The Little Things

Okay, so if you are anything like me, you get excited over little, ridiculous things. I probably get more pumped up about a coupon for a free coffee than I would for a random day off work; weird, I know. Those little, happy surprises add up to make me one happy camper when I look back on them. Here’s a couple recent things that have happened to me to make my life just a little bit better:

  • Getting my confirmation letter to see The Ellen Show next month! I’ll be there on April 10 and the taping will air on April 11 if any of you care to watch Smile with tongue out

ellen letter

  • Making a really damn good bowl of oatmeal this morning. Usually I make it way too thick or way too runny, but today it was perfect. It put this weird, goofy smile on my face for basically no reason.
  • Two new personal training clients that I actually really like as people and enjoy spending time with. I like all my clients, I really do. For some reason I’m always surprised that I get such normal, nice people! I’m very blessed.
  • Being excited to wake up in the morning and do yoga. Let’s be honest here. I have never looked forward to morning workouts. Afternoon ones, yes (sometimes). I actually want to get out of bed and do yoga each morning, which makes me super happy.

  • This one is kinda odd, but it makes me happy that The Bachelor and Biggest Loser are done for the season, since I now have an additional 4 free hours each week. I love those shows and miss the entertainment, but I can really use the extra time.
  • In conjunction with the last one, crying my eyes out because I am so happy for the Biggest Loser contestants! They looked AMAZING last night. I got a good cry in while drinking wine and eating pie. Oxymoron? Yeah, oh well.
  • A new discovery of coconut mocha k-cups for my Keurig. I would like this every day of my life please and thank you.

  • FINDING MY IPOD! I totally thought I lost it, but I found it rolled up in one of my yoga mats in my trunk yesterday. Random. You would get a good chuckle if you peeked in my trunk. Just filled with a bunch of random fitness stuff. I could open a boot camp out of my car.
  • My shoulder finally starting to feel better. I had a pinched nerve that was causing me pain anytime I raised it above elbow-level. Finally I can put it overhead with minimal pain. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen again next time I get blood drawn.
  • Having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with an apple and kettle chips for dinner last night. I felt like I was 5 again and I loved every second of it. Mine definitely didn’t look this good though.

  • Clearing up my blog reader and my e-mail. A big thumbs up to that.

And the biggest thing of all that is making me smile today? I became a BeachBody coach yesterday! That’s one of my big announcements I was talking about the other day (the second one will be coming soon!). I will be posting a lot more about it over the upcoming weeks, but you can learn a little bit more at their website if you’re interested. With that being said, if any of you are interested in buying their products (Insanity, P90X, TurboFire, Shakeology, etc……) you should probably just go ahead and buy that through me, kay thanks. More to come on that, but I am SUPER excited about it. One more step towards working from home and owning my own successful personal training business Smile

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I’ve got a pretty busy day today:

  • Waking up early to do yoga from 6am-7am.
  • Nannying from 8am-330pm.
  • Working at the gym 4-9pm.
  • Rushing home to watch the PLL season finale; AHHHHH. I’ll have to watch it late so do not dare tell me who is in that damn red coat. It’s giving me a headache just thinking about it.

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What was the best thing that happened to you yesterday?

Liebster Award + Buff-Up Your Man

A big thanks to Melissa at Freeing Imperfections for nominating me for the Liebster Award Smile I really like reading up on other people’s lives, and the survey that goes along with this award is just perfect for that.

