Life Lately && Marathon Recap! 10.5.2017

I did it, you guys! My fourth marathon is actually over. And you know, I’m really sad about it. I LOVED training this time around. Every long distance run was like a new event for me to plan with Patrick (obviously, as my sherpa), and now, it’s all done. You better believe I’ll be finding another one to sign up for soon πŸ˜‰

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As I probably alluded in my last blog, the month of September was wildly busy for us. We had a wedding every single weekend (and we were in two of them) – but I really cannot complain because WEDDINGS ARE AWESOME and LOVE IS AMAZING. ❀

Our friends Kristin and Tony started off the month with a beautiful wedding, sprinkled with refreshing and heartwarming touches of their time they’ve lived in Hawaii together.

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Then our friends Nicole and Scott tied the knot in good ol’ Iowa – and that was the weekend I ran my longest build-up run. It was gorgeous!!

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The third weekend, our friends Alex and Alexandra got married and had a wild party afterwards! Loved seeing you two again!

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And lastly, but certainly not least, our close friends Blair and John said incredibly beautiful vows, and I was so grateful to be part of that ceremony. Such a beautiful couple.

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All that being said, September was over before we knew it, and all of a sudden, it was the week before my big race. And ya know what? We had ZERO plans that whole week (probably intentionally on my part – yasssss). We stayed in every night, watched movies, and Patrick cooked incredible home-cooked foods. I stayed away from sugar and alcohol that week too, just to make sure my body was in top condition and that I would sleep well πŸ˜‰

I should take that back…. reverse reverse! I attended my first 108 sun salutation yoga class the Sunday before my marathon, where we literally complete 108 sun salutations in the 60 minute class. It was beautiful. Motivating. Invigorating. All the students were breathing in sync and I cannot wait to experience that feeling of community and one breath again. ❀

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We were lucky enough to get invited by a couple friends to go see the Packers play at Lambeau the weekend before my race. I know this is crazy, but THAT WAS MY FIRST PACKERS GAME EVER. It was absolutely a blast and I can’t wait to go to more! It was also SWELTERING outside, which I couldn’t complain about, AND the Packers pulled through with a victory! All the best things. πŸ™‚

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The weekend of my race, we went to the expo and got my packet and Patrick bought me a new running hat! That night, my sister, her boyfriend Erik and their sweet (crazy) puppy Benny came to visit and had dinner with us because #carboloading. Oh, and my sister made her famous Pumpkin Bread that totally is addicting (I secretly hope she doesn’t make it again because I have been INHALING it all week!). And the morning of my race, it was absolutely perfect. The weather was on point for long-distance Fall running, I had a great breakfast, and we got to the start in plenty of time for me to warm up and even wait in the massive bathroom line HA. Baymax was with us too of course ❀ And all of a sudden, they were counting down to the start!! πŸ™‚

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I chose to stay with the 4:40 pace group for the beginning of the race, in the hopes that I would make it at least to the halfway point with them (and then of course, I naturally slow down) so that would prime me for a PR. And I did that! I stayed with the group until about mile 15, which was a blast! The pacers were so friendly and talkative, and they both loved Harry Potter, so we had plenty to talk about πŸ˜‰ I’m in the blue, with the hat, super excited, arms up – you get it πŸ™‚

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At about mile 15 I saw Patrick and he jogged with me for a bit. He was FILLED with encouraging words and affirmations, and I just couldn’t stop smiling while I saw him. But this is really when I felt like I started to slow down. I knew this would happen and I wasn’t worried at all. I was feeling strong and didn’t even need to listen to music at this point either! (I ended up not needing music for the entire race actually!). However, around mile 20 is when I really started to slowwwww downnnnnn. My head was tired, my right hip was killing me, but I dredged on! I knew the finish was SO CLOSE, and since I have done the Lakefront Marathon before, I knew that my favorite part of the course was coming up. I ended up walking at some point almost every mile, which of course blew the buffer time that I had built up.

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At the finish, I heard and FELT the energy from the crowd. My sisters and my dad were with me towards the finish and they were cheering and encouraging me to PUSH through to the finish. I saw my Mom (hi Mom!) and she had her homemade sign that’s so filled with love and I just about cried when I saw it! I picked up my pace and finished the race at a sub 10-minute pace (which is wicked for me after that amount of mileage!).

