A PSL Workout

It is PSL season after all- let’s have a little workout pun fun! This quick workout will work arms, core and legs.. oh the legs.

Full disclosure, I have totally fallen off the motivational wagon and have slipped on making it to my workouts. I am working on adjusting my focus to the long term effects/goals of a fit lifestyle instead of the quick obtainable ones like fitting back into a fair pair of jeans.

For some reason Lil Miss has wanted to party for a few hours every night around 2:30am. This Mama is tired and has hit snooze on her alarm for far too many days as of late. Gaining that much needed extra hour of sleep means sacrificing a morning workout. This week I’m determined to stop neglecting my daily workouts. So today the weather was perfect for a run during my lunch break and I did just that!

Tell Me: What are some of your larger goals that keep you showing up to the gym day after day?

My run was short; just 1.5 miles. I wanted to add a little something extra especially given how much I have slacked lately. This short workout was a great supplement to my run!

Top | Sports Bra | Leggings (similar) | Tennis | Watch

*A friendly reminder that I am not a certified personal instructor. A workout that is right for me, may not be right for you. Proceed at your own risk.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links*

21 Rep Burnout Arm Routine

Hey babes! I’m really excited to share a new arm workout with you all today! It is going to leave those arm sore that’s for sure!

One aspect the hubs and I love with Les Mills workouts is the muscle confusion. I brought a little muscle confusion into this workout. The workout seems so simple (and it is) but it is a real challenge! 

The key here is form. During the burnout- only keep pushing while your form is still good. If your form slips, slow down. There is nothing to gain by rushing through these exercises. 

This workout is tough and you will feel the burn. I used eight pound weights and I felt the rounds of reps was really hard. I want to offer a few options to make this killer arm workout work for you:

  • Lower the amount of reps (maybe only do 5 rounds of reps)
  • Reduce the burnout time (lower to 30 if 45 is too much!)
  • Lower the weight (I’d use this as a last option)
  • Want more? Increase the burnout time to a minute or run through the every round a second time! 

21 Rep Burnout Arm Workout

Round 1: Deadlifts

Round 2: Overhead press

Round 3: Bent over wide rows

Round 4: Lateral raises

Round 5: Overhead tricep press

For each round: complete two reps at a slow pace and one rep at a fast pace- repeat this seven times then set a timer for 45 seconds and do as many reps as you can; then move to the next round.

*A friendly reminder that I am not a certified personal instructor. A workout that is right for me, may not be right for you. Proceed at your own risk.

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Collab: 6 Back to School Fashion & Fitness Tips

Hey guys! I’ve been a little off the Internet grid for the past couple of days. The husband and I celebrated our anniversary with a getaway to Miami Beach. I had all intentions to blog & take you guys with us via Insta stories but somewhere along that first night I put away my phone & decided that what I really needed to do was unplug and reconnect with my number one. And that’s just what I did! 

(A’s swim trunks | A’s tank (similar) | Bikini top | Bikini bottom)

Now I’m back, and brainstorming my next month of content. September marks 6 months of blogging and the kick off to my favorite season, fall! I’m totally #basic with my love for pumpkin spice everything, mad for plaid and puffy vests! 

Today though I’m really excited to share my first collaboration with ya’ll! 

I had the opportunity to write a piece for Mom Entreprenuer Alliance International’s monthly newsletter. This organization aims to bring a purposeful collaboration of inspiration and resource for Mom’s who work while raising a family. I am all for groups of women supporting one another and was really excited when this opportunity presented itself! This Mom-tribe has chapters in California and plans to expand out East. In my opinion, something we need locally and look forward to being a part of this growing community! 

(Sports bra | Top | Leggings | Tennis | Watch)

With the new school year here, I wrote some tips on how to keep fashion & fitness part of your routine for those super busy mornings. Please hop over to read the full article here! Do you have any tips to add? Leave some a comment with your number one tip to keep yourself sane during the school year! 

7 Weeks with LMOD + FREE Trial for You! 

When I find a workout that excites me- I end up with way too much to say! Keep reading to find out my thoughts on becoming part of the Les Mills Tribe & how you can try it FREE for 30 days!

