Friday, April 22, 2011


I worked legs oh man...fatigue has already set in!

Squats: I used the bar and two 45lbs plates. I did 10 sets of 10 reps.
If you are partial to just using your body weight, I recommend doing explosive jumping squats (called jumpies) 10 sets of 15-20 jumps

*difference between using weights and using body weight* bigger weight = bigger muscle. If you are like me and you have no hips, a more then modest backside, and thighs that never fill a pair of skinny jeans you probably want to try to go as heavy as you can.

If you are pear shaped, have a curvy backside, or just want to shave off AND tone your butt/thigh area then jumping is the way to go. Your body is a very smart machine. The bigger your body is the harder it is to jump. You keep jumping and your body will respond by getting smaller--because being smaller will make jumping easier.

One-legged squats: no weight, just your body weight. This is best done with a partner. Stand on top of a box (or a chair at home) stand with right leg on box/chair and your left leg dangling, squat and go back up to start position. Try to get your left foot as close to the ground as possible. Hold onto your partner's hand and have them assist you as needed. Ten repetitions, three sets.

*one-legged squats are great for coordination, balance, and while you're only using your body weight, it's one leg doing all the work. It won't add shape/bulk, but it will strengthen your legs significantly. This is an athletic training exercise.

Lunge-walk with medicine ball toss: hold onto medicine ball handle with right hand. Lunge forward with left leg, as you drive up with your left leg (specifically glute) use that momentum to toss the medicine ball slightly in front of you. Catch the ball with your left hand as you step forward with your right leg and repeat. I do this the length of our track (1/6 of a mile). It's will add shape, tone, and definition to your leg. You can't be sheepish and do draws attention to you and you will drop the ball at least once. No biggie :)

Step-ups super-setted with frog tuck jumps: need a good bra for this exercise. What? Just a friendly heads-up! Ok...step-ups: I used a set of 15lb dumb bells. Stop judging me, I was fatigued!! You can go heavier (if you have something to prove) if you really need some added volume to you badonkadonk...or you can go lighter/no weight if you would just like tone and slimming effects. Put right foot on bench (or chair). Make sure you heel is on the bench/chair...put all your weight in your heel and drive up...push so you are standing up on top. Lower yourself back down s...ll....ooooo....wwww...llll....yyy. No, slower! Make it TOUGH! Do ten on each leg (alternating). Then no time for rest, grab a medicine ball (10 lbs max) or nothing and squat as low as you can (think softball catcher position) and jump up as high as possible and drive those knees UP and into your chest. Try for ten. I got eight in. Rest and repeat for a total of three sets. I had a guy who thinks he is so funny keep saying "Ribbit" as I was doing this. Rage-o-meter = seven

Calf-raises: to really get your calves good you have to mix it up. I did one set of 100 as fast as possible with no weight. Then I put 135 lbs (in the form of a bar and two plates) on my shoulders and did ten calf raises. Then I reduced the weight to 65 lbs and did one legged calf raises (10 reps on one leg, 10 reps two legs, ten reps other one leg). Then I finished it up with seated calf raises: four sets of 15 reps...70lbs.

That, my friends, was all the juice I had in me..

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

3 kids for sale...

I love my kids. I did not love them slinking silently into my bedroom at 4:30am, crouched at the side of my bed stiffling giggles. Eliza motioned "1, 2, 3" and they all screamed


Monday, April 18, 2011

Here we go again...

This sweet, handsome man does many, many things that piss me off. He can make me irate, get me fuming with anger, but ultimately I forgive. And it is the same way for him...he loves me in spite of me being human.

One of our favorite songs to dance to is sung by Norah Jones and Ray Charles: "Here We Go Again" It makes us think of those times where we steal each other's heart like we did thirteen years ago as kids when we first met working a summer job off the same pier. Only now we know better...but we fall in love again anyway.

This past week he had to work through the weekend. So, the kids and I met him at his hotel for a mini-vacation. When he met us at the hotel he was dressed in his business suit....woah, holy-handsomeness! Here we go again! ha ha

Then we went out to dinner. He ordered me my favorite glass of wine, gave me a smile and a wink...that smile! Here we go again!

When we took the kids to the pool that night, the water was absolutely FREEZING!!! Without hesitation he got me a towel, "Go sit down and relax. I'll stay in the water with the kids." His thoughtfulness, his eagerness to play with our we go again...

