Monthly Archives: July 2015

Viva Las Vegas: Part 2

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Another beautiful day in Las Vegas and SURPRISE there is more eating/drinking/fun!!  This time Jess and I were joined by my step-sister, Lauren.  Our parents divorced when I was in college and I hadn’t seen her since the break up, so it was great to reconnect after more than a decade.

Breakfast at Serendipity 3 is legen- (wait for it) -dary!  Say hello to frrrrrozen hot chocolate and chocolate pistachio French Toast.  Nothing makes me happier than a bowl of chocolatey whipped cream in the morning.  It looks great, but the French toast didn’t taste great.  I just checked the on-line menu and this dish has been replaced by a Cinnamon Roll French Toast.  Yay for listening to your customers and evolving!

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We had tickets to Britney that night, so we stopped at The Sugar Factory and got these temporary lip tattoos.  I never do a dark lip, so this is a totally different look for me.  Kind of Jersey, but I dig it.

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Before Brit-Brit, we did a little pre-gaming in the hotel.  I decided the dark lip did not match my pink Lilly dress, so off it went.  Cheers, girls!

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We didn’t have seats, as we were in the pit area right in front of the stage.  Sad to say Miss Spears is not much of a dancer, but her body was bangin’ and the show was super fun.  We sang our hearts out and had a BLAST!

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Later in the week, my friend Kim came out and joined us.  We decided to hit up Freemont Street, which is the old Las Vegas part of town.  There is a bar there called Commonwealth which is not exciting, but in the back…there is a secret speakeasy called “The Laundry Room”

Here’s the secret to get in…shhh…don’t tell anyone…

Ask the bartender for a clothespin.

If he gives you one, clip it to the bottom of your shirt and just wait.

A hostess will appear after a few minutes.  She will escort you to a wall of doorknobs and chooses the correct one that opens a hidden door.  It’s like a scene straight out of Harry Potter- only there are cocktails at the end of this story.

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Freemont Street is definitely worth checking out.  The strip is nice, but sometimes you want something different.

To be continued (again)…

What’s your favorite thing to do on vacation?  In Vegas?  While drinking?  Leave a reply!

Vivas Las Vegas: Part 1

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I can’t even put into words how much I love Las Vegas.  I have so many important pictures that I had to break it up into three posts.

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Here is a list of some of the big life events that have happened to me in Las Vegas:

Fell in love with Linus

Bachelorette Party with the Thunder from Down Under

Wedding at the Bellagio

Reunited with my step-sister after more than 10 years apart

Ran the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon AT NIGHT

Hosted friends at Planet Hollywood

Saw Britany Spears, Elton John, Rod Stewart, and tons of Cirque du Soliel shows

The food, oh Lord help me, the food…

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Every trip starts off with a drink, or 8.  These are from Cabo Wabo at Planet Hollywood.

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Jessica lives in Southern California, so a quick 4 hour drive gets her out to see us in Vegas!

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After a day in the pool, or shopping, or gambling, or whatever your pleasure, nothing beats a gourmet meal.  You can take your pick of amazing eateries in Las Vegas.  Our favorite is Sushi Roku.  We liked it so well that we held our wedding reception there.  Look for it on the third floor of Caesar’s Forum Shops.

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From sushi to seabass, scallops, Kobe beef and a sea salt caramel soufflé for dessert…this was one of those EPIC meals you remember forever.  Tell the manager, Johnny Seo, that the Chows sent you!

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In Sin City, you’re allowed to have thousands of  two desserts.  There is a new area that branches off of the main Las Vegas strip called the Linq.  There are tons of really cool restaurants, bars, and stores including Sprinkles Cupcakes.

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At the end of this street is the HIGH ROLLER, a massive ferris wheel similar to the London Eye.

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The cars are huge and some even have a full bar- no need for a roadie 🙂

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It’s the best way to get high in Vegas.

To  be continued…

The funny way sexy Vegas Girls walk – hysterical!   <– I’m guilty of all of these. 

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It’s not your computer messing up, I didn’t post anything yesterday.  I had a major headache and couldn’t get my act together.  I’m thinking I might make this blog a 5-day a week kind of project.  I haven’t been taking the weekends off, because let’s be real, blogging isn’t the hardest thing in the world.  Still, I’m a perfectionist and it takes some time.  I’m going to meditate on that for a hot minute.

