Jemma’s Room Tour

Today is a happy day, my friends! I’ve crossed off a BIG project from my list … well, technically two!

First, our entire house now has blinds! If you’re a homeowner, or if you’re thinking of becoming one, don’t forget to plan and budget for blinds! Through both a personal purchase and a partnership with Blinds.com Dominic and I have outfitted every single window. Woohoo! The majority of our windows have the Blinds.com 2” Faux Wood Blinds. They’re sturdy, chic and totally affordable. We installed our first blinds over a year ago and I’m still pleased with our purchase. That says a lot about me because I tend to have home decor purchase regret on occasion. Am I the only one? I think it has a lot to do with my battle with contentment :/

The final room we installed blinds in was Jemma’s room and that’s my other completed project – her room is finished and today you’re all getting a tour! And it is a lesson in contentment for sure since I didn’t go shopping to complete it – I simply gathered treasures we already had that fit her personality! And it worked! But, first, the sweetest story …

The day I wrapped up Jemma’s room with a few frames on the wall, she crawled into her bed for nap, called me over and said, “Mama, I just really love how you decorated my room. Thank you sooooo much!” 

She knew I’d been working on little things on and off, but I hadn’t really voiced my efforts to her. On her own accord, she recognized the transformation and thanked me, from the bottom of her heart. This girl has genuine and heart felt thank you skills down pat!

Now, my almost 4 year old’s room! Here birthday is tomorrow and I’m just a puddle of emotions over it. Like every year.

big girl room 1big girl room 9big girl room details 3big girl room 5big girl details 4big girl room 4

I knew I wanted faux wood blinds in Jemma’s room, just like the rest of our house, but opted for a special version, the Bali 2” Faux Wood Blinds in Coconut (with a cordless lift!), yep, cordless! Rather than drawing them up with a cord, you simply lift and it retracts. Then, to pull down, you  just give it a gentle tug with two hands. Easy! 

Jemma’s room transformation came together without much expense. And I’m happy about that. Really! There’s nothing like turning a blank space into something special. And Jem definitely thinks her “pink and fancy gold” room is special. Here’s the rundown of her treasures …

  • Bed /// A true vintage piece … it was mine growing up!
  • Duvet cover /// STENKLÖVER, IKEA
  • Curtains /// Urban Outfitters, last year
  • Blinds /// c/o Blinds.com
  • White Bookshelf /// thrifted + repainted, added gold polka dots from Designeee
  • Cream bureau + dresser /// thrifted
  • Princess dress collection /// my mama’s Etsy shop, Heart of Gold Princess
  • Chalkboard platter /// DIY here
  • Closet lace bunting /// leftover decor from my sister’s wedding
  • I’ll Eat You Up I Love You So print /// Hobby Lobby
  • Dollhouse /// Craigslist
  • Collage wall …
    • Guardian angel /// sewn by my mom 20+ years ago for my childhood room
    • Esther 4:14 print /// gift from my bestie who now has an Etsy shop called Tangled Inspirations, glitter frame on clearance at Michaels
    • Embroidery hoops /// thrifted and filled with random fabric scraps, the prettiest one from Little Long Love’s adoption fundraiser
    • Whatever You Do print /// She Reads Truth
    • Whatever Is Lovely print /// free printable from Danielle Burkleo’s blog, Take Heart
  • Rocking chair /// the one my mama rocked me in
  • Quilt /// handmade by a church friend for my Grammy’s 75th birthday

That about covers it! I like how it turned out, not perfect, but what is? I had grand hopes of painting the walls white (so. tired. of. beige.), but painting just isn’t my thing. 

What really matters – Jemma loves it. She goes to her room to play and imagine often. That dollhouse gets played with for hours – do you see the ponies starring down a sleeping Prince Charming? She is constantly changing in and out of her princess dresses too. I love that bureau because it’s just the perfect height for her. She also listens to music and audio books – her favorites being Swan Lake, the Nutcracker and another we can “Ocean music”. It’s the perfect little space for her!

And Captain America thinks it is perfect for him too :) It was virtually impossible to snap these few photos before he came flying in!

