6.30.2010

So I've Been Tagged...

Trish from Pink Preppy Lilly Lover tagged me in this lovely game. Thanks Trish! I rarely participate in these, but I liked this one.

So you want to know some random facts about me? Here we go!

Favorite color?

Green. Green. Green. I love green. It's calming and classic.

Favorite restaurant?

This is a toughy. Luckily TBF and I live in Chicago, where there are thousands of restaurants. We have been trying to find our favorite restaurant for quite some time, and I think for me, it's a tie between Blue 13 and Topolobampo.


Blue 13's service, atmosphere and food ROCK. Literally, the walls and servers have tattoos on them, and there is indie rock playing in the background. Please note, I'm not really that kind of girl, but I still dig it. Most importantly, the food is so so so good people. If you have a chance, please go.

via

Next up, Rick Bayless' Topolobampo. One word: Ceviche. This course will have me coming back over and over. I had no idea Mexican food could taste so delicious. Try it. Make reservations. Way in advance.

Hobbies?

DIY anything. When I was looking for a job after graduation, which thankfully didn't take long, I was going to purchase used furniture off of Craigslist, spice it up and bring it back to life, then sell it for more. Random, I know, but I love it. I love jazzing up old items with some paint and fabric. It's incredible what can be made out of old items. Not convinced? Check out this blog which does a nice job displaying this.


..and boating. I love boating with my family. There's nothing better than being out on the lake with a cocktail, my family, the dog and a good magazine.

What does your room look like?

Well, my room is a 500 square foot studio. No worries though, I've mastered the layout and thoroughly enjoy the space. My "room" is my bedroom, office, living room and (insanity) gym. The main color scheme is white and black with touches of green (of course) and the style would be classified as modern. As some of you know I'm a DIY freak, so all of my projects cover the apartment, including but not limited to a painted lamp, all of my paintings, a rehabbed dresser, a shnazzy table, and this desk will be painted a glossy white during my time off between jobs.

If you could have dinner with two people, dead or alive, who would they be?

This is such a difficult question. I think I'd like to have dinner with Lady Gaga and Jenna Lyons, the head designer for J. Crew.


Lady Gaga for obvious reasons, she's wack and super interesting, and Jenna Lyons because duh.


This woman has a massive hand in carving the tasteful and classy apparel trends season after season. This is no easy task and she rocks it out every time.

What is your next big splurge?


I've been looking into the perfect weekend bag/duffle for awhile now. Since going home for weekends over the summer to go boating, I've realized my longchamp isn't quite large enough, and my small suitcase is just silly. so, I've discovered my need for one. And not just
any one, a fantastic one.

Do you see where I'm going with this? Thankfully my new job with a bigger paycheck begins soon...

What is your favorite joke, quote or saying?

Just like my about me says, "If it's not fun, you're not doing it right." I've also been digging, "I'm only as strong as the coffee I drink and the hairspray I use."

Anything else you would like known? (A random fact)


I love dogs. A lot. I have my retriever/lab at home with my parents, Wrigley, but I'm dying to get one here in Chicago. I won't for a long time though, I can't because A. I want to give him/her plenty of room to roam and my 500 square foot studio won't allow that. B. I want to be near some grass in general, I'm on the 9th floor of a building surrounded in concrete. C. I'd prefer to not be concerned about what the hell I'd do if the poor thing suddently needed to go to the vet, would I have the funds to care for it?

For now, I can still look, say "PUPPYYYYYY!!!!" like an idiot when I see one and accidentally pet every other cutie that struts by. No additional space or funds are needed for that :)

OK! Don't hate me, but now I'm passing this tag along to whoever would like to play.

YES, I'm talking to you! Yes, you! Just do it because I like learning new things about you!

Happy hump day :)


6.29.2010

So..What? I Treated Myself...

TBF: "Freck, do you really need those items?"

Me: "Yes."

So I wanted to treat myself for sticking with Insanity so well...um, and Martin + Osa was having a 50% off sale. (RIP soon M+O.)


M+O, in Silver

Heart. Be still.

Love them. SO! A girlfriend was given a Benefit cosmetic's party in mid-July (because she's a rockstar customer) for 5 of us girls where they give us makeovers, then we plan on going out on the town after we're all dolled up. Eeee!

Okay, here's where I need your help (I'm especially talking to you miss Fashion Therapist!). I can't decide what to wear this top with. I planned on cinching it with a belt, white jeans and heels.

Here are a couple of different options I thought of:


Thoughts? Obviously I'd add accessories accordingly...

Happy Tuesday!

