Life Lately 4.21.17

Hi everyone! Checking in because this week has been such a fantastic and fun week, I have so much to share πŸ™‚

Firstly, last Saturday, Patrick, my dad and I all ran the inaugural Brew City Half Marathon in Milwaukee – I think it went pretty dang well! The course is very similar to every single Milwaukee half marathon course (haha) so I knew everywhere we were running and what to expect, which is always a plus πŸ™‚

Patrick and I finished together, so I’m hoping we have another SWEET finish line photo! Finish time of 2:25!!  My dad was just shortly after us – he always likes meeting new people on his long runs and talks their ear off and gives them running and life advice πŸ™‚

I saw my childhood friend from grade school too – April!

It was a really fun first year and I think they did a fairly good job putting on the race! Aside from running out of water at mile 11 and having gross beer/brats at the end of the race (but that’s just me). The medals are HUGE and claim to be the “tallest” medals for any half marathon. I’ll take that!

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And of course, yoga is going really well. Here are some of my favorites from the last few weeks:

**I have also started a push up challenge for myself to 100 per day. Check my Instagram, I post hilarious videos that show how much I’m dying HAHA. πŸ™‚

Sunday was Easter, of course, and we (as always) got Easter baskets from both our mom and dad, filled with candy, and of course, most of that candy is gone already in less than a week. THIS is why I don’t buy candy haha! It disappears in our apartment πŸ™‚

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Always love getting a great picture of my family during the holidays when everyone looks so nice πŸ™‚

Patrick (and a little bit on my end) has been DOMINATING the cooking scene the last few months too, and I just can’t get enough of how awesome our food looks on our new plates haha!

Turkey burgers with sweet potato fries.

Chicken thighs with asparagus wrapped in bacon and crescent rolls.

We may or may not have gotten a huge sushi boat last week too. More on that celebration in another post… πŸ˜‰

And yes, for those who have asked, Baymax is doing SO good. He’s the most perfect puppy, and he OFFICIALLY is over 100 lbs at 14 months old πŸ™‚ He’s so energetic and fun (not pictured above) and clearly loves napping and sleeping and any general relaxing with us after all the running and playing we do every day!

Life really is good right now you guys. Things are flowing, decisions are being made, the energy is bright and exciting, not to mention the beautiful weather we’ve had lately which makes me even MORE anxious for summer. πŸ™‚ I really can’t complain about one thing.

Happy Friday everybody! I hope you all are able to enjoy this last weekend in April!

xoxo, Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

Life Lately 4.3.2017

It’s Monday again. It’s a new month.Β There’s so much to be thankful for this Spring πŸ™‚

I haven’t written in awhile, and I’d like to tell you it’s because I’ve been too busy (which is partially true). Truthfully, I have definitely had “free time” on the weekends to jot down ideas and thoughts on what to put in my blog, but I didn’t do it. I took that time to snuggle with my puppy, watch Bones on Netflix (of which I really can’t get enough), and cook/ go on walks with my love. It has been a roller coaster of a month to be sure!

I have been so in tune with my yoga practice, and this feeling is unlike any I’ve felt before. I am not stressed. Literally you guys, lately, my stress is virtually nonexistent. I have changed many aspects of my life and how I spend my time since the beginning of this year, and so far, every decision has been one that benefits me. I can feel the positive effects so strongly and immediately.

We go for daily walks as a family (me, Patrick and Bay) and have been LOVING this warmer weather. Sundays, we walk for 3-5 miles in the morning with coffee and sometimes stop for donuts if we are so inspired πŸ™‚

I have been getting better quality sleep, and have allowed myself to sleep more on the weekends (instead of getting up early like I usually do). I have been eating more natural proteins and SO many veggies; not to mention very little processed or preservative-filled foods. And my alcohol consumption is significantly reduced too. I go to the gym every weekday morning, and I always listen to my body regarding when it needs rest or when I’m feeling exceptionally strong that day.

I’ve been frequenting my yoga studio a few blocks away once or twice per week, in addition to my own personal practice. I am so excited to feel strength building in my upper body and that I’m able to hit more arm balances and ones that usually require more flexibility. This yoga journey has been incredible so far!

