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I’m going to try something new around here and about once a month share a few of my favorite things with you. It could be anything from recipes to special moments to books to favorite products or food items. You can find a lot of these photos on my Instagram, but I never get the chance to share a lot of them on the blog! I love seeing posts similar to this on blogs that i follow because I always discover something new that I never would have found otherwise. I want you to feel free to share your favorites with me, as well, in the comments! Here we go…
Fresh flowers on the dining room table
My mom brought me a bouquet of flowers for Mother’s Day and they looked so gorgeous on our dining room table. They really brightened up the room and our front door opens right up into the dining area so it is the first thing everybody sees when they walk into the house. I was so sad when I had to toss them out so when I spotted this pretty bouquet of wildflowers (there’s mint in there, too!) at the local farmers’ market,I just had to have them. I love all the different colors! Once it’s time to replace them, I may cut some roses or wildflowers from our own garden, but I don’t think my fresh flower kick is going anywhere.
Nursing-friendly wedding guest dress
Most days, I stick with the two shirt method or a nursing tee or tank, but I needed a special dress for my cousin’s Memorial Day wedding so I headed straight for the PinkBlush site. They have such cute maternity clothes and nursing clothes and I knew I would find just what I was looking for. I recently signed on as one of their Style Ambassadors, and I chose this beautiful, flowy floral wrap dress (full disclosure: I was gifted an item of my choosing from PinkBlush in exchange for sharing my honest opinion with you). We snuck away to the wedding and left the kids with my mom for the day, but I knew I would need to pump while we were gone. This dress was so soft and comfortable and I was able to pump with ease. And, because of the empire waist, I can continue to wear it if we decide to bring another addition to the family. Funny story, I had to pump on the drive home and I purposely waited until we were on the highway so nobody would see me pumping if we were stopped at a stop light. 🙂
Trader Joe’s Seasoning Blends
Is there anything Trader Joe’s doesn’t have? I feel like a kid in a candy store every time I go there. Kevin and I used to do most of our grocery shopping at TJ’s even though it is almost 30 minutes from our house. Since having kids, we don’t make it out there often, but I have seen these two spice blends all over Instagram and I’ve been dying to try them. I mentioned it to my mom and she picked these up for me on her last trip (she lives much closer – thanks, Mom). So far, I’ve used the chili lime seasoning in a tuna salad we made over the weekend. I haven’t broken into the Everything but the Bagel just yet, but I want to try it on my eggs this weekend. I think it would be really good on avocado toast, too! Have you tried these? How do you use them?
Recipe creations for my new book!
If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram or Facebook, you might have seen that I am in the process of writing a brand new book! I could not be more excited. I am working with Sunny Day Publishing (they published my internet friend Michelle Fagone’s books, The I Love My Instant Pot Recipe Book and Cavegirl Cuisine) on a book called 4 Weeks to Wellness: A Month of Real Food for a Lifetime of Health. It is based off of my group nutrition program of the same name. Basically it is a four week real food nutrition challenge that I hope will become your new way of eating after you shop and eat this way for a month.
The first half of the book guides you through what real food is, why it is important, and how to shop for and cook it (even without a lot of time or money). The second half is all of my favorite healthy recipes (most are not already available on the blog!!). This week, I’ve been working on the breakfast recipes and this Sprouted Whole Grain Vanilla French Toast with Blueberry Orange Syrup was delish! Most of the recipes include more veggies and protein, but this French toast is such a yummy Sunday treat!
Make sure you are signed up for my email list to be the first to get all the updates on when the book will be out (should be December 2017, just in time for the holidays).
An actually comfy road bike saddle
I’ve been cycling for seven or eight years and that whole time I’ve just been using the saddle that came with my bike. Basically, every time I rode my bike, I was in pain within a few minutes of starting my ride. I tried everything – I tried adjusting the position of my seat and my bike, I even did try a couple of other saddles at some point, but nothing helped. I just accepted that some level of pain was a part of my life as a cyclist. Kevin even tried my saddle at some point and confirmed that it was the worst thing ever made.
Last year for Mother’s Day, he got me this Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow Women’s Bicycle Saddle and I had to share how awesome it is! I didn’t get to try it out until recently because I didn’t ride my road bike much while I was pregnant. It is so comfortable. Because of the cut out, it doesn’t put a lot of pressure on, umm, sensitive areas. The first time I used it was during a sprint triathlon a few weeks ago and about halfway through the bike portion of the race, I realized I wasn’t feeling any pain. Now I can’t stop talking about it every time we ride. 🙂 It was worth every penny!
Mixing Up My Fitness
Speaking of triathlons, I’ve been having a lot of fun lately incorporating all kinds of exercise and fitness activities. I love CrossFit, but I love lots of other things, too. I think it is really important that you don’t spend all of your time on only one fitness modality, so I’ve been incorporating some trips to the rock climbing gym, a sprint triathlon (and the weeks of training beforehand), barre and spin classes at the YMCA, and even some workout videos at home into my routine. Some of this is because Norrin still wakes me up quite a bit at night and sometimes I just can’t drag myself to the CrossFit at 6:00am, and some of it is because I am often at the mercy of when I can have access to childcare, but a big part of the reason is that it is just plain fun!
It’s easy to get burnt out when you are doing the same type of exercise all the time. I love the strength, confidence, and endurance I’ve gained from CrossFit, and I think it actually makes me better prepared for the other activities I enjoy doing. So I am getting to CrossFit when I can, about once or twice per week, and fitting in whatever else I can whenever I can. I’m at a point in my life where I don’t have any specific fitness goals, so I am happy to just try everything out and keep my body moving. I was a little frustrated for a while that I didn’t have a goal I was working toward, but the truth is, fitness goals are just not at the top of my list right now. I have a lot on my plate and I don’t have the time or consistent schedule to prioritize training for a long race or trying to get my first handstand pushup. That isn’t to say those won’t be priorities at some point, but for now I am happy just being active and having fun with it.
I guess I am sharing all of this to let you know that we all deserve to give ourselves a little grace in this area. We can’t compare ourselves to other people or throw in the towel just because we can’t make it to the gym five days a week. Fitness should be fun, so find what you love and don’t be too hard on yourself. Okay? Good!
This Chorizo Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole on repeat
Kevin was the brains behind this recipe and we make it now every single week. It has actually become a part of my weekly meal prep on Sundays. This casserole makes six servings, but we can actually stretch it to eight servings since two of our breakfast-eaters are still pretty small. It is really easy to make because you can use frozen veggies. It is so nice to wake up on Monday morning and have breakfast ready to go. We like to top ours with avocado.
That’s all I’ve got for this week!
Now it’s your turn–what are you into lately?