March | Currently

Happy March my friends! It’s time again for the Currently Linkup! The first Wednesday of every month, we share what we’re currently up to. Thanks to Anne and her cohost Carrie for the linkup and the brilliant topics!

Watching | Aside from my silly Bachelor addiction, we recently got into Good Girls Revolt on Amazon and The Good Fight (because we were HUGE Good Wife fans and Christine Baranski is AMAZING).

Eating | ALL of the trader Joes goodies lately. Their Wine Country Chicken Salad over salad is a favorite for lunch, as well as the orange chicken alongside some cauliflower fried rice, has been in regular rotation for dinner lately over in these parts. Add in an 11 day “cleanse,” and I’m hoping that something happens with the scale over the next three weeks before we head to Florida for our vacation (the first, since our HONEYMOON 8 years ago!!!!)

Saying | anything positive. We’re still working on potty training with little dude and we’re trying to keep all comments surrounding that positive and encouraging. So praising and rewarding…that’s what we’re saying in these parts.

WearingSo many things. This swing dress, this ruffled shirt, and my favorite Tippi sweater have been in regular rotation. As well as this gingham top and my favorite FAVORITE skirt. Love love love.

Posting | Regularly! I’m week three for three with at least one post per week. This week I have three posts scheduled – I’ve stopped overthinking my posting and just been…writing whenever the inspiration hits. I’m not focused as much on promotion and not thinking about traffic numbers but having fun with writing which is what I wanted to get back to. Everything else will come in time!

What are YOU currently up to? 

Join the Currently link up the first wednesday of every month hosted by Anne

signature

Four Working Mom Gripes (Part 1)

I went back to work to a dream job opportunity when E was 11 months old. I was blessed that I had 11 months with him at home and am grateful for the opportunity and the friendships I made during that time – friendships that I have today, even if they are tougher to maintain thanks to work and where we bought our house. But the transition from stay at home mom to working mom was…not an easy one. 

working mom

 

As a working mom, there are a few things that bother me (I could say us, but I’m not speaking collectively for all working moms) – the lack of maternity leave in the US (DUH), employers who aren’t flexible with schedules and/or think that children are a huge burden, and summer vacations to name a few. I digress, I see things on facebook that just never cease to annoy the crap out of me and not gonna lie, make me feel a little less than as a working parent. Here are five things I see most frequently that take the cake in terms of anti-working mama. 

Workout classes after 8a or before 430p

This is not just true as a working mom – as any working adult with a commute of longer than 10 minutes who works between the hours of 8 am – 6 pm – workout classes at 830 am are not geared towards anyone with a job. It irks me that gyms cater to the “stay at home crowd” because,  well, I like workout classes too and the only one pre-8 am class is a spinning class at 6 am and even then, I have to hustle to make it to my office by 8a thanks to a crappy 40 minute (most days) commute. I know it’s demand based and varies gym by gym (some gyms are better about 530a classes, others not so much) but still, I’d love to see more 5:30a classes, or classes later in the evenings (I’ve recently found a 7:30 pm yoga class on Fridays that has become my new favorite thing.). No, i’m not saying my SAHM counter-parts don’t deserve to workout too – just more time variety is all I’m asking here. When there’s only 5 people in the 6a Monday spin class (more likely an indicator of the instructor…who was terrible) you’ve gotta wonder if the times you’re offering are really working for the pre-school drop off crowd. 

Workout classes for moms. But only stay at home moms.

Listen, I get it: Stay at home parents need to socialize and they need to workout. I loved Stroller Strides as a workout when I was home with E. Granted, I thought some of the moms were a little cliquey, but the mission of Stroller Strides is a fantastic one and it’s been fantastic to see the chapters near me take off since I stopped participating back in late 2013. However, unless you can pay an obscene amount for their “Body Back” program, don’t expect to reap any of those benefits of that specific to mom workout program. Classes are usually held during working hours and rarely can you find a class on the weekends (some chapters have Saturday am classes and bless those Saturday morning Body Boost classes….that I have yet to try out but keep meaning to). I’ve been interested in trying Stroller Barre since I was at home with little dude and fuck if it finally came to the Annapolis and Severn Stroller Strides groups, and of course the classes are on Tuesday and Thursday mornings respectively at like 9 am. Guess working moms are just not their target demographic.

