Summer Workout Playlist

Yesterday was a super productive day for me. I worked at the yoga studio in the morning and then got a ton of blogging and business stuff done the rest of the day. I don’t know what it was, but I was just crossing stuff off of my to do list like nobody’s business. It was pretty awesome. It feels really good to actually be ahead for once!

Today I’m sharing a summer workout playlist. I always find that a new playlist helps get me more motivated for my workouts, so I love sharing these. It can be tough to get those summer workouts in when it’s so sunny outside and routines go to the wayside, but I’m much more likely to get a workout in when I’m looking forward to listening to a new workout playlist.

This workout playlist is pretty eclectic – it includes older songs like Surfin’ USA by The Beach Boys and Twist and Shout by the Beatles along with newer ones like Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars and Crazy in Love by Beyonce. There’s just over an hour’s worth of music on this playlist, so you should be good for most workouts. I know that I don’t like spending more than an hour at the gym.

Blurred Lines was one of those songs that blew up a few summers ago. I remember hearing it absolutely everywhere. If I’m completely honest I was kind of sick of it, but I’m happy to say that I can listen to it again and not be annoyed by it. And who can forget the video for that song?

California Gurls by Katy Perry was one of the first songs I thought of including in this playlist when I decided to make a summer themed playlist. It’s such a fun song that almost always makes me sing along (at least when I’m on my own and not in public).

Only one song from the 80’s made it onto the playlist this time, which is a bit surprising because I’m all about the 80’s music. Music from the 90’s is a close second in favorites for me, and none of those songs made it for some reason.

I knew that I wanted to add some older, classic songs to the playlist, which is why The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Chubby Checker, and Bruce Springsteen are included. There’s so many of those older songs that I don’t listen to nearly enough.

If you use Spotify like I do, click here to go to the playlist on there. I love having a bunch of playlists downloaded on my phone so that when I get to the gym I have some choice about what I’ll listen to while I’m working out. Plus it doesn’t use my data. The wifi is pretty spotty at my gym so I love that I can download music with my Spotify subscription.

As always, you can find all of my workout playlists here. You can find one that’s more your taste over there if this one isn’t your thing.

What’s one song you have on a workout playlist right now? Share it in the comments below. I love hearing what other people are listening to. Have any requests for workout playlists?

Weekend Highlights: Reading + Stranger Things

Warning: there is some talk of season 3 of Stranger Things at the end of the post but I’m not giving away any spoilers.

Another weekend is over and Monday has arrived. I hope you all had a great weekend – mine was pretty good. I didn’t do much but it was exactly the low key weekend that I needed.

I ended up getting into bed early on Friday night and reading Best Friends Forever (affiliate link) by Jennifer Weiner. I’ve read a few of her books so far and I’ve liked all of them, and Best Friends Forever is heading the same way.

If you’re going to be spending any time at the beach or poolside reading this summer, be sure to check out Jennifer Weiner’s books. They’re really easy to read and perfect for some light reading while on vacation.

Saturday night for dinner a tried a new to me veggie curry pie. There’s a really good food store/cafe in Canmore, Valbella, and the last time my dad stopped in he thought I’d like the veggie curry pie. It’s been in the freezer since then and I decided to heat it up for dinner because I was feeling lazy and couldn’t be bothered to put in much more effort.

I’m happy to share that it was delicious. Along with all the veggies (carrots, peas, cauliflower), there was also potato and curry spice in it as well. It wasn’t too spicy which was perfect for me. And the pastry was so rich and perfectly flaky. I would definitely eat it again. Considering how much effort I had to put into it, it exceeded my expectation.

When I woke up on Sunday morning my back wasn’t feeling 100%. It felt tight across my shoulder blades. I knew I was going to be careful to keep it from getting worse. I thought that maybe a bit of gentle movement might help. If I stay away from all activity it tends to make my back feel worse, so I headed out to the gym.

I spent 20 minutes on the elliptical, and while my back didn’t feel any worse, it also didn’t feel any better. Boo. I spent some time when I got home icing my back and that helped to relieve some of the tightness. It’s definitely not fun to be so cold, but I felt a bit better afterwards.

I had outdoor yoga on the schedule for yesterday afternoon, but I decided to just skip it. It wasn’t worth the potential for making my back worse. So instead I took it really easy for the rest of the day.

Has anyone else been watching the new season of Stranger Things? I came out on July 4th and I’ve watched the first four episodes so far. It’s so good! I won’t give away any spoilers, but I’m really glad that we get to know a few more characters better that were just background characters in the first two seasons. The music and fashion this season has also been great so far.

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Weekly Workouts + Meals: Yoga and Stampede Food

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve last written one of these posts, so I figured that I should do one this week. I love hearing about other people’s workouts and meals, so I figure others like to read these kinds of posts too.

