Saying Yes to Finding My True Potential-11/17/2017

For the past few weeks, or maybe months, I’ve been trying to focus on my potential. My opportunities, chances, ways to grow. And focusing on accepting new invitations…saying YES to new ideas and events in order to give myself the chance to say “I loved that! I want to keep going back!” or “Nah, that wasn’t for me…” I’m realizing this is the best and most effective way for me to really GET OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE. We’ve all probably heard the adage, but it is exactly the way to grow and develop and cultivate every ounce of your potential. I know that I have room to grow, and I have a seemingly endless amount of goals I want to accomplish/ bucket list items to check off. So why wait? I’m ready to start now πŸ™‚img_20171117_063811_2182452283716724134189 Most recently, I joined a hot yoga studio – the same one at which my wonderful cousin Mary works. I haven’t done hot yoga in over a year, and I haven’t participated in Bikram in over 5 years! But Wednesday night I went to a class, and enjoyed every single moment of it. If you have never done Bikram, it’s veryyyy different from a traditional vinyasa yoga class. Finding my breath, finding my balance, and focusing on getting my sweaty and warmed body to do what I want it to do. It was WONderful and I will be going back as often as I can (especially in this chilly winter season! Quite the detox!). I hope to combine this type of yoga with my regular vinyasa as well to get a more well rounded practice (this may just be for me and not for you, so do what your body feels good doing!)img_20171115_185219_6221894669070215012660IMG_20171116_092600_651I have also officially been using my prana mat regularly at night! I try and lay on it 3-4 times per week after dinner at home while we rest and watch Netflix. It’s been wonderfully detoxing as well, and my back and neck have especially felt so much better and less tight. That, in conjunction with my hour-long massages every 3 weeks, has been my personal golden ticket to recovery πŸ™‚ In the afternoons at work when we all feel that 2:00-3:00 slump, my lemon ginger tea is the perfect way to wake me up without any additional caffeine! The ginger is SO wonderful for digestion too πŸ™‚

Below are the new malas that I recently purchased too – if you don’t know much about malas, it’s okay – I’m still learning a lot too πŸ™‚ There are 108 beads, that are known for protecting us and activating certain energies throughout our daily lives. Essentially, if you’re drawn to a mala, get it – they’re beautiful and hand-crafted and are daily reminders for me (and anyone) to be present and activate whatever that mala represents. I love it, but maybe that’s just me. πŸ™‚img_20171103_1822576768654253761752667I have made some pretty great changes in how I eat, what I eat, when I eat… I want to first say that EVERYBODY eats differently. Everybody’s body, workouts, sleep schedule, hormone levels, recovery process, and overall goals is different than mine. So what I find works for me may not be what works for someone else. πŸ™‚ That being said! I have completely cut out dairy, no questions. It suxxxxx because cheese/ice cream… But my body doesn’t like it, doesn’t like to digest it, and it really just makes me feel junky so BYE! Same goes for refined sugars. Aside from some stray Halloween candy in the last couple weeks, I have cut out refined sugars. YES this is not easy, YES I still cave in sometimes, and YES I don’t plan on never eating sugar again. YES I am only human, but sugar is harshing my poz vibes bro πŸ˜‰ Hot tea in the afternoons and ice cold amino acids any time of day are a perfect way for me to curb any potential sweet tooth from popping through too πŸ™‚
img_20171116_143724_3362212632128149254177When I’m at work, I make sure I get up and walk around more. Again, still trying to hit my 10,000-12,000 steps per day! I stretch more (morning, afternoon and night before bed). I practice cleansing breathing techniques in the morning to wake up more clearly, and also before bed to slow my heart rate and relax my body as much as I can. I practice yoga every day, even if its a short as 15 minutes or if it’s 90 minutes in a class some days. I run minimum 2 miles 6 days a week. And these are just some of the new implementations and positive changes I’ve made in my personal lifestyle. I feel wonderful, to say the least πŸ™‚ I plan to keep this up and hope to have even more positive results to share in the coming months!
img_20171112_105755_7421515459764341056905It drives me crazy when I feel like I could have done better at something. Or when I’ve forgotten to take my probiotic or multi-vitamin one day. Personally, it just feels like I’ve lost my true potential for that day. No, I’m not hard on myself nor do I punish myself for small things like this. But I really want to make improvements for GOOD, and fully 100% diving-in commit to them. Committing to positive energy, positive thoughts, and positive changes is for REAL what finding potential is all about. πŸ™‚ At least for this girl. Loving my body, loving my mind and spirit, and honoring what I feel THAT day EVERY day.screenshot_20171113-1007428040621433161112012What drives you? What makes you FEEL alive? And what could you practice or plan to accomplish to find your fully true potential? It can be huge, it can be a small tweak. Whatever drives you. πŸ™‚
img_20171112_123228_6337599339985605819755Thanks for reading peeps. Peace and love always.

Xoxo, Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

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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! 10.24.16

Hi people! These monthly life update blog posts have become very common and easily maintainable for me. So I think I might keep this going πŸ™‚Β Wuddya think?

