An Uncomplicated Life Blog: July 2014

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Liebster Award

WOW! Two, yes two, Liebster Blog Award nominations this week! I'm so honored. Seriously!

Kendall over at Simply Kendall Rose nominated me for a Liebster Award, and then Samantha over at My Legendary Style hooked up the nomination! It's an award passed from blogger to blogger, and provides a way for bloggers to show each other some love and for readers to get to know their bloggers better. So here's how it works. I tell 11 random facts about myself, then I answer the 11 questions Kendall has provided me. Lastly, I pass it on to 11 more bloggers and ask them 11 questions that I have come up with! 
 
11 Random facts about me:
one - I hate shopping. All forms of shopping, from clothes to groceries. What a waste of time! I'm a buyer, not a shopper. I only head out when I plan on dropping cash.

two - I've had just about every hair color under the sun. (Except black. Nobody should dye their hair black. Just don't. Nope.) 

three - My natural hair color is a dark blonde. I think. It's been since I was in Jr. High that my hair was my God-given color!

four - I'm an extreme extrovert. I strike up conversations with everyone, everywhere I go.

five - I need alone time daily, or I get crabby. Strange for an extrovert, right? Yup.

six - I never call my family or closest friends by their real names. I come up with nicknames for everyone!

seven - I love to cook. 

eight - I hate to bake. Man, I'm a terrible baker! Who wants to follow all those rules in recipes anyway? Not this girl!

nine -  I think feet are really gross. Except baby feet, those are adorable. 

ten - I love dogs, but only small dogs. That don't bark excessively. And are potty trained. And don't shed. I'm a terrible animal lover, aren't I?! So many qualifications for my love...

eleven - I LOVE living in the South. I hope I never have to live north of the Mason-Dixon again. The weather, the food, the culture, the manners... I could go on and on about how great it is!

Here are Kendall's questions for me: 

1. Why did you start your blog?
I started An Uncomplicated Life Blog because I LOVE to write! I was giving up my job as a director of grants to become a stay at home mom, and wanted something to engage my brain. We also have family and friends ALL over the country, so this was a great way to keep people in the loop of what we're up to in Texas.

2. What is your favorite TV show and why?
This is so embarrassing... I love trashy TV. I mean, I'm educated with a Master's degree, am nearly 30 years old and my favorite TV shows are Teen Mom 2, Girl Code, and anything on Bravo. Whaaaaat? It's true.

3. If you had to choose from not eating sweets for a month or not going shopping for a week, which would you choose?
HA! I don't do either of these, so neither would be a problem to give up. Don't touch my wine, though.

4. What is your favorite holiday?
Halloween!

5. Name a time you did something you were scared to do and it turned out for your benefit.
I was scared to move across the country to go to grad school when I was 24. Turns out, I made some of the best friends of my life through that experience!

6. What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who never shut their mouths. Not, like, people who talk a lot. I'm talking about the people who sit there silently with their mouths open, just breathing. Or eating. Why is your mouth open?! Shut it. Please.

7. Do you collect anything? If so, what? If not, what would you want to collect?
Designer handbags. Outside of those, I regularly purge EVERYTHING because I hate stuff sitting around.

8. What is your go-to accessory?
I wear my beautiful wedding set everyday, does that count?! Other than that, my hubs got me a pair of gold studs from Tiffany's a few years ago for my birthday. I wear those all the time!

9. Do you have a favorite book? Or any good suggestions?
I have the attention span of a peanut, so I rarely read books. I stick to magazines, newspapers and blogs!

10. Where are you from?
Minneapolis; the coldest urban metropolis on earth.

11. What is your favorite workout?
Ohhhh, this is a toughie! I LOVE ballet barre classes. I also love me some yoga. And finally, a half marathon is also up there. Do all three, and you'll be in amazing shape!

