Friday Four

TGIF everyone! Are you ready for the long weekend? I sure am! We have friends in town from Atlanta that used to live here so I'm excited for all the festivities we have ahead of us.

Here are some things I'm loving today:

1. Blue Angels- Every year the blue angels do an air show the week of the Naval Academy graduation and it's by far my favorite day in Annapolis.  It doesn't matter how many times I've seen them fly I'm always amazed and awed by the show.
Here is a clip from inside the cockpit of one plane that is just incredible! The views of Annapolis are awesome and I can't believe how close they fly to each other.

2. The Go-Pod- We bought one of these for Matthew so that we could have a place for him to play/hang out outside while we're out there. So far we love it! Not only is it great because he can watch everything  Miller is doing but it keeps him contained and happy!  It is very light weight,  comes with a carrying case,and easily wipes clean. I  plan to take it everywhere with me this summer- the pool, beach, park,  etc. We got ours at Target but you can also find them on Amazon and at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

3. Special K Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein bars- So I'm well aware that these aren't that good for me and they definitely don't fill me up as much as some other protein bars but these have become my afternoon treat to curb my sweet tooth.  Come 3pm I'm dying for m&ms or chocolate chip cookies so instead of one of those I usually treat myself to one of these.  I'm not sure it's the right answer but I'm baby stepping into breaking this sugar habit. Does anyone have any good protein bar recommendations? and not Kind bars- I'm sort of over those right now.

4. Transportation Party Invites- We decided to have a planes, trains, cars etc party for Miller. He's really into anything that moves so I decided to expand it beyond trains.  I had the invitations and printables made by Lauren Haddox Designs. I also used her last year for his nautical themed first birthday and I love what she does!  I don't do anything custom I just order her DIY printable party pack and then she personalizes the invitation.   You can find tons of great party themes in her etsy shop here.

I've been pinning ideas like crazy on Pinterest so I'm excited to get working on everything!

I hope you all have an awesome long weekend and enjoy lots of delicious food and drinks!

Thoughts for Thursday: Random Thoughts

Welcome back to another Thoughts for Thursday! Remember you can write about whatever you want, grab the button, and link up at the bottom.

Thoughts for Thursday

We have been so busy around here lately! The warmer weather means more activities and more time outside. I absolutely love it but it can get exhausting!

- I used to think running errands before kids was tough now I have to carve out a minimum of 3 hours time for a grocery trip since it can involve any of the following- diaper blowout, hungry toddler, infant needs a bottle, toddler throws a tantrum, we drop a lovely/toy/pacifier and then spend 30 mins backtracking for it.
This was us in the car this week post grocery trip after I fed Matthew a bottle and gave Miller a snack. I sent this to Kyle with some caption like Help we've been at Wegmans for 3 hours already and half of it's been in the parking lot.

- I'm involved in a mom's club up here and we have weekly playgroups during the school year and next week is our last week of playgroup :(  It's an awesome group of 6 boys and 3 girls and they were all 2.5yrs old and younger. It's been so nice to have a weekly play date and schedule for Miller and he loves seeing his friends. Thankfully he's going to school next year with a few of the boys and I know we'll all stay in touch this summer but I will sure miss it.

-Matthew has started army crawling and I cannot handle it!! He still can't sit up unassisted but if he sees a toy he wants across the room he just starts scooting on over to it.  I'm not sure I'm ready for two mobile kids.

- I'm hosting a gender reveal party for a special someone next weekend and I'm so excited! It will be the first one I've hosted and attended all in one night.

- I'm thinking about cutting my hair really short again. I did it after my wedding and sort of hated it but I feel like I need a change and I sort of want something drastic.
Here is a picture from Christmas 2009, not the best but gives you the idea:  (I look so well rested and young)

- Miller is really into hats, shoes, bags, basically all accessories,  #hesclearlymykid and lately we've been wearing the helmet around everywhere when we're outside.  I can't handle that smile and face! He's  just too funny these days. 

- Did you all watch The Bachelorette?!?! What do you think?? I don't want to spoil it in case you  need to catch up but all I want to know is who was it?

-At the last minute  I've completely changed the theme for Miller's second birthday! I will have more details later but I think this one is going to be a winner with the little boys.

