Friday, January 31, 2014

One of those Days | free printable


Workout - Rest (still super sore from yesterdays strength training)

Have you ever just had one of those days were you felt like things just weren't working out quite the way you'd like them to? Well that would pretty much sum up the way I felt today. No no this isn't a pity party kind of post quite the opposite really. Now that the day is over I have had an epiphany! Sure the baby may have spent a good part of the day grumpy and not napping well (translation teething bites > translation tired momma), and the little princess may have know which buttons to push today, and I may not have gotten a run in like I was hopping but sometimes you just have those kind's of day. Yes I did a lot of snacking today (my Weight Watchers Online weigh in is tomorrow morning and I'm kinda nervous), I hate days where I feel like all I did was snack. Yes I didn't drink as much water as I should have. But I did help a friend get some errands done by volunteering to watch her toddler so she just had the baby with her. Seriously people errands are a breeze with just one kiddo in tow. And I did make a healthy dinner instead of caving in to my woke-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-bed attitude and had the hubby bring home something. And I did get down on the floor and play with my kiddos instead of plopping them down in front of a movie the entire day (only parts of it - heehee).

So while there are a lot of things I didn't do today. There a few important things that I did do today. And you know what that's ok. Sometimes you just have those days. And when it's just one of those days I am going to try really hard to remember the following motto Pray More - worry less. I even made a printable for my picture wall (see below) to help me remember this motto. I'm not alone in this, there's a loving Father in Heaven just waiting to help ease my burdens however trivial they may seem.
Free 4x6 Download HERE

This post is linked up with Be.You.Tiful

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Reaching Running Milestones | Toddler Hair Styles

Workout - 3 miles outside (jog/walk) with Cailtlin

And the amazing runs outside with good friends just keep on coming this week. It's been awesome! Have I mentioned how much I love to run with Cailtlin? No ... well I do she has been running way longer than I have so she really challenges me to push myself each time we go out. But she is totally not pushy about it and doesn't make me feel bad for "slowing her down." I think it's great to have friends to run with that push you and I also think it's important to be that person for someone else. 

So I feel I need to congratulate myself here on the blog I can run a full 1/4 mile pretty easily now which is a great accomplishment for me. Some people may turn up their noses at that short distance but I feel it's an accomplishment since just last week I found myself struggling to get through 90 seconds of continuos running.  So how have I done it? I think my ability to reach the running milestones I am setting for myself can be narrowed down to the following four (4) steps.

Reaching Running Milestones
1) get in 3-4 runs a week (I think trick is to just get out there and put your feet to the pavement or treadmill or whatever)
2) run/ jog intervals (ex: 60 seconds jogging, 90 seconds walk, 60 seconds jog, 90 second walk, etc.) and increase your interval lengths as 60 seconds becomes easier and easier
3) run with people who will cheer you on, celebrate your success and challenge you to do better each time
and most importantly
4) listen to your body!

And of course when you are running with a toddler make sure to reward them for being a total champ and being so patient while you get in a good run.
Running free
"Mommy it's just my size"
Keeping hydrated

My little princess loves her long hair and she loves having pretty hair as she says. Of course she doesn't always want to sit still for me to do her hair but when she can we end up with fun hairstyles like these:
Princess hair

Jasmine Ponytail

What are your running milestones? My next milestone is to be able to run 1/2 mile without stopping! I can do it I'm getting close then it's on to tackle a whole mile.

Linke up with be.YOU.tiful

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Running with friends | Sometimes you forget the mess

Workout- 3 miles outside (walk/jog) with my friend Meredith 

So this week I am totally loving running outsides with friends! When you run with friends the time just seems to pass so much faster and it's the perfect time to catch up on each other's lives. Plus when I find that I run faster and push myself harder when I'm running with someone else. Today on our run Meredith and I took turns picking landmarks that we would run to before we started the next walking interval which was really fun because it mixed things up a little. I love interval runs they really challenge me whether it is picking the interval lengths myself by just listening to my body, switching off with a friend picking the interval lengths or running listening to a training app on my phone. 

So today was a really great day with my kiddos and my house is a mess to prove it. But you know what I'm ok with it! Sometimes you just need to forget about the mess and get down on the floor and play with your kiddos. They are only this size for so long and my little princess isn't going to always think that the world revolves around me. So today my mottos was just forget the mess and let them be little. 

