My Comeback Post

So I accidentally took some time off blogging. Not on purpose, really, I just stopped having time for it. The time off was needed though, I needed a break.

Back in March, I started a new job that has been really challenging and while I’ve enjoyed it, it’s brought on some new challenges along the way at home, in life, and with life balance.

Since becoming a working mama, I had this rule of four. You can manage four things really well. Anything else is likely going to suffer. For me, those things have been family, work, self-care, and [insert fourth thing here]. Whether that’s running, biking, friends, junior league, blogging – they all have waves.

comeback post

But I’m ready to come back. On my own terms, though. I need to stop comparing myself to the bloggers who blog for a living, and the bloggers that maybe don’t have children and have beautiful homes, have perfect photos that they spend hours shooting, and just…have more time. We all have different stories and for me, it was a season where my story needed a break from blogging. 

I know that I’m not going to be a blogger that rakes in big money, nor am I going to be a blogger who spends thousands of dollars at the N-Sale and then returns half of it after doing photo shoots. I’m okay with this. Bloggers, I think are becoming the demise of the industry they created.

A while ago, I spoke with Renee about this on her podcast – when her and I started blogging over 10 years ago, blogging was about community. Connections. Somewhere in the past decade, that got lost. I miss that. I miss the connections I made through the DC blogger community. Blogging often seems about monetization. Everyone doing it as a hustle. I’m not going to lie, I have enjoyed some monetization from blogging BUT nominal in recent years. 

So, Where do I Go from Here?

I have a backlog of pretty outfits that I’ve been sporting and some #MomLife challenges that I’m ready to share. Here’s what my blog is going to focus on going forward:

  • Outfit posts – because I love these. My photos are self-taken most of the time, with the occasional husband photographer photo.),
  • Mental health – this is a battle I’ve been fighting recently, as some of you may have seen from my Instagram stories. I’ve found that as a working mom, fighting this battle can be lonely and overwhelming. As a mom in general, this battle can be lonely and overwhelming but I want to share my struggles and triumphs because it’s so important to let people know that you are NOT alone.
  • Fitness. I’m a run coach, I’m a fitness enthusiast. The friends I look forward to the most are the ones I run with and/or workout with. I love trying new workouts, new challenges, and I love sharing them on my blog.
  • #MomLife. As a parent of a child with some special needs, life can be a bit harried. There’s self-doubt, worries, anxiety, and triumphs. I’m not as eloquent as some of the other mom bloggers out there BUT we do have a story to share as we embark on the kindergarten journey in the next month.
  • Marketing. Listen, I’m not a GREAT blogger, but I am a content marketer by trade so I know some stuff. I’ve been around the blogging block – I understand best practices, I’ve taught others, and if there’s one thing I could talk for DAYS on its marketing and blogging and social media.

 

So hey, community, I want to know – what do YOU want to see here. Leave a comment! Tell me what’s been new with you! 

signature

Loving Lately: Target Finds

Guys, Target seriously has my number right now. 

Ever since the A New Day line hit last fall, they’ve kind of been killing it on all fronts. Recently, they launched the Universal Threads line – which is super swoon-worthy and has me all kinds of lusting for spring weather.

The shoes! The tanks! The bags. I want them all. Seriously. But instead of spending money that I quite frankly, don’t really have right now, I’ll just blog about all the things.

 

Here are 9 Target finds that you need to RUN for…right now. Like seriously, I’m super jazzed to add some of these pieces to my spring wardrobe because they are versatile, budget friendly and a little trendy (I’m loving the tie front trend lately!). 

Structured Hobo Bag | Ponte Fit & Flare Dress | tie Front tank top | Blush Mules | tie front long sleeve blouse | faux wrap front tank | off the shoulder top | wedge sandals | Gingham bow flats

What are you loving lately? Anything from Target you’re running for right now??

signature

Currently Craving: All Pink Everything

Happy Monday friends!

