treadmill tabata + incline workout

Hello friends and Happy Friday to you! I was going to share an awesome circuit workout I did a few weeks ago today, but somehow after putting the written workout on my bed next to my laptop and then leaving the room, I lost it. I have literally looked everywhere (laundry, trash, a package I’m shipping…), but no luck! Thank goodness it’s almost the weekend, whew.

Instead, I’ll be sharing a treadmill interval workout that incorporates some tabata training. AND it’s only 20 minutes long. Stay tuned.

Wednesday night, I got to meet up with an old high school/college friend for happy hour. Alex was in town for work, so Brent and I met him at Jonathan’s Grille for ladies’ night.

this is exactly what the three of us looked like. SO MUCH FUN AND LAUGHTER.

We had a great time catching up and drinking double-pour wine at 4:00pm.

Jonathan’s doesn’t mess around with happy hour. I can’t even handle these pours.

Since I’m typing this post on Throwback Thursday, I thought you’d be interested to know that in college, for an All Sing charity, Alex and I recreated the Dirty Dancing dance for the entire campus (or at least it felt like the entire campus was there). It was one of my favorite memories from college, because we practiced SO much and I was SO nervous, but we pulled it off great! Maybe if you’re lucky (and if I can figure out the technology, so… fat chance) I’ll share the video some day.

Proof.

So, let’s get into some Friday Favorites before I share the workout with you! Linking up with the lovely Heather today for #FFavorites!

Friday Favorites

– Preds win, you win

Every time the Nashville Predators win, you can get a free medium coffee at Dunkin Donuts using the app. The Preds win a LOT, so they give away a ton of coffee.

I always end up getting two coffees, so if you’re my favorite coworker of the day, you get a prize! Thank you, Preds. I will go to one of your games one day.

– Starbucks breakfast

Speaking of coffee, this breakfast from Starbucks hit the spot yesterday. This breakfast is nothing new to me, but it needs some recognition here on my Friday Favorites list.

swirling blonde roast. whoa.

spinach feta wrap. my favorite.

– wycwyc podcast

I have been loving this podcast lately. wycwyc stands for “What You Can When You Can” and I so believe in this concept. It presents healthy living in a balanced, non-stressful way. Life can throw curve balls at any time, and as long as you do your best (do what you can when you can) in the given moment/situation, then you are heading in the right direction. For example, when the gym was closed because of snow last week, I set up my yoga mat in my tiny room and did some YouTube videos; it may have not been a full-out calorie-blasting spin class at the gym, but at least I got myself moving. Healthy living is a balancing act, and I think aiming for perfection will set you up for failure.

I am super excited that there is a wycwyc book coming out soon! Pre-order it!!

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– This treadmill workout. It’s an old workout I wrote up years ago, but the workout I did today from the Tone It Up weekly schedule kind of reminded me of it. It incorporates tabata (4 minutes of 20 seconds full effort, 10 seconds rest) and incline running. Inclines always get my heart rate up fast, even more so than speed work usually. Here you go!

During the tabata 10 second rest periods, I will carefully jump off the treadmill by placing my hands on the treadmill first, then hopping both feet apart to the sides of the treadmill to straddle the moving belt. Be careful hopping back on during the 20 second “on” periods! I won’t let go of the ‘mill with my hands until my feet are down and ready to take off running. Please adjust speeds as needed – don’t try to be a hero and end up flying off the back of the treadmill… do what works for you.

The incline part is a killer. It’s a gradual climb where you get a sort of “break” (ok, not really, because the incline is at 140935098%) to walk for 30 seconds and then run for 30 seconds. Don’t let the slower speeds fool you – the inclines increasing will have you almost running at your normal walking or slow jogging speeds. HAVE FUN!

– lululemon’s new arrivals

They just about gave me a heart attack yesterday morning. I have been very good about not getting worked up over lulu/I banned myself from the store. BUT, GUYS. Their new If You’re Lucky items are… I don’t have words. I pinned everything I want (find me on Pinterest here – let’s be friends and share things), so if anyone wants to buy me any of the following items, I will start giving you my free Dunkin Donuts coffee.

WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME, LULU?!

Ok, I’m glad I got that out. They are just so pretty… and I still don’t own pants with mesh detailing, and this is a major problem.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! Any big plans? Brent and I were supposed to go away for a cabin weekend, but the snow in East Tennessee kind of messed up those plans!

Good job, Nashville snow! You stay on the trees and off of the road!!

Cancelled plans are always okay in my book though, and I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend!

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What are you loving this Friday?

Choose: treadmill hill or speed work??

Any other lululemon addicts reading? Let’s form a support group and save our money together.

Any snow where you are?

chocolate fro-yo with peanut butter sauce. yes.

Gooood morning! I have a special treat for you today. It’s going to be a quick post focusing on food (perfection, right?). I made some excellent frozen yogurt last night (which you know if you follow me on Twitter), and my friend Gina was asking for the recipe, so I thought it would be kind of me to share the love. First, I’ll tell you about my eats for this week!

