Sunday, November 12, 2017

Trip Out West: Day 1

This trip was fantastic. We got to see so many things, but we didn't feel like we are overbooked or were exhausted. It really was planned well thanks to Ryan. We visited AZ, UT, CO and NM.

Day One: 9/16/17

We had to get to the airport crazy early for our flight. I wanted to sleep most of the flight, so I stayed up most of the night watching The Simpsons. We had a 6am direct flight which made me very happy. I HATE layovers. It was so nice to put on my headphones and sleep. We landed in Phoenix at 7:30am local time and headed to get some road trip snacks. Once we got our food, we stopped at Cracker Barrel and saw our first cactus. This was the first of about a million cactus we saw through out the trip, but it was cool to see different scenery.

Our next stop was Tombstone, Arizona. It is very touristy and cheesey, but it was still really cool to see. A lot of Old West characters walking around and some shops selling cowboy hats and such. We were able to see the reenactment of the gun fight at the O.K. Corral. I was extremely distracted through out the whole thing because there was a giant convention of yellow jackets flying around. I have never seen so many yellow jackets in area. I was positive someone was going to get stung.

After the gun fight, we headed to Tucson so we could visit Saguaro National Park which is a cactus haven. Besides the pretty views, the highlight of this visit was Jess introducing me to the National Park Passport book. The National Park Passport book is really cool. You can collect stamps from all the National Park units all over the country. The book is divided into geographic regions. My only complaint about the book is that there aren't nearly enough pages for the all stamps you can collect all over the country. Once I got my book, if there was somewhere that didn't have a stamp, I wasn't interested. I became stamp obsessed. 

Saguaro National Park is really beautiful. We drove around  and took a ton of pictures. This is when I tried to figure out how to use a selfie stick. I'm aware that a selfie stick is very tourist-y, but I wanted to get pictures of all four of us without have to ask random strangers to take pictures of us. Once I figured out how to use it, I was hooked and packed it everywhere we went. 

After we left, we ate dinner, headed to the hotel and immediately went to bed. It was a long day and we were getting up early to head out for our next adventure. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Diet Bet And Such

Well it has been awhile, and I know I have yet to blog about our amazing trip out west. We went to Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. I'm going to start writing it this week and hopefully will get part one up next weekend.

The past few weeks I have been focusing on losing weight and cleaning up my diet. It was tough this week because it was Halloween and our anniversary, but I ended up losing 3.3 pounds. As you may know, I'm working with my friend Aurora, who is my amazing trainer. She started helping me train for the hiking we would be doing on our trip out west. She is now helping me get in shape and lose weight for our trip to Vegas in December. I love the program she has set up for me. I love that even after a long day at work I can come home and get an intense workout in a short amount of time. My program includes cardio, strengthening workouts, and TRX circuits. I'm definitely loving the TRX circuits because I can feel myself getting stronger and it gets my heart rate up. 

I have also discovered Diet Bet. I have recently followed a bunch of people on Instagram who are trying to lose weight and I stumbled across Lexi.  Lexi has lost 392 pounds since January 1, 2016 with diet and exercise. She starting posting about Diet Bet and I was intrigued. Her game started on October 14th-November 10th. Basically you put in a bet (this game was $30 or $25 with a coupon code) and you commit to lose 4% of your body weight. If you lose the 4% then you split the pot with everyone in the game who loses 4% of their body weight. Right now, Lexi's game FatGirlFedUp's Fall Fight for Fit HallowLEAN has 4,500 players and the pot is at $135,000. For me to win my share, I have to lose 8.1 pounds. I have 3.7 pounds left to lose by November 10th. I really like the support you get from the group. It is set up like a Facebook page where you can post you how you are doing, if you are struggling, pictures etc. I'm looking forward to playing another game during the holidays.

This week I went to Regenesis MD to get some more pixeling done on the scars on my legs and my second treatment of laser hair removal under my arms. I'm extremely happy with the results already. My scarring on my legs has dramatically faded and the texture has smoothed out nicely. After the scarring work is finished I'll be starting laser hair removal on my legs. I'm loving the laser hair removal and have already noticed a difference. I have my last treatment next month. I wish I had done this sooner! Make sure you RSVP to Regenesis MD End Of The Year Party on November 16th from 6-9pm. Bring your friends and coworkers and join them for food, drinks and free prizes. There will be special low pricing on products and services. You don't want to miss this event! 

Matt and I finally went to a NC State basketball game. Matt won an award so we got to watch the game in a box. It was weird to see it set up for a basketball game since we have only seen it set up for hockey. The game was good and NC State won so it was a fun night! 

