Friday Favorites 10.20.2017

Hey friends πŸ™‚ I’m currently working on a blog about my recent trip to Europe – and I’m hoping to finish it this weekend when I get the time to fully engage and put details into it! So stay tuned!

In the meantime, I wanted to share some things I’m REALLY into lately. I’ve started to “revamp” some of the products I use in my day-to-day routine, I’ve started reading again recently (FINALLY!), and a bunch of other little things I think are fun and cute and worth sharing about. If you don’t care, stop reading HAHA.

1. My new book, Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown.

As many of you probably know, Brene Brown is AMAZING and her lectures and books and anything she writes (or touches) is gold! I just started the book literally yesterday and I already feel SO empowered. Yes that sounds corny, but it’s literally exactly what I feel so go read it πŸ™‚2. My new face lotion/ face masks/ skincare routine.

I never really cared about skin products. Ever. I use scentless, heavy moisturizing, eczema safe lotions and soaps, so I never really looked around for other products. Until I found an awesome face mask from Natura Culina (Rose’Berry) and a new face lotion from Radha Beauty. I also happened to win a yoga challenge on Instagram (cool right?!) and won another black charcoal face mask from Radha – sweet!

So far, they both have done wonders on my face – my skin is way softer, and hopefully, with the drier conditions that always come with winter, I’ll be able to keep my skin moisturized with their help πŸ™‚ I also started using “Yes to Coconuts” hand lotion and I AM ADDICTED. So that’s that.3. Hazelnut and Pumpkin Spice coffee.

I mean, do I really have to explain this?4. Redecorating/ rearranging my entire apartment.

I wish this was a joke, but it isn’t. I have recently gotten completely head-over-heels inspired to clean and organize and rearrange our space. In a good way!! I absolutely adore where we live, and I want to improve some of the ways we are setting up the area. I want to get new pillows, rugs, storage…even small things like bathroom accessories.

I want to create a space for me to do yoga and keep the items I use in my yoga practice. I just want to illuminate our apartment!Β And make it as beautiful and refined and US as we possibly can. I’m super stoked Patrick is on board with this too otherwise that mayyy be an uphill, slow, painful, annoying battle πŸ™‚ Thanks love!

IMG_20171020_091737_787IMG_20171020_091743_1765. Meal prepping

Since we got home from Europe, I set a goal for myself to cook and prepare all of my meals that I eat at work during the day.Β  Breakfast, snacks, lunch, snacks, and more snacks. I want to try and minimize the amount I personally spend on food throughout the week, so that when we do choose to splurge and go to a restaurant, I know that I haven’t already spent $20-$50 that week on lunches and breakfasts, etc. This also falls into the category of being more organized of course πŸ™‚ Making sure we grocery shopped, we cook more for dinner so we have leftovers for the next day, bringing extra snacks because we ALL know how 2:00 HANGRY feels πŸ™‚ It’s going well so far! And yes, it’s only been a week, so we’ll see πŸ™‚6. House of Lies

Patrick and I started watching Don Cheadle’s new TV show House of Lies last night and IT IS SO FUNNY. Kristin Bell is in it (and I adore her) and so is Ben Schwartz who I hope you all remember from Parks and Rec as Jean-Ralphio (arguably one of the best characters on that show). It’s VERY irreverent and fairly sexualized, but the banter between the people on their team, and how Don Cheadle discretely teaches us about sales and management is an awesome combination for this show. Check it out!don-cheadle-house-of-lies-ending7. Yoga

This isn’t new! Shannon, you do yoga all the time! Yes, I know, but this time, I’m actually setting a goal to attend a yoga class once per week. This proved to be challenging (okay, impossible!) with my marathon training. Both months of August and September were flooded with races, travel, weddings… you remember. So now that Autumn is here and I have opened my heart and mind (and schedule) again to having a teacher-guided practice. I am SOOOOO excited I can’t even tell you. I hope to join more workshops, explore multiple yoga studios, and hopefully learn more about my own personal practice and how to incorporate more meditation and mantras into my daily life. ❀ πŸ™‚8. Yoga Girl Podcast

And ON that last point, I have been listening to the Yoga Girl podcast NON. STOP. lately. Yes I have a lot of episodes to catch up on because she started her weekly podcast back in March – and I’m so okay with that! I keep her episodes on while I’m at work and it is so refreshing to hear her ideas and listen to her guests talk about all kinds of ways to revive and rejuvenate your life and relationships and self love, etc. I am completely in love πŸ™‚690fdda87d7dc0797e7dda03cfe7caca--yoga-girl-rachel-brathen-jaiAlso – I’ll take any advice on podcasts you recommend!!

