Tag / health

one little word for 2016.

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For the past two years, I’ve passed on the concept of a resolutions list and simplified things with one little word. (You can read about the One Little Word concept here.) Like everyone else, yes, I’m planning to get back into regular workouts, eat better, continue to improve work/life balance, and visit somewhere new in 2016. But rather than sweat the checklist, it is so much more gratifying to me to let a single idea guide my year rather than get hung up on what exactly I did or did not accomplish.

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After a crazy-busy year of adventure in 2014, followed by last year’s settling in and nurturing a new little family life, I’m ready for a year to not take it all so seriously. Hello, I sleep through the night again after many, many, long months of not. My hubby and I can finally talk about the possibility of a “just us” trip sooner than later. This awesome tiny roommate of ours is SO. MUCH. FUN. and on a daily basis, I just want to gobble him up with kisses and tickles. I’ve made some new friends and am ready to spend more time reconnecting with old ones. I need more one-on-one time with my mom this year – it’s like soul food to get a good long conversation with her and it happened too rarely in the Year of the Newborn.

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I have a year of balancing motherhood, day job, side job, and life in general under my belt, and I’m continuing to prioritize. I’ve let some things go in favor of others that are more important. I’m not going to do it all, and I’m getting better at declining an opportunity here and there. I’m trying to get tuned in to what I care about most so I can spend my energy whole-heartedly and in the right places.

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I’m planning on lots and LOTS of laughter in 2016. Happy tears. Dancing and singing. Silliness. Waking up rested. Slowing down for extra hugs and kisses. Coffee and conversation. Cocktails and conversation. More laughter. Sore face muscles from so much smiling. Maybe even staying up past 10. And when the inevitable tough stuff comes along, finding a way to laugh, yell, “plot twist!” and make the best of it. So much happens in a year, and it’s all really good, joyful stuff.

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Here’s to 2016…

Bliss.

Bring it on.

one little word for 2015.

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This time last year, I ditched the idea of a traditional resolutions list in favor of a single word on which to focus. Page got in on the selection for the first time and we landed on adventure as our guiding mantra for 2014. As the twists and turns of the year unfolded, we focused on rolling with them all, looking for even more of them, and relishing in the way our life together was evolving because of it all.

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Maternity Photos | Key West, Florida

We could not have known how true the concept of “adventure” would ring for us throughout the last twelve months — we had not yet decided to even look at the possibility of moving, and certainly not to build. We had begun to discuss the idea of starting a family, but neither of us dreamed that journey would begin as early as last spring. If you had told me when the ball dropped last year that in several short weeks, I’d be living in a one-bedroom apartment battling morning sickness, I would NOT have believed you. 🙂

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18 weeks & staking foundation | August

And yet I wouldn’t change a moment of the last year — it was one large, blessed adventure from start to (almost) finish, as the fruits of our two biggest adventures remain to arrive in the coming first few weeks of the new year.

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36 weeks and ready for siding | December

As I look back on 2014, there were other adventures that took place that, while somewhat paling in comparison to our two “biggies”, also helped us to grow and change. We took awesome trips, both together and separately with friends, and tried on new roles and responsibilities in our career paths, tried a new dish or two, and with our eyes a bit more open to them this year, discovered just how many adventures we get to partake in together.

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Page and friends skiing in Steamboat | February

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Girls’ weekend in New York City with my bestie | April

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Web designer… turned hand model for a client’s billboard shoot | June

The year of “adventure” certainly went full-throttle, and it took us in directions we couldn’t have imagined, but through so many experiences we wouldn’t trade for anything. It has been a huge leap for both of us in learning to let go a little, realizing we can’t control it all and that not everything happens on our time table. And that is all part of the bliss. 

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The BEST moment…when we learned we were having a SON | July

With that in mind, I think about what I want for myself and my little growing family, as I pick my word for 2015. While I’d sign up for it all again, I’m okay that 2015 is less about “go go go” adventure-seeking, and more about relishing in the ones that are happening now, finding our new normal as a family of three, nourishing our life in our new home, and truly “tending to my garden” so to speak, before striking out in search of the next to-do.

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My one little word for 2015 is nurture. 