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Did I get a PR, you ask? I will be honest and tell you. No. I was off by ONE. MINUTE. At first I was slightly bummed- more than slightly… but you know what? I don’t care now. That marathon was one of the best long-distance runs (let alone races) that I’ve ever run and I enjoyed every single step of it. I don’t regret a thing (aside from walking so much at the end LOL). But here’s to new goals and 2018 for a new PR, right!? πŸ˜€

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My whole family was at the finish. WHOLE family. Both sisters, Manda’s boyfriend, my dad, mom, step dad, step mom, ALL THREE DOGS, and of course the love of my life Patrick. This was definitely a race to remember. And today, Thursday, I already am feeling almost back to normal aside from some right hip pain (which is usual for me). I am so so so grateful. Our bodies are incredible, aren’t they?

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Aside from my marathon completion, we have just been enjoying this beautiful Fall weather just starting to poke its head through in Wisconsin. I LOVE IT. However, I’m realizing I may need some more sweaters and layers for work πŸ˜‰ Any excuse to shop, eh?

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SUPER EXCITED though because we are flying off to EUROPE tomorrow afternoon! Me, Patrick, my sister, her boyfriend, and her best friend Hannah. We booked this trip monthsssss ago and the day is finally almost here!!! We are flying to Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Berlin, and I seriously cannot wait for some actual vacation time. It’s been too long, and now with my marathon done, we can celebrate!! Cheers to that!

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Thank you for reading about my experience with this marathon and I can’t wait to share another journey with you next time around! If you have tips, tricks or tools I can use going forward, I’m all ears – you fellow experienced runners, you!

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Have an amazing beginning of October, friends. It’s definitely my favorite month, aside from July (birthday month, #duh). I’ll touch base again soon with a Europe blog, you better believe it! In the meantime, follow me on snapchat or Instagram for daily updates!

xoxo,Β Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

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Green Bay Cellcom Recap! 5.24.16

Good morning beautiful people!

BOY what a weekend I had – I know it’s been awhile since I have blogged, but needless to say we’ve had a very busy weekend and I am so excited to share everything with you!

Let me start off by saying YES WE FINISHED OUR MARATHONS!! Patrick and I ran our marathon together! [His first, my third].

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Saturday morning, we went for a quick 2 mile run, per our training plan, in such gorgeous weather! It was a fun little taste of what we’d be experiencing Sunday morning for the full-fledged race. We finished a few errands, packed our things, visited my Mom for good luck, and then met our friend Sarah for the drive up to Green Bay for the night!

imageWe grabbed dinner at Titletown Brewing Company and had a delectable dinner! We had a fairly long wait for a table, so we went over running strategy, past experiences, things we’ve heard about how to run most efficiently, etc. It was such a fun dinner! πŸ™‚ Delicious food too, might I add.

imageWe all went to bed early the night before, even though I had crazy marathon jitters and didn’t get the time or quality of sleep I would’ve preferred πŸ˜‰ But right when my alarm went off Sunday morning, I sprang out of bed and was SUPER excited to get ready to jump on the shuttle to the race start. We had our granola bars for breakfast (we don’t usually eat a TON before races). After checking Patrick’s bag at gear check, we were corralled into our areas and all of a sudden the race was on!!

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The race start came, we ran our hearts out in scorching heat, taking Gu’s and waters and Gatorade when we needed them, and in what seems like the blink of an eye, it was done. We were hugging my family who came to meet us at the finish line, we found Sarah who ran the half marathon, and we were relaxing in the shade and feeling extreme relief that we were DONE! πŸ™‚

All the build-up runs, all the clean eating and copious amounts of sleep… and we did it! We both PR’ed and we both are extremely grateful for the amount of support we got from our friends and family throughout these five months of training πŸ™‚

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AND we found out that the medals we got last year for doing the Green Bay Half Marathon match up with the medals from this year AND next year! So we are guaranteeing running either the half or the full for next year’s races so they will all fit together in a peace sign shape! πŸ™‚ HOW COOL!

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Yes, I got really hot and shimmied my tank top down around my waist since the sun was just BEAMING down on us. It looks like a skirt in the photo below… but OBVIOUSLY when you’re running and about to finish a marathon, you don’t currrrr what you look like!

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Lookin’ good cruising through Lambeau Field for the last quarter mile of the race!

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Feeling strong and tough finishing his first full marathon ever! [With ice wrapped around his body]

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My dad even jumped in and ran the last 10K with me and the last 3 with Patrick! Yes, I have the coolest dad ever πŸ™‚ He’s run TWENTY ONE full marathons, so needless to say, he’s the best coach I could ask for!

