The Outlaw Life

running, reading, blogging, loving

I’m Still Alive!!!







I’m still here! I’m just not here! Lol. After a completely lovely email from Charlotte I realized how long its been since I checked in with you guys 😀

I thought I’d be able to keep up with the blog with family in town, but I should have known better! So I guess just consider this my summer vacay? I hope all you lovelies are having a beautiful summer and staying sweaty!



Mixing Things Up a Bit

You guys remember seeing that lovely lady on the left earlier this week? That’s right, the lovely trainers Karena and Katrina are making yet another appearance here at Chez Outlaw because it’s their fault, basically, that I’m writing this post. But let me back up a little bit, yeah?

Okay, so you guys remember this?


My June/July calendar combo in which I outlined what I was planning on doing every day for the next two months. Of course, that calendar lasted approximately ten days before life got in the way and I had to switch some things around. Which led to more stuff getting switched around. Couple that with a nagging ankle pain and some weird tinging in my right knee, and I’m coming more and more to a place of being happy with where I’m at for the moment, running wise. I’ve pushed myself already these first few weeks of the month, and hit my five mile distance. I’m still thinking of that 10K, of course, and am planning on hitting 6 miles by the end of summer. But, until I can get some new shoes (having eliminated a host of other potential issues, I’m about 95% sure the pain is coming from my shoes just being shot to hell, which makes sense given that they’re over 18 months old) I’m officially declaring a shift in my goals for the summer! Enter Tone it Up. 😀

I’m falling more and more in love with Tone it Up every day I spend poking around the site and trying the ladies’ routines. Not only are Karena and Katrina adorable, personally – they remind me a ton of Cassey from Blogilates, another amazing website worth checking out if you’re in need of at-home routines – but, from what I’ve seen, Tone it Up has one of the most active online community support networks I’ve seen lately. The people participating in this program seem to be doing so with good results and maximum enjoyment, and while I’m trying to caution myself not to get all rosy-eyed and swept away in the whole glow of something new thing that happens, I’ve been really enjoying the activity going on on Instagram and Twitter as it relates. To be honest – I’ve yet to buy the nutrition plan on the site (it’s a bit hefty for a nutrition plan, at $150, although I’m hoping to be able to purchase it one day) but the free materials I do have access to seem comparable, and there are enough free recipes on the site that I honestly can’t tell yet what it is I’m missing out on 😉

Now, I know most of you out there are totally settled in to a routine that is totally working for you right now – that’s so amazing! I’ve learned about myself over the years that I tend to do the best with a kind of action plan (along with at least a little flexibility), and that’s what TIU is doing for me right now – giving me a weekly set of complimentary workouts that can be done at the gym or at home and can be done in one repeat or not. Not to mention there are enough video choices that, even if the ‘scheduled’ workout doesn’t look appealing, I’m bound to find something that does. I’m still experimenting a bit to find my best fit, plan wise (at least for the next few months) but I think shifting my focus from running and weight loss to strength training and then running, I’m going to benefit more overall in the long run.

A you a structured plan person? Or a by-the-seat-of-your-pants type? What’s your fitness routine look like this summer? Anyone else every feel kind of…wonky going back over their goals like that? As though changing them is like losing to them? No? Just me? lol.



Oh, man! It’s been a crazy last couple of days, with my niece Aubrey in town. I’m watching her this week while my mom and dad are at work, and it’s made for some days that, to many of you, seem perfectly normal – up at around 6:00 am, for starters! I know, I know, poor me, right? 😉 But let me just say that, for me, it’s definitely been a bit of an adjustment! Let’s see a sample of what’s been getting me through it, shall we?


