Fitting it all In…Or not.

Happy Wednesday! I just completed a 7 mile run and I’ve convinced myself that if I wait to do my training runs during the hottest part of the day, it can only help me come race day, right?! Here’s to hoping.  

After my run, I stopped and did some stretching near a local park bench and heard something I’ve never heard before (or paid attention to?) :A waterfall! I walked over to check it out and imagine my surprise when I saw this:

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I’ve lived here pretty much my whole life and I had no idea this existed. After my marathon is over, I think I’m going to explore the world of trail running. I didn’t realize Milwaukee had such awesome trails.  

I’ve been thinking a lot about life, fitting it all in and being the mom that can do it all. It’s no secret that I enjoy being busy. If I’m not training for one thing, I’m studying for something else. I used to think that I functioned better with busy chaos in my life, but that was pre-Madelyn. I didn’t really have to put anything before myself, I could just do whatever, whenever.   

I realized about a month ago, that I was in over my head and that I cannot, in fact, do it all. Enter re-evaluating priorities.

Number 1 priority?

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These two loves of my life. When I signed up for the marathon, the first thing my husband said to me was, “Make sure you’re not taking on too much.” My response?  “Don’t worry babe, I got this!” And I did, but at the cost of other things.

Barre instructor training, although very fun, was very time consuming. I initially thought that I’d give up my Monday mornings and that would be it. But once I started teaching, I realized that I had to put in a lot of time outside the studio to really do a great job. I didn’t think I’d have any problems since I’d started taking barre classes years ago, but it’s so much different being on the other end as opposed to being a client. It was taking the fun out of barre for me and I promised myself that when it stopped being fun, it wasn’t worth it to me. I also missed having my Mondays off and spending time with my little tot. She’s going to be two this week and to say that time has flown by would be an understatement. I want to cherish these early years as best as I can before I’m no longer “cool”.

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Oh, and then there’s my actual job.

MariaCampbellAs much as I love having hobbies, I need to realize that not only am I a wife and mom, but I also work 10 hour days. Which turns out to be 12 hours with commute time/getting the little one to daycare. So that extra Monday off is completely necessary.  

That’s about where we are right now. I know that I can do anything I put my mind to, I just can’t have it all at once. So I’m taking a big, deep breath of fresh air, focusing on one thing at a time, and cherishing every moment I have with those that matter most. Because that, after all, is what life’s really all about.  

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Running With Purpose

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I just began week 10 of marathon training…so maybe now’s a good time to mention the marathon?! 

In May, I decided to bite the bullet and train for the Chicago Marathon.  I knew that I wanted to do it again (I had to beat my time after all!) I just wasn’t sure about how soon I would attempt to take on 26.2 miles.  I knew that there was no better time like the present.  If I waited any longer, other things might get in the way of me training for another fall marathon, so thinking about life and plans and stuff, I knew it was either this year or it would probably have to wait a few more years.

So I’m doing it!  And once again, I will be fundraising money for Salute, Inc-an organization that helps out military members, veterans and their families.  Last year, some of the proceeds went to a woman who lived right here in Milwaukee!  It’s an awesome organization and I’m proud to be part of it all.  

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Which brings me to my topic: Running with Purpose.  I’ve never ran a full marathon without having a fundraising commitment.  Last year, I missed the deadline for Chicago and my only way in was through a charity.  This year, I did actually “win the lottery” but by the time I had decided to do it, it was too late.  So enter charity again.  I had a lot of fun last year raising money for Salute, Inc.  My goal last year was $750 and I surpassed that amount tremendously.  This year, my goal is $1500 and i’m half way there.  This year, I’ve organized breakfasts and bake sales at work and it’s helped out a lot.  

I’m not going to lie…the one thing missing this year during my training is motivation.  Last year, I didn’t know what to expect and I was so excited to be working towards the goal of finishing a marathon.  This year, I’m like eh.  I just kind of want the race to be here already.  Obviously, I know that in order to do better this time around I have to train smarter and I’ve been pretty good in getting my long runs completed over the weekend.  It just seemed easier for some reason last year.  The one thing getting me out there, pounding the pavement, is the amount of support I’ve had from my family and friends.  My husband has been pretty amazing on Saturday mornings…he gets home from working weird hours, stays up with our bundle of energy while I go run for hours and hours.  (My mom’s really good at helping out too!) There have been challenging training runs where I’ve doubted myself and my ability to stick this out, but the awesome training runs, the support from family and friends and knowing that I’m helping another person in need keeps me going.    

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What keeps you motivated when you’ve hit a rut during training for an event? Last year, I watched Spirit of the Marathon & that got me super pumped up to run!!

Weekend Happenings

Happy Tuesday!  I got an extended weekend this week…I’m home sick today :-/  Being sick on a nice, sunny day is the absolute worst.  But I’m taking advantage of having an empty, quiet house by relaxing and catching up on some reading.

This past Sunday, Madelyn and I met my sister and her friend at Colectivo for Maker Market.  We browsed some local vendors and I picked up some handmade soap from Cloud Nine Soap Co.

