Working Out on Vacation

BIKINI = MOTIVATION.  Amen, right?!  Especially after you’ve had a baby, wearing a bathing suit is intimidating!  And wearing a bathing suit every single day for a week while on vacation can be extra scary.  So, I’d encourage you all to keep working out on vacation!  Stay strong, burn calories, and keep your endorphins going!

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Though I DO believe it’s okay to indulge on vacation, there is no need to completely backtrack.  If you’ve been working hard on your health leading up to vacation, don’t ruin it by eating terribly each meal and skipping your workouts!

My family eats healthy, but I did snack more than usual, and had more sugar than I normally consume.  I worked out 5 of the 7 days we were at the beach.  They weren’t all as strenuous as I do when I’m home, but something is better than nothing!!

Here are some tips and ideas to help you with working out on vacation:

Pack Your Workout Clothes: First things first!  When you’re packing for your trip, include workout clothes.  Opening your suitcase to see your Nikes will encourage you to exercise.

Go Outside: Most likely you’re going somewhere with pretty scenery and great weather – take advantage of that!  Plus you’ll get some extra Vitamin D!  We did this by running on the beach and paddlboarding on the water.

Change it Up: Don’t put undue pressure on yourself by saying you’re going to run 5 miles every day (unless that’s your thing)!  I obviously didn’t have my local gym, but I (and Patrick and Todd, too) did some circuit training 2 days, ran 3 miles 3 days, and went paddle boarding.  Circuit training workout ideas include alternating between cardio and strength, such as: jumping jacks, push ups, burpees, lunges, squats, sumo squats, crunches, bicycle crunches, triceps dips, jump squats, side lunges, plank, etc.  My parents went on fast walks for some cardio.

Keep it Simple and Quick: A long drawn-out workout at the beach means you may miss out on some fun!  Most of my workouts were only 30 minutes long, but they did the trick.  Just get your heart rate up and sweat!

Exercise Over Half the Days You’re on Vacation: If you go for 7 days, aim to workout at least 4 days.

Use Your Surroundings: At the beach or pool, go swimming.  If you enjoy yoga, wake up early and do yoga on the porch or beach during sunrise.  At the mountains, go for a hike.  Go for a bike ride.  We did handstands on the beach some – we made it a fun competition, but we’ll count it and say it was yoga/crossfit.  Haha!! ;)

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Drink Extra Water: This isn’t exactly a workout tip, but if you’re on vacation somewhere warm, you’re likely to be outside a lot.  That combined with working out can lead to dehydration, which makes you tired.  Drink water all day long to stay hydrated and energized.

Thank you for reading!  I hope this helps you keep up a fitness routine while on vacation.


Topsail Island: Part 2

Part 2 of the beach pictures!  Sick of them yet?! ;) Feel free to skip these posts – I know it is family overload!

The second half of the week was just as great as the first! One morning Todd and I went on a date and my parents and brother kept Davis. We went paddleboarding and out to breakfast! I was nervous to paddleboard (mainly because I’m scared of fish – ridiculous, I know), but we had a great time! It is very relaxing, but also a workout, which is the perfect combo for Todd and I.


IMG_5534Todd rented a paddle board for a couple more days to take it out on the ocean.  We went out around 6:30 one morning so Davis could watch his daddy out on the water.  I tried to get up the nerve to take it out in the ocean, but you have to go past the breaking waves, to the deep water, and I’m such a scaredy cat, as mentioned above (sharks are not my friends!).  Todd, my dad, and my brother all had a great time on it, though!  And Davis loved climbing on and off the paddle board.

IMG_3188 IMG_3214 IMG_3221 IMG_3268 IMG_3275 IMG_3269We played in the sand some more, and did handstands of course (?!).  Haha!  Even my dad did them with us!

IMG_3239 IMG_3237 IMG_3260Here are a couple more pictures from the trip.  Love my family, and we loved our time on Topsail Island!  Can’t wait to go back!


Topsail Island 2014: Part 1

June has clearly gotten the best of my organizational skills, hence the lack of posts around here! A full calendar is fun, but I’m not the best at balancing blogging and a busy personal life.  I’m planning to post several times this week, but I’m not making any promises…I’m committed to a better blogging pattern in July. Stick with me, ok?!

We just returned home from a vacation on Topsail Island, NC with my family, so I thought I’d at least share some pictures from the first half of our beach week!

