After a REALLY long and stressful week at work, we spontaneously went on a camping trip with the pups! It was supposed to storm all weekend but we took the chance and went somewhere close anyway and the weather was actually fine. It was so nice to get some fresh air again! Its definitely been a while since we could go somewhere because it has been bad weather on the weekends here..
We planned to take our Volvo XC90 into the woods somewhere but we actually got stuck in the mud last weekend so we played it safe this time and just carried the supplies and camped in our tent instead. It was a pretty relaxing time in nature and I totally forgot about all the stressful things! and it was super cozy with a fire and some hot soup. Combine that with a view of the stars and you've got a happy girl over here!
Enjoy some photos from our little cozy camp!
IM A BIKINI PRO
Seriously guys I have no words for how thankful I am ♥️ I can't believe this!
1st Place Bikini Open Class B
Overall Bikini & Pro Card Winner
This @ocbbattleoftheunrivaled show was the most stacked I've ever been in with 10 girls per class, and it was such a tough competition between all those amazing ladies the judges were definitely challenged and took their time! Both bikini classes were on stage for at least 15 excruciating minutes... I won my tall class then had to do a pose-off with the winner of the short class for the Overall prize. So need as to say I am extremely sore from all that flexing! It was such a tough competition that I won by just ONE point..
I got some really good feedback from the judges (they are professional competitors themselves) and will use it to fuel my off-season! Most of the comments were more on the beauty side such as needing my makeup to be professionally done and change my hair color but I saw that coming. I cheaped out and did everything myself but that just shows that money won't win you 1st place in this organization! I won this show because of my physique and that's exactly what I wanted.
I can say that doing my own training, nutrition, posing, hair, makeup, and suit was DEFINITELY not easy nor do I recommend it! But I gained so much knowledge about myself and competing in this process. Next season I will have a coach and hopefully be a part of a great team of women that support each other!
I have worked my ass off this year, pushed beyond limits I never thought possible, and learned so much about myself. This has been such a crazy time in my life and so many times I almost quit because of self-doubt. I am so grateful for all the support you guys give me and for believing in me even when I didn't myself!
9 months of strict dieting and training and now I am a professional athlete... Now I will take an incredibly long off-season to recover and build to come back even better!
More stage pictures to come soon once they are released!
(I am in the center)
(I am 4th from the right)
Hanging around during the intermission!
1st place in Bikini Open Class B
When they announced my number for Overall Bikini Champion and Pro Card Winner!
Photos with the promoters of the show
After 7 months of hard training and even harder eating, I've reached my final bodybuilding competition of the year!
I never thought I could love something so much, but I have such a passion for improving myself! With every show I have maned to make noticeable changes and look better every time. I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm pretty damn proud of how far I've come!
I am currently 1 day away from the show and getting things in order for the big day! That would include getting my nails done, packing my makeup bag, gathering all my supplies, checking n at the venue, getting my polygraph done (because this is a 100% natural organization), and getting my first layer of spray tan done! SO MUCH TO DO! All while I have had ZERO carbs all week LOL Safe to say there's not much brain power left. Thank goodness I will start carb loading in the morning!
This last show was a kind of spur of the moment decision about 7 weeks ago because I really wanted to end the season with the best shape I could bring! It just so happens that it is right before Thanksgiving here in USA! I've been dieting strictly since February with very little cheats so I will be enjoying myself with all the yummy food! I can only tolerate so much unhealthy things so the worst I will do is probably have a piece of pie.... but it will be delicious and guilt-free!
Also something I completely forgot to mention is that we booked a last minute trip back home to Sweden! YAY except for the fact that it is soooo cold there.. But I'm really looking forward to going back and seeing family and friends. But mostly because of swedish pancakes and chocolate HAHA.
So I will have my show this weekend, then Thanksgiving is on Thursday, then we hop on the plane Thursday night after dinner! It's gonna be a busy week but exciting for sure!
MAY 27 2018
SEPTEMBER 29 2018
JUNE 03 2018
Can't wait to see how I look this last time!
After 10 weeks of pure dedication and hard work, I came home with a 1st Place in my Bikini height class, took Overall Bikini Champion, and also 2nd Place in my Figure height class! The grand total in cash prize was $2100 and a HUGE smile!
With all of the stomach problems I was having during my prep, I came to the show hoping just to place... but I stayed confident and gave it my all. I really couldn't have done it without the support of my amazing husband and our great friends. Many times they gave me the push and motivation that I needed! It was a VERY long day but in the end, it was such a great experience. I met so many wonderful people, which is my favorite part of this sport. I love the friendships that form through competitions.
I am SO proud of how hard I worked for this and for the results! But I am a little disappointed with how I looked on show day. I was still bloated and holding more water than I had hoped for since my diet was still not going well. SO....