What I Ate Wednesday

breakfast

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Blueberries and blackberries in a bag, egg whites + Laughing Cow wedge + 1/2 avocado

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This is what it looks like all mushed-up. Sorry for the dark picture… I refuse to turn the lights on at work in the morning.

Despite the ugly picture, this egg white combo is delicious. What I do is spray a glass tupperware (you could also use a coffee mug) with Pam, then pour liquid egg whites in, add a Laughing Cow garlic & herb cheese wedge, cook in microwave for about 2 minutes. Once the egg white is fluffy, I add 1/2 an avocado and mash it all together. Easy and portable for those of us who eat breakfast (in the dark) at work.

lunch

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TJ’s low carb whole wheat tortilla wrap, hummus, spinach/kale, tomatoes & cucumber with a gigantic apple on the side

snacks

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sunflower butter + banana. I break up the banana into pieces so I can dip it. It’s no queso and chips, but I love any snack that involves dippage (GO AWAY, squiggly red line, that IS a word!)

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Svelte cappuccino protein shake

I found these protein shakes at Costco after seeing them on Jennifer’s blog. Great find! They are filling and do taste like cappuccino.

dinner

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taco salad with salsa chicken leftovers for the win! (I totally typed “wine” at first instead of “win”… hmmm)

Okay, let’s get to the good stuff. While watching The Bachelor Monday night, I whipped up some awesome frozen yogurt and added a peanut butter sauce. And it’s all HEALTHY. Chris’ relationships with these girls on the show, however, are not healthy. So it all balances out.

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Serves 2

Ingredients:

– 3 frozen bananas

– Cocoa powder

– Unsweetened vanilla almond milk

– Chocolate flavored protein powder of your choice (I used Designer Whey)

– 1 packet Truvia sweetener

– PB2

– Unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

Directions:

1. In a blender, blend together 3 frozen bananas, 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 scoop protein powder, Truvia packet and enough almond milk to get everything going (it’s going to have the consistency of a thick smoothie)

2. Pour mixture into two separate bowls and pop them in the freezer for about an hour

3. For the peanut butter sauce, mix 3 tbsp PB2 with enough almond milk to make a thick (but drizzle-able) sauce – just add the milk a little at a time while stirring. You can’t really mess it up!

4. Pour peanut butter topping over both bowls of fro yo, then add coconut and a pinch of cocoa powder to make it pretty :)

You can add other toppings like granola, nuts, etc! Go crazy!

Order PB2 here. It’s available at many grocery stores now, too. If you haven’t been introduced to PB2 yet, welcome to your new, awesome life.

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—>Tip for freezing bananas: when banana is ripe, peel it (do not freeze them in their peels! It doesn’t work!) and wrap in aluminum foil. Freezer it.

Hope you get to try this recipe! It’s pretty delicious. Now, if it would just get a liiiiittle warmer outside, I could fully appreciate this cold dessert! Hope you’re having a great week – I’ll be back on Friday with some Friday Favorites.

While on the topic of food, I wanted to recognize that National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is this week, and that my heart goes out to those who personally are affected or loved ones are affected by any of these disorders; I pray that you will come to find peace with your body and within your mind, and I wish I could give you a big hug.

Here are a couple posts I’ve read this week by amazing women (who co-wrote the book Body Peace) that were very touching if you are interested (and if it will not spark any harmful feelings/thoughts within you – please take care of yourself!):

NEDA Week: A Lesson In BELLYpeace from Heather’s blog

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week & Why It Hits Home from Kasey’s blog

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PB2 fan?

Thoughts on The Bachelor this week? Not really, but so ready to see these girls duke it out on The Women Tell All next week… always a good time!

What’s your favorite go-to protein snack?

bachelorette & babies

Happy Monday! How was the weekend?

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My thoughts exactly today. Had a lot of fun over this rainy weekend (never been so excited to see rain Saturday… so much better than ice!), but I’m left exhausted in the aftermath!

Unfortunately, the winter weather canceled my Friday night dinner date. I was bummed, but no worries… plan B was put in to place and everything went smoothly. I got out of work early Friday (since we yet AGAIN got another layer of the wintry crap) and booked it to the liquor store… priorities, right? Brent got back in town late Thursday, so it was nice to have a night in with him. I tried a new bottle of wine that I saw on Gina’s blog, and it was GREAT. I’m loving these darker wine blends… yum! Also found this spinach hummus at Whole Foods for an appetizer.

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MAGIC!

We rented the movie Fury for our big night in – it was a good movie but I almost fell asleep a few times (no surprise there). I had a Whole Foods random salad for dinner, and I picked up some pizza for Brent while I was there.

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This guy wanted in on the fun, too. I know how to live it up on a Friday night!

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CAUGHT! This is actually a scarf. And Brent’s wine glass.. he’s a lucky guy to get this type of entertainment, isn’t he??

