🎵 These Are a Few of My Favorite Things…🎵

Hi friends!

We’ve now been in quarantine for over five months and what a time it has been! It’s actually been a bit longer for me because my maternity leave slowly turned into the pandemic / WFH life. Needless to say, it’s been one loooong 4th trimester, y’all! 😉

That being said, I have not been shopping for clothes these last 10 months because #PostBabyWeight [Mamas, can I get an “Amen?”] But don’t let me fool you, my amazon cart has gotten a workout with the other things I’ve purchased instead. 😬 And while “things” are just things and will not make us happy, today’s post is all about the little joys I have discovered or have been using during quarantine that have brought a smile to my face. Cue Julie Andrews’ 🎵 ‘These are a few of my favorite things…’ 🎵 [which my toddler insists we play on repeat!]

JEWELRY

Alright y’all, let’s get down to business. First thing’s first: bracelet stacks and gold necklaces have been QUEEN this summer. I have curated my own little arm stack, gold and silver Apple Watch band included. [Wish I could take credit for the band but I cannot! One of fave bloggers, Courtney Kerr, has been sharing about it all summer long!]

GOLD BRACELET STACK [left to right]
  • Zoe Lev beaded bracelet
  • Waves Chain bracelet: this bracelet is made by adults with autism and is less than $15! It’s beautiful and actually good quality for the price. I love it! Only issue is it’s pretty long for my wrists and I’m going to get a few “waves” taken out once the pandemic is over.
  • Chain to the left of my watch was given to me by my mom ages ago!
  • Gold and Silver Apple Watch band: this watch has held up great so far and I love the silver and gold mix. It goes with all my jewelry!
  • Tortoise Shell Apple Watch band: not pictured above but I love it!
  • These bracelets are not gold but I recently got them from @janeandjunecollection and they are so fun! They are made of vinyl and I love the bright colors. 😍 I am also eyeing these because if you have followed me on this blog or Insta for a while, you know how much I love a camel hue. [Ryan, a blogger I went to college with, shared these and I’m so glad she did!]
GOLD NECKLACES

[Awkward car selfies coming your way… I just wanted y’all to see what they look like close up!]

  • Gorjana Link: my husband gifted me these two Gorjana necklaces for my birthday and I love them! The link necklace is actually longer than what’s pictured above but you can clasp it at whatever length you want, so I made it into a choker.  
  • Gorjana Star: I’ve been wearing this one a lot, both by itself and paired with the Link chain necklace [as seen in pic above.]

  • Etsy Medallion necklace: you’ve seen the medallion necklaces everywhere and I found one that is really nice quality off Easy. This is probably my favorite gold necklace that I’ve gotten this summer.

  • Etsy Chain Necklace: I love how delicate this necklace is even though it’s a chain. I didn’t want something big and clunky and this necklace was not that. Also, great quality.

FITNESS

Now that life is slowly getting back to normal in regards to ‘baby’ life, I’m trying to get into a good workout routine. [It’s so tough with all the competing activities of life – work, kids, husband, friends and family – but that is a whole separate blog post! 😉]

C25K

One of the ways that I’ve been enjoying excercising recently is by using the C25K app. It stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ and is designed to teach you to be able to run a 5K [just as it sounds! 😉] I have really enjoyed it because the program switches off between walking and running and eases you into it. 

STRONGLIFTS 5 X 5

I have also gone back to my tried and true, 5 x 5 app. This is the exercise program I was using before my wedding and it got me more toned than I ever had been previously. I was never a big weightlifter and always felt super self-conscious about trying to do weights at the gym. This app has videos that show you exactly how to do the exercise. You’re technically supposed to go up 5 lbs each week but I pace myself depending on how I’m feeling.

BEAUTY

Naturtint Hair Dye

Naturtint Hair dye: since COVID, I have not gone to the salon, but these pesky grays have not stayed away. I was nursing up until a few weeks ago [and I’m always on the hunt for more natural products as it is], so I decided to use this hair dye from Whole Foods to cover up those roots! This brand of hair dye is vegan-friendly, plant-enriched and has minimal chemicals. That all sounded great to me even before I tried it but the product stood up to the test. My color has lasted for over 3 months and it was gentle on my hair. [Side note: my mom colored my hair and taught me a trick to reduce damage from the dye: apply a layer of coconut oil onto your hair first to protect it as much as possible. My hair was super shiny and soft after she colored it.]

Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner

Rahua classic shampoo and conditioner: after I gave birth to my second last October, the texture of my hair completely changed! [Thanks, hor-mo-nes!] I went from having fairly dry hair that could easy go a week without washing to super greasy hair as soon as I got out of the shower. It was so frustrating because I felt like I couldn’t ever get my hair clean, even immediately after a wash! I decided that I needed to switch up my shampoo and that did the trick. I started using Rahua’s normal shampoo and conditioner and it gave me the clean feeling I was used to. Rahul is also a really neat brand that focuses on sustainability and using as many natural products from the rainforest as possible. You can check out their story here.

Depileve Wax

 

This wax works very well and does not irritate my sensitive/dry skin! I actually tried out another one before I found Depileve and not only did it not remove all the hair, but it also caused breakouts.  

