Channeling my Inner Joanna Gaines

I swear to you, we just cannot catch a break around here! Two weeks ago is was a nasty stomach bug that both Colton and Chris caught. 

Now, it’s the dreaded Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. The (apparently) summer staple for children under the age of 5. I literally have 5 different friends, spanning 5 different states (actually one is halfway across the world) who have recently or are currently dealing with the same thing. Gross. 

hand foot and mouth disease

Essentially HFMD is a SUPER contagious virus that tends to spread like wildfire through daycares. And of course last Friday we got a note in Colton’s box that someone in his classroom had been diagnosed, which was pretty much a death sentence for poor Colton. And sure enough, since then we’ve been dealing with a high fever, and these terrible looking blisters all over his little body. For several days there, he was just absolutely miserable (and so were we!)

Thankfully he SEEMS to be on the upswing, but the doctor said that sometimes it can take 7-10 days for everything to completely go back to normal even though he is no longer contagious. So for now my little man just gets to look like a leper, and I get to hang out at home all week. 

Speaking of home, today I wanted to do something totally different than usual. Why? Because it’s my blog and I say so. 

But really, it’s because decorating is not my forte at all, and I need some suggestions from you all. 

I have mentioned before my love of all things Fixer Upper, and the fact that in my head, Joanna Gaines is my bestie. And really, if I had a million dollars I would fly her out here and have her go to town on my house, because I pretty much love everything she does. I, however, just dont have the talent to make decisions about decor stuff. 

So here is the space I am currently working with:

Living Room before

Our house is very open concept, so all of our walls are this sandy-tan color, and the trim is cream. I think I am going to use teal and gold as accent colors around our house. Hence the 2 different color curtains right now… I am trying to decide what look I like better.

 

And here is what I’m (tentatively) thinking about doing:

board living room

I am hoping to add an industrial-type shelf in the corner for decor/books, and then pick up some fun teal, gold and white pillows. I cannot for the life of me decide on the whole curtain thing – so any thoughts would be very much appreciated!!

I am also planning on adding in a lot more farmhouse-type decor. For example, I already have this guy hanging up on in the space that connects our living room and kitchen:

Farmhouse chalkboard sign

And I am planning on adding more pieces like a gallery wall:

Master bedroom gallery wall via @Our Vintage Nest on IG:

(Source)

And some greenery:

January Family Room by Dear Lillie:

(source)

And maybe even some fun DIY touches!

So there you have it – I am probably the slowest decorator on the planet, but I am just never fully confident in my designs. So if any of you have design talent, please pass along your words of wisdom (especially on the great curtain debate). I could use all the help I can get! 

Also, am I the only one who is absolutely in love with the farmhouse style? I know it’s just super in right now, but I feel like it is classic enough that it could definitely last a long time. Or at least I am hoping it will!

So tell me: What is your design style? Are you in to the farmhouse look? Teal or white curtains (or something else all together??? HELP!)

Five Favorites Friday {7.15.16}

Happy Friday everyone!

As per usual, I feel like my life has just been crazy lately. I swear, there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done! I am still in the process of unpacking and decorating the house, and I’m not going to lie, it has been a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Just trying to figure out WHERE to put everything (and not make it look like a jumbled mess). It’s a process. 

On top of it, in typical Stephanie style, I have had some grand project ideas lately which have definitely been taking up a lot of my free time. Darn Pinterest, giving me too many ideas! I can’t wait to show you all the final products, but you will get a sneak peak later in this post!

FFFold_thumb

Anyway, I wanted to drop in today to share with you all a few random things that I have been loving this week!

Decorating Colton’s Room

nursery decor

One thing that I was really bummed about was that I never actually got to set up a nursery for Colton. We knew we were going to be moving out of our first house when he was only 2 months old, so there was really no point in setting one up there. Then we lived temporarily in an apartment for about 10 months, and Colton’s room was also the guest room/my closet/extra storage space. So needless-to-say, he didn’t really get a decorated space there either. And while I know that obviously he didn’t care, it did make my mama heart a little sad. 

