Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday 3's

Hello, humidity! I didn't miss you.

How was everyone's Memorial Day weekend? Mine flew by but it was great having that extra day off. In case you were out of town this weekend, you may catch up here:
Here we are already at Tuesday! It's back to the grind today, but it should fly by since I have a doctor's appointment later on to have my stitches removed. Now I can hit up the pool since Summer is finally here!

Tuesday 3's

1. I love lists and make them all of the time for work and personal things. Most of the times my lists are on post-it notes since some of my best ideas seem come to me while I am at work.

Common list topics include: 
  • groceries
  • blog post ideas
  • to-do items
  • priority of deadlines for projects at work

When I am at home, however, I tend to make my lists using a program called Evernote. This free download makes it super simple to organize all kinds of lists and information to keep you organized in all different areas. This is a great program and I'll tell you more about it in an upcoming post about the tools I use for blogging.

2. Popsicles are a staple of mine in the summer and it is not uncommon for me to eat 2-3 of them in one sitting. I love how fruity and refreshing they are on a hot, summer day.

My favorite are Edy's all-natural fruit bars, but really--any popsicle will do!

3. Rollerblading is hands-down my favorite summer fitness activity. Yesterday afternoon was spent rollerblading around the lake while jamming out to my ipod and enjoying the summer day. What I love the most about rollerblading is that I always forget that I'm working out. The time flies and by the time I am done, I'm drenched in sweat so I know that I got a really good workout in.

Are you a list-maker?
Favorite popsicle flavor?
What's your favorite summer fitness activity?

Monday, May 30, 2011

(How To) Stay True to Your Workout

Hi there!

I recently took a week off from the gym in attempt to allow my body to rest after an injury. Friday was my first day back at the gym and boy, did it feel good. I'm convinced that if you work out regularly (3-5 times per week) and then take some time off, your body starts craving those endorphins.

I took it easy since my knee is still healing and just peddled lightly on the elliptical and did a few upper body weights. Sometimes I'm tempted to skip the gym on days that I just don't feel like dragging myself there. However, I usually am able to convince myself to stick to it using some of these tips that I'm about to share with you.

Be Prepared
1. Pack your gym bag with all of the essentials so that you're always prepared. In mine, I currently have:
  • Waterbottle that I can refill at the gym
  • Granola bars in case I need a little energy before I start my workout
  • Reading material (book, magazines, etc.)
  • Shorts and/or capri's
  • Tee and/or tanks
  • Extra socks
  • Tennis shoes
  • Sports bras
  • Ipod + headphones

These items keep me prepared so that I don't have an excuse to skip a workout once I'm there. I also can't stress the importance of checking that you have all your clothes in your bag before you leave the house. I've arrived in the locker room too many times to realize I forgot a sports bra, socks, or shorts and end up having to go home and come back.

2. Keep your gym bag in your car. I rarely head into the office without my gym bag in my car. By doing this, it removes my excuse for not working out. I have all of my stuff with me, so I might as well head to the gym after work for a sweat session. I also take the bag with me when I head out of town to visit my sister or parent since my gym has locations near them as well.

3. Have a plan before you walk in. By having a plan either in your head or written down on a little notecard, you're more prone to stick to your workout rather than just wander around aimlessly. I have a couple of card workouts that I've jotted down on index cards to bring with me to the gym. I just tape it to the treadmill or elliptical to keep me on track. Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers has a great page that is filled with ideas if you need something new.

Just Not Feeling It?
Let's face it--we all have days that we'd rather just curl up on the couch and watch mindless reruns rather than work out. Sometimes your body needs a day off or two to recover and this is okay! Don't feel guilty about taking time off--because it is during that rest period that your muscles are able to recover and as a result, get stronger. However, if you find yourself in a funk of not wanting to work out due to boredom, here are some tips to spice things up a bit and excite you about working out.

