About Amy

Two Songs that are Special to Me

Hi kids!  Today seemed like a good day to pop in and almost finish that 10-day (or 10-thousand day, for me) Challenge.

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This edition is two songs.  The two that popped into my head are a little lovey-dovey, so sorry in advance for the cavity you may incur from the sweetness.

1. “Don’t Stop” Slightly Stoopid

This song is admittedly not my general type of music.  But it is “our song.”  Here’s why:

One day, we were in the car, and this song came on.  Danny said,

“Oh!  This song came on the other day and made me think of you.  It’s Slightly Stoopid.”

I had never heard of this band and so took his words more like “This song made me think of you, it’s slightly stupid.”  To which, of course, my jaw dropped, and he surely got the look.  He was legit confused, until it finally hit him how I must have taken that, and he clarified that Slightly Stoopid is the name of the band.  We still laugh about that.

When I finally got the chance to actually listen to the words, it was so sweet!  For our anniversary, we actually ordered a canvas of it with the lyrics that hangs in our bedroom.  I found it here on Etsy.

2. “I Don’t Dance” Lee Brice

This song is just so sweet.  My fiance typically isn’t one to dance when we go out.  I can usually get him out there for a slow dance or two, and he will be a little more active at a wedding.  But he surely needs some help, from me or liquid courage (or probably both), haha, to really get out there.  This song makes me think of him.

Had to have fun from the chair at this wedding, haha

Had to have fun from the chair at this wedding, haha

Plus, if you didn’t watch the video up above, watch it.  And have some tissues nearby.  Ugh, awesome.

What songs are you loving right now?

Any great music videos? 

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Wedding Excitement Part 2: Decisions, Decisions

Happy Humpday, kids!  Our wedding is quickly approaching, so I thought it would be a good time to check in for another wedding fun post!

After getting engaged, as every couple probably gets to experience, we had a ton of fun.

There were lots of Facebook posts (I will probably always remember how many times Danny’s phone went off that day, haha),…

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…and we came home to discover there was some cleaning needed in our house!

Thanks Mom, Ashley, and Matt

Thanks Mom, Ashley, and Matt

When the dust settled, it was time to start making some decisions.

First up, the venue.  This was probably the most stressful decision I’ve made so far.  We looked at several places, and they just didn’t feel right.  Any of the places I saw online that did feel right were much too expensive.

Then, Danny remembered a golf course a little off the beaten path (wow, apparently I am in to idioms today) that he thought we should check out.

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We loved it, booked it, and brought the family to see.  It has the perfect charm, it’s not too big, and I adore the stone inside.  Danny loves the patio.

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After the venue, the Pinterest addiction started, as all brides these days probably have as well, haha.

Not long after, I got the dress!  Obviously, I can’t show it just yet, but it was a great day with the moms and bridal party.

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Read Part 1 of my wedding excitement, which tells the story of our engagement!

Do you have a Pinterest addiction?  What are you in to pinning these days?

Brides, what do you love about your wedding venue?

Three Films

My progress through the 10-day You Challenge is winding down!

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Today’s topic of discussion is three films.

I will just start off by saying that I am NOT a movie person.  My fiance, on the other hand, loves movies, and could watch them over and over…and over…and over.  Which brings me to my first movie…

1. Rocky

This movie is on TV all the time lately!  And my fiance will watch it every time.  I’m still OK with the stairs scene though, and I rarely pay attention to it anyway.  🙂

I guess I should be positive and point out that this movie has a good message.  I’m just sick of it, haha.

2. Up

I just love this movie!  When I saw it in the theater, I cried like a little girl.  Twice.

It has such a great message, it’s fun, and it makes you smile.  What more could you ask for in a movie?

