Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Favorite: Everything Fits Gym Bag by Gaiam

Once the new school year started and my new gym routine did as well, I knew I needed a durable bag to carry from point A to point B. To save both money and a spot for something on my Christmas list, I lugged around an old duffle bag.  It wasn’t long that the bag started ripping and tearing, giving me another reason (like I needed one already) to count down the days until Christmas, where I would, fingers crossed, unwrap a brand new bag!

And I did!  The Everything Fits Gym Bag by Gaiam was now off my list and in my hands.  As seen in the picture, this bag is for all types of people - Yogi's or not.  Five things I rave about this bag are as follows:

  1. Front vented section for your tennis shoes so you don't have to mix them in with all your non-stinky belongings.
  2. Many compartments, inside and out, including those that are zipped and those that are not. 
  3. Yoga mat strap holder on the bottom.
  4. VERY durable material - no ripping or tearing anytime soon!
  5. If you aren't loving the purple, it comes in black, too! 

Question & Comment:  What is one thing you can't leave the house with when heading to workout? 

* Comment as "Anonymous" if you are having trouble but please leave your name so I can say hi! I am in the process of making a "how-to" on the comment process...stay tuned! 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

#WorkItOut100: Week 1

When I agreed to do this challenge, I wasn't planning on getting sick the first week of it.  But, a challenge is a challenge and life doesn't give you a guareanteed 100 sick-free days when accepting one!  I found that this week made me think about workouts that involved something other than a gym, a treadmill, or even one that gets your heart rate up and your sweat dripping down your face.  

I forgot how beneficial a walk is outside - not only for your body but your mind, too.  The fresh air combined with time to clear your head and realign your thoughts is pretty changing when you get out and experience it for yourself. 

Question & Comment:  Have you began the #WorkItOut100 journey?  If so, how has it been so far?  What have you learned this week?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

13 Presents For You

I can't imagine living during a time where working out didn't involve music.  Over the speakers or through headphones, I need lyrics and beats to keep me going.  I did, however, get a little taste of what it would be like with no music as halfway through Body Pump class last night the sound system quit working.  The instructor kept going and it was clear the whole class was struggling without the sounds of something other than each other's breathing to get us through the routine.

I'm continuously on the hunt for new music.  I don't care if the artist is popular or still trying to break through in the music scene as long as they spark something in me, I'm all ears.  Literally.

Here are a few tunes that get me through my workouts...and sitting in traffic.

1. Count On Me by Chase & Status
2. Neon Lights by Demi Lovato
3. Burn by Ellie Goulding
4. Turn Up The Love by Far East Movement
5. Amnesia by Justin Timberlake
6. Money and Power by Kid Ink
7. Hell and Back by Kid Ink
8. Touch the Sky by SoMo
9. King and Queens by SoMo
10. Replay by Zendaya

...and for my fellow Body Pumpers...

11. Tonight by Jessica Sanchez ft. Ne-Yo
12. Only You by Ellie Goulding
13. A Little Party Never Killed Nobody by Fergie, Q-Tip, & Goonrock

Question & Comment:  What songs and artists are you currently listening to? 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Favorite: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish

From one girl to another, I swear by this stuff.  It does it's job - covers up blemishes, zits, etc. - all while making your skin look even and flawless!  At $30.00 a pop, some would say it's expensive, but one day of wearing this powder and the compliments you receive will make those dollar signs disappear. 

I recommend going to a MAC Cosmetics store near you to see exactly what color you should get.  They even try out the product on your face to match it perfectly!  Nothing worse than make-up lines and having your face look a completely different color than the rest of you!

Question & Comment Below: Have you tried or do you use this product?  What other makeup products do you swear by? 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Is This Garbage Can Regulation Size?

I was "bit by the bug" around 2am on Tuesday morning.  After having no work on Monday, I was determined to make it to work on Tuesday.  So, I did what every "I think I could vomit at any second" person does and went to my morning class at the gym - Step & Strength.

Yeah...I'm stupid.  In between side lunges and bicep curls, jumping up and down and squatting, I felt faint, sick to my stomach, and just plain BLAH.  

Long story short, I stayed home from work. 

After laying in bed most of the day, I did my nanny duties (it was only an hour) and returned home for a quick cat nap before going downtown for my roommate, Anna's, birthday dinner.  I was feeling better and thought yes!  The bug has flown away!  