Blinds.com has two big specials going on this month that tie in perfectly with room transformations …

  1. For the month of October there are special savings as a part of the Blinds.com Safer For Kids Collection. Take a peek – lots to learn about ways to keep our little one’s rooms safer!
  2. There is also a Blinds.com Free Cordless Sale. Normally the cordless feature is an addition $40-$60 per window – not this month … FREE! Which means you could get your whole house cordless if you wanted for no extra cost! 

And, they’ve generously offered a $100 gift card to one of you (to be used towards blinds, drapes … whatever you want)! You know the Rafflecopter drill …

Oh, and there is a bonus from Tangled Inspirations – any print the winner would like from the shop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t stop here – Blinds.com has a GRAND PRIZE going on this month too. A $2500 gift card is up for grabs! Enter here!


Blinds.com provided blinds for Jemma’s room and a few other rooms in our home. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own :)


The Fall Shoe Four-fecta

Hip hip hooray! Fall has arrived!

For as long as I can remember, Fall has been my favorite season. I’m sure, heavily influenced by my birthday being October 5th. The lovely rain, changing leaves and early sundown (also known as early bedtime for the children!) kind of seal the deal. Oh, and pumpkin everything, because yes – whether it be a latte, scones or pie, I heart me some pumpkin.

Seeing that you witnessed me wear my Birkenstocks 400 times this summer, I thought it was high time I introduce my fave Fall shoes … the four-fecta!

fall shoe fourfecta

I have a few other rain worthy kicks, but these are the four I seem to grab the very most. Well, and my running shoes because this mama is still hitting the pavement as long as the torrential rains stay away. I can deal with a strong drizzle, but I don’t like swimming. Gotta draw the line somewhere!

First up, my mocs. I’ve had these since college and just peek ^^^, they still look new! They’re comfy and match every ding dong thing. I’m a Minnetonka girl for life.

Last winter, when my feet had finally slimmed down from the pregnancy puff I ran across a pair of Fossil ankle boots on clearance at Macy’s. I scooped them up, fell in love and the rest is history. I don’t know the style name and just spent 20 minutes searching for a link … nothin’. These are similar. Mine do seem to have a bit of a cowgirl flair though. I’ll keep looking!

Who wants to sing the praises of Hunter rain boots with me? Everyone? You just can’t go wrong. I 100% believe I’ll be 84 years old and still wearing my Hunters. Don’t worry, I’ll totally blog it when that happens :) I have an aubergine pair and then, when Costco started carrying them last year I ordered a second pair in the traditional green. 

Last? These babies. They made me fall in love with cognac and have seen me through many seasons of life. I think they’ve been around for 5+ years now. They’re worn in and soft and again, I’ll be 84 trottin’ around in them. Skirts, leggings, skinnies, spiced up with scrunched up socks – they work with everything. Totally the best. I promise.

That’s it! My Fall shoe fourf-ecta! 

This post wasn’t sponsored at all, just my genuine love for some favorites! But, if you do opt to purchase a pair of Fall shoes for yourself, I highly recommend signing up for eBates so you can earn back a percentage of your purchase. I just got a $100 check from some referral credits and online purchases!

P.S. Four years ago today my water broke and Jemma was on her way … two days from now!

P.S.S. Don’t miss the prAna giveaway! Just don’t. I’m absolutely smitten with this jacket!


How To Exercise With Kids

I put off exercising for years because … well … HOW?

First I had one kid and then I had two. Add my home state of rainy Washington and it just never seemed feasible to find a time to consistently exercise. So, I didn’t. 

Then, one day – I just stopped making excuses. Dishes could wait and the kids could come with me while I exercised. I’m not here to say it’s necessarily easy to exercise with your kids, BUT it can be done! I’m the walkin’ talkin’ proof :)

So, in handy dandy list fashion, here’s the how behind exercising with my little crew …

EQUIPMENT

I know from our church nursery experience that there was a negative 400 chance that Max would tolerate a gym childcare setup. So, that means we’re not just in the same building while I exercise, we’re together. Like, together together.

Enter this fine chap. I love him. I got him on Craigslist and when the time comes to replace him, I’ll buy another. Best thing ever for any mama on the move. Plus, I witnessed a versatile skateboard attachment added for a third child at a recent Stroller Strides class. That mama has got some oomph, not only for #3, but for #4 who was snuggled up in her Ergo!stroller shadow

Other “equipment” includes … my favorite apps (Spotify, UP24 and Run 5K), water for all, snacks for the bumpkins, and a stash of sweaters, diapers, wipes, coloring, books, and various other forms of no-pulling-hair-be-kind-and-smile types of bribery.

