Favorite Coffee Cup & Why I Need to Live Somewhere Warm

Anyone have a favorite coffee cup?  I do. I do. I do.  I irrationally love this cup.

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I have two others just like it except the color inside is different and so is the logo on the front of the cup, it has to be the bear (Yukon blend).  It’s the perfect size, perfect texture (matte), great handle… Well made!   I don’t know what it is but when someone else uses my cup I have an inside irrational response of *gasp* “MINE” lol.  Luckily unlike my one and half year old, I don’t scream “Mine Mine” at the person using the cup, but I do practically hug it the next time it is in my hands.

So this morning is a good morning, my computer, Lorde Pandora, and my cup <3

I’ve always been a person who has worked on ways to make myself and the things around me better.  My newest endeavor?  Waking up really early everyday of the week.  My alarm goes off around 4:30 a.m.  problem is, I use the cold as an excuse to cuddle under my covers for the next half hour.  Then when I head to the treadmill it is cold down there!  This weather hates me, and the rest of Chicago.  I literally sit here and day dream about morning runs outside with my early morning companion, Oso:

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I just keep telling myself:  It’s coming. It’s coming.

But, to avoid this crap in the future.  I should just move somewhere warm! :) hehe.

No, on the bright side, I’m crazy blessed and lucky to have the option of running on a tredmill at my gym or in my home.  I just can’t wait until the snow and ice melts so I can run the early morning streets of my neighborhood. (Trust me, Oso can’t wait either!)

Happy Tuesday!

Awesome Wave

Happy Saturday, friends!

What a week this was!  I really am over the cold, snowy environment surrounding me.  Even though I’ve never really been comfortable in a bikini – I’m CRAVING bikini weather.  I seriously sit in my heated yoga classes and pretend it is sunny and warm.  My body is definitely craving some homemade vitamin D and when it is literally below zero degrees out or snowing CONSTANTLY, I’m not getting even a tiny bit of it.  At least my boys have fun with their shovels:

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Like everything in my life, I hit waves.  Waves of lazy periods (well in my book lazy, other people see me go go go), then focused waves of awesome.  Right now, I’m on a awesome wave.  I’ve majorly cleaned up eats and have been focusing on getting my heart rate up in some shape or form at least once a day.  It’s a cycle that I need to have not only for myself but for my family.  I want Evan to have lots of healthy home cooked meals, and I want to experiment more with food.  Something that helps me stay on track is reading.  I load my kindle with books on health and fitness, meditation and yoga – even though some sit unread for days and days because I’m knees deep in some novel or catching up on Mob Wives and Scandal (I know, I know… ) I feel like life is all about balance.  However, when I feed my soul with those books, even though every fiber of my being knows how to eat and live well, it reminds me to keep on track. When I eat clean and sweat I’m happier much happier, and isn’t that what life is about?  That said, I’m really enjoying Cameron Diaz’s The Body Book right now.  It is an easy, lighthearted read that I think would actually be really great for a teenager or someone just getting into a clean healthy lifestyle it is just presented in a way that is not overwhelming and is packed with info (although she uses soy as an example of something to switch out for milk, I’m not a soy fan at all).  When I finish up the book I’d like to do a review ;-) – Something that I live by is eating with color.  LOTS of color.  Vibrant color.  No iceberg lettuce, give me the super green kale and spinach and crispy romaine please!  I mean not only are these so good for you but they are so pretty *insert heart eyes*:

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My mom recently bought a vitamix.  I’ve talked about it before and I’ll talk about it again:  I want one so bad! I have a high powered blender and like the reviews here I’m not a fan.  It is bigger and louder than my mom’s shiny new vitamix and more importantly it does not work as well. So I’m saving for my own.  I know they are pricey but I’ve only heard awesome reviews from the basic to the fancy.  Plus, Hector is sick of seeing lulu bags at the doorstep (not that they would ever go away forever, just maybe a little less frequent).

Are you hitting winter slum?  Are you busting through?  I went shopping today at target and they had GARDEN stuff out!  I’m ready to feed the need to get my hands in the dirt and do some gardening and RUN OUTSIDE!!!  So stoked for this.