P.S. Thanks so much for your Insanity comments! I'm still trucking along strong, day 9! So is TBF and you know I'm watching him during and after the sessions like he's a newborn child to make sure he's taking it easy. Why? Click here to read about his ER visit near the end of the post.


6.27.2010

Insanity: My Review, The Beginning

Some of you have been asking me what this Insanity program is all about, so I thought I'd dedicate a post to it. If you click on this link, you can read the program's home page description, and mine is below.

This is a lonnng post, good luck. This is everything I could think of that you'd want to know about Insanity. If you have any questions, please email me or comment below and I'll try to answer the best I can. By no means am I an expert, just a participant who's willing to share her feedback :)


If you'd rather just hear about TBF's ER trip and how he's doing, jump down to the Hazards section.

What
:

Insanity is an intense exercise program similar to P90x where participants eat a lean and low-caloric diet (sans alcohol) and push their limits with max interval training sessions. Shaun T, the instructor, leads you and a group of
victims super duper in shape participants behind him in long bursts of maximum intensity workouts followed by short periods of rest. Rinse, then repeat. ;)


The Insanity program package comes with
:

-
10 workout discs filled with all the exercise sessions. Some are recovery, some are maximum cardio, there are some abs-focused sessions, you get the idea.

-
60 day workout calendar that shows which exercise sessions to perform every day. It's different almost every day, so this calendar guide is very handy. Plus it's so nice to cross off a day/exercise session and know what you're getting into the next day. It was well thought out because the recovery sessions seem to be on the best days. Having different sessions every day keeps it spicy for me, for now. I never seem to do well with the same exercise program day after day.

-
Elite nutrition plan with 50 recipes broken down into the following meals: 1 (breakfast), 2 (snack), 3 (lunch), 4 (snack) and 5 (dinner). I've found that these meals can be eaten for whichever meal you choose, not just the meal time the guide recommends, as they're all around 300 calories.

-
A fit test card that goes along with a fit test session which is 8 different exercises. Participants perform this fit test every two weeks and record their performance which hopefully shows improvement every time. I'm already hoping and ready to kick my old rep-counts to the curb.

-Note - no weights are needed. You may want a yoga-mat for the recovery session, but I was okay roughing it without one.


Here's a video of what a participant goes through during Insanity
:



As you can see, it's really effing difficult, to put it lightly. In a couple of the sessions, I'm not the only one gasping for air and wiping sweat off of me after 15 minutes, some of the super in-shape people in the tape are dropping like flies as well. Note, Shaun T is a gentle giant and I'm pretty sure I'd love him as a trainer, even if he is a little cocky during some of the sessions, kid you not.


Why
:

Why the hell am I doing this in the first place?

TBF and I were at a wedding in DC over Memorial Day weekend and a super-adorable, in-awesome-shape gal and her nutritionist (I think?) husband were raving about how the program is perfect for weight loss and toning with quick results that also last in the long run.


They were so convincing that we could have started doing trust falls by the end of the convo and I would have been cool with it.

Why someone doesn't have an image posted of Mean Girl's trust fall scene is beyond me, so this will do.

So, what does TBF do when we get back to sweet home Chicago? He buys Insanity and I'm thinking I'll just watch or tag along on some of the exercises. Meh, I don't know what came over me but I decided to dive right in and support him. You'rewelcomemadear.

Okay, so why are you still doing it? It works. Not only have I seen plenty of before and after's...

..but personally, I've seen a difference in my body as well. I've lost a little weight, maybe 3 pounds, and my body feels more lean and tone and it's only Sunday, day 7. No, I didn't take a before picture for a couple of different reasons: I didn't want to jinx this with getting overzealous with a picture, I don't have much weight to lose as it's more of a toning goal for me and lastly I really didn't want a picture of myself in a swimming suit...


How else have I seen a difference?

I'm not banging on the snooze button every morning to sleep-in longer. I wake up in the morning refreshed and energized. Now don't go all Cheri Oteri on my Insanity bootay,
simmadunnah!, but I really have to admit, as dumb as it may sound, I love the feeling of waking up refreshed like I'm gellin' like a felon (okay I'll knock it off). You get the idea.

Although I feel sore at times, I have energy to go my behind up and clean or do any other kind of chore, whereas in the past I may have said meh, it'll get done eventually.


Awesome? Awesome.


How
: This could be answered a couple of different ways...

How the hell do I get myself to keep going?


The sore feeling in the morning for the first week was a bit of a wake-up call that maybe I wasn't in as good of shape as I thought I was. Also, I've seen results already, and it's only day 7.


How have I seen results so quickly?


