Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday Motivation

Baby boy is scheduled to be here next week...no baby yet but I can certainly feel my body slowing down as the day gets closer!  Yesterday a very timely Timehop picture came up from last year...before baby...before my midsection resembled more a globe than anything else.  It got me motivated...planning...thinking about what I want this "bounce back" to be about.  Yes I want to get back to running....the kind of running where I feel like I could do it forever.  Yes I want to fit back into my jeans again.  Yes I want to see those muscles again.  However it struck me yesterday that this is my last "bounce back".  This is the last time I will grow a tiny human inside me and watch my waistline grow to make room.  This is the last time doctors will perform surgery to take that tiny human out and snuggle him next to my face.  This time is different...it will usher in a different phase of my life and my fitness.  So with that in mind I want to focus on the journey...to not only a smaller me but the healthiest me I can be for myself and my family.  Yes there will be finish lines...and scale and non-scale victories...but there will be balance.  More savoring...more soaking it in...more health...more believing in myself!  Believe in yourself this week...that you are capable of finding that balance...that health!!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday Motivation

Yesterday brought me lots of love from my family but it also brought me a bright reminder that I need to use my life as an example for my girls...on how to be healthy...how to ENJOY fitness...how to make choices that are going to help my body work the best it can.  I can talk to them until I am blue in the face, but if my choices don't match my actions they mean nothing!  What are you going to do today that matches what you say?  Are you going to choose the foods that are fuel over what you are craving?  Are you going to sweat because you love the way it makes you feel?  Remember there is always someone watching!!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Monday Motivation

This morning started with me rolling over (as well as I can roll these days), looking at my phone, and muttering, "Oh crap!".  I had failed to turn my alarm on and instead of waking up at 4am to get to the gym on time it was 5am!  I laid there for a few minutes weighing my options...I could go back to sleep and let my children wake me up in an hour....I could get up but skip the workout giving the whole I'm wicked pregnant excuse...or I could get dressed and go downstairs and use our basement "gym".  I picked the last option...and considering I have a full afternoon conducting an interview and just life, I'm so glad I picked it!  Each day brings the possibility to do something great for yourself...for your health!  Choose wisely!!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

TTT

The beginning of this week felt like it was dragging but here we are again at Thursday!!  Here's your weekly dose of randomness!!

Softball Girl...Yesterday our oldest started playing softball.  It was her first practice of the year!
We have been practicing with her in the yard but of course this is much different.  It was very hard for me at the practice not to jump in and start helping out/coaching, but I promised my husband that I wouldn't get out on the field....you know 9 months pregnant and all...details!  I have mentioned it on here before but I played softball for over 15 years through college.  My springs, summers, and even winters were all about softball...travel teams, scouting, indoor teams...and I LOVED it!  It has been hard to not play!  I was excited when our daughter said she would like to play!  I thought she did great for her first time out there!  I did find myself making mental notes about drills we could do at home with her hitting and throwing...I couldn't help myself!  Rome wasn't built in a year and neither was Jennie Finch so I am trying to be a patient softball mom!!

I feel like if I show that I'm too excited then she may lose interest!  Maybe I'll just have her watch the College World Series with me coming up!!

Strength Training...Earlier this week I was listening to an AMR Podcast about the benefits of strength training for runners. It was an interview with Michelle Olsen and it was really interesting!
She gave a lot of tips on how to work in essential moves to help with stabalizing your body and to get the most benefit for your running.  I know that it is common for people to be either or...either they just run or they just lift.  I came into runner, especially distance running from a different angle.  As a teenager I ran to get in shape for the sports that I played.  Even soccer I played because it was fun but also to stay in shape for softball!  Running just to run was very foreign to me.  Additionally I lifted weights...especially legs...to help keep any injuries that I could possibly get away since all they say to catchers is how bad their knees are!  Thankfully my knees are good and my quads are too!  You can see then that when I started running just to run, that strength training was always present as well.  Even when I was training for Boston I still logged 3-4 days of strength training along with my miles.  As I get older and time is a premium, it obviously has become harder to ensure I get in strength training but I know I feel so much better when I do.  What do you do for strength training? 

