Go Away Sickness, I’ve Got Plans!

After a solid 11 hours of sleep, I woke up this morning feeling much better and with a fever of only one degree higher than normal!



This is fantastic because…




The Jingle Bell 5K is today!! I know, I know. You guys are probably thinking more rest is in order, and I agree. However, there are several reasons why I’m thinking about running the race anyway:

  1. I feel better than I did yesterday!
  2. I had to drop out of the race last year
  3. The race is only 5 minutes away from my house – on foot
  4. The start time is at 1:00 pm

Yesterday involved little movement. At work, I was actually thankful no one stopped in to inquire about the gym. Once I picked up my race packet and headed home, I remained horizontal for the rest of the night watching VH1’s Entourage marathon. I tried walking Niko <—bad idea. I tried doing laundry <—bad idea. Ergo, I gave in and gave my body what it was loudly requesting –>REST! <—good idea 😉

Plus, my appetite was no where to be found yesterday!! It was craziness. And every time I did eat a little something, I experienced more stomach pain.



I wanted nothing more than to demolish this Fresh Market Vegetarian Pizza!!!


I didn’t get very far…

Luckily, my stomach troubles didn’t get in the way of the husband’s birthday on Friday.


While Shane was at work, I was up to birthday mischief!

I think this is his favorite present I’ve ever gotten him. Ever.


He’s thanked me at least 10 times this weekend. It’s the G25 wheel and clutch/shifter for car games.

Fast forward 5 hours of Shane playing Need for Speed, and it was wine time!


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We caught the very last rays from the sun as it was heading toward the west.




No, Niko! That’s my wine!

Clarabelle always gives us the stinkeye when she’s the only one not on the back patio.



After having one small pour on the patio, I took Shane to a little wine cafe here in town called, A Renee’s.



They have a wine shop attached to it – my favorite wine shop – and this year they opened a cafe!


While there, we split a cab franc and a petite syrah.


I loved the syrah! I must buy a bottle soon!

For dinner, we headed to Baxter’s, Shane’s favorite steak restaurant here in town.



It’s a pretty snazzy restaurant located next to the airport.



This is where my stomach started talking to me. However, it didn’t stop me from eating a roll and a half and ordering the only vegetarian thing on the menu:




Salad – imagine that! 😉 It was a delicious salad with apple and smoked gouda, though.

By this point, I wanted nothing more than to end the night with some half caff coffee.


The perfect way to finish off an indulgent night!

I’m sure glad my sickness waited until the end of the night to rear its ugly head. The weather also did a 180! On Friday it was in the 70’s and today, the high is only 40 something… That will sure make for a collllld run this afternoon! Better bundle up 😀 And after the run, my family is coming up for another birthday celebration for Shane! Hear that sickness? Go away, I’ve got plans 😀

Hey…I think that’s my appetite!! Better go test it out with some breakfast 🙂


Sickey Mickey

Hey guys! Happy Saturday!! 🙂 It’s a dreary one over here, but I don’t mind because

A) yesterday was incredibly gorgeous. I mean, I went for a four mile run in a tank top and shorts and sweat like it was July!! Truly awesome.


B) I’m a sickey mickey.

All night long last night, I tossed and turned feeling feverish, achy, and with an upset stomach. My “coffee” this morning didn’t come from coffee beans.



I wanted nothing to do with coffee. That’s how I know it’s official.


Go enzymes, Gooooooo

Sleeping in a lofty three hours later than usual is pretty telling, too.

And not wanting breakfast for another three hours after that is just blasphemy!! And when my stomach did finally get symptoms that it was empty and needed food, all I wanted was toast. The thought of oatmeal actually made my stomach churn.


Ezekiel cinnamon raisin English muffins w/ raw almond butter and TJ’s jam were OK on it, luckily.

And of course, I was just bragging about my immune system. Why does that always happen?!

I should have known something was up when I turned down a mini pumpkin spiced birthday cake after dinner last night:



Me!? Turn down dessert?! On a weekend?! And it was pumpkin spiced cake?!

Yep. I’m a Sickey Mickey.

