sweetness & fitness mantras

“Hi my little Sweet Pea!” – my mom

“Have a good day Sugar Plum” – friend

“Hello Sweetness” – yoga teacher

“Good morning mi Amor” – fiancé

“Sambody Sexikowski!” – girlfriend (She gifted me a few magazine subscriptions to that name. haha) 😀

“<3 YFA” – YFN

Don’t you love sweet little nicknames?  I do ;D


Was just thinking about how sweet positive thoughts can keep you going.  Like mantras when you’re working out. Do you have any mantras you use while running?

Here’s what pops into my head when I’m trying to stay in the work-out mindset:

Random Thoughts:

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” I mean isn’t Finding Nemo inspiring?

“You’ve got this. ___ miles/minutes done and ___  miles/minutes left.”  Calculating how far I’ve gone or what I have left to do pushes me.

“You had a big breakfast- let’s burn it off. OR You’ve got a yummy meal waiting for you!” Ok yea sometimes I think about what I ate for fuel or what I want to eat after my workout.  Who doesn’t?

“Just to that tree. Just to that street.  Just to that car.” Continually naming and achieving small milestones while running encourages stamina.  When I’m tired and don’t think I can run one more mile, breaking it up into , “ok that tree, ok just this stop sign” makes the total distance more attainable.

Faster, Stronger, Relaxer” Repeating this mantra to myself has been a great motivator.  Yea, I know relaxer isn’t a word.  But I read this mantra in a workout magazine and it stuck.   It rhymes and it’s exactly what I need to think about when I’m feeling tired and need that extra push.


Other Tips:

Make a playlist that makes you dance and sing! A great playlist will keep me going and pump me up!! I will sing out loud and dance along if I’m really having fun.

Wear comfortable clothes for the weather conditions of the day.  Dress for the weather! When you feel comfortable, you work harder.  When you aren’t overheating or freezing, your workout is easier to complete.  When I get a new workout shirt or outfit, I want to put them on and head out the door!

Find a workout buddy!  This is still on my to-do list.  Attending workout classes are a huge part of my fitness regime.  Without them, it’s hard for me to stay motivated!

Have fun! Love your workout or you’ll start hating exercise.

How do you stay motivated? Any mantras that you love?


Speed it Up Running Playlist- Feb 2014

I just don’t understand how some people do it.  How do they go out for a long run without any music?  I’m so conditioned to have headphones in my ears.   Don’t get me wrong, I don’t buy the newest fitness gadgets every year or need the best running gear….I wish I could afford that!

My ipod is about 6 years old.  6 years old?!?! That sounds crazy.  My fiance gave it to me for my birthday a few months after we started dating…….awwww.  Can you believe that I haven’t broken it by now?! 😉

When I go for a run, I’ll get out to clear my head and I NEED some jams blasting in my ears.

Ok so that’s not completely true.  I went for a short run with a friend the other day and I didn’t listen to music.  It was great and challenging!  Holding a conversation and keeping pace with a running buddy is hard work!

Wow this post is already so random.

Basically, it’s simple math.

Sammy – music = a run is not going to happen.

Sammy + music = moderate to decent run.

Sammy + new playlist = better, faster, longer run ====> happier Sammy

How do I find new music?

  • I love sifting through playlists from other bloggers! Share the motivation!
  • I’ll Shazam something I hear on the radio or check out the top singles in Itunes.
  • ANNNNDD at work I’ve been known to stand outside the door of the yoga studio and Shazam a song that I like.  Dork. Yes, I know.
  • Also,  I just read that Jennifer Aniston took Jimmy Fallon’s History of Rap skit and made a playlist with those songs.  Great idea.  I will be doing that.

THEN, I buy the singles on Itunes.

My current playlist is actually labeled “new songs” on my ipod…..but let’s change that to Speed It Up Running playlist.  It’s gotten me through a few recent 5 mile runs…so I’ll call that speedin’ in up….almost time to train for the next half marathon, don’t ya think?

Don’t worry, I have PLENTY of other songs that I’ve loved and that have gotten me pumped up for a run!  I’ll be sure to share those with ya 🙂





Did any of your favorites make the cut?

What songs motivate you? Anything new that you’re loving or do you jam out to old school?

fitting it all in: fitness & to do’s

I read an article in Redbook magazine that talked about not having enough time.  It compared how much free time men have versus women, how experts measure free time (time spent exercising or in the gym counts as leisure time), and figuring out how to take more “me” time.  Isn’t it always a struggle to get it all done? I know I always feel like I have a huge to-do list.

This week I’ve been pretty good with getting my fitness in.  I make it a priority and I’ve been loving lots of yoga.  My schedule is about to change so I tried to take as many classes as possible.