Saturday, the festivities began! My friend Hannah from PT school was in town for her bachelorette party. A bunch of our PT girlfriends were in town for the party too. We started the evening with dinner at Saint Anejo. Mexican two weekends in a row… score.

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Celebrated National Margarita Day one day early. This hibiscus marg was incredible!

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Guac guac guac.

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I had the veggie of the day quesadilla; it was stuffed with zucchini, squash and asparagus. SO good. We had a great time catching up, although they had to seat us at two different tables (the other table ordered queso, so I made sure to make a couple trips over to “say hi”).

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After dinner, we rode with one of our friends (yay for sober pregnant drivers! :) ) to the hotel our friends were staying at for the lingerie shower.

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Awesome wine glasses my roomie Sara made. She baked them in the oven after painting. Mind blown.

We answered questions about the bride (there were 27 questions front and back… her sister is a teacher, obviously) and then listened to her future husband’s answers to questions about their relationship. That’s always my favorite part!

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Beautiful bride!

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Mirror caught the selfie!

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Sweet Joanna!

After the lingerie shower, our group headed to Big Bang on Broadway. It’s a dueling piano bar, so it was perfect for our dancing crew!

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Feather-themed veil! (also made by Sara) And Sweats McGee on the left.

We tried to pretend we were still 25 and in PT school and danced the night away! We had a blast but WOW I was dragging yesterday. And today. We tried to take a roomie picture since we haven’t taken one since we moved in together IN JULY, and this is the best we got:

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Yesterday morning, I woke up way too early (darn you, internal alarm clock) after only 4 hours of sleep, but I was excited to set up for the double baby shower we were throwing at our house! It worked out perfectly to throw our two PT friends a shower since everyone was in town.

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I don’t do decorations, so guess what I was in charge of?

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Of course! I set up a mimosa bar with 3 different kinds of juices (orange, pomegranate blueberry and pineapple) along with blackberries and strawberries for garnish. I got all the cute (and disposable… easy clean up!) plastic accessories from Party City last week. The party was a pink/black/gold theme. And the food was AWESOME.

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Valentine’s candy corn in the utensil jars

My other contribution: build-your-own yogurt parfait with granola, kiwi and blueberries. See the mini flower bowls for individual parfait servings!? I am obsessed with tiny bowls.

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Also on the menu were ham and cheese sliders, sausage and cheese balls, mini quiches (frozen – so easy and they turned out great), and CAKE.

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Time to dig in!

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After we stuffed our faces (perfect brunch after a late night out), our pretty friends opened some presents for Lucy and Avery!

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My gift to both of the girls was a package of diapers (PS, you should have seen me in the diaper aisle at the store… highly entertaining. I was so confused) with a little somethin’ for the mommas too! Both girls enjoy running, so I thought it would be fun to add a lululemon headband, so they can look forward to running more after the babies are born!

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So much fun celebrating these ladies. They will be the most wonderful mothers!! And don’t they look so good?? Amazing.

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Sunday evening after everyone had left and we cleaned up, I had juuust enough energy left to cook some dinner (obviously not enough energy to type up my usual Sunday blog post). I made chicken taco salads. I was kind of planning on being a little tired, so I wanted to have something easy on hand to prepare for the week.

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Salsa chicken: chicken breasts, salsa to cover and low sodium taco seasoning envelope. SO EASY.

While waiting on the chicken to cook, I cut up some TJ’s low carb whole wheat tortillas with a pizza cutter, sprinkled them with garlic salt and Mrs. Dash fiesta lime seasoning, popped them in the oven at 350* for about 12 minutes – homemade chips! Served with TJ’s smoked salsa.

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The base of our salad was a kale/spinach mixture, topped with black beans, tomatoes, zucchini, salsa chicken, gauc (duh) and salsa.

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My workouts from last week were held indoors due to the weather. Not even in my garage where there is more space, but in a small corner of my bedroom. Hey, I made it work!

Weekly Workouts:

Monday

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Barre Skinny DVD

Tuesday

Tone It Up’s Beach Babe DVD: HIIT and Long & Lean routines

Wednesday

Beach Babe DVD: Surfer Girl workout

Sunkissed Abs

Lift & Tone Booty routine –> this one kicked my butt, literally

Thursday

Love Your Body HIIT

Bikini Arms Routine

Post-Workout Stretch

Friday

30 minutes cardio on the elliptical while reading my book

Saturday and Sunday

NOPE

It was so great to do a bunch of Karena & Katrina’s workouts (not just because I love it when Katrina says “Great job, Karina Karena!”…she’s totally talking to me). I feel energized after their workouts, and while some of them do not seem terribly difficult at the time, I end up being SO SORE. Awesome. Plus, it was wonderful pretending I was on a beach working out with them/dreaming about Spring while watching the videos! I am looking forward to their Bikini Series (I think it starts in April every year?!). Love it.

