My 2016 Fitness Goals

In 2016 I want to challenge myself to continue being fit and active while also working towards new fitness goals. I’ve been an gym goer for three years now and I’m so happy I decided to give it a try! Going to the gym makes me so happy and feel great about myself – I’m honestly a huge gym and fitness activist. I love that I have the strength to do tasks at home or at work without asking for help from others. As I’ve continued to do weight training, I’ve surpassed weights that I never thought I would be able to lift. I’m a five foot, small framed young woman, and generally my body type is not seen as being strong. But I’ve definitely surprised some guys at the gym who are pretty impressed at the weight I can squat!

Just because I’ve already reached a lot of goals doesn’t mean I should stop improving. In 2016, during spring and summer in particular I want to try new exercises during my cuts that will not only help me reach my fitness goals, but also my physical appearance goal. Reaching that goal is about endurance training and personal perseverance. Even though it’s only the new year and Minnesota has at least three more months of winter, I’m ready for spring so I can get back to running outside and start cutting!

Running a 5K | Above all other fitness goals I have set for myself, running a 5K would be the number one goal I want to achieve. I was never good at running while growing up and my mile runs in middle and high school were embarrassingly slow. I’m so proud of myself to now be able to run a mile in eight minutes, and running continuously for three miles. Now I want to do an actually 5K so I can be times, get one of those stickers for the back of my car, and proudly wear my T-shirt around the gym showing I was able to do it.

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Photo courtesy of PicJumbo.com

My dad recently went through a huge lifestyle change and he also wants to go for a 5K this year! It would be great if we could run it together and say we both achieved our goals of running a 5K! It was only this past fall that I started running outside, either before work or on the weekends, and it’s 10 times better than running a treadmill. Winter cardio is going to be rough

Incorporating a jump rope | My dad gave me and Jake a few Amazon gift cards for Christmas so we decided to finally purchase a jump rope. I’ve seen people using jump ropes at the gym in between sets for the past three years, and it’s been something that I’ve wanted to add into my fitness routine for a while. For the past two springs, I’ve done resistance training with low weights, high reps on all of the same routines that I usually stick to. While these have worked for my routine, this spring I’d like to try some new exercises that involve more high interval training, and adding in a jump rope for more cardio and calorie burning. Ideally I’d like to bring the jump rope to the gym on squat and dead lift days to do a few intervals in between sets, but my gym sometimes does not offer enough space for that to happen. I’m definitely going to use the jump rope during backyard kettle bell workouts to add in some cardio.

Do my ab exercises.
As much as I love going to the gym and being active, I absolutely hate ab exercises. I don’t want to do them. Ever. But if I want meet my fitness goals, I’m going to have to stick to them. First, I should ALWAYS be doing leg lifts when I’m at the gym. On leg day, back day, cardio day, chest day, anytime. I also should be doing exercises with my five pound kettle bell in my living room when I’m watching TV. Five sets will do it, just as if I were at the gym, but I’m going to have to stick with it. I think I hate ab exercises so much because the old saying, “abs are made in the kitchen,” is totally true for me. I have to be EXTREMELY diligent about the foods I eat in order for my abs to make an appearance in summer. And it’s not just about eating healthy, it’s about eliminating foods that have a higher carb and sugar count.

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Photo courtesy of PicJumbo.com


Lift 200 | 
My strength went up a lot this year and I’m so proud of my current personal records! I’ve added my current personal records on my basic lifts below. The goal for 2016 is to break 200 on one of those lifts!

Squat: 185
Dead Lift: 185
Chest Press: 80
Shoulder Press: 65

Obviously it’s not going to happen on chest or shoulder press; those muscles are so weak on me. I have a feeling I’ll hit 200 on squats before dead lifts, even though it should be the other way around. My legs were made to squat!

Squat Jake | So I’m already able to squat Jake’s weight, but I’m so scarred to try squatting Jake himself! Squatting a person is so much different than a bar. People tend to move and be a little more lumpy than a barbell.

Christmas | Jingle VoxBox Haul

Christmas was good to me this year! I received some great gifts that will help with my New Year’s Resolutions, add to my makeup collection, and some are just plain fun to have!

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A little sneak peek into my setup.

