Friday, October 24, 2014

Five Things.

1. Miami.
Early morning beach walks.
Hanging by the pool/Monkey Jungle.
Last week, we went to Miami for a short vacation and I think it was the perfect time to go. It was hot enough to swim in the ocean and pool, but there wasn't any humidity or crowds. It was great and Sawyer fell in love with the beach. Every morning he would wake up and say, "Beach! Let's go!" Another bonus was that our hotel had free beach toys for little ones, so we spent our days building sandcastles and digging holes.


2. Homestead Farm.

Friday, we went to Homestead Farm. We went last year too, but this year, Sawyer actually got it-mostly, meaning he could finally walk around by himself. I love this farm because of the hayride to the pumpkin patch, the small petting zoo, and the large farmers market. It's simple and not too gimmicky, which I really like.

*Last year's post on Homestead.

3. MOPS

MOPS started for me two weeks ago and I really like it. I didn't do it last year because we moved too late and all the groups were full, but looking back that was probably for the better since last fall was such a transition time for us. But last week, our speaker talked about friendship and how there's your inner circle, your outer circle, and the friends you have to walk away from. It was interesting and I don't know if I agree with all her points, but I loved our table discussion afterwards. We talked about friendships we had to say goodbye to or how we are holding tight to friendships when there isn't a lot of time during this season. It was good and I can't wait for the rest of the year.

4. Parenthood.

I know I'm 6 years late on this, but Z and I have started watching Parenthood. We're only on season 1, but we're really liking it. Definitely check it out if you haven't already.

5. Butternut Soup.

It's soup season! At least it is in our house. We made this soup last week and it was a huge hit. Here's a link to the recipe we used.

Momfessionals

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Keeping In Shape While Caring for a Toddler

Ever since I've become a Mom, it's been hard to make time for myself, but keeping a healthy lifestyle is important to me, so I try to squeeze in a work-out whenever I can. I think that's the trick-at least for me-is that there is never going to a perfect time every day or week-to-week, so I just need to try to squeeze it in whenever I can. For me, these are some things that I do:

1. Walk dates.

Instead of sitting inside and playing with toys, I try to invite a friend over once a week for a long walk date. We put the kids in the stroller and just walk. The walk times vary, but most of the time they are about an hour each and I try to include routes that have hills, so I can get a bit of a leg workout in there.  This is my favorite way to work out because I get to be with Sawyer, we're outside, and I get to hangout with a girlfriend while I burn a few extra calories.

2. Gym with Kids Zone.

I knew when we moved to DC, I wouldn't be able to do long walks during the winter, so we joined a gym. We made sure to chose one that was reasonable in price and more importantly, had childcare. Whenever we have a morning free, I try to drop in on a class. Sometimes, when its one of those days where Sawyer and  I just need a break from each other, I grab a book and just jump on a bike to read. It's a little bit of me time during the day that really reenergizes me and makes ready to jump back into motherhood when I'm done.

3.  Couple Time

Whenever Z is home, we try to work out together. This could mean a quick 20-minute walk before dinner or taking a class together on a Saturday. It's something we like to do together to reconnect and spend time together.

4. Plan It.

At the beginning of the week, I schedule in workout times in my planner. I don't say what it's going to be, I just write, "Work out!" This way I give myself grace if I can't make it to the gym and all I have time to do is a quick 15 minute run in the morning before Z goes to work. This could also mean watching a youtube video-I love Tone It Up videos-while Sawyer is taking a nap, but just putting it my planner helps me to know that I have to fit it in there at least sometime during the day.

That's how I try to fit in exercise and fitness throughout my week. How do you do it? Any tricks or tips that you use?

Friday, October 17, 2014

17 Weeks.

(Non-maternity summer dress from Loft)
17 weeks and 2 weeks until we find out the gender! I swear I don't know where the time goes. When we went in at 15 weeks, I felt like it would be forever until the 30th when we find out baby #2's sex, but really the days are just zooming by. It'll be the 30th before we know it and I couldn't be more excited. Our tech gave us a prediction at 12 weeks and it went against my motherly instinct, so I'm anxious and excited to see whose right.

