Sunday, June 30, 2013

And The Nominee is...

Well I am beyond flattered about today's post, y'all...Imagine my surprise when I woke up on day two of my little vacay to an email from "Mrs. T" over at Mrs. T's Wild Ride saying that she had nominated me for my first ever Liebster Award!!  I was so excited that I may or may not have let out a little squeal :)  And then proceeded to brag about it to the hubs for a bit.  You see honey, this isn't a complete waste of my time...I still love ya!

To accept the nomination I must:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated me
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees
6. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them

The Five Blogs That I am Nominating:
1.  Kristi and Kara @ PG Sisters
2.  Emily @ Dear Owen
3.  Jenna @ The Fahionista Teacher
4.  Kimmie @ Skinny Kimmie
5.  Stephanie @ Stealing Sweet Kisses

Answers to the Questions from my Nominator:
(Q):  Why did you start a blog?
(A):  I originally started a blog about a year ago, completely unaware of the whole blogging community out there, to strictly document the happenings in our son's life.  That and we had just finished our 4th move in under a year, so I had a lot of things to talk about...well after about three posts and no followers, I just gave up.  It took too much time and I just wasn't ready to commit to it.  Fast forward to April of this year, after I had been following a few blogs pretty religiously, I wanted to give it a shot again.  I knew I had a story I wanted to share.  A passion.  A drive to inspire and motivate others about my fitness journey with some real life happenings mixed in.  It has just grown by leaps and bounds since then!  I love the friends I have "met" through this whole experience and am grateful for each and every one!  Blogging truly is a community of support, love and caring...I am just kicking myself for not starting this sooner!

(Q):  What is your favorite blog {besides mine?}
(A):  Oh my goodness!! There is no way in heck I could choose just one favorite blog!!  I have so many blogs that I follow religiously and love different things about each one that I can't narrow it down to a solitary blog.  I will just name a few that I have actually connected with and become blog friends with since starting this journey...Lori over at FATTOFIT41, Darci over at The Good Life Blog, Holly over at Where We Can Live Like Jack and Sally, Melanie over at 4KOTTEZ, and Brin over at Bold Butter Baby have really reached out and welcomed me with open arms from the very beginning...long before I even had five posts to my name!  I do have so many more that I love, but these ladies are experienced, and have helped me whenever I have a question.  I owe a lot of my knowledge to these ladies and am very grateful for them!

(Q):  What is your favorite TV show?
(A):  You guys, I have a little confession to make:  My name is Jenna, and I am a TV junkie.  Like for reals.  I love me some TV at the end of a long day...so I will just name a few of my faves right now!  I am loving the new shows on ABC this summer, like Whodunnit? Mistresses and I am always a sucker for the Bachelor and Bachelorette series.  I also love me a good food related show, so I also really like Masterchef and Chopped...

(Q):  Any Family Traditions?
(A):  Well, I have plenty of traditions with my sister and brother and Mom and Dad, but as our little family of three is growing, we are trying to start our own little traditions.  One of our favorite ones is, on Sunday, we go to church, and then we do brunch at a cozy little cafe and talk about our week ahead.  It's just so refreshing to start your week with a little family bonding before the chaos ensues in the following days!  We also have started, the night before Madden's birthday, we order pizza and I make him his own individual cake and the three of us celebrate before the rest of our family comes over for the big party!  

(Q):  Have you met any celebrities?
(A):  I have met a few, actually!  I have met Tim McGraw, Rascall Flatts, and my most recent, would be Larry the Cable Guy (aka "Mater" from Cars).

(Q):  If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be and what would you all do?
(A):  As cliche as it might be, I have always, always wanted to meet Channing Tatum...I'm sorry, but he is just too yummy and truly seems genuinely nice.  Plus, he's married to a Jenna, so I think we would get along just great, because he would never confuse my name for hers ;)

(Q): Favorite alcoholic drink?
(A):  I've shared my love for these before...and they are truly a staple in our house this summer time!  I am loving the Bud Light Lime Strawberitas right now!!  They are absolutely DELISH!  Go get yourself some...trust.

(Q):  No kids, no hubby, no work-what are you doing with your time?
(A):  Um, hello!!  Spa Day!!  Everything from mani/pedi, to facial, massage and haircut/highlight.  It takes a lot of hard work to raise a child and to take care of a husband, and that would be the best way to give me a fresh start and put me in full relaxation mode...

(Q):  Where is your favorite place to shop?
(A):  Ok, I love to shop, but if I had to pick just two, I would have to say Target and H&M.  I mean, who doesn't?!

(Q):  Bath or Shower?
(A):  Ok, if I am already clean, I love to soak in a nice hot bath after a long day...but there is no way in heck you would find me hopping in the tub to clean myself...I'm sorry, but sitting in my own filth just makes me cringe!!  I definitely prefer a long, hot shower to feel squeaky clean!!

(Q):  If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
(A):  Well, if I'm being completely honest, I love living right where we are.  I know Nebraska isn't anything special and people definitely don't come here to vacation, but it is home to me.  I was born and raised here.  All of my family lives within an hour + from us and we can be in the country in ten minutes if we want to get away for some fresh air and open sky.  I would, on the other hand, love to have a second house in Scottsdale, AZ someday...honey?????? ;)    

11 Random Facts About Me:

1.  I used to play the trumpet from 6th grade through my sophomore year of high school.
2.  I didn't fly in an airplane until I was 16 years old.
3.  I played softball from the time I was 7, through my senior year of high school.
4.  The hubs and I were crowned Homecoming King and Queen together our senior year.
5.  My Mom helped to set the hubs and I up on our first date our sophomore year.
6.  My parent's house burned down (after all 5 of us escaped) on New Year's Eve my freshman year of college.
7.  I have to, absolutely must, have something sweet to eat after I have already eaten any meal.
8.  I have major baby fever right now...
9.  The way to my heart is a handwritten note just letting me know how much I am loved and appreciated.
10. I only gained 9 pounds when I was pregnant with Madden.
11.  I love to bake cookies because I love to eat the batter/dough more than I do the actual cookies themselves!