To go along with the camera I purchased over Black Friday, Jake gave me a tripod! The tripod he got for me was the Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod and I love it. I had thought about purchasing one myself shortly after I got the camera, but I held out to see if it would be a Christmas gift. I’m happy I waited! A tripod will keep me with my goal of being more creative during the new year – check out all of my 2016 resolutions in my A Year Ahead | 2016 Goals. A tripod will be great for taking photos of products for my blog, help me explore photography in general, and will even be good for traveling in state. I’d also love to be able to film some of my backyard workout routines once spring rolls around. Jake also gave me a “Beast Mode” tank top and a pair of running shorts, which I specifically asked for.

I was so excited on Christmas morning when I ripped open a box from my long time, social media pen pal that had the Makeup Forever Mattifying Primer and Smashbox Photofinish Primer Water! I had mentioned both items back in a base essentials post, and I was so happy to receive some items on my beauty wish list. I was also very flattered that she’s reading my blog – thanks Shanee! Definitely keep an eye out for reviews on both of these products in the next few weeks. I’m hoping the Makeup Forever primer keeps my shine down throughout the day, but I also hope the Smasbox primer keeps my skin from looking too powdery after setting with powder.

I waited until after Christmas to purchase these as a gift to myself I purchased my first Makeup Geek eye shadows! I’ve heard so many great things about Makeup Geek shadows from YouTube and they’re so inexpensive, I’m really hoping they live up to their hype. I also purchased a small Z-Palette to store the eight shadows I purchased. Jake gave me a large Z-Palette for my birthday in November, but it’s already full from eye shadows I owned from Coastal Scents.

Jake’s sister gave me the Gwenda IMG_0325 (2)Hawkes Aftershave Leg Toner, something I’ve never seen before. It comes in a spray bottle and is full of essential oils and is meant to help smooth your skin after shaving. I’m definitely still testing this out to see if there’s a difference or if it helps with dryness. Jake’s mom gave me a Pyrex 13×9 baking pan – which I’m stoked about, and some recipe books with easy baking recipes which is perfect since I’m not the best baker in the world.

I received my first Influenster VoxBox* on Christmas Eve! To be honest, I was surprised I received products in the first place, but after sifting through the #Influenster on Instagram I started seeing a lot of bloggers that had received some of the same products. When I originally signed up for the website, I thought it would be a cool way to write reviews of products I’m already using and maybe receive some products when I get some badges. Like I said, I was super surprised to have received a VoxBox since I only signed up in November.

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The Jingle VoxBox included:

So far I’ve tried a few of the items in the box – the Cetaphil moisturizer, Biscoff Cookies, NYC eyeliner, and of the course the cute itty bitty stuffed animal. At first I thought the Olaf itty bittys was a tree ornament, but it’s more of a decorative items and recommended to be a stocking stuffer. The Cetaphil moisturizer arrived at IMG_0246 (2)the perfect time, as I was just finishing up a sample moisturizer that I use at night. I’ve used Cetaphil’s Moisturizing Lotion in the past, but the consistency of this moisturizing cream is richer and feels almost like a gel – I’m really liking it so far.

I’ve also been able to use the NYC City Proof 24Hr Eyeliner during the work week and I’m loving it! NYC has really picked up their game in the recent years, and this is a product worth trying out – I’m a big fan of their translucent setting powder. The eyeliner is creamy, opaque, and is great for all day wear. I think this eyeliner is a newer or reformulated product, but once the full liner available in store I’ll be looking for more colors – I’d love to see some bright colors for spring and summer. I definitely recommend the eyeliner. I’m not a big eye lash fan, but I will give these a try along with the adhesive.IMG_0318 (2)

Christmas was good to me this year and I was fortunate enough to receive some great gifts over the holidays that I wanted to share them! I have some new products to try out and review for some new posts this New Year, so be sure you’re following my blog for updates!

Friday Favorites | 1.1.16

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a wonderful and safe New Years celebration. I wanted to share a few things I’ve been enjoying this week. Christmas brought a lot of events and running around, so I have some favorites from the weekend and some other fun bits from the work week.

Beauty

Wet N’ Wild Color Icon Blushers, Mellow Wine & Berry Shimmer | These blushes from Wet N’ Wild do not get enough love and attention, especially these two shades. This range carries four shades, the other two being Heather Silk and Pearelscent Pink, which I also own. While the other two are great, and a lot of people talk about Pearlescent Pink being a dupe for Nars Orgasm, Mellow Wine and Berry Shimmer are perfect for the winter months! Both are true to their name – Mellow Wine is the pigmented winter wine, mauve color that goes with any look and Berry Shimmer is a deepened red with a bit of shimmer. I wore both of these blushes mixed together over the course of Christmas weekend, and Mellow Wine was great for the office during the work week.IMG_0373 (2)

 

These blushes are very pigmented so use a light hand or a duo fiber brush. I know I keep talking about my Sigma F15, but I LOVE this brush and it’s great for so many different tasks. I’ve seen people use the same kind of brush to apply highlight and even bronzer – it really is the best multitasking face brush and I highly recommend picking a few up for your collection. I have three.

