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Rebecca Collected

New Art

Saturday, October 12, 2019
Sure, I may have purchased a car, a house, gotten married, advanced my career, etc, but I think the single most adult thing I've ever done is spent my hard earned money on art. And then on framing said art.

After purchasing this way back in April, taking it to a framer in May, I finally have this back and hung. (Turns out if you have really thick paint on paper rolled up in a tube it takes a loooonng time to flatten back out.)

I love how this little corner is starting to feel a little more intentional and cozy. Now I'll just have to start making some actual decisions on how to reupholster the reading chair I have near this so it's not so 1980s... (Living room decor update soon maybe?)

Anne Nowak Northern Light. Green

Summer Highlights

Saturday, October 5, 2019
Before my little unexpected sabbatical, I used to post one of these at the end of every month as a nice roundup of the major events, the things I'd been enjoying or the feelings I was having. Ironically I've missed posting them for some of the most life-changing months of my life, so let's take a sec to look back on the summer as a whole.

Wedding - Obviously the biggest event of my summer. It was an absolutely perfect day, from the setting, the people, the weather, the food all the way to the playlist (which is honestly probably the thing I spent the most time on during the entire wedding planning process 😂). Planning a wedding is truly a nightmare if you're not a detail-lover, even if you're doing a smaller affair, but it was worth it because I felt like our wedding was a great reflection of us as people and as a couple, and I had the time of my life forcing all my friends and family to make fools of themselves on the dance floor and during karaoke. I just never want to do it again, thanks.

Honeymoon - We had a few weeks after we got married to recuperate, but then it was off to Europe for our honeymoon. We spent a few days in Copenhagen, a city that surprised us by how much we liked it, and then over to London again because we just can't stay away from it. It was a very laid back, cozy, enjoyable trip for just the two of us -- the perfect antidote to the more stressful wedding planning time and all the extroversion that requires.

Selling John's House & Nesting - Technically this can be part of the Honeymoon section, because it actually sold at 4am Copenhagen time a few days into our honeymoon. We spent so much time fixing the house up right before and after the wedding, so having the house sell on the first day it was listed was such a great outcome. It's so nice to be down to one place, no more shuttling between the two homes all the time, mowing two lawns, cleaning both places, etc. Even now, three months later, we're still getting all of the remaining things that hadn't been moved over before all settled in (does anyone know how to hang a 25 ft ladder in the world's smallest garage??), but we're making good progress. I am really pushing for the day when everything has a designated spot in our home again. The end is in sight!

Seattle Family Trip - At the end of July my family went to visit my brother-in-law's family in Seattle. We stayed at their house for the weekend and got the highlights tour of the city. We haven't been on a family trip for a few years so it was nice to spend some time together and to see a new city guided by incredibly hospitable locals.

Seeing Friends - Summer is the most social time of the year for me. Every year we get together for all the summer birthdays -- Thai food and beers for one, after work drinks and burgers for another, morning sand volleyball for another. Then there was the annual trip to Brews at the Zoo, where we old people pretend we can still drink in excess prior to eating dinner, with a backdrop of cute animals. We celebrated new jobs with old coworkers, met up with old roommates in different cities and window-shopped at many, many stores. It's always nice to hang out with all my various people, and something about the warm weather makes it even more fun.

A few other things of note that I've been enjoying this summer: our little garden, seeing Nick Offerman, going to the Omaha symphony with my sister and brother-in-law, new vegan restaurants in town, free yoga at the park near our house, my dad's retirement and the mayor declaring it Steve Henderson day, biking to pop-ups, fall sports starting, scheduling overdue maintenance and improvements for the house, swimming in family friends' pools, composting, new house plants, summer scented candles and our new diffuser, reading early in the morning on weekends.

Charity book sale haul

Saturday, September 28, 2019

The most magical time of the year is upon us once again! The library charity book sale has returned, this year a month earlier than normal. Despite the fact that I still have several unread books from previous years of the very same sale, I once again found myself leaving with an armful of ridiculously cheap books. Here's what I picked up:

Veganomicon - Isa Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero: I actually had to content with multiple people scouring the cookbooks table for vegan cookbooks. In Lincoln, Nebraska. I was a little shocked, but happy. I found this gem before the others and I'm so glad because I've been wanting a copy since we gave one to my parents as a Christmas gift last year. It's not the updated version, but it was only $1.50!

Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng: Honestly I know little to nothing about this book aside from the fact that it's been absolutely everywhere lately so it must be pretty good. Hardbacks aren't my favorite, but this recent of a book is quite the find at these sales so I swiped a copy.

Le Mariage - Diane Johnson: I actually read the previous book in this series, Le Divorce, when I picked it up at this sale a few years ago. I enjoyed the read, and it had some interesting commentary on the differences between French and American culture, so I'm sure the sequel will be a fun read as well.

Behaving Like Adults - Anna Maxted: It's a British chic lit author. Nothing else required.

The Complete Poems of John Keats: I really liked learning about Keats' poetry when I was in college so for a little over a buck I figured I'd pick up all of his works and get back into Romantic era poetry again.

Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe: I have this hair-brained idea that I should read the Guardian's list of 100 books everyone should read, and this one is on that list. I don't know that I'll ever accomplish that feat, but if I do, this purchase will help. Plus, the cover of this version was lovely, and I'm a sucker for book design.

Heartburn - Nora Ephron: I saw Anna from The Anna Edit recommend this book last year so here I am.

The Sun And Her Flowers - Rupi Kaur: Again, it's all over everywhere, so why not see what the fuss is about. At the very least, it's really visually pleasing!

Sketches of Young Ladies, Young Gentlemen and Young Couples - Charles Dickens: I think my brain is yearning to be back in school and learning about 19th century novels again. Charles Dickens is always a good pick, and I've never seen this before! I'm excited to dig into some social commentary.

Shell Seekers - Rosamunde Pilcher: This is a completely indulgent purchase. I already owned a copy of this from a previous book sale, but it's the mass market smaller format, which I find harder to read, so when I saw this trade paperback version I grabbed it right up. I've read a few of her novels before and really liked them, especially as autumn reads, but I've yet to read this one, arguably her most famous work. When the air gets brisk and the leaves start to turn I'll probably crack this one open.

Ladies Coupé - Anita Nair: I always have a few random picks, and this is one of them. A feminist Indian novel, it follows the stories of different women riding together on a train. Sounded interesting and I like to read books from women authors outside America, so we'll give this a shot.

White Teeth - Zadie Smith: Another recommendation from The Anna Edit. I love anything with an expansive, sweeping plot with lots of characters so this very is promising.

Dirty Pretty Things - Michael Faudet: Another book I know nothing about -- it just looked pretty.

Some thoughts on shopping

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Popping on here again to share a couple thoughts on shopping I've been mulling over in the past week.

I haven't really made any conscious decisions to change my shopping habits, but in the last few year or so they've definitely changed. I've been shopping a lot less, there's way less in my wardrobe than there used to be, the pieces are all a lot more considered than before, and I only get something new after spending quite a bit of time considering it first.

Most markedly, I haven't been finding myself enjoying the actual activity of shopping as much. I get this idea to head out to the mall, and if I don't manage to talk myself out of it before I actually leave, I tend to get bored of it all after the first shop or two. I used to shop for hours on end. Maybe it's just because my best shopping buddy no longer lives near me, and the shops in my local malls aren't the places I want to be spending money at, but it seems to have lost it's fun.

I don't think I was entirely conscious of the change in my perception of shopping until I happened upon Leena Norms' 'Why I'm failing • no buy challenge update' video. She talks about her relationship with capitalism, how she did at buying nothing unnecessary for 6 months and what it means to live within a capitalist world while you're trying to cut back on shopping (amongst several other thought provoking and humorous topics). Her video was in response to Hannah Louise Poston's content about her no-buy year, so naturally I had a deep dive into her channel. About 5 hours and several videos later, my brain was firing on all cylinders. Watching Hannah's 'My First Shopping Trip After The No-Buy Year (Storytime)' video was like watching her explain my own thoughts on shopping to me. It was uncanny.

So. Here are some videos. I hope they resonate with you as much as they did with me!

It's been awhile...

Sunday, September 8, 2019
Back in April I wrote a long, meandering post about burnout and how overwhelmed I was feeling. Apparently that was the straw that broke the camel's back, because despite not planning on taking a break from posting I didn't write another word until right now -- 5 months later.


So I guess I did have a lot going on. Even though our ceremony and reception was a pretty low-key affair, wedding planning is no joke. Add to that already rather ominous load planning and organizing a honeymoon, fixing up and selling a house, moving and combining two lives, in all the big and small ways that entails. At the time I was definitely feeling the strain of it all, hence the post in the first place, but I think I thought I was able to keep a lot more juggling balls in the air than I probably should have been attempting.