Holding many different meanings for me this year, first and foremost is to step into this new role as someone’s mother, and continuing to improve upon being the best wife I can be to my husband. I am anxious to focus on nurturing my body, post-partum. Healing, rebuilding, and nourishing physically will in turn help me mentally, so I can feel more like myself again, and in turn have the energy to nurture others. It’s all a cycle.

I look forward to creating our home, the space in which we nurture our life as a family of three, both in the physical compiling of our finished home, and in creating memories together within its walls.

As always, I’m curious to see what our professional lives have in store for us this year. I am eager to try some new things in the spirit of nurturing my brain and challenging myself with new ideas and how to bring them to life.

In all, the goal is to relish, reflect, and take the best care possible of these blessings that have come our way.

Cheers to you all reading, I wish you a nurturing new year in 2015!

“Be one who nurtures and builds…”
{Marvin J. Ashton}

past the halfway point!

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It’s crazy to think as we approach the 22 week mark, we’ve passed the halfway point until this little person arrives. I can’t believe it’s September already — the summer truly flew by!

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So here we are — approaching fall, excitedly watching our house progress come together, and thinking ahead to the coming four months before this little guy arrives. We are fresh off a mini trip to Columbia (where Page stood up as best man in the wedding of a lifelong friend) and then to Chicago (where Mama and Baby both stocked up on new threads) and we picked up some house stuff for upcoming projects. We are looking forward to a couple of baby classes in the coming weeks and then a trip to Key West for some much-needed R&R from day jobs, side jobs, house stuff, and our tiny apartment. 🙂

IKEA madness

Until then, we are still sorting through the IKEA finds from last week…and dreaming of our house!

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At today’s visit, my doctor said if she had to guess, she thought I would definitely deliver the second week of January – the 14th or 15th if she had to wager. I’m okay with that if it means we’re in our house!

And finally, the monthly stats:

How far along: 22 weeks this Friday (Baby’s the size of a papaya!)

Gender: BOY

Weight gain:   First weight gain at this appointment — +4 pounds, on track to gain 20-23 overall; first belly measurement taken — right on track at 22cm

Maternity clothes: Bought some maternity clothes for my fall stash, but not all of it fits yet; still lots of summer dresses and some maternity leggings and tees

Stretch marks: No – lotioning up daily!

Belly button in or out: in

Sleep: lots of mid-night bathroom breaks, waking up way too early!

Best moment:  first kicks at 18 weeks, Page reading to Baby

Worst moment: boo for rain delaying the house progress this past week — fortunately, things look sunny in the coming days to start FRAMING!

Miss anything: red wine – always!

Movement: FINALLY – one day shy of 19 weeks, I felt some unmistakable “punches” (not so much flutters ha!) way low in my abdomen, and now they’re very consistent — strong babe and based on the timing, he’s a late-nighter!

Cravings: peanut butter sandwiches and ALL THE MILK I can get my hands on

Queasy or sick:  feeling great – only complaint would be heartburn, brought on by just about anything at this point

Looking forward to: our “babymoon” — (originally planned as our seventh anniversary trip, until we found out we were expecting) the end of September

And in related news, Page’s stats, who started a workout program, motivated by our pending arrival 🙂 After my BP was recorded (112/66, pretty typical for me), he asked the nurse to take his at his “starting point”. He’s always high, but wanted me to blog for the record that he started at 150/90. Here’s to his BP numbers dropping as my weight number goes up ha!

cleaner eating chocolate chip cookies

three ingredient cookies | lifeinyellow.com

Okay, so I don’t know if chocolate chips are actually considered “clean eating”, but these cookies are made from no more than THREE ingredients, total, and none of them are eggs, butter, or granulated sugar!

three ingredient cookies | lifeinyellow.com

And did I mention? They’re DELISH! They’re chewy and sweet, and dare I say, almost good for you? The recipe’s so short it fits on a post-it:

three ingredient cookies | lifeinyellow.com

Which is exactly where I jotted it down, after my coworker brought a batch to work a couple weeks ago. Easy peasy!

three ingredient cookies | lifeinyellow.com

Mash your bananas first, so they blend easily with the oats.

three ingredient cookies | lifeinyellow.com

Add the chocolate, and scoop onto a VERY lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake and let them cool for several minutes to firm up … and enjoy!!

for those of us who can’t eat avocado…

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…I have life-changing news! Read on 🙂

I’ve had delicious guacamole just often enough to know how much I LOVE it…and also how much it does NOT love me back.