See here's the proof that we forgot about the mess and let toys form piles on the bedroom floor and books pile high on the changing table. But you know what it was a great day and there's always time to put my house back together later but this time when my children are little is happening now and I don't want to miss it.  I love the following quote and I'm trying to apply it more to my life:
(I found the above image on pinterest)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Longest Run Yet | Staying Hydrated | Off the beaten path

Workout - 3.89 miles outside (walk/jog) with my friend Jessica

Today felt great! It was my longest distance yet. And while I'm not able to run the whole distance yet today if it wasn't uphill we were jogging which for me is a huge improvement, and let me tell ya the hills we walked were insane! The second to last hill was 3/4 of a mile at what has to be a 45% incline! Pushing a double jogger that's a whole body workout right there people. But man did we feel accomplished when we were done. 

I just love this area we live in! It's so fun to explore with friends on these crazy runs and find new off the beaten path spots that are filled with beauty and treasures. Plus I love running outside so I'm grateful to be currently living in a location that allows me to do that pretty much year round. While the pretty scenery is great to look at and way more interesting than running a track it's also great for running with your kiddos. One thing I have learned about running with a toddler is that sometimes (most times) there has to be something in it for them. On a longer run that often means stopping half way through to let your little munchkin out of the stroller to stretch their legs and get out some of the wiggles. Which is exactly what I let the little princess do on today's long run. 

We found this cool bridge on our run

Have I mentioned how much I love this stroller?
Getting our the wiggles | running with toddlers

Have I mentioned how incredibly important it is to stay hydrated while running? No ... ok ... people you have to have to have take water with you on your runs! Especially if you are new to running! I have found this to be especially true for me. If I don't drink enough water prior to, during and right after a run I pay for it ALL day. I'm talking a major headache here. You know the kind that doesn't go away no matter how much Advil you throw at it. So drink your water while you run ... you'll thank me later. I usually try to drink 20oz or so during my run, of course this varies based on the distance of the run sometimes it's more sometimes it's less. Then after my run I make sure I drain a whole bottle of water (pictured below).
1/2 way done 1/2 full water bottle

Weekend recap | weekly goals

Workout - rest day

We had an adventurous day on Saturday with a little visit up to see my sister and her new apartment. I was fun to see her it's been 3 weeks which seems like so long because she used to live right around the corner. While we were hanging out with her we went shoe shopping at this little hole in the wall shoe store she knows of and I was able to score 4 super cute pairs of shoes for about $60.00 (remember my post here about losing all my favorite shoes because my feet grew when I was pregnant with the little prince). Can you say awesome?! You'll see them all posted up here soon I promise!

And wouldn't you know that this amazing little shop is right around the corner from Diddy Reise Cookies. Can you say yum yum? So naturally we had to stop by and grab a couple dozen (don't worry we didn't eat them all - let's just say the family my husband home teaches was really lucky this month). Of course everyone loves these cookies so stopping by means waiting in line for 20-30 minutes to order our cookies. According to the little princess it was totally worth it, she finished her cookie before we even got back to the car.
Source: google images

Workout: Rest Day

Sunday was Church and a day spent at home just relaxing and hanging out together as a family at home. We had my parents over for dinner which is always fun and the little princess spent most of the night coloring her Princess Sofia coloring book.

1. three (3) training runs - interval runs - check!
2. drink eight (8) glasses of water a day - fail I really need to work on staying more hydrated
3. two (2) strength training workouts - check!

1. fill water bottles in the morning to drink more water a day
2. three (3) training runs
3. go to bed at or before 11pm each night

What did you do over the weekend?

How did you do with your weekly goals?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Finish strong Friday

Workout - 30 min run pushing both kiddos in jogger with a good running buddy! (3 miles)

I like to finish the weeks runs on a strong note so what better way to do that than running with a friend who has run marathons! Yep I'm totally a novice compared to Caitlin but lucky for me she just had a baby too so she doesn't mind slowing down her pace for me! I love to run with Caitlin we chat, enjoy getting, pushing our babes in front of us (guys running with a jogger stroller adds a whole new level to running) and she really pushes me to do better and encourages me to make it just a little farther each time. So yea I try to get a run in with her at least once a week. 

