Thursday, October 30, 2014

Five 30 Day Fitness Challenges

During the holidays we're all tempted by various indulgences. Lets be honest -- it's hard not to give in. The key is not over indulging. To help keep you accountable this year I challenge you to a 30 day fitness challenge. There are a number of fitness challenges out there. Pick one that works for you. Maybe it's walking everyday for an hour or working on push-ups. The goal is to keep moving. Plus, you might think twice about the second cookie. Here are five 30 day challenges to get you started.

Core and legs -- my two favorite areas to workout. This is a great option because you're mixing up movements over 30 days.


Yes, I went there. I heard you sigh. This might sound crazy, but I love burpees. Practice makes perfect. Trust me when I say the more you do the easier they get. Check out these five reasons why you should do burpees everyday.


Not looking to focus on one area the full body challenge is for you.


Core is key. Having a weak core can cause other issues like a lower back problems, poor posture, etc. Remember to focus on form.


I personally could use a bit more stretching in my life. This is the perfect challenge while pregnant.


What 30 day challenge are you committing to?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Second Trimester Favorites

Happy Monday!

Today the gals behind Monday Morning Gossip, Leann and Kimberlee, are featuring yours truly! Stop by, link up, and say hi!

We had a mellow weekend at home complete with a Halloween party, nursery planning, World Series (Go Giants!), dog walks and some baking :)

It's hard to believe I'm quickly approaching the third trimester -- I'm talking two weeks! Seriously, where has the time gone? With that said, I thought it was safe to share what I've been loving the last three months. I must say life hasn't changed much other than a growing belly ;)

Second Trimester Favorites

Friday I chatted about healthy snacks and mentioned my love for Lara Bars. However, these are my go-to bars right now. Each bar is around 200 calories making them the perfect afternoon snack. Enjoy a bar alone or with a piece of fruit. My personal favorites include: Almond & Apricot, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Pomegranate Blueberry Pistachio and Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate.

I'm not a soda drinker -- never have been. I've been loving sparkling water this entire pregnancy. We call it "Tiara wine/beer." If you've never tried Hint Water or Hint Fizz pick up a bottle the next time you're shopping. It's a healthy alternative to soda and flavored water. Plus, they taste good too!

One of my favorite maternity purchases to-date. I think my co-workers are going to get tired of me wearing it. I now have two :) Tip: stick with your pre pregnancy size. 

 I workout a lot -- even pregnant. Love these tanks. From the material to length they are perfect for everything from walking to crossfit. Yes, I still go to crossfit at 26 weeks!

Every morning I cover my belly with lotion. Honestly, I switch between the Burt's Bees and Kirkland Aloe lotion and so far so go. I also just added the belly butter into the mix a few weeks ago when I noticed my belly growing a bit quicker. It's not too thick and doesn't have a heavy fragrance which are both wins in my book.

Last month I mentioned all my favorite lip balms, but seriously I apply chapstick/moisturizer like it's going out of style. I love Origins and their lip balm is some of the best out there.

Often referred to as baby spanks at our house the BeBand has been a great purchase. After hearing great things about the BeBand I picked one up from Target. I loved it so much I bought another. The two bands (black & tan) have allowed me to continue to wear pre pregnancy pants and shorts throughout my second trimester! The band isn't bulky and is extremely lightweight. 

Sometimes you just need a small afternoon snack. I love dried fruit and mango is my go-to. 

Staying healthy and strong during and post pregnancy is a major goal. I really enjoy the fit tips and recipes in this magazine. Not interested in buying a subscription check out the website.

Friday, October 24, 2014

5 Healthy Snacks Under 300 Calories

Since becoming pregnant it would be safe to say I've been snacking a bit more. Instead of turning to chips, candy bars, etc. I've been focusing on good for me treats. Plus my doctor told me from the get go to only eat an additional 300 calories a day. It's amazing what you can eat for under that amount. Below are 5 snacks I'm loving right now.

1. Lara Bars -- Best on the go snack. Each bar is around 220 calories. There are 22 awesome gluten free flavors to choose from. My personal favorites include peanut butter chocolate chip, carrot cake, cherry pie and cashew cookie.



2. Veggies + Hummus -- My new Favorite afternoon snack! Carrots, celery sticks or cucumber slices are perfect with a little hummus. However, keep it to 3-4 tablespoons of hummus.

3. Apple Slices + Nut Butter (Peanut/Almond) -- Who doesn’t love a bowl of sliced apples with peanut butter? The healthier option is Almond butter, but it might not sound good all of the time. With two tablespoons of peanut butter this snack is just under the 300 calorie mark.