Liebster award

11 Questions

  1. Peanut butter or chocolate? Oh this is so hard! Why do I have to pick just one?! I guess if I can’t put them together, I would have to go with chocolate. I’m not a fan of any sort of nut butter on its’ own.
  2. Where did you get your blog title? I honestly came up with it, because I was sick of living a lie and pretending about this. I wanted to be truthful, relatable, and realistic.
  3. Have any nick-names? Lots of people call me Allie, some family members call me Al, and my dad likes to call me Big Al once in a while. Cool.
  4. Who is your blog idol? I gotta say Courtney over at Sweet Tooth Sweet Life. Hers was the first blog I have ever read and I look up to her big time.
  5. Are you a jewelry person? If so, do you have a special piece that you wear every day/a lot? Yes, I am a big person. Every day I wear 3 earrings in each ear, a necklace holding a heart Luke bought me years ago and a locket my great-grandma gave me before she passed away, my “friendship” bracelet I share with Luke, my class ring, and my grandma’s old wedding ring.
  6. Describe your perfect candle scent. Spiced cider from Bath & Body Works.
  7. What was your favorite childhood birthday present? That would probably have to be the ring my mom gave me on my 13th birthday. It’s silver with an opal stone in the center and all these pretty designs. It meant so much to me at such a young age and still does.
  8. Would you rather be stuck in freezing cold or extreme heat forever? Extreme heat, all the way. I can’t stand the cold.
  9. What’s your favorite social media right now – Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, or something else? Gotta go with Instagram! I just got into it, but I’ve recently learned to love it.
  10. Favorite holiday and why? Christmas! As stressful as it is, I love seeing my family and the happiness that seems to surround the entire month of December. DSCN1127
  11. What motivates you to blog? I love that blogging allows me to be myself. This sounds crazy, but I feel like most of you understand me better than the people who I see in my everyday life. It’s a place where I can talk about my life and what’s actually going on, where I won’t be judged. I also adore reading all of your stories! <3

11 Random Facts

  1. I just cried at seeing a preview for both Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies on ABC Family this weekend.
  2. I watched the first 2 seasons of Pretty Little Liars in less than a week.
  3. My favorite celebrities ever are Ellen DeGeneres and Jillian Michaels. What I would do to just spend one day with them….
  4. When I was like 11 years old, I was on the cover of some teen magazine for “wild and crazy hair.” My family and I were on a boat and it was standing straight up. It was like, J-14 or something like that. I wish I could find that!
  5. I cannot handle when I have a messy e-mail inbox. I read or delete every single thing that comes in and don’t like to keep more than can fit on one screen on my iPad. OCD at its’ finest friends.
  6. When I was in high school and I used to work out with my friend Emily, we would walk/run a mile on the treadmill and thought that was absolutely insane.
  7. One time in college I went out to eat and to the movies by myself and it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.
  8. Another time in college my friend Audrey and I went on a mad hunt around our little neighborhood to find someone to open our bottle of wine. We wanted it. Bad.
  9. I met the Jersey Shore cast in Italy in 2011.
  10. I can get by on 5 hours of sleep, easily. It’s pathetic and really unhealthy. I need more hours in the day.
  11. When I eat Starburst jellybeans, I only eat the yellow, pink, and red ones. I can’t stomach the other flavors.

11 New Questions

  1. What did you do today?
  2. How old do you want to be when you have children? Do you even want children? If you already have kids, how old were you when the first one was born?
  3. How long have you been blogging?
  4. What is your favorite exercise?
  5. What is the food you eat most often?
  6. What is the coolest place you have ever been?
  7. Who do you look up to most in the world?
  8. What is your job? Do you enjoy it? Why or why not?
  9. Favorite summer-time activity?
  10. What is the best advice you have ever received?
  11. Do you like pickles?

Nominees

  1. Dena @ 40 Fit in the Mitt
  2. Brittany @ Britt’s Blurbs
  3. Caitlin @ Chasing Chels
  4. De @ Cooking for the Other Half
  5. Nicole @ Fruit N’ Fitness
  6. Jessie @ Jessie Loves to Run
  7. Ashley @ Life and Fitness by Ashley
  8. Kate @ Quarter Century Southern Living
  9. Brooke @ Running in Heels
  10. Carly @ Snack Therapy
  11. Becky @ Olives N’ Wine

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Now onto a new workout. So I’ve been training Luke over the last couple of months to help him gain some muscle. He has gained like 18 pounds, mostly of muscle. He’s been working his a$$ off! So congrats babe Smile Here’s a sample of a chest/back workout we do. This is certainly something you can do, but also something you could share with your man to whip him into shape Smile with tongue out

Chest and Back Workout!
Elliptical warm-up (5 minutes):
8.0 resistance, 2.5 minutes forward, 2.5 minutes backward

Circuit 1 (15 minutes):
Ball dumbbell chest press (15 reps, 15 weights)
Seated stability ball military press (15 reps, 20 weights)
Dead lift (20 reps, 15 weights)
Standing barbell curl (15 reps)
Repeat 3x

Circuit 2 (15 minutes):
Side plank lowers (20 each side)
Straight arm raises (15 reps, 15 weights)
W-squat raise (15 reps, 15 weights)
Side lunge and overhead raise (10 reps, 20 weights)

Treadmill cool-down (5 minutes):
4.0 speed, 6.0 incline

If you bust your butt, it will take 40 minutes. It takes Luke much longer, because he gets easily distracted. Usually by me. Oops!