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Moving on…my friend Lauren came over for an “I Am Cait” watch party and she made this amazing drink.  It starts off blue and through some kind of sorcery, it turns pink!!  We named it the drink “The Burl,” because of it’s boy-to-girl coloring.  This is how we honor thee, Bruce to Caitlyn Jenner. I may you always be beautiful and your operations always successful.

How perfect would The Burl be for a gender reveal party??  I don’t know how she pulled this off, but I’m sure you could Pinterest that $h*t.

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A friend that brings a fabulous cocktail is the BEST kind of friend.

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What do you serve at an “I Am Cait” watch party?  Let’s go to the ol’ Fixate cookbook.

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How about some turkey meatballs?  I made enough meatballs for several meals for normal people or 2 meals for my husband and me.

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Half of the turkey balls went into the Fixate Wedding soup.  The rest went in the freezer.  The soup had spinach and egg in it, kind of like an egg drop soup.  It was actually really delicious, low fat, and no one loves a no-guilt meal more than this girl.

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My husband took this picture because he commented that this is more cooking than I’ve done all year and I said, “Better take a picture, quick.”  So he did.  And I have to say, cooking isn’t my favorite past time, but this wasn’t horrible.

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It actually ended up looking like the picture!  That never happens for me.

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OK, I’ve done my wifely duties for the next few months.

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What do you do for your girls’ nights?  You don’t watch shows about transgender people, really? Well, you’re really missing out, because she was FABULOUS!

Cheers, Burl!

Pixie Power

 

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Having already run the Glass Slipper Challenge at Disney WORLD in February, ’twas time to fulfill my Coast 2 Coast destiny at Disney LAND by completing the Pixie Dust Challenge.

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Again, the races consisted of a 10K on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday.  Obviously, I needed sustenance and got it at LA’s legendary eatery, The Stinking Rose- an all garlic, all the time restaurant.  They even had garlic ice cream.

No one tells you that LA is pretty far from Anaheim, where Disneyland is located.  I’m East Coaster, so I have no sense about distances in CA.   Linus proved once again that his patience with me has no limit and shlepped us out to see the mouse.

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Both Disney properties have a “Downtown Disney” area with shops and restaurants.  This Frozen-themed store was PACKED.

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The 10K started at 6am, but I was on Virginia time so it felt like 9am to me!

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Sadly, I had to ditch the Maleficient horns early on.  On the plus side, the Cali weather was perfect for a quick 6.2 miles, not too humid.  I also liked that a lot of the race went through Disneyland itself.  I had never been, so it was all new to me.  That really helped the miles to fly by.

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The half marathon was here before I knew it.  I’ve never seen so many Tinkerbells in one place before.

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I didn’t have a lot of room to pack a huge costume, so I settled for a Frozen shirt and an Elsa-inspired side pony.  Once we ran through the park, a lot of the 13.1 miles was on the streets of Anaheim.  The Disneyland property is much smaller than in Florida, so we ran through neighborhoods.

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The best part of race is getting all of these gorgeous medals.  Disney races aren’t cheap, but they are not stingy with the bling.

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This was the inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge so Disney went all out.  LOVE.

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But the piéce de résistance of my medal rack is the Coast to Coast.  If you ran the Princess Half in Florida AND the Tinkerbell Half in California, then you ran on both coasts, hence the name.  The medal reflects over a year of planning, training and traveling, definitely a check off the old bucket list.

What’s on your bucket list?  Leave a reply and let me know!

Special Delivery

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I love getting mail, and I always have.  This week was a particularly amazing mail week, so I thought I would share it with you.  First, I got my very first bag of VEGAN chocolate Shakeology.  I mixed it with a little peanut butter and slurped down a cup full of Reese’s Cup.

 

Then….are you sitting down??  I got my first delivery of Time for Tiara shirts!!  Check them out!!

 

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I bought a bunch of different sizes and first tried on a large.  It was a little big in the arms, so I tried on a MEDIUM.  And. it. fit.  Do you know how long it’s been since this girl was a medium?  A long freakin’ time.  Today was a good day.  I can’t wait to wear this shirt um, EVERYWHERE!

