Holiday Pilates

November 27, 2015

Pilates 4x4 Holiday 2


My friend Robin is a pilates instructor and founder of The Balanced Life. I’ve mentioned Robin before, but it bears repeating that she has one of the most balanced, authentic voices in the fitness community.

A balanced approach to fitness during the holidays? Now that’s something I can get behind. And while I love the sweet treats and celebratory foods that come with the season, my goal come January is to feel fit and healty while also feeling like I was able to enjoy the foods I love.

Robin is launching the Pilates 4×4 Program on November 30th. Here’s a bit more about what it entails and who it’s for…

The program is for:

1. Women who are short on time
2. Busy moms who need something they can easily do from home that won’t take hours + travel time + extra showers.
3. Women who travel and need something they can easily do from their hotel room or while visiting relatives.
4. Women who don’t love going to the gym or who don’t have access to a gym on a regular basis.
5. Women who are interested in building core strength, improving flexibility, and toning from head to toe.
6. Women who need a little extra encouragement and accountability because they have trouble staying consistent with their workouts on their own.

The program will include:

– 4 (40 minute) Pilates workouts (a new one goes out each week)
– Progress Journal to stay in-tune with your body & mind during the holiday season
– A daily “cup of motivation” email to feel inspired and motivated as you start each day
– Goal-setting guide
– Workout checklist to keep you on track
– A handful of other fun bonuses!

I’m going to be participating in order to stay on track and keep myself in a healthy mindset during the holidays. What a great feeling to get through December feeling great about your body, right? If you want to join me, you have just three days to sign up for the program. Sign up or find out more HERE.



My Heart is Heavy

November 24, 2015


For the last couple months (while we were moving and living with my mom before we closed on our house, and moving into our new house) we sort of just took a break from watching the news. It wasn’t intentional, but our life was so crazy busy that we sort of got out of our typical routine of watching the nightly news and a bit of news in the morning.

But then we moved into our home and re-established our routine. And the terror attacks in Paris happened and I found myself gripped by the day’s news night after night. Facebook exploded with opinions and articles and information about all that had transpired, and I found myself increasingly anxious about ISIS and terrorism and the state of the world that my child would inherit one day when she is an adult.

Does anyone else feel heavy about that, too?

I know and believe that we worship a God that is bigger than any of these issues, and that the brokenness of this world only magnifies the glory that awaits us in heaven. But sometimes my mind gets transfixed on the practical, everyday battles, pain and struggles that exist on this earth.

Our world is so very broken. And although I’m tempted to think that it’s just our time and age that’s broken, I think back and imagine our ancestors must have felt the same way during the days of WWI and WWII and countless other tragedies and trying times.

I’m weary from people telling my my opinion is wrong or that it’s not valid or doesn’t match up with theirs, but more than that, I’m weary from having an opinion all together. In this day and age of Facebook and 24-hour news cycles, I need to be reminded (daily) that Jesus is in control.

When we’re weary, scared, upset or just itching to pick a bone with someone on the interwebs, let’s bring all of those things to the cross and set them at the feet of Jesus.

Friends, the good news that I so often forget is that we don’t have to carry the burdens that weigh heavy on our hearts and minds. Coming from someone who has let those burdens get the best of them this past week, I’m so thankful that I can surrender it to a God who is bigger than even our greatest fears.


Family, Fashion

Diaper Bag Dilemma – Solved!

November 23, 2015





I’ve always had a thing for pretty purses and handbags. For as long as I can remember, it’s been my go-to indulgence accessory. That is, until I became a mom. I dutifully committed to carrying a very traditional diaper bag when Ainsley was born, because most of the pretty, fashionable diaper bags I looked at just didn’t seem very functional. And while I might love fashion, I wasn’t willing to sacrifice function with a little one in tow.

While I was at Influence Conference I had the opportunity to meet with the amazing founders of Lily Jade, the makers of designer diaper bags that combine function and form. I had heard of Lily Jade before Influence, but was a little skeptical. Was the bag worth it’s hefty price tag? But when I saw the bags in person I was 100% convinced.

The leather is soft and supple, and the structure of the bag is beatufiully designed and constructed. But the best part? The interior pouch! Each Lily Jade bag comes with a removable baby bag organizer so you can fill it with all sorts of baby gear, bottles and the like without making a total mess of your bag. And when you move on from the baby stage the organizer can be removed, transitioning your bag from diaper bag to purse or overnight bag.

We’re getting ready to travel quite a bit this holiday season, and I’m excited to travel both fashionably and sensibly with this bag. And with all the organization, I’m thinking I might even have room for some non-baby essentials like magazines, laptop and snacks for mom and dad.

*Lily Jade provided this bag for me to review. Thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Shop this look: Bag, Rosie in Camel :: Coat, Similar from Banana Republic :: Target Scarf, similar options here :: Madewell Skinny Jeans in Dayton Wash :: 14th and Union Booties  :: Anthropologie Textured High Low Tunic 

Family, Fashion

Let’s Talk Postpartum Hair

November 16, 2015

Photo on 11-6-15 at 9.50 AMI was prepared for a lot of the typical things about the postpartum stage of life, but I was completely unprepared for postpartum hair. Sure, friends told me you would lose a lot of hair after having a baby, but I guess I didn’t really understand that the hair you lost would eventually grow back in. And the regrowth, you guys? It’s about 100x worse than the hair loss!

