Month: February 2015

What a week! With sick kiddos, race training and work, this mama is glad it’s Friday!!!Here is a quick recap of some of my favorite things from this week.

1. New workout – My girls were sick this week so I stayed home with them on Wednesday. I decided to try out a new at home workout since I probably wouldn’t be making it to the gym. I gave the High Intensity At-Home Training Program by Maya over at My Life as Maya a try and man did it kick my booty! I did two rounds (and definitely did not make it to 30 reps of the broken planks) along with 30 minutes on our stationary bike. It totally wiped me out and I was sore the next day (which is always a sign of a good workout).

2. March challenges – I’m taking on two challenges for March.

The first is fitness related. It’s a 30 Day Full Body Fitness Challenge. It basically includes specific moves to focus on each day. We’re headed back to Vegas at the end of April so I need all the help I can get to whip my body into shape so I feel comfortable in a bathing suit. Looking to shape up for bikini season? Take this challenge along with me. You can follow along on Instagram and Twitter.

The second challenge is an Instagram photo challenge. This is a great way to get to know me, so follow along on Instagram for a month’s worth of photos.

3. The weather the last couple of weeks has been amazing! It totally feels like spring is right around the corner but here in the Pacific NW, spring is less sunshine and flowers and more rain, rain, rain from March through June. This weekend is supposed to be sunny as well, so I’m going to soak up as much sunshine and Vitamin D as I can in preperation for the dreary months of spring.

4. House of Cards – I’m beyond exstatic for the third season of House of Cards on Netflix! The third season is available starting today online. Though I would have loved to stay at home binge watching all 13 episodes today, I’ll have to wait until tonight to get started. If you haven’t watched the first two seasons of HoC, I highly recommend it. It’s really smart television and Kevin Spacey is wonderful.

5. Target home decor – On a trip to Target this week, I stumbled upon some staged displays with amazing spring home decor and I fell in love. I must say they’re definitly stepping up their game! I’ve been wanting to redecorate our living room for a while, but with two children under 4, I’ve been hesitatnt to spend the money just for them to destroy things. Maybe in a few more years, but in the meantime I can dream (and pin to my hearts content).

Looking forward to a relaxing couple of days. Have a great weekend people!

What are some of your favorite things from this week?

We all have a list of things we dream about doing one day but a lot of them never actually get done. A few years ago, I read a post over on Living Big about bucket lists and felt like I should start an actual list, in an effort to finally start crossing some things off. The last thing I wanted was to look back years from now and regret not having done the things I’d always wanted to.

As it should be, my bucket list is an ever changing document, as I’m continually adding new things.

Here is my personal list as of right now, including the things that I’ve done (because those crossed out items are so gratifying):

    1. Take a cooking class in a foreign country (channeling Julia Child of course)
    2. Run a half marathon
    3. Visit Paris in the springtime
    4. Go to New York Fashion Week
    5. Buy (and drink) a bottle of Dom Perignon
    6. Start a blog about anything
    7. Watch my daughters get married
    8. Start/join a book club
    9. Become a wine tasting expert (practice makes perfect)
    10. Learn to surf (preferably somewhere warm)
    11. Visit New England in the fall
    12. Own a piece of vintage Chanel
    13. Run Hood to Coast
    14. Learn to take amazing photographs
    15. Take part in a grape stomp at a vineyard
    16. Run in the Rock n Roll Marathon in Las Vegas
    17. Take a painting class in Tuscany
    18. Learn to play the guitar (at least one semi-recognizable song)
    19. Complete a triathlon
    20. Stay in a penthouse suite at the Plaza overlooking Central Park
    21. Turn stand up paddle boarding into a hobby

I think making a physical bucket list (on paper, your computer, your phone, your wall, wherever) is a great excercise to help you focus on what you really want to do in life. And it keeps you accountable and pushes you to start accomplishing things so you can check them off. Just looking at my list makes me want to start doing more!

I’m planning to start a bucket list with my husband and my daughters, as I know there are a lot of things that pertain to them that are not included in this list (I left those things purposely off this list so we could make our own lists together).

Wondering whether you should start your own bucket list? The answer is yes, but check out this post over on Living Big for reasons why you should and tips to get you started.

What items are on your bucket list that I should consider adding?

Head on over to Pinterest and check out my Bucket List board for more inspiration.

It’s only been a month and a half since New Years but I think a lot of people have ditched their resolutions. Overall, I feel like I’ve been doing pretty good at keeping on track with my plans to keep my resolutions going strong. Or at least I was until we went on vacation at the end of January, which derailed my clean eating and work out routine and I’ve been having a hard time getting back into it.

Well this week I’m getting back on track and finally starting to train for the 8K I’m running in mid-March. I thought what better way to help me get back into the workout mindset then talk about my favorite gym gear and workout must haves.

