Crossfit – Or that time I saw the light while working out…

exercise-is-aThat sounds about right…

I went to crossfit last night. I have been thinking of different forms of exercise I want to try. I decided to start with crossfit because go big or go home, right? Right? Before this I did yoga and loved it. But it was time to branch out, try something new. Let me just preface this by saying I was scared….shitless. But it’s healthy to do something that scares you once in awhile.

The Beginning – Delusions of Grandeur

I showed up at Crossfit Infinity at 6PM and met with Monika Scott, the founder. She went through a brief questionnaire about my past fitness experience, goals, injuries/health, the usual. Then she showed me around “the box” – this is what crossfit gyms call their space. She showed me how they track progress and explained how the program works. We were going to do a baseline workout. This allows her to see where I am physically.  The baseling consisted of 5 different exercises. While going through it, Monika had me do 1-3 reps. At this point I’m feeling pretty badass since I am rocking these moves. Then Monika pulls out a stopwatch and states its time to start the baseline. :::record scratch::: I thought I WAS doing the baseline. Apparently she was just seeing if I needed any modifications.

BASELINE – Save Me Jesus

So the actual baseline consisted of a 500 meter row, 40 low squats (butt almost to heels), 30 sit-ups, 20 push-ups and 10 pull-ups, timed. The goal was to go as quickly and efficiently as you can without injuring yourself and/or passing out. By the time I started the pull-ups I felt like death, I had my eyes closed the whole time and I am pretty sure I “saw the light”. I finished in 11:08 Minutes. Monika said it was really good and that a lot of people vomit or quit. Uh what,  you didn’t tell me quitting was option. I thought I had to stay here until I finished.

Conclusion – High On Endorphins

I felt really awesome; stupid endorphins. I was pumped and proud of myself for finishing.   I am honestly considering buying a pass and continuing to go. That being said, I am so sore I can only type this post because my arms get to rest on the table.

32 Before 32

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Hi Lovelies!

For my post today, I thought I’d do something a bit different. My birthday is coming up, and each year I make a list of things that I want to experience over the course of the year. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now, and I originally got the idea from another blog. (I’m fairly certain that it was from A Beautiful Mess: abeautifulmess.com).

So here’s the idea..
When I was 29, I created a list “30 Things to Do Before 30.” The following year, you update your number so it becomes “31 Things to Do Before 31.” And so on and so forth. I really enjoy this exercise for a few reasons:

1. It helps keep you from becoming complacent. If you feel like you do everything well then you’re probably not challenging yourself. Essentially, my yearly list is 30+ things that prove I suck at stuff. But that’s the beauty of it….By making time to try new things, I’m giving myself permission to not be perfect. For example, I spent a lazy afternoon this past year making homemade marshmallows for my girlfriend, Kris. She loves marshmallows. After all was said and done, I proudly marked it off my list as we dumped my masterpiece into the garbage. We had a blast.

2. It is a way to give focus to your interests. There are so many things that I want to do in life, but I always seem to find myself doing the same things over and over again out of habit. Dinner and a movie is easy, but it can really feel like I’m just phoning it in. Having a list of new experiences makes it easy for me to find simple ways to break out of my comfort zone. If I have a free day, I can just look at my list and have a number of ideas to keep things exciting. This list was the reason that I got the brilliant idea to go to the indoor trampoline park for my 30th birthday party. As I entered this new decade of my life, I wanted something that wasn’t too “grown-up,” and it was perfect. If you’ve ever thought of doing something, but werent’ sure because you thought it seemed intimidating or felt like you were “too old,” “too out of shape,” or “too whatever,” put it on your list! You never know until you try.

3. Sometimes, it just works. Generally speaking, I fumble my way through my experiences hoping not to injure or make a fool of myself. But occasionally, I find a way to make my life easier, more fun, and better through experimentation. Probably one of the simplest goals that I had was simply to “wear a dress.” That’s it. So easy, but it was something that felt really awkward for me. So I forced myself to get one to wear to work one day. LIFE CHANGING! Getting ready for work has never been so easy.

I don’t look at this exercise as another set of things that I SHOULD do, but instead just think of it as a fun way to experiment with things that I WANT to do. Fill your list with simple things that can be tried and crossed off instead of long-range goals. The idea is to stay open to experience, not feel like you have to get your PhD in physics, lose 100 lbs., and run your first marathon (unless that’s your thing). To be honest, I’m lucky if I ever do even 10 of the items on my list, but I figure it’s more than I would have done otherwise. Some items get carried over to the following year and some items get dropped because they no longer interest me.

