Five [random] Things Friday

Love this totally random sign …. uh yeah, about the soccer field being on the archery range – yikes!

It’s FRIDAAAAAYYYYYY!! I don’t know about you but for me, this day took its time getting here! To celebrate another week in the books, I’ve put together this Five [random] Things Friday post. Enjoy!

Rest Day – I have to admit that I’m actually having more of a “rest week.” I’ve been running ragged lately with work and family activities that I am just plain exhausted. Sometimes You just have to take care of you. You know that saying, “if you’re cup is empty how can you fill up others’ cups…” or something like that. I decided to refill up my cup this week. The Selfie Light – here I am showing off with my new selfie light that I got from Rodan + Fields with my new eye cream. It is going to be a game-changer or at least a fun-maker 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Love the Eighties – we recently went to a 50th birthday bash for my sister-in-law. It was an eighties theme and It. Was. Amazing. As you can see from the photo below, my family went all in. My bangs were like blades — even after I slept on them. Oh, and here’s something random: the DJ played all the best of the 80s songs for 4 hours – FOUR! and the one tune that stuck in my head was “Don’t You Forget about Me” ugh!

This New Workout App – Through my affiliation with Sweat Pink Ambassadors, I’ve been able to try out Gixo for the last few weeks and it’s been really fun. It’s an interactive workout app that has LIVE classes with LIVE coaches! Since I work out totally alone 99.9% of the time, I like the tiny bit of competition that you get out of the classes (I like to try and have the most reps or beat my pace goals). You can try it free for a month via this link.

Stiletto Running Ambassador – That’s right, I’m super pumped to be part of the Runway Crew 2018 for Stiletto Running! I’ve ordered a couple of shirts and Can. Not. Wait. for them to arrive! yay! Stiletto Running Ambassador

What’s random in your week? Have you ever taken a “rest week”?

Until Next Time,
Meg

3 Basic Rules for Choosing the Right Outfit for your Workout

Proper Workout Attire

With the rising popularity of athleisure plus the acceptance of wearing such things as leggings to work, we have a vast range of choices when it comes to workout garments. Especially when we are looking for pieces that we can wear from the gym to running errands or even on a night out.

From various cuts, fabrics, and fits – choosing appropriate materials that work for a sweat session and double as regular clothes can be difficult. Fitness friends, you know how much goes into mentally preparing and crushing that workout and what you choose to wear can factor into that mindset. Nothing is worse than having your workout completely ruined because of a poor wardrobe choice – Amiright? I’m not only talking to the fashion-conscience individual. In fact, I work out totally alone most of the time in my own basement or on a lonely gravel road – so we’re not talking about setting trends here. What I’m talking about is physical comfort. Being able to crush that workout without a thought of my clothing during said workout. Comfort and support in your clothing choices should always be a priority.

Here are 3 basic rules I follow when selecting my workout clothing:

1. Opt for Sweat-Wicking materials. AKA – avoid the cotton tee or shorts: Cotton absorbs sweat and doesn’t quickly release it through evaporation. Wearing heavy, damp cotton against your skin can give you the chills and cause irritation. There is not enough body glide in the world to convince me to run in cotton shorts!

Proper workout attire

2. Avoid Wearing Unfamiliar (untested) gear (at least for a major workout): those leggings may look modest when looking into your mirror at home, but it could quickly become X-rated as soon as you bend over to do deadlifts or as you become sweatier throughout the workout, not to mention unknown chafing areas (see point 1 above).

Proper Workout Attire

3. Choose items that fit: baggy sweatpants or oversized shirts can catch on exercise machines and equipment. My go-to options for most of my workouts are fitted 3/quarter length pants, slim-fitting long pants or moisture wicking shorts.

Another area worth mentioning is ensuring you have the proper base layer – aka proper undies. Comfort (for both men and women) starts with this layer and getting it wrong will almost always ruin your day, or at the very least, your workout. I usually go with a light-weight, full coverage poly-spandex blend. I like these Randies from Oiselle or Victoria Secret has some as well (I prefer the hiphugger version). For men, I have heard that these boxer briefs from Tommy John are quite comfortable.

And there you have it. I hope some of these tips help you enjoy your next workout in comfort—and maybe even in style!

Tommy John, a company that prides themselves on keeping you comfortable in any situation, created this graphic featuring the tips of experts like myself. Check it out below!

Tommy John

Do you have any favorite clothing items to keep you focused on the workout versus on your comfort?

