Hey all, and happy Monday! I have a few spare minutes before work today during which I wanted to share my quick workout from last night. I have to be honest in that over the holiday weekend, I failed to exercise AT ALL. When Sunday night rolled around, I really didn't want to admit to myself that I had gone 5 days without doing anything more active than chasing Avery in circles around the couch (but really that should count as a workout). At the same time, I was still feeling pretty sluggish after a weekend full of indulgences. What I finally found my peace in was putting together a quick ab workout, which mostly involved lying on the floor but still had me working up a sweat. Aaaaaand my abs are sore this morning!
Today is one of my favorite days of the year, because today is the day the Christmas season officially begins. We wasted no time getting into the holiday spirit and got up early this morning to go to the Macy's Holiday Parade. We figured it would be packed, so we left 2 hours before the start of the parade. When we got to downtown, the streets were EMPTY! Our first thought was that the parade might have been cancelled, but we did see some road closure signs so we stuck around and waited it out. For over an hour. With a toddler. In the rain. 42 degrees. The good news is that eventually people (and the parade) showed up, and let me tell you, the wait was absolutely worth it.
Brandon and I both agreed that this parade was the best one we'd experienced yet. What made this one more special than anything was Avery's reaction to it. This was the first time she actually understood what was going on, and seeing all the animals, characters, floats, marching bands, etc. left her in complete awe. For an entire 45 minutes, nonstop. She literealy got excited for everything that passed us by. She danced and clapped along to the marching bands, waved at the costumed characters, and her jaw straight dropped when a polar bear gave her a high five. Her joy was definitely contagious, and took us right back to feeling the magic of Christmas the way we did when we were kids.
After the parade, we kept our Christmas spirit going by doing a little holiday shopping. Along the way, I picked up these ridiculous (-ly awesome) leggings which are keeping me cozy as I write this blog post.
I am beyond excited for this upcoming Christmas season, and hope that we can spread the same kind of joy to our family, friends, and community that Avery shared with us today.
Its always bittersweet for me when pumpkin season comes to a close. When I started my Thanksgiving prep yesterday and realized that pumpkin season is almost over, I suddenly felt the urge to soak it all up and eat pumpkin everything. My day began with a bowl of this:
Then, at work, there just happened to be some pumpkin pound cake sitting aaaaalllll alone in the break room. What's a girl to do? 2 pieces of pumpkin pound cake and 6 hours later, I found myself at home whipping up a batch of pumpkin icebox cake. The cake is actually for Thanksgiving, but I did make a mini version for sampling tomorrow. Part of research and development. Crucial. I got the recipe from Julie at pbfingers.com, whose recipes are always amazing. Here is where to find the recipe: http://www.pbfingers.com/pumpkin-icebox-cake/
With all my pumpkin indulgences today, I was really itching for a good sweat session after Avery went to bed. I grabbed my set of 5 pound dumbbells and pushed thorugh the circuit workout below in 20 minutes. It did a great job of leaving me dripping in sweat by the end of it.
NOTE: For the exercises in this circuit that work only one side of the body, I did everything right-sided for the first round (right single leg bridges, right tick-tock lunges, right side planks with lateral raise, and right single leg deadlifts), then everything left-sided for the second round.
It's all of a sudden gotten much colder in our neck of the woods this past week. There was even news of a pretty good snow storm on Mt Hood, so we wasted no time this weekend in heading up there to check it out.
We did take Avery up to the mountain a few times last year, but as toddler's memories go, this was a whole new experience for her. At first, she hated it. She hated the thick layer of clothes she had to wear. She hated that she couldn't use her hands effectively with mittens on. She hated that it was cold. And so forth. It took us a while to warm her up to the idea (heh. sympathy chuckle for my pun?), but when she eventually figured out that she could eat the snow, things turned around. The way to this toddler's heart is definitely through her tummy.
After a about an hour of snow eating, snowball stomping, and giggle fits from getting stuck in the snow, Avery was ready to head back home. It was a short trip, but we knew going into it that it would most likely be that way. I feel like that's one of the biggest and most important lessons we have learned with having a toddler - to not have grand (or any) expectations. In our pre-baby days, we wouldn't have even bothered to drive up to the mountain if we didn't get at least a half day of snowboarding in. Nowadays we've decided that if we want to introduce Avery to some of our favorite things, we have to do things drive 2 hours for 1 hour worth of fun. But it really is worth it. Plus, we go a pretty hilarious family photo out of this partiular experience. This one is going on the Christmas card for sure....
