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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

{LIFE STUFF} things i am diggin' right now!

i dont do these posts super-often, but i do love sharing cool products and things that i am loving right now.
i would also love to hear what YOU are diggin'!

1) a few weeks ago, i started watching the west wing! it took me a while to get into it, but i am totally loving it now. the story lines, the dialogue, the chemistry the characters have with one another.

2) at the end of july, i will be competing in my first-ever tri! i have mentioned my fear of water // learning to swim as a 30-year old on here before {and will go more in-depth as the race nears} ; but right now, i am LOVING the progress i am making. i am still afraid of going into the deep end without being on the edge-lanes, but i am doing SO MUCH BETTER with my stroke and breathing under water! last week, we left the pool and i started listing all the things i need to be better at, and i stopped myself and owned the progress i am making. its not huge, but its MINE! i am swimming. i am conquering a fear that has plagued me for most of my life! 

3) i am loving each and every issue of fast company magazine! if you love creative business & the amazing people that are making things happen ; this is the best magazine!

4) i am currently re-reading the 6th harry potter {for the 10th time} one of my goals for 2014 is to read 50+ books. i think i am at 13 right now..

5) do you use solid shampoo bars? i have about 6 of them from working at LUSH & this is the one i have with me on vacation! super-bonus: no suitcase mess AND no need to worry about bringing liquid on the plane!

6) i just signed up for linkedin ; i don't know much about it at all, but i am determined to learn. you can be my friend // contact here.

7) i LOVE brendan braizer! this cookbook has been on my need-to-get list!

you should know this by now ; but most of these companies have no idea i exist. i am telling you about their products because they are rad. i am not getting any affiliate dough or free stuff. {well, the solid shampoo bars were free because i work there...} but, i just care about good, quality products and companies!

Monday, April 21, 2014

{FITNESS} this weeks {vacation} training plan

we flew to florida yesterday!
we have a billion {rad} things on our agenda, so i don't want to give too much away until i can recap everything!

i have my heart rate monitor along & will be using the pact app to track my fitness minutes.
its times like these, i kinda wish i had a pedometer to track steps!

sunday {yesterday} : travel day! we took a long stroll with daphne in the morning before we headed to the airport! {can i write a post about the ridiculous love i feel for my animal? daphne has never been without us, EVER! every single night for the past 18 months, she has been with us. at first, i was SO worried about how she would handle us being gone, but now i see that i am the one thats a mess ;)}

monday : we are planning to hike a nature preserve during the day ; and possibly a free zumba class at night

tuesday : DISNEY all day ; tons and tons {and tons} of walking!

wednesday : HARRY POTTER {you guys, you have NO IDEA how stupid-pumped i am for this! i remember being in college, hanging out with my friend karen, talking about the park, the day they announced it was going to be built. i have no doubt that i will start bawling when we get there, and probably a few more times throughout the day. i have read the entire series 9-10 times and am so incredibly in love with the series. i could go on for hours ; but i suppose i sound a bit obsessed...}

thursday : biking ALL day! we brought our helmets and have our route {mostly} planned out. i have no idea what the heat will feel like, but we would love to get 50-70 miles in. we also have plans for a biking happy hour at a local shop, checking out the local food scene & buying vegan cupcakes!

friday : most of today will be spent in the car. we have 4 huge things we want to do ; some walking, but mostly driving, hanging and checking out local things!

saturday : travel day! we leave in the morning & should be home by mid-afternoon. my goal is to get a small bike ride in, just to get my legs moving, but we will see.

also, if we have time, i heard there is a huge new balance outlet store i would LOVE to check out! they are one of the only 'mainstream' fitness brands who still manufacture some of their items in the US! i don't need anything fitness-related right now, but if we have time, i would love to check out their inventory for my summer // fall races!