Welp that’s everything in a nutshell! I am stoked about revitalizing my lifestyle, my wardrobe, my apartment, and just my overall mentality and wellbeing too. It’s always a work-in-progress of course, and I love the change and ebb and flow every step of the way.

Thanks for tuning in πŸ™‚ Have an amazing weekend!

Namaste, xoxo, Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

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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˜‰

fold

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.

kp and tony

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!!

scott and nicole

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

alex and baxter

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.

blair and john

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. ❀

108

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™‚

go pack

packers love

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™‚

expo

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™‚

pacer

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.

thumbs up

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!).

finish

finish 2

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˜€

medal and me

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?

me and dadme and momme and patrickme manda erik

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?

getting lit

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!

pincha

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!

pink

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

Life Lately 8.21.2017 – #lifeissweet

Anyone out there?? It’s me, Shannon.

I don’t want to mention how long it’s been since I’ve written one of these beloved posts. I have so many drafts started, notes in my phone, messages out to friends and family for inspiration… But I never got myself to just sit down and put something together. And now, I’m ready to get back in the game with this wonderful outlet. I already feel back at home – this is something I’ve missed doing, and making time to stay committed to blog up-keep is definitely not easy, especially during the busy summertime. BUT HERE WE GO. πŸ™‚

So where do I begin?

Probably the biggest part of my life right now is my current training for my upcoming race – my fourth full marathon. Β It’s the Lakefront Marathon again, and yes, I would LOVE if any/all of you came to cheer me on. October 1st, can’t miss the thousands of runners down by the Milwaukee lakefront that weekend.

19 miles

I have had two “long runs” and I have 3 more before I start to taper before race day. Overall, I am feeling awesome. Stronger than ever, and ready for another amazing and memorable race. My family and Patrick have been so incredibly supportive with my early nights and tired Saturdays – it doesn’t get better than the journey πŸ™‚

16 miles

I also started a new job in May! I now work at Harley Davidson. I haven’t loved a job like I love this one in a long time, so I actually look forward to coming to work every day πŸ™‚ I can’t complain, the first 100 days have been fantastic! I even got to pose with one at Summerfest, so I mean… pretty cool right?

harley

Pretty exciting update too – I finally completed my certification for Fitness Nutrition through ACE! I now can build my future practice (since I don’t current have a practice, technically) with personal training and help those with dietary and nutrition questions too πŸ™‚

ace

Also as you know if you follow me on Instagram, I have been developing my personal yoga practice fairly deeply over the last several months. It’s been the most enriching and powerful practice I’ve ever experienced, and every single day my body surprises me with new arm balances and flexibility improvements. It’s been a BLAST – and thank you all for supporting this journey! Who knows – maybe YTT is in my future πŸ˜‰

yoga 1

yoga 2

yoga 3

yoga 4

Patrick and I have officially been in our apartment for over a year now, and we are loving it more and more as we settle deeper into our life in Tosa. Baymax loves it, we have fantastic neighbors, and couldn’t be happier where we are πŸ™‚

family

We have been so fortunate to have a busy summer, filled with seeing friends, family events, and plenty of races of all kinds. We completed two triathlons this year (one was actually only biking/swimming, since the swim was canceled) we had a blast completing both!

lake country tri

pewaukee tri

I’ve been able to complete some races with my dad and sister as well! I LOVE that we have such a fun and strong running family!

me and gracee

fish days

We have so much to look forward to during the rest of summer. We have FOUR weddings in September, I have my long-runs continuing, we have some travel here and there – – – and it’s all so beautiful, I am completely filled with gratitude and love all the time. Our lives are truly shining with overwhelming amounts of love and friendship and I am humbled by everything I experience every day ❀

me and blair

kp

These two beautiful brides are getting married in September, and I am honored to be in both weddings! Over the summer, we had showers/bachelorette parties and I had SUCH a blast celebrating their love!!!

A few snippets from this summer. Full of love, smiles, memories, and a decent amount of O-Gii from MKE Brewing Company πŸ˜‰ I can’t wait to see how summer continues to shine, and I hope that each of you has light pouring on your face and experiences each and every day as well ❀

Peace to you all! Thank you for reading my somewhat crammed life update πŸ™‚ Cheers!

xoxo. ❀ FitnessbyShannon

New Blog Face!