After I quit breastfeeding the hair loss began. The thick, amazing pregnancy hair I had enjoyed was suddenly falling out all over the place. This summer I had noticeable balding patches around the crown of my head that were hard to disguise. About two months ago, I really started to notice the re-growth of all that hair I lost. We’re talking thick tufts of hair sticking straight up around my temples and forehead that are impossible to tame and hard to disguise.

It’s embarrassing. It’s unattractive. And it’s a pain in the butt. I thought about cutting bangs to disguise the re-growth and dying my hair another color to make my hair look thicker. In the end, I decided to avoid taking any extreme measures and try my best to just stick it out.

Here are a few of the things I’ve found that help make the re-growth a little less horrible:

1. Change up your part. I’ve always parted my hair on the left, but my re-growth was also the most noticeable there. Instead of cutting bangs, I decided to switch up my part. Now I’m wearing it middle parted or parted on the right side and it’s been so much easier to disguise the re-growth.

2. Tame your fly-aways. I spray a little bit of hairspray on a toothbrush and use the toothbrush to tame the hairs that want to stick straight up. THIS is by far my favorite hairspray.

3. Wash less often. I wash my hair a couple times a week and avoid blow drying as much as possible. I’ve switched to using this shampoo and conditioner and they’ve made my hair feel so soft and smooth, even when it’s not at its best.

4. Deep condition weekly. Once a week I take a bath or a long shower and put in a deep conditioner. Although my hair might not be as wonderful and luscious as it was when I was pregnant, I’ve been trying my best to care for it and keep it looking healthy.

5. Keep taking your prenatal vitamins. Don’t stop taking them after you quit nursing. Your body needs to continue to be replenished long after you have your baby, so keep up with those prenatal vitamins. They will help with hair growth, too!

6. Get bangs, maybe? If you’re someone who normally looks great with bangs, this would be a time to give them a shot! My stylist and I agreed that I do not look great with bangs nor do I have the right hair texture for thick, blunt bangs. But if you happen to be one of the lucky people who look good with fringe, then go for it!

7. Wear hats! I know a number of women who swear by this tip. I haven’t worked up the courage to wear all the cute fall hats that are in style right now, but I have to imagine that they would make it super easy to disguise all the crazy hairs around the crown of your head.


*Affiliate links used when appropriate. 


I’m breaking up with Target.

November 11, 2015

photo-1445883791079-421522d11f18Photo via Unsplash

I’ve been thinking a lot about my new small town life lately. Needless to say, moving from Minneapolis to small town Iowa has been a big change. Sure, I grew up in this small town, but living in a community as a child vs. an adult is a totally different ball game.

I’ve phoned my mom a dozen times asking where to get/do certain things. Where do you drop off dry cleaning? (Answer: Joe’s TV and Appliance, and it will take a week to get back to you.) Where do you buy envelopes? (Answer: You should just go to the neighboring town’s Walmart 20 minutes away.) The paint store closes and noon on Saturday and nothing is open on Sunday, so if you don’t plan in advance, you’re just out of luck unless you want to drive an hour. The list goes on and on.

But this new life we’re living? I love it. No seriously! It’s slow and simple and free of many of the distractions that come with busy city living. It’s also free of Target. Most people shuddered, myself included, when I said that we were about 45 minutes from our nearest Target. “How will you survive?” they asked. “I could never live that far away from Target!” they exclaimed. Trust me, I thought the same thing. We lived in the mecca of Targets, smack dab in the middle of Minneapolis near the 3rd highest grossing Target in the nation. It. was. wonderful.

Since we’ve moved three months ago I’ve walked through the doors of Target only twice. Yes, twice! I can hardly believe it myself. But you guys? It’s been so good for my wallet and my heart. This sounds a little gross to admit, but in the past when I was having a bad day it wasn’t uncommon for me to pack up Ainsley and head to Target, browsing the isles and tossing things I didn’t need in my cart. I didn’t have a spending problem, but my behavior certainly wasn’t healthy and it didn’t actually fix whatever was bothering me, either.

While living in Minneapolis, I had a friend who told me she purposely chooses not to shop at Target because it’s such a spending black hole. Come in for a birthday card and a gallon of milk, leave with a picture frame, two candles, a new outfit for Ainsley and new shoes you don’t need. You know the feeling. I know the feeling. I hate thinking about how much money I’ve wasted over the years purchasing things I don’t actually need.

These days when I need big-box type items, like toothpaste and paper products, I go to Walmart. And no offense to Walmart but I have no desire to mindlessly wander the aisles of Walmart just for the fun of it. It’s an in-and-out type exchange and very few impluse purchases are made. I’m amazed at how Target, something that used to seem like such a necessity in my life, hasn’t really been missed at all!

Okay, so am I taking an absolute stance on no Target? No. After all, I didn’t say I was boycotting the store. It’s fun to pop in around Christmas time or grab a coffee and walk the aisles mindlessly without a baby on your hip, but I’m much better off when Target isn’t a part of my daily, weekly or even monthly routine.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...