Weekly Food Prep

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

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This week, my menu was based upon the TIU nutrition plan of course, because the Bikini Series is in full swing and I want to make my best efforts. You can see the full spread below. I'll break it down by meal, so you can see an example of what I'm eating each day.
  • Breakfast: Protein Pancakes with Peaches (pictured below) + Bombshell Spell
  • Snack: Grapefruit pieces + 1c Almond Milk
  • Lunch: PB&J Wraps + Apple
  • Snack: Creamy Cucumber Salad (recipe coming tomorrow)
  • Dinner: We've got grilled chicken, steaks, salad, and stir fry on the menu. Sides will be strawberries, dates and Brussels sprouts. 
I was barefoot, rocking out to some old-school Jackson Browne on my record player last night while prepping my food for the rest of this week. Hubster and Peanut were nesting down for the night, so I got a lot done. Spring is in the air, so my palate desires all things tropical, fresh, and light and my feet desire to be untethered. It's a good feeling.

I used my very own meal planner printable to plan out the meals and formulate our shopping list. Then, I hung the sheet on the fridge so I can reference it each day. I tend to forget what we have to eat or what to pack for work unless it's written down somewhere.

You'll see quite a few mentions of things like the Bombshell Spell and Perfect Fit Pancakes out there in the Tone It Up community. These recipes are taken right from the TIU plan. If you're curious to know more about the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan, leave a question in the comments section and I'll try my best to answer them. Otherwise, there are tons of free lean, clean, and green recipes on their blog to test out too.

Bombshell Spell + Almond Milk

I know some people hate seeing what you're eating online, but I'm not one of those people. What are you eating this week?

Weekly Workout Rundown

Monday, April 29, 2013

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  • 25 min AM interval run, 2 miles, 377 calories
  • 20 min circuit training at lunch
  • 30 min Insanity Cardio Recovery, 162 calories
  • 20 min solo walk at lunch
  • 35 min PM run, 2.64 miles
  • 14 min Sunkissed Abs x 2
  • 35 min AM run
  • 60 min AM run (45 min Bikini Cardio pictured below + 15 min extra)
  • 15 min strength (TIU in Foam Magazine)
  • 40 min AM run, 3.1 miles
  • 15 min of Tara Stiles Slim Calm Sexy Yoga before bed

  • On Monday, my friend and I got schooled by a nice-looking boy at the gym on how to do pull-ups on the available equipment. Now, I know some people are averse to unsolicited gym advice, but my friend and I were grateful for the pointers. He may or may not have had his pretty looks on his side:) I've also been practicing pull-ups at the parks whenever I take Peanut. It's one of my goals to be able to do 5 in a row by the first day of summer.

    Tuesday was the start of the Tone It Up Bikini Series. I am one full week into the Tone it Up Bikini Series, and pretty much right on track. This week, I'm going full back into the Nutrition Plan, after Hubster does the grocery shopping. This morning I finally tried Perfect Fit pancakes (see Insta pic #1). I had been hoarding the one packet I got on Cyber Monday (ha!), and was dying to try the pancakes from the welcome packet, so I finally did.

    The weekend finally brought temperatures in the 70s and our town came alive again. After battling winter temperatures for the past, oh, 6 months (no lie!), we were all more than happy to spend our entire weekend outside without jackets. Literally, if we weren't sleeping, we were outside. We did some work in the yard, had a picnic at the park, worked out on the porch, did some meal planning in the backyard. Oh, it was beee-you-tee-fulll! Every window in our house was open to infuse it with that spring scent.

    On Sunday, I realized I hadn't hit my goal of incorporating at least 15 minutes of yoga into my week. Determined to reach that goal, I did 15 minutes of Slim Calm Sexy Yoga before bed. Oh, yoga right before bed is the most amazing thing ever. Maybe this is how I will incorporate more yoga into my routine, by doing it at bedtime. Sounds delicious.
    I'm so excited to dedicate another week to my goals and dreams. Next weekend, I'm taking a mini weekend retreat, so this is a short week for me. Weee!

    1. TIU Perfect Fit protein pancakes with peaches
    2. Meal planning in the backyard, TIU nutrition plan in-hand. Find my menu planner printable here.
    3. My makeshift porch workout station. Dumbbells + picnic blanket + sunshine = best workout idea ever.
    4. The kiddos played with chalk and bubbles while I worked out, natch!
    5. Flowers growing in the gutter are special: A view from my morning walk.
    6. My Tone It Up journal. Got a mini portfolio at work and decked it out. You'll see my motivational quote and measurement printables tucked in there.
    7. Practicing pull-ups at the park.
    8. Glazed chicken and broccoli, a healthy meal at Ihop.
    9. Peanut pretend fishing with a stick down by the river.
    10. Peanut and I walking the trails after church.
    How was your weekend?

