Pages Menu
Rss
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in At Home Workouts, Girly Things, Running | 16 comments

My Favorite 5 – Fitness Edition

Today may be my favorite post of this week’s series because it is the Fitness Edition and it is no secret that I love my workouts! This was the hardest post for me to write though because I had such a tough time picking only 5 products.

Target_SportsBra

There’s another giveaway today, so be sure to read the bottom of this post and spread the CnC love for a chance to win! 🙂

Bose Headphones

Bose_Headphones

For as long as I’ve been a runner, I’ve never been a headphone snob. I have always ran with headphones that either came with my iPhone or headphones I found at the checkout counter at CVS or the occasional pair that Dave surprises me with. However, when we moved to Atlanta my headphones got lost in the move (no clue where they ended up). I went out for a run one day and asked Dave if I could use his headphones and he handed me his Bose headphones. Now, let me say that my husband is most definitely a headphone snob. He will only run in Bose headphones and he scoffs at any other brand. Well, after using his headphones on my run, I could totally see why! I swear I could feel the beat of the music in my bones because the headphones were pumping the tunes into my ear that good. It was such a difference from the cheap headphones I was used to. I told Dave how awesome they were when I arrived home from my run and then a few days later, a pair of my very own showed up! Dave surprised me with them (I really did marry the best) and now they are without a doubt my favorite headphones ever.

Fun Workout Mat by Ban.Do

Fun Yoga Mat

This is actually another gift that Dave surprised me with! ♥ #lovethatman My yoga mat was getting rather gross, so Dave got me this fun workout mat and I love it! It has way more cushion than my old mat had, so it is way more comfortable, the pastel pink color is so pretty and it is freaking hilarious (because it is true – I always think, “after this, I’m eating _____”).  I use a workout mat several times a week, either after a run when I’m doing some ab exercises (or letsss be real…after I run, when I’m laying on the mat thinking about doing ab exercises) or when I’m working out at home during nap time, so this product had to make the list!

21 Day Fix Workout DVD’s

21_Day_Fix

And speaking of working out at home…Let’s talk about the 21 Day Fix. I think these are some of the best at-home workouts I have ever tried. I am not a Beachbody coach, but I absolutely love the 21 Day Fix DVDs. In full transparency, I’m currently in a ‘gym phase’ where I prefer to go to the gym than work out at home right now, but I find that even in my own workouts, I’m incorporating new moves I learned during my time spent doing the 21 Day Fix. If you are thinking about trying it out, I really do recommend it and if you want to read more about my experience with the 21 Day Fix, you can check out this post.

‘Cashmere Mist’ Deodorant by Donna Karan

_6079881

Okay, this one is a little weird but I felt like I couldn’t talk about working out without highlighting my favorite deodorant. I like to seriously sweat when I workout, but nobody likes to smell when they workout, right? I have tried so many deodorants (I really think I sweat more than the average person), but this deodorant by Donna Karan is my absolute favorite! If you are a sweaty mess like me then add this to your shopping cart. It is the best ant-perspirant I have ever used and in my opinion, totally worth the price. Oh, and since it is the Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale you can get a 3 pack of this deodorant + a little perfume at a discounted price (I think it is $25 off, so you basically get 1 deodorant and the tiny perfume spritzer for free).  If I was stranded on an island & I could only take 1 thing, I would take this deodorant. (←In that little hypothetical scenario I’m assuming necessities like water, a toothbrush and reese’s peanut butter cups are being provided on the island.)

Bic Bands

Bic_Bands

Maybe I just have a weird head shape, but I swear headbands just don’t stay on my head very well. I get so annoyed when I’m running or doing burpees and I can feel my headband slipping off. I have to wear a headband though because I have all these tiny hairs that are growing back around my face from all the hair I lost after giving birth to Andi Rose (File that one under hashtag: things nobody tells you about having a baby). If I don’t wear a headband those tiny hairs stick to my face and drive me insane. I’ve tried quite a few headbands and Bic Bands are, without a doubt, my absolute favorite! I own several and I can’t workout with out them. In fact, we went out of town for a weekend once and I forgot a Bic Band and I wouldn’t even attempt a run without it. That’s how insane I am about those tiny hairs not getting in my face. Crazy, right? Bic Bands come in so many different adorable patterns – I especially love the sparkly ones! Check them out!