3. The Hunger Games

Given my former middle school language arts teacher background, I’m a sucker for young adult books-turned-movies.  It is a rarity for me to find a movie that measures up to its book inspiration.  This movie was one of the few I thought measured up (as well as the movie could).  I also think Jennifer Lawrence was the perfect Katniss.  It’s also not often that I approve of a director’s choice of actor/actress to replace the character I built in my head.  🙂

When I do watch a movie, it typically has some criteria in order for me to approve…

  • It must be something both myself and my watching partner (typically my fiance) is at least slightly interested in.
  • If it is based on a book, I must have read the book first.  Seriously essential.
  • It can’t be scary or overly violent.  Those movies just aren’t fun for me.

What are some of your favorite movies?

Do you have criteria when it comes to approving of the movie choice?  What are they?

Life Lessons from Maya Angelou

Awhile back when Maya Angelou passed away, I saved an article called “21 Life Lessons from Maya Angelou.”  Today, as I was looking through some post ideas, I stumbled upon it.  July has been quite the transitional month for me, so a little reminder of some life lessons should be excellent.

It is Marvelous Monday, after all.  I’m linking up with Katie.

I picked out some of the lessons that most strongly resonated with me.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.”

Holy cow, do I need to remember this one!  I have been working hard to follow this idea.  I try not to complain too much (although, I admit, I do spill it out on my fiance and sister in law every once in awhile).  The real effort for me is also underlined.  When something is bothering me, I really try to take a step back and ask myself if there is anything I can do to make a change.  If there is, I try to do it.  If not, I need to reframe my thinking and find a way to let it go (or at least deal with it).

“I did what I knew…. When I knew better, I did better.”

This quote is so simple, yet it speaks volumes.  I have encountered this in soooooo many stages of my life.

  • Running my first 5K, and improving from there.

5K finish

  • Choosing friends that may not have appreciated or accepted me, and learning to move away from those people later’
  • Allowing my fear of flying to keep me away from amazing views like this, and then deciding to bite the bullet and travel!
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  • Running too hard in marathon training until I injured myself, then having to lay off much more than I wanted to.
  • Teaching my first yoga class and trying to be someone else.  Now, I have to be myself!

 

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

Yes, even my messy hair is enough. Photo Credit: Mel Koossy, Shala Plus

Yes, even my messy hair is enough.
Photo Credit: Mel Koossy, Shala Plus

This is something I am constantly trying to remember in my big career change.

I know that people, even those closest to me, have judged my decision and even maybe bashed it behind my back.  At first, it bugged me a little.  Now, I see it totally differently.  I know that what I am doing is the right thing for me.  Whatever people may think about it doesn’t matter.  I am working hard to be successful and do what makes me happy, I have a fiance who backs me 100% in this, and that is all I need.

Do any of these lessons resonate with you?  Tell me your story!

Wedding Excitement Part 1: The Proposal

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

As you may have seen in my past posts, I am engaged.  Invitations are in the mail, and this thing is getting real!  Our wedding is only 2 months away!

So, I thought it might be fun to take some time every once in awhile to give a little insight into the wedding prep and all that good stuff.  I figured I would start at the very beginning–the proposal.

Ring

Last November, we went on a little weekend trip with Danny’s brother and his wife, Danny’s parents, and some friends of theirs.  We went to Starved Rock State Park and stayed at the lodge there.  We got in a little late Friday night, spent some time with the family, and headed back to our rooms to prepare for the next day.

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I was completely oblivious, but he told the whole family that night that he was going to pop the question.

In the morning, we ate some breakfast and prepared to go for a little bit of a hike.  In retrospect, it made sense that Danny’s sister-in-law was distracting me with arm wrestling contests, since Danny was talking to the front desk people about the best place to propose on the trails.

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We headed out to the trails and did some hiking.  We ended up making a little bit of a loop, so Danny asked if I wanted to try to take a picture out on this cool ledge.

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I thought my sister-in-law would be joining us, but she was hanging back.  This confused me a little, as she would typically be the first one to jump out on that ledge.  But, I shrugged it off, took the picture, and turned to head back to the steps.  Then, Danny grabbed my hand.

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We were so lucky to have his family with us, so we got this amazing picture that his brother took on his phone.

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The funniest part was, when I realized what was about to happen, I half-shouted, “Are you seriously doing this right now?!?”  We laugh now, but it made Danny nervous.  I really was just in disbelief, but it totally sounded like he didn’t pick a good time, haha.

