Upper Body Workout + Workout with Your Dog

Happy Monday! I love the start of a new week (most of the time) because it means a new beginning to be productive and work toward my goals! Today is the day for several holidays (including National Eight Track Tape Day…hmm) but the one that I like most is National Pet Day!

This article on 13 Fun Ways to Workout with Your Dog had some new ideas I hadn’t thought of before (and made me miss my Weimaraner/Golden Retriever doggie Rita, who we gave to another family after Judith was born and I couldn’t keep up with Rita’s super high energy needs anymore 😦 It’s bittersweet, but I know she’s happier).

For the past 12-ish weeks I haven’t had to think about my workouts since I was doing a challenge with workouts on DVD (it was TERRAfit, in case you want to check it out – it combines 2 of my favorite things, essential oils and fitness!), and I really enjoyed them! The workouts are repetitive enough that you can get the hang of it quickly, but challenging enough that you’re gasping for air after the first cardio set (there are 3 strength and 3 cardio sets in each workout).

Now that TERRAfit’s over, it’s back to writing workouts for me! Last weekend I wrote a super challenging total body one, but I’m going to save that to share with you later in a project I’m working on 😉 For now, here’s a fun (I’m using that term loosely) upper body workout that’s sure to fire up and strengthen your arms. Try a little Peppermint oil or Soothing Blend on your arms before you start – they’ll cool down, feel a little tingly, and you’ll get an energy boost to power through your workout! (If you have sensitive skin, go easy on either of these two essential oils – sweating will open your pores and make them feel more intense, which most people love, but can be too strong for others.) All you need are a set of dumbbells at a medium weight (5-15lbs works for most people). For the first portion, keep moving at a fast pace. Rest for 1-2 minutes after each round.

Warm up (5 mins)

15 push-ups

Side plank with lateral raise

15 one leg bicep curls (engage core to keep your balance)

Tricep dips (hands on floor, lift hips into high bridge as you straighten arms)

15 one leg back rows (engage core to keep your balance)

30 second static squat with shoulder press (hold squat position as low as you can, shoulder press overhead)

15 bicep hammer curls (regular speed)

15 bicep hammer curls (slow, twice as long as regular)

Repeat 2-3x


2 minutes cardio: 30 seconds each – jumping jacks, mountain climbers, skaters, burpees

10 push-ups

Repeat cardio and pushups.

Cool down – stretching, walk, foam roller


Enjoy the burn!

❤ Gina



Make Your Abs Cry

Hello hello! If you want a quick but painful ab workout, this is it! I went for a run with Judith in the jogging stroller earlier this week, and did this workout when I got home. I felt it the next day in that great way that means your workout was a success! 😀


When I need an extra push to do something that’s tough (like this ab workout, or eating veggies instead of more chocolate, or being patient with my daughter), this quote gets me every time! Thinking about how I’ll feel tomorrow helps me just do it – satisfaction for a job well done beats regret for sure.

I’ve been enjoying lots of tea with a drop of Bergamot essential oil at night to stave off the munchies. I’m part of an online fitness challenge right now so I can’t let my team down by eating after hours! It’s the extra push I needed to stop boredom snacking. I could post salt lamp pics all day, but I’ll spare you. That’s what Instagram’s for, right?


Little Lady turned 17 mos. a few days ago! She’s changing a lot and is so much fun to be around at this age. The solar lights from our walkway are the perfect accessories for her outfit, obviously.

How neat is this? The Living Planet app can turn any pic or video into…whatever type of pic that’s called. I like the way panoramic photos turn out. Videos look so cool. I’d post the original of the pic above, but it’s way, way back in my phone’s photos.

Back to the ab workout–you’ll just need a balance ball for these exercises.