In terms of symptoms, I feel great for the most part. My only real complaint is sleep, but that's been a constant since the first trimester. I wake up several times throughout the night and am usually up and ready to go by 6 am. It's really frustrating and I try to take little cat naps whenever I can on the weekend, but during the day I feel like a zombie. A girlfriend over the summer wrote me to ask if everything was okay because I seemed worn out and had an overall lack of energy. At that point, I wasn't telling anyone I was pregnant, so I just tried to blame it on a busy toddler and Z traveling a lot for work, but in reality, it was the not sleeping thing. I really hope that as this pregnancy continues, I'm able to get some rest and finally sleep through the night.

Other than being really tired, I feel great during the day. No food aversions, no back pain, and no nausea. Thank God.

Another big thing that I've been trying to do and have actually been pretty bad at lately is exercise. I have weeks where I go to the gym 3-4 times a week for a Zumba, yoga or pilates class, but recently, I just can't find the time. I try to squeeze in 20 minute walks here and there, but I really want and need to do a better job at staying active.

The one thing that I'm really looking forward to is feeling the babe move. I haven't yet and I keep touching my belly throughout the day hoping that I'll feel something. I would love to have that reassurance that everything is alright and that baby is doing just fine. Really hoping this happens within the next week or two.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sawyer's Second Birthday Party

This last weekend, we hosted Sawyer's birthday party! We invited some of Sawyer's friends to play at a nearby park, have some pumpkin cupcakes, and to hangout. This birthday was really simple. I bought a few balloons, got a veggie tray, popped some popcorn, had orange slices, and got some juice boxes for the kids. For birthday favors, I bought some blue favor bags and filled them with Halloween candy. All really simple, but nice.

I picked Bluemont Park in Arlington because it fit the train theme and also because the whole park is fenced it. It allowed parents to relax a bit.
Sawyer was distracted the whole time, so I didn't get a good picture of him smiling at the camera. However, these two pictures show the cute train shirt that I got him for the occasion. I had the number 2 added on and the etsy shop I ordered it from was great. Quick and great service. You can find more shirts like that in their shop here.  

The personalized cupcake toppers were great! I got them here

Afterwards, we opened gifts at home and munched on pizza with friends and family.

It was a great party and one where I was so thankful for the little community that we've made throughout the last year. It's really been such a blessing to have my parents close by and our friends who make Sawyer's life so full.

I didn't post any pictures of us singing to him or eating pumpkin cupcakes because his friends were in them and I don't feel comfortable showing them, but think cute toddlers with icing all over. :)



Friday, October 3, 2014

Five Things Friday--Skincare.

The hospital that I'm going to deliver at has a very holistic approach to pregnancy and labor and delivery, which is a huge reason that we decided to go with them. They give Mothers a nutritional guideline to meals and also a exercise regiment to follow. I have been trying hard to follow my new diet and since I've started this clean eating journey, I've decided to do a over-haul on other areas of my life as well.

As a Mom and one whose work is now starting back up, I feel like I don't have a lot of time for me. This last month though, I've made small adjustments and have already started to feel better about myself. The first being really investing in my skincare routine.

Skincare. 

I really like Chriselle Lim and her youtube videos, especially the one about her 7 skincare secrets. She gives some really good tips like finding a product you like and sticking to it for a long time to reap the benefits. Here are some of the products I just started using and now, love.

Lacome

Lacome 


Lacome Creme Mousse Confort--I love this product and it's price tag. I have sensitive skin and this cleanser doesn't cause irritation or breakouts. It also leaves my skin feeling clean and not dry like a lot of products do. I'm such a fan and I love that it smells like roses. 

Bi-Facil Eye Make-up Remover-Apparently this product is award-winning, but I love it because its really easy and takes off everything. Simple. 

Lacome Tonique Confort-Apparently this winter is going to be really rough and the air dry, so I wanted a hydrating toner. This one fits the bill. It also can double as a serum, so I'm going to use this in the morning after my cleanser and it's a bonus that it smells so amazing. 

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair-I got this last Christmas and have continued to love it.

