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Friday, June 28, 2013

I About Fainted! A Thank You

I about fainted the other day when I saw this on Eat, Run, Wine.  The blog's author, Corrine, is about the cutest, nicest, genuine blogger out there.  I always read her posts and give my two cents.  I am new to blogging, but seriously, I think I just made a friend. ;)  I am beyond excited to follow her in her running journey's, discovering new wine to drink, and connect as we grow as women and as bloggers.  You are such an inspiration.  Thanks Corrine <3


As I wrote in the about me section of my profile, I am new to this crazy working world, straight out of college, and in a strange place where I knew NOONE.  I have since found the man I've been looking for and discovered some new hobbies. 

Blogging is one of the most rewarding hobbies I have ever had.  To know that people actually read my thoughts gives me the confidence day-to-day to keep sharing.  I am glad that my thoughts have had an effect on Corrine, and I hope that I can continue to help others.  The community that I am becoming a part of is so warm and supportive.  Thank you for this opportunity :)

xoxo Lauren

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Curvy and Muscular is the New Stick Thin

I am going to write today on a topic most women I know have an issue with.  Accepting yourself, loving yourself, and being comfortable in your own skin.

I have never been one to show how uncomfortable I am, or how proud I am about my body, but my blog is giving me a voice.  I'd like to use my voice to better myself and anyone reading.  I don't want to put myself down, or make anyone uncomfortable.

I am not perfect.  I don't think anyone is...not even Kate Upton or Channing Tatum [although I'm not sure, they just might be :P].  I have many flaws.  I don't like my feet, I have huge arms, and I have strech marks on my thighs.  I can only imagine the strech marks I'll get after I have a kid [not for a long time, but still].  I worry that I will gain a bunch of weight and just hate myself, but the fact is, I have surrounded myself with people who will love me no matter what.  So why wouldn't I do the same?  My boyfriend didn't even know what strech marks are!! Bless his heart. He makes me feel great.

I have learned that weight [as a number] doesn't matter, it is how you feel and the fact that you are healthy.  I am not saying to go eat everything [wahoo! Lauren said weight doesn't matter... uh no], too much fat may be an issue, but if you are beefed up with muscle you may weigh a little more.  And that is a-okay.  Obviously having muscle is healthier than having fat, but a little fat here and there is really no big deal. 

I have been dealing with a little belly flab for a while.  It seems like it really likes its home around my belly.  I am still going to strive to be healthy and stay fit, but I will not beat myself up over the [healthy] amount of fat around my belly, even around my thighs.

I'm sorry about all the selfies in the bathroom :p

I live in Wisconsin.  Let's be real.  I eat crazy amounts of cheese in the form of fried cheese curds.  I won't beat myself up.  I am just going to try to eat balanced meals for every other meal.  I will not give up on my health.  One "cheat meal," isn't cheating.  It isn't the end of your "diet."  It isn't indulging.  It is being happy and comfortable enough to treat yourself.

My first pole class I went to do a pole sit into a figure four.  The pole basically grips your inner thighs and seriously makes your cellulite VERY apparent.  I let go of the pole and fell.  Why? I was not ready to see that.  It made me feel awful.  I have since gotten over it.  After talking to a few people who had the same experience, I now know its normal.  It isn't like you can see cellulite there just looking at me.  I am never going to be stick thin, I will always be slightly thicker than a model, but who cares.  I have learned to make it sexy, and honestly bigger thighs help me grip the pole.  :)

Doesn't hurt that curvy and muscular is the new stick thin.


What I've Learned in a Month of Pole Dancing:

1.  Learning takes time.  Do not give up or be hard on yourself if you don't get a move immediatley. 
2.  There is really no such thing as failure, just practice.
3.  Everyone is beautiful in their own way.  Our bodies are all different.  It is easier to accept everyone else and have fun once you get over how you look.  Strip down to your skivvies and get used to it.  Your body is here to stay.
4.  Everyone is a teacher.  Yes there is a structure to class, but you can learn something from every single person in that room.

