Heavy Mileage and Current Likes

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Hello hello!  We are finally back from vacation (although I wish I was still there- what a blast!) and I am preparing a post on how to “sanely” transition back from vacation, but until then, I wanted to do a quick check in about some other random items:) So, when I opened my planner on Sunday (LOVE me a good [paper] planner) I went to add my weekly mileage from last week and was floored!  I took one day off but managed to get 42 miles in!  Yahooooo!  And on a vacation week?!  Even better!  (Head pats)

OK.  So, also want to talk about a few things that I am LOVING lately:

  1.  #BoyMom gear-  My guy got me some of these items and I immediately fell in love (with both the man and gear lol).  Really though, I LOVE this line and the fabric is great.  Soft and great quality. In fact, I would like to order some more.  BUT I will say; I am LESS than pleased with their customer service.  I emailed them on August 11 and STILL haven’t heard back. I tried again on the 18th and nothing.  Not a great way to run a business and such a shame because I REALLY like this stuff.  Bummer.

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    #boymom hat and #outnumbered tank 

  2. Neat Solutions Table Toppers-  So, Gabe is now eating at the actual table (still in his highchair but without the tray) as he HAS to eat with the big boys.  True Story.  I tried so hard to clean up well every time he ate but alas I was concerned that my wooden dining table was beginning to get destroyed. So, I remembered these babies from Z’s toddler-hood and boy have they saved me!  I LOVE that they are super easy to use, travel well, are colorful and teach first concepts and disposable!  SUPER easy clean up.  For the win!                                                            Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 3.16.08 PM
  3. Matching outfits- Yea, I’m a #boymom and I am also #outnumbered, however, it does not mean I don’t love matching the boyos with their outfits!  It is super fun!  It makes them easier to find if we are in a crowd and contrary to the picture below, it makes for some amazing photo ops:)           IMG_1513
  4. Gro-Bag wearable blankets– So, after my boys are finished “being swaddled” (age of this depended on their individual needs) I moved right to a wearable blanket with both.  In fact,Z wore his until he was about 2.5  I REALLY LOVE THIS COMPANY and their wearable blankets.  They are a European company and the quality is FABULOUS.  They can be a bit pricey but I use each for about a year (regardless of the “age suggestions”).  It is basically like a sleeping bag for your toddler.  I don’t love the idea of G getting lost under conventional blankets and he is still too young to fix the covers himself, so these are AMAZING!  Because the company is European, they use TOGS as a measurement of weight (thickness of the fabric).  And, if you choose, you can use in the car as well as there is a zipper for car seat buckles.  Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 3.20.59 PM
  5. BIP (Bachelor in Paradise)- I know.  I am so smart though!  Look, I am a fan of this franchise, unabashedly so. Everyone needs to unplug and for me, this works.   Anyone else watching?!  I mean, I was EXTRA stoked to see an old buddy of mine and his beautiful wife (Katie Lowes who plays Quinn on Scandal) on “after Paradise Live.”  This WILL be my treadmill material for tomorrow. Can’t wait!

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    Cannot.  Stop. Laughing at this.  Sorry Shaps!  But Katie looks gorgeous!  LOL

  6. Adult coloring books- YUP!  Finally on that train.  For the past year I kept saying “REALLY!?  COLORING?!” But yea, I totally get it know.  Speaking of unplugging (with BIP or whatever else), I am trying coloring as a way to unwind.  I have a very active mind (and body) and I am hoping that these books will be a super fun and creative way to relax!  Anyone else on this train!?
  7. This hair wand– After seeing some ads for very expensive hair wands, I picked this one up while at the beach (here on Amazon for only $22) because I needed some beach waves, and I am HOOKED.  Seriously, though, Rich (my hair guy)- between the sun COMPLETELY lightening my (natural) blonde hair and this new find, we might be breaking up:)  LOL I kid.  But really, this wand is SOOOOO easy and I am a GOOD judge of that. I am AWFUL with hair.  Get this wand.  NOW.  Do NOT go and spend upwards of 100+ bucks on some fancy schmancy one.  This one ROCKS.
  8. The look of love- I just can’t with this guy.