Long weekend runs are going pretty well. I’m running more than 8 miles every Saturday, in preparation for half marathons that we have in April and May. Then marathon training starts in June of course. And that is something I am SO excited for (ironic, I know). I saw so many of my friends and other local runners talking about running the Lakefront Marathon last year and I had a severe case of FOMO so I am so excited to be part of that training this year again! πŸ™‚

Patrick and I are settling in so nicely in our neighborhood and are excited to stay in this area for another year. We love the quiet calm that’s here, and we love all the dogs and runners and families too! It’s such a great fit for us and our chill, yet still active, lifestyles. My bearded, wonderful, incredibly selfless man is the best person I could’ve asked for to grow with and travel with and see the world with. I am so incredibly lucky ❀

Love those around you. Hug your puppies more. Hold hands with your friends and significant others. Drink more tea and sleep more. Let your body be your temple, and allow your heart to pour love into everything you do. ❀

Just like Bay does every day πŸ˜‰

Peace friends, xoxo.

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

Life Lately & Women’s Day! 3.8.17

Happy Wednesday!

I have had this in my drafts to send out for a few days now, and I haven’t gotten around to writing anything in it. It’s just a blog full of pictures πŸ™‚ So now I have some time.

How have I been lately?! Well I’ve been doing a LOT of yoga challenges on Instagram, so my apologies if your feed is bombarded with pictures of me in every kind of pigeon pose ever πŸ™‚ I love joining challenges, because they help me think more creatively about my own expression of poses, how to get in and out of them, and how to flow from one pose to the next. It’s really fun for me, and I really enjoy doing them!

Of course I still have my favorite inversions and arm balances included too πŸ˜‰

I was just musing to Patrick last night about how lucky and fortunate (and frankly, awesome) we are that we cook fresh food every night for dinner. If we aren’t eating fresh, we’re eating leftovers from the previous day or two, and we go out to eat probably once per week, almost always on a weekend.

We have our staple foods that we love to go out for, and SUSHI is one of them πŸ˜‰ Duh.

If it’s a homecooked meal, it’s almost always some kind of veggie/meal/rice concoction, a homemade pizza on Angelic Bakery dough, or, more recently, Patrick’s homemade pasta sauce with whole grain noodles (and of course lots of veggies).

This food warms my heart, warms my body, and is so incredibly nourishing. I am a hugeeeee veggie lover, and any meal we have is covered in peppers, mushrooms, onions, at the minimum πŸ™‚

We celebrated Baymax’s 1st birthday last week too. He’s the best puppy in the world. The best puppy we could ask for. He sleeps with us, eats with us, and snuggles better than any human. We are so grateful for that little guy.

His own puppy ice cream πŸ™‚

Half marathon training is still happening. And it’s still going really well. I have finally found my “happy pace” when I get on the treadmill every morning before work. Pushing through those first few miles and coasting through to the end. My outdoor runs have been just as wonderful (just slower, of course, and longer distances). I am in a good spot, and I’m so grateful for my body to be so forgiving πŸ˜‰

I also just have to mention that this lady below and I (and our men) sang Bohemian Rhapsody for karaoke night last Friday. And we didn’t fail. And it was really fun. And I actually enjoyed myself. πŸ™‚ Definitely doing that again ❀

I would be remiss if I didn’t include a blurb about International Women’s Day, which is today, March 8th. I know there has been a lot of turmoil around the idea of “feminism” and “equal rights” etc. lately, especially among just the female population.

It’s my sincere hope that all women can find this time to work together for the common goal of being an equal and being heard and being treated fairly. I know that people can sometimes scoff at the word feminist, and if that happens, then I personally believe they are misunderstanding the meaning. Whereas some women will burn bras and riot and yell and scream to make a statement, there are SCORES of other women who silently protest; who work as hard as they can to get a promotion; who get high-level educations. Neither way is wrong or right; it all depends on YOU. The woman who is choosing to educate herself and exercise her freedom of speech and equality.

I am a feminist, because I want women to feel empowered and strong and not unfairly treated. I believe women should be 100% equal to any other human being on the planet, no questions asked. There is no difference between us and men. I have been surrounded by strong women my entire life, namely my mom and my sister. But even my grandmothers and aunts prove to me that we have a voice and we should not sit around and let others make decisions pertaining to our rights without vocalizing what’s important to us.

Thank you for reading this, if you did, and I appreciate your trust and respect and opinions too! πŸ™‚

I hope you all have a fantastic day πŸ™‚ I know I will!

Mantra:


Peace, xoxo.

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

Life Lately 2.22.17

Hey friends πŸ™‚

I hope everybody is loving this warm Wisconsin weather – it is pretty refreshing and exciting isn’t it?? I have tried to spend as much time as possible outside, before we get back down in the 30’s and 40’s again this weekend. Β oh Spring, hurry up!

Just a quick life lately update. Essentially? Things are pretty amazingly terrific right now. Patrick and I celebrated Valentine’s Day with tacos. How perfect that it fell on TACO TUESDAY ❀ If there’s a heaven, we found it.

