Posted in Health and Fitness, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: Back on Track After Vacation

It’s the third Tuesday of the month, so I’m linking up with Ashley and Erika for their Tuesday Talk series.

Y’all, I’m not perfect…and find myself needing to get back on track often. Needless to say, quarantine life has caught up with me a bit. Combine that with a week of fun and sun (and fruity drinks), I really need to get focused on my exercise and nutrition.

Like many people, I turned to comfort food for most of March and April. That being said, I did a pretty decent job working out while at home. Of course, you can’t outrun a bad diet…but I did exercise most days or go for a walk to get most of my steps in.

For a few weeks, my sciatica issues came back making working out difficult. Also, unfortunately, sometimes my endometriosis sidelines me some days with discomfort making it difficult for me to find the energy to workout. So, leading up to vacation, I kind of threw in the towel.

Now, I’m ready to regroup and get focused again, and here are some of the quick ways I find focus again.

Post-Vacation Reset

I follow Amanda Nighbert on social media, and incorporate elements of her LEAN program into my daily life….again, some days I’m more on track than others, but I’m ready to get focused again. She’s shared many of these reset ideas, and I try to follow them to get myself back on track after being lenient while on vacation.

  1. I don’t weigh myself after vacation. Like she has said before, if the scale says you gained 5 pounds, you didn’t gain 5 pounds of fat. It’s more inflammation and bloat from eating, drink, being off schedule, etc. Now, I’m not saying I don’t weigh myself. I just don’t right after vacation. I give myself a week or so to get back on track before seeing where I stand from a weight perspective.
  2. Intermittent Fasting. I usually eat my meals from noon-7:30. To be honest, I don’t stray too far from that during vacation, but it’s an automatic focus as soon as I get home.
  3. Increase my water intake. I do a decent job drinking water, but I know I don’t drink enough…especially on vacation. So, I make sure to get my Smart Water bottle and after drinking the water, I at least refill it twice to ensure I’m upping the ounces of water I’m getting.
  4. Getting my steps in. I usually take my resistance bands with me on vacation and use them or do a few HIIT workouts. I know if I say I’m going to workout daily on vacation that I’m setting myself up for failure. So, I take an every other day approach. While in Florida, I took walks on the beach, but I also got in three HITT and band workouts. The other days, I just took it easy. So, post-vacation, I’d love to get right back into my normal workouts…but find it takes me 3-4 days after getting home to find the time to fit in an actual workout. I’m busy getting groceries, unpacking, making phone calls, etc. So, I at least try to go for a walk to get my body going again.
  5. Whole food nutrition. On vacation, especially at the beach, I feel like I eat pretty healthy. It’s too hot to eat food that weighs me down, and I take advantage of seafood. In Florida, I had grilled fish or shrimp every night. The last night there, I did order lobster ravioli. It’s a rarity for me to order pasta on vacation, but I couldn’t pass up the lobster special! Snacking and the occasional dessert is what gets me on vacation. So when I get home, I make sure to make good food choices, cut out the snacking, and put down the desserts.

Secondary Elements

While important, I give myself grace for a week or so and focus on the above. Then, I get back to my full workouts, carb cycling, and tracking my macros using the My Fitness Pal app.

I also usually do a 24-48 hours juice cleanse + electrolyte water. There are some local juice places I like, but in a pinch, I pick up some juices from Whole Foods. I did a 48 hour cleanse Sunday after dinner until Tuesday at dinnertime.

Skin Care

Of course, while on vacation, I wash my face, use toner and my moisturizers. Unfortunately, even with following that routine and using sunscreen, my skin (face) still feels desperate for a refresh. I usually take my Timewise gel mask with me to use a few times, but when I get home, I add in my charcoal mask and use my facial steamer.

That being said, I lucked out and had my monthly facial appointment (this time: dermaplane #girlshaveyourface and I had credit, so I upgraded to the hydrafacial #carwashforyourface) yesterday. I felt so much better after that visit; my dry skin felt renewed.

