Hi friends! Happy {almost} 2013!

What better day to dig deep and find some motivation in the new year? Yep, I'm talking about getting your butt to the gym. I've decided I want to start doing more fitness/health posts in 2013 because the other week I noticed I stopped writing about it for awhile. Not anymore. They are making a comeback folks. 

Alright, so..for me--I personally slack with my eating habits in November and December {you are to thank Thanksgiving and Christmas} and the gym just gets pushed aside from time to time. The other months of the year I eat healthy and am in the gym 4-5/week, so I like to think of it as my little break period. It happens and indulging during the holidays is ok, but you also have to know when it's time to get back on track. That time for me? Now. Not just because it's a new year, but because I want to feel healthier and get back on track. 

Some of you have asked me to share my tips + tricks to keep {and stay} motivated, so I compiled a list that I hope might inspire some of you. I also am sharing at the end what I'm personally doing right now in the gym/eating habits in case you want to join me. I'm not a pro {by any means}, but this is what works for me! {sugar, sweets, etc. do NOT work for me. Go figure...}

1. Create a kick ass playlist and keep updating it: This is huge! Music = motivation. Especially when on the treadmill. I like to load up my playlist with songs that are fast, uplifting (some could argue that my hardcore rap with 10,001 cuss words aren't uplifting, but hey, let's toss that to the side...), and that push me. If you keep the same ole' playlist for all of your workouts, you are bound to get bored. Bored = not wanting to be at the gym.

Here is my current favorite playlist:

"Set it off" is probably my favorite right now. Download it, listen to it when you workout, and thank me later. 

2. Buy new shoes or update staple pieces {cute pants, new top} in your workout attire: This works like a charm for me. Take control of your normal clothing budget and instead of buying new heels or a sweater, buy a cute workout outfit that you feel GOOD in. Buy those neon running shoes you've been wanting. I typically ask for new running shoes for Christmas for this very reason and every year it gives me a little extra drive to get to the gym. I love putting on my new shoes and wearing them to the gym, but then again I am a girl who owns double the amount of running shoes vs. heels. Totally besides the point....just get yourself some hottie workout clothes.

3. Make your goals visible: Put them on paper! Whether it's to lose 10 pounds, to do abs 2-3 per week, tone up, cut meat out of your diet once per week, eat fresh/clean foods, etc. PUT THEM WHERE YOU WILL SEE THEM MOST. The more you see them = the more you will be reminded to make them happen. I make a list and put them on our refrigerator because it motivates me to keep nothing bad in the fridge and to be "good" when I'm in the kitchen. :) Other helpful spots might be: your iPhone under "notes", your bathroom, or in your planner.

*with this: set a goal end date (unless this is something you want to do for the full year-even better!) Maybe an upcoming trip? Before bikini season hits? Schedule that end date in your mind so you know how long you have to make it happen. My husband always tells me "it takes 16 days to break a habit" {not sure if this is true or not-but so I've heard}, so chances are once you get "used" to your new lifestyle/getting to the gym-you will come to love it and it will be become a part of your daily routine willingly.

here's a copy of mine...

4. Schedule your workouts: Just like you would with your other important appointments. Set your workout for a time that you know you will be able to get it done. I might be different in my thinking here because some say, "do your workout first thing in the morning", but for me, I KNOW that in the winter chances are my butt is going to sleep in that extra hour and I won't get up to make it the gym before work. Therefore, I make it my priority to get to the gym after work and don't make any other plans until after that hour. In the spring/summer, it's much easier to get up with the early morning light, so I will try to do half of my workouts in the morning then. You just want to make sure you schedule your workout for a time you KNOW you can and will get it done.

5. Go to a new location for your run, take a new class, love your gym: This might be the most important of them all. You have to love where you workout. I could pretty much be running commercials or campaigns for Lifetime Fitness. That's how much I love it. I've worked out at Lifetime Fitness ever since I got out of college, have tried other gyms, and they just do not work out for me. Stick with what you love, even if it means paying a bit more. It's worth it to me because if you don't like your gym, why would you want to go there? You wouldn't. It's also important to switch up what you're doing in the gym. If you're getting bored, take a new class you haven't tried. Me? I'm 110% obsessed with spinning. You burn a heck of a lot of calories, is motivating, helps with my running, and in return puts a huge smile on my face. Endorphins = happiness friends.

