Friday Favorites November 9 2018

Woohoo – it's Friday! Is anyone else glad that the week is just about over and the weekend is here? It's going to be an exciting weekend around here.

My boyfriend is picking up his bulldog puppy today and I'm meeting him tomorrow. I've seen a few photos of him and he's so cute! I can't wait to meet him in person. I haven't had a dog since 2012, so it'll be nice to be able to visit the puppy.

And now onto some of my favorite things from the last week!

American Vandal Season 2

I'm about half way through the second season and I'm liking it just as much as the first season. It's the perfect show to watch when you want something funny and silly. I'm usually a drama person, so it's nice to switch it up once in awhile. The episodes are only 30 minutes long. I have a hard time sitting still for longer than that, so it's perfect for me. 

Sour cream glazed donut

I was really craving a donut earlier in the week, so I finally ended up getting one a few days ago. These sour cream glazed ones from Tim Horton's are my absolute favorite. There's just something about them that's so good! Someone was telling me that sour cream glazed donuts and apple fritters are some of the most popular donuts. I have to agree! 

How Yoga Works Book

How Yoga Works book

I read How Yoga Works a couple summers ago when a friend lent it to me. I asked my friend if I could borrow it again now that I'm in the middle of yoga teacher training. Up until yoga teacher training I'd really only knew about the asana part of yoga. My only information about the philosophy of yoga came from this book. I'm excited to read it again now that I know a bit more. 

What's a favorite from yours from the last week? Does anyone have a bulldog?

November 2018 Workout Playlist

Today I'm sharing a new workout playlist that includes Major Lazer, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Alessia Cara.

Good morning! Before I get into the topic of today's post, I wanted to share yesterday's workout. 

I decided to do an at home yoga practice. My hamstrings were feeling particularly tight (probably from sitting at my desk so much the day before), so I thought yoga would be a good idea. I started with a few sun salutation A's and then focused on my legs for the rest of the practice by doing pigeons, downward dogs, and forward folds.

It always feels a bit strange to practice on my own at home because most of the time when I do yoga I'm in a class. While it's definitely more work figuring out which post to do next, it's also nice to be able to focus on the body parts that I want to. 

My hamstrings felt so much better by the time I was done. It's always surprising to me how much a little yoga can make me feel so much better when I'm tight. 

And now onto the workout playlist…..

I made this month's workout playlist using newer music that I'm hearing on the radio right now – everything from Maroon 5 to Beyonce to David Guetta. I usually only listen to pop/top 40 when I'm in the car listening to the radio, so it's kind of fun to listen to that at the gym too. 

I usually like to have a few different workout playlists to pick from when I get to the gym. With Spotify Premium I'm able to download as many playlists as I want and listen to them at the gym without having to use my data. 

This playlist is 45 minutes long which will get me through my typical cardio workouts. I'm usually on the treadmill for 30 minutes and my warm up and cool down usually take another 10 to 15 minutes combined.  Be sure to follow me on Spotify if you want to get all of my workout playlists there – just search for getfitfiona. 

What's your solution to tight muscles? Favorite songs to listen to at the gym?

Upper Body Workout

Today I'm sharing an upper body workout – perfect to do at the gym or at home with a few pieces of equipment. 

It definitely feels like winter over here in Calgary. We've gotten snow the last two days. There's not much on the ground, which I'm very thankful for – it could be a lot worse. I have to admit that the snow does look pretty though. 

And now onto the workout! 

I put together an upper body workout that can be done at the gym or at home, as long as you have a set or two of dumbbells. If you're in the market for some dumbbells to start an at home gym, I like these ones (affiliate link) from Amazon. 

You'll do 12 reps of each exercise before moving onto the next one. Once you've completed the tricep kickbacks, rest as much as you need before starting again from the top. Remember that using correct form is more important than powering through as fast as you can. It's better to rest when you need it rather than have bad form and risk an injury. Complete the circuit 3 to 4 times through for a complete workout. 

Here are descriptions of all the exercises in case you're unfamiliar with any of them. They all should be pretty straight forward though. 

Pushups

Starting on your toes and hands, make sure your body is a straight line from your heels to your knees, hips, shoulders, and neck. Your hands should be a bit wider than your shoulders. Slowly bend at the elbows, lowering yourself to the ground. Try to get at low as possible, and then push yourself back up, all the while maintaining that straight line. An easier modification is instead of being on your toes, lower to your knees.

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.

Bent over rows

With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing each other) bend forward slightly at the hips so that your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, letting your arms hang straight down and keeping your back in a neutral position. Bring both dumbbells up towards your armpits while contracting your shoulder blades towards each other (kind of like pinching your shoulder blades together). Move dumbbells back towards starting position.

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.

Dumbbell chest press

With a dumbbell in each hand, lay down on a bench or the floor. Your upper arm should be at a 90 degree angle to your torso and your hands directly over your elbows. Move the dumbbells up while they come above your chest. With control move them back down to the starting position.