Once upon a time, my blog was titled “Life in Pink” – pink was a long favorite color of mine – less so now, but still a welcome freshness and feminine accent. So i thought it would be fun to find all the cute pink things on my wishlist (mostly workout gear ah-hem) think pink

[Top L-R: Leggings | mug | top | cape | bow mules | Perfume | Sneakers | Open Back Tank | Off the Shoulder sweater | Nail polish | Peplum t-shirt ]

Blushes and mauves are my favorites right now – long since I moved away from bright fuschia pink, blush became a staple of mine in my wardrobe. The workout tops from Gap, Athleta respectively are super feminine, the mauve leggings from Lulu are STUNNING (and their luxtreme fabric is my FAVORITE for workouts).

Pink on your feet is super fun too when you need a touch of brightness – one of my Fit4Mom coaches has these sneaks that I’ve been swooning over for a few weeks (well since I realized I needed new sneakers – I’ll probably get these in navy though since they fit with my workout wardrobe better ;). These mules are pretty for the office with a nice feminine touch as well. Really you can never turn down a pair of mules with a bow…in any color.

Finally, I’m not one for bright nail colors, you’ll often find me with nude or lavender/greyish on my nails – when they’re actually painted that is – but this light pink from Essie “Eternal Optimist” is super pretty and non-offensive for those who can’t stand bright or super dark colors.

Are you thinking pink? 

signature

Lessons from Body Back: How I stay Motivated

So I’m over a quarter of the way done with round 4 of Body Back. Granted, Round 3 was a mini session over the holidays, but this will put me at three, full 8-week sessions and 1 four week session- 28 weeks, 56 insane HIIT workouts that have made me stronger than I’ve ever been.

The other day I saw my coach share a post of mine on the Fit4Mom Severn board and asked “how do you maintain motivation through four sessions? Any tips?” 

I had to think about it because while there are lessons I’ve learned, I can’t pinpoint exactly what’s kept me MOTIVATED perse. I mean, goals. The community those are really the two biggest things that keep me going back for more, but here are four lessons and facts that have kept me motivated and goal-focused.

  1. You are stronger than you know.

    Hand-stand pushups? Check. 9-minute mile? Check. One legged pushup. Check. When I started Body Back on that hot day back in June, I did 3 pushups. Maybe 5 situps? We switched the minute of burpees for a 1-mile run (9:14! My fastest mile since before Little man!) this round, but previous rounds – burpees have been my nemesis BUT burpees with a chattarunga pushup? Ain’t no thang.  If you don’t test your body, you’re not going to get stronger. Push your own limits, you’ll be surprised what your body can do. When I feel unmotivated, I find something to focus on – something I want to test, limits I think I can bust past. Keep testing yourself. Every week, every day. Find something new.

  2. It takes a damn village

    October was a pretty stressful month for me – work was crazy busy and we were beginning to feel the pinch of Adam’s military ETS. But man, these mama’s lifted me up. They pushed me. On those nights when I just wanted to stay at home and not shuffle across town, this village kept me motivated.

    It’s really hard for me when I’m not focused on specific goals – which mind you, I wasn’t super focused round 2 and mini round. But now? I’m focused. I have big goals. My village keeps me accountable and they keep me driven to succeed. I’m pretty competitive by nature, but having that accountability to show up and leave it all out there, is pretty fierce to keep me motivated and accountable.

  3. Be specific about your goals

    My coach said to me as I embarked on round 4, that she was going to challenge my goals. But then, my goals were super specific and she was really excited about them. I don’t think I’ve been as specific as I’ve been this round – I want a sub 30 minute 5k, I want a sub 2 hour Cherry Blossom 10 miler in April and I want to be under 150 lbs by my 35th birthday in April, because strong or not, and whether we tell ourselves the number on the scale matters or doesn’t – to some it does. To me it does. I want to be a healthy weight for my height and I’m closer than I was in June, but I’m not as close as I’d like to be (roughly 4 pounds away to be exact from this shorter term goal. Longer term I’m about 20 lbs away from where I’d LIKE to be). But knowing I have specific goals has kept me focused, I upped my running to 2-3 days, and while I have not been 100% to plan, I’ve been closer to 95% which is better than the 80/20 I was doing. So keep those goals SMART – when they’re not, focused and specific, I promise you’re going to have a hard time staying motivated (that was me, round 2 in the fall – it was a tough few months for me though).