I’ve been a reader of Peanut Butter Fingers for years. For today’s post, let’s back it up to 2011, Julie over at PB Fingers keeps mentioning how much she loves BodyPump. BodyPump is a Les Mills class that is typically taught in a gym. There are no gyms near me that do BodyPump or Les Mills anything. Total bummer.

Fast forward to the end this past June, one of my girlfriends tells me she has switched up her kickboxing class for GRIT. Being the workout junkie I am, I had to know all about her new program. My girlfriend tells me it’s HIIT with strength training and she loves it. She then tells me she balances the week with also a few BodyPump classes. Of course I hop onto Google to see if anyone is teaching Les Mills in my area.. Nope, not yet! Seriously, Dayton- we need some Les Mills! Again, total bummer.

As I’m doing more internet searching, I discover that Les Mills has a streaming On Demand program. Say what?! The On Demand program has been around in the US since 2015 and I’m just now finding out about it! It’s $12.99 a month and includes an endless amount of workout programs including BodyPump and GRIT!  It took all of five minutes for me to decide to sign up for the free 10 day trial and give it a go at least for the first month.

WHY WE ARE LOVING:  Babes, I’m in love. Best part- so is the hubs! Here’s what we love:

  • There are plenty of 30 minute workouts to choose from so we’ve yet to get bored (plus they add new releases all the time!)
  • The coaches are mostly from New Zealand- there is something magical about a person with an accent telling you to do pushups for 20 seconds.
  • The workouts are designed for athletes, not weight loss. Of course you will lose weight/inches and build muscles but what I mean is there is no one telling you if you stick with this for 30 days you’ll be ripped, or think about your skinny jeans. What the coaches do talk about is the other people in that room are your team, working together to be a better athlete- and you’re going to do lateral lunges for agility or sprints for speed. I find it totally refreshing and super motivating.
  • Every release we’ve done ends with core that’s not just crunches!
  • Lots of new moves, especially ones that work back muscles that I didn’t even know I’ve been missing over the years.
  • It’s all about mixing up muscle confusion which makes it mental as well as physical.
  • Kid section is broken down by age group which I find really useful! Having a collection of 12 -15 minute routines to do with my little guy has been amazing! (this feature is free without subscription!)

WHAT WE ARE LOVING: We haven’t sampled every program yet but we have done BodyPump, GRIT, CXWork and BodyFlow. GRIT is our favorite because it’s so intense, there is no other word for it. The first GRIT release we did I almost fainted-twice. If you have bad knees, if HIIT/plyo isn’t for you- GRIT will not be either. I read that someone said it’s like CrossFit, I’ve never done CrossFit so I can’t compare the two. Intense, it’s intense.

We like BodyPump to mix in with GRIT throughout the week. I personally like that I’m getting some weights and some cardio but it’s not as intense.

CXWork has been great for core conditioning. There isn’t a lot of explosive movement in this series but you’ll feel it in your abs, back and upper thighs the next day!

I’m pretty particular about the types of yoga I’ll do. I once took a hatha class and fell asleep, so I’ve learned if I’m going to do yoga it needs to be a challenge. I do not stray much from my beloved ashtanga but BodyFlow has been a great addition to our yoga practice. I really enjoy the pace and having fun music during the flow.

EQUIPMENT:  Of course you’ll need a device to stream the workouts like a phone, laptop or tablet. We stream to our AppleTv through screen mirroring from a phone. If you have a new AppleTv, I read you can download the LesMills app right onto there for streaming. When we first started we used dumbbells because that is what we already own. BodyPump and Grit both use barbells and weight plates- we try to be mindful to hold the dumbbells how we would hold a barbell to maximize results. For my birthday I requested a beginner barbell set. The past month with the barbell has been amazing, although my tiny little weight plates look pathetic! Gotta start somewhere right? CXWork uses exercise bands and weight plates, we’ve used bands and dumbbells.

