GYM TIME = ME TIME

I will be the first to admit, it’s so hard for me to stick with a strict workout schedule. I was in an amazing groove last year when we joined the YMCA, but decided last August that I’d cut that expense and that we didn’t need to pay that much since I knew Brooke would be in school full time.  I figured I’d go back to some at home workouts and be just fine…

Well to be honest, it wasn’t.  I did do a Stepbet which helped me keep active early Fall, but once the weather turned (I don’t love the cold, but mostly the ice! It gets so darn slippery out there!) I was definitely not as active and was losing muscle, gaining fat, not fitting into my clothes and feeling like POO!

So I decided to take matters into my own hands (stop being a victim) and checked out a local women’s only gym that is less than half the price of the Y.  Sure it doesn’t have all the cool amenities for the kids, no pool, no gymnasium, no “Mystery Cavern” but you know what it does have?  A small, clean child care center with lovely ladies who love on my kiddos.  And for $2 an hour, per kid, I can’t beat that!

I mostly noticed a huge difference in my needing to be around other women.  Even if I’m not necessarily socializing, I feed off that positive energy especially in a class like Zumba or Turbokick. I am loving my small group trainings I do once a week where I am pushed beyond my comfort zone and literally feel like it’s a personal training sometimes when the group is super small.

Some days I don’t feel like going, but I still push past it.  I may only walk on the treadmill for a half hour and then sit in the dry sauna for a bit.  I can’t tell you how amazing the heat feels on my skin, bones and muscles! I make sure to drink lots of electrolytes as I noticed I felt a little dehydrated after some intense workout sessions or the sauna.  I also use the time to maybe sit in quiet and plan out my day or read a few pages of a book.  I usually only book an hour with the kid room, so I use it wisely.

I love cute hats and headbands to help hide the dirty hair and plus I sweat a lot!! I also have been dropping Bradley off at Preschool, going to the gym and have managed to get home and shower before picking him up again! I feel like a total rockstar on those days.

This week is February break and I feel a little bad I scheduled the gym every morning, so there haven’t been any lazy days, but honestly? I feel so great afterwards and the kids got out of the house, played with other toys/kids and I just explain how mommy feels better working out! I think batman enjoys himself a lot too.

They are the reason I push harder every day.  I know that I need to be in great shape so that I can keep up with them for the rest of their lives!  I also want to model how important is is to take care of our health, at any age.

I never regret working out, but I always get down on myself when I break that promise to myself.  I have made sweating a non-negotiable lately and while things do come up and I may not workout every day, I will say that I am active most days!  Prioritizing myself has really lifted my spirits and made me do everything else so much better.

I know that my to do list won’t get ever be complete, but skipping a workout never helps the overall cause.  I do listen to my body and rest when I need to, but having access to a treadmill in the dead of winter I believe is helping me with some Seasonal Depression issues. (Not that I’m diagnosed, but I do believe lack of sun and the abundance of cold is hard sometimes!)

I still want to checkout some different classes, but it’s a great rhythm I’m in right now and I’m proud of myself for putting myself on the top of my priority list. I don’t know why it is so hard as a mom, but the saying is true. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

Chaos Coordinator

There are so many times in life where it’s almost as if the devil himself is trying to stop me.  There are many times throughout the day where I feel like maybe I should just give up something.

Life is hard.

You just do it.

You don’t whine.

You don’t complain.

You focus on the little things.  Be grateful.  Stop trying to be perfect.  Smile. Surround yourself with people like you and people you want to be like.  Get a mentor.  Stop trying to please everyone.  Just live your own life!

There are moments when I tear up or flat out cry, but I always pick myself up and keep going.  I have so many goals, dreams and aspirations for myself and my beautiful family.

Letting go of expectations, judgements and ‘should be’ ideas, is the only way to live peacefully.  I could literally write an entire book on how I thought my life would be right now, but guess what? I was dealt a totally different hand of playing cards. I don’t know all of the reasonings why, maybe I will never know, but I do realize that this is what I have to work with and it’s my choice to be happy or not.

I jokingly had my friend Rachel make this shirt, but oh how true it is!!

Life with littles, dogs, businesses etc is nothing short of chaos!

The best advice for you, if you too are in the trenches, is to not put yourself last every day.  Maybe you can’t do you every day, but if you put yourself first a few times a week? I promise your mind will stop playing tricks on you and you’ll feel better, look better, and life won’t seem so hard.

This is my post Zumba glow—err sweat.

Stop and take the silly photos to remember your season; photos do NOT have to be perfect.  Life is not staged. There is no re-do.  There is no dress rehearsal.  You are given today, and hopefully tomorrow.

Make games out of simple mundane tasks, like homework.

