by Melanie

Juggling Life + My 3 Month Postpartum progress!

November 18, 2014 in Deep Thoughts, Goals, Postpartum, Weight Loss by Melanie

Hey everyone!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to hop on the computer lately and update the blog…..but haven’t!  I keep thinking when life calms down a bit, I’ll be able to blog more often and more consistently, but life just never seems to calm down!

So, I’ve somehow learned to just squeeze things in, cut out what I can and keep on doggie paddling through life.  Ha.

Over the weekend, I made a quick trip to Costco.

I found this awesomeness and was so excited about it….

Raw honey from Costco

Costco is THE BOMB and I’m always so impressed with the quality and healthy options they have available!

I also had to take this cute pic of the baby buried among all the groceries…

Baby buried in the Costco cart

I love that little sweetie so much!  He is SUCH a good baby!  In fact, he just may be my “best baby” yet.  He’s so quiet, happy, rarely fussy and is such a good sleeper.

He is truly a little angel.

He just turned 3 months old yesterday, if you can believe it!?!  I love the 3 month age.  I wish I could just freeze him and have a permanent 3 month old forever!

The kids have enjoyed having a baby in the home as well.  They are always wanting to hold him, change him, love on him, etc.  I love it.

The kids giving lots of love to the baby

Oh, and I just want to mention something.  Yes, my baby has a name and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’re aware of his name.  BUT, before baby was born I was very careful not to mention my kids names on the blog.  I’m not “super secretive” about it or anything, I just want to protect them a bit.

Anyway, I’ve decided that going forward he’s going to go back to being “nameless” along with the other kids.  I realized it was kind of weird to only mention his name and not the others…..so he’ll now lovingly be referred to as “baby, the caboose, little squishy cutie pie, etc.”

Alrighty then.

I’m happy to say we got the house all decorated for Christmas over the weekend!  Woo hoo!  I’ve never in my life set up Christmas before Thanksgiving, but this year I decided to do it and I will tell you why….

Every single year I always “try” to get everything done (i.e. Christmas cards, shopping, decor, planning, etc.) early in the season so that I can just sit back and enjoy the beautiful Christmas season instead of resent it.  However, it never seems to work out that way!  I always end up stressed out, shopping at the last minute, sending Christmas cards out on Christmas Eve and wishing Christmas would just be OVER!

How sad is that?!?

So, this year I decided to decorate the house early so I wouldn’t have to find the time, in an already busy Christmas season, to do it.  I’m also planning on taking a family picture this week for the card and will hopefully get them mailed out right after Thanksgiving.  I’m also going to do a lot of the shopping on Thanksgiving weekend so I can catch all of the sales AND then I will just order everything else online.

I’m bound and determined to ENJOY this Christmas season!!

I will take some pics of the Christmasy house soon and share them with y’all.  I did take one cute pic on Sunday night that I love…

Cute sleepy Santa by the Christmas tree

My sweet little Santa was worn out!  Oh, and I also want to mention that having all of the Christmas stuff up has put everyone in a very good mood!  As soon as the kids walk in the door, they immediately plug in the the tree and turn on Christmas music.  Everyone is so happy and there’s hardly any fighting going on!

Isn’t that awesome!??

Maybe I should just keep the Christmas stuff up all year long, huh?

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Well, as far as the whole “healthy living” part of my life goes, I’ve been doing okay.  I’ve been eating well and exercising regularly, but I’ve also been slackin’ a little bit here and there.

I really, really, really wanted to stay ultra committed until Thanksgiving, but for some reason I keep finding myself eating things that aren’t on my “mega healthy, get fit, lose all of the pregnancy weight” approved plan!

The lifestyle I’m living right now is a wonderful, realistic, healthy lifestyle, but it is very much a “maintenance lifestyle.”  I know that if I’m really serious about losing weight, I need to be “ALL IN” or it just doesn’t happen.  Losing weight is tough!

I did manage to take some 3 months postpartum progress pics to share with ya’ll.

Progress Pic 3 months Postpartum

My 3 month postpartum pic

I can’t say I’m happy with my progress, but I can’t say I’m discouraged either.

