Squeeze-it-in Vacation Workout

As promised, I have a workout to share with you today! It’s what I did last week in Mexico to stay active and get in my gym time without sacrificing quality vacation time. I’ve posted before about staying healthy on the road and I’m a firm believer that being healthy doesn’t have to stop just because your routine is different.

I loved being lazy and taking a break on vacation, but all that laying around made me antsy. If you’re anything like me, you need an outlet to burn off some energy before slipping back into “veg” mode. At the same time, I don’t like spending precious vacation time at the gym. Last week, I came up with a condensed workout plan for the week so I could get in and out in 30 minutes.

The key to this workout is to push yourself hard and fast so you can work up a nice sweat before the 30 minutes are up. Enjoy!

Squeeze-it-in Vacation Workout

Squeeze-it-in vacation workout

I found this was the perfect way to feel accomplished, but be done by the time the breakfast buffet opened. All you need is a treadmill and some dumbbells, which most hotel gyms will have. I used 10 lbs. for the arm circuit, 12 for the legs, and a 10 lb. dumbbell for the leg-up crunches.

The speeds are what I used for the cardio, but you can obviously adjust according to your own levels. I recommend the first 5 minutes being the speed you’d run if you were doing a longer run, then going up from there.

I’m keeping this post short and sweet since I have to run, but hope you all enjoyed it. Have a good one!

Do you work out on vacation?


What I ate in Mexico

Good morning! I’m back into the swing of things here at home (despite it being hotter in VA than it was in Mexico), and life has quieted down a lot. Now that all the students are gone, work is weirdly quiet, though I’m loving the business casual dress code and open parking!

If you missed my Mexico recaps you can catch up on Part One and Part Two. Today, though, is all about the food. I had a ton of great meals in Mexico that I wanted to share with you. Given the fact that it’s Wednesday, I’m linking up with Jenn for a little WIAW action!



I tried to have a strategy in Mexico- to eat healthy for breakfast and lunch, then have whatever I wanted for dinner. With all-inclusive resorts it’s easy to get carried away and I wanted to keep things mostly healthy! It worked out really well, especially since our resort buffets had a ton of great healthy options to choose from. Most mornings I had fresh fruit, yogurt topped with granola/fruit/coconut/nuts, and a green juice. The resort made their green juice with apple, celery, spinach, and pineapple and was a very addictive combo. Who knew celery would taste so good in juice?

Mexico Breakfast Collage


Lunches were also pretty healthy, thanks to a giant salad bar. Again, everything was really fresh so I had a ton to choose from. In addition to the salad bar, they had a bunch of pre-made salad options (Caribbean salad, Italian salad, etc.) that were fun to sample. A few days I tried the featured dishes being cooked on the grill. I also helped myself to chips and guacamole more than a few times!

Mexico Lunch collage


Dinners were varied every night. One of my favorites was the Mediterranean seafood night, where I ordered a pesto fish (don’t remember what kind of fish) as my entree that was to die for!

Seafood dinner collage Mexico

The resort’s Mexican restaurants had some great food too- tostadas, a chorizo & cheese dish that I thought would be the death of me (Riley’s selection, of course, always ordering the best dish), and some mole enchiladas.

Mexican resort food collage

French night was a delicious night as well- I ordered a crab meat appetizer and rack of lamb that was cooked perfectly!

French restaurant in Mexico

Finally, our anniversary dinner was amazing. The highlight was definitely the ceviche, but the quesadillas were pretty awesome as well.

Mexico anniversary dinner collage


A trip to Mexico isn’t complete with a lot of beverages! I had spa smoothies from the healthy beach bar, mudslides, wine, green juice, and of course, lots of margaritas. By the end of the week, I mainly stuck to wine for alcohol because I couldn’t handle all the sugary drinks anymore! One of my favorite spots was the healthy beach bar, which made tons of healthy smoothies. I got one every day when we were at the beach.

Mexico drinks collage

And that’s about it! I didn’t eat a lot of sweets because I’m not really a big fan of Mexican desserts. I think flan is completely disgusting and most of the stuff I tried just wasn’t sweet enough for me. I never felt like I was deprived or over-doing it at any point. I loved that the resort had enough healthy and delicious options that I could stay balanced throughout the week.

I’ll see you all tomorrow with a workout, but for now have a good one!

What’s your favorite Mexican dish?

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico: Part Two

Welcome to Part Two of our Mexico recap! In case you missed Part One, you can get caught up here.

The second half of our trip to Mexico was a lot like the first- read, sleep, drink, lounge, eat, repeat. I gave up hope years ago of getting a tan, so I spent a lot of time in the shade. I had gotten a spray tan right before we left so considering how much sunscreen I put on I got progressively less tan as the week went on. I’m probably the only person who can go to Mexico for a week and come back paler than when I left.

We had some great dinners and saw some more fun shows at the resort throughout the week. They had a fire show and a cover band that was actually really good. I loved that all of this was free and part of the resort!

Kelly and Riley before French dinner

Sandos evening concert

Thursday was our 3-year anniversary, so we took a cab into downtown Playa Del Carmen for dinner. Playa Del Carmen is such a cool town. There are shops, bars, and restaurants everywhere you turn and it always seems to be busy.

5th ave Playa

Our first dinner attempt was a failure, since we sat at our table for 15 minutes and no one showed. After leaving, we walked down the street until a place caught our eye. We ended up at a Mexican place called Los Rancheros and got seated up on the third floor. We had the whole floor to ourselves, so I pretended that we were on a date on The Bachelor and Riley had rented out the whole place just for us. All that was missing was a private concert and a fireworks show!

Kelly anniversary date

We got started off with some jumbo margaritas, which were necessary and delicious!

