Tag Archives: Puppy

The Spartan 30 Push Ups For 30 Days Challenge, Doggy Park & More

Good morning beauties!!! How are you? I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

be awesome

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My weekend was really great. Even though it didn’t really go the way it was planned *stupid weather lol!*, my hubby and I spent a lot of time with our little beauty Bella. We decided to take her to a doggy park for the first time. Despite being somewhat intimidated  by bigger dogs, I think, she really enjoyed the experience.

at a doggy park

Needless to say, she was EXHAUSTED.

Tired Bella - German Shepherd

When my loves were sound asleep and there was absolutely nothing on TV, I started snapping some selfies with my cell. *My pest bit through the rear-end camera lens… for the second time… I guess, that’s what they call LIFE. Haha!* Here is the result.

Be YOU

Oh! And we finally got to watch Frozen. I LOOOOVE Olaf! ❤

*PS. This specific scene is so actual for the weather in Montreal. We all wish for summer/spring very much, but the real surroundings are very close to those in the cartoon. But I’m not losing my hope! Haha!*

Guys!!! You will not believe me! It seems like finally the Spartan Gods have heard my plea and sent a challenge that I needed for a while!

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As you may remember *or not*, one of my fellow fitness bloggers, Emmeline, threw a challenge to see who will be able to do the most push ups and pull ups by June 21, 2014. I diligently did my thinking and decided to set a goal of 30+ push ups. It’s all sweet and dandy, but I felt like i needed a solid plan in order to reach my objective. And VOILA!

Spartan30_PushUp_Calendar_PS

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I am super duper excited to share that the challenge starts TOMORROW on April 1! All you have to do is 30 push-ups a day for 30 consecutive days. SIMPLE!!!

Here are a few more tips from the Spartan Race itself:

  • No fancy gym memberships required. All you need is the floor beneath your legs, your own body (safe to assume you have this) and determination. Post your pictures and/or your times. Then do it again the next day.
  • So how do you complete a push-up? Follow these steps: 1 – Get into plank position, with your hands slightly outside of your shoulders. 2 – Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor, keeping your elbows close to your torso. 3 – Push away from the floor and back to the starting position. Repeat 29 more times!
  • If you can’t do one push up, start the challenge with the “modified push-up”. To perform a modified push-up assume a push-up position but bend your knees allowing them to touch the floor and cross your ankles. This will make the push-up easier and can be used as a stepping stone to the standard push-up!
  • If your wrists hurt, Try using a pair of dumbbells or push-up bars. The modified grip will allow you to keep your wrists straight.
  • You can even time yourself. By keeping track of your progress, you can watch yourself improving
  • Feel free to push yourself further! Don’t stop at 30, if you can do more.

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make things happen

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*** Also make sure to read one of my previous posts for more insights on push up technique, some laughs and cute pictures of little kidos ‘doing’ push ups: Push Ups 101: A Cheater’s Guide To Lousy Push Ups, 35+ Push Up Variations, And Fast & Effective Bodyweight Upper Body Workout.

watch me

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How was your weekend? Are you going to embark on the Spartan 30 push ups for 30 days challenge? How do you challenge yourself every day?

xoxo
Olena

 

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Be Weird, Be Random, Be Who You Are Or 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Good morning, darlings!

A quick follow up on yesterday’s run. It was somewhat tough because my legs were sore from my Sunday’s workout. However, I did manage to run 6.5 km in 37 minutes, which is okay. I SHALL NOT GIVE UP!

tough-runs

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Needless to say, my foam roller became my best friend yet again *read here for more foam rolling tips*! Today, thankfully is my rest day, so I will probably do some stretches, nothing major though.

As you most likely remember, I was nominated for the Liebster Award about a month ago. However, when I was nominated again last weekend by She Does Write, I was truly honored and couldn’t decline it. Not to repeat myself, I decided just to answer the questions. I find, it is a great way to provide give you with another glimpse into my life. *For some strange reason, I noticed that I don’t tend to talk about my private life in here that much.*

So there it goes.

1. What is your favorite word or phrase?

The first phrase that came to my mind is…

Be-the-change-You-Want-To-See-in-the-World-Gandhi

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2. Dogs, cats, or other–and why?

I am definitely a dog person. It might sound somewhat funny *and RIDICULOUS*, but I am actually scared of cats. Not that I want to run the moment I see one, but I am really afraid that it will scratch me. I think I’ll blame my grandma’s cat who is super cute and WILD at the same time! On the other hand, I’d love to own a tiger! *How confusing!*

As for the dogs, I am a German Shepherd lover. Meet my beloved Sanda who passed away last year.

German Shephed

And here is my little 4.5 months old pest and trouble-maker, Bella:

Bella

3. What was the best part of living where you grew up?

I was born in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Kyiv

When I was little (about 2-3 years old) my parents decided to move to my dad’s home city Cherkasy, where I ended up living for about 13 years of my life. My fondest memories of my childhood are the moments I spent with my family at the beach close to our house, where we would go quite often: in summer – to swim, play soccer and volleyball, and even camp, in winter – to skate and ski.

