A healthy lifestyle blog emphasizing quick workouts, quick recipes and adventures as a wife and mom by a military wife, group fitness instructor and personal trainer. The mission of this blog is to demonstrate that fitness and healthy eating doesn't have to be blah and boring.
The other night, I was searching for “Do people speak Dothraki?” <— the language that they speak in Game of Thrones. I was ecstatic to find out that yes there are people that INTO IT to learn an entire fictional language, and it also made me stop and think about all of the weird/random things I search for during the day.
In lighthearted jest, many of my friends make fun of my penchant for Googling things. I will google anything and everything, and seriously the thought of Google glasses make my heart giddy with delight because I could instantly find that pair of pants that girl is wearing, or diagnose my illness (kidding but not kidding), or just know random things I’ve always wanted to know. Anyone else? Am I just a weird person with this?
And maybe it’s in my current cold delirium, but I thought this would make a fun idea for a blog post.
What’s the most random thing you googled lately?
On my list:
– How to stop thumb sucking. Everyone says “they’ll stop when they’re ready,” but it was causing her jaw and teeth to move. Most of the time she didn’t notice she was doing it, so we would just kindly remind her throughout the day. After about 5 weeks or so, I looked online for other ideas. We ordered these overpriced gloves (“You get to wear cool gloves like Elsa and these ones have an octopus on them!”) but she wore them for about 30 seconds. Next, I found this stuff which had good ratings on Amazon. It tastes pretty bitter, and after reading the reviews, I knew to just put a tiny bit on her thumb right on the middle instead of painting the entire nail. I think by this point she was ready to stop; she had no prob with me painting it on after I told her what it was. It worked instantly and P is now the proud owner of the enormous stuffed flamingo she’s been wanting for at least a month.
– Today’s Orangetheory workout. (<— from this past weekend before I came down with this cold thing) Do you guys know about this Reddit thread? It’s PURE GOLD if you’re an OTF fan. I always lurk the workout or the schedule before I sign up, especially since I only have one class a week. I love knowing the workout in advance so I can pump myself up for it.
– S-corp vs LLC. I’m going to try and transition to S-Corp for the blog which should be a bundle of fun but worth it for tax purposes.
– Belt bag. I came across this one and it’s pretty lovely. Just not sure 100% on board with the trend yet, so I love that it converts to a regular crossbody,
– What is colloidal silver? Madre dropped some off to me when my throat was hurting like a thousand daggers. She also brought a framed family pic and some Frida Kahlo socks because she’s the best ever.
– Book suggestions like Crazy Rich Asians. I finished the trilogy and am so sad it’s over. I couldn’t find anything similar that caught my eye, so I downloaded Educated and Where the Crawdads Sing for our trip. I’d love any must-read suggestions you have.
So tell me, friends: what’s the weirdest thing you had to know lately?
Have a wonderful day and I’ll see ya soon!
Ps. Amazing Beautycounter promo is live today! Get a free sun set (3 oz. sunscreen mist and 1oz. lotion) when you purchase $125 worth of products. If you’re looking to make a swap to safer options, sunscreen is a great starting point, especially since chemical sunscreens are finally being questioned for their safety. You can check out the article here! If you’re shopping and need help, please let me know! I highly recommend the overnight peel, dew skin, cleansing balm, and the Color Intense lipstick (garden party and brunch are my current faves).
Hi friends! Happy Monday to you! I hope you’re having a great day so far. I woke up with some kind of funk – P is coughing up a storm, too – so looks like we’ll be laying low today. We had an awesome fun-filled weekend with the fam, and I’’m hoping we’ll be on the ups tomorrow. (Especially since we leave for Vancouver this weekend!)
Friday evening, Livi and I made the drive to Phoenix to see her fave: JoJo Siwa. (If you’re out of the elementary school crowd, no worries. I had no clue who JoJo was until this year!) She’s a dancer/singer/YouTuber who initially found fame from the Dance Moms TV show. Her branding is focused on her enormous bows, her dog, and her uplifting message. Many of her songs are about believing in yourself, ditching the haters, self love, etc. In an industry that’s so often filled with negativity or societal expectations of young girls, I think it’s a breath of fresh air.