11 Questions for my Nominees:
1. Why did you start a blog?
2. What is your favorite blog {besides mine?}
3. What is your favorite TV show?
4. Any family traditions?
5. Have you met any celebrities?
6. If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be and what would you all do?
7. Favorite alcoholic drink?
8. No kids, no hubby, no work- what are you doing with your time?
9. Where is your favorite place to shop?
10. Bath or Shower?
11. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Ok!!  That about does it for me!!  Thank you soooo much for nominating me!!  Go check out her absolutely adorable blog over at Mrs. T's Wild Ride!

Until Next Time...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

So What Wednesday and Where I'm Going

Remember how I told you yesterday that I had fallen off the clean eating bandwagon because we have been traveling so much lately??  Well, I kicked my eating up a notch yesterday (and not in a bad way) and I already feel 10 times better!  It's amazing what just one day of "detoxing" can do for your energy level.  Give your body good, clean fuel and it will run more efficiently...point taken, body.

Anyway, the fun is just going to be continuing (and my eating is really going to be tested) these next five days, as the hubs and I take off in a couple hours for San Francisco through Sunday.  So, I am saying "So What" to these things before we hit the ground air running! 

So What:

If as much as I am looking forward to this trip, because I've never been to San Fran before, all I can think about is my baby boy back at home with my parents...I only got to spend yesterday with him after being gone for four days just to turn around and leave him for another five!!  I am definitely going through Madden withdrawals.

If I haven't packed a single thing for this trip.  I literally just finished unpacking from this past weekend and most of the things I want to take with me are still in the laundry basket.  They are all clean, mind you, but I've still got a lot to do yet!!

If I made a quick Target run this morning after my workout to return a dress I bought about a month ago that I never wore.  To just turn around and exchange that one dress for three (yes three) new items. I don't know what to pack for this trip, so I went a little crazy and got a few things that I might, just might wear while we are there.  Dang Target gets me every.single.time...


If I am packing just as many workout clothes for this trip as I am dressy.  I think that's a sign that I have a problem an addiction to working out.  Who the heck works out on vacation?!  I mean, would have I done that three years ago??  Heck no!  But there is no time to reverse all that I have done to this point.

If I am taking a Xanex before our flight today.  I don't have a fear of flying normally.  But we are flying in my Hubby's boss's plane and I just get freaked out by private jets.  I've been in this plane a few times, so you would think I would be used to it by now, but I feel so much more relaxed when I'm drugged up and passed out before we even take off ;)

If this isn't technically a vacation for A...it's actually a work trip.  But I'm tagging along because his boss asked me if I wanted to come.  Why would I turn that down?!  Sorry honey, I'm not sorry...

If this will be my last post for the week.  We've got a busy few days planned and I wasn't organized enough to schedule posts for the next two days.  I'm so lame.  Sorry y'all!

Well lovelies, I've got to get my behind in gear.  I still have to shower, pack and get ready all before we leave in two hours!  Wish me luck!

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Falling off the Bandwagon...

This month has been a crazy one.  We haven't been home for the past three weekends in a row, and we won't be home the next two weekends either.  I feel like I am just spinning in circles.  I'm trying to keep up with the never ending mountain of laundry, you can pretty much trace your name in the amount of dust that has accumulated on our coffee table and we have been eating grilled cheese for the past four meals because I refuse to go to the grocery store when we are only home for a couple days at a time.  And believe me folks, this is not like me at all!

I just want to go back to our normal routine of enjoying the long summer days of playing at the park, going swimming and blowing bubbles.  But most importantly, I want to get back on track with my eating.  I'm just going to be honest and say that I've fallen off the clean eating bandwagon.

I will be the first to admit that I usually indulge my cravings (to a certain extent) on the weekends.  But that is only after I have done so well all week with my diet.  But, when your week consists of eating grilled cheese for lunch and then a cheeseburger and fries for dinner on a Monday night because you are at a baseball game, that doesn't leave room for indulging on the weekends...ahem...buuuuut I haven't stopped.

It is very tempting to overindulge,especially when we've been traveling like we have been.  It's a never ending roller coaster of eating out day after day, meal after greasy meal.  It's down right hard to order a salad when the hubs is ordering wings and cheese sticks for an appetizer.  I mean c'mon...how can you turn that down?!  You want a frozen (900 calorie) cocktail to wash those down with?  Sure!  Why not?  I'm on vacation, right??  Well, honey, when you've basically been on vacation for three weeks straight, you gotta draw the line somewhere.

Sure, I workout everyday (except Sundays) to try to combat my eating habits, but the truth has been and always will be: "you can't out train a bad diet."  And let me tell y'all something.  I've never believed that saying more than I do right now.  The "proof is in the pudding..." so to speak.

