Friday, June 27, 2014

my ode to friday

fridays are pretty magical period, but in particular, every other friday is my favorite. every other friday i don't have to work and so begin my five days of freedom. i like to take some time to myself, sit down and figure out what i need to get done over the next few days, and figure out what i also WANT to do.

brad is at work, my house is clean, and i get a little time to myself to plot my attack on the day. it's like the perfect mix for my type A personality that deep down loves to relax, but has to get things done to feel like i deserve to relax!

so anyways, today i'm sitting at panera enjoying a cinnamon crunch bagel (no so healthy, oh so good) that isn't toasted or sliced [the girl at the counter asked me twice... then said, so you just want it cold? yes, i'm weird]. and writing to you all instead of writing all over my planner.... whoops.

so enough rambling, i hope you all have an amazing friday and an even better weekend! if you're racing good luck!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

pregnancy rant

oh my goodness y'all... i thought i was getting pretty used to everyone giving me their pregnancy and labor and child whispering advice, but today got me!

background FYI. i got checked at 36 weeks and was 1 cm dilated and not effaced at all. it hurt and i bled for almost 4 days... aka stress for me. i talked to my MD about it and she explained that even if i was 3 or 4 cm dilated and highly effaced, that still doesn't really give you an idea when you're going to go into labor. I had a conversation with MY doctor and I made the decision to not get checked every week since it really doesn't seem to matter in MY opinion. you would think i made the decision to not get a single ultrasound over 40 weeks or something. people are acting like i'm a crazy person.

bottom line, i'll go into labor when i go into labor. don't worry about it! and people telling me "don't give birth on XX date." seriously? seriously?!?!?!

and what's with the people who think just because they've given birth or, hell, even known someone who's given birth, think that my experience is going to be 100% like theirs. c'mon people. i had no idea that i was surrounded by so many board certified OBGYNs who are experts in their field!

end rant. well, for now anyways ;)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

baby m's nursery!

here we are at 38 weeks and baby m's nursery still isn't 100% complete, but i decided to show you all some pics anyways!

you enter the room on the far left (you can kind of see her neck roll hanging on the door). so clothes hamper (tj maxx), chest of drawers (buy buy baby but already discontinued), book basket (personalized and stuffed with books by my sweet friend sara) and closet door. on the chest of drawers:  lamp (ikea), two sophies (gifts), elephant bank (life way christian), wubbanubs, and an apothecary jar (world market) full of teething toys and soothies (gifts).

this is the wall directly across from you when you walk in the room. basket (gift) full of stuffed animals and toys (gifts), crib (buy buy baby discontinued), owl rocker (gift) and striped tote (gift from brad's mom and she added the strip of fabric to make it match the room) full of blankets (gifts). the banner over the crib is from my baby shower in kentucky, the afghan on crib was crocheted by my granny june, the crib sheet is from target and brad's mom made the crib skirt.

shelf (ikea), rocking chair (the one my mom used to rock me and my little brother... i had it refinished and love the way it turned out!), lamp (ikea) and pouf ottoman (land of nod). brad's mom is a whiz with the sewing machine and she made the window treatments. i picked the fabrics and found and painted the little elephant buttons that are on the valences (big contribution, i know!). she did a wonderful job, gotta love getting custom drapes! i'm waiting for some gray fabric square totes from land of nod to fit into the cubes on the shelf. i'm hoping that will cut down on the cluttered look because i don't love the look right now.

chest of drawers/changing table (buy buy baby) and diaper pail (gift). i'm using the crate (michael's) to store diapers, wipes, and the like. brad's mom made the changing pad cover and the wall banner is also from my shower. fun side note: the two outfits on the changing pad are mine! i'll show you all close ups later, but one is my coming home outfit from the hospital! mom brought them over this weekend, too cute!

other than the cluttered feeling i'm getting from the shelf area and the corner to the left of it, i'm loving the look of the nursery so far. i've got some really cute silhouettes of both of the pups that i'm trying to hunt down frames for. i'm planning to hang them between the two windows.

so what do you all think? anything you'd recommend?

Monday, June 16, 2014

My interview with Dana Hilmer, Relationship Expert

As a participant in the Zone Perfect Blog Forward Challenge I was given an amazing opportunity to conduct a phone interview with Dana Hilmer, author of Blindsided by a Diaper: Over 30 Men and Women Reveal How Parenthood Changes a Relationship. 