I bought the tickets as a surprise for Liv and she was SO pumped when I told her we’d make a little road trip for the concert. We got there about 50 minutes early, which almost felt like we were late! The lines for everything were super long, so I’m glad it gave us enough time to get waters, Junior Mints, popcorn, and find our seats. The concert was sold out, and the theatre was filled with thousands of screaming girls, all wearing their multicolored JoJo bows, and many of them waving glow sticks.
(Our seats were amazing!)
The show was wonderful – the costume changes, the sets, and the backup dancers were all fantastic – and Liv had the TIME OF HER LIFE. She was clapping and singing along to her favorite songs and it’s something I’ll never ever forget. (Pro tip for any moms who are taking their kiddos: as soon as she finishes her last song, RUN to the merchandise line. We sprinted to the line and there were about 50 people ahead of us when we got there. It moved very quickly, and by the time we got to the front, there were easily 300-400 people – two staircases fully filled with people – behind us.)
We hit the road back to Tucson, and Liv crashed within 10 minutes. Thankfully, I chatted with my mom on speaker phone for a while which made the drive go by quickly, and we were back home by 11!
While we were at the concert, the Pilot and P were having a little daddy-daughter date. They spent some time playing at the park, got tacos at Blanco Taco and went to the Disney store to get princess dresses for the cruise.)
Saturday morning, Liv had dance, and I took an early Orangetheory class. We snacked on acai bowls,
and the rest of the day kind of got away from us. The Pilot worked from the dining room table, the girls played outside, and I cashed in on my Mother’s Day nap. Before we knew it, it was time to meet up the fam for dinner at Tanque Verde Ranch. We’ve eaten here a few times (our last recap is here!) but it’s an outdoor BBQ buffet with live music and the best prickly pear margaritas.
and danced their little boots off on the dance floor.
The adults drank prickly pear margaritas and we all had a wonderful dinner. We call it Cowboy Thanksgiving: bbq pulled pork, grilled cod, bbq chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, mac n’ cheese, salad, veggies, baked potatoes, cornbread, beans, anything you need, really. For dessert, they also have the BEST cobbler.
We stayed late and chatted while the girls danced – the musician got a kick out of them – and then called it a night. Both girls crashed in the car on the way home!
Sunday morning, we had breakfast here at home, and went for a family hike at Sabino Canyon.
The weather was insanely gorgeous (heaven-ty degrees) and we walked for about an hour before heading to swim. Afterwards, we were all starving, so the Pilot made a wise suggestion: Saffron Indian buffet for lunch. Our weekend included two buffet meals and I have zero problems with that lol.
We did the usual grocery run, had a low-key dinner here at home, and once the girls were asleep, Kyle and madre came over to watch GOT. No spoilers, especially since I’ve only seen like six episodes, but I thought they did a good job wrapping up the series.
For today, I’m chugging wellness shots and Emergen-C, and taking it easy with P. Fingers crossed she’ll nap and I can nap, too. Gotta fight the good fight.
Hope you have a happy Monday and I’ll see ya soon!
Hi friends! Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? Any fun plans? I’ll be earning some cool mom points by taking Livi to the Jojo Siwa concert. She’s SO EXCITED about it and I’m looking forward to an adventure with Liv (She even gave me permission to do my “mom dancing” at the concert, lol.) She had such an amazing year at school and I thought it would be a fun little treat to celebrate the end of 1st grade.
We’ve had a bit to celebrate lately. The Pilot has had good news on the commercial airline front and we’re beyond thrilled and thankful. He’s worked incredibly hard his entire aviation career, and I’m so proud of him. Kyle, Meg, the kiddos, and Madre came over to hang out last night, and of course, we had cake and sang, “For He’s Jolly Good Fellow.” More details to come soon!
and Kyle made some trout his friend had caught the previous day at Mt. Lemmon, and roasted some veggies we had in the fridge.
