Monday, August 26, 2013

Give me YOU

be true to you, be yourself, be you

If you're like me, you occasionally look through your own feeds. And while checking over your social media pages you smile at what you show for yourself. The smile isn't there because of the likes or the comments or even the new followers, it's there because you like the display you've set up for yourself.

How are you representing yourself?

It's important to represent yourself (and your family) to this world of friends and strangers in a true light. Sure, we typically expose the good times more than the bad times but hopefully we're always staying true to the real you (us).

So when scrolling through your Facebook page, your Instagram pics, your blog roll does it really match the image you see in the mirror? Yea, we all are prone to airbrush out a wrinkle or a zit, maybe shadow this or brighten that and while that's totally normal, I'm talking about something else. In moments of quiet, in stillness of nights when you're rolling around trying to find sleep does your "feed" really match what exhausted you of your day?

Sometimes I question this for myself. There is no possible way for me to IG or blog all that my days contain, there are so many times I wish I had better documented but for what I do get up I ask is it accurate? This weekend as I waited for my youngest to fall asleep I scrolled through my facebook, my instagram and other rolls. In this point in life where I'm meeting new people, building new relationships and oddly taking a step away from daily blogging.... I found myself curious in the "true to life" game. I wondered if these new people would recognize me within my social platforms. I wondered if friends of blogging, etc. would agree that I am what they read and view.

I took time to think hard about this. I examined if there were areas in my life that needed improvement, needed enhancement. I think for some it's sadly the opposite, There are some looking for ways to enhance their feed, examining opportunities to make themselves look better. I wonder why waste energy on pleasing others in this way. Why plump up life with things not true to you for what becomes a pseudo happiness from likes, comments, and followers.

I believe in finding happiness in our own reflection. I believe beauty is shown in many ways. I believe in satisfaction from our quiet times, our nights out, our days "off screen" being complimentary to what we show to others in this socially screened world.

I think this is called authenticity.

I want to always be transparent. There have been times that I've struggled through bad habits or tough patches in life and chosen to not be explicit in those situations yet I've not been able to hold back some of the emotions brought on by those times. Close friends can see through those posts that tap danced around deeper feelings, they see the chords being struck by a pin or an Instagram image. I take comfort in that, not shame. There's strength in our weakest times. Always.

I guess my point to all this is a matter of check and balance. Are we really everything we present to others? Do we really believe in the belief we're giving to others? Are you as sure of the beauty you hold in every fashion post, every fitness tip, in every laugh you send through the web?

Be your best self. Be positive in yourself. Be concrete in your abilities and your place in this world. No one ever really has it all together and we're all working towards whatever our lil' hearts yearn for. Never try to be someone else. We need YOU. Never settle for less than what you would urge others to do or to have. And always stay true to yourself while growing into more of the awesomeness you already hold.

be perfectly you, be you, be free
Life is always changing around us. It's always bringing us new challenges and possibilities. If you're busy making everything perfect or wasting time removing what someone might consider bad than you are probably missing out on the rawness in life.

I'm grateful to be at a point that imperfections don't worry me so much. I'm grateful to be carefree of judgement over the good and bad. Someone will always have it better, someone will always have it worse. As for me.... I fit in right where I'm supposed to be. I'm grateful for my spot to grow from, love from and give from.

Not your typical weekend recap post but it's what I felt inspired to share. Something lead me to blog this, to share these thoughts. I hope that you can appreciate it on a bright and sunny, came to soon Monday morning!

much love peeps!

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Linking with Weekend Shenanigans, This Weekend I, Monday Morning Gossip

...happy to have Merrie with me this month...
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Friday, August 23, 2013

Love me a Friday!

Hey! Hey! I'm in a blogging mood :)
Sorry not sorry about the lack of blogging. I think there has been a general vibe going around some parts of the blogsphere making it obvious that this last part of summer holds something more fun than the keyboard. Yes? But it's Friday and I kinda love a Friday post.

fitness for mom, no excuses, moms who workout
1// NO more excuses, no reasons, no whatever you call for not getting a good workout. The stronger I feel, the better I feel. With some major stragedy I've figured my two days for gym classes and my two day for outdoor runs. In the time between I'm using a pull up (door jam kind) bar at home, free weights and....