But now that we’re finally getting settled into this new house, I am so excited to actually decorate his room! I have it about 90% finished now and I am LOVING it! I am not sure if you guys are interested, but I can definitely give you a little tour sometime next week if you’d like. His colors are navy blue and kelly green, and it has a fun world traveler kind of theme. 

TIU Workouts

I mentioned earlier this week that I am loosely following the Tone It Up fitness plan in order to get myself back into healthy habits and so far I am LOVING it! These workouts are so fun, and seriously kick my butt. They are all about low weight, high rep which I know isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it always works well for me when I’ve let my fitness slip a little bit. Plus Karena and Katrina are just so fun! I highly recommend checking them out – they have a ton of videos up on YouTube that you can check out for free. 

Painting Furniture

I have opened up a Pinterest can of worms and I don’t know how to stop! We had a bunch of old furniture from our college days or yard sale finds that just kind of made our house look like a hodge-podge of woods and finishes. But instead of spending the money to buy all new stuff, I went to Pinterest and read up on painting furniture. I figured I would just give it a try and see what we thought, and if it totally failed then we’d look into purchasing items instead. 

GUYS. I now have a furniture painting problem. Seriously. I just want to paint everything now!! So far I’ve painted Colton’s changing table (a $10 Craigslist purchase) and his dresser (an OLD dresser of my dad’s that I’ve had for like 10 years), and I’m currently in the process of chalk painting and distressing an old hutch that we got at a flea market for like $50. 

DIY Chalk Paint

Sorry for the dark garage pictures, but it at least gives you a sneak peak at what I’ve been working on!

DIY Chalk Paint

I am almost finished with the painting, but I still need to distress the top section (above), and then seal it. 

Of course I don’t have any pictures of it before, but it was old and dark brown and blah. As soon as I finish it and put it into its new space in our dining room I will definitely share it with you guys! And of course, now I have a list of at least 4 other pieces of furniture I want to paint. I CAN’T STOP!

Silhouette Cameo

So anyone who has Amazon Prime probably heard about Prime Day earlier this week. And I may or may not have gone a little crazy. There were just so many good deals!!

But the thing that I picked up that I am the MOST excited for is my new Silhouette Cameo. If you have never heard of a Cameo before, it is one of those cutting machines that can cut/print/design all kinds of stickers, paper and vinyl for craft projects!

(Source)

I am SO SO excited to play around with it and make some awesome things. I’ve already warned family and friends – be prepared for a monogrammed and crafted Christmas! ๐Ÿ˜€

Limeade Spark

AdvoCare Sparkยฎ Energy

I mentioned in my post last week about getting back to healthier habits that I am switching out my usual coffee for Spark again. Well last week I picked up a new flavor of spark: Limeade. And OH.MY.GOODNESS. Guys. GET THIS NOW. It seriously tastes like drinking lemonade, which is so incredibly refreshing in the hot summer afternoons!

Chris even had an idea to blend up some frozen cherries and ice, and make a cherry limeade a la Sonic. Um, yes please! 

Well that is all I have for you today. We have a couple of fun plans for the weekend, including gymnastics class for Colton, a baseball game, and of course more furniture painting/crafting! 

I hope you all have a great weekend!

So tell me: What are you loving this week? Are you a craft-lover too?

 

 

Weekly Food & Fitness Plan {7.11.16}

Guys, today my “baby” started in the toddler classroom today. HOW IS THIS REAL LIFE???

first day of toddler class

This was his first day of daycare at 12 weeks old (August 2015) and then his last day of the infant class this past Friday. Where has my baby gone??? Somehow he has morphed into a toddler. I am not ready for this! 

While I am over here dabbing at my eyes, let’s talk food and fitness. 

Like I mentioned in my post last week about the healthy changes I’m making, I am really making a concerted effort to get my healthy lifestyle back on track. That includes turning my workouts into a consistent routine and making healthier food choices. SO, I thought I would continue with my weekly food and fitness plans to help keep me accountable. That is really why this blog started in the first place, after all. And hopefully some of you will find this helpful as well!