What will you find in my gym bag?

Gym bag
Well let’s start with my gym bag. I love my Nike gym bag, with seperate storage for shoes and clothes (so your clothes don’t smell like sweaty gym socks before you’ve hit the gym), plus several different pockets and compartments to stash all my stuff. It’s a little decieving as it doesn’t look that big but it actually can hold quite a bit. I also like that it looks more feminine than an ordinary duffel bag. This bag has been discontinued but it’s pretty similar to the Nike C72 Legend 2.0.

Water bottle
A water bottle is a must for workouts, whether you’re strength training, taking a spin class or relaxing with some yoga. I love this Rubbermaid water bottle because it’s easy to open and there is no straw to collect germs, which makes it easy to clean.

Headphones
I personally can’t work out without music (or watching Gossip Girls on Netflix), which means headphones are a must. I love these gold headphones by Happy Plugs my husband gave me (note these are not the 14K gold ones, but those are available on their website if that’s in your budget). There is no reason why you can’t be glam while working out right?!?

Running belt
I’ve already talked about my running belt but I also like to use it when lifting weights at the gym. It neatly holds my phone without restricting my movements, unlike those iPod/iPhone holders that you wear on your bicep that restrict your arm motion.

Face wipes
My skin is really acne prone (you’d think I would have grown out of that by now) so I like to wipe down my face as soon as I’m done working out (before I make the 10 minute drive home). I love these Neutrogena Oil-Free Pink Grapefruit cleansing wipes. They smell great and really get rid of the sweat, grime and makeup on my face, leaving me feel (somewhat) fresh faced.

Sweat bands
I sweat more than the average person (sorry TMI) so sweat bands come in handy when doing cardio. I really like these Nike sweat bands because they’re soft and not scratchy. I also usually keep a towel with me to make sure I’m not grossly dripping sweat all over the treadmill or elliptical.

Not a fan of the gym (or no time for the gym)? Give one of these quick at home workouts a shot. Or try running with these 10 tips to get started. Check out my Working It Out board on Pinterest for more workout inspiration.

Follow Macaroni & Mascara’s board working it out on Pinterest.

What are your must haves for the gym or working out?

I am not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Never have been, never will be. Now don’t be mad at me if V-day is a favorite holiday of yours. Just hear me out.

As a a kid, it’s all fun and games. You get to hand out overpriced character cards and candy at school and create cute little boxes to collect all your Valentines in. Once you get into you teen years, it all of a sudden becomes a big deal to everyone. All of a sudden if you don’t get flowers/balloons/chocolate, you’re a loser who sits at home crying into their pint of Ben & Jerry’s. And if you do get that stuff, well then surely you’re meant to be with that person for, like, ever.

Don’t get me wrong here, I LOVE love. I adore sappy romantic movies, have read many a Nicholas Sparks novel and I cry at weddings. I just get annoyed with the over-commercialized fake-ness that is Valentine’s Day.

And I’m sorry if my cynicism is ruining your sugar-induced lovefest, but I feel like we should show our feelings for the ones we love each and every day, not just one day a year (just because Hallmark says so).

What’s my problem with Valentine’s Day you ask? Well, let me tell you. Here are 10 things I hate about Valentine’s Day:

  1. It’s always a let down. No matter how much (or how little) you plan, it never lives up to your lofty, unrealistic expectations. It’s just like New Years Eve.
  2. It forces fake romance/displays of affection. On Valentine’s Day, people throw around the ‘L’ word around because they’re supposed to, not because they genuinely mean it.
  3. Cards are so 1989. Just send me an email and save the $4.99 (or buy me a coffee from Starbucks). Plus cards are just one more thing to clutter up my house.
  4. Single people feel like outcasts. Everything is ‘dinner for 2′ and ‘made for couples’. Single people need loving too you know. And maybe they’re single because they want to be, not because they’re sad, depressed or unlovable.
  5. Cupid is creepy. I’m sorry but a grown man in a diaper with wings and a bow and arrow does not make me think of love. He’s 75% pervert and 25% delusional drunk person.
  6. You’re forced to buy stupid crap. Who needs a stuffed gorilla that sings ‘Love Me Tender’ for $24.99? Nobody, that’s who!
  7. I can’t take the cheesy sayings. Not only are conversation hearts disgusting but their cheesy sayings make me want to vomit.
  8. My kids don’t need more sugar. Not only do we force feed all this Valentine’s crap from an early age but then we pump them full of sugar. Please, just stop. They’re crazy enough.
  9. It ruins my resolutions. We all resolve to be healthy or lose weight for the new year. Then, six weeks later, Valentine’s Day comes at you with candy hearts and chocolate. No one can resist chocolate in the shape of a heart.
  10. If love is blind, why do I have to wear overpriced lingerie?

