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52 Changes to Make for a Healthier Lifestyle

13 Jan




Perhaps because I started the year with a true Ferris Bueller’s Day off.


It’s unfortunate that Mer and Paddy don’t look excited. The driver looks concerned. Yet another reminder to always remove your sunglasses when taking pictures!

Styling and Swagging…and the day had just begun!  Then off to enjoy some Make Your Own Bloody Mary’s from a 30-foot bar, that included crab legs!


Then went on to enjoy some adult libations at the Bears/Vikings game…and Yes, I’m wearing a Vikings sweater.  When in Rome.  Or Minneapolis.



Then traveled for 4 days to Austin, TX for a work conference, where I enjoyed more adult libations, BBQ, fried chicken and did I mention, adult libations, while hobnobbing with more of my favorite peeps?

Alright, Alright, Alright

Alright, Alright, Alright

Terry, Lora and Not Willy Nelson

Terry, Lora and Not Willy Nelson

To round off the middle of the month, a last-minute trip to an all-inclusive resort, aka all you can eat and drink .  Oh no, more adult libations?  Then laying on the beach?



And we are only halfway through January.



I believe it’s time to make some changes!  Or 52 changes!

Song of the Day: My Own Worst Enemy, by Lit

Please tell me why
The car is in the front yard and I’m
Sleeping with my clothes on
Came in through the window last night
And you’re gone gone
It’s no surprise to me I am my own worst enemy
Cause every now and then I kick the living shit out of me
A smoke alarm is going off and there’s a cigarette
Still burning

(you’re welcome)


Ok…2017, Bring it on!  It’s going to be the Best. Year. Ever…




Style and Swag.





Gifts for the Fitness Lover

9 Dec


This month I will be blogging about different gift ideas.  I will blog about gifts for Men, Women, Teens, Teachers, Hostess gifts…and today…the Fitness Lover!  I’ve chosen to blog about Fitness gifts, because of my current obsession with Triscuits.  More specifically the Rosemary/Olive oil variety.  Pair them with a bit of butter… and you’ll also be thinking about fitness gifts.  Or pants with elastic waist bands.


Here’s some sage advice.  Do not, never, ever, ever buy someone a scale.  Unless they actually give you the link to the actual scale they want.  I think that’s a horrible gift, btw.  🙂


More on these gifts at


Love, love, love the Wash Me bag. – $14.


A blender certainly is not s super fun gift, but we make smoothies almost every day and a good blender makes this so much easier!  I also love the happy plugs!



Fitbit Alta!  You can get this for $129 or $149 at Nordstrom.  More on this one, later.



The Rubz ball is a life saver for sore feet. You can get them on Amazon for about $5.50. Happy feet. 🙂


These are some of my personal favorites:

S’Well Water Bottle – you can get these in 9 oz, 17 oz or 25 oz bottles.  Fun fact:  The 25 oz bottle holds an entire bottle of wine!  Cheers!


Fitbit – The Fitbit Alta is the new Fitbit.  Looks good enough you don’t need a fancy, schmany cover or bracelet.  I’ve been wearing my original Fitbit Flex since 2013.  Thinking of upgrading to this one, myself.



Massage – who wouldn’t love a Massage gift card?  Massage envy, Spa Finder or a local spa are good bets.  



Ear buds – Bose in-ear – I received these as a gift and use them every. single. day.  They have great sound and don’t hurt my ears.  I use them while walking Maxie, or running on the treadmill or elliptical.  It’s all about the music!


Ear Warmer ear phones – these are a must if you are outdoors and like to listen to your music and in a cold climate.  Speaking of cold climates, it’s been about 20 degrees here in Chicago.  Ugh.  Anywho, you can find these at Target, Brookstone or Amazon, to name a few.


When in doubt… a Gift Card works.  Lululemon or Althea would be great and appreciated.


Tried and True Books – my personal favorite would be a book or two.

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Mer and I have started binge-watching Gilmore Girls!  I love, love, love it!!  Perfect mother-daughter TV.  Paired with a glass (or two) of wine and it’s a perfect night!


