Living the Happy Life 9.14.2017

Hey y’all πŸ™‚ How is everybody? Enjoying this space between summer and fall?Screenshot_20170914-084624

This transition is always always my favorite time of the year. If we could just pause the temperature/ weather/ outdoor feel, with cool nights and slightly warmer days, I would be just peachy happy with that! It’s perfect for literally everything: running, watching sports, swimming, sleeping at night, HARRY POTTER SEASON… I’ll take permanent Summer-to-Fall weather thanks!

I’m not sure if you remember, but at the beginning of this calendar year, January 2017, I dedicated myself to a new life, free of negativity/stress/judgment… and I renamed my blog and Instagram Fitness By Shannon. I am finally here to update you on this journey so far – it has been astoundingly beautiful. If you’d have told me that it was possible to live without unnecessary negativity and stress, obviously I would not have believed you – stress comes with life, everyone has it, it’s natural. Where that is true in some cases, I now know that if you let go of worry and sadness and insecurity (as much as you possibly can), then life really does seem… easier. Full of life and positive people and happy experiences.patrick shannon

 

That is what I’ve been experiencing over the last several months in 2017. I have been eating healthier than ever, and yet still indulging in ice cream and beer if the time comes. I don’t feel bad about it, I don’t let negative emotions affect me when I imbibe, and ya know what, I only have a limited time on this Earth – so I sure as hell am not going to worry about having a cupcake or glass of Sangria here and there! (Especially with 4 weddings in September on top of my peak marathon training miles, you BET I’m going to enjoy that cake and wine!)

One of my biggest stresses used to be time management. I am a very organized, need-to-plan-everything-out, “I’ll just hold the tickets for everybody” person, so that’s not really the issue. The issue is the straight amount of events and tasks and opportunities and dates that were booked in my calendar. There was something happening every single day and night, and since June, balancing all of that with marathon training?? It was a new challenge to say the least. With the busy schedule (that I fully commit to and yes, it’s my fault for saying yes to so many things), we are obviously flyin’ from one place to the next constantly, and that used to stress me out to the max. I HATE being late – I am usually the girl who’s there exactly on time, or 5 minutes early.sugarcaneBut I now remind myself that, in whatever situation I find myself, there is nothing more that I can do except my absolute best. I needed to focus more on the “right now” instead of “I should’ve, we should’ve, why didn’t we…” ideas. As my mom always tells me, we can’t go back in time, so let’s learn from the current situation, get through it, and plan better next time. ❀ (She’s brilliant). And my dad always reminds me to remember THIS moment, because 85% of life is just showing up. Get there, and do what you can right then and there.walking

Another incredible change for me has been shutting out any relationship or negativeΒ person in my life. This easy change was a weight off my shoulders. I only associate with people whom I love and love me back. It’s as easy as that. I spend theΒ majority of my time with myΒ amazing/ selfless/ adventurous/hilarious/handsome AF boyfriend Patrick and our puppy Baymax. Whenever I can be with them, even if it’s lounging on the couch all day on a Sunday, I feel my energy fill back up to the brim. My heart bursts with love for them. My family is incredible in so many ways; they support me more than I ever could ask them to, and they each have such a special place in my heart. My sister is my best friend, and without her advice, comic relief, support, and straight up love and honesty, I wouldn’t be as put together as I think I am πŸ˜‰gagaOne last relief for me has been my rest days. Ironically, as much as I love getting to the gym with weights, on my mat to do yoga, and in my shoes to run outside, I cherish the days after work when I can come home and do nothing on the couch. The Sundays where we have literally ZERO plans (rare). Where we can just pick a show on Netflix and cruise (or snooze) through all of it. My body and my energy levels need those days, since my mind essentially refuses to stop thinking and processing and planning πŸ™‚ Everybody close to me knows my couch time IS MY COUCH TIME. No, I won’t leave the house or put real clothes on. Yes, I will probably continue to clean and cook and organize. But I will be sleeping/napping/in and out of consciousness because that’s what my body needs right meow. πŸ™‚IMG_20170810_170331My point inΒ this long explanation is… Β DO WHAT YOU LOVE. Really, make the TIME to get outside in the sunshine, travel even if it’s just a weekend getaway, and laugh your head off at stupid jokes and adorable corgi puppy videos. Spend the MONEYΒ on special sushi dinners and exciting new yoga workshops (it’s just money). See those who you LOVE, because we really are all busy, so just make it happen if it’s important to you. That is literally all that matters. I dress how I want to feel good, I eat what I want to fuel my body as thoroughly as I can, I lift/run/do yoga every day to strengthen my heart, mind, and body. This is the life that I have chosen to live.Β If you simply change your mind, you can change your life. I firmly believe that now. I don’t even believe in stress taking over; because whatever comes my way, I will handle it. I have a support system, I have the tools needed to cope with anything, and I know that life will continue on.Β chin standThank you for reading ❀ Stay tuned for more from this new lens. πŸ™‚