These are the ladies I nominate for Liebster Awards:

Jaelan at Making Mrs. M
Kayla at Mississippi Mrs.
Crystal at Hall Around Texas
Kriss at Sneakers and Sequins
Kat at Lemonade Linings
Monica at Jersey Girl, Texan Heart
Deb at Seeking Lavender Lane
Madi at And So I Did
Ashley at A Cute Angle
Alysse at A Southernly Belle Vie
Jordon at Darling Truly 

Ok, so here are the 11 questions for my chosen bloggers:
1) What's your favorite part about blogging?
2) What football team will you be cheering on this fall?
3) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
4) What's the best piece of blogging advice you have for new bloggers?
5) Best season: Fall, Summer, Spring or Winter?
6) Are you guilty of texting and driving? Don't lie!
7) If you were 18 and in college again, and know what you know now, what would you major in?
8) Have you, or do you aspire to ever run a full marathon?
9) What's your favorite beverage?
10) What was your biggest blogging mistake?
11) Your house is on fire and you have time to grab three things - what are they?


Happy Liebster Blogging, girls!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Seriously, Eat This

I made mention in last Monday's post that we had hit up the Dallas farmer's market, and picked up a boat load of fresh, local veggies.

The thing about fresh veggies is that they don't last very long. Because they're fresh. And not loaded with pesticides and preservatives. Crazy concept, eh?

It has been a hot minute since I spent some time in the kitchen, subjecting my beer and burger loving hubby to my healthy, organic and often vegetarian ways. All these veggies were a great excuse to break out some of the awesome pots and pans we received as wedding gifts and force-feed my family some nutritious food!

I went with a quinoa salad, because I love quinoa. LOVE it.

And this is the best one I've made yet! It's super simple and easy to throw together, too. The hardest part was chopping all the veggies!

- 2 C quinoa
- 4 C veggie or chicken stock
- A boat load of fresh veggies, cut into bite sized pieces (I used zucchini, asparagus, sweet peppers and red onion)
- 1-2 T turmeric
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pushed through a press
- olive oil
- salt and pepper

Chop those veggies, and chop up a lot of them!


Put the broth in a large pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the quinoa and a teaspoon or so of salt, and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer covered until the liquid is gone, about 25 minutes. Remove the lid and let the quinoa sit to evaporate any excess liquid or steam.

Cover a large frying pan with a good amount of olive oil (probably four tablespoons or so. Don't skimp on the oil, this is flavor and your body needs healthy fats!) I added the red onion first to cook for a bit. Once translucent, I added the zucchini. At this point, I added the turmeric so that the spice could get the heat of the pan and mix with the oil to deepen the flavor. After a few minutes, I added the peppers. Finally, I added the asparagus and the garlic. Mushy asparagus is just as nasty as burnt garlic, so add these last! Add salt and pepper to taste.

Turmeric turns everything a pretty yellow color but beware! If you like to eat from the pan like I do, it will turn your fingernails yellow for a good three days!


Once the veggies and the quinoa are done, add the veggies to the quinoa and stir. Boom! Dinner is served. You can add some nuts (almonds or walnuts were both equally good in this) for some texture. If you wanted it tangy-er (since there's no vinegar in it) some goat cheese would be great.

This dish is bursting with protein, vitamins and minerals. Also, have you read about the health benefits of turmeric? What a powerful spice! Now go practice some yoga, and your mind, body, soul and tummy will be one big happy, connected camper!

Linking up with Good Food Fridays to share all sorts of deliciousness.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mommy Monday: This Might Save Me

I mentioned last Friday that my in-laws came to meet lil' H. This is their fourth grandbaby, and the other three lived in the same town as they do - all the way up until this past May, anyway. Regardless, because of that, my MIL knows quite a bit more about baby gadgets and trends than I do as a new mom!

One night we were enjoying a glass of wine together when she mentioned a baby swing that my SIL has that pretty much allows her to get stuff done around the house by keeping her baby occupied and happy. We have the rock n' play, which vibrates but you have to manually rock it. I'm also no a baby-gadget-hoarder, so I had avoided swings as something that would just take up space and be excessive.

However, it's been really challenging to get anything done around the house, since about one minute and thirty seconds after I put Henry in the rock n' play, he screams. And screams. And screams, until I pick him back up. My MIL mentioned this swing, and how great it was, and before I knew it, she headed off to Target to get it.

It's a bit blurry, but that's because Henry can't be in it without the movement. As long as it's rockin', he's in good shape!