7 minute workout app, review on 7 minute workout app
2// I've used this app a few times over the past week (before runs) and highly recommend it! Everyone has 7 minutes, everyone has a chair and some floor space, and really, that's all you need with this app to get your heart rate up and challenge your core muscle groups. It's 99cents of excellence.

tuna for lunch, spicy thai chili tuna,
3// Another thing I'm totally recommending you try is this crazy delicious tuna. ewww, I know tuna isn't something most people crave or even want to eat but this stuff is full of  flavor. I was seriously shocked. It hardly taste like tuna, try it on crackers or as a topping to your salad. Tuna is easy, fast and a good source of protein :) Plus, this "medley" can put a stop to a serious chips and salsa craving!

4// Speaking of chips and salsa, birthday boy Lance settled on Chili's for his dinner. They have endless chips and salsa in case you didn't know and they have the bomb shrimp/fish taco's too. Lance def enjoyed his birthday, the real party is saved for when Lucas gets back. Momma doesn't play paint ball, uh-uh, no way!

fort carson sign
5// The last turn before home. More pictures have been hung, curtain panels too, shoes are piled up at the front door and Zina is wearing her path through the backyard. Living on post isn't for everyone, I totally get that. We lived off post for the last 3 1/2 years. I'm positive though that we made the right decision moving back on base this time. We're surrounded by friends in our neighborhood and I definitely feel safe at home with the kids when Lucas is gone.

BUT that ice cream truck. I'm so yingandyang with that sucker.....
ice cream truck, ice cream truck rims

Happy Friday loves! 

...latest song to hit my run playlist....

What's been your fave workout lately?
What's your fave ice cream?
And did you see the rims on that truck!

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Linking with WhitneyH54F, Five for Friday

...happy to have Merrie with me this month...
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sometimes You Got it, Sometimes You Don't

I got this picture by text the other day, it's Lucas's way of sending love from some field in the middle of no where. He left last week for training and sent this saying the sunflowers remind him of me, so he keeps one around. Uh, I think the last 3 years have softened the both of us. really tho, it's sweet and I love it.

But before he took off....
I scored us another night out.... this time it was habatchi, hand rolls and wine. Don't ask about the dessert fruit platter. We're still not sure who ordered it for us but we scarfed it down like the rest of the food that had been placed in front of us. Woof. I hate it when food is so good you can't stop eating it! Japanese and Mexican are the two main instances of this. I just can't help it! And poor Lucas, it must feel like a last meal when you know you're stuck with MRE's for the next few weeks.

A special thank you goes to Pinterest for the outfit inspiration. With all the changes lately and the "summer lovin' I refuse to sit indoors" attitude... I haven't given much thought to my outfits. Let me show you the outfits of the week since that dinner...
Not much in terms of style-spiration! Sometimes you got it and sometimes you don't. I haven't really needed it considering all I do lately is workout, run, run after dog, run after kid, run after stupid ice cream truck. Despite the rainbow closet, all my creative energy has gone into the house and my seventh graders homework....that seventh grader who's turning 13 today! WOOHOO!!! And guess what he's asked for as his birthday dinner... Mexican. Oh, here we go again :)

Are you getting in as much summer as you can?
When's the last time you turned to Pinterest for style help?

P.S. Fingers crossed I devote some time to finishing off the new blog design. Thank you, thank you for all the nice comments about it!!! I'm in love with it and anxious for the challenge and a new look. If I could just make myself sit down for more than a few minutes....

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Linking with Random Wednesdays, WIWW,

...happy to have Merrie with me this month...
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Friday, August 16, 2013

Pretties of the Week and a Possible Blog Design...

Colors of clothes, colors of food, down to colors meant to relax and those that inspire are the pretties to my week. Happy Friday loves! Someone told me today that we are now in the final weeks of summer. Really?! Why announce that. Have your Christmas countdowns, birthday chains, wedding clocks but please don't countdown the weekends left to summer! how rude. On that note, here's a look at what I'm loving about our new space and what I'm feelin' for a new blog design...

There's still work to do on the house and "blog design" but I'm totally smitten with each and really happy with all things new.

closet organization, organize clothes by color
seriously, this has to be the best way to organize your clothes. I'm a little fanatic about my closet space. Whether it's the smallest of spaces or the largest it's important to keep the space cheerful and organized. Sorting clothes by color makes the space more exciting and actually helps you think of new color combinations! I'm still figuring out the best way to organize our outrageous number of shoes.... any ideas?

