Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bikini Contest Prep Recap | 3 Weeks Out

Hallefreakinglujah!  I'm seriously feeling like I'm starting to lose steam and I'm so happy we're almost done with this bikini prep.  If it were up to me, I'd compete now and be done with it!  It's the timing more than anything that's throwing me off.  My son is out of school for the summer and didn't like the camp we had him signed up for for these next few weeks, so I cancelled it and he's home with me now.  I'm totally fine with that and only signed him up at camp because I thought he'd enjoy it.  So, since he'd rather be home, that's what we're doing.  

I'm fortunate that I can take him with me to the gym where I train with my trainer and he'll occupy himself quietly with some small toys or his iPad.  I can't help but gush on him that he is so well-behaved at the gym.  I really appreciate that!  But, after my hour workout, I'm supposed to do 45 minutes of cardio and I feel like that's a long time to keep James at the gym with me.  I've been able to do some cardio with him there while he played nearby, but it's not ideal.  

And, we just finished two weeks straight of swim lessons and since he's getting the hang of it, but not quite there, I signed him up for two more weeks of daily lessons.  This time they are at 11am though. So, we go to the gym at 8:30 am, then have to get to swim by 11.  And I have to make sure I have a meal in between the two or I'll be completely starving and wiped by the time we get home.  

Which brings me to all the things we have to pack into the car before we head out in the morning- gym bag with gym towel and water bottle with BCAA, Meal #2 in a small insulated bag with fork and napkin, towel to shower off with/soap/shampoo/etc., change of clothes including flip flops, James' backpack with iPad and toys, and swim bag.  I'm sure some of you can relate to trying to get out the door with 15 bags!

It's just a lot for these next two weeks, but after that, he'll be done with swim lessons (probably) and I'll be done with prep and we can really enjoy the last weeks of summer!  My hubby and I booked a short family road trip to San Antonio towards the end of July that I'm really looking forward to!  

After I wrote this intro on Monday evening, I downloaded a bunch of new songs onto my iPhone so I'd have new music to listen to while I do my cardio.  I think it's going to give me that little push I need to finish this prep strong!  

I don't want to be a whiner or complain about how hard this prep is because no one made me do it and it's not like I'm curing cancer or something, but I try to give you a realistic picture of what it's like to train for something like this.  I had been feeling so grumpy and tired and sore. Attitude is so important and so is sleep! I went to bed at 9pm last night and woke up a new woman!  


Below is my 3 Weeks Out picture on Sunday, June 21, 2015.  We measured my body fat via calipers on June 24 and it only went down from 19.5% to 19.2%.  My trainer is always quick to tell me to judge my progress by the mirror instead of the numbers and said he was surprised that my body fat percentage reads that high for as lean as I'm looking.  He also advised me to do more cardio at a lower heart rate instead of running outside as much, which could be getting my heart rate too high and then eating away the muscle.   I have to admit, I still get confused as to exactly how all this physics/science works- especially regarding cardio because there is so much conflicting info.  It does seem that most agree that higher intensity cardio burns more calories, so if you're going for weight loss, you do need to use a good bit of effort/intensity.  Get to sweatin' ladies!


Monday:  Cardio (45 minutes- run neighborhood)

Tuesday: Train Legs + Cardio (20 minutes on treadmill at incline and slower pace)

Wednesday: Train Biceps & Triceps + Cardio (40 minutes on treadmill at incline and slower pace)

Thursday:  Train Back & Chest + Cardio (30 min: 20 minutes of sprints at 4.0 for 1 min 20 seconds, then run at 8.5 for 40 seconds)

Friday:  0

Saturday: Cardio (45 minutes on treadmill at incline and slower pace)

Sunday:   Cardio (30 minutes - brisk walk with my girlfriend)


You won't believe it! A week without any cheats!  Well . . .  I did eat whole eggs a couple times and I'm supposed to only eat the whites and I did have a couple cappuccinos.  And two protein bars.  

We went out to a restaurant a couple times this week and I resisted!  On Friday night, we went to see Garth Brooks in concert downtown and went to an Italian restaurant before the show.  My husband ordered a caprese salad and a scallop pasta dish, and I ate before we went and just ordered a cappuccino.  Then, I ate again when we got back home.

