Prenatal Fitness

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I believe one of the most important things you can do for you and your baby during pregnancy is to stay healthy and fit. It's especially important to strengthen your core and back muscles, which in turn can help push out that baby faster and easier (yes, please!). With the help of my pilates mentor Jill Cassady we created a personal pre-natal pilates workout that was safe, gentle and effective throughout my pregnancy.  I felt so fantastic during my pregnancy and I truly believe it was all due to my daily workouts.  Even just a long walk can help.

A few more reasons a daily workout can benefit you during pregnancy... better mood, less weight gain,  more energy, better body image, less leg swelling and a quicker recovery post childbirth...and the list goes on.

It's important to listen to your body and if it's telling you something doesn't feel right stop right away. You know your body best and you need to listen to it. I highly encourage you to train with a professional whether you are in a pilates class, yoga class or just working out at the gym. A little guidance can make all the difference as your body goes through this miraculous transformation. And if you don't have time for a class throw on your sneakers and take a walk. The fresh air and a walk around the block will do both you and the baby good.

I haven't shared my delivery story on the blog, but it relates to this post so I'll give you the cliff notes version. These photos were actually taken the day before I went into labor (3 weeks early) with this pre-natal fitness post in mind. The following morning my regular pilates clients checked in to see if I was up for teaching and although I felt something was "different" I still felt great so I said, "let's do it."  I headed to the pilates studio and halfway through my 2nd hour of teaching I excused myself to the bathroom and realized that either I peed my pants or my water broke. Fast forward a couple of hours and we checked into the hospital.  We checked in at around 2 pm and by 6pm I was already 7cm dilated.  At 7 pm I was fully dilated and my doctor calmly said "Lets, let the nurses change shifts and then we can start pushing." At 8:55 pm Declan popped out at 5 lbs 13 oz. Baby and momma were both perfectly healthy and happy. I fully credit my pilates workouts to my quick and easy (although, still incredibly painful) delivery.

*Images by Lux

Baby Registry For First Time Moms

Friday, July 11, 2014

I've been taking mental notes of my favorite baby products, but knew I didn't want to write a post on it until we were a few months in. I was waiting to see what actually worked and what we really loved. The baby business is a booming industry and as a new parent you are made to think you need EVERYTHING. I'm not going to lie, I was overwhelmed when we went to go register. We went prepared with a list we had compiled from several friends, but after two hours and only getting halfway through the store we decided we would make a couple trips to complete our registry. The truth is, less is more. I think we did a pretty good job at keeping it minimal, but I'm sure there are other items out there we would love too. 

That being said I put together my list of must-have baby products for the first time mom. Can you live without any of these? Yes, I'm sure you can, but if you ask me, these are all great to have on hand. 

Every Day Must Haves :
·       Stroller: My advice is to go try them all and get what works best for your lifestyle. We have the Uppa Baby Vista and plan to buy a jogger 2nd hand.
·       Fisher Price Rock and Play: BEST $60 we spent for the first 3 months. Declan wouldn’t nap or sleep unless he was being held. That all changed when we got the Rock and Play.  He slept through the night the first time the very first night he was in it.
·       Chicco keyfit 30 car seat. We have this one and love it. 
·       Monitor: We received a hand me down so just do a little research
·       Bottles: I am breast feeding, but also use the Dr. Brown bottles. After getting lactation support I was told to use the newborn nipple on the bottle (it's a slow flow) as long as I continued to breast feed and bottle feed.  It's worked like a charm and he has no problem going between the two. 
·       Baby carrier: Most popular Beco, BabyBjorn and ErgoBaby- We have a hand me down Baby Bjorn and Declan LOVES it. I've heard wonderful things about the Beco.
·       Solly Baby Wrap: I really loved using this the first 3 months. It was one of the only times he would nap. I plan to start using it more again. 
·       4 Moms Rockaroo swing: I greatly dislike how bulky and ugly baby swings are, so I was thrilled when 4 Moms launched this new swing in January! It's compact and extremely light weight so you can move it from room to room. We still love it 5 months in. 

