Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter 2016

This Easter was such a good one for us!  We started off Saturday morning with an Easter Egg hunt at Avalon.  It was pretty early for us and still a little chilly but we made the best of it.  They had real bunnies there, a visit from the Easter Bunny and a ride with Choo Choo Charlie, which is the kids favorite!  We took it easy the rest of the day since we were out and about early.  I was really excited to dye eggs with the kids, thinking they would enjoy it, but it turned out to be the biggest disaster!!!  I spilled one of the cups of dye before we even dyed the very first egg and the rest went down hill from there.  Basically I just did all of the eggs as fast as I could while the kids watched.  We will be doing this activity outside next year.  Lesson learned!

Sunday morning we all woke up and meandered out into the living room.  Everyone was still trying to wake up so I didn't want to blind the kids by flicking the lights on to show them their Easter baskets.  Instead, we all sat down on the couch to watch cartoons while our eyes adjusted.  Eventually Loyal and I went into the kitchen to get something to drink and while we were in there little Loyal must have noticed the baskets on the table behind him.  He got soooo excited and ran into the kitchen saying "GUYS! Come see dis!!!"  Aren't kids are the best!!  The rest of our Sunday was spent relaxing and indulging in too many sweets and Easter treats.  That night we had dinner with my parents and the kids ran around like crazy animals, per usual.  This year was an Easter well spent for sure!
Sorry for all poor quality iPhone pics.  Rapid fire phone camera seems to work out best these days. 
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Friday, March 18, 2016

My fitness journey

When I think back to before I had kids, my workout routine was entirely different than it is now.  It was pretty sporadic to be honest.  I would get really into working out for a while but that momentum would eventually fade away.  That was ok with me at the time because I was young and I was still comfortable with myself if I wasn't working out.  I tried to maintain a somewhat healthy lifestyle by eating well but that was also pretty up and down because, again, it didn't matter much to me.  As I get older, I feel that it has become more and more important to me to be as healthy as I can be, look good, feel good and most importantly, feel comfortable with myself and proud.  I can finally say that I have achieved that and here's how.

Both of my pregnancies were really easy and enjoyable.  I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with Loyal which called for a very strict diet and extremely monitored weight gained.  I maintained a healthy and well balanced diet during my pregnancy and ended up gaining 23 pounds.  With breastfeeding, that weight melted right off and I was at my pre-pregnancy weight within 4 weeks.  Although I lost the weight quickly, I definitely didn't feel like myself quite yet.  My hips were still wide, my stomach was mushy and the confidence just wasn't really there.  I knew I needed to tone up but I also knew that it would be an uphill battle considering I hadn't worked out in so long.  Babies sure can do a number on you!  I could never get motivated enough to be consistent with working out at the time and honestly, I was exhausted.  By the time Loyal was about 7-8 months, I finally felt pretty good!  I was actually about 5-7 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight which was solely achieved by breastfeeding.  (Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing!)

My pregnancy with Roman was just about exactly the same.  I maintained that same exact diet as I did my previous pregnancy.  I didn't end up having gestational diabetes this time around and because of that, I splurged a little more. :) I gained 26 pounds and expected the weight to melt right off just as it did the first time.  It did, but a little bit slower this time around.  I remember being completely exhausted with having 2 kids under 2 and basically took out that exhaustion on the food I was eating.  My diet became a little more relaxed knowing how important those calories are for milk production.  I eventually became pretty upset with my body and myself all around.  I knew it was time for a serious change and finally, I was determined.

I knew this was going to be a challenge and most likely one of the biggest challenges I had faced.  Because I was busy with the kids all day and their naps weren't consistent just yet, that left me with working out after they went to bed.  Let me tell you, that took some serious devotion.  There were a million things I would have loved to do at 9:00 at night than work out.  But I did it!  I started out slow, took it one day at a time and gave it everything I had to give.  The first couple of nights, I think I yawned through the entire 30 minute exercise.  I was dragging, felt sloppy and just wanted to lay down and go to sleep.  I didn't let this discourage me because I knew my body just needed some time to adjust.  It eventually did and shortly after I was able to move my workouts up to nap time, which was a game changer!