We were waaaay the heck up there for Garth, but I didn't care- I loved the show!  The man is just so talented and you can tell how much he loves performing and see how much joy he gets from his fans. I was a hot mess through half of it though because so many songs reminded me of high school and living at home with my family and Dad and tears were streaming down my face.  So much for putting on makeup that night!

On Sunday, we went to Grub Burger with family and instead of the burgers and fries, I ordered the ahi tuna salad with dressing on the side.  Delish!  

Because it's been so hard for me to stay stick on my diet, I'll post a couple of the foods that were right in front of my face that I didn't touch this week.  Celebrate those victories!! ;)  I mean cheese fries?!  

For my own meals at home, I started adding wasabi (you can buy it in a tube at the regular grocery store in the Asian aisle) and low sodium soy sauce to my fish for a new flavor, and for my burgers (96/4%), I stuffed a piece of nonfat cheese and some diced pickled jalepenos inside.  I grilled the burgers on the stove for a few minutes on each side. 

My Meal Plan is basically still the same as when I started out.  I'm pretty sure we'll start cutting sodium soon to help me lean out as much as possible in the next two weeks. 


I haven't snapped a 2 Weeks Out picture yet, but I can tell I'm leaning out, especially in my abs.  I ordered a RED bikini that should be here soon and I can't wait!  I'll show you as soon as it arrives! I've also put on my heels and started posing practice.  I remember how difficult it was now- makes me sweat trying to hold those poses and still smile at the same time.  

Thank you so much for your encouragement over the last couple months! It means so much to me and helps keep me going!


If you missed some of my Bikini Prep Posts, you can get caught up here:

And check out my FITNESS tab for all health & fitness related posts.


keep in touch! 

Monday, June 29, 2015

How to Paint Perfect Stripes | My DIY 'Love It' Moment

Today, I'm partnering with Build.com on their #loveitmoment campaign where you can win a $1000 shopping spree on Build.com using #loveitmoment to share your favorite DIY project on Twitter or Instagram.  Build.com is a resource that can help you with most of your home improvement projects and my favorite part is that they have a live chat line so you can talk to an expert if you need advice or get stuck midway through a project.  I'm super excited that one of my blog readers is actually building the media cabinet we have in our living for his home.  He's been sharing his progress along the way and I hope to pass it along to you when he's done.  

One of my favorite #loveitmoment in my own home is the wide horizontal stripes I painted in our foyer that continue around our staircase.  It wasn't difficult to paint the stripes, just tedious to measure  perfectly and then tape the wall very well.  The area in the staircase is really tall and being on that ladder so high up and painting wasn't my favorite thing, but the outcome was worth it. I love it because it adds such personality and makes a bold statement in a space that was otherwise kinda bland.  

How to paint perfect stripes
table (on sale) | round jute rug (on sale) | leopard rug | vase 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Weekend Steals & Deals | Embroidered Tank

We finally got some pool time in this week, which is definitely making it feel like summer!  I'm happiest to report that my son is making significant progress in his swimming lessons.  He's been going everyday for the last two weeks and we decided to continue for the next two.  It's a commitment we take seriously, so I'm fine taking him everyday.  We just have to work our schedules around his lessons.  We were able to get last-minute tickets to see Garth Brooks in concert tonight!  I've seen him once before and he puts on a great show, so it should be super fun.  You can get a peek at what I planned to wear below, that didn't work out;( and a backup idea.  I'd love to hear what you think.

Nordstrom's Summer Clearance Sale (women, kids, and men styles up to 40% off) ends Sunday, so be sure to take a look.  When I'm putting together my weekly Friday post "Weekend Steals & Deals", I"m often shopping right alongside you!  I can't help but add certain "must have" pieces to my online shopping cart and I thought you might like to see how some of those things worked out (or didn't) for me.  

embroidered tank 

I posted a Summer jeans shorts outfit a couple weeks ago and ordered the Embroidered Tank in XS. I absolutely love it and have already worn it several times!  It's perfect for hot summer days and the detail on the hem gives it that something extra.  It looks cute with my reversible tote too (really want the coral one!). 