My yoga practice is becoming more and more influential in my life. I get on my mat every single day now, whereas I used to only jump on once or twice a week. I am trying new flows, new ways of getting into poses, and even achieving poses I’ve never hit before! (See mermaid below).

Half marathon training is going swimmingly too. I haven’t ACTUALLY trained for a half marathon in a really long time – I would just sort of throw together some “long runs” and a few mid-week runs until the race date, and HOPE that I could survive it. This season, I’m way more focused. And definitely determined to hit my mileage goals. I have been running every day for a month now, except Sundays πŸ™‚ Those are my rest/yoga days usually.

I even signed up for a full marathon this October. Pretty stoked! Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee is my favorite, and I’m so excited to train again this summer and fall. I had some crazy FOMO last season when I saw my friends and others training and running in this race! Can’t wait to be part of this community again.

My sweet sweet puppy Baymax turns 1 next week. Yes, he’s spoiled every single day of his puppy life, but YES we will spoil him even more on his special day. We tell him every day he’s the best puppy ever, he’s a REALLY good boy, and all the other mushy jibber jabber that a puppy could probably want to hear from his mommy and daddy πŸ˜‰

I’ve entered into a new mindset for the last couple months. One that focuses on self love, self care, and truly understanding and knowing my body. I want to know exactly what I am putting into my system, and always breathe, eat, speak, and move with intention ❀ My stress levels have dramatically decreased, my sleeping has been incredible, and I feel more vibrant than ever during the day and during my workouts. I think I’m onto something here πŸ™‚

Did I mention how completely in love I am with this guy? Every single day we enjoy another adventure, and create the best memories. So crazy grateful ❀

And yes, we celebrated National Wine Day over the weekend πŸ™‚ Because life is short, so let’s enjoy it! ❀

I hope everybody has an amazing week.

xoxo,

Shannon

Instagram: @fitnesbyshannon

Life Lately 2.12.17

Sunday is here πŸ™‚ For me, that includes yoga, brunch, cleaning, and meal prepping. With lots of relaxing on the couch, stretching on my yoga mat, and playing around with Baymax ❀ Probably my favorite day of the week, since it’s always been my day of rest; but also because I am always excited for the week ahead. Anxious to see what it will present to me.

I have been working so hard on handstand pressing lately, and it.is.not.easy. I have found my core strength is not where it should be, so that’s been a focus of mine since I started this challenge. I keep practicing everyday, and there’s always plenty of room for me to improve and grow. It’s actually an awesome journey, because there isn’t as much pride/ excitement in hitting a pose on your first try. Yes, it feels really good, but then I always look for the next level of difficulty to learn more. Ever-engaged student – that’s me. πŸ™‚

This week I also have cut out gluten – not for any particular reason, but I struggle with GI issues (for the last 10 years) and I’ve never gotten really gotten a straight answer on what the problem is. I just know my symptoms, know my pains and my frustrations, so I’m trying something new to see if it helps. I haven’t felt bloated this entire week, so that’s a big plus! πŸ™‚ I also haven’t had coffee in almost a month, and yesterday I broke that when we visited some friends, and it wasn’t too big of a deal. The break from extra acid is always welcome to my stomach πŸ™‚ And I’ve been dairy free since the beginning of the year – THAT has been the best change I’ve made in a long time.

The sun is bright and shining today, and the winds are blowing hard. But I can sense spring coming, and it’s such a beautiful feeling. ❀ Half marathon training is going really well, and it’s always so awesome to be able to run outside without freezing or dreading it. My legs are feeling much stronger and my lungs are acclimating to the endurance-length running I’ve been subjecting them to. It’s so awesome to feel my body change and react so cleanly and smoothly when I start training again. And even with new yoga poses. Pretty cool ❀

I hope everyone has an awesome Valentines Day coming up, if you celebrate that. Love needs to be celebrated every day, in my opinion πŸ˜‰

Peace, xoxo,

Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

Life Lately 2.6.17

Back to the cold Wisconsin weather again. My family, boyfriend, and I were just in Orlando Florida this past weekend for four days of sun, Disney, and relaxation. It was badly needed by all and I am so grateful for the family time we had there.

Patrick and I also celebrated our two year anniversary of dating on Saturday ❀ My heart swells and smiles so brightly when I see him. I can’t believe its only been two years – I was convinced it was closer to 5 but was immediately corrected πŸ˜‰ Looking forward to spending our whole lives together, so 2 is just a drop in our love bucket πŸ™‚

Focusing my energy this week on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating simply, and getting back into the groove of my workout plan. Vacations always make my life topsy turvy, switching around my workouts and eating foods I raaaaarely would agree to eat. But moderation is what life is all about – and that’s how we can continue living happy lives, while loving our bodies simultaneously. It’s not easy to come back home and swing back to healthy eating and waking up at 4:40am to workout before work, but I know that my body craves the attention and the care it deserves. Dedication and consistent care. That’s what my body loves and what I will always focus on giving it.