  4. It’s Your Money

    Homies, Body Back Transformations is NOT the cheapest program in the world, but it is worth every penny. You pay for the meal plan – stick to it. You pay for the coaching, lean on them. The Facebook group? Use it to hold yourself accountable. But seriously – it’s an investment. If you don’t lean on the recipes, the coaching, the group and the workouts – both class and at home – you’re not going to see the results you want. Knowing that I paid for this ish, keeps me motivated and accountable. The fact that I did NOT gain weight over the holidays I fully attribute to that 4-week mini session. #accountabilityyo

Fitness goals are tough friends. Running goals are tough. Setting personal goals for YOURSELF as a working mom is tougher. Taking time for yourself is really hard, but be the example for your LO’s friends. Be. The. Example. That is one of the things I have loved most about Body Back is that it’s for moms, by moms. It forces us to take time for us, with an emphasis on self-care – like they say “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Truer words have never been spoken, friends.

I remind myself that every Tuesday and Thursday when i go to class and E asks if I’m going to “mommy gym” or every saturday when he sees me get up at the crack of dawn to run with my MRTT group that I am being an example to him of healthy habits and a healthy lifestyle. Goals aside, wanting to be that example for kiddos, is motivation enough.

What keeps YOU motivated mamas?

 

signature

Bad Shopping Habits to Fix in 2018

Hi, I’m Heidi and I have a shopping problem.

It’s gotten better in recent years – of course, we’re spending a lot of money on all of Little Man’s various therapies and of course daycare so my shopping budget has gone down. But I still find ways to find a great LOFT or J.Crew Factory sale that I just can’t not buy something from. No Mas!

This year, I’m committed to paying off debt and a large part of that means stopping some of my bad shopping habits (it also means earning more money but that’s a topic for another day). Seriously, I’ve been a habitual shopper for many years (thus my foray into style blogging – after reading so many fantastic, and relatable, style blogs for so many years but with goals to pay off debts, it’s time to crack the whip on bad shopping habits of the past.

bad shopping habits

Stop buying things just because you see it on a blog

I love reading style blogs and will often buy things that I see that look cute on others buuutttt then I get it, and while I love it, it might hang in my closet or just not look as good on me. I want to stop being so quick to those impulse buys and start holding back on what I purchase but, fun fact: we’re all called influencers for a reason and those homegirls got my number. 

If it doesn’t fit, return it.

See above. Rather than letting unworn clothes sit in my closet for a year before they get resold or donated, returning within the 2-4 week return window that most stores have. There’s really no reason to be holding onto pieces in my closet that I do not absolutely 200% love.

Stop using retail as therapy

When I was in college, retail was ABSOLUTELY therapy for me. Bad day? Go stroll down Newbury Street. Hungover? Brunch at the Pru. No class on Wednesday afternoon? Go shopping at Cambridgeside. Granted, while those time-wasting habits are gone,  I am still the queen of finding good prices (it’s not like I was raking in dough and most/all of my credit card debt came on after college when I got my first credit card) but I would buy cheap pieces that would fall apart after a few wears, or pieces that were good for a Friday night out but not necessarily office friendly. Nowadays, while I’m less likely to use retail as therapy, after a bad day at work there’s still nothing I love more than to pop into Target or Old Navy or Arundel Mills on my way home and peruse the racks. That’s gotta stop. Like…yesterday.

Invest in quality pieces

See above. I want quality pieces that are not only multi-purpose (i.e. great for weekends AND the office) – it’s not like I’m strutting around in crop tops here, so a solid sweater from Nordstrom that can be paired with a skirt or a nice pair of work pants is a win in my book. Stop buying cheap-o handbags that fall apart after a season (especially given how much ish I put my tote and handbags through), but invest in one or two solid bags for weekend and work. Those inexpensive Old Navy jeans are still solid (seriously, my favorite budget pants), but make sure that the blouses you’re pairing with them aren’t from Forever21 – you’re too old for that.

