My Four Favorite Podcasts

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately, mostly because I’ve been feeling a little lost, not that I’m misunderstood but that I’ve in a sense, become disconnected from my village. So I’ve been struggling on the friend front – or so it feels like. So the podcasts I’ve been listening to, have been – in a way – guiding me through all of it.

favorite podcasts

Dear Prudence – I love love love this one. Mallory Ortberg could be a great bestie – she gives great advice, sounds like she would be fun to hang with and is so effing real and to the point. If you love Ann Landers or any other advice type column, you’ll love this one.

Mom and Dad are Fighting – Another Slate podcast. But the mom and dad on here, though their kids are much older than me talk about all sorts of parenting issues from sleep, to eating to education and everything in between. They have fantastic recommendations and their fails and triumphs always make me feel like I’m doing much better than I probably am. ha!

The Mom Hour – I recently caught wind of this through another podcast I listen to. It’s fantastic. Between the two hosts, they have 8 kids ranging from toddlerhood to high schoolers. They’re real, they speak truth, and as fellow working mamas, they get it.

The Girl Next Door – I love love love this podcast. Their latest episode that I was listening to tonight just…nearly made me cry because everything in my life – self care. friendships. and finding happiness. Their conversations are so authentic that you can’t help but nod along and say OMG YES to all of the things. Also, if you don’t read their blogs, I highly recommend that you check them both out!

 

I have dozens of podcasts that I’ll continue to share every so often. – these are the ones that I’ve been tuning into each week, but if you have any that you love – please share, I’m always looking for new suggestions!

What are your favorite podcasts? 

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Dunkin’ Donuts DD Perks: Who Wants a Free Coffee?

Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Dunkin’ Brands. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I have been a Dunkin Donuts fan for as long as I can remember. The only time I ever drank coffee in my life – during college – was from Dunkin’ Donuts in Shillman Hall (or any of the other FIVE locations on campus) at Northeastern University in Boston. Light and sweet. Usually during finals period to get me through some awful 8AM classes my senior year. Always paired with a couple of chocolate munchkins.

DD Perks

I didn’t stick with coffee – I was more of a soda drinker – but I always, always have loved their hot chocolate. When hubs and I first started hanging out back in 2006, it was in the early weeks of Autumn and a Dunkin’ Donuts had just opened up near Eastern Market. It was a few short blocks from his apartment, and I remember one night when a bunch of us were at trivia, we decided we wanted to hit up Dunkins’ so we asked if anyone else wanted to come along and then just sort of jetted out. We still claim it was our love of Dunkin Donuts that brought us together.

Recently, I was jones-ing for a hot chocolate (with skim milk and whipped cream – try it. i dare you, it’s my favorite) – the Dunkins’ in Annapolis aren’t super convenient to me – so hubs brought me a pick me up. My colleagues chuckled at my giddiness, “you’re such a northerner” they said – as if that’s a bad thing. I have more reason to go to Dunkin’ Donuts as of late though….

…My love of Dunkin’s was recently renewed when I heard they launched their own loyalty program earlier this year. DD Perks rewards customer loyalty with points towards every dollar spent. Currently, guests can earn 5 points for every dollar spent when you pay using an enrolled Dunkin’ Donuts card either plastic or via the ever so easy and super convenient app (you can also enroll with a plastic card) which Hubs and I are both huge fans of. Once you accrue 200 points (you get 5 points for every $1 spent) you earn a FREE beverage of choice. I sense a few free hot chocolates in my future.

So to all my pals out there who I’m trying to unabashedly trying to get on the DD bandwagon – check out DD Perks thru December 5th, simply  enroll in Dunkin’ Donuts DD Perks using the unique Promo Code BLOG to earn a $5 enrollment bonus on your card! No brainer my friends!  It’s a bonus $5 for your fave DD products. This offer is only valid Dec 1 – Dec 5th so be sure to enroll now to receive this special offer.

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The Wurst: Life Lately

So I have to step back and apologize for officially being a horrible blogger.

Life, man.

It started with the week of our anniversary – cramming two weeks of work into five days that didn’t have nearly enough hours and a lot of other crap going on. Thankfully we did get a date night and got to enjoy dinner and some live music out at Lures in Crownsville. Highly recommend!