Now it's your turn!
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Target Does It Again

Target has really been hitting it out of the park lately! I feel like every time I go in I find something new to buy,  oh wait that happens every time but lately the stuff has been extra good!  I swear I wouldn't be sharing these with you all unless they were must haves.  So if you're heading to Target this week stop by and check these items out (because the pictures below do not do them justice!).

Here are my must haves:

::Gilligan & O'Malley Fluid Knit Chemise::

 This has 5 stars because it's that good! I was in desperate need of new sleepwear when I stumbled upon this nightgown and it's perfect! It's super soft and light weight which is great for summer. If you're pregnant it will more than accommodate your baby bump and the best part is that the top is like a soft built in bra that is supportive but not constricting!  I bought it in black and gray and loved it so much I bought it in the pink/coral on my next trip to Target. 

I would call this more of a swing dress than a shift dress but its still a great casual summer dress. The picture doesn't do it justice but it's nice and swingy and could easily accommodate a baby bump or hide a post baby tummy.  With a big statement necklace you could easily dress it up a bit!

This maxi is so comfortable and so flattering! I love the navy but would also take one in every color! I love the kimono top on this one since it makes it easier to play with the kids and not have to worry about accidentally exposing something! They have a short version too I might need too.

V-neck tees and shorts are my summer uniform and at only $6 a piece these are hard to pass up.  I decided on this pink, a gray, and black. Much cheaper and not as see through as my much loved J.Crew ones.

I posted about this tote when it first came out a few months back but just decided to get one this week. I opted for this orange/coral/pink one. It's such a fun summer color and the bag is gigantic so it will fit all the stuff I need for the boys and it doesn't break the bank at $37. 

Have you found anything good at Target lately? Do you spend an extra $100 $50 every time you go to Target like me?

Strength Training Routine and my Workout Must Haves

Sorry for the radio silence the last few days! My computer was on the fritz and then it died on me (fingers crossed it can be saved).   We've had no air conditioning for the last six days and our basement flooded. Sooo I've been a bit preoccupied with really boring sucky grown up stuff.  Thankfully our AC is back, I broke out my old Dell from 2007 to blog on (whoop whoop!) and our basement is drying out.

Moving on!  Today I wanted to share with you an example of one of my strength training days.  First of all for a little background.  I love lifting, I actually prefer it more than cardio so I've always been very comfortable in the weight room at the gym. My two main problems (that convinced me to sign up for the class) were that I usually lift alone and I've been doing the same exercises for 10 years.  I knew that I needed someone to push me out of my comfort zone and make me try new things.

Our class is one hour long and starts with a warm up, then the days routine, then ends with a metabolic finisher.

Warm up:
Glute Bridge- 10
Fire Hydrants- 8 each leg
Hip Circles- 6 clockwise, 6 counter clockwise. Each leg
Thoracic Rotation- 10
Squat to Stand-  8

Routine: We do three supersets and one tri-set each day.  A superset is when two exercises are performed back to back without stopping and a tri-set is when three exercises are performed back to back without stopping. This means no rest between exercises but you can rest between supersets.

Superset A:
Goblet Squat- 3 sets with 12 reps
Push Up- 3 sets with 8 reps

Superset B:
Lunge- 3 sets with 8 reps
TRX row- 3 sets 8 reps

Superset C:
Plank- 3 sets, hold for 45-60 seconds
Side  Plank- 3 sets, hold for 45-60 seconds

Glute Bridge- 3 sets with 12 reps
Band Pull Aparts- 3 sets with 10 reps
Medicine Ball Slams- 3 sets with 8  reps

Finisher Example-she changes these up on us all the time but here is an example of one we've done.
-5 plank to push ups
-15 box jumps
- 10 medicine ball slams
Repeat each set 3 times. Rest 30 seconds between each set.

As I mentioned before the best part about this program is that I can do these workouts on my own once this program is over to keep up the routine.  If you're nervous about lifting I highly suggest working out with a trainer to learn exercises that work for your body and the proper technique to do them.  My trainer has 4 kids so she's great on helping you get the pre-baby body back and understands what I'm dealing with and can help. I think it really helps to work with a trainer who understands what you're trying to achieve and how hard it might be to get there.

Now I couldn't get through my workouts without some of my favorite gear:

Workout must haves

1. Garmin Vivofit-  This is used to track my steps and calories burned. I actually gave this to Kyle for Christmas but decided to try it out for a few weeks before getting my own. These are so eye opening to how much I move or don't move in any given day.