I really enjoyed this speech last night from the Oscars. Give the parentals some love!

Please get your browser over to J.Crew Factory immediately. Using the code FROZEN for 30% off plus free shipping. I rarely shop for clothes, but I got a new pair of white shorts for spring/summer… for $20!! That’s it. No shipping added or anything. Incredible.

Speaking of Frozen, did anyone run the Disney Princess Half this past weekend? I am determined to run that race in the next couple years. But I thought this was the cutest costume ever—>

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from PRO Compressions Instagram. I NEED THIS OUTFIT.

Well, it’s more taco salad and Bachelor viewing for me tonight! Hopefully I can catch up on my sleep and not feel like a zombie at work tomorrow!

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Who do you think will win the Bachelor?

Ever run the Disney Princess races?

Did you celebrate National Margarita Day?

DIY: longer lashes

FRIDAY! We (almost) made it through Snowmaggedon. I say almost, because we are supposed to get more snow this afternoon, but, fingers crossed we won’t! I have really exciting plans with Mary tonight, so the snow better hold off or it will have two angry bloggers coming after it!

I have an awesome non-food recipe for you below, but, first, it’s time for Friday Favorites! Thanks to  Heather for hosting :)

Friday Favorites

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  • Hemp seeds

I picked these babies up at Trader Joe’s this past Sunday and have been incorporating them into my oatmeal this week for some extra protein and sustenance! I need to find other ways to use it.

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  • Miso ginger broth

Ohhhh my gosh. I am obsessed with miso soup at Japanese restaurants, so when I saw this at TJ’s I immediately slung it into my basket. I’ve been drinking a hot cup of it out of a coffee mug alongside my dinners this week, and it’s so delicious (and filling!). Perfect for these negative degrees days! I need to buy some tofu to cube up and throw in to make it like real miso soup. YUM.

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My friend Parker bought me a bottle of this amazing lotion during her visit last weekend. I’m carrying it in my purse and using it all the time now! My favorite scent is lavender (my mom used to pick fresh lavender from her herb garden when I was little to help me fall asleep.. I’ve loved it ever since), so this was such a thoughtful gift from her. It’s definitely helping my cracking hands in this cold weather!

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  • My Hot Chocolate race hoodie

Speaking of cold weather, this fleece hoodie has been perfect for wearing around the house this week. I love the pink detailing, and I ordered a size larger than I usually wear, so it’s extra cozy!

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WHY ARE THE DRAWSTRINGS UNEVEN!

Look at that exploding pink puff detail on the hip… so stinkin’ cute.

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And, yes, I wear my Pure Barre sticky socks around the house. Can’t risk falling in slippery socks on hardwood flooring (that’s an inpatient PT comment if I’ve ever heard one…). Safety first, people!

  • Lacrosse ball

Dear lacrosse ball, you hurt me and make me want to cry, but I love you so much. When foam rolling won’t do the trick (which is often) or when I can’t afford a deep tissue/trigger point massage session (which is always), I turn to this little yellow ball of pain. I usually use it to target tight, painful muscles in my upper back and my hips/butt area. Here’s a good article on how to use it for self-massage.

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You can get your own torture device here. Have fun!

  • At-home workouts

I found a great appreciation for workout DVDs and YouTube workouts this week. With the icy conditions, the gym was closed most days, and there was no way in heck I was going to brave my garage for a workout, so I used a tiny bit of space in my room on a yoga mat to get my sweat on before work. I will probably resume my 4th week of Winter Shape Up workouts next week!

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Thank you, ToneItUp channel for your assistance! And for making me jealous that I’m not working out on a beach.

  • New fitness challenges on the horizon

Speaking of workouts, since I’m finishing up the inspiring Winter Shape Up, I looked to an old favorite for some new motivation: Pure Barre! I’ve been waiting to buy a “new client” package (I haven’t purchased a package at a Nashville location yet) until the WSU was over, so my plan was to start March 1st with an unlimited month of classes. Low and behold, the Pure Madness challenge starts in March (March Madness, get it?!). You sign up with your local studio and try to complete at least 20 classes in 31 days (I apologize in advance for whining about how sore I am). You’re competing with all other Pure Barre studios also, so it’s ON.

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sign up with your local studio here

And, what’s the best way to make sure I complete the challenge (besides my innate competitiveness)? An accountability partner!! It’s so great to have someone to check in with, to motivate and keep you on track. I was talking to my friend Natalie in Memphis (she is a Pure Barre QUEEN – and the cutest Pure Barre bride ever), and she also signed up!

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HEY GIRL! Love that Tiger blue!

We will have to keep each other accountable from afar… but, it will help to have someone to commiserate with when I’m limping around in pain all day :)

DIY Eyelash Serum

So, I got this amazing idea from Lauryn at The Skinny Confidential. It’s a serum (that’s kind of a gross word) to grow longer eyelashes (or brows!). LIFE SAVER. I’ll be honest… I hate my eyelashes. Weird body part to hate, right? My lashes are pretty short and not-so voluminous (hence, my love for finding new mascara); I think some of that comes from when I was going through some anxiety at one point and was pulling out my eyelashes (for real. not cute). Anyyyyywho, I have full confidence in Lauryn’s suggestions, so I ordered up the ingredients to make this magic elixir.

