Monday, March 30, 2015

Beachbody 21 Day Fix Coaching Launch and Results (thus far)

Hey my Lovelies!!!!!! Soooooo......Zoe is *just* over a year old and I am down to 10 pounds LESS than my pre-pregnancy weight with EITHER child. Im not sure if many of you know this, but since I was 12 I have struggled with weight issues, not knowing WHAT to eat, how to eat, how to exercise, what to do, or how much. I fluctuated up and down and even got a pretty gnarly eating disorder in college. All food issues aside now, with a healthier outlook, I had gotten to a decent weight through programs like weight watchers, and doing exercise like lots of walking etc, but I wanted to tone up, lose that last 10 pounds and KEEP it off. I had NOT a clue how, unless I did something like get a trainer (too expensive, time constraints yadda yadda). Well, after seeing a friend of mine with TWINS post about losing all of her baby weight and then some (and looking INCREDIBLE), I was completely inspired. I immediately and with no reservations joined a challenge group, and lost 8.6 pounds and 10.6 inches the first round (three weeks long). Second round, I lost 6 more. I’m deep in my third round now and I am down to 142, which is a weight I have not seen since I was in high school, and I mean 9th grade or so. ******IM STILL ON MY JOURNEY**** My goal is to get to 135, and I feel SUPER confident that I will get there easily and healthily. This program is 30 minutes of exercise a day which is totally manageable for me as a super busy mom (every day is different- cardio, pilates, upper and lower body strength, and yoga), CLEAN eating (no processed grossness- and I am a total foodie who loves to cook so it needed to be sustainable), and the best part is the community support in challenge groups. Its a trifecta!!! I really want to help you get there too, and I am drinking this proverbial Kool-aid. Please let me know if you are interested because I am ready to lead some Beachbody Challenge Groups here people!!!!!! First one starting soon, lets get ready for summer the time to start is NOW. First group starts April 20th if you want in- you can live ANYwhere in the States or Canada to do this challenge- you dont have to be local :) 

 Above- Last summer, still not sure exactly HOW to get the weight off.  

Today I am so excited about my present, my path, and the goals that I KNOW I can achieve because I have the tools to get there, and the support. Im really hoping you want to join with me, if so, message me at and we can get you started on a path to fitness too! Whether its 8 or 80 pounds, you can totally get there, just one day at a time. "If you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done."


Monday, December 22, 2014

Cinnamon Ornaments DIY

I tried to make this Christmas as homemade as possible, and these ornaments were a total winner this year. SO So easy to make, smell like pure Christmas, and such a special and sweet keepsake gift for the friends and family in your life ;) This is a great project to do with kids as its simple and fun, just like decorating Christmas cookies. :)

You will need:

3 cups Applesauce
3 cups Cinnamon (plus more for rolling)
Rolling pin
Parchment paper
Cookie cutters in pretty shapes
Tacky glue
Ribbon (or twine, etc)

1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Mix together the applesauce and cinnamon until it forms a big ball- shouldn't be too sticky. If it is, add more cinnamon until it resembles playdough. Add glitter here too if you're more clever than me. I realized later you can just put a whole container of glitter into the dough instead of painting it on after (it produces a much more subtle effect- equally pretty, just a little less sparkly)

2) Roll out the dough til it is about 1/2 inch thick, but its not a biggie if its thicker- it will just take a little longer to harden in the oven. 

3) Start cutting dough with your cookie cutters

4) Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper

 5) Poke holes with a skewer (rotate around to make sure its a large enough hole)

6) Bake for about 2.5/3 hours at 200 til they harden

7) Start putting the string on after they cool (about 5-10 min)

8) This is completely optional- start decorating with glitter (have I mentioned they smell AMAZING??) I just used my finger to apply tacky glue and then shook fine "chestnut" brown glitter over the glue. It worked great. You can use any color obviously but I loved the same tone look. 

9) Hang on your tree and enjoy your craftiness- or affix one to each of your Christmas gifts for a really pretty finish. 

 Et Voila! A glittery, scented ornament! Store in plastic baggies with your other ornaments, this will make the scent last for years to come... <3 p="">

Merry Christmas everyone. 