xoxo, Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannonme smiling

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Our Move – The Recap 6/2/16

First of all, Happy June!! πŸ™‚

Secondly, we did it!

We moved into our new beautiful home last weekend. And due to a myriad of unfortunate circumstances that arose, we moved ALL by ourselves. My mom came on the last day to help us clean and organize and do the finishing touches, but Patrick and I are proud to have beasted through moving all our huge furniture and tons of boxes (of what seemed to be mainly dishes, books, and clothes).

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Of course I had to take my inaugural yoga dancer’s pose in front of our new front door! πŸ™‚

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I felt it necessary to take a selfie with the first car load we had packed. Literally cramming everything into our two cars and my mom’s van and trailer she let us borrow. WHEW!! Good thing we only had to drive a little over 2 miles from our old to our new place! πŸ™‚

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Our beautiful living room and dining area! Obviously right after we got the keys to START moving on Saturday at noon. Including packing and loading the van and cars, it took us 10 hours to pack and move on Saturday, around 6 hours on Sunday, and then completed finishing touches Monday afternoon.

Oh, did I mention I had to work a half day on Monday morning too? #exhausted but #dolladollabillyo.

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Here’s a sneak peek at our living room. We are still putting away some bags and miscellaneous things around, hang some things on the walls, etc. But the rich dark wood and the beautiful hard wood floors are my SERIOUS FAVORITES.

We went out with friends our first and second nights at our new apartment to GET OUT and relax. We went to the new Sangria Bar in Milwaukee, and LOVED IT. All kinds of sangria and a beautiful outdoor patio with Jimmy Buffett playing and all tiki everything.

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AKA MY LIFE.
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I also tried to maintain my yoga throughout this week, with recovering from our marathon and packing for the move. Feels really good, guys ❀

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The other night, I tried a new recipe for teriyaki chicken too. Patrick fried it up for me and it goes PERFECTLY on my homemade Asian salad. NOMZ!

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Last night, we ran for the FIRST REAL TIME together since our marathon! It felt wonderful! We ran with my dad, and my dog, and it was such a beautiful night. Yes, our bodies still love running πŸ˜‰

PERFECT for World Running Day!!! What better way to celebrate? πŸ™‚

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Happy June, loves. Enjoy this gorgeous month! And let’s keep our faces always leaning towards the sun ❀

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Peace, xoxo.

Joining with Amanda at Running with Spoons for Thinking Out Loud Thursdays!

Quick Thursday Thoughts 5.26.16

Happy Thursday! Jumping in with Amanda at Running with Spoons!