kitchen herbs and squash, cilantro in water, food pictures

it's fun being back in the kitchen. I've enjoyed making meals for the family and am anxious to get a new tank for the grill and start grilling again! But don't worry, I know cilantro and squash weren't made for each other. Cilantro is meant for guacamole and Lord, did I eat a mountain of that stuff this week ;)

beach decor, starfish and driftwood as decorations
the only pink in this room, maybe even the entire house. Those starfish and most of the driftwood are well traveled from Hawaii to Virginia and now Colorado. ah, home sweet home. Do you have simple little pieces like this? Little pieces in your home that holds stories and have seen it all?

small space desk organization, desk in small space, floating shelves in office
small space, corner nook, limited too, part of another room... whatever this space is called it's my desk//home office area. And I'm loving it. I don't require much really, I don't need an entire room or mile long desk. Give me a few shelves, a few drawers, space for the laptop, some pretties and I'm good. I hung the floating shelves in an order that makes sense but also allows me to add more if/when we decide to. I love my boys artwork on display, I love having the shells around me and the calming blues.

And those boxes on the shelves?

organize with toilet paper rolls, organize desk, organize art supplies
Friends, it was love at first sight. I love their simplicity, their message of love and belief but most of all....I love the organized fun they hold. The simple trick of using toilet paper rolls inside decor boxes solves the problem of art supply chaos. toilet paper rolls. start saving them.

and now, Dun. Dun. Dun....

blog design, heart shaped sweat
It's most definitely time for a new blog look. And, I've always wanted to do my own, I mean, anything is possible right?! So, even though I'm not a 100% sure about the fonts and not a single image is mapped.... this is what I got going on and again, I'm asking for your opinion! Pretty please!

Personally, I love it. I'm guilty of just staring at it for way to long. Not sure what your weekend plans are but it's safe to say I'll be figuring out image mapping....

Latest workout song crush
  Roar by Katy Perry on Grooveshark
have I really never linked with Whitney before? that's weird and unacceptable.
ah, once for When I Grow Up. I should have included linking with back that azz up Fridays.

P.S. I took my outdoor exercise indoors last night! FYI, I'm addicted to step classes. I tried out one at our new gym and smiled like an idiot 5 year old without his training wheels the entire time. I was covered in sweat and at times not sure if I was even breathing but it's one of my favorite workouts and the teacher did not disappoint! One hour later, 700+ calories fried this new city became even cooler.

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Also linking with 5 on Friday, H54F,

...happy to have Merrie with me this month...
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Monday, August 12, 2013

Order of Happiness and a Hilly Run

become the best, fitness is discipline, belief, and knowledge

Life's all in how you look at it, right? For some, I would imagine, moving around every few years would just be heartbreaking, it wouldn't suit them. I'm not saying there won't be days that I ache for home but moving around with the Army always gives us a chance to start anew. Change is good for the soul.

children hike waterfall

But as parents, we're always last in line. It seems, children come first, then home, then us. Lucas and I always try to put each other first, we figure if we're happy then the kids are happy. After all, we are the foundation for our children and our home. We truly believe our children's happiness and security in this crazy world starts with us. We've screwed that up a few times and mastered it other times. It takes ongoing work to figure the order to happiness. Life's always changing and within that we are always changing.

phantom canyon, brewery

The last two weeks of "moving in" have primarily been spent on the house and the kids. Although, Lucas and I snuck out one night for dinner last weekend. As much as we would have liked to carry on and venture more through the city it was important to get back home for a good nights rest. We're lucky to be reunited with old friends from Hawaii. It's amazing to start this new chapter here not completely alone. We've all grown over the last three years but meeting up with them here is as if nothing has changed, other than their oldest now babysits our youngest ;)

Anyways, back to the point which I've yet to hit on.

The house is well on it's way to being pretty. My kids are good. One has settled into 7th grade and starts football practice this week, the other is anxious to be like his brother and go back to school too. I know this not only because of his jealousy with every school bus but also his sprint and no turning back attitude when he saw the daycare room at our local gym. (no worries kid, I'm working on the daycare stuff this week)

So it seems all is well. It's all so balanced on the surface, right? House check. Kids check. Parents night out check. But still, something was yucky. Life was just rolling on but inside I've been a bit blah. No matter which way we ran the order of happiness we weren't inserting any "me time". Everything, all happiness, flows from within and as parents//adults we forget to just back out and take a little me time.