Sunday

On Sunday I helped out with yoga in Baker Park. We’re there every Sunday afternoon throughout the summer, weather permitting, so if you live in NW and want to do some yoga, be sure to join us tomorrow.

The yoga practice on Sunday started off with some sun salutations and then we moved into a flow practice. It was just what I needed on Sunday.

Monday

Since I was at the yoga studio working early on Monday, I skipped my cardio workout at the gym and opted for an evening yoga class instead. It was one of my favorite yin classes and as usual I felt amazing when I left. It’s a good thing that it’s an evening class because I can wind down for bed when I get home. I always sleep so well after these Monday night yin classes.

Tuesday

I took a restorative yoga nidra combo class on Tuesday night. It’s one of my favorite yoga nidra classes. The teacher is so great at setting a relaxing energy from the minute that class starts.

We use a ton of props in class – I used a bolster, two cork blocks, a thin block, and two blankets. There’s something about taking the time for myself to relax that always feels so good.

Wednesday

I spent 30 minutes at the gym doing a steady state workout. Most of my workout was on the elliptical doing steady state cardio.

I ended up doing a few minutes earlier than I was planning because I got distracted by my phone. It hardly ever happens that I do more cardio than I was planning to. I cooled down on the track for for 5 more minutes.

Thursday

I did another workout on the elliptical on Thursday morning. I spent 30 minutes doing steady state cardio and then spent 10 minutes walking the track for my cool down.

Friday

I took another rest day on Friday.

Saturday

The plan for today is to head to the gym for another cardio workout. I’ll most likely do it on the elliptical if one is available. Otherwise I’ll walk on the treadmill.

Meals

Most of my breakfasts this week have been protein smoothies. I combine water, frozen berries, plain yogurt, and protein powder in the blender. My go to brand of protein powder is this one (affiliate link).

I didn’t take many photos of my meals this week, and most of the ones that I did take were when I was eating out. It looks like I eat out a lot from this post, but I honestly don’t as much as it looks like I do.

I had lunch with my dad and brother at our favorite neighborhood pub where I ordered a lettuce wrapped hambuger and side salad. I promis that there is a burger under all of that lettuce! It was really good – in large part to the cheese and bacon on it. It’s hard to go wrong with either of those two things!

For date night my boyfriend and I walked over to Leopold’s for dinner. It was my first time eating there and I was pleasantly surprised. I went with the smoked meat sandwich on rye bread and a side salad.

On Thursday night I went to Sneak a Peek at the Calgary Stampede. There were a ton of midway concessions as well as barbecue booths to pick from. I decided to go with a pulled pork sandwich from Big T’s Barbecue. I’ve eaten at Big T’s before, but I don’t think I have at the stampede. The sandwich was delicious – much better than it actually looks in that photo!

What was your favorite workout that you did this week? Favorite meal you ate?

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Friday Favorites: Summer Flowers + Calgary Stampede

It’s Friday again! Today is the start of the Calgary Stampede, so it’s going to be a big 10 days here in Calgary. My boyfriend and I went last night for Sneak a Peek to check it out before it officially opens today. The Stampede parade was this morning in downtown and the city essentially shuts down for it. Last year on the morning of the parade the gym was the most empty that I’ve ever seen it.

Planoly

I’m currently trying out Planoly to schedule or and organize my Instagram posts and stories. You can try it out for 30 posts each month for free, and that’s what I’m taking advantage of right now. It’s only $9 USD/month after those 30 free posts, so if I continue to like it (I’m really liking it right now) I’m going to sign up.

I’ve been using it mostly on my desktop to schedule posts, but I can also use the Planoly app on my Android phone to post and schedule as well. If you’re a blogger or content creator as well and you’re looking for a way to schedule and organize Instagram, check out Planoly.

Summer flowers

Summer feels like it’s in full swing now that we’ve have some nice weather and the flowers are out in full bloom right now. Between the backyard garden and a few of the parks downtown, it’s absolutely beautiful in Calgary right now.

Because we have such a long and cold winter here in Calgary, I appreciate the summer months and all the nice weather and flowers that come with it even more. It’s such a stark contrast to the cold and snow.

The Calgary Stampede

Like I mentioned above, the Stampede starts officially today, though I went last night to check it out. It happens every year and it doesn’t really change much year to year, but it’s always fun to head down to the grounds and check it out.

They always release a big list of unique midway food, and this year it includes buffalo cheese curds, Philly grilled cheese, deep fried cream puffs, a pickle pizza, and popcorn chicken poutine. Or course there will also be mini donuts – who doesn’t love those?

Check out some of the names of the mac and cheese options at this food truck – Snoop Dogg, Kevin Bacon, and Jurassic Pork. Half the fun is walking around to see the different things that are available to eat.