So those are just a few ways that I try to get back on track. To be honest, the past few months have been hard to stay focused on healthy eating, but now that it’s summertime, I’m hoping I can continue making good food choices and getting in my exercise after this reset this week. I always feel so much better after a good workout and while making healthy choices with food.

Thanks so much for reading. Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Posted in Clothes, Friday Favorites, Health and Fitness

Friday Favorites: Things I’ve been Loving

Hello and of course, Happy Friday. Y’all we made it through another week. This was definitely our easiest week so far. The kids were able to do their schoolwork with minimal help from us, and the weather was pretty nice all week allowing us to get outside a bit more than we did last week.

Of course, I’m linking up with Erika and Andrea for this week’s Friday Favorites, so check out their posts too.

For this edition of Friday Favorites, I thought I’d share some things I’ve been loving. A few items I’ve been using for quite some time and others have been recent purchases #quarantinemademedoit

All of these items are, of course, my favorites. ❤️

Health and Beauty

After seeing quite a few people promote the Billie razors, I thought I’d give them a try. I signed up for an every other month subscription ($9+free shipping). This cute box arrived on my doorstep in a matter of days with my starter kit inside. I chose the blush colored razor, and it came with the magic holder and two other blades. The starter kit also included a Wonder Wipe sample that removes makeup and a sample of the Sudsy Body Wash. I will receive four new blades in my June shipment. I do really like this product so far. The razors provide a smooth, clean shave, and I love the magic holder as it’s a magnet that sticks right to my shower wall.

At only $9, I felt good with trying these razors out. I may switch to a monthly subscription, but I thought every other month was a good place to start!

As I’ve mentioned before, I always have my nails painted. I usually stick with OPI Bubble Bath or Funny Bunny which are neutral colors. Andrea has shared about her base and top coats that she uses, and I’ve used them for quite some time now. I feel like the top coat definitely helps an at home manicure last longer. Of course, going to my regular nail place isn’t even an option right now, so I’ve been using my own at home supplies more and more recently.

Admittedly, I haven’t been putting forth a lot of effort in the hair and makeup department recently, but I’ve been using the Revlon One-Step Dryer since January after receiving it for a birthday present. I’m sure you’ve seen others talk about it or review it, and most everyone seems to love it. Me too. That being said, it’s definitely not something I can use on sopping wet hair. I have always let my hair air dry almost to 75% before using a blow dryer, in the past, or the One-Step Dryer now. So if your hair is mostly dry, this is certainly easier to use.

I find that it gives my hair so much more body and fullness. In the past, I would blow dry my hair with a round brush, then use a straightener where needed and then add some curls with my curling iron. Of course, all of that, is a lot of heat on my hair. Now, I can completely skip the straightener step. Sometimes, I don’t even put curl in my hair because my hair already has enough volume after using this.

One thing that did surprise me once I saw the One-Step Dryer in person….you’ll get a bit of an arm workout while using it! 😉 It’s a hefty styling tool. That being said, it only takes me a few minutes of use to get my hair how I’d like it.

Another product I’ve used weekly over the past couple months is my Nano Steamer. Again, it was a gift, but it’s one I use in addition to my normal skin care routine. Of course, everyone’s skin is different, and I made sure to read the instructions and even viewed a tutorial video because I wanted to know how to safely use all the features. After just 12-15 minutes of use, my skin always feels so refreshed.

Shoes, Shoes, and, well…more shoes…

I’ve made a few shoe purchases recently. I kept seeing all kinds of great deals that influencers were sharing, and I couldn’t pass the deals up!

Jen Reed shared that her retro Adidas were back in stock at DSW, so I snagged them right away. DSW had a code and I purchased mine for $38…and they arrived very quickly!

JC Penney seems to have the same retro shoe with a few other color options as well.

After following Jennifer Todryk for so long, she always shares about the amazing deals shes gets on shoes from Joe’s New Balance Outlet. I now get the New Balance emails and waited until I saw something I liked that was a good deal. My New Balances were only $35!

Then, I used Landyn’s Vici code for a discount on the already reasonably priced sandals she showed one day in her Instagram stories. These sandals seem to be out of stock, but Vici’s shoe and sandal collection has so many cute and affordable options.

