20 things you might not know about me

September 20, 2016
A Fit Mess

We’re still in the getting-to-know-you stage, right? Well, today I wanted to share a fun post that might help you get to know me better. I’d love to know some things about you, too, so play along below. Ready?


20 things you might not know about me


1.  I somehow managed to have two extra adult teeth in my mouth when I was younger. I had those – along with four additional teeth – pulled. No pain like teeth pulling pain.


2.  I am terrified of clowns. I blame this on my parents for letting me watch IT when I was a 8! #badparenting


3.  I won a regional storytelling contest when I was in middle school. It was kind of a big deal (for me). The story I told was “Wicked John and the Devil.” I can still recall parts of it! Ha Ha


4.  I was a french major in college for a hot minute before switching to business and then to law and finally to political science. I thought my advisor was going to kill me. I ended up minoring in business and then got my MBA.


5.  My favorite foods include: sushi, carrot cake, peanut butter, coffee, and wine (drinks can be food, right?)

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6.  When I was a toddler I bit into a tube of superglue and had to be taken to the ER to have my mouth pried open (I believe the doctors used a spoon). I’m not going to point fingers, but my dad was supposed to be watching me.


7.  99% of the time that I worry it’s about my kids.


8.  My idea of a perfect morning is to wake up early, drink coffee in a quiet house while I write, spend some time with my family having breakfast, and then get in a hard workout.

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9.  My happy place is definitely the beach. I love the salty air. I visualize being at the beach when I need to relax.


10.  I’m not a natural blonde <— you didn’t know that, DID you?! 🙂


11.  Things I hate: balancing my checkbook, getting my oil changed, snow, and anything involving the DMV.


12.  My parents named all three of their children with an “A.” And our last name starts with an “A”. Real funny, mom and dad.


13.  I am technically from Niagara Falls, but I lived in Buffalo for several years before moving to NC. Yes, chicken wings and pizza are awesome in Buffalo. No, I don’t love snow (see #11).

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14.  I can make some really amazing Paleo desserts. My favorite is a chocolate peanut butter fudge tart.


15.  I have a problem spending money on workout clothes, sneakers, coffee, and Orangetheory.


16.  I once had to defend my thesis in college to three (male) political scientist professors, including the department chair. My topic? The Gender Gap in the House of Representatives – Why Women Don’t Have a Place at the Table. Talk about nervous.


17.  I still get carded for alcohol (Ok, I secretly love it).


18.  I could run all day on the treadmill, but put me in a pool and I can barely move. Swimming is HARD!


19.  My favorite places to kill an hour of time: Target, Nordstrom Rack, Starbucks, the gym!


20.  I love being a mom to two girls. Our house is 75% female. Oh, yeah!

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Okay, now it;s your turn. Share one thing about yourself below. C’mon it’s fun!


What’s your vacation style? Plus do-anywhere workouts!

August 18, 2016

Hey there. Happy Thursday! I can’t believe our trip is right around the corner. I’ve decided to get a jump on things and get the three of us packed and I’m just about finished. It’s funny – I put a lot of thought into what the girls will wear and the things they may need, but when it came time for my stuff I kind of just threw a bunch of things together. #momlife

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Packing up the girls
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And whatever mom can throw together for herself

This girls are doing really well with using the potty (they wear pull-ups at night and during naps), but I am a bit nervous about keeping up the routine while we are in a new environment. I’ve heard from other parents that sometimes travel can throw off your potty progress, so I’m going to be prepared with extra changes of clothes. I also packed 1,000 pairs of Minnie Mouse, Princess Sophia, and Elmo undies.

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As for my stuff – comfortable is the name of the game. We’ll be at the beach so I’ll likely just wear loungey clothes. However, I made sure to pack plenty of workout clothes. I was glad to hear our condo has an exercise room, but I’m not sure what the set up is so I’ve started to plan a variety of workouts that can be done inside, at the gym, or on the beach.


Some people like to use vacation as a time to scale back on their workouts or rest completely. Personally, I find I can relaxed even more when I’ve managed to add in a workout to my day. I used to think this was odd, but my body really craves a good sweat and so I’m embracing this feeling. In a way it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something and really sets the tone for my day. I’m planning on working out at least a few times while we are gone and I’m hoping to add in several walks on the beach.


