Weekly Workout Round-up & I Had a Moment

Happy Monday! 

I know it's been June for almost a week already, but it just hit me that it's freaking JUNE! Where did the time go? I am seriously going to be relocating to Rhode Island in less than 2 months. In fact, I have only 6 weeks of work left in Orlando and that's totally insane to me! There are so many things I still want to do before we leave! I'd like to eat at least 4 poke bowls, go to the beach twice, I need to repair my outdoor wicker furniture, I'd like to refinish my kitchen table because it looks like crap and I'd also like to reupholster my chairs because the fabric is old and gross. And then I also have to work full-time, do my wife and mom stuff, workout 6 times a week, lose this last 10 pounds, and try to sleep 8 hours a night. 

.........................................................

That's not asking much, right?? Hahahahahaaa...just writing that makes me look at myself inwardly like, you're nuts bae.

However I'm sure I can do most of what I want to do because I'm pretty dang stubborn when I want to be and right now, I want to do all the stuff and things!! Plus, my work completely covers all of the relocation expenses and movers, so we don't even need to worry about packing anything more than what we need for the few weeks we're living in corporate housing. I'm talking they come into your house and pack and move everything for us and all we have to do is clean up afterwards. And because I'm a total control-freak-planner-crazy-person, I'm pretty sure I've already found a place to live that's in the school district we want AND I've found a daycare and planned out my commute.  

So look forward to hearing more about all of this insanity that we have coming up, because it's truly going to be nuts! 

As I mentioned on Friday, I am going to go down to posting three times a week now, with more emphasis on quality posts and serious shenanigans. Thanks to everyone who provided feedback! Don't be afraid to give me more - I love hearing from you guys <3

Now onto our...

Weekly Workout Round-Up!!

I'm not going to lie - it was a pretty good week for workouts. Not a great week for eating...it wasn't really bad, just not awesome. As such, I have managed to lose 3 of the pounds I gained in the hospital, but still have 10 total to lose to get to pre-baby. and 3-5 more just because I'm fixed on the number even though I said I wouldn't be anymore. I'm not perfect and the scale and I are back in our dumb relationship. Stupid scale - I just can't quit you. I love you and I hate you at the same time!

Monday - P90X Chest, Shoulders, Triceps & Core Workout

Memorial Day workout! I pretty much woke up, got Jules some cereal to snack on and put a movie on, and then did my workout using my iPad. I also did some progress pictures because I plan on really cleaning up my diet over the next 6 weeks and I AM going to get some results. I am always so amused with how different my pictures are when they don't happen at 5 in the morning...

Tuesday - Run & Core 

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Pretty big difference between Monday's before workout picture and this one, eh?

Tuesday's run was supposed to be a half mile warm-up and 8 repeats of 1 minute race pace (8:14/mi), 1 minute recovery jog, 30 second sprint (7:00/mi) and 1 minute recovery. I ended up getting up and out of the door late so I was only able to do 5 of the repeats, but my after workout smile tells me it must have been a pretty great workout!

Wednesday - P90X Back & Biceps and Core

Another super flattering picture that I'm sharing with the masses...I don't even look like I'm awake here (I probably am not actually awake in that picture...it takes me awhile to wake-up). 

Thursday - Run, HIIT, and Core

I have a few thoughts about these pictures...

  1. That is quite the expression on my face in my before workout picture. It's like I'm giving myself a death glare or something "you will do this workout and you will enjoy it, or else!!"
  2. The insane amount of sweat on my arm in the second picture shows me that it was em effing hot outside for that run. I remember feeling like I was going to die because of the heat and this picture shows that I wasn't exaggerating because that's just not something I do. 
  3. Look at how clean the mirror is!
  4. Fakest smile ever.

Oh and Jason came home from work towards the end of this run and followed me around our neighborhood twice while yelling at me on the loudspeaker ("great job" "keep going") and playing Eye of the Tiger...so yeah...our neighbors love us. 

I did Turbofire HIIT 25 for my HIIT workout and it destroyed me in every possible way. In a good way, but I was dead afterwards. 

Friday - P90X Legs & Back and Core

More of the same...wake up, take before workout picture where I look like I'm about to cry, do workout and still laugh at Tony Horton's jokes because I'm ridiculous, rush to take beaming post-workout picture before running around like a chicken with it's head cut off to get ready and out of the door on time, get to work with just enough time to fill snapchat with some ridiculous snaps, and then head into the door to #girlboss all day. 

Saturday - Rest Day

Sunday - RUNDAY

Let me tell you about this run. First and foremost, it's the furthest I've ran this year and I swear I really am proud of it. However this ish was hard. I'm talking, it took some serious pushing on my part to keep myself going. It was so effing hot - my car said it was 86 degrees when we got back and the humidity was like a billion percent. Not even exaggerating ;-) Then I was really really tired - Jules is sleeping so poorly right now and woke me up pretty much all night long. However something else happened this weekend that messed up my mood and motivation and it trickled into my run as well...don't worry, I'm about to tell you all about it. 

As you know, we are moving to Rhode Island soon (super soon) and as such, I have started to sort through our stuff to get rid of things we don't want/need. I have a huge closet filled with clothes that I'm mostly not wearing because they're primarily pre-Jules clothes that don't fit me anymore. So Saturday night I decided it was time to sift through all of these and get rid of anything that doesn't fit me and let's just say it did not end on a happy note. 

I'm getting rid of 80% of my wardrobe.

I started with shorts/skirts/workout clothes and that wasn't a big deal. I wasn't overly attached to any of those items and didn't really mind when those didn't fit. But then I got to my jeans/pants/work dresses and let me tell you, trying to put those clothes on to see how they fit/if they fit/can I even zip them up was extremely disheartening. 

Now I know that I'm still 10-15 pounds over where I'd like to be, however I've been able to wear most of my casual pre-Jules clothes (which is mostly casual dresses and workout clothes). I've even been able to get back into some of my old work dresses as long as I don't want to breathe too deeply on the days I wear them. However jeans and my other work dresses don't lie - they don't stretch or cover up any of this extra weight I'm still carrying and to say my mood decreased with every failed item of clothing would be a bit of an understatement. 

I still have so far to go before I'm close to being back to where I was pre-baby. 

In the spirit on honesty and full disclosure, here's a super fun picture that I probably shouldn't put in a public place but I have no shame...

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Just cause it zips doesn't mean it fits. 

To be fair to myself, I could hardly wear these jeans pre-Jules except for on my super skinny days...you know, those 3-4 days a month where everything fits and your stomach is flat and you feel amazing?!? So it's not 100% fair to call these my pre-baby jeans, but they are a pair of jeans that I was able to wear for a long time that I will never wear again and it hit me hard on Saturday when the majority of my clothes ended up that way. And that sucks. I ended up putting like 12 pairs of designer jeans into that pile of "donate" clothes and didn't even try on half of the dresses because I was practically in tears and couldn't do it to myself. And that mood stuck with me for my run and I seriously beat myself up for the vast majority of the run. 

"This run would be so much easier if you weighed 15 pounds less"

"Look at how far out your stomach is sticking, uggghhhh"

"If you weren't so fat, you could wear shorts to run and wouldn't be so freaking hot"

I absolutely hate how mean I was to myself and I do realize this probably isn't normal behavior and don't worry, I don't say any of this stuff out loud for my kids to hear. It's hard to come to the realization that you just aren't anywhere near where you used to be. Luckily, I'm not completely crazy and by the time I stopped and was stretching I was able to reflect and started to feel proud of myself for finishing the run. Especially since it was such a struggle. And then I was able to start looking at myself with clarity and honesty and I realized that in order to drop this weight and get healthy I am going to need to be honest, and I haven't been. 

Just to be clear, this isn't solely about looking good and vanity - I want to be healthy and I'm not.

I've mentioned this a few times, but I've had issues with my blood sugar and my blood pressure in the past and that scares me - I'm only 34. I know that carrying around 10-15 extra pounds especially when it's primarily around my core, is extremely unhealthy. While I do love to look good and feel good about how I look, this has a lot more to do with wanting to make sure I'm there to see my kids and their kids grow up and feel good doing it.

So yesterday after my run I took some time to reflect and came up with three things I'm really going to focus on to finally start making some progress towards meeting my goals.

  • Booze - if I am being completely honest with myself, I have been drinking way too much booze. I generally go through a bottle of wine in a weekend and lately, I've also had some seriously caloric craft beers and margaritas as well. When I took my measurements on Monday, I was kind of surprised to see that I'm pretty much back to pre-baby on my legs, hips, arms, and chest; however my waist and gut are 2-3 inches more than pre-baby. I guarantee a lot of that has to do with drinking alcohol. I actually didn't drink any booze this weekend, so I'm just going to keep that up for the foreseeable future and I have the feeling I'll see some good results from that alone. 
  • Food - that whole 80/20 thing? Yeah, it's more 50/50. I do fantastic in regards to nutrition Monday-Thursday, but I blow it all to shit over the weekend by eating anything and everything. I'll find myself snacking because I'm bored or just because I want to, and I know that's another big part of what's holding me back. So it's time for me to get seriously serious about what I'm eating - I'm going to track my calories and also cut back on carbs just a little. Not a lot, because I need my carbs, but instead of eating a full cup of rice with my lunch and dinner I'm cutting back to a 1/2 cup and seeing how that goes. And while I'll still allow myself treats, I'm not going to go hog wild every weekend like I have been. A little bit of control is what I need here, and it's been a long time since I've really tried to exhibit any control over my eating. However I've done it in the past so I know I can do it, I just hate doing it. 
  • Sleep - this is a big one. I don't sleep enough and that can have a negative effect on your weight. I have a bad habit of sitting down after putting Jules to bed and cleaning up and then I'll watch tv until it's 10 or 11 and then once I do finally get to sleep, it's interrupted by my butthole toddler. So instead of vegging out for 2-3 hours every night and watching tv I'm going to make a commitment to get into bed by 8:30. This way I will be asleep by 9-9:30 and will get 7.5-8 hours of sleep. I'm sure it will still be interrupted sleep (Juuuuuuules!!!), but at least there will be more of it. 