It’s been seven weeks from today that we started LMOD. We took the first week off in August from exercise as everyone in my house was sick. A few days we subbed a T25 or quick 10 minute workout but majority of our workouts have been LMOD. I need to take new measurements but I’m certain I’ve lost inches around my waist and thighs because I can FIT BACK INTO MY FAVORITE JEANS! Praise!! My back and arms are stronger and I can tell my core is getting strong, especially the lower abs where the muscle memory has been weakened from two caesarians. Plus, I finally have less than 10 pounds till I’m back to my pre-baby weight.  I am excited to see future transformations!

(Post GRIT Strength 18 #sweatfie!)

CONCLUSION:  We are definitely continuing our subscription service with Les Mills On Demand; we might upgrade our membership to a full year since it’s slightly cheaper that way. It’s been a long time since I’ve looked forward to working out and feel disappointed if I miss. It’s been a real challenge to make sure we have 30 minutes set aside every day but with my husband as my accountability partner it’s a little easier to pry myself from bed in the morning.

If you are still reading this (I hope you are) you can try Les Mills On Demand FREE for 30 Days! Simply sign up & give code optimistaple30 during check out for a FREE 30 day trial!

PS: Make sure you follow my Insta account! I am announcing a giveaway later this evening that you don’t want to miss!

Must Own Post-natal Fitness DVDs

Honestly, I forget sometimes that I’m still in a post-partum stage when it comes to exercising. Then I’ll attempt some plank move that I can’t quite master because it’s still hard to use those lower abdominal muscles and instantly reminded that my body is still recovering. Today I’m sharing post-natal workout DVDs that really helped me get back into the swing of exercise. Read on to see my picks! 

Postnatal Rescue with Erin O’Brien

Okay, I’m going to disclose that this DVD is very calm and quiet. Erin is very gentle which can feel cheesy, dated and a little non-motivating. With that being said, I still recommend this DVD to all the new Mom’s. This DVD focuses on reconnecting the muscle memory to your pelvic floor and that is crucial after delivery. There are three 15 minute sessions that progress in advancement. You’ll do things like bridges, pelvic tilts and kegals but I promise is just what you need post-delivery. This is the DVD I used to restart my exercise regime after both pregnancies. With my son, I waited until my post-partum check before I did any exercises at all. With my daughter, I started doing short walks and this DVD around 2 weeks post-delivery because I knew my body could handle the light stretches and strengthening moves.

Hot Body Healthy Mommy

Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred was the first DVD that really got me interested in strength training and I’m pretty certain I own every one of her DVDs now. I was really pumped when she released this title! This DVD contains three 30 minute workouts (with warm up and cool down)- upper body, lower body and core. I felt these were great workouts to get the body back in the swing of things. Like all of Jillian’s workouts, there are modifications to make the moves easier or harder depending on your fitness level. For me, the core workout was the hardest of the three. Jillian will re-introduce push ups, planks, squats- all the things you were missing during your 6 week recovery! I also highly recommend this DVD for anyone who is starting their fitness routine. These three workouts are great basics at an excellent pace for beginners.

Body By Trimester: Postnatal Edition

Joy Southworth is such a babe full of high energy! With both pregnancies I did her Body By Trimester workouts. LOVE LOVE LOVE them! If you’re used to working out with Jillian Michaels or BeachBody, you will enjoy all of the Body By Trimester workouts. This one is her postnatal edition. There are 4 quick 10 minute workouts and one is designed to workout with your baby. These workouts might only be 10 minutes long but they are INTENSE! Every single move is a double duty and very little rest- like 360 jump squats with band arm pulls. Joy does give modifications, especially for those who had a cesarean or diastasis recti- but even with those, the only workout that isn’t intense is the one that includes baby. I recommend this DVD once you’re already feeling strong- I would not pop this in the day your doctor says it’s okay to resume working out. I also recommend this DVD to have in your collection for those days you only have 10 minutes to workout but want to go hard- postnatal or not!

