How Mama Got Her Groove Back

I’ll admit it.  I’ve been in a funk.  After all of the excitement of the Christmas and New Years I got a case of the dull drums.  And, here in Michigan January was dark, rainy and unusually dreary.  All I wanted to do was watch TV in my yoga pants.

But my reality was vastly different then what I fantasized about.  I have two little boys and am pregnant with my third. So, as I do attribute my pure exhaustion from ‘momming’ hard everyday while growing a human being. I also realized that I wasn’t acting like myself. I am used to being the mom who loves to take the boys out on play dates and to museums.  We bake banana bread and play hide-and-go-seek in the basement! Not the mom who turns on a TV show and sneaks upstairs so I can lay down on my bed for a few minutes of peace.

And although I sometimes used the ‘thaw and serve’ cooking method instead of simple, healthy meals. I had been turning to that more then I liked recently.

Brothers

Gymboree Sale On Now!

I’ve also noticed that I was not taking care of myself.  In more ways then one.  I wasn’t eating healthy whole foods, I didn’t see my friends as often as I used to and I noticed that I was not social as I had been in the past with my ‘mom’ circle.  I had become so ‘busy’ with being busy I realized I was just going through the motions through the day instead of looking forward and enjoying my days and time with my kids.

What was wrong with me?? I LOVE staying home with my kids! Usually…..So I decided it was time to stop my pity party and get my groove back.  Yes, usually women say this after they are done having kids and I realize I was 32 weeks pregnant when I had this epiphany, but there is no time like the present.

First, I started each day with a healthy, filling breakfast.  No more Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  Scrambled eggs, fruit smoothies and Kodiak cakes seemed to to the job for me.

Next, I decided to get my social life back. Even if it fell under the category of a mommy social life……I didn’t care.   I craved adult interaction during the week with my kids.  I NEEDED play dates so I can sip coffee and chat.  I NEEDED to meet-up for lunch once in a while when I could find an afternoon babysitter. And, I NEEDED to not be with my kids all of the time.

Slowly, but surly I am starting to feel like myself again.  No, the exhaustion has not gone away. And, I know my happy hours with my girlfriends will have to wait for a while.  But I feel like I am smiling from the inside again.

Finding balance is a very hard thing to do.  It doesn’t matter if you stay at home with your kids or work 60 hours a week. It is all hard. But were did we lose ourselves in the process?

In my mind self-care make for being a better mom, wife, co-worker, friend and person.  So, whatever that means to you, go for it.

I know it has made a world of difference to me.

Primary_Kids_Clothing_20_Percent_Off

My Make-Up Bag Essentials

I have mentioned that I love make-up before.  I think I started wearing it when I was 12…..but really remember at about five-years-old sneaking into my moms make-up bag and making myself ‘pretty’ with blue eye shadow (thank you 1980’s)! My look had refined a little since then…..and after wearing it for more then 20 years, I have figured out a few products that are truly timeless and I will probably wear for the next 20 years.

Some of my favorite products are high end, but some of my all-time favorites are from the drug store and under $10! Some might be under $5! It is all about figuring out what works best for you and your lifestyle.

Most days my make-up routine can be done in about four minutes and does not include lipstick. I try to keep it simple. Here is what you can usually find in my make-up bag!

Join Julep and get a free beauty box with any 3-month subscription

L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara, Carbon Black, 0.26 Fluid Ounce

L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara

Elf Baked Eye shadow Trio

Cover Girl Perfect Point PLUS Eyeliner

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Wear Even Finish Foundation

 

Mac Studio Finish Concealer

Mac Powder Blush

KissMe

Easter Basket Stuffers (Non-Candy)!

Easter is the time of new beginnings for me.  The birth of a fresh season.  I love all holidays, but this one is probably in my top three.  Springtime is upon us and everything is new and fresh!

With most holidays, usually means lots of sugar and treats.  At least my kids think so.  And, I am the first person to say I also love the treats especially Easter basket treats.  Cadbury Eggs are my all time favorite! But, I try my best to keep the treats to a realistic amount for the kiddos.  I don’t see anything wrong with a few jelly beans and chocolate bunnies….but I draw the line when they have a seemingly endless supply of chocolate!

I want my kids to have a wonderful Easter morning with their egg hunt, so I try to mix it up a bit.  Here are some non-candy ideas that I will be putting in their basket this year!