The point is, I finally got around to going to a ballet (several now that I’ve started), taking barre classes, fixing a broken process at work, trying some DIY recipes, and volunteering my time to a worthy cause. Of course, I’ve also failed to become fluent in French, finish reading “Watership Down,” and I’m still too much of a sissy to ride a horse. But maybe I’ll have better luck this year.

I recommend adding experiences from a variety of areas to your list. For instance, spread them out across personal style, career, intellectual pursuits, and play. A few of my top ones for the coming year are:

1. Take a certification course
2. Buy a nice, structured bag (because at some point you have to be a grownup)
3. Rock some floral Doc Martens (because you never want to grow up completely)
4. Go play paintball
5. Travel someplace new

What about you? I’d love for you to leave a comment and let me know what new things you want to try!

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Never Try, Never Fail – The Story of French Fries

Is there anything better than fresh, crispy french fries? Probably yes, but these are pretty high on my favorite food list. Really any crispy potato product – tater tots, hash browns, mmmm. I find that there are two camps with french fries, people who love them golden and crispy and people who love them limp, I mean soft (you can tell which person I am). There is NO in-between. If you say it doesn’t matter to you I will make you pick a side!

I really love homemade french fries. They just make me feel so much better about my life choices as swallow the entire plate whole. Normally when I make them I use the Pioneer Woman’s fry recipe. Its perfect and beautiful every. single. time. Side note, is anyone else obsessed with her. I binge watch that show like people watch netflix. Not only does she make me want to stuff my face with all the foods. She makes me want to pick up, move out west and buy a ranch. I have a small container garden on my back deck so I feel totally qualified to run a farm – read: not at all.

Sorry, I keep getting distracted trying to avoid the inevitable. While I love the Pioneer Woman’s recipe, sometimes I just want homemade fries without the standing at the stove frying them portion. So I have been working on oven fries. They seem so easy. I just want them to be perfectly crispy and golden on the outside and soft in the middle just like I fried but without the work. Is that so much to ask? I researched lots of recipes and took notes and even used some things from Pioneer Woman’s recipe. The results?

Total Fail!

FriesI just my cell phone to snap this pic. You don’t need high def to see these sad sally’s. Despite the brown parts, they were complete mush. On the bright side, I learned that you CAN NOT broil parchment paper. Guys, that paper disintegrated in my hands the minute I touched it. But I am always interested in learning new things in the kitchen, so yea. Lucky for me, my wife likes mushy fries (everyone has their crazy) so she doesn’t mind eating my failed attempts.

Fries: 1 Lori: 0  (I’m coming for you potatoes!)

Rainy Day Craft – 2015 Memory Jar

There aren’t many things I love more than a lazy, rainy afternoon. There’s something about gloomy weather that makes me feel free to do nothing. Which is a good thing because I stayed up too late last night partying with friends. My always-awesome friend, Deb, cleared some time in her calendar to come over and help us host a Stella & Dot trunk show. (If you’re unfamiliar with Stella & Dot, do yourself a favor and head over to Deb’s page for instant inspiration….I’m obsessed with the rose gold Rebel pendant: http://www.stelladot.com/sites/debv/profile/?lc=en_us).

So after a fun evening of playing with jewelry, drinking pinot noir, and enjoying my lively crew, nothing could be better than a rainy day. Today is a perfect day for crafting, provided the craft is quick, easy and beautiful. Today I’ll be sharing a project that is all three. This easy Memory Jar is also a perfect project to do this time of year since it is a good way to capture great memories throughout 2015. I make one of these each year and stuff it full of notes, small objects or anything else that will remind me of the good times I experience over the coming months. My family then opens the jar and reads the notes on New Year’s Eve so we can revisit the great times that we had. This project takes 5-10 minutes tops and won’t break the bank.

Supplies:

1 Mason Jar

1 Page of Decorative Paper

1 Pen or Sharpie Marker

1 Pair of Scissors

1 Length of Twine (used here) or Ribbon

1 Glue Gun w/ Glue

Optional Supplies Used in Support of This Post: 1 Venti Chai Latte 1 iPod Full of Tori Amos Songs

First, gather all of your supplies.

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Next, cut your decorative paper to fit over the inner part of your mason jar lid. Write the year on the paper if you choose.

Post3_Pic2 Then, wrap the top of your glass jar with twine or ribbon as you wait for your glue gun to heat up.

