You are Two

I can’t believe that you are two.

And you are such the second kid. I’m sorry this post got written at 9pm the night before your birthday. And I’m sorry we took you to Kid Snips at 7pm on a Tuesday, and the “C Squad” botched your birthday haircut.

But boy oh boy, little boy, I couldn’t love you more. You are the snuggliest, open mouth kiss giving, tackle anything that moves, dive off the staircase and hope someone catches you, truck and train lovin’, brand of 100% little boy. ALL boy.

Before I knew you, I was terrified of you. What was I going to do with a little boy who would come in and ruffle up my perfect vision of a world full of dresses and dolls, shopping and nail polish. But little boy, I secretly love how wild you are. I love how you are rough and tumble but also so so freakin sweet that my heart swells so much I get tears in my eyes.

I love being told what a good friend you are. That you will play with anyone who has a truck 😉 That you will help me unpack and put away groceries. That you will clean up without me nagging you. That you don’t scream in the grocery store, you just quietly hand me things from the cart.

I love how you sing to yourself, and get so embarrassed when we call you out on it.

You, my sweet Bubba, make me so proud. I can’t believe how lucky we got.

As we enter the terrible twos, I hope you will always keep your kind heart, your father’s sense of humor, and I hope that you asking for “more” kisses is something that never fades away.

I love you wild man. You have my heart.

XO,

Mom

You can read Ryan’s birth story here, and some truths about motherhood and having two kids here.

Easy health and fitness changes to make now…and keep all year

Joggers and Gym Shoes Blog contains affiliate links. Read full Disclosure Policy here.

Shop the post

We all have high hopes for a new year, and if you’re like me, mounds of things that you want to change. I have found though, that positive changes only happen, and continue to happen, if they are small and gradually happen over time.

Below I have outlined FIVE easy health and fitness changes that you can start today, and maintain all year:

  1. Set a date and time to exercise at least 3 days/week. Don’t just say, “I’ll workout on Monday.” Figure out your exact when and where. On Tuesday, I will run for 30 minutes outside. I will do this ____ while my kids are ____. Pack/lay out your gym clothes the night before. Have your pre workout snack ready to go. Pack a water bottle. Do not set unrealistic expectations for yourself. If you NEVER wake up before 6am, do not schedule a 5am workout. Be realistic with yourself. My best time is right after work before I pick the kids up from daycare. I change at work, and eat a small snack in the car on the way there. NO excuses.
  2. Make one small health change, and stick with it. Bring your lunch each day instead of buying, add in daily vitamins, eat an apple instead of chips, switch to Stevia instead of Splenda, start buying natural deodorant. Pick something and do it! Feeling brave? Make a small change each week.
  3. Follow the 80/20 rule. You will not be able to maintain a diet if you deprive yourself of everything that you love. Everything in moderation. I try to eat relatively healthy on weekdays, and then let myself indulge on the weekends. I love a good burger, fries, ice cream, and wine. During the week, I eat two eggs every morning, a banana for a snack, turkey with hummus and carrots for lunch, and nuts or an apple for a snack EVERY day. Dinner is some sort of meat and veggie. Boring, I know but it is what works for me. The best way to maintain this is to plan out your meals, have the food in the house, and pack your lunch with healthy food.
  4. Invest in a good pair of workout shoes. Trust me on this one. Some of my favorites are here, here, and here.
  5. Cauliflower. I’m a lover of all things starchy and covered in butter. So to keep myself from eating all the pasta and potatoes, I buy a lot of cauliflower. Roast it, boil it, turn it into rice – it’s delicious any way. Add a little butter and salt and pepper, and you’ll almost forget you are not eating a baked potato. Almost 😉

What changes have you made in the new year? I’d love to hear!

The perfect tee for layering

Joggers and Gym Shoes Blog contains affiliate links. Read full Disclosure Policy here.


Tee // Hat // Gloves // Leggings // Boots // Similar Wrap on major sale here and here

Winter is all about layers and leggings, am I right? I’ve talked about my love for winter layering here. For some reason, I only want to wear leggings and tee shirts that I can layer under wraps and sweaters when it’s cold. Leggings are just so much cozier, and easier to put into boots than jeans are. This wrap I’m wearing is another winter staple that I throw on over everything. It’s from a small boutique near my house but I’ve linked similar below.

I’ve had my Hunters for years, and get so much wear out of them. They can double as rain or snow boots, and are super durable and comfortable. Sometime I wear them to work, intending to change into different shoes, and just end of wearing them all day long.

This long sleeve tee is only $19, and perfect tee for layering with leggings. It’s lightweight and long enough to cover your behind. It also come in a tons of colors. I usually like my tees oversized but I sized way down in this – to an XXS.