I am positive I've learned more, but those are some of the main things.  Just love who you are, and don't give up on yourself.

xoxo Lauren

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sweet Tooth - Healthier Option, with a Little Pole Talk

The other day at work I couldn't stop daydreaming about the ice cream bar my boyfriend had the night before.  I basically held my breath the entire time while he was eating it.  Somehow, I managed to not only drop everything, run to the store, buy all of the ice cream there, and scarf it down immediately, but I managed not to ask for a bite!  Some sort of will power took over and was like "Hell no Lauren, don't do it."  So I didn't.  There I was the next day daydreaming I made a healthy version of a sunday.  Yeah, I guess it could be considered a sunday, makes it sound more unhealthy and sweet and terrible for me [even though its healllllthierrr!].

Not the best looking pic but it was sweet and hit the spot!

Not A Sunday, But You Could Be Convinced It Is Sunday, Sunday:

1 Banana
1 cup Plain Fat Free Greek Yogurt
Make layers of the banna and greek yogurt with cinnamon and honey in between.

Now on to pole updates!  Last night I got some pretty cool moves, and got to play with an aerial hoop.  I feel like I am in Cirque du Soleil when I'm at these classes.  It is awesome, and the ladies there are all inspiring and beautiful!
I am still working on superman....I start in Jasmine, and attempt to shimmy my leg around to Superman, but my leg gets caught and I get stuck.  It was also super humid in the studio yesterday and I was sweating and sliding a lot.  Here is a pic of Superman for those who do not know what it looks like: [Superman]
I am also working on Sad Girl into Drama Queen while spinning.  I wish I could find pics of these...but google isn't getting me anywhere :(  I also got one of my pole splits last night.  Its more of a middle split on the pole.  I have no idea what its called. I can't find it online either.  Better luck next time!  I'll take pics when I perfect them ;)  Ohhh yeah, and my shoulder mount looks 1,000X better than it did last week...and I can almost invert while spinning [instead of kicking off the ground!]. 


xoxo Lauren

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kabobs and Sweet Potato Fries

I love making my boyfriend grill because I am too scared to grilling.  :) I love sweet potatoes. Here is dinner from last night.

Before Cooking

So pretty

Sweet Potato Fries:

1 Large Sweet Potato, peeled and sliced
Toss in olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. Cook 9 minutes, flip, then 8 more.


1/2 Sweet Onion
1 Red Pepper
2 Large Chicken Breasts
Garlic Salt
Dried Chipotle Pepper
Cut onion, red pepper, and chicken into chunks.
Slide onto skewers, alternating ingredients.
Sprinkle with seasonings.
Grill for about 20 min on a low heat.

Nommy Tastey Spicey Kabobs
My Dinner Plate - I was stuffed after!

With lemon water of course!
You can see the ranch dressing in the background.  The boyfriend dips everything in it.  There is also ketchup on the table because I love ketchup on my sweet potato fries.  There goes the health factor.  I'll work on eliminating that out of my diet :P 

The boyfriend told me I should create my own cookbook....I think that is the nicest thing anyone has ever said.

<3 Lauren

PS: I have pole tonight for the first time in a week!!!!! And a yoga class.  :))))

Monday, June 24, 2013

Boats and Bikinis

I am in love with Noodles & Co new discovery is how delicious their salads are with the tofu on it! Nommmmmm!

Chinese Chop Salad with Tofu!

Sunday the boyfriend and I went boating with our friends.  This is after he convinced me that no one was going to make fun of me in my bikini.  I still wouldn't allow pictures of me in it...buttt tomorrow is my next monthy photo. Oh gosh, I am NOT ready for that.

Like I said though, we went boating with some friends.  Newly wed friends.  I was so excited to talk to them about their wedding!! They had just gotten married last weekend on a beach on Lake Michigan.  They only did a small wedding with immediate family, and the pics I saw were beautiful! We don't get to see them much so this boating trip was fantastic.  The boys threw a football around and the ladies hung around the boat talking and gushing about the wedding.  I'm super excited for the big reception they are having in September :)

Such a good lookin fellow.

