Life lately

For the most part, I stick with all things fashion on this blog. Every now and then I’ll talk about my favorite recipes or my workouts, but I never dive in to the real day to day things. Mostly because I’m not sure if my readers are interested, but I do love it when my fellow bloggers give me a peek into their personal lives. After all, I always love to hear how people manage their lives: work, babies, relationships, meal prep…etc.

Zach is 6.5 months old now and he is the sweetest, most mellow and smiley little boy who is always laughing. Kendall is turning 4 in late September and is the most tender and caring big sister. Zach looks at her with so much love and admiration, it makes me heart burst! Life with two kids is very rewarding, but it’s also a lot of work. Here’s my life lately…

Sleeping: I’m so thankful that Zach is a great sleeper. He takes two naps during the day and sometimes an evening cat nap. Lately he’s dropped that because he’s too excited to see everyone when we all get home. He goes to bed at 7pm and wakes up at 7am (he still takes a dream feed, which we are slowly starting to wean). In the morning I hear him “talking” in his crib and I’ll let Kendall go in there and play in there with him for a few minutes before I get them ready for the day. It’s so sweet to hear her talking to him, telling him secrets (yes, she totally whispers in his ear) and to hear him giggling. Kendall is in bed between 7:30-8 at night and up around 7-7:30. She still takes an afternoon nap (about 1-2 hours) but I can tell she might drop that completely in the next 6 months or so. Putting both the kids on a sleep schedule was an absolute must for me. Research shows that instilling good sleep habits in babies helps them with successful sleep patterns later in life. I followed this book by Tracy Hogg to sleep train both Kendall and Zach and it worked beautifully.

Breastfeeding: I nursed Kendall for 6 months and I had the same goal with Zach. Unfortunately, I only made it to 5.5 months with Zach. He always took a bottle really well, but out of no where he stopped nursing. I continued to pump, only to pump less and less each time. I became really frustrated and sad and finally decided to wean. It was actually a really hard decision for me and I felt really sad and constantly questioned if I was doing the right thing. I didn’t experience this with Kendall so it surprised me. The process seemed a lot harder, too. I was extremely uncomfortable and my hormones seemed completely out of control. To be honest, my hormones still aren’t at homeostasis, but I can tell each week I’m feeling more like myself and I’m trying to be really patient while my body as it continues to recover from pregnancy.

Navigating nap schedules: Weekends are carefully orchestrated to revolve around both kid’s nap schedules. I’m OK with Kendall skipping her nap every once in a while (it’s starting to become a power struggle to get her to take one anyway) but I will not sacrifice Zach’s naps. This means we have small windows of time to get out and do things as a family, but I know this will only be for a few more months until Zach transitions to just one nap a day. Keeping Zach on his schedule is so important to me because I know it’s best for him and it ensures I don’t have to deal with a cranky baby. A win-win for both of us!

Going from one to two babies: Maybe I could write a book about my experience, but I’ll keep it short and sweet. The experience with Zach is so different. When we just had Kendall as a baby, it was so much easier! But I had NO idea during that time. When she was asleep at 7pm, my husband and I had the evening to ourselves which was so amazing and necessary. When Zach was born, the nighttime routine was stressful. But that was short lived and now we’re in a really good groove and routine. That being said, the routine still seems to take a long time. As soon as we’re all home, we eat dinner together, then bath time (usually the kids take it together which is awesome and a huge time saver), Zach has his bottle and goes down quickly by 7pm, then Kendall has two books read to her and goes to sleep. Sounds simple on paper, but let’s be real, Kendall is the queen of stalling her routine. By 8pm, my husband and I have some time to ourselves to clean up the kitchen, prep for the next day, and watch a little TV. I’m in bed by 9:30 and lights out by 10!

