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Monday, June 30, 2014

Rodan+Fields Review | GIVEAWAY


I like to keep my morning/night routine pretty simple.  With that said, taking care of my skin has always been a priority as I have sensitive skin that tends to be dry.  I try to spend 5-10 minutes each morning/evening taking care of it.

When a girlfriend contacted me about trying Rodan+Fields I was a little hesitant because my skin is so sensitive and I've always steered clear of medicated solutions or MicroDermabrasion kits as they tend to irritate skin.  She assured me that it was safe to use and so I gladly accepted!

She sent me a sample of the Mini Facial Packet including the MicroDermabrasion paste, night renewing serum from the Redefine line, and lip renewing serum from the Redefine line.  She threw in a sample of the multifunction eye cream as well.


After reading the directions for the MicroDermabrasion paste, I decided to moisten my face with some water.  It suggests doing this for a more gentle exfoliation.  I massaged the packet of paste into my skin for about 60 seconds and then rinsed thoroughly with water.

Wow.  My skin felt so soft and so clean.  It is smooth to the touch and did not become irritated at all.  I would recommend using this once a week for sensitive skin, but up to 3x a week for normal skin.  I love this product.  I think it will be especially nice after long days at the beach or pool to remove sunscreen and makeup build-up from my face.


Immediately after exfoliating and drying my skin, I used the multifunction eye cream and my favorite face lotion to moisturize my face.  Then I tried the lip serum.  The lip serum is like butter for your lips!

A few years ago I struggled with extremely dry lips to the point where they were swollen and cracking.  I tried every lip product on the market including Vaseline and hydrocortisone cream to heal them.  Nothing worked.  (Eventually I figured out that I'm allergic to Colgate toothpaste and to aluminum in cans).  I wish I would have had this during that time.  It is so soothing, moisturizing, and just amazing.

All in all, I was very pleased with the products I got to try and with the prices of the products.

Christina has offered to waive the $20 fee for the first 3 customers that order as a Preferred Customer.  In order to receive this waiver, you simply need to spend $80+ on your first order giving you 10% off your order and free shipping for life.  The Preferred Customer program is a customizable program that automatically ships products to the customer every 60 days.  It can be changed, canceled, or paused at any time.  Click on her Rodan+Fields site to get started!

If you would like to contact Christina to discuss the right skin care regimen for you, she is happy to consult with you (for free!).  Just shoot her an email.

She is giving away the makeup removing Redefine eye cloths that combat the signs of aging as well as a sample of the popular multifunction eye cream to one lucky reader.  Be sure to sign up below! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 27, 2014

Slow Mornings


Since summer vacation has started we've had a fair share of slow mornings at our house.  We wake up to the dogs coming in the bedroom or the sunlight shining through the blinds.  I get up and turn on the Keurig while Justin gets ready for work.  I slice fresh fruit and pour my first cup before getting CT out of his crib.  He generally lays there talking and playing until one of us scoops him up.  As Justin heads out the door, I give CT a bottle, sip my coffee and we ease into the day.  Most days there are no real plans.  Perhaps a trip to the pool, maybe a walk to the park, usually a task or two around the house for productivities' sake.  There's a lot of books read, toys spread around the living room floor, and car watching from the front stoop.

Slow mornings are my favorite.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Red, White, & Blue Fashion

My favorite color combo is red, white, and blue all year long.  So this time of year I loooove all the fashions that come out in this color scheme.


red,white,blue 1


redwhiteblue2


redwhiteblue3


Which is your favorite?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Distressed Comfort

*I edited these pictures, but for some reason my Photobucket link isn't showing the new image.  Apologies!

Tee: JCPenney, Shorts: American Eagle, Sandals: Target (similar), Necklace: Zulily
For some reason this picture isn't uploading correctly, but I love it so it stays.
I've had these jeans for several years now.  In fact, I bought them after completing the first workout jar challenge I ever did with my girlfriend.  I remember thinking that they were a little "young" for me, but I don't really care.  I just love distressed denim.  

I also love the whole "boyfriend" style of clothing.  It's so comfortably loose and living in North Carolina where the humidity level is a whopping 98% today, those words are music to my ears.


Since doing my #mamashreds30 challenge, I've gotten back into all my pre-pregnancy clothes, to my pre-pregnancy weight, and I've been able to start making purchases in a size smaller than I had since having CT.  Small victories are my jam right now.

It's nice to feel comfortable in your own skin.  I'm not exactly where I want to be, but are we ever...  However, I feel like doors are opening, options are out there, and choices are to be made.

Not to get all emotional and deep or anything, but new things are on my horizon.