Madre also brought a variety of delicious desserts from Beyond Bread.
The cousins all ran around playing together and we had a wonderful dinner. Much of the evening was spent huddled around the cheese board, talking, and drinking wine. It got late and baby August was tired, so I did the bounce walk with him in the formal living room and he crashed like a sleepy noodle in my arms. These nights are my very favorite.
The rest of the weekend will undoubtedly include more celebrating with the rest of the family, and finishing our packing for the cruise. I made a list but haven’t actually packed anything because I felt overwhelmed, but there’s no more avoiding it.
It’s time for the weekly Friday Faves party! Here are some of my favorite eats, reads, wears, etc. from the week – I’d love to hear about anything that’s making you smile in the comments section.
Fashion + beauty:
– These shoes look just like the Gucci loafers but way less expensive.
– My favorite army green jacket got a giant tear in it, so I picked this one for a replacement.
– Trying recipes from “Cook Once, Eat All Week.” It was such a breeze to spend an hour-ish cooking on Monday and then assemble dinners for the next few nights. The Pilot was out of town, and I was surprised by how much the girls loved the meals. The chicken tettrazini and it was a huge hit:
– Organifi golden milk latte. This has become my new favorite before-bed ritual. It has magnesium, which helps me sleep, and reishi, which is my favorite mushroom for combatting anxiety. I’ll make a cup of hot almond milk, stir in a scoop of this, and read in bed until it’s time to crash.
Chocolate chip meringues from Trader Joe’s. They’re so light and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.
Les Mills On Demand. I’ll share a full review in an upcoming post, but I’m loving the updated Les Mills On Demand. Since Tom was gone, I worked out at home a lot this week, and it was a fun way to shake up my usual workouts. I took a BODYATTACK class and it crushed me! I can’t wait to try another one. If you want to check it out, my referral link is here!
Bad to the Barre Weekend! I’m teaming up with my friend Erin from Bad Yogi to share some barre and barre-inspired yoga moves on Instagram this weekend. The first one starts on her page today! Make sure you’re following us to join in the fun and also enter to win a pretty awesome prize pack.
P and I are off for a little nature walk and then going to head to the museum. Hope you have a wonderful day and I’ll see ya soon! xo
When you have DR or are postpartum, group fitness classes can be a little tricky. What are you supposed to do while everyone around you is overworking their hip flexors I mean doing full sit-ups? What if you know something is unsafe for you but don’t want to lie there, completely clueless about what to do instead?
Before I get into some of my favorite Diastasis Recti substitutes for common core exercises, I want to point something out:
no one cares if you’re modifying.
Everyone is so focused on their own workout – especially during challenging ab sequences – to look around and judge someone who might be doing something different. I’ve had many group ex students worried that they had to muscle through certain exercises that weren’t safe and didn’t make sense for their bodies. The truth is that NO ONE is going to look at you and think, “Ew. Look at that person doing something that’s safer for them. They’re weak!” Really. They only care about their own workout. So please please do what you need to do during classes to get a safe and smart workout for yourself! As long as you’re generally doing a similar exercise as the rest of the class – so this is a little different than the student who gave a solo hula performance during one of my Zumba classes – no one will notice. (It was very obvious this particular lady was choreographing her own sultry hula routine, but in the end, she had a good time and didn’t hurt anyone, so I just thought to myself, “You go, Glen Coco.”)
Some ideas for exercises you can do to substitute more traditional ab exercises when you have Diastasis Recti:
Planking: modified plank on your knees or at a wall, cat cow, or spinal balance
Sit-ups or cruches: hip raises
Side plank: modify by dropping your bottom knee
Mountain climbers: place hands on a bench and move more slowly
Leg lowers: marches or toe drops
Any supine combination work: heel slides
Low hollow holds: diaphragmatic breathing. Note the umbrella I put there! I chat about this a bit in the video, but you want to think of your belly as an umbrella as you inhale. Fill it up and expand.