I'm calling this the Trifecta of Truth and I'm really going to focus on doing those three things for the next 6 weeks, tracking my progress, and then I'll reevaluate from there. Luckily exercise is already such a big part of my life that I don't need to work on that as well. As usual, I'll keep you all updated on my progress including successes and failures, and in true Jamie fashion, I'll probably change my mind about stuff a million times in the process.  

Have any of you reading this had a similar struggle? Do you have any advice for me other than I need to be honest with how much I'm eating and drinking and start sleeping more? I'll probably do some posts with a full day's worth of food so you guys can tear it apart, because won't that be fun?!?

I'll be back in a day or two with something SUPER FUN! Have a fantastic day!

Monday on a Tuesday and the BIG NEWS!

Is it just me, or do you also feel like you only got 2 days off and it's actually Monday? There's no way I'm the only one feeling this way. 

Needless to say, I was on the struggle bus for real today. Actually, I was on the struggle bus all weekend. Jules is not sleeping well at all. We've moved her back into her bedroom and we're basically back to square one with her sleeping like total crap and waking up and then we bring her into our room and she sleeps horribly and basically keeps me up all night. And I feel super guilty doing any sleep training since she just went through that whole hospital/illness ordeal and is extra clingy and needy right now. So for now, I'm back in the no sleep club. 

Last night was especially bad since I kept dreaming we were living in a house like the house from The Conjuring, which is scary AF and kept jolting me awake all night long. And then Jules was screaming bloody murder and I brought her to bed where she rotisseried all night long, kicking me and resulting in an awful night of "sleep".

I would say send coffee, except my anxiety is through the roof right now and caffeine makes my anxiety much worse. So don't send coffee. Send me a clone who can work for me all day while I nap under my desk. 

Before I jump into the BIG NEWS, I thought I'd do a workout round-up from last week. 

It wasn't a great week for workouts - I'm still getting back into the swing of things after being in the hospital the week prior, Jules isn't sleeping well, and I'm also not sleeping well, so waking up to workout was a real struggle all week last week.

Monday - P90X Chest & Back and core workout 

I was off of work so I could take Jules to some doctor's appointments, so I didn't end up working out until 11. Which means I was able to smile BEFORE my workout. It's amazing how that works when you're not still half asleep and feeling like the living dead!

Also the core workout I'm doing is still the transverse abdominal workout for diastasis recti - I am staying away from traditional ab workouts until I make some awesome progress on my gap.  

Tuesday - nothing, nada, rest day

I couldn't wake up to workout before going back to work and there was no way I was doing it after work. Oh well!

Wednesday - P90X Arms & Shoulders and core workout

I worked a half-day on Wednesday because my mom was flying home in the afternoon and we weren't ready to take Jules back to daycare yet, so I slept through my alarm in the morning and did my workout in the afternoon. Hence the happy "before" picture. 

And just in case you're wondering how I manage to do an almost hour-long workout while I have a toddler in the house who is awake?

I use the iPad for my workout and Jules hangs out on the couch and watches a movie on the tv. Right now she's really into all of the Toy Story movies, Sing, and the Secret Life of Pets. She does sometimes get up and whine, but she usually allows me to put her back on the couch or have her play with her toys and 95% of the time I can finish my entire workout without any major meltdowns. 

Where there's a will there's a way, and I will get my workout in!

Thursday - Speedwork and core workout

First, I exploded my aminos/preworkout all over everything on the counter. I'm still not even sure how it happened - I was tired and spazzed out or something? 

This lead to me giving a stank-ass-before-run face - look at that grumpy face!

However a good run always makes me feel better and this was a pretty awesome run! Hard as crap and humid as a mother, but a good run!

What a fantastic picture of me. So flattering.

Friday - P90X Legs and Back and core workout

I was definitely struggling a bit, as you can see from my lovely pictures above, however I managed to get my crap together and get a great workout in so that's all that matters!

See what a great workout does though? Look at how happy I am! Using filters helps too...

Then I took Saturday and Sunday off because Jules slept horribly and it was ridiculously hot outside and I didn't want to run or do anything. 

So I had 3 rest days last week - whatever, it is what it is!

As I mentioned a post or 2 ago, I gained a solid 5 pounds the week we were in the hospital with Jules - stress + all.the.carbs = fluff. On top of the lack of activity, excessive carbs/wine consumption, and stress, it was also a certain special time of the month. Resulting in me being extra super fluffy. Between then and now, I have lost some of the fluff, however I still have 9 pounds to go before hitting pre-Jules weight and then a solid 4-6lbs to get to a "happy" place...although at this point I think I'd be pretty happy just to get to pre-Jules weight. And yes, the scale and I are back together for now but there's a legit reason for this...

I have to lose the Jules/wine/food weight (I can't realistically call it baby weight anymore...). You may be asking yourself why there's an urgency now when I've been carrying it around for 16 months without much concern...wellI have to be able to fit into all of my cold weather clothes again by September or so...

Because we're moving to Rhode Island!

The company I work for has their home office in Rhode Island and I've been offered a promotion with a completely new position in a different department. I know I've mentioned not loving my job all that much in the past - I've hit a bit of a ceiling here in Florida and can't promote without moving, plus I love being challenged and haven't felt challenged in awhile. So Jason and I decided to accept the position/move and we'll be moving in mid-July or so. Well, I'll be moving with the kids and Jason will likely have to stay behind for a couple of months until he's able to start a position in RI or Mass (law enforcement jobs hire in waves so he likely won't be able to start right away even if he gets hired somewhere right away). So this will obviously be a huge challenge since I'll be moving to a new state, with a higher cost of living, with two children, and likely by myself for a few months. However Jason and I have done the long distance thing in the past and taking this move/job sets us up to be able to finally put roots down somewhere for good instead of having to worry about moving every few years in order to move up in my career. Being in home office is something I've always wanted, so I'm super excited for the possibilities for my career and our lives in RI. I've always had this ridiculous vision of Jules running through an apple orchard in the fall with cute, little pigtails and a basket of apples...is that weird? 

So we'll have to struggle for a bit, but I have always found that it's the hardest times and riskiest choices that have the greatest pay-offs. 

Luckily I have quite a few friends up in RI and Mass and Jason has a lot of family in CT that will only be a 2 hour drive away, so we have more of a support system that I've ever had when moving in the past - we moved to Mass and Florida without knowing anyone in either place. We're already planning on Jason coming up once a month for a week at a time so we're still able to see each other as much as possible, and I'm 100% confident this will only make us stronger as a family/couple. 

So bring on the lobster, Block Island ferry, nor'easters, FALL, pumpkin everything, NYC, blizzards and snow days, hiking every weekend, leaf peeping, weiners, and Waterfire! 

And now you know why I was dreaming about living in the Conjuring house...it took place in Rhode Island! So I'll be getting super hippie-dippy and smudging and sage-ing the crap out of wherever we move to because I'm not doing any crazy haunting crap. No way!

You better believe this is going to end up resulting in some interesting posts, so I hope you have subscribed so you never miss any of this crazy adventure!

Does anyone have any tips for moving cross country with 2 kids? I've done it a couple of times with 1 kid, but doing anything with 2 kids is a huge challenge! Also have you ever saged a house? It's a legit thing that people do to cleanse bad energy from a new home before moving in - I'm seriously going to do it. I can see Jason in my head shaking his head while reading this. Lol. 

Have a great day!

Hand, Foot, and I'm Going to Cry

What a weekend we had in our house. Not that it was really eventful because it wasn't, it was just not a relaxing one in any way, shape, or form.

Jules is sick. There is a kid in her classroom at daycare who was diagnosed with hand, foot, and mouth and I'm pretty sure that's what she has. She's been running fevers (up to 102) on and off since Thursday afternoon and has been completely miserable, other than a few short moments of levity, pretty much all weekend. She has been extra super clingy, meaning I couldn't get anything done and I feel terrible for her because I can tell something hurts, but she can't tell me what. 

She actually woke me up around 3:30 this morning and thrashed and whined in my bed for another hour and a half before I finally gave up and went downstairs with her. I put Moana on and she watched that and fell asleep for a bit while I did some yoga and got my food ready for lunch, but then she woke up right before I was getting ready to jump into the shower. And she cried...and cried...and cried. She does not want me to put her down and she doesn't want anyone but me right now...and I have to work today. So I got ready like this.  

I'm talking I did my makeup, blow-dried my hair, and got my breakfast ready like that. And on the inside I just wanted to lay-down and cry alongside Jules because I am exhausted and my back hurts and I feel bad for her. Then Jason came home from work and took her to the doctor so I can go to work for a half-day before going home and putting my mom hat back on so he can get some sleep because he worked all night. These are the times when I hate being a working mom and wish I could just be home with my poor, sick baby. 

However I'm not even going to lie and fake like it won't be nice to not have a feverish, whiny, snotty toddler draped all over me for 4 hours today though. I hope that doesn't make me a shitty mom, but it's exhausting and it's been happening for 3 days now! 

Today's post will be a quick workout round-up from last week, since my brain is completely dunzo and I don't know that I can think of anything super clever or witty to write about. 

Monday - P90X Shoulders, Triceps & Chest

I also did my DR core workout (for diastasis recti - I posted all about it last week if you want to read more!)

Classic Jamie-before-workout-face. I feel like they're actually getting worse, but it is entertaining to me so I'm okay with it. Hopefully it entertains you guys too!

Tuesday - 32 minute run & DR core work

This was the day I was supposed to run 8 quarter mile repeats but couldn't math and ended up only doing 5 (see my blog from Tuesday for more info on that - I'm a hot mess). 

This is a pretty amazing picture too. Man, I am photogenic!