I’m going to hold myself accountable here,  I’ll share what (if anything) I bought/returned each month and i will refrain… from buying the same pieces in multiple colors. Unless I know for SURE that I will wear it. A number of my favorite bloggers do this in various ways and I want to hold myself to this resolution – besides what doesn’t fit one style blogger and looks like a giant sack, might be the best thing someone else has tried on all year! Right?!

 

What are your shopping tendencies? Any bad habits you’re looking to break in the year ahead?

signature

Ten Ways to Practice Self-Care

Last night at my Body Back session, when I was chatting with one of my coaches, she reminded me to practice self-care. I KILLED it with our assessment and am really proud of how well I did – but the one thing I have been struggling with is self-care.

Hubs has been sick. Managing our finances has been…tough. And, yesterday we had a long 5+ hour evaluation at Kennedy Krieger for little man. Needless to say, stress is my middle name lately.

Each week our coaches are suggestion focus areas, which could be anything from “drinking more water” or “don’t forget your snacks.” This week, my coach’s suggestion for me was #selfcare. Which admittedly, hasn’t been my strong suit over the past two months.

I actually had to do a little brainstorming here – and thought about my favorite ways but also looked up some new ways because, well, like most working (and non-working) moms, self-care isn’t always my forte.

Here are ten ways to practice self-care that don’t take a lot of money, or effort, and depending on where you live, are also seasonally appropriate.

 

  1. Get lost in a good book under a cozy blanket.
  2. Get a mani-pedi.
  3. Unplug/turn off your phone.
  4. Take a relaxing bubble bath
  5. Do something creative for an hour (I’ve recently started hand lettering and bullet journaling which is super fun for me)
  6. Go to a yoga class
  7. Meditate
  8. Take yourself on an afternoon date
  9. Diffuse some essential oils
  10. Declutter your workplace/home office.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do for myself over the next week, but whatever it is, it’ll be for just me, not for hubs, or little man. It’ll be an hour for me to be selfish. We as mamas give so much to everyone around us, and so often forget about ourselves. So take that hour mama. I will. We deserve it.

How do you practice self-care? 

signature

Currently | December

Happy Wednesday my friends! I’ve been a little behind on my blogging game lately (life!) But I’m out of the holiday craziness

Lighting | Holiday scented candles. We finally used up my Fall ones so I’m busting out the holiday scents like Christmas Cookie, Snow Day and Merry and Bright. Target has some FANTASTIC scents right now in their signature soy candles but I usually get my favorites from either Yankee Candle OR Bath & Body Works. #Targetdoesitagain

Spending | A lot of time on pinterest looking for Elf ideas. Seriously, I’m on a roll – exception my Saturday night, when I had a little too much fun at my company holiday party and Hubs, took over – but I’ve been perusing ALL of the Elf Ideas.

Choosing | CHRISTMAS cards. I’m pretty good about getting them out in a timely manner, but I’m a little behind this year. This is also the first year of using a 2-3 photo card since we have some awesome ones from Disney and then our family photo shoot last month so narrowing down pictures is going to be tough!

Sending | all of the emails. We’ve been on an email marketing binge (thankfully to segmented groups biggest marketing pet peeve) sending no fewer than 2 emails per week for the past two weeks. Exhausting to say the least and my marketing brain is mush!!!

Singing | All of my favorite holiday tunes. The other day I was finally into the festive mood when I was getting my nails done for my holiday party – my favorites are Wham!’s Last Christmas, U2’s Please Come Home and of course, Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas (is you).

Linking up with Anne in Residence for the monthly Currently roundup! Join us on the first Wednesday of the month to share what you’re currently up to!

signature

10 Beauty Products I Can’t Live without

In the recent years, largely since I went back to work after baby, I started to care a little more about my looks. Not so much in comparison to many others, but more in a how can I make myself put together without spending a lot of time on it care. Not to mention, I’m in my mid-thirties now and surely I won’t look like I’m in my mid-20’s forever (or so I’ve been told) so I gotta keep myself looking pretty.

So I’ve found – over a lot of trial and error, my can’t-live-without’s. As little man has grown, my time to make myself pretty has diminished. Greatly. So I’ve simplified my get ready for work routine. I’m not alone though, I bet every working mom – any mom really – would say the same. There’s never any time. There’s beauty in a simplified routine (pun mostly intended) and I’m so glad I’ve found a routine that works for me.

