Saturday, June 29, 2013

Follow Me & Looking Forward to...

Is the rumor true? Will Google reader really disappear after tomorrow?  I've seen many bloggers freak out seem rather concerned a few times before, but I guess ya never really know.  Just in case this rings true, I am on Bloglovin & hope if we do lose this lovely "reader" count, you'll follow me still. 
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

What started as a lazy rainy day, has manifested itself into a gorgeous sunny afternoon.  I plan on making pasta for dinner, even though it's totally grilling weather. Doh.  Oh well. With the holiday next week, I have hubby home Thursday-Sunday.  I'm sure we will be doing some mad grillin-- Wahoooo!

Unfortunately our "Lake" plans completely bit the big one; between the awesome communication amongst my father & aunt and other lovely circumstances, my husband, Brooke & I will be hanging around our house this 4th.  We have a few friends coming over and we did it last year too, and I'm sure we will be juuuuust fine.

I plan on making some yummy foods.   Maybe something festive?  Any other ideas?
google images

 This doesn't look too difficult or too fattening!
Sunny Anderson's Patriotic Berry Trifle HERE

I cannot wait to get some s'more supplies and break out the fire pit!

My husband is taking care of the firework entertainment.
google images
Baby Brooke has a cute little patriotic onesie to wear and I have a bottle of my favorite Pinot Grigio. 

google images

Life is good! 

 Tomorrow I'm making Strawberry Jam with my girl Alison and we have our last {for real this time} Girls' Night here on Tuesday. Tons of fun events to look forward to.  Hope you're enjoying your weekend, wherever you and with whatever you are doing!!    What are you plans for the 4th?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Putting ME First

As baby Broke approaches her 6 month, I am so proud and happy at how well she's growing.  She eats, sleeps, poos, plays, cries, and does all of the normal baby things that a healthy happy baby girl should do!! I have been doing a lot of reflecting lately, and I as awesome as my baby girl is, me? Ehhhh I tend to put myself near the bottom of my "priority list."  I've been super tired all day, a bit moody, and have trouble falling asleep at night.  Sure I'm not 100% happy with my body weight yet, but I try to focus on how fortunate I am to have such a healthy baby.  I know that if I keep eating right and working out I will get there eventually.

But it kind of woke me up the other day when talking to my mom she reminded about the oxygen mask theory.  {When you're on a plane, in an emergency, you need to put the mask on yourself first, before you help anyone else...}  Sometimes I forget this.  In my mind I rank #1 Brooke, #2 Joe #3/4 Dogs...then comes me.  And when I put myself that are down the line, guess what?  Nothing ends up happening! I get tired or forgetful of how to properly care for myself, [emotionally, physically, spiritually].  I don't forget to shower or anything weird like that haha, but I just go through the daily motions/grind and just don't feel great.

So what can I do to make myself a priority?

Vitamins & Supplements
Sarah wrote me and asked if I wanted to sample an herbal cleanse through Advocare.  While I had to decline that sweet offer, she did offer to send me a free sample of Spark from the Advocare line. I had never tried any of there stuff before and was so excited to try it!

She asked that I share with you on my blog...

 My opinion? It rocks! I love the Watermelon flavor and it sure does give you a boost! To give you an idea, since I am still nursing 3 times a day, I do keep an eye on caffeine I take in.  On average I probably have 2 cups (or equivalent) of coffee a day.  With the Spark, I only drank half of it, to see how much pep it would give me, and wowza! I felt it shortly after.

 It has such a nice sweet, but not fake-sweet, taste and it's perfect for the warmer weather.  I can definitely see myself ordering some packets in the future. They'd be perfect to mix in a water bottle and go!

If you're looking for a sweet morning or mid-day pick-me-up, Spark would definitely be for you!

I think if you shake it in a bottle it would help the powder dissolve a bit better, if you don't like the grainy texture in your drinks.

Check out Advocare & Spark Energy Drinks here.

As soon as I'm done nursing, I honestly am interested in the cleanses they offer. I know friends who have had great success with it and others not so much.  I feel the 'cleanse trend' came during my pregnancy/nursing days and I haven't been able to do any of them.  I've never cleansed, so I wonder what it could do for my body!

