From the category archives:

Tone It UP

Monthly Faves: February 2013

by agirlandhermutt on March 1, 2013

March! The month of my people…The Irish! Before we jump into the month full force, lets take a minute to look at some of my fave food, fitness, fashion and fun items from the past month….February Favorites!




*Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning- I was perusing the spice section at Trader Joe’s, which isn’t that big but always has something interesting, when this caught my eye. I gave it a try and I love it! It is a mixture of sea salt, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander, onion, garlic, paprika, and chili pepper.  It just mixes with every food perfectly and it has become my go-to seasoning.



*Market Pantry Lean Turkey Meatballs- These suckers are so easy it is stupid. Just stick them in the oven for 20 minutes and you have dinner. I use these for those long days at work when I want to eat at home but don’t want to do ANY prep. Perfect.



*Trader Joe’s Butter Lettuce- Who knew you could have a favorite lettuce? Well, you can and it is not frisee. Ugh. When a menu says “mixed greens” I immediately shudder. Butter lettuce is where it is at and this bag of just that is the perfect base for my salads.




*Real Ryder Cycling- My love of spinning is still strong. I finished 5 weeks of class and signed up for another 5 at Sweat & Soul Yoga. I love the feeling of being completely wiped out after class and look forward to it each week! Check out my review of the class here.

*Wii Zumba-So much fun and a great workout! Check out my review of the game here.


*Tone It Up Weekly Workout Schedule- After TIU’s last challenge, they started sending out weekly workout schedules on Sunday afternoon. I absolutely love this idea and it provides a great way for me to plan my workouts. Best of all…it is free!



*Alex & Ani- I’m in love with these bracelets. They are simple, easy to stack, pretty affordable, and have a great message of positivity.

*Naked Palette- I’m in love with Urban Decay eye shadows and fell in love with the Naked Palette 2. I finally tried out the original and I think it might be even better!


*Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Color Stick- These chunky lip pencils not only are moisturizing, but have a great color pay off. They last for a pretty long time (though not all day) and are a great drugstore make-up find!



*The Hobbit Song- I must have listened to this song about a million times. When it becomes viral on YouTube it will because of all my views. This is the super long version and I can’t get enough.


*Top Chef- I love this show and all forms of it. Original, Masters, Just Desserts, All-Stars…all of it. I’m sad this season is over! I haven’t watched the finale, but know who won thanks to an overzealous Tweeter and I’m pleased. It was my favorite from the beginning. ;)



Let me know what some of your favorite products from February are! Any good food or make-up finds?!

Talk to  you on Monday!!!

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Review: Wii Zumba Fitness Core Game

by agirlandhermutt on February 21, 2013

Hello friends! As I write this post I am recovering from a particularly difficult shuffle from my kitchen to the couch. Spinning is killing me. Or at least my legs. I mean that in the most positive way possible. My legs are burning from Wednesday night’s class and I’m a bit worried that I might take a seat at some point and not be able to get back up. Phew. It burns so good!


Speaking of working out, I mentioned on Tuesday that I have recently become obsessed with a new-to-me Nintendo Wii game called Zumba Fitness Core. I picked the game up on one of those random walk-abouts in Target where you go in to pick up toilet paper and end up spending $200 on crap things that fit inside just two shopping bags.

The Basics

According to their website, this version of Zumba Fitness is the first and only fitness game designed to strengthen your core and sculpt your abs. Just like a live class, you follow the instructor along with a set of choreographed moves. Since this is a video game, you earn points by performing the moves correctly and earning “Zumbas!” which turn into stars. The more stars you earn, the more bonus content you unlock.

The game has about 40 songs that range from Pitbull to Brazilian music I had never heard of. Each song is considered either Low, Medium or High Intensity.

To play, you choose either one song at a time or to take a class. The classes are Short (22 min), Mid-Length (45 min) or Full Class (1 hour). The game combines various songs that you could play individually to make up the class. There are two songs available for warm-up and two more available for a cool-down.

Included with the game is a belt that holds your Wii controller. You wear the belt around your hips and the controller slips in to allow you to play with your hands free. You can connect up to four people to play against too.

Some of the features included in this game is the ability to set goals (how many songs to play, how many calories to burn, how long to play), bonus content featuring videos of actual people talking about fitness, nutrition, and behind-the-scenes info.

My Two Cents

After a brief annoyance with my controller not responding with the game (user error?!), I got it working. I find the songs to be fun, fast paced and quick to get me sweating. I love the options of just doing a few songs for fun or actually participating in a class. I also like the feedback as I am doing the moves that I am doing it “correct” (ZUMBA!).

The songs are catchy and for the most part I like the choreography that goes along with them. There are several instructors throughout the game and each seems to have a little bit of a different style.

This game isn’t perfect though. Just like any other motion-type game, I find that sometimes if I am just jumping around like a maniac instead of doing the actual moves, it will still read it as me doing the moves perfectly.

Sometimes the moves are a bit hard to follow too. There is a graphic that displays if a big change in movement is happening next, but for the most part you are just trying to keep up. There were several moments where I was still shimmying and they were doing a march. After a few times doing each song I got the hang of it, but if you were a Zumba/choreography newcomer I could see that aspect of the game being kind of annoying and a bit discouraging.

Although the game allows the user to set goals, I wish they would stick. Like I want to play 5 songs each day for a week. It lets me say I want to play 5 games for today or 10 games in a week. I want to be more specific. This isn’t a deal breaker for me, but more of a “this would be cool if…” kind of thing.

My last gripe is about the title. This is definitely Zumba, but I didn’t find anything about it really to be core or ab focused. There were a few moves here and there that were like standing crunches, but nothing that screamed that this was a core centric program.

Final Thoughts

As an avid real life Zumba class lover, I really enjoy this game! I love it just as a workout,but also as a way to be competitive with myself. I enjoy the music, I love the choreography, and the backgrounds are fun to watch while I am playing. I think the no hands aspect of the game is creative and allows me to feel like I am really doing a Zumba class or DVD rather than playing a video game. I love that the workouts are ranked according to their intensity level and the high intensity songs can really get your blood pumping. This game can be as easy or as hard as you would like! The biggest thing that I love about it? That I can do this at home any time I want! I dance around my living room like a nerd and I

I am thinking about getting a few of the other games to keep the music and routines all mixed up and might even possibly check out the DVDs. We will see!


Do you have any fitness video games? What are your favorite home fitness DVDs?

PS. Check out the Tone It Up weekly workout schedule! They listened to their fans and have decided to start putting out a weekly calendar that lists workouts for each day of the week. I love this idea and it makes it so easy to keep track of what to do!



*Just a note: I bought this game with my hard earned money. As always, opinions are all my own!*


Weekend Recap: Outdoors and Loving It

January 14, 2013

This weekend was one of those that was just too short with too much fun packed into it. Despite being a bit dreary, I was able to get outside for some fresh air, spend some time with friends, and also get all dressed up for a fancy party. Weekend Recap: Instagram Style Friday No pictures […]

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