Off to cuddle with the napping baby, followed by a run on the dreadmill treadmill;)

 

 

New Year, New You – Happy 2014 – Starter Tips

Hello from snowy Chicago!  Happy New Year all.   I hope everyone had a fun, safe and blissful start to their new year!

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There is something magical about waking up to a new year with a blanket of snow.  Like everything is being cleaned.  We kept last night super low-key.  My sister and I went to the gym for a last minute end of the year sweat sesh followed by welches grape juice, Taboo and a sick hubby and needy little dude (he is all about Mama, Mama, Mama – in fact he won’t leave my lap/arms/sight, even now as he sits on my lap saying “mama, mama”).

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I’m not big on New Year resolutions but I do think it isn’t a bad time review goals, revamp a wardrobe, and double check where you are physically and mentally.  The Holidays can be a stressful time of year filled with too many processed foods (or not, and if not, good for you!) or cookies or days when you are like “I’d rather have hot chocolate and watch the Santa Clause with my son tonight instead of killing it at the gym” (guilty!!).

For all those who are trying to make 2014 a healthier year than 2013 whether it is purging unhealthy habits or relationships – good luck!  Keep me updated on your journey and build a strong foundation so that you don’t set yourself up for failure.  For those of you hitting the gym here are some tricks for keeping you on a path rather than over doing it and discouraging progress so early:

  1. Be realistic.  Don’t think you can go from not benching ANYTHING to benching a ridiculous amount of weight or not running to being able to run 4 miles without issue.  Your body will need some time to build up to these things so set little goals and listen to your body.  Nothing is worse then waking up on Jan. 2nd feeling like you were ran over by a Mac Truck.  Take it easy ;-) – your body can do amazing things – but pace yourself.
  2. Ask, ask, ask!  If you look at a machine/person lifting and are watching someone who looks fit fly through movements – don’t assume they are doing the machine/movement correctly.  Ask a trainer walking the floor if your form is correct THERE IS NO SHAME IN THIS.  You don’t want to start the year off with an injury, and I’m warning you now, just because that girl/dude has nice muscles doesn’t mean they are using the machine/free weights correctly and doing 20 incorrect movements at top speed with bad form is way less impressive (and stupid) than doing 3 correct perfect form moves.  Trust me, your injury-less body will thank you for the questions.
  3. Don’t feel intimidated at the gym.  This is easier said than done, but everyone starts somewhere.  Respect your journey for where it is.  You don’t have to be a size 0 to be healthy.
  4. Change takes time.  Just because your first week at the gym feels like a success does not mean it will show on the scale.  In fact, I’d throw the scale out.  Happiness is not tied to a number, it is tied to a feeling.  When you feel good, that is happiness.  Be thankful for what your body can do for you now, and know it is an amazing tool.
  5. Try new things!  Take classes.  Try TRX, Yoga, Pilates, spin, crossfit – weightlifting!  There are so many ways to stay in shape.  You don’t have to hate it.  You do not have to run because so many people run.  Hit a fun machine – the rower, a bike, the AMT, and don’t forget to get strength training in.  Take it outside too – get the family involved.  Take the dog for a fast walk in the snow, go ice skating, jump in the pool.  Like I said, change it up and try new things.  Find something you enjoy.  Fitness is a way of life – and it can be fun!  It doesn’t mean hitting the dreadmill and eating celery.
  6. Find a good blogs to read both fitness and food!  I love reading about other people’s journeys and what they do to stay fit.  The amazing thing is they are all different!  Everyone stays fit in different ways and nothing is more motivating then a good before and after picture! (Fitnessista.com is my fav!!!)
  7. Update the playlist.  Enough said.  Music is amazing – some of it can really push you through machines/cardio.
  8. Treat yourself to new workout gear!  Although there is nothing wrong with a cotton t-shirt and yoga pants.  I LOVE my tech gear.  Makes me feel fierce.  Honestly, hit a yoga or Pilates class cute gear?  Winning.  My favs include: lulu of course, under armor, nike, reebok and one of kind saying shirts that are all over the place “Keep calm, Ohm on”.  How awesome, and appropriate are my “Chase Snowflakes” socks?!photo2
  9. Give yourself a pat on the back!  You did it!  You started your fitness journey.  This is a lifestyle change you will have to commit to this for life.  Once you reach a goal weight, you still have to maintain and that takes work too!  You need to continue to eat clean, and hit the gym.