I woke up this morning still feeling nauseous but already feeling guilty that I missed work the day before.    I did my usual morning routine and by 8am I was still doing "ok".  I arrived at school and was "bit"...again.  And again....I tried to be a superhero but the hot/cold spells were just not cutting it for me so I went home.

I would be fine with a day at home to rest, blog, catch up on little tasks like cleaning my closet, if only I WASN'T GOING TO THE JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE CONCERT TONIGHT!  I mean it's happening, I'm going, and my 13 year-old self would hate me if I didn't, but let's hope they let me bring in a garbage can just for emergency purposes! 

The things I do for the men I love. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

#WorkItOut100 : Interview With Amanda McGuire

Meet Amanda.  Her spunky personality is contagious and her positive outlook on everything will make your worries seem minuscule!  Recently, Amanda started a 100-day journey that has proven to be changing not only her life but others as well.  I asked her to share with me some "behind the scenes" of her challenge #WorkItOut100. 

What is #WorkItOut100?

#WorkItOut100 is a challenge I created after seeing a video on YouTube of a woman who committed herself to 100 days of working out.  She was over weight, not happy and just ready to make a change in her life.  She decided to “Give It 100” and ended up seeing many results and is currently still working out and making progress.  After seeing this video it really got me thinking, I’d love to commit 100 days to working out to see what this body of mine can do.  I was fully planning on doing this challenge alone and was super pumped up about it.  I created #WorkItOut100 to include on all my posts so people could follow along.  Turns out the hashtag and challenge ended up spreading like wild fire and now I have 30 people who have committed to this #WorkItOut100 challenge and I couldn’t be more excited!

Working out everyday must take a toll on your body.  How have you stayed committed?

Working out definitely does take a toll on your body. Before going public with this challenge I sat down and made a list of workout ideas that I could do along this journey.  Every workout doesn’t have to be super intense- sweat flying, muscles burning workout.  A workout can be as easy as going for an hour walk outside.  It could be swimming laps, taking a dance or yoga class, etc.  My motto is: Get up and move!

Where did you find your workout ideas?

I get workout ideas all over the place.  I make up a lot of my own workouts such as different cardio exercises I do each day and I have a weight lifting schedule I learned from a trainer a few years ago (Bi’s and Back one day, Tri’s and Chest one day, a leg day and I do abs 4-6 times a week).  I also find a lot of awesome workout ideas on Pinterest.  It’s as simple as searching: Workout ideas; the options are endless!

What do you hope to do/look/feel like when you reach the 100th day?

With this challenge I just want to see what this body of mine can do in 100 days.  I would like to lose some weight, but I’m trying to stay away from the scale.  Weighing yourself is great but for me it’s more about how I feel, my energy level, my attitude and how my clothes fit.  I hope to gain a lot of muscle mass and get to a feel-good spot where I’m all over confident. 

How do you stay motivated?

I would say my biggest motivator is all the support I’ve been receiving from my family, friends and also people I don’t even know who are following my Instagram and blog! All the comments have been overwhelmingly awesome and I appreciate every one of them.  Also, progress pictures are a huge motivator for me.  I’m a sucker for a good “before & after” picture.  I took pictures on day one of this 100-day challenge and I just took my first set of progress pictures week 2.  I hope to motivate people who are on board this challenge and I can’t wait to see everyone’s journey and progress.  “Cheers to 100”

Can others join in on the fun?

YES, YES, YES!!! The more, the merrier!! Like I said above, when I started this challenge I had full intentions on doing this alone and I was totally fine with that (but was secretly hoping that a few other people would join me).  A few days after going public with my journey, the responses were AMAZING! Two of my close friends jumped on board right away and then in the past few days, thanks to the power of Instagram and Facebook, 30 women have jumped on board and have committed to the #WorkItOut100 challenge.  If anyone is interested in this challenge the only rules are that you must do some type of workout everyday for 100 days.  Also, if you’re on Instagram use #WorkItOut100 on all of your workout posts so that we can all follow along your journey and encourage/motivate you along the way!

You can follow along with me at:

Instagram: amcguire87


I'm not only proud of Amanda for taking herself up on this challenge, but also for the way she is helping others along the way.  I'm always a fan for reaching out and motivating others simply by sharing OUR stories.  It shows we don't have superpowers and that we are no better than the person standing next to us at the grocery store. 