Ab roller exercises: modified planks, spinal balance, or cat cow
A quick video with my favorite Diastasis Recti- friendly exercises:
Safe ab modifications for Diastasis Recti - YouTube
Some tips to remember during any type of core workout:
– Make sure you can complete the exercise without your core actively pushing out. If it’s pushing out, it’s a cue that you need to scale back the intensity.
– Don’t forget your pelvic floor. Practice some diaphragmatic breathing to feel your entire core (including the muscles of the pelvic floor) engaging and working. Lie on your back, relax your shoulders, and drop your ribs (so you’re shortening the amount of distance between your ribs and hip bones). Take a big inhale and fill your belly and feel your ribs expand (like your torso is an umbrella, picture it opening) and as you exhale, you’re draw the belly in (picture the umbrella closing) and engage your pelvic floor. When you involve your pelvic floor, it’s not just a clench action; it’s a LIFT. My friend Jess has a great cue for this: imagine that your pelvic floor is an elevator. Close the door, and lift up. Inhale to release. Practice this every day for a minute or so!! If you’re looking for some great pelvic floor exercises, the Hab It program is incredible.
– Think about why you’re doing something and how it functionally relates to your body. It’s not really funtional to do 100 crunches – we’re not making tiny flexing actions lifting our shoulders throughout the day – but we’re in a moving plank all day. We twist and rotate do pick up things we drop, load groceries into the car, place glasses into high shelves. Instead of going through the motions to simply get through the exercise, think about the why behind each movement you add into your fitness routine. If something doesn’t make sense for your life, skip it or find another option that works for you.
– If you have any loss of function or symptoms following birth (like incontinence, pressure, severe bloating), get a referral to see a women’s health physical therapist. I feel like EVERY woman should see one after birth, as they’re a wealth of information and they can assess your unique situation, your muscle weaknesses/imbalances, and determine a personalized plan for you.
Hi friends! How’s the week treating ya so far? I woke up yesterday morning ready to crush the day, and poor Liv woke up with pink eye. (Part of me was like “We only have 8 days of school left and I need ALL THOSE DAYS” lol but in the end, I enjoyed some extra time hanging out with her.)
We ended up having a nice morning at home, got some cooking prep done,
took the dogs for a walk, built her new LEGO set, and I caught a Peloton class and short arms workout later in the afternoon while the girls watched a show.
It’s finally happened — my Zella leggings are officially being retired until fall. They were my absolute favorite for spin, but now that its warmed up, I’m back into crops and shorts. (I can’t store them away just yet because apparently Alaska is cold.)
I thought I’d share some of my very favorite crops and shorts for spring if you’re swapping out your workout attire, too. If you have any shorts that you LOVE please, let me know!
I picked these up in camo a few weeks ago and it was my first time shopping in the Athleta store! I love that these shorts are a tiny bit longer – no need to worry about flashing my booty while I work out legs – and the camo print is surprisingly neutral.
Hi friends! Happy Monday! A happy belated Mother’s Day to all of my mama friends out there. I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing weekend.
Friday night, the Pilot and P had a special daddy-daughter date while Liv and I went to the pool for movie night. (I felt bad because P really wanted to go, but since she had a fever two days prior, we wanted to play it safe. She had a blast with Tom and they went to the park and Target while Livi and I swam.)
Margaritas, chips and guacamole by the pool are a pretty perfect way to end the week. Livi and her little best friend swam around and floated in inner tubes while watching Mary Poppins Returns, while my friend Kathryn and I chatted, drank margaritas, and hot tubbed. It was glorious.
Saturday morning, I caught an early Orangetheory class, and then we headed to my dad’s house for my brother Bailey’s graduation brunch!
The spread was insane: homemade cinnamon rolls, the famous egg casserole, breakfast potatoes, fruit, bacon, various pastries, French toast, cake, coffee… it was positively lovely. The weather was cool, so we ate on the patio while the girls played on the play set my dad built in the backyard.