So, I found this thing. And you all probably know about this thing. It’s called Tone it Up and the AMAZING trainers Karena and Katrina. And I’m head-over-heels with the bombshell spell, a quick morning pick-me-up that is all about revving metabolism, balancing digestive enzymes, and putting that little bit of extra pep in the step. Not to mention, it’s primary ingredient is pineapple juice. And I’ll follow anything that encourages me to drink pineapple juice first thing in the morning 😀



Honey nut cheerio, 1/2 a cup of whole milk, and a banana

Gina’s breakfast cookie dough cereal with almost a whole container of strawberries

Breakfast lately has been all about the cereal! Because it’s been hot lately, I just can’t seem to get enough of that cold, milk-and-crunch combo! Not to mention all the best cereal-topping fruits are in season right now (by which I mean strawberries. because duh, 😉 )


Diced steak and two scrambled eggs. And Tobasco, which you can’t see, but trust me. It was all up in them eggs. 

Lunches have been a bit improptu this week because I’ve been making due with what healthy stuff I can pull together out of their pantry! Don’t get me wrong, they have all the healthy bases covered – chicken, fish, oatmeal, eggs, etc. – but it’s still always tough not being in your own kitchen. Plus, I’ve been making lunches for Aubrey and she’s way more in to the lunchable and the pizza then she is the spinach wraps or the cinnamon-banana oatmeal!


Cajun-garlic chicken with bell pepper/black olive pearled Israeli couscous

Mark and I went all kinds of Mediterranean on dinner this week, hitting up the couscous multiple times, along with our attempts at gyros at home (which went so badly and so poorly they weren’t picture or eaten, and instead we had the HyVee salad bar that night, lol), and more hummus/chicken/olive combos than I can count! I don’t know what it is, something about summer, maybe, or the fact we bought a jar of kalamata olives the size of a baby the last time we were at Costco. Whatever it is, I’m not complaining!

I don’t actually have any pictures of my desserts or snacks because they’ve all been incredibly boring! Snacks are either carrots and hummus (again with the hummus, oy vey) or an apple with peanut butter. Dessert is either a homemade hot-fudge larabar (subbing almonds in the recipe) or fruit snacks with a couple dark chocolate chips. Like I said – boring!

It’s been fun mixing it up this week, but I have to say – I’m looking forward at being back to my personal stomping grounds next week. And, as always, a HUGE thanks to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting! 🙂

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten this week? Summer food obsessions? 


Things I Know #7

I know that, after today’s workout, I’m going to be sore tomorrow! Karena and Katrina sure do know how to kick a girl’s booty while looking all cute and what not in the process (I hate them in that way where I love them to death but only wish I could work out in a place like they do!)


I know I’m missing that beautiful weather we were having about a week ago! This is a picture from then. This is a picture from today:

Okay, so it isn’t that bad. But it’s still been trying to make up its mind between hazy and humid (in which case I feel very so how I imagine food in a pressure cooker feels) and raining without giving me proper time to take Penny outside for potty breaks. Needless to say, it’s been a very cooped up week for everyone in these parts!

I know that all-day babysitting a niece I never get to see is COMPLETELY amazing. But it’s also babysitting an 8 year old. Today was actually pretty chill – lots of computer playing, cake baking, Nickelodeon watching, and pizza eating (her, not me. I had steak and eggs. She asked me what I was eating like I’d dug it out of a dumpster in Chernobyl). But we’ve got four more long days ahead of us, so lets hope the trend continues! 😉 lol

I know that I can’t get enough of America’s Got Talent right now! It’s hands-down my favorite summer show (yes, better than True Blood, especially recent seasons. That’s right. I said it.) and it is just the best thing ever to wind down with on Monday night – it airs on Sundays, but without cable, we have to rely on the Hulu gods to bring it to us on Monday! If you don’t watch, it’s basically the best talent show you’ve ever seen in your life – in both the good and the bad ways! As with American Idol, the best parts are usually the auditions because HE-LLO, TRAINWRECKS! But by the time you get to the end, the people remaining really are talented in some crazy ways. Do yourself a favor and watch – you’ll find something to make you say “daaayum!”