Milani Bronzer Xl- Powder Glow – Limted Edition Dolci | I purchased this limited edition shade Milani bronzer and highlight duo this past summer because I thought the bronzer would be a good shade for contouring. For the first few weeks I had I remember loving the hihglight for a bit of glow and stuck to using the bronzer when I would contour. This past week I started using the bronzer again only I used it for all over bronzing and warming up my complexion, and it’s great! My previous favorite was the NYC Sunny Bronzer and it was starting to look a little warm for this time of year. The bronzer half of this duo leans more neutral than warm, great for contouring, but also great for bronzer during the winter months.

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The only bummer about loving this product is that it’s limited edition and you can’t get your hands on it anymore. I’ve heard great things about the Wet N Wild Color Icon Contour Palette which comes in two shades, Caramel Toffee and Dulce de Leche. I’ve never seen these in my local Walmart or Walgreens, where most Wet N Wild products can be found, but they’re worth keeping an eye out for.

Lifestyle

TweetDeck and Latergram | Since I’m at work for the most of the day during the week, I can kind of slack in the social media department. I have just about every type of account out there (check the sidebar to follow me!), but I’m pretty terrible at posting updates or pictures throughout the day. To keep my posts consistent and be on the same schedule as blog posts, I start using TweetDeck again and I’m trying out Latergramme. I’m sure a lot of you have used TweetDeck before, and if not it’s super easy! You can log into your Twitter account on any computer, schedule tweets, and personalize the your Twitter dashboard with it. Sometime’s I’ll use Bit.ly to shorten my blog post links and then schedule to tweet about them throughout the week.

Latergram is similar to TweetDeck, but for Instagram. Unfortunately, Instgram doesn’t let you post directly from Latergram, but you can schedule the image and caption ahead of time and then you receive a push notification on your phone that redirects you to Instagram to post. Latergram has some bugs to fix yet and I’m not a big of how they have the keyboard setup in their app, but it’s great for having an image from a blog post scheduled shortly after it’s on my blog! Does anyone else use third-party apps or programs to schedule posts? I’d love to know what some other great options are.

New Pens | Remember when you were growing up and hated going back to school shopping? Is anyone else like me and now LOVES all things school, office, and stationary related? I don’t know what it is about owning every pen available at Target, but I feel the need to always be purchasing fun new pens even when I don’t need them. I purchased some Write Dudes Ultra Glide Gel pens while I was running errands and I’m loving them. They 0.5mm which my preference for gel pens; ballpoint I prefer 0.7mm. The colors are great, they write really well and smooth. And they were only $2.99! I love color coordinating my planner, especially with purple for my personal events. I recommend checking these out if you need new pens for the New Year!

Good luck to all starting out New Year’s Resolutions! If you’re starting out a new gym membership, be prepared to wait a half an hour for a treadmill. If you’ve added new goals to your weight lifting, you can do it and be as strong as you want! If you’re working towards more artistic goals, like becoming more creative like me, then write down all your ideas. New year, new adventures!

Happy New Year Everyone!

I just wanted to write a quick post wishing everyone a Happy New Year! I hope 2015 treated you well, and 2016 is even better!

I got take a few trips in 2015 to Iceland and San Francisco, places I never thought I would visit. I moved in with my boyfriend. I got a new job. I’m still growing and improving. Life is one big adventure and it’s been good to me so far.

I also want to say thank you to everyone and anyone that reads my blog or follows me on social media. I do this for fun, but when people are happy and supportive of me it makes it that much more worth it. I have plenty of new posts and ideas to come!

See you next year!

A Year Ahead | 2016 Goals

I’m a firm believer of living in the moment and try very hard not to dwell on what could happen in the future (or what has already happened), but that doesn’t mean I can’t make a few New Year’s Resolutions for 2016. Last year, my main goal was to become for organized and I think I achieved that. I now use a daily planner that I keep in my purse and have a weekly whiteboard that hangs in the kitchen with the schedule on it. For 2016, I decided to have a few goals to reach for instead of just one big one.

