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workout

best workout gear

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I recently got a treadmill desk! For about a year I’d been heavily considering it, trying to determine which model would be the best option, deciding if such a major purchase was even feasible (I do move around a lot, after all.) The Nordictrac Treadmill Desk was my pick, for reasons including reputation and speed (it goes to 6mph, meaning I can use it for running as well as work,) but there are plenty of other more portable and space-saving options out there. When I moved to Chicago, my workout gear took a severe hit – since I wasn’t running much in Nashville, I had gotten rid of a lot of my gear. An in-home treadmill begs for a wardrobe of sweat-wicking saviors, though, so I did a stockpile splurge to re-up. Here are some of my new faves and what I love so much about them!

icyZone Racerback Workout Tanks: I have a long torso, so it’s often hard for me to find shirts that are long enough to be comfortable – let alone workout tops that are comfortable. When these came up on an Amazon search, I liked the colors a lot, so I nabbed them. They’re the perfect length and look really great. After years of wearing lululemon, I can also attest that the quality of these rival many of my Swiftlys.

EMY Strappy Sports Bras: A lot of my shirts have open backs, catering to bras with cute back styles. They’re expensive, though, so these are another thing I’ve let my drawer skimp on. This pack of five for $30 is not only comfortable and true-to-size, but the removable padding also helps my poor undersized girls feel a little more confident. (Okay, so maybe it’s me that they help. Either way.)

Saucony Sport Socks: Along with my long torso and undersized breasts, I have gigantic Dutch feet. It can often be hard to find affordable socks that fit my size 12’s – most women’s athletic socks are only sized to 10, so they come up only midway on my heels. These are thick and comfy, and almost oversized – I’m sure they’d be great for people with normal sized feet, but if you feel like yours are bigger than average, these are the socks for you.

c9 High Waisted Capri Leggings: All high-waisted everything, all c9 everything. My daily pants for the last three years or so have been c9’s high-waist full-length leggings, but since I prefer to work out in capris, I have quite a few of the junior versions in my drawer as well. The high waist is comfortable and makes me feel a little skinny, and c9 always has stylish options for their gear, like the lattice details on this pair.

Contigo Autoseal Water Bottle: My ADIDAS water bottle is finally starting to give up the ghost, but it’s fine, because bf got me the best and fanciest replacement a few months ago. This water bottle is insulated so it keeps things super cold for a long time – even overnight – and it doesn’t leak at all. The handle is really handy too, so when I’m carrying my mobile office (you know, my computer, charger, phone, Kindle, bullet journal, etc. etc.) from the treadmill to the outdoor office, it’s easy to hook it onto my pinky and tote it around.

What are your workout/fitness must-haves?

May 18, 2018
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monthly roundup no. 6: february 2018

Posted in Living by

Here we are in February and what will hopefully be the last month of winter. I’m ready to sit outside, cooking in the 80 degree Chicago humidity next to Lake Michigan – I’m fully over these sub-zero temperatures and back-and-forth snow and ice. One good thing about the weather is that I’ve been cooped inside reading more than ever – as likely evidenced by the increased book club posts every month – but I’m still keeping up with some of the news on the world wide web. Here are some things that caught my eye in Feburary!

Here’s What It’s Like At The Headquarters Of The Teens Working To Stop Mass Shootings: These kids are absolutely incredible. No secret that I hate guns and am pretty passionate and loud about that fact, but these students are really creating change.

We need new ways of treating depression: I’m a person who will always be on an SSRI and have been in therapy off and on (therapy is cool and everyone should do it!!) But I’m also whiny about my meds and bad at remembering to take them. I often think about external causes of depression – this article explores the “grief exception” specifically. I’m an introvert at heart and wouldn’t really like being told that being more social would “fix” my depression, but it is interesting to think about.

Hunger Continues After the Fall: Danielle Lazarin’s short story collection came out in February and while I wait for it to come available in the library. Electric Literature featured Appetite, a selection from the book. My newest favorite author, Julie Buntin, recommends this story and writes an intro to set the scene.

Dessa’s Brain: My favorite rapper and author is back at it again with a new record this month. Her alma mater did this excellent in-depth piece on her which explores the contrast in her personality, how she went from being a philosophy major to a rapper, and her rallying call to other asthmatics in the audience. It also talks a bit about her experience with neurofeedback and how that impacted writing the new record.To celebrate the new record, she also did a livestream that I highly recommend if you’re at all interested in music production at Dessa: The Making of Chime.

ZBody Fitness: A co-worker friend introduced me to Zoe’s programs a year or so ago, and I’ve enjoyed watching her YouTube series. They’re great videos to pop on when you’re on the treadmill and the elliptical, and I recently got her Build a Better Booty at Home guide – this at-home workout is no joke!!

A Style Guide for Writing About the Rich: Satire, I suppose, but barely. This infuriated me on first read because it really made me wonder why things like what Elon Musk eats for breakfast becomes so much more newsworthy than a normal person.

Foolproof ways to stay calm while watching the Olympics: A little something to tuck away and review every two years. Like a normal person, I live for the Olympics… but more than once I’ve found myself jumping up and down on the couch shouting hockey advice, or swaying along with the curling stone.

February 23, 2018
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Superfithero Review: Perfect Pocket Capris!

Posted in Review, Style, Work Out by

One of the most fun parts of working out, if I’m being honest, is getting new outfits and finding gear that’s as functional as it is cute. I’ve gained a little weight back since I initially started working out a few years ago, and my workout wardrobe (especially my bottoms) was in need of a SERIOUS overhaul. When I saw Superfithero, I fell in love – a body positive, feminist clothing line with super technical fabric and useful details? Sign me up.