Wednesday - P90X Biceps & Back 

I also did my core workout. It's a trend - I did it every day last week except for Saturday!

Thursday - I ran real fast for 25 minutes...

25 minutes at 10K race pace (8:14/mile) with a 1/2 mile warm-up. This was super hard but I was so proud of myself once it was done and I actually hit my goal pace!

That after-picture though...man, I am trying to out-do myself with awesome pictures!

Also, my goal this week is to clean the master bathroom...including the mirrors. I can't handle the grossness anymore - like I'm almost embarrassed. Almost...not quite though.

Friday - Legs & back, extra hip strengthening workout, DR core work. 

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(this is the only picture I have from Friday. Gross, gross mirror!

Saturday - Rest DAY!

Peach-a-rita day?

I may have had a handful...over the course of like 5 hours. But still, a handful. It was after Jules went to bed and I was binge-watching Girls and snap-chatting all of my friends, so stop judging me!!

Sunday - RUN DAY! 

Jules woke up in a decent mood and didn't have a fever, so we went out and ran a little over 4 miles together. It was a pretty hard run - probably had more to do with the peach-a-rita's than anything, but I'm blaming it on the wind. 

LOOK!! I'm doing my old duck lips pose here! I haven't done that in forever!!

Maybe I should bring it back for good?!?

Nope...not gonna happen.

Mid-run picture, for the win!

This is apparently our new signature pose. I'm pretty sure she's telling me not to touch her with my sweaty, gross self. 

After our run we came home and I did my DR core workout and another hip workout, we had some breakfast, and then Jules laid on me and whined and thrashed around for the rest of the day. The poor thing looked like I look when I have a migraine and had a fever pretty much all day, so I gave her painkillers as directed, but she was pretty miserable all day long :-(

Did you have a better weekend than we did? Have you ever dealt with hand, foot, and mouth? How much do you LOVE my ridiculous pictures?  

 

WIIW (What it is Wednesday) and Why I'm Quitting Ab Workouts

It's HUMP DAYYYYYYY!! I very obnoxiously snapchatted about it this morning and if you're not following me already, you probably should because I'm hilarious (and modest too). I tend to be semi-to-totally inappropriate, with some ridiculous videos of my kids thrown-in and sometimes a ghost makes an appearance (best. snap story. ever.)

I enjoy these WIIW posts because I really like giving my opinion to everyone and this is a good way for me to round up my opinions on a weekly basis and make it seem less bossy than when I tell people my opinion otherwise. What do you guys think of them? 

You guys, remember when I showed you the Cake Batter/Red Velvet ice cream thing from Arctic Zero last week? This is a Salted Caramel Arctic Zero ice cream thing and it's even better. Yesterday was my fast day, but I needed something sweet and this did not disappoint. Get them if you find them! Shoot, I might stock up just so I never have to worry about them running out!

I have been trying to get my son to workout on a semi-regular basis, because he is a pretty typical, lazy teenager. If he had his way he would sit in his bedroom and play video games the entire weekend, only getting up to make and eat an entire pot of macaroni and cheese. We've done a few 22 Minute Hard Corps workouts from Beachbody and they're perfect for him since they're not super difficult and only 22 minutes. He actually did a workout by himself on Monday AND sent me a sweaty selfie. I am so proud of him! Now if he'll just keep it up!

You might be wondering why I'm trying to get my 13 year old to exercise - the reason why is because the earlier it becomes a habit, the more likely it will stay that way for life. And all I really want for my kids in life is for them to be healthy and happy. Working out helps with the health AND the happiness, so it's a win-win!

I am seriously loving the swimsuit I wore this weekend. It is SO HARD to find a flattering swimsuit that is comfortable and this one is both! And it makes my tiny little boobs look pretty good, so that's awesome too! And it only cost $30 at TJ Maxx, so YASSSSSSSS!!!

Link Love!

I am loving these two articles from Scary Mommy this week. They both apply pretty directly to my life right now, and I had to share them with you guys. 

As A Mom, I Value Quality Way More Than Quantity In My Friendships

I am so on board with the message of this blog. The last thing I need in my life right now is a judgmental, high-maintenance friend and I have made some changes in my friendships over the past 6 months or so that involved distancing myself from people who were like that. I honestly just don't have the time or energy for half-friends right now or people who make me feel bad about myself! I have a handful of really good friends who are both long-distance and local, and even though we don't hang out all the time, we always pick up right where we left off whenever we do hang-out or talk. And we usually do so in a house that I didn't even worry about tidying up because I know they won't judge me. These are the friends that will drink crappy, cheap wine with me and eat my partially stale chips from a half-eaten bag without judging me or making me feel like I need to do more for them. Because our friendship and support for each other is enough, and that's how friends should be. 

So to my friends who are reading this - you know who you are - love you!!

Stop Being A Judgmental A**hole When Someone Tells You Their Child Isn’t Sleeping

Everything about this. When you are pregnant and have young children, it suddenly becomes open season for everyone you know (and some you don't) to give you advice.

"I sure hope you plan to breastfeed since breast is best" (but God forbid you do it in public because that might make people uncomfortable)

"Don't hold your baby like that, she can't breathe correctly" (while holding Jules in football carry because it helped with her gassy stomach)

"You better stop giving her that pacifier now; she's so pretty without it" *insert middle finger here*

Sleep is a HUGE topic point for anyone with baby/toddler and is something that everyone wants to give you advice regarding. And for whatever reason, everyone seems to be baby sleep experts and their little snowflake is a MUCH better sleeper than your child. I get it; Jules doesn't sleep well and never has. Justin didn't either. But then the second Justin hit 2 or so he started sleeping 12 hours straight from when I put him to bed. Meaning if I wanted to sleep a little later, I would keep Justin up until 10 and he'd sleep until 10. And I'm hoping Jules will do that same thing. So instead of telling me how tired I look and that your unicorn snowflake baby slept through the night a week from the hospital and here's what I'm doing wrong, please just commiserate with me and be empathetic. 

I think everyone should try to have more empathy in general and in doing so, the world will be a better place. 

World peace, Jamie-style.

My current favorite songs...

In no particular order...

Just for listening:

  • Every Time I'm Ready to Hug - Ra Ra Riot
  • Silvia - Miike Snow
  • Open Your Eyes - STRFKR
  • Hot Thoughts - Spoon
  • HUMBLE - Kendrick Lamar
  • Cecilia - Simon & Garfunkel

For running (all of these songs have really high BPM which help me keep my cadence over 180 - aka great for running)

  • Drop The Plot - Gregory Peopper and His Problems
  • Hard Times - Paramore
  • Little Sister - Queens of the Stone Age
  • When Your Heart Stops Beating - +44
  • Virtual Insanity - Jamiroquai
  • The Bomb - Pigeon John

Why I'm Quitting Ab Workouts

Man, I'm doing a lot of quitting around here! First the scale, now ab workouts, next I'll be quitting wine or something crazy like that (or not...most definitely not...if I do quit wine it will only be because I'm taking up margaritas #summer). 

First and foremost, I am not a fitness professional so if you are really worried about something being wrong with you or are thinking about starting a new program please see your doctor first. This is just something new that I'm trying and sharing with you so you can be entertained by my success or failure. I'm pretty sure I was a guinea pig in a past life because I love testing out new things!

I know I've mentioned at least once before in the blog that I'm working on strengthening my transverse abdominus. You may or may not be wondering why, but regardless I'm going to tell you why because this is my blog and I control ALL OF IT!!! 

Even though I have been really slimming down all over recently, I still have a very noticeable mommy bulge/tummy/gut. And it's the entire thing - top, bottom, middle. Now some of this I can totally blame on my eating - I don't eat perfectly (and don't want to), but I do tend to eat really healthy overall and *should* probably be seeing a bit better results considering how hard I workout. 

I've known about diastasis recti for a long time and even self-diagnosed myself with it postpartum, however I have refused to accept that I have it and it's affecting me in any way, shape or form because....I'm stubborn? Actually, I know why and that's because they tell you to avoid all impact exercises while working on recovering from diastasis recti, which means no running, jumping, kickboxing, etc - basically everything I love to do. And I can't stop doing that stuff or I might lose my mind, so I ignored it. But it's not getting better, and my core is so weak. The past few weeks I've been doing some additional research on it and have finally accepted it's time for me to do something about it before it gets worse or I give up and become a sloth. 

First, I did another test to confirm how bad my DR is and this one is a great one if you want to try it yourself:

I have about a 1.5-2 finger gap - it's not that bad, but still there and it is affecting my overall core/abs so it's something I should do something to fix. 

What's the #1 thing you need to do if you do have a gap? Stop doing traditional ab exercises. Crunches, planks, the bicycle, etc. - basically anything that is in a traditional ab workout including pilates can actually make this worse! So no more V-Ups for me no matter how cool I feel when I do them!

Like I said, I ignored this for going on 15 months now, however I have noticed that when I'm laying on my back and doing a traditional crunch or sit-up, I have a small cone-shaped mound that pops up on my stomach above my belly button...this is because I have a gap and the muscles are bulging through the gap - appetizing right? This is one of the signs you have it so if you are doing crunches and see a cone-shaped mound or pyramid pop up on your stomach, you probably have DR! If you think you might have DR I encourage you to follow along with the video above to confirm how bad it is and then for the love of Pete, stop doing ab workouts! 

There are several systems out there that you can purchase that help to rehab your core - one is called MuTu - and they all have rave reviews from women so they obviously work. But I'm a cheapskate and stubborn, so instead I turned to the internet and found this workout here. This is actually based off of MuTu and it's recommended to do it every day. So that's what I'm going to do and did do this morning. It took me about 12 minutes since I'm not familiar with the exercises, however I could seriously feel it deep in my core which is exactly where you're supposed to feel it. 

As I said, I plan on doing this every day and I'll keep you guys updated on how that's going success or not, since I love oversharing on the internet!