Here We Go Again
Ray Charles and Norah Jones

Here we go again
He's back in town again
I'll take him back again
One more time

[Ray Charles]
Here we go again
The phone will ring again
I'll be her fool again, I will
One more time

[Norah Jones]
I've been there before
And I will try it again
Any fool, any fool knows
That there's no, no way to win
Here we go again
She'll break my heart again, yeah
I'll play the part again
One more time

I've been there before, you know what?
I will try it again

[Norah Jones]
But any fool, any fool knows
That there's no, no way to win

Here we go again
She'll break my heart again, yeah
I'll play the part again
One more time
I'll take her back again
One more time

A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers. ~Ruth Bell Graham

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Goldie-shorts suggestions...

Ok, I went back to the polyvore drawing board and I tried to put together a fun, casual outfit with the gold shorts. I also reworked my black and gold (GO ARMY lol) dinner date outfit with the gold shorts. Let me know what you think! I will try these on, and post pics soon as I can.

not sure about the red headband/nail polish...what do you think?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Unwritten rules of the gym..

There are some unwritten rules of fitness clubs. Here are just a few examples of how they are broken and can ruin someone's workout and maybe even her day:

Here is my morning workout plan:
warm up with 10 minutes of cardio, do a total HIIT circuit (15 box jumps, 15 sumo deadlifts with upright row, 15 burpees, 15 BOSU squat hops, and 15 wall shots) after that I would hit chest and triceps hard, then finish it off with a relaxing 45minute cardio session--either run or stair mill.

Here is what happened:
So, I warmed up for ten minutes (jogged) got my equipment set up for my circuit...and then we had an unwritten rule offender...

RULE #1. If someone is wearing BOTH earphones and not making eye contact he/she does NOT want to be engaged in conversation.

"Hey! You're a trainer here, right? Can I ask you a couple questions?"

me: "I don't want to be rude but I only have a short period of time to get this workout in so.."

"Oh no this will take a second! When I walk up the stairs, after I have been using the elliptical machine, it sort of feels like a weird twingey-spazz thing by my knee. Could you show me some stretches for that?"

This is also in direct violation of:

Rule #2. Trainers are people too. When they are off the clock, they are OFF THE CLOCK. Treat them as you would any other member, afterall I am paying for childcare for the ten minutes you just wasted.

So ten full minutes later, I have successfully lost all warmth from my warm up and need to start over. "No biggie...don't let it stress you out" I tell myself. I'll get it done, keep it positive!!

After warm up number 2 I get into my circuit, get a GREAT burn and forget all about that rule breaker!!

On to chest and triceps:
I started with chest fly, 5 sets of 12, ten seconds of rest between each set
On to decline bench press (10 reps) supersetted with plyo push ups (25).
unwritten rule offender once again:

Rule #3. Never, EVER, interrupt someone who is in the middle of a set. Ever. Even if the place is on fire. Wait until his/her rest period to tell them the place is being evacuated.

"Hey Anne, are you teaching abs tonight?"

me: [grunting, and puffing as I struggle to finish some plyo push ups] "yup!"

"Oh I can't make it! So bummed! I love your class. You know when we do the plank series, I get some..."

*violation of rule # 1 and #2!!! I am wearing headphones, I am not on the clock! I was able to continue with my workout, it is just not as effective when you have someone trying to chat with you...I was very distracted. Distracted enough to lose some form on my bench press and hurt my left shoulder a bit. Awesome.

Joint pain is never OK and if a joint is complaining you need to back off. So that was the end of that superset. Uh...SuperSUCKS!

Triceps need a good tri-kicking. They have an excellent blood supply so they recover fast and can take a good beating. They actually need a good beating if you really want to tighten up your "Hello Hellen's!!!" (picture an older lady waving "hello" to Hellen...yeah...tighten that up) I like to do a tricep circuit that would probably be against the Geneva convention as cruel and unusual punishment for prisoners of war...but hey, we'll look great in sleeveless tops! Yay!!

Ok, ready? Good. Tricep dips (20 of em) no rest go right into tricep rope push downs (15), no rest go right into tricep supine extensions 15, and then finish it off with 15 tricep push REAL tricep push ups. Now you get to rest...for 15 seconds and then go through it two more times!!