Since I do eat organic, and I try to eat as many fruits and veggies as possible, I think my diet is "decent".  However, I know that even with the healthiest of diets, you can still lack proper nutrients.  I've decided to try some much raved about vitamins through Advocare.  Some of my favorite bloggers have had such awesome success with it, I am so excited to try it out for myself. I've started taking the Coreplex with Iron and the Omegaplex.  I'm excited to see if I'm feeling a little more energy and just a better overall well-being.

As I've said before, I make it my goal to "move every day."  I was just watching on Dr Oz yesterday that you really just need 10 minutes a day to boost your metabolism and keep things going in good shape.  I can do 10 minutes!! The theory was basically 5 minutes of  high intensity training (HIIT) like mountain climbers or sprinting, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.  The other 5 minutes just steady cardio.  I've been trying to hit my elliptical that I begged my husband for, for at least 20 minutes. I hate working out in the morning, but if I can just get my booty on that thing for 20 minutes, first thing in the day, any extra workouts I can squeeze in later in the day will be awesome!

I know varying my workouts is important, so while I love Zumba, I also know the importance of lifting weights.  I bought Jillian Micahel's Kettlebell workout and I got the 7 lb kettlebell. That is a fairly quick (25) and killer workout for me! I love it.

 I still try to do Yoga, especially if I'm feeling overwhelmed or tight.  I really want to try Pilates---any recommendations there??

I still try to eat small meals.  I truly believe in the every 3 hours rule.  However, sometimes I struggle with what I should be eating every three hours.  Well, again yesterday on Dr Oz, something just kind of spoke to me.  I am NOT one to just jump on bandwagons and try a zillion different 'diets'.  I know that I love food and I enjoy fueling my body with the right foods.  Well, Mark MacDonald was on the show and he explained his ideas as far as eating....not only should we be eating every 3 hours, but at every meal we should have 1/3 carb, 1/3 fat, 1/3 protein.  And of course, as many veggies and fruits.  I'm not sure when this book came out, but I am looking forward to reading it.

Order here!

Anyway, I ordered this book and I am really interested to see what else he has to say.  I love that Chelsea Handler used this method, and she is a BRUTALLY honest person when it comes to what she thinks!! She said she'd never give up drinking her vodka and enjoying some of her favorite foods.  This method makes sense and I cannot wait to read a little more about it. 

Believe me, I've done the no carb thing I'm a total bitch when I don't eat carbs and as effective as that can be, it's never permanent.  Especially when you're married to an Italian who loves and needs his pasta.

I'm still loving my Shakeology and even my mom and her boyfriend are using it as a breakfast meal replacement, since neither of them tended to eat breakfast! {shame on you haha but I'm so happy you're enjoying this healthy alternative.}  My sister said they just came out with a vanilla, so I can't wait to try that one! PS Right now there is free shipping on the vanilla until July 7th!!

Order Shakeo here!

 Me Time
I am really trying to give myself at least a FULL hour a day where I can read, write, go on a peaceful walk, take a bubble bath, or veg out in front of the television----WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY.  That's the kicker.   But it's so important to let your mind just relax and stop stressing about life!! I  honestly don't like thinking of my 'workouts' as "me" time, because I'm not relaxing or unwinding. I really like to think of workout out as part of my "job" to feel good/look good.  That's just how my brain works. I'm weird. I don't know why!!

Work out your Mind
This of course, should go hand in hand with the "me" time, but I am really trying to be actively aware at how easily stressed out I can get.  From not having my husband's white work shirts clean for him to wear one morning, to feeling like I'll never fit back into my cute cut-off shorts {and look good in them}, family members and I not talking, the house being messy, wanting to be a fantastic mama to our baby girl, not getting enough time for just the husband and I to go out on a date... I can literally drive myself crazy thinking about all the things I want to 'fix' or make better in my life.  Focusing on these can cause negative thinking, makes me play the victim card, and in turn, nothing gets accomplish.  When you're negative, everything spirals down.  So what do I do?  I turn to audiobooks.  I've said it before, I'll say it's amazing what the power of your mind can do.