Some of the fitness equipment I plan on bringing include:

  • TRX (so easy to throw over your door)
  • jump rope
  • resistance bands
  • tennis ball (for rolling out my feet)


Here are some of my favorite exercises to do while I’m travelling. I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to travel/home workouts that are perfect for on the go.

Body weight + HIIT workouts (no equipment needed)

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This HIIT is a quick and easy way to get your heart rate up and gain strength. Complete 5 rounds for a total of 30 minutes.

Mother's Day HIIT

HIIT Cardio Session from Jen Jewell

I love this workout so, so much. It’s a good one for sure. Each time I do it I’m exhausted after. If you don’t have a jump rope you can just simulate jumping rope.


Minimal equipment workouts

6 Dumbbell Exercises, 3 Full-Body Workouts by Tina Haupert  – I haven’t tried these yet, but Tina’s workouts are always great!

This simple upper body super set would be an excellent way to squeeze in a quick workout. Only a set of dumbbells required!

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When it comes to diet, I also give myself some room to enjoy food and drinks while I am on vacation. Time away should be an experience we all enjoy so I’m not going to stress about being 100% clean or gluten/dairy free. But I always make sure I drink a ton of water while I am away to stay hydrated. And when it comes to managing toddlers on a trip, snacks are key!


Finally, I just want to thank everyone for sharing their comments and opinions after I posted about some of my hesitations regarding travelling with my kids. Your thoughts were very inspiring (and also funny). I appreciate your feedback and I loved reading your thoughts. I very much believe that traveling with kids is essential and that eventually things will get easier. But just as the girls will need to adjust to being away and learning to go with the flow, I also need to adapt to being out of my comfort zone and off my routine. The good thing is I will have a lot of help. And it’s going to be a lot of fun!


What is your vacation style like?

Do you enjoy working out when you travel or do you prefer to rest?

What are your favorite snacks to travel with?



Vacation recap (#nofilter)

April 6, 2016

Hey, hey. We’ve made it back from our trip to the beach and I’m finally sitting down to write a recap.

The trip had highs and lows – it was nice to break out of our everyday routine and the weather was beautiful, but we definitely had our struggles with the girls. Two year olds can be so…emotional (and that’s being generous!). Their sleep was off for most of the trip and we played musical beds every night. But that’s the way it goes sometimes. I keep reminding myself that this phase will pass. Toddlers.are.crazy.

So, let’s recap, shall we?

I took Friday off from work so I could pack and organize things for our trip. I’m glad I did because I didn’t feel rushed on Saturday morning. In fact, I was able to take my usual class in the morning before we left. I knew if I was going to be sitting for 3 hours I needed to get some movement in beforehand.


After class I showered and we all got dressed and piled into the car. As I mentioned in my previous post, the trip down was a breeze. I attribute our success mostly due to the fact that I had a bunch of snacks for the girls. I made sure I grabbed some things they haven’t had before to keep it interesting. I also hit up the $1 section at Target and got some toys on the cheap to keep them entertained. These sticky lizards were a hit!


I spent most of the car ride reading and studying. In fact, I finished reviewing my training manual! As you can see I didn’t have a whole lot of leg room.


We arrived at the beach around 11:30 am. Our house was super nice! It had been recently updated and there was plenty of room for us. The owners have grandchildren so the whole place was kid-friendly and toddler-proofed. You can see more pics in Monday’s post.

After checking out our digs we headed over to our friend’s place (they own the home across the street from us) to catch up. A random person in Whole Foods taught Maddie how to make that goofy face and now she does it all the time.

We eventually made our way to the beach. Saturday it was super windy which made the beach a bit chilly. But, hey, it IS April. Not complaining!

We spent some time at the beach and then our friends cooked dinner at our place. Shrimp and rice plus a salad. It was delicious!

Saturday was a bit of a rough night for the girls. They didn’t have a proper nap and I think being off schedule in a new place was tough for them. Many meltdowns and getting them to go to sleep was HARD. Do any other parents have this problem when they travel?

Sunday things turned around. After relaxing on the deck in the morning, we took the girls to Kure Beach to visit the aquarium. We didn’t realize we had to take a ferry over until we were almost there, but luckily it arrived quickly. It was the girls’ first time on a boat!

