16 September 2014

I Chose This.

Do you know how many times I sweep my kitchen floor each day?  Pretty much after each meal or snack. Why are kids so messy when they eat? Is it really that hard to get the food actually in your mouth? I don't even know. Whyyyyyy are there crumbs and chunks of food on the floor again!? If only I enjoyed cleaning....

But here's the thing, I highly doubt that it's anyone's idea of a good time to clean up after other people. No, don't even try to tell me you enjoy it, because I wouldn't believe you. 

Well, as I was sweeping the floor under the kitchen table for the 27th time yesterday, I caught myself cursing a little under my breath. Cursing. Wait. I don't curse.... or do I? What the heck. I stopped for a quick minute to sort of calm myself down because, you know what...

I chose this.

It was a very well thought out, prayerful decision. No one made me decide to quite my full-time day job to stay at home with my kids. Yep,  I definitely chose this. How silly am I to think that along with that choice, there wouldn't be a lot of cleaning up. Like, a crap ton of cleaning up. And it doesn't stop with sweeping the kitchen floor 27 times a day. It continues with dirty dishes, dirty diapers, endless loads of laundry, pee on the bathroom floor, my home decor lost or broken, legos in every nook and cranny of the house, and toys being dumped out every other second. And please don't even get me started on how the kids tear through the house ripping off every bed sheet and comforter off every single bed, along with all the pillows... pile them up and on the dirty floor and together they jump on said pile, inevitably ending in someone screaming and crying. It's basically useless to try and stop them.

But like I said, I chose this.

If I'm being totally honest, though, regardless of the fact that this was my choice, sometimes it feels like I was thrown into abyss of the never-ending chaos without having a clue how to navigate it. Every day feels like a new challenge presents itself, and I'm floundering to try and find a solution, and often times feel totally in over my head. Because I guess when we're in the thick of it, parenting that is, it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.

And the bigger picture is that being a parent is not only a blessing, but a privilege. And even through the abyss of never ending chaos, I CHOSE those blessing.

I chose it because I wanted to be a Mother. And I made the choice to stay home with them because I wanted them to have this time with me. Even if means that some days, I'll be cursing under my breath as I'm sweeping the floor again.

But most importantly, I chose this because there is nothing more amazing than to see two little human beings made by you, and of you. 

And I think I need to do a better job of reminding myself, that this life, it was my choice. And I wouldn't trade it for anything.

15 September 2014

5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Workouts

*This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HealthyHydration #CollectiveBias #Ad

I've been into fitness for the past 8 months and I admit, at first, I was totally floundering. What I mean by that is, I had a hard time getting into a groove with my schedule, my nutrition, and my motivation. It took some time but I feel like I've really started to figure out some great ways to get more out of my time, and my workouts!

Alright, so here are my tips to help you prepare and get the most out of your work out! :-)

1) Schedule & Plan Ahead
Most of us end up skipping workouts because of poor planning and scheduling (and sometimes, laziness *wink*). Sit down with your calendar, and schedule your workouts in your planner, or your phone, or wherever will help you to remember them! Make sure to prepare ahead of time some other things like:
  • Is your athletic clothing washed? (sounds silly, but I forget to do laundry sometimes!)
  • What type of workout will you be doing?
  • How long will you be exercising?
  • What goals do you have for each workout? (i.e. burn calories, hit a new distance for running, bench a heavier weight...etc)

2) Compound Exercises

Instead of isolating your muscles by just doing one type of exercise, maximize your workout by doing exercises that will work multiple muscle groups at once. Your muscles will be working together just as they do on a daily basis, which will prove to be highly beneficial. And the bonus, is that will also save you time!

3) Create a playlist that will pump you up!
I don't know about you, but I tend to get bored during my workouts, especially if it's something I've been doing a lot of lately. And if you get bored, it's likely you will stop your workout early. And eventually, you might even stop working out all together. I suggest creating a playlist that will keep you going! We all have those songs that get us really fired up! Amiright? Whether it's dance music, techno, or some good old rock n' roll -- find what kind of music gets you excited, plug in your earbuds and get movin'!

4) Nutrition
There isn't a one specific kind of diet or nutrition platform that will work for everyone. All of our bodies work differently in conjunction with exercising. So it's important to find nutrition patterns that help us to feel full (but not too full), fresh, and energized before our workouts! I don't generally eat a ton right beforehand, because it's definitely not comfortable to exercise on a full stomach. If I'm eating a full meal, I make sure to have it about 3 hours before my workout. But if I'm going in the morning and am not hungry enough, or have time for a full meal, I eat something small, usually some bacon and some kind of carbohydrate. But my advise is to eat your small meal/snack one hour before your start exercising so you don't feel uncomfortable. The key is, though, make sure to EAT something before you work out. It's imperative for maximum energy.

5) Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate!
This is a given, but it's so important! Water is essential for optimal physical performance and overall functioning. I don't feel that there is one specific amount you need to drink on a daily basis, but just be sure to stay hydrated before, during, and after your workout! And of course, listen to your body!

 It's way too easy to get dehydrated! And I can speak from experience, when I try to workout when I haven't had a sufficient amount of water, I feel sluggish and get headaches. It's very unhealthy and really, there's no excuse for us to NOT be drinking water throughout the day.

I always keep bottled waters in the house. For me, it's ideal because I'm more likely to drink a lot of water if 1) it's filtered, fresh water and 2) It's easy to grab on my way out of the house. I generally keep a huge case of it in the garage for storage, and keep several in the fridge to stay cold.