This was a totally random post, but it's Random Wednesday so I'm going with it.
The Hump Day Blog Hop
pleated poppy

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Casual Dresses

Something about being a mom has me reaching for easy, breezy outfits this summer.  If I can throw it on with a cute pair of sandals and a ponytail, it's the thing for me.  Ya know?

It doesn't help that North Carolina skipped spring and has already hit record humidity and heat levels.  In other words, my hair and makeup melt by noon.  I've noticed more and more that I'm reaching for cute, casual dresses that are easy to throw on, breathable, and comfortable.

easy breezy casual dresses

I'm fairly certain my closet is going to be full of these by the end of summer.  The nice thing is they can be easily accessorized with a belt, gladiators, or a jacket to wear into the fall/winter.

Which is your favorite?

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Great Tank Hunt

I've been on the hunt for some tank tops since it suddenly became super hot in North Carolina.  I know tanks are everywhere, but I have some criteria I'm trying to follow:

1. No racerback.  Not because I don't like them, but because I want to be able to wear a normal bra.
2. Loose and flowy. It's. so. hot. here!  Toting around a baby is like carrying a mini-heater.
3. Reasonable price. I'm sorry something about paying $40+ for two pieces of fabric sewn together by the straps is just against my religion...or something.
fun and pretty tanks


boho and casual tanks


Most of these are from JCPenney, Maurices, and Target.  Be looking for a DIY version of the American flag tank coming soon!

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Night at the Ballpark



Thursday night we took CT to his first Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball game.  It was threatening to storm on us, but we decided to chance getting caught in the rain and go anyway.  Just as we were about to leave I hopped on their website to make sure the game wasn't canceled and saw that they were holding a mustache and beard contest during the 5th inning.  I grabbed CT's mustache paci as we headed out the door because...it just had to be done.

It was a little humid, but there was this cool breeze that kept sweeping through the park every few minutes.  It was quite honestly the quintessential night at the ballpark. 


Carson loved the atmosphere.  He flirted with the ladies sitting behind us and watched the mascot dance across the jumbo screen.  There was so much to look at and he just soaked it all in.

By the time we packed up (way past CT's bedtime) and started to head home we were sticky from sweat and baby drool and Natty Greene's, but we were smiling.  Carson fell asleep before we even got out of the parking lot.


We've always loved going to Grasshopper games, but I think bringing CT made it even better.  We went ahead and bought him his own ball cap - we'll definitely be going to more games this season.

There's just something about a night at the ballpark with your family.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

On Being a Fit Mom


By no means do I feel like I have it all together and most days I don't accomplish everything on my "to do" list, but the other day someone asked me how I manage to exercise and stay active with a little one at home.  And my answer was, I make time.

It's not easy and there are days I don't get to workout because I'm doing the wife, house, and mom things.  Most days I schedule a workout.  And those days, I feel really good.

I'll be honest...for a while I thought I was way. too. tired. to fit a workout into my day.  I felt overwhelmed just thinking about it.  I made up excuse after excuse including the ole breast feeding burns 500 calories line everyone likes to toss your way.  (It's true by the way, but it's not going to make you lose the baby weight in and of itself.)  I knew I couldn't wake up any earlier than I already was and I just couldn't see myself going to the gym after work wasting those precious minutes I get with Carson before he goes to bed running on a treadmill.

I do a ton more laundry now than ever before and I swear I run my dishwasher at least once a day.  Like I said, I had excuse after excuse after...you get the picture.

BUT

I think it's important to demonstrate healthy living to our children.

Children copy what they see so if Carson sees me sitting on the couch watching tv and eating a bag of potato chips, more than likely he is going to do that same thing.  If he sees me going for a run each day and making time to exercise each night, there is a good chance he will be active, too.

It's not selfish or incredibly time consuming to be healthy and active.  It's not as expensive as everyone would like you to think to eat healthy and clean.  And, you don't have to be a runner to be a fit mom.

So, one day I just decided no more excuses.  And just like that I started moving.  I started running/walking/crawling? at least 2 miles each day with Carson and the stroller.  After a couple of months I pushed myself further and started doing Mommy&Me yoga.  Then I went a step further and committed to completing the 30 Day Shred in 30 days.

Ya know what happened next?  My energy level boosted.  I dont' wake up earlier - but I do stay up a bit later to get my workout in and surprisingly I don't even notice the 30 minute sleep loss.  I don't waste precious minutes on a treadmill at the gym.  Instead, I take Carson outside for at least 30 minutes a day and walk or run with him which he loves.  I still do the laundry and dishes, but I ask my husband to help (which is okay, moms) with the folding and putting away.