My faves include:

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
100 Ways to motivate yourself
Happy for No Reason

I'll pull up You Tube, pop in a CD or listen on my iPhone.  Either way, within moments of turning these silly self help books on, I'm transfixed and immediately start to feel better. Things look brighter.  I become more optimistic.  I swear they just begin speaking to you--you hear exactly what you're supposed to.  The other morning it was all about how being angry at someone, is awful because in your mind, it's like a snake laying eggs in your brain.  It'll fester. Get worse and you'll never get out of that train of thought.  I also picked up on "The best gift a parent can give a child is being happy."  And of course wife to husband...Happy Wife, Happy Life.  [I may or may not own a tank top that says that, thank you very much Fabulicious aka Teresa Guidice]
Lastly, I have not tried it yet but I saw (again Dr Oz, I know!) Lemon Balm Extract is supposed to help you de-stress immediately.  You can find more abut that here.

So, that was a long post! I didn't realize how much I had to say.   I just need to remind myself that it's OK and important to put myself #1 sometimes.  Especially since everything runs a lot smoother if I'm on top of my A game.

 If you're still reading, I hope you can take some small bit of my ramblings and implement it into your own busy world! Happy Friday loves!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Menu, Quote, and a Song

Well June is more than halfway over and I haven't been sharing my meals too much; oops...

Here's what is happening in my kitchen!

Monday- Leftover sauce & meatballs w/ spaghetti and a salad
Tuesday- Pork Tenderloin (Bourbon Maple--store bought marinaded) w/ fresh asparagus
Wednesday- Pasta w/ turkey and broccoli {recipe here}
Thursday- Kabobs on the grill {steak, chicken, veggies}
Friday- Sushi or Fish Fry

What's being served to your table this week?

I'm loving this quote...

This song is stuck in my head:

I have some reviews coming up soon, so stay tuned for some of my opinions ladies!! {We're talking hair and energy here, two things most women care a lot about!}

And I'm gonna go hop on the elliptical hopefully get a quick workout in before Miss sleepy head wakes up (again)!

Have a lovely Tuesday dolls!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekend Fun

What a fabulous weekend! I hope yours was just as nice as ours!!

My mother-in-law continues to impress me.  I showed her what "Toe Blooms" were and asked if she could make a pair...

Thursday afternoon she stopped by with all of that!! She also bought Brooke a really cute dress that she just had to have.  My little fashionista.

 Friday was so nice to have Joe home.  He ran to Panera for our favorite little breakfast sandwiches and we enjoyed them on our back deck.  I also got to sneak off to Wegmans by myself, to stock up on some major grocery shopping!! I saved a total of $20 with my coupons. Very impressed by that!

We ended up getting Brooke a walker; she can't touch the floor yet, but it's nice to have her in different rooms/outside in something she can stand in.

Snack break.

We went for a nice little family drive...

And Miss Brooke napped nearly the whole time.  We grilled chicken wings out on the back deck and had a low key night.

Saturday was going to be a hot one, and Brooke and I had a play date with Blake and his mommy Jamie.  We decided to meet at the beach; it was so fun.  I really enjoy spending time with them; Blake is 3 weeks older than Brooke and Jamie is such a sweetheart.

We took a nice semi-hilly walk with the babes in their strollers and chatted about life.  Both angels took little catnaps, so that was nice.  Jamie and I were impressed Brooke doesn't yank her shades off; but she seems to like them?  #likemotherlikedaughter

I packed big ol' deli sandwiches on soft buns and she brought a ton of fresh fruit and veggies.  {We scarfed them down in between caring for the little ones!!}  When I sat Brooke next to Blake, she started squealing; it was adorable!! He's such a big boy sitting up all by himself.

Bikini baby.  {Grandma bought this for Brooke; Daddy doesn't totally approve, but mommy enjoys the easy diaper changes in a bikini vs a one piece!)

Bikini--from grandma
Cover-up: Target
Hat: Target
Sunnies: Kohls
Beach babes.

Tummy time on the beach.

How stinkin' cute is Blake's hat and outfit! Boy clothes are adorable.

Brooke was a little feisty and grabby grabby haha! I can't wait until they can actually "play" together. 

After the beach, we ran Daddy up some sushi for lunch and met my sister back here at my house.  Her husband was in a wedding and it was right down the road, so we hung out a bit and she got ready.

How fabulous does she look?? I believe she got the dress from Express awhile back.  Nude pumps. Gold jewelry.  She looked awesome.  Usually she's always in workout clothes because she's a gymnastics coach, so seeing her all dolled up was fun and I had to s nap a pic!  {PS she's also a Beachbody coach and my inspiration for working out!!  You can check out her site HERE}

Saturday night we grilled pork chops marinaded in Spiedie sauce.  We also took a little family walk to the frozen yogurt bar Yolickity---Key Lime Pie was delicious.  I felt like it was the "official start of summer" haha.  I look forward to many more family walks there!

Sunday we got up and out of the house by 10--which is good for us!! We stopped at Panera for Breakfast and then headed out to spend the day with Joe's grandma.

You can follow me on VINE or check out this link.   It's a little video app that you can record silly or special moments with people. Yup; all of our Vine posts are right up on the web.  Did you know that?

I had a face full of pretty makeup but it already sweat off by noon.  That's ok; I love the heat.

We thoroughly enjoyed grams' cooking.

Brooke was over-sleepy and great-grandma rocked her to sleep.

Such happiness.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned, but our dog Holly is this little dog's {Roxy} actual sister.  She happens to be the runt, and about half the size of our chi-pin Holly.

Sleepy great-grandma cuddles.

Brooke wearing the "Toe Blooms" grandma made! Can you stand the cuteness?

Daddy let her try a strawberry--she loved it!

Sunday night we ordered a movie and watched it.  It was 'stupid funny' but exactly the kind of movie you can try and watch with a 5 month old who's not sleeping yet.  You don't need to concentrate much to follow it.  It was a bit over the top, but good nonetheless.

google images

I am sooooo looking forward to many more fun weekends this summer!  It's by far my favorite season and I can't wait to spend as much time with the ones I love.

How was your weekend??

Sami's Shenanigans

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Happy Thursday

Know what's cool?? My husband actually gets a day off of work tomorrow! He has worked June 3-today June 20 without a day off.  I have never met a man who works as hard as mine.  I made sure to not 'plan' anything tomorrow {or Sunday} as the guy just needs time to rejuvenate and relax. 

Love this.

We miss his grandma and really need to see her, so hopefully we will get to do that.  Otherwise, I hope to just chill out and enjoy the awesome weather we are supposed to be getting.  Summer is so close, I can taste it!!

google images

 I'm hoping to make it to Zumba tonight, as I have gone the last two Thursday evenings and just love going to that class.  I am still working hard at trying to move every day; some days are tricky to fit it in, and I get tired.  I am proud that I am continuously feeling stronger and better with each workout.  I just need to stay motivated!!

google images
But, I really can't complain because baby girl is SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!!  She was getting up around 3 or 4 for a feeding, but lately I put her down around 9 and she'll sleep until we're up at 7/7:30.  Then she's right back down for a nap around 9:30 am

And my sink is full of dishes {which is impressive because it's a HUGE sink haha} and baby girl is napping so, the rush begins to see how much I can actually accomplish before she awakens once again.

Happy Thursday lovies!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bigger Picture

While I never would have predicted that I'd be a product of a divorced family, the truth is, I am.  My parents were married twenty-some years before they decided to part ways.  While it was hard to go through that in my early twenties, I can only imagine what it would be like to be a little kid.  So now that they've been apart for close to a decade, I only ask one question. 

When does it get easier on me?

I've beyond "fully accepted" my step-mom and step-brother.  It was never a question, and I've welcomed them into my 'family' with open arms, and into my heart.  I cannot imagine my life without them; I love them to pieces and it feels so very right that we are all so close.  Since my step-mom is a little on the younger side, she's truly been more of a friend than anything.  She's someone whom I have grown very close to, believe that I have a close connection with and of course am overly happy that she makes my dad happy.  But nothing replaces your mom, let's face it. The woman who birthed, raised, and cared for you even when you argue, is a part of who you are and forever will be.  Good, bad, indifferent, your mom is always your mom. 

I just cannot seem to manage keeping all parties happy, 24/7 and now that I have my own daughter, quite frankly I'm tired of trying!!

I just want people to get along, be civil, act like adults.   My biggest fear is having stress and ill-feelings hovering over my daughter's head.  She has THREE grandmas.  OK, well, two 'Grandmas' and a "Nana" but three woman who love her unconditionally; with great big hearts and all three have such different lessons to teach my girl. 

I've mentioned briefly before that my mom and I have had our share of issues.  To be blunt, she didn't come to my wedding.  She wasn't in a great place at the time, it is what it is, we've discussed it, cried over it, and chose to move on.  I worked very hard on myself to get back to healthy, positive place with her, and I am proud of where we are at.  After that she moved down to South Carolina and has remained there...but I honestly do hope she moves back here to NY.  I miss her.  Joe misses her. Brooke needs her.  Just as she needs Joe's mom and my step-mom.  What will happen then?

The tangled web woven because of divorce just sucks.  There's no way denying how messy it can be. But once it's finalized, and both people have gone along their merry way, can't we just keep the peace?

Now that I am a mother, I will say that I can't imagine anyone else trying to parent my child.  That is why I will always put my husband first and take care of our relationship, so that it always remains healthy, strong, and loving.  Brooke won't have to deal with this divorce drama; Joe and I took that vow very seriously almost three years ago.  But I'm not everyone, so when I'm just stuck in the middle of a divorced set of parents, what's a girl to do?  And I'm talking like, 'parents don't want to be in the same room' type of divorce. 

If your parents are divorced, and don't get along, what are you to do?  Throw two birthday parties for your kid?  What happens after dance recitals and you have people back to the house?  Soccer games? What do you do for holidays?  At what point do all parents just learn to behave?

I'm not perfect, I know.  But my heart is huge and I have enough room to love everyone in my life.  I just feel as though sometimes I am punished because I have so many people who "love me."  I also feel that technology makes everything so much harder.  Instagram, Facebook, Vine, this blog...I LOVE sharing special moments of my life {and especially now my little girl} but someone is always hurt. Someone is always feeling left out.  I feel like I just can't win.  There are times where I chose not to blog about something because I don't want to hurt someone. But in the end, it's me who gets hurt because I can't share my happenings for fear of emotional upsets.

So what do I do?  Give up all of these outlets that I enjoy?  Am I the only one with crazy insignificant family drama, or does anyone else out there deal with it too?  I turn to this little space here on the internet because quite frankly, it always helps.  I know that some situations take awhile to be fixed, healed, mended...whatnot.

So that's where my mind is at, has been at and continues to be until things get resolved.  Life is so short and I really do want to make every small moment count.  I read blogs like Kelle Hampton's and everything seems so perfectly clear; ENJOY THE SMALL THINGS.  Why is it so hard for some of us to do?  There's a bigger picture out there, and right now, in my life, her name is Brooke Lynn. 

That is all.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Brooke Lynn: 5 month Update

I could probably just post that photo alone and have it count for an entire blog. 

Buuuuuuuut, since I have so much to say, I better just start typing!!  As always, I cannot believe you already five months old.  Every day you continue to amaze me, by learning new things, making new faces, and simply being you.

such a Mommy look

We put the bumpers in your crib this past month, as your little arms and legs were starting to get stuck and in the rails, and I didn't want you to hurt yourself!! You seem to love the cushions because you will wedge yourself in there perfectly.  You tend to fall asleep on your right side, hands clasped. 