Until Next Time,
Meg

**The links that I have included in this post are NOT affiliate links, but simply links to some of my favorite things! 

Top 6 Body Weight Exercises – No Gym Required

top body weight exercises

Body weight exercises are hands down the most convenient exercises simply because they require only floor space rather than equipment. There are a wide variety of effective body weight exercises out there — simply google it and you will see what I’m talking about. Here I’ve listed my top 6 favorites. You can do all 6 in a sequence for an optimal workout, or simply choose one to do to kill time such as I do (see my IG post below – hehe).

Now, on to my favorite body weight exercises! In no particular order…

Push-Ups

You had to know that good ol’ fashioned push-ups would make this list. They work your arms. They also work your core, your quads, your booty, your back — who knew they were a full body move?!

Push-ups are effective regardless of whether you do them on your knees or up on your toes (on your finger-tips or with one arm, for that matter!) as long as you are doing them with the correct form. Speaking of correct form, here are some tips from one of my fellow FitFluential Ambassadors!

Squats

Here is another one that you knew would find on this list. Squats go back to ancient Greek wrestling days… Okay, I totally made that up, but they are one of the best lower body exercises there is. Again, proper form is a MUST to see results plus stay injury free. FitFluential gives a thorough description of what a squat should look like here.

Plank

Whether you do plank up on your hands or down on your elbows, it is one of The. Most. Effective. full-body exercises there is…once again, with proper form. I know, quit harping on us about form! Susie over at Suzlyfe, gives a detailed explanation of proper form in this post. I try and get in at least one minute every day and typically do it right after my run — sometimes even in the grass.

Bridge-Ups

I love to do these post run or post workout. At least in the first 15 seconds it feels like a cool down (almost like child’s pose). However, when held for 2 minutes, that sensation becomes much more painful than any cool down should be! Bridge pose works your hamstrings, calves, core, quads, glutes, shoulders, making it pretty much a full body exercise as well. My goal is 2 minutes per day. If you want to change it up and work more of the inner thigh (and who doesn’t?!) try adding a pillow or yoga block between your knees or one of these other variations from PopSugar Fitness!

Bridge Ups with PopSugar Fitness

Wall Sit

As seen above, I usually do 2 minutes of wall sitting each day — in my dress clothes — at my office. My routine is to do 1 minute while waiting for the Keurig to brew my cup of coffee then repeat for my second cup of coffee. Only once has someone walked into the breakroom to find me sitting on the wall!

Not sure how to do a proper wall sit? Let Tara from A Daily Dose of Fit explain!

Hand Stand

This on is really a bonus and not necessarily one of my favorite moves (mostly because I am not very good at it (case in point, my epic fail video below). That being said, I do enjoy a quick handstand post run, usually in my yard using a tree to help balence me initially (again, see below). In order to hold a good hand stand, you must stay tight all over and focused, which is what makes this such a good full body exercise. For tips, scorll through Cat Valdez’ IG feed.

What body weight exercises are your favorites? Have you ever been caught by one of your co-workers doing a wall sit while waiting for coffee? 🙂

Until Next Time,
Meg

Welcome to My Mid Work-Life Crisis?

Happy Friday Everyone!

I am super excited for today, mostly because it’s FRIDAY and I really really need a break. I’m also excited because my daughter has her second Cross Country meet tomorrow and I can’t wait to watch her run! She’s in junior high and giving XC a try mostly because we asked her to, but she has amazing (untapped) talent. She’s a natural and just doesn’t know it yet.

On the subject of untapped talent…

I think I’m going through a just-before-mid- life crisis. Does that even exist? Maybe I should call it a mid-worklife crisis.  I’m still in my 30s, so I don’t think it qualifies as mid-life, and it’s specifically about my career life, but either way, it feels like a crisis.Maybe it's not a midlife crisis

Just to give you the back story:

I’m in a job that I like…sort of. I have a great boss, the best boss, actually. I’m pretty sure if it wasn’t for my boss, I would be looking for another job. Not to get into the details, but I come home frustrated Every. Single. Day. It’s like when you can see where you need to get and you can see the path to get there. But then others (that should be on your team) throw up obstacles and now I have to be an American Ninja Warrior to even see the goal. That is my day — every day. So, I’m grumpy a lot and I don’t like that.

I took some time to do self-reflection and to think about what I truly wanted out of life. I’m at a place where my kids are getting involved in sports and activities. I love to be able to go to all of their events and really hate to miss out on nightly family time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not leaving my current job. I’ve worked really hard to get into this type of position. I’m on several statewide boards that I love, and I have several projects that I could never walk away from. But I need something more, something fun and something that is about ME. My relfection points me to my passions: fitness, helping people feel better about themselves, wellness, etc.