I hope one day Carson will look back at this and be thankful he has a fit mom. I hope he thinks it's cool.


Giveaway Description:  
One lucky instagrammer will win $100 gift card to For Two Fitness - the very best in maternity activewear.  
Simply post this image on your instagram feed along with the tag #fortwofitnessgift and mention @fortwofitness.  Include in your comment the item or items you love the most.  
A minimum of 50 reposts will be required to unlock the prize, so share with all of your pregnant friends, and good luck! 

*Starts Monday June 23*

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I'm so fancy.


Tee: Target, Pants: Joe Fresh for JCPenney, Necklace & Bracelet: Premier Designs
Sometimes on my way to work I take full advantage of being in the car by myself with no baby.  I turn up the radio, blast some tunes, and sing at the top of my lungs while "car dancing."  You know what I mean: shaking your booty as much as your seatbelt allows.  Tell me I'm not the only one that does that?

This time of year just begs for a good car party with the windows down.  Don't you think?


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer Uniform




Tee: Forever 21, Shorts: GAP outlet, Bag: Coach

I have so many plans for summer: trips to the farmer's market, pool dates, long walks, time with family

The list goes on.  One thing is for sure, I want to be comfortable, cool, and flexible during all those plans.  Taking into account that I will soon be chasing my 6 month old and possibly toting him around in the high temps and humidity, linen seemed the perfect material for what will quickly become my summer uniform.

The outlets are one of my favorite places to go when CT hasn't had a decent nap and a good walk will help him settle.  Dangerous maybe for my wallet, but great for my sanity.I found these shorts at the GAP outlet a few weeks ago when my husband was out of town, CT was particularly fussy, and we needed to get out of the house.    They have an elastic and tie waist, nice length, and they were a whopping $13 (+ 20% off).  Can't beat that with a stick.

What is your summer uniform?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

6 months


Dear Carson,

The other day someone stopped me and asked how old you were.  When I answered saying, "He will be 6 months on Thursday," I couldn't believe it!  6 months.  You are a half a year old.  The last 6 months have brought my life new meaning and somehow it's as though I didn't live before them.

I am so excited to spend the summer with you.  These months are so fun.  You are laughing and playing and clapping and cooing and moving so much.  I can't wait to take you to the swimming pool, the park, go for long walks and runs...  We have so many new memories to make.

You are starting to look (and act) more and more like a little boy and less like a baby.  As much as I want time to slow down, I love seeing you change and develop.  I can already tell you are going to be strong like your daddy and smart like your mommy.  You are going to be independent, problem-solving, and patient.

You already have a great sense of humor and love making people smile and laugh.  When feeding you, you've started making noises and blowing food looking for a reaction.  When you get it, your face lights up.  I love your curiosity.

I love you baby boy.  More than you will ever know.

Love,
Mommy



6 Month Update
Weight:  approximately 20 pounds (We have a dr. appt. next week)
Length:  26ish inches
Nicknames: The Milkman, Milk Monster, CT, Hungry Hungry Hippo, Bubby, Monster, Buddy Boy, Stinka
Sleep: You generally go to bed around 8:00 and wake up around 6:30 a.m.  Sometimes you will wake up earlier, talk to your hands/toys and fall back asleep.
Eating: Every 3-4 hours.  You really like solids now and you eat cereal twice a day.
Clothing: 6 months
Loves:

  • Snuggling
  • Your Fisher Price Seahorse
  • Bath time
  • Riding in the car
  • Walks/Runs with Mommy
  • Your changing pad
  • Your "wubby" aka elephant blankie
  • Everyone; you don't have strangers
  • The pool/water
  • Your jumparoo
  • The dogs!!  You follow them (with your eyes) everywhere...it's only a matter of time before you are chasing them around the house.
Dislikes:
  • Carrots
  • Being hungry
  • (You're pretty much the happiest baby ever so you don't dislike much at this point.)
Exciting Moments:You started sitting up on your own 6/10/14.  Sometimes you lose your balance and fall over, but for the most part, you've got it down.
You discovered your feet and how to get them in your mouth.
You put your toes in the ocean for the first time.  It was pretty cold and you weren't a fan.
You stayed with Aunt Jane and Mamaw while Mommy had to work one Saturday night and Aunt Jane claims you know how to turn the pages in a book when being read to!
Momma's Milestones:
I am running an 11 minute mile with the jogging stroller.

I am back in all my pre-pregnancy clothing.





Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Whispers

Right before bedtime each night as I get ready to lay Carson down in his crib, I squeeze him real close and whisper in his ear "I love you, I love you, I love you" over and over again.  There aren't enough minutes in the day to express my love for this sweet boy.  His smile, his laugh, his screech, his coos make my heart flutter.  I lay him gently down and he just smiles up at me.  That smile though.  I can't help but smile back as I cover him with a blanket or three - he loves to snuggle up in blankets.  Once covered, he rolls to his left side, grabs his seahorse and brings it to his face to give it kisses.  Those glorious, slobbery, wet, open-mouthed kind of kisses.  He finds his thumb and drifts into a deep rest.

Sometimes after he's drifted to sleep, I will sneak back into the nursery and lean over the crib rail.  Just watching.  I watch his chest rise and fall with each breath.  I watch his eyelashes flutter as he goes through different REM stages.  I watch his mouth as it continues to suck reflexively in his slumber.  A few times I've even just rocked in the rocking chair, reading my book listening to the sleep sounds coming from his bed.


In the mornings, he wakes me with laughter and chatter as he talks to his hands and toys.  I walk into the room and find him in whatever odd position he landed as he travels around his crib all night.  He always greets me with a smile on his face seeming to ask, "What are we doing today, Mom?"

I scoop him up and he grasps my shoulder leaning into it with his open mouth.  Instinctively I breath deep and soak in the moment before we venture out into the world and begin our day.

Monday, June 9, 2014

#mamashreds30

Accountability has always been one of my strengths.  I hold myself accountable by posting to social media and stepping on the scale each week.  At one point I hosted a Facebook page for women at our church that came to my workout class to hold everyone accountable.  When my friends reach out to me I'm the first to volunteer to text, call, whatever so that we can encourage one another.

I thrive off accountability.

So, here is my invitation to you.  I have committed myself to completing Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred DVD.  I'm not saying you have to complete the same DVD or even use a DVD at all.  I'm just saying let's encourage one another to do something good for our bodies every day for 30 days.  I've created the hashtag #mamashreds30 so that we can see each other's posts via social media and encourage one another.  You don't have to be a mama to participate - you just have need a desire to be healthy and fit.

I'm already on Day 5 and I have to admit it's not nearly as terrible as I expected.  I've done the workout before and it was tough then, but I really expected it to be a form of torture since having a baby.  Surprisingly, I've been able to complete each day without modifying too many of the moves.  Not just that, getting out of bed has not felt like getting up from an elephant stampede.  And finding the 25-30 minutes to complete it, hasn't exhausted me either.  What do you say; join me?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Commitment

Via
Lately I've had a really difficult time committing to things.  Or at least new things.

I've had several opportunities rear their head at me and I've turned down every. single. one.  I can't really tell you why!  Maybe they just aren't for me?  Maybe I am committed to too many other things.  Something in my heart just hasn't let me do another thing.

I've contemplated doing Whole 30 again or the 24 Day AdvoCare Challenge with Morgan.  I just can't jump on board.  I don't want to give up my greek yogurt and glass of milk.

I'm an extremist when it comes to commitment.  I'm an all or none type of person.  You either get 100% of me or 0%.  No in-betweenies here.

Like the other day my husband got really excited as he remembered a Hershey bar he had put in the freezer left over from our camping trip.  No longer there.  I threw it away so that I wouldn't eat it.

I felt so bad I almost went out and bought him another one.  But I didn't.  I worried I might eat it.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Staying Motivated



I was on a roll for a while with my weight loss, healthy eating, and exercise.  Then I hit a plateau and ate a few too many s'mores while camping and my roll slowed significantly to more of a dawdle.

That's the thing with exercise and a healthy lifestyle: life happens.

So it has to be just that...a lifestyle.  I'm not looking for a miracle or fad, I'm looking for permanence.  Even if that means getting rid of some articles of clothing that will never fit again or never fitting back into my wedding dress.  I just want something that keeps me healthy and sticks.  Ya know?  It's okay if it takes more than a few days or weeks even.

Do you have any tricks to stay motivated?

I looooove working out.  I'm one of those weirdos that actually enjoy running.  Breaking a sweat is my jam and using the equipment at the gym is one of my favorite ways to do it.  I think the biggest problem is time.  You too?

It's so easy to get caught up in the dishes and laundry and diapers and don't even get me started about the tv.  If that thing gets turned on, I'm pretty much doomed and my chances of accomplishing anything practically diminish.  It's a time-suck.

I declared today the first day of 30 Day Shred for me.  I have to admit I'm already fearing and doubting myself.  And I hate it!  I'm already worried I will be too sore, too tired, or too busy to get in 30 minutes a day.  But I must.  I have to get motivated.  I have to get my routine back.  I have to take care of myself...for my self!