I never ate avocado growing up. It just wasn’t ever on the menu. Then, I tried guac for the first time. Ah-maz-ing. But I got terribly sick afterwards and didn’t draw a connection. I had it a handful of times after, with the same result. Then, for the longest time, I thought I couldn’t eat sushi because I’d feel awful afterwards…until I put it together and learned that there are tiny bits of ‘cado in the rolls!

So once I figured it out, I sadly gave up on avocado. It’s just not going to happen. I can order my sushi sans the fruit, but it’s guacamole that I continue to lust after at every Mexican restaurant we go to.

Then, this weekend, my friend, Sarah, CHANGED. MY. WORLD. She brought a guacamole with NO avocado — it’s made with broccoli! Broccamole.

Seriously. I died.

Find the recipe here – allergy or not, it’s DELICIOUS, nutritious, and tastes like the real thing!

(image: myrecipes.com)

Easy, Healthy Lunch: Turkey Cranberry Wraps

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It’s been a while since I posted an Easy, Healthy Lunch idea. (You can check out previous ones here and here). But in the spirit of a new year and resolving to cut back on added sugars/simple carbs (I’ll never be free of either but hey I’m trying!) I’ve been checking out some new, portable ideas for weekday lunches to take to the office.

I love the FLAVOR and freshness of this easy wrap recipe. I don’t even use the whole tortilla – once I roll this up and slice it, I toss the ends, so calorie-wise I log it at about 3/4 of a full tortilla.

Turkey Cranberry Wraps

1 spinach tortilla
1 wedge light Laughing Cow swiss
1/8 c. blue cheese crumbles
1/8 c. craisins
1-2 oz. turkey breast
handful of fresh spinach

Spread the Laughing Cow across one side of the tortilla edge to edge and layer all other ingredients. Roll tightly (the cheese will help it stay rolled up) and slice into mini roll-ups, discarding the ends.

(According to LoseIt, these log in at about 410 calories – and are very filling!)

Yum 🙂

 

regrouping for November | an Instagram essay

 

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Downtown, waiting to begin a family’s photography session.

In recent years, I learned of the phrase, “circling the wagons”. If you aren’t familiar, it alludes to regrouping and getting your game plan straight before proceeding. I feel like that is what November will be for me, and I’m looking forward to it. I have had SUCH a fun fall, spending beautiful afternoons outside photographing amazing families, and then twice as much time at home in my office, editing photos, blogging them, going through the motions of forming a business, designing collateral and launching the website, and reading/watching/learning from other photographers every chance I get.

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 Nighttime routine lately: Make tea, park it in front of the computer.

In the meantime, some things like this blog and workouts have fallen by the wayside. I have to remind myself that while I excitedly want to do it all, priorities have to be made and a realistic mindset is of value. 🙂 Not that I feel things are up and running, I feel like I can re-evaluate and enjoy a more relaxed pace as the early fall turns to holiday time.

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Checklist for a six-week photography business marketing course I enrolled in – very excited!

With the requests for family photos inevitably slowing down for winter time, I’m excited to re-focus on working on technique and learning more about how to grow this little business. I began a four-week course earlier this month centered on posing for various ages and group sizes but because things have been so busy, I’ve yet to start the coursework! I’m excited to have some free evenings again to dive into that information as well as the (intense!) marketing course pictured above.

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Waiting to have my head shot taken by a fellow photog friend!

Loosely related to marketing, I had my head shot taken last week for the website – this is me waiting to get started. I included this just because I know how much it annoys my brother when people take selfies. 🙂

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I’m planning to enjoy some more lounge time at home, reading and catching up on some fall TV with Pager. Having more time again means I can cook more at home – something I’ve been missing. And along with meal planning comes the workout refocus. I’m excited to get back to the gym (feeling READY!) and with a mix of elliptical and running, my mini-goal for the month of November is to attack my friend Robyn’s 30-day plank challenge. (Seriously, if you need a dose of inspiration, Robyn has it for you!)