Monday, November 10, 2014

My Shopping Vow

I am absolutely addicted to buying clothes for my babies. Its a problem. I spend the bulk of nap time scrolling through adorable websites looking at beautiful and usually expensive clothing and salivate over the gorgeousness of it all. ZOE NEEDS THIS, my life will not be complete until she has it, and so on and so on. HOWEVER.... This gets expensive and let me tell you, its all very cute, until it gets the inevitable stain of WHATEVER (food/poop/spit up/grass/etc) on it. Ay yi yi. Not to mention the fact that these kids grow at lightning speed. So, about 3 months ago I made a vow to myself and to Dan, and now to you lovelies and the general inter webs.

I will not buy any clothing for my kids unless it is A) pre-owned, or B) handmade. 
This excludes underwear and shoes (because shoes are important for growing feet and you really shouldn't use pre worn shoes unless you absolutely have to but I digress).

Instead, I scour eBay, children consignment shops for beautiful clothing that has been gently worn. It feels so satisfying to score something that is a fraction of the cost when its brand new, and looks just as good. Also, the environment and my wallet are benefiting from this. Look at it this way. There is just SO much STUFF out there, and babies are hard on their things. Get a little creative and go searching. Anyone can go online and find beautiful brand new clothing. It takes a good eye and some scouting to find the great gems.

As far as buying new items goes, YES- DO it! But there is SO much made in china crap out there and excess in general is causing problems all over the planet. Do the environment a favor and find beautiful, made with love handmade small batch clothing for special occasions or heirloom pieces to hand down to your children's children as a keepsake. Im all for it. Etsy has some absolutely gorgeous shops and Im also addicted to checking that out. Also, my newest crazy obsession is Misha & Puff. I die.

My tip is this---
Go shopping with something in mind, for example the last time I went to the local kids consignment shop I was looking for cable knit sweaters, warm pants in size 4t, and baby leggings. I walked out of there with $50 worth of clothing and had about 6 sweaters & 3 pairs of pants for Noah, and 4 pairs of baby leggings for Zoe. You would never even know they were second hand- sometimes they even still have the manufacturers tag on them. As long as my kids will let me, I will shop thrift for them. Its fun and cheap and totally makes me feel crafty.

Also, TAKE advantage of hand me downs! I have a friend who gave us the best hand me downs EVER- I totally cried tears of joy when she brought the bags over because I was so excited. #nerd

Also, I've decided Im absolutely going to learn to knit. Its my plan for 2015. Do you know how to knit? What are your shopping tips for your kiddos? Share your ideas Im ready to listen!


                                                *thats my little Zoe in 2nd hand Tea Collection and a handmade gnome hat that I DIE for. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

One of my most favorite holidays!!! I did up this Martha Stewart Chicken Costume for Noah and fashioned a little baby chick costume for the Zo-bear. Trick or treating was last night and Noah "got it". He ran up stairs proclaiming "TRICK OR TREAT, and THANK YOU!!!!" to all the houses we visited. He even walked right through the doors of a few into peoples homes. Not shy, that little chicken. We had a fantastic night. So so much fun. 

Have an amazing Halloween! 


Monday, October 27, 2014

Why I will not be forcing my kids to share

In the midst of the insane, vast, chasm of doubt and uncertainty that is parenting, I am one that likes to arm myself with as much knowledge and advice as possible from the experts. I read, and read and read in order to grasp some tiny little piece of confidence that I am in fact doing the right thing and not effing my kid up 4lyfe. One thing that every parent of a toddler will agree with is this - SHARING IS A B#$^*! I love love love getting together with other mommy friends I love going to the playground and I love being social with my kids......HOWEVER, about 8 or so months ago I started having anxiety about all of this because Noah was NOT sharing. Instead, he grabbed, yanked, bumped kids out of the way, and in general just wanted ALL THE TOYS! OMG, I thought... Everyone is going to think its because I'm a bad mom, they are totally talking smack behind my back about my bratty kid (he is SO not a brat but I didn't want anyone else thinking that he was!), my kid won't have any friends, what am I doing WRONG!!??? It was SO painful trying to get him to try to understand how to share and not hoard toys and I was actually really really upset about it all. I read as much as I could on the subject but nothing really seemed to work until I read this great book, Its ok not to share and other renegade rules for..... which made it all click for me. We are SOOOo much better off now that I feel like I understand and can empathize with him better.