Food & Fitness Plan

So here are my fitness goals for the week. I have been really getting into the Tone It Up workouts lately because they are quick and I can do them either at home or at the gym, which is perfect for my super flexible schedule during the summer. 

Monday: Total Body + Cardio

Tuesday: HIIT + Abs

Wednesday: Kettlebell Toning

Thursday: Rest day

Friday: Total Body

Saturday: Arms + Abs + Cardio

Sunday: Rest Day

Right now I am still in the process of just getting back into the routine of going to the gym before I decide on a more goal-oriented plan, so this wide variety of Tone It Up workouts fits my needs perfectly right now. Plus they really do kick my butt!

Now on to food! Here is my (general) meal plan for the week:

Monday: Grilled chicken parmesan sandwiches + veggies

Tuesday: Crockpot pork BBQ + sweet potato fries + veggies

Wednesday: Leftover Pork BBQ

Thursday: Grilled Asian Porkchops with pineapple and green beans + rice

Friday: Indian chicken with onions and potatoes + rice

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Out (Baseball game)

 

For lunches I am also planning on making up a batch of my health(ier) chicken salad. I am still tweaking the recipe a bit, but I might share it with you all soon. It is super tasty, and is perfect as a sandwich, with crackers or veggies, or on its own! Plus it makes a ton, so it is perfect to eat throughout the week. 

Well, that is my tentative plan for the week. Again, the month of July is really just about getting back in to healthy habits for me, before I decide on my next goal. 

I hope you all have an awesome week, and I will talk to you soon!

So tell me: What is one meal on your meal plan this week? Any good workouts planned?

5 Changes I’m making to get my healthy lifestyle back on track

If there is one thing I’ve learned in my 5+ years of my healthy living journey, it’s that creating good habits can be difficult. Losing those good habits though? Annoyingly easy. 

All it takes is a few weeks of skipping the gym and eating an extra scoop of ice cream for dessert, and suddenly it becomes so much easier to pass up a workout in favor of some extra sleep or more couch time. I don’t know about you, but once I get out of the habit of making healthy choices it is a slippery slope until I am just eating crap and feeling like crap. 

Not all the time, of course. I don’t go full 180 and start living at the drive-through. But an extra cookie here and side of french fries there quickly turns into choices that are less than stellar on a daily basis. 

Typically after a few weeks, I can feel it. My body feels sluggish, my skin breaks out, and I just generally feel Blah. And that is where I am right now. Life has thrown a lot of curveballs at me lately, and as a result I have stopped making the healthiest decisions and my body is definitely letting me know. 

SO I have made the conscious decision to make some changes. Thankfully because I’ve done this before, it really is just more of making choices that reflect the healthy lifestyle I know I can live. But it still takes several weeks for those choices to become actual habits. So here are the 5 changes I am making to get my healthy lifestyle back on track:

1. Finding a gym program and routine that I enjoy

I am one of those people who absolutely needs to go to the gym with a plan. It’s even better if I have some sort of program or long-term plan so that I really have a goal I am working towards (total type-A problem right there). I’ve been going back and forth lately over what program to do, but I think that at least for the near future I am going to try out the Tone It Up program. 

postpartum fitness

What I love about this program is that the workouts are different every day, and can easily be done at home or in the gym. Because I am only on campus (and thus have access to a gym) a few days a week this summer, this part was key. I also love it because they have an app that tells you the workout of the day every morning!

2. Making healthy choices with food

Tone It Up also has a nutrition program that I have heard is really good, but I am not sure I am quite ready to bite the bullet (and open my wallet) to pay for it just yet. I KNOW how to make healthy choices in the kitchen, I just haven’t been so good about it lately. So my goal for the rest of this month at least is to make better choices for my meals and snacks, and see how that goes. For me, that means lightening up a little bit on the dairy and carbs (although everything in moderation is my life motto!) and placing more emphasis on lean proteins and veggies. 

Meal prep

If after the month is up I am still really struggling in this department, then I might consider trying out the Tone It Up nutrition program since I have heard great things!