Now that the dust has settled and I've given myself a bit of time to recoup there's finally a small space of time that I'm wanting to fill again with this little hobby, but only with a renewed outlook. This isn't my full time job. Hell, this isn't even earning me a single penny. Previously I gave myself a little challenge to post every week, which for the most-part was a nice, friendly little push to do something regularly and resist the urge to come home every night and waste away the evening. But eventually, when things really started piling on, I felt the pressure rising.

It was never the writing -- that was always the easiest part. Nor was it coming up with ideas. It was always the photos. For whatever reason, taking photos -- finding the light, a "cute" area of the home or subject of the photo, getting a suitable backdrop, etc -- just started to feel like a huge uphill battle that repeated week after week. When I was thinking about returning to this blog, I knew I needed to let that pressure go and find a new, sustainable approach.

So here's how this return is going to go. In order to make this a no-pressure space to just share what I'm feeling, what excites, intrigues or troubles me, I am not going to stick as closely to a schedule as I used to. I don't aim to turn this into anything big, so amassing a great following that eagerly awaits a scheduled post isn't a goal of mine. I'm fine being a little bit more loosey-goosey with it all. Secondly, I am not going to put pressure on myself to create picture perfect images for posts. I might even post quicker, more off the cuff posts with none at all. That might be a bit strange in this image-centric Instagram-devouring society we're all living in right now, but we'll see how it goes. In fact, I'll start with this post today. #yolo and whatnot.

If anyone out there is still reading, I appreciate you, I'm excited to be back at it again, and I hope you're onboard with this new plan. Be on the lookout for a few more rambles again shortly!


Sunday, April 21, 2019

Discussing burnout really seems to be in vogue at the moment, and maybe that's part of why it's on my mind, but boy oh boy have I been feeling it lately.

In fact, this is the first time in a year and half I haven't had a post for the week ready for Sunday morning's publishing time. I'm writing this from my couch the night before this will go up, and I have no real idea of what is going to come out or where I'm going with this train of thought.

I have spent every single night over the last week working on something for our upcoming wedding, doing some type of life admin thing or working on either my house or John's house. And despite the fact that it's Saturday night and there's a full day of the weekend ahead of me, it feels like tomorrow will be more of a chore than a day off because we'll be out of the house for about twelve hours for Easter related get togethers. The most time I'll have to fill as I wish from now until next Sunday is now, and I'm here working on this.

We drove past a park this afternoon. It was 80 degrees with sunny skies and a light breeze, so it was packed with people tossing a ball around, having picnics, reading in the sun or kayaking on the lake. I could smell the charcoal grills and the grilled food through our open windows. At that moment I wanted nothing more in my life than to have an afternoon with nothing to do. No nagging thoughts of a to-do list longer than classic novels. No scheduled fun time squeezed in between projects. I just wanted to be living a life where things or events weren't my main priority and instead it was my main goal to just sit in a moment and soak it in.

It all sounds incredibly privileged and cliched, and it is, but that doesn't stop me from wanting it.

Obviously when a person is planning a wedding it tends to be a stressful time, and is even going to be a pretty low key one. Soon that will be over, and then hopefully John's house will be finished and will sell quickly and then all will be back to normal.

But I just know I'll immediately start in on some new project, because some part of me is apparently hardwired to think that if I'm not working on something I'm wasting precious time.

Thanks, industrious immigrant farmer ancestors.

Even when I'm not feeling stressed, I'm just always moving. Oftentimes I'll tell John I need to run upstairs to grab some scissors or something and he'll come find me 30 minutes later scrubbing a toilet after having vacuumed the rugs and rearranged a closet. I still wouldn't have managed to grab the scissors. Needless to say, I'm not always very good at sitting around and doing the nothingness I say I crave.

My desire to always be doing something is a bit of how this blog even got started. I just wanted something to do. But when does a hobby turn into a responsibility, a commitment to something rather than fun? I feel guilty for not having something more than this made for this week, and yet it really doesn't matter. I'm not doing this for anyone but me, I'm certainly not making any money, so why do I feel like this too is turning into a chore? Do I need to take a break? Should I give it up entirely or just put it away for a few weeks, or until things calm down a bit more?

