Mud Run Prep – MuckFest MS

You might remember when I completed my first mud run back in October.  I’m bummed I won’t be able to participate in the Battlegrounds mud run with my office again in May (I’ll be out of town) but I’ll be there in spirit…

1973207_10203369756184074_1689439466_oMy dad found this poster of my co-worker and I that they are using to promote the event.  I guess mud is a good look for us. 😉 Hilarious.  We actually do look pretty excited to be elbow deep in mud!

At the time of my first mud run, I had been nursing an injury for a while so I wasn’t exactly prepared in the running department.  I can’t lie, 5 miles when I hadn’t run more than 2 in a few months was a little difficult but I pushed through.  Even if you aren’t a runner, there’s nothing wrong with walking parts of the course – lots of people do!  It’s really more about being active, having fun with your team and giving to a good cause.  Oh, and getting dirty.

MuckFest MS is a mud run that benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and it is held all over the US.  They created this fun “training guide” for anyone thinking about doing a mud run – first-timers or veterans!

Fun 5K Training IdeasWhen (not if!) I do another mud run, I’ll definitely increase my endurance by running a little more than usual, lift weights, and add more push-ups and pull-ups to my workouts in order to improve my upper body strength for all of those wall climbs. 🙂

MudRun8If you are interested in signing up for MuckFest MS check out the schedule/locations here.  You can have fun while getting exercise AND helping out a good cause!

Vaca Photos & Easy Canvas Print Discount!

Hola, mi amigas!  I apologize for being MIA for the last week or two but Matt and I took a little vaca to San Diego and Cabo San Lucas and then coming back to work after that is never easy, so blogging had to take a backseat until I could get it together. 🙂  I hope you enjoyed Jessie and Heather’s guest posts while I was away.  Matt and I had an amazing trip!  I’ll spare you the details and give you a photo dump instead. To sum it up, a lot of food and a lot of sun.  Considering it was below freezing in St. Louis, we were pretty happy campers!

DSC01659And so it begins. 🙂

DSC01663The first restaurant we went to had a lot of paleo options, which was a nice surprise!  Matt and I split two dishes, he had the pork tacos and I chose the paleo burrito- wrapped in jicama. Not too shabby!

DSC01667 DSC01705 DSC01696We had amazing sushi at Kamakaze 7 in the Gaslamp district. We let the chef surprise us and we weren’t disappointed! This was one of 4 dishes we were served. Definitely got our money’s worth!

DSC01700 DSC01728 DSC01741Best. Lunch. EVER. George’s in La Jolla. The view was amazing and the food was delish.  If you are ever in San Diego, this is a must!

DSC01753 DSC01756Goodbye San Diego, hello, Cabo!

DSC01762Day 1. Mexican food and champs. Life is good. And that’s pretty much how the rest of the week went. 😉

DSC01764 DSC01770George Clooney and Cindy Crawford’s house was right next to our resort. #NBD So obviously I had to take a really obvious I’m-Obsessed-With-Celebs pic. Obviously.

DSC01795Standard vaca pic #1:

DSC01811And #2:

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It was an amazing trip, we really didn’t want to come back!  Now we need to plan another vacation to look forward to….but until then, it’s back to business!

Although I’ve been away for a bit, I come back bearing gifts. 🙂  Easy Canvas Prints contacted me (thanks to a referral from Jessie!) and asked me if I would like to review one of their products on my blog in exchange for a free canvas print. Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with taking pictures and “capturing” any and all moments and memories so of course I jumped at the chance.  A while ago, I found a photo taken of the cheerleaders in my last season during our game in London. It was an incredible trip and I thought the photo really captured how amazing the experience was.  When I saw it, I thought it would make the perfect canvas print so it was easy to choose what photo to use!

The process was super easy.  Choose your canvas size, wrap thickness, photo (they even check the photo quality for you!), display option and border option, preview and you’re done!

Shipping was much faster than I thought and took less than a week so I was so excited to find the package on my doorstep when I got home from vacation.  I was really happy with the results!

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The quality was great and it looked exactly like it did in the preview before I ordered it (you never know sometimes!).  It can easily stand up on a shelf or hang on the wall.  I think I’m going to add it to my office decor or start a wall collage for our basement!

If you are interested in getting a canvas print of your own, Easy Canvas Prints is offering several discounts for Sit-ups & Sequins readers!  You can find the promo codes here. All you have to do is click “apply coupon” and it will automatically apply your coupon and start your order.  You get free shipping too.  Bonus!

50% off Canvas Prints – Use 50FREESHIP

60% off Wall Displays – Use 60WALLDECOR

Buy One Canvas Get One Free – Use BOGOMONTH

With Valentine’s Day coming up, this could make a great gift so take advantage of this offer!  Feel free to also check out their affiliate sites, Build a Sign and Allied Shirts, for custom yard signs and t-shirts.

Have a great week!

 

(Although I received a free product, I was not compensated for this review and all options are my own.)

