Fitness Friday no. 22

Hello! I took a little bit of a Fitness Friday break – I’ve been trying to get back into a groove to share all the progress I’ve been making!  But it’s been slow progress and I was lacking motivation and inspiration.
Image result for fitness motivational quotes
But within this past week I’ve gotten up three mornings in a row to hit up the gym.  After work has been too busy and now that it’s dark when I leave work the motivation is very little… lunches are good but I always feel rushed. Morning workouts have been the trick and I’ve actually been doing them. Another motivator that has helped get these in is having workout buddies to go with me, yay for workout partners at your same gym! After these last three mornings I instantly feel better, I instantly don’t want to stop.

Here are my tips and reminders lately that’re keeping me focused to stay on track this time.

  1. Our Wedding! We are nearly at the year mark to the wedding, and since this past year has been a constant struggle I need to start now to really get motivated and make progress. Although I’m pretty sure once I secure my dress the motivation will kick up a level.  This will be a prom diet on steroids. Don’t have a wedding or big event coming up to look forward too? What about a vacation or a bikini you’ve had your eyes on, it’s never too early to start working on yourself!
  2. My Jeans. I know when my jeans are feeling a bit tighter that I need to get off my butt and get to the gym! I don’t like stepping on the scale, but I know when things aren’t going in the right direction when my clothes aren’t feeling right.  Don’t like the scale either? Read your clothes and pick up the pace if you’re not loving the fit. 
  3. Feeling Better. I haven’t felt overly tired this past week after my early morning workouts,  in fact I’ve felt better all around.  I’ve even started pushing myself to running on the treadmill (which I hate) but doing it in small doses and picking up the speed more than my comfort zone, and knowing I can do it.
  4. Half Marathons. I’ve got my eyes on some upcoming races to end this year strong and even to get ready for, for 2017 to help with wedding prep! I know I would be in no condition to run a half marathon right now, but I really want to run another one since it’s been almost 2-years since our last half. Yikes!

I’m excited about this new progress and thankful for having motivating friends who also want to get back into a routine, it helps so much!

Cheers to progress and motivating friends!

Travel: Jackson Hole – Part 1

Happy Tuesday and start to a short week after a longggg weekend.  I was lucky enough to have a super long weekend and was vacationing all last week in one of my favorite spots ever – Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  The last time I was out in JH was two-years ago, which was the first time B got to experience the magic and beauty of the Grant Tetons, he feel in love too.  To share the love of my trip, and in case any of you are planning a trip or looking for your next vacation spot, here is Part 1 of our trip, focusing on the hikes we took throughout the week!

Taggart Lake Trailhead
Level: Easy – Moderate | Distance: About 3-miles
You can access Taggart Lake once you enter Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) from the Moose Entrance Station it’s one of the first stops that is clearly marked as you head north.  It’s definitely a popular spot and you’ll run into fellow hikers and tourists, throughout this hike you’ll be stunned and amazed at the Grand Teton as you keep getting closer and closer.  Once you get to Taggart Lake you can definitely relax in serenity and soak in the views of the Grand. If you’re looking for more views and a little longer of a hike from Taggart Lake you can go a little further and reach Bradley Lake, if you’re looking for something more challenging you can also head to Ampitheater Lake from the Taggart Lake Trailhead.

Geraldine Lucas Cabin
Level: Easy | Distance: 2-miles
Geraldine Lucas was a pioneer for her time and the second woman to ever climb the Grand Teton (at 58-years-young).  She was mostly notable, unfortunately, for being a divorced single mother,  not only was she divorced and a single mother but she also attended college, in Ohio of all places. She retired out in Jackson Hole in 1913 – she acquired nearly 160 acres for her homestead.   The property was later owned by Harold Fabian, and the property is now commonly referred to as the Lucas-Fabian Homestead.  This trail is a bit tougher to find – well currently, but the park service is finally getting this on the map with marked trails and signs (as it’s currently a bit of an adventure to find).  Again off Teton Park Rd., you’ll want to look for The Climbers Ranch road and drive down the road past the first driveway, over a bridge and park to your right in a little pull off. The Cottonwood Creek Trail to the homestead starts there. You’ll again reach stunning views of the Tetons once you reach the 11-house homestead, Geraldine picked a killer spot.

