5 Advantages of Morning Workouts

I am a total believer in early morning workouts. There’s something so calming to me about being able to have my workout completed before I start my day. My #TIUgirls refer to it as the #TIUBootycall. 😉 Here are some advantages I’ve found to working out before the world wakes up.

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ONE // I sleep better
I’m a very light sleeper and I’m prone to waking up a lot. Getting up earlier helps me fall asleep faster and deeper. It’s actually easier for me to get up at 4:30 and jump into the day feet first, than wait until 5:15 when my husband gets up and get a slow start. Those 45 minutes actually make a HUGE difference.


TWO // It sets my metabolism on fire
Think about it — the sooner you wake up, the sooner your body starts working. My metabolism is already working that early just because I’m awake, but I’m also working hard to burn calories which kicks it into overdrive. That keeps my metabolism working all day long in a way that it would not be if I was waiting until the evenings to do my workout.


THREE // It’s my ME time
Over the years, I’ve become very good at scheduling workouts for myself and sticking to them, but sometimes things come up. When I schedule time for myself first thing in the morning, nothing is able to get in the way later and that time to myself is invaluable. As a teacher, I have 60 kiddos coming at me all day long and it’s never quiet! I believe that I’m a much better teacher when I’ve been able to put in the time to better myself before seeing my students each day.


This is probably the biggest advantage for me and plays a part in every other advantage of morning workouts. As I mentioned above, sometimes things come up. Since we moved to a bigger town, we feel like we have less time than we did before. I can run to Target at 4:15 and suddenly I’m not home until 5:30…and Target is across the street from our house! Getting my workouts in early makes it OK for me to run errands in the evening and still have dinner ready by the time my husband comes home.


FIVE // I can go home and immediately put on sweatpants (and I frequently do)
I am a firm believer that exercise is the greatest form of stress relief, but sometimes so is going home and laying on the couch. There are so many days when I just want to go home after work and do nothing. If making a date with my couch and Vanderpump Rules is wrong, I don’t want to be right!


If you’re having trouble getting motivated for the new year, I challenge you to try morning workouts for one week. Once you start, you’ll never want to stop! If you enjoyed this post, check out Five Ways to Bounce Back After the Holidays.
I’m linking up this post for 5 on Friday with Smidge of This. I looooved link-ups when I blogged in the past. Such a fun way to meet other bloggers and share your message in the process!

Who is Jessica?

Since this space is still very new, I thought it would be nice to include a “get to know me” kind of post. I always love learning more about the people behind blogs I read, so I thought you might as well.

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I am an elementary school teacher. I got certified alternatively a few years after college. I went to school to be a journalist, but my first job out of college was as a technical writer. It’s taken me a while to find my career groove, and if I’m being honest, I still am.

My husband and I started dating my senior year of high school. He was a junior. Almost ten years later we got married. We didn’t date the WHOLE ten years, but we were always in each other’s lives. We will be celebrating one year of wedded bliss this April.

We have no kiddos (yet!), but we do have one dog. She is our sweet baby — at least she is mine. 🙂 Pippa recently celebrated her sixth birthday and is coming up on six years of being with me. She was a stray that someone found and I took in. She was about six months old at the time.

I am a chocolate fiend. Dark chocolate and Reese’s are my absolute favorite. I have a bag of dark chocolate kisses in my freezer right now — you know, for emergencies. 😉

My favorite wine is Sister Creek Vineyards Muscat Canelli. We have found it at exactly ONE store in our area, so I always buy two bottles.

As much as I enjoy wine, I LOVE coffee! I’m drinking coffee as I type this. I could drink it all day, but if I did, I’d never meet my water goal. My husband thinks I’m a weirdo because I drink it black.

I love reading and learning about health and fitness. About five years ago, I overhauled my life and lost 20 pounds. I’m proud to say that after all these years, I still love working out and I’ve been able to stay at a healthy (for me) weight.

I recently bought a new car! I traded in the first car I ever bought myself for a new Lincoln MKX. I LOVE it, but I definitely had an emotional attachment to my old car.

I love trashy reality tv! My husband haaaates it, so when he’s not home I get caught up on Ladies of London, Vanderpump Rules, and all the Real Housewives drama!

I did not read the Harry Potter series until last year. When the books first came out I was in my “I’m too cool to read,” stage and then I wanted to read all the books before watching any of the movies. It took me until I was 27 to get around to it and I’m so sad I wasted all those years! Team Gryffindor.

Ok, that’s enough for today. 🙂 Now, tell me more about you!

2016 In Review

Today, I’m linking up with one of my favorite blogs, Helene in Between, to recap the year 2016. I loved her link-up, Tell Me About It Tuesday, way back in the day when I blogged before!

I am kicking myself that I took such a long break from blogging because 2016 was a great/eventful year for us. I wish I had taken the time to sit down and write about each fantastic event. But alas, this condensed version will have to do. 🙂

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Probably the most exciting thing that happened in 2016 was that we got married! Our April wedding was very small and private. It was perfect and looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. Right before the wedding, my awesome teammates at my school threw me the most perfect wedding shower (we had one for family and friends a few weeks after the wedding). I was so grateful for the support of my fellow teachers last spring and I miss them all so much.
Shortly before the end of the school year, we found out my husband was being transferred within his company to a different city. In August of 2014, I moved home to start my teaching career and shortly after, moved in with my now husband. We had every intention of making our life in that house, but sometimes God has other plans. We put our house on the market and moved in July.

I cried the day we cleaned our house and left.

Before moving, we spent many hours looking for a new house and I spent a lot of time driving back and forth between home and soon-to-be-home. My husband was commuting already, so we did what we could on his extended lunch breaks. We couldn’t find the right fit before it was time to move, so we ended up in a less than desirable apartment for the short term.