And great news, I can walk again normally after the marathon on Sunday! I’m pretty excited about that little fact πŸ™‚ I actually got up early and worked OUT this morning! It was pretty rough on the lower body, not going to lie, but it felt SO GOOD to sweat and move around again πŸ™‚

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I’ve been back in the swing of doing yoga after a few days’ break, and BOY does it feel so great. My muscles are longing for that good stretch, even though it took me awhile to even get down into seated positions since my muscles are still screaming lactic acid!! πŸ™‚

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Patrick had a BRILLIANT (as always) idea for a breakfast dish based on a Tasty video we DROOLED over. We shredded sweet potatoes, put them on the bottom of the muffin tins, and then poured over my FAVORITE scrambled egg mixture on top and voila! We baked them and they are divine. With lots of spices and ketchup and/or hot sauce of course πŸ˜‰

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I’m also totally bragging about the homemade pizza we made last week. We bought the crust, though. But it was still amazing! We put turkey sausage, spinach, peppers, mushrooms, and a leeeeettle bit of cheese to bind it all together πŸ™‚ Absolutely making more of these in the future.Β Do you guys have any ideas on homemade pizza crust ideas??

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We made this last night for dinner. Again, one of my favorite combinations. Proteins and veggies. Soy sauce, garlic, the works πŸ™‚ #heaven.

My Thinking Out Loud Thursdays seem to circle around running, food, and yoga. Yes, I’ve noticed this πŸ˜‰

Yes, every single night Patrick and I will watch Bones while we cook, catch up about our days, and pack. Yes, we’re packing. We move this weekend. AND WE CANNOT WAIT TO GET INTO OUR NEW DIGS!!! Please be prepared for a blog about our move next week πŸ™‚

How is everyone else doing? πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful weekend!!

Peace, xoxo.

Thursday Thoughts and Tapering 5.12.16

Hi people!! It’s Thursday again! πŸ™‚ I have some thoughts about the last week… joining in with Amanda with Running with Spoons as always!

My yoga challenges are seriously becoming one of my favorite parts of my day. If not my favorite sometimes. I love seeing how I can contort myself and push my body to new strength, balance and flexibility. It pushes me to new creative thinking too – deciding how to change the camera angles, my lighting, and how I want to portray the challenge pose for the day.

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It really is a fun thing to do – and it gives me some ideas on how I can push my yoga flow and influence my body to focus on different balances and ideas πŸ™‚ Even though obviously the above two pictures are pretty much the same pose – for different challenges πŸ˜‰

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Oh, and since we’re tapering for our marathon, yoga has been a really great way for me to maintain my strength and balance and core work. Guys, I know that tapering sounds awesome (less miles, more time for other stuff, duh) but these miles are still just as hard as the prior miles, and we aren’t even running as hard or as long!

I think it’s safe to say, we are READY FOR RACE DAY. May 22 – come on! πŸ™‚

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We went for a lovely run last night (stilllll tapering) and the weather was warmmmm and muggyyyy and I seriously loved it. Call me crazy, but I love humidity and warm climates; I secretly wish I could live in Florida weather, but still here in Wisconsin. I love the cool humid mornings too. Ahh! Take me to Florida. πŸ™‚

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Our cookinggggg lately has been superb…when is it not? πŸ™‚ Not going to lie, since we both have a LOVE for cooking and good food, it’s hard to have a night where we don’t like our dinner choice. Whether we spend an hour or more cooking or we just throw together an egg sandwich (below) with some coconut oil sauteed veggies… it always works out and we are always satisfied πŸ™‚

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We are also SO excited to get out on our bikes more often!! Yes, we love marathon training, don’t get me wrong. But we cannot wait to get on our biking training too! We have one triathlon scheduled for this summer (I’m hoping to schedule another one too) and a duathlon or two as well! Biking is so much fun and we can carry on a conversation and love our new awesome bikes, with our lunches or snacks in our bags! We definitely plan on doing some long bike rides this summer πŸ™‚

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And oh! How could I forget my new work friend Charlie!! My friend Blair brought Charlie in to visit at work and I got to puppysit for a half hour πŸ™‚ He’s pretty dang adorable and really makes me want my own puppy like NOW! I hope he can come hang out with me again soon πŸ™‚

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Have a gorgeous day friends!Β What are you looking forward to this weekend??