Two Oceans & Emma Matilda Lakes 
Level: Moderate – Hard |  Distance: 4-11 miles
This hike was a random pick by me, mainly because of the name, Emma Matilda, a nickname my mom calls me.  You’ll get here by taking 191 and continuing onto 191 at Moran Junction, from there follow the signs to Two Oceans and Emma Matilda, after entering the park. The hike around Emma Matilda Lake is about 11-miles. The hike from Two Oceans to Emma Matilda is about 4-miles depending on how much you explore, Two Oceans is about a 6-mile hike, so you’ve got a lot of options with this spot. Although this is prime bear country so be sure to make noise while hiking (wearing a bell or clapping) and be sure to have bear spray! We did not see any grizzlies, unfortunately, but this is definitely one of the less traveled trails. The views however once you reach Emma Matilda from Two Oceans is unbelievable and definitely worth it. Our hike was cut short from some thunder and rain, but still totally worth it.

Although we only went on three hikes throughout the week, they were all different from when we were last out in JH. It was fun getting out and exploring and seeing as much of the beauty as we could up close and personal.  There are so many hidden spots and treasures in GTNP, and these are definitely a few of them!

Latest Obsessions: Pillows

So lately I have been completely obsessed with PILLOWS! I want soooo many pillows. All of a sudden there is about 5-places in the house that I could name that need pillows to add that extra finished and cozy look. The dining room built-in bench, the bay window in the staircase, the office, the master and the spare daybed… not to mention the living room pillows could use a freshen up… shall I go on? I have literally been scrolling through screens and screens of pillows, hitting the ‘Add to Cart’ button, until I reach the end, check out my chart (because they all seemed like such a great deal) and it’s $150+ … click “save for later”repeat x5. *smiles*Latest Obsessions - Pillows - Neutrals 01 | 02 | 03 | 04

Pillows are the perfect way to spice up a room and add some extra flair without needing to refurnish the entire place. Pillows can also help personalize a space; whether it’s with a state, zip code, or even this fun bee pillow by French Laundry (above) – I’m obsessed!  The other thing I love about pillows is that they can add a level of subtlety when you mix a few patterns or fabrics correctly.  Pillows add a level of cozy and warmth to a space and can be the key finishing pieces, without you knowing! 

The other key to pulling in pillows and buying them is getting different shapes, large square pillows, long horizontal pillows or even larger body pillows to help build the space, (for example normal bed turned daybed).  Having different sizes also creates depth and dimension to your space making the space look larger and more plush than it might be.

Latest Obsessions - Pillows - Blues04 | 05 | 06 | 07

My go-to stores for pillows as you can probably tell if you’re checking out the links throughout are; Target (duh), Marshalls/T.J. Maxx (double-duh), Pier 1, Pottery Barn and Society 6. Although I usually start in the clearance sections first – because you can’t beat a good deal, especially if you’re using the pillows as updates to the space and are more likely to switch them out more frequently.  And as excited as I get about a pillow, I like to wait to see if my initial gut reaction of LOVE, is still LOVE after I see it again in the line-up of a gillion pillows. I also can’t usually resist a good 2-pack of pillows especially if they’re essentially the price of one, it’s a win-win!

Latest Obsessions - Pillows - Color                                                                                  08 | 09 | 10 | 11

What’re your favorite spots to get pillows?  Do you have any pillow rules? I’ve slowly started ordering a few here and there for the spaces I mentioned above. Yay!! 

For the love of pillows,

Fitness Friday no. 19

Happy Friday!! This week flew by, woah! I don’t even know where it went, not to mention a lovely summer cold has also greeted me this week. It’s kinda of the worst especially with this humidity. Anyways! Enough negatives, onto the positives. I wanted to do something different for this FF, especially since the last  Fitness Friday (No. 18) I’m still feeling not so hot about myself. So I wanted to focus on the positives, along with ways to grow and ways to get there.

My Week’s Highlight: Ran a total of 8-miles, B and I got out twice this week and ran together. The mileage and running with B are two things that haven’t happened in a long time and it felt great!

Area to Focus: Continue to eat and plan meals better.

Active Change: I’m going to rearrange some things in my finances and change my spa membership to a gym membership. Body and mind over nails (sorry nails).

Inspiration for the Week:
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Ultimately we have to do things that keep us happy and healthy while finding a balance in doing just that and pinpointing what is manageable. I am happy with a lot of things, but I could definitely be happier with the way I feel about myself, mainly because I know what I am capable of vs. what I have actually been doing.

Cheers to an active weekend to work into the upcoming week!

 

Latest Obsessions: August Edition

Starting out on the first Friday of August, here’s what I am obsessed with lately!  Even though it seems like summer is coming to an end, it still feels like we are just getting started and have a lot more hot days and weekends to enjoy! So I hope you enjoy and share in some of these latest obsessions.