  • 30 knee tucks
  • 50 crunches on the ball
  • 10 knee ups
  • 30-60 sec plank (make it easier without using the ball. Feet on the ball make it harder)

Repeat 1-2 times. Gently stretch in an “up dog” type position to give your abs a break. Enjoy the burn 😉
❤ Gina

4-minute New Years’ Eve Workout

Happy New Years’ Eve! I love this time of year, and after taking a few weeks off in December, I’m refreshed and ready to get back to my routine (as much of a routine as I can with a 16-month-old who takes my plans and laughs at them, then crushes them to pieces. Just saying 😉

Because of the aforementioned 16-month-old, I’m all about super quick workouts over here. And since somebody got a medicine ball for Christmas from the best husband ever, we’re going to use it in this workout 😀 (That was me. I got the medicine ball for Christmas. Just so we’re clear. Haha)


You can do this without the medicine ball, of course, or substitute a soccer or basketball.

This workout can be completed in 4 minutes, or you can repeat 1-2 times for a longer workout. You can even do each round at different times throughout the day (stay at home moms are all too familiar with that kind of workout, am I right?! Start before breakfast, do a round during afternoon nap time, another round before bed…whatever it takes!)

Form notes:

Squats w/med ball toss – holding medicine ball at waist level, squat. As you stand up, toss the ball above your head and catch just before beginning to squat again. Work at making it fluid movement.

Plank crawl – in full plank position (hands below shoulders), inch one hand and foot forward, then the opposite hand and foot. Keep core engaged!

Medicine ball crunches –  like regular crunches, but with medicine ball held above chest. I like to tap the ball on the floor behind my head, hands on the ball, when I come down after each crunch.

Medicine ball mountain climbers – (if you have wrist problems, skip the medicine ball and do regular mountain climbers) both hands on medicine ball, start slow – these are much harder to balance than regular mountain climbers, and your abs will feel it SO MUCH more! The second time I went through this circuit, I had to stop and hold in plank. Fiery fiery abs!

If you’re out at a party tonight, here are a few of my tips for staying on the healthy wagon:

  • Come (somewhat) hungry – it never works for me to eat before a party. I ended up still stuffing my face because of all the yummy new dishes to try and then I’ve gone way overboard by having two meals instead of one. Now don’t fast all day beforehand or anything, but I never go to a party full. I will usually bring a snack in case the options are terribly unhealthy or there’s not enough food.
  •  Pass up the store-bought dishes or boring food. Don’t just eat it because it’s there. (I’ll skip the store-bought chocolate chip cookies or cakes, I can get those anywhere, but I try the homemade, “family recipe” type dishes.)
  • Don’t forget drinks have calories too, and can have a lot of sugar. I like to enjoy my sugar in baked goods, not drinks, so just ask your hostess what’s in the punch and if it’s loaded with sugar, only take a small sample of it instead of filling up a huge glass.

Enjoy your 4-minute workout and eat some NYE party snacks for me tonight 🙂

Get Moving Monday!

Happy Monday, friends! Hope your weekend adventures were fun and relaxing.


Saturday morning we took a drive to Lakeland to visit Garrett’s parents and put new brakes on the car.

It was the perfect opportunity for Judith to hang out around some of her favorite things: tools! (That’s a wrench in her hand. LOL)

Pure joy.

And it was the perfect opportunity for momma to get some PowerPoints done for the retreat coming up this week. Can’t wait! It’ll be awesome to relax at the beach, especially since the weather has been cooler. (I’m a cold windy beach person. It’s still far from cold here, but it’s improving!) Wednesday I’ll be speaking on different aspects of entrepreneurship and team building. It’s going to be a blast!

Back to the weekend–Sunday we hit up a farmers’ market in Hyde Park. Even though it rained for a good part of the morning, there was a great turnout and a lot of unique vendors (including a delicious olive salad company, herbs/succulents, homemade body products for humans and pets, and a bunch of food and drink options).

I finally decided to get the “Downtown” grilled cheese (turkey, smoky BBQ, and fresh mozzarella) from a food truck that ONLY makes grilled cheese. Um, great idea! It was delicious and cheap. They even make the bread!