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This is my first experience with handmade soap and I loved it.  It left my skin feeling super soft and clean.  Added bonus, the soap had a very mild, but pleasant smell to it.  I’m going to definitely check out more of their products next time I come across their stand at a market.

After the market, we headed to Home Depot to get some things for our yard.  I got some hanging flower baskets and hubs got grass seed and straw.  Hopefully, we seeded correctly and we will have grass by this summer!  Our yard has come a LONG way and I’m excited to see it when it’s all finished.  IMG_2624Although we spent a lot of time in the yard this weekend, we also found some time to play at the park!

parkThis little monkey LOVES the park!!  This was the first time that I’ve taken her by myself and I never realized how much she loves to climb!!  She’s pretty brave too :-) We played for awhile and she fell asleep in her stroller on the walk home.  She’s at such a fun age-this summer will be filled with lots of adventures :-)

I’m off to eat some breakfast, drink some juice and hopefully kick this cold!

That Thing Called Life

It’s been about a month since I last posted.  To say I’ve been busy at work & in life would be an understatement.  Things are finally starting to calm down just a little bit and I feel a HUGE sense of relief.  I definitely had more on my plate that ever care to in the Month of April.
Where did I leave off?  Our day trip to Chicago.  That was fun.  That was right before all the craziness started.  So what have I been up to?  I won’t share all the dirty details, but I will share some of my successes and failures over the past month.
-I ordered the NASM CPT study bundle back in November and figured 6 months was PLENTY of time to study.  My test deadline was April 18th.  I set out to take my test a few weeks ago and I missed it by 2 percentage points.  I wanted to cry, but I didn’t.  It was totally my fault.  It’s been awhile since I’ve had to study for a test that big and I completely forgot about what methods work best for me.  I plan to retest at some point this summer.  The GOOD NEWS is that the military will reimburse me for the retest, if I pass-which I definitely plan to!
-I was gifted a 3 month subscription to CookSmarts.  Carly found me via KathEats and asked me if I wanted to give their business a try, and as an avid meal prepper/planner I jumped on the chance.  So far, I’m really loving it!! The meals are delicious, easy and quick.  Full blog post review coming shortly.
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 -I will soon be sculpting and toning bodies all over Milwaukee!  I auditioned to be an instructor at Barre Bee Fit and I got it!  My instructor training started in the beginning of April.  Although it’s been a lot to learn, it’s also been a ton of fun and I’ve made some new friends in the process.  I can’t wait to get on the schedule.  Stay tuned for that!
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 -Planning and prepping hub’s 30th birthday!! That’s this weekend and I can’t wait to celebrate with him.  The theme is Beer :-)
-I got into the Chicago Marathon…and then turned it down.  With everything we have going on this summer, I didn’t think this year would be the year to do it.  I originally wanted to take this summer off from training for races.  My plan was just to run for fun and focus on getting faster.  I also wanted to be able to enjoy summer and everything that comes with it.  I signed up for the Rock N Sole half marathon earlier this year because a co-worker of mine was doing it and it was her first half, so I thought it would be fun to train together.  That was the only half I had planned for this year.  That was until the weather gave us a little taste of summer and I saw all the inspirational pictures/blog posts of the Boston Marathon this past weekend.  Just like that, my planner is filling up with races.  I have a 1/2 marathon planned for June, my eye on one in July and another planned for August.  We’ll see what happens after that.  I’d like to focus on shorter distances and speeding up my pace.
chicagomarathonemailSo there you have it.  My crazy month in a very small nutshell.  Work was nuts for the month of April.  My co-worker was deployed so I was left to hold down the fort.
First and foremost has been spending time with my family, which is why I fell off the face of the blog earth.  Madelyn is getting so big and time seems to be just passing us right on by with no sign of slowing down.  I want to cherish these early years while I can.  Sometimes I look at her and get a little sad that our baby is no longer there.  I was rocking her to sleep tonight and came to the realization that she’s definitely too long.  She’s a good sport: she will let me rock her, but she prefers to go right to her crib now for bed.
Not really sure how the blogging schedule is going to work this summer.  I’ll post as often as I can.  You can also follow me over at Instagram for daily pictures of workouts, food and of course Madelyn.

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I apologize for my lack of blogging this month.  February has been a crazy month both at home and at work.  At home, I’m still trying to get used to hubs off days and it’s leaving me a little frazzled and work…well it’s been very busy but it makes the days go by very fast!

So what have I been up to this month?  

Traveled to the wonderful state of AZ for 5 days to attend a work conference.  While I was there, I got to climb up Cholla trail on Camelback Mountain.  The view was amazing and had I not had a husband and child waiting for me back home, I probably would’ve moved there.  GORGEOUS and so much to do, recreationally!

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Completed my first ever juice cleanse.  After eating out and consuming some yummy beverages, the week in Arizona left me feeling less than healthy.  As soon as I got home, I got familiar with our juicer and completed this juice cleanse.  The cleanse is originally 3 days, but I only did one.  I had a special valentine’s day dinner to attend the next day.  It was nice to get some vegetables into my life and get back on track with healthy eating.  I felt really good just after one day.  Maybe I’ll complete the three days in March, for a spring clean your diet challenge…we’ll see.