Monday: Cardio weights class & yoga class

Tuesday: 3 mile run outside & motorcycle ride

Yup we’re going to count the motorcycle ride as exercise.  I mean, I didn’t do the driving, but it takes some skill to hold on and I’d say it counts as a butt/ab workout. See my awesome huge helmet below.  Wearing that thing is also a workout 🙂


Wednesday: Baldwin Hills stairs & yoga class

Thursday: Short run outside with a girlfriend & popped into a zumba class for about 40 mins

Friday: Yoga class & walk

Saturday: Yoga class?? hike?

Sunday: Sunday Runday??

Yup we’ll see if I take a day off on Saturday or Sunday instead.

So what about right now?  What is my little inner to-do list telling me to do?

  • Get a car wash or wash my car
  • Clean the apartment
  • Look into at more schools to apply for
  • Meal plan for  next week and pick up groceries

How do I justify not doing said items?

  • I don’t want to spend $14 on a car wash and it’s supposed to rain next week
  • I took out the garbage, put away the dishes, and wiped down the counters….so it’s pretty clean
  • I’ve reached out to a few friends about their schools and programs and am waiting for responses
  • I wrote the fiancé a grocery list last week…so I  hope he’ll pick up some food so I can cook up and prep the meals

Soooo what am I doing instead?

  • Drinking a sparkling water
  • Catching up with my aunt via a few texts
  • Making plans for the weekend
  • Drafting up a few blog posts

I bet many of you are the same way…..a to-do list is rolling through your head right now. Especially if you’re trying to keep a healthy active lifestyle and eat well!!!

I recommend writing everything down and getting it out of your head.

Then take some time off and go for a cruise 🙂  Maybe listen to this overplayed, semi-obnoxious song:  for you country music lovers like myself.


Enjoy the ride and have a restful, healthy, FUN weekend!

mix it up: 1 minute blondie mug cake

First, let’s just say that I’ve been mixing up my workouts so I don’t get bored!

Fitness this week was a little different than normal, since my brother was visiting (big smiles!!).  He’s a pretty active guy so I wasn’t worried that he’d hate if I took an hour for the gym or if we went out for a full day of hiking or walking.

Second, let’s rewind a bit to an unhealthy treat I’ve been mixing up this month! I’ve  been craving carbs and sweets like nooooBODY’s business and have discovered a delectable mug cake recipe…it’s been a delicious indulgence but will NOT make it into my meal plan for the next few weeks….. time to kick the sugar addition.

If you want a heavenly, guilty treat, try making this:

MIX IT UP One-Minute, Mug Blondie:

  • 2.5 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2.5 tablespoons sugar (eeek I know!)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Water (enough to make a wet dough mixture)

Microwave for about a minute  or until desired doneness (I like it a little more raw so it was like cookie dough).  Be like me and enjoy it with your fiance’s peanut m&m’s or the last of his chocolate cocoa ice cream (both of which I hate having in the house b/c ultimately I will eat them).  Sometimes you just can’t stop.

MMM now that I have you craving sugar, let’s describe what I’ve been doing to BURN off those calories:


Monday: Cardio Sculpt Class at my gym (one hour class with full body toning using light weights  (2-5 lbs.) plus cardio: jumping jacks, burpees, boxing, shuffles, etc.) This class is taught by one of my favorite teachers, Alfredo.  Let’s just say he’s a spandex-wearing-bust-out-a move-hands-on kind of teacher. Hilarious.

Tuesday: Power Yoga morning class at the yoga studio (one hour yoga class that incorporated a lot of abs)

Wednesday: 5 mile hike with my brother and fiancé, moderate intensity; plus lots of walking!

Thursday: Popped in to an evening Zumba class for 40 mins of booty shaking

Friday: Yoga class (1 hour and 15 minutes, great stretching, focus on balance and alignment

Saturday: 5 mile run! slowly getting back at it!

Sunday: the plan is to do a few toning routines: Love Your Body Series- Tone It Up. I love K&K!

What was your favorite workout this week?! Any classes that I need to try? I wish my gym had spin classes- I have yet to try one of those out!

LA hikes to remember


If I can’t get outside and go for a run or a hike every few days, I get antsy.  I can’t quiet my mind and the voice inside my head won’t shut up.  When I’m outside I can focus on nature, feel the breeze or sun on my skin, and just BE…it doesn’t hurt that I get my workout in….hello booty.

I’m lucky that Los Angeles has great weather and a surprisingly easy-to-find hiking scene.  Personally, I think early morning hikes are the best.  If I leave early on a Saturday or Sunday morning, I can get to my go-to hike in Temescal Canyon in 15-20 minutes! I hop on the PCH and I’m there- without having to fight beach traffic. YES!   Albeit today I didn’t get there and park until about 8:15 am so technically, it wasn’t early.

This morning there was a “happy” feeling in the air, I swear!  It was a chilly morning- and I’m saying this as a born and raised Wisconsin girl as I wore a long sleeve shirt and leggings in the 55-60 degree weather ( —->wimp).   The hike wasn’t yet packed with people, but everyone that I ran into said “hello” or “good morning”…. so refreshing to get that in LA!  I even got a “Go Badgers!!” and  high five (thanks to my WI hat).