Unfortunately, I’m also working at the gym for a few hours today. I wasn’t scheduled to work, but a few days ago the other girl asked me if I could watch the gym for her – and I was feeling fine then!! 😉

Yesterday the husband’s birthday celebrations were a complete success (and a blast!) but my brain’s a little foggy to go into detail just yet. For now, keep on sharing your current obsessions as well as what natural beauty products your loving!! 🙂

Peace out, friends 8)

How many times per year do you get sick? I usually only get sick to the point of being knocked flat on my butt once a year – and I don’t even feel that bad now. So hopefully this sickness will take the place of the yearly knock-me-on-my-ass one 😉

Obsessions Series – All Natural Beauty Products

Hey there 8) Happy Friday! Power yoga was AWESOME last night. Just like I remembered it. Amazingly quick paced and awesome from the vinyasa repeat beginning to the shavasana preparation during Lynrd Skynard’s Free Bird. Oh…and my triceps = jello now. Heh

So how we doin’ this morning? I just finished training one of my early morning clients. Good times!

I’m a wee bit sleepy, though, because I stayed up way past my bedtime reading this:




I’m obsessed with the Steig Larsson novels! No really – obsessed! This is the third book of the series, and though I’m getting a little confused with all the new names, it’s still riveting! I’ve been on a real book reading kick lately. Such a good time-passer.

What book are you into lately? I really want to read Chelsea Handler’s books soon, too!

Another thing I’m obsessed with lately?


This butter! Kind of random, sure, but this is seriously the best butter I’ve ever tasted. I picked it up at Fresh Market the other day, and I’m so glad I did! For some reason it spreads more easily than regular butter, too.

Speaking of obsessions, I’m going to start a little series here on Running Around Normal that will involve posts about current obsessions. They can be on anything from food to house cleaners, but the point is a fun way for us all to share what we are loving lately!

Obsessions Series: Natural Beauty Products

So for today’s  series, I thought I’d give you all an update on the natural and organic beauty products I’m loving right now. It’s been a while since I’ve touched on the subject, so I thought I’d give you the run down! But instead of just listing them off like an infomercial, I’ll give you my “beauty routine” instead, k? Lez go!

After waking up in the morning, the only thing I do to “beautify” myself is wipe away any leftover mascara under my eyes from washing my face the night before. Then I get my work out on. I’m not one to impress others while sweating up a storm, knowhatimean?

Post gym: I immediately take a shower. Here’s where it starts. First to get the scrub down in my hair. I wash it first with my beloved Moisturizing Shampoo:



Alterna Caviar ‘Poo

This stuff is not only free of the garbage that’s in most shampoos..




But combined with its conditioning other half, it makes my hair silky, smooth, and not weighed down at all!



And the best part? It SUDS!! I’m not a fan of shampoos that don’t let you work up the bubblies. The conditioner has no silicone in it, either so the hair doesn’t get that heavy film after multiple washes.

Anyway, while the conditioner is doin’ it’s thang, I move on. To the body wash!


For my body wash, I just use St. Ive’s – whatever scent I grab first. It does the job without too many additives.

And to get a deeper scrub, this stuff is golden.




Can’t go wrong with the Apricot Scrub – a cult item, this gets the job done right. It says it can also be used as a face exfoliant, but not for me. It’s a little too rough on my face, but perfect for scrubbing the body.

What IS good for exfoliating the face, though, is my over-priced, yet beloved over-sized toothbrush.




AKA – the Clarasonic. I got this a few years ago as a pre-wedding gift, and I love it. It exfoliates my skin without harsh chemicals or scrubs, and it makes it radiant and clear! It just needs to come down in price a little. I mean, come on! But still, it rocks.




When I use my Clarasonic, I’ve been using it with this face wash:


Juice Beauty’s Organic Cleansing Milk

It’s too gentle for the night to remove all my makeup, but perfect for the morning. It’s not my favorite (that’s coming) but it’s perfect for using on an already clean (ish) face.

After toweling off, I use my most favorite beauty product. EVER.