He will kill me if he knows this is up....shhhh

Sorry I haven't given any pole updates.  I had to take Thursday off because I accidentally took most of my pointer finger nail off while skinning a sweet potato.  I am definitely going tomorrow...I think I have withdrawl symptoms.  I neeeed to pole soon or I will go crazy.

xoxo Lauren

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Eating Less While Getting More

Hellooooo!  I wanted to show a snapshot of what I eat in a day here it goes:

6:00 am: English Muffin w/ Butter
10:00 am:  Nuts and Dried Cranberries
12:00 pm:  8 oz Naked Green Machine, 5.3 oz Greek Yogurt
2:00 pm:  Carrots and Hummus
4:00 pm:  Apple
6:00 pm: Chicken and Sweet Potato Fries

I was shocked when I started eating a little healthier how little my body needs.  Instead of eating just as much as the boyfriend, I have learned the amount of fuel I need compared to him.  Before I was shoving an entire sandwhich down my throat after already having a bagel w/ cream cheese in the morning and continuing my binge with pasta for dinner; now I can barely finish my juice and yogurt at lunch.  The last pic shows a chicken breast and a sweet potato.  I seriously only ate half of each and was completely stuffed!
I am by no means trying to starve myself, I have just begun to realize when I am full I have to stop, and that I need to look for more whole nutritious foods than just what I am craving at the moment [cheese curds, nachos, taquitos from the gas station- yep, they get me every time].
It is honestly amazing how much more energy I have.  I am obviously getting more out of the new and improved menu than the old 'eat whatever I want' menu.  I used to groan getting out of bed, have a headache by the time I got to work, a stomach ache by 3:00 pm, and when I got home I would crash on the couch and feel like death.  Now I wake up at 5:45 am refreshed, clear minded, and ready to crush the day.  I can sit at work and focus better, and I look forward to my hour or two workout at night.  Althought I still crash on the couch when I get home, I don't feel like death.  I usually want to keep going but know I shouldn't :p
Whatcha think about that?
<3 Lauren

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

No More Alcohol

Lets just say I am not doing the best on my nutrition goals.  I had two cheat meals, a milkshake, and creamer in my coffee in the last few days.  Time to buckle down.  I have a date with my bikini and the pool in a few days and I want to look fab. lol

I have decided that I really do need to cut out alcohol.  Drinking is really fun, but it really hasn't fit into my life recently.  The boyfriend sent me a text yesterday that really got me thinking:

"I'd love to just get in great shape and do fun things.  Really, how memorable is a night at the bar??"
- Boyfriend

He is soooooo right.  I have had so many fun nights at the bar with friends and with the boyfriend, but they are all the same and then they ruin the rest of the weekend with dehydration and headaches.  Curse you hangoversssss.

Since I joined the actual workforce, I have realized that the only time I have to do anything is on the weekends; when I drink, I never have the energy to do those things.

Soooooo the boyfriend and I came up with a to-do list for the weekends.  :)  Here ya go...any suggestions, email me!

Things to do in Madison and Milwaukee, WI

Friday, June 14, 2013

My Nutrition Rules

In a month I am going on vacation with my parents and my sister. I am beyond excited, but still a little nervous to rock a bikini.  My dad is down in Florida now and he sent us pictures of the place we are staying.  I will definitely be in a bikini the entire time....hence this post.

The pool

I have recently been really bad.  For the past two weeks I have been consuming disgusting amounts of Dunkin Donuts in the morning.  The good news is that I have been really good during the day and night, sticking to my nutrition rules after that daily slip-up in the morning.  My goal for the next month is to cut out that Dunkin Donuts, pizza, pasta, etc.  I have not been very good on weekends, using the cheat meal excuse for every meal haha.  Here are a few rules I am going to be following for my month challenge:
  • NO CREAM in my coffee.  Drink black coffee or green tea.
  • CARBS EARLY in the day.  Eat oats for breakfast.  No carbs at lunch or dinna.
  • NO SUGAR, just whole foods.
  • LOTS OF SALAD for dinner.  Stick to protein and veggies at night.
  • MORE VEGGIES during the day. 
  • EAT FRUIT but no more than 3 pieces a day.
  • WORKOUT at least 5 times a week. 3 days must be weights, 2 days pole, any additional will be carido.
  • DRINK WATER as much as I can.
  • NO CHEAT MEALS on the weekend. 
I really wish I could cut out alcohol, but I seriously love going home on Fridays and having a few with the boyfriend.   Plus Penny is an addict.