I know that I love my poppa very, very much! I wasn’t internet-ready on Father’s Day, so I missed the chance to brag on him to the world, but let me just say that my dad is one incredibly handsome, funny, and kind individual, and I don’t know if I could possibly imagine growing up with a more perfect father! I wouldn’t be the same person I am today without him, and my sense of humor wouldn’t be nearly the gold-level caliber it is on the day to day. So a huge thanks and all the love in the world to Poppa Brown, the best dad, granddad, uncle, brother, son, and general human being of all time 😀

That seems like a good note to end on, don’t you think?

What kind of things do you know this Tuesday? Hardest workout you’ve done lately? How’s summer progressing where you’re at? 




I’m Baaaack…!

Hey you guys! (who’s with me on that being basically THE best movie of your childhood!?)

I’m back, y’all! I can’t believe I was without you guys for what seemed like practically an entire week (let me tell you, guys, blogging from your phone just is not the same experience! lol) When we got back from the water park on Thursday, I arrived home from my parents to a scene that looked very similar to this one


only the computer in question was my laptop. Mark had to call in the calvalry, basically – our most tech savvy friends Zach and John – because whatever was wrong with my computer was just not bowing down to the power of the control-alt-delete, lol. Whatever they did, it seems to be working now, although I’ve been forbidden from updating my iTunes before checking with Mark (?!) and I’ve had to switch to Google Chrome, which is a bit of an adjustment and was kind of a bummer in terms of re-setting up my bookmarks and what not. I know. #firstworldproblems. But I know one of y’all out there can feel me! So, what have I been up to while not seeing all your beautiful, digital faces?


Mark’s parents bought a new trailer! It’s a pretty nice tow-behind, and they’re planning on taking it on the road for a road trip through the month of July. Mark’s parents are pretty outdoorsy people, so this is actually pretty perfect for them, and the best part is that Mark and I are thinking about taking it out in October (the camper is heated!) for some lake-side camping for our anniversary. We love camping at Clinton, and this just makes it that much easier to camp in style 😉


Yeah, remember how they just finished building a bright and shiny Dunkin’ Donuts like thirty seconds from my front door? Just in time for National Doughnut Day, and remember how they’re also open very day – ALL day – and I’m basically an iced coffee addict who thinks Dunkin’ has the best in-house brand? So…this has been happening a lot. A lot more than it should, but I’m telling myself I’m just getting my kicks now, and soon the novelty will wear off…right… :O


Suushiii….Oh man, talk about a food I could probably eat my weight in every day and always be ready for more! This lovely sampling was snagged from a Costco platter Mark and I impulse bought home during our last trip, and that spicy tuna alone was more than worth it! There were also a couple California rolls and maybe a spicy salmon? Honestly, I don’t much remember and didn’t much care – it was all delicious!



Running, running, running! I’ve found that new ‘thing’ that keeps me sane on the treadmill – Gossip Girl (you can kind of see Ed Westwick’s beautiful face hidden behind my awkward picture-taking reflection). It’s trashy, it’s rich, it’s beautiful teens with soap-opera problems – and it’s completely, startlingly addicting. I mean, don’t get me wrong – treadmill runs are still long and can still drag sometimes, but having a few more seasons of this show definitely lessens the dread! Also, my distances are slowly getting longer and longer (hitting 5 miles this week, and hopefully almost 7 by the end of July) which is TOTALLY awesome to see happening! But I’m also needing a change to the plan for this summer (see, folks, that’s why we reevaluate our goals every so often, note to future self 😉 ) which I’m excited to talk about Thursday of this week – stay tuned!

What were you all up to while I was gone? Big milestones? Major life revelations? Snap judgments  I’d love to hear whatever you have to tell me! 



Its Water Park Day!!!

Didn’t want you guys to think I’d just disappeared, but today my niece, mom, dad and I are heading to the Coco Keys water park! Bummer is that Mark can’t come, but we’ll try and get along without him 😉


I’ll be back with photos, I’m sure, but I hope you all gave a simply marvelous Thursday 😀

Favorite summer activity? Are you a water park person?