I typically have 45 minutes to an hour to get dressed, get little man dressed, get myself dressed and made up and get out the door (hopefully with a packed lunch and breakfast). There is rarely a day when I don’t at least have mascara on – even on weekends.

I should also add, that I don’t spend tons on my appearance – as I’ve discovered through trial and error and reading reviews – you really don’t have to.  Most of my favorites are purchased at Ulta or Target because that’s where I can afford and I’m not about to drop $50 on mascara or $60 on overpriced lipstick.

So here are my ten products that I use/can’t live without.

Skincare: Moisturizer | Night Mask | Cleanser

I don’t have a huge routine when it comes to skincare – I use moisturizer every day (Boots Botanical Moisturizer  (with SPF 15) ) once or twice a week I use this  Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Night Mask at night which leaves my skin with a healthy glow when I wake up. Of course I have my cleanser and once in a blue moon (aka when I remember) toner. I love the Yes to Grapefruit cleanser which I use every day.

Make up

Primer | Bronzer | Eye Liner | Eye Shadow | Mascara | Mascara Primer

My makeup routine can be done in less than ten minutes. I prime with this ELF primer (the price point is so right), use Benefit Dallas bronzer for a nice glow, (Benefit pressed foundation with a little blush in the winter months), Sophie Kashuk eye liner, eye shadow and then mascara primer and mascara. I love the Falsies mascara by Maybelline which took me a while to find (trial and error folks) but now it’s my go to. I never used mascara primer before I got a sample of it in a Target Beauty box a few months ago now I can’t live without it.

favorite make up

Hair

Heat Protectant | Dry Shampoo

I recently got my hair highlighted for the first time in over five years. Thanks to my stylist, I use this purple shampoo (how did I never know of this?!) and I started (shame on me) using the amazing CHI Heat Protectant – if you use a straightener or curling iron and aren’t using this, shame on you.

Finally, since I don’t wash my hair every day, I couldn’t live without dry shampoo – I used to use Not My Mother’s brand which was good… but then I read something about Batiste and gave it a try and it is so much better. I use this on days typically when I don’t workout (otherwise I will give my hair a good wash) but if I showered and then went to spin class, I won’t still shampoo again, so I’ll shower cap it up and use this.

best hair products

 

Voila! My must have products – that I love and use every day. 

What are your must haves? What’s worth the money and what’s not?

beauty products

This post may contain affiliate links. 

signature

Race Recap: Annapolis 10 Miler

A while ago, a friend of mine in my MRTT group convinced a bunch of us to run the Annapolis 10 miler. I had previously boycotted this race because I was pissed about it being canceled a few years ago (thanks, Hurricane Irene).

Thankfully, unlike previous years it was a. not a monsoon, and b. not a million degrees.

Expo

I hit up the expo first thing – we got fun MRTT tank tops that I had to pick up. The expo was a decent sized – all outdoors at the Naval Academy Stadium. The “swag” was a pretty bad ass bottle opener and a hat. On point Annapolis Striders!

We enjoyed an afternoon at a brewery (carbo-loading!) in Dundalk with hubs and little man – we played some cornhole and sipped on a sampler. On our way home, we picked up my favorite pre-race dinner of sushi and laid low for most of the night.

Of course, right before bed, I realized I hadn’t found my hand held water bottle and had a rage blackout since I bought it specifically for the A10. Needless to say, I did not find it and went to bed angry. Whoops.

Race day

Alarm went off at 5:25, snoozed, got out of bed at 5:35, rushed to get ready, grab a mini bagel and run out the door. Made it to Annapolis, hit traffic right before the stadium (damn you Rowe Blvd!!!) but still made it to the Blue Angel jet with less than 5 minutes before the scheduled MRTT photo. That’s what I call winning.

MRTT AACOMD

The weather was really, really perfect. We started opposite way of Zooma which was different BUT convenient given we had prime spots to hit up the quickly shortening lines for the port-a-pots as the start time got closer.

