10 Minute Total Body Workout

I love being able to workout at home. With kids, sometimes it’s the only way to get it done. We don’t have the space for a treadmill unless we put it in the garage, and who wants to run in their spider covered garage? Not me! So I have to get creative.

In lieu of a treadmill post this week, I filmed a quick 10 minute total body workout that you can do anywhere. Literally, I do this in my messy basement while my kids play around me (as you can see from the video). All you need is a set of medium to heavy dumbbells. I stick with either 8 lbs or 10 lbs depending on how I’m feeling that day. For this video, I was using 8 lbs. I try to get in two rounds for a nice little workout.

I also created a YouTube page where you will be able to view all of my workouts. My goal is to film a new workout each week so I hope you will subscribe and follow along!

***I am aware I need to work on my videography skills.

I hope you’ll try it out and enjoy! I’d love to hear your comments.

Cold Weather Running Essentials

Look. I’m glowing.

cold weather run

Holy wind, Batman. It’s freezing in Chicago. I went for a run, and did not think that I would make it back. Literally. The wind was so strong that when I would run, I would not go anywhere. The 2 miles that I ran South down Michigan Ave. were fine. I felt good, a little hot even. I started stripping off layers around the 1 mile mark. It was running the 2 miles North up State St. that I almost flagged down a Police Officer to give me a ride home. I thought about calling Dean but didn’t have my cell phone. Do they still have payphones around? That would have come in handy. Dust was blowing in my eyes, and the wind was blowing so hard up my nose that I couldn’t breathe and felt like throwing up. Does that ever happen to you? Why does cold air blowing up my nose make me want to throw up? Maybe I’m just falling apart from the inside out.

Luckily, I was dressed for the weather. Think layers, layers, and more layers. Here’s what I had on for my run today.

  1. Lululemon Brisk Run Headband
  2. Under Armour Cold Gear Tights (Similar)
  3. Under Armour Storm Fleece
  4. The North Face Light Weight Jacket
  5. Lululemon Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve
  6. Head Tech Running Gloves (Similar)

I survived my run. Lucky you. Now you get to read about it. 🙂

I have to brace the cold weather again for my Sculpt class tonight at SixPax. After gorging myself this weekend, I was in dire need of a double workout. Until then, I’m staying bundled under two blankets.

Come on Spriiiing! Where are you hiding?

Staying Motivated

I was recently asked by another teacher at my school, how I find the time to workout each day. It is tricky. I can honestly say, I’m probably not the most attentive wife or friend. I would much rather attend a Friday night Pilates class than an after work happy hour. I never cook dinner. Sometimes I forget to feed the cat. I should probably vaccum more. I plan my weekend activities around my workouts. My husband thinks I’m nuts.

To help my social life, I try to get my friends involved in my workouts as much as possible. Since I’d much rather attend a pilates class than an after work happy hour, when people ask me to grab a drink after work, I say, “Sure, but let’s hit a Pilates class first.” Or I tell them to bring their gym shoes, and we can jog to the bar. I am constantly trying to convince my friends to join me for a Saturday morning workout with the lure of having brunch afterwards. Yup, maybe I am nuts.

I make working out a priority. That’s what you need to do to get it done. It’s part of my day just like getting my morning coffee from Robust Coffee Lounge or going to work. It’s a nonnegotiable. I make a point to try to leave work by 5. I mean, I’ve been there since 7:30. That’s not too much to ask right? I save work that I can do from my couch for when I get home, and only work on things at school that need to get done there.

I also try to sign up for 2-3 classes each week. It breaks up the monotony of the gym, and if you’re going to spend your hard earned money on a $30 Pilates class, you are going to show up whether you feel like it or not! And now that the weather is getting nicer, there is no excuse not to throw on your running shoes and go for an easy 3 miler…or even a walk. Just get yourself moving, that’s most important! I love MapMyRun for finding new paths around Chicago. One of my favorite runs takes me through Soldier Field and around the Planetarium down the lake. I avoid this path at dusk though because spiders like it as much as I do.

And it doesn’t hurt to have some cute clothes to do it in. I would live in Zella and Lululemon if I could. I just purchased this, this, this and these thanks to my generous Mother-in-law and husband. If you’re a runner, replace your running shoes every 6 months to avoid shin splints, and foot, knee and ankle pain. I have bad knees and ankles already from years of beating up my joints in Gymnastics. My favorite running shoes are the Asics GEL-Kayano. To me, no other shoe compares.

Make yourself a workout schedule that changes each day. And don’t work so much! If you’ve been at work 10 hours, it’s time to leave. I don’t care what anyone says, I don’t make nearly enough money for the amount of hours I work.

Here’s how I mix up my workout week. Give it a try. It will not disappoint.