Kate Spade: Outdoor & Home
I first saw some of these gems at a Hallmark on steroids on our Denver trip.  It was the Hallmark location in Cherry Creek. And it was amazing! I also thought the plastic cups with fun lemon patterns, polka dots and other bright patterned pieces were perfect, especially for summer. I don’t know if I would actually spend the money on these, but I feel like everyone needs a good set of entertaining plastics ‘glasses’ or wine glasses.  And everything else is just too cute and perfect to keep summer lasting!

latest obsessions - the bee life
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Our Engagement Pictures
We have been getting teased with small batches of our engagement pictures since we first had them done in mid-June.  It’s been a little torturous waiting to see what the rest look like after getting teased with the first 5 and then a week later 5 more… but they have definitely been worth the wait! I received the latest batch of the most current and I honestly can’t stop staring at them. I’m a hypocrite for mocking every other bride-to-be who posted a million engagement pictures one right after the other on social… so I am definitely pacing myself from blasting them all! So you all get the first peak of the next batch. *smiles*

Photo credit: timothylogan.com 

Silver Picture Frames
Sooo… Marshall’s has been killing it with elegant, classic silver frames lately.  I first bought a few for my mom and FMIL to give them a picture of when B and I got engaged, but now that we have these awesome engagement photos coming in I need more! The pictures just pop in the frames whether its a color or  black & white photo. I was half tempted to buy all new frames for our living room, but quickly realized that was a bit ridiculous … but maybe it’ll still happen.

What’ve you been obsessing over lately? Leave a comment below & let me know!

TGIF!

Fitness Friday no. 18

Hello gems! It’s Friday again, oh sweet, Friday.

I’m writing today feeling defeated, overweight and discouraged.  Which I will admit doesn’t happen too often since I’m pretty darn stubborn and relentlessness when it comes to personal goals and keep pushing forward. It’s not saying I’ve given up, I just need some different… better inspiration, maybe even some tough love… I need to take my fitness from average and inconsistent to kicking ass and not wanting to miss a day of sweat. 16One thing that has been pushing me through, especially this week, is my silly little fitbit. I am new to fitbit’s, and received one at my new company since health and wellness is ingrained into the culture with fitbit challenges and quarterly fitness outings, along with some other cool perks! It wasn’t until I had a fitbit that I realized how little I actually walk throughout the day. Getting to 10,000 steps without consciously making decisions to be active or go for a walk is hard when you’re mostly confined in an office from 8:30 – 5:30. I’ve realized I need to get a walk in the morning, a longer walk at lunch and then a medium-to-long walk in the afternoon/evening to hit 10k. Regardless of how ugly the fitbit is *giggles* it has definitely made me more aware to take advantage of the little opportunities and get up and walk more. I’ve hit 10k steps 3 of the 5 days so far this week! Which is a significant upgrade from my previous weeks.

Although walking isn’t my workout of choice, with busy night plans and hot humid summery days (and nights), small walks throughout the day have been all I’ve been able to squeeze in. Knowing I’ve even been doing more of that, it’s still not enough so here are a few things starting August 1st (Monday) I am going to start doing … I’m hoping B will help me along the way too.

  1. No eating out Monday – Friday
  2. Limit the snacking between meals
  3. Buy spin classes or gym membership
  4. Run 2x a week in the morning
  5. Boot camp 2x a week
  6. Barre 2x a week
  7. No beers with weeknight dinners
  8. No breads/bagels/pastas
  9. Weekend workouts are not an option, they’re a must.
  10. Take 1-hour of me time, work towards goals each weekend

I really need a full makeover of eating, working out, and my health life. August is going to be a big month (news to come) and other milestones in months to come that don’t allow for lazy, average, trying to figure it out attitudes. It’s time to not only start but continuing doing and always doing more!

Wednesday Reminders – Friends

One of the hardest parts of starting my new job, one-month in to the date, is not spending the entire day with my best friends. Yes, that’s right, one of the things I am most grateful for from my previous job (besides all of the experience) is the friendships I made. I truly think that was the greater purpose of me working there for the years that I did and starting when I did.
Wednesday Reminders - Friends - the bee lifeIf it weren’t for the amazing people I met,  life would be very different, my career would be very different.  Dramatic? No. These people have inspired me to dream bigger, work harder and fight for what I want.  They’ve also helped me laugh when I did not want to laugh, to take the lunch break to walk and gossip instead of stewing at my desk over an email. Sneak away for impromptu drinks “after work”, doggy play dates and team lunches.  They were my sounding board for life and professionally encouraging me to ask hard questions, dig deeper of myself and want more.