 

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Also in the mailbox this week was my 21 Day Fix cookbook.  This is the one eating/exercise plan that I’ve been able to follow.  With almost 20 pounds down and probably another 30-40 left to go, you can bet your butt I’m going to stick with it.  These recipes should help when I get bored with eating chicken, chicken, and more chicken (I’m not a very creative chef).  I can’t wait to load up on groceries and cook up some yummy, healthy food this week!

Annnnnnd the finale to my mail saga…  My CIZE DVDs came!!  This looks crazy fun!!

This looks like my jam, Anne!!

What is the ticket to losing weight for you?  Leave a reply!

TREND WATCH: J-Setting

I try…Lord I try…to keep up with the latest and greatest fitness trends.  I’m here today to inform you of a dance style that is becoming mainstream and I believe will be the next fitness revolution.  I’m talking about J-Setting.

  1. The word JSetting is an informal word or slang that means to dance like the Prancing J-Settes, the dance team of the Jackson State University (JSU) Marching Band.

How do you explain a type of dance??  J-setting is like what you might see a dance team perform at half time during a professional basketball game.  It’s kind of like cheerleading meets dancing (obviously this should be called chancing), only a little sexier and with more pelvic gyrations.  Also necessary: exaggerated ladylike hand movements.

 

J-setting is the type of dance that Beyoncé does in her “Single Ladies” video.

Which means it’s also the type of dance that Justin Timberlake and friends spoofed, but I believe that this dance juggernaut is no joke.  Everyone’s getting on the bandwagon.

 

There is even a reality show about a troupe of J-setting men from Mobile, Alabama.  They are called “The Prancing Elite,” and they are amazing.  Not only are these 5 guys super talented dancers, but they just keep right on dancing through disgusting homophobic tirades spewed forth from the most intolerant people residing in the deep South.  These men have balls….I think.

 

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You can say that you heard it here first.  J-setting, it’s a thing, and this is only the beginning.  If you think Hip Hop Abs was big…just you wait, honey.  This is going to take off like a prom dress.

 

What do YOU believe will be the next fitness trend?  Would you consider buying a J-setting fitness DVD?  Do you secretly have a closet full of sequins?  Leave a reply!

 

Manifesting

Vision-Board

In order to manifest the things that I really want in life, I think it’s important to name them, specifically, strategically, perfectly.  That’s why I’m creating this vision board blog.

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A big part of my life vision was finding a husband.  Thank goodness this part is already done.

CHECK!

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First thing, this blog will blow up.  I love to share my life with you, my fabulous readers and friends.  I’d will reach a bigger and bigger audience so share this baby!

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Secondly, my Beach Body business will grow and I will be one of the coaches that inspires others to reach their greatness.

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I’m in grad school right now to become an LPC- a licensed professional counselor.  This means that I get to help all kinds of people get over past traumas, work out problems with their partner, help them with kiddos, etc.  The niche market that I REALLY want to explore is…

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body transformations.  I’m OBSESSED with how people lose weight, get in shape, and change their entire lives for the better.  Part of this infatuation is because I’m going through this process myself.

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I will be my healthiest, most confident, self.

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If you haven’t seen Extreme Weight Loss, set the DVR now.  It’s on Tuesdays at 9pm on ABC.  These people are Chris and Heidi Powell and they specialize in helping people to get healthy.  They are my idols.  The transformations are INCREDIBLE and I go through many boxes of tissues watching their show.  I think it’s because I can totally relate to the struggles of the overweight clients and that triggers the tears like no other mother.

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Also on my vision board- I will be Mrs. America.  I was in a pageant as a little girl á la Toddlers and Tiaras, but I got like last place.  MRS pageants are just like pageants for younger girls, except that every contestant is older and married.  There is no talent competition because “being married is talent enough,” says the Mrs. America website.   I’m not sure if I want to do this because I need the confidence boost or what, but it seems like something it would be a good fit.

More tiaras = Happy Anne

***QUICK FUNNY STORY***

I keep my rhinestone tiara collection in a basket in my living room.  I have them A. because I love them B. because of runDisney and C. they are props for the blog.