    The look on his face, though!  OMG.  SOOO lucky.  I have been feeling incredibly blessed lately. Thank you thank you thank you to those who KNOW I am thankful:)  Truly.  Between that guy, my babies, their awesome Dad, my family, our extended families, and all of our collective health, I could not feel more thankful.  Thanks for letting me share!

 

Guest Post! Sunday Inspiration: Melissa’s Story

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Hello hello everyone!  I have been having a great time on vacation and have been SO excited to share this guest post and I thought a Sunday would be a great day for some inspiration.  And boy is this poster inspiring!  So, I admittedly struggled with the title of this post.  Initially had titled it “Melissa’s weight loss story” but, after reading though Melissa’s story a few times, I realized that it is far more than just a “weight loss story.”  I am sure you will agree!  So, without further ado…Here is Melissa!

Editor’s note:  I met Melissa about a decade ago.  We taught together and she is super nice however taught a different grade so we didn’t know each other that well.  She ended up actually photographing my wedding many years ago as part of a dynamic husband/wife photography team.  Check out their Hopkins Studios Page.  I highly recommend them; they are fabulous!  Currently, I enjoy following Melissa’s continued running journey and live vicariously through her “southern” running routes (and recent half Mary in Ireland!). GO MELISSA!

Exercise on Vacation and Abs for Health

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Hello hello!  Boy has it been a great week!

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We are seriously having an amazing time.  I get the question often:  Do you work out on vacation.  Do YOU!?  I most certainly do.  I am a woman of routine, a creature of habit, and on vacation is no difference!  I am also a major nerd and LOVE exploring different gyms (especially nice ones, like the ones here where we are staying; Peninsula Resort). I would LOVE to say that I love seeing different areas on foot, but admittedly my GPS skills are…off.  I spend the whole time on my run worrying about finding my way home.  LOL. True story.  Anyway, I LOVE the gym here.  It is spacious, clean and has GREAT equipment.

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From website

BTW: I have certain standards for a treadmill.  I will pass it up if there is NO FAN. Really! I need a fan blowing in my face.  OK, so logistically, how do I/we make it work?!  Well, I typically work out during the littles’ nap times, so on vacation (at least here) I do the same!  After I nurse G and put him for his nap, I say goodnight to the others (usually S puts them down) and head out to the fitness center.  I have established a LOVELY routine and I am digging it!  I will get my run in, and a few minutes of core…more on that in a bit…then head out to the (adult) pool for some cool down and relaxation.  I will sit and chill and eventually crawl over to the snack bar to snag a soft pretzel with honey mustard dip, a Diet Coke and a fruit salad.

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I know, lunch of champions, but BOY does it taste good at about 3 in the afternoon!  Makes for an awesome late lunch and then I return to our house refreshed and ready for the boys to wake up!  It really works well now, although I shudder to think what will happen when they stop napping (gasp!).  For now, though, it totally works.  OK, now moving on to…ABS! Lol!  So, you’ve heard me talk about my lack of desire to do abs.  More like my belief that if I am on my feet running for at least an hour at a time, I must be strengthening my core.  Right?  Right?!

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Not sure about that theory, however, when I went to my new GP the other week, she didnt exactly seem to agree bahahahhaha.  Well, let me take a step back: I have been noticing this pain in my belly, right under my belly button, that started a few months after G’s brith.  I sort of thought I had a hernia, but didn’t really want to do anything about it, because #needlephobiaisreal. LOL Really though. I am a SUPER wuss.  It really really hurts when G or Z are straddling my hips and being carried that way  (their foot pushes into my belly button area).  So, when I asked my GP, she said I definitely still have some Diastasis Recti from both of my pregnancies and that I needed to “strengthen my core.”  Ouch!  FYI: (from WebMD)