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Ingredients:

  • coconut oil
  • almond oil
  • avocado oil
  • Jamaican black castor oil
  • some type of cosmetic tube/container
  • eyelash wand

I purchased everything on Amazon, and added a tube of clear Great Lash mascara to my cart.

Directions:

  • if you’re using the mascara tube like I did, I took the wiping ring out with a pair of pliers (yes, I looked up the components of a mascara tube to name the “wiping ring”). Rinse out the clear mascara using hot water/Q-tips/whatever you can figure out. You’ll later pour the final mixture into the tube, then replace the wiping ring and mascara brush.
  • melt 1 tbsp coconut oil in a measuring cup with a spout (spout only if you’re pouring into a small tube/container – for accuracy)
  • add 1 tbsp of each: almond oil, avocado oil, Jamaican black castor oil
  • mix together and pour into tube/container
  • apply nightly

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PLEASE WORK!

And now, we wait. I have used it two nights in a row now, and I have high hopes. I’ll keep you updated on my results (I know you can’t even stand this suspense).

A few things for you:

– FitFluential’s 5 poses for back pain – incredible! Need to do these more often with my 80-year-old back.

– Lindsay shares an ingenious idea on her blog: frozen spinach cubes –> doing this asap for smoothies!

– This article about a loyal dog visiting his owner in the hospital juuuust about made me cry. Dogs are so awesome.

What are your plans for the weekend? Pending the ice & snow onslaught, I have dinner plans tonight with Mary, my friend Hannah’s bachelorette party in town, and my roommates and I are throwing a DOUBLE baby shower on Sunday at our house! And I’m on call for work Saturday and praying that I won’t be needed.

Have a great weekend!!

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Have you used hemp seeds in any recipes?

How are your eyelashes looking (looking…eyes…haha)? Ever used anything to grow your lashes?

Do you have an accountability partner for your workouts?

de-icing + what i ate wednesday

WELL. This is what we’ve been dealing with so far this week

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As pretty as the snow is… okay, it’s actually mostly ice. Eek! Not the best to drive on, but someone’s gotta go save lives (not really, I’m sure my patients would LOVE a day off of therapy). I was jealous of all the kids sledding down the hills! I remember sledding down my neighbors’ driveways on my parents’ baking sheets back in the day (that made me sound 80 years old). Only took me about 30 minutes to defrost my windshield before work. This stuff my mom gave me could barely make a dent in the ice blocks on my windows. Way too much work. Kudos to you, northerners.

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I almost just sprayed this in my coffee so I could call in sick to work…

All of this “wintry mix” turned into brown slush though… gross. I need to go someplace with pretty snow! Denver trip anyone??

By the way, anyone book a trip there for FitBloggin’ 15 yet? I’ve been browsing/stalking past attendee’s posts about it, and it looks like SO much fun. And looks like there are quite a few awesome bloggers signed up already – I MUST MEET ALL OF YOU.

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Oh and on their website, it says their attendees are “a melting pot of fit-minded people”… I want to be in that pot! I think it needs to be the blogging conference I cross off my 30 before 30 list!

What I Ate Wednesday, #WIAW

breakfast

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prepping my oatmeal: 1/4c old fashioned oats, 1/2c Designer Whey vanilla, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, cinnamon

This breakfast has kept me SO full this week, it’s awesome! I love the addition and texture of the hemp seeds. I added about 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk to this and left them in the fridge overnight before microwaving in the morning.

lunch

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lettuce wraps – roasted turkey, red pepper hummus, 1/2 avocado, tomato. String cheese & a pear on the side.

snacks

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SkinnyGirl popcorn… duh.

dinner

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spinach, kale, zucchini, butternut squash, shaved brussels, tempeh and an egg!

OH! Happy Ash Wednesday! Here’s a great post by Jennifer all about Ash Wednesday. I was raised Catholic, and while I usually attend Methodist church these days, I’m all for some Lenten action. I’m not really a believer in “giving something up” for Lent (I find that this usually just turns into a 40-day diet which kind of misses the purpose – but hey, do what works for you!). I usually try to do something during Lent instead. This year, I am going to complete the devotional 40 Days with Jesus during this time.

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I really enjoyed Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling, so I’m excited to read this devotional!

 

—>I LOVED this post by Heather about decision fatigue. This is so true. I tend to keep the same types of meals in rotation from week to week, and this explains the benefits of that! She lends a few more examples of how to combat brain fatigue and to save your brain energy for other things!

Have a wonderful Wednesday and STAY WARM!

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Doing anything for Lent?

 

Surviving the snow? Did you have to go to work?