3. Taking a daily vitamin

While I was pregnant I was SO good about taking my prenatal vitamins every day. Even in the early days of nursing I kept it up pretty consistently. In the last few months, however? Crap. I can’t even remember the last time I consistently took one. I am always amazed at how much better I feel when I am consistent about taking a multi. I don’t know if it’s all in my head or not, but even if it is, it makes me feel better so I am going to go with it! 

I still haven’t settled on one I LOVE yet, but I will let you know once I do. 

4. Drinking more water

For some reason, I’ve gotten a little lax with my water intake lately, which is funny because that is usually something I am really good about. But I can DEFINITELY tell a difference in my body and energy levels when I am well hydrated, so I think I am really going to try and place an emphasis on this. My biggest issue is when I am on the go, so I have gotten a few new water bottles that I am hoping will help me keep water with me wherever I go!

5. Get the coffee situation under control

I am not going to lie, ever since my mom passed away at the beginning of June, I have not been sleeping very well. Apparently this is pretty common when you’re grieving. However, as a result I have also let my coffee consumption get a little out of control in order to continue functioning. While I have nothing against coffee, I also know that drinking large amounts of it isn’t really good for me (or my insides!)

Advocare Spark

So I am making the switch back to my beloved Spark, which still has the caffeine to keep me going but isn’t going to eat up my stomach lining. So I consider that a win. Plus it doesn’t leave you with that afternoon crash (which usually then results in me heading straight for the Keurig). 

 

I am really determined to make these things a habit again, because in truth I just haven’t been happy with how I’m looking or feeling lately. But I know that those goals are easily attainable if I just put my mind to it and start making healthier changes in my life. 

I will definitely keep you guys updated along the way!

So tell me: What healthy changes have you made in your life lately? Any tips or tricks?

Currently… {July 2016}

Sorry for disappearing since Monday – I have been at home dealing with a baby with a stomach bug. Really, is there anything more pathetic than a sick baby? Thankfully he seems to be on the mend now, but seeing him refuse to eat anything and cry because his stomach hurt just broke my mama-heart. Although I’m not going to lie, I did enjoy the extra snuggle time with my usually constantly moving toddler. But now we are back to normal (for the most part) and I am happy to be back at it.

And as I sat down to write this post I realized IT IS JULY! How in the world did that happen??? 

Now don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful June is over – it ended up being a pretty crappy month for me. So something about turning that page in my planner and seeing a whole new month is like a breath of fresh air. But still – we are almost halfway through summer vacation! Insert panic here. 

Currently

Since it’s a new month, I thought I’d start out by sharing with you all some of the things I am CURRENTLY doing/loving/planning this month. 

Currently reading ::  The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Nothing like moving to make you realize just how much crap you have

Currently watching :: Honestly, I’m a bit in a TV lull. Nothing is really speaking to me right now. Suggestions?

Currently dreaming about :: House decorations! I am totally redoing our living room and bedroom decor in the new house, and am having such a hard time choosing! Any master decorators out there?

Currently planning :: A new workout plan for myself. Stay tuned!

Currently laughing about :: Colton’s gymnastics class. Something about 12 toddlers crawling over gymnastics equipment and giggling hysterically just cracks me up. 

Little Gym Smyrna

Currently excited about :: Lots of company coming to visit in July! We are also hoping to reschedule Colton’s birthday party/house warming, which we had to cancel when everything happened with my mom. See above for my stress about decorating!

Currently enjoying :: Maybe it’s because we have a bigger house now (compared to our TINY apartment), but I am all about the organizing lately. I’ve been really in to watching How Jen Does It on YouTube for some great tips. 

Currently listening to :: Young House Love Has a Podcast! (<– that is the name, and reflects my general excitement on the matter). I have loved Young House Love for years, so I am so excited to be able to listen to them while I’m commuting in to school. 

 

Well that’s it for today! Hope you all have a great 4th of July weekend and I will see you on the flip side! 

So tell me: what are some things you are currently loving/reading/listening to?  Any TV show suggestions?

Weekly Food & Fitness Plan {6.27.16}

Hey guys, and happy Monday! 