Dnipro

Dnipro 2
4. What’s the best part of living where you are now?

Montreal is one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world! I might be biased, but my heart belongs here.

The nature is breathtaking.

Montreal - Mont Royal

There are plenty of events happening all year long.

Jardins botaniques

And the architecture is beautiful, and yet not overwhelming: a mix of old and new.

downtown Montreal
5. What was your last dream about?

To be honest, I don’t really recall, but it was something in James Bond style, meaning me running away from someone to stay alive. All jokes aside, that’s how I felt. Haha!

Nightmares

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6. Have you ever pranked someone in an epic way?

Okay, so I don’t really remember pranking anybody recently, HOWEVER… I was pranked pretty badly about a year ago by a local show Les Détestables. It is a Montreal’s hidden camera comedy program, where elderly people say or do inappropriate things trying to get a reaction out of innocent people *me!* who do not suspect a thing!

Since the video is in French (Montreal is a bilingual city), here is the translation:

Elderly lady, ‘Excuse me, but I haven’t finished reading… Can you turn the page back?’
Me *clearly shocked*, ‘Excuse me?!?!’
Elderly lady *turning the page of my book*, ‘I stopped reading right here.’

You won’t believe, this encounter lasted for much longer, but they didn’t show it all on TV. What you need to know about me is that I am NOT a rude person. That being said, this situation gave me a pretty intense headache from conflicting emotions and feelings that I had experienced for the rest of the day! Haha!

7. If you could ask your future self anything, what would it be?

How was child labor?! Ahaha! *I am terrified!!! Not that I’m pregnant either! LOL!*

you pushed me out of your whatSource

8. How would you describe your personal style?

I am not sure I understand this question properly, but I am very determined and competitive. Definitely, a good friend and a family person.

9. Have you ever met a celebrity?

Multiple times! My problem though is that I don’t know who they are!

who are you againSource

10. What is your favorite thing to do in downtime?

I love to read, take pictures and edit them!

smelling books

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11. What is the last thing you photographed?

I actually took this picture of myself.

nomakeup selfie

Not that I’m one of those girls that loves to constantly take selfies, but I thought the idea behind it was really nice. #nomakeupselfie was done in order to show support and raise breast cancer awareness.

So tell me, do you like these posts where I give you some random facts about myself? What would you like to know about me?

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Fitness, Health, Motivation, Puppy Love, Uncategorized

The New Spartan Challenge + The Most Effective Squat Workout From Fitness Blender – Drop It Like A Squat!

Good morning darlings!

I apologize for not checking in with you for a few days. As I mentioned last week, I am really preoccupied with what’s been happening in Ukraine, especially with my trip there only a bit over a month away *my hubby is not excited about me having to go there without him at all*. Plus, I was not in my top physical shape, that’s for sure. Anyhow, let’s forget all about it, it’s a new week.

take what you need

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Obviously, there are many updates. Come on, don’t underestimate me!

First of all, in my quest to lower sugar intake, I decided to give up all chocolate and cookies for Lent. *There, in your face, sugar!*

I love chocolate but it makes my clothes shrink

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Our 4-month old German Shepherd puppy is a big girl now. She had her first training class… and she lost her first 2 teeth! Aweeee! *Just in case, these 2 events were NOT related! Haha! Imagine!*

Toothless Bella - German Shepherd comic

Oh, and I made poached eggs for the first time in my life! *I know, what a shame. But then, it’ better later than never, right?!* Sorry, there is no picture. I was too hungry, plus my hubby made some delicious hash potatoes. Yum!

Also, do you remember my recent post on squats? The timing was perfect. Why? Because, there is a new 30-day challenge from the Spartan Race!!! Woop woop, I looooove love love those!!! (you can see previous challenges here and here).

So this time around is… DRUM ROLL… 30 squats for 30 days!!!

30FOR30_SQUAT

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Even though the challenge started on March 5, don’t hesitate to take it on. All you have to do is to do at least 30 squats per day for 30 consecutive days. EASY PEASY!

If in doubt, here is how to perform a correct bodyweight squat:

That being said, you are not limited to a particular type of a squat. Therefore, you can change it up every day and work different muscles.

What else is important to remember is that “Many people find that they cannot perform this movement until they increase their mobility. A quick warmup and gentle stretch can help to you feel ready to attempt a bodyweight squat. The full squat requires sufficient core stability and glute activation, so be patient and focus on quality not quantity.”, according to the challenge organizers.

Feel like challenging yourself even more? Try this 100 squat workout from Fitness Blender one of these days, or maybe even to conclude the Spartan challenge. Why not?!

How was your weekend? Will you join in on the Spartan squat challenge? What are the ways you like to challenge yourself from time to time?

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Fitness, Health, Puppy Love

Barre Burner + Samba Dromme Super Fun Workout At Home

It was a suppppeeeer duppppeeeeer cold day in Montreal yesterday!