Sunday: 4 mile run, preferably outside. 9 minute mile pace.
Monday: 60 minute sculpt class. Check out local studios for this. My favorites are SixPax and Posture Perfect Pilates.
Tuesday: Treadmill Tuesday interval run. STRETCH!
Wednesday: Easy 4 mile run, preferably outside. 9 minute mile pace. Three, 3 min. planks, 40 pushups, 40 squats. Or, a 60 minute Pilates equipment class. I like to switch up these two depending on my energy levels.
Thursday: Treadmill interval run. STRETCH!
Friday: Pilates mat class. RELAX.
Saturday: Kettlebells studio class and an easy 3 mile run.

Don’t forget to fill your IPad with some upbeat tunes. Here are some recent additions to my playlist. Love me some throwbacks.

  • Dark Side by Kelly Clarkson
  • Boyfriend by Ashlee Simpson
  • Bringin’ Da Noise by ‘NSync
  • Flowers in Your Hair by The Lumineers
  • Hangover by Taio Cruz featuring Flo Rida
  • I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys
  • Titanium by David Guetta & Sia
  • Two Black Cadillacs by Carrie Underwood

How was your Monday?

My car got towed at work today. At least it wasn’t stolen. That was definitely my first thought. Gotta love Chicago.

SixPax Saturdays


I woke up sick this morning. AGAIN. I just got over a horrendous cold that left me without a voice for a week. When I say I just got over it, I mean I literally just got over it. It’s been about a week since I’ve been feeling back to normal. Now here I am, coughing and blowing my nose all over again. What is wrong with me? Oh wait, I teach six year olds. The germs are unavoidable. At least no one pooped in their pants this week.

Despite not feeling quite myself, I got out of bed, stuffed my pockets full of Kleenex and made it to my favorite workout class of the week – Bells and Bosu with Joanna at SixPax. Bells and Bosu primarily incorporates a Bosu ball and a Kettlebell but also uses a Pilates ball, a resistance band, and 2 lb hand weights. You alternate between Kettlebell swings, and planks, jumps, squats, and even running – all on the Bosu. We also use the Bosu as an unstable surface to balance on while we do arm exercises with the 2 lb hand weights.

Kettlebells work your entire body. They incorporate cardiovascular, strength training, and flexibility all in one. They tone your glutes, quads, hamstrings, inner thighs, calves, back, abs, shoulders, and arms. The movements are quite simple to learn and they get your heart rate pumping. In order to control the Kettlebell during your workout, you need to use stabilizing muscles in your abs, thighs, and glutes. These muscles tend to get neglected when we’re “eating steel”. Since Kettlebells increase your overall muscle mass, you will see an increase in your metabolism, and ultimately, weight loss. Most importantly, Kettlebells are fun, make you sweat, and burn tons of calories!

After my workout, I headed over to Waffles where I met Dean for brunch. Waffles is right next to our condo, and I love to treat myself to eggs on the weekends. I had two over-easy eggs, one slice of wheat toast, and a large plate of fruit. Whenever I go out for brunch, I always replace the potato side with fruit. Waffles does a great job with this! No cantaloupe or honeydew here. At Waffles you get watermelon and orange slices, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and green grapes. Such a refreshing mix! I even had a few bites of Dean’s bacon. He also had a plate full of delicious looking seasoned waffle fries. I gave fries up for Lent but that didn’t stop Dean from trying to get me to eat his.

For the rest of the day I’ll be nursing my cold. I might even make it over to Lululemon to spend the gift card that’s burning a hole in my pocket.

What do you do for yourself when you’re feeling under the weather?

Lusting After

I have a serious online shopping addiction. Like I need professional help, I could be on True Life kind of addiction. I love sites like Revolve Clothing and Shopbop because they have free shipping and free returnsOver the years I’ve learned to combat this addiction by adding items to my shopping cart without actually buying them. After a few months of staring at those items in my shopping cart, I can usually decide that I don’t need them anymore. Usually.

If I could live in my workout clothes I would. That is just about all I wear most weekends (and breaks from school). I rarely put on a pair of jeans anymore. There is just something motivating about wearing new workout clothes. It makes it much easier to hit the gym or try out a new class when you have a fun new outfit on. Here are some items currently in my shopping cart.

Lululemon Run: Top Speed Bra – Zella Ruched Tank – Zella Everyday Racerback Tank – Zella ‘Good Sport’ Stripe Half Zip Top – Lululemon Run: Layer Me Long Sleeve – Lululemon Run: For Your Life Crop – Asics Running ShoeLululemon Wunder Under Crop

And for after your workout…

Madewell Sweatshirt DressJoie Marciel Dress

As you can see, I’m already dreaming about Spring!

Happy Shopping! And Happy Birthday to my wonderful mother-in-law. Love you!