And for goodness sakes, if you’re in a funk?  Lay off the Netflix and Chill and feed your mind, soul and heart with some inspiration. Maybe everyone out there won’t seem so awful, scary, money hungry, etc. if you worked harder on yourself rather than watching everyone live out her dreams.

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This could not be more true–

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And if you’re ready to quit, whether it’s the gym routine, the eating well, the hard work you’re putting into your marriage, the effort in raising your babies right, the side hustle, the career…just keep going.  Just when you’re ready to throw in the towel, you literally could be SO stinking close to striking gold!

 

Don’t lose sight of the big picture sweet sister; you may not be able to control anyone else, but you can always control your own mind.  Remember that what you think about, you bring about.  As soon as your head starts going down that negative path, tell yourself (aloud too!) “I won’t go there.”  It really is that simple.  You will need do it over and over again, but you too can be happy.

When all is crumbling or you feel like you’re failing?  Just laugh.  What is there, if you can’t laugh?

Sunny Weekend

For the first time in what feels like forever, (cue the Frozen song) the sun was shining!! I swear it gave everyone an extra pep in their step and the extra smiles on everyone’s faces.  It wasn’t hot by any means or really truly that warm, but man we could escape outside for some fresh air and vitamin D without freezing our tails off!

Friday was Brooke’s ‘Helper Day’ and Joe wanted to go in to spend it with her.  Our Pre-K is parent run, so every day there is a parent in helping and one of the student’s has a special turn at being the class helper. They had tons of fun!

I made it to the gym 2 days in a row and was trying to snap a sweaty selfie, even though I wasn’t sweaty any more.  Brooke insisted she be in the photo with me!

Friday night we had our fist Book Club meetup.  We were hoping to gather around the corner at the cute wine bar, but it was super packed and there was no room….so we moved to Bar Louie which was also really busy, but fun nonetheless!

It was hard to talk about books in a loud place so we made the most of it but decided next time we will gather at someone’s home.

It did prompt me to start making more time for books again.  I have been listening to my audiobooks but I have not been making the time to pick up actual books.  I am almost done with this and am SO anxious to see where it is headed! Saturday was the perfect combination of cuddling the kids, getting to the park for a little fresh air and resting. My body needed it.

And in puppy news, she’s doing so great!! I’m not gonna lie…it’s been a challenging few weeks of adjusting at times.  Bailey and Holly love to play but they do get a little aggressive so we have to make sure they can’t fight over certain toys or get too rough with each other.  She’s just 12 weeks old and we have had her for one month.  Puppies are a lot of work but as we continue to work with her and train her, she’s really fitting in well.

I wonder how long she will fit on this bottom step for…

Sunday was kind of a laid back day.  Joe got up early to run some errands for the houses and the kids and I resumed positions reading/playing with ipads/kindle.  I made a big breakfast and we did a little Target run, had sushi and visited our friends’ baby Aiden.  The kiddos got to play outside and it was so nice to feel that sun!

We wrapped up the weekend with grilling chicken for the week, I worked on the Pre-K Newsletter and walked the dogs one more time.  It was refreshing and just what my soul needed; we need more weekends like this.  Summer, please hurry!

After such a long stint of cold crappy weather, I am so grateful for the sun.  I think this may be the 4th day in a row of sunshine and we are not taking it for granted!

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Happy Monday Friends!

Workouts

I am admittedly terrible at sticking to a workout routine.  I love schedules, and yet I can’t seem to follow them!! Between pre-k, appointments, sicknesses, weather, it’s impossible for me to stick to one thing.  I am probably way harder on myself than I should be, but I really feel like a better human being when I sweat on a regular basis!

I FEEL a million times better when I workout and I also eat a lot better too.  My goal is to workout 5x a week.  If I end up moving more than that, great!

I did invest in a membership to the YMCA.  I think it has done wonders for the kids to get out, play with other kids, sweat it out in the “Mystery Cavern” and for Bradley to be around other grown ups.

It’s also incredibly nice to have an hour or so to myself where I can blast gangster rap, listen to a podcast or just zone out to You Tube.

What if I don’t want to work out?

Just go walk on the treadmill.  If you’re going to watch a show, then why not burn a few calories by walking?  Even 30 minutes of walking will probably make you sweat a little, and you may be inclined to walk more.

I don’t have time.

None of us do.  We just have to make the time. If it’s 5 minutes here, or 15 minutes there, it all adds up.  Start small and increase as you become stronger.

Check out this article via Prevention magazine; it talks about the benefits of simply walking! Walking Benefits

I have zero motivation.