Good luck everyone! Stay safe, stay fit and eat clean.

 

Visions, Sugarplums and Garland OH MY!

Happy Holidays, friends!  I hope everyone had a very MERRY CHRISTMAS.  I know we did!  Lots of love, cookies, celebrating and wrapping paper – all last minute of course!

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Evan was a BLAST this year for Christmas.  Everything was “Wow” and “eeeee” when he was opening his gifts.  So much different from our sweet itty 6 month old last year:DSC_1006

Both perfection, in their own special way.  I feel so blessed.  – My wonderful husband let me go to a holiday yoga class at our local CorePower studio.  It was the perfect end to an amazing morning.  It was warm, filled with great energy and a great instructor – there isn’t anything else I could have asked for.

We spent the rest of the holiday with lots of family, ate too many cookies and enjoyed my mom’s awesome spread!  Cannolis, shrimpies, crab dip, Polish goodies – the works.

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We also went light hunting.  We LOVE Christmas lights and were able to see some really sweet displays in our neighborhood:

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Finally, we cuddled with our sweet little dude.  He was so amazing, as always.  I am blown away by him, everyday.  The perfect gift to our family <3

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Hope your Christmas was amazing!  Back later with a New Years post! <3

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Weekend Recap – Fitness Fun.

So this weekend was nothing crazy spectakular (on the surface); but, it was exactly what I needed filled with Evan, workouts, house work and relaxing.  No fireworks, no parties… Just two calm days that were busy but for all the reasons I love.

I hit the mat with one of my favorite instructors, Lou:

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I hit the pavement with a bright pink pair of well, running shoes:

IMG_1849I even hit the gym, not only for pool time with my little man but weight time with my arms, legs and back:

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It wouldn’t be complete without feeling nostalgic and doing a few jumpers, quiet a few mad that wonderful “swish” sound we all know and love.

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It was a busy physical weekend that was finished with several miles with my two main weekend dudes, Oso and Evan.

IMG_1789Oh and not helping my obsession over getting myself a vitamix… Green smoothies:

IMG_1878Kale, mango, pineapple. On. Point. Amazingness.

Lets also take a moment for my lulu obsession:

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Wunder unders in orange and soot & my steal warm it up crew.

Happy Sunday!

 

 

 

On. The. Go.

Life has really been exactly the way it should be: completely nutzo but in the best way possible.  I mean I get to come home to this:

IMG_1828 IMG_1829My main men and well… Evan’s wild mane that I couldn’t love any more than I do.  He is still the light of our lives. <3

The past week has been extremely busy.  Work, play, bed. That has been the routine and the weather is definitely changing.  I find myself layering and it reminds me a of a few things: well FALL of coure, new wardrobe, shopping and birthdays.

followed by a meltdown

followed by a meltdown

New lulu from the hubby! <3

New lulu from the hubby! <3

I'm still not feeling the best, so don't mind my disheveled look lo;

I’m still not feeling the best, so don’t mind my disheveled look 

(some love from last year) -

THis year I have a very different life.  New job, new home, new loves, a new happy grateful outlook on my life… Everything feels like it is right where it should be.

Today my life consisted of a run, a cuddle date, a coffee date, a swim date, a yoga date and a dinner date with two of the best parents in the world:

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Yoga with Lou was nothing short of amazing.  I really wanted to go to C2 because I wanted more of a workout but Hot Power Fusion hit the spot.  I focused on my intention (being more confident) and hit everything.  I also went on a very short run this morning and Evan clinged to me like no other in his freezing swim class.  We both walked out of there with purple lips and chattering teeth.

Also, how much am I loving my swiftly (above) and my practice freely tank?  Love. Them.

IMG_1582 IMG_1584 IMG_1585Family walks when I force Hector out of the house are a lot of fun too.  I mean look at these sunsets that are beautiful pictures that do not even SCRATCH the surface of just how amazing they really were.

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I’m literally falling asleep writing this but just wanted to update on a few positive things. Synopsis:

  • Momma, yoga/run time
  • love
  • beautiful sunsets
  • life
  • Evan
  • Hector
  • Friends
  • Green tea

 

 

What we are up to in JUNE!