Tired...Now that the weather is getting warmer and there are days when it isn't raining, we have been going out straight!  The girls come home and head directly out the door.  We've been at birthday parties and play dates.  We've been trying to do as much as we can as a family of 4 before we are a family of 5!  It has us feeling a little like this these days...
Last week mini-chickie passed out in the car multiple times which is rare for her....Miss I won't stop because I might miss something!  It has also led to some cranky ladies but I'm sure in a bit they will adjust to the increase in activity....it's at least making bedtime a lot easier!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Monday Motivation

I love waking up on a Monday morning looking at a brand new month!  It just gives you that new slate to write your goals and own them!  This month around these parts hold a special significance because it is the month that we meet our little man!!  It's hard to believe that I will start this month as a mom of 2 and will end this month as a mom of 3!!!  It will be the end of my pregnancy and the beginning of my postpartum journey!  The mindset for this month...just keep moving!  Sound familiar?
 What is your focus this month?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

TTT...Around Here

Seeing as how I spent last week's vacation in radio silence on here (I do post most often on Instagram so head on over and follow along with the fun!), I thought I'd center my randomness for the week around our vacation from school.  This vacation week held particular sentimentality to me because it is the last one with just the chickies and I.  The next time that we have a school vacation, there will be a little man with us.  So the name of the game last week was to suck all the life out of vacation...and I think we successfully did!

Easter fun...I love when our April vacation nicely flows from Good Friday into the week, and this year it did just that.  It makes you feel like you have more options.  Easter started EARLY with our oldest waking up every hour starting around 3am! 

Once we agreed on an acceptable time (i.e. when we were convinced that our neighbors wouldn't mind hearing squealing and running girls), they were up and out looking for their eggs from the big bunny!  Then we headed to church....the girls picked their own dresses this year (eeeeek I don't like not having control!)
We then headed over to my in-laws house for lunch and playing fun!  It was a full day!

Marathon Monday...The next day we woke up bright and early to head to the marathon!!!  We watch in Framingham around mile 7 every year and I just LOVE it!!!  This year was HOT and super sunny!  I felt badly for the runners!  You never know what you're going to get from Mother Nature on race day in Boston...some years are wicked hot and sunny (there is ZERO shade along the course) while others are rainy and cold! 
I wouldn't say the girls love waiting for the runners to get to us but they like it once it has started!  Maybe one day I'll have a huge sign and be cheering for them!!  I was able to see a few friends (Michelle and Bethany) fly by but unfortunately I did not get to see everyone.  Next year I won't be so massively pregnant and I'll be able to stay longer!!!

The elite men flying by!
Homespun....Thankfully we were able to head down to my hometown to visit my family!  I love how much these girls love each other!!!
We filled our time with strolls (cold) around Newport, hiking out to a place called Hanging Rock (which I don't remember the hike out being quite as treacherous as it was the last time I did it), and visiting the baby goats and chicks!  The farm that my grandmother grew up on is still a functioning farm (and still in the family) and they have days when you can go snuggle the babies (they are also doing a night when you can go do yoga with the goats....sounds hilarious).  Usually the baby day is Sunday but they had a special vacation day.  I mean seriously how can you not smile at 30 baby goats and a dozen baby chicks just hanging out?! 
You could pick them up and hold them or park yourself on a hay stack and let them come to you!  They were super soft and cuddly!!!
Aubs was all about it but Em kept her distance...she had more fun feeding the older goats and horses!

We also hit up an aquarium in Mystic to round out our "go until you drop" vacation week!  The weekend left us tired (and mama was sore) but our memory buckets were certainly filled to the brim!  How do you like to spend vacations?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Our Week With Blue Apron

Two weeks ago we were gifted a free week (thanks to my fabulous mama) of meals from Blue Apron.  The concept of meal kit delivery has always intrigued me and I honestly have always wanted to see what it was all about.  The problem for me always came down to picking one to try!!  Free always sounds good to me so Blue Apron it was! 