The Alcoholic Kitty

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

They Weren't Lying

They weren't lying. Pole is hard. I didn't get any awesome pics tonight because I didn't get any new poses. I did get this one tho:

OUCHIES: Bruises from pole are no joke.

The first two weeks were exciting, getting  to know all the basics and having them come easy.  Now it's time for the real challenge.  I have to work hard at pole, at yoga, and at the gym in order to keep improving.  I am going to try to focus on strengthening my abs and gaining flexibility [all while continuing my usual workout routine and adding in some cardio].  Basically, I am going to be living at the gym. ;) 

I am getting really antsy for my monthy picture in a few weeks.  I haven't really stuck to my eating healthy diet in the morning.  Dunkin Donuts is just wayyyy too tempting when I have an entire 8x11 sheet of paper filled with coupons.  Ahhhh donuts and sweet delicious coffe :/  I need to quit it, ASAP.  At work I stick to my healthy eating, and when I get home it hasn't been too difficult eating a salad or whipping up some sort of protein/veggie combo. 

Since I started pole, my schedule and the boyfriend's schedule just don't match up for dinner most nights.  I feel bad because I love cooking, and I think he loves when I cook for him, but it just can't happen every night.  I'm definitely torn about this because on one hand I think it brings us together while we sit and talk and eat, but now that I'm on a health kick, I doubt he wants a huge salad for dinner every night.

Nom Nom

On a completely different note, it finally feels like summer here in Wisco! I got to lay by the pool during lunch yesterday :)  ......And now today it is gross and rainy, BUT STILL WARMMMM.

The pool on my lunch break :) Living the life.
I acutally cropped this picture because my inner thighs are covered in bruises from pole.  Ohhhh the life of a pole

<3 Lauren

Monday, June 10, 2013

I Work Out

I have been lifting a lot since the boyfriend got me to go to the gym again.  As some might know, gaining muscle is a great way to boost calorie burn.  I have seen some great results already from lifting- and I am not even doing much cardio, actually no cardio [because of my knee].  I am supposed to build up my muscle before doing any impact cardio, like running.


Hammy's, Glutes, Quads, and Calf Workout we did Sunday night!

Squats: 3 Sets of 15
Body weight
Leg Press: 3 sets of 15
85 lbs, 85 lbs, 70 lbs
Glute Ham Raise: 3 sets of 15
40 lbs
Standing Calf Raise: 3 sets of 15
Body weight
Calf Press Machine: 3 sets of 15
115 lbs
Inner Thigh Machine: 3 sets of 15
50lbs, 50 lbs, 40 lbs
Outer Thigh Machine: 3 sets of 15
50 lbs
If you choose to do this workout, you don't have to do the same amount of weight.  Weights listed under the exercises are what I used, not the boyfriend- he is a beast.  I was pretty upset that I couldn't squat more, but I guess it is understandable since I took a five month break for knee surgery.  Gettin back into it :)

Here are two more pics my friend sent me from Friday's pole class
Better pic of the Gemini

IDK what this is called....I forgot
<3 Lauren

Wisconsin Living

This weekend flew by!  Friday I went to pole.  It was an exciting class!  One of my pole friends brought a guy.  It was really interesting to see what he could do.  I thought it was awesome that he could see past the stereotypes of pole dancing and jump right in.  Almost immediately he was upside down, learning the most challenging moves.  I stopped myself from being completely jealous that he skipped months ahead of my progress. :P Instead, I started realizing that he too had a lot of work to do.  Woman seem to have excessive amounts of grace and sex appeal [probably why the pole is correlated with women and sex], but put a man on the pole and you can see a crazy amount of strength and power [not so much grace].  Once women gain the muscle [which is going to take me months], the moves look easy because of the finesse and elegance that come natural.  Men on the pole exude strength, but they need to gain that finesse and elegance to make it seamless and graceful.  Let's just say what he had in strength, he lacked in flexibility. ;)

