Burpees and Blackberries

Happy Friday! Who is excited? I am because I will finally be spending this weekend at home. Whew!

This morning, I woke up and began my day with a bowl of Kashi Vanilla Cluster Cereal topped with fresh berries. I noticed it was a new cereal when I purchased it. It was so delicious! What I like about Kashi cereals is their nutritional quality–high in fiber and protein, which aids in keeping us fuller for longer.


This weekend I’ve decided to check out our local farmers market for the first time this year. I am thankful to have a phenomenal farmers market close to home. There are all sorts of crafts, treats, and produce to choose from.

Farmers markets (especially in the Midwest) are special because they occur only for a limited time due to weather. They also allow local residents a chance to showcase their hard work gardening, baking, or crafting. A special shout out to Heart of My Home Granola who supplied me with tons of free granola as a promotional contest last year! I hope they will be back this weekend.

I found some recipes that I may be trying based on what I find this weekend.

Basil Pesto with whole wheat pastaImage(photo source)

Blackberry Muffins(Photo Source)

I had an amazing workout yesterday. I love those days where everything just seems to come easy. Today, I found a Burpee circuit that I am going to try from the blog, Peanut Butter Fingers.

(Photo Source)

Burprees are a tough exercise where you begin by jumping up in the air then coming down for a push up and then standing up and jumping again. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. But I know it will feel great when I’m done.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Question: What is your favorite thing to purchase from the farmer’s market?


How Do I Follow Your Blog?…

…One of my most popular questions from readers.

There are many ways through my facebook, pinterest, and twitter accounts (listed to the right of the this post). However, another easy option is Bloglovin which is a central location to which all of your favorite blogs can be followed at once.


Have a great day–I’ll catch up with you all later on!

Nike Shoe Review


Happy Tuesday, Bloggers!

A week back from vacation can sometimes be difficult. I figured yesterday would be tough, but it ended up including much more excitement than I anticipated. It began with the power going off in our work building around 9:00am. I was sad to lose a spreadsheet I had been working on, but figured this would add a little built in break/excitement to the day. Following lunch, a tornado warning was issued for our area. I looked outside and saw the biggest wall cloud I had ever seen with cloud rotation right over buildings next door. I typically don’t become too alarmed with severe weather but I’ll admit, that was scary. Thankfully, we remained tornado-free although towns just north of us were not as fortunate 😦

I promised to provide a review of my Nike plus women’s running shoes. I wanted to spend time running, walking, and casually wearing them in order to provide the most complete review. Here it goes!


Women’s Nike Free 3.0 Running Shoe, Size 9

Overall Score: B+

What I Liked: The light-weight fabric, portability, and ease of taking on/off. These shoes were great for running shorter distances, power walking, or running errands. I also love the fact that the shoe has the Nike+ capability. Nike+ is a chip you can buy to insert in your shoe that tracks the distance, time and calories burned during an exercise. I haven’t utilized the chip but it’s only about $20 at most apple stores. I think they are semi-stylish (maybe I’m biased). Finally, the shoe ties stayed tied during runs! Alleluia!

What I Didn’t Like: Despite having the supposed proper size, my toes felt crammed at the top of the shoe. And although I liked how light weight the shoes were, I felt they lacked support. My feet have a normal arch and I have never needs inserts or other special accommodations for my shoe wear. My feet felt unsupported when I went on a 6 mile run recently.

Closing Thoughts: I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a easily portable and low-stability shoe. Additionally, I would recommend this to an experienced runner who enjoys shorter runs.

Today, I am reminiscing about the great times I had on my vacation…

ImageEvan and I spent our last night together on the beach. I miss you already, Evan!

After my week in Savannah, I flew home to Milwaukee to celebrate one of my dear friend’s wedding. Congrats, Jess & Tyler! The wedding also provided a great opportunity to catch up with college friends. I think it’s a sign of true friendship when you can pick up right where you left off.

ImageA group of us at Water Street Brewery, downtown Milwaukee

ImageOne of my favorite roommates and college friends, Opal.