Giveaway

Now for today’s giveaway… 🙂

The sweet people at Bic Bands have agreed to give away 3 headbands to 1 lucky reader (you get to pick your 3 headbands if you win)! In addition, Dave & I will be giving away a Ban.Do yoga mat. So you get my favorite headbands AND my favorite yoga mat if you win (And just to clarify, you will be getting new headbands and a new yoga mat, not my used headbands and used yoga mat because that would be weird and gross)! Since there are TWO prizes today, you have to tag TWO friends on my Instagram post that corresponds with this giveaway. You can also share this post on Facebook and leave a comment on this post letting me know you shared it, and I’ll be sure to enter your name into the giveaway.

The winners will be announced on Friday and don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for 1 final giveaway in this series!

Thank you so much for reading my little blog & participating in this week’s series! Reading your comments really makes my day & your {virtual} friendship means so much to me. 👯

And now tell me your favorite fitness related product!

Read More

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in At Home Workouts, Circuit Workouts | 1 comment

Workout Wednesday

Hola!

The other day I was at the gym running on the treadmill and after 3.5 miles I decided I wasn’t feeling it. I hopped off the machine and looked around the gym hoping some other form of exercise would call to me because I wasn’t ready to head home just yet. I was feeling scatter brained and I needed a workout to match my mood.

I ended up completing the below circuit 2 times through for an additional 10 minutes of heart pumping cardio and I really enjoyed it.

Quick Workout

The 10 minutes went by super fast and the challenging exercises helped me feel like I got a good ‘final burn’ in before I called it a day at the gym.

If you’re looking for a quick 10 minute circuit (or even 5 minutes, if you just want to complete it once) to tack onto the end of a run or workout, I recommend giving this one a try.

I’m calling this ‘Workout Wednesday.’ Can this be a thing? Perhaps this ‘Workout Wednesday’ will be a new tradition on CnC…you know, because I’m a big fan of alliteration. And because it could be fun to share 1 workout we all are loving!

P.S. If you like this workout and want to try it later, be sure to save it to Pinterest. You can do it now by clicking on the photo of the circuit. You know what they say…sharing is the happy way! 🙂 Thanks for sharing the CnC love, ya’ll. ♥

Read More

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in At Home Workouts | 10 comments

My Review of the 21 Day Fix

After giving birth to Andi, my postpartum weight loss (or should I say ‘lack of’)  threw me for a bit of a loop. After giving birth to Atlas, I lost all the pregnancy weight + a few extra pounds within 1 month of having him. After having Andi, I was still 12 pounds over my ‘normal weight’ at my 6 week postpartum check-up. (←So many emojis I wish I could insert right here.) My doctor cleared me to run after that visit & I pretty much went straight home, laced up my shoes and took off. For a few weeks I ran hard and I saw some improvement in my splits & I lost a few pounds, but I still was not happy with how my postpartum body looked. It was like I had a tire around my midsection that I couldn’t shake. I could wear all my clothes, but nothing fit quite right.

21 Day Fix

When my friend, Val, reached out to me in October and asked if I wanted to try the 21 Day Fix program by Beachbody I thought, “Why not.”

21 Day Fix

The program is basically a commitment to working out and eating clean for 21 straight days. At first, Dave could not figure out why I was signing up for the program. He sort of drilled me on it because I was back in my old jeans by then & I know how to exercise – in fact, I love creating my own workouts. He kept saying, “You don’t need a workout video – you know what to do and your clothes already fit!” But I explained to Dave that I just didn’t feel my personal best and I was so exhausted and overwhelmed trying to find my footing in our new life with 2 kids under the age of 2. I had no time/energy/interest to sit down at night and jot down a workout to do the next morning. I wanted someone to basically spoon feed me and say, “Do this workout today. Do this exercise now. Do this workout tomorrow. Eat this not that.” I knew I was capable of following a workout schedule because I genuinely enjoy working out – I just had no time/desire to create that workout schedule for myself. Atlas offered to be my personal trainer, but he’s too tough for me, as you can tell by the below photo. He screams in my face like Jillian Michaels and I work better with the Bob Harper approach. 😉

21 Day Fix Review

Picture from our October visit to Florida. This was a plank competition between my nephew and me. He won.