I am gaining so much confidence at pole.  It's allowing me to push forward and learn awesome moves like the Gemini:

Gemini- June 7, 2013

As you all know, I moved to Wisconsin at the end of the summer last year.  It has been an interesting transition for me, as I lived right outside of Washington, D.C. for school and then moved the the middle of nowhere in Texas before coming here; I have a lot to compare Wisconsin to.  I've learned that Wisconsin is known for it's cheese, especially it's cheese curds.  Fairs and carnivals are huge in the summer here, and usually the cheese curds at fairs are the BEST. 

I went to two fairs this weekend.  The first was on Friday night; the boyfriend brough me to the Summer Frolic in Mount Horeb, WI.  I had never heard of a "beer tent" until I moved here.  A beer tent is basically an outside bar at a fair.  There are usually bands and lots of drunk people.  Before I knew all of this, I could have sworn my boyfriend was bringing me to "Mount Horror."  I expected a haunted maze or something.  Close enough; it is super creepy walking through the shut down carnival rides to go home......

Mt. Horeb Summer Frolic

I don't know if Wisconsin is also known for truck pulls, tractor pulls, and/or mud drags, but there sure are a lot of them.  I really had no clue what these were until I moved here as well.  Basically, a bunch of uhhhh douchey guys soup up their cars and attempt to pull ridiculous amounts of weight on a dirt track.  Its a lot more fun to watch than it sounds.  The boyfriend an I went to a carnival in Deerfield on Saturday and got to watch a truck pull. :p For some reason, every single truck had a cheap decal with an overused sexual inuendo about their truck [ex. Cum'n Hard, Its really that wide, etc]. They make it way too easy to make fun of them and their overcompensation ;)

Deerfield - Tractor Pull
Hope your weekend was fun!! :)
<3 Lauren

Friday, June 7, 2013

Measurements Part 1

A few nights ago the boyfriend took my measurements and I took his.  I had to keep in mind that mens' bodies are built wayyyy different than womans' bodies.  I didn't want to get jealous that he has a bigger chest and a smaller waist ;)
June 05,2013
LEFT ARM - 12"
RIGHT THIGH - 24.25"
BOOTY - 41.75"
HIPS - 35.5"
WAIST - 31.75"
CHEST - 36"
I am hoping to take these measurements every month.  I actually do not care what happens to the measurements.  I care more about how I look and feel, but I figured this would be a neat way to keep track of my bod.
Predictions: I think that my arms and my thighs will get bigger, but my booty, hips, waist and chest are all going to get smaller.
Maybe next time I should measure my calves too.  I wasn't really thinking while doing this!

Here is a picture of Penny [my cat, obviously] to keep you entertained :) I love this little girl so much.

The cutest little devil munchkin ever!
<3 Lauren

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Upside Down

I WENT UPSIDE DOWN...I was terrified to go upside down. I watched someone else do it last night and then just got the urge to throw myself into it. I don't know how it happened, or where this urge came from. It is kind of blurry in my memory [probably all that adrenaline], but I did it on my second try! I said I was hooked on pole before, but I am REALLY hooked now! Take a look :D

Almost a Scorpio. We didn't catch the actual Scorpio on camera- I swear I did one though!
So last night at pole was amazing. I met so many women who just started pole. Some women were young, some older, but we all bonded over the impossible difficult moves attempted. Shannon was the teacher last night [the cute little blonde in the corner in the second pic]; she kicked our butts! I am still exhausted today thinking about how much energy I used last night. 