    Tone It Up Bikini Series Printable: Meal Planner

    Friday, April 26, 2013

    Just when I was about to plan my meals and grocery list for next week, I thought, duh, I should make TIU-themed a printable for that. So I did. It has a meal breakdown, based on the TIU Nutrition Plan, and a shopping list section. Print a new copy each week. After all, being prepared is one of the most crucial steps toward being successful in this fun health series.

    Get your free printable here

    Check out the other TIU Bikini Series printables I've designed too. Let me know how these are helping you get organized and assisting you in leading a healthier lifestyle for these next 8 weeks.

    TIU Bikini Series Motivational Quotes
    TIU Bikini Series Measurement Sheet

    Ultimate Tone It Up Bikini Series Printable

    If you have any other ideas for me or a printable you're dying to have, let me know in the comments section and I'll see what I can whip up. Also, if you wouldn't mind taking a second to follow me on Bloglovin or via email, I would be ever-so-grateful. Sign up for either one on the sidebar to follow along with all my updates. I just might have more printables coming your way. I love hearing from you!

    Don't know what the Bikini Series is? Check out what it's all about right here. Prepare to make the best decision of your life. These girls are amazing.


    Tone It Up Bikini Series Printable: Motivational Quotes

    Thursday, April 25, 2013

    I was a busy little bee again and whipped up this Tone It Up document with Post-it sized quotes. Cut them out and tape them to your bathroom mirror, fridge, dashboard, computer, or treadmill. The second page contains two inspirational Bible passages for all my Jesus-loving #TIUsisters out there.

    A few of the quotes are from Karena and Katrina themselves, like the leading life with your heart quote. They often talk about posture and leading life with your heart has to do with standing tall and literally leading with your heart out and shoulders back. Let this note be your visual reminder to stand up tall.

    A few of them motivational quotes would be great to post directly on your workout station. Use them as mantras to get you through tough workouts or reminders about why you're working so hard. Check out a great post about effective mantras here.

    Download your free copy here

    Let me know what you think and if you have any ideas for more printables--I'll see what else I can whip up!


    20 Tips to Help You Start Working Out in the Morning

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013

    I think the time of day you work out is irrelevant, as long as you are actually performing at your fullest capacity. This, for you, could be before work, at lunch, in the evenings, or broken up throughout the day. The most vital part is that you find what works best for you so that you can stick with it.
    However, there are some undeniable benefits to working out in the morning:
    1. The evening is all yours and your family's--no running off to the gym at the expense of family time.
    2. Working out before breakfast could increase your fat burn by up to 20%, without causing more hunger later in the day.
    3. Your workout is done before the distractions and stresses of the day could potentially keep you from your workout.
    4. It wakes you up better than coffee and the effects last much longer.
    5. You're better equipped to run morning 5ks if you train in the mornings. Studies such as this and this suggest that you can train your body to be at peak performance at the time of day of your specified activity.

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    Now, it may be super hard to get your butt out of your nice warm bed at 5:30 in the morning. I hear ya.
    I have a really tough time with this myself, especially in the winter when cold air freezes me in my tracks and my eyeballs and body beg for "just another half hour!" Plus, it's dark out, so your circadian rhythm fights back against your best efforts. However, since the beginning of this year, I was able to successfully transition my workout schedule with some creative tweaks.

    How to Start Working out in the Morning:
    1. Begin on Vacation: I had quite a few days off in a row this past Christmas break. So, I decided to start working out in the mid-mornings. Then, once I went back to work, it was much easier to transition into early-morning workouts. I wasn't about to mess up all the progress I had made during those two weeks.

    2. Prepare Ahead of Time: The night before your workout, set out your workout clothes, prepare your morning breakfast (at least set out the ingredients), unfurl your exercise mat, and decide which workout you're going to do. You'll have everything in place to just roll out of bed and begin, barring all excuses. You also won't feel so scrambled in the morning rush when you have made all your preparations beforehand.

    3. Write it in the Calendar: To help you decide what workout you're going to do, it is helpful to sketch out a plan in your calendar. The calendar helps hold you accountable to your goals and breaks them down into manageable steps. Plus, it just feels great to mark x's through all your completed sessions. Here are a few fun write-in calendar printables I found by way of Pinterest: monthly workout calendar, two-week calendar, designer calendar.