Anniversary weekend was followed by a week long conference in Boston for work. During which I had the best of intentions to blog and workout but neither really happened (at all) but I did tweet a bunch and because the convention center where the conference was, I did manage to get in about 15,000+ steps each day. BALLER.

{with JL & Liz – two my awesome co-workers at Inbound Rocks with Janelle Monae}

We got home late Thursday night and I had an early (crappy) train ride to New York City, a mediocre lunch with my dad in Penn Station, followed by a m’eh train ride up to Brewster to meet Adam and my sister in law for a weekend at Hunter Mountain where we celebrated my brother in law and his fiancee at a joint bachelor/bachelorette party weekend. Little man stayed with the grandparents – all parties had a great weekend. Adam and I did in the mountains and my in-laws loved their time with the little guy.

Highlight of the weekend? This view.

And these donuts. Homemade, old fashioned cake donuts with your choice of toppings.

This past week was supposed to be clean eating but ended up being…not so clean. That’s what happens when you have events going on every. freakin’. night. Ugh ugh ugh. Life needs to slow the eff down.

I did start out days with some Shakeology (YUM) once I got back and one day even got some juicing in. I need to do that more often.

This week will be a bit more tame. But I’m restarting all of my goals. The tri is off the books, but I am getting PiYo certified next weekend (exciting!). And, and, I’m actually going to menu plan. I haven’t done that in 3 weeks. No wonder I’m so off my friggen a-game.

I digress. October intentions/goals coming up Wednesday. If I want to hold other people accountable, I need to hold myself accountable first. Not just with my fitness goals but also my blogging goals.

This week’s workouts…

Monday – PiYo
Tuesday – Run
Wednesday – PiYo
Thursday – Run
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Dirty Damsel 5k
Sunday – PiYo Certification

Who’s going to be my October accounta-billy-buddy. I just made that word up. What of it? But really, who wants to hold me accountable? (and vice versa! I want to help you reach YOUR goals!) 

 

 

 

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Friday Five: Summer Bucket List

This week, I’m linking up with some of my favorite DC ladies (and fellow ZOOMA Ambassadors!)  for Friday Five and sharing my top five must dos for the summer.

friday five

 

1. Stand Up Paddleboard – I’ve been saying for YEARS that i want to try this. I recently wrote a piece for Chesapeake Inspired on where to go, and there are TONS of places in our area thus now I know. I’m dying to try out Mantra Fit in Severna Park since they offer SUP yoga (!!!). Anyone want to join – there’s a deal on LivingSocial today for a $15 class!

2. Unpack my bedroom. Seriously we have not unpacked our clothes yet and it’s a huge problem. I’d love to have our bedroom in order sooner rather than later to get my butt in gear.

3. Run. I have two adventure races (Foam Fest! Dirty Girl!) this summer and I really want to put together a training group of friends who are looking to run/train for their first race. I also start training for Baltimore at the end of July so I need to start working on building my base and getting over this calf issue. Also, once Adam gets back from AT at the end of June, I really want to make the whole AM running thing more of a habit.

4. Go to a beach. We didn’t go to a beach last year because Ethan was too little and it was super duper hot. This year, I want to make it to Rehoboth or the Cape or NJ at least once.  I think Ethan would just have a blast 🙂 Likewise, if we can’t make it to the beach (which we will. For sure) I definitely want to spend some quality time at our pool

5. Redesign my blog. I know it’s not really a summer-y thing to do, but it’s slow at work and it’s a time to refresh everything else and recommit to fitness goals and eating fresher so why not show the blog a bit of love too? Right? Right.

Check out the other Friday Five participants and share your link over here!

What’s on your summer bucket list? 

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Friday Five: Looking Forward to Edition…

I have half a dozen drafts sitting around that are all half written and woefully out of date. Life has been a bit crazy this week and I’m starting to get back on track. So here’s my Friday Five!

1. Zooma Kick-off! If you’re in Annapolis, I hope you’ll join myself, some of the other amazing ZOOMA Annapolis Ambassadors as we kick off training for the ZOOMA race this May. We’ll be at Charm City Run and stepping off around 8:30a for a 3-5 mile training run. We’ll also have fun treats after the run (mimosas! discounts! what more could you ask for?)