 

What did you eat for breakfast today?

Hot Chocolate 5K

Hello! Where did the weekend go?! I hope everyone had a fun weekend and that you’re ready for some SNOW.

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But really, that snow can take a hike, because this girl does not get snow days. I may just ski to work tomorrow. We do have a 2-night Bachelor special on our hands, though, so all is well. ANYWHO, this weekend has been so much fun. My good friend Parker came in town for the weekend, and it was so wonderful getting to spend time with her! I love getting to see my Memphis friends that I miss so much. We got to enjoy our Galentine weekend (Brent was our third wheel) with new restaurants, running, shopping and of course a couple several adult beverages.

Friday night we tried out The Vine for dinner. It’s only been open a little over 3 months, and this place was PACKED. Turns out, Open Table over-booked them for the evening, so everyone’s reservations were pushed back by about 45 minutes. No problem, though… we found champagne :)

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Sooo, our water heater was broken, and it was just replaced Friday evening. Tried to take a shower, but it was spitting out brown, cold water, so Thursday-night leftover hair-do it was!

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The Vine had a great wine list and a cute bar area, so the wait time for our table flew by. We stuck to just a couple glasses of wine for the night, since we were waking up at 5am for the Hot Chocolate race Saturday morning.

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Cheers!

The tables were set up with pretty Valentine’s flowers… it was a romantic evening for the three of us. The Vine offers many nice tapas options, along with reasonably-priced entrees, all focusing on fresh-to-table ingredients (and 40% of the menu changes daily!). The atmosphere was super cozy, and the staff was SO friendly and accommodating (and busy as heck with the over-booking issue).

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The three of us started with the antipasti platter… cheese = happiness.

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I chose the kale salad (comes with sugared walnuts, pecorino, mimosa dressing) and added grilled salmon. It was light but filling, and the salmon was cooked perfectly!

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For dessert, I put my pre-race dinner decaf coffee plan in place. Money.

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Annnd we had to try the flourless chocolate tart with ALMOND GELATO. Are you kidding me!! So amazing.

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Parker and I were off to bed after dinner, and not enough hours of sleep later, it was time to get ready for the Hot Chocolate race! We layered up (which I ended up wishing I had more layers!) and took an obligatory Snap Chat using this limited-edition border.

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Hey, bae.

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Oh, but it happened.

Brent picked us up around 6, and we were parked, porta-pottied, and corralled up with about 20 minutes to spare. This is when I almost froze to death. I literally could not feel where my feet were on the ground for the first half mile. It was kind of scary!! Thought I was going to fall, and as entertaining as that would have been, I’m glad my body parts thawed a bit as the race went on.

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Yay for marshmallows with pretzel extremities!

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Yeeeea, so about that 15K…

I ended up running the 5K instead and was SO happy with that decision. And not just because it was insanely cold. Both Brent and Parker were running the 5K, and I wanted to finish earlier so I could hang out with them more. And thirdly, my butt was so sore from a workout I did Thursday morning, I don’t think the 15K would have been in my butt’s best interest (really, I was hobbling around all day Friday). So, instead, I tried to run the 5K as fast as I could instead. I felt like I was flying but apparently I couldn’t tell what my numb body was doing in that cold and finished just under 25:30. Not a PR at all but still a win in my book because look what we got after!!! —>

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Is that not adorable? Hot chocolate and fondue with marshmallows, rice krispie treat, banana, pretzels and a wafer for dipping. So fun!

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The course wasn’t too bad minus the big ass hill close to mile 2. But, we were then rewarded with a long downhill near the end of the race. They had a band playing for the post-race party, but I could not get back to the car fast enough! We immediately headed to the Frothy Monkey to warm up with some coffee.

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Muuuuch better.

And it was SUNNY! Hooray!

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hey there, Squints

What comes after every race?? BRUNCH. We had reservations at City Fire, and these people know how to do brunch!

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$8 bottomless mimosas… you DID hear right. So great. The mimosas are pre-made in mimosa jugs (is that a thing?), so I couldn’t ask for “light on the OJ”/ “I’d like a mimosa, hold the OJ”, but for $8, I’ll take it! One of my coworkers and one of Brent’s friends met up with us for a fun post-race celebration.

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We started with an order of Sizzle Chips for the table. Oh wow, these were amazing. The chips were warm and salty, and they were pretty much a bacon & blue cheese version of nachos.

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For brunch, I had the huevos rancheros. I somehow have never ordered huevos?? I’m glad I did it here though, because they were On. Point. Served on top of corn tortillas with layers of black beans (they were mashed up like a spread for the tortilla), fried egg, tomatillo salsa, feta, cilantro and the best, avocado. I also got a side of their sweet potato hash on the side.