Good morning friends and long-lost bloggers!

It’s been a HOT minute since I’ve blogged. (Again). But this time around, I have a new face, a new goal, and a new vision for my blog. πŸ™‚ New name too! @fitnessbyshannon. Everything is re-named and branded to match that, so I hope you love it just as much as I do!

I’ll be posting weekly about workout ideas, writing/ journal topics I’ve come across, awesome recipes, etc. Similar to @apples2absfitness but a little more refined I think? We’ll see where it takes me.

I hope you’re ready for the ride! Thanks for reading! ❀

Peace and Love, xoxo!

In the meantime – check out my Instagram! @fitnessbyshannon

yoga

An Object in Motion Stays in Motion… Life Updates! 8.29.16

Hellooooooo!! Longest hiatus ever I know. Therefore… I definitely have plenty to update you with! Β We have been zooming around to various races/events, enjoying our perfect little puppy growing up and growing HUGE already, and of course I am still completely grateful and loving my personal training gig, with my yoga practice peppered in still.

 

We completed a triathlon two weeks ago in Oconomowoc, WI and it was a blast!! We had some rainy weather during our swim which led to pretty choppy waves but we finished strong and Patrick and I BOTH had personal records!! Pretty proud there. The sad part… The race didn’t give out medals… WHAT! I was pretty sad. They gave them out last year so I’ll have to reevaluate this race before signing up next year πŸ˜‰ the medal is SO IMPORTANT! I mean right??

And just two days ago, we completed a half marathon, with my great friend Sarah and my dad too! Although I haven’t run…much…at…all… Since our marathon in May. We pushed through, had fun, and are so happy we finished upright and no injuries!

Isn’t it refreshing to sometimes joins race with no aspirations or expectations? Just to do it for fun and to finish? The course was wonderful and we relaxed with family and friends after to celebrate!

Baymax is already 6 months old. WHAT. Yeah, he’s the most happy and playful puppy but still makes time to cuddle with mama πŸ™‚ he’s over 60 lbs too… That just proves to us he will get close to 100 lbs when he’s full grown. SO EXCITED but we love watching him grow up in the meantime πŸ™‚

I have still been working on my yoga practice although sadly I haven’t been to an actual class in over a month. BUT my sister got me a gift card to a wonderful studio near my apartment so I can now use that to get my butt into a studio! Thanks sista πŸ™‚

We also got to spend a lot of awesome family time at Irish Fest this year! And got to watch my little sister dance. This is only her… 5th year I think – and she’s already advanced to one of the top classes πŸ™‚ #irishpride

On top of ALLLLL of that, I have finally found my path in terms of my scheduling. My days were 13+ hours away from home, constantly driving back and forth between home, the gym, and my other day time desk job… it was getting to be a LOT. BUT I finally figured out what works best for me, my body, my time and ability, and my employers have been amazing at letting me factor everything in so it all makes sense.

Being myself. Staying true. Focusing on my real goals. And helping others every single day. That’s my calling and that’s how I keep flowing and keep moving. #inertia

 

Happy  Monday everybody ❀ Hope you all are happy and healthy!

Message me if you have any personal training questions – I’m on a ROLL and would love to help anyone who has questions about diet or training in the gym πŸ™‚

Mwah!! xoxo,

ShannersΒ 

Instagram: @apples2abs.fitness

Exciting Updates and Thoughts! 8.11.16

Good morning beauties! Okay. I know it’s been almost a month since I’ve posted but BOY do I have updates for you!! So much has happened in the last 3 weeks and I am just bursting to share with you!

First and foremost… I have officially accepted a new position for my career… As a Full Time Personal Trainer!! πŸ™‚ I was referred by a friend, and the position honestly just sort of landed in my lap but I COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED.Β 

This entire week has been shadowing trainers and group fit instructors, and I even have my own clients to personally train already πŸ™‚ It’s a pretty wonderful scenario and I can’t wait to get busier!

THE BEST PART is that I get to keep my current job part-time! They found a place to keep me working here and I am so grateful and excited to stay a part of a wonderful company during the day when I’m not training πŸ™‚ #grateful #lifeisgood

Outside of THAT amazing update, I have still been trying to keep my schedule relatively the same. Working out in the mornings, still having my wonderful homemade dinners with Patrick and Baymax every night. It’s a wonderful life πŸ™‚

Some looks at my inversions for this last week.