I know as a blogger, I put myself and my life out there for the world to see!  I’m totally fine with that.  So, with that being said, I just want to speak candidly for a sec.

First off, I have a good self esteem and a good body image, even when I have lots of baby fat to lose!  I really don’t see any reason to put myself down, criticize myself or beat myself up.  There is no good that comes from that!

However, I expect a lot out of myself.  I do not like to be a slacker.  I LOVE to push myself, set and achieve goals and really take charge of my life.  If there’s something about myself or my life that I don’t like, I try to use it as motivation and do my best to change it or improve!

So, with all that being said, I will give you all a very open and honest view of what I think of my body and my progress so far.

I realize some people will look at my pictures and think I look just fine and that I should just be happy and satisfied with how I look.  I also realize others will recognize that I have a lot of work to do and definitely still have some pounds to lose!  It’s all a matter of opinion.

In my opinion, I have plenty of weight to lose and I want to tone and tighten up!  I will not stop until I get there.

Anyway, I’m happy my stomach has mostly gone down.  My stomach doesn’t get very huge when I’m pregnant (although the rest of me does!), so it goes back to “flatish” pretty quickly and easily.  However, I seem to stay WIDE for quite a while.  My waist, bum and hips are definitely a lot wider than they usually are!

I also have like ZERO muscle tone.  I’m hoping my muscles are still buried under there somewhere and that they will show up again after I lose some of this weight.  We’ll see.

My face is definitely more full than it usually is, but it’s not as big as it was a month or two ago.  I’m happy to see a little bit of progress there.  When I lose (or gain!) weight, my face and neck are one places I notice it first.

My legs definitely feel bigger.  I’ve been wearing my fall boots lately, and they are noticeably tighter!!  So sad.

My chest is a LOT bigger than it usually is, but that’s mostly because I’m a nursing mom.  I may very well be carrying an extra 10 pounds just there!  Ha.  I have to take extra precautions when I run these days and wear two sports bras.  Sigh.  I know some ladies love to be larger in this area….I DO NOT.  As long as I have some sort of shape and look feminine, that’s good enough for me!

Soooo, that pretty much sums up the body assessment.  Pregnancy is a big sacrifice and definitely messes up the body, but it is SO WORTH it!

Well, I gotta go run a bunch of errands and figure out what in the heck we’re having for dinner, so I gotta roll!  xoxo

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by Melanie

Crazy, Fun Life + a Killer Shoulder/Cardio Workout!

November 11, 2014 in Exercise, Family Life, Meal Ideas, Movie, Workout by Melanie

I have a bunch of random things to share with y’all tonight!

First off, we had a nice weekend.  Kev and I (and the baby!) were able to sneak away to a movie on Friday night.  We went to see Interstellar, starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway.

Interstellar

I can pretty much sum up this movie in about two words….

Holy.  Crap.

It was very well done, very interesting, very deep and VERY thought provoking, BUT I’ve decided they need to offer a “dumbed down” version for me. ;-)

I was a little confused and lost throughout a lot of it and my head hurt as I tried to comprehend everything.  I would still highly recommend seeing it though because it was absolutely fascinating.  I loved all the actors in it as well.

 

I must also mention that it was almost three hours long!  Thankfully, baby slept through most of it. ;-)

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On Saturday, I gave three very shaggy boys haircuts

Shaggy boys before haircuts

Cute boys with haircuts

I much prefer to take them to Great Clips, but with so many boys kickin’ around our house it saves us a bunch of $$$ if I just do it myself.

I’m not a pro, but it works and they look a whole lot less shaggy!

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I’m still trudging along with my healthy diet endeavor, but I slacked a little bit last week.

I told you guys I felt like I was coming down with a cold, right?  Well, it pretty much sucked up all of my ambition and drive right along with it!  Dang.

I still ate very well, but I fell apart a little bit in the evening.  I only exercised twice too.  BUT, I recommitted this week and so far it’s going well!

I went to Costco and loaded up on a lot of healthy goodness

Low Carb Costco stuff

A rotisserie chicken, Coconut Milk, squash/zucchinis, Coconut Oil, Cauliflower, plain Greek yogurt, pistachios, avocados, celery, cucumbers, bell peppers and lean ground turkey.

