Friday Faves

1. The meal of my childhood.

tamale (2)

On Sundays after church, everyone would go over to my nana’s house for homemade tortillas, chorizo, tamales, beans and eggs. It’s something my mom would often make on the weekends, too.. I knew it would be a good day when I woke up to the smell of chorizo. Now, whenever I have a tamale with an egg on top, it makes my heart smile. It was a perfect comfort food while we were living in Valdosta, and nana and mom would FedEx tamales to me. Now, it’s a frequent weeknight dinner staple over here- the Pilot loves it almost as much as I do.

2. The return of coral and new TOMs!

shirt and toms

Coral is one of my favorite spring/summer colors and I couldn’t resist grabbing up some of the new TOMs ballet flats. They ended up being even cuter in person than they looked online, just as comfy as the originals with a pretty floral interior. (Word to the wise: they run big! I usually wear a 7.5-8 and ordered a 7- they fit perfectly)

3. Planning weekend adventures! The in-laws and our nephew will be here later this morning for the long weekend, and we’re so excited for them to meet Livi and do some fun Tucson things. Last time they were all here was for the wedding, and it will be amazing to enjoy a weekend with them that isn’t jammed-packed with wedding to-dos.

The Pilot and I are hoping to take everyone to the Desert Museum. I haven’t been since I was little, and he’s never seen a javelina up close 😉


4. The smell of fig.


I like to burn candles at night, and these Henri Bendel candles are my absolute favorite. The original price is kind of cray (especially when you can find awesome candles at World Market for way less), but Bath and Body Works marked them down to 75% off sometime last year and I went a little buck wild. I thought my candle stash was gone, and found a new one, still in the plastic wrap under the sink. I may have ran around holding the candle in a victory dance. I’m cool like that.

5. The “Munchkin Room” at the base gym. How awesome is this set-up?

munchkin room

Play area with a TV and toys, cardio equipment, weights, a bathroom with a changing table and a nursing room. It was nice to be able to bring Livi with me and watch her while I did a short cardio workout, and she napped the entire time. I got to test out this new elliptical workout, and let’s just say my biscuits were burning 😉



elliptical2 This workout utilizes the forward and backward movement of the elliptical, but feel free to alter it to suit your favorite cardio equipment. As always, check with a doc before making any fitness changes and honor your body and limitations.

Resistance is based on levels of perceived exertion- so level 5 is where you could pedal all the livelong day, level 10 is when the pedals almost stop because the resistance is so high. Guidelines for speed are indicated below, too.

Happy burning!

Time Direction Level of resistance
0:00-5:00 Forwards 5; easy resistance, quick feet
5:00-10:00 Forwards 5-8; Use the time to gradually increase the resistance until you’re at a level 8. Maintain your quick pace
10:00-12:00 Backwards Keep the resistance, and pedal backwards as fast as you can
12:00-13:00 Forwards Level 6; Bring resistance down and sprint for the entire minute
13:00-15:00 Forwards Level 7; Slow down your pace (still quick but not a sprint)
15:00-20:00 Backwards 7-9; Use the time to gradually increase the resistance until you’re at a level 9. Maintain your quick pace.
20:00-22:00 Forwards Keep the high resistance and pedal forward as fast as you can
22:00-23:00 Backwards Level 6; Bring the resistance down and sprint backwards for the entire minute
23:00-25:00 Forwards Level 5; Bring the resistance down again, slow your pace and breath for two minutes
Cool down and stretch    


If you try it, please tweet me or leave a comment and let me know how it went 🙂

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  1. Jamie Lee on February 25, 2012 at 7:43 am

    AMAZING TOMS!!! so cute!

    Gina, I tried the elliptical workout last night and it was amazing- really got my heart rate up! Thank you so much 🙂 Love your blog so much- the food, the workouts, the family life, the humor… my fav <3

    • Fitnessista on February 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      yayayayay! thanks for letting me know- i’m so happy you got a good workout
      thank YOU so much for reading <3
      have a great weekend!

  2. Laura@mypurposefullife on February 25, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Tamales with eggs on top (and red or green chile) is my ultimate comfort food! With a side of beans, and posole, it is the meal of my childhood and will forever make me think of Christmas Eve. It’s our traditional Christmas Eve meal in my parent’s house in New Mexico. I always have green chile in our tiny freezer in Manhattan, and our homemade tamales if they fit, I too get them shipped out. Love that your Nana used to send you tamales to Valdosta! There’s nothing better… 🙂

  3. Andrea on February 25, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Too funny! My rose colored Tom’s arrived in the mail yesterday. I love them!

    • Fitnessista on February 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      i was debating between the natural and rose 🙂 so pretty!

  4. Caroline on February 25, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I’ve never had a fig candle, but you’re making me want to go find one and buy one!

  5. CampingGirl on February 25, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I bought a pair of those TOMS too but in pink. I love them and I totally agree about the sizing!

  6. Marcie on February 25, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Did you know that they make Toms for little kids too? Not sure if Livi would fit them now, but how cute would it be to have matching Toms?? 🙂

    • Fitnessista on February 26, 2012 at 12:04 am

      that needs to happen 🙂

  7. Miriam@Bellaspire on February 25, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Aww, I am in love with your coral and Toms!! Super cute! Can’t wait for some biscuit burnin 🙂

  8. Dominique on February 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    I must get me a pair of TOMS. I absolutely love the look of them plus they look so comfy. I’m sad I didn’t get a pair of sequin ones when they were around. I’m going to go browse the TOMS website now.

  9. Katie-Marie on February 27, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I tried the elliptical workout and loved it! I’ve been liking the elliptical a lot lately and have been doing the standard Hill Course with high resistance. Your workout really mixed it up and I loved the backward movement along with the forward. My lower half was really feeling it.

  10. Hayley on February 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Biscuit’s are Burnin’ = AWESOME!! I just did it. Absolutely loved it. I hurt my achilles a few weeks ago and have been loving your elliptical interval training workouts. Thanks!!

  11. Jamie on February 28, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    My sister used to be a manager at a bath & body works so I remember those sales:) What base is that gym at? I wish I could find a place like that.

    • Fitnessista on February 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      davis monthan 🙂

  12. JBecca on March 1, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I tried the My Biscuits are Burning workout last night… WOW! Love it! I really like the challenge of sprinting backwards on the elliptical. Thank you for posting it! 🙂

  13. AngelaS on April 2, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    I just got an elliptical last Friday & ran across your blog when I was looking for workouts. I did the My Biscuits are Burning workout this morning – wow it was awesome! When my husband walked by to leave for work his comment to me was – “you are sweating like a pig!” Guess that is a good thing, lol!

  14. Carrie on April 4, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Definitely looking for a coral shirt like that to go with some white shorts this summer. Can you tell me where you found it? Thanks!

  15. Kristin on January 30, 2013 at 10:25 am

    I did this elliptical workout last night and LOVED IT! i am trying to incorporate my elliptical into my workouts more when I cant run outside before of the snow. I loved this workout, my biscuits were burning and my thighs were feeling it. Going backward was killer. Thanks again for a great workout!
    Love your blog!


  16. Melanie Nixon on March 14, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    This is a neat concept! I always get bored when I use the elliptical, but perhaps if I try this and switch things up more I’ll have better luck! Thanks for sharing!!

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