2. Fleet Feet St. Patricks Day Run! Tuesday night at 6:30 at Fleet Feet Annapolis. I ran this a few years ago and it was so fun, last year I was like 36-37 weeks pregnant so no dice, but I’m looking forward to it this year. Did I mention it’s supposed to be 60 degrees Tuesday? Yeah. Come run with me!

3. Getting settled. We moved this week and holy stuff. I’m definitely looking forward to being unpacked and settled in the new place so we can all finally adjust to the new way of life with Ethan in daycare

4. Starting the 21 day fixMy pal Julie is coaching and she’s been raving about this program for WEEKS so I’m excited to be a part of her team and finally get my healthy living goals back on track which have definitely taken a hit the past three weeks since I went back to work and we moved and yeah. Expect to see a lot of meal plans and workouts and race recaps. My colleague is a running junkie like me so that’s probably bad news for my diet.

5. My first indoor triathlonWhich I kind of forgot that I signed up for but you know what, that’s cool. I was supposed to run it with a friend of mine but she bailed for personal reasons but whatevs, rolling with the punches and just going to have a great hour long workout! (10 minute swim, 30 minute bike, 20 minute run).

I know I’ve been on a little hiatus lately as I’ve been adjusting to some major life changes but I promise posting will be more regular in the next week or so once we get settled and I get into a more regular routine. My workouts have been non-existent, my eating has been crap, and I just feel like I need to regroup and writing here more I know will hold me accountable.

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Giving Back

I could have gone out shopping with my sister last night. But decided not to. The principle of the matter. I used to work on Thanksgiving way back in the day and no matter what age you are, it still sucks. I am so against shopping on Thanksgiving for so many reasons.

I get the other side of the argument, but as I heard on the news which I think sums up why it’s not the best way to increase retail sales – my Christmas shopping list doesn’t grow just because stores are open up on Thanksgiving day. This doesn’t magically change how much money I’m going to spend over the next three weeks. Give people the day off, it’s one day, no one needs performance fleece or a flat screen television so bad they can’t wait another eight hours.

So while you’re out shopping for your loved ones, try to give back this holiday season.

I’ve been doing some form of community service since I was a young girl in the Girl Scouts, and later National Honor Society when I had the privilege of dropping off donated boxes filled with Thanksgiving dinner to half a dozen families in my hometown who otherwise wouldn’t have had a dinner. Talk about humbling.

Fast forward to now a days with  my work with the Junior League and as a coach for Girls on the Run.

I love giving back to my community – teaching young girls to be confident in themselves and how to always look for the best in people. I love being a part of the Junior League – an organization that has such a profound impact in our community – teaching women how to be self sufficient, and working with high school students form non-English speaking backgrounds and giving them fun opportunities they may not otherwise have.

This holiday season, give back.

Donate to a food pantry. It’s so easy – bring $15 to the grocery store and see what you can buy – that’s like skipping Starbucks for three days and you can pick up a few items (even healthy ones!) at your local trader joes to drop off.

Find a jacket drive. We recently held a coat drive at our recent Junior League GMM, one that goes to helping out a shelter provide for those who would otherwise be cold in the winter. Hubs and i hadn’t worn most of these jackets in a few years so it felt good to give something warm to someone needy while also freeing up space in our closets.

Donate to Toys for Tots. Toys for tots are everywhere around the holidays and it’s super easy to pick up an inexpensive gift for a kiddo that would otherwise not have anything. Or, find out what toys your local hospital’s children’s ward needs – I bought a lego set on sale for a Lego drive for the children at the pediatric cancer ward at Hopkins when I saw someone was collecting for them in our weekly league email blast.

Find a family. A lot of churches do angel trees where you can adopt a family and pick up gifts for them for the holidays. It’s an easy way to give back with lots of reward – especially when little kiddos are involved.

These are just a few ways – but there are so many ways. Make a meal for a local shelter. Donate blankets to the local NICU. Give money to your favorite local non-profit. There are so many ways – so many little things you can do that have such a big, big impact.

How do you give back to your local community around the holidays?  What organizations do you support?

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Fall Bucket List: Navy Game Tailgate

Last weekend i knocked another item off my fall bucket list – one of a few, and probably one of the only ones I’ll get around to since my weekends have been jam packed.