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Happy brunchers

We said goodbye to my coworker and Brent’s friend and headed to Jackson’s for a little while. Parker and I hopped into a couple stores while Brent held up the fort at the bar (not sure why he didn’t want to come with us?!). It was nap time after that! The three of us lounged around Brent’s apartment while watching the classic Valentine’s Day film, Twister. Love it. Before heading to round 2 of food fest, we grabbed some champagne and oysters (told you, ROMANCE). See this lovely sparkling rose? It was $24 a glass. Did not know that. And almost punched the bartender when he told me. Obviously not his fault, but I should have looked a little closer at the Valentine’s Day menu with price listings, oops!

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YOU WEREN’T EVEN THAT GOOD.

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shucks!

Then this happened…

And this…

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I haven’t had queso in a long time (high five!), but I made up for lost time. A couple coworkers met us along with two of Parker’s friends for a Mexican feast at my fave, Chago’s.

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After drinking all the queso (you thought I was going to say margaritas… well, I drank them too), I had a chicken taco salad.

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We had a blast at dinner, and Brent had had enough girl time by then and headed home after we ate (he actually loves girl time, but he had a flight to catch today). The ladies moved on to blvd for some vino. I hadn’t been to blvd before… Such a cute place, and I was so glad to meet Kate and Blaire. #besties

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Galentine’s Night

All in all, great weekend. Always great to see Parker and to harass her the whole weekend about moving here :)

Let’s talk about something healthier than drinks on drinks and queso (you better believe I stocked up on everything green at Trader Joe’s this morning)… workouts and Sunday prep coming up—>

Workouts

Monday

Stair mill workout + random ab work

Tuesday

Workout #4 from the Winter Shape Up series

Wednesday

OFF

Thursday

12-minute treadmill workout (jog 2 minutes, then each minute I increased the speed – 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, walk, then 1 minute each at 7.0, 8.0, 9.0) + the deadly Muncher Cruncher workout that left my legs dead for 2 days (it was the workout with low lunge/row/bicep curl/shoulder press, plank + mountain climber combos, deadlifts, and side plank twists)

Friday

OFF

Saturday

5K

Sunday

Walked around Trader Joe’s

It was a lighter week workout-wise (even though that one workout almost killed me), but I was pretty tired this week and had a good bit going on, so honor thy body y’all and rest when you need it!

Sunday Prep

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Roasted kale, roasted shaved brussel sprouts, roasted veggie mix (zucchini, mushrooms & butternut squash), tempeh marinated in liquid aminos and a hard-boiled egg. ONE, people, ONE. That’s the only one out of six that actually cooked correctly. I’m over it. I finally am trying hemp seeds, too!

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YAY! They are a great source of protein and vitamins, and I just felt like a healthy hippie buying them! I put a tablespoon in my overnight oats for tomorrow morning, so we will see how that goes :)

This cracked me up —> 23 Things That Are Steamier Than “50 Shades of Grey”

GREAT NEWS! The ZOOMA women’s race series announced that they are coming to Nashville! Wine, shopping, yoga, post-race massages… heaven. This race is right up my alley… and only 265 days away! Go sign up and run with me!!

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Time for round 1 of The Bachelor this week! (2 episodes in one week makes me way happier than it should). Hope you had an awesome weekend!

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How do you use hemp seeds? Cooking/food answers, only, people!

 

Ever run a ZOOMA race?

 

Any cold runs this weekend?

saying goodbye to my favorite friend (and other Friday Favorites)

Good morning and happy Friday the 13th to you! I want to share my Friday Favorites with you (linking up with Heather today —> if you haven’t checked out her new blog, get your butt over there now! She is awesome).

Before jumping into the usual-ish favorite stuff, I have to tell you… this week’s been pretty tough! My favorite little friend went to heaven on Wednesday.

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Little Holly was rescued when she was about one month old. I was a senior in college at the time, and one of my friends brought her to the baseball field (where I was working a game). I immediately fell in love with her (one white paw, blue eyes!). I was living in the dorms with 3 other girls, and somehow I managed to raise a puppy there that semester!

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TINY!!

My roommates were so great about letting me keep her there (even though she thought the neon green shag carpet in the bathroom was grass…oops!). We had a lot of adventures sneaking her around campus (in a Vera Bradley tote – she really was so tiny!).

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Holly stuck with me through eight different moves during her 7 years here with us. She was my best little buddy! Even though she was a rescue, I think she rescued me more times than not :) She always followed me around and made sure I was okay.

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Holly was so full of life and energy (seriously, she could run for hours). It was because of this that I decided she should live with my parents while I was living in my apartment in Memphis. She was all cooped up, and my parents have the best back yard, and she was the happiest girl being there! I missed her, but she was always 10 minutes away, so I got to see her a lot. It was hard moving to Nashville and leaving her there, especially when we found out in November that she had cancer. It was a rare cancer, and it just wasn’t fair. But my parents took incredible care of her, paying for multiple tests and surgeries for her, staying at home with her to make sure she was eating (mom, you can leave the house now :) ), and just keeping her happy and comfortable. I will never be able to thank them enough for this.