Shop the post

What is your favorite layering piece?

XO,

Sara

 

Link Up w/ Walking in Memphis in High Heels

elegantlydressedandstylish.com

6 Things that give me mom guilt

Joggers and Gym Shoes Blog contains affiliate links. Read full Disclosure Policy here.



The only top you need this winter also here // Hat // Leggings // Boots

shop the post and other cozy favorites

Mom life is funny. The second I am away from my kids, I miss them. Dean and I just booked our first big trip since having both the kids, and it’s not for FIVE months but I ALREADY miss the kids. What is wrong with me?

We all know that being a mom is exhausting; sometimes it’s physical, sometimes it’s mental. Sometimes mom life makes me want to pull my hair out. Sometimes it’s frustrating. Sometimes it’s maddening. Sometimes it’s boring.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids more than anything in the world. All I do is think about them ALL day long. They are the best part of my day. But sometimes Momma needs a break, am I right?

These are some things I do to keep my sanity as a mom but make me feel guilty afterwards:

  1. I count the minutes until bedtime. I do love my kids, and I don’t do this everyday but those hours on a day like this can certainly drag on.
  2. I lock myself in the bathroom. I don’t do this often, and I only do it when Dean is home. But I will stay in there and let the kids pound on the door screaming for me while I organize cabinets, try out different nail polish, etc. etc.
  3. Let all hell break loose while I eat chocolate upstairs. The kids may be screaming at each other and there is the sound of toys crashing down but I’m still upstairs just eating my chocolate. If someone was hurt, they would come tell me. Yup…I’m the world’s worst mom. Please don’t judge me.
  4. Pretend I am not on my phone. But I am. I am not good at make believe play – never have been. When I was a kid, I was always crafting. That made sense to me. Playing pretend did not. I actually used to have “stationary stands” instead of lemonade stands, and I would try to sell paper that I had decorated. Haha. So sometimes playing baby over and over again can get a little tedious. Momma needs an outlet.
  5. Take my kids to daycare when I am off of work. I mean, is there anything better than being ALONE in your own house?! Before kids, I never knew how much I would appreciate this but it is AMAZING. It’s honestly like being on vacation.
  6. I don’t let the kids help me. We all know that kids learn through doing, yada yada yada. But sometimes, I just want to get something done QUICKLY. Chloe loves to help me make my lunch at night but it means that a task I already loathe takes 20 minutes instead of 5. Sometimes, I just need to get the show on the road.

What gives you Mom Guilt?


Shopping My Closet

One Cardigan, Two Ways

Joggers and Gym Shoes Blog contains affiliate links. Read full Disclosure Policy here.

Cardigan (c/o) // Shirt old, similar here // Pants // Boots // Earrings // Necklace

Each year like clockwork, November 1st hits and I start reaching for layers upon layers. Most days I leave the house looking like a Sherpa. Anything that I can layer on, and peel off throughout the day is fair game. Today I wore two scarves, TWO! And I didn’t even notice I was wearing two until Ryan yelled at me to take them off (scarfs scare the little guy). He’s an odd one that son of mine.

So I was excited when I found this Reversible Co. cardigan to incorporate into my fall and winter wardrobe. It is nice and thick without being too heavy. You can definitely transition it from fall to winter and then back into spring. It is also REVERSIBLE. One side is black, the other is gray making it a great neutral option to pair with any outfit. It’s perfect for moms too because we are always covered in sticky little finger prints; usually finger prints that I don’t notice until I am walking into work. No problem here, just flip the cardigan around.

Right now you can get 20% off on any purchase on their website with code: “happy20”. They have pieces for children as well. I hope you will check them out!

What is your favorite winter layering item?

In collaboration with Reversible Co. All thoughts and and opinions are my own.

 

elegantlydressedandstylish.com

To My daughter On her 4th Birthday

Dress

Four years ago, on a bitter cold Friday night, Dean and I were eating dinner at the Giordanos that was ten feet from our condo in the city. We were too terrified to even speak to each other. It was the quietest dinner we have ever eaten. Dean was worried about how our life would change after Chloe was born, and I was petrified of my impending c-section. Chloe was breech, and my c-section was scheduled for that coming Monday. (To this day, I am sad that I spent the last weeks pregnant with Chloe absolutely terrified. I am one of those rare breeds who LOVES being pregnant. I think it is just simply fascinating. I wish I savored her little kicks and hiccups just a bit more.)