Most of our time was spent on the beach. We are pretty low-maintenance vacationers. Davis loves it at the beach, and of course we all do. We played in the sand, in the water, read, and played bocce ball and corn hole. A certain little one liked to help us with corn hole, too. ;)

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At night we made fresh, homemade dinners and played cards.

Taco Bar at the Beach Open-Faced Taco Summer Meal: BBQ Chicken, Snap Peas, Corn

My mom also made some of our favorite snacks, and she even made me gluten free versions!  Davis loves “cackers” and we almost had to hide our snacks from him if it was close to meal time.  His Granddaddy let him steal some, though. ;)


We went out to eat once, to a place we love on the water. We ate outside, and Davis was obsessed with the helicopters flying overhead!  Also, getting a family pictures was not something he was into.  Ha!

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I’ll (do my best to) post about the second half of our trip later this week, along with some toddler + beach tips, and about working out on vacation.

PS, if you need a suggestion for a beach trip in NC I highly recommend Topsail Island.  It’s like a second home for us.  Gorgeous beaches, friendly people, and it’s not too busy or overcrowded.

Thank you for reading! Have a great rest of your week!



Happy Birthday, Dad!!

Happy 60th Birthday to my dad!!!  (Who doesn’t look like he’s even close to 60!)

I wanted to dedicate a post to my dad’s birthday today, because it is a big birthday, and he just deserves some recognition.  I have been BLESSED with incredible parents.  They are each one of a kind, and I am so grateful for them!

My dad is a leader, he is strong, he is a follower of Jesus and tells others about Him.  He loves my mom and our family.  He works hard, he is dedicated to anything he is involved in, and he is passionate (about the Tar Heels in particular – this was passed down to me).  He is entertaining, so fun to be around, knows how to have a good time, and has a great sense of humor.  He loves the mountains (and the beach), and is a talented skier (something I did not inherit!).  He loves good food (particularly Italian) and wine, and he and my mom love to travel.  He is competitive (also passed down to me), smart, and he has a great vocabulary.  He is generous with what he has, and also with his time.  He is good to his friends, and has always cared about my friends as well, and he can have a genuine conversation with anyone.  He loves Todd like a son, not just a son-in-law.  He is and has always been at any important event for my brother or I, and now for Davis.  The trials in life seem to have made him better and stronger and more willing to help others in similar circumstances.

Dad, I am proud of you, I respect you, and love you so so much!  You’re the best!

Here are some (random) pictures from the past several years.

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The picture below is one of my all-time favorites.  It is right before he walked me down the aisle.  IMG_2332 IMG_2298 IMG_1339 IMG_3601 IMG_2168 The_Link-Kingdon_Family_Final 33 The_Link-Kingdon_Family_Final 77 IMG_2642

Best Friend Visit

Davis and I took a day trip last week to visit my best friend who is in NC seeing family.  She and her kids came “home” for awhile, and I was thrilled to see them!  Casey and I have been friends since the beginning of high school, and we went to college together at UNC.  Now we have a trans-Atlantic friendship, but thank goodness they come for extended stays in NC!

She is so special to me, and she and I just get each other.  I consider her family!  If we lived in the same place, I’m pretty sure our husbands would get annoyed by all of the coffee dates we’d take. ;)  Casey is beautiful, strong, brilliant, humble, and is an amazing mom.  I told her that she really needs to feel proud – I was so impressed by those two!  They are growing up learning 2 languages, they play well with each other, and were so sweet to me.

Overflowing love in my heart for this family!  Love you, Case!
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Healthier Cookout Options

Warning: This could be an obnoxious blog post!  For those of you who think, “I just want to enjoy a regular old cheeseburger and some potato chips,” this is not going to be your favorite.  But, if you know me or my blog, you know I don’t really eat regular old burgers so this probably won’t come as a shock!

I just wanted to give an idea of how to make typical cookout fare, healthier.  All of us either host or are invited to cookouts (or barbecues, depending on your area of the country) each Summer.  Whether it’s for July 4th, or you’re on vacation, or just having a few friends over, it is inevitable.  These cookouts typically include burgers or hot dogs, with buns, cheese, maybe even chili, and often times chips and dips, and more chips and dips and cheese and carbs.  Too bad we are usually wearing bikinis or small clothes while these are happening, right?!

Though I am a supporter of cheating, and not being too overly strict about our diets, cheating too often develops bad eating habits.  Also, we can gain weight quickly if we are regularly eating junk.  All that to say…I made a cheeseburger meal the other night, and have some tips about how to make a cookout meal that is more light and clean.