Here are the rules I employ and if you are a parent with a toddler maybe take a look to see if any of this resonates with you....

1) No grabbing. This is the big one. I'm sorry Noah, he/she is playing with that now. You can have a turn when she/he is done.
No, just because you want to play with something does NOT mean that the other person has to "hurry up and finish using that". Yes, it looks WAY more exciting because someone else is using it but no, you may not just have something just because you want it, and grabbing is REALLY not ok. This is not how the grown up world world works either. Crying will not help. Sorry. Go play with something else and we can let this person know that when they are done we would really like to play with it. Readers, I am telling you, you will be ASTONISHED at how benevolent a toddler can be if he is shown some respect regarding his playthings. Also, if he is having trouble handing it back on his own I say "Noah, you can either hand that back or mommy can help you. Please try again." 9 times out of 10 he *astonishingly* does it on his own without trouble. If he can't then I say, "I know, that toy looks like SO much fun, but ____ was playing with it, so we need to hand it back. Lets go swing- UNDERDOG!!!!!!!!!!!" (Yes, I make a giant fool out of myself multiple times on a daily basis)

2) No bringing toys to a common play area (parks & playgrounds/playdates/etc) if you can't be ok with other kids playing with them when you are not. 
That's just annoying and its flaunting and it makes other people not want to be around you. When Noah says to me "BRING TRUCKS!" to the park, I say, well YES lets bring the truck, but if someone else wants to play with it when you are done you are going to need to let them. "NO!!!! LEAVE TRUCK HOME!!!" Ok, no prob! Good choice.

3) I will not allow kids or their parents to take toys from you while you are still playing with them (forced sharing)
When Noah is playing with something and having a blast, and another kid wants the toy, I will help him out if it looks like he is being bullied into handing it over (and Im talking about other parents too). No, he is still playing with it and I let him use HIS words. I say, Noah, are you still playing with that? and he says to me "Yes". Well then, tell them! And he says directly to the kid, "Im still PLAYING with it!" Then I say, ok, looks like Noah is still playing but do you want a turn when Noah is done? Then both kids feel like they are heard and that maybe soon they can have that interaction on their own now that they know that its a possibility.
At music class the other day I witnessed a kid yank a toy from a little girls hands (that she was clearly still playing with). She went to grab it back and her dad said to her "honey, you have to share". Um, she was ROBBED is what happened, and her dad was really meaning well but seriously did NOT have her back. What was happening was simply not fair, and she knew it and a meltdown ensued. They had to leave she was so upset. Why did she have to share that toy? If someone else wants it and grabs it you have to be ok with that? What does that teach either child? a) that grabbing gets you what you want and b) that people can grab things from you and you *HAVE* to be ok with it because "we SHARE with our friends".  Seems a little wonky.

4) You can take as long a turn as you want with that toy unless it is common property or belongs to someone else (swings at a playground/a toy someone brought to the park/etc) 
You are playing with a toy? Have AT it kid! Play play play. If you are truly engrossed in your playtime and its not bothering anyone then by all means, go for it. Playing is learning at this age and the longer kids play the more circuits are being built in their brains to help them be as smart and cool and developed as possible. I totally geek out on this science of play building brains and I want to help that along! The caveat is that if you are in a public area and the toy is sort of a public property then I think a little consideration is in order- for example, no hoarding of a special toy or piece of cool playground equipment. I say to Noah, yes, go ahead play with that ball/jumprope/etc, but it looks like when you are done, So and so wants to use it. When the pressure is off to "hurry up", the hoarding seems to be less important, and the TRUE generosity emerges.

If you have multiple kids you can employ these tactics at home for practice too! Zoe is 7 months old but she always wants to be up in Noahs toys, esp whatever he is playing with. She will roll her little pudgy adorable self over to him and grab his toys. I make a show of it to Noah, saying "Noah, are you still playing with that toy? Tell Zoe you aren't done" and he does. I say to Zoe "Zoe, silly! We dont grab! Noah is still playing with that, lets play with this instead"--- This way, when Noah grabs toys from Zoe which happens every day, I say to him, oh, try again Noah! Do I let Zoe grab toys from you? .... "No", he says. "Ok, please give it back". HE GETS IT EVERY TIME.

