28th Birthday!

On April 21st, I turned 28! I guess I’m officially in my late 2o’s now… at 27 I could at least pretend I was in my mid-20s still.  All it all, it was a great birthday, and I had the opportunity to stretch it out over the course of a week.

Last Monday, I took my “birthday” day off of work, which was lovely.

On my actual birthday on Tuesday, I traveled down to Florida for work.  I got serenaded on the plane, got birthday shots, and lots of free food.

When I got back from Florida, my Dad & stepmom had us over to do a joint birthday celebration with my stepsister (and the kitties).  Grace is a teenager now! We just had a low key evening, played some bocce and had lots of unhealthy wonderful food.



It was a nice celebration – birthdays are definitely a lot more low key as I get older.

How do you celebrate your birthday? Do you ever do joint birthday celebrations?

Florida, Jewel Concert and the time I creeped on Wanda Sykes

Hey guys! I’ve missed you! I spent the last week in sunny Florida – doing lots of things, but sadly not a lot of getting tan.  But I made up for it by doing a million other ridiculous things!

So, on Monday, I took the day off for my birthday (on Tuesday).  My job is really awesome in that they give us a “birthday” day off. Michael also took the day off and we went to the courthouse to get our marriage license!!! That was a very interesting experience to say the least, but we are super excited to have that crossed off our list!


We are almost official!


On Tuesday, we departed for sunny Orlando!  I had a work conference to attend, and Michael was going to be taking a week and coming with me to have some nice R&R. The flight there was one of the best flights I’ve been on – which is good because Michael HATES flying.  They found out it was my birthday on the plane (thanks to my coworkers) and they sang me happy birthday over the loudspeaker!

When we landed, we took a cab to the hotel and promptly headed to the pool bar for some lunch.  The bartender proceeded to give me shots for my birthday! We got ready for the first night of the Expo and I got to catch up with a lot of my friends from the vendor we deal with.  After the Expo, we went to Maggiano’s for dinner.  They sang to me AGAIN and I had wonderful tiramisu.


Yum, poolside drinks!





On Wednesday, I worked all day at the conference.  My group (9 of us total) and Michael and I went out to a cool Cuban tapas place called Cafe Tu Tu Tango. They have local art on the wall for purchase and live entertainment.  Some of the dishes we selected: jalapeno mac n cheese, cajun chicken eggrolls, oriental steak skewers, duck confit salad, southwest chicken flatbread, etc.

On Thursday, we had a few great speakers.  Hamish Taylor – a Scotsman who was hilarious and brillant.  Our keynote speaker was singer/songwriter Jewel.  That woman is sweet, clever, and has come from such an interesting life. After a full afternoon  of my conference, we had a fun night at Universal!  They rent out the place just for us, and fill the park with food, drink, and dessert.  We can also ride all the rides with NO LINES!


Hamish Taylor – great, funny guy, and a very engaging speaker. Check him out on Twitter: @HamishWTaylor






One of the many rides we got unlimited access to!


I started feeling poorly on Thursday night.  I woke up Friday morning, and didn’t attend the last of my two sessions.  Michael and I had plans to sit poolside most of the day on Friday, but we only spent a few hours out there.  We had a lazy afternoon in front of the TV, which was just fine with me.  The flight home on Saturday was miserable.  The pressure changes in an airplane are never fun, but they are downright torture when you have sinus pressure.

On the way back, we saw comedian Wanda Sykes in the Orlando Aiport.  I creeped on her and took this picture.


Despite getting sick, we had a great time on the trip.  While it was for work, it was still a much more relaxed environment and our time of R&R was much needed.

Have you traveled for work conferences? Did you bring your significant other with you? How was your week?

Weekly Update – 4/13/15

I finally got three solid workouts in this week! I was very excited and proud of myself.  Its been a rough few months and it was good to get back to a more consistent routine.


I swear I’m never getting back into my Monday night routine of yoga.  I decided to attack the guest room and see if I could clear out enough room to get to the futon.  I was able to pack a lot of things away in the closet, although the setup in there is less than ideal.  I’m not making the best use of the space in there.  Got some laundry done, finally got the dishes washed (don’t judge me!) and took care of some bills and the like.


I worked out with Danny.  He was running a few minutes late….bad weather had caused some traffic delays.  I warmed up with 1600 meters rowing.  We did 3 sets of the following:

1. Overhead cable assisted squat (12)

2. Cable cross row, extend, y raise (6)

3. Overhead walking lunges

Seems pretty simple, but the focus was on form and stabilization.  Its harder than it looks!


No workout for me.  Even though I already thought I had plantar fasciitis, getting that truly diagnosed kinda sucked.  I did my first PT session and it was awful.