Different organizations put on free pancake breakfasts during Stampede and you can get one all 10 days of the stampede if you want – they’re put on all over the city. One year there was even a website that you could track them all and find the ones closest to you.

What was a favorite of yours this week? Share it in the comments below.

My Favorite Personal Development Books

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite personal development books. I’m not at all woo woo, so I like the ones that are very straight forward and action based – so that’s what you’ll find here.

Over the last year or so I’ve been reading more personal development books. They can be hit or miss for me, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite ones with you today. I like personal development books that help me create goals or give tips for being more productive. Like most people I wish I had a few extra hours in the day.

Big Magic

When I first got this book I was thinking that it might be too woo woo for me, but I ended up really like it. It was the first book by Elizabeth Gilbert that I’ve read – I think I might be one of the last people who hasn’t read Eat, Pray, Love.

If you do anything creative, this book is for you. Blogging is my creative outlet, and even though I don’t do it for my day job, I’m very grateful that I can so something creative that I enjoy outside of work. Whether or not creative work is something that you do for your day job or just for fun, I think you’ll get something out of this book.

Creative pursuits can sometimes be lonely – I know it can be with blogging because I don’t know many bloggers in real life. Reading about someone else’s creative journey made me feel like I wasn’t as alone. It can be a bumpy road sometimes when the creative juices aren’t flowing. Hearing someone else’s struggles helped me feel less alone in those less creative times.

The 7 Habits of Highlight Effective People

This is such a classic book that’s been around since the 70’s. You know it’s a good personal development book when it’s been around for decades. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (affiliate link) is a book that will help you figure out your values and priorities, which will in turn make sure that your goals will be what you really want. It’s so easy to create a list of goals at the beginning of the year just because you think they should be goals. The 7 Habits helps you determine what’s most important to you so you can then create goals that support those values.

Stephen Covey gives all sorts of real life examples from people that he had worked with. Sometimes a principle or idea didn’t make sense to me until he talked about it in relation to someone that he worked with.

This is one of those books that you’ll want to read with a pen or highlighter handy. There are so many good points that I want to make sure I mark to be able to comeback to later on without having to reread the entire book. There’s so many good nuggets in there!

The Desire Map

I just recently finished reading The Desire Map (affiliate link) by Danielle LaPorte. It’s a bit different from your typical personal development books. Danielle advocates for making goals and doing things that make you feel a certain way. She walks you through figuring out your Core Desired Feelings. These guide you in then creating your goals.

I have to admit that it took awhile for me to get into The Desire Map. I’ve a very type A person, so it sounded a bit woo woo, but I’m so glad that I stuck with it. It’s so easy to get caught up in the whole goal getting mindset and you end up completely missing the point of the goal.

The Desire Map is all about checking in with yourself and checking to see if your goals are still matching up with your core desired feelings. Danielle is a big advocate of letting go of things that aren’t working for you any longer. It was such a good reminder for me because I don’t like to leave things unfinished. However, sometimes it’s not worth putting the time and energy into something that’s no longer serving you.

The One Thing

This is my favorite self development book that I’ve read so far. The basic premise of The One Thing (affiliate link) is that you create your daily to do list based on your long term goals. It’s such a simple idea that’s made a huge difference for me.

You essentially break down those big, long term goals into smaller, bite sized tasks. You then schedule them into your week. They suggest devoting 4 hours to your goals each work day. It’s easy to let those little tasks take over your day and in the end they don’t really move us any closer to goals, but we do them because they’re easy and familiar. The authors of The One Thing put an emphasis on making sure you’re doing the things that will actually help you achieve your goals.

The Slight Edge

I really liked the Slight Edge because it was all about making little tweaks that add up long term big changes. Something as little as committing to getting in 10,000 steps on a daily basis can help you be more active. Committing to reading for 30 minutes each day can lead you to reading more books than you did last year.

The Slight Edge (affiliate link) made a great case for the fact that you don’t have to make these big, huge changes in your life to get results. Little changes over a longer time period can add up to bigger things. I really like that approach because it makes achieving goals a lot less intimidating.

You Are a Badass

I had seen You Are a Badass all over social media for a year or two before I finally borrowed it from the library. Everyone seemed to have good things to say about it, so I was looking forward to reading it.

I’m happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed. The chapters were nice and short so it felt like I was flying through it. It was easy to read and there were a lot of great nuggets of wisdom throughout it.

Not all books that have been hyped up on social media have been great, but this one definitely was. A lot of the stories that Jen Sincero shares are funny and I can see how they’d apply to my life. It’s definitely one of those personal development books that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

What’s a favorite personal development books of yours that you’ve read lately? I’d love to add some more to my to be read list, so share them in the comments below.

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