YUM!

I made this for dinner the other night…

Pot Stickers and Veggies

It’s just Ling Ling Pot Stickers (from Costco) and a bunch of stir-fry veggies with feta cheese and a little S&P.

Yes, Pot Stickers aren’t the epitome of health, but these aren’t too bad.  The ingredient list is “real,” they’re quick and easy to make and all my kids love them!

I also made a TON of veggies!  The feta cheese made these veggies divine!  I just stir-fried them in a little bit of coconut oil, sprinkled a little salt, pepper and basil on them and then topped them with a little Feta cheese.

They are SO GOOD and I enjoyed the leftovers several times…

Eggs with veggies

I made myself some scrambled eggs topped with a little cheese and had the leftover veggies on the side.  I probably ate this meal (lunch or dinner!) 3-4 different times.

Yes, it got old, but sometimes healthy eating becomes more about what’s easy, quick, filling and healthy and less about what sounds good at the moment.

I think I’ll make some more of these veggies tomorrow!

I’ve also been enjoying this as a treat lately…

Apple with cottage cheese and cinnamon

It’s just half of a Honeycrisp apple topped with cottage cheese and cinnamon.  This is so yummy and reminds me of apple pie!

I’ve also been having smoothies and protein shakes a lot.  I’ve been trying to make one a day.  I’ve been loving my Immune Boosting Smoothie, but I’ve also been enjoying my Spinach Peanut Butter Shake and my Mint Chocolate Chip Shake (without the chocolate chips!)

Me with a protein shake

I love protein shakes/smoothies because they are so quick and easy to make and always taste refreshing and yummy!

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I’ve been trying to exercise at least 4 times a week.  Some weeks I do well….some weeks I don’t.  I have to say I really, really, really DON’T LIKE working out from home!  Blah.  I also don’t love running on the treadmill.

It’s really tough for me to find the motivation to workout when I’m at home.  There’s also a million distractions that make it even harder!  BUT, I just get dressed in my workout clothes, put myself on “automatic pilot” and get ‘er done.  I’ve also found that it’s much easier if I get my workout in earlier in the day.  The later it gets, the less motivated I become.

I really want to go back to the gym again, but I DO NOT want to take the baby to the day care there and it’s tough to leave him at home for too long.  I’m hoping to be able to make it back to a class 1-2 times a week soon!

I’m sure my classes at the gym would absolutely kill me right now though!!!  It’s exactly what I need.  Ha ha.

I did create a great workout the other day that I loved.  I did a killer shoulder workout and ran about 2.5 miles on the treadmill.  When I run on the treadmill, I love to break it up into smaller segments.  It really helps to make it less monotonous and painstakingly boring!

You can click on the image below to enlarge it…

Killer Shoulder Workout + Treadmill Interval Run

I also want to share a couple cute pictures with you all.

The kids have been loving having a baby in our home so much!  My sweet 6 year old has been putting a little snow hat on the baby lately and he looks so darn cute…

#4 and #6 cute hat

Boys with #6 cute hat

I realized the other day that baby #6 has a COMPLETELY different babyhood than my first child had!

When I had my first baby, I was his main form of entertainment and companionship.  The house was very quiet and our lives were very structured, organized and full of enriching, educational activities (i.e. finger painting, Playdough, play dates, Story Time at the library, crafts, etc.)

NOW, baby #6’s life is full of a LOT of siblings, kisses, snuggles, neverending smothering and constant chaos!  Our house is definitely not quiet (ever!), isn’t nearly as organized as it used to be and his “enriching activities” will be/are a lot more simple and a lot less messy!  Ha.

It’s very interesting how the life of a mother changes as more children are added to the equation.  He definitely KNOWS how much he is loved though!  He’s my little buddy and I am LOVING every single second with him.

Well, I’m a tired lady and need to hit the hay, so I will end this!  I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful night!

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by Melanie

An Immune Boosting Smoothie, Fun Stuff + My Recipe was Featured on Today.com!