Seriously, the aquarium was SO much fun. The girls had a blast.

The aquarium also had an outdoor playground and cafe so the kids could burn off some energy and do kid-things. What a great idea!


On our way back from the aquarium the girls fell asleep. Yes! Rather than attempt to take them out of the car I sat in the front seat reading and catching up on social media. Seriously, how many times have I sat in the car while they napped?

After they woke up we headed down to the beach and spent around 3 hours playing. It was such a great time to be there – it was practically empty and super sunny. Check out that sky!

Ashlyn loved splashing in the water while Maddie enjoyed digging in the sand and “playing” paddle board with our friend (gotta admit she’s better than I am!).

Monday morning I worked out at the house (I went with this one and it took just over 30 minutes). Then we took the girls into Southport and walked around the town, hit up a toy store and then the playground. Don’t let these smiles fool you! I shared on Instagram that this picture was taken just moments before a massive double-meltdown.

The girls napped when we got home and I enjoyed one of the most glorious (and silent) hours on the deck, reading and drinking coffee.

The day concluded with more beach time and popsicles. I was way lenient on this trip with snacks and treats, but that’s how it goes on vacation, right?

The evening concluded with Frozen, a new to us movie. (Can I just say we are officially obsessed over here? And I totally get the hype!)


We said good bye to the beach on Tuesday and headed home.

After we got back, I grabbed groceries at TJs, did 100 loads of laundry, unpacked and repacked my suitcase, and somehow persuaded the girls to take a nap.

Today I leave for a work trip to St. Louis. Truth be told, I’m looking forward to being done with my travel. Plus, as much as these two girls drive me bonkers I will miss them like crazy.

Any parents out there have some tips on how to keep a routine while on vacation? Is anyone else planning a trip this spring with their kids?

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Hello from Oak Island + last week’s workouts

April 2, 2016

Hello, hello! Popping in from Oak Island to say hey and share last week’s workouts.

We made it here in one piece. The car ride was actually…pleasant. I know I’m jinxing myself by saying this before we’ve had to drive home! But the girls did well in the car. I’ll share what I did to keep them busy in my full recap later this week (spoiler: it involved a lot of snacks!).

The beach is beautiful and we’ve had some great weather so far. It’s been nice to have coffee with an ocean view!

The house we are staying in is really lovely and there is a lot of room for the girls to move about. Take a look at the pics below! If anyone would like the rental property information, please let me know. I would highly recommend this place!

I’m looking forward to sharing our trip highlights later this week!

Last week’s workouts:

I’m really proud of myself for getting in some quality workouts despite having a busy week.


I was home with the girls this day so I made up a workout to do while they napped. I think I overestimated myself! Super, super hard. I honestly said, “Are you kidding me?!” out loud to myself.

Home workout – strength (no rest)

4 rounds:

  • 20 pushups
  • 20 supermans

4 rounds:

  • 20 hammer curls
  • 20 cross body curls (seated)

4 rounds:

  • 20 dips
  • 20 diamond pushups

4 rounds:

  • 20 chest presses (on the floor)
  • 20 overhead presses

Abs: 3 sets of 2 minute planks


Strength workout – by Jamie Eason

Perform 3 sets (12 reps) of each exercise.* So, you would perform 12 wide pushups and repeat that 3 times before moving on to the DB bench presses. I rested 30 seconds in between each set.

  • wide pushups (12)
  • DB bench press (12)
  • flat bench press cable flys (12)
  • narrow pushups (12)
  • standing DB tricep extensions (12)
  • tricep pushdowns (12)

* I went lighter on the weights for this to give my arms a break.


Orangetheory class (I heart Coach Krystal! She’s a great motivator and keeps the class interesting.)


REST – I went for a walk at lunch


Home workout – strength

4 rounds:

  • pushups with inward intent (AMRAP) – while in the push up position press your hands in toward each other without picking them up.
  • 1 arm DB elbow out row (12)

4 rounds:

  • DB curl to press (12)
  • band stiff arm pull down (12)

10 minutes of abs:

leg lifts, reverse crunches, bicycles, spider mans, v-ups

Saturday – beach day!

Orange Theory – I squeezed in a class before we left for the beach.


A lot of walking and running around at the beach

I hope you all have a great Monday!