That night I laid in bed unable to sleep (per usual at this point). Around 2:30 am I got out of bed to pee, and instead my water broke. It was literally right from a movie which I hear is very rare. There was a pop, and then lots of fluid. Ewww. 😉 Dean couldn’t possibly believe that I could be in labor early so he went back to bed while I dilly dallied calling my doctor. I don’t think she believed me either because there was no rush from anyone to get to the hospital. I think we got to the hospital around 3:30, and then sat in Triage for another half hour. Now keep in mind, I have had ZERO contractions at this point. I still don’t think anyone believes that I am in labor.

Skirt // Jellies

Finally, they call us back and examine me. It’s maybe 4:30 at this point. They check to see if Chloe is still breech. She is sadly, even after all the voodoo nonsense I tried. I am also dilated to 8 cm, and still NO contractions. Everything after that happened so fast. As terrified as I was about having a c-section, I am glad it happened the way it did. I had no time to panic. So after that, they called my doctor and rushed me up to prep for my c-section. I remember having my first contraction on the elevator ride, and it was the most intense pain I have ever felt – even more so than my natural birth with Ryan. By the time we got up to the surgery floor, I was already 9 cm dilated and Chloe’s foot was starting to come out.

What happened next is pretty much a blur. I was frantically signing papers, and Dean was whisked away. Finally, my doctor arrived and I broke down in tears. She took about 10 seconds to calm me down, and then said we had to move. Next it was Epidural (didn’t even feel it), lotsssss of pressure and pulling, and Chloe was born. I’ll spare you c-section details but even though I would never recommend one, and I absolutely hated it, it was not AS bad as I thought it would be.

And there she was, just like that. My dream come true.

This was Chloe’s position in utero. One leg up, one leg down.

(My favorite picture ever)

You, my baby girl, are my reason for being; the sun in my sky. I never really knew what love was until I met you. You have taught me to love so unconditionally. I hope you know how loved you are.

As I watch you continue to grow, I am awed at this person that I helped create. You have become such a little person with such a huge personality. Your vocabulary shocks me daily (in a good way 😉 ). You are too smart for your own good, and I have never met someone so observant. You pick up on way too much, and remember WAAAY too much. I honestly don’t know where you came from.

You are the best big sister to Ryan. He is so lucky to have you. I imagine you will be police-ing him for years to come.

I hope you will always keep your sense of humor, your strong will, and I hope you will always be brave. But my wish for you, above all else, is that you continue to be kind and happy.

Happy 4th Birthday, Baby Girl. I can’t believe that you are four.

XO,

Mom

Winter Supplements

Since it is the new year, I decided to take a look at what supplements I am taking each day to stay healthy this winter. When it comes to supplements, there is no one size fits all. I spent the last four years of my life either pregnant or nursing. During that time, I took a prenatal vitamin (nothing fancy, just the GNC brand) and the occasional Iron supplement. This summer when I finally stopped nursing my son, I also let go of my multivitamin. As long as you are eating a balanced diet, most women do not need one.

In the summertime, I normally do not take any supplements. Between all of the sunshine, and fresh fruits and veggies, my body does not really “feel” that it needs one. Obviously, everyone is different but I try to get my vitamins through my food when I can.

Winter time is another story. I am up against 38 germ-y five year olds all day long. I don’t see the sun. I eat a lot more starch and a lot less fruit. I am tired and stressed, and my immune system is fighting a constant uphill battle. Each day, I take Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and a B Complex (I particularly like the one pictured). There is no one brand that I have to have but I do make sure that my vitamins are non-GMO.

What supplements I take:

Vitamin D: Everyone should be taking a Vitamin D supplement, especially in the winter. It helps your body absorb calcium (i.e. strong bones) and also helps to facilitate normal immune system function. Vitamin D can also help reduce depression and boost weight loss. The amount of Vitamin D that your body needs has increased in recent years, and not all multivitamins account for this.

Vitamin E: According to the National Institute of Health, “Vitamin E s a powerful antioxidant that may help reduce free radical damage and slow the aging process of your cells.” Basically, it can help fight heart disease and cancer. It also makes a great moisturizer. Sometimes, I will break open a capsule and rub the Vitamin E oil into my hands when they are really dry.

Vitamin B Complex: B Vitamins play an important role in helping our bodies turn food into energy. There are 8 B Vitamins, and they all play a different role in our bodies. B Vitamins help make new cells in our body, fight free radicals, boost HDL cholesterol, promote healthy skin, and reduces inflammation. It really just does it all!

Vitamins D, E, K, and A are fat soluble and MUST be taken with food to work properly. All other vitamins are water soluble, and do not need food to be absorbed.

I also keep an Iron supplement in my pantry but only take it as needed. If I notice that I am extra sluggish I may pop one for a day or two. I am also not one to shy away from a burger or steak, and usually a good red meat meal does the trick.

What supplements do you take? I’d love to hear!

While this is what I believe to be best for my body, I am not a health care professional. Please speak with your physician before beginning any new supplement regimen.


 

Link Up with I Do deClaire

Jersey Girl, Texan Heart Link Up

Blue Apron Review

I realize that I am a little late to the Blue Apron Game but really, who has time to cook these days? I was reluctant to try it because my kids barely allow me time to cook taco meet. I had no idea how I was going to spend 45 minutes cooking a meal. But alas, I was sent a box, so I decided to give it a try.

I thought, “I’ll cook it on Sunday night when Dean is home so that way he can keep the kids busy.” Well, lets be honest here, those kids never leave my side. I’m pretty sure Dean was sound asleep in the basement (insert your choice of emoji here) for most of the time I was cooking and disciplining. So I had two little helpers. The pictures below were right before I banished them to the bar stools.

I successfully got everything prepped with minimal damage from the kids. They did squish the butter, and almost spilled the Apple Cider Vinegar on the floor but most of the food came out of the prep unharmed. It didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would, so that was a big plus.

I was really excited about the choice of vegetables. The kids and I always love a good, fresh vegetable. Of course, they wouldn’t touch these (keep reading).

 

Give me all the cauliflower!

Pros:

I must say, I thought the dinner was delicious and very fresh. Dean even ate a few of the vegetables. And it wasn’t nearly as complicated as I thought it would be. We tried new vegetables that I never would have thought of buying. There were also no leftovers. Dean did say that it tasted like something from a restaurant. It’s hard to please Dean’s palate so that’s a BIG pro.

Cons:

There were no leftovers. The portion sizes are small! I picked the meal for a family of four which I thought would be more then enough food since two toddlers can’t possibly eat that much, and honestly, they didn’t eat that much. There is no way that this meal could have fed four adults. I could also easily recreate this meal for about half the cost of what Blue Apron charges. Sorry Blue Apron!

I loved grilled vegetables but my kids don’t so they wouldn’t eat the vegetables even though they normally gobble them up. I ended up making a separate veggie for them entirely. That’s not really a Blue Apron “con” more of just a general life “con”.

So all in all, I would try Blue Apron again but there is no way that I could do it after a long day of work, before Dean is home, while the kids are crabby. I do think it would be a great replacement for all of the ordering out we do on the weekends.

Do you Blue Apron?

XO,

Sara

 

Holiday Outfits

Joggers and Gym Shoes Blog contains affiliate links. Read full Disclosure Policy here.

Still have no idea what to wear this holiday season? Yes, me either. Below I’ve styled two different outfits to help inspire you. Maybe it will help you, maybe it won’t, but a few of these pieces are too cute to pass up.

Sweater Dress // Earrings // Necklace // Boots // Bag // Cardigan

Skirt //  Blouse // Scarf // Boots // Earrings // Watch

What I do know? Booties are my jam. Christmas Eve, I figure I will be wearing these booties in gray and these adorable earrings. I am leaning towards this dress, mainly because it is comfortable and forgiving so I can enjoy my Candy Cane Pie. 😉 Honestly, I would prefer to be wearing these around a fire but alas, duty calls. This will be the one day each year that I don’t look like I just crawled out of bed. I kid, I kid. 😉

On Christmas day, it’s all about being festive and cozy. I plan on wearing this top with my most comfortable jeans. We travel from house to house on Christmas Day, and who wants to be uncomfortable while sitting in a car? Or maybe I will just wear these…game time decision!

What will you be wearing this holiday season?

Link Up with A Little Bit of Everything


Shopping My Closet

Winter Cozies

Joggers and Gym Shoes Blog contains affiliate links. Read full Disclosure Policy here.

Sweater // Jeans // Boots // Hat

If you follow my stories on Instagram then you know that I have been battling the stomach flu everywhere I turn. It’s been brutal. It is my worst nightmare. I literally want to curl up in a hole and not come out until May.

But alas, that is something that I cannot do. So until then, I will just turn into a hermit-like creature that only wears things that are fuzzy. This outfit is something you will typically see me in from December through March. My tops this time of year need to be warm and cozy. The more they feel like a sweatshirt, the better. Normally, I only wear my Uggs around the house as slippers until it’s really too cold to care what I look like. Then I just make the conscious choice not to take them off all winter (sorry, Dean!). 😉

Below I’ve linked some other favorite cozy must haves

What cozy pieces are you wearing this winter?
Link Up with Style Sessions

stylenudge.com