Diastasis recti” means your belly sticks out because the space between your left and right belly muscles has widened. You might call it a “pooch.”  It’s very common among pregnant women. About two-thirds of pregnant women have it.  Newborn babies also can have this belly spread, and it should go away on its own. Men can get it, possibly from yo-yo dieting, from doing sit-ups or weightlifting the wrong way, or from other causes.  Having more than one child makes this condition more likely, especially if they’re close in age. You’re also more likely to get it if you’re over 35 when pregnant, or if you’re having a heavy baby or twins, triplets, or more.  Pregnancy puts so much pressure on the belly that sometimes the muscles in front can’t keep their shape. “Diastasis” means separation. “Recti” refers to your ab muscles called the “rectus abdominis.” When the ab muscles move aside like this, the uterus, bowels, and other organs have only a thin band of connective tissue in front to hold them in place. Without the needed muscle support, a vaginal delivery could be more difficult.   The condition also can cause lower back painconstipation, and urine leaking. It can even make it harder to breathe and to move normally. It’s rare, but in extreme cases, the tissue may tear, and organs may poke out of the opening — that’s called a hernia.  The muscle opening often shrinks after giving birth, but in some studies of women with diastasis recti, the muscle wasn’t back to normal even a year later.

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Anyway, I took this Dr seriously and have been “ab-ing it up” on vacation and I can at least see a little difference?  I haven’t had any pain, but the pain was intermittent so I want to wait a bit before I make a definite conclusion on this.  I LOVED this sign that the gym had- super helpful.  I knew the balls were different sizes for a reason, I just wasn’t exactly sure of the reason:)

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I will do a post soon on what type of ab torture I do:)  In the meantime, tell me about how you do or don’t work out on vacation.  And abs?  

$5.98 Bathing Suits

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Yup.  You heard me right.  Run, don’t walk, to Target. Right now. Find the clearance rack, and….GO!

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Awkwardly modeling one of my new favorites:)

(Top and Bottom)-Get them online now!

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closer look

Guys, I admittedly have not purchased a bathing suit at LEAST since prior to having children.  Scratch that.  I think I bought a skirt-type bottom from Athelta off clearance the first summer after having Z. So….4 years ago.  Anyway, needless to say, my suits were a bit shabby (not chic) and circa 1990s.  So, as I knew I would be going to the beach for a long stretch, it was time to suck it up (buttercup) and go in search of some new swimming digs. I, of course, hit up my favorite store (Target) and scoured the clearance rack while Z and G (shamelessly) watched “C is for cookie” in the cart.  10 minutes and 50 bucks later, I emerged with 6 NEW SUITS!!! Next up is this super cute top I snagged (I matched it with a black swim skirt I already own):

Bummer.  Seems like the bottom only is available online?  So, I am slightly obsessed with this Tori Praver bikini as the top mimics and Olympic Volley ball top (ie- I can jump and move and not fall out) and the bottoms stay on equally well.  I am seeing that bottoms are having the “three string” attachments a lot.  Are you?

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(Couldn’t find exact one online because it is clearance maybe? But here is a similar one, same brand:  Top and Bottom)  I LOVE this Marimekko one that was LITERALLY $5.98 for the top and $5.98 for the bottom!  And in my size!  I LOVE buying separates not only to mix and match but because I am a solid M on top and S on bottom.  So it is is super helpful!

I also picked up this great Marimekko top (for $5.98 also) as it looked great for kid-type activities if you know what I mean:)

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Not sure why things are posting upside down.  Sorry!  But you get the idea!  I will pair this w a solid bottom I already have.

I wish I could link to these babies, but because they (the Marimekko ones) are all clearance you have to go to the store and scour the racks like I did.   Oh, and I snagged this baby at the local Nordstrom Rack-

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It is from last year, but really!?  I don’t care! #allthefloral  OK, so I hope you enjoyed my little round of “find a cheap bathing suit fast” because I sure did!

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PS:  Also snagged this little romper (in picture above) for less than $12 an they still have online here!  I love this color for summer especially when I have a little tan going for me:)

The truth about running and loving a non-runner

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Ooooook!! Hello there!!  Coming at you from vacation and having such a blast!  I wanted to address a topic that I have been asked often: does your man run?

I know.  Super handsome, RIGHT?!

Well, first I laugh😉 and then I say ” thank G-d no!”  I mean, you’d think that I would like to share my love of running w my guy. And there are people who do that and to whom that is super important (to have a partner to run with).  But for me? Absolutely not. I actually prefer to not have a partner who is as into running as me. I mean how annoying am I am about running?!? Could you imagine that times two lol?!? Seriously though, besides the fact that I can be quite the competitive little bitch, I really have always felt that running was a solo sport for me. I have blogged about this in the past and it remains true to this day.  So, no, my guy is NOT a runner. And I am MORE than A-OK with that!  He also doesn’t LIKE running, so why would I EVER want him to do something he doesn’t like?!