SCHEDULE

For me, this is key. If I don’t plan it, it doesn’t happen. Like, no way. So, every week when I meal plan, I also exercise plan. I know the days I’m walking, running, taking a class, and doing meat home yoga video. Now, a torrential down pour can derail me on occasion, but for the most part, I stick to my calendar. Oh, and I don’t just pencil in the day – it’s the time too. Because if I commit to the morning, that means one thing, versus something in the afternoon or right before bed. Feel me?

Which brings me to my very best “advice”. Getting out the door is the hardest part with kids! Harder than burpees or that last 1/4 mile when your lungs feel all wheezy. So, I’ve found that sleeping in my workout clothes makes my morning exercise days much easier. This way, I can get out of bed, brush my teeth (because obviously), reassemble my messy bun, pop in my contacts, don my shoes and be ready to go. Most always, I’ll let the kids ride along in their pajamas and eat breakfast while I run. It’s beautiful! Well not really beautiful, more of the effective kind of beautiful that I thrive on as a mom. So, yeah, sleep in that tank and capris and you’ll be set!

SUPPORT

Last, but definitely, 100% not least, is my accountability and support. No one knows exercising with kids like another mama. So, I aim to meet up with other mamas as often as I can. Over the summer I was training for my 5K with my bestest teacher friend and now that school is back in sesh, I’m killin’ it with my Stroller Strides ladies.  

Friends, Stroller Strides is 1) no joke and 2) the most thorough workout maybe ever. I say “maybe ever” because I don’t really have a strong history of various workout regimens, but, what I can tell you is that my arms, legs, bum and abs all feel the love during Stroller Strides. Best of all, it is so much more interactive for Jemma and Max than straight up running. We do jumping jacks while singing songs, lunge ladders and then run back to them for tickles, and count our push ups in French. The amazing instructors even read stories and blow bubbles for the kids while cheering us on. Curious about Stroller Strides? This FAQ gives a good picture of what to expect. stroller strides fit4mom stroller strides fit4momMy favorite thing about my Stroller Strides experience thus far was from a quick conversation I had with one of the first instructors I met, and I paraphrase … she said, “I teach Stroller Strides to help moms feels good about themselves – it’s hard work being a mom, it’s hard work exercising, it’s even harder work exercising with your kids and I’m here to encourage everyone through it so we can all walk away knowing we did something great for ourselves and our family.”

Can I get an amen?

There is no doubt that exercising with kids is hard work. But let me tell you, the benefits of that hard work are huge. Most of all, I’m proud to be setting a positive example for my little ones. They’re watching me make healthy choices and I hope it will compel them to follow suite in the years to come. I know they’re watching and soaking it all in. Most recently because Jemma presented me with this photo of our family … family runner mom

Her explanation of my outfit was “these are your pink running pants, because those are my favorite ones you wear and the orange running shirt is the one you told me you run fast in” :) OHMYGOODNESS! She freakin’ identifies me, her mother, as a frequent enough exerciser that my workout clothes were featured in a drawing! Not pajamas, or jeans and Birkenstocks – WORKOUT CLOTHES!

So, here I am, cheering you on to rally your equipment, schedule some dates with your tennies and hand pick a support team that will keep you motivated! Exercising with kids is possible and dare I say, a little bit fun too :)


I received complimentary classes from my local Stroller Strides group so I could adequately share about my experience. No other compensation was received. You can find a local Stroller Strides to you here.

 


Summer Bucket List Report

The summer bucket list report is here! I’m all for these seasonal goals/lists of fun because it feels much more achievable than annual resolutions. Agree? Disagree? Does your family do bucket lists for seasons?

Either way, it only seemed right to report back on how we did with our plans! It was a full, wonderful summer. This is just a glimpse!