Be more creative.
My main goal for 2016 is to be more creative. I’ve never been someone who is into photography or art – I simply do not think on a creative level. I much prefer tasks to be written down or in a schedule before I do them, rather than performing on the spot. How does one measure creativity though? Not too sure, but I’m going to figure it out. I’ve already invested in a nice camera (well nice for me) – a Canon PowerShot SX530 HS digital camera on Black Friday and I’ve playing around with taking photos of products for my blog and of everyday life. Please if you have any helpful tips with photography, leave them below! Currently, I’m trying to figure out how to add watermarks to my photos without having Photoshop, so we’ll see how that goes. For Christmas Jake got me a tripod so I’ll be able to easily take pictures for my blog and maybe take some short videos for Instagram! I also hope that a camera would be a great investment for traveling throughout the year. Finally, recommitting myself to blogging is another way for me to be more creative. It gets me thinking and brings me back to my love of writing!

I also wouldn’t mind taking on a few more projects around the house and giving DIYs a chance. There’s a lot of opportunities in our house for updating, even if it’s just painting or staining, and that’s something I know I’m fully capable of doing. It’s having the time and patience to get it done is where I need to focus in on. We’ve already made a DY headboard for our bed made from some wood, batting, and fabric, inspired by this post from Kindle Your Creativity I found on Pinterest. I’d also like to do some DIY crafts to add decorations around the house.

Keep traveling.
Over the past year I’ve started traveling and making lists of where I’d like to visit! In 2015 I visited Iceland, San Francisco, Duluth, and the North Shore in Minnesota – while Duluth and the North Shore are only short road trips I still consider them to be a traveling experience since neither are places are travel on a regular basis. Jake and I haven’t made any solid plans yet, but we are really hoping to continue traveling around every six months or so. I’m not sure we’ll be able to keep to that, given my new work schedule and Jake starting up school full time, but hopefully we’ll be able to fit in another international trip in 2016.

Some of my tops places I’d like to visit include Australia, New Zealand, Greece, and France. We may actually have a chance to visit Australia and New Zealand in the next two years because one of Jake’s friends is moving to Australia to go to medical school! I’m hoping we’ll be able to swing a visit when his friend is nearing the end of his education in Australia. I may be visiting a friend in Los Angeles during the spring that would include a trip to Disney Land! We had also hoped to visit Alaska over the summer, but those plans unfortunately fell through so we may looking into that ourselves. The other option for 2016 that will likely happen is visiting Mexico, Puerto Rico, or a country in Central America – probably someplace that is a little more touristy than we’re used to.

Get that tattoo.
I’ve been talking about getting a certain tattoo for over a year now and I just haven’t take the time to do it. Ironically, the tattoo has to do with living in the moment instead of looking the future. I need to take the time to find the font that I want this phrase tattooed in and bring it into an artist. Currently I have three tattoos, all of which are very simple or are words, so that tattoo I want isn’t that much different than those, but if that’s what I like then it make sense to do it! At some point I’d like to invest and get a larger, custom tattoo in memory of mom or on my shoulder/back area, but I have no idea where I want to start with that right now.

Continue to improve and grow.
I’ve changed and grown so much as a person since I graduated from high school and college, so much more than I ever thought I would. Just when I think I’m done growing and I’ve found who I am, I’m surprised at how I can continue to change. I’ve become very active and physically fit in the past three years, something that I would have never seen in myself as during high school or college. I’ve learned to cook meals and enjoy a wider variety of foods since the simple meals in the college years. Cooking is something I’ve grown to be very good at and love making our meals for the week.

I’m excited to continue on my fitness journey and hope to be in even better shape than I was last year. Some of my goals for my fitness journey in 2016 are to incorporate high interval training into my spring routine. I plan to purchase a jumping rope that I can use during kettle bell workouts in the backyard and also while doing squats and dead lifts at the gym. I’d also love to do 5K this year, hopefully with my dad, something I’ve never done before. During December, I hit a few personal records at the gym and I’m hoping to continue growing those numbers, especially on my chest press since that’s my weakest muscle group at the moment. I’ll go into specifics of my fitness goals in another post.

Be happy.
My ultimate goal in life is to be happy. As long as I’m doing what makes me happy, no matter what anyone else thinks, that’s what matters. This blog is one of those things I’m happy to being doing and spending time on. Going to the gym and being active makes me happy, so I work hard at the lifestyle. Be happy.

Whatever your goals are for 2016, I hope that you can achieve them all! A new year is a great time to make changes or setting new goals! However, don’t feel like that you can’t make changes or update your goals throughout the year. Do what makes you happy and works the best for you. Happy New Year! Ready for new adventures!