Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Las Vegas 3 - Amy 0

When we left for the airport Sunday mid-morning, I thought I could title this post Las Vegas 2 - Amy 1, but little did I know what McCarran International Airport and United Airlines had in store for me! I guess I did get an extra day off, but spending the day at the airport wasn't on my list of things to do. Now let's rewind to 5:00pm Thursday when Mom and I arrived in Vegas!

We got there without a hitch and just in time to freshen up, have a drink and head to the strip for dinner and a night out!

Matt wanted to go to a buffet, so I went on to trusty and found that the Paris Hotel & Casino had one of the top rated buffets with crab legs. Matt wanted crab legs and crab legs he got! It was actually a really good meal with lots of options, but it was the desserts that got me. French Macaroons! Be still my heart...

Post dinner it was time to casino hop! Drinks and penny slots at the Paris casino...

...followed by fun at Planet Hollywood...

...finally ending the evening browsing the gardens and casino at The Bellagio.

Friday morning, Mom & I went to the casino next door to our hotel, South Point, while the boys were off running errands. {We were staying south of the strip, but still on Las Vegas Blvd at a timeshare resort.} We hung out there sipping mimosas and doing a bit of gambling until they picked us up to go to Matt's basketball game. We dropped Matt off early and went exploring along the mountains. I took some amazing pictures that I want to edit and show y'all. Soon, I promise.

Matt's game was a blast and they won! It was the 3rd and final game in their pool play and they won all three games which meant they were going to play again on Saturday in the Platinum bracket which was the best of the best.

After basketball was a quick dinner and wardrobe change before hitting the strip again! This time we started at The Luxor...

...for a Jabbawockeez performance! Anyone remember them from the first season of America's Best Dance Crew? They were the winners that wore the awesomely creepy white masks.

Their performance was fantastic and we all enjoyed it so much. Even Matt, who is a hard to please 16-year-old boy :) The show was based on the colors of the rainbow and black vs. white. The incorporated everything in a comical manner and put on a great performance.
After the show, we went over to Mandalay Bay before calling it a night just after one in the morning.

Saturday, Dad and Matt were off to basketball bright and early, so again Mom & I went to South Point for morning drinks and more play time!

Followed by a few hours at the pool before another night on the town. This time we headed to Fremont Street! Mom & I were dying to go to a Murder Mystery dinner theatre at The D Hotel & Casino called Marriage Can Be Murder. We loved how interactive the performance was and the acting was cute. 

Next was watching the lights on the Fremont Street Experience and casino hopping! Finally ending at the Golden Nugget where we watched an awesome cover band at one of the lounges.

Sunday morning started out fantastic with a champagne brunch, but y'all know where it went from there. In case you missed it, you can read about our lovely time at the airport here. Eventually we did make it home. Worn out and exhausted from all the fun, but it was an amazing trip with some of my favorite people in the whole wide family :) We definitely missed Emily & Ben though! I'm thinking a family Vegas trip will be in order when Matt finally turns 21!

Next up...Denver this coming weekend! All the traveling this summer!

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Monday, July 28, 2014

That one time I got stuck in Vegas...

Hey remember that one time I was in Vegas and I was supposed to get home Sunday night but didn't? Yeah. I remember too. Mostly because not only did I not get home last night, but I'm still in Vegas! In fact, I won't get home until 6:30 tonight. Which, by the way, is when I was supposed to get home yesterday!

Here's the story...

We got to the airport and through security without a hitch. Great start. Then we got to our gate, played some slots and boarded our plane. Again, without a hitch. We actually were scheduled to take off a few minutes early. As we're taxiing towards the runway, the plane stops then keeps going and stops again. Next thing you know, we're told that an error light came on and we needed to go back to the gate to have a look at it. 

We waited on our plane for an hour. It was really warm and just got warmer as we sat there. Eventually we were told the plane was too warm and everyone needed to deboard. At this point it's a little after 2pm, and we're told they'll give us gradual updates on the status and that our flight is not cancelled. Updates came at 2:30, 3:00, 3:30 and by then we were hungry so we opted to grab some food before our flight since we wouldn't be getting home until after 8:00pm Houston time. Of course at 4:20 we get the infamous announcement, "You flight has been cancelled. Please form a single file line behind the desk and we'll rebook you for tomorrow." Oh great, tomorrow, as in we won't be getting home on time. 

Trying to make the best out of a crappy situation. 