My plan is to do 2 more shows in November! I am feeling 100% better now with my stomach and already looking better now than I did on stage. I will do an NPC show in 5 weeks and an OCB show in 6 weeks. I know that with these extra weeks, I'll really be able to end my season without any doubt of what my best shape is!
So anyway, here are some photos from backstage to enjoy! I haven't received any stage shots from the professional photographer so I will share them as soon as I can!
Wow it has been a while since I've given you guys an update! My life has been pretty busy lately but I have been a little more active on Instagram if you want to know more of my daily fitness! ( click here! -> @fit_by_nicole )
Did you read the title?? Its true, I am currently 3 weeks away from another bikini competition! I am super excited but it has been such a roller coaster this time! I have been having off & on problems with my stomach and overall digestion... So many stomach aches and nausea but i am finding ways to make it better! I think my biggest problems were adding foods to my meal plan that I had not been used to in a while!
But I have spent the last 3.5 months building more muscle and now that I am leaning down, I can really see the improvements! My shoulders and legs have a bit more size and im more defined as well! I was a little nervous this last week because of my stomach issues but i think i will be ready for the show as planned!
As a side note, I decided to make my own bikini for this show! You guys would not believe how EXPENSIVE a show suit can cost.... at least $300-$600 for a suit that the judges will "like". the more bling on the suit, the more expensive it gets. SO instead of that, I bought a base suit from a wonderful woman at Fox Competition Bikinis that was handmade to my measurements. And i am gluing all the rhinestones to it myself, which is time consuming, but very meaningful! I can't wait to have it finished so you guys can see! Lets just say that the first 1600 crystals i purchased were not enough... lol
Anyways, I'll be better at updating on my life during prep in these next weeks! If you have any questions, please leave a comment or reach out to me on my instagram!
Have a great day!
There's just something about camping on an island with no one else in sight..
This past weekend we ventured out to the coast to get some alone time and sunshine! We really like hiding out on this island after a long week of responsibilities. It's so peaceful falling asleep to the crashing waves and watching the sun rise in the morning.
Enjoy some photos from our little getaway!
This weekend was exactly what I needed! The weather was perfect and I got to catch up life after my competition. It has been SO long since we could go hiking in the US because I had such a strict training/ meal plan. When you have to eat every 2-3 hours, its difficult to go out and enjoy things lol.
We started our weekend by redecorating our home a little which is a bit relaxing for me! We bought a "new" bigger sofa from some coworkers and it really makes our living room more inviting! We also bought lots of plants finally and it is getting really cozy now!
We also went on a well overdue movie date! We saw the new Star Wars movie Solo, AND I HAD POPCORN!!!! Can you tell I am enjoying the little things? haha Movies are definitely "our thing" so it's nice to be able to go out and enjoy them again!
Our hike was at Hanging Rock yesterday (one of our favorite places) and it was the perfect day for it too. It was around 30 degrees (high 80s F) and very sunny! The forecast said it would be cloudy and rainy all day but we took the chance and I'm so glad we did! The pups were so ready to go on an adventure too haha. They saw us packing our bags and were waiting at the car door to go!
It felts so good to be out in the fresh air again. Maybe next weekend we will go camping!
Below are some photos from our hike, enjoy!
My first Bikini Competition is in the books! I did something crazy and registered to compete in BOTH Bikini and Figure on the spot when I go there. lol Usually you aren't allowed to crossover to other divisions, but they didn't mind and I packed my Figure suit just in case! So I winged it for the most part with my routines but I had a blast!
For my first attempt, I walked away with:
Bikini Open Class B - 1st Place
Figure Open Class B - 2nd Place
What a day guys! So many people were key factors in me being able to compete this weekend and I am BEYOND grateful! I was honestly such a mess! I had just one week to learn the life of a bikini competitor with regards to posing, routines, suits, etc. My coach had so much faith in me that I would do well so I pushed hard and got my stuff together!
My good friend, Chanelle, really had my back the whole day with everything from getting dressed and pretty, to pumping up before stage time! She even managed to hijack some peanut butter for me because I forgot to pack it! I would not have survived the day without her! She was even getting minute-by-minute tips from her coach to make sure I would do my best on stage. (Even though we competed against each other last weekend) This is what the sport is all about!
@Deanofphysique was so amazing to take time and teach me some Bikini poses on such short notice AND while I was 1 day out from the show! And I found a wonderful woman to do my spray tan at the last minute possible! @Thetanline in High point had me covered and this tan had me looking sooo much better than last week too.
And lets not forget that my competition bikini DIDN'T ARRIVE in time, so I was scrambling around trying to find one to rent with just a day left. You guys... my heart was moved by all the kindness of the ladies I met just last week at my other show. These girls were asking all around for me trying to help me out and one of them offered to let me borrow theirs! (The GORGEOUS green suit is the borrowed one) I still can't believe the kindness I've known over the last week.