Summer Fashion - embroidered tank + reversible tote + jean shorts

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Easy Summer Decor

Less is definitely more around here lately and if you find yourself in the same boat, where energy is at a premium, you choose carefully where to spend it.  I mentioned yesterday I've been itching to get back to more home decor and DIY projects, so our master sitting room was a perfect place to bring in a few summer touches.  I lightened up the space with a touch of paint that we had on hand and changed out the accessories for the summery variety.   It's not a dramatic DIY, but it's perfect for a fresh change with minimal effort.  

Fall vs. Summer decor - easy updates by just switching out branches and pillows

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wardrobe Wednesday | Maxi Dresses

Thank you for sticking with me as I finish up the final three weeks of bikini contest prep.  So many of you have let me know that my posts inspire and encourage you and that actually gives me motivation to continue.  It's been super challenging sticking with it this long (9 weeks so far), but I'm also excited about my progress and thankful the end is near.  I don't know if I'll compete again after this, but I know I won't do a contest in July again.  It makes for a bummer of a June in terms of summer vacations and eating out and enjoying simple pleasures like cold ice cream on hot days and evening s'mores. 

I'm trying to just focus on the next three weeks, instead of always looking forward to the next thing.  I can't help it though.  I'm ready to get back to more decorating, organizing and home projects.  I've kept a running list of some things I'd like to do in the coming months.  The other day, I added some summer decor to the entryway and our sitting room and it was nice to spend some time on those pretty things inside our home.  I'll show you tomorrow! 

For today's Wardrobe Wednesday, I got gussied up in one of my summer staples - a maxi dress.  I've always been a fan of dresses because it just makes getting ready so easy.  All you have to do is add shoes and accessories!  Maxi dresses are a definite go-to that make me feel more dressed up than my typical cotton or jean shorts, but being only 5 feet tall, I usually have to order petite or wear with tall wedges.  

I'm really smitten with this Loveappella maxi dress.  The neckline is super flattering and since it comes in regular and petite, I didn't have to hem it.  (I'm wearing XSP- I'm 5'0.) I will have to be careful not to shrink it though.  This length fits perfect with flat sandals

Summer Fashion | Loveappella maxi dress
I'm wearing XSP- I'm 5'0. It could be my wishful thinking, but I think it makes me look taller! I'll take all the help I can get! ;)  

Monday, June 22, 2015

Bikini Contest Prep Recap | 4 Weeks Out

I hope you all enjoyed your Father's Day.  We celebrated my husband and made it his day, but this was also the first one without my own Dad and it was really tough.  I was maybe taken by surprise at how sad I was because I've been doing relatively well accepting the loss.  It reminds me that there are so many of us with Dads not around (gone or estranged) and that's so hard to deal with.  Sending lots of hugs to all of you in my same boat, many of my own close friends included.  I shared some special photos on my Instagram if you want to check in.

Life goes on and it's back to bikini competition prep recap today.  I welcome the distraction.  My son has let me know he's not loving the day camp I signed him up for for these next few weeks (even though he asked to go there originally), so I plan to keep him home with me lots, which means he'll become my gym partner.  When I train with my trainer, he can hang out with his toys and iPad and at my other gym where I just do cardio, they have a "kids gym" he can play at.  But, I like having him with me, so we'll be good.


Below is my 4 Weeks Out picture on Sunday, June 14, 2015.  We measured my body fat via calipers on June 10 and it was holding steady at 19.5%.  We are supposed to measure again this week and I always get nervous about that. 

Bikini Contest Prep - 4 Weeks Out

Friday, June 19, 2015

Weekend Steals & Deals | Summer Sweaters

Happy weekend friends!  I'm so looking forward to some relaxation and hopefully, some sun!  Tropical storm Bill has stolen our sunshine for the last several days and made for a week that didn't feel like summer at all.  But, things are looking up for the weekend and we'll just be celebrating Dad and being together.  This Father's Day is sure to be an emotional one, but we have lots of happy times to remember and be thankful for.  I hope you all enjoy your Father's Day so much! 

Nordstrom's Summer Clearance Sale starts this weekend, so be sure to check out their sales - up to 40% off on styles for women, men and kids. :)

Summer Fashion - Vince Camuto Off-Shoulder High/Low Blouse
Vince Camuto Off-Shoulder High/Low Blouse $79, $47.40 (regular & petite)
Ever since I wore my first off-the-shoulder top, I've been smitten!  These look look fun and I love the colors! 

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