So now that Monday’s here, it’s time to get back to work! I LOVE Mondays–I spend Sunday nights in anticipation, planning and setting up whatever I can do automatically (social media, etc.) for the week. I’m weird. But that’s OK!

I’ve found when I hit the ground running (literally) with a workout on Monday morning, my workouts are more solid throughout the week and I’m less likely to skip one. With that said, here’s a fun quick workout for you to try today. Let me know how it goes!

❤ Gina

A Killer Leg Workout (no equipment necessary)

I used to think “no equipment” meant no results for my workouts. But since I’ve spent less time in the gym and more time working out at home and outdoors after having a baby, I’ve been schooled!!! I felt this leg workout for days–even in my low back (which is where the leg muscles attach, so it should be exercised during every leg day).

Repeat the first 4 moves up to 3 times before moving on. Then repeat the last 3 moves up to 3 times.

Form cues–

Lunges: keep upper body upright, knees behind toes. Make a 90 degree angle with each leg as you lower down.

Jump squats: modify by hopping gently off the ground to make them easier, or increase the intensity with powerful, explosive jumps. Whatever you need to do to make it happen and work your hardest!

Lunge & lift: this is a stationary lunge, so your front leg stays in place as your back leg comes off the ground (using your glute to lift and squeeze). Bring back leg down to the start and lunge again.

Plie squats: keep your back straight, and toes pointed slightly outward. Sink down, press up through your heels. You’ll feel it in your inner thighs more if you lift your heels off the ground.

Lateral leg lifts: lie down on your side, hips and shoulders stacked directly on top of each other. Rest your head on your hand on on the ground and lift the top leg up, then lower slowly with control.

Bridges: like a normal bridge, but with feet up on a bench or chair (Or couch or coffee table… Watch the video for instructions. This makes it harder–you can always ditch the bench and keep your feet on the ground).

Hip raises: video demo


Let me know if you try this! Enjoy the soreness the next day–or grab your Deep Blue Rub and Lemongrass essential oil 😉

4 Upper Body Exercises You Can Do at the Park

Many of us mommas spend a good bit of time at the park. And why not, when it can be used as a gym or office with free childcare? 😉 

(Side note: always keep an eye on your kiddos at the park–just wanna make sure that’s clear, ok?)

While the kids are running, climbing, jumping, and swinging, it can be the perfect time for Mom to exercise too. Since it’s Saturday morning and we’re headed out to the park, here are four of my favorite upper body exercises that only require 1) you and 2) a park bench.

1. Walking plank

Start in plank position, shoulders over hands. Move left hand and left foot simultaneously to the left, then bring right hand and right foot to the left so you’re back in plank position. Repeat to the left for a distance, then switch to the right so end up back where you started. I went left for half a basketball court length, then switched to go right.

Keep core tight and engaged, keep hip movement to a minimum.

2. Shoulder push-ups

(Ignore the less-than-perfect self-timer photo. It was the best out of 4. Haha)

Start in downward dog position (make an upside down V with your body) and bend your elbows as you lower your head toward the ground. Maintain the upside down V shape, keeping back and legs straight. Push back up and repeat 10-15 times.

3. Tricep dips

Sit on bench facing away from table. Plant hands firmly next to your hips, scoot off the bench, and walk feet out so your back and bottom just clear the bench as you sink downward. Keep arms at a nice 90 degree angle as pictured, then press up through your hands. Repeat 10-15 times.

4. Bench push-ups

Just like regular push-ups, but can be done two ways: hands on bench (pictured) is easier than a regular push-up, or feet on bench with hands on ground is harder.

Repeat these 4 exercises as a circuit up to 3 times. 

Extra challenge: plank for 1 minute after you’re finished.

Let me know how you like the workout if you try it! Happy weekend!

❤ Gina