The Art of Work-Life Balance

Not kidding, this is from a Saturday afternoon outside Houlihans when I had some work that needed to get done...

Not kidding, this is from a Saturday afternoon outside Houlihans when I had some work that needed to get done…

I have a confession…I’m a workaholic. I’ve been known to hold multiple jobs at one time, come in early/stay late and still feel like I need to give more. Working from home and getting email on my phone doesn’t make this any easier of a battle with myself. I’m technically always in the office and it makes the desire to respond to an email at 9pm on a Friday night or 11am on a Saturday morning very tempting! But I’m working on it and since I’ve found a few things that help make this easier, I wanted to share those with you today.

work life balance

1 – Turn off your work email nights/weekend – If you don’t see it, it can’t tempt you! Honestly, this has been HUGE for me. If I’m heading out the door to meet friends for dinner or drinks, I’ll shut off my work email on my phone. If I’m having a night in where I’m hoping to rest and relax, I turn it off. The reminder that if someone REALLY needed me, they all have my cell phone and in a real emergency, they should be calling me anyway.

2 – Give yourself boundaries – For me this has meant coming up with more rigid start/stop times for the day…or office hours, if you will. When you work from home, you’re always steps away from your office but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to have office hours too. Obviously there will be days when you need to start early or work late, but if you create those boundaries they should be fewer and far between!

3 – Make PLANS with friends/family – This is another big one for me! When I don’t have anything on the schedule for the day/evening, it’s easy to sit in front of my computer, browse the web, write a blog post, etc. When I see those emails from work start coming in, it’s really tempting to answer. When I make plans with my friends, I don’t want to be on my email all night and then I revert back to tip #1! :)

4 – Figure out what works for you and STICK with it – Whether it’s all the above tips, a few of the above or your own, figure out what works for you and stick with it. Remind yourself that having work-life balance helps keep you from getting burnt out and therefore makes you more productive when you’re “on the clock.” Trust me, you and your boss will appreciate this!

 

What are your top tips for maintaining work-life balance?

Get Your Good Going! [ with Blue Diamond]

If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have noticed a fun little package that arrived for me…

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I’ve recently teamed up with my friends at Blue Diamond but I was definitely NOT expecting that serious package of love to come to my door step. I can’t thank them enough.

 

Obviously, I’m one person and despite my insane love for almonds, I’ll be working my way through that supply for a little while. Definitely not complaining, especially because they make such a convenient, yummy and portable snack.

photoLately, I’ve been throwing a bag in my purse for a mid-morning snack as I work from the coffee shop, tossing a few on top of a yummy salad, or diving into the Nut Thins with a little almond butter before my afternoon walk in the sunshine.

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My favorite are definitely the mocha ones, but honestly, did anyone expect different from this coffee-loving lady? :)

Mocha

Anyway, let’s move onto the planks this week…with a lot of strength training last week, my arms were feeling like jello by the time I got to planking. Instead of holding as long as I could each day, especially if I had done some other ab work, I just held the plank for awhile and let myself drop when I needed to. As long as I’m planking, right?

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 8.21.10 PMHow were your planks last week?

What’s your favorite grab-and-go snack?

[Disclaimer: I was provided almonds & a box of Nut Thins free of charge but all thoughts and opinions are and always will be my own.

#StrongerEveryRun & Bronze Radio Return

My love for Boston is no secret. My desire to be there today is just as strong, if not more so, than any other day. I know it is going to be a very emotional and powerful day for that city and I’m sending all of my love to them.

1468698_996653132179_574681406_nTechnically today would be strictly for a short strength session and a lot of stretching after my weekly long run on Sunday, but quite honestly, it just doesn’t feel right not to strap on my Mizunos today and run. Even a short one.

 

So when Nike emailed out to tag #strongereveryrun in the notes section of your Nike+ workout and that for everyone mile run, they’d donate $1 to the Challenge Athletes Foundation, I knew I had to do it. Who knows how many miles I’ll run this morning (all depends on how I feel), but I will be running. Will you?

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 9.41.36 PMAnyway, it’s not a Monday if we’re not talking about music. It would be a great day for me to share my updated running playlist, but quite honestly, I’m not done with it yet so you’ll all just have to wait for that one. HA!