{Affiliate Post}

Easter Egg Decorating Kit

 

Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk

Geo Central Tortoise Hatch ‘Em Egg

Slinky

Easter Stamps

Play-Doh Spring Eggs Easter Eggs 4 Pack

Happy Easter Mouse Book

Dinosaur Bubble Shooter

Lip Smackers Gift Pack

Green Toys Indoor Gardening Kit

Skip Hop Umbrella

Melissa and Doug Plush Bunny

Hape Counter Toddler Stacker Counting Blocks

Dragons Love Tacos Book

Ducky Terry Bath Hooded

Ramona Series Book Set

Kids Garden Tool Set

Shopkins Easter Egg Set of Three Eggs

Click here to starting bluuming today!

Auto Updating Promotional Banner

Bumpdate: 33 Weeks!

I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy is going! Seven weeks from yesterday I will be having a c-section and get to meet our little girl!

FEELING: Still feeling pretty good for the most part! I have been having hip pain when I stay in the same position for too long.  Sleep is hit or miss.  I wake up several times a night. But, since I have had kids I don’t think I have ever slept ALL night long. I usually am up at least once for either the bathroom or making sure the kiddos are tucked in.

Other then my intense need for a nap almost EVERY day (one perk of staying home), I’m attributing feeling pretty good compared to this time in my last pregnancies to my working out 4-6 days a week.  Now…..this has REALLY slowed down.  I am more like 2-3 times a week.  And, honestly if I can get moving a few times a week I am happy with that. Most importantly I still feel strong and healthy.  Cardio is basically a thing of the past.  My lungs are so crowded by baby girl.  I will be happy when she drops a bit so I can take a deep breath!

WARDROBE: I have my ‘dress’ leggings and my ‘casual’ leggings…..I hope I’m not the only one! I mostly wear leggings, a cami and open cardigan or sweater. It has been super warm (ish) here in Michigan and I have been enjoying not having to squeeze myself into a winter jacket!

CRAVING: Junk food.  Sadly that is all I want.  I still love my smoothies, but I am really trying to reign myself in with everything I want to eat! I also don’t have much room (thanks to her squeezing my insides) so I have to eat small portions or I feel sick.

OVERALL: I am so excited and also a little nervous.  With so many things going on in our household: baby, getting ready to sell our house, and getting ready to move! I don’t have much time to worry. Charlie (4.5) is so excited to meet ‘sissy’.  I hope he still feels the same way if she wakes him up with her crying at night.  Henry (20) months has no idea what is going on.  He will kiss my belly and say baby….but I am not sure it is actually connecting.

Less then two months! Let the countdown begin!!

Gymboree Sale On Now!

Offering phone order discounts up to 10% and group discounts up to 20%

I Don’t Ask Permission

I read something that really bothered me the other day.  It was from a blog about motherhood (I don’t remember which one).  That this particular mom said that she has to asks her husband for permission to buy a dress for herself.  Not discusses it with him, or checks in if it is within budget, but actually asks him if it is okay.

He had the power to say yes or no.

She also asks her husband permission if she can go out for a girls night and if it is okay for her to invest in her blog. And she said that he also asks too……but then went on to say that since she is a stay at home mom and doesn’t earn any money that she feels it is respectful to do.

That is where I wanted to punch my computer screen.

Now, I am all for discussions with my husband about expenditures.  I actually think it is an important to have that kind of communication.  Money can create all kinds of problems if not dealt with properly. But we treat each other with respect and consideration. She made it seem as though he has the ultimate power in the relationship and they are not equals. That bothers me.  If she was working outside the home would she have to ask? I’m not sure.

dsc_0617
We are a team!

Gymboree Sale On Now!

My husband and I made the decision together for me to stay at home.  I feel that even though I don’t actually make a paycheck, I am a total equal in every aspect of our relationship. As is he.

We don’t ask each other permission for anything.  I am not a child.  He is not in charge of me.  If I had to ask him for money or if it was okay if I get coffee with my friend I don’t think our marriage would have worked out.

I’m not saying I go around buying diamonds and cars everyday (but that sounds fun)! I am capable of looking at our bank account and knowing if it’s in our budget to buy a pair of jeans or a new dress.

Honestly in life when I hear a mom friend or acquaintance say….’sure, just let me ask my hubby’ it makes me cringe.  Again, I all for discussions and very open communication but asking permission from your equal drives me nuts.

Why do some women do it? Do they really do believe the man is the head of the household and has ultimate control? Do they believe it is not really their money? Or is it the simple fact they lack confidence in their own decision making skills?

I am not making these points to make anyone feel bad or angry.  This is just not my normal and I don’t understand it.