Which brings me to two major (what I feel are major) steps to change the course of my work life…

The first: I had a phone consultation with a NASM professional about signing up to become a Certified Personal Trainer. What?! you say. How is simply having a phone consultation a big, life-altering plunge? This was a big step for me. I have contemplated becoming a CPT for years and have never told anyone! So a big step was talking to my husband and admitting that it is really something that I want and then to take it a step further and talk to a rep seems like a big step to me. Stay tuned to see if I actually sign up for the course!NASM

The second life-altering decision: I became a RODAN + FIELDS consultant! I know, you’re thinking, “network marketing”? I thought that too, but I’m doing this, you guys. I’m ALL IN. I actually started in early July. It has already been a great opportunity for personal growth. Besides making some extra money and getting a discount on really good skincare, it has opened me up to a whole world of networking. You might not know this about me, but I’m an extroverted introvert or an introverted extrovert (I’m not sure which it is). I like people, but I like people that I know. I am not good at meeting people and I’m uncomfortable in a room full of strangers. This network marketing gig forces you to be friendlier, meet more people, be more open… and… it’s been… AWESOME. I already feel like I’m actually making friends (with people that I kind of knew already). I’m not talking other consultants, but my neighbors, my kid’s friend’s moms. It’s already been a fun journey and I’m still figuring things out. In fact, it’s not about sales at all (thank goodness, because I’m not exactly rolling in the dough), it’s about relationships. I might actually make some friends doing this! (That’s a blog post for another day).

I’d be remiss (and a really bad consultant if I didn’t give you a quick rundown of what Rodan and Fields is: Drs Rodan and Fields are the same two women doctors that created the Proactiv formula and yes, they are also the dermatologists that formulated Lash Boost, the amazing lash serum that makes your lashes appear thicker, darker, longer (100% yours and 100% real).

Rodan + Fields Changing Skin Changing Lives

Sorry, I digress! Now, they are doing for anti-aging what they did for acne. As you know from reading my blog, I struggled with acne nearly my entire life, including most of my adult years. Not only is it tricky to find acne products that work, it’s even harder to find products that will clear up acne while at the same time help my skin age well. RODAN + FIELDS does that. I promise I won’t get pitch-y on you, but check out my website and feel free to contact me anytime with questions!

So, there you have it. My work-life seemed in shambles and this is what I chose to do about it. I’m working on me – – just me. How can I become a better version of myself? Because as a better version of myself, I will be able to do everything better. Plus, I won’t be grumpy anymore.

Whew, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders! I’m pretty private about things (I know, why do I have a blog??) but it feels so good to let you all know what’s going on in my life!

What’s going on with you? Have you ever tried a network marketing biz? Have you ever felt like you’re having a mid-life crisis?

Until Next Time,
Meg

Empowering Young Girls Through Running

Girls become women, but empowered girls become women who change the world.

I am passionate about all things that are associated with empowering our young people and, being the mom to two daughters, I’m especially passionate about those programs that are aimed at young girls. Combine that with my passion for running and fitness and you have Girls on the Run, or as those of us immersed in the program call it, GOTR.

Girl Empowerment + Love of Running = GOTR

Girls on the Run is a non-profit organization “dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.” The program uses running and special curriculum that teaches life skills to build confidence and self-worth within the girls as well as team work and a sense of accomplishment. One of the best things about GOTR is that it can be offered in any size of community. Our small community (population 432) even offers it. My girls have both participated and I have been a “Run Buddy” for the past several years, running alongside the girls in the annual end of the season 5K. Here I am below with my daughter during this year’s 5K.

Coaches must undergo certification and often times personally foot the bill for the training and all materials. Local chapters (ours is Girls on the Run Nebraska) do fundraising annually to help offset the cost to the participating communities as well as to provide scholarships to the girls. No girl should be turned away because they can’t afford to pay the participation fee!

Enter in: ShopWithScrip. ShopWithScrip is a fundraising tool that takes all the hassle out of the mix! It’s an earn-while-you-shop style fundraiser. The formula is simple:

  • The retailers sell the certificates at a discount to ShopWithScrip
  • Families and individuals buy the certificates at full face value and redeem them for full face value
  • Your organization gets the difference as revenue

The typical percent earned is 5%. It’s that easy! The only catch is that you might have to pre-plan some of your purchases, however that’s not really a catch because even retail giants such as Walmart and Amazon participate.