I was so hesitant to leave my job because I loved so many of the people I had gotten to know over three years and spent all my days with.  But I knew I had to make a change for me, and that they would still be up the street (literally).  I was also partially afraid that I would never see some of them again, other people I was close with have moved on or got new jobs and it just wasn’t the same. But since I left, not a whole lot has changed, lunch walks and coffee dates still happen, team lunches and happy hours, group texts and bitmoji’s and now even some snapchat fun.

We help inspire each other, learn and grow from each other, build each other up and laugh at each other, cry with each other and even borrow sneakers.  We help each other to try not to take life so seriously, give the hard truths when it’s needed and just listen to each other.

I have realized (especially) lately how lucky I am to have so many strong fierce women around me, (you all know who you are!) thank you!

XO

Weekend Highlight: Kayaking

It has been toasty toasty this past week, but I know we haven’t been the only ones roasting.  Our humidity was nearly 80% on Friday. Gross! Not to mention, we don’t have AC … *smiles* … so it’s been even more unbearable, we broke down and bought a window AC unit for our bedroom, so we at least can sleep at night, after sweating all day! So a little mission this weekend was to ‘beat the heat’ whether it was going out to eat at a restaurant to cool down or hanging out at our neighbors to soak up some cool air!

Saturday morning we headed to the Metroparks with some friends and rented kayaks!! Living close to a large lake, I often take for granted the amenities or extracurricular activities that’re available to us within minutes from our house. So I was happy when some friends recommended we go kayaking.

It got off to a little rough start, with the oh so friendly woman at the kayak rental.  We luckily were able to rent kayaks for 1-hour, after she scolded us to make reservations and how you have to make reservations, especially on the weekend, oh and if we were even 5-minutes late coming back we would be significantly up-charged and it would throw off the rest of the day because they were so booked. She was so nice.IMG_4555So after we got through that, we were able to jump in two tandem kayaks and head out on the river with sights of the lake! It was relaxing after B and I got into our grove and  were able to enjoy the scenic views along the river of the private yacht club and large beautiful homes flanking the river. We were able to make it out to the lake with plenty of time, after the fear of god was instilled in us to not be a single minute late back to the rental area. So it was just enough time to paddle around the lake, enjoy the view and then head back down the river. IMG_4537FullSizeRender

The water and breeze from the lake was refreshing, while still being able to soak up some of the hot summer sun! After we dried off a bit, we headed for some bottomless mimosas and brunch at a nearby spot – yum!

Safe to say, B and I will definitely be doing this again before the summers end! We might just try out another rental spot and will definitely make reservations ahead of time, regardless of where we go! *winks*

Fitness Friday no. 17

Food.

What you eat is a huge part of your fitness and how successful you are… or aren’t. Maintaining a good, balanced diet will not only help you flourish with your workouts and overall goals but will also come in huge when your workouts aren’t happening as much as you’d like. 15So while you might not be hitting the pavement or working up a sweat as much as you’d like to be, remember these things;

  1. Always have breakfast – this will help you from snacking or overeating at other meals throughout the day.
  2. Drink water – drinking water throughout the day will help you stay hydrated and is also tied to a number of other benefits including skin health, maintaining calories, and even energizes muscles!
  3. Eat greens – But be careful, overloading your salads with extra goodies and cheese and quickly make this not healthy! Even watch that salad dressing. Eating greens have lasting health benefits including reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer while fueling your body.
  4. Remember Protein – Fish, Chicken, Avocados, those are the good proteins that contain the good fats for your body, make sure to maintain balance when eating these!
  5. Get to the grocery store – This will help you pick the good foods while also saving you from those last minute pizza orders when the fridge and cupboards are empty! Stock up on frozen foods too; it will save you in the long run.
  6. Limit lunches/dinners out – Hopefully if you’ve grocery shopped your house should be stocked, now just pack a lunch! The less we eat out, the more control we have over how our food is prepared and what we’re knowingly putting in our bodies.

Eating crap tastes good in the moment, but will have bad effects not only overall but on that workout you’re trying to accomplish.  It’s good to maintain balance and enjoy the good with the bad, but if you’re not counteracting the bad with exercise and other balanced meals, the cons will ultimately outweigh the pros.

Happy Friday!!