I am also anxious to get back to the gym today. Although I always enjoy breaks from exercise, I tend to feel more easily irritable and get headaches when I take a longer break from working out. Isn’t it weird how sensitive our bodies can be? I plan on easing back into it with a run and light weights.

I hope you all have a wonderful evening!

Question: What do you like to do after a vacation to help get you back into your normal routine?

Running in Southern Summers

Greetings from Savannah, Georgia!

It has been a busy and southern-filled vacation so far. We have been enjoying every minute of it. Vacations have a great way of reminding us of the need to relax and enjoy the small things–like your morning coffee or walks after dinner.

Thankfully, the 17 hour drive to Savannah wasn’t nearly as overwhelming as I once thought. Our group broke up the drive safely and ended up pulling into Savannah around 1:00pm on Monday. It only took us minutes to jump into our suits and head to Tybee Island, the most popular beach spot in the area.


We enjoyed catching some rays but quickly realized we were hungry after all of that driving! We headed to dinner after the beach where I chose a black bean burger topped with pineapple salsa with fresh fruit on the side.

20130620-145741.jpgAfter dinner, it was easy to go to bed because of our sleep deprivation from the night before.

When we woke up on Tuesday morning, Nate suggested we go for a run. We laced up our running shoes and headed out the door into the muggy, muggy Savannah sun!


While on my run, I found myself feeling sluggish quickly due to my fatigue and heat. After talking with my friends, we thought of the idea to post on proper running form.

Running properly is essential to not only safe but productive exercise. Just like any other sport, one must run with proper body mechanics to decrease the risk of injury and find the exercise most enjoyable. Starting from the top of your body, below are some basic pointers to keep in your mind.

  • Head: Try to always look out and naturally ahead towards the horizon. This will put the rest of your body in a forward position. (I’ve noticed, looking at your feet can leave you feeling exhausted and defeated.)
  • Shoulders: Should be relaxed and in a lower position. Many new runners often feel tension in their shoulders after long runs because they put strain on this area naturally. Be cognizant of this area when you are attempting to get into a solid running rhythm.
  • Arms: Should be bent by the elbow in a 90 degree position and swinging slowly and naturally. Typically, sprtinters move their arms faster and more frequently than long distance runners. Attempt to keep your hands unclenched to avoid tension build up.
  • Hips/Torso: Should be facing forward and extended. When I ran track, I remember the coaches telling the athletes to “run tall” meaning, stand up straight without slouching. If you feel yourself doing so, take a deep breath and pull your shoulders back.
  • Legs: Your knee lift does not need to be dramatic or exaggerated. Similar to your arms, let them fall into into a natural pattern.
  • Feet/Ankles: Many people differ in the way their feet hit the pavement due to bone structure. Your outer foot should be hitting the ground first and rolling inwards with every step. Most people have to intentionally train themselves to run this way.

The rest of the week will be a continuation of exploring in Savannah! Tonight we are mini-golfing and grabbing ice cream. I hope you have a great evening!


Summer Roadtrip!

Hello, Blogworld!

This weekend, I was fortunate to spend time with family, despite the circumstances being sad. My great uncle passed away so I spent time in northern Iowa celebrating his life with relatives. There was a beautiful military memorial. A shout out to Meghann, Kelly, Monica, and Melanie for the blog compliments. It is great to see that my extended family enjoy the posts.

Today is Sunday, which traditionally is filled with church, relaxing, and preparing for the week ahead. This Sunday, however, I woke up extra excited because today is the day we leave for Savannah to see Evan!

My friends Nate, Sarah, Brianne and myself are all roadtripping down to Savannah, Georgia!


(Photo Source)

According to the GPS, it should be about a 17 hour drive. Yikes! We are all planning on splitting it up with no major stops along the way. (I’m fairly positive Starbucks will be heavily involved.)

I will update you all once I arrive and begin exploring. Savannah is supposed to be one of the most haunted cities in America. Therefore, we are heading on a ghost tour! Spooky! Beyond the tour, we plan on eating well and hitting the beach! Summer vacations are the best. Plus I will finally reunite with my sweet boy. It’s a win-win 🙂

ImageRewind to this morning….I woke up and quickly threw on my running shoes. I don’t normally work out on Sundays, so I knew if I thoughts about it anymore, I wouldn’t actually end up running. I figured the exercise would help with the long drive later.