Kelly and Riley at dinner with margs

For dinner we ordered fish and shrimp ceviche to share and I got quesadillas for my entree. Riley ordered some steak burritos which were, of course, superior to my dinner. The man has a knack for ALWAYS ordering something better than me!

Kelly and Riley at dinner anniversary

After dinner, we walked back through town and ended up at a really fun place called Fusion Bar. The bar was right on the beach and there was a band playing while guests lounged in low chairs right in the sand. In between sets a fire dancing group came out and performed a fire show, which was a lot of fun. We had a great time and stayed out way past our bedtime. Considering we went to bed fairly early most nights, 1:30 was really late for us!

Band at Fusion

Our last day at the resort was spent at the beach, then later at the spa pool. I got really sick of all the screaming children at our resort (adults-only next time, for sure!), so we went to the hydrotherapy pool in the spa area, which was just for adults. Pure bliss! We relaxed for hours in the peace and quiet before getting ready for our last night.

Hydro pool Sandos Playacar

After a relatively low-key night, I woke up at 5:45 the next morning and decided to go down to the beach and watch the sunrise. It was possibly one of the prettiest things I’ve ever seen in my life.

Sunrise Playa 1

It was amazing to sit on the perfect sand while the sun rose and take the quiet time to reflect on just how thankful I am and what a beautiful place we were in.

Playa sunrise

With opposite work schedules and coming off a crazy and stressful year, this trip was exactly what we both needed. I absolutely love Mexico and Playa Del Carmen, and I don’t think we’ll be able to stay away for long. Though I’m already thinking of ideas for next year’s vacation (which I know drives Riley nuts), I have a feeling we’ll be back in Playa soon!

Where’s your favorite vacation spot?


Playa Del Carmen, Mexico: Part One

I’m baaaaaack! Miss me? I missed you all and can’t wait to hear what you’ve been up to! Riley and I just got back from our awesome week in Mexico and aside from some obligatory Facebook bragging, I was pretty much unplugged the whole week. I’m going to break up our vacation into a 2-part recap and then on Wednesday I’ll share all the meals I had for WIAW.

Our vacation started out early in the morning with a drive to the airport. We had a really smooth check-in process and grabbed some coffee while waiting to board.

Airport coffee

Things were going great until we hit the hour-long wait to get through customs in Cancun. Crazy!

Customs in Cancun

Eventually, we made it out of there and caught our van to take us the 45 minutes to our resort.

Car ride to resort

Our resort was huge so a golf cart shuttle had to take us to our building. We had a dangerous start to the trip when the golf cart driver backed us right into a ditch, crashing the cart. We found out later it was his first day on the job and was really nervous. I felt so bad for him, especially since a few dozen staff members witnessed the whole thing!

We made it to our room and were quickly disappointed when we realized we’d been given a double room instead of a king. I was about to call and have them switch us, when I opened the balcony door and saw our view.

Sansos view from balcony

We decided the unexpected ocean view was worth it so we decided to stick it out!

After getting settled in our room, we headed down to the beach for some snacks and beers.

Playacar beach from bar

Later, we headed out to a bar in the main plaza area to have some drinks and get into full vacation mode, which is really easy to do at an all-inclusive resort!

Sandos sports bar

I got tricked into taking a shot of this chili-infused tequila and it was painful to say the least!

Chili pepper tequila

After going to bed super early after a long day, we woke up really early to the sounds of animals all around us. A cool part of our resort was that we were the last one on the main hotel zone and backed up to jungle. We enjoyed the chirping of birds while the resort woke up, then became really startled when we heard what sounded like a giant jaguar coming from outside our room. We opened the door to find this guy right on the railing outside our door-

Howler monkey on railing

Turns out, our resort was crawling with howler monkeys, the loudest land animal on the planet. In case you want to hear just how loud they are, check out this video and tell me that sound wouldn’t freak you out if you heard it outside your door!

They were more than happy to hang out with the guests, though, especially if they had bananas on them. Sadly, I didn’t get to feed the monkeys, but I really wanted to!

I’ll spare you the play-by-play for every day, but the next couple of days were some variation of this:

– Wake up, run outside with a banana hoping to see the monkeys. After the first day, they didn’t return to our building. I was really sad I couldn’t make them my new best friends.

– Head to the resort gym to get in a quick workout. They had a great gym and there were usually only a couple of us in there at a time.

Sandos gym

-Get ready for the beach and head to the buffet for breakfast.

-Head to the beach and read/sun ourselves for several hours.

Feet on the beach


Kelly on the beach

-Get lunch at the buffet.

-Head to our room for an AC break and a quick rest.

-Do some type of non-laying activity. One day we rented bikes and went for a quick ride around the Playacar community, and another day we walked all along the beach past our resort for a 1 1/2 hour walk.

Sandos beach

-Go down to the pool or back to the beach for another few hours.

-Get ready for dinner, then head to the bar for a few pre-dinner drinks.

Kelly on swing at bar

-Have dinner at one of the al a carte restaurants. While we were there we ate at a seafood place, Mexican, and French. I’d heard mixed reviews about the food, but I was pleasantly surprised that I liked most of what I had!

-After dinner, we’d head to whatever entertainment the resort was offering that night. They had live music in the plaza every night and some type of show in their theater every night as well. My favorite was the circus show!

Circus show collage

One thing the resort did really well was provide a ton of evening entertainment for everyone. We’ve stayed at places that were totally boring at night, but almost every night the plaza was packed with people to enjoy the shows.

I think that’s enough pictures for now. I’ll be back tomorrow with part 2 and talk about our trip into town for our 3-year anniversary dinner.

Have a great day!

What have you been up to this past week? What’s the most exciting/interesting thing that’s happened?