Holidays & The New Year- Greatest Time of Year! 12.27.2017

Is Christmastime really over? The best holiday, with all kinds of events and friends in town, seeing family and playing games, eating crazy amounts of food and cookies… it’s all over? I feel like all of a sudden we’re all heading back into the swing of our regular lives, getting back to work (at least I have to work this week), and it’s all just a memory.Screenshot_20171224-174431I know this is incredibly cliche, but I genuinely do wish we could have “the spirit of Christmas” all year round. How does Christmas make you feel? Don’t you want to feel that all year?? I sure do!! I feel loved, surrounded by so much love. I feel generous and more philanthropic than usual (it’s sad but true). I want to play games, enjoy good beer and wine, have thousands of belly laughs, watch all the movies I’ve been putting off until ‘I have time’…. It’s the best feeling I have felt all year. ❤IMG_20171209_172210_141IMG_20171223_204056_796We had an extraordinary holiday season this year – it was spread out among all sides of my family, with a bunch of our wonderful friends, and I can’t wait to continue it through the New Year with my cousin Stephanie’s wedding! Sure, it’s tiring and we eat out of the ordinary the whole time – but really guys, life is toooooooo short to worry about tiny things like these. IMG_20171223_165605IMG_20171119_094501IMG_20171122_201629_1IMG_20171209_170226IMG_20171215_224116_595This year has truly been incredible, and starting off 2018 with this excursion to the Emerald Isle is going to be the perfect way to kick off our next year. 2017 had some fantastic vacations, including Florida with my family, Atlanta for Patrick’s birthday, and obviously our unbelievably amazing European vacation in October (I have yet to post about this I KNOW!). I completed multiple half marathons and 5ks, a couple triathlons, and my 4th full marathon. My yoga practice has blossomed beautifully, and is an integral and crucial part of my daily practice and routine now. Old friendships have grown, new ones have begun, and we have a few more wrinkle lines in our faces from all the laughter and wonderful memories created.IMG_20171224_161846One gift that will be an incredible experience for all is one that I surprised Patrick with for his 30th birthday coming up in January. We, along with my dad, stepmom, sisters, and sister’s boyfriend… are heading to IRELAND! We leave on January 9th too, so there is no time to spare with all the excitement, planning, packing, and practicing my Irish brogue LOL. 🙂
IMG_20171120_075826_820Very appropriately, Patrick and I just watched the movie Rent last night – it was my first time seeing it, and he absolutely loves it (another reason we are a perfect match, we love musicals). How DO you measure a year? This movie focuses on such poignant and fascinating topics of course, but this line really stuck with me today. Was 2017 a success? You BET it was. Would I have done anything differently? I don’t even know how to answer – because it was a beautiful and incredible year for me. I feel healthier and happier than ever, as I vowed to remove all stress from my life at the beginning of the year 😉 (Try it… it works!). IMG_20171222_112540_894I don’t necessarily believe in New Year’s Resolutions either… I believe in goals. Striving to be more present, conscious of what’s around me, stronger physically and mentally, more involved with my loved ones, and I always always strive to try something new and scary to take me out of my comfort zone. 😉 IMG_20171226_133426_639What about you? What does this year mean to you?

Peace & Love friends, Happy 2018!

xoxo, Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon


Fox Cities Half Marathon – Got my PR!

Happy Monday people! Took me awhile to muster up the energy to write this blog post today, not gonna lie.

Was a long, relaxing weekend to be sure, and the cherry on top was getting my Personal Record for my half marathon yesterday!!

Started the weekend with a “Hmph, it’s Finally FRIDAY” attitude.
Totally necessary.

Spent the day Saturday with my mom and Buddy. Such a relaxing day!! 🙂

Fast forward to my dad and I all set at the Starting Line for the Fox Cities half marathon! 7am start, 2 hours away… meant for a very early awakening Sunday morning! And it was 50 degrees, lightly drizzling, and cloudy. Ohhhh yeah.