Born to Dance

At four months, you had me wondering what to do with your eating.   I tried the little bit of rice cereal in the bottle, which you ate, but it would sometimes make you a little backed I did away with that and decided to keep you just on breast milk or formula. [So far, so good with Earth's Best Organic Sensitive].  At 5 months, I feel like I've finally figured it out. We get three to four solid nursing sessions a day, and you take a few more bottles too. There are times when you drink 9 full ounces. It's crazy how much you love your food.  I came to terms with not keeping up with your feedings, I am sure if I pumped and nursed simultaneously like a crazy doctor said, I could possibly get you back on just the boob, but quite honestly, I don't mind the formula.  I still love nursing, but sometimes  I just want to quit.  Your daddy is my cheerleader and keeps me going, when I feel like giving up.  {as in, I pump and get one.single.ounce.}  Either way, I know that the bulk of your nutrition should come from breast milk or formula the first year, so the "solid foods" are just little bonuses for now.  We have so much fun feeding you!

Brooke Eats:
I haven't 'made' much food yet, and I plan on starting, today actually!
You've tried & liked:
Carrots--your favorite
Sweet Potatoes
Rice Cereal 

Did not like:
Sweet Peas {momma doesn't really like peas either, but we will try them again!!}

You take 1/2 a jar or pouch mixed with a little bit of rice cereal breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

**All of your food is Organic; we like Earth's Best, Happy Baby, or Gerber

We don't have a Dr's visit until next month, but here are some 


Weight:  Judging by our scale, around 19 pounds I'd say!
Clothes: 6, 6-9, 9, 6-12 sizes
9 month sleepers {12 months are just a little big, but you wear those too!}
Diapers: Size 3
Your head is kind of big and some of your headbands don't quite fit?!  That's ok. Just more room for brains!
No teeth yet.
You take 2 loooong naps or 3-4 shorter ones during the day.  It depends on our schedule and whether or not Holly's barking wakes you up.
You sleep from 8/9pm -6/7am

Sophie the giraffe 
Refrigerated teething toys
Swing for catnaps
Excersaucer--you twirl right around in that thing now!
Play mat
Bouncer seat
Holly & Sadie---you love to pet them and watch Sadie lick the air.
Walks in your stroller or in the baby wrap on Daddy!

 Screeching is in full effect!
You can bring things into your mouth very well now!
You try to help me with your spoon
Peek-a-boo is fun to you now
You can roll your way across the room
We are working on "Da-da" and whenever I say it, you get the BIGGEST smile. So cute.

We've been debating on a walker or a jumper to hang...thoughts?  I'm on the fence on both.

I am also sad to report you're starting to outgrow your infant car seat.  We have you on the last notch and your little legs are hanging off a bit.  I really don't want to put your car seat facing forward until I absolutely have to, but man girl, you are a-growing!!  So with that said, the child seat research has begun...I'm thinking we can get you a girlie pink one since you'll be in this one for awhile!!

We also celebrated your dad's first Father's Day.  He loved the gifts you picked out {a soccer ball, so one day you can kick it around together, and a pair of mesh shorts since he got yellow nursery paint all over a pair last summer!}  Oh, and this cute picture frame with your precious little hand print.

You have an amazing Daddy and we are so lucky he's our main man!!

I love you very much baby girl and cannot wait to see what this month brings us.  You are a gift from above and one that we cherish every, single day. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Grandma's in Town!


I cannot believe it's already Thursday.  My mom has been up here visiting this week and I just haven't found the time to sit down and blog much!!  My sweet husband is working his crazy "Tent Sale" {9am-10pm} and so I've been spending lots of quality time with my mother and Brooke.

Last Friday we met my mother-in-law out for lunch.

They were overly excited to talk about little miss.

It was kind of cool to have both of them, women who gave birth to my husband and I there, with our daughter.  Life is a funny thing and oh, so very circular.

Maria insisted on letting me eat, while she gave miss Brooke her bottle.

That night we had my niece Adrianna over for some family fun.  We took her to get her very first bike on Saturday.  She was so darn cute.

Then we visited, "Uncle Joey" at the Tent Sale...she also got to see the clowns.

And of course Daddy & Brooke.

Sweet Cousins.

And while the weather hasn't exactly been beautiful, we have made the most out of our time.  Lots of snuggles with baby girl and catching up over cups of tea.

That's all for now; I'll share more later!