Song of the Day:  There she goes again, by Sixpense none the richer

There she goes
There she goes again
She calls my name,
Pulls my train
No one else could heal my pain
And I just can’t contain
This feeling that remains



How’s this for the cutest little snow dog?  Looking out a a world around her.  A world in which she cannot run, unless attached to a leash.


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!







Eating Healthy in 24 Diagrams…and a Super Cute Promposal

24 Apr



I saw this several months ago and thought, I need to make a blog out of that, so I always know where to locate it. #Favorites.  I specifically was interested in the different Smoothies, but truly, this is Chock-Full of fabulous information.  I mean, bathing suit season is right around the corner.  #ShootMeNow


24 Must-See Diagrams That Will Make Eating Healthy Super Easy


1. For fruit-ophiles.

Photos by Grace Hitchcock for PopSugar / Via popsugar.comSome diets require precision. Yes, even fruit portions.

2. For 5-minute dinners that are sure to be healthy.


3. For when you’re doing the caveman diet.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.comThis food guide will help you maneuver the Paleo way of life.

4. For picking the perfect avocado.

Northwest Edible Life / Via nwedible.comLook, ma! A life hack! More on this here.

5. For smoothies fit for royalty.

Lexi / Lexi’s Clean Kitchen / Via lexiscleankitchen.comSmoothies should be considered cheat food: they’re so easy to make, super healthy, and also taste amazing! Visit Lexi’s Clean Kitchen to read more about them.

6. For smoothies that you have no excuse not to make.

Daily Burn / Via dailyburn.comIt will almost be like you’re not even trying. And oh, did we tell you that there are 8 MORE healthy smoothie recipes that only use three ingredients? YOU’RE WELCOME.

7. For the new “It” food, the Mason jar salad!

Beth / Eat Within Your Means / Via eatwithinyourmeans.comYou can check out the recipe here. And because we love you, here’s more: 18 Mason Jar Salads That Make Perfect Healthy Lunches.

8. For tea so excellent you’ll forget other liquids exist.

utilityjournal.comWhat’s a coffee? You can read about the various kinds of teas here.

9. For soup that’s healthy and oh so delicious.

Shape / Via shape.comImpress your mom without batting an eyelash: these soups are all just different twists to the same basic recipe. Read more at All Souped Up, via Shape.

10. For making the salad dressing of gods.

Kath Eats Real Food / Via katheats.comYour friends will constantly hound you for the recipes. Check out DIY Salad Dressing for more information plus a bit extra…yummy salads!

11. For when you’re treating your lovely self to a night in.

Greatist / Via greatist.comWho says cooking for one can’t be fun? Throw away those frozen dinners, stat! You can find the recipes at The Ultimate Healthy Grocery List When You’re Cooking for One, via Greatist.

12. For yummy-fying grains.

PopSugar / Via popsugar.comThere are other grains aside from rice and quinoa, people! Push the envelope and make it your resolution to try more of them this year. How to Cook Grains atPopSugar will teach you more.

13. For making “guesstimation” of portion sizes a thing of the past.

Guard Your Health Campaign / Via guardyourhealth.comDid you know that your hand is the easiest way to measure a half-cup or three ounces of your food? Yaaaaaaas.

14. For vegetarians looking for other sources of protein.

greatist.comThat means all vegetarians. Info, recipes, and more recipes at at 12 Complete Proteins Vegetarians Need to Know About, via Greatist.

15. For spotting the hidden sugars in your food.

Women’s Health / Via womenshealthmag.comSugar is a clever little thing, and most Americans get way too much of it (between two and three times the recommended amount!). So get informed, read through the ingredients to make sure you’re not getting any more than you should. Check out 56 Different Names for Sugar, viaWomen’s Health for more.

16. For knowing your nuts.

For getting your nuts straight.

Life by Daily Burn / Via dailyburn.comThese make really healthy snacks! You can put them in little Zip-lock bags to munch on throughout the day.

