Friday Five: Fitness Favorites

28 Mar


Whew, this week has been a hard and I’m glad I finally made it here.  Are you feeling it too?  Is it spring fever?  Is that what this feeling is?  The feeling of plodding along because you know something is just about to become AWESOME?

This Friday, the girls ( Mar, Cynthia,and Courtney) that put the Friday Five Link-up together decided on the them “Fitness Favorites.”    I thought I’d share some of my favorite workouts.  Because Pinterest is my favorite source of inspiration for my workouts I’ll post a link to both my pin and for those of you not on Pinterest I’ll post the bloggers site so you can check them out.  (But seriously, why aren’t you on Pinterest?)

When I started trying to get healthy two January’s ago I learned about HIIT and Tabata training.  Basically (and I mean very basically, because I’m not a doctor or a trained fitness expert, so please do your own research!) HIIT or high intensity interval training, is doing a form of cardiovascular exercise, which vary from 4–30 minutes. They are short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism, and improved fat burning.

In HIIT training you go hard for 2 – 3 minutes and then do something at lower intensity for one minute. Think about running on a treadmill, you’d go at your fastest sprint pace for two minutes and then slow it to a jog for one minute, then back up to two and repeat.  Or, for me, run for two minutes, walk for one.

In Tabata, you go hard 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds repeating that circuit eight times for a total of four minutes. You go all in for 20 seconds, rest for 10.  So, 20 seconds of your fastest, highest high knees, rest for 10 seconds.  Best squat jumps for 20 seconds, hold a squat for 10.  Get the picture?

If you’re new to this kind of workout, take it easy and monitor your own heart rate.  You’ll get your heart rate up pretty high, pretty quickly and there is very little recovery time, so watch yourself.  


I like tabata training because I can accomplish it.  I can make my brain say “Sister, you can do ANYTHING for 20 seconds. YOU CAN DO THIS.”  Or “Aim, you can run for two – three minutes because then you get to walk for one. You can do anything for two minutes!”  This type of training is great for fat burning and metabolism and frankly, I like it because it’s about thirty minutes of hell but then it’s over.  A 90 minute workout?  “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

With all of these workouts, if you can’t do one of the moves, add in a substitute of your own.Work at your level but keep moving.  For example, substitute in  jumping jacks instead of plank jacks – just find an activity to get you moving through the twenty seconds!

So, without further ado my favorite Tabata workouts:

1.)  Fit In Heels Tabata Tuesday series from Katy at Fit in Heels who helped get me through those first forty pounds.  Her workouts are fun, doable and kickass.  I love that she has videos for all of these moves because frankly, Side Burpee?  Dive Bomb Push Up with Major Air?  Um, WHAT?  Yes, thankfully Katy does great video for fitness newbies like me.

2.)  Tina Reale‘s Full Body Tabata: This is the workout that got me started on Tabata in the first place I think, right “Molly Fox” (my amazing workout partner in crime)? Again, great workout and links at the end to all of the moves.

3.) Blond Ponytail: Jess is another amazing woman who got me through the first forty.  This Total Body Home Workout is going to kick your butt. You’ll want to die.  You will survive.  With Jess, a lot of her workouts I’ve adapted into a tabata style, and I think you can do this with a lot of routines.  For example, this holiday workout, I just do the circuit for twenty seconds instead of the number she suggests.  Jess is incredible and her videos are easy to follow for us rookies.


4.)  Coffee Cake and Cardio:  This girl is my fitness inspiration.  She’s real. She gets the challenges I face.  I love that she shares her successes and failures openly and honestly.  On top of all that, she plays football.  OMG.  The dream!  She gets to HIT people.  Love her.  Here is a tabata workout that Ashley put together that’s easy to follow and anyone can accomplish it.  This one isn’t as cardio heavy, but gets you a full body workout.  (Ashley is expecting her first baby! She’s working out through the pregnancy and just another reason I think she is fantastic.  Congrats, lady! Head on over and show her some love) 

5.)  Fitnitchick:  Tamara is a Fitness Pro.  A leader of women.  And a total booty kicker.  I wanted to share this workout because it includes my number one favorite piece of fitness equipment. The Bosu Ball.  (Ok, maybe it’s a toss-up between the Bosu and the TRX. Both make me feel like a kid and a badass simultaneously.)  If you have a bosu or your gym does, this is a great piece of equipment to add to your routine or use Tamara’s that she’s demonstrated here.