Why can't I build up the energy to tackle those house tasks like I usually do?  Why am I too lazy to head to the grocery store to just pick up a couple things to make a decent meal for my family?  Because I'm down right exhausted.  My body is basically rebelling against me and begging for me to feed it good, nutritious foods!  Sure all that crap tastes good going down, but the after effects??  Ummmm...not so much.

So I've made a pact to myself today.  I am stopping this vicious cycle immediately.  I am going to make better decisions when out to eat and out of town.  I will not be tempted by those evil foods (95% of the time; a girl's gotta live life!) And when I am home, I will only eat lean proteins and fresh fruits and veggies.  My body is in desperate need of a detox.  So I'm going to give it what it deserves.

To hold myself accountable, I am going to keep a food journal of all that I eat, along with instagram pics (@jennaschaben) of my meals so that you all can follow along and track my progress.  It will motivate me to make better choices so that I don't feel guilty about that double cheeseburger and chocolate cake that sounded good at the time.

So my message to all of you today is this:  We all fall off the wagon sometimes.  And you know what? It's ok!!  We are only human and we do make mistakes.  Tomorrow is a new day.  All that matters is that you dust yourself off, throw out the garbage (aka junk food) and hop back on...it's always waiting for ya!!

Until next time...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekend Recap: Vacation Style

Well good Monday morning lovelies!  I'm usually so excited to see a "fresh start" to the week, but I feel like I'm still spinning in my tracks from the weekend... This weekend went by in a flash, even though we kicked it off a day early...I apologize now for the lengthiness of this post...but here's what went down in "Schaben Land" the past few days:

Thursday night my in-laws scooped up M a little before dinner time, since the hubs and I were taking off early Friday morning for our anniversary getaway.  He basically said "peace out Mama" as he waved his hand over his shoulder and left me in the dust...tear :(  But I didn't have enough time to think about how much I would miss his little butt, because I still had all of "our" packing to do as well as last minute odds and ends to finish up before we left.

I woke up at the butt crack of dawn on Friday morning (around 4:45) so I could get in a quick workout before we left because I knew that if I didn't , the weekend's worth of drinking and eating would bite me in the behind!  So I busted out a quick 5 mile run, rushed through a quick shower, finished packing our bags, all while I thought A was downstairs packing the cooler, our food and drinks and all of the other necessities he told me we needed for the condo.  He thought it would be a good idea to do that so we wouldn't spend an arm and a leg on unnecessary drinks and food while we lounged on the beach.  Ok, good idea, babe...
A little anniversary morning love...
Well, I come downstairs after I packed EVERYTHING for the both of us, expecting to just toss the bags in the car and head out.  Wrong.  I find him on an important "business call" with the cooler sitting on the kitchen floor; empty.  Of course, me not having eaten my breakfast or have had my coffee yet, I was a little on edge.  I tossed everything in the car, then came back inside and started just throwing things in the cooler.  I was not happy.  He gets off the phone and starts "helping" me by basically undoing all that I had just done.  Um, excuse me??  Is the way I did things not good enough for your manly packing skills??

Anyway, long story short, we left the house with me ticked off and here we were going to be spending 4 long hours in the car, together, alone and on our five year anniversary.  Fun!

Well, he tried his hardest to apologize and make it up to me by stopping at Starbucks before we left Omaha.  Because after being together as long as we have, he knows that I'm pretty much a B until I have food in my belly and coffee in my system.  Well played, babe, well played...The trip ended up making a positive turn about 20 minutes in once the food and coffee kicked in and all went smoothly.

Until we arrived in Okoboji and they had tornado like winds and rain.  Great.  We came all the way here to enjoy the lake and beaches and instead we end up spending our day touring the great town of Okoboji, hitting up cute little gift shops, and a yummy bakery for some homemade cookies.  We went back to our condo, freshened up and went out for our anniversary dinner.
Miami Vice.  If you've never had one, just do it.  You won't be disappointed!
Well, Okoboji is not a "chain restaurant" kind of town.  And I love that, except for when I am craving a big, juicy steak and a nice glass of wine for my anniversary dinner...we find the only "steakhouse" in town, which A called and made reservations for a few hours earlier, where he asked for a table by a window so we could have a view of the lake.  We walk in, and they acted like we were crazy when we told them we had made reservations, and we instantly knew why.  There were only about 4 other "senior citizen" couples in the entire place enjoying their dinner.  When we requested a table with a view, the lady looked at us and goes "ooooo.kkkkkk" ha!  Joke was on us.  The only table with a "view" was one that overlooked the main street of Okoboji.  Not exactly what we had planned.  But we made the best of it, ate until we couldn't walk and finished off dinner with three (yes three) pieces of their famous homemade pies.  My inner fat girl was content.

We had planned on going out for drinks and dancing afterwards, but being the old couple that we are, we went back to our room and ended up passing out by 10 p.m.
My idea of relaxation.
Saturday was a different story.  We headed to the beach and just lounged by the water all.day.long.  It was fantastic.  We did that until we decided we were thirsty and started our night a little early by grabbing drinks at our resort at 3:30.  Well, we proceeded to drink too much, eat too much, until we stumbled up to our room.  We took a little "nap" before heading out for the night.  After receiving some recommendations from a couple blog friends, we took their advice.  Brin, from Bold Butter Baby, who is originally from Okoboji, told me that if I wanted to feel young again that we should hit up a place with amazing fishbowls.  Sounds like fun right?  Oh boy, was it.  Two fishbowls between the two of us later, the hubs ended up basically carrying me to the taxi to take us back to our room.  Thank you for that Brin!! ;)

Sunday morning we slept off our hangovers, which felt amazing, before we packed up, and headed out for lunch.  We took a recommendation from Jenna over at Fashionista Teacher (who is from my hometown, went to the same church as me growing up, and vacays in Okoboji every 4th of July) and had lunch at great little place that actually had a view that overlooked the lake.  We devoured our yummy food before we packed it up and hit the road for home.