Now I don’t HATE Valentine’s Day, I just don’t like a lot of things about it. I’ll still be celebrating with my little family by making a special dinner and drinking good wine (which is special because usually I drink just ok wine). I won’t be buying (or recieving) store-bought cards, heart-shaped candy or ridiculous stuffed animals. But hey, that’s just me.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, romance is a hot topic these days, but when you’re in a relationship (especially if you have children), romance can often be hard to come by.

Date night for a lot of couples usually consists of going to dinner or a movie. Not a lot of romance or sexiness there. So how are couples supposed to keep the ‘spark’ alive with ho-hum dates sprinkled sparsely in between bedtimes, midnight wake-ups, work and carpool?

I started trying to think up sexy date ideas and ways to spice things up in a relationship but realized I needed to include a man’s opinion (since my idea of ‘spice’ can be a little different than the male species).

So I sat down with my hubs and asked him what his ideas was of a truly sexy date. After some blog-inappropriate suggestions, he gave me some good ideas (thanks love).

Try one (or all) of these ideas for spicing up any date night:

Try a sexy flick instead of your standard rom com or Nicholas Sparks book-turned-movie. Try ’50 Shades of Gray’ or one of these 11 movies sexier than 50 shades. Whether you’re at home or at the theater, a hot movie can be a great way to set the mood for a fun date. And I’m not suggesting that you have to watch porn (but if that’s your thing, go for it), I’m just saying think outside of the box a bit.

Send a racy pic during your date. If you’re planning on wearing something a little special underneath your date night outfit or after the date, snap a photo before you go and send it to him during the date. This doesn’t have to be something over sexual, but more of just a little something to peak his interest. Think a shot of lace on your thigh or the strap on your non-beige bra. Just enough to let him know that you put some thought into doing something different and special for him.

Get a tattoo in a secret place only he will see. If you’re not willing to go under the needle, I totally get it, so fake it. Fake tattoos have come along way from cheesy skulls and crossbones to more subtle realistic and even metallic styles. Place it on you hip, buns or even in the side boob region. He’ll be surprised (and turned on) once you reveal it. You can even send him a pic during dinner without revealing it’s location to get his imagination going.

Try role playing. Does your husband have a celebrity crush or a fantasy girl? Indulge him a little bit by showing up to your date dressed as his favorite actress or Natalia the Russian Spy (or whatever does it for him). Don a wig, change up your makeup, try out a new accent. If you think he’ll go with it, keep it hush hush until he shows up but if he’s not so big on surprises, you might want to give him a heads up so that you don’t get a ‘what the hell are you doing?’ look when he gets there. It will be different and exciting for both of you, plus you get extra bonus points for satisfying one of his fantasies.

Get naked. OK I know what you’re thinking. This one sounds a little extreme (I thought the same thing when my husband suggested it). But, while it may not be for everyone, it will no doubt spice up an ordinary date night (at home of course, get your mind out of the gutter people). It does require for your kids to be out of the house so send them off to Grandma’s or a friends for a sleepover. Try cooking dinner together in the nude (just practice safe cooking, nothing can sour a date night faster than a trip to the ER). Or grab some fluffy, fuzzy blankets, your favorite cocktail, and cuddle up in front of a fire or a hot movie. This is a sure fire way to create a sexy mood (and it’s budget-friendly, since you can’t exactly go out).

Keeping the spark alive is important to any relationship. Remember to take time to show your spouse how much they really mean to you and that they still ‘do it’ for you.

I will be trying out these ideas for upcoming date nights with the hubs (though # 5 is going to require a bit more planning, a maybe an extra glass of wine).

Any other ideas for spicing up ordinary date nights?

A letter to tired moms

Dear tired unappreciated moms,

I feel you. It’s been one of those days, weeks, years where you seem to give and give and just when you think you have nothing left, you give some more.

You give so much to your kids. You deal with hectic, beyond frustrating bedtimes, just to be woken in the middle of the night (sometimes multiple times) and then again earlier in the morning than you’d like. And if they don’t wake you, you’ll mysteriously wake on your own in a panic that they didn’t wake you so therefore something is wrong.

You rarely get praise or thank you’s and not because you’ve raised ungrateful children, but because they don’t realize everything you do and give up for them (and probably won’t until they have kids of their own).

Momma’s, really, you deserve an award, a trophy, a freaking medal for all that you do, day in and day out. But you have something better. You have a child. And while they can be a pain in the ass and drive you to your breaking point, they’re totally worth it. Sometimes it is easy to forget how fortunate we are to be moms and to be such and integral part of these little people’s lives.

So from one exhausted, under appreciated mom to another, thanks for all that you do.

And to all the exhausted, under appreciated dads out there, I know that you experience the same feelings that we do as moms, so for all of your hard work and for putting up with tired, exhausted moms, thanks to you too!

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