November 7, 2014 in Exercise, Family Life, Media, Recipe, Running, Uncategorized, Weight Loss by Melanie

Happy FRIDAY!!!

I’m sorry to say, we have a little cold bug going around at our house…..and, I think I’m becoming the next victim.  Auuughh!  It’s not terrible, but I’ve just been feeling tired, achy, run down, scratchy throaty and sniffly nose-ish.

Sooo, I’ve been trying to get more sleep and load up on vitamin C.  I also decided to make myself an Immune Boosting Smoothie this morning!  It turned out yummy and made me feel a little better, even if it was just a placebo effect.  The cold liquid soothed my scratchy, sore throat too.

Immune Boosting Smoothie

Immune Boosting Smoothie

  • 2 cups liquid (I used unsweetened Coconut Milk)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 orange; peeled
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 cups spinach
  • Ice (optional)**

**All of my fruit and spinach were already frozen, so I didn’t use any ice.  If you use fresh fruit/spinach, then you can add 6-10 ice cubes depending on how thick you want it to be.

Ingredients for Immune Boosting Smoothie

Mix everything very well in the blender.

Immune Boosting Smoothie in blenderEnjoy!

Me with my Immune Boosting Smoothie

All fruits and vegetables naturally boost the immune system, but there are some that are especially good at doing it.  Citrus fruits, berries, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and carrots are some of the best.  Yogurt and chia seeds are also great immune boosters.

I may be having this smoothie every morning for the next week!

Immune Boosting Smoothie from top

My poor daughter has been fighting a cold too, so she wanted me to make her one as well!

#2 with #6 and Immune Boosting Smoothie

Because I’ve been feeling so blah-ish, I’ve been putting off my workout all day long!  I still may fit in a quick weight lifting workout tonight….we’ll see.

I DID get in a great workout yesterday though!  I ran 3 miles on the treadmill and also got a killer Bicep/Tricep workout in.

I first ran 1 mile on the treadmill and then did the first circuit of my Tight Arms Workout.  I then ran another mile, did the second circuit, ran the last mile and then completed the last circuit.  I finished up the workout with 50 pushups (I’m still doin’ them on my knees.  Gah!) and five 30-second planks.

It was great!  It got the blood pumping and my muscles felt fatigued.  Such a good feeling!

I’m especially happy because I’m starting to be able to run a little faster.  I kept it mostly at 6 mph (10:00 pace), but I kicked it up to 7 mph (8:34 pace) part of the time and even ran at 8 mph (7:30) a little bit!! It made me feel sorta kinda like my normal self.

YAY!

I also had my “professional” 4-year old photographer take a pic of me on the treadmill.

There ya go….

Blurry pic of me running on the treadmill

Beautiful.

My sweet baby enjoyed laying on his Boppy Lounger next to me and was happy as a clam…

Cutest Baby eating his hand while I run on the treadmill

He’s recently discovered his hands and I think it’s the cutest thing in the world!!!  I LOVE him!

After my workout, I made myself a yummy Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake.  It hit the spot.

Having an after workout protein shake

I’ve been having a lot of protein shakes/smoothies lately.  I love that I can throw a bunch of healthy things in the blender, mix it up and have a healthy, filling meal in no time!  I also love how portable they are.

Score.

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Well, I wanted to tell you guys that my Healthy Chocolate Mug Cake Recipe was featured on Today.com this week!

Today Food

Healthy Mug Cake

That made me so happy!  It was included in an article about how the microwave can help you lose weight.  It was a really interesting article with a lot of great tips.  You can click here to read the article or click on the picture above.

I also thought I would share a DARLING video of Garth Brooks performing a new song called “Mom” on GMA this morning.  It’s from his new album, Man Against Machine that will be released next week.

It is SUCH a beautiful song!  I love Garth, I love my mom and I love my kiddos so so much!

My cute kiddos

I am so grateful I get to be the mom of these cute kids + my baby (not pictured!)  I love them SO MUCH and can’t think of a more humbling, fulfilling, difficult, yet rewarding job.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Well, I gotta go enjoy the rest of my Friday night.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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