The Fisher-Price swing is F-A-N-C-Y! The bucket can rotate for side-to-side or front to back motion. I think there's something like six speeds to choose from. It has a mobile that plays music, rotates little stuffed animals around, and has a mirror to get the baby's attention. We have the monkey version of the swing (there are many animals and colors to choose from) and there's a button for jungle noises. JUNGLE NOISES. It plugs into the wall so that you don't run out of battery power in a moment of crisis.

I don't remember anything so fancy when I was a babysitter back in the late 90's and early 2000's. So far, Henry really likes it. Calms him right down. I'm excited to see if this little swing will keep my son chilled out for just a few extra minutes so mommy can get the laundry done and keep the kitchen clean... And maybe time to eat a sandwich, although I won't be greedy here. Psssh, who needs sandwiches, anyway, right? Certainly not a new mom...

Here's to hoping!

Friday, July 25, 2014

High Five for Friday!

Cheers to the weekend, y'all!

Kirk's folks flew into town this week to meet their fourth grandbaby, so there are likely some fun times in store for all of us together, and hopefully a date night in store for me and the hubs! And if I'm super lucky, I'll have someone to watch Henry while I sneak away for a yoga or barre class, too.

Anyhoo, here were the top five moments of the week:

1) I went shopping (brick and mortar, not e-commerce! Yeah, say whuuuuut) with Henry. I was actually trying to exchange some clothes we got as a gift that already don't fit him. The exchange was unsuccessful (major GRRR!) but since we were out and he was being so good... I picked him up some 6mo sizes. And then I saw this: FOX outfit. It happened. How could I not put my son in this?!

It was 108 degrees out, so this didn't stay on long, but c'mon! FOX HAT! I died.

Fox onesie! Fox-footie-pajama! Fox fox fox!
2) That J Crew Factory dress I picked up online? Came the next day! Oh, 'Crew, I'm always impressed with you. Also? It's cute, and has two slits up the sides that will make a maxi dress bearable for the Texas triple-digit heat.

I put on the dress when I got it mid-afternoon... Then as I got Henry ready for bed, I realized I put him in navy stripes, too. Tuesday was stripes day around here!


3) My father-in-law did a lot of weeding and mulching and yard work around the house for us while they were in town this week! Which is perf, because I hate to garden. Aint nobody got time fo dat! I'm also amazed at what he was able to accomplish, since it was 110 everyday...

4) I made an awesome dish with all the veggies we got at the Dallas farmer's market last weekend. I have a post about it coming next week!

5) I was able to confirm that I have exactly three weeks until lil' H is old enough for the daycare at my gym. They'll take him for two hours, which means I get an hour workout AND an undisturbed shower. Like, there won't be a baby screaming in the other room. I mean, y'all! I might actually do my hair again! I'll be able to regularly get out of the house! This was me as I left the gym after that conversation:



Have a joyous weekend and make sure to check out these other lovely ladies I link up with every Friday!

http://farmerbell.blogspot.com/
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 That Friday Blog Hop

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Time For A Little Effort Follow-Up

Last week, I posted about feeling eight shades of frumpy as a new mom.

Instead of just complaining about it {man, I can't stand people who only complain and don't act, yaknow?!}I also told y'all what I was going to do to attempt to fix it: Get myself made up every single day for a week.

And now, the burning question: Did it work?!

Kind of.

The thing is, I don't have the time between baby screams to take a legit 15 minute shower, spend 15 mins on my makeup, and another 20 on my hair. I just simply don't. So I took seven to ten minute showers, nic'd myself while shaving so hastily, and spent ten minutes on my makeup and hair combined. While the left me not completely gross, it doesn't leave me very glamorous either.

This is effort, friends. Hey, there's blush, mascara and a necklace! And also, half-air-dryed-hair. Oops.


Dang! What else can I do to de-frump myself?!

The majority of the blogs I follow all raved and went on and on about the Nordstom sale. I figured, "say now! While I'm working on not being a disgusting frumpy SAHM, why don't I shop a little for some new clothes that, oh I don't know, don't make me frumpy!" I pulled up the sale and my fellow bloggers were quite right; there were some amazing deals out there!