But that's not how I did it. I crushed my dips, killed my push downs, and began my supine extensions when I was rudely interrupted by the worst kind of unwritten rule breaker:

Rule #4. If a woman is not wearing make up, does not have her hair done, and is pushing her workouts so hard that she is sounding like a woman who is in labor then she is NOT at the gym looking for a date. She is there to workout...leave her alone. *FREE TIP* you can also look at a woman's left hand--if she has a wedding band then she is also not looking for a date.

So after politely getting rid of the unwritten rule breaker I finish that fifteen seconds and start my second circuit--dips are tough but I am tougher!! On the rope push downs I feel so good, getting a great burn and..what--is someone tapping my shoulder? Ok, this is not only in direct violation of Rule #1 and #3 this woman actually broke a rule that I think is written somewhere.

"How much do you weigh?"
me: "what?" headphones come off (and maybe a record skips somewhere...and the earth stops rotating for a moment)

"how much do you weigh?"

me: "130"

"yeah, that's exactly what I would have guessed. You're a little bit shorter than I am, and you weigh fifteen pounds more than I do...but that's because muscle is so heavy and you're all muscle. I knew you were heavier than me."


So on to cardio. I need a long relaxing run to drown out all the my "relaxing run" playlist and hit the track. Only to have a man who takes my spinning class run next to me and violate Rule #1

"Hey Anne, how did your stress fracture heal?"

This seemingly benign question led to him lecturing me(for two miles of my run) on how I can improve my running form and performance. That brings us to:
Rule #5: Do not give unsolicited advice.

I was told I need to take 180 strides per minute. I was told I need to drop a few pounds to decrease the stress on my joints. I was told to back off the stretching because my flexibility was making my stride way too long.

And all of this brings me back to a lesson I try to teach my own kids: You can't control other people, you can only control your actions and reactions to them. So I need to maneuver the gym and all it's rule breakers in an assertive, but polite way so that I don't give these people room to stomp all over my workout!!


So I found these sequin shorts (don't laugh) and that little girl in me who LOVES spark-ally things fell in love. It helps that I actually AM ridiculous enough to wear gold sequins anything, so I got them. Now how do I style them? Here are two of my (failed?) attempts. Let me know how you would style these puppies!! They are kind of big on me, but I think that adds to their charm, no?

Please use your imagination to clean off my bathroom mirror--and you can pick up some of that laundry while you're at it!

What was that? Where would I wear these? No, not the gym. To do errands, of course! That way everyone would move out of my way because I'd obviously be on my way to somewhere really dance class--tap or jazz, I dunno...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunny Days :)

What an absolutely gorgeous weekend we were spoiled with out here in Chicago!!! I don't care if we get nasty tornadoes tonight...I really, really needed the sunshine therapy I soaked in all weekend.

We didn't really take many pictures...but we did fill up our water table, played with bubbles, went under the sprinkler, grilled up some chicken, cooked some corn on the cob, and ate fresh watermelon. I'm looking forward to many more weekends like this now that the weather is friendly again!!

There is Gabe using his paint brush to "paint" my nails..ha ha!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What? It's warm in my dreams...

I can pretend it's warm and wear my summer clothes...but I don't recommend you do it.
Although spring is certainly dragging her feet, it is getting warmer and I'm always a bit too eager to wear my warm weather clothes. I might believe that my bare arms will force the sun to shine brighter, I dunno. In any is my jumping-the-gun spring-y outfit that I froze in.

I love, love, love my zebra-ish print wedges. I missed anthropologie's sale on them...but that turned out lucky for me as they found ME in marshall's for 29.99 last summer!! Waaahhoooo! can't see my shoes in that pic?
 this better????? LOL

Wicked Supah-Mom

This is what I wore to volunteer in Eliza's class yesterday. In the hallway I saw her art teacher, Mr. O. He said "wow, you look so pretty!" Very sweet, and slightly awkward...just like me. LOL

I did reading groups with the second grade kiddos...they call it "supermom." SO. MUCH. FUN. Seriously, think I missed my calling as a teacher. When I started working with the kids I was using my phone voice (don't act like you don't have one). About a half hour into it, I relaxed and unleashed my Boston accent which never fails to make them laugh. They got kind of giddy and I reeled them back in by saying "hey, guys...staht listenin' when I'm talkin to ya or else I'll tell ya teachah!!" Ha ha!!