Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Work Out Wish List

I go through phases where I only buy certain items while out shopping. I go through stages of only tank tops, lots of prints, cooking gadgets, jewelry, and as always, I'm always in the mood to buy new running shoes. Right now I'm on a kick to buy new work out clothes, accessories and gear. It makes me more motivated to exercise when I'm wearing a new outfit and my hair  is wrapped in the cutest new headband. My budget is tight but here’s what’s on my wish list for fitness gear!

LuLu for Life

It’s supportive and adorable- what more could you ask for. Plus, no wish list is complete without some LuLu!


Heart Rate Monitor

This item is inspired by our girl Lauren. She got one for her birthday and hasn’t done a work out since without it. I get envious of her when we go on runs together because she can tell how far she's ran, the amount of calories burned and can make sure to keep her heart rate in her target zone. I NEED this. 

This is the one Lauren has, but hers is pink. 


Tank Top Trends

It’s all about the tank tops, especially in the summer! I like this simple and affordable Nike tank. The bold, bright lettering is fun and it’s loose fit is my favorite! They have other colors too!


Head in the Game

I love head bands. If they get too thick though, they make me super hot almost like I’m wearing a winter beanie while running 6 miles in the summer. Not a fun feeling. This one is stylish, small and unique. And for only $12 it can fit into anyone’s budget. 


Bag it up

I thought I was done with LuLu Lemon things on my wish list, but this gym bag is to die for. It’s huge, can hold up to 50 pounds and heck, it’s bright and beautiful! As for LuLu prices, it’s not too shabby either. 


I love these new fitness items. My budget my not call for all of them but a girl can dream, right! 


Friday, July 19, 2013

Sip on Summer

I’m not sure how you all feel, but to me it’s seems like it’s been an extremely hot summer. I cannot walk to my car without a bead of sweat rolling down my forehead. The humidity in Colorado this summer has been worse than I have ever known which turns my hair into a giant lions mane. Whenever it’s this hot, I find myself reaching for a cold beverage and wanting to sip on it all day long. Only problem is that most of the cold frozen treats are loaded with sugar and calories. Starbucks newest Frapacinno, Carmel Ribbon Crunch contains a whopping 580 calories and that’s just for a tall! If you want to stay on track for your fitness goals it’s important to make wise choices while enjoying your favorite summer beverage. Here are some healthy options and some of my favorites!

Cool lime Starbucks Refreshers: 50 Calories. 
This drink is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up and it is super light and refreshing (hints the name!) The fruitiness of the lime mixed with a little mint flavor is the perfect combination. Heck, it even has fresh limes sliced right into it! And with a Starbucks on every corner in America it’s easy to find this healthy treat. 

Iced Coffee: 5 calories (without cream or sweetener) 
It’s simple but I think it’s my favorite thing to guzzle down during the hot summer days. I usually add a little half and half to make it creamy and then take off to my next summer activity with my cold coffee in hand. 

Pomegranate Pick-me-up Smoothie (Jamba Juice): 170 Calories
I actually haven’t tried this one yet but it’s been on my mind all summer. It has 1/3 fewer calories, sugars and carbs than the regular smoothies so it’s one that I am willing to go out of my way to try!

Skinny Pina Colada: Appox. 150 Calories
I haven’t had a chance to make this yet, but it sounds incredible and super summery! The ingredients and directions are simple which is very appealing to me. This could be the perfect summer BBQ drink and you won’t have to worry about the thousands of calories most cocktails have. Careful though, this one might get dangerous- unless you want to be dancing on tables in front of your friends and family you better drink it slow!

2 oz Barcardi Rock Coconut Rum
5 oz coconut water
2 oz pineapple juice
-Shake well with lots of ice. Garnish with a pineapple. Enjoy!

Vodka Soda with Lots of Lime: Appox. 60 Calories
-This is my all time favorite summer nights drink. It’s extremely refreshing because I add a ton of lime and the soda water gives it the fizziness that everyone enjoys. Not only do you save on calories with this drink but also on pennies. It’s usually one of the cheapest drinks to order at a bar or restaurant. 

There are a million ways to enjoy the summer- one of my favorites just happens to be drinking it through a straw. The flavors and fruitiness of most of these beverages can only be thoroughly enjoyed when it’s toasty outside, so do it now- take your bike for a spin and grab a cool (and healthy!) sip on the way. 