As I mentioned in my post last Monday, I have really been letting my fitness routine slip in the last few months. I think it was definitely necessary given the insanity that was my life for a little while, but now that things have settled down a bit, I don’t have an excuse anymore. So I have really been trying to focus first on just getting back into the habit of getting to the gym and making smarter food choices.

So I thought I might try something out this week, and do a little bit of a check-in. I  am not sure yet whether I will do it every week or not, but I know I always like reading about what other people’s plans for workouts and meals are, so I thought I might give it a shot. And if nothing else, it will (hopefully) keep me accountable! 

Food & Fitness Plan

To start out, here was my fitness plan from last week, and how I actually ended up doing:

Monday: Cardio + Arms – Check and check! I also ended up going on a walk after work with Colton and Laney

Tuesday: Running + abs – Running didn’t happen. Neither did working out. I spent the entire day running errands instead!

Wednesday: Cardio + legs – Check and check again. Man did my legs feel it!

Thursday: Rest  – I ended up going on an hour long walk with a friend of mine.

Friday: Whole body strength training – I was NOT feeling it on Friday, and instead only managed to get in 30min of cardio. 

Saturday: Barre + abs  – Nope. Rest day. 

Sunday: Walking around all day at the zoo! – Check!

Overall, it wasn’t too shabby of a week. I didn’t get all my workouts in exactly as planned, but I did at least get myself moving 5 out of 7 days, so I consider that a win. It’s all about getting back into the habit!

postpartum fitness

Now here is my plan for this week:

Monday: Cardio + Arms 

Tuesday: Light cardio

Wednesday: Cardio + legs

Thursday: Cardio + arms + abs

Friday: Rest day (family in town)

Saturday: House work ALL day! 

Sunday: Rest

We have family coming in to town for 4th of July, and we also plan on having them help with some house/yard work (aren’t we fun to come visit??), so that will definitely keep me busy!

grocery shopping

And how about some meal plans for the week:

Monday: Parmesan pork chops with potatoes + veggies

Tuesday: Chicken bacon ranch tacos + rice + veggie

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Buffalo Broccoli chicken quinoa bake

Friday: Grilled salmon + veggies

Saturday:  Braves game

Sunday: BBQ

 

So there you have my (tentative) plan for the week. I am definitely thinking about starting up an actual fitness plan in the near future to really give me something to work towards, but right now it’s just all about re-establishing good habits and routines. 

Now that I sufficiently amped up about my workout plans this week, I’m going to hop off my computer and get to the gym! Hope you all have a great Monday!

So tell me I would love to hear what workouts or meals are on your plan for the week!

 

Coffee Date Friday {6.24.16}

Truth be told, I am struggling a little bit with motivation this morning, and I nearly bailed on writing a post at all. So after dilly-dallying (<– does anyone actually say that anymore?) on my computer for awhile, I decided to pick myself up, make myself some coffee, and get going on my day.

And as I have been sitting here sipping on my coffee, it has kind of inspired me to pass on my normal post and just have a casual conversation with you guys today. Like we were holed up in the corner of a hipster coffee shop somewhere listening to acoustic covers of John Mayer songs. Or a Starbucks. I don’t discriminate when it comes to coffee. 

20140728_094419.jpg

If we were having coffee today, here are the things I would tell you:

– Everyone has been asking me lately how I am doing after the passing of my mom. The truth? I really don’t know. Somedays I am perfectly fine. Other days really, really suck. I am so lucky to have such an amazing support system which has been huge, but I have also been taking on some of the “adult” things associated with this situation, like handling some of the estate stuff, which has been complicated and draining. Sometimes being an adult really stinks. 

– Speaking of, I think all of this stress has finally caught up with me, and I have developed a nasty cold. The fact that I am sleeping terribly probably isn’t helping either. Gross. 

– I am finally committed to jumping back on the fitness train. I have tried several times over the past few months, but just never really got into the rhythm of things again. BUT I have already gotten a workout in 3 days this week, which is a big success in my eyes. 

