2000’s Workout Playlist

I hope you’re all hanging in there as well as you can. I don’t know about you, but the days are all starting to blend together for me. It’s Friday though, I’m running with it and trying to treat it as much as possible like it’s the end of the week. I’m hoping to watch a movie tonight.

Being at home so much means that I’m listening to Spotify a ton. If you’re not already following me on there, make sure you do (getfitfiona). All of my workout playlists are public so you can get access to them if you’re needing some workout motivation. Having a great playlist always helps keep me going during tough workouts.

Today’s playlist is inspired by the music of the early 2000’s. Think Britney Spears, boy bands, and Outkast, and Pink. As I was putting together songs for this playlist I kept thinking “I really liked that song” or “why has it been so long since I last listened to this this?” There was just so much music from the time that made me think of memories that I have from that time – whether it was getting together with classmates to watch The OC or going out clubbing. I haven’t thought of some of those things in a really long time! It makes me realize that 2000 was 20 years ago, even though in my head it doesn’t actually feel like it was that long ago. I graduated high school in 2001 and graduated from university in 2006. Those both feel like they were “just a few years ago” but they clearly aren’t that recent anymore.

Here’s a list of the songs on the playlist:

  • Toxic – Britney Spears
  • We Used To Be Friends – The Dandy Warhols
  • Dirrty – Christina Aguilera
  • Don’t Cha – The Pussycat Dolls
  • Beautiful Girls – Sean Kingston
  • Just Dance – Lady Gaga
  • Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson
  • Jenny from the Block – Jennifer Lopez
  • 4 Minutes – Madonna and Justin Timberlake
  • Bye Bye Bye – Nsync
  • Low – Flo Rida
  • Get the Party Started – Pink
  • SexyBack – Justin Timberlake
  • Hey Ya – Outkast
  • Maneater – Nelly Furtado
  • Can’t Get You out of My Head – Kylie Minogue

This playlist clicks in right at 1 hour, so you’ll have 60 minutes of music to get you working hard during your workout. You can find the playlist here on Spotify. To be honest I think this is my favorite playlist that I’ve made in awhile – I can’t stop listening to it, even when I’m not working out.

What are you listening to right now while working out? Leave a few songs in the comments below – I love hearing what other people are listening to.

Upper Body Workout

Today I’m sharing a gym upper body workout that will leave your arms feeling like jello.

I hope everyone is hanging in there. If you’re having to go to work, whether that’s in healthcare or at a grocery store, thank you! Your hard work is very much appreciated. If you’re staying at home, thank you for helping to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. We all need to do our part right now.

For this workout you’ll do 10 reps of each exercise for 4 sets before moving onto the next one on the list. Rest for 3 minutes between each set. Because the rest time is on the longer side this workout will be a longer one. Plan on being at the gym for about 90 minutes. As tempting as it might be to shorten the rest periods, they’re really important to give your body time to recover in between sets.

Since I wrote this workout before the pandemic reached Calgary and gyms closed down, you’ll have to sub in bent over rows for the row machine and take out the lat pulldowns completely. As always you can check out my workouts page where you can find lots of at home workouts.

Dumbbell bench press

With a pair of dumbbells sit on a bench, and slowly lay down. Bring the dumbbells straight over your shoulders with your arms extended. Slowly bring them down to your torso and then up back to the starting position.

Lat pulldown

Sitting at a lat pulldown, adjust the leg pads to make sure it’s at the appropriate height. Stand up to grasp the bar with both hands and then sit back down, sliding your legs under the leg pads. Start with your arms fully extended and leaning back just slightly. Bring your hands down to your collar bone slowly and then extend them back out to the starting position.

Cable row machine

With the rope attachment in your hands, bring your elbows close to the sides of your body. Start with your forearm in a 90 degree angle to your upper arm and slowly extend your forearm until your entire arm is straight and your triceps muscles are contracted. Slowly reverse the movement so that your arm is once again at a 90 degree angle.

Overhead press

Stand with your feet hip width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. With your upper arms in a 90 degree angle to your torso and your hands directly above your elbows, lift your hands straight up so that your arms are straight above your head. Slowly lower your hands back down to the starting position. 

Chest flyes

With a dumbbell in each hand, lie on a bench or the floor with your elbows slightly bent. Move the dumbbells in a semi circular motion above you until they meet directly above your chest. Return to the starting position by moving the dumbbells with control so that your arms are extended again. 

Bicep curls

Start with the feet hip width apart, and back in a neutral position. With a dumbbell in each hand, keep your elbows in close to your side and raise the dumbbell upwards. Movement should be at the elbow, not the wrist. Lower the dumbbell with a controlled movement, not allowing gravity to take over.