For the rest of the day, we did a little more hiking, went out to lunch and dinner, and did a lot of nice celebrating with family and friends.  It was a super special day that I will never forget!

Have you ever been to Starved Rock?

Engaged/married people: Where did you get engaged?

Four Books I Love

Hey there!  We are going to take a slight break from the norm to continue my work through the 10-Day You Challenge (which, for me, has become the 10+ Week Challenge, haha) that I found on PB Fingers.

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It has been a wild and crazy week, and I am discouraged, to say the least.  But I like to keep things positive here on the blog, so I am especially excited to share something that brings me a lot of positivity…books!

Four books seems like nothing to me, so I am going to just choose four that stick out to me.  There won’t be much rhyme or reason.  🙂

1. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman


I read this book not long after we got engaged, and I thought it was so interested!  Not only did a learn more about how to better interact with my fiance, but I learned a lot about myself and my needs in the process.  It was a really interesting, and quick, read with a lot of positives in my life afterward.

2. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick


This is the first, and only, book I have “read” completely via the audiobook.  I got a free trial to Audible around the time of the marathon last fall and downloaded the book to have on tap in case I needed a distraction while running.  I only listened to the book for about an hour, but I ended up listening to it a bunch of other times: while cleaning, driving, working out, etc.  The book is almost painful at times, since you feel so bad for the speaker, but it really draws you in.  I haven’t seen the movie yet, but it is definitely on my list.

3. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead


This choice came from my school teaching career, so it is a book intended for young adults.  However, young adult books are some of my favorites; you can really get lost in them.  When You Reach Me was recommended to me by another teacher.  This teacher’s style was much different than mine, so I didn’t expect to like it.  I tried it anyway and LOVED it!  It has so many interesting twists and turns, and it is one of those books that all the little pieces tie together in the end and make you say “Ooooooh, I get it!”  Plus, the Kindle edition is only $4, so you really can’t go wrong.

4. A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron


If you are a dog/animal lover, this is a must-read.  Like seriously.  If you stop reading this post now, I will forgive you.  🙂

This book follows the lives of 4 dogs.  You hear the stories from the perspective of the dog, which makes it all the more entertaining.  I found myself laughing out loud at some of the “logic” the dog gives for his actions.  The book explores the idea that every dog has a purpose, and, when they discover what it is, they cling to it.  This book is one of the few that can truly make you laugh and cry.  I had to put it down at one point and hug it out with my dog, no lie.

When talking about dogs, one must insert a picture of their adorable fur baby.  It's the law.

When talking about dogs, one must insert a picture of their adorable fur baby. It’s the law.

If you want more book recommendations, check out a post I did awhile back about my favorite motivating fitness books.

Have you read any of these books?  What did you think?

Do you have any book ideas for me?  I’m always looking to add to the to-read list!

Do you have a dog?  Tell me about him/her!  🙂

*Book cover photos are Amazon affiliate links.  All opinions and book choices are my own.

The Best Compliment I Could Have Gotten

…at least in my yoga teaching so far.  🙂

Last night, I taught my 3rd ever Ashtanga class.

If you read about the first time around, it was not pretty.  There were three regulars in the class, who have been practicing Ashtanga pretty regular for a year and a half.  At this point, I had only practiced three times.  So, as soon as I made a mistake and they corrected me, my confidence faltered, and I sort of fell apart.

Yeah…should’ve looked it up first.

I was relatively certain that those three would not be back if my name was on the schedule.

Well, last night, one of them came.  I felt really good about the class; I kept my confidence and was myself.  I tried not to worry too much about what she thought; I focused more on the cues she needed (and the rest of the class, of course).

After class, she came up to me and said, “You’ve had quite a week.”  I smiled, then she went on to say, “That was a great class, a really great class.”

I wanted to jump up and down, but I just thanked her (probably too many times) and made sure she knew how much her comment meant to me.

Another sweaty, but happy, selfie.  Please excuse the weird hair situation.