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    4. Build in Rest Days: Either designate a few days during the week that will always be rest days or give yourself one or two freebies during the week to use as you wish. I always rest on Thursdays and Sundays. This gives me something to look forward to (sleeping in!) and offers a little leeway so I don't over-train. If I need to move around rest days, it's simple to do. Building in rest days just makes the whole routine feel more sustainable.

    5. Create Plan B: Think about all the things that could happen that could make you miss out on a workout: your alarm doesn't go off, your body feels too weak to get up, you find cat puke that needs to be cleaned ASAP, etc. Decide right away what Plan B will be, such as working out later in the day, giving yourself the day off, or doing a shorter but more intense HIIT workout when you're running short on time. Being prepared for obstacles is more than half the battle to overcoming them.

    6. Go to Bed Earlier: Start easy, going to bed maybe 5 minutes earlier each night. Then, build up to about a half hour. At the half hour point, you have quite a good base for an effective workout session. Start there and increase as you progress. As an alternative, if your workplace allows, go into work a little later.

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    7. Commit to just 15 minutes, for just one week: It seems a whole lot less scary to get up just a little earlier for one week than to commit to 45 minutes, 5 days per week for the rest of your life. See how that works? You can practically trick yourself into getting into the habit with this simple tip. Get up just 15 minutes early for a week and do the best workout that you can. You might just find yourself going a little longer, if your schedule is a little more flexible. You may even break up your workout routine into 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes after work until you're ready to completely transition to morning workouts. It's helpful to just start somewhere and build up from there.

    8. Make a Date: If you have friends who work out in the morning, offer to join them or join the morning session of your favorite exercise class. You'll be less apt to miss a session when your friends are expecting you or you've already paid for the class.

    9. Nix Travel Time: You don't need the gym. Say what? Yes, you can do so many killer workouts at home, so it's unacceptable to use the "I don't have a gym membership" excuse. Workout DVDs, fitness magazine printables, Youtube, Hulu and so many other resources are available to you on your own turf. Maybe you even have a pup that could use a good leg stretch in the morning. Besides, working out at home cuts out time lost on travel to the gym--another common excuse.

    10. Set a Motivating Alarm: Would you like to wake up to your favorite music or a bright light? How about waking up to your trainer telling you to get your workout in? You can always check your app store for a motivational alarm clock. For example, the TIU app comes with a playful alarm clock where you hear Karena and Katrina rooting or pushing for you in the morning. If you don't have a smartphone, put motivational post-its on your alarm clock with reasons why you need to get up and work out or reminders of events that you need to tone up for.

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    11. Practice Tunnel Vision: clear your mind and just do it. Get dressed, brush your teeth and get to working out. You really have to tone up your tunnel vision muscles. Ignore the laundry. Ignore the dishes. Ignore the project you left out on the table. The more you are able to hone this skill, the better.

    12. Attach Activity to Something Fun: Catch up on all your favorite TV recordings from the night before (that you missed by going to bed so early, ha!). Get your news fix or indulge in guilty pleasure magazines. Treat yourself to a good tea after you're done working out. When you attach working out to something pleasurable, it will become that much easier and enticing.

    13. Reward System: Set up a reward chart to show what you'll get yourself after a week, month, quarter, etc of successfully working out in the mornings. Make the rewards simple--they need not be extravagant or costly. You can do something as simple as use that special body wash you were saving in the shower after each morning workout. Or buy a new flavor of tea for #12 above.

    14: Warm up: As soon as you're warm, your workout will not feel so hellish. Winter is especially brutal. I like to bring our small space heater into the bathroom to get me warmed up while I'm changing. The hardest part about morning winter workouts is the cold. The bed has a much stronger draw than the treadmill. So, beat the cold at its own game. Find ways to get your body warm, and don't give up on your idea of working out in the morning until after you're warmed up.

    15. Watch infomercials or music videos: I sometimes find that watching P90X infomercials or music videos in the mornings pumps me up. The infomercials are great motivation to push it hard and the pop music pumps me up. It really depends on your mood and personal preferences. I just know that both of these have gotten me through tough workouts when I needed them to. 
    16. Employ cheerleaders: Recruit Twitter friends, follow your favorite fitness role models, or post Instagram images from your morning route. Cyber motivation is powerful and proven. My feed is filled with ladies (#TIUsisters) doing their "Booty Calls," a term coined by Tone It Up. Announce your goals on social media. Follow those other crazy morning runners. The more "likes," "favorites," and "retweets" you get, the more fire you'll have under your feet. Once you feel like you're part of that team of morning workout-ers, your motivation will swell.