And while it has been slower lately here on the blog, things are always in the works. I’m looking forward to collaborating with a fabulous company for a holiday neighbor gift DIY, working up a Thanksgiving tablescape, and before you know it, decking the halls for Christmas! Thanks to all for continuing to stop by and check in! Happy fall 🙂

Hello Yum | Bestowed Box

When Bestowed contacted me to ask if I’d like to try and review one of the company’s monthly subscription boxes, I couldn’t hit “reply” quickly enough to say yes. I had seen advertisements for the company and while I’m a fan of subscription boxes, I hadn’t yet tried one for any of the natural/healthy snacks that are out there. I’m always on the hunt for new healthy snack and meal ideas, and the more “ready to eat” options I can learn about, the better. And a company whose mission is to help teach people to eat better is right up my alley.

Bestowed boxes

The first thing that struck me about the box when it arrived was the weight – this thing was literally loaded with goodies. Some were from brands I’d seen in the health section and others were new to me. I design for a food ingredients group through my day job, so I found myself scrutinizing the labels perhaps a bit more than a typical consumer, but was impressed to see lots of familiar labeling I’ve worked with before including Certified Vegan, USDA Organic, and Non-GMO Project Verified. Here’s the rundown of the contents and some notes on my favorites:

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Lundberg Family Farms Santa Fe Barbecue Rice Chips. My box arrived right at lunchtime in our office. My coworker and I took these down, well, instantly. I don’t have a need to go gluten-free, but for no other reason than switching it up, I liked the nuttier taste of a rice based chip than a corn or potato one. The flavor was delish – I do love a BBQ chip!

Living Healthy World Flax & Chia Stick. I recently discovered chia and have been adding seeds to my cereal and yogurts, and drinking kombucha with chia floating in it (I know, sounds weird, but YUM). I also regularly make homemade protein bars for Page and me using milled flax. I’d use this product in either application – it was really fresh (no clumps!) and I liked the convenient grab-and-go packaging. I added some to my yogurt with a touch of cereal at the office one morning – very yummy.

Mighty Leaf Sunburst Green Iced Tea Pouch. I made a pitcher of this for the weekend and it didn’t hang around long. Very refreshing with the heat we’ve been having, but I’m lazy when it comes to my iced tea and for convenience alone, would probably keep buying the pre-brewed jugs from the store (we’re mildly addicted to our Trader Joes tea).

Cascadian Farm Crunchy Oats & Honey Granola Bar. I know some people don’t like these super-crunchy bars because they ARE messier, but they are my favorite kind! Reminds me of the Nature Valley ones I’ve been eating since I was a kid, but the healthier/organic kind! This served as a quick breakfast one morning last week and got me to lunchtime with no problem!

Miracle Noodle Angel Hair Noodles and Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar. I haven’t used these yet, but I expect them to be some of my favorites in the box. I often make a dinner that uses both of these items, a veggie and steak stir-fry. I always start with a rice vinegar when I’m cooking meat in my wok, along with a little sesame oil. I did taste a little of the vinegar out of the bottle and was pleased that it tasted fresh and very flavorful (some can be more on the bland side). I have bought these ZERO CALORIE (!) noodles before, not understanding that they expire, well, more quickly than regular pasta. 🙂 I love any noodle and especially one with a fraction of the calories!

And to keep it real, I did have a least favorite item — the seaweed snacks. I’ll just leave it as a simple, “no thank you.” 😉

My husband, Page, the less health-food-prone of the two of us, did immediately call dibs on the Reboot supplements, which are more his thing than mine. The packaging was especially cool on these, with a seam separating the water from the dissolving powder, all in one packet. The purpose of the supplement is to combat oxidative stress, and you can drink right from the packet, on the go. (Perfect for after workouts!)

Aside from the items themselves, there was a booklet detailing all of the contents, along with recipes for ways to use them, and coupons along with suggestions for places to buy more of an item I liked. Especially with items I wasn’t certain what to do with, the booklet was especially helpful.

If you’re curious to try this subscription for yourself, you can receive $5 off your first box with code: 5OFFBESTOWED03. Just click their logo below to be taken to their site. Thanks to Bestowed for the opportunity to try a box!

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