There you have it, my fitness favorites.  What are some of your favorite workouts?  Do you have a favorite at home workout routine that you like to do?


Happy Friday.  Happy Spring!

Sparkle on,




All the information presented on this blog is for educational, entertainment, and resource purposes only. This blog is NOT a substitute for any advice given to you by your physician. ALWAYS consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any weight loss, nutrition or exercise program. Use of the programs, advice, and information contained in this website is at the sole choice and risk of the reader. 

March Madness

26 Mar

My madness with this spring has very little to do with basketball. Ok, SOME madness is basketball related.



Seriously.  What the heck is going on? This is my work parking lot from yesterday.  Tuesday, MARCH 25.  20140325-165353.jpg


I convinced my cousin to run a long race with me about ten weeks out from the race. Enough training time, I figured.  I never expected that I’d not get in two days worth of running in a row because it’s so cold and wet and gross and snowy out.

I’ve created a whole pinterest board to help learn how to be a runner.  There are so many great tips out there but that doesn’t push you out of the house!  It’s so cozy in there and cold outside!

How do you people make yourselves run in the snow and cold?  What ‘equipment’ do you use so you don’t fall and break your face? If you read this blog and are my personal friend of mine you know that I fall all.the.time.  Heck, I fell just feet into my birthday race!    I’m a total klutz.  How are you staying safe in this weather and getting your miles in?


Please spring.  Come on out.  We’re ready for you!




Oh – and GO ‘HOOS!




Overcoming Hardships

25 Mar

Sunday night I was trying to write a couple of blog posts so that I could get ahead for this week and actually provide some quality content on a consistent basis.  College basketball was on, I was ignoring fb and twitter updates of some breaking news on The Good Wife (OMG), and the eight-almost nine-year-old was cuddled in next to me.

In all honesty, it was a pretty blissful evening.  The Girl had gone to sleep pretty quickly for her. Thank you, Jesus.  I felt accomplished. I felt happy and at peace, yet I was struggling for a writing prompt so  I turned to the Boy.

“Hey buds, you know when you write in your journal at school, what do you write about?  Whatever you want or does the teacher give you a writing prompt?”

He perked up, turned away from March Madness for a minute and excitedly told me “oh yeah, I love writing in my journal because it’s the time right before we go to recess and I can write down everything I’m thinking before I go out to play.  “

“Well, what do you write about?”

“Sometimes we can write whatever we want, but this week Ms. S gave us the prompt ‘Overcoming Hardships.’”

- Blink – Blink-

His teacher gives them a prompt for their writing journals titled “Overcoming Hardships?”

Third Grade, people. THIRD GRADE!

His hardship is his own, and I won’t share it here.  But it’s one that I would love to help him with.

It is so hard being a mom. In the daily struggle of maintaining balance, in our checkbook, with your meals, with fun and chores, with alone time and together time I had not stopped to think that my sweet baby eight-almost nine-year-old boy could possibly have a hardship that was weighing on him so heavily.  His hardship is perceived by him to be an actual hardship.  It’s something he struggles with and it must be weighing on his heart.

Had I not been paying attention?  I mean, I know this skill is hard for him, but he perceives it as a hardship?  He wants to desperately for a skill, not a toy, not a friend, not a candy, but a SKILL, that he considers it his hardship.

When I followed up with him and probed “well, what did you say in your journal” he answered with “well, I know I’m not good at this skill but I make up for it with something that comes naturally to me.”


Our sweet baby eight-almost nine-year-old boy is a genius.  He gets it already.  We are not all born with the same talents, we are born with our own gifts.  It’s how we use those gifts and our own natural abilities that makes us special.


I wrote this Sunday night.  On Monday, Jen Hatmaker posted this:

I think the world is trying to tell me something.



Mommy Time

24 Mar

One of the hardest parts about being a mom is making sure that you take time for yourself.

