A Workout- Finally!

You guys! I have not given you a workout since BEFORE Christmas. Can you believe it?! Since Christmas was last Wednesday and New Years is tomorrow, they took place of my Wednesday Workout posts and I just wasn’t able to get anything together for a post on another day. It’s not to say I haven’t been working out, because I certainly have, I just haven’t been able to write them up to share with you. Shame on me 😉

This workout was a good one, though! I did it a while ago, but it’s been on a little sticky note near my computer as a reminder that it was good enough to share (sometimes I make up workouts and decide not to share them with you after I do them because I don’t like them).

Upper Body & Core Stability Ball Workout

Most of these moves are pretty common, but if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Also, you can do this workout without a stability ball if you don’t have access to one.

Since the exercises only call for 10 reps, I challenge you to go heavier than usual. If you usually lift 10lbs for bicep curls, try 12 or 15. The last few reps should be hard- that means you’re working 😉

Questions for you: Do you like to separate you cardio and strength workouts or combine them?

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Extended Time In Maine: Spending lots of time with family and friends!

I can’t remember the last time I spent more than a few nights home in Maine. Actually, that’s a lie. Last year for Christmas, my sister and I were able to spend a lot of time in Maine, mostly due to the fact that I came down with pneuomonia and we couldn’t leave when originally planned. Thankfully, I survived the holiday sick-free this year.

Since I’ve already caught you up on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I’ll pick up after that! Thursday morning, my mom, sister and I all went to the gym, which is my favorite way to start the day 🙂

After we got home, my dad and I got busy putting together my new mini-kitchen island. I thought I could do it on my own, but I am so happy my dad suggested doing it together because he has all the tools and knowledge to make sure it’s done right.

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Charlie thought he was going to be a good helper… he wasn’t.

It took much longer than expected to put it together, but I am so happy with how it turned out! It’s not great quality, but until I buy a place and know I won’t be moving every couple of years, I don’t want to have super nice stuff that could get damaged. This is absolutely perfect for my little kitchen because not only does it give me extra counter space, but it’s on wheels so I can move it around as I need/want. Love it- thanks mom and dad!!

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We went to the movies in the afternoon (nothing like $6.50 matinees in Maine!) to see Anchorman 2, which, sadly, was a big disappointment. Has anyone else seen it? I just thought it was slow and not that funny. At least the beers were $2, which kept me entertained 😉

We made the most delicious chicken parmesan meal when we got home from the movies. Holy moly. My mom really does make the best chicken parm (Danielle and I served ours over spaghetti squash… the best way to save on carbs and calories!)!

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After dinner, we spent a lot of time listening to my parents talk about their parents and their childhood. My dad’s parents passed away when he was in his young 20’s and my mom’s mother passed away when she was in her mid-late 20’s, so we haven’t really gotten to hear much about them over the years. It was so fun to look through old photo albums and listen to their stories.

I started my Friday just like most “off” days from work: at the gym! I took a great cardio and core class, which was perfect after a weights class on Thursday. After the class, I headed to the AT&T store to get a new iPhone. I was using an old iPhone 4 and was long overdue for an upgrade, so I finally headed in and made the upgrade! So far, I am LOVING my iPhone 5S and can’t wait to see the difference in picture quality.

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My family headed to the mall in the afternoon and I scored a number of deals- have you guys been shopping since Christmas? The sales are unreal! I got 2 shirts a dress and lotion for $30! After the mall, we headed to the Back Street Grill for some happy hour wines with my mom’s friend, Jean. When the $3 happy hour wine ends at 6pm and you get there at 5:30, you order 2 😉

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We made a nice, healthy chicken and veggie teriyaki stir fry for dinner- all of us agreed we needed more veggies!

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Saturday, Danielle and I made the trek back to Boston, with a quick stop in Kittery to exchange some things (I just ended up buying more. whoops). With the looks of the back of her SUV, though, you’d think the last thing we’d be doing was shopping!

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Once I got back, I unpacked everything, went for a 5K run and then had a quiet night in. I had wanted to do something, but it ended up being nice staying in. I needed to get my iTunes updated so I could put music on my new phone, catch up on blogging and have some alone time, all which I accomplished on Saturday night!

Sunday morning I woke up pretty early, which was expected since I’ve slept a lot the past handful of nights, so I went to a 9:30 spin class, followed by upper body strength and core work. The gym was dead, which is my favorite way for it to be unless I’m teaching 😉

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The rest of my Sunday was pretty quiet… I’m ready for some serious social interaction! I went grocery shopping, prepped lunches/meals and did some other random stuff around my apartment. I hung out with my sister in the afternoon for a few hours before coming home and making a delicious chicken, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and quinoa dish.