I waited in line for an hour and a half to get my new flight, meal vouchers and a hotel. I was 7pm before we were able to head to the shuttles to get us to our hotel. Now don't get me wrong, the hotel was nice enough, but after 8 hours at the airport, we were exhausted and the hotel was near NOTHING so we weren't able to go anywhere or do anything our extra night.  There was a free shuttle that could take us to Mandalay Bay, but we ended up working out for about 45 minutes followed by an hour in the pool and hot tub. It was more relaxing and I'm hoping it will help me ease back in to the real world tomorrow. If only they'd told us sooner about our flight, we could have enjoyed this extra time in Vegas. 8 hours at the airport isn't exactly my idea of fun. Standing in line for an hour and a half to have some rude woman working for United to be bitchy towards me isn't my idea of fun. I understand that you're working late, but at least you're at work. I'm making no money today because I can't be at work. I had to have two classes covered because I'm not there. It was definitely stressful, but I'm getting over it now. 

Aside for on yesterday's mishap, the trip has been great and hopefully I can tell y'all all about it tomorrow! Happy Minday loves. Hope yours are better than mine!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Vegas Style

Guess who is going to Vegas? This girl! Guess who is actually going to Vegas today? You guessed it. This girl! After work, I'm hopping on a jet plane Las Vegas bound with my momma to meet up with my dad and youngest brother Matt! Matt has a basketball tournament, so my parents asked if I wanted to come. I couldn't turn down a free place to stay in Vegas.

In honor of throwback Thursday and my impending Vegas trip, I thought I'd take a walk down memory lane and relive my last two Las Vegas vacations!.

2011: Kate's 21st Birthday

In August 2011, my wonderful sister-in-law turned 21. What better way to celebrate your 21st then a trip to Vegas. My mother and father-in-law went along with us five girls.

We had an absolute blast and did everything we could from Thursday night drink specials to Friday morning facials. Exploring Freemont Street to testing out as many penny slots as possible. We went out for Kate's birthday at Tao night club and saw the Circ de Solis show at Treasure Island where we were staying. Phil also took us to Bill's and taught us the basics of craps :)

We even met the owner of the Golden Gate Casino on Freemont Street and he gave Kate $100 for roulette. I can't remember if she put it on red or black, but she one. #FTW
It was a great first trip to Vegas with not only my friends, but my family as well.

2012: Courtney's Bachelorette Party

Now this trip was quite different, but equally as awesome. There were clearly more girls and we stayed in a fancy suite at the Cosmopolitan. We partied hard at the night clubs, spent plenty of time at a few different pools and took advantage of a pretty sexy show...aka Chippendales!

I successfully fell down the stairs on our first night there. I had the most delicious creps during brunch at The Sugar Factory. We out at Tryst, Hyde and The Palms. Took a limo to dinner at VooDoo followed by the famous Chippendales men. It was all sorts of awesome and busy,

Vegas hasn't let me down yet and I don't see it letting me down in the near future. This trip will be a little different. A bit more low key, but equally as awesome. I can't wait to explore with my fam!

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Friendship + Medicine Balls = Partner Play

This past weekend, JP and I were able to spend so much time together with friends. Tons of friends. It seemed as though this was the most perfect weekend for everyone to be in town! JP and I called this past weekend our "Tour de Houston" because we were all over the place. We cooked dinner with Chandra and Michael on Friday in Jersey Village. Saturday we met up with Julie, Chris and Evan at Top Golf in Spring. Then we went to Chris' parents' house in the Woodlands for good food, margaritas and pool time. And of course that wasn't enough for us, so we headed back into town for dinner at Blackfinn with all of our college friends. Russo was in town from D.C. and Brian and Lori came down from Dallas so we could all be together. If Saturday's craziness wasn't enough, Sunday bright and early, we drove down to Galveston to help my cousin Amanda and her friend Alex move into their new house! {They drove down here from North Carolina for a fresh start and new adventure post college which means I have my favorite cousin only an hour away.} To finish the day off, we ended up in Sugar Land post unloading the moving truck into an un-airconditioned house for much needed pool time! Whew.

Left to Right, Top to Bottom
one. JP finishing his swing at Top Golf North Houston
two. Houston skyline from I-45
three. Me and my Julie. So glad she came to visit from Orlando!
four. Alison - me- Ashley out in Midtown to celebrate Russo being in Houston
five. Galveston road trip with my two little side kicks
six. Me - Amanda - Alex I love jumping pics
seven. Celebrating their move to H-town!

Being around so many friends this weekend had me thinking about friendship a lot and how lucky I am to have this many people in my life that I feel so close to. Each friendship was formed in its own special way and developed over time to blossom into what we have today. Each friendship also shaped me into who I am today. We choose our friends and our friends choose us. I thought hard about how each friendship has changed my life and made me select my path.

How did I get to where I am? 
What influenced me to make my choices? 
Why am I confident in who I am? In what I'm doing?

Love and support. 

Love and support from my friends and family. I'm a lucky girl to have such wonderful people in my life. The people pictured above, that I saw this weekend are only a few of the people who touched my life and gave me the confidence to be who I am. Thank you to all my friends. Friendship means the world to me and I am strong because of it!