Signed up for Birchbox.  A full review to come this week.  This is my first monthly box subscription, and so far I’m really happy with it.  I love getting fun stuff in the mail :-)

Attended a surprise baby shower for one of my best friends.  She lives in DC and is pregnant with her second baby, but first girl.  Her sisters thought it would be a great idea to fly her out here for a surprise shower since some of her friends couldn’t attend the first one.  I love surprising people.  She was speechless.

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I’ll be back later this week (hopefully!) with more details on Birchbox and a review!

Christmas with the Campbells

IMG_2398Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  I hope you celebrated the holidays surrounded by the people you love and care about most.  I’ve had the past five days off of work and I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone by.  I wish that all companies could shut down between Christmas and New Years.  That would be nice :-)

Our Christmas started on Sunday with a trip down to Chicago to celebrate with my in-laws.  We were expecting it to just be us, larry’s two sisters and their significant others but when we walked in, we were greeted by 20 other family members.  It was a nice surprise to see all of his cousins, aunts and uncles, since we don’t get to see them too often.

On Tuesday, I started my morning off with a workout at Barre Bee Fit, headed to a doctor’s appointment, did some last minute grocery shopping, came home and got ready for church and Christmas eve at my mom’s house.  Madelyn hung out at daycare until about 1pm.  It just made it easier with the doctor’s appointment and shopping.  I plan on taking off of work New Years’ Eve and spending the day doing something fun with her.  We met my uncle and aunt at my mom’s house, had some drinks and appetizers and headed to church.

After church, we came home, ate dinner and opened up presents.  My mom made a prime rib roast, asparagus, mashed potatoes along side a glass of wine.  Everything was amazing.  Madelyn lucked out in the present department this year, even though she was more interested in playing with her old toys instead of opening her new ones.

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She also was a fan of hiding on us and playing peek-a-boo…

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Santa was good to me as well.  I got this bag from lululemon along with some running socks and some other odds and ends :-)

We celebrated Christmas Day by opening gifts with Madelyn.  While we were trying to get her to open her duplo blocks, she was more interested in the pen that was on the table :-) We still had fun with her this year, but I’m looking forward to when she gets to be a little bit older and gets really excited for Christmas.  While I cooked up brunch for my family, Larry got to work assembling toys and putting batteries in where they needed to go.

I made an egg bake with mushrooms, onions, spinach, garlic, bacon, goat gouda and goat cheddar.  I seasoned it with Thyme, Rosemary, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder and added in 1 cup of soy milk and 3 tbsp on flour.  It turned out really good.  So good in fact that I forgot to snap any food pictures today because I was more concerned about eating :-) I served that along side some polish sausage, fruit, Kringles and cinnamon roll french toast bake—AMAZING!  This french toast bake was super easy and was incredibly delicious.  This definitely goes into a Sunday brunch rotation :-)

Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to focus on getting back on track with healthy eating and setting goals for 2014!  Last year, I posted my 2013 goals.  While I accomplished most of them, there are still a few that are a work in progress :-)

I’ll be back this week to talk about 2013 highlights, goals and other fun stuff!

I hope Santa was good to you all as well ;-) 

 

Scrub A Dub Dub

I’m a sucker for beauty products.  My favorite place to go for my birthday? Sephora :-) One-it’s nice to stock up on products for the fall/upcoming winter season and two-you always get a free gift.
When Larry and I went to the mall on Sunday, I wanted to make a pit stop at Lush.  I read somewhere about an awesome face scrub that they had and since running out of my Mary Kay Microderm, I was in search of a really good face scrub.  I loved the scrub by Mary Kay, but I don’t know anyone who sells it and I wanted the convienience of being able to stop at a store and pick something up.
I became a big fan of Lush bath products when I lived in Chicago, but fell away from it when I moved back to Milwaukee-until I saw the stand alone store in Mayfair Mall a few months ago!  I love this store because all of their products are handmade, it’s affordable, they use fresh organic fruits and vegetables, they are very against animal testing, and if you save up enough of their containers, you can bring them all in for a free facemask-which can only be purchased in stores.
When I went in there, I told the saleswoman that I was looking for a really good face scrub and she recommended their best-selling salt scrub, Ocean Salt.  As she was explaining the ingredients to me, she had me at “Fresh lime extracted in Vodka…”.  Along with that comes fine sea salt, grapefruit, course sea salt, avocado butter, and coconut fat.  The lime and the vodka have an antibacterial effect and is ideal for blocked pores, blackheads and blemishes.  She tried it out on the top of one of my hand and I couldn’t believe the difference between the two hands.  I couldn’t wait to get home and use it.  After going weeks without a face scrub, my face felt amazing!  It was like new skin :-) I couldn’t believe how soft and bright my face was.
IMG_2242I decided to go with the 8.8 oz container for $35 (They’re also really good at giving you samples of their products if you want to try it out before you buy).  Compared to Mary Kay Microderm, which sells for $31 for a 2.5 oz container, I think I’ve found myself a new face scrub.
IMG_2246Sidenote: Make sure to mix well with a stir stick before your first use!
What’s your favorite beauty product?  I love a good face scrub followed by a facial mask :-)