Uno problemo: I have absolutely NO IDEA what size I am. None. All I can tell you is that I'm not my former size and I'm way too small for maternity. And that's quite a range of potential sizes. And designers all seem to size differently. Boo. What's the solution to that? Buy accessories! So I picked up a cute new Kate Spade phone cover. Then I headed over to my beloved J Crew and bought a dress, since I DO know what dress size I am at the 'Crew, and dresses work well with a post-baby-in-transtion-body.

I'm hoping that with some shiny new accessories and a few more clothing options that are easy to wear and not frumpy, I'll successfully address my de-frump debacle!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm currently in pink running shorts and a purple Athleta hoodie post-run (hey, I got sweaty and had to take off what I actually ran in and had to do it quickly - Henry was hungry!) so I need to heed my own advice and, errr... De-frump myself today. Or just match. I'd take matching clothes at this point.

I wasn't kidding.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mommy Monday: Getting Out!

This past weekend marked a first for us as a family: We got out of the house every single day! All of us together, not a baby-hand off situation while the other went and did something.

I know that seems crazy, but if you've ever had a newborn, you understand. It's a production to leave home-base. You need to pack up a lot of stuff, and pack up the baby, and pack up yourself, and time it right in between feedings to {attempt to} avoid meltdowns. Basically, it's a huge amount of effort for something that might end up to be more stressful than it's worth.

So, you end up hanging in. A lot. And you develop cabin fever.

Well, cabin fever struck me this past weekend. I've had enough of the view from my couch. I'm tired of reading about all the cool things going on this summer that we're missing out on. So we packed up little Henry and got OUT.

Friday we went to a seafood joint (I don't even remember the name) for shrimp and grits and po'boys. Of course we went early so that we could be home and to get the baby ready for bed by 7:30. The funny thing is, the restaurant was full of other couples doing the same thing with their babies! Six o'clock supper is apparently baby hour at even non-family style restaurants. Someone should have told me, I'd have joined this party weeks ago!

Saturday was insanely cool here in Dallas. Like, only 80 degrees - sweater weather! So we headed downtown to a park where there's tons of food trucks, kids playing, a bar, and tables set up. It was great to walk around in the cool air with some adult beverages and people watch! We did fail to bring a bottle, which made for a loud car ride home. Note to self: ALWAYS pack a bottle. Always.



Then on Sunday, we continued our trend by going to the Dallas farmer's market. I thought this could be a bad situation with a stroller and the crowds, but Dallas is a strange place. Nobody does anything until noon on Sunday. We got to the market around 10am, so not only did we get a great parking spot, we were able to navigate the stroller through the stands without a problem. Plus, the storage under the stroller came in super handy for all the fruits and veggies we picked up!



The thing about becoming new parents is that you have to learn the routine of the "leave the house production." After you get it down, it's not too hard to get out! The faster you start to get out of the house, the quicker you regain your sanity. Now... If only this cool spell would last all summer, we'd be able to get out every weekend!

Friday, July 18, 2014

High Five for Friday!

Talking about the weather is really a pretty boring subject (and, errrr... By pretty boring I mean insanely boring and not worth discussing. Just go outside, or even look out a window, and you got it covered) but Y'ALL - it was only 90 degrees for most the week. That is AMAZING! I wore a sweater it was so cool.

This summer polar vortex can stick around for as looooooong as it would like. Please and thank you. And sorry to all my Northern readers who's July days look more like a Texas January day... Bummer!

Anyway, enough weather discussion and on to the High Five moments of the week:

1) Henry turned two months old this week! He's gone from being a five pound, 12 ounce, four weeks early preemie baby to well over 11 pounds and in the 99th percentile for height. (Also in the 99% for weight!) I was always in the 97th percentile myself for height, so this was a proud mommy moment for me. We also learned some new strategies for trying to get Henry to sleep for more than two to four hours at night... Wish us luck!

2) If you follow me on Insta, then you likely saw this pic of my lovely afternoon Wednesday. As I mentioned, being a stay at home mom doesn't come with many on-the-job perks... But the ability to invite a girlfriend over for early afternoon champagne cocktails IS one of them. My wonderful friend Jenny brought us Thai for lunch, we enjoyed a few cocktails, then failed at making cupcakes (forgot the eggs!). Henry pretty much napped the whole afternoon, letting me have some fun girl time.