1. Wear something that you feel comfortable in. I've noticed that I feel more confident at the gym in a good pair of running capri's and a sweat-wicking tank than I do in old dance team shorts and a big, baggy t-shirt that has been washed too many times. It motivates me to work out longer and harder rather than being distracted by uncomfortable clothing and feeling like I should just leave.
2. Switch things up. After awhile, doing the same routine over and over again will cause your body to plateau--making it difficult to lose weight or increase your endurance since the routine is no longer challenging. To avoid reaching a plateau, I try to switch things up weekly and monthly. Here's a sample week of working out for me:
  • Monday: Run outside 5 miles + Strength training consisting of legs, butt, and chest
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Spin class at the gym + Strength training consisting of arms, back, and calves
  • Thursday: 60 minutes of elliptical intervals (5 min at high intensity and easy pace alternated with 5 min low intensity and very quick pace) + Strength training consisting of legs, butt, and chest
  • Friday: Treadmill intervals / speed drills + Strength training consisting of arms, back, and calves
  • Saturday: Run long distance outside or walk on treadmill at high incline  + Strength training consisting of legs, butt, and chest
  • Sunday: Elliptical intervals for 45 min, bike at heavy resistance for 15 min + Strength training consisting of arms, back, and calves
I typically take Tuesdays off due to hanging out with Andy, and Friday nights are usually our date nights so those workouts sometimes get skipped for pizza and a Redbox movie instead...

3. Entertainment. Being bored while you work out really makes it hard to get there in the first place. If you can avoid this and instead actually look forward to your workout, you're more likely to follow through with it. However, be sure that your entertainment doesn't take away from the quality of your workout--you should still be sweating! Here are some ideas:
  • Save your new book or magazine for the gym as a means to motivate yourself to get there. 
  • Got a favorite show? Make yourself watch it while on the treadmill at the gym. 
  • Download a great new playlist to keep things interesting if that helps. 
  • Bring a friend if you need accountability--chatting while riding side by side stationary bikes makes the time fly by much faster that if you're alone.

4. Try a new location. This does wonders for me! One of the deciding factors when I was choosing a gym was the multiple locations that my gym offers. Sometimes I switch things up by going to different gyms since they have different equipment, classes, and atmospheres. This technique really helps me to keep my routine different since things are not in the same place at all gym locations.

While You're There
Since you're already at the gym, you might as well make the most of it. If you've been on the treadmill for 45 minutes and you aren't even sweating, it's time to switch things up. Just remember, if you get there and you start working out and are just not feeling it, you can always leave early. It's okay to only work out for 20 minutes if you are crunched for time.

Also keep in mind that you don't have to go to the gym to work out. Some days I count cleaning my condo from top to bottom (vacuuming, scrubbing floors, etc.) and going to the grocery store as my workout for the day.
 When the weather is nice--head outside for a walk, run, bike ride, or relaxing rollerblade session to switch things up. Save running on the treadmill for when you need to keep a specific pace as part of a training plan or if the weather is cold or rainy so that you'll be less likely to burn out from treadmill boredom.

Play sports with your friends, basketball on your driveway, or try a new class at the gym--you just might like it so much that you forget you're even working out!

Take Care of Yourself
Part of a healthy fitness plan includes taking care of yourself outside of the gym. It is very important to listen to your body in terms of how it is doing each day. Sometimes it is necessary to rest rather than work out.

Reasons to Skip the Gym:
  • You have a bad cold in your chest, making it hard to breathe
  • Stomach issues (running with a stomach ache only makes it worse, believe me)
  • If you feel dizzy, dehydrated, or have a really bad headache
  • Being overly-tired or worn out (This heightens your risk for injury)
  • If your body is telling you that you need a break to rest and recover
  • Fun events--seriously, don't skip fun events with your friends and family to work out. The gym will always be there later that evening, the next day, and the following week.
This was the first of my fitness posts--I'm planning another one on factors to consider while choosing a gym, so stay tuned! 