4. Green Smoothie -- Typically I start my day off with a green smoothie, but they make a delicious afternoon snack too. There are a number of different recipes to try I suggest checking out Pinterest or purchasing a smoothie book. A clean green smoothie is about 180 calories, but will depend on ingredients and serving size.


5. Greek Yogurt + Granola -- every so often I like to indulge in a sweet treat and greek yogurt is a healthy alternative. There are a number of brands and flavors, but my go-to is red raspberry with vanilla bear naked granola.

Happy snacking.

Linking up with September Farm & A. Liz Adventures

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Everyday Handbag


Every woman should have a great everyday handbag. This is a bag that you can wear everyday with any outfit. Usually it's black or brown, but sometimes you can find a fun seasonal color that just seems to work. Personally I'm willing to spend money on a quality handbag because guess what I'm probably going to have it for awhile. I also l prefer leather.

Over the summer I picked up a classic black hobo from J.Crew, but now I'm on the hunt for the perfect brown handbag. It's out there!

There are a number of things to keep in mind when shopping -- lifestyle, functionality, body shape, size, material, etc. While scouring the web I came across Rue La La's Handbags 101

If you were to dump out my bag this morning you would probably find everything from sunglasses, multiple lip glosses, iPad, to a Kind bar among a number of other things. Adding a kid into the mix come January will add a whole new element.

What's a great everyday bag for a mom-to-be?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Did I have you at pumpkin or chocolate? Honestly, chocolate makes almost everything taste good, but it make any bad day better. I definitely had a case of the Mondays yesterday, shhh don't tell my boss. So naturally what would any pregnant woman do? Duh, bake cookies!

Side note: if it was a workout night I would have workout and then baked cookies! Lucky me tomorrow is a double day so I'm not worried about any amount of calories from said cookie. Winning!

Ok, so more about the cookies. I wish I had an old family recipe to share, but alas I don't. Instead I called up my friend Pinterest via the internet and asked her for the best pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe. Oh boy, she had a few cookie recipes to share.These are definitely on deck -- Brown Butter Nutella-Stuffed Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies and Melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin cookies!


Since I didn't feel like going to the store I had to work with ingredients on hand, but trust me these classic pumpkin chocolate chips cookies were perfect! The best part -- I was able to use my new freestanding slide-in oven range!! Worked like a dream.


Sally's Baking Addiction // Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: about 18


Ingredients
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
Whisk melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until no lumps remain. Mix in the vanilla and pumpkin until smooth and set aside.

In another bowl mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and pumpkin spice. Using a stand mixer combine flour and pumpkin mixture. The dough will be very soft. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes. This step is mandatory.

While dough is chilling preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Drop tablespoon sized balls on cookie sheet -- flatted the bottom slightly. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and under baked. Cooking them any longer may dry them out. Let them cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

Enjoy with a glass of soy, almond or regular milk!

Linking up with Lisa love John!

Giveaway update: Thank you to everyone who entered the Hamilton Beach Giveaway! Congratulations to Natalie -- her favorite slow cooker meal is seafood chowder with lump crabmeat and shrimp. Happy cooking.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Baby Registry // Essentials

Since finding out we were expecting a girl and now that our baby shower in San Diego is quickly approaching I've been busy researching baby gear. After scouring the web and talking to friends I'm feeling good about our registry picks {Amazon / Target}. Well at least today I am. While putting together our registry I had a few goals -- 1.) Duel purpose 2.) Quality 3.) Gender neutral.  


Baby Registry

A registry isn't complete without swaddle blankets. I have a few friends who swear by aden + anais. I'm also very intrigued by the aden + anais easy swaddle blanket. They seem like a no brainer.

I struggled over deciding which pack'n play to registry for. Since we decided to forgo a stand alone bassinet we picked a pack'n play with a bassinet. We'll use this in our room until transitioning to the crib. Remember dual purpose. A friend mentioned she couldn't have lived without a bouncy seat, swing, and rock'n'play. She has two kids so we put them on the list as well. 

Oh, the babe is going to need lots of fun activity toys to keep her busy when she's not strapped to mom or sleeping. I love the woodland theme! A few other recommendations were a exersaucer and  jumpy seat. I have a feeling this girl is going to be an active one so these are great items for her to hang, bounce, twirl and play.

Clearly a car seat is a must. We decided on the Graco Snugride based on reviews, color options and BOB Infant Car Seat Adapter. Since she'll out grow the infant car seat in seven to eight months we also registered for the Britax Boulevard G4 Plus.