Champagne poured over raspberry sorbet. Delish.


3) I *THINK* I fixed my no-reply blogger issue. This only goes to show that Google+ is indeed the stupidest thing that's ever happened to anything or anyone.

4) I got my ticket booked to D.C./Dewey Beach next month for one of my BFF's 30th birthday party! I love D.C., love Dewey Beach, and love this group of girls. SO beyond excited for this trip!

5) The day I posted about feeling frumpy happened to be the same day my Birchbox came! How awesome is that? I've been having fun playing around with all the goodies they sent me this month - there was only one dud of a product, and that was because it smelled way too perfume-y for me.




Have a great weekend! As always, click on over to check out these awesome bloggers!

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 That Friday Blog Hop
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Time For A Little Effort

I've been feeling REALLY frumpy since becoming a mom.

On a good day, I shower and let my hair air-dry. It's fine, so it lies flat on my head. Henry will grab it when he nurses, so it gets pulled up into a messy bun on the top of my head. I pull on shorts and a nursing tank. If I'm feeling glamorous, I might actually put on a (nursing) bra! I usually don't even bother with makeup anymore, because it's just too damn hot here in Texas and I don't go anywhere fancy anyway, so what's the point? My toes haven't had a pedicure in three weeks and the color has grown out.

I swore I wouldn't become this way, yet here I am! Just a bra-less, undone, frumpy housewife. I used to be the "cute girl" at work. You know, hair curled, heels on, outfit done up right with accessories, makeup nicely done.

Ughhhhhhh.

Feeling frumpy is bogus. Clearly, it's time for a little effort on my end to feel like {a fraction of} my former self again. But how does one motivate herself when the bulk of my day surrounds diapers and spit up?

I didn't have the answer to that question. But I decided to take one week, and make myself get together. Every day. For one week. If I felt better after that one week, I would be doing something right, right?! If not... Well, add this to the list of life's questions we're all seeking answers to.

I'll follow up with a post on how this goes! I could have posted some pics of what I looked like earlier in the week and thus document my "un-frump Paige journey" but that's a few too many selfies... Right? Right. So instead, this meme, which defines life right now:






ready

And I'll leave you with this one, because I lololololololol'd:

Image022

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mommy Monday: Two Months In - Product Reviews

I think the only thing constant about having a baby is that everything constantly changes. Think you've finally got a schedule down? Think again! Think you've found just the thing that soothes the 3am crying? Not tonight!

And on and on...

The same goes with what products work well for your baby. I did this post after Henry was a month old. Now that he's two months old, I have some very different opinions! Thus, we arrive at my product reviews after 60 days of use:

The "It" List:
- Similac Sensitive Formula: You read that right. Miss "I'm going to breast feed Henry until he's six months old because formula is garbage!" is feeding her baby formula in addition to boobie milk. We're still nursing. But letmetellya, this kid is an EATER. He still eats every three hours, 24/7. He ate whatever I produced, which meant that I couldn't pump ahead, which meant that I never got a break and never got to sleep more than an hour or so at a time. I was on the verge of a mental breakdown... So we began supplementing with formula. I'm still not impressed with it or myself (I mean, the first effing ingredient is corn syrup!) but you know what? I was going to murder EVERYONE if I couldn't sleep. Or have more than a glass of wine. So my organic, granola-hippie-all-natural approach to feeding Henry got chucked HARD out the window. Game over.

- H&M baby clothes: The hubby and I have passed along our tall and thin genes to Henry. We're currently struggling with the fact that length-wise, we need to put him in 6mo clothing, but waist/girth wise, he's NB/3mo. Baby Gap makes clothes for short fat babies... Carter's makes them for average all around babies... And H&M makes them for tall and slender babies! And, the clothes are adorable. Aaaaand, they're super cheap. High five, H&M!

I mean... Panda socks. H&M, thank you.