A little background on Dana (from her website :
Dana Hilmer is the founder of THRIVE*itude, Inc., a media and consulting company, the mission of which is to help people live their truth and to create a life of happiness, well-being, meaning and wonder. Her pet project is forwarding the mission of the THRIVE*olution™, a community – and movement – dedicated to embracing a new definition of success, one that puts happiness, wellbeing, and making a difference at the top of the list. Dana is certified in the science and application of Positive Psychology with Tal Ben-Shahar at the Wholebeing Institute. She is pleased and honored to now be serving as a TA for the program.

Prior to THRIVE*itude, Dana founded LifestyleMom™, an online destination for women who want to live passionately while raising a family. She is also the author of Blindsided by a Diaper(Random House, 2007), a podcaster, inspirational speaker, media spokesperson and long-time marketing executive and consultant.

Dana is a media-savvy interviewee and her insights and tips have been featured on hundreds of radio and television shows across the country. She also writes and speaks widely on making a difference and topics related to healthy, happy, authentic living. Dana lives in a beautiful shoreline town in CT with her husband (and college sweetheart!) and their three young boys.
As nervous as these types of things make me, I knew I had to jump on this opportunity! Luckily, Dana is amazing and I immediately felt like I was talking to an old friend. 

My main question for Dana... What advice would you offer to me and my husband as we embark on this new journey of parenthood? (Dana's comments are paraphrased, I did not record the conversation, just took notes). 

The 4 C's
  • Connect:  Physically and emotionally. Have fun with each other. Make checking in with each other a priority.
  • Communicate:  Make a point to spend 10 minutes together daily with the intention of purposefully communicating. Put away phones, turn off the TV,  make eye contact. 
  • Create:  Goals and dreams for your family together. Declare dreams for yourselves, your child(ten), and family. If you put these goals out there you can help each other work towards them. 
  • Celebrate:  Who you are as a couple. Appreciate each other and your relationship.
Another fun thing she pointed out... Appreciate has two definitions:(1) being grateful (2) increasing in value. Just like anything else that you want to appreciate in value, you've got to put time and energy into it!

I'm very grateful to Dana for taking the time to speak with me and to Zone Perfect for allowing me the opportunity. I also wanted to pass along to you all that Dana is offering a really cool program right now, called the Thrive Circle. Twice a month you can call in and she'll be discussing various topics centering around well-being and happiness. The really great thing is that right now she's offering the program for free! Check it out here to sign up! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

zone perfect blog forward challenge #2 :::: an update on my goals and a giveaway!

it's time to check in with the goals i made for myself at the beginning of the year in this post... How could I have made better choices (or did how did I make better choices) regarding them.

.: fitness :.

  • join the 100 club at pure barre by the end of march. I made it into the 100 club on april 3rd... pretty darn close!
  • continue to work out at least 5 times a week until the big day. i did really well with this through the end of february then i fell off a little. i have hit 3 days a week consistently, but it's time to step it back up. kind of. i think today MIGHT have been my last official pure barre class before the baby. but i'm planning on walking at least 5 days a week. 
  • i don't want to make a bunch of post pregnancy goals as far as this category goes. i've never had a baby before, and i'm not going to pretend i know how i'll feel afterwards. i hope to get my butt back into pure barre for the bounce back after baby program. and i hope to run some races in the fall. but we'll see. haven't had a chance to mess this one up yet!

.: health :.
  • stay within a healthy weight gain range for me (15-25 pounds). well this one has not went so well. i know myself and i really should have been more proactive about this. i went through a spell when i could only stomach certain things and those things weren't exactly healthy. my MD is perfectly fine with my weight gain, so that's good. i have a horrible habit of either being on a diet or being full blown off a diet. so i'm either losing or gaining. NOT GOOD. 
  • join weight watchers after the baby is born. this will happen. 
  • aim for 100 ounces of water a day. i've done really well with this one.
  • keep a healthy snack on me at all times! this one too, i keep a zone bar in my purse at all times!

.:  spiritual :.
  • finish reading the Bible. still plugging along. almost to the new testament!
  • join another connect group at church. epic fail. 
  • begin volunteering at church. done and done. i work the coffee counter every fourth sunday!
  • find a book about praying for your children and put it to good use. i need a big old smack on the hand for this one. priorities... this needs to be one!

.:  everything else :.
  • date my husband. life gets crazy, we get into routines, not all of them good. i want to make more of an effort to make him feel special and loved. i think we've both been doing really well with this one. i guess you'd have to ask brad to be sure ;)
  • journal about my pregnancy and then the baby's life at least once a week. i might do it on the blog, i might just type it in a word document, i might just write it down in my planner... but i want to write it down. i should've done better about this, but between the blog, instagram, and FB i think i've kept up with it pretty well. 
zone perfect sent me this really cool portable charger and they also included one for me to to share with you all! 

leave me a comment below telling me about a goal you've done well with this year  and that'll get you entered. i'll pick a winner on Saturday night!