Have any of you had issues with diastasis recti? Have you tried any of the rehab programs like MuTu that are supposed to help and did it help? Will I ever lose my mom belly without giving up wine and carbs (cause that ain't gonna happen, yo!)?

Do you guys have any fun things you're loving right now that you want to share? Music, food, wine, etc - I love to hear about it all so please share!

I'm Breaking UP

With the scale and I'm serious. This is a dysfunctional relationship and I'm sick of it!

Now that I have your attention, don't forget to subscribe!

Before I get to the end of my relationship with my scale, I want to show you a few things. 

First we have a pre-workout selfie...

Take a look at those leggings and remember them - they play a role in the demise of my relationship with my scale. 

Then I didn't really like that selfie so I decided to mix things up and take another one in my dirty mirror right by our front door...

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I sure do love to take flattering pictures of myself and then post them online for the world to see, don't I?! Also will someone please come to my house and clean all of my mirrors? I'm an embarrassment (but if I'm being completely honest I don't really even care). 

So I went outside and ran this morning. I had looked at my workout schedule like three times yesterday and again this morning and thought to myself every time, "cool, I only have to run 2 miles worth of 1/4 mile repeats - easy peasy". So I decided to do a full mile for a warm-up and run just a little over 3 miles. NO PROBLEM. Except here's the workout I was supposed to do:

I apparently can't math at all because I had that all sorts of wrong. Ugh. I ended up figuring this out mid-run and was like, there's no way I can run 4 miles of 1/4 mile repeats when I had only planned to do 2. Plus I really wanted/needed to do a core workout and didn't have time to do it all since I'd only planned for a total of 3 freaking miles, not 5. So I ended up doing only 5 repeats, for a total of a little over 3.5 miles. Yeesh. 

Get yo shit together, Jamie! 

Why am I showing you two nearly identical pictures of myself? Well I originally took those pictures for a blog idea - I'm really sucking it in on the left and not sucking in on the right and I had this grand plan on doing a post around them somehow. However looking at them right now, I can seriously hardly see a difference between the two and I'm going to be real honest and say that I look good. I mean, I'm pretty happy with how I look in those pictures overall - my stomach is pretty flat even when I'm not sucking it in and I felt great all day. 

Additionally, I have a ton of pictures from our beach day on Saturday and I am happy with how I look in all of them - those are freaking swimsuit pictures, people! I'm never happy with how I look in swimsuit pictures, but the fact that I was happy with all of them made me feel like I was really making some progress towards this whole self-love thing. 

Finally, remember how I told you to remember that picture from earlier with the leggings? Those leggings are pre-pregnancy and I have never been able to wear them comfortably because I always had muffin top with them. Or I'd have serious camel toe because I'd try to pull them way up over my muffin top and they were never comfortable #youknowyoudoittoo

So I should have been feeling pretty effing amazing this morning, right? 

WRONG!!

I got on the scale this morning right after waking up and guess what...I'm up 3 pounds from where I was on Tuesday of last week. 

F&%$ the scale!!

Raise your hand if you hate the scale...

Now raise your hand if you've ever felt great about yourself only to weigh yourself and have your entire mood change....

I am right there with you! I mean, I have been feeling pretty good about myself lately. My arms and my butt are looking really toned! My stomach is pretty flat most of the time and I'm starting to be able to wear most of my pre-Jules clothes while still being able to breathe! I have pictures in my swimsuit that I didn't even hesitate to post!

Then I let that stupid number ruin my happy roll. 

Well I'm not doing that anymore. This was the last straw!

Kind of. 

This will be a gradual break-up since I am currently running a Biggest Loser contest at work and don't want to drop out of it since I'm in charge of the whole dang thing. However instead of weighing myself every day like I usually do (except for Monday - I never weigh myself on a Monday #chipschocolateandwine), I will only weigh myself for the weigh-in days and luckily there are only 2 of those left in the contest. Once I'm done with that, I am going to work to measure my health/progress with other metrics and take the scale out of the equation completely: 

  • Progress pictures - these always make me happy, so this will be my primary method of measurement. 
  • Tape measure - I am usually pretty happy with this, but sometimes I actually measure bigger even when I feel smaller due to being swole. I'm such a douche - that's the second time I've blogged the word "swole". BUT IT'S A REAL THING!! I mean I guess I could say swollen or retaining water, but swole is so much more fun to say. Now if you ever hear me say or read "YOLO" or "FOMO" on this blog and I'm being serious, please find me and slap some sense into me. Moving on...
  • How do my clothes fit? If my clothes are fitting better and I'm more comfortable in my skin then that's a good sign that I'm doing pretty well 
  • Blood pressure and blood sugar tests. I haven't talked about this on here yet, but I've had some minor blood pressure issues since getting pregnant with Jules - my blood pressure can sometimes be a bit higher than I'd like and close to borderline high, like 138/80. Most of the time it's around 120/70, but that's even higher than I like for it to be and where it used to be (110/60). Also I've had two blood sugar tests that were pre-prediabetic in the past few years; like right on the verge. Luckily they weren't consecutive and being smart with my diet makes a huge difference almost immediately - for example, my last test was borderline, but it was in December. December = Christmas cookies. My doctor wasn't hugely concerned due to this, but I'm testing again in June and hope for better numbers this time or else I'm going to have to make some big changes (and I don't wanna). 

I will still weigh myself, but perhaps on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. I might be pretty happy with how I'm looking overall, but find that my health tends to be better when I am below 140. So I know I will get there eventually, but for now I'm slowly breaking up with the scale.

In fact, I'm ghosting the scale.

(if you don't know what ghosting means, it's when someone you're dating shoots you a few texts and then disappears from your life. It's a thing now. Now you know and you're hip and trendy like me!)

MadreDiem Break UP

It's not me, it's you. 

(actually it might partially be me...I ate some chips before bed last night. But whatever...we're still broken up, you dumb scale). 

Have you ever broken up with the scale and if so, did it have a positive effect on your life? I am just so sick of feeling discouraged due to a number, when everything else is making me happy! 

I'm going to throw this in because I sooooooo need it...

Thanks for stopping by, friends!

Friday is my Favorite!

How about you?! I think I might like Friday even more than Saturday sometimes!

I actually took yesterday off due to needing some additional recovery time after going to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert with my husband Wednesday night. Sometimes we like to go out and fake like we're in our 20's, except we most definitely are NOT in our 20's and my body is very quick to let me know that now. 

Prior to heading out Wednesday night Jules and I took Jax for a longer walk around the neighborhood. She loves seeing the pond and water feature in our neighborhood and I knew I needed to make sure she was SUPER exhausted so she'd sleep well for the babysitter. 

Here's something fun you probably don't know about me...whenever I drink I like to climb things. Trees, flag poles, fences, the side of my parent's house (it's a log house and super fun/easy to climb...). You name it, I've probably tried to climb it. So when we were out walking around downtown Orlando late Wednesday night and I saw the PERFECT tree seat up in a tree, you know I had to climb it!

The quality of the picture isn't the best, but you get the idea. I like that I am still wearing my purse even though I'm in a tree. 

Then we had to find one of the Lake Eola swans, which wasn't too hard since they are effing HUGE! 

This picture does not do the size of this swan justice - it's probably bigger than me and I'm not even exaggerating. And I'm sure you all know how mean swans can be - this is not a swan I'd want to run into in a dark alley #gangsterswan

As I mentioned, we went out on Wednesday to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, and it was really good - I highly recommend you see them if you get the chance! I also recommend you see them if you would like to be surrounded by all the pot smoke in the entire world. People weren't smoking pot like that at the Adele and Sia concerts we went to last fall, I'm just saying. I don't partake myself, however there's no judgement from me. I'm just all about the beer. 

We ended up running into a coworker of mine and hung out with him and his wife for a bit, which was a lot of fun. Even though they're long-time Orlando residents, neither of them had ever been to Frosty's Christmastime Lounge, which is one of my favorite bars in Orlando. Where else can you get snowed on and watch Christmas movies year-round?

Needless to say, yesterday was a total rest day for me - no work and no workout. So I was ready to go when I got up this morning. 

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Orrrrrrr not so much. I didn't use a filter on that picture to really drive home how tired I was this morning. But I got up and I did my workout - no gains in weight or reps this week, but I think I'm still tired from faking like I was 25 on Wednesday night (will I ever learn? NOPE!).

Mid-workout FORCED smile picture.

I look kind of psychotic. 

And a super forced after workout smile to really stress how tired I was. But I still did my workout and for that, I'm proud of myself!

Moving on to something I think is a lot of fun...DATE NIGHT! I thought it would be cool to put together a list of my favorite date night ideas, since I don't know about you, but I get sick of dinner and a movie dates. I will list them in sequence of price, from free to Adele concert. 

Not Dinner and a Movie Date Night Ideas:

Go for a run!

I know, I know...that's not for everyone, but if you don't like to run you could also go for a walk or something. Either way, you get out of the house and get some endorphins and spend time with your love. And it's FREE!

Go hiking and bring a picnic lunch

Obviously this would be more of a day/afternoon date, since you probably don't want to go hiking in the dark. And I know some people might go all out with a picnic and try to be all fancy with cheese and wine and crap, but in our house we would just pick up some Subs from Subway or Publix and some water. #wefancyhuh

Parking is free at the parks here in Orlando, so this would be a $10-15 max cost and hiking is always a good time as far as we're concerned. 

Hit up a brewery

Jason and I love beer and tasting new beers, so this is one of our favorite ways to burn an hour or two. Find a local brewery and get a flight or two of different beers. We tend to always try different beers than each other so we can try double the beers. Most breweries have board games or corn hole (bags if you're not from the Midwest), so we usually end up playing a game or two and have a great time for less than $30.