LaVanilla Body Butter in Vanilla. I’ve been using this for years, and I don’t intend on stopping. It smells heavenly, and feels like velvet on your skin. Love.

Once I’m good and moisturized, I put on some smoothing serum.



So Aveda isn’t really ALL natural, but it does a fine job.

Up next! Primping the pits.


Still loving this stuff!!

Now it’s time to apply our make up. Well, almost – in 10 minutes. For now, we pat this under the eyes:



then wait 10 minutes until its fully absorbed.

Now it’s make up time!!

I always apply concealor first. I’d been using this mineral concealor from Loreal, but it just didn’t cut it. Now I use MAC moisturizing concealor. After concealor is applied, I go straight to the face:



I mix these two tinted moisturizers (only because one’s too dark and one’s too light and I’m too cheap to go by a shade that’s perfect right now – why waste?) and apply.

Unfortunately, that’s where natural/organic makeup application ends. The rest is all synthetic, but it usually ends up looking a little something like dis:


Work, work,yadda yadda, play, play, now it’s time to wash the day away!

Best at-night cleanser evaaa:



This cleanser is all natural, but suds up like a regular face soap. And the smell is incredible! If you’ve ever smelled Aveda Dry Remedy Shampoo, it smells exactly like it. I actually look forward to cleaning my face at night because it smells so amazing 🙂 It does wonders for my skin, too! I’ve tried other natural and organic cleansers, and this is #1 by a long shot. Honestly, I’d probably use my Clarasonic at night instead of in the morning with this stuff, but I shower in the morning, and like to use it in the shower because it’s a hassle to bend over the sink and use. But anyway. I digress.

My night time moisturizer alternates between

Good ol’ coconut oil


I usually just use this under my eyes but sometimes on my entire face after washing before bed. It’s such a good moisturizer – and obviously all natural 🙂

And then other times I use Korres Yogurt Cream – which brings me to my only “weekly beauty routine!”

Once a week, I apply the Korres Yogurt mask to a fresh face for about 10 minutes before I rinse off.



Following the mask, I always use the Korres Yogurt Cream. They tout being for dehydrated, oily skin. I tout they’re amazing. After a few weeks of consistent use, I noticed my skin was less oily, but more radiant. And it just feels nice on my skin 🙂

So there ya go! My beauty routine. I used to be into all sorts of masks and scrubs, but who has time anymore, really.


What natural and organic beauty products are you loving right now?

Do you have a once-a-week beauty routine you do?

Have a fantastic Friday, friends!! 😀

Happy Birthday to my amazing hubby today!!!

Yesterday I Lied

How is it already August? Every year on August 1st, a little piece of my dies inside. August means it’s the last month of summer (well, you know what I mean.) Call me crazy, but I’d be one satisfied sista if summer were the only season of the year. Why I live in Illinois still we’ll never know…


So. I’m extremely tired today but can’t seem to nap. You see, yesterday I lied.

I didn’t train clients.

I didn’t shop.

But the means justified the end…of keeping the surprise party a secret!



Kim and her fiancé Jason, Shane and myself all drove to Chicago to surprise the heck out of our best friend, Destiny. It was so difficult talking to her on the phone! I felt pretty bad for keeping the convo short – on her birthday – for fear of letting it slip.


It was worth it 😉

On the drive up, I packed a salad w/ romaine, chopped tomatoes, a hardboiled egg, feta, and balsamic vinegar:


Shane and I got there a little early, so we hit up Trader Joes (!!!) and had a dance party in a random church parking lot before the big surprise

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Totally necessary.

Then it was surprise time!




A couple hours later, we were walking to a cute little beer garden and restaurant called Fat Duck.



Errr DuckFat, rather. Not an appetizing name if you ask me, but it did have appetizing food!

We started with a round of drinks. I had a ginger basil mojito.

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It was good, but I’m pretty sure they forgot the ginger and basil :-/

And I ordered a vegetable wrap for…2nd lunch?


Those sweet potato fries were outstanding!

IMG_0166Look at the flaked sea salt! Love 🙂

After lunch, and a couple hours of catchin’ up there were more surprises! We all headed over the the real party, where Destiny was greeted by all her family and friends!


