Friday, October 31, 2014

Staying Active & Getting Back To My Pre Baby Weight

It's getting cold outside, which is ideal if you're training for any races or just like to run. I LOVE to run, but a 4 month old baby can really only be in a jogging stroller for so long before you start to hear about it. Needless to say, runs have been far and few between since having her, but that is still not an excuse to sit on the couch all day and watch Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (my favorite pastime). And let's face it, even when I was kid-less, sometimes it was just plain hard getting out of bed and out the door for a workout when it was chilly outside. So I thought I would list my top 3 workout blogs that I go to when I need a quick at-home workout to get those endorphins pumping (I just wrote pumpkin...how appropriate.


First, Peanut Butter Runner! This lady is fierce. If there was a way to track how many times a week I check her blog, I would be stalker status. Her workouts are legit and her eating is super clean, but she still has her cupcake days which make me feel better about life.


Second, Peanut Butter Fingers! Mostly a lifestyle blog, but she still has fantastic circuit workouts that you can do at home and excellent clean eating ideas to make that tummy happy.


Finally, The Fitnessista! Love this blog because she has made healthy living truly a lifestyle while balancing being a mom and a wife. More challenging than you would think! She has amazing outdoor and indoor workout ideas and really delicious, healthy recipes.
 
These blogs have definitely helped me get back into working out after several months of being pretty sedentary!
 
Ok, on to the baby weight update.
 
The last time I posted an update was 2 months post-partum and I still had 11 pounds to go to reach my pre-baby weight. We are now 4 months post and I'm still 7 pounds away, however, my old clothes are slowly starting to fit again which is the real goal here. I honestly couldn't care less about what the scale says, I just can't bare to waste a closet full of clothes! Of course I would have wanted to see the scale read a little closer to my pre baby weight by 4 months, but for a breastfeeding momma, losing it slowly is really ideal. And let's face it, no cookie, cupcake, or slice of pizza has made it past me alive in the last 4 months, so I haven't exactly been practicing self control. With that being said, my eating could use some work and I could definitely be more proactive with planning my workouts around the babe's napping schedule.
 
So here is my goal: To be back to my pre baby weight by Christmas! I feel that I will still be in a good place mentally with my extra LB's if that doesn't happen, but I love a good challenge, so here's to my attempt at clean eating and amping up my workouts during the most food-driven season of the year. Prayers are appreciated.
 
There you have it! Oh and speaking of being challenged to eat clean, it's Halloween! So kids, come to our house to save me from being left with my gigantic bowl of mini Snickers tonight. I've already put a hurtin' on the mini Twix bars :( Nothing scarier than a chocoholic on Halloween.
 
Happy Halloween!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Adventures of Mom Life: Babyfood and BOBs

Sooo, almost a month ago (again, time you can slow down now...rude) our sweet Kenny girl had her 4 month old check up. During said check up, my pediatrician told me that this is the time when I can start introducing solids to her diet.
 
I knew this day would come, and honestly it couldn't come soon enough considering that girlfriend is still refusing the bottle, so having a second option to my breastaraunts is welcomed. But the fact remains that a major milestone like this is just another reminder that she is growing up, and that is a hard reality.
 
 
So we started solids. I chose to go with Beechnut for a few reasons, one being that "Just Carrots" really means just carrots and two being that I am a major packaging snob and their jars are cuter than Gerber's or Happy Baby's. Let's be real here.
 
So we started with apples, which were WAY too sweet for her and resulted in her banging her plastic rings on her Bumbo tray while she ate due to the sugar rush. I tasted it prior to giving them to her and that fact that it tasted exactly like apple pie was, to me, a good thing. But when you give apple pie to a baby who has been drinking breast milk for 4 months, that sh*t is sweet.

 
A few days later, we tried carrots. Carrots where a hit....obviously.
 
Now we are on sweet potatoes and this little chubby bunny would lick the bowl clean if I let her...and if her motor skills allowed.
 
So besides apples, I would say that our adventures in starting baby food have been a success!

 
Ok, now let's talk BOBs. My sister reached out to a friend of hers who had a 2007 BOB and was willing to sell it for next to nothing, so we jumped on that deal. But since Kennedy is still too little to fit in the seat, we had to get creative. I know they probably make adapters for these things, but sometimes adventure can't wait for a Target run to buy an adapter.

 
We decided that a tow strap would work just as well, so after jimmying her carrier on and securing it in place with our strap, we were ready to hit the trail for Kennedy's first BOB run.
 
Ghetto? Yes. Genius? I think so.
 
I must say, for a 7 year old BOB that has definitely seen better days, I was pretty impressed with it's performance. There is a reason the structure of these strollers hasn't changed since production began in 2005. Would I pay the full $400 for a brand new one? No, probably not. But thankfully there are tons of moms out there trying to move theirs, so hop online and look at your local trading site. You are bound to find one at a decent price, if you're in the market!

Well, Halloween is a few days away. I had big dreams to turn our little girl into a big, pink sprinkled donut or this thing...
 
 
Buuuut I think we are going to be lame this year and just put an owl beanie on her head and say that she's the worlds cutest owl.
 
What are you dressing up as???
 
Happy Tuesday!
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Big, Healthy Breakfast Cookies

You know what is the worst thing ever? Those "healthy" meal plans that tell you to eat "1 medium apple" or "1 low-fat granola bar" for your breakfast option.
 
Listen.
 
Breakfast around here occurs at 6:30 AM. Lunch? Usually by 1:00 PM if I'm lucky. So that puny apple or that 90 calorie granola bar that you're suggesting I eat for "breakfast"? I'm probably going to eat 10 of them by noon in the effort to satisfy my natural desire to NOT FEEL HUNGRY anymore.
 