Hello blog world!

What are we up to as of late?!

Lots! – New Nephew!!! – Gardening madhouse – work, work, work – running after baby – running on that tredmill – enjoying life… You know the norm.

I’ve mentioned before that the previous owner of our home was an avid gardner.  She has some awesome plants… and amazing roses.  Last week I took a bunch of shots of the amazing flowers in my yard and was going to write a post on how I have been you-tubing how to take care of these things (I’m doing well in some areas, not so well in others) – and I was going to share our farmer’s market trip then BAM I misplaced my memory card *cue sad trombone, and worlds smallest violin* I’m hoping to find and share those pics, but who knows! Darn SD card, you have no idea how hard it is for me to loose pictures… it is like losing a piece of me.  So today I ventured out to find a few cute things, and a bunch of upkeep I need to get to…

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My orgeno, lemon balm and thyme is just insanely happy.  Can’t you tell?  Here is a before and after:

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:D *happy dance*

This weekend is father’s day – Hector’s first since our amazing little man has blessed us with his precense.  What is Evan up to lately?

Growing like a weed, standing on his own and taking baby steps… YEP! Baby. Steps.  Walking is right around the corner maybe for is 11 month birthday.

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I cannot believe that I took the picture above almost 6 months ago, where has my itty bitty baby gone?

Today we are going to try to get too many things done… so wish us luck.

Be back with more pictures of my love bugs and some workout updates!

xoxo

Finding my “Zen”

I love weekends.  It is safe to say I live for them.  I get 24 of this little dude:

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and time at home with the puppy, hubs and our home which is still fairly new to us.  Lately I have had a chance to really absorb things around me.  I’m finding more time to workout, more time to relax (ha, 5 minutes or so) and more time to read.  The hubs got me this awesome gift for mother’s day:

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I broke my other kindle somehow, and was devastated so this was a welcomed addition and I am really enjoying it pretty much everyday.  I am almost finished Relic and recently finished The Wolf of Wallstreet and I downloaded a book on meditation as one of my goals is to start to meditate as I hear it works wonders and I need to find that calm.  Lately anxiety has been getting the best of me (probably why the surge in gym-goings)… So this is something I really am stoked about.  Other ways I’m looking to find my zen?

1.  At home quiet “me” time.  Getting in a bath, painting my nails, and figuring out new natural scrubs and beauty regimens.  Loving this and this right now.  <— Another one of my favorite bloggers, Maria is hysterical.

2.  Thinking about at home projects – making lists.  Hector and I are a family on a budget :) – Not crazy, but enough of a budget that I cannot go out and purchase everything I want (wouldn’t that be nice! Not sure I know anyone like this… but I can dream haha).  So I have a long list of at home projects that we are working on or attempting to work on for our new home.

3. Getting and staying organized.  Even the little improvements in this department make me feel so much better.  I love when someone says “hey do you have this…” I can go straight to it.  My new obsession is mason jars.  I love the look of them and I really wish I would have taken a before and after picture of this “after”:

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4.  Getting my craft on.  Well although I have dabbled in craftiness and have a creative side finding the time to stay on top of it is difficult; but – this fun machine is going to help me turn Evan’s party paper into cool decor:

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I did a lot of research before purchasing including hopping into my local Paper Source who swears by it (it is what they use!!) – This helps me find my Zen for the simple fact that there is an immediate tangible end product.  After the awesome decor at my baby shower, I need to be able to make a solid effort to make Evan’s big 1st birthday bash a success even with decor.

5.  Sounds, Sights and smells – nothing beats an awesome smelling candle, fresh air, clean home, flowers from the garden and my favorite music station (an awesome playlist or fav pandora station):

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6.  Remembering the things I do right… The hard work I do put in like still nursing Evan:

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There have been countless times where I have thought to myself “why am I still doing this” as I hear the “whomp whomp whomp” in the background.  But looking back at my 10 + month nursing journey… I can honestly say I am so proud.  Evan’s first year of life has flown and I’m proud I put in the effort and am lucky it was so easy for me.  Sure I missed some nights out because I rather be home to nurse then make time for another pumping sesh, but it has all been worth it for me and I need to give myself credit instead of feeling annoyed at its inconveniences.