Post3_Pic3 Next, add glue around the outer edge of the lid insert and attach the decorative paper circle and let it dry.

Post3_Pic4 That’s it! You now have a lovely jar for capturing all of those small moments that happen throughout the year. Fill it with notes, concert tickets, anything that is meaningful to you. Post3_Pic5 Post3_Pic6

Maple Garlic Meatballs

Final Product-editedPeanut is teething…..again. How many teeth can one baby grow. We practice a modified form of attachment parenting. It wasn’t something we conscientiously chose. When we thought about raising him there were just some things we knew we wanted to do (or at least try). Then one day when I was discussing it with someone new they informed that we practiced attachment parenting. So we cloth diaper and baby wear. We are pro-breastfeeding and gentle parenting. We do not co-sleep though.

*Let me take a moment to say if you are not parenting the same way we are, or maybe you do some things but not others, good for you. I mean it. You are parenting the best way for your family. I pass no judgements for the method anyone else chooses to parent. I deal with Peanut’s judgement everyday. This shit is too hard to also have other people judging you.*

Anyways, as I was saying, WE DO NOT CO-SLEEP……usually. If Peanut is not feeling well or teething he tends to spend at least part of the night in our bed. I bet you can already see where this fantastic tale is going. He slept in our bed….all night. It was like a hostage situation, if I even dared move he would wake up screaming. Let me also just say that when Peanut sleeps in our bed, the only person sleeping is Peanut. When my wife was pregnant I would sometimes think about what it would be like to snuggle and sleep with our sweet baby. The reality is somewhat less, well sweet.

This is a perfect representation of our life:

cosleep

Needless to say, I’m tired. Which also means, I don’t feel like cooking. Alas the days of eating cereal for dinner are gone now that we have a little one. So on to the next best thing, take out. Just kidding, although maybe that’s a post for another day. I just take pictures of me holding the phone and how I dial my favorite pizza place. I bet it goes viral on pinterest. No, no, no, the next best thing, is the crockpot. Throw it in and forget. This recipe is especially great because it only takes 4 hours to make; so I don’t even have get my shit together until lunch time.  Without further ado

Maple Garlic Meatballs

Ingredients:

2lbs Cooked frozen Meatballs

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/3c maple syrup

1/2c ketchup

2TB Soy Sauce

2TB balsamic vinegar

2TB worcestershire sauce

4 cloves garlic minced

Directions: 1. Combine all ingredients except meatballs in a bowl (I actually took pictures of me adding each ingredient with the intention of posting them but now I feel too lazy. The struggle is real.)

Sauce

2. Pour sauce over meatball and stir to coat. Put the crockpot on low for 4 hours. Crockpost Sauce

Enjoy!

Final Product

Getting Started

Over the years, I’ve noticed that whenever someone expresses disdain for organizing it generally involves difficulty with getting started. Let’s face it– a mountain of clutter can  make anyone feel like giving up before they’ve even begun. My belief is that this feeling of defeat often stems from an assumption that “getting organized” is a huge, daunting task. Not so!

The reality is that effective organization is not a task that demands hours upon hours of effort followed by a year of zero maintenance. Yes. It does take work, but it shouldn’t require you to devote all of your free time to ensuring that your home is always flawless. Where’s the fun in that? I encourage anyone struggling in this area to abandon the idea that “getting organized” is a destination and instead start viewing it as a process. And the most important step in any process is simply getting started. So here are three tips that help me on days when I feel overwhelmed.

1. Set a timer.
You can do anything for 10 minutes. And you would be surprised by how far that amount of time can take you when it comes to de-cluttering your home. 10 minutes allows you to fold and put away the clean laundry. 10 minutes and you can turn that junk drawer into the perfect place to neatly store office supplies. In 10 minutes, you can make extra space in your closet by removing things that you no longer wear. And if you still don’t feel like organizing after that 10 minutes is over, you have my permission to walk away–guilt free. But who knows? You may feel so great about what you’ve accomplished that you keep going.

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2. Take Baby Steps
I’ve seen it so many times: We decide to organize a room and pull out EVERYTHING from every nook and cranny. “I’m going to be ruthless,” we say. Instead, we end up too exhausted to continue and things look worse than when we started. Make it easy on yourself! Start with only one drawer, one closet, or one corner of the room. If you finish early and are still motivated then by all means, continue. But if  your sessions typically end with a giant pile of stuff in the middle of the room, then I recommend that you try taking on smaller projects. This tactic is particularly helpful if you have trouble focusing on the task at hand.