I’ve mentioned recently how my sciatica has been bothering me lately, and last time this happened, I had waited too long to purchase new workout shoes. Both of these tennis shoes have already helped with my back pain, and I can tell they are providing my feet with more comfort and support…at least that’s what I tell Travis when he asks why there’s another shoe package on our front porch!

Food and Drinks

This week, I mentioned that I went on a Trader Joe’s run recently. These are some of our family faves! I love the Havarti cheese with dill and the Buffalo Chicken dip.

I also love Trader Joe’s Simpler Wines Rose’ and purchase the four pack in the spring and summer months! It’s a refreshing drink for sure.

Around the House…

Since we are washing our hands on repeat (on repeat, on repeat), I purchased a few new foaming hand soaps from Bath and Body Works. They seem to be having an ongoing 4 for $20 sale. After putting those in my cart, I decided to add in a couple of single wick candles. The soap and candles arrived this week, and both the candles smell heavenly! Also, the candles were 2 for $20, so I was happy to take advantage of that deal as well.

That’s it for my What I’ve Been Loving: Friday Favorites. We are going to take advantage of some nicer weather today before what looks like a soggy weekend!

Thanks so much for reading, and don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Posted in Health and Fitness, Me, Three things

Three Things + A Bit of My Routine

Hello and Happy Thursday! It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a little bit about what we’ve all (individually) been up to, so here’s a Three Things update as well as my self-care routine that I’ve made a focus for myself lately.

Please pardon Hayden’s dirty shirt. He’d just finished a round of backyard golf.
  1. Hayden begged and begged for an Xbox for the past couple of years. Last year, I told him he’d need to save money to purchase an Xbox if he wanted one, and he did so last November. Who knew that five months later that Xbox sure would come in handy?! We still try to limit technology, but he’s been having fun playing a little bit each day as a way to “play” with his friends.
  2. Hayden has also become tech savvy with Zoom. A few days a week, some of his friends (thanks to one of the moms!) Zoom and see each other and chat for awhile. It warms my heart to hear them chatting and laughing (even if they are probably telling fart jokes!)
  3. Hayden is definitely still a voracious reader. He was assigned to read two books for school (Hoot and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and did so in a couple of days. He also likes to re-read books which I think is so awesome. Of course, he also loves watching Lego Masters and episodes of Garfield on Netflix to balance out the book to tv ratio 😉
  4. Bonus: I’ve said it in a previous post, but Hayden has been very content at home these past couple of weeks. He’s quite the homebody and seems to be adjusting well to this new, for now, “normal.”
  1. Like Hayden, Hadley begged and begged for an Ipod Touch. She also had to save money to buy her Ipod Touch and did so last November as well. Again, we limit the time she’s on it, but thank goodness for Kids Messenger because that way my social butterfly can keep up with her friends. It’s really been a great way for them to communicate!
  2. Hadley still loves to bake and is pretty independent while doing so. We’ve baked cookies and brownies recently. Baking is definitely a fun (and delicious) way to pass the time!
  3. Hadley’s dance teachers have been posting videos of their recital routines for practicing. I’m glad that Hadley has been able to keep up with dance during the time off. That being said, she can find the beat in any tune…so lots of improv dancing going on around here.We’re still hopeful there will be a recital…just most likely at a later date.
  4. Bonus: Hadley’s done a great job adjusting to being home, but she is the extrovert who likes to socialize. I know she misses her friends fiercely, and she, more than Hayden, has realized some of the fun they are missing out on (or will miss out on) at school like an April field trip, field day, and other fun activities.
  1. Travis has always been a “doer.” So, having this forced time to slow down, while good, is definitely an adjustment for him. He still keeps busy and goes to work a couple times a week, does yard work (which he actually does enjoy–just doesn’t usually have time for in the spring and summer), and finds other odds and end projects around the house to complete. Of course, Travis finds time for a daily run as well as takes Homer for walks. They log a lot of time together. 😂
  2. I’m continuing to try to find a groove with working from home while helping the kids with their work. Like Travis, it took me awhile to get used to this slower pace, but I’ve realized it’s not often that I have time to do so many things I love like read, catch up on a tv show, workout, and nap—sometimes all in one day! Of course, now that school has started back this week, I’m very busy during the day, but still love the downtime in the evenings.
  3. Newsflash: Homer is still a HANDFUL!! He’s a sweet as he can be, but man, he gets into everything. Just recently, he’s eaten two wireless computer mice, two kitchen dish brushes, the lid to my Swig mug (I was SO mad!), a painting brush, and some molasses cookies from Trader Joe’s! I will say I know he loves having us home…and the kids sure do love spending this extra time with him. They hug on him most of the day and fight about whose bed he should hop in while they do schoolwork!