Postpartum stuff: 

  • My hair just stopped falling out in huge chunks. Little baby hairs are growing in and my hair seems to be a little more manageable.
  • My rib cage is still really wide, but I expected this. It took over a year for it to go back after having Kendall.
  • My clothes still don’t fit like they used to. I expected this also, but it’s still super frustrating! It was around 9 months postpartum with Kendall that I actually started recognizing my body again. Patience is key!
  • My skin is finally back to normal. It got really dry when I was pregnant and for a while postpartum. In fact, I think it’s the best it’s been in a while!
  • I have no desire to drink alcohol yet. I’m not sure why! I had a glass of wine the other night and just didn’t feel good from it. I’m hopeful I’ll be in the mood for it soon because it’s kind of nice to have a drink with my husband at the end of the day.
  • I’m usually pretty tired. I think this is a given. Between working full time, keeping up with two kids, blogging, and waking up early in the morning to run, I’m tired! On top of all this, I have to remember that I’m only 6.5 months postpartum and I need to be patient with my body as it recovers from pregnancy.

This is my life in a nutshell! It’s so easy to fill in the gaps of my life from my social media. But there’s so much more that goes on around the pictures I post. If you’re interested in peeking into more personal parts of my life, leave a comment and let me know what you want to hear more about!

 

Favorite workout gear

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I fall into the category of fitness freak. I started running when I was 10 years old and it’s no surprise since my parents were big time runners back in the day. I remember my sister and I excitedly handing them iced water when they would return from a long run. Running is my lifestyle — it’s how I have found some of my best friends, it’s taught me how to be part of a team but also how to be a leader, it’s taught me discipline and it has taken me on so many amazing adventures.

I get a lot of questions around what I wear when I run; everything from running shoes to the best dri-fit hat. I’ve rounded up my top favorites. But I have to point out, this sports bra and this top are an absolute must have! Also, I’ve been running in these shoes for years but recently switched to these. They’re more expensive but they fit better in the toe box so I went for it!

My Garmin watch is an absolute must have. It shows me everything like my splits, average time per mile, distance and even how to get back home. I sync it with my Strava app which is a really fun way to see how/what other people are running.

What’s your favorite workout gear?

Shirt dress

Wow, it has been super hot in Southern California this past week. It’s challenging to wear an outfit to work that is both appropriate and keeps me cool. Shirt dresses are both plus they’re universally flattering. And a major bonus is how easy it is to throw it on in the morning. I’m dressed in 60 seconds and still have time for coffee – talk about a win! It’s time to stock up on a wardrobe staple by shopping some of my favorites…

Cozy favorites

If you’re like me, you change into “chill clothes” immediately after coming home. I love a good matching pajama set, a beautiful robe and a luxurious sweatshirt and pants. I ran into Loft the other day on a complete whim and was immediately drawn to their Lou and Grey section. I had heard of them before, probably from another blogger, and their clothes are literally the most luscious thing I’ve ever worn. I decided to treat myself to these pants and this sweatshirt as my first Lou & Grey set. I really wanted this dress and this hooded cardigan. Maybe next time! What’s your favorite thing to wear at home?

More cozy favorites…

Getting back into my workout routine

If you’ve followed me for a long time, you know I’m a big runner. Since I was 10 years old I’ve been racing competitively and it’s by no surprise; my parents were competitive runners back in the day! Now that I’ve had my second baby, finding time to workout does not come easy. Gone are the days of running at my leisure at any hour of the day. Now I’m often up before the sun to get my run in before the kids are awake. And I have to admit, I really like getting my run in before my day starts. But I would be lying if I said it was easy. Here are five things that help me get motivated for my workout:

  1. No electronics before bedtime: Since my alarm is set for 4:42am (yes, those two extra minutes make a big difference!) that means I need to hit the sack early. If I look at my phone before bed I will go down the Instagram rabbit hole. I need to have the lights out no later than 10pm, but I always shoot for 9:30pm.
  2. Prepare as much as possible: Nothing is worse than looking around for your workout clothes in the dark when you’re still half asleep. I lay my clothes and Garmin watch out the night before and make sure I have breakfast somewhat prepped (more about that here).
  3. Have good gear: Make sure you have supportive shoes that aren’t too worn down. These are my absolute favorites – I’ve been wearing them since I first started running! Having good gear that you feel good in and doesn’t bother you while working out is super important. See my must haves below.
  4. Set a goal: Start small and then keep adding on to your goal. You might be setting yourself up for failure if you go from nothing to saying you’ll work out 5 days a week. Start slowly and listen to your body. Be kind to yourself!
  5. Find a friend: I am fortunate enough to run with an amazing team comprised with some of my best friends. They keep me accountable for staying in race shape and they make it fun! Try to find a local group that you can meet at least 1-2 times a week.