17. For the definitive ranking of all the veggies.

pinterest.comTreat yo’ self! To only the healthiest vegetables, that is.

18. For DIY hummus that’s as awesome as your Lebanese college roommate’s grandmother’s.

Shape / Via shape.comOkay so maybe her recipe is still waaaay better, but at the very least it’ll make you feel more Bohemian. And give you lots of hipster cred, too. Pop over to 13 Different Ways to Make Hummus for more.

19. For marinating your meat to utter perfection.

BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.comCome on, we all know marinating can make or break a meat recipe. Get your meals closer to restaurant level by reading How to Marinate and Make Better Food.

20. For substituting bad ingredients with the good.

For healthy recipe substitutions.

Greatist / Via greatist.comGood news for all sweets lovers: You can still make and eat the fluffiest, yummiest baked desserts without the self-loathing that comes afterwards. Congratulations! More about these here: 83 Healthy Recipe Substitutions, via Greatist.

21. For fans of salad in search of more adventure.

Prevention / Via prevention.comIf you’re the type who lives, breathes, and eats salads, but are tired of having the same thing errrday, then this is for you: Salads That’ll Make You Love Lunch Again, via Prevention.

22. For when you want to be up close and personal with your vitamins.

hellawella.comGet intimate with your letters.

23. For remembering the superfoods alphabet.

For remembering all your superfoods.

Greatist / Via greatist.comToo, too easy. You can do this in your sleep. Find out more in detail at The Healthiest Superfoods, A – Z, via Greatist.

24. For proper superfood storage.

For how to store all your healthy foods.

Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed / Via


So yes, long blog, but it’s all great info.  Best not print this out, as it could be reams and reams of paper!

Song of the Day:  Beer in Mexico by Kenny Chesney…Throwing it back to my Puerto Vallarta trip.  I was first introduced to this song by Kim, yoga instructor-extraordinaire and my birthday twin, in one of her fabulous playlists that she’d make for me monthly.  Truly, Kim and Steph have helped keep me current with music, otherwise I’d just be featuring ELO, Earth Wind and Fire, and Build me up Buttercup.  Speaking of Beer in Mexico, I’m stunned it doesn’t have more than 1M views on YouTube.  #Crazy

Too old to be wild and free still
Too young to be over the hill
Should I try to grow up
But who knows where to start

So I just …
Sit right here and have another beer in Mexico
Do my best to waste another day
Sit right here and have another beer in Mexico
Let the warm air melt these blues away



What a great way to jump start the weekend, last Saturday. Mer and I participated in the first leg of a 6-leg journey taking sweet Maia, a giant schnauzer who was rescued through HT-Z Giant Schnauzer Rescue, from Chicago to Rockford to Dubuque to Des Moines and onto her forever home in Colorado.  #PayItForward Happy to report Maia is happily at home with her brother, Royal, in Colorado.  And Loving life. ❤



We are still loving our sweet Maxie and have no plans to expand our dog family.  She begins 2 weeks of dog training next week.  Should be interesting…Then she is going to become a service dog.  Our service dog. 🙂  Maxie is below with her favorite pig…whom she tore apart and the sweet pig is no longer.


maxie and her pig


Speaking of Promposals, since they seem to be all over the news and you may check out last year’s blog for my take on those,, Patrick hit it out of the ballpark (if I may say so myself) asking Mary to Prom…Whale you go with me to Prom?… when presenting her with a Vineyard Vines bracelet and flowers.


She said yes. 🙂

Upcoming blogs:  6th Edition of My Favorite Things; Entertaining Terry; Things that irritate me; Spring Fashions and more Snark and Sass. 😉

Peace out,










30-Day Abs Challenge – Part 2

30 May


T-2 days till the start of the 30-day Abs Challenge…and is it Ab Challenge, or Abs Challenge?  Guess I’m starting with Abs and whittling down to Ab. 😉 Plus, who knew my blog post of the 30-day Abs Challenge ( would skyrocket my daily views to 3000?  Certainly not I. Makes me think I am Not the only person looking to whittle down my tummy.  I am in no way a fitness expert (but my trainer Denise is), so I’ve tried to field the many questions I’ve received regarding this challenge as best I can, but realize, I, and some others may need further clarification.  So, I went to the actual source, @30dayfitness. You can click on the underlined title on each exercise to bring you straight to the website which also features handy videos… Because, speaking for myself, I thought Leg Raises, were laying on one’s side raising your legs.  Not so much…So, I present, Clarification:

Take up this 30 day abs challenge this month and tone up and boost your core muscles  and body strength to the max.