Nicole – and new machine day!!!  We did Jacob’s Ladder for the first time and its so weird.    We did 3 round of the following:

1. SA KB Swings (10 each side)

2. SA Clean and press (10 each side)

3. SA Suitcase Deadlifts (10 each side)

4. Jacob’s Ladder (1 min, 2 min, 3 min – increase a minute per round)

After my workout, Michael and I went to my friend Jessie’s house for our cake tasting!  She will be doing the cake pops for our wedding and she had an amazing spread for us of 24 different flavor combinations!


My dear sweet love gave me $100 to go shopping at Old Navy! I got lots of great summer clothes!


Danny was away at a class, so Nicole and I worked out together outside.

1.  10 hex bar dead-lifts/100 meter row

2. 20 wall balls/200 meter row

3. 30 resistance band side steps/300 meter row

4. 40 walking lunges with dumbbells/400 meter row

After my workout with Nicole, I headed home to do yard work for about 2 hours.  I sufficiently wore myself out, but got myself cleaned up and then mom and I headed off to the mall to get some more spring shopping done.  Victoria’s Secret got the bulk of my money!


Michael was out of town for the weekend, so after church, I headed to Erin’s house and we grabbed lunch at Noodles and Company.  After that, I headed home to do some errands, laundry, etc. Michael and I are going to Florida and had a lot to get done. I went to Kohl’s and got some new pants for work – I was LONG overdue.

Injury Report: “You are just set up for issues!”

That is what my sports medicine doctor said to me after examining my legs and feet when I went to see him for all my foot/heel pain.

….Thanks, I guess?

Anyway,  I am  very good at self diagnoses.  I have plantar fasciitis and pes cavus; which is a really fancy term for high arches.  I have homework to do, in the form of PT exercises.  He says that if I do what he’s asked, I will have significant relief in 2 weeks, and hopefully very little pain by the end of a month’s time.  If at that point, I don’t have relief, we will resort to step two, which involves shots and specialists!  He’s also given me an anti-inflammatory, so hopefully that’ll help with pain management too.

He was explaining to me that people with high arches tend to have tight achilles which then pull on the plantar fasciia.  There are other structural things with high arches that lead to increased chances of plantar fasciitis, but its a little to complex for me to full digest and regurgitate to you.  So, good news is that he approved my running shoes and birkenstocks as great supportive shoes.  He did however, tell me he never wanted to see my work shoes again unless I had some major supportive inserts in them!  Sorry, my poor little cute flats.

I will continue working out like normal, but avoid running for a few weeks so as not to aggravate my feet further.  I will be at a work conference next week that will require a lot of walking and standing, so that will be interesting for my pain levels.  I’m hoping that if I do all he’s asked me to do that I will be able to keep the pain and inflammation at bay and slowly get back to running.

I also have a family friend that creates shoe inserts for people who have issues like me.  I will be paying them a visit and try to see what we can do for my work shoes.  Its hard to find good supportive dress shoes that are appropriate for work (we have a VERY strict dress code), so my hope is we can alter them in a way that will make them work for me.


To sum up: I have plantar fasciitis and high arches.  I have much homework to do.  We’ll see how I feel in a month to figure out next steps.

I’m sure many of you are no stranger to plantar fasciitis. Every person and every doctor are different and have different philosophies on treatment options.  How did you and your doctor choose to handle it? What stretches or exercises seemed to bring you the most relief?


Hey all – check out this great post from my trainer, Nicole! Don’t get thrown off by the title – read into the sarcasm! She and my other trainer, Danny, put out a lot of great content on this blog, so check it out !

Mind, Body, and Skill

Published by: Nicole Fiorella

Now you can lose weight and build muscle faster than you ever thought imaginable. I’ve figured out the secret…you can eat whatever you want, only workout when it’s convenient for you and still see success in only 30 days!! All you have to do is follow my generic steps that I have scientifically proven work most of the time on a select few people…

Sound like a good idea?…

If you are reading this, my hope is that you caught my not so subtle sarcasm. But if you read that and wanted to know more about my full proof plan, then you need to continue reading this post now more than ever.

For years, the health and fitness industry has been nose-diving into an empty pool of incessant and obnoxious infomercials and nutritional “quick fixes”. Ultimately leading unknowing innocents to slip off the diving board and…

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(Probably) Injured and most decidedly stubborn

As you guys know, I’ve been struggling with suspected plantar fasciitis for awhile now.  I have a really tight back-line.  My hamstrings, calves, and achilles are all tight.  That is just a breeding ground for PF!

I like to self diagnose injuries, because who needs doctors?   Ok, ok, I actually respect doctors a lot and recognize that self diagnosis is often a bad idea. That being said, I also realize that sometimes you go to a doctor, they diagnose you with what you thought you had, and all the treatment options don’t require their help.