Beginner Shred

This DVD is not a post-natal DVD but a beginner fitness DVD but I feel it’s great for postnatal too. There are three 30 minute workouts on this DVD in a progression order. Each one builds on the previous as you get stronger. Like always Jillian Michael’s gives modifications for your fitness level and includes a warm up and cool down. I rotated this DVD in while I was doing the Hot Body Healthy Mommy. Once I felt strong enough on a level, I’d advance to the next. It’s a great beginner DVD, and if you had a baby- you know that returning back to exercise is basically like a newbie until your muscle memory is back.

10 Minute Body Transformation, 1st & 2nd Editions

The 10 Minute Body series from Jillian Michaels was another set of DVD’s I was excited to own this year. These are not postnatal either, but they are really great 10 minute workouts. I owned the first one and then immediately scooped up the second edition when it was released- a girl needs a collection of effective 10 minute workouts; especially with a new baby in the house. In these workouts you’ll do one circuit, and then basically repeat it. Before you know it the workout is over! The first series includes Pilates, Cardio, Booty, Calisthenics, and Kickbox. The second series includes HIIT, Core, Upper/lower, Animal Flow and Yoga. If you own both of these DVD’s you’ll have a nice collection of 10 minute workouts that are effective.

Do you have a favorite workout that helped you resume exercise post baby? If you’re a new Mom, please make sure to get the OK from your doctor before attempting any exercise; and of course listen to your body!

Postnatal Rescue | Body By Trimester Postnatal Edition | Hot Body Healthy Mommy | Beginner Shred | 10 Minute Body Tranformation | 10 Minute Body Transformaion 2nd Edition 
* I know I mentioned Jillian Michaels a lot in the post but this post is not sponsored or endorsed. I just happen to really like her workouts!


5 Fitness Tips for the Busy Mom

One of my biggest struggles is fitting everything into the 24 hours of the day now that I am back to working full time since the arrival of my little lady.  I’m learning to make the most of free time whenever it presents itself. It’s hard to find the balance with all that I want to do and all the roles that I play. (keep the house tidy, stay up on laundry, exercise, blog, creating content, building connections & Instagram followers, working 9-5, quality time with my husband and kids, family adventures, date with my husband, showering..)

While I love a hard workout, my goal lately has been just to MOVE every day. Setting this intention the last two months has changed my mindset. I have a calendar on my phone to keep track of what I do for exercise and in the last two months I’ve only had 5 rest days! Not every workout is equal to the next but I’ve also learned that I’ve got to take a little easier on my expectations and go with the flow. Today I’m sharing a few tips that has helped me stay on track!

1. BE FLEXIBLE: this one is hard for me because I like structure and routine and to me, flexible indirectly translates to not important. Daily exercise is extremely important to me; it goes much deeper than fitting into my favorite skinny jeans. To be flexible with my workout routine means that maybe I’m not working out in the morning, but at lunch or after work. Or maybe it means time is tight and I have to throw out the 30 minute strength session I was going to do for a 10 minute ab routine. Putting my mind to just MOVE has helped me be flexible. I’ve probably said it before and I’ll probably say it a thousand more times but a 10 minute workout is better than no workout.

2. BREAK IT UP: along the same lines of being flexible comes the idea to break it up. If you’ve ever done a Tone It Up workout, you know that they typically have a Cardio + toning scheduled for their daily workouts. Somedays for me this looks like knocking out the toning circuit before work and then doing the cardio session at lunch by taking a walk. Or maybe I’ll do 10 minutes before work, 10 minutes on my lunch and 10 minutes after work. I read an article a few years ago that short but frequent workouts can produce the same health benefits as one lengthy session. Truth be told, I don’t mind a day when I break it up, but its better if it’s done on day that I can wear workout clothes all day! If only I could live in workout leggings and fun tops!

3. BE KIND: to yourself, because it’s crucial. Shannon over at Itsy Bitsy Indulgences shared on a Wellness Wednesday post about her avoidance to the word “should” and I tell you what her words really put some perspective in my mind. So now when I catch myself thinking “that should have been longer, I should have pushed harder” I tell my thoughts to be quiet. Did I MOVE today? Did I put a little bit of time aside for myself, my health and my future? There’s no reason to be mean or hard on myself. Life’s way too short for all that negativity.