The challenge has 4 different exercises which you have to do each day, and the time spent doing the exercise slowly increases day by day to help you build up your core body muscle strength gradually, ensuring you are able to complete the final day of the challenge easily.

You only have to do the amount of time shown on the challenge chart once per day, however if you are feeling brave then you can repeat each days challenge as many times as you like – however remember by day 30 it will be very hard to do multiple times.



You can click on this photo, and save it to your computer, to print it.  Or, like me, I’ve saved it to my iPhone, to have it handy, and to see what I can look forward to the next day… Yes, 125 Sit Ups, 200 Crunches; 65 Leg Raises and a 120 Sec Plank on Day 30.  Can. Not. Wait.  Actually, I can. 🙂

HOW TO DO A SIT UP – Doing sit-ups is a quick way to get stronger abdominal muscles. Start off with the basics and then try some modifications to the traditional sit up when you get stronger.

  1. Have your knees bent and the balls of your feet and heels placed flat on the ground.
  2. Place your hands on opposing shoulders, so that your arms are crossed over your chest, or behind your head. This allows you a central rising point.
  3. Tighten your abdominal muscles gently by drawing in your belly button to your spine
  4. Keeping your heels on the ground and your toes flat to the ground, slowly and gently lift your head first, followed by your shoulder blades. Focus your eyes on your bent knees, all the while gently contracting the abdominal muscles. Pull up from the floor until you’re at a ninety-degree angle, or when the elbows are on, or past, the knees.
  5. Hold the position for a second. Slowly bring the torso back to the floor but try to keep it slightly elevated off the ground. This means not to place your back flat to the ground but to keep a slight, yet relaxed, arch.

images (1)


HOW TO DO LEG RAISES – This simple exercise is a great way to work out your abdominal muscles, and is an especially easy one for beginners. Start doing this exercise regularly, and you’ll be one step closer to the amazing abs you’ve always wanted!Target zone: Abdominal muscles

  1. Lie flat on your back with your legs stretched out in front of you. If you feel uncomfortable, try lying on carpet or on a yoga mat. If you have back problems, fold a towel and put it under the curve of your back, just above your hips. Keep your hands flat down on the ground.
  2. Bend your legs and raise them, keeping your toes pointed. Your thighs should be perpendicular to your body, while your shins are parallel.
  3. Straighten your legs so that they’re pointed at the ceiling. Keep your toes pointed. For a harder workout, skip Step 2 and slowly raise your legs to the ceiling without bending them.
  4. Slowly lower your legs to about an inch off the floor. Don’t just let gravity work for your – make sure you’re in control. If the exercise feels too easy, try to lower more slowly.
  5. Slowly raise your legs back up to the ceiling.
  6. Repeat 5 times, then rest for 30 seconds. Try to do 3 sets for now – you can add more later on.




The plank is a balance and core conditioning exercise. In yoga, the plank is often done as part of the sun salutation sequence, or as part of a vinyasa in a yoga flow sequence. You can also perform the plank as a stand-alone exercise. There are two major types of planks, the full plank, where you balance on both arms, and the side plank, where you balance on one arm.


  1. Start off on a yoga mat in the push up position. Starting with the push up position is the easiest way to get into the plank.
  2. Lower both your forearms to the ground so that both your elbows and fists are flat to the ground. Your palms should be balled up, and directly underneath your shoulders.
  3. Curl your toes under and engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button toward your spine.
  4. Straighten your body but keep your neck and spine neutral. Imagine that you’re a plank of wood, and that you’re straight as an arrow.
  5. Flex your abdominals and squeeze your glutes. These are the two major muscle groups you’ll be working out in this exercise.
  6. Hold this position, also known as the plank, until after the burning begins. Keep your eyes on the floor in front of you. Avoid raising your behind. Your body should make a straight line from your heels to the back of your head.