Tricep extensions

Laying on your back on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, move your arms so that they are straight up above your shoulders. Bending at the elbow, bring the dumbbells towards each side of your head and then return to the starting position.

Are you able to get in any at home workouts so far this week?

As always, talk to your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you.

TV Shows to Watch While Social Distancing

Today I thought I’d put together a post about some of my favorite TV shows. These are ones that I’ve enjoyed binge watching in the past and I’m sure I’ll be re-visiting a few of them while I’m social distancing.

I’ve watched all of these on Netflix and Prime, though their availability will vary depending on when you’re watching them and from what country.

Teen dramas

Gilmore Girls

I loved watching Gilmore Girls when it was on TV. I was in university when the second half of the show aired so it was kind of fun to be in university the same time that Rory was. Don’t get me started on how unrealistic her post secondary experience was though!

I have to admit though that I was quite disappointed in the reboot. I thought it was absolutely terrible. I hated how it ended. It just seemed like such a waste. If you’re going to watch Gilmore Girls I would recommend the series and skip the reboot.

Gossip Girl

I watched Gossip Girl on and off when it was on TV, but I started it from the beginning when it came to Netflix. There’s just something so fun (and a little bit trashy) about it. I like seeing the outfits, and of course all of the scandalous situations that they get themselves into and mostly out of. If you’re craving an escape from reality, this is the show for you.

The OC

Also from the creators of Gossip Girl, try out The OC. It also had some great fashion back in the day with is now a bit cringeworthy, but it’s still fun to watch. It’s hard to go wrong with the teenaged antics of rich kids.

Dramas

How to Get Away With Murder

If you like Viola Davis as much as me, you probably already know about How to Get Away With Murder. Viola plays a law professor who mentors a group of students. They get caught up in murders and mysteries with lots of twists and turns – you never know what’s going to come.

The Good Wife

Another drama led by a few female actors – Julianna Margulies and Christine Baranski – is also on my list of binge worthy TV shows. The Good Wife has received a lot of praise and even a few awards if I’m remembering correctly. It’s such a smart TV show that also features strong female characters.

The Good Fight

This one is a spin off of The Good Wife. Christine Baranski continues on with her Diane Lockhart character, as well as some other characters from The Good Wife. I know that spin offs aren’t usually very good, but I think that The Good Fight is just as good as The Good Wife. Seasons are shorter than The Good Wife (they come in at about 10 episodes each), so if you’re looking for a show with fewer episodes to watch, give this one a try.

This Is Us

I started watching This Is Us a few years ago and I’ve been completely sucked in by it. There’s a few story lines that are a bit annoying, but overall I still really enjoy watching it. I like the characters and it’s pretty cool to see how they change throughout their lives.

Historical dramas

Mad Men

If you haven’t watched Mad Men yet, what are you waiting for? I watched the second half of the series when it was on TV and I was able to watch the whole series on Netflix a few years ago. While it takes a few episodes to get into it, it’s so worth it. The characters are so good and I love getting a sneak peek into the fictional New York City in the 60’s. Mad Men has won a ton of awards and the cast is amazing – there’s so many great people who were on it.

The Crown

The Crown has also got a ton of attention for being well written and acted. It’s fun to see many of things I’ve read about the British royal family on TV. It’s make you think about them and the events that are featured on the show differently. The Crown is one of those shows that once you start you won’t want to stop.

Downton Abby

Following with the British theme, I really enjoyed watching Downton Abby too. Like Mad Men, it took me a few episodes to get a feel for it and I really fell in love with it. I haven’t watched the movie yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

Reality TV

Teen Mom franchises

I’m not sure if I’ve admitted this on the blog before, but I’m a huge fan of the different Teen Mom series. I know it’s trashy reality TV, but I just can’t stop watching it. While the moms that they follow have changed a bit over the years, it’s still a fun show to watch. Full episodes are available to watch in Canada on the Canada MTV website. Hopefully the same is true of the US version of the site. I like to have it on in the background while I’m working – it helps to have something on but it doesn’t take too much brain power to keep up.

Love is Blind

I know you’ve probably watched it already, but if for some reason you haven’t, check out Love is Blind on Netflix. Just like Teen Mom it’s bad reality TV, but once I started watching I just couldn’t stop. I know that there were people that I ended up loving (and hating) and it was interesting to talk with friends to see if our likes and dislikes matched up.

What’s your favorite binge worthy TV show? What have you been watching on Netflix and Prime lately? Share in the comments below!

Books to Read While Social Distancing

How’s everyone hanging in out there? I hope you’re all able to stay close to home as much as possible, and if you’re in the medical field or your work is essential and takes you out of the house, a big thank you and stay as safe as you can.

