Pregnancy Fitness Guidelines + Workout Faves

April 24, 2019

First things first, I’m not a medical professional, so please consult your doctor on any workouts you plan to do while pregnant. This is my experience with this baby and this pregnancy only. ūüôā

As a miscarriage momma, I found that with both my pregnancies with Ainsley and Collins (more so Ainsley) I brought a lot of fear to my workouts. I had a lot of self-imposed rules I followed (no high impact activities, no running, obsessive about heart rate, nothing too strenuous) because I was so scared I would miscarry early on and those patterns continued into the remainder of the pregnancy. As someone who loves to sweat, it was hard for me to avoid most workouts aside from walking and very light weight training.

I’ve been thankful that for some reason, whether it’s the way I’m carrying this baby or my physical shape before getting pregnant, I’ve felt better physically doing things like running, interval-style workouts and all my usual favorites. Working out like normal has really helped me feel more normal this pregnancy, which is a gift I’m not taking for granted.

I’ve also worked hard on my mental state, to make sure that I’m approaching pregnancy fitness with a reasonable mindset – using my doctor’s guidelines rather than fears to guide what is reasonable during pregnancy. As a general rule, most of the workouts that you did before you got pregnant you can continue to do (perhaps with some modifications) while pregnant.

If you’re pregnant, and not sure where to start or how to proceed working out while pregnant, here’s a good place to start:

The old guidelines about heart rate are outdated.
Chances are you’ve heard something about heart rate and not getting your heart rate over a certain point while pregnant and exercising. Turns out, according to Mayo Clinic, that’s an outdated guideline. Your previous level of physical fitness before getting pregnant is a much more important factor. A better rule of thumb is making sure you can still carry on a conversation while doing your workouts. So if you see my running + talking to myself, that’s usually why. I’m just checking to make sure I can still speak in a full sentence.

You should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity 
aerobic activity. 
I find that wearing my Apple Watch is one of my favorite ways to keep myself accountable – pregnant or not – to my activity goals each day. Having a track record of activity (or lack thereof) is definitely an added boost to get in a walk or workout or just play actively with the girls outside when it’s been a less active day.

Some of my favorite formal ways to get in a workout during pregnancy are:

Beachbody on Demand // It’s no secret I love my BOD subscription. I love the workouts and ease of working out at home in the margins of my day. My favorite workouts are T25, 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme, Transform 20, and LIIFT 4.

The Balanced Life Sisterhood // I’m a member of my friend Robin’s The Balanced Life Sisterhood which is a platform that houses so many amazing pilates workouts. I’ve found Pilates to be a great compliment to what I’m already doing and maintaining strength + flexibility is so important while pregnant.

Running // Like I mentioned above, running didn’t sit well with me with either of my previous pregnancies but this time around it still feels good, 24 weeks in! I’m not sure if it’s the way I’m carrying this baby or what, but I’ve been thankful to continue to run (albeit much more slowly) this time around.

The benefits of pregnancy exercise are numerous.
Sometimes when I’m not feeling particularly motivated to exercise, I keep in mind the many benefits of staying active while pregnant. Those being:
-Reduces back aches, swelling, bloating and constipation
-Improved mood
-Increases energy
-Promotes muscle tone, strength and endurance (great for labor!)
-May help prevent gestational diabetes
-Improved sleep
-Makes it easier for you to get back in shape post baby

Be on the lookout for warning signs.
Some of those warning signs being:
-Feeling dizzy and/or faint
-Chest pains
-Shortness of breath before exercising
-Muscle weakness
-Regular/painful contractions
-Fluid leaking from the vagina


Favorite (Comfy!) Shoes Round-Up

April 17, 2019

About a year ago I came to a major realization: I needed more shoes. I know many women joke about having too many shoes, but I was in the opposite camp, sticking with the same very small rotation of shoes day in and day out. It wasn’t until I was getting ready for a Beautycounter trip last year that I noticed how lacking my shoe selection was.

Over the last year I’ve tested a lot of different shoes. Since we live in the middle of nowhere there have been a lot of packages delivered and returned, but here are a few of my new and current favorites!

1. Rothys (Pointy Toe Flat)
The first time I tried these on, I actually returned them. I think I bought a size too small because the pointy toe was not working for me, but after friend after friend raved about how comfy they are, I couldn’t help but give them another try. I’m SO glad that I did because I’m totally in love!

They are an investment, but if you use the referral code below you can get $20 off your first pair, and I love that the shoes are made with recycled plastic water bottles + recycled carbon-free rubber AND machine washable (what?!) which my friends have assured me keeps them looking like new long after you buy them.

I got both the pointy toe flat and the sneaker and love the way they look + fit. I’m eyeing the bubblegum pink kid’s sneakers for Ainsley when school starts back up again in the fall!

PS: You can get $20 off your first pair when you use this link!

2. New Balance Women’s Cruz Sock Fit
Oh my gosh, these shoes! They literally feel like I’m wearing a pair of very comfortable and supportive socks. I wouldn’t say these are shoes I would do actual exercise in, but they have been great for running around town, travel, family walks, and playing with the girls. I actually don’t want to take them off when I walk in the house because they feel so good on my feet. Need I say more?!

3. Everlane – The Day Heel
I’m on the tall side, so heels are never my favorite favorite because I don’t love towering over my friends but the height of these heels is just enough to dress up any outfit without being too tall for comfort and function.

