Workout Wednesday + Taking Care of Myself + $500 Spa Giveaway!


I don’t think there’s ever been another time in my life where I wanted to share my totally naked face with the whole wide world. I’m a makeup fiend and it’s not very often that I even let my best friends catch a glimpse. But lately, I can’t stop staring at the mirror before I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning. My skin! It’s cleaner, clearer, smoother, and a nicer color thanks to a little summer sun. I just feel all glow-y, and I love it!

PS. Do you know how hard it is to take a decent picture of yourself with your phone? This was try number 47 or so. PPS. Cell phone cameras kinda suck and I promise my face looks even better in person. Perfect? No. But much improved for me.

My face is usually sort of splotchy and riddled with clogged pores, but fortunately I haven’t had to deal much with adult acne – till about a month ago. Not sure what it is, but I could see and feel the little bumps cropping up. Given that my skin care routine was pretty minimal, I decided to take things up a notch and hopefully nip it in the bud.

So what is my secret? Well, I’m gonna save that for another post 😉 But I will give you a hint that it’s something many of you might already have in your house.

You know, it might just be a combination of things. Like that little secret and another one that I bet is brand new to you and you’re gonna love. But you’ll have to tune in tomorrow for these 😉

By the way, can I just say? This whole taking-extra-good-care-of-myself thing really benefits the rest of my life. I just feel more excited to face the day and get stuff done, once I’ve been extra kind to myself. Do you know that I mean?

The rest of my skin is looking pretty darn good these too, and though we won’t go there with pics, I will tell you that it has much to do with NEW Dove® VisibleCare™ Renewing Crème Body Wash. This revolutionary new premium body wash contains highest concentration of NutriumMoisture technology across the Dove portfolio and is designed to give you visibly more beautiful skin in just one to three weeks. I admit, as someone who has dealt with lifelong keratosis pilaris, I was skeptical. As all you with KP know, nothing touches it. I didn’t expect this to cure my KP, but I will say that the skin on my arms feels a little smoother and looks a little less red, so maybe it really is doing something here. Plus, it makes me feel clean and has a nice, light sent. (Is it me, or do some body washes only smell pretty but not actually get you clean?)

While I don’t dislike anything about this product, I admit I’ll be trying a different one when I run out – Dove also has a new VisibleCare™ Toning Crème Body Wash, designed to promote skin’s elasticity and strength. Mine could surely use some of that!

Visit Dove® VisibleCare® to get a coupon for $1 off!

Y’all know another big part my self-care routine is hitting the gym. The desire to nourish myself runs deep within my veins, and tells me that staying strong and fit is an important part of this. So without further adieu, this week’s workout log. (Keep scrolling for the spa giveaway!)

The Workout Log

I feel like I was kind of lazy this week, skimping on post-lifting HIIT sessions and additional cardio days. But I’m not fretting too much, because I still feel pretty good. My body will tell me when it’s time to run again!


If I do all of my sets at the same reps and weight, I’ll write it out this way: sets X reps X weight. So if you see “3x6x40″ this means I did 3 sets, all with 6 reps with 40lbs.

If there are differences in my sets, I’ll write out each set separately, this way: reps X weight, reps X weight, reps X weight. So if  you see “10×55, 10×60, 10×60″, this means I did 1 set of 10 reps with 55lbs, then a set of 10 reps with 60lbs, and then another set of 10 reps with 60lbs.

For the heavier exercises,it is crucial to do a series of warmup sets at lower weights, working up to the full weight. The numbers shown below are for the WORKING sets only.

Grouped letters indicate alternating exercises. This means that I do a set of the A1 exercise, then a set of the A2 exercise, for however many sets are indicated. When all sets of A1 and A2 are complete, I move on to the B exercises.

Wednesday 7/11

Rest day. Maybe I took the dog for a walk? Can’t remember!

Thursday 7/12

A1: Trap bar deadlifts (low setting, from deficit) – 5×185, 3x5x190
A1: Side plank leg raise – 3×6 (per side)
B1: Barbell reverse lunge – 3x8x85 (per side)
B2: High to low cable chop – 10×30, 2x10x35 (per side)
C1: Glute ham raise on incline – 8, 8, 7
C2: Sloshpipe carry – 3 trips*
D: Bike intervals – 10 second sprint / 50 second recovery for 10 rounds

*Imagine a 7ft long, 8″ diameter PVC pipe filled water. You have to hold it up against your chest and walk down the length of the gym and back, while the water is sloshing around and throwing you off balance. Fun times!

Friday 7/13

Long walk with the dog.

Saturday 7/14

A1: Low-incline 1-arm DB press – 3x8x40 (per side)
A2: Chest supported DB row – 10×25, 8×30, 10×25
B1: 1-legged pushups – 3×5 (per side)
B2: Chinups – 5, 4, 3, 3
C1: DB clean to overhead press – 3x8x20′s
C2: Tricep press-downs – 3x10x65
D: Cable external rotation – 2x10x7.5 (per side

Sunday 7/15

Nada – beach day!