For those of you who aren't familiar, Blue Apron is a service that delivers a meal kit to you complete with just about everything possible you would need to make a meal and a step-by-step recipe to follow.  There was zero grocery shopping involved and you can choose from various meals on their site, along with the option for a family sized meal or one for 2.  I chose the meal-for-2 option knowing full well my children (one of which is SUPER picky) would not have eaten the meals listed for a family.  I chose three different meals and the whole kit was delivered on Saturday to our doorstep!  As I said before, this was a free kit for us but regularly it is $59.94 (or $69.92 for family). 
For me it was like a dream come true...meal planning-DONE...grocery shopping-DONE...Sunday afternoon food prep-DONE!  Bad blogger move though is that I posted most of my pictures on my Instagram Story so I don't have most of them!  Blogger fail!  Our meals were chicken under a brick with roasted veggies and potatoes, fontina stuffed pork chops, and a spinach and ricotta flatbread.  Day 1 I did the chicken....and quickly realized some things about myself one of which is that new recipes during the week STRESS ME OUT!  I didn't realize this about myself before!  Quickly my house was filled with smoke!  The meal tasted great (their sauces all week were awesome!) but boy did I look like a mess by the time I got everything onto the table! 
Day 2 were pork chops....this went much better!  Minimal smoke and a slightly easier recipe skill-wise to follow.  Again the sauce was delicious and they couldn't be easier since there is ZERO measuring because everything comes in tiny serving sizes...you just dump it in!  Day 3 I have to admit I went off script!  I looked at the recipe for a flatbread pizza with spinach and ricotta cheese and knew that my very patient husband had had about his fill of this experiment!  So I made the sauce that came along with the kit (which again was fabulous) and made the pizza as a traditional one using the ingredients that came with the kit (minus the spinach-that was saved for our morning smoothies).  It turned out great and was really actually the easiest recipe of the kit. 

My thoughts....
  • The food really tasted amazing from start to finish...My mom made a different recipe when we were down visiting and it was amazing too!  The quality of the food that I got was great (with the exception of one pepper that was getting squishy) and having all the ingredients included and measured out was awesome.
  • The convenience of not having to meal plan, shop, and prep was awesome especially considering I scheduled it to come after we had had a busy weekend.  It was great knowing that I had everything I needed right there.  
  • I thought the price was right for us....we normally spend about that much for three meals anyway.  The added advantage was that I didn't have to buy whole bottles of spices and other things to just use a teaspoon so that saved in the budget department!
  • Ok now there are a few negatives....the biggest one for us was the portion sizes.  The plan was for 2 people but the portion sizes, especially the meats were very small.  I think that if this was improved upon we definitely would get it again, but once the meat cooked down there really wasn't much there.  
  • Skills....I am ok at chopping and what-not but the amount of chopping or other things took me much longer...plus with two hungry chickies coming into the kitchen every 2 minutes while I make dinner to ask for a snack (please tell me my children are not the only ones who ask for a snack while I'm LITERALLY cooking dinner!!!) it made for a stressful situation.  Here I am trying to make sure I press down my chicken like a brick and they're rummaging through the cabinets!
  • Because of my children, I was making two meals every night...one for them and then one from the kit.  Now this isn't all that much different from the norm (I know I need Super Nanny) but it did add to the craziness of the time!  
 Have you ever tried Blue Apron or another food kit delivery service before?  What were your thoughts?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday Motivation

5 weeks out until baby boy is here....and this is really my mantra lately!  I have not hid the fact that this pregnancy has challenged me physically making it hard to move at the pace I really want to be moving, but I'm in the stage where it is all about continuing to move!  Really that is all we need to do...find what gets us moving and keep doing it!  Get creative...find what excites you...and just MOVE!!!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday Motivation

I've always been a goal setter....a race time, a nutrition goal, organization goal...but lately I have gotten away from my usual goal setting focus and I've been missing it honestly!  Setting a goal doesn't always have to be hardcore...however I would love some hardcore goals right about now...but it is something that keeps you focused/motivated day after day!  With 6 weeks left, I decided to keep my goals week by week.  This week's goal is to get to the gym 4 days this week.  I have my workouts planned already and the first day is already done and conquered!  3 to go!