Meal plans like this can unfortunately be found everywhere, and one of two things is going to happen. You're going to lose weight because you're starving yourself, not because you're feeding your body proper nutrition, OR you're going to gain weight because you will find yourself binge eating at lunch and dinner.
 
I have been lobbying for big breakfasts, medium lunches, and small dinners for a long time now because it just makes sense. So let's talk hearty breakfasts.
 
On the days that I'm home with my little girl, I always make myself 3 large eggs with two slices of either Ezekiel or TerraGrains bread, toasted and topped with butter and my chia seed jam. Other than getting to spending the day with my 4 month old bundle of joy, making this breakfast while she babbles at me in the early morning hours is quite possibly my favorite time of the day. This breakfast usually keeps me full until 1:00 PM, which is major when you don't have any downtime to stop for a snack.
 
On the days that I work, I literally have 20 different things I have to do between setting Kennedy up for the day with our caretaker and making myself look half awake for work. So I usually need an on the go breakfast that I can eat on my way to work and will keep me full until lunch.
 
 
I started experimenting today, because one can really only eat so many Clif bars and bananas, and came up with these big, healthy breakfast cookies!

 
This cookie does not contain any sugar or flour and is still hearty and delicious! They clock in right around 250 calories each, so still not a calorie bomb and super tasty with a cup of coffee. These are not your puny oatmeal cookies either. It's not too often that you hear the words big, hearty, chocolaty, delicious, healthy, and breakfast in the same sentence, but today you DO! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
 
Happy Wednesday!!
 
 
Big, Healthy Breakfast Cookies
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups whole rolled oats
  • 2 medium, very ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the above ingredients.
  4. Using a large spoon, spoon 6 large helpings of the dough onto the cookie sheet. Form the cookie dough into 6 cookie-shaped rounds using the spoon.
  5. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes, or until the centers are set and the edges are slightly golden brown.
  6. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Enjoy!
 
 

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Peanut Butter Butterscotch Cookie Balls

 I feel like if I didn't have a glass cake stand on my kitchen countertop, I wouldn't bake as much...thus probably be a healthier person. But there is just something really sad and depressing to me about an empty glass cake stand. Once the baked goodness starts to dwindle, I immediately find myself pulling out every baking ingredient in my pantry and creating something...anything...so my cake stand is filled with a delicious (or sometimes not very delicious) baked good.
 

These cookie balls fed my strange empty cake stand problem. I really didn't have a goal or recipe in mind, I just started throwing things together. Thankfully, the result was pretty darn delicious.


Peanut butter, peanuts, white chocolate, butterscotch, and dark brown sugar for the win. And I'm calling these "cookie balls" because they don't spread at all when baked, creating a thick, hearty cookie. My tummy, my cake stand, and even my non-dessert eating husband loved these. I hope you do, too!
 
Happy Saturday & Sic 'Em Bears!
 
 
Peanut Butter Butterscotch Cookie Balls
 
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • /2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
 
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix butter and sugar together until combined.
  3. Add vanilla and eggs and blend until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda.
  5. Stir in flour mixture until barely mixed in.
  6. Stir in peanuts, white chocolate, and butterscotch chips.
  7. Place 8 large dough balls on cookie sheets (makes 16 large cookies).
  8. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, or until cookies are set.
  9. Cool then enjoy!
 

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Letter To Our Little: 4 Months

To my beautiful Kennedy,
 
You are 4 months old. As of today, we have enjoyed 120 days of pure, innocent bliss with you.
 
You are our smiley girl and have added a little wiggle to your smiles every time we greet you. Even at 3 AM when I come to get you in your moonlit nursery, I can still feel your smile and hear the blankets ruffle from your wiggle. You are a gift.
 
You talk to me all day now. Even when I'm trying to nurse you, you pull away at least 3 times to smile and babble before going back to your business. This is music to my ears. Keep talking, sister.
 
A few weeks ago, we moved you and all of your things out of our room and into your room. You fall asleep in your crib around 7 PM every night and wake up at 6:30 AM every morning, with a few feedings and snuggle sessions in between. Climbing the stairs 3-5 times every night is officially my new workout. Thanks for helping me keep up my cardio.
 
You have gone from hating bath time to loving it. We can no longer bathe you by laying you on a towel on the counter since your feet hang off the edge now, and due to the fact that you have the most delicious rolls in town, scrunching you up in your Puj Tub in the sink is a no go. So now we bathe you in the big bath and you could not be happier. You are our big girl now, even though everything still looks bigger with you in it.
 
You have started to notice our furry companions and they've started to become more comfortable with you, too. Nova now loves to greet you by smelling and licking your feet, and you are mesmerized by them when they wrestle on my freshly vacuumed carpet. I can't wait to watch you become besties.
 
You still absolutely hate the bottle and refuse to take it while I'm at work. This is hard on your working momma, but coming home at lunch to feed you makes my day so much brighter. We will get there, little.
 
The older you get, the more I find myself reflecting back on my own childhood and thinking about what molded me as a person. Your Mumzy worked hard to provide for your Auntie Tutu and I while being a single mom, and even though I sometimes found myself feeling alone or different, I never questioned her love for me. I will not always be the perfect mom to you and will absolutely make mistakes, but I always want you to know how much I love you and will do everything in my power to make sure you feel my love. I want you to be a confident, kind girl and know that you can do anything you set your mind to. I want you to explore the world around you, experience new cultures, and not be stagnant in your faith. I want you to feel challenged but never discouraged. Shoot for the stars, little one. We will always be here for you, loving you.
 
 
Thank you for blessing us with 120 days. To da moon, sweet Kenny. To da moon.
 
 
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