So the little princess is such a good sport during all my runs and outdoor workouts (it's not easy when your 2 1/2!) that I usually try to reward her with something fun she can do as soon as I'm done at the location of my run. Today that meant that she got to get out of the stroller and play on the circuit workout stations they have set up around the lake we ran today. Which for her translated into walking a tight rope (we really like JoJo's Circus on Netflix at our house right now). 

Once we got home for our adventures of the morning it was time for another one of my favorite post-run snacks 1/2 an avocado drizzled with a really good balsamic vinegar, salt and peppered to taste. Yum Yum!

Do you run with a jogging stroller? 
What's your jogger of choice?
I have a love affair going on with my City Mini Double right now it's so compact and light it can live in the back of my car - which is good because we only have a single car garage.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pushing my limits - tone it up workout

I've been feeling a real need to kick my workouts up a notch or two lately. I really don't want to end up in a running rut they are so hard to break out of. Plus losing the baby weight a little bit faster wouldn't hue either - haha! So I started checking all my go to workout inspiration blogs and hit the jack pot on Sugar Plum Runner where she shares this shredmill Tone It Up workout. Now being a total novice runner I knew I needed to make some adjustments or modifications to make this shredmill workout work for me. First of all I would be running outside pushing both my kiddos in a jogging stroller so I need to work up to the full workout.

Here's the original workout:

  • 3 Minute Brisk Walk
  • 3 Minutes Jog
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’- as fast as you can
  • 60 Second Jog
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’ ~ just as fast as you can run- this speed can vary
~ Chill for 20-30 seconds, breathe, take a couple sips of water (take as much time as you think you need to calm your breathing.)

  • 20 Pushups
  • 3 Minute Brisk Walk
  • 3 Minutes Jog
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’- as fast as you can
  • 60 Second Jog
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’ ~ just as fast as you can run- this speed can vary
~ Chill for 20-30 seconds, breathe, take a couple sips of water (take as much time as you think you need to calm your breathing.)

  • 20 Squat Jumps
  • 3 Minute Brisk Walk
  • 3 Minutes Jog
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’- as fast as you can
  • 60 Second Jog
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’ ~ just as fast as you can run- this speed can vary
~ Chill for 20-30 seconds, breathe, take a couple sips of water (take as much time as you think you need to calm your breathing.)

  • 20 situps
  • 3 Minute Brisk Walk
  • 3 Minutes Jog
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’- as fast as you can
  • 60 Second Jog
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’ ~ just as fast as you can run- this speed can vary
~ Chill for 20-30 seconds, breathe, take a couple sips of water (take as much time as you think you need to calm your breathing.)

  • 30 second plank
  • 5 minute cool down walk

And here's my modified version:

  • 3 Minute Brisk Walk
  • 3 Minutes Jog
  • 60 Second brisk walk
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’ ~ just as fast as you can run- this speed can vary
  • 60 Second brisk walk
~ Chill for 20-30 seconds, breathe, take a couple sips of water (take as much time as you think you need to calm your breathing.)

  • 20 Pushups (I did inclined pushups on a park bench with my little princess trying to do them right along with me = great motivation)
  • 3 Minute Brisk Walk
  • 3 Minutes Jog
  • 60 Second brisk walk
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’ ~ just as fast as you can run- this speed can vary
  • 60 Second brisk walk
~ Chill for 20-30 seconds, breathe, take a couple sips of water (take as much time as you think you need to calm your breathing.)

  • 20 situps

  • 5 minute cool down walk (I wanted to do at least one more set but the little princess had been eyeing the playground for 25 minutes at this point and asking so politely to go play so I decided cut things short and work up to adding the last two sets over the next couple weeks)
The little princess had so much fun running around, climbing, and sliding how could I regret ending my workout a little early! Plus we have to soak up as much of this January summer as we can while it lasts!

After some quality time at the park it was back home for one of my favorite post-run snacks - a slice of cheddar cheese for a punch of protein.

What's your favorite post run snack?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekly Goals and my latest Accessory Obsessions

A new habit I'm hoping to start is to set weekly health and fitness goals for myself or the week

1. three (3) training runs - interval runs
2. drink eight (8) glasses of water a day
3. two (2) strength training workouts

Lately I have been trying to focus more on little things that I can add to my outfits on a daily basis that bring a little pop of personality. Sometimes I get stuck in these jeans and teeshirt, no make-up, or accessories, ponytail ruts. Just because I have no plans to leave the house and be seen in public doesn't mean I can't add a little something, something to my everyday look! So here are a couple of my new favorite ways to add a little pop of personality to what I'm already planning on wearing from what I already have in my closet.