I needed desperately to get back into a routine that allows me-time. A huge part of my routine includes exercise, ah... there's my me time, and I haven't had much of it lately. I've never feared the gym but I do admit to carrying some fear towards new places and new people, the unknown. But by week two in our new home it was time to find my gym and find my running trail.

just go, follow your arrow,

Base has a gazillion gyms to pick from but I don't do everything on base. After two very different YMCA's we settled on our new gym home. We absolutely LOVE it there. I'm not 100% sure their classes will match up to what I'm used to but really, it is what you put into it. I found my running trail too. I needed a 5K distance. I've heard the rumors about altitude kicking your butt and the need to really allow time for adjusting and I believe them all. It's unreal how winded I feel after moving those damn boxes up and down flights of stairs or carrying a crying toddler up the hill from the playground but regardless 5K is my go-to distance for running and I was ready to give it my best.

Running for Maggie hosted by Sami was ran by many this past week. It was my first Colorado race. Okay, technically it's not a Colorado race but as my second virtual race it was my first one here. I sent prayers and happy thoughts Sami's way and it felt amazing to have a race helping me through the hills. But more so, I was reminded.... we should always be "racing" ourselves. Pushing ourselves to be better than yesterday and stronger for tomorrow.

So, I wrangled through many thoughts as I did my best to run 3.1 miles yesterday. I was told to expect my pace to slow by 20-30 seconds. Okay, on the average yes, my pace was slower by about 35 seconds but when you really break it down I only ran half and walked the other half. Having not run in almost a month, it was exciting to be back at it. My new trail is amazing, I'm completely in love it. It has the perfect level of challenges and gorgeous views all around. I just have to keep at it and know that in due time I'll be balanced with my old abilities.

My polar watch reassured me that I was indeed giving it my all. At the moments that I felt I just couldn't run any further I would check my heart rate and sure enough be maxed out at 185. I knew it was all fair for me to walk, it wasn't just in my head or the weak corners of my will. When I started to feel in control of my breathing I'd check the polar and see 160 and know it was time to try running again. Mind you folks, I'm pushing a ginormous jogging stroller with a 30+ pound toddler through this entire hilly run!!!

running for maggie, motherrunner

I finished the 3.1 hilly miles in 42:19. And continued on my way for another 1.5 miles. Landon has become a reliable running buddy. He's grown quite a bit since the spring and now seems to have the patience for a 45+ minute run/walk. I'm betting the new scenery is major factor in all this too. I think he enjoyed the Running for Maggie race as much as I did.

I definitely got my workout in this weekend and absolutely found myself a trail for all my joys, worries, thoughts, and over consumption of gaucamole and strawberrita's :) 

How do you balance "it" all?
Is exercise a part of your ME TIME?
Have you tried any new gyms or workouts lately?

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Linking with Weekend Shenanigans, Simply Sami for the Virtual 5K, Monday Morning Gossip,  Hop til You Drop

...happy to have Merrie with me this month...
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Friday, August 9, 2013

Natures workout: 5 Reasons to try it!

I'm excited to share our "outdoor exercise" but first, you gotta know, I have one space decorated in our new home! What space is it? Not the two story tall walls. It's the desk space I'm working from now! Don't ask me why this space has been so fast to come together and don't ask to see it just yet. I'm holding out til' next week.

Ok, let's talk Nature's Workout.

If you're the outdoor type it doesn't matter where you are or which season it is... Nature has a workout for you! And if you're not exactly the outdoor type I'm giving you a few reasons to try it for your next workout.

Colorado Springs views
This weeks major workout was all cardio and a little strength (ahem, baby on my hip). Nature gave us underground tunnels, a little cheat of an elevator and 224 steps. It even offered an additional 1 mile loop or 3.

Considering it was just me and my two boys, we stuck to the populated areas and are saving the wooded miles for when Lucas can join us.

Seven Falls Hike, Colorado Springs
We took on some serious hikes in the year we lived in Hawaii and were beyond excited to learn of all the options in our new backyard of Colorado Springs, starting with Seven Falls. During the years we lived in Virginia we hiked a few trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains but tamed most of our outdoor adventures to parks, primarily due to pregnancy and little mans first year of life. Infants are a bit of a game changer, toddlers however can hang so we took our outdoor exercise up a couple notches! I've also found my new running trail and ran my first race here!

5 Reasons to give Outdoor Exercise a try...

Like music, scenery keeps you going. Bridges over rivers, historic parks, mountain sides and coastal lines. You think it, nature's got it. Beautiful, changing scenery can actually help you workout for longer!

You'll be amazed at the natural energy you get just by being outdoors. Wind and Sunshine do a lot for a good mood and adrenaline boost. Take on a fear of heights, climb mountain side for even more of a boost. Join a racehost a race, just run a race! Try something new, set out and accomplish a new workout you've never done before. ie: swimming, tennis, golf, outdoor yoga, beach running...