In the case of plantar faciitis, most of the treatment options do not require a doctor’s help. So, if I go, and that is the diagnosis, I’ve just wasted money on something I already knew.  So many of the signs point to it: pain in the morning, heel pain, cramping in the arches, etc. I have the cramping and the sore arches in both feet. Stretching and rolling on a tennis ball feels fantastic on both feet.

But, since the pain in my left heel is much stronger than in my right and in a slightly different location, there is a tiny sliver of me that thinks that perhaps this isn’t plantar fasciitis.  Part of me wonders if something else is going on and that I should go and get checked out.

I’m really starting to contemplate going because the pain is getting so bad at times (especially in the morning) that I really have difficulty walking.  It is extremely painful.  It has started to affect my workouts – I’m asking for modifications from my trainer. I’m even starting to compensate in my other foot too much and its causing pain in that foot.

I know what most of you are going to say (go to the doctor, dummy), but I wanted to get your thoughts on this. Are you like me and like to self diagnose? Or do you go to the doctor like you should?

Weekly Update – 4/6/15


After the insanity of moving over the weekend, I had to get the house in some semblance of order. I spent some time just organizing and reorganizing all the millions of boxes in my house and finding homes for things.


I worked out with Nicole since Danny had some big tests coming up and Nicole was on Spring Break and had some extra time.  I feel like I haven’t seen him in AGES.


1. Hamstring walks with Y Raises

2. Inchworm pushups

Workout (3x):

1. 20 Goblet squats

2.  10 SA KB snatches (each side)

3. Battle ropes (60 seconds)



I spent THREE HOURS playing Jenga with all the stuff in my kitchen cabinets.  Trying to integrate Michael’s stuff in is next to impossible.  I was bad and didn’t wear any shoes, so my plantar faciitis hated me the next day.


I asked Nicole if we could use the TRX for our workout.  Boy, do I regret that.  I was so sore after!

I can’t remember the specifics of what we did cause I forgot to write it down, but we did3 sets of 10-15 reps of these exercises:

– overhead triceps extension

– pushups (or chest press)

– inverted rows

-power pulls


Michael and I cooked up some food on the grill and had a pretty chill night!


Finally a workout with Danny!

1. 300 meter row, 30 sec resistance band overhead stretches, 30 sec quarter squat jumps, lunges, inchworms pushups

2. 2oo meter row, 20 sec resistance band overhead stretches, 20 sec quarter squat jumps, lunges, inchworms pushups

3. 1oo meter row, 10 sec resistance band overhead stretches, 10 sec quarter squat jumps, lunges, inchworms pushups

I came home to the most wonderful gift after my workout – these are an early birthday present!


So beautiful!

Michael and I ran some errands, grabbed some lunch, then headed to NC to see his parents.  His dad just turned 71 and we went to celebrate.  It was great getting to visit with them during this busy season!  We went to a nice local place and I got a yummy Chicken Cordon Bleu sandwich and sweet potato fries!



We had church in the morning, then we decided to be a little spontaneous.  We grabbed lunch at Fresh Market and then went to Paragon Theaters.  They have these awesome recliner seats that you actually reserve when get you get your tickets.  We saw the second move in the Divergent series: Insurgent.  Great movie and even cooler theater.


I know its a little dark, but those are recliners!


April Stitch Fix Review (Stitch Fix #4)

I know I just posted my March Stitch Fix Review – but I got my April box and I’m ready to talk about it!


I know this is outside of my normal fitness/running blogging, but hey – its my blog, and I want to blog about my awesome clothes!  I’m going to apologize in advance for my horrible ugly pictures. I planned to take pictures with them on…but the best laid plans….

Here’s how it works: You set up a style profile and you receive a box with 5 items in it.  You can choose the frequency with which you set up the box …once a month, every other month, etc.  You pay $20 to receive a box.  If you keep anything, that $20 goes toward your purchase.  If you keep all 5 items, you get a discount!  They send you anything from jewelry, to clothes to handbags. If you don’t want to keep an item, they have an envelope to send them back.

What I love about this is that I get a stylist that looks at my style profile and picks out items just for ME.  You can even link to a pinterest board so they can get inspiration and a better look into what you like.


Item Number 1 – Zad Harper Beaded Layer Necklace ($38)

I forgot to grab a picture of this one! I liked this statement necklace, but just didn’t LOVE it.  Spoiler Alert:  I was already keeping two items from this fix, so I couldn’t justify keeping something I simply liked.

Verdict: Return

Item Number 2 –  Collective Concepts Rosco Floral Print Crochet Detail Tank ($58)


I loved this tank when I pulled it out of the box, but was worried about it being see through.  When you wear it with a nude bra , you can barely tell it is see through. And I plan on wearing it for the honeymoon and in other places were it will be appropriate enough.  It’s a racerback though, and I’d like to find a cami that could work with it just in case.