Anyway, enough rambling! This was obviously an incredible experience and I love even more the amazing people I am meeting along the way.
Some useful feedback from the judges was that, in Bikini division, I will go far. They say that my body has very nice symmetry and the cut waist is incredible. So with that being said, they think my current body shape is definitely suited as a Bikini competitor.
The feedback regarding Figure was very similar. They were very pleased with my shape and symmetry. However when compared to others, they just want to see a little more size all around. Once I get some more muscle mass all over, they believe I will excel in Figure.
I can say that I will not be doing any local/non-sanctioned shows anymore for several reasons but this was a great experience for me and has helped me find the category best suited for me.
I also would like to say that I am very proud of my stage shape this week! I was MUCH leaner and felt a lot better than I did last week. I carb loaded with something I wasn't used to last week and it caused me to be bloated on stage, so this week I stuck to the simple red potato I've been having and the results were much better! It's always a trial and error thing to see how your body reacts to certain foods, but I know for the future what not to have! lol
Thanks for following my journey and supporting me along the way! Here are some behind the scenes & backstage photos!
Pumping up before stage time!
Getting all ready with my girl, Chanelle!
Pre-Judging for Bikini division
T-Walk routine snapshots!
Pre-Judging for Figure Class B (over 5'5")
T-Walk routine snapshots!
Awards! Congratulating Julie on 1st Place!
Competitor Pose Down!
Some of the lovely ladies!
Cold Brew coffee & a crazy tan at intermission!
My coach and WNBF Pro, Ceyonne (judge for this show)
1st and 2nd Place trophies & event photos
annnnnnd we're back to food prep and clean eating lol
WOW guys! What a crazy week it has been! My first show is complete and it was such an amazing experience ❤ I met SO many wonderful ladies and have started building friendships with people in this industry. I competed in 2 divisions this past weekend and did very well for my Figure Debut!
1st Place - Figure Novice Class B
2nd Place - Figure Novice Overall
1st Place - Figure Open Class C
2nd Place - Figure Open Overall
(Novice is for beginners and people who have never won their class before. Open is for any Figure competitor. Classes were separated by height groups. Overall judging is against 1st Place winners from each class)
Peak week was a little rough, mentally and physically, since I was running so low on energy but I pushed through and did my best. Honestly when I arrived at the venue and saw other competitors, I went to my husband and said "I am definitely not ready for this, lets just go home" .... He just about dragged me on stage himself after all I put him through during prep! lol The WORST thing you can do is compare yourself to everyone else backstage. I trained hard, ate harder, and cried a lot more. So I went up there and gave it all I had!
I was really disappointed in my appearance for show day because I made a mistake in my nutrition the night before. After all my carb depletion, I needed to carb load Friday night. So my coach and I agreed on a pizza with VERY thin crispy crust, VERY little sauce & VERY little cheese. It sounded amazing after 18 weeks of chicken and green beans, but I forgot that I hadn't had American pizza in SO long. It was still too greasy and my stomach was bloated into the next few days.
Overall, I wasn't as lean as I'd hoped to be on stage but what really hurt me was my lack of experience with posing. You can have an amazing physique, but someone can out-pose you and win for sure in this sport. So that's my biggest goal of improvement for next time! (and of course to grow those boulder shoulders, but who isn't?!)
This show made me realize that competing is a lot harder than people on social media make it seem. It literally took blood, sweat and tears, and I was already in shape when I started prepping lol! But I also realize that I kind of love it.. I am determined to beat my current shape and bring an even better package to the stage next time!
Speaking of next time, I am also doing a show this coming weekend but in the Bikini category! Many comments I received were that my current shape is more suited for Bikini. That's a little hard to hear considering I set my heart on Figure. BUT! Honest feedback is priceless. And when I look at myself this lean, I can see that I am quite small compared to my regular shape. I want to take some good time and get back to where I was before I hurt my back. It will take a while but I am focused on building more mass!
Anyway, I could talk forever about this, so you can enjoy some photos from backstage, showtime and after!
If you have any questions or anything,just comment! Feel free to send me messages on Instagram as well (click the left sliding menu here in my blog, Insta is linked here!)
That amazing spray tan! LOL
Time to Pump Up before showtime!
Keeping the legs elevated between stage routines!
Backstage with all the gorgeous ladies!
Hair and makeup all done!
Stage Quarter Turns
1st Place - Figure Novice Class B
1st Place - Figure Open Class C
Happy girl winning 1st Place!
Me, My Coach, and My 2 badass Sword Trophies
1st thing to do after, BUY ALL THE ICE CREAM!!! (Please sponsor me haha)
AND CELEBRATION WAFFLES!!