But my pal Kelly invited us to a tailgate with her, her husband and a couple of their friends. The tailgate was organized by the Knights of Columbus  – it just so happens that Adam is a knight, but he’s been a bit MIA with his MBA classes that happen to fall on the nights they meet.

The tailgate was tons of fun. The KoC had a tent right on Taylor Avenue and the Mids marched past as they walked into the stadium.

navy football midshipmen

We scored pretty awesome seats for the game – right in the end zone about two rows back from the field.

Navy football game No zoom here!

We stayed until half time but Ethan was starting to get too chilly and cranky so we bailed early and finished watching the game at home. It didn’t help that he didn’t have much of an afternoon nap but Adam and i were getting too cold too so we were happy to skee-daddle.

navy football game

Here are my tips to surviving an outdoor sporting event with a baby

Dress for the weather. We were all bundled up but we should have brought a blanket – as the sun started to go down it got chillier than any of us were prepared for. Ethan had a onesie, a sweater and a fleece. He had on a hat and a hood, and jeans and socks. He’s prone to pulling off socks so next time we might put him in shoes – but I read somewhere that shoes are bad for babies not actually standing yet which he’s just kind of sort of starting to do…so it might be almost time but wasn’t as of this past weekend.

Use a carrier. Strollers are not stadium friendly. I don’t care what type of stroller you have. Between stairs, and narrow rows. There’s no room for it. We used the Tula and it worked awesome.

Be mindful of where you’re sitting. Our section – though a great view – had some pretty obnoxious dudes behind us. Definitely not kiddo friendly. Next time I’d get Standing room tickets for the grassy knolls on the other end of the field and bring a blanket. Also, if your babe gets cranky, just take them out of the stands for a minute. My pal’s baby girl got a bit cranky so she walked with her, and when Ethan got cranky, we decided to bow out.

Have your gear accessible. Bottles, diapers, blankets, hats. Make sure you don’t leave it in the car. I left something in the car, I don’t remember what it was, but even though we parked across the street it was still a pain going back for it. We had a bottle in the bag, and plenty o’ diapers as per usual. My bad habit is stuffing my diaper bag so full that I have to pull everything out just to find the formula. Fail mama bear. Faiiilll.

Ethan was a bit more interested in the game or at least thats what I tell myself. Well, him and I both were more so than hubs so there’s that. I love football games, I’m trying to get Hubs on board to be a Navy Football fan (what? They’re the home team!!!) but he’s National Guard which means he’s all Army. Even though quite frankly he’s not really into football. It’s cool though, Ethan and I will be Navy fans (except when they play Army). Any other sport though, it’s all Northeastern. Hockey. Basketball. No questions asked – my Huskies are my number 1.

Mission: baby’s first sporting event overall? Huge success.

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Sunday Reading vol. 1

It’s Sunday and we’re suffering a nasty cold that’s got me on this roller coaster of one day being fine and the next feeling like I’m getting punched in the sinuses. Baby has a bout of a cough that we’re concerned is croup, and hubs well…he woke up feeling like he got hit by a mack truck. Of course baby waking up for an hour at 12:30a with a coughing fit unable to go back down helps no one but whatever. All this is making me feel a bit better about deferring my half next weekend.

Until then, here’s some great reads around the internets for your Sunday morning. Enjoy!

-I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I own half of these items. If you’ve turned 30 or are about to turn 30, check this list from Buzzfeed out and see what items you own.

-One of my favorite Baltimore ladies blogged about her must try squash recipes this fall. Perfect timing since I’m on a huge squash kick after our trip to Larriland Farms in Howard County last weekend. I have one more acorn squash and one more spaghetti squash – might use one of these recipes to cook it up this week!

-I know a few people having babies over the next few months, let’s all take a refresher on new baby visits etiquette.

-I love the Blog Tips from Healthy Living Bloggers – and I really like this post on building your blog as a brand. I’m still working on that but we’re getting there!

Some of these I agree with – not all – add to them a few trends we’ve seen over the years in the HLB community – overnight oats, taking pictures of everything I eat and the worst – taking pictures of myself eating. People, no one needs to see that.

-This post to my postpartum self was so inspiring and hilarious and oh so accurate. Every new mama should read.