I've been following the meal plan and workouts really well. Keep in mind that before Insanity, I was used to enjoying a glass of wine almost every night and eating whatever TBF or I thought was healthy in the evening, plus probably too much cheese (don't judge me). So, because the plan is set up so that participants eat five lean 300ish calorie meals every 2-3 hours a day, no one should be starving. If participants are starving, they can add 100 to 200 "calorie blocks" which make the meal a bit more sufficient.

Apparently going into month 2, participants get to eat more because our metabolisms are burning so quickly and we need more fuel.


When
:

When do I
go insane and/or yell back at Shaun T for 35-40 minutes participate in a session?

I try to perform the exercises as soon as I get home from work. I'm afraid that if I don't, I won't do the session and/or I'll get hungry for my next 5th meal. I have my 4th meal around 4 pm at work, so by the time I get home from work, around 5:30ish, I'm digested and ready to go INSANE.
SorryIcouldn'thelpmyself.

When do I eat my meals?


Before, I'd eat my meals at 9:30ish, 12ish, 3ish and 7ish. Although this is decent, it is not a steady eating schedule.
Now, I eat around the following times, 7 am, 10am, 1 pm, 4 pm and 7 pm. Jump down for a description of what I was comfortable eating for the past week.
Recipes/Meals: Before, like I said, I would eat oatmeal at work around 9:30ish after my coffee, grab lunch around 12ish which was usually a salad, eat a banana or nutrigrain bar at 3-4ish, go to the gym and be starving when I get home and eat around 7ish.

Now, my work week meals looked something like this:

A
cup of GoLean with half a banana and a splash of skim milk at 7ish every morning (meal #1, 250ish cals). I'll enjoy a breakfast sammy which is 1 or 2 slices of turkey bacon, 1 piece of toasted whole wheat bread, lettuce and tomato around 10ish am (meal #2, 250ish cals). At 1 pm I grab my salad which is mixed greens, half an apple chopped up, some cucumber, lean chicken cooked with thyme (because we know how icky plain ol' chicken is) and a lime squeezed over it for dressing (meal #3, 250ish cals). At 4 pm, I have half an apple with about one spoonful of peanut butter and pecans on top (my own recipe, meal #4, 250ish cals). Lastly, for dinner around 7 pm, my favorite meal lately has been a 4 oz lean turkey burger with 2 tbsp salsa on a whole what English muffin and steamed green beans on the side (meal #5, 300 calories).

I know what you're thinking, a breakfast sami (aka BLT) at 10 in the morning? No thanks! I know, sounds weird and I think it is, too, but honestly ever since starting Insanity, I'm jonesing for something a little more carb-friendly than a piece of fruit by 10 am and that half sandwich keeps me satisfied and not too full until 1 pm.


What's awesome about this? Sounds like a lot of prep for each work day.


I won't lie, it is annoying to prep every night before a workday, but it only takes about 15 minutes. As a tip, in order to save some time, you can cook your chicken or meat while you're cooking your dinner. However, it's awesome to have the healthy meals present and ready when you need them. It makes this program much easier. This means no Qdoba or CVS trip to get some nutri grain bars before you pass out of hunger.


Also, this has saved us both money. We aren't going out to eat and we have been buying all groceries at Trader Joes on the Sunday before the work-week. Our grocery bill divided by 2 people has been around $55 a person. I consider this very cheap, especially since all of the food is used by the end of the week (if you measure it out correctly) and you aren't going out to eat which has saved us both so much money.


Overall, the meal plan is great (for now) because I'm never starving because I eat every 3ish hours which helps keep my metabolism running and blood sugar high.


Where
:

Your living room or an open area where you can freely exercise. I'd recommend a hardwood floor so you can clean up your sweat easily (eeewwww, I know).


Hazards
:

Okay, listen up and read this entire bit. TBF went to the ER on Saturday evening, day 6. Yes, I do think this partly because of Insanity. Like I said, you MUST drink plenty of water so with the combination of him not being in almost top shape from the beginning, pushing himself very hard on a "Polyometric Cardio Circuit," which I think is the toughest session, sweating far too much in the kitchen post-workout, not drinking enough water, possibly having a wee bit too much cheese (he's lactose-intolerant) after not having had much the entire week, he became very dehydrated. Looking back I should have taken him to the hospital in the beginning and been less hesitant. You know the feeling, should we go? Should we not go? God I don't want to go if we don't have to...yeah about an hour or so later we ended up going. It wasn't until I read what could have happened that I decided we needed to go, immediately. He's fine now :) Phew!

(Psst, side note, we were in the ER from 1 am - 5:30 am. I know,
I really did stall the ER trip an hour or so too long and should have taken him immediately. Anyway, it happens to be Pride weekend in Chicago and the hospital we went to is the closest one to the celebration, you can imagine how many men were stumbling in, wheeled in or passed out on a stretcher. There were some females too, in their sassy, black platform pumps hanging out beneath the sheet, at least I think it was a female...)