Anyway, every time she comes, my cleaning lady takes all of the tiaras out and puts each one across my mantle as if to display them in a place of honor.  She thought that I was a pageant winner because when I asked her about them, she said, “You pretty, ok, be proud.”   Then she did the classic pageant wave.   I was like, “Nope, they’re from Amazon, but gracias.”  Then we both put one on did the wave together.  Then we both burst into laughter and the tiaras have stayed in the basket ever since.

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OK, back to the vision.  This will be my house one day.  I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a more “Anne Chow” space.  It’s located in Golden Oak which is in DISNEY WORLD.  Yep, you can LIVE in the happiest place on Earth.  When I think about living here, my head explodes with excitement.

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Living in that big, beautiful house, I will have a child.  Probably just one.  May or may not be adopted from China.  Linus and I have so much love to give and we can’t wait to spoil the crap out of a little one.

A note about this: I’m not disillusioned, I’m 33, I know I’m getting up there…look, I don’t have all the answers about my timeline.  This is a vision, and visions are not always crystal clear.  It’ll happen when it happens, mom.

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I will be a fit mother, able to take care of my family and pass on a love of healthy eating and being active.

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I think my kid(s) will to go to private school.  I was a public school teacher for 10 years, and I’m not completely happy with the Common Core way of life.  I’m not here to get political or engage in a public vs private conversation.  What I am saying is that I at least will be able to afford private school if that’s what is best for our child.

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I will have great big beautiful Disney Christmases in my great big beautiful Disney house with my amazing husband and our little potsticker.

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It’s important to me that I show my child the world.  Our family will go on many adventures with an emphasis on unique experiences and learning opportunities.

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I will grow old with Linus.  Luckily we won’t have to “retire to Florida” because we’ll already live there.

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Vito says that he’s down to be a sunshine state dog. Or anywhere there is chicken.

I think having a vision for yourself is incredibly important.  Here’s a great HuffPo article that explains how Manifesting your dreams

And another by Eckhart Tolle The Manifestation Question

What’s on your vision board/blog/head space?  I’d love to know, so please leave a reply!

21 Day Fix

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I’m trying to think of a diet that haven’t tried and I honestly can’t think of one.  From Weight Watchers, to Medi-fast, to the Magic Cookie Diet, I have tried them all.   I wish I had blogged about them all! expensive
With the money I’ve spent trying to get thin, I could have travelled around the world…sent a kid to college….laser-hair-removed my entire body…

Alas, I can’t stand calorie counting, weighing out every portion, food journaling, or tracking my diet with the latest magical app.  It’s just not me.  Hand to a Bible, I have tried!  Literally, the 21 Day Fix is the only thing I’ve been able to stick to consistently.

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Here’s how it works.  Each day you are allotted a certain number of containers.  The number of containers is based on your goals.  I am in the 1,500-1,799 range because I weight about 175 and want to lose 1-2 pounds per week.   containers Each container is for a different type of food.  Green is for vegetables, purple is for fruits, etc.  No calorie counting- if it fits in the box, you can eat it.   Notice there is not a container for candy.

UntitledGetting those 4 cups of veggies is really hard for me, but I’m really trying.  Blending up spinach and kale into a smoothie helps a lot.  In case you missed that post about smoothies, find it here Untitled

In addition to having a structured eating plan, the 21 Day Fix provides you with several workout DVDs.  You are expected to complete one 30 minute workout per day, and two workouts during week 3.   The trainer that leads these workouts is named Autumn Calabrese.  The best compliment I can give her is that she is not annoying.  She’s not the super smiley, impossibly bubbly workout guru of the 80’s or 90’s.

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You don’t have to go here anymore, and you don’t have to pay that huge fee every month.  The best thing about owning the DVDs is that you can work out again and again, forever.

Say it with me now…ONE TIME COST!  Can I get an Amen??

UntitledThe VERY BEST thing about the 21 Day Fix is that you don’t have to do it alone.  There are challenge groups on Facebook where you can safely meet other people doing the program.  As a Beach Body coach, I run challenge groups.  People swap recipes, tips, tricks, support and provide each other with accountability and encouragement.  These groups are where it’s at, yo.    Change is hard and CONNECTING with others helps to share the burden!   results

These kinds of pictures are all over the internet, but you can’t always trust the internet…

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…so here are my results.  I don’t want to pretend like this didn’t take some time.  It did.  I’ve done several rounds of the 21 Day Fix with some breaks in between.  I made sure that when I did take a break, I didn’t undo all the progress (i.e. gain back every stinkin’ pound).  For me, this means that I need to be very careful about eating sugar.  I can get extremely addicted to sugar very quickly.  Knowing this about myself and being real about my addiction is half the battle.