As you all know I started a new job in January.  Finding time has been quite a challenge for me, as the hours have shifted – I was working 8 – 4 and now I’m working 9-5.  It doesn’t change that I still need to get the Boy to school by 8. So, what to do between 8 and 9?  That doesn’t give me enough time to workout, shower and change.  The afternoon is just as hairy because 4-5 used to be my workout time.  Who cares if I pick up the kids sweaty, right?  The Boy must be picked up at his after school program by 5:30, so I rush out of work at 5:00 to make it across town by 5:30, get the girl and head home.  We’re typically walking through the door around 6:30, dinner, baths/homework check/game play/ maybe a walk if we have sunlight.  Then bed time.  I don’t work out well at night because it makes me not sleep well.

I have been preaching for over a year that committing to your own fitness means that you set appointments.  Be the boss of your workouts, and you’d never cancel an appointment with your boss.  Well.  I’ve stopped being the boss.  I’m letting my work schedule and the family schedule dictate my own wellness.

And that stops today.

Starting now I will workout before getting the kids up. Everything has been a bad excuse.  This laziness must end.  My fitbit is laughing at me.  My pants buttons are crying from the pressure I’m putting them under.  I will not allow myself to fall into this trap of work and home being more important than my own health.  It’s time to rise and sparkle.  It’s Mommy Time.  And it’s ’bout time mommy got her shit back together.


How do you push yourself out of bed in the morning?  How do you stay quiet and workout at home in the mornings so you don’t wake up anyone else?  I’d love your ideas!  Help me!  (Oh, our bedroom is a no cell phone zone, so don’t tell me to set an alarm on my phone or to use some app.!  THANKS!)

Friday Five: Off To The Races

14 Mar

This week’s Friday Five is all about the races.  Races you’ve run, races you want to, medals you want, costumes you wore… WHATEVER you want.  Cynthia over at You Signed Up for What, Courtney at Eat, Pray Run DC and Mar at Mar on The Run pick the topics, I just run with it.

As I’m planning my runs for this spring and summer I wanted to share with you some of my favorite must have items on my training runs.  As a new runner, meaning, I’m newly trying to stick to running I have found that some items must be with me in order for me to like the run.

1.)  A good outfit.  I hate shirts that ride up, pants that fall down, compression that is too compressing – I like to feel good and look good.  I ended up asking Santa for a subscription to Fabletics for Christmas.  OH MY HEAVENS, I love the feel and look of these pieces.


I’m kind of coveting this top right now!

In my first order I received the Norwalk tank, the mari capri, an infinity scarf and Kingston sweatshirt.  Each piece fit perfectly, the tank is my new favorite as it doesn’t ride up and capri’s are the perfect fit, not too tight, not too loose, don’t fall down.  The only complaint I have is the sweatshirt doesn’t have thumb holes.  I love thumb holes on a long outdoor run.


2.)  GOOD music.  I need help here.  What music keeps you moving?  My playlist includes everything from “Black and Yellow” from Wiz, to “Let it Go” from Frozen.  I would be embarrassed for anyone to see my itunes account.


3.)  Good headphones.  I burn through headphones.  I have weird ears and actually don’t like to wear earbuds until I found Koss.  I have the “Fit Clips” which were designed by women for women.  They are so soft and gentle on my ears and they stay in!  Thanks, Santa for this stocking stuffer!


4.)  My shoes.  I love my Mizunos. Especially since I swapped out the blue laces and put in my Sweat Pink laces. Kicking Ass is best done in pretty shoes, they say!


5.) Nice cool weather.  Not this freezing cold crap we’ve been dealing with!  Not 90 +.  Give me the 45 – 75.  Just stay there and hang out for a while, Spring.  Ok?

What are you favorites on a run?  Are you ready for this colder weather to be out of here?

Sparkle on! Happy Weekend!

Disclaimer:  I bought all of these items all on my own.  I do not get a referral fee for any products. I really just really like them all!  If you sign up for Fabletics and purchase something I can earn points towards a new outfit.