 

But I promise what I do have to share is no disappointment. I’ve spent the last couple weeks listening to this album and I just can’t get enough. It came out last year so it’s not super new but it’s awesome and worth highlighting.

bronze radio

Here’s just one of my favorites from the album:

 

 

A couple other favorites are “Mister, Mister” and “All in” – I can’t find videos for them so I can’t share those ones but I do STRONGLY suggest looking them up. :)

 

What are you listening to this week?

Will you be running today?

BRTR Training Week 7

It’s funny that as I wrap up the 7th week of my half marathon training, I’m looking ahead to marathon training. It’s a good thing I’m totally an over achiever… ;)

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Over the next few weeks I’ll be figuring out what marathon training needs to look like and trying merge it with my half training so I don’t lose all the progress I’ve made over the last few months. Sometimes I still can’t believe I’m doing this but sometimes I still can’t believe I’ve successfully run two 1/2 marathons. The body is an amazing thing!

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Speaking of amazing things…seriously amazing training this week. My body was feeling strong. And while Friday was going to be my “rest” day, I needed the mental release of hot yoga and I’m so happy I went. Sometimes active rest is the answer. :)

Friday 4/11

75 mins hot yoga

 

Saturday 4/12

15 mins treadmill speed work

15 mins stairs speed work 

 

Sunday 4/13

6 mile run

 

Monday 4/14

Strength – legs & abs

 

Tuesday 4/15

4.5 mile run

 

Wednesday 4/16

Strength – chest/triceps/abs

3 x 500m row 

 

Thursday 4/17

4.6 mile run

Strength – back/biceps/abs

 

Now, it’s Friday and I’m more than ready for my weekend and time with friends and family. I’ll see y’all on Monday. ;)

 

How was your training this week?

Have you ever run a marathon before? I WANT YOUR TIPS!

What are your plans for the weekend?

When Planking Isn’t Enough…

Some of you may hate me for that statement. Well maybe not for that statement but for what’s to come because of that statement. But let’s be honest, when all is said and done, you’ll actually love me for it.

abs in april

Planks are one of the best things for your core – they work the WHOLE thing! But if we just held ourselves in a plank for as long as we could every single day, it’d get rather boring, don’t you think?

 

Some of my favorite core workouts have come from Tina. She likes to combine the basic plank with other core workouts in a plank position (aka: you’re just holding that plank even longer but adding variety). Here’s a great 6 minute Plank Workout:

6-MinutePlankWorkout_thumbAnother great core workout is this Kill the Muffin Top from Blogilates.

66172_542449485785997_1850166440_nI don’t know about you but my core is a burnin’… ;)

 

What are some of your favorite core workouts?

Mad to Live…Er, Run!

We have two choices in life – constantly strive to be better than we were the day before OR be content with life as it is and just let it pass us by.

 

I’m working towards the first. Always striving to be a better version of myself, better person than I was the day before, better friend, sister, daughter, and employee, better physically, mentally, and emotionally. Just all around better – every single day.

10250317_10100155671245579_1046502504945080573_nIf you follow me on Instagram or if you happen to be my family, you were graced with this picture Monday evening. I apologize but it captures the moment perfectly. It probably also helps the case of why I’m not married, but that’s neither here nor there.

 

If you follow me on Instagram, that picture may have made more sense if you first saw this one…

 

 

A few weeks ago, I entered the lottery for the Chicago Marathon. Not sure whether I would get picked, not sure if I would register if I did, quite honestly, just not sure of anything, but I had this little pin poking me in the side that was telling me to enter. So I did.

 

I waited with extreme anticipation for Monday, knowing they would be informing people if they were selected for the lottery. By 4pm, I surprisingly forgot all about it. Work was busy and therefore a very good distraction. But when I gave myself a much needed break and checked Instagram, I saw a few posts from people all excited about being picked for the lottery. I figured by that point, that meant I didn’t get it.

 

I was feeling pretty bummed and texted Becky to let her know. Girl was going to train for this thing on her own. I kept hitting refresh on my email. Nothing. I checked one of the lottery emails they’d be sending preparing us for today and saw emails would be going out in waves until 8pm. There was still time, but quite honestly, I was losing hope.

 

It was in that exact moment (I’m NOT even kidding!) when an email came in congratulating me on being picked for the 2014 Chicago Marathon. Holy crap! I started tearing up. I sent Becky a retracted text…she had herself a training buddy! I texted a few other friends and I sat in shock for a brief moment.