All this has me thinking a lot about what I actually prioritize. Right now I would say that's my house, fitness, food, living a lower impact life, my style and beauty routines, traveling and reading. It doesn't seem like a long list, but when I hold it up to the image in my mind of a serene, lazy day at a park, it suddenly seems lengthy and even a bit frivolous. I feel like I have to let some of those things fall back into the background so I can actually have time to fill up my own cup. As an introvert, that time to do one thing I really like is absolutely key to me staying sane so I better figure something out quick.

This has all been a huge ramble, with no real point or structure, but if nothing else I hope it's made you take a second to think about your priorities as well. Anything you want to reevaluate in your world right now? Let's chat about it below. In the meantime, I'm off to go do a face mask and take a few deep breaths. See you next time!

2019 Travel Plans

Sunday, April 14, 2019
Some of you might see the title of this post and feel the urge to remind me that a quarter of this year has already gone by and that maybe I'm a bit late to the game. Fair point, but I've been pretty busy with wedding-related tasks and fixing up John's house so for me the travel year yet has yet to begin! After this slow start to the year travel-wise, I plan to squeezing in some quality exploration in the next coming months. So where am I headed?

London & Copenhagen: After much hemming and hawing, we finally decided on honeymoon locations. While we originally thought about going to Greece, we conceded that we were just too close to the dates we wanted to go to book a hotel that had what we wanted, and the remaining places were just too expensive for what they offered. So we shifted gears, and now we're going back to London together a little more than a year after our previous trip! After three visits and living there for a semester, it's safe to say I love the city and John really enjoyed it when we went last year as well, so we're going back for more. This time it has the added bonus of being one of the top cities in the world for vegan restaurants and you can safely bet that our list of things to do there is mostly just a list of restaurants. We also wanted to go somewhere new together, so we book ourselves some cheap Ryanair flights to Copenhagen for a couple nights as well. I'm counting down the days until I can wander the halls of the danish design museum and hit up the free wine hour at our hotel. But first we just have to do that small thing of actually getting married...

Seattle: In late July my whole family will be heading to the west coast for a long weekend in Seattle. My brother-in-law grew up in Seattle and his parents still live there so we'll be staying with them in the suburbs of the city. I've never been to Seattle before so I'm super excited to see the city with locals and have a nice homey place to return to each night. My sister has talked up the meals she eats with their family whenever she visits too so that definitely doesn't hurt. I need to start working on a temporary nickname for the weekend however, because my brother-in-law's mom is also named Rebecca! Suggestions welcome. 

Portugal: One of the benefits of having a retired mom that loves to travel is that she's subscribed to every cheap flight email notification a person can be and she reads them all almost as soon as they hit her inbox. My family has been talking about taking a trip ever since we realized that our last non-camping family trip was in 2012 😳so when she saw cheap flights to Portugal, a country none of us have been to before, with availability right around Thanksgiving, we leapt on it. We'll be there for a week, starting in Lisbon. We haven't planned anything yet, but I imagine we'll be staying in an Airbnb together, spending some time in Lisbon and maybe renting a car so we can see a little more of the country. I'm looking forward to traveling with my family, especially since we don't speak the language. Having a group takes a bit of the stress of traveling away. At least if you get lost you're lost together!

A Weekend Getaway?: I am thrilled to be going to as many places as I've listed so far, but I'm also eager to squeeze as much travel in as possible so I'm still contemplating a weekend getaway to somewhere close to home if possible. I need to make an IKEA run, so perhaps Kansas City (if they ever reopen I-29) or Minneapolis, where several aunts and one of my best friends live? Denver is always nice for some hiking, but then again John hasn't been to the Snowy Range, a family camping favorite, so perhaps a Wyoming trip is in order. Even just a quick little camping trip to a nearby state recreational center or lake would do. Where ever it is, I want to get out of Lincoln and Omaha and explore some new places!

What are your travel plans for the rest of the year? Or do you have any recommendations for me? Let me know! Otherwise, see you next time!

March Highlights

Sunday, April 7, 2019
Every so often I have one of those days that makes me feel like I need to pinch myself. This March I think I had one of those days every single week and I'm feeling ridiculously lucky for it.