The other big draw of the 21 Day Fix was the eating plan. I wasn’t fueling my body properly after I had Andi. Between feeding 2 kids, changing double the diapers, bathing 2 kids, walking 2 dogs, doing endless loads of laundry, etc I was reaching for whatever I could quickly grab when it came to food. So, basically I was eating a ton of Reese’s and a ton of string cheese. The 21 Day Fix program gives you these tiny (and yes, they are tiny) little color coded containers to fill with foods each day. The container system ensures you fill up on things like veggies and protein instead of things like carbs and fat. It also helps with portion control, which was necessary for me because I was going almost all day and not eating hardly anything and then at night I was pigging.the.heck.out after the kids went to sleep.

So today, I just wanted to give you a review on my experience with the 21 Day Fix program. The short story is, I LOVED it and it helped me reach my goals. It truly whipped me back into shape in 21 days. I did it during the month of October and was so pleased with the results.

The Workouts

21 Day Fix Review

The workouts are only 30 minutes, so most days they were easy to squeeze in before my babies woke up and somedays I even squeezed them in during nap time. All the exercises could be easily done in my home, in a relatively tiny space. While the workouts are short, they are hard, which I appreciated. It is a lot of weights and a lot of core work, which is what I needed to tighten my mid section back up. I used 10 pound weights and 8 pound weights throughout the program. I started seeing results within the first week, which fueled me to finish the full 21 days. There are 7 different workouts (1 for each day of the week) + a 10 minute ab workout + I got a bonus Plyo workout.  Each workout is completely different, which I enjoyed because it kept my body guessing each day. I actually loved the workouts so much, I ordered the 21 Day Fix Extreme program to start after the holidays. I also got some 15 pound weights for Christmas thanks to my sweet mother-in-law, so I can keep challenging myself with the workouts because by the end I felt like my 10 pound weights were too light for several of the weighted exercises. When I started the program, I could only do modified push-ups on my knees because my upper body lacked strength. Now, I can do several push-ups on my toes! Unless Atlas is on my back, of course. That 30 pound weight makes me drop back to my knees.

21 Day Fix Review

I rarely work out when my kids are awake because this is always the result.

The Eating Plan

The drastic change in diet was definitely the hardest thing for me to adjust to. Cutting out sugar was painful, especially those first few days. Initially, I was trying to run + do the 30 minute workouts (#overachiever) and that just wasn’t working with the eating plan. I was getting extremely lightheaded and nauseous because the program doesn’t really allow for hardly any carbs (the yellow container that you get for carbs is really really tiny and I was only supposed to fill that twice a day).  Since I was still nursing Andi around the clock (that’s a big calorie burner), trying to run 3-5 miles + do the 30 minute workouts + chase a toddler around all day + walk 2 dogs I was burning WAY more than I was intaking. I live a pretty active life between kids and dogs. I don’t have a desk job where I sit for 8 hours a day. In fact, I would say I sit less than 3 hours a day. One morning I was laying on the ground after one of the workouts and Dave was about to leave for work when he noticed how pale I was and he insisted I alter the diet portion of the program. After that, I dropped running from my regimen for the remaining 21 days and I allowed myself 1 extra yellow container (aka carbs) and 1 extra purple container (fruit) and things went a lot better. I never really felt ‘deprived’ after making those adjustments.

The other reason I found the eating portion a little harder is because it required serious planning. I had to have veggies made and prepped so I could easily fill up a container with them for a meal/snack, rather than grabbing a handful of chocolate. But, this was exactly the challenge I needed! I loved how much better I felt when I was grabbing grapes or apples or cottage cheese as a snack instead of peanut M&Ms. I also used a 21 Day Fix app on my phone to help me track my food with the container system so I didn’t have to stop and think, “How many containers do I have left for the day?” That app made the eating part of the program easier to manage.