Friday, April 18, 2014

{FRIDAY LINKS} 10 rad things you should be reading

happy friday, you guys!
we leave for vacation in 2 days, my to-do list is getting longer by the minute and *fingers crossed* that we are officially SELLING our car today!
as it all progresses, i will be sharing what it looks like to be car-free in a city where snow is on the ground over half of the year. but for right now, know that i am SO pumped!

here are 10 awesome links from around the web!
1) more proof that i am meant to live in europe! paris bans cars & makes public transit free! 

2) scary! less than a third of people have more than $1,000 set aside in savings! 

3) what 23 of the most beautiful places in the world *really* look like! this is amazing! i have been to quite a few of these places. {i actually used the bathroom inside that mcdonalds across the street from the Pantheon!}

4) are you in the twin cities? mark your calendars for one of the coolest parties of the year! 

5) what the girls that founded Birchbox did right! And how to learn from the things they did wrong! inspiring article for those of us busting our guts to launch a business!

6) lots of great articles on how to be super-rad at twitter : here, here & here!

7) the weather is warming up, which means BIKES EVERYWHERE! great post by MPR on 7 bike etiquette rules to help avoid crashes! 

8) great post from carla : if at first you don't succeed, QUIT! 

9) 30 days of biking is happening worldwide in april & you can head here to read inspiring stories from people who dig bikes!

10) looking to create a media kit? here is a great tutorial!

i will have posts going up all week while we are gone!
i am SO excited to share recaps of our trip, when we get home.
{blake & i have made a decision to stay off social media while we are gone. we will not be live-tweeting//IG-ing//fb-ing our trip!}

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

{FOOD} My Oatmeal REVIEW

as a fit approach member, there are times when i have opportunities to partner with great companies and share their products. i was recently given the chance to test out different custom oatmeal flavors from all options are my own~ 

i am not a huge 'oatmeal for breakfast' type of a gal. i like to drink my breakfast. each and every morning, i start out with a smoothie.
since i work from home, smoothies are easy. they take a few minutes and i already have everything i need.

my problem 'food time' is lunch. since i am sitting at the computer, getting boxes together and doing a million other things ; i usually notice that i am super hungry around 2pm. {i have been working so hard to create a 'stop and eat' work schedule, but as my only employee, my to-do list often comes first}
and since i am hungry, i end up grazing. maybe an apple and pb here, maybe some homemade nachos there, maybe some butter toast a little while later...

the first thing i thought of when offered this opportunity?

oatmeal is quick, easy and filling. i can switch it up by adding fruit, coconut yogurt, peanut butter, ect.
MyOatmeal allowed us a dollar allotment for their products.
the first thing you will notice when you head to their site is the TON of flavor combos!
you first chose your size {1, 2 or 4-pounds} and then choose your grains {5 choices}.
from there, you pick your flavor {anything from butter rum to cookie dough to egg nog to red velvet cake!}
you can also decide to add dried fruits, nuts, seeds and sweeteners.
as you are creating your oatmeal, there is a 'nutritional tracker' on the sidebar, updating the calories and nutritional content.

i choose a 1-lb bag of organic, GF rolled oats, in chocolate hazelnut and sweetened with brown sugar.

you guys, the chocolate hazelnut tastes like nutella in a bowl! 
so good.
and easy!

i also ordered a 1-lb 'mystery blend.'
its all peanut-y and delicious!

i really love that you can choose organic oats. i DO wish they were a little more affordable, though.
a 1-lb bag of quick rolled instant oats starts at $2.99 and a 1-lb bag of organic oats starts at $5.99.
other bonuses : the 'use by' dates are september AND the bags are resealable!

we leave for vacation next week & bringing along whats left of the bags is a must for us! we will be able to boil water // use a microwave. it will be a great snack in between all the activities we have planned!

are you an 'oatmeal for breakfast' type of gal? 
have you ever tried before?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

{TRAVELPANTZ} a recap of the Macy's Flower Show

hi everybody! 
lets talk about flowers! 

a couple weeks ago, my mom was in town & we headed downtown to the macy's flower show.
our downtown macy's is huge ; 8 floors and always super busy.
each winter, they turn the 8th floor into a winter wonderland {with santa at the end!}
so, each spring, they transform the same floor into a HUGE flower oasis! 