The S*&! List:
- 365 Everyday Value Diapers: Yup, I loved these in my last review. Not so much anymore! The thing is, Henry is a big eater. You know what a big eater gets you? Big pees and poops. These diapers are simply not absorbent enough even for two hours on Henry - he'll pee right through them! One day I believe I switched his outfit no fewer than four times due to this issue. Bye-bye, Whole Foods diapers.

Don't worry; I won't insert an image of an over-soaked diaper here.

- Philips Avent bottles: We have the slow-flow nipples... And yet, my son, who eats like he's never been fed before EVERY time, still manages to pull so much milk from them that he can't swallow it fast enough. So whether it's formula or breast milk in the bottle, it ends up all down his chin, in his neck folds, and ruins his outfit. Also? These "natural" bottles are supposed to be BPA-free, but an independent study on them found that to be untrue. In fact, these bottles came up as the biggest offender of misleading marketing and full of icky chemicals that get transferred into your baby's digestive system. Not cool, Philips. (I should note, this company also makes glass bottles, which I've just ordered in an 8oz size to replace the plastic 4oz size... I'll let you know how I like the larger glass version!)

See this mess?! Yeah, you don't want this mess, or those bottles!


Friday, July 11, 2014

High Five for Friday!

Happy Friday, dear readers! I'm attempting to get to a barre class REAL soon, so let's just jump on in to the best and brightest moments of the week:


1) It's summer time fo'sho down here in Texas. Which means I need to get outside for a workout no later than 8am, before it gets too hot to have Henry out there. And after a long night of feedings and soothing lil' H without help from a traveling daddy, sometimes getting out and about that early is simply not gonna happen. While I was still pregs, I bought the Tracy Anderson Precision Toning workout DVD (and a few others). I started it this week, and lemmetellya, I can feel it! This particular video has four parts, each targeting a different part of the body, and each lasting about 15 mins. Which is super handy, because I can do one section and if Henry isn't fussing, I can add a cardio burst (jumping jacks, high knees, burpees, etc) and start the next section. If not, I can incorporate the 15 minute segments throughout the day. Perfect!

2) Since Henry has long kissed his newborn clothes goodbye, I've had to do some shopping for him. Carter's was having a sale, so obvs I had to take advantage and get lil' H some fresh threads. They came early this week, and I died when I saw them:

Crabby jammies!

Preppy polo!

Bright plaid!


3) After a 72 hour solo shift with Henry while Kirk traveled for work, I got to spend the afternoon by the pool with two of my favorite Dallas ladies. We floated (when it's 103 in Dallas, you don't hang out BY the pool, you hang out IN it), sipped wine spritzers, and gabbed allllll afternoon. It was lovely.

4) My maternity photos came, so the nursery is NOW complete! The finished product:

Jungle frame above the changing table is full, and the nursery is now complete!


5) Henry is now not only sleeping in his nursery, but we began getting him to go down in his crib at night. All baby stuff has been taken out of our bedroom! Next up: get Henry to nap in his nursery... And get him to sleep longer than two or three hours at a time... Baby steps, right?

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!



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 That Friday Blog Hop
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

There Goes My Wardrobe

I mentioned in this post about how I have managed to lose all my baby weight... Yet I certainly don't look like I once did, and I have a lot of seemingly extra skin and squish.

I'm not one to sit around and not be happy with myself. Clearly, it's time to up my ante with my core work so I can find that six pack again! Let's goooooo!! But where to even start, ya know?

I decided a good place to start was my workout wardrobe. I have collected a full out wardrobe of yoga and running clothes. As a clear sign of a workout junkie, I own about 25 pairs of yoga pants... And only four pairs of jeans. I couldn't remember the last time I went through this collection and either outright threw things away (sometimes you just can't get that sweat smell out!) or donated any of it.

I put little Henry on the bed to be my assistant, and started to tear through things.

First to go: All flared (non-maternity) yoga pants. Ladies, flares just... Aren't cute. Because it's not 1997 anymore, you're not in high school anymore, and nobody should have that much fabric swishing around their ankles, mmmmkkk?

My first ever pair of lululemon pants! Just look at all that fabric, in all its flared glory...