Note: With Everlane shoes, I find they run small and are best when you size up.

4. Velma Slip On Pointy Toe Mules – A New Day (Target)
I love a good mule and am SO so happy this trend seems here to stay. These flat mules are my absolute favorite and so easy to wear! I’ve bought two pairs of the blush color!

5. Rothy’s (Sneakers)
I love Rothy’s sneakers for many of the same reasons that I mentioned about the pointy toe flats, but the sneakers are just SO so cute and comfy that I had to mention them here as well!

6. Naturalizer Block Heel Sandals
These are both cute + comfy and work great for dressing up an outfit without seeming too “over the top” if you will. I have a few different pairs of shoes from Naturalizer and I LOVE how comfortable they all are!


100 Unique Boy Baby Names

April 4, 2019

Hi Friends! Some of you probably saw that over on Instagram I asked for baby boy name suggestions since we are having THE hardest time settling on a name for this baby! Boy names = not our strong suit. I think we have a couple favorites we are deciding between, but many of you messaged me asking if I would share the name suggestions that came in.

I figured the best/most long lasting way to do so was over here in a blog post that can be easily referenced! If you’re struggling like we are to come up with a baby name then I hope this can be helpful to you, too!


Our Family’s All-Time Favorite Biscuits

March 6, 2019

Hi friends! I can’t believe that I don’t have this recipe up on the blog. It’s our family’s absolute favorite biscuit recipe and the recipe that my mom made for me growing up, too. I realized I do have a version of this recipe up on the site from years ago, but for some reason I made them with whole wheat flour rather than all purpose flour, a decision I don’t really understand since these biscuits really should just be made with all purpose flour. They are flaky, buttery, perfectly delicious.

Every single time I ask Joe on the weekends, “What would you like for breakfast?” He gets a sly little smile on his face and says, “You don’t want to make biscuits, do you?” Thankfully, they are so easy to make that I am usually happy to oblige. And once you have the method and recipe down, it’s easy to remember and recreate from heart, no recipe needed!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup milk (whole or 2%)
Additional milk for brushing on top of biscuits

Heat oven to 450¬įF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper OR use a cast-iron skillet for baking biscuits. If you use a cast-iron skillet, you can skip the parchment.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt until well combined. Add butter to flour mixture and use pastry blender or fork to work butter into flour mixture until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with some slightly larger pieces remaining.

Add milk to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Turn mixture out onto countertop and bring mixture together with your hands. Knead 3 to 4 times until dough comes together. Flatten into a 1/2-inch-thick disc. Fold dough in half crosswise to make a double thickness of dough.

Use a biscuit cutter to cut biscuits from dough. Place on baking sheet or into cast iron skillet. Brush biscuits lightly with milk, if desired. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown and fluffy.

Serve with butter, jam or honey!

Fashion, Pregnancy

First 20 Weeks Pregnancy Clothing Favorites

February 27, 2019

Lounge Wear
GapFit Seamless Low Support Plunge Sports Bra // These are THE best bras. They are comfortable enough to sleep in, wear around the house and for low impact exercise. I can totally see myself using these for nursing bras, too, down the road.

Gap Vintage Soft Maternity Pullover Sweatshirt // So comfortable/cute and doesn’t look like maternity. I’ve been wearing this for weeks now!

Gap Pure Body Modal Joggers // I’ve owned these for years and LOVE them pregnant and not pregnant. Just bought two more pairs because my older pairs were getting worn out.

The Be Brand Sweatshirts // Love these sweatshirts and long sleeved shirts for super comfy lounge wear that’s cute enough to wear out and about.

Work Wear
I’ve bought a bunch of dresses recently from H&M for Beautycounter functions and been really impressed with their cut and fit! I haven’t been getting maternity items, just gravitating toward looser styles. I have this dress in black and a dress in leopard that I can’t find on the site anymore and I love them both.

I also think I’ll be making more purchases from Carly Jean Los Angeles because their flowy styles are perfect for pregnancy and postpartum recovery. I just got the Stella Half Sleeve Dress in black and will probably buy another dress or two in a similar style for being majorly pregnant in the summer months. I also got the Addison Jumpsuit and a few of their awesome tunic tops.

I have never owned a proper maternity swimsuit while pregnant because my babies were born in February and May. I never really needed to wear one while pregnant – barring a few trips to the indoor pool – so I just made do with what I had.

Knowing I’m not due until August 10th, I thought it was a good idea to get my hands on a maternity suit for the summer. I found THIS ONE from Gap and I can’t tell you how much I love it. I have the black version and it fits well and is super comfy!

Other Suggestions
I have been a Rent the Runway Unlimited member for a handful of months because I had a bunch of Q1 work travel on the calendar and wanted to make sure I had the right outfits. It’s an economical and eco friendly way to shop for items that you might only wear once. Rather than buying said items, you can pay a monthly subscription and simply “check out” four items at a time, returning them whenever you want for another four items. It’s been especially helpful during this transition time when I don’t really want to invest in nicer pieces in sizes that won’t fit down the road.

For a full round-up of the jeans I have loved this pregnancy, reference THIS POST.

Espresso & Cream Behind the Scenes

Stay in touch and sign up for the Espresso & Cream mailing list! This is where I share behind-the-scenes sneak peeks into what I'm loving, cooking, eating, wearing and more. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!