Sneaky Ways to Burn Calories (Gym Not Required)

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Raise your hand if one of your new year resolutions was is to get healthier or get in better shape? Anybody? Taylor and I resolved to focus more on eating cleaner and sweating it out at least four days a week. Some days we’re AWESOME at this and then other days, when it’s 20 degrees outside and we’ve worked all day, take-out and Netflix sound way better than the gym. So I did some research – what are some ways I can burn some calories during my busy day? GOOD NEWS: Turns out, there are plenty of little ways to sneak in some calorie burnage while you’re just living your life, including:

Rise and shine and get that heart rate up: Jumpstart your metabolism by waking up a few minutes earlier than normal and do some light stretching and simple cardio (jumping jacks, crunches, lunges) before you hit the shower. Or sneak some squats in while you dry your hair or brush your teeth!

Sip on coffee: Or tea! Caffeine can help boost the amount of calories burned for up to three hours. It’s also nice to have a little bit before you go to the gym or for a walk because #energy.

Do your chores: Light housework – laundry, swiffering, cleaning the bathroom – burns an average of 170 calories per hour. Bonus is you’ll have a clean house!

Dance it out: Turn on your favorite tunes and dance around your house – maybe while cleaning? Just 40 minutes of dancing burns nearly 200 calories and you don’t have to be Beyonce to make those calories disappear.

Grab some gum: If you like to snack like me, try chewing some gum first. Odds are you’ll forget about that snack or will eat less of it.

Park far away: Forget trying to find the best parking spot! Park further away from wherever you’re going so you’re forced to walk. Same goes with taking the stairs. Easy way to get your heart pumping!

Remain calm: Stressed women are able to work off about 105 fewer calories than those who are calm, cool and collected. Take a few minutes, focus on your breathing, and focus on your blessings.

12 Thing to Cross Off Your Winter Bucket List

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Ah, Winter. As a girl who grew up in West Tennessee I rarely experienced more snow than a dusting. Anything past a couple inches and the whole city would shut down. Last year in Kentucky we experienced two separate weeks where we were snowed in thanks to 16+ inches and yes, my husband taught me to snowboard in our backyard with a snow ramp and everything. No matter where we live, winter makes its presence known through shorter evenings, lower average temps, and a sense of pause around us.

Animals rest in hibernation, trees shed all their pretty leaves, and we, too, are invited to take on a slower pace. Maybe it’s all the excess layers?  There is no better time for quiet moments, for hopeful dreaming, and for all the warm comforts of bundling up in our favorite blanket with a bowl of piping hot soup. Whether you prefer to stay in and keep cozy or get outside and explore, there are countless opportunities to soak in these colder days. Maybe you have your own list going – if so, please share! – so here is the running list of items to check off our bucket lists this season. xo

Cozy your home with fresh blooms and winter candles

Try a new recipe (and don’t be afraid to experiment)

Develop an indoor workout routine

Talk a walk in the snow

Grab blankets + friends + popcorn and have an at-home movie night

Read a book just for fun

Clean out your closet (donate anything you don’t need/want)

Make DIY Valentines

Do a random act of kindness for a complete stranger

Set up a blanket fort and “camp out”

Bake homemade bread or sweets and take to neighbors/shut-ins/friends

Host a big Sunday brunch or lunch

Sweet 16

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Well now that the Christmas decor is officially up and in storage and I’ve got a week of work behind me I feel like I’m ready to officially say hello to the blogging world once again. I had an epic holiday season filled with travel, family, great food, friends, tons of movies, a bed and breakfast and sweet surprises. I loved every minute and was sad to say goodbye to it all, but there’s something about starting a new year. A fresh start. A clean slate.

2015 involved a lot of firsts for our family: first year of marriage, first year with Icon for me, first year with Fairfield for us both, first year with Buddy, first year I cooked actual meals as opposed to baking all the sweets (and learned to love it!), and Taylor’s first semester of grad school.

While last year will be hard to top, I cannot wait to see what 2016 holds for us. God has blessed us in such incredible ways and I have no doubt in my mind that He will take care of us this year. Did you make resolutions? Since resolutions seem easier to break – am I right? – Taylor and I made goals together and thanks to the running list posted on our fridge for accountability purposes we will meet those goals this year.

Whether you made resolutions or goals or just promised yourself you’d try really hard at a couple things, let me remind you that we’re all in this together.  Whatever you want to accomplish this year YOU WILL ACCOMPLISH THIS YEAR. Positive thinking and some hard work is all you need, my friend. Let’s get after it! xo