Booking our honeymoon: We started out the month strong by finalizing all our honeymoon plans and getting all our flights, hotels and Airbnbs booked. We're heading out this summer for two weeks and we'll be going to London yet again (we can't help ourselves) and taking a little jaunt over to Copenhagen as well. I can't wait to eat at as many vegan places in London as I possibly can fit in and to see the chair room at the design museum in Copenhagen! We're still finalizing what else we want to do with all our time over there but I'm sure I'll share it here at some point so watch this space.

A surprise bachelorette party: A few months back a friend asked if a couple of us wanted to come up to Omaha for a sleepover because her husband was going to be out of town. I thought nothing of it. It turns out it was all a ruse to get me in Omaha so my friends could surprise me with a pseudo bachelorette party. Most of my friends live out of town at this point so I was very surprised when my friend that currently lives in California opened the door of our hotel room. We had a great time going to dinner at Modern Love, drinks at Nosh and then back to Hotel Deco for some more rosé and snacks, including a cake emblazoned with the phrase "Same Penis Forever." My friends are great.

My bridal shower: There's a definite wedding theme to last month, but we're getting close so everything is really gearing up. In the last week of March a very organized, crafty and plan-loving family friend threw me a bridal shower. I knew nothing about the plan or theme -- I was simply told to show up at 11am. It turned out to be a travel themed shower which was perfect. She made a vegan brunch, we drank mimosas and got really competitive trying to see how many words can be made from the word "travel." (The answer is 72, by the way)

Visits from friends: With all these wedding related events happening, I ended up getting to see a lot of friends from out of town. Like I mentioned earlier, my friend Melissa from California was here, my friend Jade from Wisconsin came and my friend Nicole and her boyfriend from North Carolina that I've mentioned in my guest room makeover posts (here and here) stayed with me for a weekend. It was absolutely fantastic getting to see all of these people, especially when I wrangled them all up in one room for my bridal shower and dinner and drinks that same evening. I am so grateful I'll get to see them all again in a few months for the wedding!

Odds and ends: There were a lot of big events and milestones this month, but there were also some smaller things of note scattered throughout. We were lucky enough to use my parents' tickets to Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra at the Lied Center, which was a fantastic performance. My parents brought me up on jazz music and it's always really fun to see performances that can at once delight you, make you want to dance and cause an entire hall to get so intensely quiet in awe of a ballad that you can ear a pin drop. I highly recommend seeing them if they come near you. Another entertainment highlight was the return of Queer Eye. If you haven't watched season three yet, grab some tissues and go log into Netflix immediately. We can continue when you've finished.

Finally, if you've been following the news I'm sure you've seen the headlines about the flooding in the Midwest. In Lincoln we were lucky enough not to see any flooding, but other parts of Nebraska were and still are particularly badly hit. My friends flying in said they saw lakes where water should not have been and some of my coworkers have family whose homes were completely submerged and destroyed. A lot of this month was colored by mandatory and then voluntary water restrictions. We skipped workouts to avoid showering, switched to bottled water and used disposable plates and silverware. For someone who does her best to avoid using anything disposable or plastic, these swaps were the opposite of what I usually make, but sometimes it's important to remember that the plastic-free, waste-free option isn't always the right option. Despite all this, it's been an absolutely fantastic month and I feel so privileged, happy and loved. See you in the next one!

Guest Room Makeover: An Update

Sunday, March 31, 2019

You faithful readers might remember that about a month ago I started work on transforming this once almost empty room into a guest room, and I'm happy to report that as you're reading this it will finally be housing some guests! 

I don't consider this room done by any means, but it's got all the basic necessities to be considered a pretty comfortable setup. We've got a bed, actual bedding (minus a bed skirt), real life pillows, a lamp plus a light bulb (such luxury), plants, a giant TV and Xbox (boys will be boys and whatnot), a chair that you can't actually sit in yet (I really need to buy clamps and wood glue), and a semi-styled shelf! 

The miraculous part of all of this is that the only things I bought were the duvet and cover, the two throw pillows and blanket and the lamp. The rest I already had! No bad for conjuring a room out of nowhere if you ask me. I've definitely done up this room on a budget so it's not exactly how I would have styled things if I were starting from scratch (I'm looking at you, rug) and we've still got very bare walls and windows going on over here, but it works and will hopefully be a very comfy room for a long weekend (so long as you don't try to sit on the chair).

I'm calling that mission accomplished-well-enough-for-now on operation Guest Room Makeover. Until next time, have a great week!