We have been loving our busy schedules lately – this month was FILLED with travel, all over the country! Portland, OR; Austin, TX; and the photo above was from this weekend visiting my grandparents in Madison. Love love loving Autumn!

Friday night we joined our wonderful friends for a pumpkin carving party – mine is above, Patrick’s is below. The morning after… mine was DEVOURED by squirrels.Β What the heck!Β It was pretty hilarious to be honest though…


Let’s travel back to the end of September/ beginning of October. Patrick, my sister Mandaline, her boyfriend Erik and I traveled to Portland, OR for a wonderful getaway for 5 days. And lemme tell ya, WE FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS STATE. Portland is such a gorgeous and open city, with all the cycling, coffee shops, and hiking areas you can imagine πŸ™‚ #heaven

We went hiking along the Oregon Coast and saw the GORGEOUS ocean. The vastness of this magnificent part of our earth always stirs a wild travel lust within me. I can’t stop thinking about going back!

We went to a few wineries along the coast as well! The boys, enjoying their decadent pinots πŸ˜‰

And sisters doing what sisters do – with the most beautiful sky you can possibly imagine. ❀

We had the most delicious brunch too. I MEAN HELLO, below.

YES we are thinking of moving there. NO we don’t have a timeline yet. But YES it is officially part of our souls and we must follow our dreams πŸ™‚

Bringing it back home – I have been half marathon training the last few weeks (weird, I know). I always considered myself “trained for a half marathon at all times” but I wanted to really put an effort into this training for my half marathon here in Milwaukee on November 6, so I got some NEW KICKS (because duh) last weekend. Asics are my new runners, and I love them so far!! πŸ™‚

Anyone else run in Asics? Thoughts??

Maintaining my yoga practice as well, with all this training and running and lifting. Still learning, still loving, and still expressing myself in new ways every day. ❀

Running has brought me SO much joy lately. It gives me a reason to get outside and get fresh air, get my sore muscles moving, and allows me to really feel my breath (outside of yoga) so I can push myself harder every day. I’m running a marathon next May, so continuing training even in “off season” is so important for me.

Baymax has been PERFECT and AMAZING and growing like CRAY. He’s almost 90 pounds guys. Our little pup is growing up so fast ❀ He’s still dumb though, so I’m okay with that πŸ™‚ Smart, but still my little dum-dum.

Our Austin trip was wonderful – a beautiful celebration of love at our friend’s wedding. We loved seeing the city and even though it was 90+ degrees the whole time, it was a wonderful quick weekend trip to see a sweeeeet city! πŸ™‚

Oooobviously yoga happened.

He’s kinda the best person I’ve ever met ❀

This is what’s basically going on with me lately. My personal training and two other jobs are keeping me busybusybusy and every single day I’m figuring out a new way to be grateful, happy, and still push myself towards my goals. ❀ My life is whole and still finds ways to fill me up, with such beautiful friends and family surrounding me every single day. I could NOT be happier right about now πŸ™‚ ❀

Happy Monday everybody, here’s to another wonderful month of Autumn!! AND HALLOWEEN COMING UP!


Peace, xoxo

Instagram: @apples2abs.fitness

Sunday Links 3.6.16

As the sun is streaming in through our windows this morning and I sip my coffee… I see how wonderful life has become lately. Everything culminating to this exact moment has happened for a reason, and whether I liked it at the time or not, it happened and now here I am. 😊 It’s a wonderful feeling knowing things work out in the end, isn’t it?

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I hope you all are having a great weekend so far! Sundays are always the best days since we rarely ever plan things to do outside of the house, and get time to relax together, clean and prep for the coming week, and of course, #Netflixandchill. (Our favorite Sunday ritual!)

We ran 14 miles yesterday for our marathon training, which was the longest we’ve gone so far! It was tough in the last few miles, but it felt so good at the end and we both finished strong, smiling, and upright! We’ve been switching off running indoors on a track, on a treadmill [bleh], and outside when it’s nicer; we’re supposed to get nicer weather these coming weeks so I hope our runs will permanently be outside going forward!
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Our friends also came in from out of town and joined us for the Lakefront Brewery tour in Milwaukee which has always been one of my favorites!
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Since we both have fulltime jobs during core hours now, I will definitely be prepping more food in advance on Sundays and after work at night for breakfasts and lunches. I have been doing some research and easy-to-prep larger batches of food we like, so it’s gonna be a productive cooking day today!

I’ve also been keeping up my daily yoga of course, which has been a lifesaver compared to sitting in a desk chair at work and walking around our large work campus that takes up quite a few blocks. My yoga challenges are pushing me to new limits and it’s fun experimenting with new stretches and poses!

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And now! Here are some pertinent, delicious, and interesting links I’ve dug up this week!

8 Signs You Need a Gut Reset. This is an awesome article, because there are always so many reasons why your stomach may be upset. It’s important to pay attention!