·       Fisher Price Rainforest Bouncer- This is a life savor when I am trying to get ready. Pop him in the bouncer and he is entertained for a good 15-20 minutes. 
·       Playmat- this is great for tummy time and also laying them on their back to play 
·       Diaper Bag- My advice is to go try out a bunch at your local baby store. Buy what fits your every day lifestyle. I went for one that I could wear everyday with any outfit. It doesn't look like a diaper bag which I love. 

·       Swaddle Blankets- For us these were trial and error, first we used swaddle blankets, but they
    weren't staying tight enough, so we tried the Summer Infant SwaddleMe with velcro to swaddle  arms. LOVED these. 
·       Baby Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit: Hands down one of my top picks. We found it about 4 months in and it was the perfect transition from swaddling. 
·       Sound Machine: A must when rocking the baby to sleep.
·      Plush Blankets: You use these all of the time and it's important that they are soft and snuggly. My favorites are from Pottery Barn Kids
·       Burp Clothes These are my favorite. They absorb everything and are so soft.
·       Boppy Waterproof Changing Pad Liners cotton pads to put under tushy when on the changing table to catch tinkle or poop. It saves washing the pad cover every day. 
·       Changing pad and soft cover (buy at least 2 covers)
·       Honest Company Diapers and Wipes or Pampers Swaddlers Diapers and Sensitive Wipes. We get the Honest diapers and wipes bundle delievered every month and are very happy with the service. The prints are adorable and so fun to pick out each season. 
·       Diaper Pail: We have the Ubbi and love it.  It's compact yet holds a ton of diapers. It's sleek and you can use regular trash bags (one less thing to buy). Best part is NO stinky smells.
·       Glider: We LOVE our Glider so much and it's such an important item for your nursery. You use it everyday, several times a day so it's important it's comfortable.
·       Music Mobile: My Mother-in-law insisted that we had a music mobile and I am so glad that she did. Laying in his crib under his music mobile is one of Declan's favorite places to be. He watches the little elephants go round and round and giggles away.

·       Zoe Organics Baby Oil, Bath Wash, Diaper Cream and Everything Balm The gift set is the way to go! I love everything about this brand. 
·       2 hooded towels (love Pottery Barn Kids) and 4-6 washcloths.
·       Baby tub We kept it simple and did not get a fancy expensive tub and wouldn't you know he loves it. 

Summer Asparagus Salad

Monday, July 7, 2014

A few weeks ago, my good friends invited my husband and I over for a beautiful summer dinner. It was one of the first extremely warm summer nights in Nor Cal and they had prepared a beautiful Italian meal. Our hosts, Fran and Brett, had an amazing opportunity to live with family in Italy last summer with their two beautiful baby girls Gianna and Noelle. Their favorite part of the trip was their daily trips to the markets where they picked up fresh ingredients to prepare their daily meals. They have continued this tradition at home by visiting their local farmers' market every weekend.  They plan out their weekly meals according to which fresh ingredients they purchase. I wish I was this organized, but I am making it my summer goal to do the same. Thanks for an amazing dinner, great company and the vino!

Fran made this incredibly light and fresh salad to go along side our pasta and I can't get enough of it. It's extremely simple, but I thought I would share it regardless. Less is more these days with a busy five month old.

Cherry Tomatoes
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven on roast at 375
Place asparagus in a glass baking dish and lightly drizzle with olive oil 
Sprinkle asparagus with a dash of salt and pepper
Roast asparagus at 375 for 15 minutes 
Let cool and dice up with cherry tomatoes and avocado
Dress with balsamic

Red, White and BABY Blue

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July everyone! Wishing you a safe and happy holiday weekend filled with delicious food, brightly lit night skies and time with your loved ones. We will be enjoying time with our family as well as a couple day trips away over the weekend.

As children, my sister and I grew up dressed in matching outfits for every special occasion. We couldn't wait for the day to dress up our own kids in matching gear as well. Neither of us ever imagined those children to be little boys, yet here we are with two adorable little nuggets. Cameron (19 months) is already use to his mommy setting up photo shoots at every chance she gets, so he was teaching Declan (5 months) the ropes at their first mini photo shoot together.

  "Don't worry little buddy. It's not that bad."

 "Smile big and it will all be over soon."

"I think you've got it."