All in all, it was a great weekend spent with the hubs.  I am truly grateful for him and for the life we have created together these past five years.

Now, it's time to get back to business around here!

Until next time...    

Friday, June 21, 2013

Five on Friday

It's Friday y'all!!  I am beyond excited that the weekend has finally arrived!  And since it's Friday, you know what that means...it's time for one of my all time favorite link-ups!!  Yes, I'm linking up again with Darci at The Good Life Blog, A. Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm and Hello! Happiness for their weekly "Five on Friday" Series!

Here's what's topped my list this week:

1.)  This one just has to top my list:  Five years ago today I married the man of my dreams.  My best friend and high school sweetheart.  We have been through so much in these past five years, but have grown closer as time goes on.  We have been together for 12 years, lived in 3 different states and 6 different homes.  Been through job changes and losses of family members.  We've seen each others highs and have coped with each others lows.  Got the surprise of a lifetime just 2 years into our marriage with the birth of our son, whom we wouldn't trade for the world.  He was my first love.  My only love.  And I will love him forever.  Happy Anniversary Babe!  Here's to 100 more!
2.)  Speaking of surprises...this little guy, who wasn't exactly in our "5 year plan" has been the best thing to ever happen in our marriage.  He finished up his last day of Preschool in the "Toddler Room" this week and when he goes back this Fall, he will be moved up to the "Big Kid Room."  Big kid??  Ummmm...I don't think I'm ready for him to be a big kid.  I mean to me, he's still my little baby!  Needless to say, he's growing up waaaay to fast.  There is just a six month difference between these two pictures and the change is too much for me to handle!  Slow down, baby boy...
3.)  This place right here is where you can find the hubs and I for the next four days...we decided to take a quick trip (alone) to celebrate our landmark anniversary...Lake Okoboji.  It isn't anything fancy, but we don't need that.  All we need is some peace and quiet, sun, water, cocktails, and of course, each other ;)  We'll be back Monday, so until then I will be out of commission, imbibing a few too many straw-ber-itas and soaking up some hubby sun ;)!  
4.)  I am loving anything and everything lemon this time of year.  If it has the word lemon in the title, 9 times out of 10 I am sold.  So when I saw this little number for Lemon Sorbet Prosecco while perusing Pinterest last week, I just knew that I had to give it a try!  One word:  YUM!  This little cocktail is to die for and would make the perfect addition to any little soirĂ©e this summer!  Seriously, it's two simple ingredients: Prosecco and Lemon Sorbet.  Find the full recipe here.  It's light, and so refreshing...a definite crowd pleaser!
5.)  And last but not least, these little cups of deliciousness.  I made these for dinner on Monday night and they were to die for!  We love stuffed peppers around here, but I kind of get tired of the same old combination of rice and hamburger, so when I (again) was browsing Pinterest for some ideas, these little guys caught my eye!  Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers.  Find that recipe here.  I am all about ease and simplicity when it comes to meal planning, and these definitely fit the bill!  They are also meatless, so it was a great option as a vegetarian meal, or if you want to keep things light in the middle of these hot summer nights!!  Seriously.  Check them out.  You won't be disappointed!

That's all I have for today!  I'm off for the weekend, so have a great one y'all!!

Until next time...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Blast From the Past: A Little Wedding Flashback

June is a month that is typically dedicated to weddings...everyone and their dog wants a summer wedding, and June just screams wedding month.  As a little girl, I always knew I wanted to get married in June.  My Mom and Dad got married in June.  My Hubby's parents got married in June.  My best friend got married in June.  So when A popped the question in August of 2007, I knew I wasn't going to get married in any other month than, you guessed it: June.
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So, when Holly and Melanie announced the "Share Your Wedding Details" link-up, I knew I was joining in.  I mean, it's perfect timing, giving that the Hubs and I are celebrating a pretty big milestone in our marriage tomorrow...five years.  June 21, 2008 is the day I became a Mrs to my high school sweetheart.  After 7 years of dating, (we were together through all of each other's awkward high school and teenage stages) we finally made it official and got married at the ripe old young age of 22.
We were so young...so little...look at how fit and trim A was!  
Both of us came from the same small town, so it was no question as to where the festivities would be held:  Columbus, NE.  A town with a population of 20,000.  A town where Wal-Mart is the local hang out.  A town where everyone knows everyone and everyone's pet cat.  