Whip Up Homemade Popsicles

Check! Recipe here :) popsicle

Hatch a Butterfly

This was super fun and Jem has already asked to order “those wittle caterpillars who grow cocoons and ***HATCH*** and become SOOOOO BEAUTIFUL!” Details to order your own caterpillars here! butterflies-3

Visit Northwest Trek

Done! Twice in fact. And officially dubbed the “woods zoo”. The kids love and you can’t beat the view
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Go on a Family Swim

Check-ish! Daddy didn’t make it – poor guy has quite the busy season at work during the summer. But I hopped in the pool on a visit to our friend’s new apartment. IMG_6574

Go Berry Picking

YES! Twice! Max turned out to be a much better berry picking than I imagined. IMG_6200

Finish Jem’s Room

It’s done and a whole photo tour is coming next week! Until then, here’s a peek at her gold polka dot book shelf …IMG_9093

Take Family Photos

On the last day of summer’s eve we fit this in – phew! I’ve gotten a few sneak peeks and am in love … with my family AND our darling photographer’s workseptember family photos

And … the ones I missed/forgot/decided to roll to another season’s bucket list because I’m the boss applesauce

  • Visit the Disney Store /// Totally forgot about this! Whatevs. Probably saved my a fifty in some unneeded princess paraphernalia.
  • Visit the Splash Pad /// Boo! Totally missed this! We actually planned to go one day and ended up play T-Ball in the park instead. Which was awesome. So, who cares!

All in all, a fab summer. Just fab. Even though I’m a good week late on kicking off a Fall Bucket List, I still may – I just L-O-V-E Fall! What’s on your Fall bucket list? Give me some inspiration!


It’s Up To Us

ChildhoodCancerAwareness1

Did you know September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month?

After Max’s hemihypertrophy scare which resulted in an ultrasound screening for an abdominal tumor last year I’ve become much more aware of childhood cancers and the fight against them. Through my involvement I have met two amazing moms, Gretchen and Emily.

This year, they both participated in a heartfelt question and answer with me and we shared it over on Baby Gizmo. I hope you’ll take a peek, offer these mamas a boost of support and see how you and your family can get involved. As Emily said,Let me clear, cancer families need desperately for regular families to help us carry on the fight for funding.”

These mamas are busy. They’re advocating for their sick children 24/7 while maintaining jobs, caring for other family members and well, just being mamas. We ALL know how busy that is in and of itself! Add on top a child fighting for their life and all the emotions tied to the ugly C word and you can imagine that funding isn’t a priority in their day to day. 

But they know it’s important. Funding is crucial to their child’s recovery. And with 40+ children being diagnosed EVERY DAY with cancer, research is critical for children who will encounter cancer tomorrow and the next day and the next. AND FUNDING IS LACKING! When you make a donation to the American Cancer Society or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society 2% or less of your donation benefits kids directly. That awful disproportion is why there has only been one new drug approved by the FDA for childhood cancer in the last 20 years. ONE DRUG IN TWENTY YEARS! What century are we living in? Emily cited in her Q&A, “In 2012 alone, over 20 new cancer drugs were approved for adults. We are falling behind and failing our kids and the single biggest barrier to new advancements in treatment is funding.” 

So, what can you do? Read these family’s stories, say a prayer for them today and every moment they cross your mind and find a way to get involved. Their Q&As share quite a few ideas.

Read Gretchen Q&A here.

Read Emily’s Q&A here.

go gold simon ethan


One Hundred Lessons /// I’m So Proud Of You

One Hundred Lessons is my story. It’s the heart of my experience in motherhood and all the things, well 100 of the things, I want my children to read and remember. These bits are my hope for the future and my cherished memories of the past. Most of all, they are the beautiful moments of today that I never want us to forget.

You can read all the post from the One Hundred Lessons series here.


I Believe-6Over the last three months we’ve been exercising together. Mama, Jemma and Max – out on the open road or the track, pounding the pavement and running up the miles on our little sticker chart. Almost always, the two of you are excited to go. Jem rallies her coloring or a snack and Max emphatically yells, “Bears? Bears?” because he thinks stroller rides mean we’re heading to Northwest Trek to look for bears. Two year olds and their creative correlations! Regardless, we look for bears on every run, and thankfully, we’ve not seen any around our neighborhood.

When I started running I thought I was doing it for me. To meet a goal, check something off my bucket list, to even lose a few pounds and tone up a bit. The two of you have been on every step of my journey. It’s been fun … hard, but fun, to do this together.