My favorite route  is only around 3 miles, but pretty much straight uphill and then straight downhill.  There’s supposed to be a waterfall, but since it’s SO dry, there normally isn’t any water a-flowin 😦  I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Hilary Swank twice on this hike now….in this floppy (dorky) hiking hat and tan/green little outfit.  Either I don’t get out much or I never recognize celebrities out and about…probably both.

Temescal Canyon wasn’t the hike that I initial planned on taking today.  I found a new hike online and was planning on trying it out.  When I woke up this morning, I decided to stick closer to home and save the farther, more secluded hike for a day when I have a hiking buddy.  I’ve learned to be smarter when I’m out by myself, especially due to my Magical Mountain Lion Hike experience.  I will never forget that hike.  Not only did I see a mountain lion run into my path a few feet ahead of me, but then, after freezing in panic mode for a few seconds, I turned and bolted in the other direction, literally running into Tara a few minutes later.  I was able to hike with her for the rest of the day…feeling completely safe, chatting with her about life, positivity, and LA.




Beautiful clear day.

And then there was the pit stop at the farmers market after…..daisies are my  happy flowers 🙂

Happy day!


in love with yoga…and chia

I started taking yoga in college.   The classes were free for students, so of course, I jumped on board. They were called Powerflow and were pretty basic.  I remember one teacher came around the room and spritzed us with lavender body spray during Shavasana.  Ahh lovely.

Up until a few months ago, I’ve been using the same mat from college, gifted to me by my old roomies.   It was hot pink with a viney white flower pattern.  Since I now get a small discount in the studio I work at, I decided to woman up and buy a new mat.  It was a struggle to decide, I mean Manduka ProLite or Jade Harmony? Do I need such a nice mat?  I figured I’d take at least a few yoga classes a week……and I’d like to become certified and teach and therefore I need a nice mat…..Pro/Con, Pro/Con…..I debated for a few days….until I decided to get the Manduka in a deep royal purple.  DONE! yah!  And guess what, the reviews were correct.  It’s been a very sturdy mat that has so much more cushion than my worn-out-much-loved beginner mat. Only downfall is that my new mat is a little slippery once you start sweating.  Like I have to put down a small towel or my hands slide around while I’m trying to breath deeply and firmly plant my hands on the mat in downward dog. (I’m too cheap to splurge on a yogitoes towel. someday perhaps).  Maybe I should try the saltwater spray that was recommended before initial use OR I should stick to my resolution and get more yoga time in- wear it in and it’s less slippery, so they say.

My girlfriend heard about my mat dilemma and gave me a Jade Harmony mat in light purple, without knowing I had purchased the Manduka! whaaaaat??? I have both now?? Yes, apparently she got the Jade mat from a friend who also had some connection….it fell off the back of a truck…or something…I’m not sure I was too excited and didn’t ask questions.  I happily carried it to the studio and felt like I was stretching out the mat, as if the biodegradable nature of it made it super bendy and it wanted to practice with me.  Anyway, it’s great for stretching and yoga at home.  It works extremely well on top of our carpet.  I guess that’s one plus for a carpeted rental apartment.

Bottom line is I’m glad I have two new mats to practice on.  They’ve been my little islands of calm when I need to mediate or quiet my mind.  Designated areas where I can stretch and tone my muscles. 

I’m actually going to pop into a class today.  It’ll be the second class with a great new teacher I’ve found.  He’s amazing with alignment and I felt like he was correcting my form the entire class last time….which popped my ego a bit, clearly I still have a lot to learn.  I’m up for that challenge.  Becoming a certified yoga teacher is on my to-do list.   I love feeling that sense of calm and accomplishment, like my muscles are getting stretched and I’m releasing negative energy and focusing on the present.  Now that’s something fun to teach others.  Plus, with a really good class, you feel like jello afterwards.

Speaking of Jello, I think the last time I had Jello was when I worked as a Dietary Aide in Madison.  Free snack on break? Hello sugar free jello….strawberry please.  I don’t know why but I used to really like it.  I remember in high school, my mom would buy a few boxes and I would make squares of Jello Jigglers that would be gone in a day or two.  These days I prefer chia pudding….which I guess is similar?   I don’t really measure when I make it, but the basic recipe that I follow is below.   I like to pair it with fruit and enjoy for breakfast or a filling snack.  My mom has even made it for us, topped with a few slivered almonds and berries. YUM. ❤

Vanilla Chia Pudding
serves 2


3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (give or take), dash cinnamon,
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (I used 1 packet stevia when I have it)


Mix all ingredients in cute mason jar or bowl. Let sit for a 30 mins in fridge.  Stir again as chia seeds will stick to bottom.  Let sit for 2-3 hours or overnight until chia seeds will plump up and absorb all the liquid.