If you don't have any breweries near your house just pick up a few new microbrews from your friendly, neighborhood liquor store and do a tasting at your house! We do this a lot too. Just don't think about the calories you're consuming since those craft beers are usually 300-500 calories per 12 oz. It's okay to treat yo'self sometimes! Calories don't count on date night ;-)

Laser tag

Find a laser tag or paintball place and go crazy. Jason and I actually usually end up on the same team and try to dominate the game - and we usually do dominate since he's a cop and I have an expert marksman ribbon from the Air Force. We will definitely survive the zombie apocalypse. I'd guess this date will set you back $40, maybe less if you can find a Groupon. 

Take a painting class (with wine!)

We have a ton of places around here that do these classes and while we haven't done it yet, Jason and I have both discussed wanting to try it out. Some of the places do a specific "date night" painting that's 2 different paintings that go together, which is obviously more fun that painting 2 of the exact same painting. These classes cost approximately $30/person, so it's a $60 date. Getting a bit more expensive, but still not too crazy. 

Couples massage off of Groupon

This will set you back $90 for the Groupon and an additional $30-40 for a tip (always tip the actual value, not what you paid), but man is it worth it. Jason and I did this around Valentine's Day/his birthday and it was so nice. We didn't even hold hands or talk or do any of that mushy crap - we just got side-by-side massages and had some wine afterwards, but it was still really nice and we both felt great afterwards. 

Go to a concert!

This is probably our favorite non-conventional date night - in the past 6 months we've seen Sia, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Adele. Those are listed in the order of expense - for Sia we were in the nose bleeds and it was in Orlando so it was probably around $150 total (not including drinks/parking). The Red Hot Chili Peppers was a bucket-list concert for Jason so I got some pretty good seats using American Expense pre-sale prices. However it was still pretty effing expensive and that doesn't include food/drinks/parking/shenanigans. And then Adele...we had nose bleed seats that cost a bajillion dollars and had to drive and stay in Miami for the night - so it was expensive but SO worth it. Jason and I always end up having a blast whenever we go to a concert and all three of those shows were amazing (Adele was the best and I don't even like her that much). 

Here we are at Frosty's after the Peppers concert - see how happy we are? DATE NIGHT!! 

So now I turn it to you - do you have any unconventional date night ideas? From free to Adele concert, I'm open for ideas!

What do you have planned for this weekend? We are going to the beach tomorrow morning and then it's pretty open after that. I have the feeling I'm probably going to end up getting a poke bowl because I'm an addict. STOP JUDGING ME!!

Have a fantastic weekend, friends!

How I Survived My C-Section

I'd like to start things off by announcing that I slept 7 solid hours last night. Like in a row, without being woken up by anyone, and Jules also slept well (I actually had the baby monitor on last night because I've been feeling guilty and didn't hear a peep from her). 

So I woke up this morning feeling like a new person. It's amazing what some good sleep will do for a person!

I actually woke up this morning and was excited to run. WTF, right? I was all, YEAH, I'm so excited. See?!?

That's my BEFORE picture and I'm SMILING! WHAT?!? Anyone who has read my blog at all knows my before workout pictures usually rival Grumpy Cat. 

I actually had a real workout planned this morning too instead of my usual run around the neighborhood at a steady state for 3 miles (so boring) - this week I'm starting to incorporate some actual speed training into my workouts and it's obviously just what I needed. In case you're interested, my workout was:

  • 1/2 mile warm-up
  • Race pace for 1 minute, jog for 1 minute, SPRINT for 30 seconds, jog for 1 minute and repeat 6 times (you'll need a watch or timer for this)
  • 1/4 mile cool-down (ish - I just finished my lap around my neighborhood)

It ended up being just a bit over 3 miles and an AWESOME workout. Just in case you're wondering what my paces are, my jog pace is 9:30-10, race pace was around 8:10 and my sprint was around 7:15. If you want to know what your training paces should be, I highly recommend looking it up on Google "run training pace calculator" :-)

This is my post-run and pre-core workout selfie. I wanted to show you guys I'm not even kidding about being the sweatiest beast of all time. They say the more you sweat the better your body is at keeping it's temperature regulated and it's a good thing, so I'm going to roll with what "they" say this time. I sweat because I'm an awesome body temp regulator. 

Speaking of my core workout, I'm trying to focus more on my transverse abs right now, so I looked up "transverse abdominal workout" on youtube and did the highest rated 10 minute workout I could find. 

Little Cat wanted to say hey post workout as well, so "hey" from Little Cat. His real name is Marley (because we give our cats dog names...), but for whatever reason I've pretty much always called him Little Cat and it has stuck. Moving on...

How I Survived my C-Section (but just barely)

Let me tell you a little story about a girl named Jamie whose son had shoulder dystocia when he was born and had some struggles right after his birth. Needless to say, when I found out I was pregnant again I was worried about everything, including my preeclampsia that I had with Justin in my final trimester and the shoulder dystocia at birth. That ish is scary, my friends - Justin didn't breathe right away and the last thing you want to hear after giving birth is nothing. You want those throaty, desperate infant cries, AMIRIGHT? 

About 2/3 of the way through my pregnancy with Jules I voiced my concerns to my doctor and he said that since Justin wasn't a large baby, the dystocia probably happened due to the way I'm built. He recommended I have a c-section and then told Jason "if it was my wife, I'd tell her to have a c-section".

*insert angry face here*

Even though all I really wanted was a "regular" birth, I reluctantly agreed to a c-section and we scheduled it for January 20. Deep down in my gut I felt like it was the wrong choice and I do wish I had listened to my intuition. Did I get my beautiful baby girl out of it and escape alive? Yes. But I think we all kind of know what's best for us when/if we listen to our gut and I didn't listen to mine and I do regret it. 

Before you start thinking I'm slamming c-sections and/or people who schedule all of their deliveries, I promise I'm not. I'm a firm believer in moms doing what's right for them - c-section, all natural, epidural, champagne in the delivery room, breastfeeding, formula feeding, cry-it-out, cosleeping...you do you, mama! But for me I feel having a c-section was the wrong choice. 

So we get up way before the buttcrack of dawn on January 20 and head to the hospital for our scheduled c-section. 

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Look at how cute and excited we are! 

The c-section itself was not bad at all. It was like 15 minutes and BOOM, baby.

And she cried immediately. 

I was even able to do skin-to-skin for a couple of minutes before they took her back and cleaned her up and stitched me up.

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Then we were wheeled into the post-op room and this is where I ran into an issue. I had a 2 nurses - one who was the boss and one who was training. The nurse who was training asked me if I'd like some ice chips to see how my stomach tolerated it. Unfortunately she gave me a huge spoonful of ice and I ended up aspirating a piece and gagging/coughing for a couple of minutes. I was still completely numb from my c-section and didn't feel any pain at the time, but ended up popping a stitch and bleeding internally. This eventually ended up leaking through my exterior stitches and was a horrifying and terrifying sight - I'm talking murder scene stuff. I was so-so tired (more than I should have been) and could hardly get up and walk - I even blacked out at one point and almost fainted. Turns out I actually lost a lot of blood and ended up needing two blood transfusions and had a hematoma, which caused me to be extremely tired and terrified I was going to die. As far as I'm concerned I'm done having children - two extremely awesome kids is enough for me, and having scary complications with both of them is enough to turn me off of ever wanting any additional kids. 

They tell you when you have a c-section the best thing you can possibly do for yourself is to get up and walk around ASAP and while I was planning the birth and hospital stay I had every intention of doing this immediately. I was going to get up within hours and walk and pee by myself and have an awesome sushi meal and some champagne. Unfortunately due to my complications, I ended up not really being able to walk around until after my transfusion and then it was so painful due to the hematoma and ripped stitches that I could hardly make a loop around the nurses station without crying. 

By the time we were released and made it home, I was in rough shape. I kept running fevers on and off and could hardly walk. I remember Justin helping me walk back and forth along the hallway outside our condo several times a day while Jason stayed inside with Jules and I could hardly do it, which is obviously quite a departure from my usual running/push-ups/working-out-like-a-fool self.

I guess that wasn't such a short story, but I wanted to get the point across that my c-section sucked and it was probably out of the ordinary, since it seems to me that most of the people who have them are fine within days. That being said, when you leave the hospital after your c-section, your doctor will tell you not to lift anything and not to drive for 6 weeks and they send you on your way. That's it. 

A Cesarean is a major surgery. 

However it really isn't treated as such and a lot of women end up in lots of pain or have adhesions and other complications and have no clue what to do.

Well here's what helped me. 

This post will include some Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase an item I recommend I will get a very small commission. This doesn't change the price of the product; it's just a small (very small) thank you from Amazon for my recommendation. 

First and foremost, ask your doctor for a medical grade stomach wrap. 

It sucks and you won't wear it very long because it's horribly uncomfortable, but I honestly don't think I would have made it the first 2 weeks postpartum without it. These wraps are stupid expensive if you have to buy it yourself, so insist that you get one from your doctor while you're in the hospital and it will be covered by your insurance. Have your husband help you get it on, since you probably won't be able to get it tight enough by yourself. It will be uncomfortable, but I promise it's a lot better than the searing pain you will have whenever you cough or do pretty much anything the first few weeks. 

You might thing I'm over-exaggerating, but I am not kidding when I tell you I could hardly even walk for 2 weeks afterwards. 

Another plus of the wrap is that "they" say it helps shrink your uterus back down and get your pre-baby body back. 

Always have a pillow handy. 

You'll need to have the pillow to press on your scar any time you cough, laugh, or anything involving your core when you don't have a wrap on for the first couple of weeks.

Trust me here. 

Ask for help. 

My husband had to help me with literally everything for the first week. I couldn't even shower or use the bathroom or get the baby to breastfeed her without his help. He had to help me wipe and saw and did things I never thought I'd allow. He was absolutely amazing and more help than I ever could have imagined and I love him for it. 