Healthier Burger, Cookout food

1. Use grass-fed beef.  I am not a proponent of eating a lot of beef (I only eat it a few times a year now), but if you are going to eat it, choose grass-fed and organic.  Do some research about conventional beef, and how bad it is for you (antibiotics, steroids, bad fats, GMOs…), then compare that with the nutritional and environmental benefits to grass-fed beef.  I don’t think it will be too long before you switch!  Here are some articles to get you started: from Livestrong, from SkinnyMom

2. (Occasionally) skip the bun.  With all of the other carbs typically involved in a cookout, it isn’t a terrible idea to put the bread aside.  Don’t get me started on the health risks of eating too much wheat. ;)  I had my cheeseburger over greens, with avocado and tomato and ketchup and mustard, and it was delicious!  Also it certainly fulfilled the cheeseburger craving.

3. Choose healthy toppings.  We used mozzarella, tomato, and avocado.  It was a pretty perfect combination, and still nutritious!

4. Swap pasta for quinoa.  I made a quinoa Greek salad that has a lot of the same ingredients as a common pasta salad: cucumber, tomato, banana peppers, olives, red pepper, feta, and a balsamic (could use Italian) dressing.  Instead of using pasta I used quinoa, yes it is a grain, but it has much greater nutritional value, is a great source of protein, and it is gluten free.

5. Eat fruit for dessert.  I bought a quarter of a watermelon at Harris Teeter this week, not expecting anything too delicious because it is early in the season.  I was actually planning to use it for popsicles, but it turned out to be too good not to eat it plain!  I cut it the other night and had to stop myself from eating it!  Having this as a sweet treat (or any other fruit) is such a perfect alternative to dessert, especially in the summer when most fruit is at it’s peak!

Healthy cookout, burger meal


So I hope this was helpful and not too annoying!  If you have more ideas of how to keep your cookouts healthy, please send them my way.  Thank you for reading!

Davis: 18 Months

Every time we’re at church or I’m listening to the radio or a sermon and I hear the word “miracle” I think of Davis.  (then I cry of course)  We struggled with infertility, but God gave us our son, and we consider him our miracle!  When we were working in Todd’s office this weekend we displayed the Bible that we gave Davis for his church dedication on a new shelf.  Seeing it was a reminder of what a blessing it is to be parents, and also a reminder of our responsibility to raise Davis in a way that would glorify God.

Being a parent to an ‘energetic’ little boy is tough, and some days I just don’t know if I can do it. But then I have reminders like his bible of how special he is, and how blessed Todd and I are, and parenthood again feels like a privilege.

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Davis is:

  • energetic (aka wild and crazy!), but hilarious and entertaining
  • curious, but a learner and helper; and he hears everything!
  • never still, but always taking things apart and putting them back together
  • adventurous, but tough
  • attached, but sweet and loving
  • not a perfect sleeper, but loves life
  • stubborn and strong-willed, but passionate (optimism?!)
  • all boy, but still loves the close girls in his life (like he and Bryleigh always hold hands)
  • absolutely adorable!

He loves any kind of automobile, airplane, dog, ball, box, rake/broom/stick, playing in the water, the beach, bath time, his daddy, “cackers,” saying “dis” and pointing at everything, birds and saying “eet-eet” (tweet tweet), telling people “hey” or “hi” and “bye bye,” running when you say “go go go!”  He has also started climbing more, and falling on purpose – if a pillow is on the floor, he will run and do a mini belly-flop onto it!

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He is starting to repeat more of what we say, and he also has a basic set of words.  We’re working on teaching him more words and getting him to pronounce the words he does know, like trying to say “please” instead of “ease.”

Meals are rarely without a little drama, but this is probably because of his strong will.  We realized this weekend that if we don’t pay too close attention while he eats, he does better.  Like if we don’t sit right in front of him trying to get him to eat everything he will usually try what is on his plate.  Hoping this method will continue working!  (And I’m praying we’ll learn how to be good parents to a strong-willed child!)

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We had his 18-month well visit with our family doctor yesterday.  Besides being (slightly) behind on speech, Davis seems perfectly healthy!  He weighs 26 pounds and is 31.6″ tall.

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I’m looking forward to the summer with our little guy!  Happy 18 month birthday, Davis!  We love you more and more every single day!!