Monday nights in our household are family workout nights. We go to the upstairs living room (which has the most open space), put on some jams, and do a circuit workout together. Sometimes, we use a 27 pound weight for a little added resistance....
We love the idea of introducing Avery to a fit and healthy lifestyle, and this is one way we go about it. Sure, its more efficient to complete a workout without a toddler who intermittently needs snacks, your undivided attention, a diaper change, etc., but we have such a blast when Avery is involved. Its hilarious to watch her imitate the exercises we do, and even more fun when she makes us stop what we are doing and dance to the music with her. Dancing is still exercise, right??
As for our workouts, Brandon graciously lets me come up with the exercises we do every Monday night. His one complaint is that I always make us work out our legs....which is true.... So I finally put together something that focuses on upper body and core strengthening (although I reeaaally couldn't resist sneaking at least one round of squats in there - whoops). Its mostly a body weight workout, but we did use a 10 pound medicine ball for a couple of the exercises.
The election is finally over. Whew. I don’t like posting anything political, but I will say this – regardless of who our president is, I think the most important thing for us Americans to do is to stay united. I saw so much negativity on social media from both sides this morning, and to be honest it bummed me out. I really hope we can all come together and stand up for what we believe in as a nation, rather than letting things like this controversial election divide us.
As we were watching the election coverage last night from a tent in our living room (don't ask), I jotted down ideas for a new circuit workout to complete today. And, in the spirit of things, I created an election-themed graphic to go with it. So cheesy, I know. It's the little things in life, right?
Oregon isn't known for sunshine in November, so on the rare occasion that we do get a break from the clouds/rain this time of year, it goes without saying that we drop everything and go play outside. Yesterday was one of those days. AND it happened to be a weekend day.
We packed a picnic lunch and headed to Molalla River State Park for a casual riverfront hike. Personally, I like fall hiking even better than summer hiking. Less crowded, crunchy leaves under your feet, crisp air, and no mosquitoes. Avery is still learning to love hiking. She is happy in the carrier *only* if there is a snack involved (see photo above), and willing to walk along a designated path for a reward (see photo below). Otherwise, she prefers to run amok and collect twigs, stomp in puddles, sample the flavor of leaves, etc. But honestly, that's why we always opt for easy hikes where there is lots of room to roam. We have such a blast watching Avery explore the outdoors, and love how enthusiastic she gets about the simplest things.
Fingers crossed for plenty more fall days like this ahead!!
I woke up late this morning, so I sifted through my circuit workouts to find the quickest one I could squeeze in before Avery woke up. The one I found had a note on it that said "takes about 15 minutes". Perfect.
I'm usually an exercise minimalist, especially for quick workouts, but you do need medicine ball for this one. I bought a 10 pound ball a while back as part of a workout-themed gift for Brandon. I think he used it once to prop a door open.....but it's gotten a lot of love from me.
I used the medicine ball for each of the exercises listed below . Within each circuit, I'd do 10 reps of the first exercise, then 10 reps of the second, then 10 reps of the first, etc. for a total of 4x10 of each exercise. PS. one standing rotation = to the left AND right. Same rule for the Russian twists. And ski jumps.
We recently got back from a whirlwind trip to visit family and friends in Colorado and Texas. As always, we indulged quite a bit in the dining department during our vacation, and are now experiencing not only the post-vacation blues but also the post-vacation bloat. Since I know that this is pattern in our family, I’ve been making a more concerted effort to exercise during our vacations. My one rule is this: vacation exercise must be something I wake up in the morning and get excited to go do. Burpees = not exciting. Going for a jog on the beach at sunrise = exciting. So that’s exactly what I did in Texas.
I also snuck in an early morning run while everyone was still asleep when we were in Colorado. By the way – big high five to Denver for having SO many parks and open spaces in practically every neighborhood. It was ridiculously easy to find jogging trails all over the place, even when we were in the middle of the city.
My other vacation exercise rule I forgot to mention is that when I go for runs in new places, I always stick to developed neighborhoods or busier jogging trails for safety (<---courtesy of dad's voice in my head). You can never be too careful (hope you're reading this, dad!)
I’m Betty and I live in the beautiful pacific northwest. I'm a mommy. Vegetarian. Wife to a meatatarian. Pediatric physical therapist. Outdoor enthusiast. Enjoyer of fitness/healthy living. Even bigger enjoyer wine and chocolate lava cake. And hoping to find some balance between it all.