The other week I tried something new. Rather than running, we went to a Fit4Mom class. An hour of cardio and strength training … testing muscles I had yet to discover in my running regimen. And there are many of them! Did you know there is some kind of muscle under your boobs that can feel really sore? Oh, and lunges will make your bum ache! Just a little TMI FYI :)

At one station, all the strollers were lined up along a path and twenty moms or so were in a long line doing squats passing a rubber ball over our heads and then threw our legs. Over and over again with the last person running to the front and starting the passing again. Jemma yelled to me every so often … “Hi, Mom! Good job, Mom! You’re going so fast! Goooooo, Mama!” 

I felt like I was back in PE. Doing drills and counting down the minutes until I could rest, relax and get out of sweaty clothes. But this time, this time I had a cheerleader. My cheerleader. Someone who saw me working hard and thought I was awesome. The best. 

We wrapped up our drill and returned to our strollers for a jog to our next station. Jemma turned to me as we began rolling and said with every ounce of encouragement she could muster, “Mom, I’m SO PROUD of you!”

It brought tears to my eyes. Because in her, I saw a million little things *I* was so proud of. To hear her speak so clearly when there were days I was worried about her speech development. To see her sitting so sweetly next to her brother, reminding him that I was coming back and he didn’t need to worry; he could just hold her hand while they waited. To know her patience in waiting for our class to be over so she could head to the playground. I was/am/will always be so proud of her.

Every day Jemma blows me away with her wit and charm, her kind words and vivacious spirit. She learns new things and tosses vocabulary and little quips at me like it’s going out of style. Most of all, it’s her thought for others that makes me proud. I’ve never met a more selfless almost four year old. Who gives the last bite of her cookie to her brother? Jemma does. Who decides to buy just one book when her Mimi offers to buy her two because “I’ll just leave that one for another little girl to get”. Jemma again. Who walks into her room and sees some new pictures on the wall and says, “Mama, I just love how you decorated my room for me – thank you!” You guessed it, Jemma.

 My Jemma … I’m so proud of you. Always have been, always will be.


Style File /// Breathe Deeply with prAna AND A GIVEAWAY!

Friends! I’ve had the absolute best time working with prAna recently! Here’s the rundown of their awesomeness …

A few weeks ago I visited their store in Portland. It’s in the darling NW 23rd area called the Alphabet District and is full of quaint shops and delicious restaurants. We (my Mom, the littles and I) paid homage to Salt & Straw and then made our way to prAna to take a peek at the Fall collection.

This sounds like the perfect afternoon, right? Hangin’ with my ma, ice cream, shopping, showing off Portland to the kiddos. But no, I somehow timed all the fun of our day during nap time. Sooooo, emotion explosion time 2,000. 

Jem and Max combusted in all their glory while the sweet gal at prAna tried to cool their jets with some licorice. Amidst her snot and tears over my phone dying (read, my only hope at quiet in the dressing room) Jemma declared that “wickorish is weally, weally yummy”. Yes, my dear, it is. Just please don’t touch mama’s clothes.

While at prAna I fell in love with this and this

Okay, and this and this and ohmygoodness, this too.

But more than their clothing I love their heart. prAna is a company focused on sustainability, quality, and immeasurable ethics. They go above and beyond in all they do; in all they create. And have from the very beginning

prAna often says, “a brand should give much more than it takes from the world“. And they do! I experienced this first hand when their Portland employees reached out to cheer up my non-napping children. I saw this in their 100% recyclable shipping materials. I read about it in their commitment to sustainability and their forward thinking as they pioneered Fair Trade Certified apparel. Perhaps, most impressive, I’ve felt it in the quality of their products.

Here’s where things get exciting for you … this jacket, the Martina jacket, is the star of my Fall wardrobe. It’s classic, comfortable, and both water and wrinkle resistant. Plus, BEAUTIFUL! 
prana martina 3prana martina 7prana martina 1prana martina 5 prana martina 2 prana martina 4prana martina 9

sunglasses, Kate Spade via Nordstrom | Martina Jacket, c/o prAna | jeans, American Eagle | boots, Fossil via Macys | diaper bag purse, c/o Lily Jade (my review over at Baby Gizmo)

Seeing how fabulous prAna is – you guessed it … you could win a Martina jacket for yourself in your choice of sand, plum red or black!

