BFF The Next Generation

Friday, May 30, 2014

Great, long-lasting friendships can be hard to come by anymore, especially in this age of not-so-social media. It's easier to 'like' a Facebook post or shoot a quick text than to put pen to paper and send a note or actually use your phone for calling someone instead of texting.  I think when you find a true friend, it's so important to hang onto them for all they're worth!
My best friend and I have been going strong since age two and she has a little girl whose just a few months younger than Caroline. Obviously, it was meant for them to be next generation BFF's. Unfortunately, she moved way up north in Ohio a few months ago for her husband's work, but that's when we decided that we were going to go old school and start writing and mailing each other notes, just like we used to do in our elementary and middle school days. Our parents worked together, so we used them as our own personal mail carrier service to pass out notes back and forth (we went to different schools in the same town).
I got a note from Amanda a few weeks ago that they'd be in town, so we set up a play date for our little chicks.  I should preface this that to spite the looks of some of these pictures, they actually did really well and got along great. We've gotten them together a couple of other times and it's always a hoot to watch.
I swear, Caroline is handing Audrey the ball, not swiping it from her.

There's a picture so similar to this one of Amanda and I when we were just a little bit older than our girls. I'm basically bouncing off the walls while she gives me the most puzzled look. I think out girls are turned a lot like us.

Yep, we let her climb on the table. Well, more like we can't really stop her. She's like a little monkey and once she gets a foothold and some leverage, she could probably climb the ceiling fan.

My child is known for these type of looks. She may or may not get it honest.
 They just randomly kept hugging and it was THE cutest thing! Somewhere in a photo album at my parents house, there are pictures of Amanda and I around 2-3 years old when we first met. If I can dig them up, I want to add them here. I think it'll be so cool for our girls to have that to look back at one day. Hopefully, another playdate will be here soon because I see these two making a lot of great memories over the years.

24 Day Challenge

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Does anyone else have tons of Facebook friends constantly schilling weight loss shakes, pills, products, etc? You know, magic in a bottle? Maybe it's just my timeline that filled with all kinds of challenges to replace your meals with a magic shake a day and watch the pounds melt away. Everyone's selling something. I'd rather not buy into any of it. As someone who's spent almost a decade now working in the health and fitness industry, I can promise you there is no magic pill or shake. It's challenging, consistent workouts, eating clean and healthy foods and burning more calories than you take in if you're looking to lose some pounds. If you want to throw in a multi-vitamin, more power to you. But instead of challenging you to invest in a pyramid scheme shake chugging challenge, I'm giving myself a challenge to move more, eat less and do better these next 24 days, just as a jump start, and in case anyone else wants to do the same, I'm tracking most of my workouts here.
A few months back, a friend of mine asked me to do 12 weeks worth of workouts with her just to keep each other motivated. I hadn't lifted consistently for a bit at that time, so it was perfect for making me fit it in! We only actually worked out together maybe twice, but we were always sending our workouts for the day, our progress and support, which kept me going. I ended up losing about 2% body fat and 7 pounds over those 12 weeks, but I wasn't eating great. At that point, I was more interested in gaining strength back anyway. I made huge progress with that, so now I'd like to lean out, which also means cleaning up my diet. My goal is to drop 3-4% body fat over the course of the summer. I've never cared too much about the scale as long as my body fat fell within my desired range, but I do still weigh every week. I started cleaning up what I ate last week and lost three pounds already.
My workouts look something like this:
Run 5-6 days a week, for a total of about 12 miles a week
Circuits for time 3 days a week (This is cardio too since it's for time)
Splits (working out a couple muscled groups a day heavy) 4 days a week
In addition to that, I try to fit in around 80-120 pushups everyday. I just drop and do 20 anytime it crosses my mind, but I try to at least 4 times a day, the first set being as soon as I get out of bed and the last being before I get in bed for the night.
If you can't run yet, then walk a few miles a day as fast as you can. I'm taking the next 24 days to really amp up and dial it in to see just how much I can accomplish before we hit the beach at the end of June, but that's just my jumping off point. If you're interested in challenging yourself as well and participating, I'd love to hear from you, shoot me an e-mail :)
My Circuit for time yesterday was 5 sets
12 decline pushups
10 step ups each leg onto a chair
12 pike ups on an exercise ball
10 burpees
12 squat presses with dumbbells
I don't belong to a gym, so my workouts are at home using some combination of my equipment; dumbbells, weighted medicine ball, stability (exercise) ball, BOSU ball and resistance bands.
If you want to get started with a split style workout, check out Jamie Eason's 12 Week Transformation.  Another great resource for training is Crossfit. These workouts are great supplements to split workouts most of the time. Don't be intimidated by Crossfit; it really is for almost anyone if you do it correctly. I will usually use their for time workouts on my  circuit days.
I'm going to take my measurements today and compare it to 24 days from now. I know it may not sound like a lot of time to see results, but you absolutely can. Take before pictures (front, side and rear facing) if you're following along as well. That's a great way to track progress along with measuring your chest, waist and hips. Measure chest at the center of your boobs, measure waist at your bellybutton and your hips at the thickest part of your glutes. You actual hips won't shrink, since they're obviously bones, but you will lose fat off of them.
As far as diet, I drink 2 cups of water before I even eat anything for the day, then try to drink another cup each hour- two hours throughout the day. Especially with it getting hotter and running outside, I drink like a fish. Aside from water, I only drink OJ in the morning and skim milk with dinner. I don't eat in between meals unless it's fruit or yogurt, sometimes a spoonful of natural peanut butter. Meals usually consist of a protein and two vegies, sometimes a starch like veggie macaroni.
I'm really excited to see what the next 24 days will bring :) If you're following along, drop and do 20 pushups right now!

Memorial Day Weekend

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

First things first, big things have been happening around here the last week or so...

For basically the first time for a consecutive number of days, I have been able to lay Caroline down once she goes to sleep for her naps! This probably seems ridiculous to some people, but I have always, and I mean ALWAYS had to hold Caroline in order for her to nap for any amount of time. As soon as I would try to lay her down, her eyes were wide and she was ticked off. I don't know if it has to do with nursing or if she's just a light sleeper and a Mama's girl, but this is like a whole new world.
Basically how I feel now. I've been able to get workouts in, the house cleaned, blog posts caught up, and just a multitude of things I feel like I have to cram in at night most of the time. It's pretty awesome :)
I'm still working on weaning her and I think nap times and bed times will be the hardest. I'd like to have her weaned from all but her night time feeding when we go on vacation at the end of June, so we'll see how it goes. But I think this is promising...
I was carrying her around Wal-Mart looking for flowers yesterday when she just wrapped her little arms and legs around me and tucked her head under my chin. I thought she was just snuggling until her breathing got really rhythmic and loud. I was stunned. I was even able to put her in her carseat, drive home and more her to the couch and she never woke up.

I love it, but it's also a big milestone for us that is another reminder of how quickly she's growing.

Memorial Day weekend was just gorgeous here. Sunny, in the eighties, other words, it officially felt like summer! We even got in the pool for the first time this season!
My sister and her family have a pool that we crash a lot in the summers, like basically every day haha. Caroline really loved it! It was pretty cold still so she didn't stay in long, but it's safe to say we have a little water baby on our hands. I'm hoping my dad can work with her and have her swimming on her own this summer. He used to teach swim lessons when he was in school and taught my sister and I and all of her kids.
We didn't do a whole lot, just hung out with the family and relaxed. There was some bubble blowing, sidewalk chalking, cooking out and yard sale set up. It was a great weekend.

Saturday night, two of my sister's kids spent the night. Juston took my nephew fishing early Sunday morning and Caroline and I took Camden to church to meet my mom.
We had a family cookout at my parents Sunday afternoon and just hung out all day. We did go over to the camp grounds later that evening to hang out, too. Juston has finished building my raised garden bed, so we also worked on getting it filled with some dirt, but still need some peat moss and top soil before we get everything planted. Hopefully, we'll get around to that this week.

I just love this sweet little face :)
Monday, I did a yard sale the first half of the day, got in a little pool time with my nieces since Juston had Caroline and a great workout with my sister that evening.
All in all, it was a great weekend. I hope everyone else enjoyed theirs, and that you took the time yesterday and everyday to say a prayer for our military men and women. Happy short work week ;)

Lilly Pulitzer Splash into Summer Event

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Lilly Pulitzer is having their Splash into Summer event all Memorial Day Weekend. Gifts with purchase are listed below and while supplies last.

Every time Lilly rolls out a new pattern, I think they can't possibly come out with one I love more (I'm looking at you Lobstah Roll), but then they somehow always outdo themselves.  Here are a few of my new favorite summer patterns and pieces.
The Watch Out pattern has got to be my current favorite. I sort of want it in everything, but I will likely just be getting it in this tunic or perhaps the tank below, which is carried in multiple cute patterns.
I wish Caroline wasn't in such a Messy
Bessy phase right now. I bought most of her clothes for this summer on clearance at some time or another last fall since I found some really great bargains and sales, but unfortunately, I didn't have the foresight to steer clear of any light color. Most days she does pretty good staying clean, but anytime Juston is in charge, I may as well either strip her, or stop by the store to buy stain remover on my way home because she's usually all kinds of filthy when I get back. Luckily, my Mama is the stain-master and can clean practically anything out of clothes. She's tried to teach me her ways, but no one does it like Mama.

I will hopefully manage to snag a few cute things for Caroline for next year when the End of Summer Sale comes around at Lilly in a few months. Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Pianeapple of my Eye

Friday, May 23, 2014

Ever since I started decorating our house, I have had a deep and abiding love for all things pineapple. It is, after all the Southern symbol for hospitality and I want nothing more than for anyone who comes to our home to feel welcomed and at home themselves. I think I all started when I saw all of the pineapple accents and home décor during our first trip to Charleston and I've loved it ever since. 'Some of my pineapple favorites for the home:
I fell in love with these pineapple lamps when I saw them in Southern Living a couple of years ago but did not fall in love with the steep price tag. I've been searching high and low for something similar ever since and while I haven't had any luck, I still love to look at these and imagine them on the sideboard in our foyer.
I got these door stops for each of the bedrooms in our home a few years ago from Ballard Home Designs, but they do have a similar model in stock currently.
This is hanging in our kitchen on the stove and I love it.
I have a jar similar to thins one that I got from a boutique shop in Lexington a few weeks ago and I love it. Mine is the smaller version of this one, but it's super cute.

My love for pineapples isn't limited to décor though, I love it for apparel for Caroline and myself and lately, I have found quite a few summery pineapple pieces for both of us.
I don't think I could pull these shorts off, but they are still really cute!
Currently 75% off if you register for the Kate Spade surprise sale.
These are sold out in a couple of sizes, but I got Caroline the tank top version of this last year on clearance from J Crew Factory. 
We just got this headband a few weeks ago and it is just the cutest thing! Delivery was quick and it's even cuter in person.

Memorial Day

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Memorial Day weekend takes on different meanings for different people. For some it's the unofficial kickoff for summer. For others, it makes a long weekend for cookouts and gathering with friends and family. Ultimately, it's an opportunity to give thanks and recognition to those who put their lives on the line every day, and those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom, but I don't think that we should vocalize and recognize those individuals just on some designated holiday, but instead do it every day. I came across a cute idea via Pinterest of ways to say thank you on Memorial Day, or any day for that matter. Simple things you can do with your kids or on your own to show some appreciation.
We'll be having a Memorial Day cookout with the family and hopefully hitting the pool for the first time this summer over the weekend. I thought I'd put together a few ideas for celebrating with your loved ones over the weekend. Here are some simple food ideas to show your love for our great country. Click the image to be taken to the recipe.
And if you're in the mood to make your tabletop patriotic as well, here are a few ideas. Again, click the link to be taken to the original image.
Caroline is obviously too young to comprehend the significance of the holiday, but for those of you with children that are of age to learn what Memorial Day is all about, this site gives some tips for teaching your kids about the meaning behind the holiday.  
I'm so proud to say that I live in the greatest country. I have friends who serve in the military and am so proud to know them and thankful for what they do. I hope y'all have a wonderful, safe Memorial Day weekend and take the time to think about those who can't be home with loved ones to celebrate.

Mother's Day 2014

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

This time of year is always so busy for us, but I love it because it's like everyone is finally coming out of a looooong winter hibernation and socializing again. We've had so many graduation celebrations, cookouts, sleepovers and little celebrations over the last few weeks that I haven't kept up with posting about, so I'm back-tracking a bit here, but wanted to post about our Mother's Day and just a few other things.

Caroline was NOT having it with the whole bare feet in the grass situation. I ran out one morning to water my flowers and snap a few pictures of them while they are fresh and looking good (I  keep a flower journal of when we plant things, care they need and how they fare. I'm a nerd), and toting Caroline along never really thought about putting shoes on her. Well, she wanted down of course, so I put her down and for once she seemed pretty ticked about getting her way. She came around to it after a bit, but still wasn't a huge fan and asked for her shoes. 

Me, my mom and sister after our Mother's Day lunch. It's worth noting that we had to book the reservations for our own lunch since none of the husbands gave it a thought, naturally. 
We all went to church together Sunday morning, then to Desha's for lunch. Juston's mom came up from Harlan and my sister's Mother-in-law joined us as well so we took up three tables and half a room, but we had a great time.

I'm a terrible photographer, but for Mother's Day, I asked for a chandelier to go over our kitchen table. The one that had been up there since I moved in, Juston had picked out. It was hideous. Gold, not a single light bulb working, on the Lowe's clearance rack for $10 kind of ugly. When Juston built the house, he did so with the intention of selling it to hopefully make a profit but I loved making it a home once I moved in so we stayed. After searching flea markets, antique shows and catalogs, I found this Pottery Barn chandelier and it works perfectly in the space. I just love it. The pictures really don't do it justice because it couldn't be any more perfect. I've been on a slow but sure mission to give our house a 'home' feel and the kitchen/ dining area is the first one that I feel like is actually finished...for now :)  Also, looking at the picture above, it's never been more apparent that I eyeballed it when hanging those plates on the wall since they are definitely not even. haha. 
Hope everyone had a great Mother's Day, even if I am a couple of weeks late with the wishes. We sure did.