So now to prepare for my next competition which is now 2 days away!
Practice, Practice, Practice!
July 2017 vs April 2018
If I told you guys it has been a crazy few weeks, it would be an understatement! I've been wanting to give you guys some updates on my competition prep and life in general. SO MUCH has happened lately lol.
To start, I am currently 4 WEEKS OUT from my first fitness competition and it's getting SO real! I've been prepping for this since I was 18 weeks out. I cant believe its already gone so fast! My training is just as hard and intense as before so not much has changed with that BUT i have added a little cardio into my routines. I do about 15-20 minutes cardio 5-6 days a week now and I can say that I don't mind it so much anymore. (Coming from the girl that only did cardio when running to the ice cream section of the store). I am lifting heavy weights 6 days a week with a double training day on saturdays and having a complete rest day on sundays.
Along with my training, my diet hasn't changed so much either actually! I typically eat very clean with a cheat day on saturday. But now for my competition I have eliminated cheat days and have just a cheat meal instead. But those are decreasing as well as I get closer to the show. Consistency is key with this and I want my body to digest things that I know it is used to and not introduce something I've not had in awhile.
I've also changed my frequency of eating from 4 meals/day to 7meals/day. I changed out all of my protein shakes to real food and increased my average protein intake and kept my carbs steady throughout the whole prep. I am eating A LOT and now am starting to cut down on my body fat. So far I am down nearly 3kg from my normal weight which puts me at almost 53kg (116lbs). I have a hard time maintaining my weight so that is why i stated cutting a bit later. Its been s smooth and steady drop in weight so I am happy so far. I don't plan to go below 51kg/113lbs though!
Also, SURPRISE, I am going home to Sweden for 2 weeks to visit and I am superrrr excited! We drive from North Carolina to Virginia tonight, then fly from D.C. tomorrow morning! I am so happy to finally go home and visit family and friends. (Also missed my gym like crazy.. lol) It has been almost 2 years now and that is totally insane... Every time I wanted to come home, something came up or we weren't allowed to leave the US. So glad we don't need to worry about that anymore in the near future!
And just because I'll be on vacation, doesn't mean that my competition prep will suffer! If anything, I'll have more time to dedicate to my prep. I'm getting things ready for my old gym card, thinking of the groceries I will need to buy once we get there, etc. So I will have 2 weeks away from work that I can just train, eat and relax! haha My suitcase it literally only carrying my gym clothes, equipment and supplements...
I'll also need to take care of my Swedish visa paperwork while I am visiting. For some reason my visa was denied and we will find out the next steps for moving forward.. One day we will be able to live in whatever country we want.. that would be a dream! lol
Other news, Erik (my hubby) FINALLY received his Green Card for the U.S. !! IT is a 2 year conditional green card so after that time, we need to apply to remove the restrictions since it is based on our marriage and it should become a 10 year card. But seriously it has been a long, stressful and expensive journey but we did it! Now it is time for me to fix my Swedish visa...
Finally, the last crazy thing I can think of right now is that I traded in my very first car (Left- 2016 Chevy Malibu) for this sexy babe (Right- 2018 Dodge Challenger R/T)! I originally bought my first car for the fuel efficiency because I was to used to gasoline costing $8/gallon when living in Sweden. So now that I've come to my senses, I finally got the cool car I want. It's a beautiful classic style muscle car with modern technology which is exactly what i want. Plus, who could hate the Hemi V8 engine with 380 horsepower? (And of course I bought a manual transmission)
So! This is most of the big stuff happening in my life right now and I'm going to be updating my blog more often now with my training and things. I'll be doing more workout videos now as well since I got a tripod for my camera! Maybe I'll do one video each week! If you have anything you want to see, just let me know! (I'm most active on Instagram, so you can follow me daily on there! MY profile is linked HERE and in my blog page as well <3 )
Seriously! 27C/80F in February.. only in North Carolina can you have all seasons in one week. I won't complain!
We spent the day hiking at one of our FAVORITE places, Hanging Rock, and it was SO beautiful. It wasn't cold long enough for the leaves to all fall off of the trees so it was surprisingly full of color! This is the first place we explored when we moved here and still on the top of our adventure list! The best part is that since it is this warm and not actually summer yet, it wasn't humid at all. We could really enjoy the fresh air and not be sweating to death going up the mountain lol.
The pups really had a great time out in the mountains! Especially since there were so many other doggies out to play with. It's been a while since we've gone out hiking because it was starting to turn into winter. But that lasted all of two weeks so most likely we will be traveling more again! That means more camping, new places to see, and more warm weather!
After a very long time of considering competitions, I FINALLY decided to go for it! I'll be competing in the OCB Figure Division May 26th which is a 100% natural show.
