The 7-Minute Workout

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I mentioned earlier that I’ve been doing a lot of Pilates — it’s the first workout plan I’ve been fairly consistent with and somewhat looked forward to doing every day, and I’ve been at it for two months. Might not sound like long, but I usually get bored with workouts by then.

Since having a baby, the gym is just not a realistic option (no babysitting at my gym and Liv is too young for that anyway), so Pilates has been life-changing!

Still, there are days when I just don’t make Pilates happen. On those days, the 7-minute workout makes me feel okay about skipping the longer routine.

According this New York Times article, the workout provides benefits equivalent to a long bike ride or run. In 7 minutes? Whaa? Basically…you have no reason to ever do any of those things again. Just kidding. Kinda. But really…if the science says so and it’s wayyyy easier/less time-consuming, I’m sold.

Home Dreamin’

David and I compliment each other in all kinds of ways, but one great thing is how much he likes thinking about housing floor plans, architecture, and all that jazz, while I love decorating and filling my Pinterest boards with interior design ideas. Someday we’re destined to have a pretty dreamy home!

Let me put an emphasis on that “someday,” though, because we’ll be spending at least the next three years continuing to rent while he is in grad school. Until then, we’ve got everything planned out for our future abode. With much thanks to Pinterest and David’s floor plan doodles, we practically have our house planned top to bottom.

future abodeLet’s start with the exterior and landscape. Looking at this collage now I’m clearly seeing the inner Pride & Prejudice/Downton Abbey lover in me shining through. Might as well move to the English countryside!

Key elements: Georgian-style architecture, brick, ivy-covered walls, m0ss-covered cobblestone, lots of land, trees and wild landscape, a bright door, a few modern elements mixed in.

 

Christmas is Coming, The Goose is Getting Fat

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Since writing this post about my hatred of Halloween, I’ve come to the consensus that it truly is the most widely despised holiday. Honestly, there aren’t many holidays that people have a problem with — after all, you get to celebrate with friends and family, enjoy good food and treats, give gifts or have some other sort of fun — what’s not to love? Clearly, there’s something wrong with Halloween and maybe one day I’ll start a petition to end it 😉

Christmas, on the other hand…anyone who hates Christmas must have a black, shriveled heart!

Though I’ve never been one to go wild with Christmas decorations, this feature on Poppytalk has be excited about deck the halls with boughs of homemade cuteness!

I’m thinking:

  • lots of felt, fabric and paper garlands,
  • tree branches hung like chandeliers,
  • neutral tones with pops of color
  • coordinating gift wrap set out plenty early (to build up the anticipation and curiosity!)

Photo via Poppytalk

Our Salt Lake City Bucket List

Now that we know we are leaving Utah this upcoming spring, we’re already waxing nostalgic on our time here. We will have both lived here for about 10 years by the time we say goodbye to this state…a whole decade of memories! Still, there are plenty of things one or both of us has never done while living here.

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Some of the items on the list are embarrassing things that it seems like everyone we know has already done, and then there are a few things that are more obscure. But when it comes down to it, most of them have to do with food and the outdoors — two things Utah does very well! Here’s our Salt Lake City bucket list:

1. Spend a weekend at  Zion National Park. This one is the highest priority on our list because it’s so shameful that I’ve never been! (David has been before, but still wants to explore it more) I know plenty of people who don’t even live in Utah and have come from near and far to experience the beauty of this place. Angel’s Landing, The Subway, The Narrows…I even know all of the cool hikes, but never witnessed any of them in person. Now that the cold weather is here…hopefully we’ll be hitting up Zion in the spring before we leave!

2. Check out CG SparksThis is a really random one, but I’ve passed this furniture store a thousand times before and just want to check the place out. Who knows, maybe we’ll find something for our new home across the country and add it to the moving truck!

3. Pretend we can afford home decor at Bohem. (main photo) This is another furniture store in town that would be fun to explore. It’s brand new and definitely out of our price range, but we can dream, can’t we?

4. Figure out if TacoTaco is the best Mexican food in Salt Lake. Our family’s both have go-to Mexican restaurants in our hometowns (Taqueria Salsa and Despo’s), but we’ve had a rough time finding a spot to hold that honor in SLC. We like the sit-down food at Red Iguana, but we want a quick/easy/cheap Mexican place that doesn’t make you fear for your health/life. Heck, we’d even be okay fearing for our lives if the food was that good. But we just haven’t found it yet. This spot opened late this summer and has potential to win the award!

5. Go to Tulie Bakery for breakfast. Going out to breakfast is one of our favorite dates. It feels more luxurious and special than going out to dinner, especially on a weekday morning. After hearing people sing praises over the Tulie French toast, I’m thinking I’d always regret it if we left SLC without giving it a try. And on the topic of French toast…I need to try Eva’s French toast, too!

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6. See Bryce CanyonThis may be overly hopeful to think we’ll squeeze in a weekend at Bryce Canyon and Zion in less than six months, when it’s the start of winter…but I sure would love to see this world wonder!

7. Journey to Provo for a food tour. Of course, the year I left Provo life behind was the year all these cool restaurants started popping up. I’ve been wanting to get down there for awhile and try a few I always hear about, namely: SLAB pizza, Cubby’s and Black Sheep Cafe.

8. Take David to the Chow TruckI’ve had these Asian-style tacos a few times and they’re still on my mind. David needs to see what they’re all about. The flavor action is too good!