Plus she got to see her mom’s new weiner dog that I was thisclose to putting in my purse and making a run for it:


All at once now…awwwww 😀

She was very much genuinely surprised.

At the party, I had a few wine spritzers (wine + club soda)




I also had a mozzarella and tomato skewer which was phenomenal!

At this point, I was getting pretty tired, but it was a birthday and the show must go on! Of course, we had to say “prune” for the camera:


Evidenced by the look on Jason’s face in the pictures, our significant others definitely think we’re quite odd. Well, we are.

A little later, the game plan changed and we hit up a couple local pubs where dancing the night away ensued.

Another half a wrap may or may not have been consumed before hitting the sheets 🙂

Shane and I headed back to town pretty early today. I think I fail at being a good wife because I fell asleep the minute we started driving home only to wake up 2.5 hrs later when we were turning onto our street back in Normal. Shane said it was the longest drive of his life. Doh!

Back home, I made an energizing juice using 1 beet + 2 carrots + 1 apple:


And then finished it off with an oat bran waffle. Whole wheat flour trumps oat bran flour when it comes to waffles, guys.


Topping ingredients:





I’ve been trying to muster up some motivation to make today a work day since yesterday was all fun, but productivity has yet to rear its head.

But I’m off to keep on trying 😀 Perhaps a nap will help… 😉

How was your guys’ weekends?! Do anything fun? Get any relaxation in?

Well I should probably go make myself somewhat presentable. My parents watched Niko for the night while we were gone and are bringing her back in here in a few, and we’re planning on going out for Mexican food while they’re here. Actually, I think I’ll try to convince them that pizza is definitely a better choice today. A thin, crispy, sourdough veggie pizza. Yes, please!


PS – How do you like my new header? It’s the first time I’ve changed it in…ever! 😀

Easing Low Back Pain with Exercise!

Happy Birthday to my Dad!! Love you, Daddy!

Hey loves! How’s the first half of your week shaping up? Mine’s been not too shabby!

I just finished a very circular breakfast:



Ezekiel English muffin w/ Almond butter and organic blueberry jam, and 1 egg + 1 egg white with sea salt. Yum!


This came after a blood pumping weight sesh with the husband. We were supposed to hang out with Shaun T., but we both ditched him for some iron. We woke up a little late, and only had about 40 minutes for a workout. We rescheduled with Shaun for Friday 😉

Remember my NROLFW part 1 review?


Well, I’m starting to incorporate some of the workouts into my strength training workouts. I’ll review it when I get through, but note that I won’t be following it to a T. I’m kinda going with my own plan with this one; pretty much like I do with everything else in life 😉 We’re only doing Insanity every other day, so I’ll either run, lift or both on the off days from that. If it proves too much for me, I’ll weed it down a bit. Today’s NROLFW workout 1A was pretty killer though.

The hubski’s doing a strength training plan that I created for him. He’s not going to join a new gym for a couple weeks, and the weights we have here at home only go up to 15 lbs., so the plan I created for him over the next two weeks involves mostly body-weight-based strength training. He uses 15 lb. dumbbells for the smaller muscles, like the anterior and posterior delts.

Yesterday I had a morning training session, was off to the office to work all day, and then had one more training session afterward.
But in between it all…I RAN! Yep, I ran for the first time since last Saturday’s half marathon. I had a good hour or so in between office work and my evening client, so I hopped on the treadmill for a glorious three miler. After a 5 minute walking warm up, I ran 3.3 miles in 30 minutes, followed by a 5 minute walking cool down. The owner of the gym got some new kettle bells so then I did some single leg deadlifts alternating with swiss ball crunches afterward.

When I got home, I wanted food NOW. There’s a lot of produce in our fridge right now, and raw food is fast food, so I told Shane I was making a salad for me, and unless he wanted the same he was on his own.