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3. Reward Yourself
Sometimes the best way to find motivation is to give yourself an incentive. If you’re struggling, promise yourself a reward that is meaningful to you. For instance, maybe you’ll treat yourself to an afternoon latte if you complete a small project that you’ve been avoiding. Or buy yourself a new sweater once you’ve successfully cleared your closet of old clothes that no longer fit. Your reward can be something free like a hot bath with a book from the library. Enjoy the reward while you work on your task if you prefer. For instance, you could make a “rule” that you only watch a favorite tv show or movie while you work on one of your projects. The most important thing is to take pride in your accomplishments and celebrate.

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So there you have it. 3 tips to help you get started on your projects. Keep in mind that these tips also translate well to any non-organizational goals. Try them out and see which ones work best for you.

Chia Seed Pudding

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Hello! I have been stressed all week on what to make my first post. It seemed it so momentous and mentally I made it a much bigger than most. To be honest I’m sure my wife is relieved to no longer hear “I think I’ll make x for the my first post” every ten minutes. I felt like I needed to put out my very best recipes.  In the middle of all this I have been struggling to come up with breakfast ideas for my 1 year old (M) to eat. Finally I decided eff that I’m going to present to you our life as we eat it. That means I will definitely be putting up some tried and true deliciousness but as Lauren said earlier we are no strangers to pinterest fails. Sometimes we will just be experimenting and I will give you my honest feedback on how horribly it crashed and burned – with pictures for the full effect.  You’re Welcome.

Back to breakfast. We try to limit grains (and generally fail) and M has a sensitivity to dairy. Also, since he has not yet had his 1 year checkup, I’m not 100 percent sure when he can start nut butters (google that shit and you will fall down the rabbit hole of differing opinions). Up until now we had been feeding him fruit and eggs. The only issue, M hates eggs. So I have spent the week looking for nutritious breakfast ideas and stressing about ideas for this post. Enter chia seed pudding.

Guys, its weird …and delicious. I tried the pre-made one from the store and it was weird and gross. So I didn’t have really high expectations. It did check off a number of my hopes for a nutritious breakfast though.

  • High in Fiber
  • Good source of protein
  • Contains Omega-3’s (there is some debate about the quality)
  • Antioxidents

This version takes about five minutes to make, is completely customizable and reminds me of tapioca pudding. Guys let’s be real though, it’s pudding…for breakfast and who doesn’t want to eat pudding for breakfast.

Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Raw Chia Seeds
  • 2 cup Coconut Milk (almond and soy milk also work for this recipe)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • pinch of Salt

Optional – Fruits of your choice, granola, figs, chocolate, etc. – go crazy, I don’t know your life  (for ours we used thawed mixed berries)

1. Place 1/2 c of raw chia seeds into medium size bowl

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2. .  Add 2 cups of coconut milk   NOTE: I find it easier to shake the can(s) of coconut milk before opening. This will combine the milk and the fat. If you forget, it will be fine once you whisk it all together

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3. Add 1 1/4 t of Vanilla

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4. Add 2 T of maple syrup (We like to keep ours in a penguin jar)

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5. Add a pinch of salt

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6. Whisk all your ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but overnight is better.

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7. Add fruit and other toppings and enjoy! You’re eating pudding for breakfast and no one can give you shit about it because it’s healthy.

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Welcome

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Hello there, friend. Thanks for stopping by. Come on in….stay awhile.
Welcome to Running On Laughter. My hope for this blog is to inspire gratitude for the simple pleasures that life brings and to nurture creativity in any form. I signed on to this project primarily because despite living a fulfilling life, I find myself craving a way to get out of my comfort zone. It seems that everyone has a blog these days, so why not us? Whether it is through organizational tips or new recipes, this blog is intended to provide a break from the hustle and bustle of modern life. We’re not here to tell you that you’re not good enough. Instead, we invite you to pour a glass of wine and celebrate all of life’s imperfections with us. We have enough Pinterest fails to fill a book, but we’ve also managed to learn some things throughout this journey called life.

My partner in crime, Lori, is a magician in the kitchen. People are constantly requesting her dishes at parties. In fact, being a de facto taste tester for her recipes was a huge motivator for my choice to start this blog with her. Mix in my obsessive need to eliminate all clutter, and I think we make a pretty good team. But perhaps most important, we don’t believe that cooking and cleaning is all there is to life. Between partners, full-time jobs, a new baby and a combined total of 6 pets we just don’t have time to waste. I hope you’ll check back for future posts; we have some great things planned.