Here is an even better explanation:

I’m joining forces with ShopWithScrip to raise funds for Girls on the Run and I’d love your help! If you’re game, follow these simple steps:

  • Go to www.ShopWithScrip.com and click How to Enroll, then click Join Your Scrip
    Program.
  • Enter your enrollment code for the program you’d like to support. If you’d like to help raise funds for Girls on the Run, please contact me for an access code! 
  • Fill in all required personal information and click ‘I Accept.’
  • Choose two security challenge questions from the list and provide answers.

That’s it! Super easy and super effective! Have you ever tried a program such as this for fundraising? Have you heard about or participated in some fashion with Girls on the Run?

Until Next Time,
Meg

***Please note, this post is sponsored by ShopWithScrip. Through my affiliation with the Sweat Pink Ambassador community, I am fundraising for Girls on the Run, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young girls through running. All monies fundraised are donated to Girls on the Run at the conclusion of the campaign. Thank you for your readership and interest in forwarding Girls on the Run’s mission of: “inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experienced-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.”

Summer Fun Workouts

Today I’m linking up with Annmarie at The Fit Foodie, Nicole at Fitful Focus, Michelle at Fruition Fitness, and Jen at Pretty Little Grub for the Wild Workout Wednesday Linkup!

Working out in the summer has its ups and downs. For instance, I love that the sun is up earlier so I can get my morning run in during daylight. However, I don’t like that if I don’t get said run in during the wee morning hours that it’s 100 degrees by the time I get off work.

I also love that most of the outdoor activities that we do in the summer sneakily are mini workouts as well!

This weekend, I finally got to try Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). You guys, if you have not tried it, it is So. Much. Fun. I didn’t even fall off (which surprises certain people that know me!). It is also a great core and arm workout — without you even knowing it!

My debut on the Paddleboard

My blister AKA Badge-of-Fun from my recent paddleboarding and kayaking experiences

I should warn you, if you do too much paddleboarding all at once, you might end up with blisters like I did! I also paddled around the lake in a kayak (also my first time). That was a lot of fun as well and I’ve added both a kayak and a paddleboard to my list of WANTS.

We spend a lot of time at the lake in the summer… jumping off the dock, swimming, playing “keep-away” with the beach ball, etc. all of which equate to a pretty good (non-sweat-filled) workout.

We like to rate eachother’s jumps off the dock — I think this one got me a 9.2

 

 

Two weeks ago, my daughters, husband, and I headed to the river and played what we like to call “sand-bar, no-rules soccer.” That is a lot of work! The sand feels hard on the top and just when you think you have your footing to take off at a sprint, you don’t and you just spin out and look silly. Sorry, I don’t have any pictures or videos of that!

What fun summer activities do you do that turn into mini-workouts? Have you tried SUP?

Remember to stop by the linkup and comment on some posts!

Until Next Time,
Meg

April Ultimate Coffee Date

Happy April Fool’s Day! Today I’m linking up with Deborah and Coco for another Ultimate Coffee Date Linkup!

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that I’ve been struggling to run lately. I mentioned earlier this week that my husband (who has been running Every. Single. Day. for more than 20 years) has a stress fracture and is unable to run. I know what you’re thinking, he’s the one injured, you can still run. Yeah, it sounds easier than it is. Every time I go run, I can tell it’s like putting salt in his wounds. It’s really hard! He had a conference out of town last week and I ran every day that he was gone, but then fell off again once he returned. I even took my girls along for my cool down mile. I think maybe I’ll take this opportunity to change it up a bit and do some dance cardio or barre-type workout. I know that won’t make him jealous! 

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that my “coffee” this morning is actually in the form of a protein drink. I recently had the opportunity to try a product from Drink Click that is coffee + protein and it is DELICIOUS! If I heat it up, it is just like a latte, but packed with 24 grams of protein! I read an article recently about weight loss/weight maintenance that suggested beginning your day with a breakfast of 30 grams of protein, so I decided to give it a try. I have to tell you that I love it! I honestly do not get hungry before lunch and all I have is the protein drink (mixed with 12 oz of milk).  If you are interested, check it out here (this is an affiliate link). Stay on the lookout for a giveaway too!

It’s even frothy like a latte!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell complain to you about our recent tax experience. Not only did we get hit hard with a high balance due (tax guy says to blame it on some of the inheritance stuff from my Father-In-Law’s death last year), but we also got a letter this week from the IRS regarding additional monies owed for 2015 taxes. Way to punch me in the stomach while I was already down. I hate taxes. Okay, venting session over.

www.sparklyrunnergirl.com

If we were having coffee...I’d tell you that I can’t wait for nice weather (consistently nice weather, anyway). I can’t wait until summer activities — going to the river, swimming in the sandpit, camping, maybe a real vacation of some sort… Oh, I can’t wait!