9. Full Moon Scenic Lift Ride at Sundance. Again, this is one I’ve done before, but David hasn’t. Last time I went was on a date with another guy that wasn’t all that great…but with David it would be all the more magical! Another unlikely item on the list, though, since we just missed the last full moon ride of the season and they don’t open until summer!

10. Get David out on the mountain! Once spending every waking moment of winter strapped into his snowboard, David has decreased his snowboarding time by about 99.5 percent since being a student and full-time worker dad. What a guy. But wherever we move will not have snowboarding close or to the quality that Utah has, so he’s going to take advantage of his three-day work weeks and get out there for some quality snowboard time this winter! Liv and I will stay home and bake cookies. Or maybe watch from the lodge.

11. Hike The WaveOn the Utah/Arizona border, it’s another hike that’s unlikely to happen, but the photo ops are just too amazing not to add to the list!

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12. See the Midway Ice Castles and try Dairy KeenSure, they’re overhyped every winter, but again, I think we need to go to the Midway Ice Castles just for the photo op. We will dress ridiculously warm and then hopefully be in the mood to see what Dairy Keen milkshakes are all about, while we’re in the neighborhood!

13. Go to the Museum of Natural Curiosity with Liv. This children’s museum opened up earlier this year right before Liv was born. Considering that she’s completely entertained by a piece of foil and a red cup at this stage of life, I’ve passed up chances to go thus far. But next year will be prime time for this little babe to check out the wonders of this fun place. And I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy it too.

14. Check out NPS. I’ve heard high tales of killer deals and amazing finds at this warehouse discount store out in the middle of no where, so I just want to see it for myself.

15. Camp in the High UnitasConsidering that you can’t comfortably camp in Utah’s mountains until around July, this one definitely won’t be happening, but look at those views! Maybe someday.

Photos from Bohem Instagram, Wikipedia and here.

How I’m Finally Learning to Kick Daily Sugar Cravings (!!)

I’m obsessed with sugar and I’ve tried about a million things to kick the habit: sugar fasts, stevia substitutes, “healthy” desserts, eating spoonfuls of honey, treats once a week, chocolate once a day, banana “ice cream,” etc. etc.

NONE of it works for me. The only time I stopped craving sugar on a daily basis was when I was pregnant and miraculously developed a food aversion to sugary treats. (But then it kind of my life way less joyful.)

But recently…with minimal effort…I figured it out!

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Mission: Stop Sugar Cravings has been a success, and I wasn’t even trying that hard. All I starting doing was:

1. Drink a gallon of water a day

2. Follow the Blogilates calendar every morning

Drinking so much water helped me realize when I’m truly hungry vs. thirsty or just snacky-feeling, and Blogilates has helped me feel strong and more in shape, so that I don’t even want to ruin the good feeling with a sugar high/crash.

Miracles DO exist!

(Photo via edible perspective)

10 Reasons Why Halloween Can Go Away Now

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So, I hear they don’t celebrate Halloween in Australia. Luckies.

Ever since I was a 2-year old crying in the mirror because my parents put face paint on me and dressed me up like a tiger, I’ve wished we were one of those countries that doesn’t celebrate Halloween. I’ve just got some beef with it and I’d like to get it off my chest!

If I ever start a petition to end this holiday, the following reasons will be cited:

1. “Sexy” costumes. Please stop those.

2. Scary kids scaring kids. I don’t like being scared and Halloween suddenly gives people the right to walk up to strangers and get all up in their face and be scary. Please stop that too.

3. Scary movies. They’re the worst! In high school and college I felt peer-pressured into watching them with a group of friends. When I was left alone my mind went wild and I would do crazy things like walk around the house with the vacuum as my weapon or never sleep with my hands outside the covers until I was 18 years old. (Okay, that one was a result of Edward Scissorhands…technically not a scary movie I suppose.)

4. Creative costume pressure. I like being creative, but I don’t want to feel pressured to make plans and spend money and/or extensive time to come up with some super cool costume. Just let me be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz for 5 years straight, okay?

5. Halloween parties. Gross-looking food, the same 5 Halloween-themed songs and lots of fog in your face. Also, if you’re trying to meet people, you’ll never know who you were actually meeting and if they were actually cool.

6. Costumes in general. I just don’t like dressing up 😦

7. Candy hangover. That sugar hangs around the house for weeks and weeks, taunting me and making me feel like I just have to eat it so it doesn’t “go to waste.”

8. Whoppers and Sprees. No one likes those, and they always end up being the most plentiful candy at the end of the trick or treat adventures.

9. Halloween pranks. I don’t like pranks anytime really, but especially the Halloween kind.

10. Stealing things from fall. All of the cool things about Halloween are actually just cool things about fall: pumpkin-flavored treats, apple treats, crisp weather, bowls of soup, sweaters, etc. So Halloween can go away and leave those to the fall fest parties!

One reason Halloween can stay: Reese’s pumpkins. Those are good. But they also have Reese’s eggs and Reese’s Christmas trees…so it’s probably fine to sacrifice them.

Photo via Halloween Forevermore

Eying on Etsy: Art by Amanda Blake

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I’m always on the look-out for new artists who sell on Etsy, since it’s the only art I could maybe-almost afford. (Though I’m usually still too cheap to actually buy it.)

My most recent find I’m excited about is the art of Amanda Blake. Her shop is called thisisalliknow, but she has even more art on her flickr account.

I love the random portraits that, if I were to hang them in my house, would probably have people asking if they are of a family member or ancestor. Nope! Just a random person on a cool background.