It was no debate that the ceremony would be held at the church I grew up in, was baptized and confirmed in and that my parents were still members in.  It is a beautiful church.  Simple, yet beautiful.  But when it came time to decide where the reception would be held, that was where shit began to hit the fan.  Because everyone in the town knows everyone, we knew we had to invite a large number of people.  Like 850 people, large.  That said, the only option to hold all of those hundreds of people was the local 4-H and FFA building on the fairgrounds of Platte County...Ag Park.  Picture a giant machine shed, with cement floors, florescent lights and cow poop stained white cream colored unfinished dry wall...classy, right??  To top it all off, they herded our guests through a buffet line with styrofoam plates and plastic utensils like the cows that are usually in that building.  It was our only choice.
Isn't she a beaut???
I always knew that I wanted to keep everything simple when it came to colors.  I wanted that "vintage elegance" feel, with a pop of color.  So the theme was black lace, with champagne colors and then bright colored roses.  Oh roses.  Believe me when I say that out of all the things I would change, that was one of the biggest.  My poor parents paid out of their ass because I just HAD to have real roses.  Over 1000 real roses.  Waste.Of.Money.  Sure, they were beautiful, but for what?  One day that nobody else will remember.  Never again...Never again.
Were they worth the $3,000??  Ummm...no.
When it came time to choose the gals that would be standing up with me, I always knew that I wanted primarily family.  I had heard too many horror stories of old high school or grade school friends being bridesmaids and then after the wedding, never, ever seeing or hearing from them again...yet they are forever in all of your pictures.  So I listened...with one exception: an old college friend that I just knew would never leave me.  We were gonna be BFF's for LIFE.  Ha!  Joke was on me.  Lesson learned.  On the other hand, I had my little sister as my MOH, followed by my two cousins, and then my hubby's two sisters (which was basically a requirement in order to not be shunned at every holiday gathering!)
Yep.  There "she" is.  I can't even crop her out because she's the first one on my right side...she somehow squeezed in front of my little sister to stand right beside me...
I left our wedding song up to Aaron.  I had done ALL of the planning from beginning to end, so I left one "minor" detail to him to take care of.  I literally let go of the reigns on that one.  It killed me to not have a hand in that decision...He even went so far as to not let me hear it until it played for the first time on our wedding night.  But I gotta say, he did amazing.  Our song was and always will be:  "Faithfully" by Journey.  A classic.  Timeless.  He did good ;)
We totally lucked out on our honeymoon.  Like no joke.  My hubby's Uncle offered to pay for our entire trip...no strings attached.  A "little" wedding gift so to speak.  The only glitch was that we had to go somewhere that his company would be taking corporate trips to.  Fine.  Whatever.  I mean it was free, so we would take what we could get.  We decided on Puerto Rico because neither of us had ever been there.  And, I gotta say, I was impressed.  It was all I ever want in a trip.  Sun, water, drink in hand and pure relaxation.  It was a week of heaven.  The perfect ending before the beginning of our lives as a Mr. and Mrs.
So, Happy Anniversary babe.  Five years has flown by.  And although I would have changed a few things about the day we said "I do," I wouldn't change who I said that to, for anything.  I love you!

Until next time...


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Workout Wednesday When You Have an Active Toddler

It is officially summertime in this household...I dropped Madden off for his last day of Preschool for the Summer this morning.  You would think that I would be ecstatic about starting our Summer activities together, but I gotta be honest, I'm a little sad.  Not only does he LOVE school, I LOVE those three hours of alone time everyday to bust out my errands, cleaning, laundry and of course getting a great workout in sans my very busy 2 1/2 year old!
What a difference six months can make!  Picture on the left is from January 2, and Picture on the right is from today; June 19!
But a girl's gotta manage, and with that, I'm linking up again with Skinny Meg for her Workout Wednesday, as I've come up with a great workout that I plan to do with him early in the morning when he wakes up!  It doesn't take any equipment except a stroller, a toddler and a pair of tennis shoes...and if you are a Mama to a toddler, pretty sure you have all three of those "lying" around ;)

I plan to bring a few snacks, the iPad and some great music to help occupy his time while I bust out this workout because I plan on doubling this routine making it a 40 minute workout instead of just 20.  As with my last week's workout, you can make this as easy or as hard as you would like.  I'm thinking of adding in some jogging and sprinting intervals every once and awhile where otherwise I would be doing the moderate or mild walk.  Plus, if you are like me and live in a hilly neighborhood, the level of difficulty will be increased just from pushing my 32 lb child and 20 lb stroller up those beasts!!

So I'm off to tackle grab my son, strap him in his stroller and attack this routine!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I was chubby...now I'm not...dealing with the "after" negativity

So today is a little deep for me.  I like to keep things light hearted, energetic, humorous and uplifting for the most part around here, but something's been bothering me and I just wanted to vent on here, because I knew y'all would listen!  Bless your sweet little hearts ;)

If you've been following me for any length of time, you know that fitness is a huge part of my everyday life.  Like five out of six days of the week...but that wasn't always the case.  I used to consume large amounts of food without lifting a finger, let alone a set of weights!  I've worked hard to get to where I am today.  My fitness didn't come easily.  I have earned every pound lost, every muscle sculpted and every pant size dropped, the old fashioned way: diet and exercise.

I wasn't blessed with a high metabolism that allows me to eat whatever the heck I want.  I've always struggled with watching what I put in my mouth because just looking at a cookie before I started working out would cause me to gain five pounds!

So answer me this:  why did people tend to ignore and not give a hoot about my "before" but now feel the need to talk badly about my "after?"  I have been called everything from anorexic, bulimic, to my favorite one ever: the liposuction queen.  I mean, really??  I used to let it bother me, but I've decided that it is time for me to grow up.  Be the bigger person and brush it off.

Is it jealousy?  I'm sure.  But if they only knew the truth.  If only they knew that 50 lbs ago I would cry myself to sleep because I couldn't fit into my size 14 jeans and that I couldn't wear my wedding ring because I couldn't get it over my sausage fingers, so I decided to do something about it.  To take control of my life.