Founder Micki Krimmel sent me a pair of their newly launched pocket capris (with neon racing stripe details!), and I took them out for a few different workouts! I’m really into high-waisted bottoms, and it’s important to me that they stay put. These capris didn’t budge during a run or yoga session, and I even did a few squat tests – I felt supported and held in, and most of all, very comfortable.

These capris feature pockets on both sides, and they’re both big enough for a phone case, a small card wallet, or even a key. The left side of them have some racing stripe details which continue down the pocket too – no skimping on quality there. The four-way stretch moved with my body and didn’t feel tight or pinchy at all. The fabric is really high quality and fast-wicking, too! In fact, they were so fast to dry I ended up wearing them for most of the day following my workout while I cleaned and organized the new apartment.

Superfithero carries shirts sizes XS-4XL, bottoms from XS-4XL (sizes 2-28,) and accessories like this vagina pin and masked headband in addition to Feminist mens shirts. I ordered an XL and was a bit weary that I should have gone bigger, but they fit great, so they run true to size (and their testimonials page echoes the same feedback!)

What are your most important qualities in workout pants?

January 27, 2017
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September Goals

Posted in Living by

After that whirlwind summer, I’m desperate to get back on track. While I did, arguably, complete my biggest goals of the year in getting a new job and moving out of Virginia, many other things that are important to me flew way to the wayside.

  • Be active every day, even if it’s just a walk around my complex or the golf course
  • Pay off my credit cards (I utilized them often during my move. Oops.)
  • Go to 3 networking events
  • Eat at least 5 fruits and veggies per day
  • Drink 8 glasses of water a day (I used to be very good at this, but I fell off the rails as soon as I left my last job.)
  • Bring lunch to work 3x a week
  • Go to the gym 4x a week
  • Post 2x a week
  • Read 2 books
  • Get better organized

Through all of the moving frustration (the Ikea fail – actually, all the furniture fails, since there are more I didn’t blog about) the thing I have been most disappointed in myself for is that I’ve put my health to the wayside. I can’t remember the last time I went for a run. I eat more sugar that I need to. Actually, I eat more than I need to in general, so I’ve gained some weight back. It’s also hard to work in a restaurant where I get 50% off, so the delicious food is less than fast food… but I’m not sure how “good” for me it is. (The chefs have already caught on to me, though, and offer me a sweet potato every day.) As soon as my budget will allow it this month, I’m going to do a juice cleanse to get all the crap out of my system and really reboot everything.

I am a really big fan of specific goals, which is why mine typically include a number. But it’s hard to quantify how you “get better organized” – so I’m trying to work on a plan that involves maintaining meeting notes (I now sit in meetings for over ten hours a week), and on top of that, I have so many other things going on that I’m really starting to outgrow my Moleskine. Managing work events, networking, personal life, goals and fitness, I’m exploring all kinds of printers and planners and ways to make everything work.

The nice thing about my new job is that we have GREAT coffee, so I’m very rarely tempted to stop for Starbucks on my way in. We also get free pop or juice, and we just installed an espresso bar. The only thing I’ll need to go see the Siren for now is my sweet PSL.

In addition to my day job, I’ve also landed a side hustle in the city that I’m really excited about. So even as down as I still am a lot of the time, I’m trying to keep my head up. Good things are happening and I just need to keep believing that!

When you’ve “gone off the rails,” whether it’s with food, spending, or whatever else, how do you reel yourself in?

September 1, 2014
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Life’s Short. Make it Pretty. {may designs review + giveaway!}

Posted in Living, Style by

covers

At the end of the month of September, I sat down to catch up on my spending tracking. Though I was great at tracking (and spending) in August, I did less well on tracking through September. I didn’t think I was spending too much, but I had a HEART attack as I added up the totals I spent on food. For just me – one person – I spent $228.35 on food. That is totally unheard of for me – and even worse that that included a free $50 haul from Relay Foods and did NOT include a $20 bar tab from a Mayer Hawthorne concert! It’s time to do something serious. I need a dedicated budget tracker (not just jotting down what I spend in my planner) and I need to STOP spending so much.

I fell in love with May Books the first time I saw them, and was excited to find their expense notebook and food/exercise tracker. I ordered one of each and after a month or so of using them, these are my thoughts.

  • May Designs books are absolutely gorgeous! They’re hand stitched notebooks with beautifully printed covers. They’re about the size and width of the standard Moleskine notebooks, for reference. In addition to the two I chose, they have several planners, plain or lined notebooks, and other inserts to choose from.
  • Budget book: I wish there was a better system for outlining variable income. There’s only one small line, but I have so many different secret shopping incomes that it’s hard to figure out where to distinguish all of it. I also don’t like that there are so many lines for savings, insurance, and investments as compared to other things, like shopping. My insurance and investments right now come out of my paycheck, so they aren’t even included in my monthly income anyway. And as much as I would love to have enough money for 12 lines of savings goals – I just don’t right now. I’m working to customize it more for my needs, but I’m not quite there yet. I do really like that in the back there are sheets for special event/vacation budgets, though.
  • Calorie and exercise journal: There’s literally nothing I would change about this. It has places for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, your daily target calories, a water tracker, and a place to log exercise. Everything has plenty of room, and it’s a great tool to use for pre-planning what you’ll eat in a day. I do this a lot to keep my dinners on track, since I don’t have White-Out at home 🙂
  • Another criticism is that the pretty designs on the front seem to be rubbing off, so that means I need to take better care of them than just throwing them in among the clutter of my Thirty-One Retro Metro. This would be easier in a more structured/organized purse than my “throw in and carry around everything that fits” mantra.

Click through for more photos and to enter the giveaway! Read more…

October 10, 2013
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