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Left Photo

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Middle Photo

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Right Photo

Friday, March 24, 2017

Happiness + Gratitude

Monday was the International Day of Happiness and it got me thinking about some ways I've made happiness a priority in my life.  I know it seems like such a small thing, but how often each day do you really stop to think about alllll the things in your life that make you happy?

If you're like me, you might struggle with letting go of the little things and focusing on the important things in life.  For some reason the negative stuff has a tendency of staying in the forefront of our minds while the rest gets forgotten.  Am I right?!

So, a list of all the things I'm grateful for today:
  • A husband who helps with all the things
  • A safe, comfortable vehicle to take to work
  • A daycare that makes it easy to drop my kids off
  • A toddler who keeps my side of the bed warm
  • A baby who pulls my hair as she snuggles into me
  • Parents and a Mimi who travel hundred of miles to visit
  • More sunshine in the day
  • Warmer temps on the horizon
  • A coffee maker
  • My dad's text messages every morning
  • Mail that gets delivered to the house rather than the p.o.
  • Challengers who celebrate each step of my fitness journey
  • This creative space
  • A filter on my coworkers sink
  • Students who appreciate me
  • Leggings
  • Dry Shampoo
I mean, the list goes on.  And those little things that are often forgotten like dry shampoo and my coffee maker...they really do make the world go round, right?

What are you grateful for today?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Last Baby

Last night as I looked at my 7 month old daughter laughing, smiling, playing with my 3 year old son, it hit me.  And it hit me pretty hard in what felt like a normal evening routine of eating a salad for dinner across from my husband.

Just like that in the middle of my normal, it occurred to me that this might be the last baby we play with in that high chair.

It may be the last baby I carry for 9 months and bring into this world.
It may be our last baby.

As much as I feel like our family is complete and whole and perfect just the way it is right now, I struggle with the idea that I may not ever be in that period of time where sleep happens for 30 minute intervals (if you're lucky) and you run on coffee and fumes and everything is blissful chaos.  

I have a feeling I'm going to miss it.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Traveling Outside the Country with Little Ones: 3 Preparation Tips

Call me crazy, but we are prepping for our first out of country experience with littles!

CT has flown quite a bit since my parents live in NY, but Laurel hasn't flown at all.  And neither of our children has ever been outside the country before.  (Ages 3 and 7 months)  So, this is a new experience for all of us and I thought it might be worth documenting the preparation leading up to the trip as well as any tips I can share after we return in the even that you might be traveling as well!

A lot of the preliminary planning has already happened or is currently happening so I will start by sharing 3 tips to help plan your trip:

1. Get passports sooner rather than later.
This ended up stressing us out for a few reasons.  Did you know you have to have a scheduled appointment to do passport applications at the post office?!  We walked in one day to find out and then the first available appointment was 3 weeks out.  That was slightly nerve-racking because that 3 week window put us scarily close to the deadline in which we needed to apply in order to receive our passports on time.  (They typically take 4-6 weeks).

Luckily, my husband and I already had passports from traveling we did before children, but both kids needed passports + pictures and although we thought we had everything in order when we arrived, it still took closer to an hour to get it all done.  Sidenote: you can't have too many copies of EVERYTHING so be over-prepared in that arena.

2. Check out the amenities at your resort.
We are traveling to an all-inclusive resort with my business and we already know what is available for the kids so that we aren't over-packing.  For instance, I know that there is a lazy river, kids pool area, and water slide on site meaning we will most likely spend the majority of our time at the pools rather than the beach.  However, I'm planning to pack some inexpensive sand toys because the beaches look incredible there and shade is provided by tiki huts so although I plan to bring some extra shade for the baby, I'm hoping it won't be necessary.

I've called ahead of time to reserve a crib for the room for the baby so that it should be in the room when we arrive and that is one less thing to worry about.

3.  Schedule your flights accordingly.
When I'm traveling by myself I typically go for cheapest and forego the additional cost of trip insurance.  Not the case with kids.  What if your child gets sick with the flu 2 days before you fly out?  Guarantee you cancel your flight and without trip insurance, you'd lose everything.  I know it's an expense, but children make everything slightly unpredictable which makes insurance a worthy investment.  This also means I'm willing to pay a little bit more for airfare if it means a shorter layover or a layover in an airport I know has a children's play area inside.