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One of her favorite activities… water buffalo-style on the pool cover

She lived weeks longer than expected. She was a good little fighter! She was suffering though, so I am glad that she has some peace now. I know she is running free in dog heaven now and having a blast!

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Miss you already, sweet girl!!

Friday Favorites

Ok, wiping my tears and moving on…

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  • Sweethearts candy

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(source)

I ate way too many of these little devils this week (well, just Tuesday), but they are my favorite Valentine candy! Yes they may taste like chalk a little bit, but I’ve always loved them.

  • Suja Essentials

Target always has the best deals on this delicious juice! I got 3 of them for $7.50 this week. I followed up the Sweethearts candy with this, because I felt the need to cleanse the system a  little after my sugar influx (sugar really does make you feel like crap… but it’s SO GOOD).

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you saved me, Suja. Now can you please warm up my office?

I tried a new-to-me juice: sunset protein. It was the perfect mid-morning snack at work.

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I feel like I could make this into a blended iced coffee beverage??

  • GOTR Valentines

I’m so happy I get to celebrate a few holidays while coaching Girls on the Run. It’s so fun to bring them little “happies” :) I put them together to hand out at the end of practice (because, for real, all hell breaks loose if you hand out stuff before practice). I found some Valentine granola bars (a little healthier, right? I love the sprinkles!), Sweethearts candy (I saved enough for the girls, I promise), and Valentine-colored eraser rings.

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They loved them! Plus, I got to say, “If you’re good, you will get a special surprise at the end of practice!” Worked like a charm.

I absolutely LOVE Lauryn Evarts. And I’m dying over her book (why am I just now reading it??), The Skinny Confidential: A Babe’s Sexy, Sassy Fitness and Lifestyle Guide (get it here). It’s so cool reading what my favorite fitness gurus do on the daily and learning their tips/advice, as you can see with my favorite fit books. Well, add this one to the list! Lauryn does share her fitness tips, but I think the best parts of the book are the diet and beauty sections. She recommends eating clean, whole foods and staying away from processed sh*t (she drops that word a lot in her book, which I appreciated); she also promotes not cutting out your favorite “bad” foods completely, but rather, portion controlling those foods. The first page of the food section mentions something about Cheez Its… Lauryn, you get me, be my best friend.

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And her beauty advice is insanely great. This girl has some fabulous DIY treatments. And the best thing for your skin (which I have always agreed with) –> hydrate and eat clean! So simple. Processed foods suck the life out of your skin and make you break out… ok, I’m done.

  • Tone It Up binders

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I have been undertaking some serious organization projects. This one involved hole-punching and binding my TIU Nutrition Plans. Once you join, you get all of the updates to the meal plans and bonuses like their 7 Day Slim Down. I re-printed the original plan and the superfoods plans, bought some cute colored binders, and now I can sleep better at night.

  • Valentine’s date night

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This is Brent and my first Valentine’s Day together! I know, I know, cheesy as crap, right? I have a friend coming in town this weekend for the Hot Chocolate race (my Galentine), so we celebrated our Valentine’s last night. The National Spinal Cord Injury Association was putting on a Valentine’s Social/Dinner, so we swung by there before dinner for a drink and to see my coworkers. I had made dinner reservations at Adele’s (<–30 before 30 restaurant! Score!). Loved it!

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We split the bruschetta to start, then Brent had the pork chop, and I went with lentil soup (I was so cold.. this helped!) and a salad with shaved brussel sprouts. The entree pictures turned out too dark though. We also exchanged our Valentine’s gifts. I tricked Brent with a prank box (really I gave him a new Tervis water bottle).

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18’ wide, multi-person Snuggie?! YES.

He gave me a Starbucks gift card and this amazing, heavy-duty 3-hole puncher. The hole punch I used to do the TIU binders is broken, and it took me forever to complete my binder project (and I think it mostly drove Brent a little crazy, haha).

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We really know how to do romance. Nailed it.

  • CoverGirl Full Lash Bloom mascara

Soooo, I bought this because Katy Perry told me to.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoZhr5MfQLo

I am always on the hunt for new mascaras that aren’t terribly expensive (or clumpy. I hate you, clumps). This mascara is AMAZING! And it washes off easily too.

  • Fancy water bottles

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Aren’t they beautiful!? It’s a wonder I haven’t broken the barre3 one yet. The lululemon ones are a little safer since they are protected with those pretty rubber designed covers. I fill a few of these bottles and keep them in the fridge, so I have lots of cold water on hand at all times when I’m home.

Any plans this weekend? I am running the Hot Chocolate 15K tomorrow morning. It’s supposed to be about 14 degrees, so that should be fun. My friend Parker gets in town after work (she and Brent are running the 5K tomorrow), and we have some fun dinner plans tonight! Hope you have a great weekend… stay warm!

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What’s your favorite mascara?

Valentine’s (or Galentine’s) plans?

What/who was your favorite pet?