Hey folks! For those of you still following along, the Lady Outlaw (that’s me, lol) is still computerless, and let me tell you – its shockingly less fun to spend the day browsing the internet from your phone! Lucky for us, though, today is What I Ate Wednesday (HUGE thanks to Jenn, as always, for hosting!!!) and I keep pretty much all food related pictures on my phone 😉 so shall we fest or eyes upon some of lately noms? (guys, why am I talking like that? Internet deprivation is really starting to mess with my mind, lol)



Green Machine and a Red Delicious apple 🙂


Strawberry breakfast smoothie: frozen banana, strawberries, spinach, 1 stevia packet, almond milk to get it moving!


Peanut butter and banana bread-less sandwiches



Cheeseburger mac and carrots


Turkey sausage, egg, potato hash


Half a Costco turkey and provolone sandwich – gotta love that garlic mayo 😉



Gyros and fries (okay, like, half the fries)


Salad bar…mmmm…..


Pasketti and meatballs (I ate the actual food before the picture. Oops. Lol)



Because who doesn’t need another picture of that beauty?

There you go guys! I skipped snacks because, well, I figured you had an eyeful of that last week! Another successful phone post: check 🙂

How’s your hump day heading? Don’t lie – did you giggle when you read that?

PS: its getting more and more dangerous to show people the truth of their food. Sad day, guys – PLEASE do me and you a favor and get educated about where food actually comes from!


Things I Know

I know I’m still blogging from my phone on this bright and beautiful Tuesday morning, so this isn’t going to be quite as long as I hoped it would be :/ but never let the little bumps get you down, right? 😉


I know we’re it of Green Machine, and we only had enough for one glass. Which I gave to Mark. Best wife ever award right here, lol.


I know the real reason I gave Mark all the juice is because I had this hidden in the fridge for breakfast 😀



I know yesterdays run was a NIGHTMARE in terms of actually getting out to the gym, but once I was there the run itself went pretty quickly! It was just one of those days of the endless nap you can’t pull yourself out of, so I’m still kind of impressed I made it at all, lol.


I know I have yet to find a wheat pasta I like. I know, I know! I’ll take recommendations if you have them 🙂 but last night Mark and I tried this, like, hybrid pumped-up white pasta and it wasn’t perfect, but it’ll do until something else goes on sale.


I know Penny is adorable. And I love her. Very much. 😀

What do you know today? Would you selflessly give your juice to your significant other (I’m having a little trouble letting go, lol!)


Pardon the interruption

When I turned on my computer this morning, this is what I saw



So…no idea why that happened or what it means! Needless to say I’m phone blogging at the moment while the hubby takes a look. Also needless to say, phone blogging sucks, so this will be only “real” post today, here’s hoping I can be back tomorrow with a real update!

How was your weekend?


Friday Favorites #6

Happy Friday, you guys! I kind of can’t believe that it’s already Friday – this week seemed to go by rather quickly, which has been kind of awesome 🙂 It might have something to do with the fact that, starting Monday, I get a nice little five-day vacation from work! It wasn’t intentional or anything, there have recently been a bunch of new-hires and they’re using the shift time to train them, so I’m just going to take a deep breath and kind of plow through until then.

This afternoon my grandparents are coming in to town to meet-up with my parents before all four of them head on to Chicago tomorrow to see my sister, her boyfriend, and my AMAZING niece! I’m kind of sad I can’t go with them, but they’ll be back by the end of the weekend and they’re bringing my niece with them! So, basically, as of Monday I get to spend the next few weeks with the most adorable little girl on the face of the planet 😀 In case you couldn’t tell, I’m super excited for this to happen! Anyway, let’s get on to some Friday favorites shall we?