All in all, we are so happy to be done! We may do another next year but that is TBD πŸ™‚ Now, pardon us while we limp around for a week and have trouble going up and down stairs for awhile πŸ™‚

#weruntogether

Peace! xoxo

Sunday Links and Mother’s Day 5.8.16

Happy Sunday! And of course, Happy Mother’s Day to all you lovely mamas out there. Even fur baby mamas πŸ™‚ We had a beautiful weekend celebrating Mother’s Day with all the moms in our lives. A weekend full of laughter, memories, and food – we have a wonderful family!

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Friday night we celebrated by grilling out pretty much anything you can buy at Sendik’s with my stepmom and family. Super relaxing and delicious! And of course I hung out with the Gussa over half the time πŸ˜‰

imageSaturday, we spent the day with my grandparents in Madison and had, as always, one of the best and most filling late lunches πŸ™‚ And our “appetizers” included chocolate covered everything… and the most delicious crab cakes in the world!

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Last night we celebrated with my mama, by watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (classic!) and we went through boxes and boxes of artwork and school work that my mom kept from us since grade school! Oh my gosh, some of our stuff was so ridiculous and made me really question how I passed 3rd grade. HAHA.

This morning we ran a beautiful 12 miles together, and are OFFICIALLY two weeks away from our big race!! SO excited and slightly a little unsure of what my final time will be… but we have our goals and we have been training so well for this, I’m confident we will both hit our goals and feel amazing (at least emotionally) afterwards! πŸ™‚

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Here are some yoga poses I’ve done this week too πŸ™‚

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I hope everybody is having a wonderful weekend and enjoying this amazing weather with your mothers! Can’t wait to officially enter into more Spring-like weather! May is a jam-packed month for us, so stay tuned for some sweet updates coming up! πŸ™‚

Links! Below…

Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash.

Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash - Roasted spaghetti squash tossed in butter, garlic and plenty of fresh Parmesan cheese. It's simple, healthy and low-carb!

Strawberry Rose Tart.

5 ingredient strawberry rose tart I howsweeteats.com

Veggie Brown Rice Sushi.

EASY 10 ingredient Vegan BROWN RICE SUSHI! Crunchy, veggie-packed, SO yummy #vegan #plantbased #sushi #glutenfree #recipe #brownrice

Blueberry Muffin Cookies.

Blueberry muffin cookies (via abeautifulmess.com)

Warm Corn and Avocado Salad.

Warm Corn and Avocado Salad makes the perfect light and fresh side for enchiladas, grilled meats, or tacos. BudgetBytes.com

Mediterranean Bean Salad.

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Copycat Chipotle Chicken.

This copycat recipe for Chipotle chicken is spot-on, and arguably even better than the original! You will LOVE this marinade!

Peace, xoxo!

Sunday Links! PR’s and a New Bike! 4.10.16

Oh hello again Sunday πŸ™‚ The day where I very consciously try to never leave our apartment. We were flying around all week, working late, running long, cooking and cleaning nonstop, driving all over the place… It’s good to be relaxed at home finally πŸ™‚

A little synopsis of fun yoga poses πŸ™‚

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Also, BIG NEWS! We ran a half marathon on Saturday, and WE BOTH PR’ed!!! Yes, the course was indoors, flat, no hills or wind… but it felt so good to run as hard and as focused as I could. Patrick has always had bold goals for his runs; I never really thought about competing with myself for a PR. But on Saturday, at the halfway point I realized I could hit my PR if I maintained my pace, so I honed in on my goal and MADE IT HAPPEN [by approximately a minute and a half haha] It felt SO good to finish! I am super happy πŸ™‚

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I’ve had some awesome eats this week too. Protein bites with peanut butter (HOLY MAN DELICIOUS). A delicious egg scramble this morning for breakfast. I even had coffee every single day this week. Almost my entire mug every day! I rarely drink more than 8-10 oz a day, but this week required it haha.

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We also got to drive to Chicago to visit our great friends Cassie and Leke, their new sweet sweet new baby and two wonderful kids! We went bowling, got Chinese, and then went glow-in-the-dark mini golfing haha! What a jam-packed day! Guys, I really don’t even like holding babies, but she is so adorable and calm and curious, I couldn’t stop holding her! I can’t wait to see them more often and watch her grow!