Pile o’ raw veggies in a Pyrex bowl:


Spinach, romaine, edamame, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, cauliflower

Topped with cooked veggies:

grilled portabello mushrooms, vegan veggie burger, and a dressing combo of 1.5 T. hummus, 1 T. Tahini, 1 T. water, + 1 T. Bragg’s Amino Acids. I initially was going to use Susan’s idea of watered down hummus as a dressing, but then saw the other ingredients kickin’ it in the fridge and thought, "why not?"


I still can’t think of a reason why not! This dressing will about knock your head off 😀

But I wanted MOAR.



x’s two of some protein cookies


Easing Low Back Pain

My dad’s pretty much amazing, everyone. He’s always been there for me and has been supportive of everything I do (minus those few years in high school – LOL) In fact, he’s so amazing that the article below is dedicated to him. My dad’s had low back issues ever since being side-swiped in a car accident in the town he lives in. Every once in a while it gets so bad that he needs to use a cane. Dad, readers with low back problems, and readers who want a stronger back, here are some exercises that can help strengthen and stretch that pain point at the center of your bod.

As always, I am not a doctor, just a personal trainer. Please check with your doctor before beginning this or any exercise regimen. If you question the form on any of these exercises, please ask a personal trainer to show you.

Did you know that 80% of the population will experience low back pain at some point in their life? It’s usually caused from overuse or strain. Back pain actually tends to get better if you stay active. That said, the below exercises have been shown to help ease back pain in both long and short term duration

Press Up Back Extensions This exercise will strengthen your erect

Knee to Chest This exercise is great for stretching your lower back

Knee to chest rotation: In a supine position, hug your knees to your chest and slowly rotate knees from side to side while keeping them together

Cat Pose to stretch your low back, begin on hands and knees, and arch your back up like a cat, hold, and return to neutral spine.

Hip Lift In a supine position, flatten your back against the floor by contracting your abs and slowly rotating your hips backward.

Ball squat or wall squat – squat down so your lower back in pressed against the wall or ball and move your feet out from the wall to bend your legs to a “half-squat” and hold. Gradually straighten legs out.

Additional activities to strengthen and stretch the core and surrounding muscles to protect the spine include side stretch, abdominal curls, modified push-ups, lateral leg raises, groin stretch, hamstring stretch, calf stretch and the quad stretch.


If you have any questions on the exercises above, please feel free to shoot me an email 🙂 This is just a snippet of the exercises that can ease lower back pain.

Back injuries and sprains are the number one disability for people under 45. It’s the most expensive benign health condition in America as it accounts for 10% of all chronic health problems, which results in lots of days off from work.


Late, late, late! Gotta run!


Do you have to deal with lower back pain? Have you ever had lower back pain?

Running on Emotions

Morning, morning! Didja all have a great weekend? Mine was quite pleasant!

Yesterday morning’s 11 miler kicked my boo-tay. I seriously didn’t think I would make it through it, and when I saw my subdivision in the distance, I almost broke down and cried in relief.

Let me explain.

My past two long runs have been on the trail, so I decided to take this week’s onto the open road. It was a new route, so I wrote it down on my palm so I wouldn’t get lost!


Unfortunately I started to get pretty sweaty early on and it got wiped off shortly into my run. However, I made with due and just kind of ran the general route. I veered off the path (which increased my mileage by a quarter mile) a little bit, but I got some very pretty pictures along the way. (iPhone pics – sorry for the bad lighting!)


Pretty flowers!



IMG_1178Around 7 miles and BEAT.

Running across my old university’s quad…






Contrary to the norm, the first two miles were the easiest of the entire run! Around mile three, I looked down and saw my Garmin was dead 😦 Ugh. The downside to depending on GPS during runs. Doh! This kind of through off my groove, but I kept on going. However, I probably took about 8 walking breaks in total. I just kept getting stomach cramps and my endurance was completely off. I’m not sure what caused it. I only ran 3 days in addition to the long run last week, so perhaps it’s the shorter mileage?

Anyway, I finally rounded onto the last stretch and was SO proud of myself. I honestly thought at one point that I would have to call Shane and get me.

Not sure of my mileage stats…grr.

Right after my run, I devoured a plum


and rushed to get ready and packed up everything to head to my parents’ house for my mom’s birthday!