4. HIIT IT: If I want to go hard but I don’t have a ton of time, I know a high intensity interval training workout is going to be clutch. Not only do HIIT workouts scorch calories but they also leave your body burning more calories after the workout is finished. If your knees can handle it, HIIT is amazing. It’s 100% how I lost all my baby weight with my first pregnancy. BONUS- here’s a quick HIIT workout for you to keep in your back pocket:


5. FAMILY AFFAIR: my last solid tip is to include the family in your workout routine if your day is too busy for even 10 minutes of just you time. Take a walk or bike ride with the kids, participate in tummy time with the infant because we all can benefit from core work or put on some music and have a dance party with your 4 year old. Exercise does not have to look like treadmills and weights, exercise can look like chasing soccer balls in the yard after dinner. While that may not give you chiseled features, it’s still going to burn more calories than just sitting there watching the kids play soccer.

Do you have any tips for how you keep yourself active with a busy schedule? Leave a comment because I’d love to hear! I’m always looking for ways to be more efficient with my time!


Killer Lunch Quickie

Hi guys! Gosh, it’s been over a week since I last posted. Yikes! And a week it has been. I’m much looking forward to a glass of wine (or three) this evening! 

Little Miss started in the infant room at her school this week and I’m back to working full time. I was that hot mess Mom with a stream of tears down my face on our first drop off. This week has been an adjustment; emotionally & physically. I’m still trying to juggle to fit everything that I want into my day/week. (Like blogging, laundry!)

Since my little lady is still waking up in the middle of the night it’s nearly impossible for me to get up with enough time before work to exercise. Right now, exercise after work isn’t happening- I’m too excited to get home to my babies and soak up some of the summer evening before its baths and bedtime. This week I’ve used my lunch breaks to get in some exercise. Which honestly is okay; it’s better to use my time wisely even if that means I’m not getting the intense sweat session I’m used to. And in my book, any type of workout for any amount of time is better than no workout. 

I’ve done a lot of walking on the bike path this week but yesterday I popped home for a quick and effective superset workout. I blasted through this workout during three Kendrick Lamar songs- it left me out of breath and sore! 

In other news I also really want to share this outfit I wore last week on my last day of leave. The day was filled with all the things I dream stay at home mom’s do- get the family off to work/school, exercise, play with the baby, hit a doctor’s appointment, grab some Starbucks and run some errands, prep dinner, play with baby some more- and end it with a big glass of Cabernet after the kids are in bed! 


I’m most excited that I finally fit into these Athleta leggings that I purchased in January. The bestie was right, these are the most amazing leggings ev-er! I especially love that they have back pockets- makes me feel like I’m not wearing leggings! They are the perfect companion for shopping with kids! Cute & comfy! 

I paired it with a white tee (knotted myself), denim jacket and white sneakers. I definitely see this outfit coming into repeat for weekend errand runs.

I hope you guys had a great week and a great weekend!

Shop this look:

Jacket. Tee. Diaper bag (newer version). Leggings. Tennis (similar; similar). Sunnies (similar). 

SIS: Spring Into Summer Shape Up Week 4

Wow, May is kinda flying by- am I right? Over here in Dayton, the schools will be done for the year this week. Maybe it’s because I had a baby one week into 2017 but it seems crazy that summer is weeks away. (Days if you feel that Memorial Day is the official kick-off to summer like I do!)

Last week my husband was out of town which made it a challenge to get the workouts complete. Truth be told, I didn’t get to all of them which means I want to make those up this week. Not really looking forward to doing some doubles, but we’re in this together so if you’re going to do the workouts, so am I!

So let’s get down to the week schedule and workouts. This week we are doing a lot more combo moves. My intention here is we’ve been working out all month- let’s put our strength to test this week!

Monday: Most of these exercises can be Googled if you’re unsure- but incase you are unfamiliar with the exercises in set 2 I’ve linked examples to glute bridge + side leg extension, y dumbbell press and a dumbbell swing.