I feel like I have unearthed a parenting treasure and it makes me very very very happy. Now, lets go on to the other 10000000000000billion parenting issues.

What tactics do YOU use to help your toddler learn how to interact with other kids well? I would love to hear them!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

10 Things Kid-Free Friends Do That Annoy People With Kids

This week has been especially difficult as a parent and on top of that I have been seeing a ton of blog posts about things that people with kids do to annoy people who don't. I decided to turn those tables. Tongue planted firmly in cheek, so no one get all salty.

1) Sleep 
This is first because its a big one- the BIGGEST one. I didn't know sleep deprivation until I had children. Night after night of waking up to tend to your adorable spawn is something that will drive ANYone insane. One night of going out and partying or staying up too late then having to get up for work the next day is one thing, doing that every night is another story. My perennial under eye bags are not going anywhere anytime soon. IF you are thinking about having kids just start sleeping right now. Seriously. Put it in the bank.

B) Eat a meal 
(with no interruptions)
When you have a child you feel like you will never ever ever eat a normal meal again. Last night our meal consisted of telling Noah that chairs are for SITTING about 13 times, and finally giving up and strapping his adorable butt into the high chair. He wants me to feed him, he wants ME to eat his food, he wants more, he needs a spoon not a fork, he needs water OMG it goes on and on. Also, all of this is done holding my 6 month old daughter on my lap that entire time.

4) Use the bathroom
The first thing Noah says when I say I need to go to potty (yes, I say potty now) is " MY COME TOO!!!!!" and his little legs race past me to the bathroom door and flings it open. "Here mommy! HERE mommy!!!", he says, escorting me into the bathroom and showing me where the toilet is. "SIT HERE" he says. Then he proceeds to take the toilet paper roll to a section of the bathroom where I can't reach him and start to unroll the entire thing. Then I have to waddle over to the TP and salvage what I can in order to wipe and then pull up my pants while he is ransacking my medicine/makeup/toilet brush. Washing hands is another story and I can't get into that right now.

3) Have a house free of toys
You may walk unhindered around your home without fear of tripping over, kicking, or stepping on a sharp object. The WORST is when your kid is napping and you accidentally kick something and it shoots across the room and bangs into the wall, waking your child. WTF.

5) Take a shower
I schedule in my showers now. I have to schedule in my showers now. I really do schedule my showers now. I still don't get enough showers. Showers are a luxury. Blowdrying my hair is unheard of. I have been forced to embrace my natural hair texture.

G) Put a cup of liquid down and not have it spilled. Thats all. 

9) Not negotiate with tiny terrorists
Refereeing children not wanting to share is not for the weak of heart. That shizz is serious. My iPhone timer gets a LOT of play these days. Changing a poopy diaper of a writhing 2 year old is not a small feat. It takes a lot of patience ( and physical strength)

E) Just walk out of the house when you are ready to leave. 
Today it took me 10 minutes, a puppet show, chasing, (taking a 2 minute break on the couch to catch my breath), pretending not to care, all to get Noah's pants on him. We finally got everyone ready to go out the door, and Zoe pooped. Start over. Getting children out of the house from the time you start to the time it happens should be in the parenting Olympics. I am so so so salivating over the memory of deciding to leave the house and then, just, leaving.

 I love you my child-free friends and you 100% deserve your lovely unhindered existence. I adore my children and I would do it alllllll over again a billion times over. If you don't have humor .... you don't have anything. Especially when it comes to parenting.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Guest Blogger - House Style!!! Top Ten Decor Rules

My dear friend Rory Gruler is an uber stylish and fabulous home decorator. I first met Rory when we were living in Key West in our twenties- being young and carefree and it was a beautiful time to be living in paradise! We became friends almost immediately and I have always admired her amazing style. Over a decade and many moves later, we have come to a very different stage in both of our lives! Since she just launched her own blog which chronicles her relocation from Charleston, SC, to Augusta, GA, I asked her to guest blog about her 10 house rules that she styles by! Check it out.....