*This is a list of the most kid-friendly airports in America.  Personally, I've been to Philly with a toddler and it was worth the trip on the tram to the play area to keep him occupied and let him run out his energy.

The best advice for prepping a big trip with little ones is to know what you are walking into; take the time to plan ahead and brace yourself for the unexpected.

Are you traveling anywhere in the near future?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Glowing Green Smoothie Bowl

In honor of St. Patrick's Day I thought it would be appropriate to share something tasty and green (other than your adult beverage later this evening.)

We have professional development today at work so I treated myself to a Creme Brulee Latte from my favorite local coffee shop after drinking my chocolate shake this morning.

And of course, I'm sporting green!  Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I was that girl.

Have you ever been that girl?

It could mean different things depending on what that thing is for you.  You know what I mean?

Like, maybe you're the girl who pretends to be someone she isn't so she fits in with whatever crowd she's hanging with. Maybe you're the one who eats Oreos in her closet so no one knows.  Maybe you're the one who acts like a total badass when in reality you're super sensitive.  Maybe you're the one so desperate to look in the mirror and like what you see that you're willing to do whatever it takes to get there.

That was me.  

Let me make it clear: I've never had an eating disorder and I am not trying to discount the seriousness or severity of that.  What I did do, however, was take weight loss pills that are not FDA approved (I assume considering I could only buy them by going to the back of a nail salon and the packaging was all written in Korean) just so that I could be a certain size.  

In the left picture, I was so consumed by the number on the scale and the number on my jeans tag that I was willing to put unknown substances in my body to make it happen.  Yes, I looked great!  I looked fit and thin, but honestly, the number never really made me happy; I was always striving for more.  And what I was doing was so super dangerous - I didn't even realize it at the time.

I was told the pills were water pills and they pretty much depleted my body of water.  I was warned that if I drank less than 80-100 ounces of water a day I could be hospitalized for dehydration.  I was only warned after trying to find information about the pills online.  None of that scared me - I continued taking them focusing on what I thought was important.

Someone I knew who was also taking the pills ended up hospitalized for dehydration; that's when I decided to stop taking them myself.  I blamed the pills for her hospital visit and that's when I started to question their safety.

Fast forward to today, 2 kids later.  I am so much more in tune with what I'm putting in my body.  I treat it like the temple it is and I'm forever grateful there are no side effects of that poor decision made just a few years ago.

I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I know I'm doing it the right way and that is so much more important to me than getting there quickly.

I hope that by sharing this I can encourage you to do the same, be patient, and give yourself grace.

Monday, March 13, 2017

21 Day Bikini Bootcamp

Anyone else have big plans for Spring Break this year?!  (While we're at it, can we all decide - do we capitalize spring break or no?  Shouldn't the ELA teacher know the answer to this? I asked myself the same question!)

Oh well - let's talk about more important things like BIKINI season!  Which does need to be capitalized.

So, if you've been following my journey you know baby weight looooves me.  Like especially likes to cling to my midsection.  But, I'm taking my family on a vacation to Punta Cana in April thanks to my business treating me for my achievements and I want to rock my bikini while I'm there.

I know I'm not the only one, ladies!

Let's do it together!  I'm starting my 21 Day Bikini Bootcamp on March 26th so that we will be all wrapped up and ready to strut our stuff on the beach by the time Easter Sunday rolls around.

If you're interested in joining me for a fool-proof meal plan + 30 minute workouts + group of other strong, amazing women cheering you on, leave me a comment!  

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Feeling Like ME

I've been a little quiet over here lately because I've been busy working on this new design!  I sort of didn't want to do anything until it was complete.  Special shoutout to Vanessa because she took my ideas and made them happen and I LOVE it.  Hope you do, too!

I decided this was the year to really take my space and make it feel more like me.  I've got an affinity for minimal and rose gold so this pretty much screams perfection if you ask me.  

I do plan to start posting more often now that we are up and running and I hope you continue to join me as a haphazardly share my highs + lows + babies + business ventures with you all.  

I love this space and I love you and it means so much to me that you share this piece of the interweb with me.