Since March, I have not gone to see my lady who threads my eyebrows and waxes my lip [this may be TMI, but I wanted to share in case any other girls out there are suffering!]. This wax did the trick! I got this warmer along with it.  Also, I always apply Aquaphor to my lip after waxing and that really soothes the redness.

FASHION

Last but not least, I want to share what has probably been my favorite purchase over the last couple of months: the Kurt Geiger leather tote [holding in pic above]. I knew I wanted to have a big tote bag that I could throw all the kids’ stuff into without having to also carry a diaper bag around. Well let me tell you, this bag has been that and much more. First off, it’s a very nice bag with soft, buttery leather and it feels high-end. So while you might be shlepping around diapers, snacks, toys, books and whatever else you had to throw in to your bag of tricks, you still feel put together and presentable. This bag is not cheap but it’s been worth the price.

We just went on a staycation recently and this is the bag I took everywhere. It fit all the kids’ stuff as well as my wallet, water, sunglasses, sanitizer and more. It was so nice to not have to carry multiple bags around. I was worried that it’d be too heavy at times but it really wasn’t. It also has zero form to it. I was worried about that when I purchased it because I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about a full-on floppy bag. That has actually turned out to be a great feature because when my toddler gets out of the double-stroller, I can drop my bag in his seat and it takes the shape of whatever “vessel” it’s in.

Hopefully some of these items can be a source of inspiration for you as you put together your next bracelet stack or look for new workout tips and tricks. [Frankly speaking, anything that makes a run in this TX heat palatable has my stamp of approval!]

Let me know if there’s anything you’ve been loving lately that’s brought a smile to your face!

Blueberry Spinach Protein Shake Recipe

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MATERNITY LEAVE HAZE & HAPPY NEW YEAR

Happy New Year, everyone!! I love the freshness that the new year brings and the feeling of new opportunities buzzing around the corner. Being on maternity leave sometimes feels like the earth has stopped spinning and time is standing to still. Nothing snaps you out of that haze like a trip to the grocery store and seeing Valentine’s Day candy and hearts everywhere!

It also became apparent that I’ve been living in a cocoon when my girlfriend asked me about my NY resolutions. Not only had I not thought about them, I didn’t want to think about them. I wasn’t ready to rejoin society and leave my little safe haven. She was surprised because she knows I love writing out my goals. I’ve written about goals here, here and here. Last year I even broke out my goals quarterly to make them more attainable. But this year, I wasn’t all that interested. I knew I’d eventually do it once I went back to work in February and reality sunk back in.

That being said, I’m going to continue to enjoy my maternity leave haze / bliss. 😉 You can find me getting in all the baby snuggles until I go back to work at the start of February!

PROTEIN SHAKE RECIPE

While at home, one of the things I enjoy doing is making myself a delicious protein shake. Sometimes I’ll drink it after a workout and other times when I know I haven’t gotten my daily intake of meat or fish. I got the original recipe from my dad, who created it several years ago. It reminds of my parents every time I make it and transports me back to weekends in San Antonio when he would make it for all of us. I took his recipe and added protein powder and modified a few things! My husband made it for me when I had an aversion to meat during both pregnancies.

Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

Throw everything into the blender in the order above. Ice cubes go in first because they’re the hardest to blend. Then throw in the other large or “harder to blend” items [i.e blueberries, banana, peanut butter, yogurt.] Add the remaining ingredients and top off the blender with spinach. [You can see how I top off the blenderMix and enjoy!

NUTRITION

The version above gives you 50 grams of Protein and is a good source of antioxidants [from the blueberries and spinach]. I linked the products that I typically use above. I prefer plant-based and organic foods as much as possible. The protein powder I used in the pictures is the Central Market Whey Powder, which works just fine. I was out of the Vega, a plant-based protein powder that I typically use. Vega has also come out with a 4-ingredient pea protein powder that I am going to try next. I’m always concerned about protein powders [or any foods for that matter] that are chalked full of ingredients I can’t pronounce.

In addition, you can make this shake without the protein powder and without the yogurt if you’re not looking to increase your protein intake by this much. This shake is delicious and makes a great snack!

I hope y’all enjoy this recipe! Let me know how you like it in the comments below.

Shop the Post: Pea in the Pod Top (Dark Yellow) // 7 For All Mankind Maternity Jeans (sold out), similar // Sam Edelman Loafers (Saddle Leather) // Michael Kors Watch

How Pilates Strengthened My Core For Pregnancy

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Hi friends,

When I was 8 years old, I was diagnosed with scoliosis.  My mom has a significant curvature in her spine and my dad has a minor one, so it was no surprise that the genetics didn’t fall far from the tree.  In 8th, 9thand 10thgrade, I had to wear the dreaded plastic backbrace.  I resorted to  buying clothes that were far too big in an attempt to hide it.  I also feared that I would be made fun of for it. 

CORE STRENGTH

Why am I sharing these intimate details of my youth? Just to tell you that I spent my whole life avoiding any exercise that could potentially “hurt” my back.  As a result, I ended up with an extremely weak core.  I didn’t understand until much later in life that I actually needed to strengthen the muscles in my core [my back, stomach, pelvic floor, glutes, etc.] to reduce potential back pain.

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