Since my birthday was July 31, and we were on our camping trip at Rocky Mountain National Park (different blog to come!), I wasn’t able to see my family, so I was able to celebrate with them after we got back! πŸ™‚

My mom made me THE BEST CARD (as always) ((and yes that’s considered a card to her- a poster)) with pictures of me growing up and it is currently hung in our apartment since I love it so much. She makes every card with so much love and care, it’s amazing ❀

My dad and step mom and sister took me and Patrick out for Mexican last Friday (MY FAVORITE YAS) and Patrick and I split a margarita bigger than my face. πŸ™‚


AND my little sister made me a homemade blueberry pie. I feel like I can literally smell it and taste it through this picture… SO AMAZING.


The following morning (hilarious, I know) we ran a HOT 5K around Miller Park area on the Hank Aaron State Trail. Only about .25 miles was actually ON the trail, which I’m bummed about, but my dad and I ran a sub 10-minute mile pace the entire time so I was happy πŸ™‚

That night, we went out to the State Fair with our wonderful friends Mitch and Lindsey and OBVIOUSLY had to go down the Giant Slide. I haven’t done that… in probably… 15 years. I kid you not. It was probably the best 10 seconds of my month πŸ™‚

All in all, I am deliriously happy. Life works out in mysterious ways, and I couldn’t be more grateful for all your support, and particularly the support of my incredibly man Patrick. He’s my man-cheerleader and I thank him every single day for being the best person in my life. My mom, my dad, my sisters… they are all the best too – we literally exchange family emails on a daily basis going over pros and cons of my life decisions.Β How amazing is that? ❀

Did I mention that above^ was my first time doing a forearm stand with no wall? I had myself close to a wall JUST IN CASE, and I gently floated one leg at a time up and didn’t even touch it. YAY PROGRESS! πŸ™‚

Have a wonderful beautiful healthy day my friends! πŸ™‚

Instagram: @apples2abs.fitness

Peace, xoxo.

Joined Running with Spoons!

Thursday Thoughts- Hot Hot Summer! 7.21.16

This is a note I got last week when I came home from work. Yes, Patrick used to sell some of the best knives in the world. And he won’t let me forget it πŸ˜‰

Happy Thursday friends!! Joining Amanda at Running with Spoons again! How has everyone been in this HOT HOT HEAT? We have definitely had the A/C on some nights lately, which I’m usually totally against. But we have a puppy (and ourselves) to keep comfortable, so it’s had to happen a few times.

Let’s see… where did we leave off…?

Patrick and I went to a very lovely wine tasting last week at a local restaurant/winery with some of our good friends! Michael and Susan had free tastings so YEAH we all went and tried some pretty delicious wine and MAY have left with two bottles for ourselves πŸ™‚

Baymax has been doing so wonderfully – he OFFICIALLY hit over 50 pounds yesterday!!! We definitely had a party and jumped around and clapped and congratulated him for being so BEEEEEEG πŸ™‚

I bring him to work 2-3 times a week and he just loves it (obviously) and naps a LOT (obviously).

My July inversions goal has been going great too! I love trying new inversions and letting my body just completely relax in an upside down pose. It’s very soothing and allows my body to focus and still detach from what’s going on around me. Pretty awesome.


Last Thursday and Friday, my sister was in town for Bastille Days! Milwaukee has one of the best festivals to commemorate the Storming of the Bastille and France’s Independence Day. It’s absolutely one of my favorite festivals of the year, so we went twice! My family went, along with our great friends Mitch and Lindsey πŸ™‚

Even in the midst of all the craziness and sadness that happened on Thursday night 😦 My heart goes out to the city of Nice, and all of France. The entire festival had a long moment of silence on Friday night after that devastating tragedy that took so many beautiful lives on a day that should have been a celebration ❀

The next morning, my dad, Patrick and I ran our traditional Port Fish Days 8k! We run it every year, and LOVE the beautiful route around Port Washington. I think I even PR’ed this year! It was a scorching hot day, but we swam afterwards and had delicious breakfast to celebrate too πŸ™‚

These last few weeks have been wonderful, and we have another fun-filled weekend ahead! THEN OUR CAMPING TRIP FOR MY BIRFDAYYY πŸ™‚

Pretty stoked, yes. πŸ™‚

Have a gorgeous day, loves! I’ll just leave you with this…