Although it was a quiet weekend, it was good. I started Monday feeling refreshed and ready to get back on a schedule!

Questions for you: Have you seen Anchorman 2? Do you have the new iPhone? What was the best part of your weekend? Any fun plans for NYE tonight?

This Week: Workouts, Schedule, Things I’m Looking Forward To

I hope all of you had a nice and relaxing week last week. I know I sure did! As I’ve said before, there’s just something about being home in Maine that always relaxes me. I still have some catching up to do with you, which I hope will happen over the next few days. I am trying to relax a bit more, stress less and be less regimented, which might mean my posts aren’t as “timely” as they usually are.

But, with that said, let’s get to the workouts! Last week’s ended up being awesome, which is always a nice surprise during a holiday week when I am home in Maine for most of it.

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I had dinner plans after work, which meant I needed to get up and workout before work. I got up and did this workout and was happy with my choice! I tend to forget about workouts after I post them on here or teach them in class, so it’s always a nice surprise when I decide to go back and dig up an old workout to do.
  • Tuesday- I thought it might be a rest day since I didn’t get up to workout before heading north, but after lunch, I was able to sneak in a quick 25 minute workout at my parents house. I did this workout, 6 times through and some other stuff at the end. It was perfect!
  • Wednesday- Does playing Santa’s Elf, drinking champagne and napping constitute as a workout? Nah, I didn’t think so! Rest day 🙂
  • Thursday- My sister, mom and I all went to the local YMCA for a strength class, which was awesome!! I ran 1.25 miles before the class and was so happy with how great the class was. We did all sorts of fun things using toys that I don’t get to use at the BSC- and, it left me quiteeee sore for a few days. Success! But the best part? Having my mom and sister in class with me 🙂
  • Friday- I went to another class at the local YMCA because I love the instructor (old family friend). It was an Athletic Cardio and Core class and we did tabata cardio, 9 mins of abs (3 exercises, 60 seconds each, 3 rounds) and repeated that 3 times. It was great!
  • Saturday- I wanted to go to the Circuit class at the Y before heading back to MA, but I woke up VERY sore so I decided to rest. Well, that was before I got home and realized it was 50 degrees and still light out at 4pm after I finished unpacking, so I decided to go for a quick jog (5K). I needed to clear my head of a few things and a run always helps that. It was pretty speedy, too, which is always nice.
  • Sunday- I still felt sore from Thursday/Friday so rather than going to a muscle class, I went to a spin class. Remember how I said I didn’t feel like I worked that hard in the other spin class I went to? I realized why… the instructor wasn’t that great! Sunday morning’s instructor was awesome! She gave us ranges for our levels and RPM’s and we did all sorts of fun things. I worked really hard and left there feeling amazing! I followed up my ride with upper body strength and some core work. Solid start to my day!

This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I am subbing the 6:30 kickboxing class at the Watertown BSC again. I hope it’s a good crowd and I hope people don’t leave 😦
  • Tuesday- I don’t have NYE plans at the moment, but I will probably still get up and workout before work so that I’ll have that out of the way in case something comes up!
  • Wednesday- Not sure! Could be a rest day, could be a workout…
  • Thursday- FINALLY back to my “regular” teaching schedule with my two a day Thursday. Can’t wait!
  • Friday- Again, not sure. Might be a rest day since I like Friday’s as rest days.
  • Saturday- Teaching kickboxing at the YMCA- come burn off your holiday calories 😉
  • Sunday- Per usual, my Sunday workout will be determined based on how my other workouts for the week went. I’d love to get a strength workout in, but we will see.

Schedule

It’s funny. In years past, I have stressed about my NYE plans with my friends, trying to figure out if we should go to a bar (and what bar we should go to) or if we should go to a house party, but this year I am just letting things happen. Tuesday night could be spent with friends or by myself, and to be honest, as long as I’m not out at a bar (really not interested in that this year), I don’t care what I do:) Other than that, I have work and teaching. It will be nice to ease back into a somewhat normal schedule this week.

Things I Am Looking Forward To

Hmmm. To be honest, I am a little “blah” going into this week. Part post holiday blues, post I-don’t-know, but I am hoping that once I get back into the swing of things today I’ll be back to my normal self! I’m looking forward to teaching this week- big time! And I am looking forward to the start of a new year. I am not one for “resolutions” (all that stuff makes me totally turned off. It’s like whenever I make a resolution, I immediately want to break it, so I just don’t make them!), but for 2014, I do have some things I want to change/incorporate. I’ll share them with you soon!

Questions for you: Did you get any good workouts in over the holidays? When’s the last time you went to a class that left you super sore? Do you have NYE plans? What are you looking forward to this week?