Okay, focus!

Goals
:

My goals: I'm trying to be realistic here. I'd like to be able to do some of the exercises. For example there is a "plank jump" where participants are in a push-up position and jump their feed in to a crouched position, then back out. I find this very difficult and it bothers me that my technique sucks for it (even if I am 20 minutes into a balls-to-the-wall workout.

TBF's goals
: One of TBF's goals, besides drinking more water and taking it slow for awhile, is to get some of the yoga poses down while improving flexibility and of course lose some more el-bee's. He's not flexible at all and I see him struggle mentally and physically when the yoga poses come because he can hardly do them and he wants to participate as well as he can. He's already seen results from this (woohoo go TBF!). He's learning portion size, less cheese is more cheese (ugh, so hard for me, too) and that STRETCHING is so very important.

Final notes:

The first couple days are ROUGH. I was getting up as often as I could and walking around my office so my legs wouldn't cramp up. Yes, I was that sore, it was laughable. Shaun works muscles you didn't know existed. However, by day 4 or 5, I wasn't thinking about that glass of vino (exposed!) I couldn't have or about how sore I was, but more about how cool it was that I was seeing results and enjoying waking up with energy. I sure hope I continue this process and although TBF will be taking off a couple extra days for recovery, I hope he slowly gets back into it because of how often he was raving about how he felt (when he wasn't in the ER of course).

So, if you do Insanity, start on a week where you don't have a lot of plans. It's difficult and practically impossible to have a social life in the evenings when you can't drink and/or don't have the energy to go out after a session. Also, drink PLENTY of water. Get a massive water bottle, it'll be your bff. I'm always always always thirsty.


Did this help? I hope so. Nice work if you finished the entire thing. Please don't hesitate to reach out if I can explain anything better for you!!

Happy
recovery day Sunday everyone :)

6.25.2010

Freck's Friday Fancies LI

Hooorayyyy!! You did it, it's Friday!

So let's get into this, shall we?

I've been doing a lot of boating lately, and in light of 4th of July being next weekend, I feel it's time for some cutesey
nautical fancies.

Yes?

Yes. :)

PS this might be one of my favorite FFF posts ever.


headband, Etsy

stripes, J. Crew You know you've seen this and you love it.


anchors away, forever

roped in, Anthro

duh, J. Crew

Tah-dah! See!? I just love these nautical pieces and I'd wear every. single. item.

TGIF! Have a wonderful weekend! Fun things to come next week ; )


6.24.2010

Fun Stuff Headed To I5OS

First of all, Insanity is still insane.

But it's working.

I'm super sore, but I already feel it's working. Woohoo, day 4!

Next up, thanks for your awesome comments about the new
job :) I'm super excited to begin July 12 and have an entire week off before the 12th.

Over the next couple of days I'll likely be playing with the background and template of blogger. So if I look a little different when you come visit, it's cool, it's still me, just playing with my identity a little more.

I have a couple more fun things that will benefit one of you in the near future :) *hint hint* and I'm very excited about it (and you should be too!). It may or may not have to do with cheese, something I can't have much of right now.

Lastly, I won an
award! Ahhhh!!! I'll spill those deets next week.

And I'm spent. As your reading this, I'm likely in my cube or at home and my thighs are likely cramping and I'm literally moving them. Yowza.

Happy Thursday! (and 7 days left at my current job!)

6.23.2010

Insane RueLaLa

Holy Insanity. I am so sore today but it feels good. I can already feel my body changing and it's only day 3!

In other news, I may or may not have ordered these bad boys from RueLaLa yesterday.




This is how I know I'm old, I'm really excited about this knife set coming in...AND they were a steal! Let me know if you want an invite to RueLaLa, every purchase I've made from them has been a satisfying steal!

Happy Hump day!



6.22.2010

Again?? + Hooray!

Okay, a couple things...

Really MSN? Again?


What is with these random article's MSN is coming up with lately? I hope no parents are trying to spy on their kids on Facebook...

And how about the second item, if you can't read that clearly, it says "Facebook users try to quantify 'hella'"

Are you serious?

This needs an article?

Onto the next item: I ACCEPTED AN OFFER AT ANOTHER COMPANY!



via

I had been interviewing all last week (three interviews and the last one, on Friday, was THREE hours long!). Stress-city, but I got it and I'm excited about starting July 12 :)

Next? My Insanity fit test is tonight. TBF did it last night and um, yeah it wasn't pretty. Wish me luck!

