Monday, February 25, 2013

26.



As some of you might know, I celebrated a birthday yesterday.  I think it was a big one; I’m now closer to 30 than 20.  My friends must realize I’m maturing, too.  This is the first year I can remember (probably not coincidentally) that I didn’t receive a single gift of cheap booze and fast food.  Here’s to 26.  Maybe this is the year I quit thinking of myself as a 19-year-old.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Farmhouse Glam and New Country?



If you haven’t already figured this out about me, my tastes and preferences are moving targets.  One day I love bold and bright, and the next I’m all about the classic black and white.  Some days I feel like rocking, and the other days I need some twang (PS, if you’re the same way and you need a happy medium—or maybe even something completely different—check out Good Show Great Show).  The only thing that stays the same (besides constant change) is my past; the memories I treasure and the places that have brought me comfort.

As I’ve expressed before, this makes putting together a wardrobe and decorating my home a nightmare.  If you’ve read about my resolutions, you know that this is the year that I’m finally making my home my own, so of course, I’ve been giving style and preferences a lot of thought lately.  I’ll be writing in detail about my home makeover in June, but because I knew it would be no small task, I actually started thinking and working in January.

After sleepless nights (and when I was sleeping, I was dreaming of rugs, end tables, and curtains), hours of staring at my Pinterest boards and feeling like I was running in circles, I decided to go about the process a little differently.  I decided to forget all about the furniture, colors, lines, and textures.  Forget about the existing styles (am I more contemporary?  Traditional?  Classic?  Cottage?  What the hell is transitional, anyway?), and go with the one thing that never changes: my past.

Everyone has a happy place.  For some, maybe it’s a relaxing beach scene where nobody around you speaks a word of English.  Maybe some feel more at home overlooking a beautiful cityscape, or the mountains.  I remember finding my “happy place,” when I started dealing with anxiety in grade school.  I tried imagining all of the different places I had been and all of the places I hoped to visit someday, but the place that always made me feel the safest and the most relaxed was the hay loft of my grandparents’ old barn.  Yes, my happy place is a barn.  I’m a true Nebraskan, aren’t I? :)

A close second for me is the lake.  If you’ve been to a lake in Nebraska, you know I’m not talking about anything like Lake Tahoe.  This isn’t the lake with Nantucket-style timeshare cabins and Rangerovers everywhere; the water is muddy, the air smells like boat exhaust and fish, and the beer is a little warm by the end of the day.  

When I think about who I am at my very core; who I always have been and who I always will be, I know that I’m just a no-frills country girl.  Why shouldn’t my house be that way?  Ideally, I want my house to be warm and welcoming, simple, and cozy.  Nothing fancy or high-maintenance.  

I found this really fun “Stylescope” on Homegoods.com.  The first time I took it, my results were “Farmhouse Glam with a touch of New Country.”  The second time, it was “New Country with a touch of Boho.”  Either way, message received: loud and clear.  

Now, here comes the true challenge for me: letting go of my traditional, “safe” black and white (boring) d├ęcor.  I think my fear stems from the fact that the rustic farmhouse look is very trendy right now, and I’ve always tried to stay away from anything too “now.”  (I can hear my mom’s voice echoing in my head, telling me I might love it now, but I’ll have to replace it in a few years when it’s not so “in.”)

Does your home have a “style?”  Where did you start when you began to decorate?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Stop the bus. This is where I get off.



It happened.  I’ve fallen off of the Insanity wagon.  I’m not proud of this at all; I’m actually really disappointed in myself.  This is the first thing I’ve quit this year (other than my old job, but that doesn’t count, because I actually “resigned” in December; my last day just happened to be during this year), and my goal was to stay committed.  

I could give you the rundown of my excuses, but what's the point in that?  I didn’t really feel like I was getting anything out of it.  After a month, I had lost a quarter of an inch off of my legs, but that was it.  I talked with my trainer friend and decided that it was pointless to keep pushing myself through these workouts that I loathed, when there were other ways for me to stay in shape that I enjoyed (lifting weights, boot camp, pilates, kickboxing, dancing, and trying to bathe Dex without getting soap in my eyes).  If I can do something I love and get results, why not make the switch?

I did make it through my first month and recovery week, so I am proud of that at least.  I actually started the first week of the second month and about 15 seconds into the warm up, I was rolling my eyes and sighing dramatically like a 17 year old at her parents.  Nothing personal, Shaun T., but it just wasn’t for me.

 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Treats



There’s no denying it.  I think I’m officially “that mom.”  The one who doesn’t buy her kid Fruit by the Foot or those little plastic “barrels” of colored sugar water (which are somehow strategically placed at the end of the produce aisle).  The one who worries about too much sugar or weird additives and dyes.  The one who sends her kid with fruit for Valentine’s Day treats.