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Enjoy your Wednesday. Halfway there loves <3

Lovin’ on Laziness

That title will make a lot more sense tomorrow or later today, when I decide to actually type up a post and let you know what I mean by that. For now, laziness it is.

First off, I just want to say that I’m totally not making videos and posting them for the exercises I made up for my 5 Day Warm-Up. Truly, I’m just really busy right now and don’t want to do it unless people are actually going to use them. So if this is something you’re interested in, please let me know and I’ll totally do it. Otherwise, ya’ll can google what they mean if you don’t know.

Second of all, I’ve mentioned this before, but I recently switched over to self-hosted wordpress, so that explains why the blog is looking like a hot mess. I’m working with a designer to make it super cool, so eventually it will not look like a robot anymore. Pinky swear.

Third, I feel like I’ve been complaining a lot on here lately. Oops. That was never my intention. So here’s some of the good stuff that’s going on lately.

  • A Wednesday schedule much different from the norm……
  • Seeing the Lion King downtown Detroit Sunday night with the fam

  • My girls I nanny not being sick anymore
  • The Call coming out next Friday; I’ve been in need of a new thriller

  • A bomb episode of Pretty Little Liars last night

  • A super intense workout last night that left me feeling sore less than an hour later. Best part? I was actually sore in the places I was attempting to work out. Solid. Makes me feel like I know what I’m doing!
  • 3 new personal training clients (!!!!)
  • A fairly relaxing weekend up ahead
  • Two house-sitting gigs within the next couple of months in sweet areas
  • 40 days until I go to Los Angeles
  • Awesome, awesome friends that I’ve been e-mailing with
  • The new Victoria’s Secret swim line

That’s all I can think of for now, but there’s definitely more. When I sit back and think about it and reflect on lists like that, I realize how blessed I am. What the hell do I have to complain about? Nothing. Gotta not let my mind take over my heart and just enjoy this life. The end of that.

Last but not least, I really want to share this article with you that I found in Cosmo quite a while ago, but stumbled upon again recently. It’s called 20 Things You Should Do Before You Turn 35. Here’s my condensed version:

  1. Let go of a grudge.
  2. Decide on a Wednesday which country you’ll be taking a bargain flight to on Friday.
  3. Ditch the “you know” or whatever little vocal habit you had in high school.
  4. Create a photo album not on Facebook.
  5. Take your boyfriend to a random hotel for sex (oops, pretend I didn’t say this; I swear, I’m just copying the article!).
  6. Ask about additional benefits you can get at your job.
  7. Sleep with a bad boy if you’re still single (this is bad; I don’t like this one, sorry Cosmo).
  8. Take yourself out to dinner (LOVE THIS ONE).
  9. Host a fancy cocktail party for your closest friends.
  10. Agree to a blind date without asking any questions.
  11. Commit to a charity.
  12. Buy a piece of nice jewelry that signifies all your hard efforts up until this point.
  13. Get rid of the “deadweights” in your social circle.
  14. Improve a relationship with a friend you admire by asking her to set you up with a new friend she admires.
  15. Learn to curse in a new language (haha).
  16. Learn more about wine so you know what the hell you’re looking for at restaurants.
  17. Upgrade your wardrobe and get rid of the clothes that “aren’t you” anymore.
  18. If you’ve earned a raise, ask for it.
  19. Buy something online you’re too shy to get in person.
  20. No clue what this one is, since I ripped the article out and number 20 must have been on the next page. My bad.

I just thought that was fun. Good thing I have 14 years to complete it.

Happy Wednesday!

Anyone else have an insane amount of snow right now? Oh boy, is Michigan ever a hot mess.

Another Workout Wednesday!