2. Asics GT-1000 running shoes- I desperately needed new running shoes and have been as Asics fan for years.  I decided to go with the more affordable 1000 level vs  2000 level since I'm just getting back into running. So far they have been great and I love all the fun colors they come in especially  the pink and ice blue I bought.

3. Old Navy Active Ruched Tank- I've talked about this before but this is the best pregnancy and post baby workout top! The ruching is so forgiving and the top is super comfortable and doesn't ride up at all.

4. Old Navy Active Compression Capris- I can't remember if I've talked about these before but if you're  looking for affordable compression workout pants these are the ones to get! The suck you in and have a high waist so they're super flattering.  I'm so surprised how much I have loved all the ON workout gear I've gotten lately.

5. Under Armour Tech Tank- This has become another favorite of mine! This is a nice loose tank top (great for pregnant or post baby) that is breathable and comfortable. I have it in pink and black but plan to pick it up in that aqua color next. For $24.99 it's worth it!

6. Zella Live-in Streamline Capris- Another favorite of might but on the pricier side for workout clothes these are awesome capris. I think they are well worth it at $52 because they really do suck everything in and the thicker waistband is flattering.

7. Nike Tempo Running Shorts- I have been wearing these running shorts since high school! They are my absolute favorite and I still haven't found another brand yet that are as good as these.

8. C9 Champion Medium Support Sports Bra- I'm not blessed like some of you ladies so I don't need a ton of support when it comes to sports bras and I love that you don't have to have a uni-boob anymore! I also think this is a great sports bra for nursing moms because it doesn't smoosh your boobs too much which could lead to problems- like clogged ducts which I've had twice now :(

9. Camelbak Podium Chill water bottle- We picked these up at Bed Bath and Beyond a few months ago on sale they've quickly become a favorite.  The fact that they are insulated and still light is a huge plus and they keep my water nice cold through out my workouts.

10. Nike Free 5.0 running shoe- I don't actually run in these because they don't have enough support for this overpronator but they are awesome for lifting! You should actually lift in shoes like this without too much support so that you work all your muscle groups properly. It's not wrong to lift in running shoes but if  you need a ton of support like me you might be doing yourself a disservice by lifting in your running shoes and not giving your legs a full workout. Just a fun fact I learned recently :)

If you lift what are your favorite exercises?  What are your workout must haves?  I would love to hear about anything I'm missing!  Does anyone have a running watch? I've been considering that over a vivo fit so I would love to hear about them.

*this post contains affiliate links. For more information click here.

Recent Purchase Reviews: The Good Ones

I love a good product review.  If I'm buying anything I will spend hours, if necessary, pouring over reviews before I make a decision.  One of my favorite things about blogging is you all sharing your reviews with me so I thought I would return the favor and tell you about some of my recent purchases that I'm loving.

::J.Crew Chambray Shorts::
 These shorts should be on every mom's post baby list!  Not only are these super cute and comfy, and perfect for chasing little boys, they are also really flattering and the elastic waist is super forgiving.  Apparently the chambray ones are sold out but they have the pull on shorts in other fun colors now available here

As I mentioned before this is the perfect I need to wear a one piece but don't want to look frumpy one piece.  It is so flattering and really hid all my problem spots when I wore it. I got so many compliments on it and the white is not see through at all.    

I was on the hunt for a new pair of cut off jean shorts since the ones I wore last year were maternity and I'm so happy I found these. No they are not cheap at all but they are so cute and flattering and the inseam isn't too short.  The nice part is the back side is longer than the front so you don't feel like you're showing off your goods to the neighborhood.   They do run really big so you need to size down.

Love, love love this dress! I've gotten so many compliments on it since I've bought it and it's super flattering. 

This is my new favorite summer tank.  It is so comfortable and flattering, especially if you're pregnant or just had a baby and want something that's loose around the middle.  It's longer which works well for us taller girls. 

I picked up two of these when I was in the Nordstrom junior dept before we left for Florida and for $16 a piece they don't disappoint!!  I like that they're loose and flowy and paired with skinny jeans they're perfect for summer.

I finally found a pair of Toms I liked!  I found these at a boutique in St. Petersburg and they've been my go to shoe since I got home.  They are the classic rope style slip on. It doesn't note that there is a difference between these and the original Toms but I found them to be looser and more comfortable than orignial Toms.  As in I didn't need to break them in first. 