– Colton is going through this extremely dramatic toddler-tantrum stage. I really thought we had at least another 6 months before my little man learned to throw a screaming fit (for goodness sake he just turned 1), but we have definitely reached that point. It is full meltdown just at the mention of the word “no”. Joy. I am not sure whether this means that we’ll get past this “terrible two” stage early, or if it is just a forewarning of things to come… 

– One of the hardest things lately has just been trying to stay present with Colton. So many things have been going on, both literally and emotionally, that sometimes it can be really easy to get caught up in your thoughts or emotions and just go through the motions. And I don’t want to be that mom. In fact, the other day I got a call from a family member while Chris was feeding Colton dinner that ended with me in tears. I actually had to pull myself together and trade places with Chris because Colton was so concerned he wouldn’t eat. He just wanted to turn around in his high chair and look for me. That is not how I want to be with him right now, especially when he is at the age where he is absorbing so much of what is going on around him. 

– Georgia is getting SO HOT! This is our first real Georgia summer, and I’m not going to lie, at this point I am already dreading July and August. I thought Virginia had hot summers, but they have nothing on this sweltering Georgia heat. I can have the air conditioning on full blast, and Colton still comes out of his car seat drenched in sweat every time! 

– We just signed Colton up for gymnastics class at the Little Gym near us. Guys, this class might be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. And Colton, my giant ball of constant energy, had an absolute blast practicing his somersaults, climbing on the mats, and rolling down the wedge mats. And then he took a terrific nap (#momwin).

– I just got a new planner, and I am completely obsessed. I don’t know if any of you care about planners as much as I do, but I am probably going to do a post on it soon. I have a planner problem. 

– I went for an hour long walk in the park yesterday with a new mom friend of mine. As a new mom, in a new place, I have felt a little isolated lately. So not only was this walk nice just to get out of the house and get some sun and fresh air, but it was also so great to talk to another mom for an hour. 

 

So there you have it – a totally random brain dump, but that suits me perfectly on this Friday morning. Now it is your turn! I would love to hear the kinds of things you would chat about if we were having coffee. 

Have a great weekend!

Colton Turns 1!

Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments on my last few posts. I am still getting back into the hang of things on the blogging front, but I appreciate you bearing with me as I figure things out!

I am still playing catch up after a crazy few weeks, so even though I’m about 22 days late, I thought I take a few minutes today to give you Colton’s ONE YEAR update! One year. It still blows my mind. 

1 year update

Stats: At his 12 month appointment last week, here were his stats –

Weight: 20.8lbs (rocking the 15th percentile these days, despite the fact that he eats like a teenage boy)

Height: 29.5 inches long

Eating: I am getting a good glimpse into our teenage days, when I am pretty sure he is going to eat us out of house and home. At daycare they give them this gigantic plate of food, and more than half the time Colton asks for seconds before he is full. Super metabolism, I tell you! Right now his favorite things are fruits (we have to hide the fruit on the counter until he’s eaten the rest of his meal otherwise he wants only fruit), cucumbers, and cheese. At the moment, the only thing he will seriously turn his nose up at is zucchini. 

1 year update

Sleeping: Despite a rough week while at the beach (probably due to teething), he is a rock star sleeper. He has fully transitioned to one 1.5-2 hour nap in the afternoon, and then sleeps about 12-13 hours at night. And yes, I count my lucky stars every day that we got a great sleeper, because I know that is definitely not the case for everyone. 

Mood: He has pretty much fully embraced his role as class clown at daycare. Nearly every day the teachers have a story to tell of something goofy he did or how he had all his friends giggling hysterically. He is mister flirtatious most of the time and has an awesome belly laugh when you get him going. About 90% of the time he is super happy and smiley, and loves to do things for attention. The other 10% he is channeling his future 2-year-old self and throwing an epically dramatic tantrum. 

Clothes: Ugh, clothes. We have such an issue because he is so daggone skinny that most of his clothes literally slide right off of him. He wears mostly 12 month clothes, but sometimes in shirts he has to go to 12-18 month sizes because he has a long torso. But then he swims in them. It’s a struggle. 

1 year update

Likes: Being busy constantly, chatting, climbing stairs, his ring stacker-toy, dancing to music, swimming, and being chased around. 