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The bottom line: If you want to bury your head in the sand and complain about how the food industry, your genes, or the world is against you, great.  Go for it.  Hope it works out for you.  I did that forever and paid dearly in wasted money, time, and unending frustration.  I’m still a work in progress, but I’m slaying the demons of self-doubt little by little.  The 21 Day Fix is helping me do that.

If you think completing the 21 Day Fix may be the right move for you, please consider getting a challenge pack.  It includes everything you need plus a month of the delicious nutrient-dense drink called Shakeology.   It’s 3 weeks of your life and costs a fraction of other weightless tools (I know because I’ve tried them ALL).  Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Yes, I think the 21 Day Fix is for me!

CoachAnneChow@gmail.com

What works for you?  Leave a reply and let me know!  Thanks for reading to the end!

This race ShamROCKS

 

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It’s summer!  Time to head to the beach!  One time, some girlfriends and I ran at the beach…and it was GLORIOUS!

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All 3 of us signed up for the “Dolphin Challenge.”  It consisted of running an 8K on Saturday and the Shamrock Half Marathon on Sunday.  I was with some pretty wild women.  Check out our bibs.

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The 8K was nice and easy…just a jog down the beach.  I do the run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute Galloway method, even when I’m not running that far.  It’s what I do and it’s what works for me.  8K < 5 miles

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After the 8K we had a great excuse to go stuff our faces at the local Pocahontas Pancake House.  We were CARBO-LOADING PEOPLE!  We even met up with another running friend from home 🙂

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Because you know it’s all about that pace, ’bout that pace, and medals!

I’m in the green, Natalie is in the yellow/blue and Sharon is in pretty, pretty pink.

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God help me, I love race bling <3 <3

 I will do any challenge if there are enough medals involved.  I don’t even care that shamrocks and dolphins have nothing to do with each other… or that the 8K and half marathon medals look EXACTLY the same.  They all look good on my rack.

If you’ve never done a girls’ race weekend, I have to say that I HIGHLY recommend it.  I only knew Natalie from running together a few times and had never met Sharon before this trip.  I know that everyone likes to say that girls are dramatic and can’t get along, but we did.  It helps if everyone is mature about the pooping situation and has similar sleeping habits.  Luckily Sharon and I like it pitch-black with a white noise machine. **Zzzz Perfection**

Check out:  Sharon’s Photography Studio

What was your best race weekend?  Who were you with a what made it so special?  Someone leave me a freakin’ reply!

Let’s Try Body Pump!

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This is Peg and Riat.  Peg was my co-worker for several years and now she is a kick-ass Body Pump instructor.  Riat works at my neighborhood salon.  This girl really can’t have too many friends in the beauty biz.  #sunsoutgunsout #day-umm

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Unlike other workouts I’ve done, this one takes place at a gym, like a real gym.  Like a Gold’s or a Sport & Health manly-man-gym.  You should get to class a few minutes early to set up.  You need a step, some risers, a bar, several different sets of weights and clips.  Optional: water, towel, hand weights, mat…

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…cute compression socks.

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This class is not cardio, but it will make you breathless.  Just like with a trainer, you get a total leg, arms, and ab workout.  Tailor the class to your level by adjusting your weight or don’t use any.  That’s ok too!

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Ya know what else is ok?  GRUNTING!  Also- feeling like a badass workout chick!

Soreness

Sometimes you just need to lift the heavy weights.  You’re there, so you might as well get your time and money’s worth.  Wear the soreness like a badge of honor- who cares if you look like a little old lady with a poop in her pants?

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Wouldn’t it be great if I started ranking workouts?  Your wish is coming true right now.  This one get 4 out of 5 tiaras based on 3 factors:

How much did I sweat?

Was the workout fun?

Was this workout a good value for the $$ and prep work involved?

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Do YOU lift the heavy weights?  Do you rate your workouts?  Leave a reply!