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Brownies!!!

Happy Thursday! We are almost to the weekend! Yay!!

This week has been a little crazy but actually most consistent and less surprised crazy than previous weeks. I still managed a little me time in all the craziness and part of that included making homemade brownies!

I had a hankering for cupcakes and/or brownies the other night. I got the hankering at about 10 o’clock at night though, so my lazier side kicked in (and my healthier “you should not be eating cupcakes and/or brownies this late at night” side) and I managed to put off making to the brownies until yesterday. Haha!

I decided to give making made from scratch brownies a shot. I had never done so and it looked pretty straight forward. Guys, let me just tell you, it was super simple. I will not be buying boxed brownies anymore lol. It takes about the same amount of work as making boxed brownies and I already had everything in the house already. No need to go to the store!

While it may be super simple, I still managed to mess it up a bit. They taste delicious, don’t get me wrong! However, I did not cook them long enough….

I snagged the recipe from Lindsay over at Life, Love, and Sugar. The recipe was super easy to follow so I highly recommend checking it out on her blog! You can see the recipe here.

Here is my attempt:

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I got everything mixed together here and it is looking yummy! The batter definitely tasted delicious!

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I can’t say I’m the cleanest when it comes to making food… the kitchen usually looks like a disaster zone for a bit when I am done.

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As you can see, it doesn’t look the prettiest. It eventually deflated. I need to bake it longer next time.

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A little crumbly, a little gooey but super delicious either way! Goes perfect with a glass of milk! Yum yum yum!

Next attempt, cupcakes. I am craving some homemade cupcakes and some homemade frosting. It has definitely been too long.

Do you have a scratch made brownie recipe that you go to? What is your favorite brownie recipe?

Thanks for reading!

Ashley

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Dormant

Hey there!

I know I have not posted anything on here in quite some time.

Life has gotten messy and complicated, as life always seems to do. I have gone through transitions and up and downs over the last several months or even just really all the way back to last July. I lost a family member. I left my 9-to-5. We went from 2 dogs to 1 dog. Not to mention all the little daily surprises that life tends to throw your way.

I think, previously, I was trying to put a positive light on any and all posts and I really just was not feeling positive so I didn’t know what to write about. However, life isn’t always rainbows and sunshine. There are ups and there are downs. We all go through them.

Now, I am honestly in a better place than ever. I am happier. I am getting healthier. I move more. I sometimes eat better. That is definitely still a work in progress. I love me some cheeseburgers and chocolate (not necessarily together). I am in a better place emotionally. My marriage is getting back on track. My husband has been happy to have college Ashley back again, the girl he fell in love with 8 years ago.

So, I am back to writing now that I feel better about life. I will try to not shy away when the going gets tough again but I can’t promise anything. I have new things I want to try. New recipes. New methods of weight loss. New drinks. New cupcakes (those might just happen today, teehee). New ways to make my marriage rock. New organization tips. New business ideas? All kinds of things! The possibilities are endless. I have more time and more energy and I want to use it for something productive.

If you have new things I should try out, let me know! I am all ears!

I hope you are as excited as I am about a new start with this blog. I am going to hopefully update pictures and whatnot. Follow along with my day to day goings on through instagram. I have a slight addiction there.

Thanks for reading!

Ashley

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Physical Signals

I have been thinking about something that I heard in an audio book last year, a lot recently. I can’t remember the book, but this phrase really stuck with me.

If there is no physical signal to start eating, there will not be a signal to stop eating. 

That was something I hadn’t really thought of before. I just ate when I had time or when it was scheduled into my shift while working retail, or whenever dinner was ready while living at home when I was younger.

Now that I have been working full time at a desk job, most of the time I set my schedule for when I have lunch. However, I still haven’t really been paying attention to when my body is actually hungry. I will just eat because it is convenient or because everyone else is, but not when my body is hungry.

I want to live a healthier lifestyle in 2017 and part of that is listening to my body.

I will attempt to wait until I know that my body is hungry before I start eating. I will listen for the signal to stop eating as well so that I don’t eat too much. I will not let my emotions dictate my eating, but rather listen to the grumblings in my tummy.

How are you going to listen to your body this year?

Are you hoping to live a healthier lifestyle in 2017?

See ya!

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Out goes 2016, In Comes 2017

Well, here we are, the end of another year. 2016 comes to an end tonight. I can’t say that I’m sad to see it go. I’m ready for the fresh start that 2017 is going to bring.

How about you?

Are you done with 2016?

Or was it a great year for you?!

Either way, I hope that 2017 brings lots of love, laughter, sugar, spice and everything nice!

Too cheesy?

I am also one of those people who really love New Year’s resolutions. I know, I know, most of the time they don’t actually happen. I enjoy trying to make it happen though and am always hopeful for the coming year!

Here are just a few of what I am hoping for in 2017:

~ Read more: My reading habits have dwindled lately and it is time to fix that!