    Source: Uploaded by user via Lu on Pinterest

    17. Build in Snooze Time: pad in one or two "snooze" presses if you must. I have a hard time getting up after the first alarm too. If you know this about yourself, pad in a bit of snooze time. Just not more than one or two or you'll be losing out on valuable REM sleep.

    18. Start Writing/Noticing Changes: Recording inches or lbs lost, energy gained, changes in confidence levels, etc provides instant gratification for what you're working so hard for. Maybe you've begun to revel in the early morning sunrise or how your belt just went up a notch. Whatever beauty you're gleaning from your morning workout, write it down. Take note of how your body feels after an AM sweatfest and makes you feel better throughout the day. This will perpetuate the habit and be a catalyst for future workouts, perhaps one day making you feel as though you never want to go back.

    19. Practice: Do one week of morning workouts here and there just to see what they're like. Committing to the first week is always the hardest part, especially when compared to thinking about doing it for a lifetime. Try a few mornings or one week per month. You'll start to get the hang of it with a few trial runs. When it doesn't seem so daunting anymore, you might just make the switch with ease.

    20. Drink Some Coffee: Not only will it help wake you up, but it might also help you perform better during your workout. I linked to just one compilation of studies, but if you Google "coffee and exercise," you'll find a myriad of proof that this works. If you struggle with the waking up part of morning workouts, this is your magic wand.

    So, there you have it: 20 tried and true ways to make the transition to morning workouts a bit easier. Try out a handful of them and eventually you'll make a smooth transition. Follow me on Twitter (@BounSee_Jess) to see what I'm getting done in the morning, before the rest of the world wakes up, and to get a dose of extra morning motivation.

    Any other tips from all you morning mavens out there?

    Weekly Workout Rundown

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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    • 30 min AM run, 2.13mi, 393 calories
    • 30 min casual walk at lunch
    • Rest
    • Rest
    • 5k race, 29:11 official race time

    You'll notice I tapered a bit toward the end of last week. I wanted to make sure I wasn't tight and sore before running the 5k on Sunday. It worked! The run was amazing--though pretty dang cold even for being in Wisconsin. You can read about the 5k and my Peanut's first official run in yesterday's post.

    This week, I'm so beyond excited to be starting the Tone It Up Bikini Series, I can hardly stand it. The official kickoff email came out this morning. This year, I'm actually a member of the nutrition plan, so I will even qualify for all the amazing prizes. I can't wait to hear what the grand prize is.

    If you don't know about them yet, be prepared to have your mind blown. Tone It Up is the most amazing community of women who are either already addicted to fitness or are about to be. Their business and community model is something to aspire to, especially for a fitness professional. Right now, I'm busy getting the details down on paper, marking down my plans, and filling in my calendar. I will have a post soon about how I plan out my days, from workouts to blogging to family schedules, in my planner. Stay tuned for that.

    If you haven't already signed up for the Bikini Series, head over here pronto. You'll even get this free kickoff printable with recipes and workouts:


    Anyone else signing up for the bikini series challenge? Anyone else as excited as I am?

    FREE Measurements Printable for Tone It Up Bikini Series

    Hey there TIU sisters,

    I quick whipped up this printable on my lunch break for the Tone It Up bikini series. It has 8 weeks of measurements for your chest, arms, hips, waist, and thighs to track your progress. Of course, it was designed in TIU style and colors. I might come back with more free printables for the series. You'll have to keep checking back:)

    Get your free body measurement printable here.

    Did you sign up for the series yet?

    Peanut Runs His First Race

    Monday, April 22, 2013

    Kayne Collins, 4, gets some help putting on his race t-shirt from his mom, Jessica, before the start of the Lionhearted Kids Run at the Leach Amphitheater in Oshkosh on Saturday.

    Photo Credit, both pictures: Adam Jungwirth from the Oshkosh Northwestern

    Jessica Collins helps her son, Kayne, 4, with is runner's bib before the start of the Lionhearted Kids Run at the Leach Amphitheater in Oshkosh on Saturday.