Enter below, visit the prAna website and give it some Pinterest love and share the giveaway with your friends. Supporting companies that are actively working to make our world a better place is our responsibility. So, when the time comes to invest in new clothing – check out your favorite shop’s score here to see how they rate behind the scenes. There is so much more to fashion than what we see in the storefronts! You’ll be happy to see prAna is in the very top with an A-!

I’ll email and announce the winner on October 5th, my birthday :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Although I received complimentary pieces from prAna, they didn’t ask me to share about them. After one too many less than ethical correspondences with various other companies, I couldn’t help but shout prAna’s story from the roof tops. They are doing good, they are doing marvelous things. And all while producing beautiful, top quality apparel. Thank you prAna, I only hope that you inspire many more companies to follow in your footsteps.

Joining in with What I Wore over at The Pleated Poppy today too!
pleated poppy


Mexi Burgers

Look at me, following through on promises — the recipe I mentioned yesterday!

I have quite the history with beef. You see, for 23 years I hated it. Burgers made me gag. Steaks were out of the question. Meatloaf was my worst nightmare. Beef and I just didn’t mix. 

Then I got pregnant and all of a sudden nothing sounded better than a hearty burger with all the fixin’s. I ate countless burgers while pregnant with Jemma and fully expected my burger love to wane once she was born. But no. It didn’t. Not in the least. I still LOVE burgers. In fact, I want one now!

Thanks to our cow share the deep freezer is stocked with happy ground beef and I use that portion of our cow for crockpot lasagna and taco meat quite often. Until recently though, I had never made burger patties at home. Why?!? Your guess is as good as mine! I suppose I figured nothing could beat a restaurant style burger.

I was wrong. 

Mexi burgers, as I call them, are now a staple on our menu. We just can’t get enough of this flavorful ground beef patty complete with a fiesta of toppings! Enjoy!

mexi burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons Wildtree taco seasoning, love this stuff!
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Pub buns (I buy these at Costco and they’re 20 times better than plain burger buns)
  • Burger fixin’s — cheese, guacamole, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato

Directions

  • Preheat a cast iron pan on the stove. I have grill fear, so if Dominic isn’t home, I grill our burger patties on the stove.
  • In a mixing bowl add the ground beef, taco seasoning, egg, mustard, garlic powder, 1/2 cup shredded cheese, salt and pepper.
  • Wash your hands super well, remove your rings and mix with your hands.
  • Divide your ground beef blend into 6 balls and form into patties. With our cow share there is hardly any fat so they don’t shrink up much. I usually eye my buns and attempt to make my patties match the bun diameter.
  • Grill on each side for 3-4 minutes. I’m a medium rare girl, so just check the center for your preferred doneness.
  • Remove from your cast iron, add your slice of cheese so it melts and build your perfect mexi burger with a dollop of guacamole, slice of tomato, pile of shredded lettuce and my favorite, caramelized onions!

For sides I’m a big fan of baking up Alexia tater tots or sweet potato fries. YUM!


Currently

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Calling /// to schedule a massage and a house cleaning! WHAT?!? I won the massage in a raffle the other week (yay!) and the house cleaning has become a necessity, made possible by an Amazon Local deal. In a week’s time my baseboards are going to be sparkling!

Loving /// Beth Moore’s Children of the Day study. Like, really loving it. If you peek at the #childrenoftheday or #bethmoore on Instagram you’ll find great stuff too! And, Hebrews 11 too – it’s quickly becoming my favorite passage of Scripture.

Eating /// through a full freezer. My mom’s chest freezer died so my freezer welcomed all her freezer food. This last week we’ve enjoyed homemade meat sauce with tortellini, sweet potato curry, baked potatoes and chili and tomorrow monte cristo sandwiches.

Riding /// to the beach this coming weekend! We can’t wait. It’s our happy place. We trekked West the week after Max’s birthday and now we’re creeping up on Jem’s so she thinks this is her birthday beach trip :) I’m planning meals and planning to relax. I can already smell the salt air …

Wishing /// I had more sneak peeks of our family photo shoot from Friday. Soon! Until then, here’s a quick iPhone photo from the location I scouted out. photo-2

And a few links to share …

Here’s where I’ve been writing elsewhere lately …

That’s all for tonight! Later this week (if all goes as I plan) I’ll be sharing a favorite recipe of mine and an AWESOME giveaway from these fine folks!