What goal do you have for this week?  How are you going to kick it in the face?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Favorites

It's Friday and I've been proctoring standardized tests all week....fun times here in Massachusetts...and so I thought some dishing about some of my favs lately would be about the right speed! 

THE FRIGGIN SUN!  Spring in New England...especially on Cape Cod...can be described in three words, gray, raw, and rainy!  Seriously it is crazy!  We go from Winter....to rainy...to Summer!  That is why I was so excited to step out my door this morning and to see the SUN!  It's bright....it's glorious...it's warm....and it will be gone this afternoon so I am trying to get as much quality time with the big ball of gas before it hides behind a cloud again!!  Everyone has a little pep in their step this morning!  Amazing what a little sunshine will do!  What's Spring like in your neck of the woods?

Boston Marathon....live in Massachusetts and Patriots Day is more commonly known as Marathon Monday!!! 

I LOVE going to the race and cheering everyone on...looking for my friends each year...and cheering on the elites with my family!  This year is no different!  There are going to be so many amazing elites running it this year and so many of my friends towing the line that I am just giddy!  Next week expect lots of flashback posts to Boston!!!  Are you running Boston this year?  Let me know so I can keep an eye out!  I'll be the super pregnant lady cheering her head off!!

SmartyPants...So many women struggle to find just the right prenatal vitamin that is going to give them all the nutrients they need but doesn't upset their stomach or isn't giant sized.  I was so excited to find SmartyPants gummy vitamins!!
I had tried SmartyPants a while back before I was pregnant and honestly had to fight my children off since they thought I was eating candy every morning.  I thought of them when I needed to find a prenatal vitamin since they were so easy to take and tasted great.  The prenatals did not disappoint!  I can order them easily on Amazon and they are at my door in a day!  They aren't expensive and are so easy to take...even in the first trimester when my belly was not happy!  They have vitamins for everyone in the family!

Boy Shirts...Please don't get me wrong I love me all things glitter and pink, but I have been having so much fun finding boy shirts!  Seriously whoever said dressing a boy is not as fun didn't know about etsy or anything like that!  Here's the latest that I got the man on esty....
The biggest debate in our house is what style to put him in...on my side I love me some madras and preppy all the way while my husband loves superheroes and trucks!  We've been meeting in the middle...or rather just buying our own thing so he'll be styling no matter the day! 

Shop For Me...The latest trend in cooking is food meal kit services that send you everything you will need to make a meal from scratch.  You can really get anything that you could want from vegan to gluten free.  Even our favorite guy Tom Brady is in on it with his new meal kit on Purple Carrot....you can dress like TB12...sleep like him...and now eat like him!  This week my Mom, because she loves me and know the love/hate relationship I have with meal planning, gifted us a free box from Blue Apron.  I went online to order and it couldn't be easier! 
Saturday a box will be delivered to our door!  I am so wicked excited to not have to plan 3 meals next week!  I order meals for 2 since we have some picky little eaters in our house.  I will let you know how it is!  Have you done a meal kit delivery service before?

What are you loving lately??  Anything fun planned for this weekend?  I am so excited to head to RI tomorrow for a sprinkle for our little man!!!  My sister and mom are hosting and I am so excited!!!  It means so much!!! 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Workout Wednesday

Once I hit the point in this pregnancy where running was causing me more stress and pain than any benefits, I turned to finding ways to use HIIT workouts and weights to stay active and burn all the crazy off! 
I began using a training plan that was having me lift a lot of heavy weights, which at the time was helping me feel awesome!  I was able to maintain the muscle that I had and I was leaving the gym sweaty and with that spent feeling I loved after a long run or speed work.  However, not being a trainer, I got to a point where I was doing/lifting too much (hello weight Russian Twists at 20+ weeks probably not smart) and I had to scale back.