I was on the hunt for a small crossbody for shopping or nights out when I don't want to big purse or diaper bag around and this is perfect.  It's big enough to hold all my essentials but small enough that it doesn't get in the way of anything. 

Have you done any spring shopping?  Anything you've loved lately?

Getting Back in Shape: An Update

Back in January I shared with you my goals for losing the baby weight and getting back in shape in this post.   Since it's been four months since that post and six months since Matthew was born I wanted to give you all an update.   As I mentioned in that post I really wanted to focus my time not solely on losing baby weight but on getting myself back into pre-baby shape.  The journey has not been an easy one but I'm slowly working to get there.

After my pregnancy with Miller most of my baby weight came off rather quickly and my body went back to the same size.  This time around has been completely different and stuff is in totally different places. 

Here is a look at my progress.  I never intended to share these with anyone but since I'm hoping to document my progress and see how far I've come I decided to post them.   So apologies on the bad quality photos ;) 

6 Weeks Postpartum

8 Weeks Postpartum 

Shortly after I wrote my post in January around 8 weeks postpartum I was doing a decent job of making it to the gym 1-2 times a week and doing at home workouts.  Well between the snow, freezing cold weather, two small kids, and not being able to take Matthew to the gym daycare yet it got harder and harder to go. 
I was also feeling really defeated because by three months postpartum with Miller most of my clothes fit again and my stomach was flat.   This time around it was not like that.
Instead of feeling more motivated I spent most of February feeling sorry for myself and eating M&Ms.  To help get me motivated and feeling good I joined a new gym and Kyle got me some personal training sessions.  That still didn't help.   I just felt so blah and I was convinced I was never getting my pre-baby body back.
Yes I know at this point it had only been three months but I have always been lucky with my body type and metabolism that I could eat like crap, or skip workouts and still be skinny.   This time around that was not happening. 

Finally when Matthew was four months old I knew I needed to do something.  I am lucky enough to stay at home with my kids and I was so sick of being out of shape and stuck inside that I knew I needed to take advantage of the gym daycare and start taking care of myself again.

I started taking them to the gym daycare the first week of March.  The first two weeks were really rough with Miller and he hated it but after that it was fine.  Now he loves going there and loves seeing all his friends. 
I started to slowly ease myself back into running and lifting but I still felt a little lost.  My friend Amy had told me about this women's strength training class she was going to take and encouraged me to sign up. It was a 10 week class that met two times a week and focused on strength training specifially for women.  It sounded like exactly what I needed to do so I emailed the instructor and signed up.   

It's been five weeks since our class started and I haven't felt this good in a long time.  I'm lifting weights I didn't know I could and I've seen more progress in the five shorts weeks I've been in this class than I have in years.  The goal of the class is to help women feel strong and to make us realize that we can deadlift 100lbs and we're not going to look like bodybuilders!  Our trainer is encouraging and supportive without being scary or screaming at us and the fact that it's all women encouraging one another is awesome too.  The plans that she has built for us are really easy and could be done on your own at the gym or with weights at your house. 

Here is how I look today:

6 months postpartum

Weight wise I'm still about 7lbs from my comfortable weight and about 12lbs from my ideal weight but to be honest I'm not worried about that right now.  I'm still nursing Matthew 80% of the time and I know I will hold onto some weight until I quit for good.   I'm still working really hard for my flat stomach but core workouts don't come as easy as they used to so I'm taking my time with those too but I'm losing inches all over.  I can fit back into a lot of my pre-pre baby clothes but not all of them. 

I'm slowly coming to realization that it might take me a long time until I feel comfortable again with my post baby body.  I'm also realizing that I'm the only one who can make a difference about it.  Sitting around feeling sorry for myself and snacking on m&ms is not going to get me back into my old pants again so I might as well be proactive no matter how slow I have to go. 

My workout schedule looks like this right now:

- Tuesday and Thursday- Strength Training Class for 1 hour from 8:30-9:30
- Walk 1-2 miles 2-3 times a week (with stroller and dog)- this varies day to day. 

I would really like to add 3 days of hard cardio/metabolic workout into my schedule and I'm going to be testing that out next week.  

I will be back on Thursday to share an example of my strength training workouts, what my diet consists of (still can't kick that sweettooth), and some of my workout gear favorites. 

Would love to hear from others about your favorite diet, exercise, or workout gear that keeps you motivated!!

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