At the Cape this weekend, I spent some time shopping while Billy was at practice and basically hit the jackpot. When I got home yesterday, I put out all my décor purchases and I have to say, I am now totally loving how my living room is coming together.
At first, I was feeling so discouraged because I couldn’t seem to find anything I liked. I originally thought I wanted to do a coral/brown/silver color scheme (only because I found a pair of coral pillows I liked), but I couldn’t find a single thing I liked that would go with it. It turns out that I was just being way too narrow-minded though because once I changed the color scheme/theme I had in my mind, I found so. many. things. that I loved! I just started picking things that I liked and, wouldn’t you know, a theme just kind of fell into place. It still needs a little work, but it’s definitely getting there!!
My camera was packed so for now I just snapped a couple quick iPhone shots, but here is a sneak peek:
Oh, and see that pink fabric in the corner?
That’s my next DIY project… homemade curtains. I couldn’t find anything that I liked in my price range, so I thought, why not make them? I’ve never made curtains before but 5.5 yards of fabric only cost about $20, so you can bet I’m glad to learn!
And another one of my favorite parts?
Ball jars, marbles, and faux flowers… put them together and the entire decoration cost about $12 at Christmas Tree Shops. Most of the rest of the decorations were found at HomeGoods – which is absolutely my new favorite store – and the majority of them were on clearance.
I didn’t finish up all my errands until quite late last night, and since food supplies are running low, I went with what I had: whole wheat toast with crunchy PB and a smoothie made with frozen strawberries, blueberries, and a little bit of Sprite left over from when my Mom was here.
This morning my mom’s boyfriend, Norm, texted me to ask if I wanted to go to the gym with him. ; He’d been telling me about this new gym he joined in Nashua, NH called American Fitness Center, and I was really intrigued. ; I see their promotions on Facebook all the time, and it seems like a great place. ;
Norm said his friend, Big Al, as he calls him, who is a firefighter and fitness enthusiast, did a great (although really challenging) military-inspired workout with him last time he went, and he thought I’d like it. ; I was really nervous to join them (What if I can’t keep up? What if I look stupid and they laugh at me?) but Billy and my mom convinced me to go and have fun – and that’s what I did! ; (Well, maybe not fun, exactly, but I am really glad I went.)
The gym is basically a no-frills, warehouse style gym, with a few cardio machines, tons of weight benches and free weights, plus all kinds of different equipment you may not usually see in your regular gym: huge tires, climbing ropes, an obstacle course, a boxing ring, punching bags, etc.
We warmed up with some tin soldiers, karaokes (or grapevines, as I know them – does anyone else call them that?), and the like, using the big open space in the middle for the majority of our work.
And then we got into the meat of it. We did circuits that involved carrying and squatting with weighted duffel bags, box jumps, getting across the monkey bars, swinging a sledge hammer while standing atop a huge tire, shuttle runs, and some other crazy stuff. Big Al told us what to do, and then Norm and I followed him in completing the circuits. ; Although we were focusing more on form and completion than speed, we still moved pretty fast, and it was definitely a wake up call for me that my cardio/stamina needs some serious work.
We also did circuits with kettle bells – which I’ve never really used, but loved! – as well as some plank work, bear crawls to pushups, and situps. ; And just about the time I was feeling like I might die, we finished with three minutes each on the Jacob’s ladder, the Stairmaster, and with the jump rope. ; ;
And then I really did die.
I’ll tell you, even though I thought I was in fairly good shape, this workout kicked my butt. I would say I definitely held my own, and the only thing I had to cut corners on were the box jumps: I changed them to step-ups on the second go-round so I didn’t fall on my face. (Oh, and I couldn’t do the rope climb at the very end, but I’m not that embarrassed about that one. I’ll work on it.)