~ Ski more: I want to ski more this year! I want to explore the backcountry more too. Skiing is the thing that I love doing the most!

~Picture a day: I want to see more around me and I want to enjoy and share those with around me!

~ Explore More: I want to see more and do more and go to places that I have never been to!

Those are just a few!

What are you hoping to pursue in 2017?

Let’s make 2017 awesome!

 

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So It Begins…

Happy Monday!

Is there such thing as a happy Monday? I find that highly unlikely.

However, we are starting the week off on the right foot with this challenge. So pumped to get into better shape.

As we start this challenge, I want to share my aspirations for getting into shape, the reasons why.

I live in a very active state, but I also live in a state that has some extremely rich food and amazing craft breweries. In the past couple of years, I have focused more on the food and beer and less on the getting out and playing in the great outdoors. There are a lot of factors that go into why that happened, but ultimately, it was my decision to not go out and play. It happens. Seasons of life change and so do our habits. I am the heaviest I have ever been and it makes me uncomfortable. I am uncomfortable standing for long periods of time. Runs are not great. Sometimes even skiing isn’t great. I am not super strong. I am exhausted all the time from being so sedentary.

So, I am doing this to get strong and healthy. I definitely have no intention of being a stick thin model at any point in time but I want to be strong and lean.

I want to be able to play harder and longer when I am outside! I want to go further distances and achieve more in my outings!

My ultimate goal is to be a pro skier. I want every decision I make in my health, exercise, and work to point towards being a pro skier. I know I am in my prime for it right now, but skiing will last a lifetime. However, I want to get my butt in gear now and make it happen! Being as out of shape as I am right now, isn’t how that is going to happen. So, I’m changing.

I ran a half marathon this year and I know, the next step would logically be a marathon but I’m crazier than that and we all know it. I am going to be doing a 50 miler in July. Registration opens December 1st. I think that is also helping me kick my butt into high gear. I have so much training to do for that and its time I do it. I am going to start reading through Hal Kroener’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning and if you have any interest, you should read along with me even if you are just a shorter distance runner, he has some great tips in general! Get the book! It has been a great read so far!

Why do you want to get in shape?

What is your ultimate goal?

See ya!

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Here We Go!

So, tomorrow is the first day of the 7-Day Pregame Challenge from Emily Schromm! Are you guys ready?!

If you haven’t signed up but still want to sign up you can still do so here!

I did her 21-Day challenge last January and loved it. I am super pumped to get this one started. I am ready for the kick start!

I have a favorite Paleo recipe book that is just unreal! I highly recommend getting it!
The Frugal Paleo by Ciarra Hannah, it has some of the most delicious recipes in there! The recipes in there are challenge approved and aren’t some of the more fancy Paleo recipes you typically find out there!

Here is the layout for me for a typical challenge through her:

~ 80 oz of water (Half your body weight in ounces of water.)
~ No eating after 9pm (I’ll be honest, I’m not great at this, eek!)
~ No sugar (also super terrible at this!)
~ No grains (thank goodness this is only 7 days this time!)
~ No alcohol (living in Colorado, this is not easy)
~ Fish Oil (I’m not sure if she will do this one during the 7-Day or not.
* If she does, this one is my favorite by far! Burp-less!
~ Move 10 minutes or more (with how busy I have been, this will be a challenge)

I think that is it. I could be missing something but making sure to get all of those squared away everyday on top of everything else that is going on in life is enough!

Let me know if you join tomorrow!

Should be fun!

See ya!

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Health Update

Alrighty, so not much has changed in the past couple of days but I am starting to make some plans.

Plans are always good to have. I am a planner, an organizer, have slight OCD. It happens.

Anyway, the first thing that I am going to use to really kickstart my health takeover is by participating in Emily Schromm’s 7-Day Pregame Challenge.

It is a free 7-day mini version of her 21-Day Superhero Challenge. If you have not done that one, it is a great warm up to that challenge and will give you a taste of what to expect. The 7-day challenge is also free! Yay! I love free!

So, this challenge starts Monday, November 28th. That gives you time to enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend and then get back into gear with where you want to be weight wise.

TJ and I are both going to do. We need a nice jumpstart before I start devouring all of the holiday goodies!

If you want to join in this madness, check out this link!

You can get registered there! If you do sign up, let me know and we can stay motivated together!

I am also going to start moving more before and after this challenge, as well as starting to eat better, but I haven’t made plans for that yet. Hoping the challenge will provide some inspiration!

What gets you most motivated to workout?!

What is your motivation for getting healthier?

See ya!

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Life Overhaul

Have you ever just gotten to a point in life where certain things or maybe even everything just needs an overhaul?

I have definitely hit that point recently in a couple areas of my life.

I am not sure what the specific plans are to change each of those areas, but the holidays are usually a time of reflection for me anyway. Hopefully over the next several weeks, I will come up with a solid game plan to change the things I want to change.