So, I'm going to be okay with being sore.  I'm going to make 30 minutes for this each day.  And I'm going to start with the modified exercises if need be.  I'm going to do this.

So, here we go.  Join me?

Linking with Katie

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Dog and His Boy



Football has been quite curious about the little bundle we brought home almost six whole months ago.  He has done his share of sniffing and licking and peeking around the closed baby gate into the nursery. The first time Carson started crying he looked around the house trying to figure out where the noise was coming from.  Now, he comes to me as if to say: "Don't you hear that baby crying?  Why aren't you fixing it?"  The first time he noticed Carson moving around, he became startled trying to figure out whether he should chase, pounce, or run away from the little animal.  Since Day 1, he has snuggled next to us while we snuggle.  It's just recently that he has allowed Carson to reach out and touch him, rest his feet on him and lounge on the couch.

I know at some point we will talk about them as a boy and his dog, but for now it's a dog and his boy. Football follows Carson around, lays outside the nursery door, and rests on the blanket he plays on throughout the day.  I can already picture the sharing of food and chasing through the grass that will take place as Carson grows up.  The bond can only grow stronger once Carson is throwing Cheerios for Football to scoop up off the floor, right?


I am grateful for the patience Football has with Carson.  He seems to understand that when Carson kicks or hits, he is really trying to rub and love on him.  He looks to us as though we should stop Carson from being rough, but lays there until he has had enough and gets up to move when he's ready to get away.  He loves this baby so much already.

I love watching Carson watch Football.  If Football is in the room, Carson's eyes light up and follow him wherever he goes.  I think all boys should grow up with a dog.  They learn so much by taking care of the animal and bonding with it.  Football can teach Carson respect, tenderness, responsibility, trust, loyalty, and a kind disposition.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Snacks that Taste Good but Won't Weight You Down

I'm a huuuuuge snacker.  I mean, on weekends I just skip lunch (and sometimes dinner) and snack all day.  I also tend to have a pretty big sweet tooth which makes some of my snacking not so healthy.  And since I'm trying to lose the last bit of baby weight, I am trying to make my snack choices healthier as well.

Here are some of my favorites:
Via

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What snacks satisfy your sweet tooth without packing on the pounds?

Monday, June 2, 2014

10 Ways to Help Lose Babyweight


Losing the baby weight isn't going to be easy and, unless you are blessed from the postnatal heavens, it is probably going to take some time.  Don't beat yourself up.  Remember, it took 9 months to put it on so it is going to take time to get it off.  Here are 10 ways you can speed up the process:

1. Eat whole foods.  Don't fill up those extra calories required for nursing with cookies and junk.  Keep fresh fruit and veggies and healthy snacks on hand.

2. Move as soon as possible.  Even though you aren't released to exercise and you may not feel like moving, you will be so glad you did.  Just a walk about the grocery store will get your blood flowing and help with swelling.

3.  Prep your food.  Wash and cut up fruit.  Pre-bag portions of trail mix.  Season and marinate lean meats.  The more you do ahead of time, the easier meal time will be with a little one and the healthier your selections will be.  When you wait until you are hungry to grab something, you are more likely to grab a poor choice.

4.  Incorporate baby in your workout.  Most moms complain they don't have enough time to workout (and I feel you!) so incorporate baby!  Don't wait for nap time.  Lay baby on your yoga mat while you practice some poses.  Do squats and calf raises while wearing baby.  Use baby as weight to get an arm workout.

5.  Drink water.  Not only do you need it if you are nursing, but half the time we think we are hungry, we are actually just thirsty.  Drink lots.

6. Take it all in stride.  If you lose too much too fast it won't stay off.  Aim to drop 1-2 pounds per week depending on how much you gained throughout your pregnancy.  And always consult your doctor before starting a program.

7.  Cardio.  Cardio is the quickest way to drop pounds.  I know a lot of people hate it, but running is the best form of cardio for fast results.

8.  Strength training.  In order to lose fat, you must do cardio and strength training.  Cardio alone will only work for so long.

9.  Secure a support system.  Create a group on Facebook (make it private if you like) to give and receive support from friends.  Meet up with a group of new moms (or non-moms) once or twice a week to exercise together.  Post regular pictures on Instagram or accept a weight-loss challenge or exercise challenge.  Whatever you do, have someone who loves you (and is cheering for you) keep you accountable even if you think you can do it on your own.

10.  Indulge moderately.  From experience, the more I limit myself sweets, sugar, fats, etc. the more I crave it and the higher tendency a binge will happen.  Instead, give yourself one dessert a week (and by all means make it a good one) or a glass of wine (or two) so that you don't cave one day and eat all the junk in the pantry.