Speaking of friends, you know a really fantastic way to hang out and feel good about yourself? Yup, you guessed it. A workout! I mean, Chandra and I became friends because of a running club. Julie and I trained for and ran our first half together. Ashley and Alison decided to join us and jump on the bandwagon shortly after. Partner workouts are super fun and it's a great way to push yourself and see the people you care about. Plus you'll be glad you did it instead of sitting on your bum at a bar with a drink in hand. You can do that after and feel better about it! Here's a great partner workout to try!

Instead of explaining each of these exercises in depth, I thought I'd just fix the names to match these awesome websites below that give full descriptions of each move! Of course, If you have any questions at all, leave a comment or send me and e-mail and I'll explain it right away!

Now grab a friend and go get it done! Take a moment to remember why your friends while you're at it. And remember how lucky you are to have a friend to do work with!

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Blaze New Trails: My Mizuno Wave Hayate

This post is sponsored by Mizuno through Fitfluential. All opinions are my own and pertain to the focus and heart of A Balancing Act.

A little over 5 years ago, I woke up one morning and decided that I wanted to run a half marathon. I wanted to be a runner. I did it. And many more to follow. 2 1/2 years ago I decided I wanted to run a full marathon. I did it. And then I did it again. And then something came over me and I signed up for another one. {Yikes!} Early this year, I decided I wanted to get into running trails. I wanted to change things up a bit and still be a runner. I did it once again.

There is a certain joy about running trails. You don't have to focus on pace and cadence. You're not worried about your finish time. Instead, you worry about your foot and what's in front of you. You're proud of your finish whether it be a race or just another run. It's a different sort of challenge that I've found a lot of joy and peace while pushing my limits.

When I had the opportunity to review the Mizuno Wave Hayates, I was excited to try my very first trail shoes! Now let me tell y'all, there is a huge difference in your every day distance running shoes and trail running shoes. The Wave Hayate's design is low, light and adaptable for fast off-road training or racing. There is an X-lug outsole that grips in all directions, and the lightweight midsole plants securely on any terrain.  Trail runners often want to be one with the trail, and these trail-specific details work in harmony so you feel the trail and not the shoe.

Mizuno is making a commitment to trail running and is pushing the design principles found in the Ascend 8 to their new trail shoe line-up. Runners will find versatility and ease along the trail, making these shoes must-haves for trail running. The men's shoes weigh in at a minimal 8.8oz and the women's at an even lighter 7.2oz.

The first thing I love about the Wave Hayate is that Hayate translates to "swift, like a whirlwind" which is how runners should feel when connecting with the trails. The Wave Hayate's have a comfort about them that helps me to maneuver the trails with ease. The fit is a bit snugger than your every day running shoe. Mizuno recommends sizing up a half size for the Hayate's. I am generally between an 8.5 and 9, so I size up to a 9 for my distance shoes. Since they are a bit bigger, I was able to get a 9 in the Hayate and they fit comfortably. The fit of the shoe is very in tune with my foot. The design is sleeker and narrower than my usual Wave Riders which works great for the trail. When comparing my two Mizuno shoes, I noticed a huge difference in the bottom shoe grips. The Hayates have a more defined grip that allows the runner to maneuver more fluidly over rough terrain by catching on the surface. My first run I noticed the difference in having actual trail shoes over running in my distance shoes on trails. I highly recommend the Wave Hayate to anyone looking for a great trail/off-road running shoe. I may be new in my trail journey, but I'm learning more every day!

Moose likes it when we take my trail shoes on adventure walks and hikes too!

Take a look at the current line up of Mizuno trail running shoes for both men and women!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Day in the Life...{Workout Included!}

...of Amy the personal trainer! I've never done a day in the life post and so many people ask about how my job is going. Since I quit working in the corporate world almost 1 year ago {gasp!}, I thought I'd give y'all a run down on the daily grind. Since today is Wednesday, I'll give you my Wednesday schedule since every day is different!

Somewhere between 3:45 and 4:00AM
Time to wake up and get ready! Time varies based on thoughts below:
1. Do I need to shower?
2. If answer is yes, do I need to wash my hair?
3. No shower - 3:54
4. Shower - 3:50
5. Hair wash - 3:45
Awesome I know. Please note: I avoid washing my hair for as long as possible. Don't judge me.

Better get to work! Luckily, it only takes me 10 minutes from door to door. If I leave at 4:40, I'm clocked in at the gym by 4:50am. Dark and early!

Get the gym ready for opening. Turn on lights, tvs and music, check the locker rooms, restock towels, tidy up the floor and make sure all weights are reracked!