These are the treats O will be taking to daycare tomorrow.  



I think I have to take advantage of these young, sweet years of making homemade valentines before my adorable little boy is corrupted by Disney and Nickolodean.  Before I know it, he’ll be begging me to buy him Transformer or Starwars valentines, or (God forbid) Spongebob.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Your Sunday afternoon awesomeness

Have you taken my advice yet?  If so, you'll be happy to see what I have posted below.  Go ahead and skip the rest of this post and treat yourself.

If not, I should probably shame you and give you the knowing "mom" look, but I'm not gonna.  Just watch the video posted below.  It's Good Show Great Show's "Buffalo Ring," featuring Freakabout's Cortney Kirby.

This is the part where I really want to brag about knowing someone super cool and famous, but I'm not going to.  I'm also not going to talk about how stinkin' proud I am and how excited I am for him.  Nope.  Not gonna. 





Thursday, February 7, 2013

Insane February



Happy February!  I love this month.  Maybe because it’s my birth month, or maybe it’s because it’s the odd-ball month that’s just a little smaller than everyone else and I feel sorry for it.
If you read my resolutions post and if you’re keeping tabs on me (and thank you, to those of you who are), you’re probably wondering when I’m going to start talking about the Insanity workout program.  If you’re anxiously awaiting my report, today is your lucky day (and it might be time for you to get a hobby).

I started the Insanity program on Sunday, January 6th.  Insanity begins with a fit test, and they revisit that fit test every two weeks so you can track your progress.  After day one, I almost threw in the towel… the sweaty, sweaty towel.  The fit test was seriously so hard.  And Shaun T. just kept telling me to “dig deeper,” and push harder.  Yuck.  Little does he know, when someone tells me what to do, I’m strangely compelled to do the opposite.  Just ask my mom.  I struggled through the fit test, sort of trying, and sort of half-assing it, but still sucking wind.  These are my (embarrassing) numbers for that first fit test:
Switch Kicks
Power Jacks
33
Power Knees
53
Power Jumps
17
Globe Jumps
6
Suicide Jumps
11
Push-Up Jacks
15
Low Plank Oblique
32

Every day, I dragged my lazy butt down to the basement and wondered what kind of strange and unusual hell Shaun T. had in store for me that day.  I hated it.  Honestly, I still hate it.  Every day as I begin my workout I ask myself if I really have to do it again, and I tell myself that I’m really not that out of shape, and I would probably enjoy walking, running, spinning, swimming, zumba, pilates, or being chased by rabid bears more than this stupid Insanity program.  And then I remember that I’ve got some readers out there to keep me honest, and I push through one more day of sweaty torture, all the while cursing you all.  Thank you, by the way.

At the end of week two came the second fit test.  I was still working just as hard to get through the workouts, but I was taking fewer breaks.  My week two fit test results were higher, although still nothing to brag about.
Switch Kicks
86
Power Jacks
47
Power Knees
72
Power Jumps
21
Globe Jumps
8
Suicide Jumps
15
Push-Up Jacks
20
Low Plank Oblique
45

I should tell you right now that I’m a very results-driven person.  If I’m not seeing or feeling results, I’m much less inclined to keep going.  A big problem I have with the Insanity program is that I’m never sore.  You know how you feel the day after you were just at the gym lifting weights, and your legs are a little tight and it hurts to get out of bed?  I don’t know what it is about that feeling, but I look forward to it after every workout.  I like the way it feels to know that I pushed myself the day before.  Because I’m not sore, I find myself questioning whether I’m getting any results.  Unfortunately, when I took my measurements at the end of week two, they weren’t much different than they were at the beginning.  I’m hoping for some change at the end of this week when I take my fit test again.

I’m currently in week four.  I should be in week five, but at the end of week two, I rolled my ankle and then got the stomach flu, so I took a week off to recover.  It was hard to jump back in and my endurance was noticeably lower.  After this week, I get one week of Core Cardio and Balance, which apparently is my “rest week” before things get really crazy. 

 As you can tell, I’m less than enthusiastic for month two.  I haven’t looked ahead at the workouts (I like to let each torture session be a surprise), but I did notice that none of month one’s workouts are there and I will say that I’m not going to miss the Plyometric Cardio Circuit.  It’s currently my most dreaded workout.  However, I’m sure it will be replaced by something exponentially worse, leaving me sobbing and begging to go back to it.

Have any of you done the Insanity program before?  If so, what were your results?  Were you ever sore?  Maybe I’m just doing it wrong!