Finally, this past Halloween was our fourteenth wedding anniversary and I thought I'd share a couple wedding pictures. It was an amazing day and I married an amazing guy. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Got Tips?

A few weeks ago, as I was eating Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for breakfast, I decided that I really wanted to get healthier. I have hypothyroidism and I blame EVERYTHING (weight gain anxiety, bitchiness, headaches, network connectivity problems etc) on it. I have come to realize that my thyroid is always going to affect my life, but using it as an excuse, as convenient as it may be, is not helping me. I'm the queen of excuses when it comes to eating right and exercising: I'm tired, it's cold out, it's hot out, I need to organize my sock drawer, I worked ten hours today, I just have watch this episode of 30 Rock for the twentieth time.

My friend Aurora, who is a trainer, put together a great workout plan for me. She introduced me to TRX which I'm loving. The workout plan is a great combination of upper and lower body exercises, core strength and cardio.  I have been doing great, I even went for a thirty day straight workout streak and crushed it. You can check out my Instagram and Twitter to check out my streak pictures.

I'm now struggling with eating well. Since my insurance blows (I'm talking to you, United Healthcare), I was off my injections for about a month. I am now back on it and starting to feel normal. While I was off of it, I was eating EVERYTHING in site, especially candy and pizza. I gained weight, but I think because I have been working out consistently, I don't think I've gained as much as I could've.

So, I'm cleaning up my diet. I'm working on mindful eating and eating more (ANY) vegetables and fruits. It is basically more water and less crap. My recent blood work showed that I have very low iron, so I got an iron infusion last week and will have another on Thursday. I'll also be looking into some iron enriched foods (yay, hamburgers) on top of my iron supplements. Even more so, I have been doing more research into the science behind healthy living (see graphic below) and learning more about other supplements like this NAD+ one. I know I will feel better and get results if I discontinue my Reese's Peanut Butter Cup breakfasts. 

I know everyone has heard a ton of healthy tips, but these are the ones I like:

1) Small steps/goals

The first step I took was to contact Aurora and put together a fitness plan. If you don't have a trainer, Pinterest is a great resource for all sorts of workouts. My goals for the next couple weeks is 36 oz of water daily, cut carbs and continue to follow my workout plan.  No step or goal is too big or too small! Maybe you just want to drink a glass of water a day, maybe cut down to one candy bar a day or maybe you want to try a new fruit or vegetable weekly. You can focus on one goal or a few, whatever works for you!

2) Do what you like

One of the main reasons why I like my daily workouts is because I actually like doing the workouts. I have been loving the TRX and the circuits that Aurora came up with have great variety. Most of circuits are easy, but intense. Don't force yourself to run if you hate running, don't drag yourself to a yoga class if you hate mediation and breath control. Don't go to group classes if you don't like people, like me-haha. Go out, try some new workouts and find something you like. Don't dread your workouts, otherwise you are less likely to do them.

3) Treat Yo Self

A reward system can really help with motivation. They can be daily, weekly monthly or all of the above. I love watching Parks and Rec so during and after my workout I watch it. I treat myself to books, makeup or sometimes just a glass of chocolate milk. Once I complete my eight week workout cycle, I'm treating myself to a manicure and pedicure. Figure out how you want to reward yourself and get moving! Like your goals, no step is too big or too small!

4) Give yourself a break

I always struggle between giving myself a break and being too easy on myself. As I said before I'm the queen of excuses so sometimes giving myself a break is tough. Am I really tired or I just don't feel like working out? Sometimes my knee is truly hurting and swollen, but maybe it isn't THAT bad and I can push though. It's always a tough call for me. Normally I'll start the workout and see how I feel. I always do at least ten minutes. Matt also helps me too by encouraging and cheering me on, which is amazing and sometimes super annoying-haha!

Here is some information from Elysium and tips from other bloggers as well:

Image credit: Elysium

Aurora and I will be reevaluating my workouts this weekend, so there will be a few changes ahead, including some new TRX exercises. I'll be bringing my resistance bands on our trip next week, so I can keep up with my strength training. Our hikes will definitely count as cardio!  

What tips do you have for starting a healthier lifestyle? What's your #SmallChangeBigGain?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Phew! That Stinks!

As many of you know I am an ambassador for Medi-dyne. I get to try some of their products and review for you. I have a discount code that will give you 20% off each order which is fantastic!

This past cycle was all about sweat and odor and I think everyone can relate to the stink of workout clothes and gear.