I will totally admit when I have an event to attend, a vacation to go away for, or Summer…I am certainly way more motivated than in the dead of Winter (now) when we are covered in layers upon layers and leggings. Oh those damn leggings with the elastic waist! It’s great until you try to zip up a pair of your favorite jeans…

You can also make your friends hold you accountable; it’s much easier now with the fitbits and Apple watches.  Join an actually accountability group, hire a coach or purchase from a Beachbody or AdvoCare coach.  These things work people! Only if you want them to of course.

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t workout.

I need this one right now.  It’s been over a week since I went to the gym.  On Saturday I did a 20 minute yoga flow and truly felt my shoulders burning, but I haven’t done much else other than walk the dog a bit.

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Find a workout you LOVE.

For me it’s a mix. If I could do Zumba every day, I probably would, but that’s not in the cards for me!  I try to go every Tuesday at the Y.  Sometimes I miss it, but man when I get my dancing in for the week, I am a happy happy girl!

I try to workout based on my mood. Some days I really want to lift weights, other days I’m really into yoga. There are even some days I just want to walk with the kids outside or run around at the playground. At the end of the day, and even at the end of the week I think it’s important to look back and just see that we have exercised in some sort of capacity.

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Get Outside.

I hear ya sister, it’s cold and probably not sunny all of the time.  I am such a hermit when the cold weather hits, but when it’s at least 45 and sunny? I really try to make an effort.  I do attempt to play in the snow with the kids too, but I’ll be honest I am more beach bunny than snow bunny.  My dog sure doesn’t mind a little cold, so on Sundays if it’s not too bad out I’ll take her for a nice long walk.

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Try a pre-workout drink.

I am obsessed with pre-workout. I love both Beachbody and Advocare’s.  I find the energy uplifting without a crash and it DOESN’T bother my belly! Yay! I will even drink this stuff if I need a kick in the pants and need to function…I can’t drink coffee, and green tea only does so much for me.  This is made with a green tea leaf extract and I think it’s mixed with a magical potion to create a perfect balance of ‘get-er-done’ and zen.  Odd, I know. Trust me on it though!! Spark is too rough on me and I just love the taste of this.  I add one ice cube and sip that baby like it’s my morning cocktail of energy.  {You can get your pre-workout here.}

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Take photos.

I can’t tell you how many times I will sit there feeling sorry for myself and I don’t wanna workout bla bla bla, and then I’ll scroll through some of my old insta-story photos and instantly become motivated. I didn’t want to workout then either most likely, but I did it, I felt good and I know that I can do it again. I also think it inspires other people, which I always enjoy doing too.  It’s also nice to see progress happening, whether it’s a flatter tummy, more defined arms or clothing fitting a little nicer. With all of our social media options, find a place to hold yourself accountable and share your photos. Or just take them and store them in your phone.

Reward yourself. 

I had been dying for a pair of LuLulemon yoga pants for quite sometime. I vowed that once I dropped my baby weight (the second time around) and stayed at a consistent size/weight I would treat myself to a pair.  Warning: They’re addictive! Hands down, these are THE BEST and most comfortable pair of pants. I could live in them daily.   Maybe it’s a spa day, a manicure, a new pair of sneakers….dangle some sort of carrot in front of your face, so that you stay motivated to achieve your goals.

(You can find them here.)

Motivation doesn’t last.  It ebbs and flows, some days I am ready to kill it and others I want to pull the covers over my head and stay there all day.  What works best for me is to remind myself that my overall health is what’s important.  Yes, I want to feel and look good but ultimately I tell myself I have this one body and I must take really good care of it.  We are not meant to be sitting all day; we need movement and to feel the oxygen going in and out of our lungs.  We have to push ourselves and also enjoy exercise.

What are your tips for staying active?  Do you have a favorite workout?

Botox?

Happy Friday friends!!

I cannot believe it’s already Friday, but I sure am happy that it’s here.  Fridays are a bit crazy and I never know what I’m going to be doing, with my entrepreneur husband!  It’s his “day off” from his main job, but since we run a real estate business as well, typically we have a lot accomplish!

Yesterday I was able to work on preparing our taxes, as I know it’s going to be a long road there.  Our business has literally grown so much in one year, it’s insane! I had a sitter come grab the kids so I could work all day. I did have a brow appointment scheduled, and instead of cancelling, I decided to keep it.  I figured I deserved a ‘lunch hour’! I may have squeezed in 15 minutes at Barnes & Noble as well.

The title of my blog may have caught your attention. I’ve gotten a few questions regarding whether or not I get Botox.  The answer? No.  Not yet!  I do have a desire to maybe dabble in it in the future, but currently I am actually okay with how my skin looks!

I am 36 and think maybe around 40, (ok, I may envision a Botox party for my 40th! ha!) I will consider it for real. I’m just not ready.  I do however, take lots of precautions right now to help keep my skin looking as youthful as possible.