Man oh man. Happy Tuesday!


6.21.2010

Weekend Recap + INSANITY


Wowzer. Pardon my
tweets last week if you follow me because I'd had a very stressful week and it was clear according to my twitter. I will be able to tell you all about WHY I was so friggen stressed very shortly (I hope!).

TBF and I went home for the weekend to spend Father's day with family on the boat, which is just what the doctor ordered. I had such a nice time seeing everyone and recharging, there's nothing like a little family time.


Last night when we returned to
sweet home Chicago, we went straight to Trader Joe's to stock up on healthy food for our oober healthy-eating plan for INSANITY. Yes. TBF really wants to do this, and me, being the supportive girlfriend I am, will be attempting doing it right along with him. Why not? What do I have to lose besides a couple lb's, right? Right.



The worst part? I need to give
this up for awhile...

So wish me luck, I hope I survive the INSANITY ;)

Happy Monday!



6.17.2010

What?

I know I just posted about these delicious treats, but I cannot help myself.

I just saw this on MSN.

Really?

I do not blame them for wondering if she can or cannot act, because hello, she can't, BUT really? This kind of headline? The "pressing questions?" Must be a slow day in the world of MSN...

Four Words.

Chocolate.

Covered.

Almond.

Clusters.

via

(Find these bad boys at Trader Joes, you'll thank me.)

'Nuff said.

Happy almond deliciousness Thursday!

6.16.2010

Oh, Hey Cameron

Okay. I'm not a big fan of her, but how gorgeous does she look in this picture?!


Nice work InStyle

Happy Hump day everyone :)


6.15.2010

California Dreamin' (Psst! I Need Advice!)

Hello one and all (and especially my California-familiar ladies)

TBF's little sister is running a marathon in San Francisco this October.

Why hello amazing excuse to take a trip to the west coast. Am I right or amiright?

So I'm thinking we'll take a trip to San Francisco to visit her, do a bit of sight-seeing, then head to LA, where his little sister attends USC and do some sight seeing-there.


via

I visited San Francisco when I was little, but I don't remember enough to know what to ensure we do, and I've already been to San Diego (LOVE) and Santa Barbara (DOUBLE LOVE) so I want to check out LA a bit more than the stinkin' airport.

Thoughts? Ideas? Should we go somewhere else besides LA? A wine country? Ilovevino.

And how about a meetup? I'm definitely up for that!

Thanks!

Happy Tuesday!


(By the way, totally got out of softball last night, maybe next week?? :)

6.14.2010

Weekend Recap + Softball (wtf. I know.)

This weekend was pure R & R bliss. TBF and I went down to central Illinois and stayed on Papa Freck's boat ALL weekend. Yep, slept, showered, woke up on the calm water and relaxed on the boat all weekend. It was perfect.

In case you didn't see my Twitpic's, check out who I spent a lot of time with (besides my parents and TBF).


Tonight? I have a softball game.

What?

I know.

I was talked into it. My coworkers needed a stand in, so here I am. Could be fun?

I haven't picked up a bat since I was 13. It's not like I'm unathletic, it's just that I'm a bit nervous because it's a giant softball...men are on the team...I'm talking some in their 40s..who are competitive....yeahidontevenhaveaglove.


Cool.

Hope you had a great weekend, happy Monday!

6.11.2010

Freck's Friday Fancies L (<--my 50th FFF!)

Wow.

I'm overwhelmed and grateful for all of your sweet comments. You are all wonderful and I'm so glad to have finally shown who I am. I feel extremely lucky to have such sweet friends.

I think I'm going to keep a link on the side of the blog that will let new and old followers have the ability to view the video whenever or request the password if they want to see it later. Perhaps we'll update the video every now and then :)

So, anyway, this Friday, first and foremost, I fancy all of you (duh) and all your sweet comments.

Second, I fancy Mr. TBF. Well I always do, but especially because of that video. Job well done sir.

I also fancy that I'm going home and staying on Papa Freck's boat all the weekend. I'm going to see my adorable, niece (who you saw in the video) Caitlynn, too!

Can I fancy that it's Friday? Yeah. I fancy that it's Friday. I said it!

I definitely fancy
Fashion Therapist's $250 Ann Taylor gift card giveaway!

Okay, what I actually am really fancying lately? Skirts. Why? They're comfy and cool in this hot Chicago summer sun.


Yes? Love.


So fresh. Adorable. (and on sale, ee!)


I'm in love with this type of skirt. I have hips so A-line is my savior.


Cutesy cash Friday?

Okay. I need to knock it off.

Cool and comfortable may be my apparel theme for the summer. What do you wear to stay cool?

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend :)