Get Skinny Again: Review

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge in exchange for my review through my relationship with FitFluential. As always all opinions are my own. 

IMG_7785I received Sarah’s book: Get Skinny Again! back in February but I wanted to be able to try some of the recipes and workouts before I was able to give a thorough review to you. Before we get to the review I want to address the title of the book, while my end goal is not to “get skinny again” it is to have a healthy lifestyle and enjoy the healthy foods and workouts that are a part of my every day. I know the title can be off-putting, but I find that is the case for most healthy living type of books.

Sarah’s blog and YouTube channel were among the first I read and watched when I started getting into blogs, I always appreciated that she is real and talks about healthy living in a way that applies to most people, not just bloggers. She has HIIT workouts and how to buy a week of groceries under $40. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting Sarah in person, she’s a very well-known blogger and YouTube personality, but she is extremely nice and encouraging to everyone she meets.

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The book is divided into three parts:

  • Time To Get On Your Fitness
  • Time To Eat Clean To Get Lean
  • Time To Live The Fit Life

I really loved all the different workouts in this book, there were a bunch of different types of workouts and I loved that each move had one entire page dedicated to it. For a lot of workout plans I end up looking on YouTube for some exercises, and there are a lot of badly performed exercises uploaded. The pictures show the moves and most steps as well as what you should not look like or be doing in some moves. I do wish they showed some modifications for items like push-ups or side planks. Not every person can do all the moves and it would be nice to not have to improvise or complete an exercise in poor form.

There are not only strength workouts, but cardio workouts as well, some of the cardio workouts include running. I do wish Sarah had used not only speed numerals but cues to how you should be feeling as not everyone runs the same pace. Overall, I really loved the Fitness section, it included home and gym workouts as well as stretching.

Now on to the Food section. Sarah included a lot of healthy options that you can find at chain restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I really appreciated that. She also gave some helpful ideas for meal planning, and of course recipes. I can’t wait to try the Salsa Chicken Quesadillas and Energy Bites.

IMG_6253Peanut Butter & Jelly Time Smoothie (minus the chia)

The last section, Living the FIT LIFE, is one of the most important, it stresses that every journey is different, and every body is different. What works for you may not work for someone else and vice versa. She also gives ideas about how to still have a social life and go out with your friends, significant other, etc… and still eat or drink healthier items. I appreciate a healthy lifestyle book that doesn’t expect you to give up your social life and spending time eating outside your own kitchen.

You can buy the book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You can follow Get Skinny Again on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can follow Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Have you read Sarah’s book? Do you read her blog or watch her YouTube channel? What do you think?

Dad Is Fat: Parenting is Fun(ny)

This post was inspired by the novel Dad Is Fat by comedian Jim Gaffigan who riffs on his adventures co-parenting 5 kids in a two bedroom Manhattan apartment. Join From Left to Write on April 22 we discuss Dad Is Fat. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

 

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This is the 4th book for the month of April for From Left to Write this month, and possibly one of my favorites. I have been a fan of Jim Gaffigan’s for a while so I knew, especially since I am a parent, that I would love his book. As I read I kept marking passage after passage that would give me ideas of what to write about, and there are a million ideas I have swirling around in my head.

What I ended up deciding on is something that I find some parents struggle with, and those who aren’t parents might not understand. Parenting is fun, but it is also funny, but it isn’t for everyone. Having kids, especially if you are the first among friends and family, can be very alienating. You are navigating this brand new part of life, and are in charge of this human being (!!), and you don’t have anyone who can relate to you.

Jim Gaffigan writes about how he is called anti-family because of some of the things he says or posts on social media, and I too have gotten rude comments about things I have said. As Jim writes in the book, complaining about taking your kids to swim lessons or navigating the world of play dates doesn’t make you a bad parent, you are taking your kids to these events, and most of the time other parents can relate about how hard some aspects of parenting are.

It is hard to find mom friends and play groups if you don’t have kids at the same time as your social circle. But I guarantee you will have some stories to share that are on-par with blind date horror stories.

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You will learn that swim diapers are not meant to hold pee, and will have a horrifying moment before you realize that, and then you will laugh at your ridiculousness.

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You will constantly question if you are doing things the “right way” and social media will always tell you that you are doing it the wrong way. Spoiler, social media is full of martyr moms and know-it-alls. 

photo-1.JPGYou will find your own way as a parent, and just when you thought you’ve got one aspect figured out, something else will throw you for a loop…I’m talking to you sleep.

IMG_5596.JPGAnd if you are lucky, you will find someone to share this journey with you. A dad to your child that you just couldn’t imagine parenting without. The person that will laugh with you when you finally share your ridiculous swim diaper story, and who will also have their story to share with you.

I loved this book, I laughed through the whole thing and I had to refrain from reading passages to Nick every 30 seconds. I highly suggest you get your own copy ASAP!

What is one of your hilarious parenting stories?

Reasons My Kid Is Crying: Review

This post was inspired by the novel Reasons My Kid Is Crying by Greg Pembroke who captures frustrating yet hilarious parenting moments through perfectly captioned photos of unhappy kids. Join From Left to Write on April 15 we discuss Reasons My Kid Is Crying. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

April is kind of insane month for From Left to Write contributors, the original books for the month were just: The Idea of Him and The Opposite of Maybe, and I signed up for both. Then we got word that we’d also have the option to review Reasons My Kid Is Crying by Greg Pembroke and Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan, but that essentially means one review a week, and A LOT of reading, but I was up for the challenge.

Luckily, Reasons My Kid is Crying is more of a picture book. It is just as describe above, pictures of kids crying with hilarious captions, if you are a parent you’ve probably seen the website that started it all.

IMG_8070He is crying because his UCONN shirt is dirty and I wouldn’t take it out of the hamper.

Parenting is full of ups and downs, but a lot of time I feel like you look back and laugh at a lot of the stuff that was ridiculous and silly, but you thought was so serious when it happened.

This book would make a great gift for a new parent or a veteran parent, or even if you want to buy it for yourself, it would make a great coffee table book…as long as the toddler hands don’t get to it. Or connect with Greg on Facebook and Twitter.

Do you have a funny crying photo or story about your child?

 

Weekly Updates: 03/31/14 – 04/13/14

20140323-222747.jpgLast week was rough, with a toddler that is not sleeping super great at night and half of blog land announcing pregnancies and having babies, I needed to take a break. Not that any of you needed to hear a reason, or even cared to.

I have had some really great and consistent weeks of workouts. My nutrition is not stellar. Fasting makes it really difficult, I am pretty much eating a vegan diet, and I have no problem loading on the veggies, but I am getting really bored and since this week is Holy Week, it is no meat or dairy for the entire week. I can’t wait for Easter Dinner and a bite of a chocolate bunny on Sunday!

This fasting is kind of good though, I went shopping for a dress today since I have 4 weekends in a row with events where I need to dress nice, and it was not fun. The dresses that fit weren’t in my budget and vice versa. I wanted to drown my sorrows in a cookie from Mrs. Fields, but since I can’t have dairy, I bought a bottle of water and headed home. Progress?

Now on to the past two weeks of workouts:

Monday, March 31 - Coming off of a 7-day workout streak and the completion of the Pure Barre Challenge, I took a well-deserved and MUCH needed rest day.

Tuesday, April 1 - Back to the barre! The classes were noticeably smaller, not tiny, but not packed either. They also changed the warm-up, apparently they do that every two months, I wasn’t sure if it was an April Fools Day joke, or not.

Wednesday, April 2 – Another barre class with Kelly. The warm-up change was not a joke.

Thursday, April 3 - Rest day number 2 for the week. I am trying to bring two rest days back into the regular rotation. They don’t mean that I don’t do anything. Chasing a toddler around is definitely exhausting, but not the same kind of workout.

Friday, April 4 - Friday’s class is one of my favorites, and I try to never miss it, if I don’t have to. So obviously, that is where I was!

Saturday, April 5 - I took advantage of the fact that we were in town for the weekend and my mom was coming to visit with a class that was a bit later than I normally take.

Sunday, April 6 - I took a ‘Breaking Down the Barre’ at Pure Barre. It was taught by Melissa and Michaella and was for newbies and veterans. I saw people who had never been to a barre class and some women that I watch in class to make sure I am doing the right moves. The class wasn’t a workout, which I didn’t know but my body was grateful for, instead Melissa and Michaella went through an entire class: warm-up, arms, thighs, seat, abs, stretching in slow motion. They showed us what great form looked like and how it should feel, they also showed us modifications. The killer was that they would have us get in perfect form and then check everyone’s form, which took awhile and if you were at the end it could really burn ha. This class definitely helped, I have taken the time to talk to instructors post-class about areas where I am having trouble, but this was still extremely helpful and I definitely recommend it to anyone who takes a class at Pure Barre.

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Old Picture, Same tough workout

Monday, April 7 - I kept my rest day on Monday, even though Sunday technically wasn’t a real class. B has been sleeping terribly, and it was nice to be able to sleep past 5 am.

Tuesday, April 8 & Wednesday, April 9 - Back at the barre! Another early morning class for the books.

Thursday, April 10 - I took my second rest day of the week. It was a gorgeous day and we had a playdate with friends who live about an hour away. Of course B slept like garbage the night before, but play dates are always worth it.

Friday, April 11 – I accidentally turned my alarm off at some point and woke up at 5:45 am, when I am usually on my way to Pure Barre, I rushed through my am routine as quickly as possible and was on the road in 8 minutes. Thankfully I lay everything out the night before, I made it to the gym with minutes to spare.

Saturday, April 12 - I was going to take a later morning class, but I realized that it would be cutting it too close to B’s Easter Egg Hunt. I ended up getting into the 7:30 am class, and we spent pretty much the rest of the day outside cleaning or inside cleaning.

Overall, I had a pretty good week. I need to add some yoga back into my routine.

How were your past two weeks?

The Opposite of Maybe: Lucky

Here’s hoping that I wake up to a UCONN win this morning!

Before we get to today’s post, make sure you head over to Friday’s post and see who won the giveaway!

This post was inspired by the novel The Opposite of Maybe by Maddie Dawson. At the age of 44, Rosie finds herself suddenly single and pregnant. She tries to hide in her grandmother’s home, but meets two men that will change her life forever. Join From Left to Write on April 8 we discuss The Opposite of Maybe. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

FYI this post does have some spoilers.

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This book also brought up a subject that is extremely difficult for me, pregnancy. I am beyond lucky to have been able to bring one beautiful little boy in to this world and I am very aware of that.

At 44 Rosie got pregnant after unprotected sex once, once! She didn’t know and didn’t even take a pregnancy test until she was 9 weeks along, it seemed like every appointment was perfect, labor wasn’t a disaster or have any scary parts, and her child was healthy.

All of this makes so angry and so sad. After another month of tracking and testing and all of the stuff no one talks about when you are trying to conceive which is followed by another disappointing negative pregnancy test, it was so hard for me to read this entire book without hating Rosie.

She was so cavalier, at first, about the fact that she got pregnant by chance the one time they didn’t use protection, she even walked into a clinic for an abortion (this is not a political post). Eventually after the first trimester was over she got her shit together and started cleaning up her eating and reading about babies, but I just couldn’t get over her luck and her reaction.

I am not one of those people who can just listen to these stories about how someone beat the odds and got pregnant. It is so hard to hold on to the hope that things will miraculously get better. It sucks, that I have to wait a year from my miscarriage to even have the discussion with my doctor about seeing a specialist.

I, naively, though I would be pregnant by the time my due date from the miscarriage came, and I am not. That due date is 12 days away. I know that things happen for a reason, at least I need to believe that. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt when friends start posting on their blogs, FB, twitter, etc… that they are pregnant. That they weren’t even trying or that they got pregnant the first month. And on April Fools Day, the amount of people who posted fake pregnancy announcements, not only did it feel like a punch to the gut, but it seemed like people don’t understand how hard infertility or the struggle to get pregnant is. Or how long the emotion and mental parts of a miscarriage affect you.

I am LUCKY to have the support system that I do, I know that. I am LUCKY to have the most amazing husband and son. I am LUCKY that I live in a place where I might be able to have a baby when it feels like the odds are against me.

I am trying to believe in the LUCKY, but it is so damn hard.

Five Things Friday: Giveaway, Stitch Fix, & Reviews!

Five Things Friday

 

It’s been awhile since I had one of these so lets jump right in!

1. How I Met Your Mother

Nick and I have finally watched the series finale, and I cried, a lot. Part is probably hormones, but part is because I felt like it was the show of our generation. I mean we all watched Friends, but as adults it seems like our lives match more to the likes of HIMYM. I liked how it ended, it was sad, but it felt real, all of the crappy things that happened at the end, those are real life. If everyone ended up happily ever after I think I would be more disappointed. What do you think did you like the ending?

2. Stitch Fix

So I drank the Stitch Fix* kool-aid. If you don’t know what Stitch Fix is leave me a comment and I will send you more info, but basically you sign up and fill out a style profile. You give them your info, sizing, style preferences, what types of items you want to receive, etc… and pick a date for your fix. You can either pick a single date or pick to have a recurring fix. For each fix you pay a $20 styling fee, if you like something that is in your fix then that $20 is credited against what you purchase, if you buy nothing then you lose the $20.

When you get your fix, which is 5 items, you will receive a list of the items you received and the price for each item as well as a style card. The style card has each item that was in your box and 2 ways to style that item. The also send you a pre-paid USPS bag to send back what you don’t want. If you purchase all 5 items you receive 25% off the entire purchase. You have 3 business days to return the items you don’t want.

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1. Pink Martini Sally Mixed Striped Dress –  $98 – I loved the cut and the color of this dress, but it was snug around the thighs and it wasn’t flowy enough for me to wear to an event if I have B with me.

2. Kensie Jeans Sophia Ankle Length Skinny Jean - $88 - Again, I loved the color and style of these jeans, but they were snug around the thighs, at the price point it wasn’t worth it for me to keep them.

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3. Pomelo Corinna Striped Dolman Top - $48 – I loved this top. I liked the shorter sleeve, and the material was super comfortable. I’ve bought a lot of long-sleeved shirts over the years that end up with holes or pulled material because the quality isn’t great, so this shirt was a keep.

4. 41Hawthorn Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan - $48 – I loved this cardigan, the length is long enough that I can wear it with leggings but it is also lightweight. I can see pairing this with a maxi dress at a summer BBQ. After some texting with my sister, I ended up purchasing this as well. I have a thick pink cardigan that is similar, but like I said it is a heavier material and it is actually very short.

StitchFix3.jpg5. 41Hawthorn Holly Chevron Arrow Print Infinity Scary (left) - $32 - I liked the scarf, but I already have scarves with similar color schemes.

Instead, I bought the infinity scarf I am wearing on the right. I purchased it after I completed Pure Barre Challenge as a gift to myself from the store at Pure Barre. The pattern is unique and it will match with a lot of my wardrobe.

The total of my items was $96 – my $20 styling fee. I paid $76.

3. Get Skinny Again

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I was able to receive a copy of Sarah’s book, Get Skinny Again*, awhile back, but I wanted to wait until I had the opportunity to try some of the recipes and workouts in order to give you a solid review. I am happy to report that my review will finally be on the blog next week! Spoiler: I really liked it. I have been reading Sarah’s blog and watching her YouTube videos for a long time so I am not really surprised, but it has a lot of things other diet books I have seen don’t have!

4. Avapalooza 

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The charity yoga event with Yoga Jake that I attended a few weeks ago was to benefit The Cure ATRT Now Fund as part of this years big fundraiser called Avapalooza. Avalanna is this Saturday, April 5, from 11 am – 11 pm. There is spinning and yoga as well as a few fitness and nutrition classes. I am bummed I can’t make it to any of the events, but if you are local to Methuen check out the schedule or you can donate here.

5. Just Add Cooking Giveaway

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Remember that Just Add Cooking review I wrote on Wednesday? Well, now I have a chance for you to win a 2-person, 3 meal box for yourself.

How to Enter the Giveaway:

This prize is for new clients only. Before entering go to Just Add Cooking and click on Get Cooking to create an account. There is no charge for this and you don’t need to enter a credit card. You also need to make sure you are in the delivery area, after you do that, enter the rafflecopter below. The giveaway ends Monday, April 7 at 11:59 pm EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What things are you excited about this Friday?

* are referral links

Just Add Cooking!

 Disclaimer: I was provided the Just Add Cooking box free of charge, all opinions and injuries are my own.

  I love cooking and I am just starting to get the hang of this meal planning thing, but the last few weeks have been hard. There has been a lot going on behind the scenes, so spending an hour meal planning and a few hours meal prepping were just not in the cards. I am grateful for one of the weeks I was able to try Just Add Cooking. Just Add Cooking is a meal service that provides meals that are pre-measured and high-quality, plus it is delivered straight to your doorstep. They are a Boston-based company and the ingredients are sourced locally to ensure freshness and support the local economy. When possible, ingredients are also locally produced and may be organic. JAC Logo_Normal_RGB     Just Add Cooking recently launched the 2 person box, there is also an option for a 4 person box, but this new launch is what we tried. Prices are very reasonable, for a 2 person box it is $79 for 3 meals, $89 for 4 meals, and $99 for 5 meals. The 4 person boxes are $109 for 3 meals, $129 for 4 meals, and $139 for 5 meals. Vegetarian boxes are available in 2 and 4 person boxes, but you can only receive 3 meals. There are no other dietary restriction boxes available (gluten or dairy free for example) but you can see what is available the following week and see if those dinner options fit your needs. The boxes include almost everything, it is expected that you will have things like salt, pepper and olive oil on hand, but almost everything is included and pre-measured. Alright, so let’s get to what I ordered. I decided to pick 2 vegetarian meals and one fish meal. Since we are fasting, I wanted to try out some meals that could maybe become staples in our home. The box arrived at our house between 2 and 6 pm on Sunday evening. I was supposed to get a text when it was out for delivery but for some reason I didn’t. Unfortunately, we were in CT last-minute and we didn’t get home until Monday morning. Luckily, the delivery person placed the box in a shaded area on our back porch and the temperatures were cold, so the fish never warmed up. Included in the box is a packet, each recipe has its own sheet of paper with instructions and cooking instructions. They let you know what the recommended cooking order is for the items as well.

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I went a bit out-of-order, I cooked the Mexican Cod on Tuesday night. I can easily say that the cook time was spot on, it only took 30 minutes  and it is a meal that will easily be kept in the rotation for a long time.

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I added asparagus, but it came with the potatoes, the only thing I didn’t include with the meal was the olives. I just don’t like them, but Nick ate them right out of the bag while he waited for dinner. Nick told me it tasted like a meal you’d pay $60 for in a frou frou restaurant. Success for sure! I also like that they included other types of fish that would taste great with the same recipe.

JAC's photo of the black bean burger!

JAC’s photo of the black bean burger!

On Wednesday I decided I wanted to try the Black Bean Burgers. I am always on the hunt for a burger that has minimal ingredients, and nothing complicated, like 3 different types of beans and flours.

The cooking timeline for the burgers

The cooking timeline for the burgers

When I made the patties they seemed very dry and it felt like I had way to much stuff to make 2 normal sized patties. I followed the directions, but the patties were falling apart in the pan. I decided to blend up the mixture and make smaller fritter type patties. I ended p making six smaller patties and Nick and I just stacked two in our sandwiches. I saved the leftover ones for Friday’s lunch.

What my burger looked like #reallife

What my burger looked like. Black Bean patty/fritter on the top and bottom, lettuce, avocado & tomato in between. #reallife

Because of the burger issue this meal took more like 45 minutes start to finish. I don’t know where I went wrong, but I am glad that I have experience cooking because that definitely helped.

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This is on every recipe. Degree of difficulty, serving size, time it takes, calories and type of meal. This is for the burgers.

The last meal I made was the Red Bean Chili, I make a lot of chili but I use the same recipe every time. I was looking forward to trying something new!

JAC's Red Bean Chili

JAC’s Red Bean Chili

I made this on Friday, again it was another fasting day and this was perfect. The chili had kidney beans, tomatoes, and lentils. The directions were easy to follow, however I had to let mine cook longer and add more liquid because the lentils were nowhere near done at the end of the cook time. Also, the bread that was supposed to go with it was stale by the time I made this. I think rolls might be a better option, the bread was cut from a long loaf so both ends were exposed causing it to dry out extremely fast. The other issue is the hot pepper, I don’t cook with them, ever. I can’t handle a ton of spice. I cut it an de-seeded without wearing gloves, I am sure you know where this is going, and I didn’t think anything of it until my contact needed adjustment and I touched my eye. BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER. I learned my lesson and will always be prepared.

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My Chili

I just have a few issues, for the items I chose, not a single one came with a veggie on the side that wasn’t a carb. I love veggies at dinner time, and I think those are items that a lot of people struggle with knowing how to prepare. The other issue is that I used A LOT of pots and pans when I was cooking. Normally, not a big deal but when I want this to be quick and easy, I don’t want to spend longer cleaning dishes than I did cooking.

While some recipes did not turn out exactly as planned, Nick and I loved every single meal and came away from the experience with 3 new recipes to add to our rotation and two new recipes to add to our fasting recipe index. I also must note that every meal had leftovers, this might not be the case for everyone, but it was for us, some B ate and some I saved to have as part of the next days lunch.

If you become a regular customer of JAC you can plan your meals up to two weeks in advance. This week they have a great looking Leek & Potato Soup as well as Poached Salmon and in the next two weeks they have items like Carrot Patties, Flank Steak with Grits, and Dill Chicken!

Overall, I really like the concept of Just Add Cooking. I think it is a great way to learn your way around the kitchen and learn how to cook. Or a way to find new recipes, and I definitely did that! I love that the meals are constantly changing and they are reflective of what the company can find around them.

On Friday I am giving away a box to one lucky person! They will receive the same size box that I did, a 2-person, 3 meal box. For all of you who don’t win Just Add Cooking is giving you a $20 discount first order (new customers only). This is a credit on any sized box and is good until 5/31/14. Use code SPRINGBLOG.

 Have you tried Just Add Cooking or a service like this?

The Idea of Him: Throwing Parties as Parents

This post was inspired by the novel The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson. Allie thought she had the perfect husband, until she finds him and another woman in a compromising position in their own apartment. Join From Left to Write on April we discuss The Idea of Him. Join us for a live chat with Holly on April 3.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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In my effort to keep my book club posts out of the depressing sector, I thought I would write about a topic that was touched briefly upon in the book.

Allie’s husband liked to entertain in their home and Allie was always on duty to put together the perfect party. Allie and Wade had 2 younger children and in the book the children stayed in their rooms, doing homework, reading, etc… while the party was hosted in the family’s New York City apartment.

Initially, I was floored by this, I couldn’t imagine throwing some sort of industry party while my kids are upstairs. Than I realized I was more like Allie than I thought. Nick and I don’t throw ragers like we used to (a post for another time) but we love entertaining and we don’t have family close by. Every year we have a Superbowl Party. I make a ton of food and order a few pizzas. Our friends bring delicious treats and beer and we all gather around the TV to watch the game and catch up. B has always been a part of this tradition, and this year he loved watching the game, eating pizza and desserts, and hanging out with our friends. I put him to bed at half time and was able to hang out with our friends after bed time.

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From 2013′s Superbowl Party

For those who want to just dabble in party throwing, I think a daytime event might help. I throw a ladies only cookie swap every December. The first year I was the only one with a child, now more of my friends have kids and it is a fun kids and moms event. It will also give you an idea of how your kids might handle large groups of people being in your home.

The more I think about it, the more I think having an upscale party, like a fancy NYE party, would be fine to do when our kid(s) are older.

What do you think? Have you had a party with your kids at home? Would you ever?

Weekly Updates: 03/24/14 – 03/30/14

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Monday - We ended up staying in CT until late Monday morning, Nick was able to work from home, so I took an early evening class at Pure Barre. I thought that the evening classes were harder because I am not used to working out at night, but I think it is a combination of that and the fact that most of the night classes I’ve taken have been taught by Melissa and she is one tough teacher! (14/20)

Tuesday -  Back to my morning classes, I took the 6:10 with Leigh. The classes were starting to thin out a little bit since a lot of people had already completed their 20 classes for the Pure Madness Challenge. Classes weren’t empty but they weren’t completely full either. (15/20)

Wednesday – Another Pure Barre class, I know you are surprised. (16/20)

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Thursday - Another Pure Barre class, this was my first class with Amanda as the instructor. I will be honest, it wasn’t my best. I didn’t feel super motivated and I struggled with a lot of the sequences. I think part of it was the stress going on in my life, but also because with my desire to fulfill the 20 classes in 30 days (and the fact that I was unsure if I was going to be in town over the weekend) I needed to get every week day class in, and I think that stressed me out. (17/20)

Friday - Pure Barre had a great thing during the month of March, on Fridays you could bring a friend for no charge to a class if there was space. The problem for me was that the last class of the day is 4:30 pm and since we don’t have any child care anyone who wanted to come with me would have to come at 6:10 am. Luckily, Jane was up for the challenge. The staff was awesome at having her, and I felt a little bad because Melissa taught one of the hardest classes I had taken so far! BUT she loved it and will hopefully be joining me this month! (18/20)

Saturday - We ended up staying in town over the weekend and so I registered for a few classes. I took the 9 am on Saturday, taught by Amanda. I had a much better experience this time around, so I am chalking Thursday’s class up to be a fluke. (19/20)

Sunday - Today was the day! I completed my 20 classes in 30 days with 2 days to spare! Kelly was teaching the class and it was definitely a full circle moment since she taught my first class ever at Pure Barre. Everyone who completed the challenge received a gift, I also got to write a note about the my feelings after completing the challenge that they posted, as well as a great photo with a trophy.

IMG_7989I am going to write a more thorough post about my thoughts on Pure Barre, but I want to end today’s post just sharing that the staff at the Lynnfield location is amazing. Everyone is so genuinely nice and motivating. The instructors and barre tenders (aka ladies who work at the front desk) are always open to helping students work on their form or work out any scheduling kinks.  Not only is the staff wonderful, but the other women who attend classes are great as well. A lot of the morning ladies head across the parking lot to Starbucks for their caffeine fix together before starting the day. If you are in the area, I highly recommend checking out a class!

I am extremely proud of myself for making it through this challenge. I am starting to feel better about my body post-miscarriage, and I am feeling emotionally healthier, which I think is a combination of Pure Barre and Yoga.

Have you ever completed a barre or gym challenge?

Confessions of a Mom, Vol. 10

Before we get to today’s post, I just want to say there has been too much loss in the past year, in the city of Boston and in my personal life. Many thoughts and prayers to the Boston Fire Department and to the families and friends of the two firefighters who lost their lives doing their job. Thank you to all first responders, everywhere, without you wouldn’t be safe.

Disclaimer: please read this post with an open mind and sense of humor. Sometimes we all need a good laugh.

 

When my toddler picks out his own clothes for the day

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How I feel about the fact that it has been freezing cold outside the past week

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How I feel that the temperature for today and tomorrow is “play outside all day” type of weather

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