Let me introduce you to my new friend the STATEMENT NECKLACE yes I realize that these babies have been big for a while but I've never had the courage to actually wear them (even though I have been building my stash for a couple years.) I love that I can add complimenting pops of color to any outfit by simply throwing on a nice chunky necklace! Plus major bonus in my book this one's pretty sturdy so it's practically baby proof!
Necklace: H&M (old) | Sweater: Old Navy

 Ok now let me tell you about my love affair with SHOES! I love having a different pair of shoes for every occasion! Unfortunately, my feet decided to grow a half size when I was pregnant with the little prince so most of my shoes got recycled to my sister's closet, as they no longer fit me. Bummer for me but major bonus for her. So needless to say it's going to take a while to get my shoe collection back up to where I would love it to be. However, the fun part is finding new and exciting shoes I was never brave enough to buy before because I already had a perfectly good pair of something or other in my closet that would do the same job! Which brings me to my newest (and for the moment favorite) pair of shoes, I love that I can wear these shoes with just about anything skirts, jeans, shorts, you name it and it goes!
Jeans: Old Navy | Shoes: Madden Girl (DSW)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hiking with friends is like free therapy

Workout - 1 hr hike with a great friend

I'm never sure what my workouts are going to look like on Saturdays because often the hubby has to go into the office for a few hours (he's a really hard worker and great provider for our family). So a lot of morning I find myself carrying on business as usual with the kiddos while he's at the office so we can have a fun family day together just the 4 of us after lunch and naps. But on the occasion that he is lucky enough to stay home for the morning I get to either go on a solo run (a rare treat right now - but I don't really mind I actually like to run with my kiddos) or I get to go hiking with my good friends.  
Lucky for us we live right next to a wilderness park so trails for great hiking are basically in our backyard. So today I was lucky enough to get to tag along with my good friend Kathleen on her saturday morning hike. It was great! Let me tell ya getting to be outdoors in a beautiful location with your friends, chatting and working' up a sweat getting moving is basically free therapy. We talked about anything and everything (our kiddos are similar ages and spacing) and we talked about a lot of nothing too. It's great to spend time as just the girls.  I felt so rejuvenated when I got home ready to conquer the weekend's busy schedule! 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hard run and some sun

Workout - 2.76 mile interval run pushing my babes in the jogging stroller

Alright today's run was just plain hard but I got through it. Some may with 2.67 mile interval run no biggie and before the little prince came on the scene I would have agreed with you but getting back into running is hard work! I don't mind hard work but every once in a while there's a run that just seems to kick my booty, but like I said I get through it. I have the cutest cheerleading section in the stroller in front of me to keep going (even if one of them sleeps through the whole thing) so I keep on keeping on.  I'm currently training for my first 10k ever and second race ever so I'm using the 10k for pink free app by zen labs to coach me through my intervals. I've found that the trick is to not look at the time counting down and it makes it easier for me to push through to the next walking interval.

After getting home from a hard run I decided that the kiddos and I needed some fun so I loaded them up in the car right after lunch with some yummy snacks, a blanket to sit on and plenty of water and high tailed it to the beach! Yep that's right people beach days in January doesn't get much better than that - we love our January summer weather here in CA.

How do you like to reward yourself after a hard workout?

Friday, January 10, 2014

My Journey Begins

Hello! Thanks for stopping by! I'm Ashley of XoXo-Ash. I'm the mom of a crazy, high energy, camera ham, show off, sunshiney (yes I make up my own words) beautiful, sweet, generous but bossy 2 1/2 year old princess; and a kissable, handsome, cheerful, sweet, silly 4 1/2 month old prince. I'm starting XoXo-Ash to have a place to document my journey to regain myself after having my little prince. So I guess you could call this blog one Momma of two's quest to be a healthy, happy, confident woman. And I want to share it with anyone who cares to follow along. My plan is to share my adventure in fitness to lose the baby weight and get my energy back - we're talking total health here people; as well as some of my mommy style.