If you’re like me and finding yourself with a lot of time on your hands to fill, you’ll probably be doing a lot more reading than usual. Reading is also a nice distraction for me with everything that’s going on, so I’m very grateful for the books that I have access to – both physical ones in my house as well as ebooks on the Libby and Kindle apps. I use Libby through my library so I’m able to borrow both ebooks and audiobooks. It’s worth checking to see if your library is connected to it too. I use it a ton.

Today I thought I’d share some books that I’ve enjoyed reading lately. I’ve categorized them into different sections so that it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Historical fiction

Meet Me in Monaco – I really loved reading this book. It was the perfect combination of history with the characters of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier and the fictional characters of Sophie Duval and James Henderson. Meet Me in Monaco (affiliate link) is set during the 1950’s in Monaco. It covers the royal wedding of Grace and Prince Rainier.

Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique, fending off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy.

James Henderson cannot forget his brief encounter with Sophie Duval. Despite his guilt at being away from his daughter, he takes an assignment to cover the wedding of the century, sailing with Grace Kelly’s wedding party on the SS Constitution from New York. In Monaco, as wedding fever soars and passions and tempers escalate, James and Sophie—like Princess Grace—must ultimately decide what they are prepared to give up for love.

The Pillars of the Earth – If you like big, epic books like I do then this is the perfect book to get lost in. The Pillars of the Earth (affiliate link) follows the building of a new cathedral in medieval England. While it’s not my favorite time period for historical fiction, Ken Follett is an amazing author and really brings the characters to life.

Here’s the description from Goodreads:

Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.

Light, fun reads

No Judgments – I’m a huge fan of Meg Cabot’s adult books. I’ve read quite a few of them, and when I needed an easy read a few weeks ago No Judgments (affiliate link) fit the bill.

When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake.

But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can . . . but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker.

But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too.

Beautiful Day – I bought this book a few months ago because I had heard so many good things about Elin Hilderbrand on Instagram. I’m so glad I took a chance on a new to me author because I ended up really liking it. I’d describe it as a beach read – it was easy to read and it didn’t take me too long to finish it. Since finishing Beautiful Day (affiliate link) I’ve put a few more of her books on hold at the library. I can’t wait to start reading them.

Here’s what Goodreads has to say about it:

The Carmichaels and Grahams have gathered on Nantucket for a wedding. Plans are being made according to the wishes of the bride s late mother, who left behind the notebook: specific instructions for every detail of her youngest daughter s future nuptials. Everything should be falling into place for the beautiful event but in reality, things are far from perfect. While the couple-to-be are quite happy, their loved ones find their own lives crumbling. In the days leading up to the wedding, love will be questioned, scandals will arise, and hearts will be broken and healed. Elin Hilderbrand takes readers on a touching journey in “Beautiful Day” into the heart of marriage, what it means to be faithful, and how we choose to honor our commitments.

Good in Bed – Jennifer Weiner is an author that I keep coming back to again and again. I really enjoy her books and I was wasn’t disappointed with Good in Bed (affiliate link).

Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She’s even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body.

But the day she opens up a national women’s magazine and sees the words “Loving a Larger Woman” above her ex-boyfriend’s byline, Cannie is plunged into misery…and the most amazing year of her life. From Philadelphia to Hollywood and back home again, she charts a new course for herself: mourning her losses, facing her past, and figuring out who she is and who she can become.

Thrillers

The Silent Patient – This is the last book I finished and I have to admit that I really enjoyed it. I didn’t see the ending coming at all so it was a fun and exciting read right to the very end. The Silent Patient (affiliate link) is perfect if you’re looking for a book to be drawn in right from the beginning.

Here’s the description:

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…

The Banker’s Wife – I really enjoyed this book, partly because it’s so different from books that I would typically read. It was recommended to me and that’s why I read it – not because I thought the description of it sounded interesting. I’m so glad that I gave The Banker’s Wife (affiliate link) a chance though because I ended up really enjoying it.

Below is the synopsis from Goodreads:

On an early morning in November, a couple boards a private plane bound for Geneva, flying into a storm. Soon after, it simply drops off the radar, and its wreckage is later uncovered in the Alps. Among the disappeared is Matthew Werner, a banking insider at Swiss United, a powerful offshore bank. His young widow, Annabel, is left grappling with the secrets he left behind, including an encrypted laptop and a shady client list. As she begins a desperate search for answers, she determines that Matthew’s death was no accident, and that she is now in the crosshairs of his powerful enemies.