 

I forced myself to put it out of my mind, to get a little more work done, and then allow myself to think about what my decision was going to be. But truth be told, just as everyone congratulated me on putting my name in the lottery, I was getting cheers for being picked, they knew my decision was made, even if I felt like I was still deciding. But even though I didn’t know it, I wasn’t still deciding. I’ve been bit by the running bug pretty hard and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

 

So let the countdown to October 12th begin…

Abs in April – Week 2

I’m still planking! Two weeks in and I haven’t given up! ;)

abs in april

Honestly, I’m pretty proud of myself. There was only one day that I skipped my planks which was strictly because we did SO many planks and ab work in hot yoga, I just wasn’t sure I had it in me to do one more plank. Listening to my body…

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 6.33.02 PMHave you been doing your planks? Are you feeling a difference?

 

I feel like there’s still a lot of room for improvement for me but I’m proud of how I’ve done so far. This week I’m thinking I’ll return back to straight-arm planks and see if I can hold it longer than the first week. I’m all about constantly striving to be a better version of myself – especially when it comes to my fitness.

 

Sometimes I can’t believe the athlete that I’ve become. I’m in no way the same person that I was 15, 10 or even 5 years ago. I consider this a good thing!

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My journey is only beginning. A plank today. A plank tomorrow. And the world at my finger tips. Maybe that’s a bit drastic, but sometimes I like it that way. ;)

 

How are your planks coming along?

Lights Out

Did you all have a good weekend?

 Mine ended up being busy – with work but also fun with friends. No complaints.

 

I’m excited for today’s Music Monday. I think you guys will really enjoy it. But more so, it’s not even out yet. Don’t get too excited, this isn’t really inside industry knowledge… ;)

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The new Ingrid Michaelson album, Lights Out, comes out TOMORROW but for the last week has been available to stream on iTunes. Honestly, it’s pretty good, especially if you’re a fan of the poppier styles.

 

But seriously, check it out – whether streaming on iTunes today or getting the release tomorrow when it’s out. You’ll enjoy it.

 

How was your weekend? What did you do?

What are you listening to today?

BRTR Training Week 6

Don’t you just love birthdays? I can’t even thank you all enough – for the FB messages, tweets, comments, IG love, friends who texted, emailed, etc – there’s no doubt that yesterday I felt the love!

10003364_10100152976006859_1062823163466971092_nYesterday I promised that you’re core workouts would be here today and I always keep my promises!

 

First up is another flashback workout – the Burpee Ab Shred…I haven’t done this workout in FOR-EV-ER but you better believe it’s on the agenda for this weekend. Maybe even today. Gulp.

Screen-Shot-2012-12-10-at-12.27.32-PMSecond is from the Tone It Up ladies. I’ve done this Love Your Abs routine a few times and it’s always left me feeling burn.

Love-your-abs-printable-jpg-3Don’t forget to keep planking – everyday!!

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Friday 4/4

Rest

 

Saturday 4/5

1.3 mile walk

 

Sunday 4/6

75 mins hot yoga

3.5 mile run

 

Monday 4/7

GPP – straight eights & abs

 

Tuesday 4/8

1.3 mile walk 

20 mins YogaDownload

 

Wednesday 4/9

4 mile run

1.3 mile walk

 

Thursday 4/10

4 mile run (total)

GPP – Kettlebell Pyramids & abs

 

And come Sunday, I’ll officially be half way through training for my 3rd half marathon…holy cow!

 

And come Monday, I find out if I made the lottery for the Chicago Marathon and have only a few days to officially decide what I want to do…I have no words.

 

How were your workouts this week?

Any big plans for your weekend?

Another Year Older, Another Year Wiser

You could call me another year older. Another year wiser. Another year closer to thirty. All would be true.

Well, the wiser statement could be up for debate. ;) but otherwise all true. 

Because today I woke up 27.

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Weee – happy birthday to meeee!!!

 

I’m not one of those people who is dreading each year as it passes. That’s not to say I don’t have my moments of freaking out about being closer to 30, but let’s be honest, each year of my life keeps getting better so why regret another new year?

 

That’s also not to say they don’t still come with their challenges (because they do!) but with each year, I learn more about myself, I become a better/stronger version of myself than the year before, and I’m more comfortable in my own skin.

If you’re looking at those positives, what’s not to look forward to? 

So grab a cupcake and let’s celebrate!

 

(P.S. If you came by for the core workouts, they’ll come tomorrow.Today, I just want to enjoy my day! :) )