HOW TO DO A CRUNCH  – Want six-pack abs? Try crunches. They’re a lot like sit-ups, except that instead of lifting your entire back off the floor, you only lift your upper back. This isolates (“crunches”) the ab muscles without engaging muscles in your hips.

  1. Lie on your back on the floor. Using a mat or carpeted surface is more comfortable, but make sure it doesn’t have too much cushioning.
  2. Bend your knees. Your feet can be flat on the floor, or you can keep them suspended in the air during your crunches for a little extra crunch.
  3. Cross your arms in front of your chest. You can also place your hands behind your neck or head, but many people tend to pull their head or neck up during the exercise, which can place extra strain on the spine. Your head and neck should be resting on your hands.
  4. Lift your shoulders towards the ceiling using your abdominal muscles and pause at the peak.[1] It is very important not to lift your entire back off the floor, as this can cause back strain, and the extended movement does not help you develop six-pack abs any faster. When your shoulders are off the ground, pause and hold that position for a full second (or more).
  5. Ease back down slowly as you inhale. Don’t just “plop” back down. Your control on the way down works your ab muscles as well.

images (2)

Some of the comments from my blog post, were truly the highlight of my day on Tuesday…I loved the ones that just said, “I’m In” or just “In”, of those who were just delighted to join this challenge…of course, the funny ones bear repeating:

OK T, I am in! Not sure what a plank is though. Can you post a video of you doing one so I know? – Cindy

This was an intervention for me, wasn’t it?! – Megan

I can try at least! I have the core of a 90 yr old, which is why I need it! – Julie

I am game for the wine run!
My sister had an emergency appendectomy and my brother had a heart attack last week. They work out all the time. My sisters who are 15 years older than them drink and smoke constantly…………….. I am thinking I am better served by enjoying a good party  – Chrissie

125 sit-ups on Day 30? Did you see that? Yikes!!! – Kim

Count me in. I do core work, but not much AB work, so I need this to tighten up my belly. WOOT!! – Leighanne


Thankfully, I have lots of friends joining me in this challenge…so I don’t need to worry about everyone being jealous of my soon to be rock-hard Abs…or perhaps my slightly smaller stomach. 🙂

Song of the Day:  Build me up Buttercup, by the Foundations…because, truly, there is no better song out there!


Cannot wait till Sunday to start this Ab Challenge!!  And speaking of me (this is, afterall, DressedtoaT)… I will hit 750,000 views today on my blog. Yup, 3/4 of a Million views.  Thankfully I’m using my blog for good, not evil.  You are welcome. 😉

Have a great weekend…Life is short, make today, and every day, your very best ever!

Go Hawks!!



b426c8974c44140602393ba3240206cb (1)

Working on it…


Though I’ve come close…;)


May explain why I’m Starving! 🙂


100 Reasons to work out today

15 Jun

We all have those days that we don’t want to work out even though we know we should.   When you need a little motivation, look no further.  I found this on Pinterest, and thought I’d share the wealth.  And after a week of eating and drinking like Mick Jagger, I need to read this list over and over and over again, especially since we have an action-packed weekend planned!

Here are 100 reasons you shouldn’t skip your workout today.