{besides the fact that Lifetime needs to clean their mirrors more often, I love my gym.}

Lastly, for those of you who've been asking-aside from my goals up top on that paper, my goals are to do spin class 2x/week, run 2-3x/week (if you're running on a treadmill-try and run/job on an incline always), lift weights on my run days, and eat as clean as I can {I know that I will have a cheat meal every week}. I really want to shed the few lbs I've gained this holiday season, but most importantly I want to tone up and get stronger. So, what does clean eating mean? {question I've got a lot} I've found that this website helps me the most when understanding what it truly means. 

*If you'd like a more detailed post about healthy eating, leave it in the comments and I'll see what I can put together. 

Hope this helps some of you! 
Get that booty lift. Those Carrie Underwood legs. The flat stomach you dream about for this summer. GET IT. ;) {that right here would be me motivating myself, too...)



BEST OF 2012

I don't think I'm the only one thinking things like, "where in the world did the past year go?" or "is it seriously almost 2013?" Right? Glad we got that out of the way.
2012 went by incredibly fast. I feel like I should be still grilling out and drinking a Corona light on our back deck.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to not only look back at what I accomplished this year, but look at some of my favorite posts I wrote for every month. If you're new around here {even if you aren't}, maybe these will help you get to know me a little better, as some of them are not just recipes/projects but personal.

Here we go!


-speaking of, I will be a pescatarian 2 years this upcoming March! Crazy.
Recipe: 4 Bean Chili and Roasted Chickpea Tacos {a fav in our household!}

-First time meeting Steph! So exciting! {there are also parts 2 and 3}

-a happy point when I hit 1,000 followers on this blog :)





{ft. Billy's manly "basket"}



{for my birthday! also a part 2





4th of July
Christmas in July at Put in Bay
-our time at the lake/cottage!





California Trips:





Saw It Pinned It Did It: DIY Glitter Shoes,  


{little man baby shower!}
{it's safe to say I did A LOT of baking in November....}



-we raised $1,000 for Maggie!

Dear 2012,
It's clear I was way more busy in the summer than the other months.
And in the fall/winter? I baked up a storm.
I also realized how much better I look with a tan, so winter, could you please hurry up?
Girlfriend needs some color and stat!
You were good to me. Very good. 
 It was a truly wonderful, rewarding year!
 Cheers to accomplishing this much + more in 2013 and thank you for another 5 day weekend this weekend. I've become quite good at mastering the art of relaxation.


PS: Starting the new year off right by only having to work one day next week...



Well, they don't call it the most wonderful time of year for nothing....

{Billy as a little one in the middle}

{the boys with a sweet family friend, Jim, who has dressed up as Santa for their family for many, many years}

{the beginning of an intense cousin ping pong tournament...
guess who won the $100? Me and Billy! Duh.}

Some highlights from this Christmas:

Besides the most important part-being able to spend it with all our families{my parents, my Mom's side, and my in-laws}and just enjoying all of the wonderful company, my favorite parts were playing Gestures with my parents, the cousins ping-pong tournament where me and Billy came out on top winning $100 {did you really doubt us? ;}, watching hours and hours of home videos of Billy and his siblings as babies and a little boy, giving Billy his gifts and setting up his new iPhone that I got him, and having a true white Christmas {the snow has been SO much fun!}. Our families were so generous to us and we are feeling so thankful and blessed...it has been one heck of a Christmas. Some of our favorite gifts were Tory Burch revas {love them!}, new cozy slippers{much needed}, a North Face winter coat, lots of work out / running clothes, perfume, a new drill for Billy, dress shoes, Express/Nike shirts, and ski clothes for our upcoming trip next week. As I speak {type}, we are in a winter storm warning and supposed to get an inch of snow every hour! I can't complain because I'm absolutely loving it and besides, shoveling is a great workout. Especially when I ate everything under the sun these past couple days.

detox to begin.... now.  

*our si.pi.di link-up will resume next week and for the rest of this week I plan to soak up the holiday still and celebrate! Tonight is one of my best friend's birthdays so that is on the agenda for this evening. Looking forward to seeing my girlfriends and sharing our stories from Christmas.

Hope you had a warm and wonderful holiday season and continue to celebrate, too! xo