Meanwhile, ambitious society journalist Marina Tourneau has finally landed at the top. Now that she’s engaged to Grant Ellis, she will stop writing about powerful families and finally be a part of one. Her entry into the upper echelons of New York’s social scene is more appealing than any article could ever be, but, after the death of her mentor, she agrees to dig into one more story. While looking into Swiss United, Marina uncovers information that implicates some of the most powerful men in the financial world, including a few who are too close to home. The story could also be the answer to Annabel’s heartbreaking search–if Marina chooses to publish it.

The Mother-In-Law – This was one of the last books I read of 2019. I ended it on a high note because I really liked reading this one. I wasn’t able to figure out the ending of this one. I had a few theories but none of them were right! The Mother-In-Law (affiliate link) was the first book by Sally Hepworth that I read, though I have put another books by her on hold at the library because I liked this one so much.

Below is the description of The Mother-In-Law:

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana was exquisitely polite, and properly friendly, but Lucy knew that she was not what Diana envisioned. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice who helped female refugees assimilate to their new country. Diana was happily married to Tom, and lived in wedded bliss for decades. Lucy wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana has been found dead, a suicide note near her body. Diana claims that she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer.

But the autopsy finds no cancer.
The autopsy does find traces of poison and suffocation.
Who could possibly want Diana dead?
Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her adult children and their spouses?

Are you reading now that social distancing is being encouraged? What have you read lately that you really liked? Tell me about it in the comments below.

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Lower Body Workout

To be honest I had this post scheduled, so I thought I’d pop in quickly and share some tips on how to make it an at home friendly workout. Gyms are pretty much closed here across the city as Calgary has declared at state of emergency with everything that’s going on.

Workouts are a great way for me to deal with stress and anxiety. I’m sure lots of people are dealing with both right now with all the uncertainty of what’s going to happen in the coming weeks and months ahead. If it’s helpful try out the workout I’m sharing below. On the other hand if you’re just not feeling workouts right now, that’s okay too. There’s no “right” way of dealing with what’s going on right now.

Today’s lower body workout can be done at home or at a gym. If you’re working out at home you’ll need dumbbells – I like these ones (affiliate link) from Amazon, a bench or something sturdy like a chair for the bench hops and step ups, and a yoga mat (affiliate link) is nice to have for the donkey kicks.

Edit: swap out the barbells for dumbbells to do this workout at home. Don’t have dumbbells? Find something else around the house that’s heavier – cans of food, jugs filled with water – you get the idea.

If you’re looking for a different kind of workout that make sure that you check out all of the workouts that I’ve shared on the blog. You can find them all here. They’re all categorized by kind of workout (cardio, circuit, etc.) so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.

Now for the details of this workout. Starting with the barbell squats, you’ll do 12 reps and 3 sets, resting for 2 minutes between sets and then move onto the next exercise on the list. While 2 minutes might seem like a long time to wait between sets, it’s really important that you wait the full 2 minutes before moving on to the next set/exercise.

For weight of the dumbbells/barbells, pick something that will challenge you yet allow you to complete each rep with correct form. If your form starts to suffer at the end of the set you know that you’ll need to use a lighter weight. It’s not worth it to risk injury with incorrect form – go down in weight.

Barbell squat

With feet hip width apart and a barbell across your shoulders, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees and ankles. Once you’ve reached the lowest position you can without leaning forward too much or letting the knees collapse in, return to a standing position, using your glutes to propel yourself.

Barbell deadlift

With feet hip width apart and a barbell across your shoulders, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees and ankles. Once you’ve reached the lowest position you can without leaning forward too much or letting the knees collapse in, return to a standing position, using your glutes to propel yourself.

Dumbbell lunge

Stand with feet hip width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Step forward with one foot so that the forward leg’s thigh is parallel to the ground, and the back leg’s shin is parallel to the ground. The back knee shouldn’t touch the floor. Use your quads and glutes to step the front foot back towards your back foot and end by standing straight up with feet hip width apart again. For the second lunge step forward with the other foot. Continue alternating legs for the entire 60 seconds.

Bench hops

With your hands on top of a bench, stand on one side of it. Hop your feet to the other side while keeping your hands on the bench for support. Repeat by hopping to the other side of the bench and returning to the original position.

Donkey kicks

Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keeping your knee bent, lift your left leg so that your knee is parallel to the floor and the bottom of your foot is parallel to the ceiling. Lower you leg back down and repeat with the right leg.

Step ups

Find something that when you put your foot on it, your knee is at a 90 degree angle. This could be a chair or bench. Step up with your left foot, and pushing off that heel step your right foot off the floor and onto the bench. Immediately step back down with your left foot, followed by your right foot.

What’s your favorite way to deal with stress and anxiety? Share it in the comments below.

As always, talk to your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you.

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