Verdict: Keep

Item Number 3 –  Pixley Jakobe Chevron Print Maxi Dress ($78)


Yayyyyy! Maxi dress!  My stylist has been searching for one for me and finally found one!  The colors are fantastic…in fact it matches a necklace that my brother got me from Hawaii.  It will be perfect for the honeymoon and I cannot wait to wear it!

Verdict: Keep

Item Number 4 –  Fun2Fun Clarise Mixed Print Tank ($38)


I was hoping and praying that this item fit.  It was so cute! It was a bit snug in the chest.  I was very sad.  I wanted so bad for it to fit.  I did tell my stylist at checkout to send me another one in a bigger size if she had it!

Verdict: Return 😦

Item Number 5 –  Papermon Piko Knit Tank ($38)


I did not like this item when I pulled it out of the box, but I was willing to give it a shot.  I didn’t like the fit, it clung to my middle (very unflattering), and I didn’t think it was worth $38.  It was more on par with a $10 shirt from Target.

Vedict: Return


Overall Impression

I am really loving Stitch Fix.  My stylist is sending me really interesting items that I love.  The fit is getting much better… I think it takes time to iron that kind of stuff out.


If you are interested in getting your very own Stitch Fix box, click here.

*Note: This post is not sponsored.  I love Stitch Fix and purchase it with my own money and desire to share my love of it with you all fine people!  If you do chose to use the above link to sign up, I do receive credit toward my next purchase! (So click away!!!) If you sign up for Stitch Fix, you will also get a referral link for you to share with friends and loved ones!*


Weekly Update – 3/30/15 + Moving!


I had to work late and skipped yoga.  Also, after being gone all weekend, I had laundry to do…and I had to get my house in order.  This is becoming a regular thing….Mondays are days for me to catch up on life.


I had to cancel with Danny because I went for my second dress fitting!!!!  Then momma and I did a bit of shopping and had dinner at Baker’s Crust…yum!


I had church practice on Wednesday.  Since Sunday is Easter, the worship team felt like we should be a little more prepared 🙂 I took advantage of my time and had dinner with my former roomie/bridesmaid Erin. She’s a cross-fitter, so it was interesting to hear about all her workouts.  That girl is a beast and is setting PRs for lifting all the time. Erin’s actually has done a lot of running in the past (though that’s not a focus for her right now) and has run a sub-2hr half like its nothing!

Talking about working out is almost like working out….right?


Finally! Back at the gym.  Bad Lauren for being gone for a week.  I worked out with Nicole and she kicked my butt as usual. We did two rounds of the following:

1. 10 hex bar deadlifts

2. 20 battle rope incline pull ups

3. 30 bend over rows (double KB)

4. 40 walking lunges with KBs

5. Sled pushes


Woke up with my butt hurting from walking lunges.  Thanks Nicole!  After work, Michael and I got him settled into Mom’s house (he’ll be living there till we get married) and then we got my house prepared for moving day!


MOVING DAY!!!!!!!!

The plan: move stuff out of my house, move Michael’s stuff in my house, move David’s stuff (Michael’s brother) into Michael’s old condo that he bought.

The day started at 8am.  Dad showed up to help me disconnect my washer and dryer and clean the laundry area (OMG the dust).  Then we took apart my bed.  The washer was going to my maid of honor to replace her old one.  The dryer is going to my cousin and his soon to be wife.  The bed was going home with my dad to my stepsister to replace her old bed.

The guys arrived with the truck and brought in so much stuff.  There is no room for it all! The washer and dryer were too big for the doors to shut (I knew it!) so we had to take them off.  Guess I”ll be hanging a curtain up!

They loaded up the van with everything that had to find new homes, then after that, they moved David into the condo.  I unpacked a TON of stuff…and it still looks like I didn’t make a dent in it!


Easter Sunday! It was fun to lead worship with the team on Sunday because we had such a full stage! After church, we relaxed at home for awhile, then spent the rest of the afternoon at my mom’s/Michael’s.  My stepdad built a fire and we had dinner over there.  It was a nice relaxing end to a crazy weekend!

How was your week and weekend?  Is the weather finally starting to warm up where you are?

Rowing Workout: Help!

Hey ya’ll!  Since I haven’t been running, my conditioning has taken a huge hit.  I’m trying to not doing cross- training that will put weight on my feet (since I have this perpetual PF/Achilles issue).  I am eventually going to start hitting the pool again, but until then I’ve been focusing on using the rowing machine for some good solid conditioning workouts.

I have been doing workouts that involve alternating with another exercise.  For example, 10 KB swings to every 100 meters rowed.  So row 100, 10 swings.  row 200, then do 20 swings. I’ve alternated with jumping rope before, pushups etc. But I need some new ideas. Google provides lots of good info, but I like hearing from you guys on some tried and true workouts that you’ve done.

So, help a sister out!  What kinds of rowing workouts do you do?  If you don’t row, how do you like to crosstrain?