A group of us started the race together but got split up less than a mile in when one of our group members sprained an ankle on a pothole. Stupid Annapolis roads 🙁

Alas, three of us kept going running 4 – 1 intervals. I’m going to reiterate that the weather was beyond perfect for August in Annapolis. The hills, didn’t seem as bad as everyone made them out to be, and despite the run through some quieter neighborhoods on the Severn/Arnold side of the Severn River, the crowds were friendly and encouraging.

My knees, which have been acting up lately and that I’ve been getting some PT on, weren’t terrible until Mile 8 and that horrible downhill on 450 approaching the Naval Academy bridge.

I kept the attitude positive – the Naval Academy bridge at mile 8.5 is rough. But I kept us motivated with my countdown. The last half mile is around the stadium and up the final hill past the Blue Angel at the Naval Academy stadium – for anyone who has run Marine Corps marathon before, the uphill at the end of EVERY race is like a toned down version of the last .2 miles running up to Iwo Jima.

Annapolis 10 mile run

I finished strong – please excuse the incredibly awkward fuel belt/race belt. Note to self – one or the other. My time was 2 minutes slower than the CB10 miler back in April BUT, this was hillier, and I trained slightly better. I felt stronger at the very least whereas with Cherry Blossom I hit a big ole wall around mile 7. The intervals certainly helped me keep my knees and feet in decent shape. Though there were a couple of times I definitely walked when I didn’t need to necessarily (that picture I took on main street… 😉 ) but I had fun and really, unless you’re running for the big bucks…having fun and not getting hurt is all that matters.

Chip Time: 2:03:22
AG: 148/165 (solid BOTP!!! No shame!!!)

In 2018, I’m gunning for that sub 2 hour time!

signature

Five Reasons to Run Zooma Annapolis

Zooma is one of my favorite local races and this year they’re celebrating 10 years of the Annapolis Zooma race.  They also recently updated their website and announced the rest of the 2017 and early 2018 race schedule. I’m lucky enough to be an ambassador for the third year, but I am so excited to be a part of this organization and this running community. Also, Zooma was one of the first races I signed up for when we first moved back to this area so it has a special place in my heart. 

Here are five reasons to sign up for the Zooma Annapolis race this year: 

  1. The scenic course

You get some stunning views of the bay and historic Downtown Annapolis – seriously, running in DTA is one of my favorite places – not to mention the first half of the course is relatively “flat”-ish (disregard the Naval Academy bridge…). The course has some gorgeous views of the Severn River as you cross the Naval Academy bridge and of course the state house and the Bay. 

zooma annapolis 2012

  1.  The community

Imagine running with 5,000 of your closest friends. This race has always been one of the friendliest and most supportive in terms of the people running alongside. Though I’m much more of a solo runner, I always see fantastic runner friends on the course. 

zooma ambassadors 2014

  1. The After party

Wine for days my friends. The Afterparty is historically sponsored by Barefoot wines. They usually have fun music, massages available, and decent food for a post-race party. Who doesn’t want to hang out in the Navy Marine Corps stadium listening to good music sipping on fun wine?

  1. The swag

The swag is ALWAYS solid for this race. Feetures socks (my favorite!!!), in the past they’ve also included yoga mats, cute shirts and recently added medals to everyone’s race (NOT just the Half Marathon).

  1. A distance for everyone

Don’t want to run a half marathon? No big deal. They have a 10k and a 5k – which all have the same benefits. The 10k is my favorite distance (full disclosure, most half marathons in Annapolis have the same course and I LOATHE going up the hill after the Naval Academy bridge so I stick to the 10k in this race)

Can’t make it to the Annapolis race? Join us virtually or at one of the other awesome races Zooma is putting on in Florida, Cape Cod and Texas.

Registration is open for all of the races and regardless of whether you do Florida, Cape Cod, Texas or Annapolis, you can use code HEIDI2017 to get 10% off your race registration. Prices go up May 22 for Zooma Annapolis so if you haven’t signed up there’s still time! 

 

**FTC Disclosure: As a Zooma race ambassador, I do receive a free entry to the Zooma races, however, all opinions here are my own. 

signature