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that I better sign off, I have a lot to get done today on this rare, free Saturday afternoon. I’d tell you that I promise to meet you here next month and that I’ll have so much to tell you!

Until Next Time,
Meg

 

 

 

Everything is Better in Pink & A Giveaway!

Good Day Friends!

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned my obsession love of the color pink in previous posts, but if you follow me on any social media platform, my username is Pinkess1, so that should be the first clue. Since I was a little girl (when I first got the nickname Pinkess) and now into my thirties, I have never wavered on my favorite color. As silly as it sounds, pink just makes me happy. I have pink sticky notes on my desk at work — even pink staples in my work stapler (which a surprising amount of people actually notice!). My finger nails are one shade of pink as I type this post and my toe nails are a different shade. Pink is my neutral, my base, my starting point. Sure, I like other colors and I don’t have to wear pink every. single. day.

Okay, so I’m not actually doing a blog post solely on my love of the color pink. It is just the intro to a giveaway that I’m participating in.

I am excited to announce that I’m participating in my first ever Instagram Loop Giveaway — Yay, me! I’ve partnered up with Fit and Flirty Closet plus 11 others that love PINK as much as I do for an awesome gift pack valued at $150! To enter the Pretty In Pink giveaway, simply check out this Instagram post to get started.

Pretty In Pink

The prize pack includes some super cute fashion and fitness accessories all in PINK! The following boutiques participated:

Fit and Flirty Closet

Wild Boho Dreams

Pink Cupcake Girl

Stiletto Running

The Foxy Llamas

In addition, there are several bloggers and Instagrammers participating as well. Check them all out by entering the loop giveaway!

What is your favorite item in the prize pack? Have you ever hosted or participated in a loop giveaway? Do you love pink as much as I do?!

Until Next Time,
Meg

This Thursday calls for some Thinking Out Loud

Today I’m linking up with my one of my favorite Link-Ups: Think Out Loud Thursday hosted by Amanda at Running With Spoons.

Please excuse enjoy the randomness of it all!

I’ve been drinking protein shakes for the last 10 days in the mornings after my run. The chocolaty goodness packs a full 25 grams of protein and actually keeps me full until lunch! I am super psyched to have just been given this new type of Protein + Coffee goodness by Drink CLICK. It tastes just like a latte but with the benefits of the protein. Can. Not. Go. Wrong. with that combo! Get yours here (at my affiliate link).

The Long Run: I’ve been struggling to run lately. It all started with taking two weeks off due to my Plantar Fasciitis. Right after that, my runner husband found out he has a stress fracture, which means he can’t run. And when he can’t run — look out! So I have this guilt when I go run that I’m just adding salt to his wounds… I will have to get over it because I registered for a half in May and I must get moving along on my training!

And on one final random note, let’s talk about hair for a minute. I know, random, right?! I received this Kenra Brightening mask from Influenster to test and review. I used it for several weeks before taking my “after” photo. The stuff actually works! Now, I still have an appointment next Friday for highlights, but I would definitely recommend this product. The deep purple mask helps remove the brassiness. Don’t beleive me, check out these pictures!

That’s all for now!

Until Next Time,
Meg

Think Out Loud Linkup

Three Running Wishes for Tuesdays on the Run

SparklyRunnerGirl

I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight….

Oh what would I wish for if given three running wishes?!

  1. For it to be easy: I know, I know. There is nothing wrong with having to work hard and I know that running isn’t supposed to be easy. However, here is my reasoning: if it were easy, I would be less likely to dread my run, I would probably do more running, faster running, and be a better overall runner. (Yes, that was just one wish)
  2. To be feared fast: My husband is an elite runner and people at races always know his name and his records, etc. Just once, I’d like people to say that about me, “oh, Megan’s here, I don’t have a shot at winning now.” (this one might end up on the Runfessions post; it’s a little embarrassing!)
  3. To be a running coach: I wish I was a running coach and could do it as my career. I love helping people achieve their fitness goals. I’ve looked into certifications, but just haven’t put the time and money into moving that forward. Maybe writing it down for the world to see will help…

What would you wish for if you had three running wishes?

What are your 3 running wishes? Join the #TOTR #Linkup! #runchat Click To Tweet

Tuesdays on the run linkup

Join the linkup with PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run!

Until Next Time,
Meg