Its true what they say: Abs are made in the kitchen. I mean, they aren’t made in my kitchen. Cinnamon rolls are made in my kitchen. But during my 21 Day Fix, I was shocked at how quickly my stomach flattened out when I cut out all the Reese’s and string cheese. I seriously didn’t realize how bloated I was until I cut all that out. The program really proved to me just how important nutrition is – you can’t outrun a bad diet.

I should also note, I didn’t take Shakeology with the program. I’ve tried Shakeology before and honestly, I don’t love it. I don’t hate it – it just isn’t my favorite. We love the Juice Plus Complete shake mix in our house and I just can’t be without that stuff. So, I used Juice Plus Complete in place of the Shakeology that is recommended with the 21 Day Fix program.

Final Results

I didn’t take my measurements because I was just going through life too fast with our kids to stop and do that, so I can’t put an actual number on what I lost. I so wish I would have taken my measurements though! I know I lost around 6 pounds, but I wish I knew how many inches I lost because I think that would be more telling. I did take before photos and I snapped a photo about 15 days in, but I forgot to take the ‘after’ photo (I’m still kind of mad at myself for that). But you guys – I am SO not bold enough to share those. I’m sorry, but I just cannot put that before photo out there for the world to see. Dave hasn’t even seen that horrific before photo. HA! Maybe I’ll get bolder and post the photos one day, but not today!

I feel comfortable in all my clothes now and more importantly I feel comfortable in my own skin and those were my 2 main goals. While my body will never look exactly like it did pre-babies (and that’s OKAY), I am proud of the progress I’ve made postpartum. Actually, I think I have muscles now that I never even had before children! Surprisingly, I’ve had a few people comment on my arms and ask me what I do to get my arms toned. I credit the 21 Day Fix…and the 2 weights I carry around daily (aka Atlas & Andi).

Where I’m At Now

I pretty much took November – December off from the program because I wasn’t going to miss out on holiday food and I’m more of an ‘all or nothing’ person. I ran more and free-styled my workouts for most of the holidays, but I’m currently going through another round of the 21 Day Fix because I enjoy the structure. I have a lot on my plate right now, so I like that I don’t have to think about my workouts. I’m not following the diet part quite as strict though, so my results aren’t as drastic. My goal with this round is just to get stronger. I ordered the 21 Day Fix Extreme and after I finish this round, I want to go ‘all in’ with the 21 Day Fix Extreme. Once I finish that extreme round, I think I’ll return to my first love of running and hopefully start looking for some fun races to do. And those races will probably be fueled by cupcakes because old habits die hard. Kidding. Sort of.

Postpartum Fitness

So that’s that. My experience with the 21 Day Fix Program. Because of where we live, we have access to so many great workout programs. Soul Cycle. Physique 57. Barry’s Boot Camp. Mile High Run Club. You name it, and it is most likely at our fingertips. But for this stay at home mama, I feel like the price/convenience/intensity of the 21 Day Fix can’t be beat!

One last thing before I sign off: I am not a Beachbody Coach. I have several friends who are Beachbody Coaches and I’m so incredibly proud of them and the difference they are making in the lives of others. They have all approached me about becoming a Beachbody Coach and I have told them all I am not interested at this time. As much as I love the 21 Day Fix program, being a Beachbody Coach doesn’t currently line up with my long-term personal/professional goals. SO, this review is completely unbiased. I don’t make a dime off any purchases you make through Beachbody. The 21 Day Fix program helped me achieve some of my postpartum fitness goals and also made me do a ridiculous amount of crunches, so it seemed fitting that I share the experience here. 😉 If you want to go through the program with my girl, Val, I can definitely vouch for her. She’s great and you can check out her site here!

 

 

Read More

Posted by on Aug 25, 2014 in At Home Workouts | 6 comments

Sore Legs and Answered Prayers

On Saturday I was doing the below leg workout, compliments of the Nike Training Club, when Dave looked at me and said, “You’re going to be hurting on Monday.”

photoHoly crap. He was right. I woke up this morning and practically waddled like a duck down to the park for a run. I think I said “ouch” out loud 12 times in the first mile of my run. I did the above workout 3 times through without stopping for a 15 minute concentrated leg workout. I swapped out the side lunge with rotation for a cross back lunge with a medicine ball and it did the trick. Nike Training Club workouts are no joke! If you don’t have the app already, I highly recommend it. Thankfully, after running 4.8 miles this morning (I just didn’t have time to do those last .2 miles) my legs loosened up and they are feeling a bit better now.