 

Guest Post: 5 Ways to Stick to Your Fitness Program

Good morning!  I’m coming at you with another guest post today.  I know that’s two in a row and I promise I’m not abandoning you, but I just can’t resist sharing some of my favorite fellow bloggers with you!  Today, Heather from Mrs. Murphy’s Law of Fitness is sharing with us her tips to stick to your fitness program.  I thought this was appropriate with the start of the new year upon us and this being the time of the year when many of us make a goal to start a new fitness program.  This can be a daunting goal for some, especially if you are new to fitness, so Heather’s tips come at a perfect time!  And by the way, if you haven’t visited Heather’s blog yet, it’s a must read! She’s a certified personal trainer, talented yogi and full of intense (and quick!) workouts that I absolutely love.  In addition to great workouts, Heather is all about finding balance in your life, which I really appreciate.  Plus, she’s a super cute southern gal with an equally adorable baby boy, of whom she shares plenty of pics that always put a smile on my face!  (and when you see her bod…yes she’s had a baby…) Impressive, I must say. 😉

Here’s Heather!

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Hi Sit-ups and Sequins readers.

I am Heather from Mrs. Murphy’s Law of Fitness and I’m extremely excited to be hanging out with all you beautiful people! I love Christa because she is just as crazy about fitness and healthy living as I am, so when she asked me to guest post for her I jumped at the opportunity.

Since it is the beginning of the year, and I am sure some of you have set some high expectations for yourselves to lose weight and begin an exercise regimen. As a personal trainer, and health nut, I know a thing or two about how to stick to a fitness program, and wanted to share a few with you.

5 tips

1. Take baby steps- This is crucial. Too many people vow to exercise six days a week, cut out sugar completely and lose 15 lbs. in a month. It’s too much pressure! You’ll be hitting up happy hour and canoodling with Ben & Jerry’s in two weeks.  Start out by making an effort to get in some sort of physical activity everyday- even if it is just a thirty minute walk after dinner, or a few quick, intense workouts throughout the day- just move! Once you realize how great it makes you feel you will enjoy working out and make it a priority.

2.  Create a great playlist- It seems simple, but sometimes I will workout because I want an excuse to listen to music. Save certain songs for the gym so you won’t risk getting tired of them and you’ll be more motivated to go! Music can define your mood and determine how motivated you are, so choose wisely!

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3. Make it personal- Everyone wants to look good and feel confident about their bodies, but if you want to stick to your new exercise program you have to realize why you haven’t been successful in the past. Do you binge eat when you are stressed? Are you lonely or depressed? Maybe you are just bored. All of these things will hinder your weight loss. Exercise will help with these issues, and ultimately, working towards fixing them will be what keeps you doing the squats and running that extra mile.

4. Find a friend- This is especially beneficial in the beginning when you will find any excuse to skip your spin class. You are less likely to bail when you know someone is counting on you to be there.

5. Keep it interesting-

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People quit working out because they are bored or have hit a plateau. Keep your workout interesting by changing it up frequently. Try out different exercise classes, or one of the million workouts you’ve found on Pinterest.

Good luck with all of your goals and stay positive!

New Year’s Resolutions

I’m baaaack! I hope everyone had a great holiday! I decided I needed to unplug for a bit, which is why I haven’t posted in over a week. Now, since all of the holiday craziness is over, it’s time to get back to normal.  I’ll start off with a little photo dump of my holiday.  I unplugged so much that I neglected to take the usual amount of pictures but luckily my mom was busy trying out her new camera so I was able to steal a few. 🙂

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photo (1)(the result of Cookie Extravaganza #1 and #2…and that’s only about 1/4 of it.)

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IMG_20131225_174525How my dad’s side of the family does holidays.  A drink contest, what else?!  Clearly, competitiveness runs in the family.

1556350_10201365081870030_1924513196_oOne of the smartest and most generous men I know.  Love spending time with my grandparents when I can.

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With New Year’s Eve on the horizon, I started thinking about resolutions.  Each year, I have every intention of making at least one New Year’s resolution but it never really pans out. I decided this year, I would take a stab at it with a few goals, both practical and personal. I kept it short and sweet. Quality over quantity!

NYE

1. Get ACSM certified. I’ve been saying for months that I want to become a certified personal trainer, but procrastination should be my middle name. I finally ripped off the band-aid, bought the study materials and cracked open the books this weekend. My goal is to be certified by March at the latest, and then I’m looking forward to starting out with bootcamps for family and friends and building my client base from there.

2. Continue healthy eating. Sure, 2014 will have it’s fair share of pizza, french fries and chocolate, but I want to challenge myself to try even more new healthy recipes and really focus on eating clean as much as I can. I don’t eat too much processed food but I think I can make more of an effort to replace more of it with whole “real” foods.

3. Improve decision making skills. This is a big one for me. Anyone who knows me knows that decision making is NOT one of my strong suits. And that’s an understatement. I need to work on making more decisions on my own (and not dwelling on them!) and not always worry about what other people’s opinions are, or all of the “what ifs”. Sure, big life decisions can use a good pro/con list or advice from my family but I don’t have to consult my mom every time I’m deciding on which necklace matches my outfit the best. 😉

4. Be more present. I’m the type of person who is always “in my own head” and constantly thinking about my plan for the next day, week, month, etc. While this is perfectly normal for someone with a type A personality like me, I’m realizing more and more that I need to try to stop and, for lack of better words, smell the roses a bit more. It seems like every year goes by faster than the next and life is too short to sweat the small stuff. I need to cherish the time I have with my husband, family and friends and be grateful for each and every day.