C-section underwear

I'm not even kidding when I say these saved me. I was still feeling pain for months postpartum and having these to compress my incision was the extra thing I needed to get through the every day stuff. Yes, they're hideous and yes, they're pretty expensive; however they are 100% worth it and I would recommend them to anyone getting a c-section. I ended up getting two pairs and swapping them out every day, wearing one and washing the other. 

You can find the sizing in the images for the product and it's based on your current waist size (your preggo waist). So I went with the L-XL and they fit perfectly - you want them to be super tight but obviously don't want them to be so tight you can't pull them up.

Push yourself, but not too hard. 

I quit the hard painkillers a few days after getting home from the hospital, so everything hurt really really badly for weeks. I'm talking searing, horrible pain - I have a pretty high pain tolerance, so that's really saying something. Still, I persevered and made myself walk as much and as often as possible from the moment I could. By 3 weeks postpartum I was forcing myself to take a longer walk almost every day, and walked 2-3 miles as often as possible. Yes, it hurt. But I knew I would feel so much better more quickly if I kept it up. 

I would either wrap my baby up with me or push her in the stroller and listen to a podcast (I highly recommend you listen to Straight Talk with Ross from the beginning if you're looking for a hysterical podcast to listen to) and then I'd walk as far as I could. And then the next time I would push myself a little further. I remember it took me over 40 minutes to walk 2 miles the first time I tried to go that far and tracked it. There were some days where I would wake up with a lot of pain in my incision so I knew I needed to scale it back a bit, but overall walking helped me to feel better and I know it helped me recover more quickly. One thing that helped me a TON with walking was to wear a waist belt - by this point I was over my hospital grade wrap-thing, but still needed some extra support. 

You can find it at Walmart or on Amazon, but this belt helped me a lot with giving extra support on my incision. Just wrap it around you as tightly as you possibly can. I felt like I was in Gone with the Wind when I'd put this shit on - you know the scene where she's holding onto the bed post and getting her corset tied up? And if you haven't seen Gone with the Wind we cannot be friends. So go watch it now, because we should totally be friends!

I also recommend making your walk a family affair. Whenever possible I would wrangle Jason or Justin into my walk, which made it a lot more fun and also got them out of the house. 

Just make sure you go by yourself a lot too - it's a nice break from everyone else and Jules slept through our walks 99% of the time so I could just listen to my podcast and laugh maniacally because it's that funny.

Scar massage

Talk to your doctor before doing this, but I highly recommend starting scar massage as soon as possible. I didn't find out about this until months postpartum and it wasn't mentioned to me by my doctor, even though it's a mandatory part of cesarean recovery in other parts of the world. Seriously, look it up. Other countries include scar mobilization massage as a part of their postpartum recovery, as it should be. A lot of women develop adhesions post-cesarean, which sucks because adhesions can cause a ton of issues, including but not limited to back pain, bladder issues, pain during intercourse, and other fun things. If you don't start scar mobilization massage early enough, there's really not a ton you can do - they can do surgery sometimes, but that usually just ends up resulting in more adhesions. Scar massage also helps to diminish that beautiful mommy apron I'm sure my fellow c-section moms love as much as I do. 

There are some places in the US where you can get this done professionally, but it's rarely if ever covered by insurance here...another reason why maternity and postpartum care sucks in the US. That being said, there is plenty of information that can be found online and there are even some videos on YouTube that give you directions - as mentioned, I discussed with my doctor and he said it's absolutely fine to do and said the techniques I had found online were great. So again, talk to your doctor first and clear with them before starting anything. 

Lastly, don't give up on yourself

I still have pain and issues with my incision and my daughter is 15 months old. Like I mentioned, I didn't start scar mobilization massage until I was a few months postpartum (maybe even 6 months) and I definitely have some strange muscle imbalances and issues that I'm convinced are related to my incision. Every once in awhile during a workout I'll feel a strange pop around my scar and I speculate it's an adhesion being ripped/popped. It's hard to explain, but if you've ever experienced it I'm sure you know what I mean. Sometimes it hurts and I have to stop what I'm doing, but most of the time it's almost like a strange release feeling. There have also been times where I'm doing plank work and I cannot lift my right leg if I'm in a side plank - it's the weirdest thing. I used to actually collapse to the ground when I first started trying to workout postpartum. But I carry on with my workout as long as there's no lingering pain, continue massaging my scar when I remember and carry on with my life because that's all you can do! 

And regardless of how much my c-section sucked, it was totally worth it for this little princess. 

Picture from Monday morning - she thought she was so cute (and she was).

I hope this list helps someone out who is either getting ready or has already had a c-section. And don't let my story scare you off - I was one of the very few people who ended up with a complication and from what I have read/heard, most people end up fine! But regardless, take care of yourself and make sure you have that damn pillow for when you cough/laugh - you'll need it!

Also, don't feel bad if you're voluntarily scheduling your c-section. Do what's right for you! Not everyone wants to push a watermelon out of their hoo-hah and that's fine!

For those of you reading who have already had a c-section, did you have any complications or were you pretty much fine afterwards? Have any of you experienced any of the weird muscle imbalances I have/am experiencing? It's so weird and I don't have 100% evidence it is from the c-section, but that's the only thing that changed since I started experiencing them. So Dr. Jamie has diagnosed it as such and so that's what it is. Medical degree thanks to Google, just in case you're looking for my credentials. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic Tuesday. 

Why I Run, Plus My Gear Recommendations

Happy Tuesday! We made it through Monday, and oh what a Monday it was! That was probably one of the Monday-iest Mondays that ever Monday-ed!! It was such a Monday that Jules couldn't even handle it and slept terribly and woke Jason and I up a bunch of times and we're both zombies today. Needless to say, waking up this morning was a bitch.

Holy crap am I beautiful first thing in the morning or what?!? 

I didn't even take an after picture, so I'll just leave you with the above gloriousness and move on.

First, I want to let you guys know about a challenge that I'm having...with myself. I'm currently the only participant. But it's something I really need to do and I think it will help a lot with my anxiety, which I talk more about here.

I've decided to challenge myself to meditate every day for the next two weeks.

It doesn't have to be a long and crazy meditation with om'ing or heavy breathing. Just a 5-20 minute guided meditation in the morning or at night or even at work when I need a mental break. I decided to do this challenge this morning when I had a few minutes after my workout before I needed to jump into the shower and did a quick 6-minute guided meditation and love the way it made me feel. So I'm putting it down in my blog, which makes it official and public and you guys can chastise me if I fail. Deal? Do any of you want to join? I'm using the Insight Timer app, which is free and totally awesome! Let me know if you want to join in!

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This is usually where you can find Scooby whenever I meditate - this is an old picture, but 9 times out of 10, he's trying to sit on my lap or rub all over my face, which is suuuuuuper relaxing. *insert sarcasm here* 

Speaking of Scooby, he does seem to be doing a little bit better after being on antibiotics for a week and a half. He's still not 100% his old self, but he's started sleeping in bed with me again (he wraps himself around my head) and he and Little Cat were playing like crazy people this morning, tearing up and down the stairs and all over the house. He's also put on 0.2 pounds from last week, which makes me very happy. Hopefully he continues to improve - thanks again for your happy thoughts while he was sick!

Today I thought it would be fun to talk about why I run.

Running is such a scary thing for so many people and most non-runners seem to be intimidated to start. Coming from a prior lazy AF non-runner, I truly believe that anyone can be a runner and reap the benefits. Which are many. I also use these reasons to fight the voice in my head telling me to hit the snooze button in the morning or stay on the couch and surprisingly enough, it usually works. And when it doesn't I take that as a hint that my body needs the rest and I listen to it. 

Most people start running because they want to lose weight, which is precisely why I started. My ex-husband and I had just gotten divorced and I wanted to drop the baby weight so I could be a MILF. So I started running. Coming from being a person who simply hated to exercise at all, it wasn't the easiest thing to force myself to do, but I have the feeling getting out of work an hour early to go exercise (this started while I was in the Air Force) helped motivate me from the start. I wouldn't run a ton - just 10 to 15 minutes to start, sometimes indoors on a treadmill and sometimes outside. 

Cool story about running outside in Alaska...

I was running by my house on base and the base wildlife officer came tearing down the road and told me to get behind his car. Not even 10 seconds later a huge black bear came running out of the woods, right in the path where I was running. Holy shit-my-pants moment, right? I'm pretty sure I stuck to the treadmill after that. 

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. After a few months of adding running into my routine, I noticed I had dropped all the baby weight plus some. AWESOME!

My original reason to keep running was for continued weight loss. 

I think this is why most people start and continue running, because it does work remarkably well for weight loss at first, especially if you've been pretty sedentary. While this worked well for me when I was younger, I've since had to add in a lot more strength training and other methods of working out to try to lose weight, but that's another post for another time #gettingoldersucks

So you may be thinking to yourself, why in God's name are you still running if you no longer think it's the most effective way to lose/keep weight off?  Good question! Here are the other reasons I run. 

Endorphins

Even the worst runs I have ever had still give me endorphins. And I have had some serious bitch of a doozy runs. I've been halfway out on a 10 mile out-and-back in April in Florida, ran out of water, and starting having heat exhaustion symptoms. Meaning I had to walk/jog the rest of the way back, stop in a gas station as soon as I could find one to get water, and try not to cry about it where anyone could see me (this happened while training for the Country Music Half Marathon). But even then, I was still amped up and happy afterwards.

The runner's high is real and I love it!

Also, I need that shirt. 

Running helps me cope

Some of my favorite runs have been when I'm either super pissed about something or super sad about something. For whatever reason, I go out there with those emotions and I either pound the SHIT out of the pavement to get out my aggression or run a seriously therapeutic cry out of myself. I am not a big crier and have a hard time getting myself to cry, but when I'm super sad or bummed about something I've found that going running always gets me to cry and then I feel a bajillion times better afterwards. And then I smile and take a selfie. 

