s just been a pretty busy week.

I’ve had family from California in town for the last week or so, so my time outside of work has been spent hanging out with them. Then, last week/weekend Brandon and I went camping with some friends and we didn’t have cell service. We got home from camping Saturday afternoon, unpacked, showered then went to a housewarming party for some friends that evening. Sunday, Brandon went up to Seattle to attend a going away party for some friends who are moving to Hong Kong and I taught Centergy then went to dinner with Cali family. Phew! On top of all that, I’ve been fighting I don’t even know what kinda head cold since Wednesday. Seriously, Sunday I slept in and moped around the house all morning feeling sorry for myself. That, and trying to refresh my memory on a Centergy release I was going to teach that afternoon.

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When sick, eat donuts and drink Starbucks while you watch a video of other people working out. Seriously, cheers you right up! I felt quite a bit better by the time I taught class, and even better when I played Dutch Blitz with the fam after dinner.

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(Source)

As the box says, it’s a “vonderful goot game!” If you enjoy high stress games with lots of yelling, which I do.

Today, it’s back to work and somewhat back to the norm. I still have family in town, so I’m planning to spend some good time with them this week. And Launch Week is coming up next week at the gym, when we launch all new routines and music in our classes. This week is like finals week during college – Cram! Cram! Cram!

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(Instagram)

Okay, so I guess not back to normal. What is normal anyway? I feel like no matter how much I say I’m going to cut back and slow down, my calendar always fills up. At least it’s fun stuff.

Oh! And to make up for being silent for so long, I have an awesome smoothie recipe to share with you!!

Strawberry Protein Dream Smoothie by Cassey Ho from Blogilates

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This smoothie is Delicious with a capital “D” (clearly)! It’s smooth and creamy and sweet and oh so yummy! I made it after one of my last runs before my half marathon and sipped it down in, like, 2 seconds (brain freeze!). You can find the recipe and nutrition info here. Just try it and you’ll see that sharing this recipe of gold with you more than makes up for being absent for the last week or so.

What have you been up to? Fill me in!

Birthday Fun

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Happy birthday to my sweet and handsome hubby!

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The hubs had a b-day today and, even though I taught class all morning and worked most of the afternoon/eve, we managed to cram some birthday fun in!

First up was lunch out with his family then, after work, we went out, just the two of us to Rouge Farms Hopyard in Independence. It was a beautiful evening, so we grabbed a few beers and some hop salted fries and enjoyed the evening on the outdoor picnic tables.

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I’m going to keep this short and sweet so I can spend the rest of the evening with him. He’s truly one of the most honest, hardworking, fun-loving, creative and talented people I know and a very loving, supportive and thoughtful husband. Happy birthday, Brandon!!

4th of July Festivities!

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We started our 4th of July in the most patriotic way possible – watching Germany and France duke it out in the World Cup. I’m really not the least bit interested in soccer, but when I told Brandon watching the World Cup wasn’t my idea of a good time he replied, “I watch you run for over 2 hours last weekend and that’s not my idea of a good time.” Touché. Sometimes we do things we don’t necessarily want to do just because we love our spouse.

We met some friends and family at a local coffee shop, order breakfast and coffee and cheered on Germany…or was it France? I don’t really know as I was actually on Pinterest most of the time. Hey! I was present – that’s what counts!

In the evening, we had friends and family over to watch fireworks from our unfinished upstairs windows. We have a terrific view out over the river where the city sets off fireworks. 20140705-104655-38815307.jpg No traffic, no fighting for parking, no putting your lawn chair out at 8 o’clock in the morning to reserve your seating…you’re welcome, everyone! 

Brandon wanted to clean the house up a bit before everyone came over, so he spent the day vacuuming up construction dust, clearing out our rooms upstairs, and generally making the place look as presentable as possible. Meanwhile, I cleaned our downstairs, got some food together, picked up tables and an ice chest from my mom and made some last minute decorations.

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Aren’t these lanterns adorable!? I pinned the directions on Pinterest (while I was “watching” soccer), then did some crafting at my mom’s house. I got battery-operated tea lights from the Dollar Tree so I wouldn’t have to worry about Lucy getting into them or someone accidentally knocking one over.

Pinterest had so much inspiration that I might have went a little overboard on the red, white, and blue theme:

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Strawberries and blueberries – Mmmm!!

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I made a punch with Lemon Lime soda and White Cranberry juice. To keep it cool, I poured a little of each into muffin tins, dropped a few blueberries and a strawberry slice in each, and froze them to make giant ice cubes.

Since my house was all festive, I had to make myself festive too! Thursday night, I painted my nails red and white…unfortunately, I painted them right before heading off to yoga with my friend, Erica, and I smudged them on my way out the front door. Grrr!!! Possibly one of the most frustrating things – painstakingly painting your nails, impatiently waiting for them to try, then messing them up because you didn’t wait long enough.

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After yoga, Erica and I went shopping to get some 4th of July gear. I got the bracelets in the nail photo above on sale at Old Navy and the tank top in the photo below also on sale and also at Old Navy – you can find the top here

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I swiped this goody of us and our hubbies from Erica’s Instagram. Thanks, E!

Erica got this summery hat…which she left at my house. I sent her this pic to let her know that it’s now mine. Muhaha

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Anywho… Brandon and I decided to have people over to celebrate the 4th since we have such an incredible view of the fireworks.