Another sweaty, but happy, selfie. Please excuse the weird hair situation.

Today, I was telling my YTT instructor (this student’s typical teacher) about it, and she was so excited for me.  She pointed out that this particular student does not give out compliments freely.  She told me that even for her it took a long time for her to feel like she had “won her over.”

On a day that I was feeling a little discouraged about myself as a yogi, let alone an instructor, this compliment really turned my day around.

What is the last compliment that really changed your day?

My Yoga Clothes Shopping Spree

Happy Monday, ya’ll! I’m linking up on Katie’s Marvelous Monday today. This weekend was rather uneventful, as I was wiped out from yoga training all week. Friday, though, I made sure to have date night with my favorite guy.

Why do the pictures get all fuzzy when you flip the iPhone camera?  Grr

Why do the pictures get all fuzzy when you flip the iPhone camera? Grr

Saturday, he headed off to a bachelor party, and I was lay-zee!  I did a little blog work, read even littler of my personal trainer textbook, and read a lot of my for-fun book back in bed.  It was pretty delightful. That afternoon, I had some quality time with the sister-in-law (to be, but whatever).  She is basically the queen of shopping, so she and I went to Marshalls, as I needed some more yoga clothes badly.  Twelve hours of yoga and three classes to teach last week really wore out my fitness wardrobe! So, I thought I’d share some of my finds.  I must say, I nailed it.

Zone Training Yoga Towel: $12.99

The one I bought is lavendar.  I was going to just get by with towels from home, but the SIL convinced me that this towel was more professional.  She’s a persuasive lady.

Sweet Romeo Striped Sweater: $10 (on clearance)

Weird arm placement...

Weird arm placement…

This sweater will be the perfect cover-up when it starts getting chilly.  It can work for more than just yoga as well.  At ten bucks, I really couldn’t say no.

Balance Collection by Marika teal tank, $9.99

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I LOVE this brand!  The material is such a great combination of soft and moisture wicking.  It’s so comfortable and functional.  The pattern on this one is great too.

Reebok graphic tank, $12.99

My wedding colors!

My wedding colors!

This tank is totally adorable.  I may have to hold off on it for non-workout things, as it might be too cute to put on my sweaty self.  🙂

Marika Tek capris, $14.99

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These capris are this great material called sanded dri-wik.  They feel almost like a soft, cozy t-shirt, but they’re dri-wick.  I haven’t worn them in action yet, but they seem awesome.  I did goof and bought them in a size too big, but wore them to training today and they were fine.  Just a little saggy in the waist, but nothing crazy.

Balance Collection by Marika striped tank, $9.99

(The picture is not cooperating with me, so I am giving up and having you use your imagination.  :))

I’m really drawn to stripes for some reason.  So, this tank was a given.  I’m wearing it to teach HIIT tonight, so that should be a good sweat-test.  It also has a hot pink hem on the seams, which makes for a cute little pop of color.

Avia sports bra, $9.99

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I was looking for a bra with thinner straps, as most of my bras are for higher-impact workouts and, therefore, have thick straps.  So, this one was the perfect price and had the perfect straps.  When I tried it on at home, it fit like a glove.  So perfectly.  Tomorrow, it will get the true yoga test, but I am confident that I will be going back on the hunt for more of these bras.  Oh yeah, it has removable pads, which I promptly took out.  But they’re there if you want them.

Reebok Yoga Tank, $12.99

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I think this one is pretty self explanatory.  I wore this one for adjustments/modifications class after practice.  The knot in the back was a little tricky at times.  So, it might be a non-yoga top.  We shall see. Aside from this awesome stuff, I bought some PJs and flip flops.  It was a pretty epic shopping experience.

What is your favorite brand of workout clothes?

If you don’t have a favorite brand, where do you buy your workout clothes from?  

*The first link is an affiliate, but all others are “normal.”  All opinions and choices are my own.*

Five Foods

It’s been awhile since I took a minute to continue this little survey-ish thing I found on PB Fingers.

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If memory serves me correctly, I’m on to five foods.  So, here we go!