Dislikes: Being hungry, when you tell him “no”, when you take something away from him that he wants, having his face wiped, and sitting still for more than 13.4 seconds. 

Nicknames: Booger, Boogs, Buddy, Dude, Goofball. 

I am: So thankful to have this little guy in my life. It has been a really rough month, and every time I’m feeling down he manages to make me smile. He is so sweet and loving, it is hard to be sad when he is around! In reflecting on this past year, he has taught me so many things about myself and about life that I really can’t remember what life was like before him!

C is: such an awesome dad. He is absolutely the calm, chill presence to my occasional type-A neuroticism. He always knows how to make Colton laugh, and the two of them are like two peas in a pod: always rough housing and playing together. I can’t wait to watch their relationship continue to grow.

1 year update

This month (and a half) Colton:

  • Went to the beach for the first time
  • Traveled to Florida
  • Met his great-grandpa
  • Went to Virginia Tech (starting him young!)
  • Took his first steps

In this past month (plus) I have really seen Colton’s personality begin to blossom from just a cute baby to a full-grown person. He is such a goofball, and loves to do things to get a reaction out of people. And heaven help you if he sees you laughing at something he is doing – he will continue doing it for the next 20+ minutes. He is such a chatterbox and loves to strike up conversations with everyone. He knows how to say “mama”, “dada”, “bye bye”, “night night”, “doggy” and “bubbles” pretty consistently, and signs “more” and “milk” regularly (although milk is pretty new!). 

He is also such a sweet heart. He loves to come over and just give you a hug or a kiss and then go back to playing with his toys. And of course he always picks the moments when he is driving my the craziest to remind me that he is sweet. Otherwise he is just a giant bundle of energy and barely ever stops moving. We are actually going to be starting baby gymnastics with him later this week to try and find a good outlet for some of this energy! He is SOOO close to confidently walking on his own (right now he takes like 3-4 steps), but he is such a speedy crawler that usually he doesn’t have the patience to regain his balance and goes straight to crawling. 

1 year cake smash

It still amazes me that he is no longer a “baby” – he is a toddler now! He has gotten super independent and wants to try and figure everything out on his own. He is also in the copycat stage so you always have to watch what you are doing because you’ll turn around and find him trying to do the same thing (i.e. when Chris started hitting some balls with a baby hammer and shooting them across the room… guess who decided to do the same thing 5 minutes later?)

I am going to talk more soon about my thoughts on this first year of motherhood, but is has been an amazing year and I cannot wait to see what this next year holds!

And just for fun, here are some pictures from his 1 year cake smash while at the beach!

1 year cake smash 1 year cake smash 1 year cake smash 1 year cake smash

Rediscovering Fitness

Truth be told, my fitness-game has been a little bit subpar lately. 

And by subpar, I really mean completely nonexistent. 

Between the move, vacation, family emergencies, and this weird period of grieving, I have just found it extremely difficult to get myself motivated to workout. I am one of those people who really can’t just stroll in to a gym and put in a good workout – I need some kind of plan or intentional goal in mind, or I tend to just wander aimlessly through the gym equipment. And given the total lack of schedule (or normalcy) in my life lately, trying to come up with any kind of workout plan just wasn’t happening. Thus, neither was my workout. 

postpartum fitness

But after about a month of this, I am definitely feeling it. Despite the fact that the number on the scale hasn’t really changed, my clothes are feeling a bit tighter, my muscles are feeling a bit weaker, and in general I am just not really feeling very comfortable in my skin. Not to mention the fact that working out does wonders for your mental state and I could definitely use an endorphin boost these days.  

So instead of making excuses, I am pumping myself up and getting back in to the fitness game. I  am still trying to decide exactly what my plan is going to be, because I do LOVE following a good workout program, but I feel like I need to get this snowball rolling a bit before I commit to an actual plan (I’m thinking maybe Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Plan?) 

barre class

For the next few weeks though, I am just making it my goal to get some kind of workout in 5 days a week. Yes that is a lot, but I am not committing myself to any kind of workout. Just making sure I get my body moving and get myself back into the habit of working out. So even if all I can manage is a long walk with the dog and the baby, I’ll take it. 