-This. All of this – why all healthy living bloggers are not the same. I consider myself a healthy living blogger, but I also consider myself a lifestyle blogger and a pseudo-mommy blogger. Also if I don’t like your blog, if I find you boring, I’m not going to read. I’ve not hesitated to take bloggers off my reader because really…ain’t nobody got time for that.

-I want to make this. I want to be super excited for halloween. I don’t even know where to start but I want to be festive for Ethan’s sake. Even if he doesn’t get it…yet. Here’s a good guide on how to make the first halloween special, I’ll be following all of these for the next month.

 

 

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Happy 6 Months…and a Giveaway

This day, six months ago, at 1:30pm, Ethan John was born via cesarean. It’s been an amazing journey – this whole motherhood thing but not without many lessons along the way.

Over the past six months, I’ve become acquainted with many a fabulous baby products – and some not so fabulous. Today, I want to talk about some great baby products and throw in a little surprise at the end.

Recently, as an Honest ambassador I was hooked up with a couple of cool kits. I had already tried out the essentials kit and I used the diaper kit for Ethan since we subscribe to the diaper bundle – that one lived in his diaper bag. If you haven’t tried their ridiculously cute diapers? I highly recommend them! So, I thought the extra essentials kit would be a great giveaway for y’all to celebrate little man’s 6 month birthday!

honest essentials kit giveaway

I keep the lotion and body wash for when we travel since they’re not drying to Ethan’s skin and I use the lotion on my self as well. The diaper balm lives in his diaper bag – it’s not my absolute, must live without favorite, Target brand diaper cream won us over early on for clearing up his first super angry diaper rash in about a day. But this stuff works great on the go, and will usually do the trick at keeping any angry redness at bay.

That being said, I’ve heard great things about the healing balm being great for super dry skin in tough areas – elbows, knees and heels.

I love the hand soap for it’s gentleness and subtle fragrance, and the laundry detergent is still on my list to try – I currently use 7th Generation laundry detergent and love it but I’m itching to try this stuff out since again, I’ve heard awesome things. All of these – baby or not – are super great products and are just like the bundle refers to them… essentials. 

honest diapers discovery kit

I’ve really tried to put a priority on using safe and sustainable products with baby which was one of the reasons I was so drawn to Honest. I actually became curious after reading about them so much over on Jaclyn’s blog. I tried out the free kits, canceled the essentials bundle (it didn’t make sense for us) but kept the diaper bundle.

The great thing about any of the Honest bundles (aside from the actual product) is that you can set your own ship dates. We don’t receive our bundle every month. We had one bundle of the size 1’s which lasted us until he was in size 2’s. We had a free case of size 2’s so after we used that, we set our ship date for our next bundle. I don’t know when he’ll be in the size 3’s but I can keep pushing the date back as needed so when people say $80/month on diapers? Outrageous. Not every month. $80 for 3 months? Less outrageous no?

So today, as little man celebrates six months of life on the beach, I want to know from you all how do you practice ‘green’ living? What are your essential products?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I did receive products for free from the Honest Ambassador program, however, all opinions here are my own and I was not compensated in any way for my review or giveaway of these products. Additionally if you are interested in trying any of the amazing Honest products, I do hope you’ll sign up through my referral link. 

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So in love

You know, there days when life is so crazy, and I feel like all I do is nurse and nurse and nurse. And I think what am I doing with my life… and then there are days, when everything is just so perfect and beautiful and I see this when I wake up…

cuddles

And I see these faces. You see, Ethan is back to his regular sleep – waking up between 3:30 and 5a and going back to sleep til about 7:30-8:00am. After the 7:30am/8:00am feeding, Ethan will nap in bed with us until we get out of bed (usually by 9am – hubs is up much earlier during the week but not me unless I have to).

This morning, I had a walking date with Liz (which I was going to bring Ethan on until he decided to keep sleeping) but I looked over at 9am and saw this and thought I am the luckiest girl in the world. To have a husband as wonderful and loving as Adam, and a son as precious and amazing as Ethan.

Each morning, when I look over and see these two faces, looking so much alike, with the same sleepy expressions, I can’t help but fall more and more in love with both of them.

So filled with love and happiness. I can’t even handle my own cheesiness.

Happy weekend friends!

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