I am currently 13 weeks out from my competition date and my body weight is right around 54.5kg/120lbs. I plan to have my stage weight NO LESS than 51kg/113lbs as I am quite lean already. My goal right now is to gain as much lean mass as I can before I need to start cutting down body fat. The good thing about my body is that I lose body fat quite easily, the bad part is that it is hard for me to maintain/gain my weight. Due to this, I won't be cutting down until about 4-5 weeks out.
I've now got myself a great coach to guide me through my competition nutrition and prep so I'm super excited. I even got my figure suit in the mail recently! I've got lots to do and lots to learn but I'm really looking forward to this experience.
My meal prep game has seriously stepped up and I'm even weighing my food by the gram (which I never thought I would do in my life!). I'm eating about 7 times a day, doing my cardio in the mornings and weight training after work. So I've got quite a busy schedule!
I'll try my best to keep up with my progress photos, but for now you can see my current shape below in my training selfies lol. This is my "starting shape" which is about how I look year-round. It will be really fun to see all the little changes over the weeks!
Be sure to follow my Instagram @fit_by_nicole for daily updates on my prep journey! (Also linked in my side menu!)
I can’t think think of any better place to spend the last days of the year! For Christmas, we got each other nice new sleepingbags that go down to 0 degree F and I’ve been itching to try them out! It’s so hard to find a good place to camp here since everything is either privately owned land or it’s illegal to camp there.. so we found a beautiful off-map hideaway at a lake. We’ll just ask forgiveness if we’re ever caught lol.
We must have picked THE COLDEST night to camp because it dropped down to 19F/-7C and my toes were freeezing! But still worth it for how peaceful it was.
To start our cozy camp, we tied up the long logs to hang the tarp on. I also spent a lot of time building the walls to block wind from where we sleep. Then we added some reinforcements to the tarp roof to be more stable in the wind. We also got pretty lucky and found an old metal barrel that was a perfect shield for our fire!
Next things we will do are build the walls for the remaining 2 sides of our camp, build beds to put our mats and sleeping bags on and find another sitting log to have by the fire!
Wow guys What do you think of my December Ellie box?? I don’t know how they do it, but every month gets better and better! It’s like they know exactly what I need.
I don’t usually like wearing colors that make me noticeable in the gym but I’m really loving this outfit! The color is so nice and the details are prefect! I’m super excited to get a crop top since I’m usually too warm to wear a normal shirt when training. But this is just what I need to stay cool! The leggings are SO comfy and lightweight and from what I can tell, squat proof!
Obviously I’m in love with the outfit, but the accessories are what won my heart this month. The 5 item box comes with a nice adjustable jumprope AND a clay pack. SERIOUSLY AMAZING! You can either freeze the pack or microwave it and strap it where you need! This is 100% the best thing I’ve ever gotten and is perfect for my back pain. Even better is that the clay in the pack forms to your body so the positioning is perfectly formed on the muscles
Happy December! We’re getting all cozy over here this weekend! Our little kitty was spayed yesterday so we had to pick her up at the vet today.
We couldn’t really go anywhere because of that so we decided to have a cozy movie night instead! So I found the kid in me and built a blanket bed on the floor with sofa pillows and stuff. I popped some popcorn, got a bowl of ice cream, brewed some chai tea and turned on Netflix! Such a perfect night with my hubby and our fur babies.
We also started putting up our Christmas decorations and boy am I excited! It’s our first Christmas in our new house and I’m having so much fun putting everything up. The tree still needs ornaments but I’m waiting on those to see if Siggy will behave or not. She’s already knocked it over a few times lol. Either way I love making my home look nice and Christmas is my favorite to decorate for! I’d leave my tree up all year if my family wouldn’t yell at me!
the leaves are falling, the air is colder and the christmas tree wants to come out of the attic.
I love how pretty everything looks when the leaves are changing and the colors are everywhere! We enjoyed a nice walk in the fresh air and the pups had fun chasing leaves. We found a new place to walk and it’s got a really nice and long trail around the lake!
North Carolina is getting pretty chilly now so light jackets are finally coming out lol. The days are pretty nice bit the mornings and nights are colder than i like. At least I can get cozy with some hot tea and fuzzy socks! I’m kind of looking forward to a little snow but I’ll hold onto this pretty autumn weather for now.
Can you guys believe it's already November? Maybe so, but the leaves are just now falling here in North Carolina and it's still so warm! It's hard to believe that other places have snow today and I am out playing in the sun.
Not much is happening here today as I am not feeling well. We did however build a huge leaf pile for the pups to run through! They are so funny to watch sometimes! We haven't had Siggy play with the pups alone yet but she also enjoys chasing the leaves in the wind!