I frequently make trips out of the house specifically for bottled water. Head up to Walmart, grab Nestle's Arrowhead water and I'm all set. You know, come to think of it, it would be awesome to see Nestle Water in a 5 Gallon bottle. It would be a perfect addition to the garage for food storage, and of course, anytime when I'm entertaining guests and need lots of water to distribute.

The Nestle 5 Gallon bottles are also BPA Free and are better for the environment because they can be returned for refilling and ultimately recycling!

Be sure to follow Arrowhead to find out more!
Arrowhead: Twitter - @arrowheadwater Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/arrowheadwater Instagram - @arrowheadwtr

So tell me, what are your favorite ways to prepare for, and maximize your workouts??

11 September 2014

September Stitch Fix Review

Hello lovlies! It's Thursday and I was surprised to see that my September Stitch Fix showed up a day early, so yay! This one was kind of a mixed bag for me. I liked everything, but only loved 1-2 things. I'm still deciding what I want to keep though, so your opinions are very welcome :-)

One of the reasons why I love Stitch Fix so much is that I feel like they really listen to me. I like the little personal notes they send every month, and that they take the time to read my blog to find out more about me and what I'm looking for.

If you need the details about Stitch Fix, here's the details:

First, go to stitchfix.com and you create your style profile. Also, create a Stitch Fix Style pinboard and link it to your profile so that your stylists can get a feel for your clothing tastes and preferences. Then schedule your fix!! The stylists will hand pick 5 items for you to try on. They send the clothing pieces directly to your house, you try them on and decide what to keep (if anything) and then you send back what you don't want. Super easy and convenient!
  • There's a $20 styling fee, which you can use toward your order. (that's awesome!!)
  • If you keep all 5 items you receive 25% off your order.
  • You choose your price range.
  • The more feedback you give on the pieces sent to you, the better they get over time. So be sure to be very specific to your stylists so that they can send you things you'll love.
Here we go....

Item #1 - Shiva Plaid Mixed Material Tee
Item #2 - Kate Distressed Boyfriend Jean
First, let's talk about the top. If I'm being totally honest, I wasn't super thrilled about the pattern right out of the box. Plaid isn't my favorite, and I probably wouldn't buy anything with this pattern if I was walking around the store. That said, though, I liked this top a lot better after wearing it for a bit. The top fits really well and it's really comfortable, too. Chances are I'll send this one back, but I'll take another day or so to think on it.

The jeans, you might recognize these from my August fix! I ended up sending them back because they were too big in the waist. So they sent me the size down this time, and honestly, they still feel a little big in the waist. I mean, I have lost weight and inches over the past month or two but I don't feel like it was THAT much of a difference. I kinda feel like this size should fit better. And also, I after wearing them around for 30 minutes or so, they stretched out a little so these will end up looking even bigger than they do in these photos (which really aren't a good indicator since you can't see them around the waist) I'm torn because I really love these pants, but now I'm wondering if I should go down even another size!??

Item #3 - Henry Birds on Branch Infinity Scarf
I really like the colors and the pattern on this scarf, so I could see myself wearing it for sure! I always have a really hard time committing to scarves for some reason, though. Anyone else have that issue?? lol
Item #4 - Rowson Colorblock Striped Sweater
I really really wanted to love this. I mean, I like it. But I don't LOVE it. You know? I can't deny that it's super comfy and I would probably wear it a lot, though. So there's that. Just not sure about the colors of this. I think I'd like it more if they were pastels. Maybe I'm just being too picky.
Item #5 - Xander Short Sleeve Woven Back Sweatshirt
Well this is lovely, isn't it? I really like the contrast of materials with this top, and the colors are awesome. Can never go wrong with grey, and the pastel pink is very pretty. 99% positive I'm keeping this baby. Smooches for Angela (my stylist) for this one! ;-)

And that's it for September's Stitch Fix!! What do you think? What should I keep and what should I send back??

10 September 2014

It's time. First Day of Pre-K!

I just sent Bennett off to his first day of Pre-K! And I am actually able to sit here and blog about it immediately, because guess what? As soon as Bennett got on the bus, Easton went down for a nap!! FREEDOM! lol. j/k. Sort of ;-)

Okay but it's time to get real. Besides the fact that I am kinda sorta excited that I will have some "alone time" throughout the days now, sending your child off to school is always hard. Always. And I think I'm a little more worried because Bennett is joining the Peer Program this year. Let me explain. 

Last year, he was in the special education preschool program so that he could receive the extra attention he needed for his developmental delays. Fast forward to the end of this past school year (june, 2014), and his teachers all agreed that although he definitely needs to continue therapy, they think he would thrive really well in the general ed. program. Because of the nature of his delays (mostly social and speech), they felt it was really important for him to have regular social interaction with peers his age, which is something he wasn't getting while he was in the special ed. program. 

So all that to say, I'm a little nervous to have him thrown into a classroom with other 4 y/o that are much more "advanced" than him. I'm afraid he'll feel left out, bullied or inferior. My heart wouldn't be able to take it. But at the same time, I know that it will be really good for his progression to be able to have the example of this peers. *sigh* A Mother not stops worrying, right?

I'm just going to stay hopeful that it will be a really good experience for him. I know it will be. He's been talking about going back to school for weeks now!... always asking if the bus was going to come pick him up today. Such a big boy. 

When the bus arrived, poor little Easton was so upset watching Bennett get onto the bus. Right now, I'm really thankful for the sweetest Bus Driver ever, who invited Easton to come and sit by big brother for a couple of minutes before they left (and let me snap a few photos). It was so nice and thoughtful of her. ♥︎ I will be forever thankful.