November 2013 Upper Body/Core & Cardio Challenge

challenge change you

Hello all! I love fall and I love to exercise! My goal is to get you to also love to exercise. So I made a challenge for November that will give you a taste of my routine. You will get a new upper body and core exercise along with a different cardio challenge every day of the week except for Thursdays and Sundays-those are your rest/off days!

I do a lifting plan similar to this so I modified it for beginners like some of you or if you are further along you will hopefully at least learn some new exercises and above all else, ALL of you, will develop a routine that you can carry through to December and hopefully into 2014…wow, really 2014? That came quick!!! You will be able to do these at home or at the gym.  I will give several options based on fit level and whether you are executing them at the gym or at home.

What you will need for this challenge:

1. Awesome Like Adrienne Nov 2013 Calendar

2. Dumbbells-lighter and heavier weight

***I use anywhere from 7.5 to 20 lb. DB’s***

3. Running or walking shoes

4. Chair or bench at home

5. Mat (or carpet)

I will post on facebook the move for the day so be sure to Like my page at the top right of this page so you can follow along. I will post pics or videos so you know exactly how to do it.

ALA Nov calendar

Hoping you will join my challenge for November and beyond to exercise, eat nutritious foods and honor yourself!!



Heartbreak & Hallelujah!

Wow-I have had a major revelation! I used to want to write about “how dare you do this to me” but today I feel I am exactly where I am supposed to be no matter how I got here. I have an amazing child and an amazing boyfriend. Period. I have those people in my life right now. My story before was that I had a crappy ex-husband and my son half the time because my husband “divorced” us. Here is a better story- NOW I have a whole new life and a whole new outlook on my past. I still share custody of my son with his dad but I am able to see past the “have not” and only focus on the “have” part of that “50/50” agreement. 50/50, doesn’t that sound awful? Splitting a child in half-are you kidding me? But I can look at it half empty or half FULL. I chose FULL. I always have to choose FULL or else I will not function and I will not progress as a mom and woman.

This, 50/50 talk by far, was the hardest part of getting divorced for me. The pain you feel when someone you truly love and who truly loves you back is sad (a sad cute as heck four year old)-well now that is REAL heartbreak. Seeing your son cry his eyes out for you when he knows he isn’t going to see you is true heartbreak. Your husband leaving you for another girl is a minor set back and not worth your heart breaking but your child, your baby, that is tough. I now prepare myself and him with books like The Invisible String-which tells a story of two twins whose mom tells them about the “invisible string” and that “no one is ever alone” and they can “pull on the string anywhere at anytime and she will feel it”. He tells me he will do this when he misses me or is thinking about me. Things like that bring us both comfort. Tough situations make you stronger. Lifting weights make you stronger. I feel mentally strong when lifting weights. I find physical and mental strength in everyday life as a result of lifting weights. I am a stronger person because of my past and if that alone is the reason all of this happened then I accept that and use it to learn and grow. All other explanations are negative and not helpful.

Because of things like meditation, exercise, deep breathing and focusing on the NOW I am able to better mentally prepare for the breaking that occurs in mine and my son’s heart every other Monday morning and every other Friday morning. This heartbreak isn’t a one time event. Divorce and sharing a child will always be. It comes up all the time. It is not an isolated event that I can just say, “oh well, that happened and that sucked ” and be done with it.  Week after week, there it is again and is ALWAYS a challenge. I have feelings. My son has feelings and I tell him to express them and I allow myself to express mine. It is ok to be emotional-we LOVE each other and we go days without seeing each other! We LOVE hard too which makes leaving one another that much more painful. So, guess what…. it is normal to feel sad when we part ways but NOW I am able to show him that even though we are sad and don’t want to leave each other we have to be happy and we have to be strong. Two HUGELY IMPORTANT life lessons! He is four and I feel is already so strong and happy because he is forced to be (naturally because of the divorce).

Speaking of divorce, this word would drive me absolutely crazy before so I changed the definition…..what do you guys think??


I don’t write this to spite anyone or dredge up the past but rather to remind myself that I carry all of that with me and those events and those people are part of the reason I am who I am today. I don’t want to be so sad every other Monday and every other Friday (and Thursday night and Sunday night) so I have to combat it daily. There are many reasons I was “released” from that marriage and I chose to focus on that! These are the things I have found that help me:

1. Meditation or prayer daily-sometimes for a half hour in the morning while soaking in an Epsom salt bath (great for sore muscles)

2. Eating mood boosting foods:,,20351257,00.html

3. Moving my body-Lifting weights/challenging myself and the releasing of endorphins!!

4. Relax and rest-you don’t have to always be doing something every min of everyday-call a time out every once in a while!