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Taking Time to Smell the Roses

This is something I have been stuggling with lately, to really stop and enjoy the life that is going on all around me. My life has been a little bit of a whirlwind as of late, with my work load picking up, closing on/moving into a new house, and then leaving for vacation less than a week after moving. I found myself getting easily irritated, snappy, and stressed.

Moving Day!

But what are my reasons? These are all beautiful blessed things that I am so very grateful for. I think I was getting lost in the hustle and bustle of it all and not taking the time to look around and realize how incredbly lucky I am. To purchase our first home with the love of my life, to have a steady job that provides, and to be able to get away from it all in a beautiful place. Thankfully a week in Mexico with my love seemed to be the perfect remedy! It was exactly what I needed; no schedule, no agenda, nothing to do but relax, decompress, and re-prioritize.I got to read my bible every morning, have deep and meaningful conversations with my husband, dream about our future, and just be still.

My favorite morning spot

Now that I am back home and the vacation is over, I find myself taking life on with more ease. My priorities have been re-aligned and I am realizing that if our home isnt decorated exactly how I want it in the first month, life will go on. If I have a not-so-great day at work, try again tomorrow! If our house isn't spotless when people come over, no one will care. And life will be more enjoyable! I know life only gets busier and crazier from this point forward, and I want to relish in every season. You only get to live once!

My goal this month: Stop and smell the roses. Take in all the beauty of this world. More fellowship and community. Not get wrapped up in material things. Enjoy life! I hope you can find the time to look around and realize how beautiful life really is.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Today's Coffee Compliment

I'm always on the hunt for "cook ahead" breakfast ideas to incorporate into my work week; something I can just pop into a ziplock for a post workout breakfast without the requirement of refrigeration or re-heating. I happened onto a recipe and melted over summery berries and nutty flavors. Post workout breakfast ideas are tricky for those on the go. Finding a good amount of carb and proteins to nourish and refuel your body after a lift or some cardio can be a challenge.... 

Friends, meet the Gluten Free Hemp and Honey Blueberry Oatmeal Cups... I've never found an oatmeal item I didn't like.  

Hemp is an awesome high protein super food with so many nourishing benefits! 

  •  Hemp is high in protein, containing 9 of the essential amino acids, a fantastic vegetarian protein source!
  •  Hemp is a great source of omega fatty acids, the good healthy fats!
  • Hemp contains an ample amount of fiber which works great to keep your digestive system running smoothly and keep you feeling nice and full!
  • Hemp contains disease combating phytonutrients and anti-oxidants
  •  Hemp contains a slurry of minerals including zinc, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, and iron! 

The "How To"...

- 1 Cup Rolled Oats (GF if needed) 
- 1/4 Cup Hemp Seeds (hemp hearts are the same thing) 
- 6 Tbs. raw honey (divided) 
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce 
- 1/2 Cup Fresh Blueberries (or any other berry that fits your fancy) 
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk 
- 1/4 Tsp. Vanilla Extract 
- 1/4 Cup Egg Whites 

The When and How Of the Oatmeal Cup: 

- Preheat the oven to 375 and lightly grease your muffing tin 
- In a bowl combine all the ingredients except blueberries, stir to combine (use only 3 tbs. of the honey and set aside the rest.) 
- Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes 
- Fold in your berries
- Divide the mixture among 10 muffin cups and with the back of the spoon put a small indent in the middle of the mixture in each cup 
- Bake for 20 minutes and for the last 3 minutes set to broil just to get a little crust on the top 
- Once done, you may want to deepen the indent in the middle slightly of each oatmeal cup with the back of the spoon slightly to make room for the honey filling. 
- Allow the cups to cool completely before removing from the tin 
- Once cooled, fill each cup indent with about 1 tsp. of the remaining honey, and sprinkle with those yummy protein packed hemp seeds 

Nutritional Information per 2 cups 
- calories 200 
- kcal fat: 4 g 
- carbohydrates: 38 g
- sugar: 4 g
- fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 6g 