  1. Water. I drink as much water as I possibly can. You’re supposed to drink 1/2 your body weight in water, I believe that is so crucial for us to feel and look our best.  I don’t drink much else, obviously teas and I do love my wine, but I always make sure to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!! It helps keep our skin looking smooth.
  2. 80/20 rule.  I am a huge fan of this food rule! I try to eat 80% clean and leave 20% wiggle room for things that may not be so healthy.  This works to not only keep us from feeling deprived from foods but also help our skin stay clean and clear! Seriously, when I did my 3 day juice cleanse, I was glowing!  I try to sneak in as many fruits and veggies as I can, for me and the kids! I love Breathe Yoga juices and smoothies. Healthy and fun treats for all!

img_2761.jpg3.  High quality makeup products.  I think in this case, you just need to know your skin; I personally have VERY sensitive skin and when I use different drug store products, or even expensive ones, they tend to make me break out, causing blemishes and scarring. Find what works for your skin and stick to it! I currently love Younique, Mac and Bare Minerals. I also love an Esteé Lauder foundation for going out on date nights.

4. Excellent skin care routine. I wash my face every night, and I’ll admit some nights it’s simply a makeup wipe. However, I make sure to never sleep with makeup on and always use night serum, eye cream and lots of vitamin C.  I currently use Mary Kay Products, but I am starting to switch over to Ever Skin Care (a Stella & Dot sister company! No harmful chemicals etc…) I can’t wait to try it out and give a more in depth report!

5. Go without makeup.  I think this really helps your skin breathe!  It seems that if I go a few days without, my lashes stay stronger, my pores aren’t as noticeable and my makeup always looks super fresh after a few days off.  Plus, it’s nice to take a few days off and use those extra minutes elsewhere…like cuddling my kids or reading a book!

6. Exfoliate. I was not exfoliating and my pores were really getting clogged and I was getting frustrated that my fancy face masks seemed like they weren’t doing much.  After consulting with my esthetician, it was quite apparent that my routine was lacking.  I worried because I tried the clarisonic in the past, but it seemed too much for me.  Now I use one in the MK line and I haven’t had any breakouts–knock on wood!

7. Bronzer–not tanning!! Even in the Summer, I am making a HUGE effort to keep my face covered in SPF and I try to wear a hat.  As much as I love the sun, I find it to be extremely damaging.   I don’t go tanning any more, and I do regret going in my early 20s and burning the crap out of my body.  No bueno ladies!  If you’re itching to look tan, go get that organic spray tan for your special event, don’t fake and bake.  Also, invest in an excellent bronzer so that you will glow!

8. Brows Like I mentioned above, I do love to get my brows done. I have not done threading or tried micro-blading.  I do have a brow girl whom I love dearly! I think she does a great job and I see her once a month for $25.  It’s a quick little pick me up, gives me an instant looking face lift and I just slap a little brow powder and go! What a difference good brows make! (as you can see, I do have wrinkles and my photo is NOT edited. This is me and I’m more than ok with it. I just got my brows done so they are a little red!)

9. Face Masks/facials I know we should get facials regularly, and I do try to go every season…it’s turned into twice a year since kids, but I do find that if I do at home masks, such as charcoal or collagen, my face definitely seems to look a bit better! Plus, letting a professional take a close look at your skin will help you with any questions or problem areas that you may have.

10. Collagen. I have tried masks and under eye treatments, but recently I added drinking it! I get the AdvoCare Glow packets and ladies–game changers! I swear I see a little extra tint of color in my pale face and literal ‘glow’ from my skin. I love that it’s super tasty too! I usually try to drink 2-3 and it’s a great way to get in that extra water intake!

Other tips or tricks? I think working out helps and sweating, clearly helps the blood flow and makes you feel younger! I also really try not to stress over the small things. I used to be so anxious and uptight all the time.  Being with my husband taught me to let go of trying to control every little thing and just be.  It’s hard, as I am a perfectionist at heart, but I do find the less I stress the more I smile and well, a smile is always the best accessory!  And last but not least, I will admit I do love good lighting, and/or a filter in my photos.  I don’t ever alter my face or do hardcore editing (I just don’t have the time!) But with technology, I don’t mind using a little help with a filter!

I am someone who loves turning a year older, but I’ll be honest…I don’t love every little fine line and wrinkle! It’s crazy to see your skin starting to change, but I do believe in preventative measures and I do adore a youthful glow.

Clearly I am not a doctor, so these are simply my thoughts on how I’m taking on aging! I’m not against plastic surgery or fillers, it’s just something I have no experience with.

What are your anti-aging routines? Do you let nature take its course or do you work a little at preventing it? I’d love to hear!