If only they knew that in the process of whipping my ass into shape I would do two-a-days in 100 degree heat, on the verge of passing out, beet red in the face and panting like a hog in heat.  Only to come home and have a salad with dressing on the side and an ice water for dessert.  If only they could have seen me weigh in at the gym every other week, only down one or two pounds after putting myself through that hell.  To turn around and bust my butt that much harder the next week.   If only they knew that this was a process that didn't happen over night.  That many tears were shed and the thought of giving up was in the back of my head every. single. day.

But I didn't.  And even though the majority of them are talking behind my back, whispering negativity about where I am today, I have decided to hold my head high.  I'm not going to lie, it's not easy to ignore them.  In fact, it's a down right mental beating when I hear something that was negatively said about me, but I am the bigger person.  I know what I've done to get to where I am and I am damn proud of it.

It's because of people like them that I push myself even harder every time I step foot in the gym.  So no, I don't ignore them.  I use their comments as ammunition to fuel my workouts and push me to my breaking point with every single mile ran, weight lifted and every minute of cardio I bust out every day.  They may have stolen my pride for a short time, but they can't take away that motivation.

So to all the "nay-sayers" out there, I want to say thank you.  It's because of you that I am where I am today.  Yes, I did this all on my own, but you push me to continue.  You may think you are tearing me down, but in fact, you are doing the opposite.  I am building myself up...to make it so nobody can ever knock me down!  Get used to this "after"...because it's here to stay.

Until next time...

Monday, June 17, 2013

"No Shoes" Father's Day Weekend Recap

Good Monday morning!!  I literally have never been more exhausted after a weekend than I am today.  These last three days have had more crammed into them than I can ever remember!  Here's what went down over in our little corner of the midwest:

Friday after I picked up M from school, we hit the road to head back to my parent's house.  He stayed with them this weekend while A and I had a quick little get away to Kansas City with some friends.  He couldn't have been more excited to be back on the farm, as it is truly one of, if not his favorite places to be!
Immediately when we got there, Papa loaded M up, and took him to the sale barn to sell some cows...M was in high heaven.  I, on the other hand, spent the day with my Mom and Sister sorting through all of my childhood, high school and college memorabilia that I had wanted to forget about  never taken with me once A and I got married...(five years ago this Friday!)  Needless to say, there were totes upon totes and boxes upon boxes of goodies that had to be gone through.  Sorted into trash, garage sale and then, unfortunately, the take back home with me pile.  In all honesty, it really was fun going through and reminiscing about my past with my two favorite girls.  There were plenty of laughs and also some tears.  But after it was all said and done, we grabbed a burger and a drink at the local (population 223) bar and grill, before I kissed my son good bye and headed back to Omaha.

Saturday morning, after a quick run, I got ready, packed and the hubs and I headed off to pick up our friends to head to Kansas City for the Kenny Chesney concert.  We drove in torrential rains and storms the entire way there, all the while keeping our fingers crossed that it would let up before we arrived at the outdoor concert!
Well, it didn't.  In fact, it continued to pour.  And pour.  And lightning.  And pour some more...So, just picture about 50,000 redneck country fans in all of their cowboy hats, boots, wranglers, American Flag t-shirt glory imbibing ten too many $12 beers without eating any of the overly priced stadium food.  It was a shit show.  And, I'm not going to say we weren't a lil tipsy ourselves.  What were we to do??  The concert was delayed two hours, so that was the only other option.
The rain let up just enough to let the concert begin, but not enough to not completely demolish my perfectly curled, perfect teased, product overloaded hair.  I looked like a wet rat in high heels and white skinny jeans.  Note to self:  don't ever, and I mean EVER where white jeans when it's pouring rain.  Everyone and their dog may or may not have gotten a prettttttty good visual as to what I was hiding underneath those pants.  Lesson learned.
All in all though, we had a blast jamming out, drinking and singing our lungs out to a little Eli Young Band, Eric Church (who is so hot, by the way) and then finally a little Kenny Chesney.  Four hours of concert and a total of seven hours later, we called a town car to take our drunk asses back to the hotel...
Where the hubs thought it would be a great idea to get a night cap before the night was over...Well that led to he and our good high school friend crossing the line from slightly intoxicated to over the top, slurring words, making friends with a bride and groom checking in for their wedding night, and taking pictures with complete randoms, before our friend's girlfriend and I drug them up to our rooms.  They passed out within 2 minutes of crashing onto the beds.

Unfortunately, out of habit, my natural "Mommy alarm clock" went off at 8 a.m. yesterday morning and I couldn't fall back asleep.  That led me to scouring instagram, stalking Facebook and pinning about 50 new items to my boards.  I didn't want to wake the hubs since it was technically his day, being Father's Day and all, so I quietly snuck in a shower and got ready all before he woke from his coma.  He and I headed out to get a little Starbucks, as our non-married, non-child friends continued to sleep the morning away.

Around noon we checked out, and headed to get a little KC BBQ, per A's request since it was "his day."  (Are you noticing a theme here???)  I honestly wanted him to have whatever he wanted though because I don't give him the credit he deserves on the daily basis, so theme yesterday was whatever Aaron wants, Aaron gets ;)
After lunch, we headed out to an amazing outlet mall to finish up the trip before heading home.  Three hours and ten shopping bags later, (half of which were his!) we hit the road back to Omaha.  Madden wasn't back yet, so we hit up a local Mexican restaurant for dinner...just the two of us.  It was the perfect ending to a crazy, yet fun-filled weekend!

The cherry on top, was when M got home, he ran straight to his Daddy, gave him a huge hug and pronounces loudly "Happy Fotter's Day Daddy!"  Melt. My. Heart.  Sweetest thing ever.  I am truly blessed to have those two sweet men in my life!