    I couldn't be more proud. My Peanut ran in his first organized race this past Saturday (and made it in the paper). It was 200 feet for the 4-year-olds. I originally asked if he was interested about a month ago and the glow and wide smile that came over him were signs that he certainly was interested. I didn't hesitate signing him up with that enthusiasm. The last thing I want to do is force an active lifestyle upon him lest he resent and act against it later on. We're doing things the natural way. I just try to be a good role model and have fun with exercise. It's a normal part of our everyday routine. And he's really picking up on that. His cousin seems to like running too:

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    Kayne and Amadeus 5k photo P4191433_zps1f960f14.jpg
    I don't see the official race results yet, but that's ok. He finished in about the middle of the pack. A good place to be, I think. A place that's humbling and a source of pride all at the same time. He got a medal at the end that he showed off to everyone after the race, including vendors at our local indoor farmer's market  that we hit up after the race. Haha!

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    I am so proud of that boy.

    Hubster and I ran the coinciding local 5k on Sunday with our pit bull. I came in at 29:11 (in the middle of the pack too). Hubster and Pupster at 40:05, ranking #5 in their division. Hubster was coercing our pup to sprint to the finish line by telling him to "get the squirrel." Hee! This has become a tradition for our family to run this local race. John and I have been running it together for the past several years, even setting up training running dates in the past. Last year was atrocious because we were suffering the aftereffects of food poisoning. This year, it was pretty darn chilly, but I felt pretty good throughout the race. We're just glad to now include our Peanut in our yearly tradition.

    You can see my Pupster and Hubster (white shirt) in the upper right corner of this picture:

    Runners and walkers take off on their half or 5K course beginning at North Main Street in the Oshkosh Half Marathon April 21, 2013.

    Photo credit: Jeannette Merten for the Oshkosh Northwestern

    It's quite an amazing event to take part in. Especially considering the tragedies that happened in Boston this past week. It gave me goosebumps to participate in a run of this magnitude mere days after such a horrific event. But those cowards do not have the power to take away the satisfaction that comes with training hard, finishing races and the genuine camaraderie that the running community share. In fact, I think those monsters have made the running community stronger.

    It was a good weekend:)

    Easy Black Bean Soup for Weight Loss

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    Runner's World printed some amazing "One-Pot Wonders" in their November 2012 issue. I actually rented the magazine from the library on a recent trip. I'm so happy they have a subscription, so I don't have to add yet another to my mailbox.

    This is my version of the runner-friendly soup. I eliminated most of the spicy stuff, because I'm not into spicy food. I also used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth, but you could easily switch back if you're vegetarian.

    For some reason, this recipe just made me feel all warm inside. It sort of tastes like chili and fall and backwoods cabins and comfort--it's still snowing in Wisconsin, after all. See how I form emotional connections to food? In this case, it's all good because RW touts this recipe as ideal for weight loss and an efficient way to refuel after a run. It's chock-full of filling fiber, oozing with vitamins and nutrients, and very low-cal. It just makes me feel good all over.

    Black Bean and Tomato Soup

    3 servings sliced bagged carrots
    3 cans black beans, rinsed
    1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
    1/2 jar roasted red pepper
    2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    2 cups chicken broth
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tsp garlic powder
    salt/pepper to taste

    1. Heat up the olive oil at the bottom of your soup pot and fry up the onions and carrots in it until soft. Add all remaining ingredients, turn down the heat, and let simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes 7 servings.

    Nutritional Content (approximate), per serving, according to the SparkPeople nutrition calculator:
    258 calories
    5g fat
    42g carbs
    13g protein
    13g fiber
    1g cholesterol

    They say to fill your plate with more colors. This rainbow soup certainly qualifies.

    This recipe requires very little preparation and you can certainly be doing other things while the soup is simmering. It makes your entire house smell amazing too. I am certainly going to be adding this to my regular rotation. The soup is only for me though as Hubster is allergic to tomatoes and doesn't care for black beans. It doesn't really suit my four-year-old either. More for me, I say!

    This recipe really goes a long way. I was able to throw one serving into the freezer for those crazy unpredictable days and feed our babysitter another serving for dinner. The five remaining servings will be coming to work with me all week. Mmmmm.

    My weekly food prep was pretty easy considering all I had to do was divide this dish into 7 containers. I'll also grab one kiwi per day to accompany the stew. I prepared baggies with fresh mixed veggies and hummus for my afternoon snack. Then, I can't live without a few morsels of chocolate for dessert. This week it's Hershey's Special Dark Nuggets with almonds. Breakfast will be oatmeal with my favorite mix-ins: peanut butter, honey, raisins and protein powder. I'm pretty much a vegetarian until dinner:)

    I might have to try the RW chicken and quinoa soup soon too. What's your favorite comfort soup?