It was seriously so amazing how graceful Shannon was getting in and out of certain poses. I just look at her and hope that one day I'll be as strong and beautiful on the pole.  Going to different classes and seeing different instructors keeps me motivated.  I am beginning to understand how hard it is to make the moves look effortless.  You would see how awful it looks before you perfect a move if I were able to upload the videos of myself. :p

My boyfriend mentioned that I have been so much happier since I started. For some reason I had a preconceived notion that life was kind of over after college. No more fun. But to be honest, my new hobby is proving the notion wrong. Completely wrong. 

Now my next statement is going to be a bold one, especially for people who have known me for years. Ready?  I am starting to think that I enjoy pole MORE THAN DANCE!  WHATTTT!? Let me explain.  Because I began dancing at such a young age, the skill developed with my body.  It didn't seem that difficult to master a new step or achieve my goals.  I was super active and it was easy for me.  I can't tell you when I learned such and such a step or when I got so flexible; it wasn't that memorable.  Now, my body is developed and although it is going to be more difficult to learn, I will embrace the learning process and the struggle along the way.  Actually, saying that it is a struggle gives the process a negative connotation.  I will say that it is a FUN struggle...full of laughs and people who are mega supportive.  I am beyond excited to see the development [I'm sorry if I start to sound like a broken record talking about that].


Nice view of the crotch area. lol

I also took yoga last night for the first time since my surgery!  I really think that it is going to help strech out the back of my knee.  Recently I have been discouraged to strech on my own because I know how flexible I used to be.  I know its unrealistic to think I would keep my flexibility after five months of not stretching AT ALL, but for some reason I am super disappointed that it's gone. :(

I guess I should have taken pics of some yoga poses or something...maybe next time! 

I came home re-energized from and with tons of weird looking bruises in strange places....I was going to post a picture, but they are seriously in the weirdest most awkward places. So, sorry people. No pics of the bruises.

Talk to you next time,
<3 Lauren

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Sick Weekend

I hope everyone's weekends went well.  Mine was not fun or very eventful.  The boyfriend was on call all weekend which means no drinking or going anywhere too far, and on top of that, we were both sick! 

Friday night I came home from pole pretty tired, boyfriend got called out, I read and fell asleep.  There goes my Friday night!

Saturday I got out of bed and went out to lunch with my roommate and her friend, which was full of laughs, but I still didn't feel well.  Boyfriend and I went out to dinner that night, but then he had to go back to work and I feel asleep reading almost immediately. 

Sunday was awful.  Both the boyfriend and I were sick, and I tried my hardest to make him feel better.  It didn't work; he stayed home from work today :(

On a brighter note, I got over my fear of going sideways on Friday!  During my first pole class I couldn't even attempt a move called 'The Craddle,' but Friday night I held my breath, closed my eyes and went for it! Ohhhh yeahhh.  Not so pretty, but I did it!  I also ended up being able to do a 'Venus' from 'The Craddle.'  Woot Woot!!!!!

Since I still haven't been able to figure out a way to post video, I will post [hilarious] screen shots of the videos.  Let me say, they are NOT flattering, but I have decided that I am posting them anyways.  Overtime, I will post more pics/videos and I hope we will all see how far I've come.

The photos in the black tank are from class number one [May 29, 2013].
The photos in the blue tank are from class number two [May 31, 2013].

First Class: Fireman

First Class: Sit and Spin, Wheeee!

First Class: Hilarious Face, Sit and Spin into Fireman

First Class: Beyond Happy, Forward Facing Goddess

Second Class: Split Grip

Second Class: The Craddle, attempt 1

Second Class: The Craddle, attempt 2- getting better!!

Second Class: The Craddle into Venus! I'm Sideways!
<3 Lauren

About Lauren

My photo
Wisconsin, United States
I created this blog to track my life. After graduating college with a B.S. in Food Science, I moved half way across the country for a job. Life has really changed since college, I'd say for the better. I have taken up some new hobbies and I'd like to bring you along on my journey as I learn and struggle through it all. Please feel free to contact me [] with comments, jokes, pictures, really whatever you want to share with me. Enjoy!