I hope to do some yoga and light stretching today at the least to keep my body from being so sore. I hate that I feel this way right before a busy few weeks at work. But all I can do is take care of myself and try to keep the stress away. I'll need to food prep sometime today at least for half the week since we have thanksgiving Thursday (that means lotsss of yummmmy food) I'm really sad that I can't take days off of work this week because I could have traveled to see family but I'm trying to make the best of it!
Anyways, I hope you all are having a great weekend
Hi everyone! We just adopted the world's cutest little kitten, Sigrid! (pronounced seeg-ridd and is Nordic for victory & beautiful) Our baby is 9 weeks old and adjusting really well to our home! She has some allergies from being in the shelter, but she seems to be getting better with the fresh air.
She is THE spunkiest and most active kitty I've had and she has so much personality already lol.
The pups are doing really well with her! Siggy is a little afraid of them right now because they were a little crazy the first time we introduced them. That was totally our mistake because the pups are always excited when we come home from places. So now we let them play outside while Siggy gets used to the house then bring a doggie in (one at a time) to have a calm controlled meeting with treats to see and smell each other (and understand that Siggy isn't food )
Now that the doggies aren't too crazy or excited, they do really well with her and are curious about her. Pretty soon they will be great camping buddies!
UPDATE: We are keeping Siggy in Elora's old kennel during the night and when the doggies are inside playing and they seem to be getting used to each other now. They go in and check on Siggy then go back to playing. Then at night they sleep by her kennel. Siggy will even come to smell the doggies and dares to stick her paws through the door now! I've even seen some doggy kisses to her.. Seems like they are learning she is family, not food lol
All is well with our little family and we hope you have a great week!
In collaboration with Ellie Activewear
Can you believe it's November already?! This year has been FLYING by and the warm weather is starting to disappear here in North Carolina. Luckily this month's Ellie box came to my rescue!
This month is all about coziness and I am totally ok with that! This outfit is made up of the softest material that I have ever worn! I literally never want to take this off lol
The 5 item box come with this soft long sleeve shirt that is all mesh on the back, superrr soft fleece tights with details on the legs, the worlds coziest wrap, a back/neck massager AND a marble massager. I mean how could this box be any better??
These have easily become my go-to cozy clothes for around the house and the massagers are AMAZING for before and after training! I usually have a hard time using foam rollers on my legs but this marble massager works miracles on my muscle tension. It's absolutely an essential in my gym bag. And though the back/neck massager looks kinda funny, I've never had anything that relieved pressure from my upper back like this thing!
If any of you are curious about subscription boxes but too skeptical to try them, I totally understand! But this box is definitely worth it. You can choose the 5 item box (full outfit and 2 fitness items) or the 3 item box (outfit only) and you get a few days before it is mailed to decide if you would like to buy that month or skip it! I've also never had a box that I didn't like! I'm very picky about my training clothes and how comfortable they are too. I take XS in shirts, S in pants, and S in bras and the fit is really consistent each month for me!
If you're interested, you can sign up and get your box here! : http://bit.ly/2iQzzQn
Stay cozy, babes!
We've been pretty busy but we went camping this weekend! We decided we wanted to try sleeping in our hammocks this time instead of carrying around a huge tent and it wasn't bad! Plus it was soooo much easier to hike with less weight lol.
We drove to Pisgah National Forest, about 3 hours away from our home, and set up camp near the river. It was really nice weather during the day but when the sun went away, the temperature dropped pretty low. We packed a few pieces of firewood this time in case it was too wet at our camping spot (last time we couldn't make a fire!) and that was such a good choice! So we got all cozy by the fire and heated up our soup and tea before we went to sleep.
This is the first time I've camped in a hammock and I can say that I would definitely do it some more! The only problem I really had was that my feet couldn't get warm. So next time I will make sure I bring enough to keep warm. Other than my feet being cold, it was pretty cozy because Freja (our black puppy) snuck into my hammock and slept with me alllll night long. ❤
USA Road trip?? You read that right! Our trip back home to Sweden was cancelled last minute because we didn't get the permissions to leave the US in time (still waiting for our green card and travel/work permission).. So instead of completely throwing away the time I planned off of work, we packed the car and decided to travel all across the USA for a few weeks!
I wanted to post all the places we go but I rarely have service anywhere! So here is a small photo dump of a few places so far!! Once we are home, I will do a better post with all the pictures and places!
We're having such an incredible time so far! We drove from North Carolina to Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and now to California. We've been on the road for a just over a w or now and have plenty more places to see!
We find so many cool parks and places along the way! We originally planned a few key places to visit and stop randomly along the way! And we really don't want to pay for hotels and food so we just camp the whole way and have lots of snacks and canned food in the car!
For the most recent updates on our trip, be sure to follow my Instagram (@fit_by_nicole)! I try to upload there once a day if I can about where we are! You can also click on the Instagram link here in my blog to find my page!