I have tried the Medi-Dyne's Stink Free Shoe and Gear Spray and the Stink Free Detergent and it's true, they do get the stink out! Best of of all Medi-dyne is a cruelty free brand and that's always important to me.

I have been a big fan of the Stink Free Shoe and Gear Spray for awhile now. I have the full sized bottles and a few travel sized ones. I have used it on all types of shoes, sneakers, boots, and sandals. I have also used it for my bags, jackets, hoodies, sports bras, and more. I have even used it on my dogs beds and in my car. You can also use it on guards, pads, and gloves. You can even use it to get the stink out of lockers! It's perfect for any sport. It comes in a spray pump and all you have to do is spray, let it dry over night and then smell the next day to see if it meets your stink free test. Initially, you may need to do several applications to get the stink out and once you do, you can stay stink free by continuing it on a daily or weekly routine. I really like that the spray is orderless, because a lot of sprays are just as bad as the stink from your old favorite sneakers!


The Stink Free Detergent has been a great for my disgusting workout clothes. I'm currently on a day twenty three of a workout streak and let me tell you, the workout pants, shirts, socks, and sports bras have been piling up! Since I do laundry on the weekends, my clothes stay in a basket just screaming to be washed. Our dog goes near them to smell and immediately walks away from the basket.

The Stink Free Detergent comes in a thirty ounce bottle and they also have two ounce travel packets. It is safe to use in high efficiency washing machines, environmentally safe, and cruelty free. It is safe to use on all high performance fabrics, it removes sweat stains, and it is residue free. Plus, it doesn't contain perfumes or phosphates, which is plus for people with sensitive skin. You can also use Stink Free Detergent without a washing machine which is great when you are traveling at campsites or hotels.

2Toms Stink Free products aren't just for athletes either. I have heard and read reviews from people who have used these products on their families everyday clothes (especially socks!), uniforms (police officers, fire fighters etc) and have been impressed with the results.

So, head over to Medi-Dyne and take a look at their products and take advantage of my 20% off your entire order code: AJH20 You can also check out my reviews on Medi-dyne's ProStrech, Sports Shield, Grip Shield and StretchRite.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Our Little Jager

We got Jager, like Guinness, at the Durham Animal Shelter. I was looking online one day and saw him on the website. He was named Hank and I knew I wanted him. I convinced Matt to go and look and as soon as we walked in we saw him! He was out in the lobby and I knew that, as I always say to Matt, that it was meant to be. He was so freaking cute!

Jager and Guinness got a lot pretty well. We decided to hook up their cages to one giant one so they could be together during the day. Jager was pretty well behaved except for a few memorable incidents. He stole a part of a Christmas ham, our door blew open and left our house and went into our neighbor's house and went to sleep in their living room, and of course, there was the time he ate almost everything under our Christmas tree.

The afternoon that we were supposed to leave for WV for Christmas we heard some scratching nosies at our front door. We unlocked the door to find Jager had unwrapped and eaten a whole mess of gifts under the tree, including his and Guinness's gift. He chewed up rawhides, treats, wrapping paper, gift cards and lord know what else. He was a still small but his belly was HUGE. We were worried that he would have some major digestive issues while driving five hours to WV. Thankfully, he slept it off during the ride to WV.

In 2013, Jager was diagnosed with diabetes which was a huge shock. We started him on insulin shots twice a day and had to monitor his sugar with a glucose meter. Shorty, after being diagnosed with diabetes his eyesight got worse and one day we was completely blind. We took him to a dog ophthalmologist and made an appointment to have cataract surgery. The ophthalmologist said that when Jager woke up from the surgery he immediately wanted to get up and go once we realized he had his sight back.

As the years went on, he had a few minor issues with increased protein levels and infections, but all in all he was pretty healthy. In the most recent months, we noticed that he wasn't doing well and finally, when his back legs were no longer working, we knew it was time.

Jager was always good for snuggling. He loved to sniff people's ears. He hated to get his paws wet and refused to go out when it was raining. We affectionally called him "Princess Pretty Paws". He loved squeaky toys and having his ears rubbed. He loved licking plates, especially when we had pasta. He was great at catching popcorn when Matt popped popcorn from the popcorn maker.

Everyone knows that putting a pet down is truly heartbreaking. We had Guinness and Jager almost as long as we have been married. It has been difficult without him, but we are getting through it. We still have our crazy, Sammy, who is still a handful at two and half.

I would like to thank Dr. Brink at Falls Village Veterinary Hospital for always being there for us. She takes amazing care of all our dogs and is amazing.

Even though a piece of our heart is gone, we know he is at peace.