Mutually Exclusive

13 Mar

On Saturday morning I went for a long walk with a great friend.  We’re both moms to two kids and wives to great husbands.  We’re also both trying to make life as healthy as possible for our families while at the same time trying to be fiscally responsible while times are tight.  I think I probably just described every mom in the world.  Ok, maybe not ‘Hollywood’ moms, but let’s pretend.  EVERY mom.

In the course of our walk we started talking about ways we’re trying to cut back.  My girlfriend let me know that she’d had some success with couponing.  She said, well, if you don’t mind eating junk food, couponing is great.  They get their fruits, veggies and meats from Sam’s Club but use coupons for the packaged goods at the grocery store.  I admitted, I needed to use Sam’s Club more often but didn’t even know where to begin with couponing.

Turn to yesterday when I went to the grocery store and bought our fruits, veggies, dairy and meats for the week.  I purchased very few packaged goods – the kids granola bars, some chips, taco shells and spaghetti.  Everything else was from the perimeter of the store.  Most other trips there might have been some oatmeal, chicken nuggets, etc, but this trip there were none needed.  I had no coupons, and it made me think  “I’ve never seen coupons for meats, produce or dairy – maybe yogurt, but not milk or eggs.”  Hmmm,  What gives?

Are saving money and eating healthy mutually exclusive?

I went to google.  I found a few articles dating back a year or so. One was helpful.

I see, like my walking friend does, the savings benefits on items like toilet paper, laundry detergent, toothpaste.  But if you’re filling up your cabinets with things like frozen pizza, microwave popcorn, hungry helpers, and canned soup, are you really helping your family?

What I’m NOT doing is judging any mom who is trying to feed her family in a financially responsible way.  We have hit MANY a “Two for Tuesday” at the pizza place. When times are very lean, we turn to hotdogs and our kids won’t eat the ‘healthy’ hotdogs I tried to feed them.

What I am judging is the food companies and marketing firms.  Once again, I feel like as a woman, wife and mother they are using us.   Much like my rant against the Pinking of America, I feel that we’re being talked down to, or that they think that we are stupid.

Don’t get me started on the Wal-Mart Commercials that show how much you can save by serving your family breakfast at home!  It’s ALL processed food filled with sugars, fats and chemicals. You’re a great mom for saving your family money, but you just fed the kids the same material that they put in yoga mats.  Sure.  It saves you money but at what expense?

Eating Healthy on a Budget?

Here are a couple of blog posts I found from my fellow Girls Gone Sporty and Sweat Pink Ambassadors on how to eat healthy without breaking the budget.  In a quick synopsis, planning ahead, prepping ahead and investing in a crock pot are included in nearly every one of these posts.

What’s in Your Cart?  $30 of Healthy (Grace Lace and Iron)

Transitioning a Family to Clean Eating and a Meal Plan (Sublime Reflection)

Budget Friendly Food Tips for Normal People (Home Field Fitness)

I would love to hear, what are some of your best tips for eating healthy on a budget?  How do you use coupons?  Where do you find them?


11 Mar

A couple of weeks ago I shared a group of ladies who I hoped would inspire you.  I hope you checked them out!  (Here it is again in case you didn’t!)

Each week I want to share with you some people who inspire me. I’d love to see who you all are reading and whose stories you’re inspired by. Share here in the comments or on our facebook page.

Today I want to shout out my cousin Ryan.  My #FavoriteCousin Ryan has always been like a little sister to me.  I love this girl with all my heart.  When I see pictures of her doing BADASS work at Crossfit, I think “those are the same genes as mine!  I can be badass too!”  Her dedication and work ethic are amazing and she inspires me daily. 

I mean, look at this girl!


So, a couple of weeks ago I reached out to this badass cousin of mine and asked her if she’d help push me.  After the use of some of my most serious manipulation skills, Ryan agreed and we’re both now training for a run.  I won’t let her down, because she’s never let me, herself or anyone else down.  She may just have to push me up a hill or two.

“Push yourself because no one else will do it for you.”

I believe that quote to be true.  But I also believe, you get by with a little help from your friends.   In this case, I’m going to survive with a lot of help from my cousin.


Who pushes you?  Who inspires you?

Sparkle On!


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