Last week I gave you all this 30 minute workout. Now we’re going to up it to a full hour! I think that a lot of you (myself included) who go to the gym on a regular basis and/or do strength and cardio training, spend about an hour on workouts. This workout gives you the option to do an hour of cardio or an hour of strength.However, both incorporate both cardio AND strength. They are just more prevalent in one or the other. I don’t think that sentence made sense at all. Oh well. You can totally do both of these workouts at home, which really helps out you ladies that have busy schedules. You can do it during your Tuesday night TV (Pretty Little Liars anyone?!) like I did last night Smile with tongue out

hour

I think you will know what basically all of the exercises are, but I’ve included a few pictures for the ones that I think might be a little iffy:

Cardio

Mountain climbers:

mountain climbers

Make sure you make this a plyometric move by jumping your feet!

Squat punches:

squat punches

Stay in a squat position the entire time.

Split jumps:

split jumps

Burpees w/ shuffle:

burpees

Basic burpee with a shuffle to each side before you repeat. Touch down to the ground after each shuffle real quick Smile

 

Strength

Squat twists with knee lift:

knee lift

Squat to this position on each side!

Side leg kicks:

leg kicks

30 seconds on each side before switching. Tap the toe down to the ground; don’t put pressure on it.

Donkey kicks:

donkey kicks

Bring working leg back to starting position every time.

Chaturanga:

chaturanga2

V-sit crunches:

Straighten legs and come back to this position. Keep upper body in same position the whole time.

 

As always, if you have any questions please ask! I would be more than happy to talk further with you about this workout, or heck, about anything at all! Hope this is a great way to kick off your Wednesday. Halfway through the week! Smile

 

What is your favorite plyometric (jump training) move?

Let’s Have a Little Fun…..Todaaaaay

Do you get it?? I hope you do. And if you don’t understand what that’s in reference to, I’m about to tell you anyway. It’s the Ellen theme song. Wanna know why? Do you?

I’M GOING TO A TAPING OF THE ELLEN SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

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Now this may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but you just don’t understand by love for Ellen DeGeneres yet. I have been watching her show since the very beginning, and I truly don’t think I have ever missed an episode. I remember when my mom and I used to record episodes on our VCR! She is just such a positive spirit and brings light to my life every single day. I wish I could be her best friend. Ellen, if you’re reading this, I’m more than willing to come live with you and Portia and clean your house and take care of everything. You don’t even have to pay me! Smile with tongue out

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My mom and I actually had the chance to go to a taping back in February of 2010, and I can honestly say that it was the best day of my life. I think I smiled consistently for the entire 1 1/2 hours. At one point I was so excited and jumping up and down that I cut my mom’s hand with my ring and it was bleeding bad enough that the staff had to come give her a band-aid! (Sorry, mom Smile with tongue out) My mom also said it was the best day of her life, “over the birth of her 4 daughters and her own wedding day.” Safe to say that going to see Ellen is a blast. We still have our episode on our ti-vo; and yes, you can definitely see us in the audience. We were right on the end of the “dance aisle!”

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So when Tara from the Ellen show called me this afternoon, I’m pretty sure I almost caused a car accident and told the poor girl I love her. I was SO excited. I’m bringing Luke as my guest and we’re planning on staying a couple of days in LA to see the city and have our own mini-vacation. The actual taping is April 11th Open-mouthed smile I could honestly care less about who is on the show; I just want to see Ellen!

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I’ll definitely give more details when I have them, but for now I need to hop on the internet and look up a cheap place to stay and some flight options. So exciting! I already decided to make a video and tell Ellen how excited I am to come. Maybe I’ll get lucky and she’ll talk to me. Omgomgomgomgomgomgomg. I grin from ear to ear just thinking about it.

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So if anyone is from the LA area, you should try to go to a taping that day and we can have the best day ever! Now I’m headed back to my Cabernet and sweet-tart hearts and settling in for some Pretty Little Liars, New Girl, and The Bachelor. What a great day. I hope your day was better!

sweet tarts

What has been the best day of your life so far?

Sunshine Award

When I saw that Brooke over at Running in Heels nominated me for the Sunshine Award earlier today I was pretty pumped, because I’ve had a crazy couple of days and have had no time to take pictures or even really thinking of topics for the blog. So thanks Brooke for helping me out!

sunshine

I started this blog less than a month ago and I’m psyched that people actually read it!

So I have to answer the questions and nominate 10 people; easy enough.

1. Who is your favorite philosopher?

Um, really? Sorry but I’m not that smart. Let’s just go ahead and say Ellen.