Snow Artist Walks 40,000 Steps. THIS is incredible. Watch the short video, and see how he creates incredible murals in the snow, just by walking. I guess snow can be fun? πŸ™‚

14 Date Ideas that will bring you Closer with your Partner. I’m always excited to read articles like this that can jazz up relationships and our day-to-day times with our lovies.

5 Foam Roller Exercises to Help Sleep Better. I recently bought Patrick a muscle stick that we can roll over our legs post-runs, and foam rollers are so awesome to open the fascia over our muscles too!

10 Ways to Re-purpose Wine Corks. If you’re like us and have a bajillion wine corks around our place, these are some really sweet ideas on how to use them to decorate!

Deliciousness:

Easy Vegetable Teriyaki Stir Fry

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Sweet Potato Salad with Lentils and Fried Eggs

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BBQ Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

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Carrot Oatmeal Greek Yogurt Muffins

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Banana Bread Baked Quinoa

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Muffin-Tin Bacon Cheeseburgers

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I hope you love these interesting and delicious articles! And get out in the sunshine today. Sunlight is oh so wonderful and feels oh so good πŸ™‚

❀ Peace, xoxo.

Thinking Out Loud #5: Leg Day Workout and Chef’s Table

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Good morning! Did everyone have a nice hump day? I have a few thoughts I’d like to share for today if you’d like to join in and read along! πŸ™‚ Hey Amanda, thanks for the link-up!

1. Last night we watched Chef’s Table on Netflix for the first time, just the first episode.Β Have any of you watched it? Man! We LOVED it! Well first of all, anything having to do with food is definitely allowed on our plates πŸ˜‰ And we always love seeing behind-the-scenes into kitchens and restaurants and how food is prepared, since we cook so much ourselves.

If you haven’t watched it yet, you MUST. The first episode goes into the backstory of an awesome Italian chef named Massimo. He’ll inspire and drive you to do GREAT things with whatever your passions are in your own life ❀

2. Have you guys had these Pretzilla buns? I kid you not, Patrick and I are ADDICTED. We had avocado and scrambled egg sandwiches on them AGAIN last night! Go check them out on their site. πŸ™‚ NOMZ.

3. We went for a walk last night around Milwaukee, and you guys I’m so glad I live down here now. So close to the lake, so close to downtown, and it’s just a gorgeous mixture of both in between. ❀ #blessed πŸ˜‰Β Do you love your city as much as I love mine?Β  Especially in the summertime, Milwaukee is pretty dang wonderful!

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4. Do you ever just #stopdropandyoga? I guess we both had a desire to do some yoga outside before we headed home…and I’m glad Patrick joined in πŸ˜‰

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5.Β I compiled some pictures from my workout this morning, RE: #legday. Let me know what you think if you wanna try a workout like this!

First I started off with squats, 5 sets of 10 at 135 lbs. I also did 10 jump squats in between every set.

Then I increased to 205 lbs and did 3 sets of 5. And I did 10 jumping lunges on each side in between each set.

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Then I ran as hard as I could for 5 minutes on the treadmill…THAT was tough. I could only get up to 7.7, but it felt really good to stretch out my legs and keep my heart rate up!

I grabbed two 10 lb weights and did walking lunges and side-stepping squats up and down the track at the gym.

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Then I did another set of 5 minutes on the treadmill. Talk about killin these legs, you guys!

I ended with leg work on the floor. 3 sets of 10 on each leg. THEN I PROCEEDED TO MELT INTO THE CARPETING.

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Wuddya think? Pretty good workout eh??Β Let me know if you try it and what you think!

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6. And of course, my yoga pose for this month’s challenge πŸ™‚

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Have a beautiful Thursday, everybody. That’s all for my #thinkingoutloud Thursday Thoughts!

Peace, xoxo.

Instagram: @apples2abs.fitness

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Thinking Out Loud: Headed to Chicago!

Good Thursday morning y’all! I am so excited for this weekend – I get to leave work early to take a train down to see my sister! She graduates from college (Magna Cum Laude, might I add) and we’re spending the whole weekend together to celebrate!

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Thanks again Amanda for hosting, as alllllways ❀

Today’s post is going to be short, but here are some hilarious, inspirational, and just random thoughts I’ve been thinking lately (thanks to Pinterest). En-yoy!

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There’s a reason for everything.

happy
This one is a huge favorite of mine. If you approach situations in your life with a smile and positive attitude, it’sΒ incredible how things always seem to work out.

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I loved this postΒ about producing endorphins. What a solid statement too.
All good drugs, all good drugs.

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CotterCrunch posted this the other day too; there’s always an opportunity to change the way you think and feel so its better and healthier. ANYONE can do it.

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Done.

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I absolutely have to remind myself of this. There are endless possibilities out there; who you’ll meet today, what you’ll experience, different sights you’ll see. Don’t turn down opportunities, because you never know how your life could drastically change for the better ❀

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Interesting concept… I like it!

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Lastly, be like this guy.
And have a BOMB day today, lovelies ❀

Let’s connect!

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Twitter: @skdunne444