What are some of the ways you find time for exercise? Comment below!

 

 

 

Summer dreaming

With super warm weather scheduled for this weekend, I can’t help but dream about summer: warm nights, tanned skin and easy dressing. I live for the days when you throw on a suit and head out the door. Below are a few of my favorite summer finds…

 

 

 

 

Postpartum fitness

Background:

After I had my daughter, I became obsessed with reading about how other women got in shape postpartum. My body had gone through so many changes and I worried it would never go back. But guess what? It did. I thought I’d share my postpartum fitness, my goals and a little roundup about what I eat in a day.

Now before I dive in, let me acknowledge that I’m a competitive runner, usually averaging around 45-50 miles a week and racing local races on the weekends. With each of my pregnancies, I ran until I was 20 weeks pregnant. At that point, it became uncomfortable and I didn’t enjoy it at all. I used the time to take a break both mentally and physically. I like to let you know that before you read on, so you don’t think I’m full blown crazy for how much I run!

My fitness goals:

After my first pregnancy, I returned back to my pre-pregnancy weight after I was done breast feeding (around 7 months postpartum). I’m the kind of person who holds on to weight while nursing (bummer, huh?) so I’m realistic that the 5 pounds I’m holding on to now (why does it feel like 500?) will be there until end of summer when I’m no longer BF’ing.

My main goal is to get my core strength back by working on my pelvic floor muscles first (those are the muscles that are deep in your core that basically hold everything together).

My first race will most likely be over Memorial weekend where I’ll race a 5k. I’d love to just break 20 minutes! My PR is 17:32 (track) and 18:09 (road).

Week at a glance:

Monday: 5 miles usually pushing the stroller

Tuesday: track workout with my team – just started back two weeks ago. Warm up, 2 x 800 meters, 2 x 400 meters, cool down. OR tempo run followed by strides

Wednesday: 4-5 miles easy and core work

Thursday: 5 miles

Friday: off

Saturday: 6 miles

Sunday: core work

This schedule is not rigid at all. Let’s be honest, I have a 3.5 month old and I’m still getting up in the middle of the night with him. If you watch my Insta Stories, you’ll see that sometimes I run at night when both the kids are sleeping. When my son is sleeping through the night, I’ll wake up early to get my run in so I don’t have to worry about fitting it in later that day. I’ll slowly work my way back up to 40+ mile weeks.

Motivating peeps to follow:

@siss_fit – two sisters who have awesome HIIT workouts you can do anywhere. I love their account because it’s really motivating and they give really great tips, too.

@lovebylynn – I followed Lynn right after I had my daughter. I love her videos and you can do everything from home with minimal equipment. She also has a lot of tips on healthy eating.

@emilyskyefitness – this Australian beaut puts together killer HIIT workouts. She’s super positive and has great energy.

@kayla_itsines – who doesn’t follow her?! Love her workouts which feature tons of squats and burpees. Ouch!

 

What I eat in a day:

I’m a creature of habit, so this doesn’t change too much!

Breakfast: avocado toast, coffee. Sometimes I’ll make Quaker Oats and mix it with frozen blueberries, Greek yogurt and honey, YUM!

Lunch: lately I’ve been eating a lot of leftovers. Usually it’ll consist of something like: rice, some kind of vegetable like broccoli, chicken and shredded cheese. Or I’ll make tuna, mix it with spinach and chopped bell pepper.

Snack: this is always really random. It might be almonds, fig newtons, peanut butter and banana…you get the picture.

Dinner: my protein is always chicken, fish or ground turkey. I make sure there’s always a vegetable and usually some kind of carb. I’m a carb lover and I don’t shy away from them too much. After all, I need it with all my running!

Dessert: I literally never skip dessert. I have a massive sweet tooth, especially after dinner. I’ll either have homemade cookies, some ice cream or a piece (or like 5 pieces) of chocolate.