Springtime Ready Skin

It’s in the 70’s all this week and I couldn’t be happier that Spring is right around the corner! Spring also means tank tops, dresses and showing more skin. I took great care of my skin while pregnant but after Gunnar arrived and this winter, my skin has been neglected.

Shore Thing Lavender is an amazing local small business who delivers quality, all natural products for your body all over the country. Here are some of my favorite products to help get your skin Springtime ready!  Continue reading

Favorite Food This Week

As stated in my Body After Baby post – eating healthy and exercise have not been in my vocabulary these past 4 months. That all changed this week, Leep and I are back on that healthy wagon. [Still waiting on our damn spin bike though – come on FedEx!] We instituted a “Meatless Monday” and being avid meat lovers – I’ve been on a chicken wing kick lately – I’m not sure how long this will stick. Here are some of my favorite meals and recipes from this week!

[1] For Meatless Monday we kicked it off with a Roasted Veggie Quesadilla. Roast off some of your favorite veggies with a little oil and lots of seasonings – we used squash, zucchini and red bell pepper. If it weren’t for Leep I would have thrown in onions, mushrooms the whole smorgasbord. But he’s slightly picky. I also made this Avocado Lemon Dressing just kept it thicker. Warm your tortillas, fill with dressing, veggies, feta cheese – fold and flip to crisp both sides. Yum!

[2] In the mornings I have very little time with getting myself and Mr. Gunnario ready to walk out the door on-time [meaning 20 mins late] so I opt for an easy grab and go. My go-to is a green smoothie! I fill it with handfuls of baby spinach, half an apple, pineapple chunks, coconut oil, coconut/almond milk, protein powder and ice. Blend and go!

[3] One of my favorite lunches this week was Avocado & Peanut Noodle Spring Rolls. Mix your prepared soba noodles with the peanut sauce. [1/4 cup peanut butter
, 2 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tsp soy sauce
, 1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar or lime, 
1/2 tsp ginger
, 1/2 tsp Sriracha
, water as necessary] Wrap all your ingredients in spring roll wrappers. We used spinach, carrots, red bell pepper, avocado, cucumber and noodles.

[4] I picked these up on a whim from Kroger and have loved them! They’re perfect to munch on while sitting at my desk all day. I’m going to attempt to make them myself here soon – stay tuned!

Have some great recipes or favorites food finds this week – please share in the comments below!

How to Deal with Toxic People

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Let’s get personal for a moment…

From the very beginning of our relationship my husbands family has not liked me – yet here we are today happily married with a beautiful son. Originally there was no real reason for the hatred: a mother struggling with losing her first son to another woman, jealousy, nicknames, difference of views and opinions. Lots of small moot excuses but no real outright reason for not liking me as a person.

It’s been a roller coaster of good times and bad, as well as times where mine and Leep’s relationship truly suffered. I am sad to say that as of today they are no longer a part of our lives or our sons life. While that wasn’t an easy decision to come to – mentally, emotionally and wholeheartedly we are happier and healthier for it.

Family, friends – it’s hard to say goodbye to anyone. I struggled for a long time [and maybe still do] with accepting that their opinion towards me would never change, no matter how hard I tried. The point I want to share is: It is not wrong for you to show them the way out of your life.

This post is to let you know, you’re not alone. Monster-in-laws is more than just a bad joke or saying to some. You hear others talk about how they dislike their in-laws and you both cringe inside, your spouse out of embarrassment with how their family acts, and you because they don’t know how truly bad it could be. You feel pangs of jealousy towards those that have great relationships with their in-laws and you band together with those in similar situations as you. If you’re like us, you’re blessed to have one side of the family who loves and supports you and more importantly your spouse, unconditionally. Spend your time with these people, they are the meaning of true love, support and family.

Here is a quick list of thoughts that helped us navigate this difficult situation.  Continue reading

Body After Baby

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As I watched my belly grow and my body change during pregnancy I always preached “As soon as I get my “All good!” clearance at six weeks postpartum I’m going to start working out”. Man, was I delusional. Between breastfeeding, Thanksgiving, sleeplessness, Christmas and a colicky baby it was hard enough to remember or even find time to eat, let alone worry about it being healthy. That said, I’m glad I’ve taken this time without the stresses of calories and workouts to enjoy motherhood, bond with Gunnar and fall into our new routine.

Background: I’ve never been a super fit person, but I have always tried to stay [semi]healthy. Six years ago I hit a roadblock in my fitness journey when I had back surgery. Between that and other health issues my weight has fluctuated significantly (for the worse) over the past few years. When I met Leep 4 years ago I got back into running and working out again. We have a love of good food and strong drinks, so this helped maintain the balance. We did fun runs, a half marathon and a Tough Mudder. Followed by an engagement and intense ‘sweating for the wedding’. A few pounds were packed back on during our indulgent honeymoon and just when we were ready to get back on the health wagon, we got the surprise of a positive pregnancy test. (Who am I kidding – 5 positive pregnancy tests) All thoughts of eating healthy and working out flew out the window as I embraced the ‘enjoy your pregnancy’ mentality head on.

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Thirty pounds gained during pregnancy and a baby later, I was pleasantly surprised to be back down to my pre-pregnancy weight within 2 weeks. But I wasn’t happy with where I started to being with. Now 3.5 months into motherhood this foreign post pregnancy body has got to go! I’m ready to kick it into high gear and get that “bikini body” back.

Enter… the spin bike. I invested in my health and bought a spin bike and a subscription to the Peloton app. The goal isn’t a mystical lower number on the scale, or a specific jean size – it’s a healthier, stronger me.

This week was supposed to be the beginning of this journey…. unfortunately, my bike is lost in the FedEx shipping truck world, BUT when it arrives it will be Day 1. Tag along on my journey of body after baby – here goes nothing! Until then, pizza! (Just kidding…kinda)