And I cannot forget to wish my own "Fotter" a Happy Father's Day...He was the first man I ever loved, and I made him a Daddy for the first time.  He will always hold a special place in my heart!


Until next time...










Friday, June 14, 2013

Five on Friday

It's finally FRIDAY!!  Yippee!!  And since it's Friday, you know what that means...it's time for another Five on Friday linkup with my dear friend Darci over at The Good Life Blog, Hello! Happiness, Carolina Charm and A. Liz Adventures...

Here's what I've got for you today:

1.)  These bars.  Oh my goodness, these bars.  I found this recipe when Shay posted it over on her blog:  Mix and Match Mama, and I've gotta tell ya...they are phenomenal!!  The perfect combo of strawberry and creamy lemon cheesecake, that just screams summer time.  And the best part, they are made with a boxed cake mix, so they are super to simple and quick to whip up.  You can find that recipe here.  Try 'em.  You won't be disappointed.  Trust.

2.)  So this guy right here, and I have a date tomorrow night in Kansas City...Well, actually, it will be more like the hubs and I and a couple of our friends have a date with him, but a girl can dream, right??  I'm not going to say he's my favorite country singer of all time, but I do love me some Kenny Chesney so I'm really looking forward to our little get away this weekend!  I've heard he puts on an amazing concert, so it should be a great time!  I will be posting pics of our weekend on Instagram, so if you want to see this beefcake up close and personal, just follow me (@jennaschaben) and I'll give you the good stuff ;)

3.)  If you have ever seen any of the Disney-Pixar "Cars" movies, (which if you have children under the age of 10, I'm sure you have seen them all a time or two) then you should recognize this guy...It's "Mater the Tow Truck" aka, Larry the Cable Guy!  We had an event with the hubby's office last night and I got to sit right across the table from him.  It was absolutely one of the funniest nights of my life.  I literally think I laughed through the entire event.  I may have even let out a few snorts during dinner!  He is truly a genuinely nice guy and he's from Nebraska, and a die hard Husker fan, so we got along quite well...GO BIG RED!!!

4.)  I may or may not have made a little detour while shopping for A's Father's Day present in Von Maur this week...But I just couldn't help myself.  It's not my fault that the men's shoe department is directly across from the women's!!  But ladies, I scored the best deal on these little numbers right here.  The nude wedge is a Nine West, originally $89.  And the cognac pump is a Franco Sarto, originally $89 as well.  But if you look closely, you will see that I got both pairs for a grand total of $44!  Would have you turned that down??  I think not!  Deal of the month right there...

5.)  And last, but certainly not least, I couldn't leave you without a picture of my little man...I mean, seriously.  I might be biased because he is my own flesh and blood, but c'mon!  Have you ever seen a cuter little booty??  And no, I'm not typically that redneck mom that let's her child run buck naked in the back yard, but he ran away from me as I was changing him into his swimsuit.  He proceeded to grab this baseball, and practice his throwing skills.  So I did what any Mama would have done.  I didn't stop him, I grabbed my camera and snapped this shot that will probably come back to haunt him the first time he brings a girl home to meet us...

I hope y'all have a fantastic weekend!!  I know I will :)

Until next time...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Letter to My 21 Year Old Self

I love me some Jake and Holly.  It's true.  They crack me up on the regular around here...like I will for real bust out laughing out loud at most of their posts, so I can only imagine what they were like when they "did Memphis" together!  (And I'm sure them dressing in matching outfits by accident was only a tiny portion of the shenanigans that went down ;)

So when they decided to co-host this link-up, I knew I wanted to join in on the fun!  Yes, I know you are all probably thinking that I am going nutso with this link-up biz since this is my second link-up for the week, but I just couldn't help myself with this one.  I mean a letter to myself from six years ago??  Oh the things I would have done differently!  So much has happened since then...my life is so different...shoot, let me quit rambling, and let's get to the good stuff!

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Dear 21 year old me,

Hi there you young thing.  I know this is going to sound crazy coming from the person that knows you better than...welllllll...everyone on the planet, considering it's from yourself, but listen up.  I've got a few words of advice to give ya.  And trust me, you are going to want to pay attention...Are you listening?  Ok, here we go:

You know that tanning bed that you frequent on the regular?  I mean like the every day kind of regular?  Yeah.  That shiz needs to stop.  Let me tell you something.  You don't look good.  In fact you look like an oompa loompa.  Literally.  Just a little FYI.  You see, there's these things called wrinkles that you don't have now, but you will.  They will form nice little lines in your flawless skin.  Right around your eyes and your forehead.  And believe me, you are going to want to save yourself from them as fast as you can.  So stop.  Just stop...
Does that seriously look good to you??  I mean you are orange! 
And those midnight binge eating episodes at Taco Bell and Mickey D's that you partake in every night (after you've already consumed large amounts of your caloric intake for the day) aren't helping to combat the fact that you only ate a granola bar all day.  That's actually going to come back to bite you in the behind...do you really feel like working your ass off to lose 50 lbs 3 years from now?  Cause believe me.  It's going to happen.  Actually, on second thought, continue with what you're doing...because the more I think about it, if it wasn't for you starting those habits now, I wouldn't have the drive and determination to make myself the healthiest I can be in the future.  So while you're at it, demolish another chalupa and double cheeseburger down your pie hole.
This isn't even your heaviest, but just add a few pounds and a few more McChickens in the mix and it will be close!
So that fight you had with Aaron that you think is going to be the end all to your high school sweetheart relationship??  Um, yeah, it's not.  You actually are going to get married, get pregnant by accident and have a little boy that will consume your life and drive you to drink be your everything.  So don't cry yourself to sleep over a minuscule tiff about that boy you were talking to at that frat party that asked you for your number.  You are only human...He will get over it, and so will you.  In fact, in just a couple short months he's going to ask you to be his wife...but shhhhh!!!  I wasn't the one who told you! ;)
See, you look happy, right??  It will all work out.
And lastly, all joking aside, and in all seriousness I just want to tell you to stop worrying about Dad.  I know things seem super scary right now.  Because he was just given a horrible report about his melanoma and the doctors say they don't know if he will survive the year.  But he will not only get to walk you down the aisle at your wedding, but you will actually make him a Papa to your little man.  He's going to make it through this.  And be around for many, many years to come!