The power of "us" - you and I - are pretty remarkable if you slow down and think about it.  Heck, look at the changes that Amanda has already seen in herself after two weeks!  Imagine if we all moved a little more, ate a little cleaner, shared more of us with more of them. 

Starting today, I am now joining Amanda on the #WorkItOut100 journey!  I would love if you would join us, too!  Again, a workout doesn't have to be anything more than a walk after dinner!  Anyone can do this.  

Comment below and let us know that you will be committing yourself to 100 days of moving! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Own It

She was driving to Aspen and I was driving around downtown Denver, yet we both had awestruck views and couldn’t stop repeating ourselves.

--- Do you see how gorgeous the mountains look right now as the sun is setting?  We live here.  Want to go to Snowmass?  Oh yeah, I am.  We live here.  I feel like my life is a movie right now and someone just pushed play.  We live here.  I think I just saw Eric Decker. We live here. ---

I’m well aware that I talk about my love for Denver often.  From the “big city life” to the mountains, this place has transformed me.  I own it - the events, the restaurants, the people, the experiences.  They are mine and I’m proud to say so because I think we all should be a little arrogant and snotty about where we live. 

It shows that we are taking in all that our mailing address has to offer.  We seek out the hidden treasures – bars, restaurants, shops, trails – because we want to know more, do more, see more, and in return, share more.  

Are you living in a place that you wish so badly to move away from?  Now is the time to remind yourself of the things that make you want to do cart wheels and high-five strangers.  The things that light your face up and bring out the best you.  Because guess what?  There will come a day when you don’t live there anymore and you will miss it.

Take it from me.  I miss home – the lake, Caribou, 8th Street Dairy Queen on a summer night – but I’m owning where I live because one day I will miss it and no one likes missing something they never truly had. 

It dawned on her that 
happiness is right here
right now.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Favorite: HIIT Me With Your Best Shot

There are days when 3+ miles sounds like a free party and days when it sounds like the most dreadful form of physical activity ever.  Whether I'm training for a race or not, running is just "my thing".  But when "my thing" starts to become the thing I no longer look forward to, I have to spice it up somehow.

I don't have ADD but the second I step foot on a treadmill, it somehow makes an appearance.  I try everything - replaying and blasting my favorite song, counting by three's, reciting all fifty states and their capitals - you name it, I've tried it.  The one thing that always works, though, is my new found love: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Runs.

There are TONS of variations on the internet for HIIT workouts, both on the treadmill and off!  Below is my current favorite:

Question & Comment Below - Have you tried a HIIT workout?  What is your favorite?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Are You Uncomfortable?

I like being comfortable.  Two-sizes too big sweatpants, no makeup, an inviting couch, a cozy cabin in the winter and a chick-flick on the screen.  That’s the good stuff, the magic ticket to cloud nine in my mind.  But...wait for it...

Being comfortable makes me uncomfortable. 

Vacation is a time of relaxation and slow moves and being comfortable.  It's about reacquainting yourself with hobbies that have started collecting dust and seeing familiar faces that haven't been seen in too long.  

Yes, I loved my time back home recently.  I loved shopping for my best friends wedding dress, meeting my college roommates newborn, talking hockey with my nephew, running alongside my dad, learning how to knit from my mom, and much more.  But there came a point where I was too comfortable and that's when things started to take a turn. 

I was anxious and always felt like I had a million things to do when really the only thing was to take a chill pill.  I worried about not getting everything done, not seeing everyone I should and if I didn't see those people, would they hold it against me?  After dissecting these thoughts and asking myself why I was feeling this way, the answer was that I was turning back into the old me.  The me who had no real purpose, no real direction and no real sense of happiness because I was always worrying about something.  I was getting comfortable with doing nothing and that made me uncomfortable.

It forced me to look at my life and the questions that make us think.  Really think. 

Minnesota was wonderful but it reminded me that I am where I need to be.  My feet are placed firmly in Colorado and they enjoy walking around here.  I survived my first week back in the real world, not to say it wasn't a strugglefest every morning my alarm would go off, but I'm back to me.  Routine and workouts and work and planned coffee dates with friends.  I'm back to reading before bed, blogging on Saturday mornings and calling my mom everyday at 3pm. 

Get back to being uncomfortable.