Stroller strides isn’t the only one who is a little neglectful of the working mama crowd, the “Goddess Yoga” class at my local yoga studio – geared towards women, and pregnant women – is at 3:30pm…during the week. Who in the eff can hit up an hour long class during that time?! I mean if you don’t work, you probably have kiddos (this studio does not have child care) and if they’re school aged….you’re probably picking them up soooo…yeah. Who can actually hit up a yoga class at that time on a weekday – because I want to do whatever it is that allows you to have a schedule where you can fit in 3pm yoga classes. #justsaying

Child care at gyms or yoga studios only on weekday mornings…not on weekends

I want to start by noting that our gym has childcare on Saturday AM but not Sunday AM – on Sunday’s  it’s 1-430 on Sundays which…is naptime in our house. We don’t use the gym daycare often – usually only when Hubs is gone for drill, but the part that inspired this was an audacious post in a Facebook group. One mom was looking for a yoga studio with childcare because she had a demanding full-time job and wanted some de-stressing – duh.

Some of the comments made me wonder if they had read her full post and the third comment, well – if someone states “demanding job” in the original post, my guess is that their job is ALWAYS on M/W/Friday. #justsaying. Another yoga studio I frequented when we lived in Annapolis had childcare that was also only weekday mornings which really just bugged the shit out of me because well, working mamas want to yoga too.

Playdates only during weekdays – no evenings or weekends because “family time”

I’m grateful that the mix of mama friends I have are open to weekend playdates. We’ve had family playdates with friends where the adults hang out with some adult beverages and good food, we’ve had playdates on drill weekends at parks, friends houses and weekend lunchtime dates. I don’t rely on playdates on every weekend because hubs likes – similar to my stay at home mama pals who don’t see their partners for 40+ hours per week – for them to be family time, but he’s never stopped me from planning or going to an occasional play date on a weekend for a couple hours so little dude and I can have some socializing time. Mostly though, I really take advantage of Drill weekends to get friend time in for Little Man and I.

Anytime anyone says they could “never leave their child to be raised by someone else” as a response to a post about whether someone should go back to work or not. 

This has been said to me on more than one occasion – and I get that. I do. But here are the two things that people who either stay at home with their kiddos currently or formerly stayed at home with their kiddos….it’s not financially feasible for many families to live on only one income, and two, not every mother WANTS to stay at home with their kids. I didn’t major in early childhood development – I struggled greatly with what I now think was undiagnosed PPD, staying at home for me left me feeling inadequate, isolated and unhappy with myself. It’s best for our family for me to work and I think I’m a better mother because of it – I want my child to see me work hard and have pride in what I do every day and what I bring to our family. It’s not for everyone and I get that – it’s the whole choice thing – you do you. I do me. Mutual respect, right?

I know some of these are…a little petty but let’s be equal opportunity here – working mamas like to hit up the gym too (though most of us struggle with it) and we like play dates and meeting other moms – working or not.

What parenting gripe do you have?

signature

2016 Recap & 2017 Goals Intentions

Another year, another set of goal fails.

Let’s recap 2016.

  1. Run more. I had a good run (no pun intended?) and hit a couple hundred miles but not quite the 500 I had hoped for.
  2. Eat Cleaner. I did the Whole 10. I generally eat better, but not as clean as I should.
  3. Be Present. Still a work in progress. No more cell phones at the dinner table in 2017 I think.
  4. Write more. LOLOLZ. I did write. Not necessarily more. Not necessarily less.
  5. Stress less. Yes! I did this. I did better. I got a better job. I got a better commute

2017 goals

2017 goals & intentions

Read more. I hit 30 something books in 2016, I want to shoot for 50 in 2016.

Run 10 races. I already have 5 on my schedule, two that I’m registered for. I’m not going to put a mileage goal though I’d like to see 500 miles – which is roughly 10 miles per week. Totally doable, I think given my goals. I’m not sure I’ll throw any multisport events in there but we’ll see.

Blog 2x/week. Set the bar low right? I’m looking into a redesign and I’m cleaning up my archives. I’m comfortable with what I’m writing about (style! life! healthy living!) I just need to commit, streamline posting and not get distracted by feedly.

80% paleo by April. For my thyroid’s sake. Hubs and I are doing the Whole 30 in January so hopefully this helps reset and get me on the right track.

Create a budget and stick to it. We’ve got some fun trips planned this year and we really want to pay off some debt that we’re close to paying off…creating a budget that we can stick to is going to be key to this success.

Additional:

Complete BBG 1.0 and 2.0 by December. I keep starting and stopping. I need to get my workout ADD under control. I really want to do this though – the program is fantastic and i do enjoy it.

what are your 2017 goals and resolutions? 

 

signature

How to get out of a rut & an update

I’ve been in a funk my friends. I’ve been unhappy – with myself, my motivation, my job, my goals. That probably explains why I haven’t blogged since June 1 – since I feel like I’ve had nothing to say. At the very least nothing positive or productive. 

The past month, during my absence here, I took a lot of things into consideration. Hubs and I went to a marriage retreat (if you’re military, I highly recommend the Strong Bonds retreats. They’re free for service members and so very valuable! More on that later though), and while our marriage was never in jeopardy, it helped me reevaluate how we’re communicating and what the root of my problems was and why I’ve just been so blah and not present in my life. 

I was doing things that weren’t making me happy or fulfilled and the unhappiness was causing me to retreat inward – not run, not eat healthy, not spend quality time with my family – it was a downward spiral. I was officially in a rut. 

getting out of a rut

I’m not going to preach on happiness because there are other bloggers that do that a gazillion times better than I ever could (I’m looking at you Gretchen Rubin), but I do know that if you’re not focused on what brings you joy, or what motivates you – you’re going to be unhappy and nothing else except your unhappiness will matter.

So how am I digging my way out of this rut? Well, here’s what I’m doing

Reevaluate goals

I took a long hard look at what I wanted. What I had capacity for outside of the necessities (working. eating. sleeping. taking time for my family.)  It was in doing this that I briefly wondered if I was in the right career (marketing). I am – because ultimately marketing is my passion, but I wasn’t at the right place.  The right thing came at the right time and and I’m confident I’m finally about to land at a great company, with great values, in a role that is really perfect for me. It just took me a while to get here. 

Next, I looked at my racing schedule, my travel schedule, and decided to stop. I have three or four races left for the year but I decided I will not be racing Iron Girl Columbia in August. That was a tough decision because there is nothing I hate more than wasting race fees, but it was causing me unnecessary stress and I didn’t have time to train with my commute and wanting to have actual family time at the end of the day. There is a chance I’ll miss the MCM 10k depending on if Hubs leaves for a 2 week training (still TBD) but I’m okay with that as well. 

By reevaluating my goals and looking at what was really bringing me joy, what I wanted to put my time and effort into, I finally stopped thinking I had to do ALL OF THE RACES, BLOG ALL OF THE TIME and be ALL OF THE THINGS to everyone. I can’t. And I need to be okay with that. 

Make tough decisions

Getting to this point involved making some tough decisions. Leaving my job. Throwing away $100+ on a race fee.  Accepting the fact that I’m not making thousands of dollars from blogging because well… I haven’t been blogging. Those weren’t easy decisions or acceptances for me – but they were necessary.

But, what I did there with those tough (but necessary) decisions, was I put my family first. What I wanted was a little less important when i looked at how my goals were affecting my happiness and what ultimately is most important to me at this point in life – my family and quality time with them. As a working mother finding time for little man can be tough, but him and hubs are the two great loves of my life and I really needed to focus on them a little more rather than training for a big race or commuting to a job that I wasn’t enjoying. 

As you reevaluate your goals, make those tough decisions and don’t let yourself be guided by money or the “should do’s” because if those are the only reasons you’re staying at your job or training for a race or in some cases (though not mine) staying in a relationship – that should give you the answer to the tough decision you need to make.

Be (a little) selfish

I stressed a lot about giving my notice but when i thought about it, it’s wasn’t personal, it was a decision that’s best for me and my family. A business decision if you will, with the business owner making the decision being me. The timing was less than ideal but I need to “do me” (i.e. “you do you”) when it came to this. 

While i love running and racing, I need to think about me and hubs and little man for a change. While sticking with the races I’ve since chosen to forgo might have been more selfish, I would have been doing it so I wouldn’t feel guilty about wasting the money. For me, the money wasn’t worth it. Instead of thinking of what I SHOULD do, I’m focusing on what I WANT to do. I’m being selfish in the best ways possible. 

What’s next?

That all being said, I’m still planning on the Maryland Duathlon in two weeks, and I’m still planning on doing Dewey Beach Tri (which I had deferred from last year) but I can handle running and biking until after my sisters wedding and then I’ll throw some swimming into the mix in August 4-5 weeks before the race. Doing it right now when I have a 90 min – 2 hour commute (round trip mind you) each day just isn’t feasible. I’m focusing on yoga and writing and all of the toddler giggles and just finding joy in life. 

I start my new job in just under two weeks and I’m taking some time between the two for a trip to Vermont for my sister’s shower and for myself. Hopefully in these next few days I can recenter and focus on me for a change.

What are my current goals?

My current goals:

  • Enjoy the summer with hubs and little man (summer bucket list! Hubs and i just came up with one. Now that we’ve lost a month of summer hahaha) 
  • Stick with 80/20 paleo diet to continue my weight loss goals.
  • Run 3 days per week and 2 days of some form of cross training. No mileage goals. Just run, yoga and spin.
  • Write 2 – 3 blogs per week. Regularly.
  • Do 2 things for blog housekeeping each week

Have you ever been in a life rut? How did you get out of it? 

signature

Currently | December

currently december

Linking up with Jenna and Anne for this month’s Currently Linkup. Join us for the first Wednesday of each month where we share

Wishing….

For a house! We’re house hunting right now – our lease ends in February but we’re trying (fingers and toes crossed) to buy a place. We did find a house we love, so fingers crossed it all works out! 

Remembering….

My nana. I miss her so much. I was telling a colleague it was nice to be back in my routine – work, running, etc…because when i was in Vermont, I was just reminded constantly that she wasn’t around which made the trip that much harder than it already was.

Wrapping…

Nothing yet! I need to get busy shopping! I have a list, i just need to get moving on it! 

Baking…

Cookies! It’s the annual cookie swap this weekend that my pal hosts – I usually bring peanut butter blossoms so i’m trying to decide if i want to do these (for a change) or traditional sugar cookies this weekend. Decisions decisions!!

Decorating…

Our house! We got our tree this past weekend but it’s still outside because I don’t want to bring a soaking wet tree in the house. Also, hubs needs to bring all of our Christmas decorations out of storage. But our house will decorated and our tree will be trimmed in good time! 
Tell me what you’re up to this month! And join us for the next currently link-up on the first Wednesday of the month!

signature

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? 

signature

Casual Tuesday

After a weekend of travel and bundling up, I tried to put a little effort into my outfit today – even though there was only 2 of us in the office for most of the day – with the grey weather and the next two days gearing up to be sleet and snow and rain and more snow, I decided it was time to bring a little brightness to my wardrobe.

I took advantage of the tax free shopping in Vermont as well as the spring line at Old Navy to get some springy looking clothes. I figure if I will it to be spring it will be right? Maybe?

 

Casual Tuesday

The sweater is a little more red than pink in that picture but…whatever.

Pants – Old Navy| T-shirt – JCrew (similar) | necklace – JCrew (similar) | Cardigan – Old Navy | Flats – Tory Burch

 I think I need more in this poppy/coral color. I’ll be revisiting Old Navy soon. They had some really cute spring finds. Kind of hard to shop for spring when you’re about to get 6″ of snow and nearly slip out trying to get into your car because of all the stupid ice.

What did the outfit look like on me?

Pardon my selfie-ing.

What do you wear for casual days at work?

signature

2015 intentions

Happy 2015 y’all! We had a quiet night – flying in from Connecticut and getting home in time for dinner and an early bedtime for Little Man, and then some CNN/NBC 2014 recap shows while cuddled up on the couch catching up on reading and sipping some Harpoon Gingerland. It was perfect and quiet and everything a New Years should be for these old souls.

2015 beer

2014 was a year of so much change for us – a new job, E went into daycare, hubs got a new job after a few months of unemployment, but we ended the year on a high note and I’m ready to restart this whole blogging thing in 2015 after I have most definitely gotten off track through the second half of 2014. But new URL, new blog design…what’s not to love about my new bloggy home?

So I wanted to start the year with some intentions for the year – not resolutions because I don’t like that term. Intentions and goals.

 

Intentions

Be present at home when I’m with hubs and little man.

Develop myself as a leader and subject expert at work.

Coach 25 people this year.

Eat healthier and cleaner. So many holiday cookies – SO MANY.

Get rid of more clutter.

Participate in a quarterly wardrobe capsule in an effort to par down. (stay tuned next week for the reveal of my winter wardrobe capsule!)

Blog more. Regularly if you will.

Take care of myself. Mentally. Physically.
I had a lot of emotional ups and downs in 2014 and need to resolve some of those lingering issues in 2015.

 

Goals

Complete a century or metric century ride.

Run 12 races.

A sub-2:15 half marathon.

Register for a 2016 Half Ironman.

Run 500 miles. Bike 1,000 miles.

 

What are your intentions and/or goals for 2015? Any lofty ones?

signature

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.

signature

Friday Fives: Fall Favorites

There’s a crispness in the air friends. After spending last weekend in the beautiful lake region of NH watching two of my favorite people get hitched, I’m loving this pseudo-fall like weather.  The cooler mornings, the pretty trees…you  know fall like stuff. AND we’re going pumpkin picking this weekend with little man, so that’ll be fun! I still need to hunt down his costume, I’m not a 100% sold on what I bought at the wee-sale.

Anyhoozle, onto my favorite things at the moment!

 

1. My Bobeau Wraps

Seriously, these are the most comfortable things EVER. Go get one. Or two. Or three (I have three. But i’m dying for the camel one.)

2. Shakeology

So I became a coach mostly for the discount. But mostly because I REALLY like the product. I did the 3 day refresh before the wedding we went to earlier this month and had decent results (down 4.5 lbs). I’ve since gained 2 back but I’m trying to get myself back into my routine. It’s been really challenging with the darker mornings – you know, everyday struggles but I’m getting there. At least I’ve effectively kicked my soda habit (WAHOO!)

3. My new Mom-mobile

Last week, I picked up a new Honda CRV. I call it my happy mom-mobile. No, it’s not a minivan (or family fun bus as Liz would call it) but it’s bigger for me. Our 2001 Ford Taurus was about to gulp down another $1,000 in repairs and as Hubs just got a new job, and we just paid off our other car, we made the plunge so that we don’t need to be a pseudo-one-car family anymore. We were trading off the Ford depending on who was on drop-off or pick-up duties with Little Man.

4. Zucchini Muffins

I made some delicious zucchini muffins a few weeks ago and it was AMAZING. I have some zucchini that i need to use this weekend so I’m thinking of this bread (maybe muffins?) or something similarly inspired. Cue pinterest.

5. Leggings and Boots.

I don’t care what anyone says. Leggings and boots and long sweaters are my fall uniform. Nothing says fall more than a cozy sweater, a nice pair of leggings and some cognac colored boots. Forgive me but leggings can be pants any day (as long as your butt is covered).

 

What are you currently loving this fall?

signature