How often do you work out? 
What motivates you to go to the gym?
What does your routine typically look like?

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Good morning!

Yesterday Andy and I spent the day together enjoying the nice weather before it started storming in the evening. He picked me up and we grabbed some lunch before heading to the lake to walk around and take some photos. 

We were fully enjoying our walk together--admiring all of the multi-million dollar homes that lined the lake when all of the sudden we felt raindrops on our faces.

Soon enough, those drops started coming down harder and faster--in which we picked up the pace and started running in the pouring rain towards our car. This proved to be a difficult task while carrying a heavy camera but we finally made it and ended up getting soaked in the process:

Since it was raining, we decided to grab groceries and head back to my place for a night of homemade sub sandwiches and a mini 24 marathon. It was great to just kick back and relax the rest of the evening--after all, that's what weekends are for, right?

On the agenda for today:

  1. Clean like crazy
  2. Clean off camera memory card
  3. Gym time
  4. Return library books + fill up gas tank for the week
  5. Head over to Andy's to work on our wedding website while catching up on church sermons online
  6. Hang out with my friend Kaaren at her new casa

I'll be back either tonight or tomorrow morning with a recap!

What's on your agenda for the day? 
Do you like taking pictures outside?
What did you have for breakfast?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Best Friend {Part 2}

Happy Memorial Day, Weekend!
3 Days off? Sign me up.

It's time for an addition to the My Best Friend post; you may click here if you missed Part 1 a few weeks ago.

When I left off last time, I had just mentioned that we had started dating in October of 2008. We kept our relationship on the down low for awhile since I was still interning at the design firm that he worked at. You know that whole "don't mix business with pleasure" advice...? yeah, oops. Don't worry, I did a good job at my internship.

On a walk

Our first dates usually consisted of rollerblading around the lake or playing tennis, seeing movies, or going out to eat. We often played a continuous game of "questions" in which we would alternate asking and answering random questions in attempt to learn more about each other. A lot of the questions that we would ask were along the lines of "What's your favorite childhood memory?" or "What was the best gift you've received? etc. This helped us open up to each other in an easy way.

Mini Golfing for Andy's Birthday

As our relationship grew, we got to know each other more by spending time together and meeting each other's friends and families. We started attending each other's family's holiday events and building relationships with these new faces as well. Andy blended seamlessly into my family and everyone loved him from the start--including my little cousins.

Andy and I with my cousins on Thanksgiving

Us with Andy's brother and sister plus their loveys

Us with my sister and her husband (Clearly it was past my bedtime)

Time went on and our relationship grew--it was hard to believe when we had reached the 1 year mark so quickly! Within that year, we truly enjoyed spending time together and getting to know each other.

1st Valentine's Day together, 2009

Snowy Christmas Eve

All dressed up for our friend's wedding

One of the main things that drew me to Andy was his love for the outdoors and being active. Living an active lifestyle is something that has always been a part of me so it was great to learn that he and I shared a love for rollerblading, sports, and enjoying the outdoors. Some of the active things that we enjoy doing together include:
  • going for long walks around the lake (sometimes we run but I always make him run behind me because he's too fast and I try to keep up with him and his long legs and tire way too quickly
  • playing tennis (he taught me how!)
  • rollerblading
  • soon enough--biking.

Canoe trip last summer

I love Andy's easy-going nature and optimistic personality. He's a hard worker but knows how to strike a balance to play hard too. From the start, I felt like I could be myself completely around him and that made me want to spend more time with him. He has taught me a lot: tennis, graphic design, life advice, and photography. He's fun to joke around with and his sense of humor always has me laughing.  It is hard to believe that as of next month, we will have known each other for 3 years! Our wedding is coming up soon and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him.

State fair--we go each year since it is THE event of the summer in Minnesota.