“Become A ZonePerfect® VIP & Save up to $10*
 *$10 in savings relates to savings spread across a one year period and may vary.”

Friday, May 16, 2014

ten things i learned during 100 pure barre classes

in april i earned my spot in the 100 club at pure barre asheville. that's 5500 minutes that i've spent at the barre! i was way too excited to sign my name onto the 100 club barre in the locker area and to have my name up on the chalkboard. 

i was also super excited to earn the coveted red sticky socks! PB sells socks in all kinds of fun colors, but you can only get red if you're in the 100 club. might sound silly, but i think it's pretty cool. 


i've mentioned pure barre to you all several times, but i've never really talked about the experience in detail. so here are ten things i've learned during my time working towards 100 classes:

  1. no one is judging you.  if you're new to PB it's easy to feel intimidated. don't worry about how you look doing something! the only person who will notice what you're doing is the instructor (because she's trained to help you get it right!). everyone else is going to be shaking in their sticky socks and way too busy concentrating on their own movements to notice what you're doing. seriously... i'm pretty sure a zebra could walk through the studio during class and i wouldn't notice because i'm too busy trying not to crumple to the floor. 
  2. buy the socks.  i've only taken one class without the sticky socks and that was enough to make me never want to forget mine at home again. you will slide all over the place! buy a couple pairs and stash them everywhere. i try to keep pairs in my purse, car, and gym bag (and yes i still forget and have to borrow them way too often). 
  3. get to class on time.  and on time is at least 10 minutes early. at the very least you've got to take off your shoes, put on your socks, sign in, and get all your equipment. you should really do a little stretching and it's always nice to catch up with your classmates and instructors.  **if it's your first class go earlier. you'll get shown around the studio and the instructor will go over some of the key movements and lingo with you**
  4. don't be surprised if the instructor physically corrects your movement during class. sometimes it's hard to explain what you should be doing so if you're not doing it correctly the instructor will physically manipulate your leg or hips or whatever to the correct position. it's super helpful and i guarantee you'll notice the difference as soon as they do it. 
  5. if the instructor does correct you, she's only trying to help you get the most out of your time at the barre. the instructors always cover the microphone when giving corrections to a single person. they aren't going to call you out in front of everyone, so relax and listen to what they're saying! 
  6. pay attention! seriously, listen to what the instructor is saying! everything she says is designed to help you get into the right position and get the most out of your workout. pure barre is based on very SMALL movements so little things make a big difference. you need to know if your toes are supposed to be pointed or flexed, are you supposed to be flat footed, on your highest tip toes, or in between, etc. 
  7. when they say to move 'just an inch' they mean it.  i'm not kidding. this isn't the kind of workout where bigger is better. you'll hear the phrases "make it smaller", "trace a circle the size of a dime", and "down an inch, up an inch" over and over... that's because it's important! if you can make the movement way bigger than everyone else, odds are you're doing it wrong!
  8. dress the part. i'm not saying you need to go on a shopping spree at lululemon or anything. but you're gonna want some tights or crops that fit you well and that aren't see through when you bend over. form fitting clothing is best so that the instructor can see your lines and tell if you're doing things incorrectly. 
  9. bring water to class. trust me. 
  10. the instructors are amazing. so are your classmates. get to know them! make friends! cheer each other on! it's so great to see the same faces, check in with each other, and keep up with what's going on in each others lives. it creates a really encouraging environment and it's a really great thing to have. we cheer each other on and support each other. it's great to be a part of the pure barre family!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

a whole lot of randomness

is it totally horrible that i stood in world market for like 30 minutes the other day debating on whether or not i should buy some of these adorable little champagnes to put in the fridge at the hospital for when baby m comes? the ones on the right even say 'bambino' on the label! i didn't get them, i decided if momma can't have it, no one else can either ;)

this little girl is in heat right now and you cannot imagine how it's changed the dynamics of our household. holy hell, it's what i imagine hormonal teenagers would be like. we aren't planning on breeding her or anything but our vet said it lowers the rate of osteosarcoma in GSDs if you wait and let them go through one heat cycle. one heat cycle and no more!

i cannot quit eating watermelon. i craved it early on in my pregnancy and it was hard to find good ones. now they're everywhere and i cannot get enough!