Sit back and enjoy my coffee! Most mornings I don't have a client or class until 6:00, but occasionally I'll have a 5:30 client. Just means I have to put on my happy face a bit earlier. Good thing I'm a morning person! During this time I'll also sit and chat with Lauren or Rick (depending on who is opening with me) or scroll through the interwebz catching up on the news and what not.

Train my regular Wednesday morning client. She's once a week and fun to work with. In fact, I really enjoy all of my AM clients which is super important since it's so early!

Time to teach! Every Wednesday I have my morning Cross Training class. We do something a little different each week. I like to keep everyone on their toes and change it up! I have about 6 regulars that love it because they never know what's coming, so there is nothing to dread going into it! We do everything from cycle intervals, strength training, running, HIIT, track workouts, so on and so forth. This week I set up a 7 station circuit with some cardio and strength drill!

Towel run. Unload and restock towels after morning crew.

Weekly coffee date with CJ! Today was unsweetened iced green tea.

Clean the restrooms. Not the highlight of my day, but we have to get the towels, fill the stock room and the restrooms. Then we have to tidy up the restrooms, cleaning counters, restocking supplies and refill soaps, body wash and shampoo. Glamorous I know.

Varies from day to day. This is our down time. Nothing too exciting is going on at the gym and since I teach my class Wednesday mornings, I don't have any more clients until lunch time! Chill out, relax, eat breakfast, blog, so on and so forth.

Time to train my awesome clients.

Teach my Strength Zone class! This is my favorite class and I teach it Mondays and Wednesdays at the same time. I usually have about 15-20 students which nearly fills up the class! It's all about challenging my students. Go big or go home. Here's what we're doing this week!

Our track is 5 laps to a mile, so for the running portion, you can run 0.2 or 0.25 miles. You can also sub it out for 2 minutes of cardio!

Sometimes I train, but mostly I chill and start to wrap things up for the day.

Get home, get the dogs out and eat lunch while vegging on the couch catching up on the previous nights' shows!

It depends on the day, but I have several options as to what I can do during this time:
  1. Run errands. Grocery strore, post office, shopping, whatever I may need to do usually gets done around this time.
  2. Take the dogs to the park or out for a walk. Walks are quick 10-15 minute intervals this time of year, so it hasn't been happening lately and probably won't until October. Stupid Texas summers!
  3. Continue to sit on my couch watching the DVR, playing on my computer or reading.
  4. Take a nap. The 3 o'clock hour comes very early.
  5. Shower or bath time. Depends on how sweaty I got that day or how sore my muscles are!

Prep and cook dinner! Or argue with JP over what to get for dinner. And by argue I mean, he just gets frustrated because I can't make up my mind. Tonight I'm trying to make spicy thai turkey lettuce wraps.

Dinner time!

Veg out on the couch and snuggle time with my main squeeze. This is my time to unwind and chill out. I can't be too busy in the evenings or I won't be able to go to bed when necessary.

I need my sleep to function.

Sleep the night away, wake up and do it again! The best part is that each day is a little different. I have different classes, different clients and things happen at different times. I'm definitely loving my life as a fitness professional!

Don't forget, you still have time to enter my giveaway for a Pure Via Summer Fit Kit until Friday!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Life Lately Photo Dump!

Do you ever end up with all these pictures on your phone that you obviously took for a reason, but apparently never got around to using? I have over 1,000 pics on my iPhone {yes, I'm trying to delete's an ongoing process} and so many of them end up just sitting on my phone and computer. I've decided to rectify the situation and create a post now and again with those lonely pics. So here you have life in from Norway until now :)

one. Ashley and I ready for the 2nd USA match!
two. My man is in his prime during theWorld Cup.
three. Homemade sweet potato chicken nachos. So good!
four. World Cup game 3 party at the gym.
five. Beautiful
six. Margs with Molly
seven. This guy
eight. Love America. Love Texas more :)
nine. My Alex and me at the river house

ten. Mag & Moo taking care of me while I was sick, sick, sick.
eleven. Smoothies for my sore throat
twelve. Moose loves his walks!
thirteen. Trail walk/jogs in Sugar Land testing out my Mizuno Wave Hayate shoes
fourteen. Summer swims with Moose. He's my water baby.
fifteen. I think Maggie is comfy at her home.
sixteen. My babes.
seventeen. Happy Anniversary to my momma and daddy! 28 years strong,
eighteen. Wine time. Love $2 Tuesdays

So that's about it. After Norway, things were quiet for a week, then river weekend, then I got sick. Starting next week, travel picks up again and we're pretty busy through most of August! Yikes!

Side note, my little seester turned 24 on Saturday! I posted this picture on Instagram this weekend, but I kind of wanted to put it on here too because I love my sister and she's adorable.

That's all for today. Happy Tuesday y'all!
Oh and don't forget to enter to win a Pure Via Summer Fit Kit!

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