While on our trip together, I tried to only use my phone for pictures. I miss the old school 35 mm cameras and the camcorders my dad used to carry around on our trips to capture precious family moments, but those times are slowly easing away, introducing cell phones as the new “moment-captor”. I’m becoming slowly okay with this, although on vacation, I really do love not touching my phone for hours at a time. It’s a detox in its own right, and I need to have more of these detoxes around the house and through my regular day-to-day as well. It feels good to feel light, not carrying the weight of the world and the sadness and arguments that could come with checking my phone every hour. I don’t need that. No one needs that. Let’s tech detox more πŸ™‚
Also living in gratitude for the opportunity to travel as much as I/we do. We obviously value travel over spending our money in other ways, but the fact that we have flexible work schedules and always have a puppy babysitter (thanks Mom!) gives us way more peace of mind ❀ Seeing the world has always been a huge goal of mine – I have wanted to see every single corner of the earth since I was a kid! My dad instilled the wander lust deep in me since he took us to all kinds of states and countries growing up – the newness and excitement and exploration that comes with seeing a new city is mesmerizing. And I’m totally addicted to the journey and the destination simultaneously πŸ™‚

Have a wonderful Monday my friends, Peace to you!

xoxo, Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

Sunday Musings 1.29.17

Good morning Sunday πŸ™‚

This morning, I got up early, took Baymax out, made some black chai tea, and sat down with our LED fireplace on… and journaled. Handwritten in this new beautiful notebook I got. For the first time in years. Probably since just before dating Patrick – which will be two years in 6 days by the way!

It felt so wonderful, so freeing, and I didn’t worry about punctuation or misspelling or even super legible writing. I kept thinking of my Grandma, who recently passed away – she always told us that when she wrote letters or typed on her typewriter, she didn’t care about any of those “unnecessary things” like spelling and grammar and punctuation. I wrote from my heart, about whatever came to mind. Similar to how I write in my blogs but more free-flowing, uninhibited.

After sipping some tea and journaling, I went to my yoga class I’ve grown to love so much. I’ve gone 3 Sundays in a row, and I am learning so much about the flow of my body and re-aligning and figuring out what works best for me. I’m learning to transition! That is such an awesome feeling, learning to flow from one pose to another, instead of just sticking random poses and stretching in my home practice. Probably one of my absolute favorite parts of being part of a class and community lately. Yoga is really becoming an amazing outlet for me to appreciate my body, feel it move, and learn how to push it slightly further but still listening to its restraints ❀

I also have been coloring in my new coloring book, as I’m sure many of you have noticed πŸ™‚ Another incredible creative outlet that I’ve always loved to do. Just me and 50 sharpened colored pencils, with blank pages with outlines of flowers, nature scenes, and motivational quotes. ❀

I also started half marathon training this week! I ran 5 days this week, 3 miles a day. The first day was ROUGH. I am still learning to re-listen to my body, trying to recall muscle memory and re-build my stamina since my last half in August 2016. I’m actually very excited for this part of training; it’s such an incredible journey watching your body grow and your heart rate stay steady and your muscles get stronger with each training run. My first half of this year is the first weekend in April, then I have another the 2nd weekend in April, and finally the 3rd weekend in May. Here we go! πŸ™‚

I also just bought the greatest new book, Eating withΒ  Intention by Cassandra Bodzak. This is exactly the mantra I have set for myself for this year. Doing everything in my life with intention – – moving, eating, recovering – everything that my body needs to do, I’m learning to do it with purpose. I just started reading the book, and it’s incredible already. She includes meditations and recipes for eating to love your body. Mostly vegan/vegetarian recipes too. Learning to fuel your body with nutrients instead of just convenient foods or giving in to the guilty pleasures that we ALL have. Having a craving is not a bad thing; it happens to every single person. Acting on every craving and giving in to all desires does not bode well for your body, and we must live with some discipline and love for our temples instead. I’ll keep you posted on what else I learn πŸ™‚

I hope everybody is having a fantastic 2017 thus far! Patrick, my sister Mandaline, and I all take off this coming Thursday morning early for 4 beautiful days in Orlando Florida with our family for a little weekend getaway. Can’t wait for some sun and Epcot and relaxation ❀

Have a beautiful Sunday loves!

Peace, xoxo

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon