My Favorite Summer Dress

I heard on the radio on the drive home from work the other day that we’ve had a stupid number of days where it was at least 90 degrees – 49 days to be exact. So over half of the past 60 days have been too hot to handle if you will. So I’ve been leaning on dresses a bit more – even though at least half of those 49 days, I’ve had my heater on at my desk at some point or another. Office temperature wars – it’s a real thing.

jcrew factory dress

{dress (similar)  | shoes (similar)  | belt | Necklace – similar}

Fun fact, I also bought this dress in two other colors – red and blue (sold out). To me, these dresses are perfect for a business casual environment – they can be dressed up with a cardigan or blazer, or dressed down with flats and a fun belt. The red did shrink a touch on me which I was none too pleased with so I sized up when i bought the blue and the stripe.

jcrew dresses

I’m really a go-with-what-I-know-works kind of gal – so when I see something that i like that looks good on me or that I feel confident in, I’m going to go with it.

What’s your go-to summer outfit? 

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My Favorite Home Workouts

Hubs is out of country for about a week and a half. Fitting in workouts – like running or my favorite pilates classes at the gym are difficult with near 100 degree temperatures, work, a 35-minute commute, and a 3-year-old who doesn’t enjoy the gym daycare who also has an early-ish bedtime. So time to dust off some of my favorite at home workouts.

I love to find plans, but the reality is, I have workout ADD and can’t stick to a plan so I always modify to my own likes and needs and whatever i’m feeling that day versus sticking to the same workout for 3 months.

at home workouts

Bikini Body Mommy

I have a group of mom pals who have done many of her 90 day challenges. She’s also expanded her offerings and has great prenatal videos, an abs series and nutrition guides that are optional for a nominal fee. I enjoy these videos because the workouts are generally 15 – 20 minutes long and because of the length, motivate you to kick ass and take names in that short workout span. Because I don’t typically do the whole series, I’ll double up on workouts – i.e. one strength day and one cardio day to make the most of it – even then, the workouts are still around 25 – 30 minutes at most.

Blogilates (pop pilates OR cardio beat)

I recently checked out these videos – they’re fantastic. I love her challenge format, and the calendars have great, short workouts as well as healthy living tips. Definitely worth checking out if you’re looking to learn more about pilates – plus Casey is adorable and has great energy in her videos.

21 day fix

I’m a big fan of the 21 day fix. I’ve done all of the videos, but haven’t done the 21 day fix all the way through. The workouts however, are between 20 – 30 minutes and are sure to work up a sweat. Plus Autumn Calabrese isn’t completely annoying. While I didn’t mind Shakeology, it was a bit pricey for me. But I highly recommend finding a coach (they’re a dime a dozen) if you decide to do the 21 day Fix program.

PiYo

Another Beachbody program, but last night I did the sweat workout just for kicks. I was dripping by the time the 34 minute workout was done. A great, low-impact workout that is pilates and yoga inspired and doesn’t require any equipment. Consider it pilates/yoga combo…on steroids.

I’m also a big fan of finding HIIT workouts on pinterest – whether I’m working out at home OR hitting the treadmill at the gym – the workout resources on Pinterest are endless.

What are your favorite at home workouts when you can’t make it to the gym? 

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March Stitch Fix Review

How has it been a month since I last wrote a post?!

In that time: I started a new job (more soon?!), Ethan turned 3 (more soon!!!), I hosted the first holiday in our new home and I had to “defer” my cherry blossom 10 miler race to next year (by luck. Adam’s drill changed and I couldn’t justify doubling the cost of a race for a sitter who i may or may not be able to find for 530a on a Sunday).

So yeah. Back to Stitch Fix. Last month was very m’eh. I wasn’t in love with anything – i got one top that was really cozy but it’s not really something i would wear not on the weekends.

So what did I get?

Lavania Lace Knit Top

I loved this one It felt like it was made for me. Casual. Dressed up. It was the one piece that i loved in this box. Keep.

Esie Laser-Cut Flats

stitch fix shoes

I so wanted to love these. I really did. But they were a touch too big and when I tried to walk around in them, they rubbed a lot on my heels so I knew it would be blister city and as a runner, ain’t nobody have time for blisters. Return 

Tamarindo Blazer

I really wanted to love this. It was a pretty blazer and a fun style but it was a touch too tight in the chest and I felt it when i lifted my arms. Wamp wamp. Return.

Ronan Crochet Detail Blous

stitch fix top

Normally I LOVE peplum. But this was just…m’eh. I thought it would be really cute with a nice cardigan, but it just draped and was not flattering at all. Sad day. Return.

Chassie Textured Knit Dress

LOL. LOL. LOL. Too tight. Too short. A for effort because I do love me a navy sheath like nothing else, but not so much on this one. Also, NOPE dot COM on the flutter sleeves. AMIRITE?! also, I need some self tanning lotion because holy pasty legs! Return

I figure, I’ll keep stitch fix around if I can get one piece because i love their styling, and I get some great ideas for sure.

Do you use Stitch Fix? What has your experience been? If you’re interested in giving it a shot, please use my referral link!

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Weekly Workouts

Happy Tuesday!

I haven’t shared my weekly workouts in a while but as I ramp up training for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler – and try to get caught up on the Zooma Virtual 10k (Run Love Challenge!) training – I’m getting started again for the accountability. With all the house stuff, workouts have been the last thing on my mind but now I really need to get back to it. Normally these posts come on Mondays but yesterday was survival of the fittest with us being stuck inside for most of the day – daycare was closed and our road was an icy, slushy, unplowed mess for most of the day.

Weekly


Tuesday:
 spin/21 day fix cardio
Wednesday: 21 day fix OR a short run
Thursday: 21 day fix upper
Friday: rest
Saturday: Run 35 min
Sunday: PiYo class OR Body Pump

I’m technically signed up for the virtual training with the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler, so I’ll be mixing in elements of that – but next week really kicks off my training and I plan to use a modified version of the Hal Higdon 15k Training plan. I’ll share more about that next week, but thats why my “time” running is lower. Also, I hate running on the treadmill. And people drive crazy on my road (that doesn’t have sidewalks) so I’m going to pass on the outside running until this ish melts a bit more.

Edited: my schedule got thrown out of whack when Hubs was activated for National Guard duty yesterday. He may be home tonight but we never know so I threw in 21 day Fix workouts since I’m not comfortable taking Little Man running in this weather with these icy conditions. We’ll see when/if I make it to the gym this week 😐

How do you stay motivated when it’s cold, icy and just in general nasty outside?? Any winter workout tricks?

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The Working Parent Balancing Act

So many people ask me how I can be so busy and yet stay so active and train for races regularly – especially as a working parent. It’s a juggling act my friends. It’s not easy and you pick your battles.

smoothie

What do I mean? It’s a balancing act of compromise – knowing when to rest. Knowing when to be a little selfish and knowing when your family needs you. My workouts to me are important – they keep me sane, healthy and give me the 1/2 hour to 45 minutes of me time I know I need to be the best version of myself and thankfully, I’m blessed to have a husband who understands that.

Despite finishing Iron Girl and being relatively happy with my time, I did not train 100% according to my plan. I didn’t get nearly as many miles on the bike as I would have liked, I nursed injured calves through most of my training, and I leaned on hubs a lot in the mornings when I would get up and out to work out and he’d get little Man up and ready for school. But I did my best and really, that’s all I could have hoped for.

Check your schedule 

What do I mean by that? I mean look at your family’s schedule first. I know that little Man has speech therapy two days per week. One of those days I take him. Now, hubs is back in classes so I know two evenings a week I’m on the hook for pick up. I don’t work out every day – I try to – but I also value rest days. Weekends we go out and be active as a family whether to the park, or walking/running around the neighborhood. Weekdays are tougher but as many working parents of toddlers especially can understand, you just have to do the best you can. But I always look at my schedule and know what days are going to be ideal for morning/evening workouts

Be realistic

if you’re not a morning workout-er, don’t bank on getting in a 5 mile run or a 15 mile bike before work. Save the long workouts for the weekends when you can compromise with your spouse. As i mentioned, do the best you can. Maybe set the goal to workout 4 days per week rather than 5 or 6. Setting yourself up for success, versus failure, will make a huge difference when it comes to setting realistic goals for yourself.

Don’t underestimate strength workouts

Can’t make it out for a run or a bike? Weather crappy? Oversleep? Too many morning meetings to risk getting into work late? I’ve dealt with all of those things, and do pretty regularly. Now that hubs is back in classes, I know I can plan for an evening workout for 30 minutes or so after Little Man goes to bed with a fitness video (last night I did the 21 day fix Upper Fix – my arms are HURTING today). There is nothing wrong with getting your butt kicked for 30 minutes with an intense cardio DVD or whatever other workout you may scrounge up. It might not line up with your training plan, but it’s better than nothing.

Make it a Priority

Listen, there are certain musts in every day. If you prioritize your workout x days per week like you prioritize your cleaning routine or how many nights you’re going to cook a family meal, then you might actually get your workouts in and feel accomplished. I add my workouts to my to do list and make sure it’s either the first thing I check off in the morning or the last thing I check off before winding down at night. If it’s a priority for you, then you’ll make it happen.

Plan ahead

I plan my workouts out for the week at the same time I plan our meals and our grocery list. I take into account: Hubs’s MBA classes, Running Group nights, Work happy hours, plans with friends, and everything in between. Will I make it to my regular Thursday night yoga class? Should I work out in the morning? What’s the weather going to be like? This helps me plan out my week to set myself up for success but I also factor in my rest days because those are just as important and I can go about my day without stressing about missing a workout.

Find a buddy

Nothing says accountability like finding a friend.  Whether you join a weight loss group (think DietBet), Weight Watchers, a running club, or sign up for a training program – finding a group to hold you accountable does wonders. I joined up Fleet Feet’s No Boundaries 10k group as a mentor – now I have to run Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturday’s – I’m accountable and I know that people rely on me to be there. Additionally, some moms and I got together and have a dietbet-ish type of facebook group – we weigh in once per week, we comment regularly, and we pay $10. I haven’t hit the goal yet (5% this time around!) but it’s the accountability and knowing that i have a group of mamas who have the same struggles that I do that makes it fun for me.

It’s a balancing act though friends. My fitness and healthy living efforts are not flawless. I am not perfect. I dove right for those stupid sugar cookies at Wegman’s yesterday in the brief 20 minutes I had between meetings – but gawd was it delicious.

Working parents, what are your tips for balancing training for big races, accomplishing hefty weight loss goals while juggling a family and a full time job? 

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Friday Five: What I’m Reading

Happy Friday folks! It’s my weekly post of my favorite articles around the web. Disregard the fact that this post is almost two weeks old since i started drafting it. #timelinessfail

motivation731

 

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Fitness & healthy living
1. Sugar detox? I should probably consider this.
2. Do you compete with your spouse for the AM workout? How do you both fit in your workouts? We’re still figuring out the balance.
3. I love this post about getting started with meditation – something I absolutely need to do more often.
4. How often do you weigh yourself? (I weigh myself every day….)
Family
2. Note to self, stop apologizing. For everything.
4. The terrible twos are pretty terrible, but I do agree with all of these reasons why 2 year olds are amazing. Especially the running hugs.
5. Wanna support some momtrepreneurs? Check these mamas out!
Fashion
1. Plaid pants, yay or nay? Check out these from Old Navy.
2. Rompers! I really want to find a cute one, I found this one on forever 21 (ordered. But not yet worn. Tonight? or next MNO perhaps?!) and I am absolutely OBSESSED with this one from Cupcakes and Cashmere but can’t justify the cost.
3. Lilly Pulitzer sues Old Navy – is anyone surprised here? (I have the Old Navy shorts…not gonna lie, bought them because they looked like the Lilly print…)
4. One of my favorite bloggers posted the most adorable black and white outfit. I may have to replicate this.
5. How many colors do I need this number in? How cute will it be with cognac boots in the fall?!?!
etc//
1. On work/life balance. Do you have it?
2. You don’t need a promotion to grow at your job (despite popular belief). I found this fascinating!
3. I loved this post from Katy Widrick predicting the future of blogging. Time to up my Canva skills!
4. Speaking of canva skills…. HubSpot gives the non-designer (me!) design tips for better blog graphics. I’ll get there. Someday.
5. Who wants to do cat yoga with me?

 

 

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July Goals

I used to post my monthly goals – in life and fitness. I got away from it with my blogging sabbatical (if you want to call it that), but I’m trying to pick up the blogging pace…among other things.

July Goals

1. Blog 3x per week. 

I don’t want to promise posting every day. BUT I do want to restart good habits. I’m also working on adding a few features (email subscription? anyone? bueller?) to the blog to really capture the readers I lost with the transition from my old blog.

2. Stick to my triathlon training 

So far I’ve been doing…okay. I haven’t really gotten any bike workouts in aside from the spin class I took in Vermont, so I really need to take my bike to the road. But I have gotten in my one swim day per week. I have been doing speed workouts running, and a couple of “long” runs (4 miles is long to me now – how the times have changed!), and doing strength workouts on my “off” days (aka when I don’t feel like biking) so really, I can’t complain because I am feeling stronger and hopefully, that’ll play out in August during my tri and du.

3. Check items off our summer bucket list

We recently hit up Lewes/Rehoboth Beach, DE and Chesapeake Beach Water Park (Father’s Day weekend – Hubs got in free!). Stay tuned for a post on why Lewes, DE is my new favorite place. This month I want to do more bbq-ing and hiking.

4. Lose 4%

Some moms in my moms group on facebook started a little weight loss challenge similar to diet bet. By July 31, in order to get a share of the honeypot, I need to lose 4% – which is roughly six pounds. I’ve lost 2. I need to hit those last 4 hard. Stay tuned for progress reports.

5. Meditate more

I really do feel a bit more centered when I meditate regularly. We got into it at my old job, and it really helped center me when I was feeling stressed. I need to make time for five minutes. Goal? Meditate 5 minutes/day for 15 days in July.

What are your July Goals and/or intentions? 

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Currently | July

Happy July friends! I’m linking up with Anne and Jenna today to share my currently’s 🙂

Currently (1)

Craving: Beach time. Seriously. I haven’t spent time with my toes in the sand since the summer I was pregnant with Little Man so I’m looking forward to our day trip to Rehoboth this weekend.

Grilling: Shrimp! We’ve done shrimp kebobs recently and I am loving how easy shrimp is to cook – new summer staple perhaps? Not to mention anything that goes with Old Bay and some Flying Dog Dead Rise Ale makes my summer loving heart flutter.

Listening: to a little bit of everything. I finally figured out how to play something other than just Pandora in my car so now I have my amazon downloaded tunes and spotify! Making my commute a little happier than just traffic and commercials 🙂

Planning: Vacation. Hubs and I originally had a week up north planned for mid/late July. We’ve had to scale that back a touch due to a huge work launch on his end and the lack of vacation time on my new job end, so it’ll be five days instead of nine, but we’ve got a U2 show in the mix, hopefully a beach day and my father-in-law’s birthday celebration. It’ll be a nice little break away from everything. We haven’t had a real break that didn’t include at least 3 days in the car to visit family in both Vermont AND Connecticut, so I’m looking forward to hitting up a beach, doing a couple of fun touristy type things in CT and spending an evening with the Hubs in NYC. Either way, we have much that we want to do that a little bit of planning needs to go into this so we don’t come home needing a vacation from our vacation.

Decorating: Working on decorating my cube. I’ve got pictures up but it’s still feeling a little blah. I need some COLOR.

What are YOU currently up to? 

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Finding A Tribe

As a working mom, I feel like I’ve struggled a lot. I struggle every day with the “do I have enough time with my child” (never), “who’s in my life that really gets the working mom struggles” (a couple of people. That i’m not super close with), “when will I fit in my workout” (maybe tomorrow), “How am I going to be sure I’m not the fat bridesmaid in my brother in laws wedding in May” (maybe do that workout tonight…).

I don’t know I feel like it’s a constant tug of war within myself for wanting to be successful. Wanting to do ALL OF THE THINGS – junior league, career, family, raising a smart child, run a half marathon, train for a half ironman (certainly not this year!) and travel and buy a house… so many things. Not nearly enough time.

But here’s the thing, I found a tribe. Back when Little man was wee…we had a weekly play group and last week as we suffered a little bit of internal drama, I realized they are my tribe. We have working moms, stay at home moms, moms of one who might be okay with just one, moms who are currently expecting number 2… we’re a group of 9 who met over coffee to save ourselves from sleep deprivation back when the littles were little enough for infant carriers and even if I only see them once or twice a month – they’ve seen me with my best parenting moments and some not so great. They’ve shared tales of speech delays, and OH EM GEE is my child ever going to walk (though some of their littles started walking at the early end of the spectrum) but they get it and while I certainly have friends that I’ve had for 20, 10 or 15 years that stood next to me on my wedding day and that were friends during my horrible, awkward, high school years – there is nothing that compares to the friends you have during the first years of your childs life.

What traits should your tribe have?

Down to Earth  – no one likes the mamas who take themselves too seriously and if you can’t laugh about the valleys of parenthood and be a little self-deprecating sometimes then why bother? We’re all just trying to survive the rollercoaster of parenthood right?

Non-judgemental – seriously if you have a mom in your group who says “I prefer breastfeeding but I don’t judge people who can’t” and then posts crap on facebook about how formula is poison and the worst thing ever…she’s probably judging you if you’re not nursing your little until he’s five and who needs people who are going to side-eye your parenting choices when you’re not looking?

Know how to let loose – I value my mama’s night out that I get once a month or so. If you’re hanging out with people who don’t know how to have a good time and make you laugh (i’m not saying booze needs to be involved but I personally enjoy a glass of Sangria/wine or a marg every so often) then why bother? I could just as well stay at home and watch The Office with Hubs on netflix and save the time.

Be supportive – I work. You may not. I have tons of respect for my stay at home mama pals because I know from my 11 months home with Little Man that it’s not a cakewalk. It’s hard. Babies get sick. You get sick and unfortunately, there are not sick days when you’re a parents for as much as you’d love to curl up and binge watch OITNB – toddlers gotta play and eat and get their butts wiped. That doesn’t mean your struggles – or mine as a working parent when I’m under deadline but need to get E because day care closes at 6p or the week I have annual reports due for clients and E comes down with a stomach bug – aren’t any less of a struggle. They’re different and as long as we respect and support one another then we’re cool.

Be candid – If you can’t be real with people who have seen your son’s butt explode all over your lap in public then who can you be real with? Other than the husbands of course.

mama pals

So really this post is a thank you to my mama pals – my tribe – for keeping me sane. For understanding. For the laughs – especially the laughs – and the candid life talk when it’s most needed. I am incredibly thankful to have surrounded myself with an amazing, welcoming and hilarious group of mamas.

 

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Getting Pretty with Bubbles in Annapolis

Right before Christmas, my coworker took me to get my first blow-out. It was quite possibly one of the best things I’ve done – and not just because I didn’t have to wash my hair for like three days but it made me feel quite pretty.

I rarely get my hair done – cut, colored – it’s just one of those things that I loathe spending money on.

Thankfully for me, blowouts aren’t pricey. And even more thankfully for me, there’s a new place to visit to see if I can find the perfect stylist.

You see, once upon a time, I had the same stylist for years. Like went home to Vermont from college to visit her same stylist. Same stylist who did my hair for my high school formals and did the last cut for me before I moved to DC. And then I’d even visit her during the once or twice a year I’d pop up to Vermont to visit.

Alas, I stopped being able to justify getting my hair done by her when I went home. It stopped being a priority for me.

Then I found Bubbles. And a great network of stylists – they were my Capitol Hill go to when I didn’t want to spend $80 on a cut and dry. And now, they’re opening a new location in Annapolis right next to Trader Joes and Home Goods (perfect to pop in for a

BUBBLES FB image

I am so grateful that this Friday I get spend an evening with some of the coolest people I know getting pretty while we celebrate the Blowout Opening of Bubbles in Annapolis Plaza at 150 Jennifer Road.. They’ll have a DJ, free blowouts (!!!), food and drinks. What a fun way to spend a Friday night no? More details and RSVP details here.

 

This post was sponsored by BUBBLES salons, however, all thoughts and opinions here are strictly my own. 

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