Gang’s all here! Our running group pre-race selfie! Sarah (top left) ran the full marathon, while Nicole, my dad and I did the half. Love these guys!

Here’s my route. Here’s my time. And I AM THRILLED!! This was not only my best time for a half marathon TO DATE, but I KNOW I have a sub-2 hour half in me. Maybe even this year if I can find one in a month or so! I felt so great finishing, and my last 3 miles were all sub 9:30-pace!

Loving our medals. 🙂 So proud of my dad for running!
He really keeps me going, and I am so blessed that he runs with me still!
Lots of good father-daughter talk time during those two hour runs 🙂

All you fellow runners KNOW this is so true. #stressrelief

My super-amazing-delicious dinner I made last night. Pretty dang good, if I do say so myself. Best chicken I’ve baked in a really long time!

Oh, and I bet you’ve missed my Gus pictures! I got to hang out with this HUGE FLUFFY guy all day yesterday 🙂 #bestfriend

This quote totally speaks to how I try and continue to juggle everything in my life. Sometimes it feels like too much. Sometimes I want to quit. Sometimes I don’t want to talk to anyone and just be alone. But I re-position myself, collect my happy thoughts, and realize that I am blessed and grateful for EVERYTHING I have in my life. Blooming in adversity is what life really is all about. Not the struggle, but the journey to accomplishing our goals and being truly, ultimately happy 🙂
(Not to mention bringing others we love along with us!) ❤

Have a beautiful week everyone. Peace & Love always.

MIMM: 25th birthday celebratory weekend! So.Much.Cake.


Cake. Yeah, that pretty much sums up my birthday weekend. Cake and a lot of reallyyyyyy good Mexican food ❤


My mom surprised me at work the morning of my birthday with a DELICIOUS carrot cake – my favorite favorite kind of cake/ probably my favorite dessert ever.


And I made her take a selfie with me ❤ Love you mama!

me and mom

The night of my birthday was filled with stories, laughs, cake, tacos, presents, beautiful sunsets, and more cake.


My step mom made an incredible Mexican dinner, with homemade fish tostadas, black bean and corn salsa, yellow rice (my fave), and some incredible sangria. Yeah, it’s safe to say I had my fair share in helpings of THAT meal!


My younger sister even MADE this cake for me from scratch – decorated with frosting and everything! She is so talented, eh? (Yes it was freaking delicious, and YES that is edible glitter on top… she knows me so well 😉 )


Friday morning, I made the (somewhat) difficult but necessary decision to forego extra sleep and get to Body Pump that morning. Yessss it was so worth it – such a good class and really felt the burn!


One of my favorite tasks this weekend was to figure out how to use my newest gadget, a birthday gift to me… behold, the iPhone 5s. I never thought the day would come when I would switch from my Android, but it had to happen, and I.AM.THRILLED. My sisters and I can all iMessage now, and that kinda sums up why its better 🙂


I was contemplating this as a second gift for myself, but thought… “Shannon, get a grip. You’re 25, and people don’t need more reasons to think you’re 18.”


I only have a few pictures from Saturday night, but it was a GREAT time with friends celebrating my birthday – oh yeah, with more Mexican food. They brought out this (hilarious) sombrero and sang me a really (hilariously pathetic and awkward) birthday song with maracas, and gave me a plate with flan and a candle in it. The food was outSTANDing, and I’m so glad I got to catch up with some friends and my sister! (Yes, they let me keep the sombrero, too).


I forced everyone to take singular pictures with me too. Its prom again!! I’ll post this one of me and my sister, so you can get an idea haha!


Yesterday, before my sister started her sojourn back to Chicago, we went for a nice (long) ((hilly)) bike ride with my dad to a park nearby our house. It was actually a great workout, and a beautiful day for it (until it started downpouring). Ahhh, family fun, right?

10430821_10202670054864752_162540389175201084_n Hope you all had stellar weekends ❤ And thanks for all your birthday wishes!! I’m so happy and so blessed 🙂 hashtag: sentimentalmoment.

Let’s connect! 



Twitter: @skdunne444