Apple Cider Vinegar Toner-Chriselle talks about a easy toner that you can make out of Apple Cider Vinegar, water, and lemon. Apparently, it helps with breakouts and these pregnancy hormones have been making my face breakout, so I will definitely be trying this as well. 

Do you have a skincare routine that you swear by? I'd love to hear! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Duck Island, NC


Seeing my college girlfriends last weekend was just the best. We decided after they came to visit me last year in Palo Alto that we would make our get togethers a yearly event and this year, we chose to go to Duck in the Outerbanks.

The whole weekend was just so relaxing. We cooked at home for every meal, spent time walking around, watched a bunch of movies, and lounged about at the beach. It was just what I needed and I came back home completely relaxed.

For dinners, we had a lot of salmon, homemade tomato soup, and salad. That lasted us for 3 dinners and then for breakfast, we would make scrambled eggs with a side of sautéed kale. We ate really well and I love being in the kitchen with these two. I remember back in college, our get togethers revolved around food. Jennie and I made monogrammed pies together one summer and my senior year, Erin would blast country while we made dinner together. Getting back into the kitchen brought back so many memories.

The beach was perfect. It was sunny, warm, and deserted.

I also loved the apartment we rented. We got it for a steal because it was an off-season and it was really cute. I loved the decorations and the shabby-chic feel.

Overall, it was the perfect weekend and a great way to kick-off a hectic fall. I loved being around these two and I can't wait for our next adventure. And on a personal note, I finally started getting a bump this weekend! I was so excited that I had Erin snap a picture. The first little sign of baby #2!

Bathing suit from Ella Moss
You can see our last girl's weekend here and here.




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Year 3 Anniversary Trip: Savannah

Savannah! I'm so excited to finally to share our trip!

Last spring, Z asked me where I wanted to go to celebrate our anniversary and I immediately said, "Savannah!" I've always wanted to go and had only heard great things, so to me, it was a no-brainer. We decided to make it a couple's trip because we never get to see two of our couple friends that live in New York. One dropped out and the other came, and it was so much fun to be able to catch up and experience the city with them.

We flew in really late on Friday night, so we didn't catch up with our friends until Saturday morning. We met them for brunch at B. Matthews. I didn't get anything crazy or signature, but I did try Z's which was fried green tomatoes and goat cheese with eggs and they were fantastic!

Afterwards, we walked around the downtown area and stopped in a candy shop or two.
had to get a picture in front of lady & sons!
might have stopped here every night for candy on the way home.

That night, we went to the Olde Pink House for dinner. It was very good, very southern, and really pretty inside. Each room had a unique feel and I loved my BLT salad and almond-crusted tilaphia with shrimp-herb butter. Yum!

After dinner, we said good-bye to our friends and went on a ghost tour. I mean, when you're in Savannah you have to, right? It was really interesting and I'm glad we did it, but it definitely wastn't scary at all. Our tour guide mainly just talked about the history of the town, some frightening murders that happened in the early 1900s, and how the dead were buried.

The next day, we met our friends and went to Bonaventure Cemetery. It was gorgeous. The spanish moss was everywhere and the iron gates were amazing. However, there were a lot of bugs--it was really humid that day--and I felt like a lot of the time I was swatting fire ants off my legs or mosquitos. Oh, the South! :)

We ended our afternoon with a tour of the First African Baptist Church. I think this was the coolest thing we did that weekend. Our tour guide was a great storyteller and I loved all the historical artifacts that they had throughout the church. My favorite was learning about the underground railroad and seeing the breathing holes in the floors where slaves hid underneath before venturing on. Really incredible. If you are ever in Savannah, I highly recommend this tour. It was fabulous.

After the tour, we said goodbye to our friends and Z and I headed out to a fancy dinner at Garibaldi's. We didn't take any pictures, but it was good to have that time and talk about our future.


Monday, we slept in, rented bikes, and went the Kayak Cafe for lunch. The black bean, mushroom, and spinach tacos were the best vegetarian tacos I've ever had. Definitely hit this place up for lunch if you're around. They had a lot of fresh options and are apparently known for their famous salads.

All in all, a great trip with good friends!

Also, thank you so much for all the congratulations on baby #2! We are so excited and can't wait to meet he or she!

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