I was looking for durable bottles. Plus glass bottles can be washed in the dishwasher!  Besides the Lifefactory bottles I would be happy with Dr. Brown's glass bottles. Both have great reviews, but Dr. Brown's bottles are a better price point. Win, win.

Oh, the great stroller debate. One or two. Jogger or non-jogger. For us it was somewhat easy. From the beginning I knew I wanted a jogger. From there it was just determining which one. Nick would rather purchase the Thule Chariot because it can also attach to the back of a bike, but it's so big! They offer various attachments to make life easier too -- single snack traystroller handlebar console and infant car seat adapter 

There are going to be times when a stroller really isn't handy or I'm running around the house, but am with my girl. This is where a carrier comes into play. I personally like the Ergo baby and the performance carrier is geared towards the active parent. Again, I opted for the gender neutral color. For times I don't feel the Ergo is necessary and based on my colleagues recommendation I also registered for the Boba Wrap which is practically the Happy Wrap just a bit cheaper.

You'll need something to set all the washed bottles/ etc. on. This is just cute. End of story.

If you plan on breast feeding I hear the boppy is nice to have. A friend also suggested registering for at least two covers as they tend to catch any spit up in the beginning and who wants to do laundry every day?! For the same reason we ordered multiple mattress and changing pad covers.

Because my girl needs a cute teether!

Wow, that was a lot to digest. Honestly, I received so many great tips from friends. These are just a few of the ideas from our baby registry. Wondering what else we registered for? Head over to Amazon and Target. See something you think we're missing? I would love to hear your thoughts and advice. It's going to be a learning process for the next 18 years and beyond! Ha.

Linking up with Join the Gossip

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bump Update // 25 Weeks


Dress
 
How far along: 
Exactly 25 weeks today! 

Baby's size:
Our peanut is the size of an cauliflower. About 13.6 inches and 1.5lbs.Just crazy!

Weight gain: 
Roughly 11 pounds. Right on track. I think it's all going to my butt.

Food cravings:
Sorry, not much to report here. However, never send a hungry pregnant woman to the store. Unless it's sample day at Costco.

Sleep:
Sleeping great! Only waking up once in the middle of the night..
 
Gender:
Team Pink  {reveal

Movement:
More everyday. She's really active after working out. Future athlete in the making.
 

 Best moment this week:
Having a quiet weekend without any visitors. Becoming a Fitfuential Ambassador!

Miss anything?
I'm starting to sound like a broken record here -- glass of wine, seasonal beer, sushi and breathless workouts. With the holidays quickly approaching it's going to get even harder.

Symptoms:
Had the sniffles the other week. Figured out that my body isn't use to greek yogurt any more earlier this week. Had a burn in my throat afterwards. I was just trying to introduce the baby to dairy other than ice cream and mix up my afternoon snack. Back to no dairy (for the most part) I guess.

Workouts: 
CrossFit, spin and walking/running. I'm still logging up to seven gym workouts a week. I'm just trying to maintain.  Fingers crossed I'll be able to maintain working out for the next 15 weeks.

My "Pregnancy" Workout Schedule 

Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday
1 hour of walking at an incline of 3-5 and 3-3.5 pace
15-30 pushups and 30-50 air squats (I usually do these at the end of the day while I'm watching TV)
If I'm feeling crazy side planks and pulls-ups

Tuesday/Thursday
In the morning my workout includes a 30-45 minute treadmill warmup -- walking/running depending on what feels good -- then 50 minute spin. After work I head to CrossFit for the WOD -- I modify whatever movement I need  to.  Last night was 1,000m row, 50 thrusters and 30 pull-ups for time.

Saturday/Sunday  
Depending on how I'm feeling maybe a quick circuit followed by a 50 minute spin session Saturday morning. Definitely a few dog walks, maybe a hike or bike ride and lots of stretching.
  
I posted this photo on instagram last week. Me pre-pregnancy (March/2014) vs. 24 weeks and about to head to the gym at 5 a.m.


Maternity Clothes?
 Yes and no. I've bought a few pieces, but still find a good amount of my clothes still work. Honestly, I need to buy more workout gear -- specifically pants. Most of my tops still work, but pants are just feeling too tight across my belly. 

Mood:
Overall, happy. I did cry last week when we decided to push the kitchen remodel back because we can't find a contractor to take on the project! It's been a frustrating few weeks. They're either too busy or just not interested.

Looking forward to:
Decorating the baby room! The crib was ordered last week. Now we just have to clear out the room, pick a paint color and start picking out all the other elements. I can't wait to share what I'm refinishing for the room. Hint: It's actually mine from when I was a child! It's amazing what we (more like parents) hold on to over the years.

Linking up with September Farm 
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