I mentioned in a previous post that we have spent a good portion of our summer searching for a new apartment. We absolutely love the location of our current home because we are in the middle of everything. We walk to Central Park, Riverside Park, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, 5th Ave, a plethora of restaurants, etc. There really isn’t anything that isn’t at our fingertips. We are 15 minutes from Soho. We can walk to Times Square (although, we hate Times Square). We spend our weekends playing in the Central Park Zoo, FAO Schwartz and the Plaza Hotel (The food hall in the Plaza Hotel is my favorite place on the planet). It is a cool way to live.

DSC_0279But, we come home at night to a very tiny apartment. A very tiny and very expensive apartment. And that’s the other side of the coin of life in New York. Real estate is stupid expensive. After meeting with several realtors and viewing dozens of apartments we realized that to get into a 2 bedroom apartment that was approximately 1100 square feet that included an in-unit washer/dryer and was still close to the parks would cost around $6,000 a month. Give or take a little bit. Crazy, right? And in addition to that monthly rent, we would have to pay an upfront realtor fee (it is next to impossible to find a place in Manhattan that is ‘no fee’). That realtor fee is typically 15% of your year’s rent, so you’re looking at upwards of $10,000 just in fees to move into a rental. Not a home that you own…a rental.

You can let that sink in for a minute. It took me about 2 months to fully process that.

The only way we were getting into a bigger place that met most of our needs (we realized all our needs wouldn’t be met in this city unless we won the lottery) was if I went back to work. This would also mean we would be getting a nanny or au pair for Atlas and a dog walker for Ob & Marley. When Atlas and I play at the park each day I would say less than 3% of the kids in the playground are there with a parent. They are all accompanied by a nanny or au pair, which makes sense because to make it in this city you need 2 incomes or you need to be Donald Trump.

But I knew my calling wasn’t in Corporate America anymore. My calling was to stay home and raise Atlas. I watch kids play alone at the park everyday while the person getting paid to watch them plays on their phone. I couldn’t handle the thought of leaving Atlas with someone who wasn’t invested in him. So, for the last several months we have prayed and waited for God to miraculously open up a door to a home that would fit our family and last week our prayers were answered!

On Thursday we signed a new lease for a 2 bedroom town home that is located 15 minutes outside Manhattan and we couldn’t be more excited! God exceeded our expectations and blessed us beyond what we had hoped for. Our new place will be over double the square footage of what we currently live in and the rent is actually $500 cheaper and Dave’s commute into the city will be short (Dave’s commute to work was our biggest reason for not wanting to venture out of Manhattan). Atlas and I will still be able to come into the city with ease to see our friends, but we will be in a community that I foresee making lots of new friends too! Very exciting stuff!

We move October 1st! Yay!

Throughout the last several months I have felt the Lord teaching me how to trust in Him enough to walk through difficult situations with hope and a happy heart on a consistent basis. I am still learning that God does not always rescue us from certain situations when we think He should, but He is always with us as we navigate frustrating and overwhelming obstacles. There were definitely more nights than I care to count when my frustration about spiraled out of control due to our cramped living quarters. However, there were other times when I would be walking 7 flights of stairs to do laundry with a baby on my hip and the Lord would fill me with His peace and remind me that He is always good, even when our situations suck.

And on that note, I’m off to get Atlas out of Marley’s water bowl. Hooray for a new place where I can put the dogs’ bowls behind a baby gate! 1 more month!

 

Read More

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in At Home Workouts | 2 comments

Lots of Cupcakes (and cookies) and a Few Crunches

I have something for you!

summer shape up circuitIt’s a workout! You were probably expecting something more, huh? Sorry to get your hopes up. But this workout challenged me and flew by fast so I think you’ll enjoy it if you give it a whirl. I felt the burn in my butt, shoulders and abs. I also had an added challenge while completing these circuits, thanks to this girl.

