Workout Gear

And by workout gear, I do mean gear that is worn at home and immediately put on after work clothes are shed! I love great workout clothes that are quality: no pilling after use, can handle a long, sweaty workout, and can be worn to Target.

What kind of workout gear do you like? I love trying new brands and gear!

Most of my gear comes from Target, but it seems lately that I’ve tried to find more long lasting brands (including outdoor clothing).

So. I have had a taste of the Lululemon koolaid, and I’m am loving it!  Seriously, though.  Shelling out a lot for leggings made me skeptical. The wunder unders are very much worth it – they look great and must be made with magical thread.  I’d rather have a few pairs of these, then 10 pairs of cheap ones.

Lululemon Wunder Under Crop

    Because of the ease of Athleta’s website (I can add it onto an Old Navy order), I’ve tried a few of their things.  On the pricey side, but they work pretty well.  The Teelicious tank is and was great for covering a post partum tummy while working out.

Athleta Legging

Athleta Teelicious Tank

  My husband is into outdoor gear, so he’s convinced me try outdoors brands like Columbia and Patagonia.  Columbia’s fit never seemed to work that great for me, but I do really like Patagonia gear. Arc’teryx is an expensive brand, but their “tees” are fantastic.  The weight and fit of the fabric is so wonderful  – I wish I could wear them all the time!

Arc’teryx Top

My “go to” workout pieces from Target: Sports Bra and Bootcut Yoga pants.  Well priced and I don’t mind replacing them, as needed.  Good quality and fun colors.

Target: C9 Sports Bra

Target: C9 Bootcut pants


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Baby Stuff: What We Used for the first 4 months

ETA: Of course, I began compiling this list when our little one was around 4 months old.  I’ll add a few things at the end which we’ve used from month 5-6.  Also, I enjoyed reading these lists to gather ideas about what our baby may like.  Figure out what works best for you and your baby!

We believe in swaddling, and our baby loves it! (In fact, we are trying to transition away from using it now and it is not fun!) We tried swaddling ourselves, and this Woombie is a great purchase.  Easy to zip up and stretch enough for him to move around.  Well worth trying for those babies who like to swaddle.


Pack n Play

We use ours for going out of town, and we plan  on using as a play pen when E gets older.  I know some people who use their quite a bit more than us, but I think it will get more use down the road.

Noise machine (old alarm clock): Our E man likes white noise (plus it helps to drown out the rest of the noise in the house).  There are many available for sale; but, we just happened to find a setting we liked on our old alarm clock.

Humidifier: When E was about 2 months old, he got a bad cold and this really helped with congestion.  We will use it frequently if he looks like he’s getting sick.  Good, useful purchase.

Nose Squirt

Don’t Leave Home Without It! Our doctor gave us two of these, and I scoffed, thinking “why would I need these things?” Well lesson learned on our first trip out of town and E man needed  his nose cleared at 2 a.m.  Seriously, I keep one in his bag at all times.

Boppy :I would recommend every new mom get a Boppy (whether or not for breastfeeding).  It is such a great little pillow that the baby can use as a head prop or tummy time.  Great buy for most babies.

Doughnut: Not sure what the real name of the “Doughnut,” but made by the same company as Boppy.  We really got our money’s worth out of this.  It is like a little lounger pillow and our 6 mo. old still fits on it.  He actually takes naps in it (with my supervision) and loves lounging on it.  (Our baby actually outgrew Bumbo pretty quickly, so we use the Doughnut and put the Boppy on it as a little baby recliner – he loves it when we are all hanging out at the house).

Jumperoo: Would have paid ten times as much for this.  Our baby LOVES the bouncer and will bounce till his heart’s content.  When he was too short for it, we just put a few books underneath.  We ordered it when he was about 3.5 months old and has been using it ever since.  We can tell he’s ready to be mobile on his own and is close to outgrowing it.

Fisher Price Swing:  No bueno for our baby.  He didn’t like swings OR vibrating chairs at all (hence, why we were thrilled with the bouncer). I see many great reviews and I think it is just one of those things that parents will have to wait and see if their baby likes it.

Burp Cloths: We were given a few monogrammed burp clothes as gifts, and boy – do we ever use them! Keep a pile close by because they are necessary for spit up and drool!

Stroller: My husband did the research for the car seat and found this popular Chicco System.  We got the car seat, base, and stroller.  We really love all the pieces, thus far.  (We know that we will have to change his car seat once he outgrows.)  He loves his “bucket” and we would take it with us to restaurants, etc, and he often falls asleep in it.  He is just now at the point now where we use the stroller by itself (without the bucket).  It IS bulky (for throwing in and out of the car) and doesn’t have a lot of bottom storage space when the bucket is in.  However, we are still really pleased with it all. We may look into a BOB down the road, but for now, this suits all of our needs.

Baby Bjorn: Our favorite carrier, by far.  He would often go to sleep in it while I did household chores and fixed dinner. Easy to snap and go!