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the Gagnon’s

Hi there! Anyone else enjoying an extra day off today? I wasn’t planning on taking today off, but I am so happy I did since I’m home in Maine with my family who is also not working.

As I’ve mentioned before, I took the train home on Tuesday, which is always fun. I don’t mind the drive, but since my sister was driving home later on Tuesday due to a work party and will drive me back to Boston tomorrow, it made sense for me to just take the train. I thought about reading, but ended up blogging and napping which is totally ok.

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When I arrive at the train stop, mom and dad were waiting for me. Mom was looking quite festive in her {ugly} Christmas sweater.

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We ran a couple of errands before coming home for lunch and baking/cooking. I snuck in a quick workout (6 rounds of this workout and 2 rounds of this workout which ended up being awesome… and taking less than 25 minutes including a quick warm up!) before making a delicious dessert and going to church.

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Not long after we got back from church, we popped open bubbly and waited for our friends to arrive. Per usual the night was a blast! Good food, great friends, cute babies and solid Christmas carols… can’t get much better than that;)

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Before bed, we made mom read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, as it’s a tradition for us. Anyone else love this story?

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Christmas morning we woke up and opened stockings and our gifts. I was shocked to see that my parents got me the little moveable kitchen island that I had been wanting!! It’s going to be so perfect for my apartment as I am in DIRE need of more counter space and under the counter space. Thanks so much mom and dad!

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My sister got me the sweetest sister bracelets AND she got each of us a pass to take a barre class at Pure Barre in the Back Bay, which I’m so excited about!! Such a thoughtful gift for a fitness lover like me!

After we finished presents, we headed to the Mahoney’s for our annual Christmas brunch, accompanied by mimosa’s, of course 😉 I mixed cranberry juice with mine instead of orange juice and it may be my new favorite!

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We all came home for nap time (except for mom) before heading to Sara and Amy’s mom’s house for games and catching up. It’s always fun to get together with the girls and guys on Christmas night, but by 8ish I was ready to go home and go to bed! It had been a tiring couple of days and I couldn’t wait for bed 🙂

All in all, it was another fun-filled Christmas for the Gagnon’s and I am so blessed to have such fun family and friends to celebrate the holidays with! I’ll catch you up on the rest of my week in a bit, and I still owe you a workout (that I’ve created, I just haven’t written the post yet!).

Questions for you: How was your Christmas? What’s your favorite tradition? What was your favorite gift?

Somerville Jingle Bell 5K Recap

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas (if you celebrate) with your family and friends! Mine was absolutely perfect; I’ll share a recap with you soon, but until then, let’s catch up on the 5K I ran with my sister last weekend- it was so fun!

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As I’ve mentioned a number of times by this point, last weekend, my sister and I ran the Somerville Jingle Bell 5K. Since it was my sister’s first race and my 6th Jingle Bell race, I decided to run the race with her as her “pacer” to help her reach her goal. She works out 4-5 times a week, but she enjoys classes and spinning more than running, so not only was this her first race, but it was also her first time running 3 miles! We picked up our bibs Sunday morning then waited for our parents to arrive

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After having a slight issue with parking, we arrived at the start line just in time for the race to start (literally. It was 10:59 by the time we got there and the race started at 11).

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Our parents were so cute! they literally walked along side us until it was time for us to actually start the race.

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The race went really well! Danielle was a little nervous about it because she’s been getting shin splints lately and running has just felt hard, but she rocked it! I watched my watch throughout the whole race to make sure we didn’t get going too fast and then burn out later; I wanted to make sure she had enough energy to finish the race strong!

Our parents were able to catch some great pics of us as we were just about to cross the finish line- so happy to have these memories on camera.

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I think this was the best first race for Danielle to run since it was mostly flat. On top of that, there are so many fun costumes to look at- people get REALLY into it. We didn’t really wear costumes, per say, but did you see those lovely vests we wore, courtesy of Sue Gags? She’s got quite the collection 😉

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Post race we grabbed lunch at Christopher’s in Porter Square. We did this last year and it was perfect because if you go there straight after the race, you can get a table very easily! To celebrate the race, we got cocktails, duh. I call this blog Burpees to Bubbly for a reason, ya know 😉

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I ordered some Mexican breakfast plate and it was delicious. We love Christopher’s because the atmosphere is great, food is delicious and the prices are very reasonable. We had a blast chatting and getting excited about Christmas. As I’ve said before, Christmas Eve is my favorite night of the year, so talking about the food and friends who are coming made me very happy!

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All in all, it was an absolutely fantastic day. I love when I get to share fitness passions with other people, and when my sister is one of those “other people”, it’s even better. Thanks for running with me, Danielle- Can’t wait for the next one!

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Questions for you: Who is your favorite person to work out with? Have you been to Christopher’s?