Monday 7/16

A1: DB squat to RDL – 3x10x30′s
A2: Half kneeling pallof press – 3x8x50 (per side) (everything you want to know about pallof presses)
B1: Landmine RDL – 3×6 with 10lbs on the bar (per leg)
B2: Face pulls with external rotation – 2x10x60, 1x10x65
C1: 1-legged hip thruster, feet and shoulders both elevated – 3×10 (per side)
C2: 1-arm DB carries – 3 trips per side, with 50lb dumbbell

Tuesday 7/17

A1: Bench press – 3x3x105, 3x5x100, 5×95
A2: 1-arm half-kneeling cable pulldown – 8×65, 3×8×70 (per side)
B1: DB overhead kneeling to standing – 1x8x20, 2x5x25 (per side)
B2: Seated cable row, neutral grip – 3x10x90
C1: Yoga pushup, feet on bench – 3×8
C2: 1-arm DB carries – 3 trips per side, with 50lb dumbbell
D: Stairmaster intervals – 15 second sprint / 45 second recovery for 10 rounds


Enter to win one of two $500 Spafinder gift certificates!

What little thing do you always do as part of your routine that makes you feel good about yourself?
Answer this question in THIS LINK to make sure your entry counts!



You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Follow this link, and provide your email address and your response to the Promotion prompt

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that Tweet.

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that post.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age

18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will have 72 hours to claim the prize, or an alternative winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 7/18/2012 – 8/22/2012

Be sure to visit the Dove® VisibleCare™ Crème Body Wash brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

Disclosure: I was provided with product and compensation through BlogHer’s review program, but as always, all opinions are my own.

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13 Responses to “Workout Wednesday + Taking Care of Myself + $500 Spa Giveaway!”

  1. 1

    Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) — July 18, 2012 @ 9:19 am Reply

    I think you look beautiful! Only recently have I started going out without makeup on. I have finally gotten to the point where I feel better about my skin. Being off dairy, soy and wheat has made a HUGE difference in how my skin looks and feels. I’m so glad you’ve found something that works for you!

  2. 2

    Kate — July 18, 2012 @ 12:45 pm Reply

    I have an idea about your skincare regime…
    I haven’t had any breakouts since before I got pregnant, which reaffirms the fact that my breakouts are hormonal – so not much can be done about it 🙁

  3. 3

    chrysta — July 18, 2012 @ 1:56 pm Reply

    hey Cara! what is the question for the sweepstakes? It wants us to answer one, but i couldnt find the question you asked=) Thanks!

    • 3.1

      Cara — July 18, 2012 @ 5:37 pm

      Woops! It’s there now 🙂

  4. 4

    Nisrine — July 18, 2012 @ 8:17 pm Reply

    I will have to try Visible Care!! You look youthful and radiant, Cara.

  5. 5

    Kira — July 19, 2012 @ 11:45 am Reply

    Using an oil-free facial moisturizer with SPF helps me take care of my skin and feel good about putting my “best face forward.” Having lived in the South my whole life, that sun can really get you, and I don’t want to look like a leather bag when I’m 40!

  6. 6

    Alta — July 19, 2012 @ 3:13 pm Reply

    I have KP issues too – so does my husband. Interesting that this Dove product works for you! My self-care routine is my commitment to my morning workout. Monday through Friday, I do SOMETHING every morning before I get ready for work.

  7. 7

    jen gersch — July 19, 2012 @ 4:32 pm Reply

    i always put scented lotion on and it makes me feel clean and refreshed

  8. 8

    Robin — July 22, 2012 @ 9:12 am Reply

    You do look like you’re glowing!! Can’t wait to hear your secret! I lather on the organic virgin coconut oil…. Hair, face and skin. I’ve been doing it for 6 months andy akin is oh so soft! I also started MSM supplement.

  9. 9

    Shanna M — July 22, 2012 @ 6:39 pm Reply

    I think you look great! Slathering myself in lotion is the part of my routine that makes me feel good, because nothing feels better to me than being soft and smooth!

  10. 10

    Kelsey — July 26, 2012 @ 11:04 am Reply

    Great giveaway, Cara! As women, I think we tend to neglect the little things that can make a big difference in how we feel each day. For me, it’s celebrating when I make healthy choices–turning down the treats on the table in the teachers’ lounge, going to the gym even though I’m exhausted. I always try to remember that I may regret bad choices, but I’ll never regret the good ones. Now THAT’S a celebration!

  11. 11

    Erica — August 13, 2012 @ 4:47 pm Reply

    quick question – do you write your own workouts? if not, may i ask where you get them from? (i’m only curious because they all include exercises that i rarely see performed in the gym, and my boyfriend – a S&C coach – was impressed with your working knowledge :))

    • 11.1

      Cara — August 13, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

      I work with a trainer now, but I have written my own in the past. And sometimes I change things up depending what I’m in the mood for and what equipment is available 🙂 And I agree – hardly anyone else in the gym is doing the same kind of stuff!

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