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OKAY – enough of my life story. Here are some awesome links I found this week πŸ™‚

Sugar Content in Your Favorite Fruits. If you’re like me and want to get most of your sweet/sugar from fruits, here’s a good breakdown of the content of each kind!

11 Half Marathons that are Perfect for Beginners. This is such a great list!!!

Best Drink for People with Inflammation. I love tea, and you should learn to too!

Why You Should be Living a Zero-Waste Life. Shouldn’t we all? πŸ™‚

Easy Thai Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

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Peanut Butter Crumble Coffee Cake.

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Toasted Almond, Raisin and Coconut Trail Mix.

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Chicken Tortellini Soup.

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Shaved Asparagus and Gorgonzola Pizza.

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Have a beautiful week! Hopefully it gets warmer so we can get outside… so I can RIDE MY NEW BIKE! πŸ™‚ We just got back from the Wheel & Sprocket Bike Expo and I got to ride out with this new amazing Trek Road Bike! I can’t wait to get outside. OMG OMG OMG. Here I come pavement! Sign me up for all the races you can find πŸ™‚

 

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HAPPY SUNDAY!

Peace & Love, xoxo.

Thinking Out Loud Lately… 3/31/16

Wisconsin is finally delivering nicer weather. Calmer winds and warmer temperatures. Perfect for running outside and enjoying the sunshine during walking breaks at work. I love it! So inspiring and exciting to get outside and moving every day!

I actually used this as the wallpaper on my phone! It's so pretty! Oh and free :):

Work has been awesome lately, with an awesome amount of new daily tasks and responsibilities, some really wonderful new partners I interact with everyday, and I’m happily falling into my daily routine with work and play πŸ™‚ Really happy I found a company that has awesome employees and a great common goal to help our customers.

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imageOTHERWISE, what’s new with us? Well, my yoga challenges have stopped for a couple days until the beginning of April, but I’m still making up some fun/challenging ones for myself in the meantime. I signed up for twice-a-week yoga starting next week at work, and I’m SO EXCITED! It’ll be over my lunch hour too, which will be a fun way to break up my day πŸ™‚


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Another fairly exciting thing for me that I’ve been researching lately is… a Half Ironman. 70.3. I want to do one next year, and I have thought about this for a LONG time. I am confident I can commit time to training with swimming, biking and running, and I would LOVE to feel that sense of accomplishment that only .01% of the world has done! YAYYYY.Β Have any of you ever completed one? Any training plans or advice? I AM ALL EARS.

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Our marathon training is going really really well too! We are to the point where we run 8 miles after work on a Wednesday and Patrick says, “that was easy!” It’s such an exciting time right now, and we are pumped to run 18 miles this coming weekend, with a half marathon powdered in the middle of that. We will do 3 miles before and 2 miles after the race to hit our mileage for Saturday! My legs are acclimating well, and we have not had any injuries at all either. Knock on wood!

Also on that note, I officially have a dark chocolate chip addiction. I don’t want any other desserts. Just dark chocolate chips. Please send via FedEx overnight to my address. πŸ™‚ I LOVE YOU THANK YOU.

ALSO exciting news – I’m moving in to Patrick’s apartment officially this weekend! James, his roommate, is moving to Florida for work as I previously mentioned, and I will be moving my things in temporarily, until we find a more “permanent home” in a few months. I’m going totally crazy with planning decorating and rearranging furniture after I move it all in. YAYYYY πŸ™‚ Okay, I’ll be excited in my bubble over here.

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I think that pretty much sums up our lives lately! Still eating like crazy, yoga’ing like crazy, running like maniacs, and trying to sleep and work and smile all in between.Β How is everyone else doing out there? What are some crazy awesome updates or going-good routines you have?

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Happy Thursday loves!

Peace, xoxo.

Our Marathon Journey. The Halfway Point.