POP Pilates for Beginners Calendar @ Blogilates: You guys know I love Cassey Ho like woah (yeah, I knew that was going to rhyme. #brownhairdon’tcare). I mean, I mention her name at least a couple hundred times a week on this blog, and any time I’m trying to just mix things up and get re-inspired, I head over to her blog/twitter/instagram and feel instantly refreshed! lol. And I’m excited times approximately one million for  her newest calendar, because it looks like the perfect routine for those who are new to exercise in general, new to pilates specifically, or even those who may just need a refresher and to take it back to the basics. Those of you know know Cassey’s calendars know how amazing they are – and those of you who don’t, you’re about to find out!

Race photo

Tips for Running Faster @ Fitnessista: Who doesn’t want to run faster? I mean, even perennial turtles such as myself occasionally feel the need. The need for speed. So when the mood strikes, what’s the best way to indulge it safely and effectively? That’s where Gina’s amazing post comes in! While there wasn’t necessarily information I hadn’t read somewhere else, hearing it come from Gina’s point of view put a wonderful spin on it that made the advice feel much, much more personal. The post was put up in honor of National Running Day earlier this week (ironically enough, National Doughnut Day is also this week) and has some really great tips from Gina’s readers in the comments. All in all, definitely a post worth checking out!

35 Minute HIIT that SHIT

HIIT that SH*T – A New HIIT Workout @ Fit.Fun.Femme.: Sarah and Natalie, in case you didn’t know, are the tops. They are one of my top two favorite fitness-blogging duos (the other being the hilarious girls over behind fitnesscrEATures) mostly because they’re CRAZY hilarious, but also because they do things like coming up with this ass-kicking workout. Yeah, I did it. And yeah, it was TOUGH. I had to scale down for my turtle self, and even so. Damn! Plus, the girls do this really cool feature where at the beginning of every week they dedicate a post to “say it, do it” and then hold themselves accountable every week. I love that they hold themselves up there like that – it’s very, very cool. But not nearly as cool as this workout!


The 3 Best Butt Exercises @ Fit Bottomed GirlsOh, FBG. You’re there every day in my Feedly, your three or four stories that I always read, even on days when I don’t read anyone else’s blog. FBG is like my one-stop-shop for all things fitness: interviews, reviews, give-aways, and the three authors are constantly sharing about their personal athletic lives, which satisfies the voyeur in me 😉 Plus, every now and then they’ll throw up a top three or top five or top ten list of exercises… Also, this my very well be a TMI, but I love my butt and my husband loves my butt and I’m all about working out my butt. Especially since these exercises look so basic but so intense!

How to Run a Fast 10K, Crazy Running Girl Style @ Crazy Running GirlI know we’ve already talked a bit today about how to run faster in general, but seeing as how I’m working towards running a 10K sometime at the end of summer/early in the Fall, this post full-on caught my eye. I LOVE that Lora even broke the 10K down by mileage and kind of set the stage on your pacing in terms of what “stage” of mileage you’re in – setting a foundation in the early miles, picking it up as you continue, etc. – it’s kind of a visual way to think about it that works well with my brain. Hopefully it has some helpful tips in there for you as well!

Chocolate Cherry Fruit and Nut Balls [quick + easy!]

Chocolate Cherry Fruit and Nut Balls (Homemade Larabar Laraballs) @ Peas and CrayonsI couldn’t leave for the weekend without giving you guys something delicious to make/look at longingly! Plus, when it comes down to delicious-sounding recipes that also mimic my favorite (but far too expensive) grocery store treats, I’m all on board for that! Also, for those of you who are looking for a way to use up those dates, this recipe sounds like a yummy way to do that. If you guys haven’t spent days of your life lost on the Peas and Crayons site (no? just me then?) you don’t know what you’re missing! Beautiful photos, healthy and creative recipes, an adorable family – it’s everything you could ask for in a food blog!

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope its a great one!

Plans for the weekend? Favorites for the week?