~ Mekenzie 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Crew

Change is good. Sometimes it’s very necessary for our lives. It challenges us, stretches us and shapes us into more unique, dynamic individuals. I am in the midst of lots of change right now. I moved to Denver 2 days ago to pursue my passion of serving women and counseling. I got a job at an incredible non-profit and I am excited about the impact they are making in teen girls lives. Although, it’s sad to leave all my friends at Otter Box,  I am honored that I get to be a part of an organization making a difference in their community and young women's lives. After a few housing things feel through, Lauren and her husband Nick offered for me to stay in their spare bedroom of their amazing new house. It was a huge blessing! I’m here- living in Denver, pursuing my career in counseling and living life along side the cour four. That’s the update; I’m ready to explore, challenge myself and grow in this new city. 

This post, however, is not just about my new adventure in the city, it’s also a tribute to an incredible group of people that changed my life! My crew in Fort Collins. They are a fun-loving, group that can’t be replaced or recreated. They taught me the power of a Rio Margarita and the importance of ordering the pancake of the day at Snooze. I learned that life is better enjoyed with Nina’s laughter and Kelly’s enthusiasm for a girls night out. I was lucky enough to be a part of their lives and it breaks my heart that my Friday happy hours won’t be spent with them every week anymore. It was a year of fast friendships and each of them should know how deeply the impacted my life!


We became instant best friends when we sat next to each other at our first day of Otter Box training class. This beautiful blond, friendly girl plopped down next to me and the rest was history. She’s always up for a good time and we joke that “we ran the town” but really, I think we might have! My favorite memory with Kelly is making a big Italian dinner at my house, polishing off a bottle of wine and consuming a box of Oreos all while talking over every detail of our love lives. She reminds me not take life too seriously and she was one of my biggest advocates for pursuing what I am passionate about. 


Her contagious laugh and infectious personality is like no one else I know. She is honest, smart and beautiful. My favorite thing about Nina is that she is internal with our friendship. She texts me daily, invites me to every work out class she’s attending and makes sure I know about our happy hour plans. She will be the first to ask about things going on in my life and has encouragement to follow. Whenever I am around Nina, she makes me feel loved and important. If I’m ever craving a Rio Margarita or Mexican food, Nina’s my girl.


This blond beauty is my volleyball sidekick! We played 2 season together and I had a blast getting back into the sport I love so much alongside one of my best friends. I love Julie because she was a constant support and encouragement to me at work. I would chat her when I was having a bad day and she would always have the right things to say. One of my favorite times with Julie was when we did the Rave Run in Denver together. It was cold and crowed and we loved every minute of it! I can’t wait to help this girl plan the wedding of her dreams!


He was one of my closest friends at Otter Box and we quickly learned that we had a lot in common, especially with movie choices. When I was having a bad day, Danny came over with every James Bond, action flick he had and we ate pop corn and sat in suspense of the movie and forgot about the disappointment of the day. I think that’s my favorite quality about Danny, he knows how to make your day! Weather it’s a text, a funny joke or a nice compliment- he will be the first to try to make people smile. 


This guy is always surprising me with his sense of humor, wise advice and countless stories about the experiences of his life. He has a lot of knowledge and I am constantly trying to ask questions about life because I value his opinion so much. My favorite memory of Aria is when he showed up to our Cinco de Mayo party at the Rio carrying 15 sombreros for all of us to wear! It was hilarious and unexpected. We loved them so much that we didn’t take them off the entire night!


My roommate and best friend. If you are lucky enough to know her, you will quickly find out that she is a comedian in disguise. I am constantly laughing when I’m with her and if you ever want to do something random- ask Karlie, she is spontaneous and fun-loving. When she’s not telling jokes, she is an incredible listener. I think I retold the same stupid boy stories a million times and each time she listened patiently, waiting for my girl tears to stop flowing and offering her sound advice. Her bible knowledge is extensive and I love picking her brain about theology. She is my longest friend I have and I know, despite the distance, our friendship will continue to grow and will be one that lasts a lifetime. 

My life is changing as I type these words. The scenery around me is unfamiliar and the faces aren’t the ones I see at the Whole Foods in Fort Collins. Although, life is constantly in motion, I love to pause to reflect on the past year and the people that changed my life. I love that crew so much and they have been the biggest blessing to me. I am forever thankful for their friendships.