We heard this seahorse was helpful for sleep, but not for our little man! It is a cute toy, and that is the only way we’ve used it.

Wish we would have purchased: This is the Fisher Price Lamb swing, I believe.  We were given two swings, neither of which did our baby like to be in.   I read so many reviews of this swing and really wished we had had it the first two months based on the great reviews!

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So Much Going On: Daycare, Life, Etc.!

I’ve gotten a few posts prepared, and I had a plan for “What I’m Loving,” but then a job offer got in the way.  Short story: I work from home, which is a blessing.  However, I got an offer for a short term contract that is really an ideal semi part time offer.  I didn’t want to make the “daycare” decision until our E man was 1 yr. old.  But, here is this offer that came not once, but twice to my door.


I have no idea how this will pan out, but our E will be in daycare (that we like, visited, and is a part of our church) maximum 4 days a week.   Both of our schedules are flexible, so we are going to work to help him be in daycare less.  Ahh. Regardless, this mama has been a MESS.  It hurts the heart, even though he probably won’t even remember. Plus, it is a short term contract, so my husband and I agreed that this will be a “trial run” and if I don’t want to do it again, we won’t.  All I can say is: Best for our family, right now (My only little bit of “new” parent advice…this is how my husband and I have learned to roll).


Theme of Parenting: I thought pregnancy was hard, until I went through two day labor/C-section.  I thought labor and hospital visit were hard, until I had to comfort and feed my newborn.  I thought having a newborn was tough, until I had to figure out going back to work.  Friends, I’m getting that, this – the parenting, does not get any easier.


So! Any Daycare tips and/or advice? I know he will have to have everything labeled…any good places to go for stickers/clothing labels, etc?  Things that we will need or want to have him take? Also, I’m worried about his nap schedule – and good tips for helping him with that? Thanks in advance!

Now, for more fun tidbits!

Random Wednesday:

San Pellegrino Aranciata.  This is a delightful drink for beating those ridiculous temperatures we’ve all been having lately.  Serve it in a cocktail class to make it even more swanky.  (Or fill up a beer glass half with pilsner and half with San Pellegrino lemon for a refreshing toddy).

Jack Rogers in platinum.  Classic, comfortable, go with literally all of my summer outfits.

This picture explains why I wish I could just G-Chat Reese and have her be my very best friend.  Outfit: Classic. Comfortable. Stylish.  And do I spy one of those J.Crew snap totes from a few years ago (of which I have about 3)?

Bought this dress from Land’s End Canvas two weeks ago.  I followed the reviews and this does have a generous/comfortable fit.  The material is a like a stretchy pique knit.  On sale now for $34.99.   So glad I bought it.  Cute enough to feel pulled together and comfy enough to run around with my infant and bear the heat (i.e. not show the glow of sweat).


Love Sheridan French’s blog.  Fabulous style: I want this vest she blogs about in her latest post.

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Unecessary Worry & Unsolicited Advice

Unnecessary Worry & Unsolicited Advice:

Being a mother has introduced to me to all sorts of new social norms and ideas
1. Worry: I have always been a worrier.  As a child, I was cautious.  As an adult, I worry about my grandparents aging, my parents and their happiness, my brother’s direction, our financial state…and it goes on.  I also tend to worry about offending people and making them happy.  All of these things are really a waste of time.  And now, with an infant, that “worry” list has probably increased ten-fold.  I wake up every day thinking of something that could happen to our baby and things that I don’t want him to do.  (Getting lost, forgetting who I am at daycare; feeding him too much or too little; turning the t.v. on; kidnapped by strangers; diseases and sicknesses; riding in cars with stupid teenager friends; drinking too much in college; not wearing his seatbelt – you get the idea).

This is all ridiculous thinking, of course.  I know this; yet, I can’t turn off the “worry” thoughts I have.  My husband, thankfully, is more of an analytical thinker and researcher.  He balances me out; but, we both know this “worrywart” gene is directly from my mother and grandmother, who obsessively worry to the point of unhealthiness.  How can I bypass this, especially as a mother? I wish I had the answers.

I workout, pray, and take time out for myself.  I remind myself that essentially worrying is a sin of vanity because it means you have lost your faith in God and his plans.  How do you deal with the worry that accompanies becoming a mother?

2. Unsolicited Advice: (from family and strangers alike).  Thankfully, I escaped the “Hi, I’m a stranger and you’re pregnant, so I’m going to give you stupid advice” for the most part.  However, I am now amazed as to what people will say about an infant to his mother! Our sweet boy is a happy, chunky, healthy baby.  For this, I am thankful everyday. Now, why is it that people love a chunky baby, but feel the need to say “Oh, when he starts walking all that baby fat will fall off.”  Why? He’s 5 months old, a ways away from walking.  He’s charming you with his smile and yet, you’re telling me this? Because I’m secretly feeding him pureed Oreos and Mt. Dew.  People have a hard time not projecting their own insecurities onto others, especially by way of judging someone’s child through a back handed comment.