I have been told that it is a sign of respect to their husband.  I don’t buy it.  Respect is a two way street.

Is permission just another word for discussion? Or, is it actually giving all of the decision making about your life to another person?

What do you think? Do you ask permission from your husband?

dsc_0565

Here’s Our Home!! So Far…..

Back when I started this blog, I mentioned we are finally building our dream house!!! Yes….it started in September and we have been waiting….waiting…..waiting for construction to start.  I am not a very patient person.  And let me tell you this has been a lesson in patience! I have only so much control over the situation (bad weather and building a house in January in Michigan don’t exactly go hand-in-hand).

Slowly but surely we are making progress.  I thought I would share a little bit of our progress and excitement!

I have been casually looking at houses for probably about a year.  I LOVE our current house, but we were quickly growing out of it. And at that point I didn’t even know I was pregnant.

Matt and I looked at this model home in Royal Oak and fell in love.  We signed the papers and within 24 hours of doing that we  found out we were expecting! Talk about a world wind of events.

As of now our home is expected to be ready near the end of June.  But, of course that is subject to change.

My mantra right now is: Patience is a virtue. Wish me luck!

house-1
The first sign of construction!
house3
Foundation.  Slowly coming along.
house4
The start of framing our home.
house5
Starting to look like a house.
house6.jpg
This is what our house is supposed to look like……one day.

I can’t wait to make this house our home. This is where we will plant our roots and grow together .  Just in the meantime I need to: have a baby, sell a house, pack up a house and move.  Simple, right?

Finding Your Confidence at the Gym

{This post contains affiliate links.  I only post products that I honestly love and use.  I hope that you love them too!}

I have been every basically every size you can buy since college.  I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with health, fitness and working out.

Finally at 35 years old I  cannot believe I am saying this, but I love to work out!!! I feel physically my best I have in years. Although I still have a ways to go, I love to see the progress I’ve made.  I feel amazing after a good sweat fest.   I love pushing myself when I don’t think I can, but then realizing that I can do it! And, major bonus points if I have soar muscles the next day! I have finally learned what it means to make good use of time in the gym.  And it’s not how fast and far you can run on the treadmill. I’ve talked in the past of why I work out (see that post here), and now here I am talking about how I do it with confidence.

In the past I was so self-conscious of trying out the weight machines, or asking a trainer for help on how to use something properly.  I thought that people were staring at me…..like:  who’s that girl who that girl? She better work a lot harder if she wants to see any results! Or: She looks ridiculous! She doesn’t even know how to use the TRX properly (more on that in another post).

I have realized something…..no one cares what you look like at the gym.

Everyone is so into what they are doing there is no time to look and judge others.  That, of course, is a general statement….there is always going to be a jerk or two.  But I chalk it up to them just having a bad day.

While I adore the cute, backless Lululemon tops that I see some women wear at the gym….that is just not me.  I think I would worry that everything was flopping out of place, rather then worrying about how fast I’m running.

The key to having confidence at the gym is feeling good about yourself.  Good or bad, that has a lot to do with what I am wearing.  If it fits well I’m not going to be constantly worried if my muffing top is showing.Support and proper coverage is what it’s all about.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces that me feel cute and comfortable.

ASICS GEL-CUMULUS 17 RUNNING SHOE

I wear this brand of running shoes all the time. They are light, flexible and give me great support.  I cannot get my head wrapped around spending $200 on a pair….especially when I get a new pair every 8 months or so….(see the picture at the top ….I literally ran a hole in these).  And, score! They are on sale right now.  I’ll be ordering them this afternoon.

ATHLETA FREEDOM SUPERCHARGED TANK

Athleta is one of my favorite brands.  It is super soft, there are a huge variety of sizes and washes really well.  I like this tank, because it has a built in bra. It is super supportive and really cute!

 OLD NAVY GO-DRY MID-RISE COMPRESSION LEGGING FOR WOMEN

I can live in these leggings. And sometimes I think I do! I have several pairs and styles.  They don’t fade in the dryer and keep everything ‘tucked’ in.

ATHLETA POSE LAYERED TOP

I wear this top with leggings, jeans, when pregnant and not pregnant! It is my go-to for wearing after the gym and looking cute.  And, at 31 weeks pregant I can still wear it and rock my bump!

So, this seems to be my unofficial uniform for the gym (and life in general).  What are you’re favorite pics?

Home Bistro Chef Prepared Meals

Offering phone order discounts up to 10% and group discounts up to 20%