But as difficult as it might have been (and as sore as I
might be will be tomorrow), I had so much fun, and if I had the opportunity to do this style of workouts more often, I absolutely would. ; Norm was telling me that the owner of the gym teaches classes there, which I would love to try if I’d be in town longer. ; It’s really a bummer that I just found out about this place now because I would definitely join if I wasn’t moving away. ; I love the laid back atmosphere, and when we were there, we were the only three people in the whole place! ; That’s a huge plus for me, because I hate waiting for equipment and feeling like people might be looking at me. ; I like to look like a goon flipping tires in privacy, thankyouverymuch! ;
Al was also great at explaining each of the moves we did, and gave me some awesome tips about buying a set of kettle bells and searching on YouTube for military-inspired workouts I can do on my own. I think it might be a little more difficult to push myself to do this intense style of workout alone, but I’m definitely looking forward to cranking up the intensity of my workouts again once I get settled at my new place and with my new routine, so these will be a great addition to the rotation!
If you are local and looking for a new gym, I would definitely encourage you to check out AFC! ; It may not be for everyone, but it seemed to me like a great place where you can just go in and get. things. done. without all of the hoopla of some of the more mainstream chain gyms, and that’s what I loved about it. ; That and the fact that you could pretty much do any kind of workout you could possibly think up there!
For more information, check out their website here.
After we got home, I showered up and made a smoothie that I could take with me to do some errands for my mom. ; Into the blender went plain Greek yogurt, a scoop of vanilla protein powder + water, strawberries, a kiwi, frozen blueberries, and a ton of spinach.
Quick, refreshing, healthy, and delicious!
Now I’m off to do some more errands. ; Lots to do before the big moving day coming up.
Catch you later!
Sorry I’m so boring but I’m just loving this breakfast! (Mostly because of the donut, let’s be real…)
I did add in a kiwi this morning to spice it up a little bit though…
After a (late) breakfast today, I did some catching up on TV shows I’ve missed this week. Anyone watching the new Bachelorette? I liked Emily on Brad’s season, but I wasn’t too sure how I’d feel about her as the Bachelorette. After watching the first episode though, I think I will like her!
For today’s workout, I started out with lower body circuits similar to the one I’ve been doing for a little while now. I did each circuit three times through and it looked like this:
Circuit One (3x):
- Prisoner squats
- Fire hydrants
Circuit Two (3x):
- Skater squats
- Double clamshells
- Ham roll-ins
Circuit Three (3x):
- Plie squats
- Reverse lunges
- Reverse leg lifts
- Calf raises
- Marching hip raises
After that I decided to combine part two of my workout and a couple errands together to get them done in one shot. I headed outside, stopping at the mail box to send out my security deposit for my new apartment (woo!) and then started off on a run.
The plan was to run to the ATM and back, but imagine my surprise when I got there and the ATM was… gone! As is, the entire ATM building… gone! They have been doing construction in the area, working on building a new “downtown,” but I never expected the ATM to be completely ripped out!
Oh well, at least I still got in a good 2.5-ish mile run. I guess I’ll just have to wait to cross the ATM errand off my list for when I can get to the actual bank.
When I got back, the sun was finally starting to peek out, and I was so thirsty so all I could think about was a smoothie. But I didn’t want my regular yogurt + spinach + protein powder smoothie; I wanted a real fruit smoothie. I combined frozen strawberries and raspberries, fresh mango, and black cherry seltzer water with a little light agave nectar and blended.
The result was a fruity-fruit smoothie, for sure. Look at that color!
It’s a lot lighter than my usual smoothies, so I’ve already sucked the entire thing down just writing up this post. Made me feel like I should be lying on the beach! But right now, it’s time to get my sweaty self in the shower.
Hope you’re having a good day!
Today was just one of those blah kind of days. Anyone else have that kind of day? I’m not sure why it felt that way, since there wasn’t any real reason for it, but it is what it is, I guess!
The one bright spot? My new bathing suit was delivered!! I ordered it from Victoria’s Secret a little while ago because I had a gift card + coupons, so I was super excited to see it on the doorstep when I got home from work.
Isn’t it cute?!
I typically don’t like bandeau-type bathing suits, but this one has much more support than regular ones and I love the shape. I typically don’t like mix-and-match tops and bottoms either, but the bottoms match the tangerine in the flowers of the top perfectly and I absolutely love the colors!