100 Reasons to Exercise Now

  1. Because it makes you feel confident
  2. Because it helps you get stronger
  3. Because exercise helps combat depression
  4. Because you’ll feel proud of yourself
  5. Because you have goals you want to reach
  6. Because you’ll feel bad if you don’t
  7. Because you want to move forward, not backward
  8. Because it burns more calories than not working out
  9. Because it improves your heart health
  10. Because you want a great butt
  11. Because it prevents diabetes
  12. Because you want to be a good example to your kids
  13. Because you want to feel good in your clothes
  14. Because it reduces your risk of cancer
  15. Because your body was made to move
  16. Because you want to be an athlete
  17. Because you want to look better
  18. Because it lifts your mood
  19. Because you want to stand taller
  20. Because it reduces back pain
  21. Because it feels good
  22. Because it makes you feel accomplished
  23. Because you spend most of your day on your butt
  24. Because swimsuit season is always coming
  25. Because strong is the new skinny
  26. Because dieting only works so much
  27. Because it strengthens your bones, too
  28. Because it helps you lose weight
  29. Because it allows you to eat more food
  30. Because it’s the best way to spend “me” time
  31. Because it helps you de-stress
  32. Because it’s cheaper than therapy
  33. Because you want a strong core
  34. Because you want to take care for yourself
  35. Because you take pride in your body
  36. Because it strengthens your legs
  37. Because it helps your clothes fit better
  38. Because you want to push yourself
  39. Because you are capable of more than you ever imagined
  40. Because moving your body feels good
  41. Because it keeps your mind sharp
  42. Because it helps you beat belly bloat
  43. Because it helps you sleep better at night
  44. Because it gives you energy
  45. Because you want to stay healthy as you age
  46. Because you want to look younger
  47. Because you want toned arms
  48. Because it improves your balance
  49. Because it burns off last night’s dessert
  50. Because it boosts your immune system
  51. Because sweat is sexy
  52. Because you want to live longer
  53. Because you want to get better at your game
  54. Because you want to catch someone’s eye
  55. Because exercisers earn more money
  56. Because you’re more likely to eat better when you exercise
  57. Because you want to shave time off your running pace
  58. Because you want to breathe easier
  59. Because you want to see the scale drop
  60. Because exercise improves your sex life
  61. Because you are worth it
  62. Because being fit makes everything in life better
  63. Because you promised yourself that you would
  64. Because you deserve a better life
  65. Because it’ll help you drink more water
  66. Because you want to do real push-ups
  67. Because it reduces your health care costs
  68. Because you’ll miss fewer days of work
  69. Because you want to create a new future for yourself
  70. Because it’ll help you like what you see in the mirror
  71. Because it makes clothing shopping more fun
  72. Because you want to look and feel incredible
  73. Because exercising can be fun
  74. Because it’ll give your skin a glow
  75. Because it’s a good way to spend time with your friends
  76. Because it’ll help you prevent the middle-age spread
  77. Because it reduces your blood pressure
  78. Because you don’t want to let yourself go
  79. Because you don’t want to squeeze into an airplane or rollercoaster seat
  80. Because it strengthens your spirit
  81. Because it’s a cheap way to entertain yourself
  82. Because you’ll be able to reward yourself
  83. Because you need a reason to wear those new workout clothes
  84. Because you’re tired of being tired
  85. Because not working out is not going to get you very far
  86. Because it’s a great way to spend time outside
  87. Because you made a commitment to yourself
  88. Because you’re tired of starting over
  89. Because there will always be another wedding, vacation or reunion
  90. Because you’re not a quitter
  91. Because it improves your cholesterol
  92. Because it boosts your metabolism
  93. Because it prevents age-related muscle loss
  94. Because if you can do this, you can do anything
  95. Because a fit body is a healthy body
  96. Because it beats sitting on the couch
  97. Because  everyone has at least 10 minutes to spare
  98. Because you want to be stronger than your excuses
  99. Because not working out isn’t working out for you
  100. Because the only workout you ever regret is the one you skip

Source:  The Spark

more motivation

In case you run out of motivation


my workout partner


Do it

Yes, I posted 2 pictures of Jennifer Aniston…but I just found this 2nd picture, and do think she looks amazing.

running for beginners

Strength training for women

Do you really want those abs?

Mon – Sun

World’s fastest workout

Bob Harper Says

Just Do It!

And a very Happy Father’s Day!



“Every girl is expected to have caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall butt, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, and the arms of Michelle Obama. The only person close to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes. Everyone else is struggling. – Tina Fey”