Sunday, January 27, 2013

Why Women Should Lift Heavy Weights

So, this post addresses a topic about which I feel pretty passionate, and it’s one I think a lot of people have a lot of misconceptions about.

I’m talking about exercise – weightlifting, to be specific – for women.

For many women, exercise goes something like this:
-Go to the gym
-Hit up your favorite cardio machine
-Depending on how tired you feel once you’re done, do some “lifting” (which means tons of reps with extremely light weights in hopes of getting “toned” without getting “bulky”)

And therein lies the problem.

Women seem to have it engrained in their minds that lifting anything heavier than a Barbie weight is going to make them look like this. Which just isn’t true. Women miss out on all the physical health benefits of lifting heavy weights because they don’t realize that, unless they are taking anabolic steroids, their bodies aren’t producing the kind of testosterone that would get them disgustingly ripped. What WOULD happen would be more defined (in a feminine, sexy way) muscles; a better, sleeker physique; more strength to perform everyday tasks and prevent injuries; better bone and connective tissue health; and much more.

This book, The New Rules of Weightlifting for Women, does a pretty good job explaining (by no means my fitness bible, but still pretty excellent) why lifting heavy is good for you, and it includes diet information and a complete workout plan that I think is awesome.

This group, Girls Gone Strong, emphasizes the same principles and includes lots of motivational information and informative videos. You can get on their email list and get all kinds of information and updates.

The point is, educating yourself about sound principles when it comes to your exercise routine will help you to devote your time to practices that will actually help you in the long run. No more mantras like “low weight, high rep” without even knowing when “low” is actually way too low to provide physical benefits. No more wasting your valuable time on exercises that don’t push you hard enough. And no more being frustrated with mediocre results.

Pushing yourself and lifting heavy is rewarding, exhausting, and probably just what the doctor ordered to jumpstart your fitness routine this year.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thank You Cards and Such...

So, planning a wedding is expensive. There are so many things to do and so many costs that add up... so finding a deal is practically cause for celebration!

One area that I found easy to cut costs was with the invitations and thank you cards... designing them yourself (or, in our case, having an amazing brother-in-law who is a graphic designer do it) and then just paying for the costs of printing saves a ton of money... turns out they charge you a ton for using their templates and stuff. Lame.

So, inspired by Thank You cards that looked like this

we ended up making a sign out of fabric (colored with sharpies) and then took the picture on our wedding day... then sent it to the printer (more on that in a second) and ended up with this

(those shadows are in my house, NOT on the thank you card)

Simple picture, printed on linen paper, with the personal stuff written on the back. And we spent less than a third of everything else we saw online.

We went through BYU's University Press, and it was so ridiculously inexpensive. You don't have to be a student to use it, you set up an appointment with one of the consultants and personalize your paper and sizes and inserts and everything else... it's great.

Because who doesn't like saving a little money?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Things to Make Traveling Easier

Now, by no means do I consider myself an established world traveler, but in my limited jaunts around the globe, I've found a few accessories that make my trip more convenient (and prettier!).

First, this travel wallet, it makes organizing your documents and such a breeze... comes in lots of colors, lots of little compartments and pockets, I absolutely love it.

Next, I discovered these packing cubes, and of course a quick look over at ebay (have I mentioned that I'm obsessed with eBay? It's amazing. Amazing, I say) produced this little gem for much cheaper. Instead of a giant suitcase with your belongings all jumbled around into clothes-and-shoes-and-jewelry-and-toiletry-and-whatever-else soup, you can keep things separated and organized. So perfect.

Then, I found these nifty little things called passport covers. Now, your passport doesn't necessarily NEED a cover, but I know that in Fiji mine didn't react so well to the humidity, plus it just makes it BEAUTIFUL, and who doesn't need a little besutiful in their life?? Etsy has several, or you can order a plain cover (again on ebay) and make your own! Nice, eh?

Pinterest also has lots of links to different travel websites with great tips and recommendations.

Gotta love the internet :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Unexpected Vacation!!

So The Husband and I have been looking into cruises for the summer (think August)... but then found a deal for one in Feb. that was too good to refuse!!

So that means (I'm still trying to get it through my head) that in 7 weeks, we will be livin it up in the Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten... whoo hoo Caribbean cruise!!!

I've never been on a cruise before, so I'm So. Insanely. Excited!!!!

Friday, January 4, 2013

40 Days of Yoga

Alright internet, I've registered for a 40 day yoga program (register for free here) that you do from home, and it starts on Monday. I'm committed, guys.

I don't think I buy into the idea that I'll come out of this a renewed spiritual being, but I am excited for the chance to form new habits, explore a physical outlet that's always interested me, and see what kind of progress I can make.

Basically, for this digital 40 day program, they send you the yoga sessions, daily emails with tips and inspiration, and guided meditation sessions. As the "textbook," you read this book (which I've already downloaded to my kindle and have gotten a couple chapters into) and follow the program as outlined.

Seems pretty simple, right? I already have my yoga mat, block, and willing attitude... so let's hope this makes all my wildest dreams come true :)

dang, we're funny

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Our First Christmas Tree

Oh the holiday season… so glorious… so joyful.

From the neighbor boy’s mini snowman

To the torching of the Christmas trees on New Year’s Eve

It’s been an exceptionally great season, especially since it’s the first one I’ve spent with The Husband.

I was a little overly ambitious and decided that store-bought Christmas decorations were for cop-outs (don’t worry, I’ve since changed my tune) and that I needed to go crazy with the Pinterest Board and make our little Christmas tree the best. Ever.

Well, I certainly wouldn’t say that I succeeded, but I DID end up with some cute stuff (like, a bajillion man-hours later).

My colors/materials were burlap, peach, and pearl (very Christmas-y, I assure you), so I started making ornaments:

with some help from The Husband

and then used some peach tulle to spruce up the lights

and voilĂ !!! Our poor, little, ghetto tree became our favorite little beacon of joy.

PS a burlap and peach-tulle ruffle tree skirt is in the making, more on that later.