Similar yet Different Routine

During these uncertain times, I cling to what I can control…which is some of my daily routine. Some things I’m doing for myself include:

  • I continue to wake up before the kids. I’m usually up by 7:00 to sip my coffee in silence while reading my favorite blogs , checking my phone, and watching the news (sporadically!). For school, I work 8-11 and 12-3:30. The kids both have their class Google meetings at 10:00 each day. So, I get my “me” time in and get some work accomplished before they wake up.
  • During my “me” time, I always light a Bath and Body Works candle, as well as some other candles in the living room. It sets a calm start to my day.
  • Since March 16th, I’ve made it a goal to go for a daily walk on top of my at home workouts. Usually the walks are on my own and I listen to a podcast…but sometimes it’s just Travis, Homer and me, and sometimes it’s a family walk. Once or twice a week, we’ve been going on family bike rides…I let that count as my walk. The fresh air and sunshine always does a body good.
  • I try to work out 4-5 days a week. Thankfully, I’m pretty used to working out at home…but I do miss going to the gym to use the bike and the elliptical.
  • Real talk: there are days I don’t even put makeup on…but some days I do..and notice I feel a bit better. I continue my routine of washing my face and using toner and moisturizer. As I’ve mentioned before, at least once a week I do a gel mask and another day of the week do a charcoal mask. Also, I’ve been making Facial Friday a thing and busting out my facial steamer. I’m also continuing my weekly at home manicures (just painting my nails ;)) and also change my toe polish every once in awhile. Also, sunless tanner has become my new best friend! Trying to give my legs some life 😉
  • Also, it’s important to keep things light for my kids. I don’t want them feeling stressed or anxious during these unprecedented times. I answer their questions, but they haven’t had many…and keeping them in some kind of routine has been important. Starting online school this week has helped solidify the routine that will likely carry us into summer. Also, in addition to learning, I try to incorporate other fun activities like crafts or baking to break up the days.
  • That being said, as a family we are spending uninterrupted time together that we probably won’t get again. So we’ve been going on family bike rides, walks, watching movies together, playing puzzles, etc.

So, that’s just a little update about each of us. See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites (Kids Q&A edition!)

Take care,

Posted in Health and Fitness, Me, Not Just a Mom, Self-care

Not Just A Mom: Self Care

Happy Monday! I survived (and had fun!) at a Girl Scout overnight at COSI in Columbus, OH. More about that later in the week…I’m still recovering from staying up until midnight and sleeping on the floor! (plus losing an hour with Daylight Savings Time!)

In other exciting news…Y’all, believe it or not, this is my 100th blog post. I can’t believe it! I’ve really enjoyed blogging so far. It’s fun to share about family, school, what I’m reading, what I’m cooking, etc. AND…I love reading other people’s blogs too.

Linking up with other bloggers led me to reading Lauren’s All About that Mommy Life blog. Last month, I read her Not Just a Mom post for February, and I thought I’d link up with her (and the others) for this month’s post.

This month’s focus is on self care. I’d say that self care is something most moms struggle with. When you are in the midst of laundry, carpool, grocery shopping, homework, working, etc…it’s difficult to find time for yourself. About three years ago, I made self care a goal of mine. It started with focusing on whole food nutrition and getting a workout plan that works for me which is when I started doing the Lean program. Once I made fitness and whole food nutrition a priority, I started to find other ways to take care of myself.