1. Almond butter

There are few foods in the world that I would rather have than almond (or peanut) butter.  If my breakfast doesn’t involve it, I am likely to be hungry soon.  Unfortunately Lucky for me, my dietary restrictions only let me have one serving a day.  If not, I can definitely feel that my stomach is not thrilled.

2. Carrot cake

This is probably my all time favorite food ever.  A restaurant near some of my family has gluten free carrot cake, and I pretty much freaked out when I saw it on the menu.  If it wasn’t a bit far away for most of my favorite people, I would be having my party there for the big 3-0 coming up!

3. My favorite gluten free pizza

At the restaurant where we had my bridal shower, the chef “knows” me from my pizza order.  Gluten free pizza with brisket, cheddar, and sliced tomato.  Last night, Danny and I went there for date night, and I switched it up.  It just wasn’t the same.

Why do the pictures get all fuzzy when you flip the iPhone camera?  Grr

Why do the pictures get all fuzzy when you flip the iPhone camera? Grr

4. Bananas

Pretty much the best fruit ever.  The riper (more ripe?), the better.

5. Smoothies

These things have been a lifesaver after our intense yoga practices this week.  I finally found a mix that fills me up:

  • Frozen strawberries
  • Banana (preferably frozen, but I have been forgetting, so fresh works too)
  • Flax seed
  • GF oats
  • Protein powder (I use Nutribiotics Vanilla Rice Protein and love it…reviewing it here soon!)
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Almond milk

What are some of YOUR favorite foods?

 

How I Know I Did the Right Thing

Holy cow have these past couple of days been a whirlwind!

And I don't mean windy and cold like the Bruno Mars concert...

And I don’t mean windy and cold like the Bruno Mars concert…

If you stopped by the blog on Friday, you learned that I took the leap and left my teaching job to pursue a career in fitness.

This decision is one that I have been thinking about making for the past two years.  I’m the kind of girl who likes to stick in my comfort zone usually and is afraid of making mistakes, so I just couldn’t bring myself to take the leap.  When I finally did, I was waaaay more comfortable with the decision than I thought I would be.

However, this was one of those decisions where you can’t shake the what if this was a huge mistake? feeling.

I’m a big believer in signs.  Not like crazy, weird, crop-circles signs, but I believe that the universe gives you little clues sometimes to let you know that you are on the right, or wrong, path.

First sign.  On the way to our Milwaukee trip, I brought up with Danny that I didn’t know if I would be able to find a job in the timeline we had set for the plan for me to resign.  We decided that leaving is what I needed to do, and we knew that I was (am) a hard enough worker to figure something out and make it work.

...and then we stopped at a bar, haha.

…and then we stopped at a bar, haha.

The day after we got home, I got an email from a nearby yoga studio/wellness center.  The previous week, I had sent a bunch of emails to wellness centers in my surrounding area asking if they had any employment opportunities so I could get in and get my feet wet.

I met with the owner of the studio a couple of days later, and she really took me under her wing.  She has given me a ton of personal training and group fitness advice, gives me tips on classes to attend that I could really learn from, and put me on the class schedule!  I am teaching my first group fitness class, HIIT and Core Strength, tonight!

On Saturday morning, I got another email.  This one was related to a yoga teacher training program.  At first, I thought it would be a total bust.  Any yoga teacher training program I had looked into was well over $3000.  Definitely not in my budget.

However, as we played a little phone tag and finally got in touch with each other, the coordinator at this studio told me that she could put me on a work study program, in which I could do the training for only $500 and some work!  Uh, yes, please!

After I tried out the training yesterday, we sat down to talk about if I felt that the training was for me.  We also talked about my goals in the fitness profession.  And, guess what?  I am going to pitch some classes to her and will go on the class schedule as well!

Another sign that this was the right choice.  I am exhausted, but thrilled!

Thumbs up, ya'll!

Thumbs up, ya’ll!

Do you believe in signs?  Any interesting ones that you want to share?

Who has some advice for my first group fitness class tonight?  Help me out, people!  🙂