As our second year of dating began, we started to talk more about marriage in the future. We both knew that we were the right ones for each other, but the question was more of "when?" This was a topic that was hard for me as a girl, to let go of control and let Andy decide when the best time for us was. Never fear, he came through at the perfect time and proposed September 25, 2010 on a surprise trip up north. However, I'll save those engagement weekend details for another post...

If you have one, how did you meet your significant other?
What do you like to do to stay active?
Do you have Monday off?

Friday, May 27, 2011

8 Hours Until a Long Weekend

Off to a busy day of work before the holiday weekend. Have a great day!

What are your Memorial Day plans?
What is your favorite "summer" food?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Put Your Feet Up

What do I do when I've been instructed to take it easy due to a recent injury when I'd really rather be outside soaking up the sun?

Well, since I have trouble "relaxing" (aka sitting still), I knew I'd be able to rest if I provided myself with some quality entertainment from my local library:

Instead of working out, I've been plopped on my couch, reading cooking and health/fitness magazines and watching 7th Heaven reruns--all while making a grocery list to conquer as soon as I can walk normally.

Plus, once I sit down on the couch, getting up is a difficult task, so I tend to stay put most nights until I absolutely have to get up.
I've also been icing my knees to promote a speedy recovery so that I can go rollerblading! Not too soon though...don't worry! My dad just fixed my rollerblades and they are currently sitting by my front door taunting me.

Having your fiance wash your hair in the kitchen sink since your hands are all bandaged up? Cute.

Attempting to wash your own hair in the kitchen sink? Challenging.

I'm slowly getting better each day--the wounds on my hands are almost closed but my knee still looks disgusting. It's funny how you never realize how nice it is to have full mobility until you get an injury.

Pre-Marital Counseling

On a happier front, Andy and I went to our 2nd pre-marital counseling session and took the marriage evaluation aka "The Wedding ACT." It was basically a questionnaire to find out our background and see what kind of things might arise during our marriage and whatnot. I'm anxious to find out the results at the end of the month!

That's all I've got for today--time to go wash my hair in the sink...

What are your favorite magazines? 
Are you a fan of rollerblading?
Any 7th Heaven fanatics?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday 3's

Good morning!

Thank you so much for all of your feedback yesterday regarding blog content preferences--I will be working on adding these into my blog rotation in the near future.

Also, a few of you were asking how long my veggies in my "veggie bucket" last. If bought fresh from the store, they typically last anywhere from 5-7 days (carrots usually last the longest). On the final days of freshness, or if I can't eat them all and need to drag them out a couple more days, I'll fill the bucket with cool (not cold) water and place it back in the fridge. That usually brings the limp celery and thirsty carrots back to life. Good as new!

As promised, here are my Tuesday 3's!

1. Ever since I was young, I've always loved reading and libraries. In fact, I stopped by my local library last night and I'll tell you more about that in my next post. I love grabbing a huge stack of magazines or books and plopping down in a big, comfy chair for a few hours. I also really enjoy doing this at Barnes & Noble, too. The perk with B&N is that they have a coffee shop inside; however, our new library just added a Dunn Bros. Coffee shop inside, so now the debate of favorites is up in the air.

2. I love bananas and go through approximately 2 "bunches" of them each week. I add them in my cereal, eat them plain or with peanut butter, and toss them into my smoothies. I freeze them if they turn ripe too quickly and it makes my smoothies extra creamy!

Whenever we go grocery shopping together, I always beg Andy to let us get these mini bananas but he always says no. Aren't they so cute?! One day I'll convince him otherwise...just you wait! We usually try to plan our grocery shopping adventures around "sample day" so that we can taste-test all kinds of things while we shop.


 3. I'm sure this goes for most people but my boss and I were just chatting last week about how it is so much easier to get up and ready in the mornings when it is nice outside. When it is overcast or rainy, I find myself just wanting to stay in bed and watch Netflix all day. Anyone else?!

What's the best book you've read recently? 
Favorite fruit?
Any "sample day" fans?

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