Image 14She attempted to shove a toy into my mouth every time I got down on my mat to do an exercise. Definitely adds an element of difficulty to planks. Ob can be so annoying, but gosh I love her.

And staying true to form, I followed my sweat session up with these treats.

Image 13I have a problem. I ordered a bathing suit this weekend and one would think that would encourage me to shy away from the desserts, but that hasn’t been the case. Dave came home with these goodies and I just couldn’t say no. It would have been rude and I’m a southern gal and we aren’t rude.

And while we’re chatting about my obsession with baked goods, I have something very important to tell you guys. Remember when I tried Levain Bakery and hated it? Well, I still stand behind my original statement that their cinnamon rolls are nothing to write home about, but their cookies? OMG! Their Cookies! So good. Like so, so good.

levain cookieMy sweet friend, Nancy, got a chocolate chip walnut cookie from Levain’s for my birthday and at first I was skeptical of the gift, but after 1 bite I was sold. In fact, I was sold so much that I went back for more. I tried the dark chocolate peanut butter chip cookie and was in Heaven for the 3 minutes it took me to eat it. Fortunately, we are only 2 blocks away from the bakery so it is an easy walk to go back for more. Unfortunately, swimsuit season is right around the corner and we are only 2 blocks away from the bakery so it is an easy walk to go back for more.

So, to summarize: Do that workout. Don’t buy a Vizsla if you don’t enjoy toys being dropped on your face during crunches. Marry a man who brings home cupcakes on a Tuesday. And if you’re ever in Manhattan, hit up Levains for all the cookies, but stay away from the cinnamon rolls. Got it?

 

 

Read More

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 in At Home Workouts | 7 comments

Things that Made my Day

I think Spring has finally sprung in NYC. Hallelujah!

photo 2Temperatures rose to the 50’s in NYC today, which is close to perfect in my book (my sweet spot is about 65 – 70 degrees). Atlas & I took Ob and Marley outside for a nice hour-long walk today and it was just plain good for my soul. Birds were chirping. Snow was nowhere to be found. Flowers were actually starting to bloom. Kids were out playing. Spring was definitely in the air and it made my day.

Before venturing outside, I completed a new Nike Training Club workout today and it was the hardest NTC workout I’ve done to date.

NTC WorkoutHover Tricep Kickbacks? Yeah…couldn’t even do those. Had to modify the heck out of that exercise. The workout was called “Total Body Sculpting” and it was 45 minutes of jumping, squatting and crunching. It definitely worked my entire body. I had to pause the workout a few times to catch my breath because no rest breaks were built in. Not to worry though – I added my own water breaks. 😉 No shame. I have a new goal of going through that workout again without stopping and owning each of those exercises. I loved the extra challenge this morning!

I’m super behind on e-mails (and life in general) since I have been traveling the past 2 weeks (and you know…since I had that baby 6 months ago). I spent over an hour this evening sorting through e-mails and making to-do lists and in the midst of that chore, I found an old e-mail from my sister that helped me feel rejuvenated.

Venturing ForthMy sisters and I e-mail each other each week with short verses, words of encouragement and bible studies we read. Okay, so really they do most of the e-mailing…I just reap the benefits of reading. I rarely sit down and craft an e-mail these days (See above paragraph). Anyways, my sister, Michelle, sent me the above devotion a few weeks ago and I absolutely loved it when I read it then and I loved it all over again tonight.

“Without the anticipation of better things ahead, we will have no heart for the journey.” What a powerful statement. It gives me chills…and a desire to dream big and open my heart and mind to the endless possibilities that this journey called life could entail.

Reading that again tonight made my day.

And on that note, I’m off to continue sorting through e-mails and playing catch up. I have dreams that my inbox won’t always be a mess and I won’t always be forced to only think about life after Atlas goes to bed for the night…but then that would mean my baby boy isn’t a baby anymore and I may sort of miss that. Have I mentioned how much I love being that kid’s mom? He always makes my day.

IMG_4904That precious face makes not being able to get organized all worth it.

If you want to see more photos of Atlas, you can follow me on Instagram (ashleyandrews6) because I’m doing that whole thang now.

Read More