Saturday afternoon, I got the best massage
(Tucson friends, if you need a recommendation, please let me know!)
and was thinking the rest of the afternoon would be uneventful. (HA.) I had a first Arizona life experience, even though I was born here and have lived in Tucson for about 3/4 of my years. I took a plant from the house outside to water it, and thought I saw a trash bag in between two trees we have by the back wall. It could see the black object glimmering in the sunlight and while I focused on it to see what it was, I saw a TAIL FLICK. Instantly I was like, “OMG IT’S A SNAKE” and rushed the dogs inside. Turns out it wasn’t one snake, but TWO SNAKES, and one was trying to eat the other snake. I can’t even. I’m so sorry if you’re reading this while you’re eating breakfast or something.
I called one of the snake remover numbers from Google, while the Pilot bravely took photos for me to text over to the snake guy. (The Pilot was convinced the snakes were harmless but we wanted to be 100% certain.) Turns out that they were king snakes, which are actually beneficial since they eat rattlesnakes and other snakes. The snake guy encouraged us to just leave them alone since they’re not venomous, but the Pilot went outside with a shovel and gently urged them to move out of the backyard. My skin is literally crawling as I type this and I think this is the most I’ve typed the word snakes in my entire life.
The Pilot and I had a nerd date planned (I’m so excited for real dates again soon), so I dropped the girls off while he met with the snake guy. They’re coming back to snake-proof our yard this week and I don’t think I’ve ever been so thrilled for a home improvement project.
Nerd date in full force:
The Pilot has been constantly studying for airline interviews – I took one of his online practice tests for fun and crashed the plane – and I’ve been working on some behind-the-scenes stuff. We worked at Whole Foods while eating hot bar for dinner.
Sunday morning was Mother’s Day! I was surprised by the best homemade cards, plus one of those hilarious music cards from Target, and the Pilot framed some of our favorite photos of the girls. We met up with fam for brunch at First Watch, and I felt so lucky to be able to spend Mother’s Day with so many people we love. (I had fun looking back at what we did last year! We were still in Valdosta and I still miss Birdie’s brunch with all of my soul. They actually stopped serving brunch since we moved, which makes me feel a tiny bit better even though I know my Valdosta friends are being deprived of their incredible food.)
Being the girls’ mama is my favorite thing in the entire world. The surprise me, challenge me, make me laugh, and warm my heart every.single.day.
Hi friends! Happy weekend to ya. What do you have going on? I’m writing this blog post with hopes that P wakes up in the morning with no fever. Turns out that parking lot tantrum meant that a virus was on the way. (I can always tell the girls are getting sick when they seem off, and there ya go.) We laid low all day yesterday — she drank water and Gatorade, I made soup for dinner, and we took it easy around the house. So, I’m hoping that it was just a 24-hour fluke. We had some plans with friends tonight – Liv’s might be able to go if P is still under – but it will all depend on how this little noodle is doing. I’d love to hear what you have going on!
A huge congrats to all of my friends who are graduating this weekend! One of my little brothers is graduating from the U of A, so we’re looking forward to celebrating with the fam! Also, Sunday is Mother’s Day. Any fun plans?? If you’re looking for last-min gift ideas, check out this post. I’m looking forward to sleeping in, a mimosa (or two) and cards from the amazing angels who made me a mama.
It’s time for some faves! Here are some of the things I’m loving from the week and around the web. Please share something you’re lovin’ in the comments section if you’d like to join in the fun.
Jones BBQ Sauce! I haven’t tried it yet, but I was so pumped to receive the three bottles I ordered after watching their Queer Eye episode. I was cheering for Shorty and Little so hard, and when they said their BBQ sauce was available online, I jumped to order some. (Apparently I wasn’t alone.) Guess we need to buy some chicken wings!
Simple Mills baking mixes. I always have these on hand for when the girls or myself want a little something sweet. (I like that they use simple ingredients and and gluten-free.) I order these from Thrive Market! <— my link gets your 25% off your first order. We also love their banana bread, pizza dough, and pumpkin muffins.
