All posts by Andrea Connolly

About Andrea Connolly

Welcome to Fit, Fab and Freckled!! I'm so happy you stopped by! My name is Andrea, and I'm a 27 year old fitness and yummy food enthusiast from Iowa, and currently living in the Kansas City, MO area. I'm writing to share my passion for food, fitness, and fun with my family and friends. Feel free to reach out to me at fitfabfreckled [at] gmail dot com.

Hill Climb Workout

ImageOver Labor Day weekend, Gavin and I went up to Nebraska so he could get all of his pre-employment stuff for his new job out of the way. It worked out perfectly, because then we were up there to celebrate the holiday with my Parents, my sister Jolene, and her kids at the lake.

When Gavin was busy with his job stuff, Sam and I took a walk to check out the town he is going to be working in, and snuck in a quick workout while we were at it. I found a medium sized hill in town and got to work. I decided to do a series of running up the hill, doing a few exercises at the top, walk back down, and then repeat. To help me keep count of how many times I did the series, I gathered up 10 sticks. Each time I ran up the hill, I took one of the sticks with me and left it at the top of the hill. Once they had all been ran to the top, my workout was over. It’s just a kind of fun way to keep count. Here is the breakdown of the workout:

Hill Workout-001

It was pretty tough, but it worked out perfectly because by the time I got done and walked back, Gavin was mostly done with his stuff. The great thing is that this workout is so customizable to different fitness levels because you can choose the hill,  and choose the number of times you are going to do it. Even doing the set one time is worthwhile!

Just remember – a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing!

Nice to see you…..and…Blitz Box!!!

Hello!!! So – I think it’s been a month (or more) since I’ve last posted, so I’ll get the big updates out of the way early:

  • Biggest news item (not really an update since it’s been planned) – Gavin and I are getting married in 8 days!! I can’t believe it is so close! We are ready for it, and are nearly counting down the hours until our flight to Florida.
  • Biggest new news: We are moving back to Nebraska! After living in Kansas City, Missouri for 3 years, we are heading back to the Cornhusker State. Gavin and I are pumped to be close to family again and ready for the challenges of being in a new place.
  • Tag along updates: Since we are moving, we are selling our house, planning to buy a new one, and getting new jobs all in the next month or so (hopefully). Gavin has a job lined up and is ready to get started after we get back from the honeymoon.

That’s all the big news. Since we have been super busy getting the house listed, transitioning out of our KC jobs, and prepping for the wedding, I haven’t done much fun blog stuff lately. I haven’t even read Lean In for August Book Club. My plan is to get on this during the honeymoon – is there anything more relaxing than laying on the beach and reading a book? I’ll try to get back to regular updates this week, but after that I probably won’t have much on until October.

Oh – and if you are wondering about the title – the NFL and McDonald’s in KC have partnered and made basically a multi-adult, NFL branded, Happy Meal and called it the Blitz Box. Since Gavin and I are closet McDonald’s fans, we had to get one to snack on while we enjoyed the first Monday Night Football games of the year.

Blitz Box Combo

Ever since Gavin and I saw a billboard for this, we have been saying Blitz Box all the time and really getting pumped up about eating one. For two people who are getting married next week, you’d think we would have better things to get excited about. But, here we are.

Beware – eating a Blitz Box can result in making you feel like this:ImagePS – my dog isn’t the devil, he just always gets really big glo-eyes in pictures.

Hope all is well with all of you! I’m glad to be back after a my quick break. Have a great week!

RAGBRAI Wrap Up!

It’s been almost 3 weeks since we completed RAGBRAI, and I am finally getting to share my photos and stories!River 1

Gavin and I were invited to work on the RAGBRAI Crew, which is the official group that supports the ride during the week of the event. Jobs on the Crew range from moving baggage and selling merchandise to marking the route and driving the SAG Wagon. I’ve been lucky enough to work on the Crew off and on for about 7 years. This was Gavin’s second time.

This year, our job was to drive to the meeting town each day and set up to sell merchandise and provide information as needed. This was the best job I’ve ever had on RAGBRAI, mostly because 1) Gavin and I got to spend all week together, and 2) we got to drive a sick cargo van!Gavin Cargo Van

Dre Cargo Van

I’m really lucky to get to spend more time than usual with some of my other family members during RAGBRAI as well. Also on the Crew is one of my sisters, Sara, my brother, Bryan, and my dad, Joe.Sara Andee Truck

Sara & Me

Family

Gavin, Me, Dad, Sara, Bryan

If you haven’t ever heard of RAGBRAI or seen it first hand, it is quite a sight! Over the course of a few hours, 15,000+ cyclists can pass though a small Iowa town.Monroe IAMonroe, IA – population 1,814

The ride begins at the Missouri River, and ends at the Mississippi River. The tradition is for participants to dip their rear bike tire in the Missouri before they begin their journey, and dip their front tire in the Mississippi when they complete it. So, on the last day of the ride, nearly the whole Crew is at the Mississippi River to wrap up the ride.River 2Working on the Crew has been such an unbelievable experience, and I am already looking forward to it for each year!