Pigtails

Where else can I get away with wearing my hair in braided pigtails? I've even learned how to Dutch braid my pigtails now which is a bit more complicated than the French braid, but way cuter. Braided pigtails are my go-to long-run/race hairdo now because they look cute and keep my hair out of my face. And no one judges me for being a 30-something runner with pigtail braids, when it may not be socially acceptable elsewhere. Not that I care or anything, because I don't. 

I run to be a good example

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Even though Justin absolutely loathes being active, he knows that by doing it he will be a healthier and happier person. I can only convince him to do a workout with me every once in a blue moon, but even when he refuses to participate I know that by being a good example and having running/exercise a part of my regular routine, he'll get to that stage eventually himself. Luckily it usually doesn't even take that much convincing to get him to join me for a run while he ripsticks (newfangled skateboard thingy) so I'm able to make him be active without running since he currently hates it. 

 

 

Jules has had no choice but to be a part of my runnin, since she's been my running partner through both a half-marathon and 5K training. She usually just sits nicely in the stroller for about 20 minutes before falling asleep for the remainder of the run, and she almost always wakes up when I've finished and laughs and smiles through my stretches.

I have this super secret hope that one day we'll run races together - shhhhhh, don't tell anyone. 

I run to always do better. 

I am super competitive. Sometimes with other people, but most of the time I am competing to beat myself. When I started really getting into running and started running races with my dad's wife at the time, I found out that I was actually pretty fast; I think I was running 8 minute miles without any training, just some recreational running here and there. I stuck to short races (5K to 5 miles) for years until I ran my first half marathon in 2012. I didn't train very well for the race and didn't run it very fast (I think I finished in 2:06 or something like that), but even though I hated the race and it hurt and I was way slower than I'd planned, I knew I had to run another one so I could beat my time. The next half-marathon I ran I knew I had to get under 2 hours, so I trained and really pushed myself and managed to meet that goal in 2014. Every race thereafter, I've been trying to beat myself in one way or another. My newest goal is to run the Mount Dora Half Marathon (my PR course; I've PR'ed twice there) in under 2 hours postpartum after totally blowing up during the race in 2016. I would also like to PR my 10K, since I actually have a really slow 10K time (in my opinion, 56:11) and there is nothing more motivating than a new PR. 

It's peaceful...

Yes, seriously. Sure it hurts and you're sweating and breathing heavily and sometimes your IT band or piriformis starts acting up and you know the run is going to end up being a shitshow, but even then it's still peaceful. My runs are my time that I get to myself, when I otherwise don't often get any time to myself (even in the bathroom right now #toddlerlife). I always try to make it a point to look around me while I'm running and appreciate the view. Whether I'm running on the beach, running through a neighborhood, or running through mountains - there is always beauty to be found. I can listen to music (just not too loudly - be safe, people!), zone out a bit from the every day stressors, and pound the pavement. 

The above pictures are from a run I took in Upstate New York in July of 2015. I miss running in the mountains!

You have to buy new stuff all the time - any excuse to go shopping is a good reason for me!

Overall running is a pretty cheap sport. You really just need decent running shoes to start. But once you get into it and start doing crazy things like running races or long distances, you will need to start buying some new stuff - some of this will be so you're comfortable and some will be so you don't die (see above story about the time I started to have heat exhaustion halfway into an out-and-back 10 mile run). 

On that note, here are my top recommendations for gear. 

I will be including some Amazon affiliate links. These links do not change the price of the item or do anything other than give me a small (very small) kick-back for making the recommendation. Thank you for the support!

Shoes

I started with Aisics, moved to Mizuno, and finally found Brooks. 

I love Brooks running shoes. 

I've actually had my gait tested and was fitted for running shoes and hated the shoes they told me I should wear. So my motto now is to run in what is comfortable. I also prefer the shoes to be purple - it makes me run faster (runner's superstition). My absolute favorite running shoes were the Brooks PureCadence 2, but they were discontinued like 3 years ago. I actually still run in them sometimes (I have two pairs). I don't like the way the new PureCadence models or the PureFlows feel, so I haven't been able to commit to a different shoe just yet. However I've heard a lot of really good things about the Brooks Launch, so I think I'm going to give them a shot next. ASAP, since I really need a new pair of running shoes. 

The picture on the right is from a couple of years ago - let's just say I have a few more purple running shoes thrown into the corner of the closet right now. I have an addiction.

Along with shoes, you really need good running socks

 

I used to run in whatever I could find, but found that my feet would slide around and I'd sometimes get blisters during longer runs. So I did some research and ended up finding the Thorlo brand of socks and haven't looked back. They're comfortable and supportive and amazing. Buy them. 

 

 

Clothes to run in

When you first start out, you'll probably be fine running in any old pair of shorts and a ratty old t-shirt (I know that's what I did), but once you start factoring in heat and cold and sweating and wanting to look cute, you'll want to start investing in some good running clothes. 

For pants I've always had really good luck with the running capris from Target. I also picked these beautiful dip-dye leggings up on Amazon a few months ago and they've quickly become a favorite because I'm basic AF and love anything dip or tie-dye. And the high waist keeps everything tucked in tight, which makes me a lot more comfortable than when my waistband falls down and my stomach flops all over (true story - not comfortable)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a hard time with running shorts right now since I'm still a bit over my pre-baby weight and find my shorts tend to ride-up whenever I run, which drives me bat-shit crazy. Chub-rub sucks.

However one of my goals for 2017 was to get back into running in shorts, since it's so god-awful hot in Florida 80% of the time.

I had really good luck with the Brooks Chaser short and Oiselle Roga, so I'm planning on breaking those out this month and giving them a shot during one of my shorter, morning runs. I know they fit since I use them for other workouts, but haven't gotten up the nerve to try running with them yet since having Jules.  

As you can tell with both pairs of the shorts, they have a wide waistband, which is key to prevent any muffin top digging. They also both have several pockets throughout the shorts, which are a good enough size for a GU, chapstick, or your car key.

As for shirts and sports bras, I tend to buy what's on sale and what's made for the heat. I like the UnderArmour heat gear tanks and love the sports bras from Target. I'm not super well-endowed, so I don't have good advice in regards to sports bras for more support, but I've heard the bras from Moving Comfort are pretty amazing. 

Sun Protection

I live in Florida, otherwise known as the Sunshine State. That's not a misnomer since it is SERIOUSLY sunny here most of the time. Unfortunately I struggle to run with sunscreen since it makes me sweat even more than usual (and I'm a sweaty beast). I'm taking sweat pooling in your shoes and streaming into your eyes here. Due to this, I don't usually run in sunscreen unless I'm on the beach or an unshaded area, and I try to run as early as possible and on a shaded trail. I do recommend that you run with sunscreen when at all possible. I do take extra precaution to wear a hat or visor because I suffer from melasma and getting any sun on my face results in some serious skin discoloration. I tend to use whatever hat I can find laying around the house until it starts getting super hot out and then I break out my visor. And I love that the band soaks up all of my sweat from my forehead and scalp so it doesn't get into my eyes. 

Running watch

I used apps on my phone for years and they worked just fine, but I love having a running watch. I've owned two Garmin's and highly recommend them, but especially recommend the newest one we got in January. Yes, it's refurbished - I buy everything refurbished since it usually just means a customer got it, didn't like the color or something, and returned it. This watch can do everything I need during a run including vibrating at me if I'm running under the pace I want to be running at, which is super helpful if you're training for something. It's easy to read and I was able to set it up without reading the directions, so it's easy to set-up too! 

My Garmin runs always tend to be more accurate than the apps I use on my phone, which is also really important when you're training for a race. Also, this watch comes in purple if you can find it (but the refurb price was more important to me than it being purple)

Water bottle

This is especially important in Florida or for any run over 4 miles or so, but I prefer to run with water all the time. I used to run with this and it works okay for shorter distances, but it was never enough for anything over 7 or 8 miles and if there weren't any water fountains on my route...heat exhaustion. I'm not a huge fan of the water bottles that you wear on your waist, so I will probably look into getting a bigger handheld bottle when I start training for my next half marathon in September. 

Technology crap

Since getting my new phone (the iPhone 7+), I had to upgrade most of my gear, since I preferred a pair of wireless ear buds and something to carry my phone in that wasn't an arm band due to the phone being so effing big. I did a lot of research and settled on...

The above ear buds, which are only $26 and are FREAKING AMAZING! I have a seriously terrible time getting ear buds to stay in my ears for any length of time during a run. Which is infuriating when I'm sweating and need my music to keep me going and the ear buds keep falling out. These suckers NEVER fall out or need adjusting. I'm not even kidding when I say I love them. And the music quality is so much better than the other ear buds I've tried. Needless to say, I highly recommend them. 

And this waist belt, which is only $8. I start my music, shove my phone in, zip it up, and turn it so the phone is on my booty. And then I run and forget it's there. It doesn't fall off or really even move the entire time. 

Fuel

Prior to leaving for a run (or in the morning before whatever workout I have planned), I always drink my watermelon Aminos. I've said it before, but I love this stuff and highly recommend it. It gives me clean energy without any jitters, there's no artificial colors (with the watermelon flavor), and I don't experience a crash later in the day. Also coffee gives me heartburn if I drink it prior to running and this stuff doesn't.  

If you plan on running more than an hour, you should plan on bringing something with you to snack on/replenish the salt lost through sweat/replenish electrolytes/give you energy. I have always had good luck with GU, and almost enjoy the salted caramel flavor - I think it's the most palatable.

A word of caution, I only eat about half at a time and eat it slowly while drinking water. This stuff is very thick and sweet and sticky and it's hard to swallow if you try to eat too much. This might be disgusting to some of you, but when I do have one I slowly eat half and then shove the other half in my sports bra for later. #extrasalt #frommyboobsweat

The thing that I LOVE to eat before a longer run is a honey stinger waffle. I usually have a bagel at home an hour or two beforehand and then have a waffle right before taking off. These things are delicious and I always eat one before any long run that's more than 6 miles. I have a fairly sensitive stomach and these never bother me and give me a nice burst of energy #carbs

That's all I have for today! Please let me know if you have any recommendations for gear you love for running. Do you have a favorite running shoe that you're diehard loyal to #brooksforlife, or do you think I'm a crazy person? 