Well, that's all I have for you my dear, dear self.  So have fun, live life to the fullest, and don't do anything I wouldn't do! ;)

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Work Out Wednesday Linkup with Skinny Meg

Happy Hump Day all you beauties out there!

So, I know that I talk a lot about a bunch of random things over here on Jenna Rae Everyday, but if you've been around long enough, you know my main focus is something that I am really passionate about: fitness.  I've come a long way in the past 3 years and working out has just become part of my everyday routine.  A habit, if you will.

Therefore, even though I've seen the rockstar inspiration (that is Skinny Meg) host this great linkup before I've never joined in until now...I don't have a clue as to why it's taken me this long, but all that matters is that I'm here now to share with you one of my favorite quick and easy effective workouts ever.

This can literally be done in the comfort of your own home when you are in a pinch for time, but want to bust out a workout that will work your whole body, get your heart rate up, and keep the calories burning long after you're done!  A workout that continues to work for a few hours afterwards??  Sign me up!  (Who doesn't love free calorie burn??)

So lace up, turn on your fave jam and get to work!


*I use a set of 12 pound weights for the strength portion of this workout...go as light or as heavy as you need to.  Whatever the weight, or the level of fitness you are at, you will definitely feel the burn!!

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How I Stay Motivated

Getting in shape is hard.  It takes a LOT of self-discipline and self-control.  It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to even see the slightest results.  Nothing is more frustrating than hopping on a scale after you feel like you have made some major progress to only see that number has increased...All things that I have dealt with to get to where I am today.

But you know what?  Getting there is one thing, but staying there is even harder!  I tell people all the time, it takes forever to see results, but it doesn't take much to lose it all if you don't keep up with it.  That is why I have devised a "plan" that helps to keep me on track and to keep me motivated each and every day.  These may seem like minute details to some, but to me, it's the difference between maintaining my fitness and plunging head first into a downward spiral.

Coming from being a previously chubby girl, I know that my self control is slim, so I have to work hard  every.single.day on that.  This is what I do to help me stay on the right path:

1.)  I lay out my workout clothes the night before.  Everything from my socks and shoes to my ponytail holder and head band.  Sometimes I even sleep in my shorts and top if I know that it is going to be extremely difficult to crawl out of bed after a late night!

2.)  I set out everything I eat/vitamins I take in the morning, the night before.  It makes it so simple to just head downstairs in the morning knowing that I won't be scrambling around, trying to rush my breakfast when I know I should be spending that time working out!

3.)  I set alarms on my phone, notifying me of how long I have to do my morning routine so I stay on track.  For instance, my first alarm (my wake-up alarm) goes off at 5:50 a.m.  My next alarm (my getting ready alarm) goes off at 6:05 a.m.  That means from the time my first alarm goes off until the second, I only have 15 minutes to get ready.  Then my third alarm (my breakfast alarm) goes off at 6:25 a.m. That means I have 20 minutes to eat my breakfast before I have to be downstairs starting my workout.  It may seem tedious, but it seriously holds me accountable!

4.)  I have old pictures of myself hanging beside the treadmill and elliptical so I see who I was every  single day, pushing and motivating me to never go back down that unhappy, dark road I was on...

5.)  I take "selfies" almost every day.  No, I'm not superficial, although there is that one time out of ten that I think that I look pretty dang good and then it is just being superficial, ha!  But I do that so I can look back and see the changes that I am making in my body.  I have broken up with my scale, so I don't know where my "number" is these days (it's been almost a full month since I've stepped on one!) but the best way to judge where you are is by how your clothes fit.  And let me tell you...the camera does not hide anything!  It is my biggest critic, and I rely on those "selfies" to judge my progress.

6.)  I allow myself to have cheat days...like almost every weekend...whoops!  But, if I don't have those days to look forward to, then I will easily get stuck in a rut and possibly start reversing what I worked so hard to attain.  Those days give me something to work towards.  I mean wouldn't you work a lot harder during the week if you knew there was going to be a huge reward at the end??  To me, my motivation is a big 'ol bowl of ice cream or a shake...that's what does it for me ;)

7.)  And lastly, instagram.  (follow me @jennaschaben) No joke.  It may sound ridiculous, but who doesn't love to be complimented?  That is one of my biggest motivators of all.  By posting a picture of my weights, my meals, or family pics, and having people "like" the pic and then comment, holds me accountable.  I cherish every single comment and "like" and not a single one goes unnoticed.

What do you do to stay motivated?  What or who holds you accountable?  I'm always looking for new motivation, so throw 'em at me!!

Until next time...