All that driving wasn’t good for my butt.

In August, I started teaching a new grade in a new school in a new district — and I took on a second subject! It’s been a learning process every day, but I love my kiddos and seeing their smiling faces each day.
Near the end of September, an amazing house came on the market that was perfect for us. We put an offer in just a few hours after viewing it and it was accepted almost immediately. We closed at the end of October and I have loved getting to decorate it and put it all together.

I love the little wine/cookbook nook I created!

We ended the year (literally) with a little gift and a celebration. My birthday was December 31, and we took a short drive to trade in my 2012 Ford Escape for a new 2016 Lincoln MKX. My husband also scored a great deal on a 2009 Corvette! He’s been yearning for a sports car to play with for a while now. We decided now is the time since we don’t have kiddos of our own. 🙂

*all the heart eyes*

Helene in Between

7 Goals for 2017

Happy New Year, y’all! Have a mimosa on me. 😉 This post started out as 17 Goals for 2017… but that’s a bit ambitious. I also learned in a professional development session a few months ago that when you’re listing things for people, the number seven is when the attention span begins to lapse. So, without further adieu, S E V E N goals for 2017 it is.

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ONE // Complete the Tone It Up #LookForLove Challenge, start to finish (and follow the meal plan as closely as possible)

I’ve signed up for many, many Tone It Up challenges in the last few years. I’m also a member of the TIU Nutrition Plan (looove it!♥), but I’ve never totally followed the challenges or accompanying meal plans. This year I want to give it a real shot and see what happens! I’m terrible at following through with things, so completing the challenge will mean a lot more to me than just a few pounds lost.

TWO // Blog at least two times a week

When I blogged a few years ago, I posted five days a week. After a while, that started to wear on me and I lost inspiration. I’m hoping that by focusing on only two to three posts a week I can stay inspired and produce quality content and grow as a writer and blogger.

THREE // Read 12 Books

I set this goal for myself last year and I reached it. However, the Harry Potter series (I’d never read them until last year) made it pretty easy. I was more than half way to my goal by June. This year I want to fill my brain with lots of new books! Recommendations are welcome. 🙂

FOUR // Complete a runDisney race

In 2014, I ran my first (and only so far) half marathon. I’ve taken a break from distance running over the last couple of years, but I’ve wanting to do another race. I’m also a Disneyphile, so a runDisney race would fulfill two dreams in one. I’m specifically looking at this one. If you’ve done any runDisney races, I would love tips and tricks!

FIVE // Close my old 401K

This goal is probably opposite of what most people make — but hear me out. I contributed to a 401K for about two years and then I started teaching. Since I left my old job, that money has just been sitting and gathering dust. I’m an extremely conservative investor, so it really hasn’t grown much either. I’ve known how much I need to do something about it, I just… haven’t. It drives my husband crazy, y’all. 🙂

SIX // Start running again

As mentioned above, I’ve taken a break from distance running in the last couple of years. If I’m going to train for a half marathon, I’m going to have to start running regularly again! I think the #LookForLove Challenge will help with that a lot. Karena and Katrina always promote running and other forms of steady state cardio.

SEVEN // Finish putting our house together

We moved into our new house in November and got all the big things taken care of right away, but there are still a few things we want to do. I need to clear some clutter and finish hanging things on the walls. My husband wants to get a new grill and repave our patio!

Are you a New Year goal setter? What items are you hoping to tackle in 2017? If you enjoyed this post, check out my 2017 word of the year, B A L A N C E.


Well, here we are. December 30, 2016. In a mere 48 hours, we will all be staring a brand new year in the face. I’m sharing my word of the year today so I can begin putting it into practice as soon as possible. My birthday is New Year’s Eve (tomorrow!), so facing January 1st is truly facing a brand new year for me. I intend to make 28 (Wow, I’m old) my best year and I’ll do that through balance.

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My word for 2017 is B A L A N C E. I am constantly striving for balance in all areas of my life, and in 2016 I didn’t do a very good job. Between May and October, my husband started a new job and commuted two hours each way three times a week, we put our house up for sale and started looking for a new home in a new city, we didn’t find a house so we moved into an apartment (this at least ended my husband’s awful commute!), I started a new job in a new grade and a new district, we battled a mice infestation in aforementioned apartment, we purchased a new home and moved again, and I let work obligations get the best of me in the worst way.

So what will balance look like for 2017? More than anything, I will be working to relieve myself of unnecessary and self-induced stress. I can be kind of a control freak and when things don’t go my way or unexpected circumstances arise, I tend to let the stress consume me.

In Fitness:

I will try to balance my training each week as much as possible. I’m doing the Tone It Up #LookforLove challenge (which I’m so excited about!) and they always promote balanced training. I’m looking forward to working my whole body through HIIT, strength training, yoga, and steady state cardio. I really want to get my running endurance back up.

In Work:

I will control the things I can control and let go of the things I cannot. I will work to be a better teacher to my students by better time management and effective lesson planning. I have a habit of skipping over “the basics” with my kiddos and jumping straight into the higher rigor activities. I will practice balance in the classroom by laying the foundation for the skills my students need, but haven’t mastered in years past. I will also set a time limit on working at home. When my husband walks in the door, I will not work on school responsibilities!

In Life:

I will continue to be creative through blogging and other means. However, I will also focus on being present for my husband. I hope to continue to keep a clean home and cook for our family regularly. I need to focus more on self-care as well, whether taking a bath, getting a haircut, or just by not glorifying busyness. I may even read a book or two for pleasure!

Sending 2016 out the door with a smile.

Have you determined a 2017 word of the year? How do you practice balance in your life? Come back Monday for my 2017 goals!