I hope you have a fantastic day - thanks for stopping by!

Fri-YAY Part Deux

We made it to Friday!! THANK GOD!

I am still of the mindset that I could use another day to get all the work done that I need to do, but regardless of how much shit I have to do at work, I'm so happy it's Friday!

I thought I'd do another edition of Fri-YAY, or the things that are making me say YAYYYYY today. 

First of all, I managed to get all 5 of my workday workouts in. YESSSSS! I did oversleep on Wednesday and had to workout that evening, but managed to get Justin to workout with me. So a big YAYYYYYYY to that!

Also, the pictures I get with Justin both before and after our workouts are classic. The above shenanigans were on Wednesday - it's insane how much taller he is than me now! I'm on my tippy toes for all of them but the last one, and you can really tell how freaking tall he is in that picture - what happened to my sweet little boy?!? 

There he is!

He might be a dumb teenager sometimes, but most of the time he's still my fun, crazy, Justinsane. He worked out for about 15 minutes with his shirt like that. Yep. 

This song is a huge YAYYYYYYYY for me right now. I know that everyone else has been loving and listening to this song for months now, but I just got on that train. So don't judge me and let me enjoy it. 

Speaking of music, I might be a little bit biased but the playlist I use for running is pretty effing awesome. The vast majority of the songs have a BPM (beats per minute) of 170 or more, so when I run to those songs I match my strides to the beat of the song and it helps me run faster and more efficiently! Click on the link above and let me know if you give it a listen. The songs are kind of all over the place in regards to genre, but I promise it will get you moving quickly if you just go with the flow!

Also if you're into alternative music at all, check out the new album by Spoon. I've been a fan of Spoon for many moons (I had to rhyme it, sorry), and their new album is probably their best work. CHECK IT OUT!

Here's something that makes me say YAYYYY but can be a bit of a frustration for other people...assholes who can't park!

nice parking job madrediem

I love when people do something jackassery that I can put on snapchat. So please, keep being inconsiderate and lazy so I can blast you on the internets!

Seriously though...how hard is it to fix your parking job? 

I love spaghetti night. For reals though. We had spaghetti Monday night and there was more than enough leftover for everyone to eat it on Tuesday (I was fasting so I didn't partake, see my post from Wednesday). As far as what we use to make our spaghetti, I saute a pound and a half of ground turkey with some EVOO and minced garlic.  I'm way too busy to make my sauce from scratch, so I get the Bertolli Organic brand, which is one of the lowest in regards to added sugar (6 grams vs over 10 for most of the other brands) and dump that in once the turkey is cooked and heat it up for about 10 minutes. And I really like the Dreamfields pasta since it has a lot of fiber. And fiber makes you poop. Pooping is good. POOP!! 

I was feeling pretty good in two of my outfits this week and when that happens, you know I'm taking a bathroom selfie! YAYYYYYYY!! The outfit on the left is a dress from letote (clothes rental - highly recommend it!) and shoes from TJ Maxx and I was wearing some awesome shapewear that my me look like I have some pretty nice tatas, and the dress on the right is a PRE-PREGNANCY dress from The Limited (R.I.P.) and the same shoes, no shapewear. Sometimes you just gotta selfie!

Something that will always make me say YAYYYYYY is Jules running towards me all excited and stuff. I can't even with this one.  

Poor Jax.

Ridiculous pictures make me say YAYYYYY.

Apparently we're not supposed to have any dogs at Jason's Uncle's condo. So poor Jax had to get carted in and out in my beach bag to go to the bathroom. By the time we were ready to leave on Sunday morning, the poor thing would run away and try to hide from me. SORRY, BUDDY!

Twinning - madrediem

Can I get a YAYYYYYY for twinning with my daughter? She's so effing cute. 

And yes, I did draw a t-shirt on my daughter - she always eats in her diaper since it cuts down on stains on her clothes, but I'm not trying to have my pictures targeted by pervs. So stay away, ya effing pervs - you're not getting any content here!!

Do you have anything fun planned for this weekend? I am going to be relaxing and spring cleaning; hopefully doing more relaxing that cleaning. My main focus is going to be on closets, bathrooms, and my car. Cause my car is gross, mmmkay?

Happy Friday, everyone! 

Quick & Easy Weeknight Dinners

Hello, friends! For the first time ever, this will not be a picture heavy post, because I apparently don't ever take pictures of my dinner - again #iamtheworstbloggerever

Look at me, I worked out this morning. Not even just a normal workout but I ran this morning, which anyone who has read my blog semi-regularly will know I've been struggling with recently. I just don't have the motivation to run right now - every other workout is fine and dandy, but running is dumb. But I did it! I even kind of enjoyed it when I wasn't hating it! I also did Ab Ripper X, which is the hardest ab workout of all time. Go me!

Today I am going to post some of my favorite weeknight dinner recipes. Some of them are actual recipes and some of them are things I just came up with that happen to work. I'm not going to include calorie counts, since I honestly don't count my calories, but if you really want to know what the calories are in a recipe you can go to myfitnesspal and input the information there. To add the information you will click on food --> recipes --> and then input the recipe information or URL. When you do the method where it pulls the information for the recipe from the URL, you do sometimes have to change out the ingredients because it will pull over wacky things that don't make sense. So make sure you review what gets pulled over. And also be honest with yourself on how much a serving size should be since I know I usually eat 1.5-2 servings of anything I make #keepingitreal

Now when I am planning our meals for the week I typically look for two things - they need to be healthy to semi-healthyish and they need to be quick. 

I'm talking food is ready in 30 minutes or less quick

There was a period of time where I would Google and/or Pinterest easy meal ideas/meal plans but those recipes always ended up being way more complicated that I like during the week. When I say quick and easy I mean minimal ingredients and as little prep time as possible.

So without further adieu, here are the most used quick and easy weeknight dinners in my rotation.

Tacos

We have some variation of tacos at least once a week. We will usually make 2-3 pounds of the meat and then have leftover tacos another night that week and sometimes Jason and/or I will eat the meat for lunch as well (with cheese, veggies, and rice or potatoes, for the win). 

I like to use ground turkey for the meat - I think it's tastes better than beef and it is lower calorie/fat. This way I can add a ton of avocado, cheese, and sour cream and not feel like I'm gaining 2 pounds from one meal. I don't like to use the seasoning you get in a packet since it has tons of added crap on top of the spices, so I use this recipe. It's super easy and you can make it in bulk if you want to have extra on hand! 

I typically pick up some crunchy shells, sour cream, fiesta blend cheese, avocado, and tomatoes and we all chow down. This is Jules and Justin's favorite meal and bonus - Justin can make it so I don't have to!

We've also recently started eating fish tacos, which we all are seriously loving as well. We use tilapia (dirty fish, but cheap) or cod, use the same seasoning and toppings, and then make this sauce for the top. Oh and we use soft shells for the fish tacos because we all like soft better for fish. YUM!

 

 

Air-fried chicken breast/thighs/drumsticks

Guys, do you have an air fryer? If not, you need to get one. This thing has changed the way we make dinner and made our lives so much easier. Living in Florida, it gets super hot. And we don't leave the air down except at night, so turning the oven on at all makes the house so much hotter. Not only does the air fryer make it so we don't have to turn the oven on, but it also makes our food taste so much better.

My favorite thing to do during the week is to take the chicken breast/thigh/drumstick, lightly brush on some mayo, dip in seasoned panko breadcrumbs and throw in the air fryer at 380-ish for 25 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165. We usually serve with rice or macaroni and cheese (Annie's that I buy in bulk here) and usually broccoli or normandy mix veggies. Super easy, fairly healthy, and delicious. 

Chicken sausage

I love chicken sausage and usually eat it several times a week for lunch and/or dinner. I will usually pan fry 1-1.5 links and serve with rice, broccoli or asparagus, and Trader Joe's sauerkraut on the side. The sauerkraut is key. 

If you are thinking about doing this, I highly recommend you get chicken sausage that doesn't have nitrates or nasty fillers. Aldi's, Walmart, and Trader Joe's all have an awesome selection that are priced really well and taste delicious. My personal favorites right now are the Chipotle chicken sausage from Aldi's and Garlic chicken sausage from Trader Joe's. Yum yum in my tum tum. 

Spicy chicken thighs 

Chicken thighs are my favorite cut of chicken since the flavor and texture are way better than chicken boobs (in my opinion). I will often melt some butter (3 tablespoons or so), use an equal amount of Frank's hot sauce, add a ton of minced garlic (like 2-3 heaping tablespoons), mix together and dump over some chicken thighs, and then bake at 425 for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165. 

I will usually serve with rice or macaroni and cheese, broccoli or mixed veggies, and sauerkraut. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy (which movie is that from?!). 

And when I'm super lazy...

I make my son throw some chicken nuggets in the air fryer and we eat them with macaroni and cheese and a veggie of some sort. This usually happens every 1 or 2 weeks when I just cannot even that night and it gets the job done.

Do any of you have any quick and easy weeknight dinners I can add to my rotation? Quick and easy are the key words there...being somewhat healthy-ish is a bonus!

I would like to conclude by making an announcement.

Jules is... 

apparently entering her terrible 2's. What the crap?

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I don't remember what she was screaming about in the above picture, but I'm pretty sure it was something ridiculous. Like she couldn't get the finger puppet to stay on her finger. Or I took my cell phone from her. Or she didn't like that we wouldn't let her roam the downstairs freely with a sword or throwing stars or something like that.

I did manage to get her to calm down and color for a bit before she lost her shit again when she didn't like dinner. #weareinsomuchtrouble

 

 

I hope you all have a great day!

Thanks for stopping by!