And now that I’ve said them out loud, I guess there’s no excuse not to follow through!  I’ll expect each and every one of you to hold me accountable. 😉

I am looking forward to a fantastic 2014!

Happy New Year!

Things I’m Loving Lately

I love it when other bloggers post some of their favorite things.  Sometimes I get a new “trend alert”, recipe or just all around random idea from reading what other people are in love with at the moment, so I decided to do a little “Things I’m Loving” post today!  It’s nice to take a break from the world of low-carb, butt-kicking workout blogging every once in a while.  Plus it’s Friday, let’s relax and live a little. 🙂

Things I’m loving lately:

1. The return of FOOTBALL! 

My first year cheering on the other side of the turf…hard pill to swallow.  Although all of my Rams football viewing has been with tears in my eyes so far this season, I’m still so excited it’s back!  Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader.

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Of course, I can’t forget about my alma mater- MIZZOU football is back too!  Oh, what I would give to be back on that field, under the lights, dancing to the fight song for the millionth time…in the first quarter. Those were the days.  There’s just something special about cheering at a college football game that words can’t describe.

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2. Skinny Pop

I love this as a low fat, low calorie option when I’m craving something salty and crunchy. Just a handful (or 3) usually does the trick, minus the guilt!

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3. Essie Fall Nail Polish

I’m loving the return of the darker fall nail polish colors, especially Essie’s After School Boy Blazer and Vested Interest.  Can’t wait to put these babies to good use.

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4. Instagram

I know, I know.  I’m like ancient when it comes to this area of social media.  I recently jumped on the Instagram bandwagon (and Twitter, but that one is still a bit of a mystery to me) and I love it!  Although, I have to say, I’m curious how in the heck any and all celebrities manage to take breathtaking selfies with immaculate lighting 100% of the time.  Really?!  Maybe the sun shines brighter on celebs.  Shines bright like a diamond.

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5. Stairmaster

Thank goodness for the Stairmaster.  Since I’ve been avoiding running like the plague, at least I can count on this machine to leave me dripping in sweat.

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6. Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Enough said.

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7. Hot Yoga

Again, since running can’t happen right now, hot yoga has been the perfect way to stretch out my dang hamstrings and still get my sweat on.  Seriously, I had no idea it was possible to sweat that much.

(Your welcome, Kate and Kelly, for posting this oh-so-flattering picture of us….again)

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That’s it for today. Happy Friday!  I hope you have a great weekend!

Exactly Where I’m Supposed to Be

Last weekend, my friend Brigid and I went to visit our other friend Kristen, in LA.  The three of us have been friends since our time as sorority sisters at Mizzou and I love that we have managed to keep our friendship going strong after all of these years!  Brigid and I hadn’t seen Kristen since they were both in my wedding, almost two years ago….NOT ok.  So we decided enough is enough, packed our bags and headed out west.

I love everything about travelling.  The hustle and bustle of airports, packing (just not unpacking), relaxing on the plane with a latte and a good book….this time was no exception!  And anyone who says you can’t eat healthy in an airport is mistaken.  It might be a little more difficult to find something relatively nutritious, but I promise you, it’s out there.  Plenty of restaurants offer oatmeal or fruit and nuts, and there is always a newsstand with protein/granola bars, just have to watch the sugar content (or don’t, I won’t judge).  We started off our morning with a non-fat sugar-free latte and a Double Dark Chocolate Zone bar, one of my personal favs.  Then, since it WAS vacation and all, we decided to have a drink on the plane…which turned into two.  It wasn’t our fault, one of the flight attendants must have thought we looked like a couple of girls ready for the weekend, because he gave us drinks and didn’t charge us.  I could get used to this. 🙂

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I also had a little bit (ok, a lot a bit) of this…the most recent little gem of a snack I found at Target.  If you haven’t tried it, I highly suggest you do. Not sure if trail mix can really be life changing, but this is pretty close.

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Finally, we arrived in LA and spent the rest of the weekend at the beach, walking around Santa Monica, catching up over wine at Malibu Wines and dinner at Villa Blanca. For all of my fellow RHOBH fans, that’s Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant.  Much to my disappointment, Lisa was not in the house, but her daughter Pandora and her husband were…I’ll take what I can get! 🙂

DSC01149That’s Brigid on the left, Kristen in the middle, and me and my armpit on the right.  When you have the longest arms, you are automatically the designated selfie-taker.

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DSC01167DSC01175DSC01156 DSC01173

DSC01186I think this one pretty much sums it up…

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We talked, we laughed, we cried, and then we laughed some more.  I love these girls more than I can say. It really doesn’t get any better than having those lifelong friends you know you will be talking and laughing with when you are old and wrinkly (and making fun of each other for just how old and wrinkly you really are). They get me and I get them.  This weekend, I was exactly where I was supposed to be.