Hello Saturday! Yes, I understand it’s already 4:30pm on Saturday, and it’s not even halfway through our day. Marathon training at its finest πŸ™‚ Our weekends don’t “start” until after our long runs on the weekends. But we always welcome the remaining day and a half with open and welcome arms! πŸ™‚

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I have been continuing my yoga challenges of course (there are sooooo many right now!) and posting frequently on my Instagram if you care to take a peek πŸ™‚

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imageI wanna throw together a little update on how Patrick and I have been doing so far during our marathon training. This is, as a reminder, Patrick’s first marathon (YAY SO EXCITED) and my third (WHY AM I STILL DOING THIS). We decided on New Years Day to sign up together and to get 2016 going with a bang and a goal to be super fit and healthy πŸ™‚

imageAs of this morning, we officially passed our halfway point for our training. So far, our longest run has been 15 miles, and today we ran a half marathon together. Next week, the real fun begins πŸ˜‰ With LONG distances and finally getting into 40-50+ miles per week before we hit the big day on May 22nd.

Both of us have had some “injuries” and some soreness, of course the kind that’s typical with long distance training and some soreness that isn’t so welcome. For me, hip and IT Band issues (as always and as expected) and for Patrick, some muscle issues with his calf. BUT aside from that, we are LOVING training. And are so happy that we have finally been able to run the majority of our miles outside. Running indoors after work and on weekends in the winter was rough. But with Spring coming soon, we get pavement, trails and sunshine! πŸ™‚

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I am so encouraged every day by running with him. He not only pushes me to run faster (he’s WAY faster than me naturally) but he also is helping me improve my form, posture, and even my breathing. I feel like a newly taught runner, not even kidding! I have learned so much more about my body and what works best for me after his advice; his experience and background running Track and Cross Country in high school and college has given him a huge leg up for this race. I cannot WAIT to see him cross that finish line (in pictures since he’ll obviously SMOKE me haha).

I even asked Patrick what his favorite part about marathon training is, and he said… committing to doing it together πŸ™‚ And putting both of our minds and bodies to this challenge… is just the best feeling in the world πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading this little recap πŸ™‚ We will keep you posted of course as we go along the way!

imageAnybody else training for a marathon? Or even your first big race?? How’s it going?

What training plan are you following? Any awesome articles or programs you recommend??

Peace, Love, and Always Running ❀ xoxo

Happy Thoughts and Musings 2.4.16

I want to start my post today with a “Yippee!” because today is my 1-year anniversary with my lovely soulmate, Patrick. ❀ I’ll leave my poetry to sweet, sappy love notes to him, and just let you all know how excited we are to celebrate this. It’s been such a fun and adventurous and love-filled year – here’s to another 100 anniversaries love! πŸ™‚ ILYSM.

imageBesides this wonderful excitement, I have also been applying at a myriad of jobs and am SO happy how everything is going. I’m putting my best foot forward and leading with my good side in my interviews, and I should have some awesome news in the next couple weeks on that!

imageMarathon training is going swimmingly. We are doing our first 9-mile run on Saturday, while away celebrating our anniversary + valentine’s weekend, and I’m so excited to see how it goes. It’ll be the longest run I’ve done, well, since my marathon in October. I KNOW I KNOW, that’s a long time, but I’ll bounce back, trust me! πŸ™‚

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imageI’m still completely obsessed with the podcast scene, especially while running. I don’t know about you guys, but listening to a podcast makes my mind completely focus on NOT running, which is really great! Without even realizing it, I’ll have run 3-5 miles in just one podcast and it totally takes my mind off the grueling hours of training that are coming…soon… oh #marathontraining.

imageDo you guys have any awesome podcast recommendations? I’d love to get some more ideas! I’m currently on Season 2 of Serial. I KNOW RIGHT.

I’m still putting a plan together on how to jump start my personal training career too; I want to do this part-time for now, and I really want to do it right, and with a company that I believe in and that believes in their customers and employees too! Any recommendations on how to get my feet on the ground running? πŸ™‚
imageIn other news, I am contemplating where Patrick and I should go for my birthday trip. Yes, it’s in July, but we’re taking ideas now! I was thinking Portland or Seattle, since Oregon, Washington and Alaska are the only 3 states I haven’t been to in the U.S. Any ideas on a summer birthday getaway?

Also, I’m re-addicted to my protein bites I used to make all the time. I have them for breakfast, snacks and desserts, and I CAN’T WAIT TO TRY MORE NEW RECIPES!

imageMy yoga practice is doing fairly well, but I NEED to get into a studio. It’s time I start with an instructor to push me and guide me and help me create a strong foundation again. I’ve been using the eBook Ab Asanas by Morgan DeYoung, and it’s been keeping my core engaged (and super sore) for a few weeks now! I love it!

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imageHow is everyone else doing? What’s new in your life? πŸ™‚

Mwah! Peace, xoxo.