Holiday Wreath Hunt & NASM Study Update

Good morning, friends!

Where the heck has this week gone? Do I say that every week?

Luckily, yesterday was a productive day. It started with one of those rare mornings where you have no trouble getting out of bed at the first alarm. Usually, it takes a couple snoozes, ammmiright? I had made the bed, Andrew’s lunch, and a steamy mug of bulletproof coffee all before 8am. That left me with plenty of time to hit ‘publish’ on yesterday’s What I Ate Wednesday post and link it up with Peas & Crayons before heading out the door for a 9:45am class at LA Fitness.

Body Works + Abs

I believe Body Works + Abs is similar to what other gyms call “Body Pump”. The first half of the class is standing body weight and dumbbell exercises and the second half is done on a mat and focuses on ab work. The class moves fast, especially with a good teacher. Lisa of LA Fitness: even though I’m 99.999% positive you don’t read this blog, I want you to know that you are great and you are also crazy. Keep it up!

Similar to last year's wreath from Target
Similar to last year’s wreath from Target

After class and a few sprints on the treadmill, I knocked out a few errands around town with the exception of the one I was hoping to accomplish most: finding a good-looking wreath. Any locals have any suggestions on where to find a nice (living, not fake) wreath? Home Depot’s were okay, but neither Andrew nor I liked the red bow on them and they were $30, which is basically what we paid for our tree. We got a nice wreath from Target last year, but our nearest Target is inside a big mall, and I’m scared of the holiday fever there. No luck at Vons, Albertsons, or CVS. I thought the Boy Scouts used to sell $5 wreaths in front of grocery stores. Is that no longer a thing?

SEO Evaluation Training

After a big kale salad with tuna for lunch, I spent a couple of hours doing a training course for an SEO (search engine optimization) evaluation job I’m doing part-time ($$$). It’s actually a fairly interesting project, although I can’t say too much about it because I (hilariously) had to sign an NDA for it. That said, if you’re looking for some part-time work (10-40 hours a week) that you can do from home, send me an email ( and I’ll share what I can with you.

NASM Update

Around 3pm, I forced myself to stop what I was doing (ahem, Christmas decorating) and hit the books. I’m currently learning about the cardiorespiratory system, which clearly important to know about as a personal trainer, but I’m burning through so many flashcards!

120414 nasm study materials

There are so many things to memorize. And I’m sure I learned some of this material at some point in either high school or college, but if I did, the knowledge has vanished.


Last night’s dinner was quick and easy. I bought a new (to me) item from Trader Joe’s: Sun-dried Tomato Chicken Sausage. I can definitively say that I’ve never bought sausage before, but the ingredient list in TJ’s chicken sausages won my approval: skinless chicken meat, water, seasoning (salt, turbinado sugar, spices, tomato powder, dehydrated onion, dehydrated garlic, paprika, basil, parsley), diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes.

120414 dinner

I sautéed a couple of sausages with chopped brussels sprouts and added goat cheese at the end. As you can imagine, the finished product wasn’t the most beautiful dish, so I didn’t take any pictures. It tasted great, though! Credit where credit is due: I stole the idea for the dish from Tina of Carrots ‘n Cake.


And now here we are! The rain seems to have subsided for now, so I’m planning to go on a quick run before committing the rest of the day to NASM studying. I just finished “learning” four chapters of meaty material, meaning that I’ve read the chapters in full, watched the online content and completed the activities, and made flashcards for all of the vocabulary terms and other important concepts in those chapters. Rather than start on a new chapter today, I’m hoping to lock myself into a chamber (or Starbucks) until I’ve fully memorized all of my flashcards. I’ll let you know how the study tactic goes.

120414 al nasm
What is it with cats and backpacks?


Have a great day, everyone!



Picture credit: wreath

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