Here’s what it looks like on the model:
I was in the market for some new bathing suits last year and ordered some from VS online, but it was really difficult to find the ones that I liked/fit right. I ended up returning and exchanging quite a few before I actually found a couple that I kept. This year, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the one I ordered fit perfectly on the first try! I have these bottoms in another color, so that helped, but the top was a total guess. Lucky for me, I guessed right and there will be no returning this time!
I think I’ll be all set on ordering bathing suits for quite some time now… But I just need it to get warm so I can wear it!!
Okay, so you know how I mentioned last night that I’d share the recipe from our dinner if it was a good one? Yeah well, it wasn’t. As I said this morning, it was terrible, but Billy and I were both pretty unimpressed. It was a crockpot recipe for “orange chicken” which had me thinking we were going to be eating this:
When really, we ended up with this:
It was kind of bland, a little too citrusy, pretty dry, and just kind of unappealing all around. So I’ll just spare you the temptation of trying to recreate the first picture and ending up with something that’s a little disappointing.
Today’s eats have been pretty simple so far… and quite tasty at that.
Cranberry oatmeal + strawberries + vanilla Greek yogurt + chia seeds for breakfast:
Chicken/hummus/spinach pita sandwich + baby carrots + pepperjack cheese stick for lunch:
Chips + hot salsa + sliced apple for an afternoon snack:
My workout today was the Belly Blaster, three times through. The whole blah thing had me feeling pretty lazy, and my legs are super sore from those sprints on Monday, but I wanted to get something in, so I just went through it slowly and got it done. And I have to say, even though it wasn’t super intense or anything, I still feel better knowing I did it.
Now I’m off to do a little more of this while I wait for Billy to get home from his game:
The book came in the mail a couple days ago and I started it last night. It’s already so good (I’ve never read a Nicholas Sparks book that isn’t), and I can’t wait to get through it and go see the movie!
Oh, and just in case you thought I was kidding about not being able to taste the spinach in a smoothie, here’s further proof in the form of a text I got today from a good friend’s mom (and blog reader!!):
My 15-year-old cousin who doesn’t come within 10 feet of a vegetable loved the chocolate-spinach smoothie I made him too, so if you don’t want to take it from me, take it from them!
Go try one out today!!
I woke up this morning to the sunshine streaming into the bedroom, and it was awesome. I usually love Winter, but the lack of snow this year has me looking forward to Spring. Freezing cold weather with no snow just isn’t quite as appealing.
Breakfast this morning was two whole wheat waffles + kiwi + strawberries + light syrup, bacon, and light cran-raspberry juice.
After breakfast, I got ready and walked to the gym, trying to take advantage of the sunshine, although it was not as warm as I had hoped. Sun shining through the windows can be deceiving when you step outside and it’s only 40 degrees, but on the other hand, 40 degrees is definitely not unbearable.
After 30 minutes on the elliptical, I started Workout B. I completed the version from Tuesday, except that I subbed the step-ups for Bulgarian split squats, and did 5 sets of 20 hanging single leg lifts (10 each leg per set) at the end.
I’ve been feeling a little stir crazy lately, like I haven’t spent much time outside, so I decided to take advantage of the sunshine and (relative) warmth before we get hit with a snow storm and MUCH colder weather this weekend. I changed, bundled up, grabbed an apple, and headed out on a little over a two mile walk. Between that and the walk to the gym and back, I covered about 3.5 miles in the sunshine today, so I’ll take that. I’m not sure if it was being outside in this weather or the fact that I haven’t had an apple in a while, but whatever it was, this apple tasted fantastic.
In the smoothie was:
- 1 scoop cookies and cream whey protein powder + water
- Vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt
- Chia seeds
- Frozen spinach
- Dark chocolate chips
- Ice cubes
It ended up coming out really thick, so I ate the entire thing with a spoon, but I’m not complaining. Also, don’t be put off by the green color… You can’t taste the spinach at all!
Now I’m off to work on a super-secret Valentine’s day project. Have a great day!