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For us, a couple who DOESN’T run together, stays together LOL!

So, speaking of “liking running,” now moving onto another truth about running:  IT SUCKS.  Like sometimes, it REALLY REALLY SUCKS!  Like, when I would truly rather sit on the couch and surf the inter webs while the boys are napping, but KNOW that my running is integral to my training, which is integral to racing well and staying HEALTHY and FIT (and mentally well).  I have fought SO hard to attain the level of fitness that I am right now, and I am unabashedly so proud of myself (insert head pat).  This isn’t really a humble brag and I totally get it if you’ve tuned me out or clicked me closed lol, but sometimes you have to praise yourself for working hard!  It feels SO good to be a able to maintain a daily 6 mile run and feel great. My body is strong and fit and can do amazing things.

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Wave jumping at the pool with my boys

I make a choice each and every day to put on my sneakers. And just do it.  But the point is, it is HARD and sometimes it SUCKS.  I just saw this article pop up on FB and boy is is true!  Fellow runners- how true is this?!IMG_1507

Here are a few things that make me move it when I really don’t feel like it:

  1.  FAKE it.  Plaster on a smile and even take a selfie if that is your thing (I mean, ya’ll know it is mine).  Smile through it.  Sing if you need to.

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    Fake. As. Ever. LOL:)

  2. You WILL feel amazing when you are done
  3. The first ten minutes (mile or so) MIGHT suck but you WILL feel better after that AND you can do ANYTHING for ten minutes.  That mantra helps me a lot.
  4. Remember why you are doing this.  Is it for a race?  For general health?  Getting back into shape?  Losing a bit of extra weight?  For the sheer run (fun) of it ?  Whatever it is, focus on it and WERK.
  5. Whatever you do, it is better than nothing!  (good one, eh?)

Anyway, just a few thoughts as I sit by the pool post run soaking up some rays:) I will be back soon with an AWESOME bathing suit post and a GREAT guest post later in the week form a friend of mine who is incredibly inspirational and will be sharing her weight loss journey!!! Stoked!

10 Things of Late

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Guys.  I am so whupped.  Like legit.  Physically and emotionally I am more exhausted than I have been in a while!  These past couple weeks have been insanely awesome but insanely busy as well!  This is the reason for my blog absence…I know, you totally missed me:) So, without further ado, here are 10 things of late:

  1.  I broke my toe.  And sliced open the bottom of my other foot.  And pulled a calf muscle.  Seriously.  Has it affected my training?  Nope.  Of course not. Because I am insane :  And…Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 2.53.54 PM             (source)  But seriously, last Tuesday I was wrangling the jogging stroller out of the car trunk and as I pulled it out, an enormous shadow box painting (still left in there from the move) fell corner down onto my second to little toe. All of the glass shattered and it was NOT pretty.  I screamed.  A lady across the strew came over as she observed it.  And Gabe laughed.  I didnt think I had broken it initially and thank GOD I had my Newtons on because my normally flip-flopped feet would have been CRUSHED.  I went about my merry way and did my usual 6 miler until around mile 2 it was clear that something was very wrong with my foot.  It hasn’t felt good since.  I’m going to go ahead and diagnose this one myself.  Bummer.  Advil.  Advil. Be warned: TMI grossness coming in 3..2….1…

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    Warned you!  This is days later and after much Advil/ice

  2. This cross body bag has me like woah.  Unfortunately my last Michael Kors cross body pooped the bed a couple weeks ago (obviously overstuffed with diapers, etc.) and it had given me a good run.                                   IMG_0375I needed a new one asap bc I do not leave the house without a cross body typically.  I saw a teacher at Z’s school with a super cute one (again MK) so I went over to Century 21 and got myself one STAT!  I kinda love it.  It is stone/grey (one of my favorite colors) and nylon so when I inevitable spill a juice box in there or a million other things, I can wipe it down.

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    Dig it.  

  3. Double Knot- This Phila restaurant that is new to me, shares its kitchen with Sam Pan, another favorite.  We went on a double date there last week and it is FABULOUS! Go try it!

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    This girl ROCKS!  Also one of my faves!