Any of my other mama's get real frustrated that all maternity workout/yoga pants are flared?! What's that about? And forget tall sizes. That ain't happening... So you're left in flared high waters. Awesome.

Next: All pants that are so low, there's no way I wont get a muffin top while wearing them. I don't know WHY manufacturers/designers are still making these things so low, but they are, and they need to stop. And if you're a new mom like me, let's get real: You have NO BUSINESS in low-rise anything, ok? (And um, by "you" I mean me. I have no business in low rise nothin'!)

I wore these pants exactly twice. Both times, my butt crack made a public appearance in my yoga class.


These are a pair of the notorious see through lulu pants. I learned that the hard way. They became spin pants, and now have a permanent smell to them. Bye-bye!


And then my tops: Nothing to report here! I guess I only hoard pants and crops. Who knew?! Well, I do now.

I ended up getting rid of quite a bit of stuff. Now, this didn't leave me with a whole lot of options to wear! (For the record, by a "whole lot", I mean I don't have a full month of selection with never having to wear the same thing twice... Hey, I'm admitting to being a hoarder here!) Wouldn't you know, Athleta was having a great sale. So I picked up a new pair of crops and a new tank. I love how bright and obnoxious the pants are, and the flowy-ness of the top will be perfect for me right now, since my body is not back in its former state quite yet, and needs a little forgiveness.

I'm going to make a point of going through my clothing more frequently to select things to donate. I do this regularly with my normal clothes, so I don't know what my deal is with yoga/workout stuff... Maybe its because I spend a small fortune on yoga apparel whereas I only buy street clothes on sale or maybe I just like my yoga clothes better (I do!) but getting rid of this stuff is hard! 

But when you start to stink in class, it's time to let those five year old pants go. Just let them go! Aaaaand, cue that horrible, fingernails-on-chalkboard song from the movie Frozen, because I know y'all were thinking it.




Monday, July 7, 2014

Mommy Monday: The Nursery

I've posted "sneak peeks" about the nursery in this post and this one.

We ordered our furniture in February, and it didn't arrive until mid-June. Take note, dear readers and friends planning a pregnancy or who are already pregnant: it takes MONTHS for this stuff to come - order early! I think for baby #2, we'll get everything ordered in the first trimester. Seriously.

Back to interior design. So alas, Henry is nearly two months old already and we're just now getting around to completing his nursery. While we've had the furniture for a while now, we finished hanging pictures and his monogram on the wall this weekend. Good timing too, because we're starting to have him sleep in there at night... It's time to clear out the baby stuff from the master and re-claim that as an adult space, nawwhutimean?

Here it is, in all it's glory:

If you're a regular reader, you've seen this view before as the rocker was the first thing that was delivered from Babies R Us! The prints are from Etsy, trash can is from Target and the blanket and throw pillow is from Pottery Barn Kids.

Henry's monogram and shelf with a few toys that friends were sweet enough to gift us and my mother's day present from Kirk. I'm STILL in the market for jungle figurines to put on here, so if you know where to find them, please comment and let me know!

The teething necklace won't stay there :) The elephant lamp (Pottery Barn Kids) is perfect to keep on at night while he sleeps since it's just the right amount of light, and the beads shine it everywhere, so there isn't one overly bright beam going right in Henry's face, keeping him awake.

The crib Henry has yet to sleep a night in. We're getting closer! Rug, crib sheet and skirt all from Pottery Barn Kids; jungle mobile from Babies R Us.

I continued the green and blue theme into Henry's closet with these closet organizers from Babies R Us. This is half of his closet (it's divided) so each one fit perfectly in each half. Yes, that's a onesie with a tie on it. I'm WAITING for Henry to be big enough to wear it!

The changing table and book shelf. I made the (currently blank) frame hanging above while I was still pregnant, and we've ordered maternity shots to be placed in it. I actually had the order put together, but not placed, the day I went into labor... Thus why the frame is still empty! But they're coming soon.

I'm still in love with these book ends! The blue containers hold diapers, wipes and other baby essentials (thermometer, nail clippers, etc). And yeah, our baby monitor camera is positioned there. Not because we need close-ups of any diaper changes, but because we aim it at his bassinet that we put in the center of the room at night.