Oh, and another? “He’s probably going to be teased a lot because of his name.”  Oh yeah, the name that I just explained to you was important to our family because it was his “great-great grandfather’s name.  The name that is old fashioned and not quite “in vogue” but is beautiful to us.  Gee, thanks lady.  However, I plan on raising my child to have self-confidence and tact, unlike you.

Ok, rant for the day is over! (And look for more “fun” posts this week – but, I can’t be the only “I worry about everything – don’t you dare look at my child cross eye mama, right?)

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Handbag Chat: High End & Purse Lust

Baby Switch by LouenHide

$100 for this adorable and bright bag.  I love the interior and the casual yet elegant style (and could also handle toting diapers, wipes, and bottles!)



Next splurge bag: Louis Vuitton Damier Azur (probably the Neverfull – bag to back left in picture).  Love the easy style and would carry it forever (making that price per carry low).

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Summer Fun

Bug Tee, from Anthropologie. Somehow this shirt evokes memories of camp for me – I would love some worn chino shorts, an Adirondack chair, and fresh glass of lemonade with this tee.

Summer House, by Nancy Thayer.  Great beach read – especially if you love family drama.

Lilly Pulitzer Penelope Top.  Adorable, lightweight, and comfortable a-line for post partum tummy – Perfect! This one, may or may not, be on order 😉


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Health & Lifestyle: Crossfit


This may seem like an overstatement, but I believe Crossfit is revolutionizing how we think about working out (Check out my post on Paleo Diet).

My experience with Crossfit: Began back in December of 2009.  My husband initially found it and essentially he was my personal trainer for a few months (which was great!).  We lived in a town with  Marine base, and many of the Marines used Crossfit style workouts which my husband became interested in.

Long story short, we started following the website’s Workout of the Day.  I can confidently say that we were both in the BEST shape of our lives (although, our goals were to keep going as we each wanted to get closer to our weight loss goals).  We never joined a Crossfit gym; we just joined our local YMCA.  We bought a few pieces of workout equipment and use a lot of Youtube guidance for different workouts.

Background: I’ve always been an athlete (never the star one, but active nonetheless).  I am one of those people who does enjoy working out and sweating.  For me, it is a huge mental release.   However, I’ve always been frustrated with my body.  While I was strong, I was never in the shape I wanted to be.  After studying Crossfit, and by using it for 6 months, I know why.  Crossfit really does work the “muscle memory” and each workout is never the same.  Also, some days are more cardio based and some are more form based.

Here is what you need to know, in a nutshell:

Crossfit workouts are usually about 30 minutes long.

They are HARD! Like harder than you’ve ever worked before. (I did, officially, puke after a workout one day.  Weird thing was, I felt pretty proud of it).

You have to give it time, follow the WOD (Workout of the Day), and not add or alter it. Working on form (especially when doing Olympic lifting) is very important.

They consist of things like (on any weekly basis, usually): sprints, squats, pull ups, push ups, dead lifts, hang snatchs, chest presses, sit ups.

I’ve never been to a Crossfit gym, and I would probably join if we lived close to one.  They are new trend, and I hear that they are expensive.  I can bet they are really worth it, having a coach and working with a group everyday.  However, it is so possible to do it without joining the CF franchise gym.

It WORKS!  I can’t explain how I went from a gym/jogger/lift a  15 pound dumbell workout to a dead lifting “diva” (ha, cheesy, right ?! I had never felt so STRONG in my life.  It was awesome.

*           *           *         *            *

Then, we moved and I got pregnant. So, I will say for the past year (Up until the last few weeks  of this June), we did Crossfit sporadically.  New jobs, pregnancy, and new baby all came first.  I did follow Crossfit Mom during my pregnancy, although not as intensely as pre-pregnancy.

Falling off the Crossfit wagon was frustrating, especially since I had come so far.  (My husband, as male bodies often do, showed more dramatic difference than I with CF.  He was also able to run and workout for the past nine months, but he is still re-committed to 3 days ON, 1 day OFF with me.  I gained a whole new appreciation for my body after having our sweet baby boy.  But, momma is ready to get back on the wagon and get back in shape.  I’m sure my body will be different, since having a child, but I look forward to getting strong again).

*I will say this: CF is a lot easier with a workout buddy.  My husband pushed me to do workouts that I thought I could never do and would never have attempted on my own.  Using the big weights and bars can be intimidating and a little embarrassing when you aren’t used to it.  But, in the end, so worth it!*

2010, for me, was a year of discovering and understanding my health (not in the 7th grade health book way, like that sentence sounds!).  Finding Crossfit was a great workout discovery, then beginning a new eating style (Paleo) made me feel even better. Crossfit is a great thing and I suggest anyone who is looking for a different (better) way to workout and lose weight, to just try it out.   (Here’s to hoping this will help move the pregnancy weight that is still hanging out!)

Image via: http://www.crossfit.comb(CherylBoatmanValleyCFRegionals)

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