We have my cousin’s bridal shower on Saturday, with an 8 mile run before. And lots of relaxing and preparing for our marathon and our move at the end of the month! I also smell a long bike ride on Sunday…. πŸ™‚

Peace, xoxo.

Thursday Thoughts and Musings! 4.28.16

It’s almost May!!! This month is flying by! I can’t believe next month is Marathon Month. NEXT MONTH ALREADY. Only about 3 weeks away, holy cats!

It’s okay, we’re good. This is all fun and I’m trained and ready and happy πŸ™‚ #repeat

Joining Amanda again for Thinking Out Loud Thursdays! πŸ™‚

The weather here has been DISMAL this week. Cloudy, rainy, cold, windy. Just all the above. Thanks Wisconsin. We had a fun run last night with our running group, and my dad and awesome friend Sarah met up with us! Unfortunately, this drizzly depressing weather had to hit us, but at least we had great conversation and refreshments (beer at Big Head Brewing Company and pretzels) afterwards πŸ™‚

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This last week, we’ve been cooking, cleaning, running, and, YES. SIGNING OUR LEASE FOR OUR NEW APARTMENT! πŸ™‚ Seriously so excited. I can’t wait to send over pictures when we move in at the end of May! We both are going to be closer to our workplaces, and the neighborhood is quiet and beautiful and I can run outside in the morning alone and feel safe (which is HUGE obviously). AND WE CAN GET A PUPPY – more to come, more to come. πŸ˜‰ But let’s just say, we’re pretty freaking ecstatic!

Like, how about this lil guy? πŸ™‚ ❀ Courtesy of JR’s Pups-N-Stuff πŸ™‚

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On that note, I miss my Gussa SO MUCH. He was at work with me last Friday, through the weekend, and I had him all day Monday too. I know he’s happy to be back home, but I WOULD HAPPILY take him full time πŸ™‚

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Anyways, after I look at puppies all day, I’m still doing allllllllll my yoga challenges. Here are some updated photos for that πŸ™‚ I’m feeling so much stronger, more confident, and so excited to try new poses for these challenges. It’s so fun, I can’t even stand it πŸ™‚
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^^ This is the first time I tried this pose and I LOVE IT. Chinstands may be my new favorite.

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So my friend Tiffany at work showed me how to use the funky face thinger on Snapchat. And this is how I welcomed her yesterday morning. HAHAHA. This is so fun. πŸ™‚ Do you guys use snapchat?
Follow me! πŸ™‚ @apples2abs

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I’ve also been sautee’ing veggies and baking banana muffins like crazy this week πŸ™‚ I love it, they’re so delicious. I’ll probably share a blog on them… πŸ™‚ Next week!

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How is everybody else today? Any fun weekend plans? We are heading to Dubuque tomorrow after work for a wedding!! Our friends are getting married Saturday night AND we have our 20 mile run on Saturday morning. What a weekend it’ll be. I hope that lots of sleeping will happen on Sunday haha πŸ™‚

Peace! Xoxo ❀

Thursday Thoughts! 4.21.16

GOOD MORNING! πŸ™‚

How is everybody on this beautiful Thursday? I think I’m just super chipper because this week is a low(ish) mileage week (before we run 20 next weekend), and we haven’t had too much to do after work this week. AND I get to puppy-sit GUS this weekend!!! Seriously stoked. We also have about 6 apartment showings. So much to be excited about!

Here’s my Thursday Thoughts πŸ™‚ With Running with Spoons!

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As always, here’s a fun little recap of some cool yoga poses I’ve been doing for my challenges this week. πŸ™‚

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This was my first time doing firefly and I felt so good about holding it this far! Sooner or later, my hamstring will open up with more stretching, but this was pretty exciting for me!