Sticking with my goal of staying active and maintaining as much strength/core strength, I started then using kettlebells more in each workout.  I started using kettlebells after I had our second daughter and loved the way I felt stronger and tighter through my core. 
The past few weeks I have been part of a 30 Day Challenge with Fit Mom Strong Mom.  I love the way that Jen started us by taking us back to basics...lunges, squats, nothing fancy but boy is it working!  Even though I'm pregnant doesn't mean I don't crave the feeling of an awesome workout or sore muscles! 

This is the third week and not only am I excited to be back exercising after a nasty cold but I'm just loving that I am still active now in my 8th month! 
My goal is to take each week as it comes....and really would love to be sweating it up at the gym the day before I go in! 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday Motivation

Last week I was blessed with the cold straight from hades!  I'm still nursing a cough that won't quit leaving my ribs screaming in pain, but it's Monday and I cannot take another day to heal...my brain needs some healing...the kind of healing that can only come with sweat!  I could dwell on the fact that I wasn't well enough to work out or I could use today to restart...to get out and give my all!  No matter what mistakes happened last week, today is a new day!  Let's own this week!!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday Motivation

Last week I struggled to get up and out the door for my morning gym time...and it showed in my mood and feeling about this pregnancy in general.  We all can lose sight as life starts to ramp up how amazing a workout can make us feel...a feeling that lasts all day!!  This morning my bed was so comfy...my alarm so easily went under my pillow...but I pulled myself up and out the door!  Boy can I feel the difference!!!  Get out and move today...you will thank yourself later!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Flashback Friday

I was looking over old posts in preparation to talk about a new post I have been thinking of, and I came upon a post I wrote about an event that I went to with Jill with Saucony before the Boston Marathon.  It was certainly an event I will never forget but as I looked at the pictures I found one of Dani, Samantha, Amy Veronica, and I.  Why is this picture significant?  Well it was awesome to see where life has taken us after...they are some of my great friends and women I know have my back...as well as women I know will encourage me through anything!  Blogging is a funny thing sometimes...you are really talking to a computer most times...but if you get really lucky you make amazing friends along the way!!!  Here's the post from the Saucony event!

#FindYourStrong Saucony Event (LOTS of pictures!)

The amazing FFA Dorothy Beal gave us all the heads up about an amazing event in Boston on Friday.  It is hard to put into words what this event meant to me and I probably will spend the rest of the week trying to do just that.  It came at a perfect time for me in my life!  A HUGE thanks to Dorothy for the information and Saucony for hosting such an awesome event!!
I brought along my BRF Jill since I knew she would love it as much as me!  We took the T from Malden and got to Cyclorama WAY early so we headed to a cute restaurant next door called Sibling Rivalry for drinks (Jill not me) and a bite to eat.

Inside the event Saucony had lined the walls with people's "strong".  Seriously...I was chocked up just roaming the pictures and tweets.  As the years go by I realize just how much running is a part of me.  This was just the beginning of an inspiring night!






The speakers were no less than inspiring as well!!  First up was:
Luis Escobar
He was there to talk about memories of Micah True and to share his message of Running Free.  It was a moving time since Micah was such a huge part of the Saucony and running family.  
Mark Herzlich
Former BC football player who was diagnosed with bone cancer in his Junior year at BC.  He talked about "never accepting defeat" and how he ran out on the field at BC his senior year after beating cancer in his leg.  He went on to play for a certain NFL team that we New Englanders don't think too highly of (NY Giants).  The message that stuck with me from him was doing all it takes to get back to who you know you are.  He is a football player and he wasn't going to let cancer take that away from him.
Karen Smyers
A world champion triathlete from Lincoln, Massachusetts who persevered through numerous injuries and thyroid cancer.  Her message of persevering and positive thinking was an inspiration to dig down during those tough miles...tough days and be the champion you know you are.
"Boston" Bill Rodgers
I learned so much about this local running legend.  Like how many times he DID NOT finish Boston.  It made my DNF from this Winter not seem so bad.  His quirky stories had you laughing and connecting with him!  His big message...You can ALWAYS have a comeback!  I'm banking on that one Bill...after baby comeback!