Like the gym, you can customize your nature workout! Most trails offer benches for rest, take advantage of those, rest there and move on OR customize your workout by using it as a marker to turn back around. Most parks offer exercise stations to change up an ongoing cardio session. Trails by stair offer landing points for breaks or u-turns. Our mini hike this week even offered an elevator, consideration for all levels. Nature is beyond accommodating, it can challenge the strongest and comfort the weakest.

Convenient & Fun
Lezbehonest some days you don't want to go to the gym. You just aren't feeling a "workout". When a killer playlist just isn't enough, nature helps a workout feel like fun!  Trust me, by being more active outdoors you may not think it but the workout WILL catch up with you! Nature is all around us and always open. No need for memberships, fees, or passes. Or bulky equipment either!

Do what inspires you! 
Do what gets you excited and keeps you revved. If you aren't feeling the gym circuit, don't have the convenience of child care, whatever the reason leaving you blah or in a notivation rut try turning to nature for your next workout!!

What's your favorite outdoor exercise?
Which do you rather? Indoor or Outdoor exercise?
Happy Friday loves!! Get yo' weekend on!

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Linking with 5 on Friday, H54F, Workout Wednesday

...happy to have Merrie with me this month...
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Monday, August 5, 2013

Pinterest for the Blog and Home

I feel like I know my way around this new city I now call "home" better than I do my own blog!
Awkward. Maybe I shouldn't go a week between posts, ehhh?!

But, it seems I go in phases when it comes to my obsessions with the internets. First it was Myspace. I had to figure it all out the very first night. I needed to have the pictures, the videos, the right song selected and of course my friends organized just right. Thankfully, Facebook took over that obsession. Next up, Instagram. Oh, I was in love with Instagram. And Twitter... man, I had no clue what I was doing on Twitter back then. This was all followed by an obsession with Pinterest...which took me to blogs.

Then it seemed all I wanted to do was read blogs. Blogland had it all. Blogland sucked me in for hours each night. Then I had to have a blog of my own. I have a light to share. It varies from fitness motivation to lifestyle to recipes to army wife life. And it's my little piece in this endless land of blogs. I love the time I spend here working on me and catching up with you.

Somewhere in my drafts are words about which platform promotes a blog best. I feel you will promote your blog best on the platform you're most comfortable with but what about others who intentionally (or not) promote your blog?

Is the best platform determined by the main substance of your blog or by the reader?

Moving into a new home has me curious about ways to decorate. Making a house a home inspires me to be creative, figure new color combos and space plan rooms perfectly. I opened Pinterest for the first time this past week in what seems like forever.

Parts of this new home are intimating to decorate. I searched Pinterest for "decorating tall walls". Our main space has walls that stretch two stories high. I now have windows requiring curtain lengths of more than 92" when standard is 84"... what's a girl to do for solutions and ideas? Duh, she searches Pinterest.

I had noticed Pinterest as a heavy traffic source to my blog. And, with a little time and digging I learned that sweet Lisette has been a major contributor to the traffic hitting my blog. Little did she know pinning this post from my blog months ago would create a consistent traffic flow. Food, home decor, weddings and fashion take over Pinterest. But any image is pinable. When Lisette pinned fitspo from my blog, I'm guessing she had no idea the power behind that gesture. That same post was tweeted by this man who has over 13K followers. (such an awesome moment!) While he knows the power behind his tweets, he may not have known the surreal surge of hits to my blog in that one day.

CASE IN POINT.... The attention created by his tweet died out that same day. The tweet was buried within hours. The pin however is still being showcased and tossed around every day. It maintains and sends traffic on the daily. That pin has been repinned 678 times and holds 147 likes... now, consider how many more shares the pin has from those 678 and there's literally no limit. Thank you Lisette, thank you!!!

I'm blown away by the influence Pinterest holds.

Are you using Pinterest to grow your blog and promote others material? You should be!

And that's enough for a Monday read!
This is Lucas's first day back to work after nearly 2 months off. It's Lance's last Monday of summer break, he starts 7th grade later this week! And Landon has finally started saying Army, although he still calls any man in ACU's "daddy".  As for me, I'm still starring at these huge walls wondering what in the world.... and today I'm testing the altitude rumor as I walk/run my 3.1 for Maggie, a virtual race hosted by Simply Sami!

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Linking with Weekend Shenanigans, Monday Morning Gossip

...happy to have Merrie with me this month...
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