A Little Earring Haul

Sunday, March 24, 2019

A few weeks ago I went shopping with my sister and boy did I need a good shop. There's just something about getting out of the house, hanging out with your favorite people and getting to nose around shops and see what's new and beautiful this season. I was on a mission for wedding related items at the time, but of course sometimes life happens and you end up with more earrings than you previously even owned. You know how it goes. So without further ado, let's take a look at my little earring haul and laugh together as I try to describe them!

Oh and please note, most of these are from H&M aka the fastest of fashion so 1) please don't judge me too hard for shopping there and 2) I did my best to find links for these but even though I bought them only a couple weeks ago, they're no longer online. I tried to find similar items where possible.

I think my obsession with everything tortoiseshell began spring of last year, especially with this post, and it hasn't slowed down since. These earrings are just another manifestation of that fixation, but they're perfect. Lightweight, not too flashy, and they kind of blend in with my hair so I could easily wear these at my very casual workplace and not feel overdressed.
Similar H&M $14.99
Similar H&M $12.99
Similar H&M $5.99

To be quite honest, I really liked these when I was in the store, and since coming home I like them less. I still think they're fun, but I'm struggling to come up with outfits I'd wear with them. Everything else I have is pretty organic feeling, and these are so very structured. At least they'll be fun to experiment with!
H&M $6.99

I think of these as little blobs of gold. If you find a better way to describe them, please let me know. They're super lightweight which my ears appreciate, but still pretty dressy so I'll likely be saving these for nights out. As you can see in the picture they're already a little scratched so I'll have to be pretty gentle with these, especially given how reflective they are.
Similar H&M $14.99

I think these will be the most wearable of all the earrings I picked up. They open from the middle and just snap close, so there's no stupid tiny back to wrestle with. The post is a bit thicker than most earrings I think so that was a little uncomfortable at first but my ears quickly got used to that. Much better than the time they put an earring into my rook piercing 2 sizes bigger than they had before, but that's a story for another time... Anyway, these are fun to wear, pretty easily dressed down for work and up for play and I love the chunky look.
Target $7.99

I am in love with these, but ironically I still haven't worn them yet. In my eyes they're the most dressy of the earrings I bought, so I'm waiting either for an actually dressy occasion or for it to warm up enough that I can dress up a white t-shirt, high rise blue jeans and casual shoes with these gorgeous things. Just look at the shape of those "pearls." And the "gold" posts that remind me of tree bark. I die.
Similar H&M $14.99
Similar H&M $12.99

I definitely have my work cut out for me getting wear out of all of these, especially when I've been religiously wearing my Mejuri mini hoops and some studs John got my for Christmas throughout this winter. Now that it's spring though maybe I'll actually go outside every so often and have an excuse to dress up a little. What a concept. Until next time, have a good week!

My Week in Workouts

Sunday, March 17, 2019
Guys. There's sunlight and warmth outside. It's a miracle! Spring is finally here, which is fantastic because my poor winter boots need a break from being worn every single day, but it also means that we're on the home stretch before our wedding. For the last few weeks we've been focusing on keeping a really consistent gym schedule so we can feel great for our wedding and honeymoon. Neither of us want to change a lot -- no major weight loss or gain goals, no bulking up or shredding, just good old fashioned maintenance and basic strength. I thought I'd take you guys along for the week to show you what we've been doing lately and talk a bit about what our gym plans are up until the big day!

Weekends have been active rest days for us for as long as I can remember. Some people like having the leisure of more time on the weekends to hit the gym, but I'd rather squeeze it in during the weekdays and then use my weekend time for delightful tasks like cooking, cleaning and running errands. Such fun. This Sunday we spent our morning batch cooking all our meals for the week.  (Batch cooking has seriously changed our weeks. More on that some other day perhaps.) That's about 3 hours of chopping, standing by the stove and over the sink doing dishes. Nothing to break a sweat, but it keeps you on your feet. The rest of our afternoon before dinner was running all kinds of errands -- wedding band shopping, a quick Target and Home Goods run and a trip to Trader Joes. All in all we were probably on our feet for 6 hours of the day. Not bad for active rest!

Today's workout:

Up at 5:50am today to head to the gym. This is only our second week of trying out morning workouts. We realized we'd only have to wake up 10 minutes earlier than we had been anyway in order for us to get to the gym, workout, shower off and get ready there instead, and then we'd be able to go home straight after work instead of losing an hour of our evening free time. All we have to do is make sure we prep our gym bags and lunches the night before, which is totally doable! I will say, waking up at 5:50am this week was harder than last week thanks to daylight savings time, but we made it work.