Bright lipstick. I’m on a bright lipstick kick and I’m convinced it makes me look more put-together? The things we tell ourselves haha. Like if I’m in yoga pants, a messy bun, and a sweatshirt, if I put on bright lipstick it makes it all ok. The Color Intense lipstick is my very fave. I’ve been wearing Garden Party lately, but when I want a more neutral color, Brunch is my go-to.
The wrap detail gives it a little extra something, and you can dress it up with wedges or down with sandals and a jean jacket. The link is here – I’m tempted to get another color because I’ve worn it so many times already. Shoes are here.
Hi friends! Happy Wednesday! What are you up to today? It’s a short day at school, so I’m just catching up on some work stuff before I pick up P. I’m hoping to sneak in an upper body workout (and a shower! #necessary) while she naps later today.
Yesterday was kind of a tough parenting day. The Pilot had been out of town for one of his airline interviews – he has 3! – so it was single parent mode over here. We’re obviously used to our groove with just the girls (since we did it for quite a while) but by yesterday, everyone was going crazy. Just one of the gold star moments from the day: I had to carry P across a parking lot because she refused to hold my hand and wanted to run around. I carried her to the car while she flailed and yelled at me. Instead of taking them out for Taco Tuesday, I figured it would be smarter to get Chipotle takeout and bring it home so I wouldn’t have to chase her around the restaurant. (99.97% of the time she’s an awesome listener, but we were just having a bit of an off day yesterday.) It ended up being the right choice. Early bedtimes all around and we’re all reset today and doing much better.
It’s funny because the tougher days like that have become so rare as they’ve gotten older. I was chatting with a friend last weekend about this, but when they get to these ages, everything just seems like fun instead of work. They make me laugh so many times during the day and my heart explodes watching them be such sweet little friends and sisters to each other. I mentioned that I was unsure of how to navigate the teen years – she has older kiddos – but she said something that made a lot of sense: there are hard parts and easy parts about every phase. For example, no one likes being woken up a bunch during the night when they’re newborns. But the newborn snuggles are the best thing ever! As they get older, there are still some tricky parts, but obviously way more amazing parts than anything.
For today’s post, I thought I’d share some of my favorite parenting resources. I’d love to hear about your faves if you wouldn’t mind sharing the love in the comments section below. I’d especially love any books or advice you found helpful in the later elementary school and tween years. <3
Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: This book is my #1 recommendation to new parents. This is what helped us get the girls into a routine when they were babies and they learned to sleep through the night without having to cry it out. I also loved that it helped me learn how to interpret their cues (how to tell when they were hungry vs. tired) and it’s a quick, easy read. When the kiddos were a bit older, I loved this book for sleep strategies and tips. You can skim it if you’re in the throws of sleepless nights and just want ideas.
Sleep Shop Consulting: I can’t thank or praise Sleep Shop enough! We chatted with Heather when we were going through out big sleep issues, and with her help and guidance, we’ve been sleeping through the night ever since. Everyone in our family is happier and more rested. (I wake up at 6 or 6:30 am now before my alarm, which I NEVER thought would happen.) Also worth noting that they don’t know I have a blog or anything like that. We did the 30-minute consultation call and that’s all we ended up needing. It was the best $100 I’ve ever spent! You can check out more about our great sleep struggle and resolution here.
Janet Lansbury Facebook page and podcast: I love that she truly respects children as little people, and recommends teaching and leading with respect. She provides information on so many aspects of parenting, from tantrums, to sibling rivalry, discipline, and so much more. She recommends seeing the situation from your child’s point of view, and I highly recommend her book No Bad Kids.
Coffee and Crumbs podcast: This has become one of my very favorite podcasts! The hosts are fun, insightful, and I love how real and joyful they are about parenting and motherhood. The hosts chat about navigating motherhood, marriage, birth, pregnancy, and always crack me up at least once during each episode.
I hope you have a wonderful day and I’ll see ya soon! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today.