The best choice we've made was to just pack everything up and travel the country
WOW. Who would've though we could find paradise on earth??
Over the last weekend we went exploring in Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. It's a MASSIVE forest with incredible views. We found ourselves in the Linville Gorge area and had a really nice hike down the mountain to a perfect camping spot. We were right along the river where we could easily go for swimming and baths as well as have access to water to put out our fire. We were also in bear country so we had to be sure to hang all of our food from a tree in the night away from our camp so we didn't find any extra furry visitors in our tent!
This trip was really amazing! The view of the mountains and the sound of the river from our camp was so peaceful. The pups went for some swimming and we had so much fun. It's so relaxing to be away from society and the internet for a while and enjoy life as simple human beings.
We were the only ones around for miles and it felt like a paradise! It's looks like this will be a regular camping spot for us with so much more to explore!
Happy birthday to me!
We enjoyed a nice weekend camping in Hanging Rock State Park! It was a nice getaway even though it wasn't really our kind of camping. We are more about going deep into the woods and building our camp site in solitude rather than having a ready-made site with people next to us. It was a bit odd hearing everyone's radios and stuff and we will probably never do it again, but it's perfect if you have young kids or a big group of friends. For us, we really like to be on our own and just enjoy nature!
Nonetheless, I always love the time I have with my hubby and our pups! We always have a good time no matter where we go. And on the plus side, we got to test out our new tent! I LOVE that you can see all around outside and look up at the starts! It comes with a rain cover that also has a small covered area outside as well so its perfect! (especially since it started raining really hard in the middle of the night!)
We hope to do a lot more camping now that we have a non-broken tent. We're looking for places that are a bit more primitive and that we can keep going back to and improving the site like we had in Sweden! We had the PERFECT spot right near a lake where no one knew about!)
Anyway. I'm another year older and have lots more to explore! I can't wait to see what year 23 has waiting for me!
Wow guys! My August Ellie box is AMAZING. The colors are super nice AND the details are to die for.
You might wonder what the twist is this month, right? Well now they've made it so that you can choose the 5 item subscription box for $49.95/month (Shirt, Bra, Leggings & 2 fitness equipment items) OR the 3 item box for 39.95/month which has only the outfit (Shirt, Bra, & Leggings). How great is that?? For anyone who knows me, knows I don't like spending a lot of money on my training clothes! So compared to the other subscription boxes I've looked at, this Ellie box is the best deal I've found. And so far I have been really happy with each box I've gotten! I have the 3-Item box to share with you guys and I think you will love it!
If you're curious about my sizing, I always take size S in the leggings, S in the sports bra, and XS in the shirt.
I can say that this outfit has become my go-to outfit because it is seriously great. The pants this month are sooooooo nice! They just make your curves look incredible, especially with the matching bra. Even for someone like me with little boobies, they look great haha. The shirt is super breathable and light which is perfect for cardio, or anything really! This month's box also comes with the cutest draw string bag!
Keep scrolling to see how it all looks!
We got some pretty frustrating news yesterday regarding our Green Card application...
Our entire application package was rejected and sent back to us, and I'm surprised it even made it back to our mailbox from how damaged it looks. (When I sent it to USCIS, I prepared every single paper inside of a plastic sleeve to protect from things like this and they have butchered it, taken everything out of order, some things appear to be missing, and the package is falling apart)
The only reason they have given for our application being rejected is that we filled it out on an "outdated version" when the top of the paper CLEARLY states that it expires October 31, 2017 .. Call me crazy, but that is valid for several more months. It took me 3 weeks straight to completely prepare this application package with well over 200 papers in it. So I went back to their website to check what the "updated version" was dated... would you believe they released a new version just a few days before I mailed the freaking thing?? Not to mention that they don't tell you when they release new versions. So even though the official website says they will still accept the previous version until end of August, we still were rejected on those terms.
There's comes a point where you just feel totally defeated. This is that point for me. Any other time I would be ready to fight them on this. But what do you do when even the government doesn't play by their own rules?? I want justice but we don't have the time to lose
The first visa we had to apply for (fiance visa/K1) was not rejected, but they requested more information for a similar situation. They took so long to actually open our application that the most recent paycheck I sent was no longer my most recent. That was totally on their fault but I still had to send it while our application was being delayed.
So what happens now you might wonder?
We go out of our way to fill out another 30 pages of applications with a new date at the top being the only difference. Pay another $30 to (hopefully) ship it to the USCIS office ASAP. (Last time I paid for 2 day shipping and it took over a week). Wait for them to open that package again. Hope they don't reject it for some other bullshit reason.
We are mostly worried that they won't have processed the applications in time for our trip back to Sweden in September. Now that we have to re-submit the whole thing, there is only 1 month left and we can't go without the approval to travel. We already paid for our tickets so many months ago so I'm going to be very upset if we can't use them. Normally I would just leave anyways but, in the US, if you leave without permission during visa processing, your entire application process will be discarded and you will have to start from the beginning in your home country.