(Also, real talk–I’m not perfect–I fall off the eating healthy wagon, but once the calendar turns to March, I really try to tighten up on what I eat and make sure to get some workouts in each week.)

Workouts/Whole Food Nutrition

I try to workout 4-5 days a week. The LEAN program I follow incorporates intermittent fasting with carb cycling and tracking macros + workouts. I’m a person who does feel better after a good work out, so I do try to make time for that even with having two very busy kids. Progress not perfection is my focus thanks to this program.

Also, I love me some McDonald’s French fries and a Diet Coke. Currently, I can’t quit Peanut Butter Patties #girlscoutcookietime and, for me, it’s all about balance. 😃

Skin Care

For quite awhile I’ve tried to make skin care a priority. While I don’t buy all the fancy products, I do splurge on a few like my daily moisturizer and night time face cream.

Also, I can’t believe I’m admitting this…but I was probably in my early thirties before I made it a priority to take my makeup off at bedtime! I realized, “Girl, wash your face!” before it was a thing…or a book! 😉 So, just finally doing that was a step in the right direction and through the years I’ve added other products into my skincare routine.

Three years ago, I started going to a local med spa once a month. My membership package includes one of the following each month: a facial, a chemical peel, microdermabrasion, or (my favorite!) dermaplane (basically–the esthetician shaves your face!)

Is my skin perfect? Heck no. Am I in an uphill battle against aging ? Yes! That being said, I feel like I’m being proactive with taking the time to wash my face, use a toner and moisturizers as well as taking care of skin with the facials. Plus, it’s just a treat for me once a month to decompress!

Manicure/Pedicures

Before kids, when I had more time and money!, I used to get monthly pedicures and a manicure every two weeks. Now, I save monthly pedicures for April-September, and then get gel manicures 6-8 times a year. I love gel manicures because they last longer (and I always have my nails painted), but, again, I usually get them before spring break, summer vacation, Christmas, etc. Just another form of self care!

Reading

A few years ago, we joined a pool in the summer. My kids are older now, so they run around with their friends and are able to swim (so I don’t have to stress about that!) when we are at the pool. So, while they did that, I got back into reading. I’ve always been a reader, but there were years when I was in grad school, raising two babies while working full time that reading for pleasure was put on the back burner.

Now, I read quite regularly. Last year, I purchased my Kindle which has provided me more opportunities for reading. I keep it in my purse and read while my kids have a practice or any other spare minutes I may have in the day. I am glad that I’ve made reading a part of my daily routine.

Quiet Time

I’ve always been someone who needs to ease into the day, and once I had kids that became even more important for me. So, I get up about 30-45 minutes before the rest of my family on the weekdays. On the rare occasion that Travis gets up early and is hanging around the living room, he gets major side eye from me….like “why are you interrupting my ‘me’ time?” 😂I spend those precious quiet minutes sipping my coffee, scrolling through my phone, watching the news, and reading my favorite blogs.

I need that time to myself to get my mind right for the day. That being said, I need a bit of quiet time in the evening too. I mean, Travis doesn’t get side eye from me at night if he is also in the living room watching a show! It’s just the morning time that I need the time to myself. BUT…it’s also why I’ve tried to be pretty strict about bedtime for my kids (of course, they need sleep too), but I also just need that hour to relax between their bedtime and my bedtime!

Blogging

Last, but not least, blogging has turned into a form of self care for me. I enjoy this creative outlet and carving out a few minutes for me to write as a way to express myself each day. I’ve said it before, but I’m pretty introverted and quiet, so this blog is also a way to share my voice, I guess. It’s fun for me to think of content, link up with other bloggers, and continue to grow in this space. I definitely hope it’s something I can keep doing at least three times a week!

Next month’s Not Just a Mom topic is cleaning routine. Travis may have to write that blog post for me! He’s a cleaning machine! We balance each other out—I like to tidy up while he likes to bust out the broom and the mop!

I love that my 100th blog post synced up with a post about self care since blogging has become an important part of my life. Thanks so much for your support on my blogging journey so far! I really appreciate it.

I hope you have a great week.