    Weekly Workout Rundown

    Monday, April 15, 2013

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    • 30 min AM run
    • 20 min circuit training with friend at lunch
    • 45 min Zumba class after work
    • Active rest day: 30 min leisurely walk at lunch with mom
    • Rest
    • 35 min AM run
    • 65 min run: 5 miles, 927 calories
    • Rest
    This weekend, I didn't get a third strength training session in because I was pressured for time by Hubster to pick up a new toy (see below). "Take your shower, we need to get going," he said after I finished my 5 mile run. Then, he and Peanut fell asleep for a 3 hour nap. Oh, boys!

    This weekend, I am proud to have accomplished quite a bit:

    • Just reached 100 followers on Twitter (are you following me yet?). Small feat, I know, but I like to celebrate even those little milestones.
    • Finished reading the last of the NASM textbook, while my boys were napping. Now, I'm going back and reading the important parts again and adding to my stack o' flash cards.
    • Bought a moped, drove it home, and didn't die.
    • Worked on a new quilt for our bed. The quilted top piece is finished, just need to sew the layers together and add binding. It fits our bed perfectly and I'm so in love with the colors.
    • Had my nephew over for a sleepover with my Peanut. Those two have these little tiny wrestling matches that just crack me the heck up.
    • Prepped food for the week. I'm psyched about the black bean soup from Runner's World I made and can't wait to devour it every day this week at lunch. I'll share my adaptation of the recipe tomorrow.
    • Worked on a training plan for a coworker who is suffering from shin splints. If my plan works, I will also share this plan with you all soon.
    • Had a dinner date with Hubster at a place that actually serves alligator, buffalo and elk burgers.
    • Had a little coffee and donut date with my parents.
    • Amended my tax returns. Ugh. I've been putting this off but wanted to get it in before the 15th. I was sent a forgotten 1099 after I had already filed and had to send some moola back. Ah, the life of a grownup.
    • Even with all of this, I did take some time to relax with a book and a little Big Bang Theory.

    Done and done!

    Don't worry, I wore a helmet while I was driving. Took it off only for pictures. Isn't she cute?

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    This is the color story for my quilt. See my first-ever quilt and inspiration here.

    What did you get accomplished this weekend? I've faced a giant fear of mine by purchasing a moped and giving the open road a shot, beside my husband on his motorcycle. What fears have you faced lately?

    30-20-10 Printable Running Plan

    Friday, April 12, 2013

    After doing a bit of research, I have a found a formula that has proven to be effective in trimming race times: the 30-20-10 method. This basically means you run at a pretty steady pace for 30 seconds, increase pace to around race pace for 20 seconds and run all out for 10 seconds. I have been following this strategy for a couple of runs leading up to my race next weekend. We'll see what kind of effect this has on the 21st. Just for you, dear readers, I created a GoogleDoc spreadsheet you can print and follow along.

    I did this run yesterday for 31 minutes and burned 486 calories and went 2.33 miles. For the past several years, I have finished the 5k in under 30 minutes. Let's hope I can do it again.

    For more information on this 30-20-10 running method, check out this article on Runner's World.

    Finding the Beauty

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

    ~Better every day

    I strive to follow this mantra each day I am alive. Sometimes I need a gentle reminder though. I like to try to do things better, be better, live better every day. I could always be more patient, more organized or less negative (just ask Hubster). I could always try to run a little faster or eat a little healthier.

    Don't get me wrong though. I don't want this to sound like I beat myself up for not being the best at everything. I criticize myself enough already. No. This is about striving to be a better human each day, to make each day a little more special, to revive the mundane with a touch of pretty.

    Making each day special takes work, but the type of work that it more than worth it. Deciding to do an art project with your children instead of offering them more screen time takes some preparation, but the memories and outcome far outweigh the effort. When your campfire is extinguished by the rain, take the s'mores inside and laugh as you roast them over the stove.

    Certain things like slow drivers, chores, and weather consequences can be a source of extreme aggravation to some people. With a little practice though, you can change your mindset. When it's supposed to be spring and you find yourself in the midst of a thunder/sleet storm that puts your yard completely under water and threatens approach upon your basement, you can either complain about it...

    wi flooding

    ...or set up your water pump and search out the beauty that the day brings...

    icicles on the trees

    wi spring storm

    find the beauty

    wisconsin sleet storm beauty

    Fighting something that you have little control over just causes stress and emotional turmoil. It's not worth the worry. Just try my strategy. Find the beauty in it.

    Let's all try to get better at finding the beauty, shall we?

    And just this once, let your kid get you with a can of silly string when you get home from work.