^ i remember when kaela and kylie were 8 and 6 years old and would come to brighton's "mini clinic"
way back when i was a cheerleader, and now they are in freaking high school themselves!!!

^ dunkin donuts, sliders, 7 layer dip, football themed desserts, etc…
the super bowl bash was a great pre-birthday celebrations!!!

^ big thanks to my gf ashlyn for getting me a new lulu lemon top for my birthday
and taking me out to dinner at our fav place, wingers!!!

 ^valentines day dinner at mazza… mmmmmm

^ park cafe is still our favorite breakfast place… it just can't be beat



i lied before when i said i don't do cardio.  i do... for 4 minutes.

it's called a tabata.  if you want to read details about it, you can here.  basically it is just a 4 minute interval:

20 seconds of activity, 10 seconds of rest, 8 times each.

most people do tabatas with sprints.  you can do this really easy on a treadmill, sprinting for 20 seconds and then jumping to the sides for 10 seconds.  i like to do a few of these at around 10mph, depending on how i'm feeling, at either the beginning or end of a work out.  i swear it sounds easier then it is.

what i REALLY love to do with tabatas is to either add a tabata (of jumping jacks, burpees, etc) in between lifts to get my heartrate up.  i never thought that i could be sore from jumping jacks, but if you do them as fast as you can with good form it's definitely possible.

i also love to do 4 or 5 different tabatas for a quick, at home workout for those days that i am in a hurry or just don't want to go to the gym.  here is a basic tabata workout that can be done anywhere.  it focuses on the lower body and trust me, it will get your heart rate going.

tabata 1:  high knees  {make sure you are using your abs to lift your legs to a horizontal level.  the higher you get them the better the workout. }

tabata 2:  frog jumps  {if you feel like you can't finish all the rounds of frog jumps, change to squats - no resting unless it is during a 10 second rest period!}

tabata 3:  butt kickers  {this is probably the easiest one, but no cheating.  heel to your butt every time and hopefully you feel it in your hamstrings. }

tabata 4:  leg lift/toe touches  {while standing, lift your left leg in front of you, keeping your leg straight.  touch your right hand to your left toe, then lower.  repeat on the other side.  again, no cheating.  keep your leg as straight as possible and try to make it to a horizontal level.}

tabata 5:  squats  {my number one rule of squats and lunges - don't let your knees go over your toes unless you want to ruin your knees!  i usually do these squats with a kettle bell or dumbell because i always try to lift heavy for my lower body since i have such a flat booty, but feel free to do them weight free. }

and there you go, a 20 minute workout (and a really awesome picture of me doing high knees!).  well, 24 minutes actually, because i recommend a 1 minute rest in between each tabata. 

if it's too easy - you are a rockstar and should add on 200 walking lunges with weights and some tabata sprints.  if it's too hard - cut out one of the tabatas (probably the frog jumps, those are the hardest). 

everyone has a different fitness level and that is perfectly fine.  if you are putting in the effort to workout, then you get an A+ in my book.

p.s. i recommend getting a tabata app on your iphone!  there are a bunch of different ones and most are free.


love day

dawson goes on a snowmobiling trip every presidents day weekend, and most years this also falls on valentines day.  to be honest -GASP- i don't mind at all!

i know i sound like a holiday hater, but i'm not.  we always celebrate before he goes and it's even better because restaurants aren't crowded and we can go wherever we want.

plus dawson always sends me some sort of present in the mail AND diana took me and jen to grand america to get massages and facials.  now i just sound obnoxious because i'm really getting more spoiled than i would if dawson was actually in town, so i'll just stop here.

anyway, our valentines day celebration (aka love day) was fabulous.  we spent the day together and went to mazza for dinner where we dipped our fries in so much garlic aoili sauce you could smell the garlic on our breath from a mile away.

i love my valentine and am so grateful that he is mine forever.  and that he'll still kiss me even when i have garlic breath.  now that is true love.


her birthday

i just went over how we celebrate birthdays in our little family, so if this seems like a repeat post then don't think you are crazy.  we just like to stick to what we know.

it was leg day, so that meant we got to go some place REALLY good for breakfast.  which obviously was the waffle house.  i was worried ice cream/whip cream/cookie butter on a waffle was going to be a little too sweet for breakfast, but no.  it was perfect.  good thing calories don't count on birthdays!

after we went to the mall to buy a thing or two (and to return the present i got dawson for his bday - fail), and then went to a movie.  one of my most favorite food splurges in the world is movie theater popcorn with extra butter.  and to then go back and ask for even more butter.  heaven.

my mom and dad took us out to eat at the dodo, and uncle freddie and alex joined us.  tyler had work and kylie had drivers ed so they missed the party...

and oh what a party it was, because after dinner we went to nielsens!  if you know me at all, you know this is my favorite place. 

some how my beautiful mama got out of being in any pictures, dang it.  but she was the one who brought candles, and i got to blow out my birthday candles on my fav dessert (vanilla concrete with coconut and almonds) instead of a cake.  amazing.

thank you to my husband, my family and all of the friends who text/called/social media-ed me and made my birthday fantastic and showered me with love.  26 is going to be a great year, i can already tell!  


his birthday

dawson and i have developed a routine for special occasions and i have to say i really love it.  

every time we are celebrating some thing, we will follow roughly this same schedule:  

sleep in, work out, go out to breakfast, do a few fun activities (usually one involving dash), and then going out to dinner.  

oh it is the best.  even if it's the other person's "day".  so here is how we did dawson's bday celebration:

we started with a work out at golds gym with all the gym bros.  dawson thought i was dumb to take a picture, so he wouldn't stop working out.  being 25 makes him soooo hardcore.  but not as hardcore as all the bros in tank tops behind us.

then we went out to breakfast at the original house of pancakes.  we enjoy stuffing our faces with fat and calorie laden breakfasts (hey, we didn't just work out for no reason!).

then we ran some errands (ok, not the most fun, but having the day off together because it was MLK day made it fun), did a little house hunting, and took dash to the dog park with his friend benji.  

after that we were somehow hungry again.  don't act so surprised.  we had heard alamexo was delicious so we splurged and went there for dinner.  it definitely did not disappoint.  we even had the restaurant to ourselves because i guess it isn't hip to go to dinner at 5pm?

the queso was to die for.  i still dream about it at night sometimes.  but as you can see, the portion sizes weren't what you would call large, so we decided we had room for dessert.  off to cheesecake factory we went.

aaaand ending with a s'mores cheesecake, it was a perfect day celebrating the fact that dawson was born!