Tuesday: Cardio Ladder and Ab day! We’ve been working all month at our cardio endurance so this week we are going to work hard towards that 4 minute push in this ladder workout. With our abs this week we are going to mostly focus on our obliques for a chiseled waist!

Wednesday: Today we are going to forget the weights while we work our arms, butt, back and core. Of course you can always make it harder by adding some light resistance, but that choice is yours 🙂

Thursday: cardio  + ab day! As always I’ve provided a no-equipment cardio routine if you don’t want to do go for a run or hop on a bike! Just make sure you circle back to Tuesday’s oblique ab routine to complete your cardio day!

Friday: We are going to kick off Memorial Day weekend with a killer workout. In each round there is a combo move to be done per side followed by a single arm move and of course a cardio burst!

Saturday: rest

Sunday: yoga or stretch or go for a walk!

Speaking of the long weekend, I’m totally obsessing over this dip dye sweatshirt, it would look so cute sized up as a swim cover up- especially to this flag bikini or to throw on post workout with some errands and these crops in navy!

If you missed it, here is Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3 of the Spring Into Summer Shape Up!

*a friendly reminder that I am not a certified personal instructor. A workout that is right for me, may not be right for you. Proceed at your own risk.


Hi all! It’s been such a busy week. I made some updates to the site and computer coding is not a strong suite of mine- everything took a lot longer than anticipated. And then last minute at the end of the week I got a new MacBook; which required getting all that set up and files transferred. It’s been a week of lots of computer nonsense!

It’s also been a SORE week! I can really tell I’m pushing and challenging myself- I feel like I am seeing changes in my arms! (or imagining?) I’m starting to fit back into some of my regular size pre-pregnancy pants so something must be going right!

The Spring into Summer Shape Up is half way done; can you believe it? With that being said- here is week three’s schedule and workout! If you are just joining us make sure to check out week one and week two!

Monday: Double Duty Arms. The exercises are arm focus but you’re going to work more than just your arms. I’m probably going to grab my 3lb and 5lb dumbbells to complete this workout.

Tuesday: Cardio Interval + abs. C’mon we all love cardio and ab day riiiight? Super simple cardio interval that can be done with any type of cardio your heart desires. The ab exercises I picked this week are pilates inspired.

Wednesday: Scorch your legs with this HIIT type workout.

Thursday: Cardio + abs (from Tuesday) again. I’ve provided a no-equipment cardio routine as I do every Thursday, but feel free to do whatever cardio you want. If that’s going for a run, a spin class or whateves. The important part is to move!

Friday: kick the weekend into high gear with this weighted total body workout. It could get ugly, but just think how extra satisfying a glass of rosé will taste later!

Saturday/Sunday- I encourage you to take these days to rest, do a yoga flow, stretch or even just enjoy a slow walk with the kids. These workouts are tough; it’s important to have rest days!

Alright, I’ve got to get some sleep. Little miss was up all last night and this Mama is beat! Plus my littles and I are treating my Mom to lunch tomorrow and I need to get some rest. Happy Mother’s Day friends!

*a friendly reminder that I am not a certified personal instructor. A workout that is right for me, may not be right for you. Proceed at your own risk.

SiS: Spring into Summer Shape Up Week 2

Hi friends! How are we doing with the first week of the 2017 SiS Spring into Summer Shape Up? I’m looking forward to hitting the mat tomorrow and stretch out!

I will admit these workouts are challenging but I designed them to kick some booty!! If you need modifications just ask! I’m happy to dial down a routine to fit your needs.

I’m in the market for some crop workout pants now that it’s spring! These are my favorite high rise crop pants and happen to be $35 with a sports bra purchase! I also really love this mesh crop pant which are 50% off today making them under $15 for compression!

Ok enough talk- time to share next week’s schedule and workouts!





Thursday: + abs from Tuesday


Saturday: stretch, attend a yoga class or complete last week’s flow.

Sunday: rest! especially if you’re a Mama enjoying today!

Who’s ready to crush another week??

*a friendly reminder that I am not a certified personal instructor. A workout that is right for me, may not be right for you. Proceed at your own risk.