After we mingled and were able to connect with some of my AMAZING fellow FFAs and friends!  It was so great to talk with these ladies in person!!  More to come on this awesome event!  They should have these at least once a month!!
DaniSamantha, me, Amy, and Veronica

Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday Motivation

I have always been honest on here but lately I have been avoiding writing posts...avoiding coming clean with how I have really been feeling lately because I don't want to come across as complaining or being negative.  The truth is that I have been really struggling, especially lately as we inch closer and closer to the little man coming.  I have been struggling with how I feel...that I am too big...and honestly have gotten to the point where I have been avoiding mirrors all together.  At 5'2" there is not much space to put the extra weight that carrying a baby brings and I have never been one of those people who just gains weight in their stomach...I gain everywhere.  Couple that with the fact that most comments directed at me lately on an almost daily basis are things like, "You can't hide anywhere!" and "Wow look how big!" and you have someone who currently just wants to hide.  Please hear that I am so over-the-moon excited to have this baby and know that I am blessed to carry him...but the toll it takes on my body each time has left me very anxious and at times even depressed.  This week I am taking a baby step (pardon the pun!) to accepting my reflection in the mirror...to see the mom my girls see in front of them (They are always the first to say, "Mom you look beautiful!"...to see the miracle within me and let it shine to the outside.  We fall into these traps of expecting to see a certain reflection in the mirror that we struggle when it is not there staring back at us.  Maybe what we should be doing is reflecting things that differ...let our light shine out...embrace our unique beauty!  Let your beauty shine today!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Monday Motivation

Extreme fatigue...sore joints...funky balance...weight gain...just some of the fun side effects of pregnancy...side effects that could justify me staying home instead of braving the cold to get to the gym.  They could be my excuse to put fitness on hold for a while and trade it in for some extra sleep...but my goal to have a fit pregnancy is my reason I push myself to stay active NOT my excuse!  We all have things in life that could very easily be an excuse why we can't get active and be healthy...we all have things that could justify why we can't.  My challenge for you is to not use those as excuses but rather your reason why to push through!!  You can tackle this week no matter what it throws at you!!!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Let's Talk Training

I've been trying to find a good balance between my innate desire to push myself while also being mindful of allowing my body to rest at 7 months pregnant...plus let's be honest our 4 year-old keeps me running!  I have really been trying to stick to the early morning routine that I have grown to crave.  There are times where it is really hard to get up and get out the door, but once I do I feel so much better!  Running, while I am able to still do it in small doses, is still really uncomfortable so I have been trying to find other ways to move without hurting myself.  The way I see it, running isn't going anywhere so if I need to take a little time off then so be it!  My goals have been to get in at least 3 days of weight workouts and 2-3 of cardio depending on how I feel.  Here is how last week shook out for me!

Monday: 30 minutes on the treadmill...10 min warm-up, 10 minute intervals, 10 min cool down
                30 minutes kettlebells

Tuesday: Cardio...30 minutes on the elliptical and 20 minutes on the treadmill walking
Wednesday: Back to the treadmill and kettlebells...I've kept the same routine for both.  The sun finally decided to come out too so I was able to make it outside for a walk at lunch.

Thursday: rest day...I definitely slept in after mini-chickie waking up through the night!
Friday: You guessed it!  Back to the treadmill and kettlebells!
Saturday:  It was frigid out and the wind was whipping but mama needed some time OUTSIDE without children!  I walked around our neighborhood and even threw in intervals to break it up!

Sunday: Rest time!! 

How was your week?  How do you listen to your body when you need the rest?