I don’t want to wait for the new year and make resolutions. Because I can’t typically seem to stick to those anyway. I want the change to happen now. I want to love the life I’m living and be happy in who I am and what I do right now.

I think this started sinking in when my grandfather passed away in July. Looking through his old pictures, he loved what he did and he loved the life that he lead. I don’t feel like he had any major regrets. I could be wrong but it seemed as though he was proud of the life he had lived. As I sat there realizing that, I also began realizing I didn’t enjoy and wasn’t super proud of certain aspects of my life.

Don’t worry, it has only taken 5 months for me to come to the end of my rope on all of those aspects.

So, over the next several weeks I am going to find a way to overhaul these areas:

~ Work: It is time to find something I enjoy and can be proud of.

~Weight: I am the heaviest I have ever been and am not living healthily.

~ Wife: I want to be the best wife I can be and keep my hubby excited to be mine.

~ Walk: My faith is strong right now but I want to fully dive into knowing what I believe and why.

That’s where things are at!

Stay tuned! I will definitely be sharing my game plans and how they are going.

See ya!

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Lifestyle Changes

Something I am finding to be true in my everyday life is that you need to move more, drink more water (I am especially bad at this), reduce stress, and eat well. What I am realizing more and more is that the issue with our continual weight gain is our lifestyle. I know that is something we hear a lot, but it really is the only sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off. There are so many fad diets, work out challenges, and so called “lifestyle” challenges out there. It is so overwhelming to try and keep track of all of them. I have been known to try quite a few of them. But I always end up going right back to where I started or worse! I have a feeling I am not alone in this.

The problem I find with trying out diets or “challenges” is that they are unsustainable. You can’t keep it up 100% without becoming unhappy. You end up beating yourself up if you don’t follow the plan perfectly and then you start saying things like, “Well, I am already off the wagon now, might as well keep going.” Then the next day or sometimes even sooner than that, we really beat ourselves up and start having extremely negative thoughts. That doesn’t do anybody any good.

I find I am more likely to eat better and workout more or just be active more if I am happy with who I am and where I am in life. Being content with who you are and where you are in life is something completely separate from food. That is another topic for another time, but just something to get you thinking.

In order to live a more healthy lifestyle, we must make lifestyle changes. They do not need to be dramatic right off the bat! That then goes into the same lines as trying out a diet! We must just take it one meal, one moment at a time. When that moment comes to have dessert or a beer or some other luxury, fully enjoy it!

Here are some examples of little changes I try to make throughout the day that I feel are doable for most people:
~ Aim for half your body weight in ounces of water (160lbs = 80 oz of water). If you can’t drink that much yet, work up to it! You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel!
~ Eat only when you are actually hungry. If you eat at any other time, there is no signal to start eating so there won’t be a signal to stop. You will just continue to eat! More to come on how to do this later!
~ Aim to have at least 1 meal that has no processed grains or processed sugars everyday. I know I know, this sounds like a diet but I am not asking for the whole day!
~ Eat more veggies! I have grown to love veggies! If I am looking at appetizers when I am out, I am finding myself drawn more to the veggie appetizers. Brussel Sprouts in some kind of sauce gets me everytime!
~ Move for at least 10 minutes everyday. Take a walk, go for a swim, do a workout video, stretch, whatever you enjoy doing that makes you move! I found that I looked forward to those 10 minutes because it got me out of my own head!
~ Don’t eat right before bed. Allow time for your food to digest before going to sleep. Not only will you sleep better, but it will just allow your body to process properly!

Some of those can be hard on certain days. But I want to start a healthier lifestyle and so that means bumps along the road, potholes here and there but I just have to keep moving forward. Its a great journey that hopefully I can continue to share with you!

Here we go!

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Health Thoughts

Hey there,

I know it has been a while, but life has just gotten in the way. So many things have gone on since I last wrote that it is too overwhelming to put down in words here. But I have thoughts to share now and have been ruminating and will continue to ruminate and share as I process.

I have really been thoughtful about my health lately. I have been taking notice of when I feel better and when I don’t. I have been taking notice of when I am happiest and when I am not. And I have been trying to process, how can I be happy and healthy at the same time? Because let’s be honest, sometimes being healthy constantly doesn’t mean you are happy.

I am trying to find the balance. I am also trying to figure out why the rate of obesity continues to rise in America. I know I have gained plenty of weight since I got married, and am on the verge of my BMI stating Obese. I want to know, what makes living a healthy lifestyle so inaccessible?

I have so many thoughts I want to share, but I just wanted to introduce my next series of thoughts before I just threw you in the deep end. I am really excited to share and hopefully learn along the way. If you have thoughts that you want to share on anything I post, or if you have stories to share, I would love to hear from you! Please reach out or comment along the way! Maybe we can figure this out together?

Thanks for reading!

Share more soon!

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