Each day I work towards letting the positive in and the negative out.  It is a daily battle.  Just remember you aren’t the only one who has bad days but you are the ninja in your life. Get moving, let toxic things go and sweat it out.

Treat yourself to something special.  Do things just for you.  Just because you are a mom, or have other crazy commitments doesn’t mean you can’t do things for yourself.  With that said… Some shopping, some yoga, and some cleaning.

Last night's awesome sunset from our bedroom. xoxox

Last night’s awesome sunset from our bedroom. xoxox

Stay happy, friends.

June 1. Catch Up. Saturday’s Start

Hey hey!  It has been a while and I’m super behind!  I’ll catch you up with our 10 month old sometime this weekend, promise!

In the meantime, a few things going on over here today – enjoying some of our favorite things:

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Coffee and bananas, Evan (of course), sunshine, clean counter tops, sippy cups & my very own essential oil blend burning away.

I also stepped into my garden (which needs some TLC, it is looking like a jungle) to admire some INSANE flowers:

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The only thing I had anything to do with was my herbs, which are doing awesome :)

My favorite blogger’s summer shape up starts Monday – superrrr excited about that!  She gave us a bunch of info to have a successful head start so I’m going to cover my bases for that this weekend.

My May’s smoothie challenge was a hit:

DSC_0297My detox blend above with mint from my very own garden! :D

And I will be treating myself to a vitamix in the very near future!!

So all is well over here, just busy – you know how that happens – life!

Be back later with some more updates from today, and some refreshed goals and my little dude’s 10 month update!

 

Smoothie A Day Challenge

Hello world, happy Saturday!

I have felt quiet inspired lately, it is a mix of good weather, super cute baby, green grass and these crazy plants growing everywhere (weeds too! haha).   But one challenge I’m super excited about is a challenge by health is happiness.  I learned about it through lululemon on facebook, I have yet to set up a BHAG for myself but learning that I could participate in someone else’s BHAG I was totes in from the go.  So the challenge is simple enough… A smoothie (or two, or three, especially if they are green!) a day!  This is not a crazy challenge as I treat myself to these nutritious boosts regularly but this challenge has helped me to remain focused and somewhat organized:

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Picking up several staples at TJ’s including:

  • Organic Kale
  • Spinach
  • Berries! Fresh and Frozen (blue, straw, rasp… lol)
  • Pineapple & Mango (frozen and cubed)
  • Almond & Coconut milk
  • BANANAS!
  • Ginger, parsley
  • Lemons
  • Avocado 

At home I have protein powder, TJ’s green mix!, vanilla, maple syrup for taste if needed.

I’ve been very good about staying up to speed with this challenge as we get daily emails, with awesome recipes and you can checkout his site for great ideas on what to mix… Sometimes the mixes look awesome, sometimes not so awesome – but they all taste great!

I’ve made smoothies at home: at home

and had Loop Juice (LOVE detox smoothie!!!) and FFC do the combos for me:

at FFC

Blueberry pomegranate above with Omegas boost was amaze.  So. good.

I do feel refreshed and inspired, and it has pushed me to try new blends – some were crazy successful – some not so much.

My current fav is pomegranate, blueberries, water, ginger and lemon.  Um. Yum. So, good. My favorite green mix is almond milk, spinach, kale, TJ’s green mix, banana and vanilla.

Any ideas on a great additive for some healthy omegas?  I might search for Udo’s oil or something similar at Whole Foods today.

Something else refreshing?  I got a new top in the mail with a great new sports bra (not pictured below) – nothing like smoothies and the FedEx guy (aka Santa) to make this girl one happy camper:

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My goals have rewards… when I meet one, I treat myself to something special.  I have so many things on my wishlist and I’m checking them off one by one.  Big items I’m looking at? Vitamix and a Kitchenaid Mixmaster!  For my new kitchen, I feel like it would be really appropriate to treat myself to a vitamix after this challenge… But my blenders work quiet well so IDK… Mixmaster is a must, so that may win…

While I work on this internal debate I’m off to the gym, followed by some time with a prego lady, who is making me a bit baby crazy!!! :D

Shout out to my best and her new home! It is AWESOME! <3