It is this sort of thing that makes me wonder why I moved back to the states. It shouldn't be this hard to have my husband live here with me.
Anyway, this is the struggle of finding love in another country. We are a bit sad and angry, and I want to just eat a whole box of chocolate cookies. But tomorrow is a new day and hopefully someone with a kind heart will handle our application. All we can do is wait and hope for the best. (and to try not to cheat on our diet)
Hello again humans!
We randomly decided to pack up all of our camping gear and hit the road on Sunday morning! We drove 5 hours to the coast and hopped on a boat to an island called Cape Lookout National Seashore where we camped in total isolation. No people, no internet, no stress!
The boat dropped us off on the Sound side of the island (the side facing the mainland, which was also an island that we could drive onto) so we hiked a little way where we found a perfect spot to pitch our tent for the night. It was so peaceful and undisturbed; all you could hear were the crashing waves! It was the absolute perfect spot until we saw a big snake wander right through our campsite lol. Of course we moved! But that's what happens when you camp in the wild. It's all about sharing the land, plus the snake didn't seem to care we were there, he just went on his way and we agreed to not bother each other haha.
We had the worst time setting up our tent with both poles breaking but thanks to my military man for always having tape, we were soon ready to have fun on the beach that we had all to ourselves! To some people, being totally isolated on an island with only the supplies you packed from the mainland would be horrifying. But this experience was INCREDIBLE. The boat was scheduled to pick us up the next afternoon (with some other trips during the day for people to visit the island for a few hours) so for 2 days, it felt like we were the only people on the planet. Just humans being humans, totally free.
Things we packed were: tent, sleeping bags, camping mats, 9 liters of water, 3 boxes granola/energy bars, big pack of hotdogs, buns, ketchup/mustard, 4 servings dog food, doggy food/water bowls, 3 towels, bathing suits, change of underwear, toilet paper, emergency medical kit, sunscreen, battery pack to charge phones (except i forgot my phone cable in the car so it died soon after we got there lol), flashlights/lantern, hand knives, small axe, and plastic bags (to fill with sand to keep the tent from blowing away)
Keep scrolling to see my favorite photos from our trip!
You ever love a meal so much that you eat it 5 days in a row? haha I'm kidding, just a little food prep humor... but seriously! This weeks food is sooooooo delicious. I really look forward to my lunch every day, it's THAT good.
I made some baked chicken, sweet potato and broccoli and added half an avocado with lemon juice&salt to each lunch box. WOW. so yummy and simple!
What you need:
Happy new week everyone!
I've gotten some really interesting questions lately and the contents of my fridge was one of them! This is something I've not really thought of myself, but it is kind of interesting to know what people eat lol.
So since I'm on a diet (strict healthy eating) now, there is mostly food prep in my fridge but I'll take you guys on a walk- through anyway! The things I have are a pretty standard list that I shop for every week.
I always have (lots of) milk. We are sort of milk monsters, so we buy 5 gallons each week. It would almost be cheaper to just buy a cow lol.
We also stock up on flavored sparkling waters! We pretty much fill half the fridge with these every week. The water here in the US isn't nearly as good as in sweden so I don't drink from the sink or anything now. But these waters are pretty cheap (relatively speaking when paying for water..) and naturally flavored. Some waters here have weird ingredients and preservatives and most people don't know that.. But I try to find the ones with ONLY carbonated water and natural flavor.
So that's half my fridge so far, now for the actual food part!
I always have eggs and a few containers of yogurt for my breakfasts. You might also see some leftover waffles from our cheat day ;) Those will taunt me relentlessly until I can eat them haha.
My food prep takes up a bit of room in here too. I've got containers of baked chicken, crispy broccoli,and sweet potato for my lunches this week. Also there is a big pan of freshly made protein bars (those will be wrapped individually tonight and thrown in a drawer) I also made some low-fat banana&nut bread muffins for a quick boost of energy when I need it! But I'll probably sneak those as my snack before I head to the gym. (If my hubby doesn't find them while I'm at work!)
Next up, fruits and veggies! This week I have a drawer full of carrots, broccoli, avocado, onion, cucumber, baby tomato, string cheese, and raspberries (on the shelf above). I LOVE fruits and veggies so there's plenty in here to snack on!
Random things in the fridge are things like butter, mustard, ketchup, hallonsylt, cream cheese and apple sauce.
So that's whats in my fridge this week! It's definitely not everything I eat but these things are pretty normal for me to have in the house! Some other things I have that I don't keep in the fridge are my zucchini, sweet potatoes, pineapple, watermelon, bananas, my crate of tuna cans (lol), oats, etc.