Even though the house is unfinished, I figured the 4th is one holiday where people expect to bring lawn chairs and sort of picnic while watching the show so I told everyone to bring their lawn chairs and we set up some ice chests full of drinks and some folding tables for the food. 

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Boy, we had a ton of food! The photo is just what my MIL and I put out – everyone brought something to contribute and we had a feast!

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It was so much fun to finally be able to host a holiday! I really enjoyed cleaning the house, getting tables and decor together, planning food and drinks and welcoming everyone into our home. Everyone spread out between the master bedroom and the spare bedroom upstairs to get the best views of the fireworks. We have a deck off our spare bedroom that some took blankets and chairs out to as well.

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Cute

friends! (Instagram)

Not only could we see all the fireworks over the river, but we could also see pretty much every illegal firework in Salem! :p It was quite the show! I hope you all got to spend some time with family and friends, enjoy some good food, and celebrate the freedom that we’re blessed with in this country!

What did you do to celebrate the 4th of July?

What are your plans for the rest of the weekend? Brandon’s birthday is on Monday, so we’re having a BBQ with family Sunday afternoon.

Pacific Crest Half Marathon Recap 2014

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Happy Tuesday!

Almost all the soreness from my half marathon on Saturday has worn off by now. It took a little longer than I expected because I taught 3 group ex classes yesterday. Yes, I said 3 – my own Cardio30 class, I subbed a Group Centergy class, then I subbed another Cardio30 class. It was kinda nice to work and stretch those sore muscles but, whew, I was ready for a break by today.

You’re probably ready for me to stop whining and recap the Pacific Crest half marathon already, huh? ;) First, let me start off by saying that it was about a billion times better than last year! I suppose that’s what happens when you train, huh? Go figure.

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(Instagram)

To start, the weather was beautiful. It was predicted to be a high of 73 degrees on the day of the race and the morning was perfect. Dad and I arrived about 10 minutes before the race started and ended up near the front of the pack.

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Pre-race selfie!

Once we started, I lost Dad almost immediately. I think part of my problem last year was that I started out too fast, so this year I made a point to pace myself. That meant that I didn’t stay with my speedy daddio for too long.

Mile 6 is when I knew it was going to be a good race. Almost halfway through and I felt fresh as a daisy…okay, not quite. But I did feel pretty good. Yeah, I was a bit tired, but I felt like I could keep going and I didn’t need any walking breaks. At mile 6 last year, I wondered if I’d even be able to finish. I was feeling so great this year that I texted my mom and hubby this pic…

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Yeah, I look a little crazy. It was the excitement and disbelief that I felt this good halfway through that made me look like a sweaty lunatic. Whatever..I’ll take it.

I was smart this year and brought my own gels along with me. I took one roughly every 3 miles, then replenished my stash at mile 9 where the Clif Shots station was. I’m not the least bit ashamed that I started with 3 gels (all of which I used) and finished with 5. For a $70 registration fee, I’m taking all the freebies I can get!

I did start to slow around mile 8. My side started cramping up and I was losing steam. A few breaks to stretch my calves and hamstrings helped, but I did end up walking a bit. I was encouraged, though, when I kept thinking of how I felt at each point of the course last year. I’d run pass the river and think, “Right here last year I wanted to lie down and die,” or, “When I passed the golf course last year, I seriously questioned whether I’d be able to finish.” There were times I just couldn’t stop smiling because it felt so good to not feel horrible! The view was amazing, which also helped pass the time and distract me.

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I gave myself a little break around mile 12 because I wanted to finish strong. By the time I saw the sign that said it was 500 meters to the finish line, I was ready to kick it into gear and shoot across that finish line!

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This is a text I got a few hours after the race. Pretty sweet that they text you your results! It also broke down exactly where I placed in my age range, for women in general, and overall. 2 hours and 37 minutes, not too shabby for finishing in 3 hours and 15 minutes last year. I was pretty pleased that I knocked over 30 minutes off my time. :) Though I’m also slightly embarrassed that it did take me +3 hours to finish last year, but I’m choosing to focus on the positives! 

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Once I crossed the finish line and received my massive race medal (seriously, it’s huge), I headed for the food because, well it’s free food..’nough said.

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These little chia pods were pretty sweet. The little cups they came in are reusable and that orange thing on top is a spoon. It was basically like a little chia pudding and they came in different flavors. I grabbed a vanilla, but they also had banana, mango, and berry.

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Of course, I had to take a pic with my daddio post-race. He finished in 2 hours and 1 minute, 10 minutes faster than last year!! He rocked it!

After finishing our post-race treats, we walked over to the starting line and took a few pics in front of the race arch.

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(Instagram)

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My beautiful mama with my daddio.

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My cheerleader

When we got back to the house, I snatched up my trusty foam roller to give my muscles a little love. While I was on the ground rollin’ like a boss, my mama gave me this…

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“I’m only half crazy.” Ehhhh, probably closer to 3/4′s but whatevs. Overall, the race was awesome and the weekend was entirely too short. We came home on Sunday evening and I laid in bed that night researching the next half marathon in Sunriver…okay, now officially fully crazy. :p Who knows if that motivation will stick, but there is the Marathon for a Cause at the end of August. Mayyyybe I’ll sign up for the half or maybe I’ll be more sane and stick with a 10k. We’ll see. ;)

Did you do anything fun this last weekend?

What was the last race you ran?