I started this journey in Spring of 2015.  I tried to do P90X because I really loved it in the past but with kids, it was too intense for me and called for too many days.  I found a Squat Challenge on Instagram and started with the 8 week program.  That was the very first exercise program that I have ever finished and that was such a great feeling!  It's 3 days a week and has been really great for me.  After I completed the 8 week challenge, I bought the 16 week program from the same company and am now in the last week.  I am so proud of my results and how far I've come but I am ready for more!

Abs.  Dreaded abs.  After having kids I felt like my abs were shot.  It was really hard for me to get into a routine of doing them because every time I did them, I didn't feel like I saw results fast enough to encourage me to keep doing them.  I remember complaining about it to Loyal one day (because he had some SERIOUS abs back in the day!) and he said that abs probably took more patience than any other area of the body.  I could agree with that based on my experience and my body.  I did abs 3 days a week and really kept at it for a while and slowly, very slowly, started to see some results.  It is still a work in progress but I am getting there, slowly but surely. ;)
#momlife lol
My little helpers :) and a BIG thanks to my sister for taking my pics, LOVE YOU!!!
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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

My Wrap Results!

I have been working out consistently for almost a year now and although I am really pleased with how far I've come, I wasn't entirely happy with my stomach after having kids.  I could never seem to get it as toned as I wanted it regardless of how often I did abs.  I knew I needed a little help on top of what I was doing and I am so glad that I found It Works!
I tried a wrap on my stomach and much to my surprise, it totally worked!!!  The wrap works to tighten, tone and strengthen your target area during the 45 minutes that you wear it with continued results 72 hours after.  I could tell a difference as soon as I took it off after 45 minutes.  By the end of the 72 hours, I felt and looked completely different.  My stomach was tight, I felt skinny and I had finally achieved exactly what I was hoping to.
I am so excited to share these results with you!
The Body Applicator Wrap is a thin cloth wrap that has been infused with a powerful, botanically-based formula to deliver maximum tightening, toning, and firming results where applied to the skin. 
*via ItWorks product description
Green Fab Wrap can be wrapped over the Body applicator to securely hold it in place.

45 minutes after wrap, pictured below
72 hours after wrap, pictured below

This picture is me hunched over to crunch my stomach.  Due to pregnancy, I had a lot of thin lines on my stomach from stretched skin.  I felt like the wrap definitely helped to tighten those areas.


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Monday, March 14, 2016

Our house renovation

Remember that house we bought in New Orleans and only lived in for 4 months?  Well, we finally finished it.  And sold it!  Let me catch everyone up...

We bought it back in March of 2013, while we were pregnant with Loyal.  Because of Loyal working in Atlanta, we were hardly ever in New Orleans to live in it and renovate it like we had envisioned.  About 2 weeks before I had Roman, we had a pipe break in the wall between the kitchen and bathroom.  The majority of the downstairs flooded just enough to have to rip mostly everything out.  It was kind of a disaster with us being in Atlanta at the time and definitely not something that we care to go through again.  We ended up moving down right after Roman was born and because of the condition the downstairs was in, we had to start the renovation immediately.  Just for the record, living in a house with a gutted downstairs and 2 babies was not fun.

In case you need a reminder of how our kitchen looked before...
(you can see more pictures here)
And here is the after!
There used to be a wall separating the kitchen and living room.  We opened it up and it improved the space drastically.  We also tore down the old brown paneled walls and replaced it with drywall and after a ton of push back about painting the fireplace white, we did it and everyone LOVED IT!
We are so happy with the way everything turned out.  It was literally a dream come true to see the finished product.  Only one problem, we've been in Atlanta this entire time.  We went down over Christmas, packed everything up and moved it out in anticipation of listing it.  We had our contractor finish it up over the next couple of weeks and put it on the market in January.  We were under contract in less than 24 hours, closed in February, and that was that.  We signed all of the papers electronically so we never even walked through the finished product but to us, the pictures are stunning.  We will miss this house and all of the memories we made there!
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