Lateral raise

With your arms down at your sides with a dumbbell in each hand, slowly raise your hands away from your body to the side, keeping your arm straight at the elbow. Once your hands reach shoulder level, slowly lower them back down to your sides.

Tricep kickbacks

With a dumbbell in each hand, flex at the ankles, knees, and hips so that your torso is leaning forward slightly. Bring your arms close to your body with your elbows back slightly. 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.

Let me know what you think if you try it out! What's your favorite upper body exercise?

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

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Weekend in Review November 5 2018

I hope you all had a fun weekend – mine was pretty fun. It had a good mix of relaxing and going out.

Friday

I ended up spending the night at home. I wasn't feeling great because I was dealing with a headache. I took some pain medication but it didn't even make a dent in it. Thankfully I was feeling better on Saturday morning when I woke up, but I felt terrible on Friday night. 

I decided to go with breakfast for dinner so I made an egg and cheese sandwich on a bagel. I had some cantaloupe on the side (unpictured). 

I finished reading Educated (affiliate link) by Tara Westover. I found the first half of the book a bit slow, but it really picked up once I reached the half way point. I love reading books about people who experience or live lives completely different from mine, so it was interested to read about Tara's life that started in the middle of nowhere Idaho in a survivalist family never having gone to school to completing her PhD. 

Saturday

My boyfriend and I had plans to get some errands done on Saturday. He's getting a bulldog puppy (he gets him next weekend), so he wanted to get some of the last few things for him. 

We started off at Doggywood to get some dog food and find a bow tie. We found a really cute red plaid bow tie that I think is going to look really good on the puppy. He's going to be a very good looking puppy. If you're in Calgary and looking for a fun pet store, make sure to check out Doggywood. They had so many unique things. 

After a stop at another pet store we started to get hungry so we decided lunch was next on the list. We ended up at Fat Burger. The burger I got had guacamole and bacon on it. Needless to say, it was delicious. 

We finished off the rest of our errands and went back to my boyfriend's place. We watched some Netflix before getting started making dinner. We made Shake and Bake chicken legs. We used the ranch flavor which I'd never had before. It was delicious! Try it if you haven't yet, you'll be impressed. 

My boyfriend found this dipping sauce at the grocery store that we had with our chicken. It was really tasty and went well with the ranch Shake and Bake. I'm not a big fan of spicy foods, but this sauce had just the right level of spice. 

Sweet Relief has cupcake happy hour (they go on sale for $2) an hour before the bakery closes, so before dinner we walked over to get cupcakes for dessert. I went with chocolate and my boyfriend got salted caramel. 

After dinner we watched Jason Bourne.  I had seen the first one, but I still understood the plot of this one even though I had missed a couple movies in the middle. It was a fun action movie to watch that didn't require too much thinking. 

Sunday

I started off my day by thoroughly enjoying the extra hour of sleep. Thank you daylight savings time! Once I got moving I headed to the grocery store to get a few things followed by stopping to get coffee for my parents. 

I spent the rest of the day around the house getting some stuff done including some organizing and laundry. 

Sunday night my brother and I got together with some friends of the family. I hadn't seen them in forever – one has been travelling the last few years and we've all been working. I think the last time I'd seen them was at their sister's wedding a few years ago. It was so good to catch up with each other. We have so many good memories together. We decided that we're going to get together again – but not wait years again before it happens. 

What was the highlight of your weekend?

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Friday Favorites November 2 2018

Today I'm sharing some of my favorite things from the past week.

I hope you all had a fun Halloween. I sat outside on the steps of the house giving out glow sticks for Halloween. There were some really good costumes including one boy dressed up as Don Cherry and in colorful suit. (For the non-Canadians reading, Don Cherry has a segment on Hockey Night in Canada which is aired each weekend here in Canada. He's known for his crazy looking suits and opinions on hockey.) 

I don't really have much planned for the weekend other than a potential yoga class on Saturday, dinner with friends of the family that I haven't seen in years, and spending some time with my boyfriend. 

Friday Favorites

Fall weather

The last week of September and the first week of October we got a ton of snow and a blast of winter weather here in Calgary. Thankfully the wintery weather didn't stay and it's been gorgeous outdoors for the last few weeks. It feels like fall instead of winter which I'm grateful for. Sometimes it feels like fall can be skipped and we go straight from summer to winter in Calgary. The mornings are definitely crisp, but there's no snow on the ground.

Halloween

I'm a huge fan of cheesy horror movies – my favorites are the ones from the 70's and 80's. With Halloween this past week I've been taking advantage of all the horror movies over the last few weeks. I've watched a few of the Friday the 13th movies on Netflix along with a couple of the Scream movies. 

Bear Brook podcast

I discovered this podcast last week and I just got caught up on all the episodes. It's a true crime podcast about the case of 4 bodies discovered in barrels just outside of a state park in New Hampshire. The identity of the bodies still hasn't been determined, even though the bodies were discovered in 1985 and 2000. If you're looking for a new podcast to listen to and like true crime and mysteries, give this one a try. 

What did you do for Halloween? Have any fun plans for the weekend?