{the lighting wasn't awesome ; so the pictures arent the best. but, oh my gosh, it was SO beautiful!} 
each section had different types of flowers and in the middle, there was a 12 foot tall mannequin made out of flowers! 

and hello, its all indoors! all of these flowers are alive and hanging out inside a building ;) 

of all the pictures, this one is my favorite! 

after the flowers, you are kicked into the gift shop.
look at this adorable display!
and of course, we ended with a sweet treat!

Monday, April 14, 2014

{FITNESS} this weeks fitness plan

last week, spring had sprung! 
people were going out without jackets and there were pasty white legs EVERYWHERE! 
this week? we are back to below-freezing nights and some parts of MN even woke up to SNOW! 

i have felt pretty lazy in my life, lately. 
i find that when i am feeling really overwhelmed in my life, i shut down. my to-do list keeps getting longer, i continue getting more and more stressed, so i check out 15 books from the library and just want to lay in bed and mope.
ps : my helmet is unbuckled cuz i was stopped and OFF my bike! always buckle your helmet ;) 

i am aware of how i handle stress, so i am trying my best to get ahead of everything.
we leave for vacation next week and i am super pumped about that! 

my fitness // training plan for this week :
monday : open swim {20-30min} // quick bike ride
tuesday : open swim {trying to beat my distance from monday}
wednesday : open swim {30 min} // bike ride
thursday : BIKE SOCIAL {each thursday this month, random humans get together and do a 'social ride' ; last week, it was 2 hours and we biked to get cheesecake!}
friday : hot yoga or kickboxing dvd
saturday : tour de breweries {if you are local, here is the link!} // also, a 2+ hour hard ride
sunday : we leave for vacation!! we will take daphne for a long stroll before we leave {and i will cry, because we have never left her before!!} 

heres to a fit week! 

Monday, March 31, 2014

{FITNESS} big events & this weeks fitness plan

last week, i spent a couple hours creating a new fitness plan // workout schedule.
i am pretty old school in the sense that i like to hand draw the calendar & then i mark all the completed days with stars or stickers. 
you can surround me with technology, but there is still nothing better than a hand-written list ;) 

in january, blake & i committed to a triathlon ; its at the end of july & the swim is the only part i am really nervous about. its a sprint tri, so its a 500 yard swim, 30-ish {i dont know the exact distance} mile bike ride & a 5k.

in early june, my friend tiff & i are going to be riding in the MS150! the race starts in duluth, mn {about 150 miles away} & you bike back to the cities! we have ten weeks {from yesterday} to train to ride 75 miles, two days in a row. 

AND, blake & i decided to do the first 100 miles of RAGBRAI this year. a couple years ago, we did the entire thing {its a 500-mile annual bike ride across the state of iowa. it always starts on the west side and always ends on the east side ; but running a new route each year.}
this year, the first two days are going through where my family lives, so we decided to do the first two days. {four days after the ride, we do the tri!}

the temp is {almost always} above freezing now, so the trails are dry & its time to get back on my bike.
we went for an easy 30-mile ride yesterday after i was done with work and OH MY GOSH, it felt amazing!

i cant say enough how incredible i feel on the bike! 
bonus : 30 days of biking starts TOMORROW! its an annual challenge encouraging others to get on their bike every single day in the month of april. you can take long rides or ride in a circle in your garage ; just something to pedal each day.
i have taken the challenge for the last few years & have never hit all 30 days. heres hoping... 
you can sign up here.

this weeks training plan : 
sunday {yesterday} : BIKE // long ride {2+ hours}
monday : BIKE 60-120min {its raining right now & will change to snow later ; mittens and raincoats today ;)}
tuesday : STRENGTH // 30min dvd {either 30 day shred or turbokick}
wednesday : OFF // {small ride for 30 days of biking}
thursday : BIKE // 60-120min
friday : HOT YOGA
saturday : STRENGTH // 30min dvd {30 day shred or turbokick} 

share with us : anything you are training for right now?