Today's workout:

Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body Guide (BBG) Week 2 - Legs and Cardio

Circuit 1
10 burpees
20 jump lunges
24 knee ups
15 sumo squats

Circuit 2
100 jump rope skips (I don't use a jump rope, I just hop)
24 weighted walking lunges
30 reverse lunges + knee lift
15 jump squats

Two days a week we tend to do some low impact steady state (LISS) cardio. When the weather's nice we are planning on walking to work and back, which is about 2 miles each way, but alas, winter appears to never be going away so we hit the gym instead. I opted for the recumbent bike and 35 minutes of scrolling through Instagram and Facebook. Perhaps not the best use of my time, but sometimes that's all you can take at 6am. One thing I'm still trying to figure out is how to go from a sweaty betty to work appropriate within an hour. My face always gets really red, and even though we have showers to rinse off and cool down in, when I attempt to put on concealer it's almost comical how much it stands out from my beet red face. Today I had to wait and do my makeup in my work bathroom. The cleaning people that I ran into in the bathroom probably thought it was a morning after situation 😂

Today's workout:
10 miles (35 minutes) on the recumbent bike, medium resistance.

So just like Monday's workout, today is another workout from Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body Guide. I've done both her first and second guides (her second one is no longer sold) several times through before and I always go back to them when I just want something quick, hard and all planned out for me. There are basically three workouts a week, with some recommended LISS or HIIT workouts on a few other days of the week. Each workout is 28 minutes plus some rest time and they're comprised of 2 circuits of 4 exercises each. You set a timer for 7 minutes and do the exercises from one circuit as many times through as you can. Then you rest for a minute or two and move onto the second circuit for another 7 minutes. Repeat both circuits again and then you're done! It's all exercises you can do with only some basic equipment so it's easy to do in any gym or even at home. Honestly, I torrented the guides back in 2015, but if I knew then how much I would use them and still be using them in 2019, I would have paid. They're definitely effective!

Today's workout:

BBG Week 2 - Arms & Abs

Circuit 1
15 dumbbell squat and press
15 tricep dips
24 commands
20 straight leg jackknifes

Circuit 2
20 situps
15 mountain climber (4) + pushup (1)
15 straight leg raises
15 lay down push ups

Another LISS day in the gym this morning. Even though I'd rather have been walking outside, at least I got in some extra reading time today. Currently reading The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan and it's starting to become a page turner so I'm grateful for the opportunity to really settle in with it. (I've got Goodreads if you want to be friends)

Today's workout:
9 miles (30 minutes) on the bike, medium resistance.

Today was tough. Five days of pre 6am wakeup calls is no joke, especially when the night before was spent going to dinner, grabbing a drink and dessert and then seeing Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra afterwards. I was not feeling motivated to do burpees. We still went to the gym, and we still did our planned workout, but perhaps it wasn't my best effort ever. I still left the gym as bright red as ever though! After work we spent the evening doing all our grocery shopping so we were up on our feet again for about 2 hours while in pursuit of the best bulk deals.

Today's workout:

BBG Week 2 - Full Body

Circuit 1
10 burpees
30 jump lunges
15 lay down pushups
15 sumo squats

Circuit 2
15 mountain climber (4) + pushup (1)
15 straight leg jackknifes
100 skips
24 commandos

Another active rest day today. And we can sleep in! What luxury! We were still up and at 'em at 8am so we could start another morning of wedding-related appointments and errands. (Seriously, planning a wedding sucks) The afternoon I spent deep cleaning the house. Last week was madness due to car troubles with BOTH CARS and honeymoon planning, so the house reaaaaally needs it this week. I was zipping around the house for a couple hours, but then I balanced it out with dinner at Chipotle with the future in-laws and binge watching the newest season of Queer Eye at night. Perfection.

Today's workout:

For the time being, we're still planning to carry on with these absurdly early workouts and I hope to finish another round of Kayla Itsines' 12 week guide before the wedding. Having a limited timeline is helping me stick with it and not give into the snooze button, but maybe we'll go back to evening workouts if we're feeling particularly tired some week. I'm just glad to be back on a workout routine! I'll be sure to keep you all posted. Until next time, have a great week!