Herbie Husker Tailgate Workout

herbieAs we are quickly approaching college football season, I felt like it was a great time to share this wonderful workout. If you want to become all sorts of awesome like Mr. Herbie Husker, read on! I’m pretty sure Herbie works out on the regular, and I know for certain he tailgates like a champ. This workout is quick and tough, and all you need to do it is a parking lot and your body. Check it out.

chevron

The parking lot I used was about 15 spaces long, and I ran the short way across them. Average parking lot space size is 8 ½ feet (thanks, Google), so this turned out to be a bit over 40 yards. It felt pretty darn long by the end.

Video Demos:

Deep Bodyweight Squat

3D Pushup – each time you do a push-up is one rep

Burpees

Jump Lunges – do both legs for one rep

Without the warmup, this workout took Gavin and I about 18 minutes. It was definitely enough to kick your butt in a short period of time. And remember, you can always start at a number lower than 10, and count down from there. It’s your workout, do it however you would like!

Hope you enjoy this workout! Happy Wednesday!

Try it Tuesday: Two-Handed Pot Holder

pot holder

This week, I made a Two-Handed Pot Holder from a pattern on Sew4Home.com. Sew4Home has hundreds and hundreds of patterns that I have looked at quite a few times, but this is the first one I actually attempted.

I made this for Gavin’s Grandma, for her birthday. She mentioned to me how she likes to have baked potatoes, and so this seemed like something useful so she wouldn’t have to play hot potato 🙂

The pattern and instructions can be found here. I thought the photos on it were very helpful, but I got confused a few times reading the directions. I’m sure they made sense and it was a reader error, but it really makes you appreciate the photos!

This came together pretty easily, and the hardest part was getting the pieces cut to the correct sizes. After I had them all cut out, I buzzed through the project!

pot holder supplies

From beginning to end, I think the project took about an hour. I had some machine tension issues, so it took me a little longer, but once you have the pieces cut, assembly is super fast. I think these would be cute to make in Christmas fabric and give as gifts during the Holidays. I really like that it is 2 pot holders in one, because I always tend to lose one of mine.

What do you think?

Race for the Cure & Grandma Nancy’s Birthday

rftc

This morning, I was up bright and early to head to the Kansas City Race for the Cure! I participated in this event through my work, and have done it the past 3 years in KC, plus a few years in Des Moines in the past.

I really enjoyed this event! Over 20,000 supporters gather to participate, and people are so positive and festive! A lot of different groups have hilarious shirts that say things like “Save Second Base” & ” I ♥ Boobies”  and other funny stuff – I should have taken more photos!

After the Race for the Cure finished up, I headed home to get ready for lunch with Gavin’s Aunt Karen & Grandma Nancy. Nancy’s birthday was on Friday, so we did a little lunch celebration at the house today. We had fried chicken, salad, and brownie sundaes – nearly the best lunch ever!

Grandma bday lunchAll in all, we had a great weekend! Hope yours was wonderful as well!

July Book Club Wrap Up & August Kick off!

Since I was out of commission for a couple weeks, I completely missed the end of July and our book club wrap up. So…a few days late…here is the wrap up of Dan Brown’s Inferno.

This is the second book by Dan Brown that I have read, the first being The DaVinci Code. Much like The DaVinci Code, Inferno was a very quick read, and kept me engaged from beginning to end. I think it only took me about a week to read it cover to cover.

Inferno followed Robert Langdon on an adventure that intertwined historical Italian landmarks, memory loss, famous dead poets, love and betrayal, and a plague (oh my!).

Here are some book club questions and my take on the story:

  • Do the characters seem real and believable?

The main characters in this book, Robert, Sienna, Bertrand and Elizabeth aren’t necessarily believable – definite suspension of disbelief at play here. Not sure how much I can write without spoiling some plot points.

  • Did the book increase your interest in the subject matter?

Since this was a fictional book that revolved around some very real places and points in history, it would have really helped my understanding and enjoyment if I knew some more about Italian history and landmarks. If I was going to read it again, I’d have info about Florence handy so I could refer easily.

  • Did the book fulfill your expectations?

Honestly – It had been over a year since I read a book for pleasure (not school), so my only desire/expectation for this book was that it should be entertaining. AND IT WAS! It was such and engaging read that I was connected and attentive the entire time.

  • Did the book end the way you expected?

It did not! There was a twist at the end, not only with the main plot point, but with how the central characters reacted and progressed to the twist!

  • Would you recommend this book?

Yes! It was a light, non-serious read and was perfect for my first book in ages! And – even though it revolved around a character from Brown’s earlier works, you don’t have to be up to speed on the whole series to enjoy Inferno.

August Book!!

Now that we are a handful of days into August, it’s probably about time to unveil this month’s book. I will be reading Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg.

Lean In comes recommended from a few friends and mentors. I really don’t know that much about it, other than what is printed on the cover of the book. I’m looking forward to getting started learning from a very successful leader!

Not Tech Savvy

So after I wrote my post that was published today, I tried to schedule another one to publish right before it. Welp – not sure what happened there, but it didn’t post. So here it is…

Happy Birthday to my Dad!!! His birthday was yesterday (Aug 5), but is celebrating tonight with the rest of the family. I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday and an even better day today!

Dad bday-001

When I was younger (and still now, I guess), Dad used to tell me that ‘Dads know everything.’ I always giggled at it, but as I have gotten older, I’m definitely realizing how true that was. Dad is super smart, always has ideas on how to do things better, has advice on how to handle every situation, and is always willing to help out! I really couldn’t be any luckier in the Dad department!

Enjoy your party and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!