I went with a jungle theme for three reasons: a) it's friggin cute! b) it's fairly gender neutral so it will work for more than one baby and c) I can keep the green pieces I've selected for the room and take out the blue if a subsequent baby is a girl, and then have a green and pink nursery. It's also a calming color palette, which I've stated before that I think is important. I think usability (as in, can 're-use' various pieces) and likability (you have to want to spend some time in the room!) were my two most important factors in designing the space, and I'm really happy with how everything has turned out.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Park Bench Fitness

Now that I'm well past the six-week-postpartum mark and am free to fully get back into my fitness routine, I've found that I've had to get a bit creative. Our gym's daycare center won't take babies until they're 12 weeks old, so I have quite a while until I can really get back to business. But I'm REAL tired of feeling squishy and soft from having this baby!

(What I failed to realize about having a baby is that losing the weight is the easy part. Heck, that was gone in a month! But after the extra pounds are gone, you're left with little to no muscle tone and a whole lot of squishy skin. Despite the scale reading the same, you don't LOOK the same! And that's a tough pill to swallow for a self described fitness guru like myself.)

I've been walking since a few days after Henry was born, and have recently begun to run again. While cardio is great, if I want to get rid of my "squish" I need to start to do some strength training! But how can I do that if I can't get to a weight room at a gym?

Enter the park bench.

Ze park bench. Also, fitness assistant. (Image from oldmillimpressions.com)


I mentioned here about how I head to the lake to get a walk/run in with Henry in the mornings. I've also started to incorporate some strength moves on park benches as we pass by. The great part about this is that it can be done anywhere there happens to be park benches, and you can create various combinations to mix up your routine: ten minutes of walking, five minutes at a bench followed by five minutes of running, then ten minutes at a bench, etc. You can have a 25 minute workout or an hour++ workout.

It goes like this: Head to a park, walking/running trail, or just outside to a city sidewalk. If you have a little one, get him set up in his stroller. Get your tunes cranked on your iPod/iPhone/old school walkman. I always start with a walking warm up of five to ten minutes. After that, I stop at the first park bench. (If you have a little one with you, don't forget to put the break on the stroller! I forgot my first time, and Henry started a slow roll towards the lake... I'm a bad mom sometimes, whatcanIsay) Depending on how long Henry can tolerate not moving, I do two-to-three of the exercises listed below on said bench. Then I take off, either running or power walking, and go until either the next bench, or until the song on Pandora either stinks or is super-awesome and I want to power through some strength moves. Repeat as often as you can for the duration of your workout, mixing your strength moves in with cardio bursts.

Example moves to do on the bench:
  • Lunges up (you can power-up with a hop at the top if you're feeling super kick-ass - just watch your balance so you don't fall!)
  •  Reverse lunges off the front of the bench
  •  Curtsy lunges 
  •  Old fashioned squats (if you want to work your butt, make sure to get a least a 90 degree bend in your knees so you utilize that muscle. If you don't get at least that low, you never engage your glutes)
  •  Push ups off the bench
  •  Triceps push ups off the bench
  •  Triceps dips
  •  Planks

Afraid you'll look crazy doing this by yourself in public? Who cares! You're going to look way better than the people watching and judging you. To heck with those people. Anyone else who cares about their fitness will love to see what you're doing! In fact, after a set of curtsy lunges, I got a high-five from a fellow runner. Boom.

The weather is really heating up here in Dallas, so Henry and I have to go early if we're going to get a workout in and I need to prepare to get really sweaty (I bring water and a towel with, so it's actually super handy to have the stroller with cup holders and storage), but it's fun to spend some time outdoors and by the lake working on my tan as seen here (hey sports bra tan lines, heyyyyyy!).

It's also really fun to spend time with Henry in this capacity, too. He LOVES going fast in the stroller! And never fusses - as long as we're moving. But that's the glory of this workout. It's flexible. Got a fussy baby? Get moving with more cardio to keep her happy! Only have 20 minutes? That's cool. By yourself and want to work on toning your arms? Spend more time at the bench and less time on cardio!

Just don't spend all your time sitting on that bench... :) Happy park bench fitnessing!