""In less than a year, I have built a house, sold a house, bought a house and moved to Augusta, GA from Charleston, SC. While I have always loved to decorate (in fact, I used to rearrange my play room as a child so it “flowed” better), the past year has made me more of a house expert and has catapulted my love for design and space into something bigger. In my quest to create the perfect home for myself and my husband, I have acquired certain rules that I follow. Below are 10 of them.

1. Color is your friend
When you enter my house, the first thing you notice is color. I prefer brights oranges and yellows, deep blues and rich reds. You will also notice that all of these colors are mostly accent pieces, this is explained in rule number 2.

2. Spend money on your couch
This is where you sit, where you watch tv, where you entertain, where you accidentally nap. Spend money on it. Also, in regards to rule number 1, buy a neutral couch. You might be obsessed with turquoise today, but hate in a year, so this is why you use your pops of color with accent pieces that can be changed easily. 

3. Cohesive details
In our new house, that was actually built in 1929 - so not really new, all of the light fixtures, switch plates, and knobs where different. Take a trip to Lowes/HD/Etc, go to the decorative aisle and make it all match. It will make a huge difference.

4. Dried Flowers
After reading a book about Feng Shui over a decade ago, I have followed many of the rules. One of them is that dried flowers are bad luck. I do not follow this rule. How could I ever NOT have my dried wedding bouquet on display. I don’t care if brings my home bad Chi, marrying my husband was one of the best moments of my life, I enjoy that daily reminder of the dried bouquet that lives in the sun room.

5. Husbands
Speaking of husbands… We have lived in 3 homes together in the 5 plus years that we have been together. He has always let me take the lead on decorating, even though he sometimes has strong opinions. Here is my trick… When decorating, don’t ask you significant other what he loves, ask him what he HATES. I took my husband to Lowes before I bought new lighting fixtures. With our heads facing up glaring at the hundreds of lights and fans, I sweetly said, “Honey, which one these do you hate?” He started pointing and I made mental notes. If I had asked him what he liked, he would have become flustered and/or too opinionated. But he was easily able to articulate to me exactly what he hated. I firmly believe that people know what they don’t like, more than what they like.

6. Buy a Roomba
Having a dog that sheds is no bueno. Get in your car, drive to your local hardware store and purchase one immediately. Set it to run daily and your life will be changed. It is the best purchase I have ever made. Also, once we bought our roomba, we made sure that all other furniture purchases were once that were elevated or had legs so that roomba could easily vacuum under these items.

7. Do not store anything under your bed
When the husband and I moved from our rental to our first home, I was utterly and completely embarrassed when the movers lifted our bed. I had tupperware boxes of clothes and piles of magazines and enough dog hair to make at least 5 new dogs. Even though we had a roomba in that house, because of all of the clutter under the bed it never got vacuumed, meaning we had been sleeping over pounds of dog hair for 2 years. It was disgusting. Remember your bed is where you sleep and hopefully have sex with your significant other. Do you really want these activities to take place over a mound of dog hair and filth?

8. Trends
Do not spend a ton of money on trends. When chevron started showing up everywhere, I was obsessed, but I remembered that this trend could be overused and it is. Instead, I sewed chevron pillows and curtains. I didn’t buy any major pieces with chevron. I still love my chevron and use it sparingly now, but I am so glad I didn’t buy a chevron couch or paint a chevron wall.

9. Photos
After I decorated our first home, the husband said, “We sure do have a lot of photos of ourselves, don’t we look vain?” The answer is no, we do not look vain. My house is filled with framed photos of memories of our wedding, friend’s weddings, our family, our dog, basically  our life. It is nice to walk through my home and see moments of happiness.

10. Build a space for a life you want, maybe not the life you currently have
My husband and I do not have children, but we want to have them one day. We have a room that is already the nursery. It’s not a crazy, scary, designed nursery with a fake baby doll that I pretend is real… It’s just a room that we know we will use as a nursery one day.

Check out Rorys blog by clicking link below and follow her to watch her transform her new house into a home!