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We’ve also been cooking up a storm again this week (probably from the amount of time we’ve had at home after work) and last night we made some CRAZY honey BBQ chicken wings (at Patrick’s request of course.) We stuck with the Tasty recipe, and then added a few more spices and other deliciousness to their mix πŸ™‚

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I also threw together some chicken sausage, mushrooms, and spinach with coconut oil in a pan for myself. HOLY WONDERFUL HEAVEN!

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Oh! And while Patrick was running last night, I BIKED πŸ™‚ On my new best friend! Patrick and I were trying to come up with a name for him/her. What do you guys think? I won’t tell you our ideas yet… πŸ™‚

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Also, I’ve been working on editing my Pinterest board. YOU GUYS, this is way harder than I thought. I feel like I post things on there to cook or make or buy and then after a few weeks, they get lost into oblivion. Does this happen to anyone else?? I really want to hone in on some awesome recipes and delete things I don’t usually look at it. Clean it up, ya know?Β A girl can dream…

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This entire week has been relaxing & rejuvenating, and I’ve had a great amount of time to spend thinking about my marathon, my job, my new apartment with Patrick, and all the other ideas swimming through my head. My latest interest?Β Eating clean. I’ve been doing SO much research on anything there is to know about clean-eating, alkaline vs. acidic foods, and all that jazz. If you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them! πŸ™‚

I really love what The Gracious Pantry wrote about clean eating. Thoughts?

I’ve also been experimenting with the new Snapchat filters… thoughts? I could be a pretty awesome hippie/Athenian chick πŸ™‚

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I hope everybody has a beautiful day today! I don’t have super a ton of thoughts today, but I’m always happy to blog and write about what’s going on in this fuzzy brunette head of mine πŸ™‚ Thanks for always reading and commenting! πŸ™‚

Peace & Love, xoxo.

Thinking Out Loud Thursday! 4.14.16

Good morning! This has been such a different week for me; I’ve been on-call for work, carrying the work phone around with me, and honestly, pretty anxious about anything that might come through on those calls. I haven’t been at the company two months yet, but I know this is a great way for me to learn how to facilitate certain situations for our customers. πŸ™‚

Joining Running with Spoons for the Thinking Out Loud post of the week! πŸ™‚
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ALL THAT BEING SAID, otherwise, we’ve been eating, running, working as always, and yoga’ing a couple times a day too πŸ™‚ April has a TON of challenges, like I said last week, and it’s so awesome to link up with different yogis and IG bloggers with these different poses and themes every day! I love a good challenge…

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Running has been going great – I have been running faster than I thought I could lately – especially for our shorter runs during the week. I want to get my splits down to as low as I can so that I feel more power when I’m running the longer mileage on weekends and for the actual marathon πŸ™‚ I have been doing a ton of research on how to fuel, how to train, how to get faster, etc. and its brought so many great ideas my way!

Fueling for Peak Marathon Performance.

Your Perfect Running Pace.

Speed vs. Aerobic Endurance.

5 Ways to Improve your 5K Speed.

If you guys have any awesome running stories or advice, I’d love to hear it!! πŸ™‚

Also, side note, my chocolate chip addiction is still alive and kicking. So no worries there…

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And yes, when I get home, I live in this bathrobe. Love it or don’t πŸ˜‰ It’s like being wrapped up in a blanket all the time!!

Monday night, we had Patrick’s family over for dinner and he made this AMAZING chicken that I just finished today, atop my salad for lunch. WOAH we need to make this again and again and then some more. Definitely a recipe we can keep in our back pockets for meal planning!

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ALSO – I want to ask you all, do you have any suggestions to get stronger nails? Mine have had a lifetime of really a lot of sadness. Thin, peeling, chipping all the time. I could use any and all ideas you have! I’ll try almost anything!!

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Have an exceptional rest of your week, loves! Here’s a pose I’ve been trying to get for awhile now! Baby crow, at your service πŸ™‚ Pretty amazing feeling hitting a pose you’ve been working hard to hit naturally!

Peace, xoxo ❀