  4. Transformer chocolate molded lollipops are easy and a total crowd pleaser!  Get the molds here and the melting color wafers hereIMG_0901
  5. Transfomers cakes are equally cool!  So, I will do an entire post dedicated to a Transformers bday party theme as it does deserve its own post for sure, but for now, check out this cake:Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 3.10.47 PM
  6. I also made a simpler sheet cake for our at-home party and I LOVED the sugar sheet I ordered-the company was AWESOME!  Get yours here!  It was so simple and beautiful!

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    I know, how about those boys in this pic?!  How stinkin’ cute?!

  7. HAIR!  OK, I’ve been meaning to shout this out on my blog, and I have gotten a few questions about this.  My hair guy Richard is AMAZING!  I love everything about him:)  He is over at Tundella & Co on 2nd and Chestnut.  Thank me later:)IMG_1128
  8. Chuck E. Cheese is a great place to have a birthday party.  That’s it:)
  9. True Story- I lost my car AND house keys (on same ring) a couple months ago.  No joke, I FINALLY got them back yesterday!  Turned out someone at the park found them and I finally saw the sign yesterday! BIG WIN!

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    Beyond stoked!!!!

  10. And finally…adult shirts look BEYOND cute on little kids:)IMG_1203

And because this adorable dude has not made an appearance on today’s post…

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Date Night Done Right

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Hello everyone!  Happy August!  So, I wanted to do a post on how we manage to have dates while running a household with 3 boys!  Guess what?  It isn’t easy but it is SO important!  Any parent of young children knows that the days consist of much running, doing, going, caring, etc and that by the time the bedtime hour rolls around, both parents are DONE-ZO and the last thing on anyone’s mind is date night.

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BUT, we also know the importance of maintaining the personal relationship with your partner as the cornerstone of the family.  My guy and I have been doing this dating thing for quite some time but it NEVER gets old.  Yea, I’m kinda into him😉  I credit this to his amazing personality, love for me, super good looks:) and our persistence in maintaining our relationship.  One REALLY important rule we always follow is that Mama gets greeted first when the dude walks in the door.  It really helps us to set the tone and the children to see this as well.   OK, so the other thing is doing date night right.  Here are our top 3 date night suggestions with all different sitter/no sitter combos:

  1.  NO SITTER= HOTEL NIGHT– You guys know that I love the bedroom to mimic a hotel setup; very zen, calm, serene and clean.  So, we like to do a hotel night every few weeks where we LITERALLY pretend we are in a hotel.  We gather EVERYTHING we will need for our night and lock the bedroom door. We rent a movie and eat IN BED!  I LOVE eating in bed.  SO much.

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    Sorry babe!  He is going to kill me.  

  2. SITTER FOR AN HOUR (or at the tail end of your kiddos’s school)= CHEESE PLATE DATE!- We love love love cheese, fancy drinks and people watching, so this date is the best!  I only have one babysitter that we use (Zach’s teacher) so we don’t get our that often unless my mom watches the boys.  I don’t like leaving her for too long so this one hour date is just perfect!  Our favorite time is a friday afternoon happy hour. As you guys know, we don’t drink, so you could spruce up this date with some adult bevies but we stick to cheese, san pellegrino and flirting:)  Our favorite place for this date is Talulah’s Table on Washington square.  It is next to Talulah’s Garden, one of our favorite restaurants, and the cheese plates are LEGIT!  The accoutrements are to die for and this baby fills us up enough for dinner! We also love to follow up our cheese plate date with a trip through the national rose garden around the corner for us. What a treat!

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  3. NIGHT SITTER= RESTAURANT- I know, seems obvious, however, it is fun to note that getting dressed up and going out on the town can be super helpful in connecting with your partner and disconnecting from the crazy life parents live!  Our 3 favorite date night restaurants in the city are:a.  Talulahs Garden (previously mentioned)

    b. Al Fourno (a hole in the wall amazing Italian restaurant at 6th and South)

    c.  Ocean Prime (complete with a private investigator to mind your doings—-I’ll tell you the whole story soon)

How is THAT for a before and after lol?!  Anyway, hope one or more of these ideas struck your fancy and I would LOVE to know what your favorite date night is!  Do share!

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YUM.