Montreal weather

Thank God, it was a day off and I didn’t have to go to work! I am pretty sure that you won’t judge me if I told you that I opted for a workout at home. *Don’t you dare judge me! Haha!*

Also, I saw this picture on another blog and it inspired me to do something different today, just to prove myself once and for all that I don’t need winter clothes to hide anything!

Winter benefits

I decided to go for a 10-minute Barre Burner workout to make my legs shake a bit. I guess, it’s an addiction of mine ever since my first choreography class back in my rhythmic gymnastics days. But then, who doesn’t love that feeling, right?!

I also coupled it with a Samba Dromme dance workout.

Solibeat

I bought this CD a couple of months back, because it was released by one of my favorite bloggers, Gina. In my opinion, it is worth every single penny I paid for it: it’s super fun, energetic and definitely gets your heart pumping! And the live music is just incredible! If you’d like, you can find and purchase it here.  I thought you might want to get a glimpse of it, so here is a teaser I found on Youtube.

By the way, just in case you’re wondering, the previous video was done by her too!

Anyhow, by the end of the workout, I felt absolutely great and sweaty. I decided to finish it off with a stretching session that I shared with you last month.

FUN FACT: Since our puppy is only 8 weeks old, she gets SUPER excited about EVERYTHING. As a result, I figured I’d workout in a spare room on the second floor to make sure she doesn’t run around after me and I can get a quality training session. Guess what?! The little munchkin climbed the stairs all by herself for the first time just to see me! *That’s what I call TRUE love!*

German Shepherd - 8 weeks - stairs

Please, disregard the poor quality of the picture, I had to react fast to the excited screaming of my husband! Haha!

What are your favorite dance workouts? What do you do to keep your pets away while you’re exercising?

xoxo
Olena

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Let’s Foam Roll This Year Off Right!

Happy New Year my dear friends! I wish you all much happiness, joy, success and HEALTH! Why did I put ‘health’ in capital letters? Because I find that being healthy and fit is detrimental to everything else. When we are fit, we are happy, we spread more love, which makes everyone else happy, and wouldn’t you call it success? Haha! Anyhow, you get it!

It’s been a while since I wanted to share with you a favorite toy of mine. OKAY, maybe it’s not a toy, it’s just a foam roller, but what still holds true is that I LOVE it! So I figured, what could be better than starting off this year with a nice foam rolling session?!

German Shepherd - 8 weeks

You see? Even Bella loves is! *Fine! There might have been some liver treats involved…*

There are many benefits to foam rolling, especially for runners.

Benefits of Foam Rolling

I also found this image on Pinterest to help you get started on different techniques.

Foam Roller

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What are your favorite ways to foam roll?

xoxo
Olena

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A Puppy A Day Melts My Heart Away

I’m telling you! My heart literally melted away over this weekend! I’m totally smitten and in love with our new puppy, Bella.

Bella - German Shepherd

She is truly a beauty! And if you think that this pretty face is a darling, you are mistaken! She is a little troublemaker and a daredevil!

Bella playing - German Shepherd

Bella doesn’t discriminate against anything! She’ll bite whatever comes her way: fingers, noses and ears included.

Bella sleeping - German Shepherd

Bella can be a pretty sweet lady, though; when she sleeps…

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… or when she eats!

And now after yet another running-around-the-house ‘workout’ session, we are due to sleep some more!

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Nighty night!

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Puppy Love

Puppy Love

Do you remember last week’s December To Do list? I mentioned that I kept I couple of things secret from you. Well, I wasn’t lying! And I’m about to share big news with you!

We’re EXPECTING… a puppy! GOTCHA! In about 3 weeks from now, we will become parents to a cutie puttootti German Shepherd puppy! And her name will be… DRUM ROLL… Bella!!! How cute is that?! You see? I wasn’t lying about my love for Italian language either! Haha!

I must admit, it is a pretty big deal for me to get a puppy right now. Last January, my family dog, Sanda, passed away after living with us for close to 14 years. I was heartbroken and couldn’t even look at puppies without getting emotional and breaking down crying. I’m sure that many of you can relate to that. You’re not only losing a dog, you’re losing a friend, a family member.

German Shephed

German Shepherd

German Shepherd

Wasn’t she a beauty?!

Sanda was indeed a big part of our family. We loved her so much, and I miss her greatly. I still kind of hope that there is a doggy heaven, where she is happy playing with a ball, swimming after ducks and running after squirrels. Do you?

Without a doubt, it’s been super hard to move on, and I am not quiet sure if I ever will. But I am certain that our baby Bella will be a great addition to my own little family!

To be fair, I’m definitely not excited about the poopie part of the puppyhood! Haha! And I am nervous about training her on my own, since before it was my dad who took care of training. But I’m super excited for the new adventure and new FRIENDSHIP. Eventually, Bella will become my running buddy too! Ah… Can’t wait!

And yet, there are SO MANY things we have to take care of before meeting our puppy for the first time! Gosh, I’m getting overwhelmed to the point that I don’t even know where to start!!!!

Do you have a dog? Is it a big breed too? Please, do tell me about your training experiences and tricks that work for you!

xoxo
Olena

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