"Now run...let's get out of here!"

Don't you love Cameron's commentary? Happy 4th of July!

Motherhood and Embracing Change

Saturday, June 28, 2014

We are coming up on 5 incredible months with our beautiful baby boy, Declan Miles. I can't believe how the months fly by, yet the days go by so slow. Being a mother is by far the most rewarding job I have had thus far and yes, it is as exhausting as they say it is! And he's not even mobile yet! Today I had a moment while I was watching my husband play and laugh with Declan. I still can't believe how amazing it is that we created this beautiful baby. I teared up a little looking at how happy and healthy he is and all of a sudden I flashed back to my pregnancy and for the first time I missed it. I wasn't sure I would ever miss it, but now I realize how incredible pregnancy and child birth are.

I was one of those women that thought things wouldn't really change in my life once the baby arrived. I would continue to have my busy work and social life and we would just make it all work somehow. Fast forward 5 months...Yup, I was TOTALLY wrong. Don't get me wrong. We are getting out for day trips and we just went on our first family vacation to Tahoe, but I'm lucky if I talk to my best girlfriends once every two weeks and my husband and I still haven't had a date night. None of it matters though because we have this perfect little boy that smiles up at us with his big blue eyes. I'm starting to get back to blogging, but I can't get much done until after he goes down for the night. I've started taking pilates, but not teaching yet.  When I'm ready, I also hope to start acting again. So it's all a work in progress and I'm practicing patience while enjoying these priceless moments with our son.

These first 5 months have been unforgettable and I am so grateful to be able to stay home with Declan and watch him grow into a little boy!

Urban Bohemian

Friday, June 20, 2014

This week our little family of three made a spontaneous trip into San Francisco. It was Declan's first trip into the city, so naturally we visited a few of our favorite spots. The weather was absolutely beautiful and made for picturesque views of the Bay, Golden Gate Bridge and the Ferry Building.

It's been awhile since I posted an outfit post, so I am bringing it back today and giving you a little urban bohemian flare. Believe it or not I am practically dressed in head to toe Target! This maxi skirt is so comfortable and stylish and it's under $20! It's the perfect piece for my transitional post pregnancy wardrobe. I paired the skirt with a soft peach tank and traditional denim jacket. Scroll down for outfit details!

Skirt: Target
Tank: Target
Denim Jacket: Gap
Sandals: Target (old, but similar here)
Hat: Target
Right Hand Friendship Rings: Tracy Sylvia

June Budget Beauty

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The one request I seem to get over and over again is for beauty product suggestions that are budget friendly. Well ladies, I have heard you and I am now starting a "Budget Beauty" series to the blog. I'll be posting my tried and tested favorite beauty products that don't break the bank! So, without further adieu...My first post to the Budget Beauty series!

I would love to hear your favorite Budget Beauty Products! Please post them here on the blog, FB or Instagram!

Trader Joe's Cream Shave is a little secret of mine that I discovered years ago. The lotion like texture is soothing and hydrating on your skin while the honey mango scent is subtle yet sweet. I probably go through about 3 of these a YEAR and at only a few dollars a pop. That makes this shaving cream a steal of a deal! For more Trader Joe's beauty, check out this post I wrote for Babble!

Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment: My BF (who works for a very popular high end cosmetic company) called to tell me I had to try this drugstore concealer. She knows that I am extremely picky about my concealer and I'll drop a pretty penny on one if it works. This under eye concealer is AWESOME and you can't beat it's average $9 price point. The applicator is a sponge that you pat and smooth gently under the eye. That means less wear and tear from your fingers which can cause wrinkles over time. The coverage is medium with a radiant finish and a little goes a long way.  Say good-bye to dark circles with this bad boy!

Loreal Ever Pure Moisture Deep Restorative Masque: Much like my concealer I am really picky about my hair products. I have long, thick and color treated hair, so I like to treat it at least once a week to keep it shiny and healthy, not to mention tangle free. I LOVE Kerastase Masques, but can't always justify their extremely high price point (average $62). This masque by Loreal is surprisingly just as fabulous and it's only $9!!! It makes my hair lusciously soft and shiny. Hands down my favorite hair mask, especially for the price!

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