5. Live in the NOW-don’t dismiss your past because it is part of you but do not get stuck in it. Find ways to beak out and enjoy who and what you are and have NOW. This will always change everything, right there in the moment.

6. Always be POSITIVE about everything and everyone. Negativity causes stress and we do not want that!!

7. Max-my son-HE is what helps me, he is so sweet, so innocent and so full of life and love.

If you are going through anything similar just let it all go. Live in the NOW. Don’t worry because everything, no matter what, is going to be okay. Live for bettering you and your story will change for the better! Promise! Life isn’t fair or easy and bad things will always happen. Things will not go according to plan and it is how you handle those events that will make or break your life.

Make it AWESOME!!


braveeverything is going to be okaymistakes

Blueberry & Espresso Vanilla Protein Smoothie

Oh. My. So. Good!!!

blueberry espresso protein smoothie

1/2 c frozen or fresh blueberries

20 g vanilla protein powder

3 to 4 ice cubes

1.5  c almond or coconut milk-unsweetened

4 to 5 chocolate covered espresso beans

1 small banana

1 tbsp. flaxseeds or ground flaxseed meal or chia seeds

3 tsp. oats

1 tsp. natural nut butter

Blend well and enjoy!


Savory-Mouth-Watering Dutch Oven Chicken Thighs

Chicken thigh dutch oven

Savory Chicken thighs-in the Dutch Oven!

If you have been following my blog or my Facebook page  you would know that I got a Dutch Oven maybe a month ago (thanks mom-early Christmas present!!!) and I have used it at least 15 times since then because I am in LOVE with it! It makes things so easy, easy to throw everything in one pot, easy cooking process and easy clean up!!! I highly suggest you add one to your kitchen ASAP!


6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs

1/2 cup dry Jasmine rice

2 cups water

2 tbsp. canola/olive oil

2 tsp tomato paste

1 small green pepper

1 med/large tomato

1 small Spanish onion

1 tbsp. minced garlic

Seasonings: red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cinnamon (some of each to your liking)


Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

1. Lightly coat bottom of pot with canola/olive oil on stove on med heat
2. Chop tomato, green pepper and onion-place in pot
3. Add chicken thighs to pot…
4. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and cinnamon
5. Add 2 tsp. tomato paste and 1 tsp. minced garlic to bottom of pot and let simmer for a few min
6. Add 1/2 c dry rice and 2 cups of water.

Place in oven for 1.5 to 2 hours.




Legs & Shoulders Work-it Circuit

Legs & Shoulders
Legs & Shoulders

What you will need:

DB-Dumbbells-med to heavy weight (I used 15 lbs)

DB-Dumbbells-light weight (I used 8 lbs)

KB-Kettlebell-heavy (I used 18 lb)

BB-Barbell-low to med weight (I used 20 lbs)

Good music

40 to 45 min

Do as many reps as you can of each exercise in about 30 to 40 seconds (or to your exhaustion point)  then rest for 10 seconds in-between each exercise. When you are done with circuit/round one rest for 1 to 2 min then repeat for 3 to 4 total rounds.


Alternating plank shoulder taps-20 total taps

Alternating Forward/Backward or Walking Lunges-40 total w/ or without holding KB

Cossack Lunges-20 total while holding KB

Squat w Barbell thrust-20 total or to your exhaustion point

Leg kickbacks-20 on each leg

Deadlift dumbbell row-20 total or to your exhaustion point

Lying down KB in and outs-20 total

Standing heavy DB press-as many as you can to your exhaustion point

Standing light weight DB Power T’s-as many as you can to your exhaustion point

Forearm PLANK-45 sec to 1 min

Repeat 3 to 4 rounds and then smile at the sweat angel you just made!!!

Work-it Circuit!!!


Chest & Triceps Work It Circuit

Work- it Circuit for chest and triceps
Chest & Triceps


Dumbbells-medium weight


Bench to lie on

Good music

45 min

Do as many reps as you can of each exercise in about 30 to 40 seconds (or to your exhaustion point)  then rest for 10 seconds in-between each exercise. When you are done with circuit/round one rest for 1 to 2 min then repeat for 3 to 4 total rounds.


Alternating DB press lying down on bench

Squeeze DB chest press lying down on bench

KB skull crushers lying down on bench

Barbell chest press lying down on bench

DB Flyes with crunch lying down on bench

Pike while lying down on bench for 30 to 40 reps

Standing overhead KB extensions

DB Tricep kickbacks-as many as you can on each arm

Standing KB up downs for 20 reps

One arm push ups on bench/floor for as many reps as you can on each side

One Circuit/round complete

Repeat 3 to 4 times.

You’re Welcome!