My tentative plans for this week:

Monday: Cardio + Arms

Tuesday: Running + abs

Wednesday: Cardio + legs

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Whole body strength training

Saturday: Barre + abs

Sunday: Walking around all day at the zoo!

 

I am also planning on making some major adjustments to my diet for a little while, to break some of these terrible sugar habits. I have eaten a little too much ice cream for my comfort (and waistline) lately, so I need to get things back in check. BUT I feel like that is a story for a whole other blog post, so I will chat more about that soon. 

I feel like I’m going back to my blog roots here a little bit, but I really want to spend the next few weeks staying accountable to you all. I always remind myself that it takes 21 days to make a habit (whether that is actually true or not I don’t know, but I am going with it), so I really just need to focus on making fitness a priority in my life again and it will go back to being a good, healthy habit for me!

24DC results

Long time, no talk

*tap tap* Is this thing on?

Well hello there! Remember me? I used to do this crazy thing called blogging. I used to be pretty regular at it too. 

And then I just completely disappeared. Whoops. 

The truth is guys: LIFE. Life for the past month and a half has been absolutely insane. Honestly, it’s felt a bit like being in the ocean (a feeling I am very familiar with, considering we just got back from a beach vacation a few weeks ago!) – There you are standing there in the sand and a wave hits you. Your feet sink in a bit. You think to yourself “well that wasn’t that bad. Refreshing even, maybe.” And then another wave hits, and you sink a little bit deeper. And then another. And another. And you start to think “Hmm, this is starting to be a bit too much for me, but maybe if I wait a bit it will get better.” And then more waves and more sinking. Until your feet are completely buried under the sand and it is difficult to move them, but still the waves keep coming. 

Not to get all deep on you, but that is what my life has felt like for the last few months. Like I am stuck in the sand, and the waves just keep pounding away, one after another. First it was a stressful semester. Then it was finals. Then it was packing up the apartment and moving across the city to our new house. Then it was attempting to unpack. Then Colton’s birthday and all of the plans for that. Then we left for vacation which was simultaneously relaxing and stressful (as family vacations always seem to be). One thing after another after another. 

And then my mom died unexpectedly. These weren’t baby waves anymore – it felt like a tsunami, and here I was with my feet still stuck in the sand as the world came crashing down around me. 

It has been a little over a week since she died, and I am just now starting to wiggle my toes out of the sand again. I have been keeping myself busy with work and unpacking the house and trying to figure out my new normal, because that is how I deal with stress. I organize. I plan. Something my mother always used to make fun of me for. But that is how I cope.

I am not saying all of this for pity. I just wanted to let you know where I have been, and why I just disappeared without saying anything.  And to give a foundation for the direction I am going moving forward.

One thing that I have been thinking about a lot lately is this blog. It has meant a lot to me over the last 4+ years. It has connected me with a ton of other amazing blogger friends, and has served as a way to stay in contact with many of my family members (my mom included). So I am not ready to say goodbye to it just yet. 

However, these last few weeks have also given me a lot of time to think and reflect about what kind of story I want to tell, what is important to me, and what I want to share with the world. For a long time I have been having a blog identity crisis, trying to figure out how to incorporate my new life as a busy mom without alienating all of my old readers who cared more about my fitness journey and food choices. And being stuck out in this ocean lately has made me realize that sometimes in life you have to do what feels right to you instead of trying to please other people. 

So that is what I am going to do, moving forward. I am sure I am going to lose some readers over this new direction, and I am at peace with that. But I need to be authentic to where my life is right now, and I have always done my best to keep my blog as authentic and genuine as I can. I am still figuring out EXACTLY what that is going to mean content-wise around here, but I am hoping I can figure that out as I go. 

Thank you to all of you who have been on this journey with me so far (whether for the entire last 4+ years or just for this post!), and I am very excited to see where I go from here. As much as I love the ocean, I am ready to get my feet back on dry land and live my life. 

Thanks!

Stephanie