G’Night!


Fit Mama Favorites

I’m still hesitant to call myself a fit mom. Maybe a “becoming fit mom” fits me best. Truly, inside I’m still the girl who would feign illness on PE day in order to sit out of anything too strenuous or competitive. Yes, that was me! Please say I’m not the only one who hated PE growing up?

At the end of June I made the commitment to run a 5K and thus began the slippery slope into the fitness world. Now, I find myself spending money on sports bras and workout tunes rather than heels and lattes. What can I say? I’m becoming a fit mom!

Now that I’m 3 months into an exercise routine I thought it was high time I share some favorites. It just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t shout what I love from the rooftops. fit mama favorites

I want to start with my newest addition — the UP24 compliments of Jawbone. I was thrilled to partner with them because I’ve been hesitant to commit to a fitness band as part of my workout regimen. But, once I saw the chic design of the UP24 I knew it was the one I wanted to try. I mean, just look at it! It looks like a hip bangle! photo 2

Inside the UP24 is chalk full of fitness magic. The UP24 allows you to track and sync your steps, sleep and other goals. Just yesterday I connected it to the My Run Keeper app so I’ll be able to track my runs too. After all, my next 5K is November 2nd!

I’m a VERY goal oriented person so being able to set goals and monitor them is key to my fitness. Right now I’m aiming to sleep 7 hours a day (5-6 at night and 1-2 during my daily nap) and walk 7,000 steps each day. I’m also quitting coffee (at least for this week) and committing to 100+ ounces of water each day. 
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Speaking of water … I’ve always been a water drinker. I don’t drink soda or milk and just occasionally sip sparkling juices, kombucha or wine. My one kicker is coffee, but I’m cleansing from that. To make my water special these days I’ve been having a mason jar of water with a drop of grapefruit doTERRA essential oil in it each day. Grapefruit cleanses, refreshes and helps with stress. Bring it on, sister! grapefruit water

Alongside my water I’ve finally learned to NOT exercise on an empty stomach. I was at Stroller Strides the other week and darn near passed out. No bueno! Since I exercise with my kids I definitely don’t want to go MIA, so, I’m not going to forget a pre-work out snack from now on. I prefer something hearty so tend to alternate between a sausage breakfast sandwich and Umpqua Oats – YUM! 

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Next favorite … my outfits! I have two current loves – my Salar capris from Fabletics and my Nike Frees that I scored at the Nike Outlet. I’m still trying to nail down a favorite sports bra (recommendations?). This zip up from prAna is perfect for layering on crisp mornings too!IMG_6638Last, but not least I wouldn’t be able to exercise if it wasn’t for my BOB Jogger. Once I decided that BOB was the stroller I needed I scoured Craigslist for weeks and finally landed on this beauty for $280. Not a bad deal! I use it daily and it beautifully fits Jemma and Max who weigh 37 and 36 pounds respectively. It’s a smooth ride as long as I keep the tires at the right pressure and I won’t think twice about investing in another or a single when the time comes. 

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 And now … The why behind all this. How does a PE hater turn into fitness mom? I’ll tell ya!
 
After surviving both a marathon birth and a surprise speedy one, I all of a sudden started believing in my body. I can do hard things. I CAN DO HARD THINGS! Before birth I didn’t believe that. I never thought my body would strive to achieve when pushed. I thought it would just give up. Birth taught me different.
 
So, now that I sleep a tiny bit more than normal thoughts of baby number three have entered my mind and my heart. More than anything I want my third pregnancy to be my healthiest. Exercising will be a big part of that so I’m eager to keep it up. I’m still running 2-3 times each week and I’ve started a weekly Stroller Strides class for an element of strength and endurance training … and boy, am I feeling the burn from a few too many squats on Wednesday!  up24 jawbone
 
With the UP24 band I have a daily, visual reminder of the progress I’m making towards my fitness goals. And down the road I’ll even be able to track how it monitors pregnancy waddles if I stick with my plan to exercise through a pregnancy :) I’m excited to grow with the UP24 and maximize its functions – there are SO MANY. Stay tuned for a full review of my progress next month and another post about how to manage exercising with kids – my personal specialty :)
 

Share your current fitness goals with me! What are you working towards?


This post was sponsored by Jawbone. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that support my blog!