Niko loooves going to grandma and grandpa’s house. As soon as we hit the ramp to their house, she FREAKS out. It’s so cute.

Also had a kombucha in tote:



Once we got there, Shane headed over to my brother’s (down the street) and worked on cars for a while. Meanwhile, my mom and I SHOPPED!


It was SUCH a nice day out. Seriously we are SO lucky this year – it’s April and feels like June!



Sorry for catching you with your eyes closed, mom!

We hit up Dick’s (where I got a foam roller! – post, I’m sure, to come soon) and Banana Republic and a couple other places.

We were ordering pizza later, but I was soooo hungry, so I busted out a Clif bar in the car:


When we got back to the house, I unfortunately had some writing to do, but finished up just in time for pizza! Glorious, glorious PIZZA!


Veggie, of course. Had about twice that amount.

And a salad with romaine, strawberries, walnuts, and mushrooms.


I made a dressing out of apple cider vinegar, olive oil, turbinado sugar, Dijon, and salt, and it was stupendous!

Then we busted into the birthday cake I made for my mom!


Chocolate cake with chocolate hazlenut frosting (from Vive le Vegan!)

Shane and I headed home a couple hours later in order to get back at a decent hour since we both have work this morning. But out of all of us, she was the most pooped!


I’ve said this before on the blog, but anytime Niko goes to my parent’s house, she comes back wiped out. Dog park and grandparent’s house in one weekend=tired dog!

How do you remember your routes when you run/walk/bike/skip/hop? Do you always use the same route or do you switch it up a bit?

One Last Shebang

Hey bloggy people! How ya doin?

I’m POOPED. I’m usually not this tired on Mondays, but I just had a 14 hour day. Combine that with crap sleep the past two nights and you get one tired Paige.

Yesterday my mom, dad, brother, and SIL came over to celebrate my birthday. I had celebrated with everyone else except family!



Family portrait! (I took the picture:))

They came over around 5:00 and we had a few drinks and caught up. Well, I had water, thankyouverymuch.

Not before long, we headed out and were on our way to one of our favorite places ever…Lucca’s!! I’ve blogged about Lucca’s before, but one thing I’ll say: best. pizza. ever. Seriously.

So good I forgot to snap a picture:


That’s what’s left of the veggie pizza my mom and I shared. We both had a little under half of the medium veggie + extra tomatoes pizza. What I love about Lucca’s pizza is a. the CRUST and b. it’s not overly greasy. It’s the worst when a pizza just has a film of grease over it. Bleh.

We also got some spinach and artichoke dip – the chips are actually piece of fried pizza dough! Amazingly good.


And while most everyone else had beer, I had water:


I just can’t do two nights in a row!

So good. So fun.

Then we all headed back to our house for some BIRTHDAY CAKE!!


IMG_6107 It was good, but didn’t have enough chocolate. I kid 😉 It was AMAZING!




We cut everyone a “small” piece, but seriously, no matter how this cake was sliced, no piece could be considered “small:”


Small for a bigfoot!

Shortly after they all headed home, and Shane and I were left to relax and enjoy the rest of our night. AKA watch two episodes of 24 and then go to bed leaving me to do nothing but have nightmares of someone gutting me. Note to self: do NOT watch 24 directly before passing out.

This morning I got out of bed and got ready to head to the gym for an easy 4.5 miles. I usually take Monday’s as my rest day, but I decided to go ahead and go today since I had quite the indulgent weekend. Gotta have that balance! However, I probably should have taken the extra sleep. I had a few clients to train directly after work (including my first male client!) and now I am beat. In fact, I feel a tickle in the back of my throat that might be more than just tiredness. I REALLY hope I’m not catching something…Urgh.

Anyway, this is the last of the birthday posts! Normal posting (normal?) to resume tomorrow 😀

I hope you all had a fabulous Monday and an even better Tuesday!!!


What’s your favorite cake flavor? We have a cake-baker here in town that has the MOST amazing Butter Pecan cake EVER. Shane and I had it served at our homecoming wedding reception. Otherwise, chocolate all the way 😀