Upon arriving home from my run, I blended together a quick smoothie before I began packing for our Georgia excursion.

I call this smoothie…Mighty Mango!


  • 1, 6oz container of Stoneyfield Farms Organic Peach Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup of frozen sliced strawberries
  • 1 large handful of organic baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup of organic vanilla soy milk
  • 1 pinch of chia seeds. You can read more about the power of chia seeds here.


Doesn’t look great but it tasted like something orange julius would make. Yummm

I hope you have a great rest of your Sunday! I will try and update on Savannah ASAP!


Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Happy Tuesday! I hope your week is off to a good start. I have been getting back into the swing of things at work after being home the weekend prior. Next week, I will be in Savannah visiting Evan. I can hardly wait 🙂

Work went well today. I enjoyed a great lunch! (I always look forward to lunch time) Today I had cherries, almonds, and an organic yogurt with a Spinach/Kale salad. Lately, I have been loving the dressing: Newman’s Own Asian Sesame Ginger. It really has a zesty zing at the end!

ImageAfter work, I headed to our campus gym and ran 3 miles around the indoor track followed by weights and abs. Below is a picture of me using the leg curl machine which targets the hamstring muscles.

ImageRunning outside in the summer (especially afternoon) is difficult for me. To learn more about exercising safely in the summer heat, click here.

For dinner, I enjoyed quesadillas with friends. We stuffed them with cheese, sweet potatoes, and black beans. They were a deliciously healthy (and vegetarian) dinner.

Sweet Potato Quesadillas

  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 sweet potato, shredded
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and warmed on stove
  • 1 8 oz. bag of shredded cheese (we used pepperjack)
  • Additional fillers as desired (onions, tomatoes, peppers, etc.)

1. Line cookie sheet with tin foil and spray non-stick oil.

2. Load warmed black beans, sweet potatoes, cheese, and any other toppings onto quesadillas.


3. Bake in over at 375 degrees for 15-17 minutes.

4. Top with salsa, guacamole, or sour cream. (optional)

ImageThis isn’t the greatest picture but it tasted delicious and was very filling. Black beans are full of fiber which gives you a feeling of fullness. Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A, which aids in vision and skin health.

Tonight, I will be organizing my belongings for my Savannah trip. I can’t wait to post pictures and keep you all updated on my travels. I have heard it’s a beautiful place to vacation!

Looking ahead, I will soon be writing reviews on exercise clothing, running shoes, and easy summer meals. I hope you continue checking back. For an easy way to follow me, make sure to “like” my facebook page!


Until next time–have a great evening!


Summertime Weekends

Happy Sunday! I hope you are finding time to relax and enjoy the company of those around you. I had an excellent weekend visiting my mom in Wisconsin. After my first week back at work, I loved having time to relax and sleep in.

Yesterday, we woke up early and headed to the farmer’s market. Summer mornings are a great time for iced coffee, so we swung through McDonalds drive through quickly and I grabbed an unsweetened iced coffee. Perfect (caffeinated) start to the day!

ImageWe next headed to the farmers market near downtown. ImageIt was busy and full of vendors of all sorts!

ImageOf course a Wisconsin farmer’s market wouldn’t be complete without a cheese curd stand. We opted out of these but chuckled at the sight. 🙂

We ended up with an excellent organic raspberry spread and rhubarb. We tried the raspberry spread on english muffins today and they were outstanding. Last night I turned the rhubarb into rhubarb crisp and brought it my grandparent’s house. Great finds!

ImageAfter the farmer’s market, we decided to take a walk on the city’s bike trail. We mapped out a 4 mile route and took off! The weather was partly cloudy, but we enjoyed the conversation and sights along the way.


This morning, my mom, grandparents and myself went to 8:30am church together. The rest of today will be spent mostly driving back to Iowa for another week of work!

Have a relaxing rest of your day!


Question of the Day  (anyone can comment): If you had a weekend to do anything, what would you choose to do?