Ellen DeGeneres, Bob Harper And Cobra Starship On "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno"

2. What is your favorite number?

24. I have no idea why, but it always has been.

3. What is your favorite animal?

If we’re talking practical, I’ll go with cats. If we’re going all out, it’s a shark.

cat

4. What are your Facebook and Twitter?

Facebook: Allison Hayes
Twitter: @allison_marie91 (personal) and @arealisticlife (business); FOLLOW BOTH AND I’LL <3 YOU.

5. What is your favorite time of day?

I love like 7-8pm. It’s just a chill time for taking off real pants, watching some TV, and having some snacks.

6. What was your favorite holiday?

Christmas, hands down. Hopefully this year will be the best one yet. Luke and I have a goal to have our own place by Christmas-time, so fingers crossed!

DSCN1124

7. What is your favorite physical activity?

I know people have mixed opinions about it, but I love hot yoga. I just feel like I can move in any way in the whole world and I feel completely empty when I’m done. It’s super relaxing and a good way to make your body feel powerful. I also love stretching everything out and hearing stuff in my body crack that was holding onto pent up energy that is now released; awesome.

8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

I like Brooke’s answer of wine. But probably water, green tea, black coffee, and shamrock shakes from McDonalds. Oops, that’s like 5 answers? And milkshakes aren’t healthy? Oh well. Life goes on.

shake

9. What is your favorite flower?

I’m probably the only girl in the world that will say this, but I truly don’t like flowers. If I had to pick I would probably say sunflowers.

10. What is your passion?

My passion is for contentment. I want to be content and I want to help others become content. I love fitness, I love kids, and I love organization. My passion is for incorporating all those things into my life on a daily basis and being successful and doing something important.

Here’s my 10 nominations!

Jessie @ Jessie Loves to Run

Sarah @ Picky Runner

Taryn @ Peace and Pizza

Alex @ The Run Within

Ashley @ Almost Veg Girlie

Kate @ Quarter Century Southern Living

Sam @ Better with Sprinkles

Lindsay @ A Runnaroundd Life

Kerry @ Totes My Oats

Hollie @ Fueled by LOLZ

You guys, my links suck. It’s not working for me to tonight. I know there’s a bunch of empty spaces, but I just don’t have the time or energy to figure out the issue right now. Bear with me!

Is anyone else watching Pretty Little Liars right now? Is Spencer breaking your heart, too?!?! :(

Pretty. Little. Liars.

Well today started out pretty crappy. I hit snooze on my alarm 3 times (that is unheard of for me!) and literally rolled out of bed to complete a 10 minute toning routine, which was all I ended up having time for. Then I went downstairs and was reprimanded for my ‘attitude’ when I hadn’t even uttered a word. Hmmm. Instead of freaking out about it like I usually would, I decided to avert the situation and turn my day around when I had the chance.

So wanna know what I did?

image

Went to Starbucks and got one of those bad boys. De-lish! Reminds me of a pumpkin spice latte without the pumpkin. And with more chai-ish spices. I get a grande with nonfat milk, no whipped cream, and an extra shot of espresso :)

It’s funny how something so small can make such a big impact on your day.

The 2 year old I nanny for, Francesca, had a little ballet class this morning (AW!) and I was just ravenous while waiting in the lobby. Lucky for me they are starting to put ‘healthy vending machines’ in most buildings where I live now. Score. I got some cheddar potato pop chips which were super yum and only 100 calories. Can’t beat it!

image

The rest of my day was spent playing with the girls, which really just means chasing them around and watching Disney Channel and occasionally having a snack. Oh, the life of a child. I need a little bit of advice though from anyone out there with kiddies. Francesca always wants to be held, and since I’m a righty I automatically put her on my right hip. It’s uncomfortable and weird to switch her to the left for both her and I. My right shoulder is starting to kill me and pop all the time. Any advice??

My afternoon workout was a half hour walk on the treadmill at the gym at 4.4 speed and 6.0 incline while watching Walking Dead on my iPad and a jazzercise class. I was feeling the burn, so I came home and just finished about 15 more minutes of toning routines while watching my beloved Pretty Little Liars.

Does anyone else watch this show?? So freaking obsessed. Who is A!?!?!? I can’t stand it; this show is such a tease.

I wasn’t the cleanest eater today, but tomorrow is a new day. It always is<3

What’s your favorite vending machine snack?

Mine’s gotta be those little watermelon sour gummy things. Sorry! :(