Farmer’s Market Date Night

Last night, Bobby and I had a date night. We decided to eat at a restaurant called County Seat at the town of Livingston, and it just so happened it was also opening week for their farmer’s market! You may remember me posting about Livingston before when we went there for Santa pictures with Emma Kate. We hadn’t tried this other restaurant so thought it would be a great opportunity.

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The décor was adorable, and we had a super cute booth. I love the tables!

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I ordered one of the drink specials. It was really good, but all I remember is it had prosecco and hibiscus in it.

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I ordered a burger on a pretzel bun and brie mac and cheese. The mac and cheese was delicious, and the burger was good but had a little too much pepper on it. Bobby got a tuna melt and sweet potato soufflé. It liked the sweet potato’s but we were disappointed in the portion size for the sandwich.

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I know I’m dorky, but check out how cute the bathroom is!

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After we ate, we walked over to the farmer’s market. It has been yucky and rainy all day so the turnout was small, but it was fun and we walked away with some lettuce, sweet potatoes, and a tomato.

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They had music playing and Home Depot was there doing crafts with the kids.

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The rain held off while we were there, which I’m sure the vendors were happy about!

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After that we drove around and looked at some open houses of new construction homes in the area. I may be in the minority, but I LOVE touring new homes. There is just something so fun and exciting about it to me, talking about what you love and what you would do differently. I rally enjoyed myself and am glad we were able to get away for a couple of hours. We will for sure be back at the farmers market this summer. If you are ever in the area, you should stop by!

QOTD: Do you ever go to a farmer’s market? Do you like looking at new homes?

Disney Fantasy Cruise 2016: Day 5 Part Two

We ended halfway through our Grand Cayman day in my last installment. After we got back to the ship, we decided to go to the gym. I most definitely was not in the mood to workout, so I just did a few weight machines then did 45 minutes on the stationary bike while I read my book. I planned to eat a lot at dinner that night because we were going to Palo, so the gym was definitely needed! We were literally the only ones in there for the first half hour, which was nice, but also kind of funny.

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Bobby stayed to do some more working out, so I sat on our balcony and read my book with Grand Cayman in the background. Not too shabby of a view.

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I can’t remember what else I did that afternoon, probably took a nap, to get myself ready for my favorite dinner, Palo! Palo is an adults only restaurant on board the Disney ships, and it is amazing. If you have cruised Disney but never diner at Palo, I highly highly recommend you reserve a spot on your next cruise!

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After we checked in, we went on the balcony and enjoyed the most gorgeous sunset. Sadly, my iPhone pictures don’t do it justice, but it was breathtaking.

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We were soon seated at a table all the way in the back with a great view of the ocean.

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Our server was great, and I love how they don’t rush you. Based on the below photo, you would think there were four people at our table. No no, just use two.

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Always ALWAYS save room for dessert at Palo! Best chocolate soufflé ever.

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We were also given this very sweet message from the chef for our anniversary.

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After we were sufficiently stuffed, we headed out.

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This guy was waiting foe us in our room.

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Someone gave us this Star Wars mask and I think it’s SO FREAKY. Bobby saved it and occasionally sneaks up on me with it. I am never amused by this.

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We got out of our fancy clothes and into some sweats and headed to one of the movie theaters to see Inside Out. I hadn’t seen it yet, and it was super cute. Then it was off to bed, because our Star Wars Day at Sea was the next day, and I knew a very excited little boy who wasn’t going to want to miss any of it…well, maybe excited big boy is a better term!

QOTD: Do you workout on vacation? Have you eaten at Palo?

Live KIND

Kindness makes the world a better place, and I think we could all agree on that. I am currently partnering with KIND Snacks and want to encourage you all (and myself) to Live KIND. every day™. How can we do this? Doing things for your taste buds, your body, and your world is a great start!Live KIND

As an athlete, I am KIND to my body by exercising, eating nutritious (and delicious) foods, taking rest days for my body, and my mind. I have been working really hard better myself physically by going to boot camp four days a week and running twice a week since the beginning of January. I don’t always feel like I am being KIND to myself in the middle of a tough workout (haha) but I know in the end that it will be worth it!

One thing I am always careful to do though is to take a rest day each week. Too many people think they need to push hard seven days a week, and for me personally that is not being KIND to my body. I need to recover and rest to get even stronger. I typically do my longest workout (my long run) on Saturday, so Sunday makes for a great rest day for me. I think it is also important to take a mental health break, whether it be going for a walk with your dog or taking a quick nap, sometimes we just need to think about nothing!

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A part of being KIND to my body is also what I am fueling it with. I have to eat healthy foods or my workouts aren’t as effective, I feel sluggish, and get really tired. I eat KIND snacks after a tough workout to refuel me and tide me over until my next meal. They are really easy to just throw into my gym bag or purse to eat on the go, which fits in well with my busy life. They are a solution for every day! My favorites are Almond and Coconut, and anything with chocolate.

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I also think it’s important to be KIND to your taste buds. I love to eat delicious food, and sometimes for this southern girl that means home cooked comfort food! But, those are treats, and for the most part we try to eat healthy, especially to teach my toddler good healthy eating habits. Anyone with a toddler can tell you that sometimes trying to get them to eat healthy foods is like trying to bathe a cat. We continually give her lots of greens (she loves green beans), protein like turkey and chicken, and healthy fats like avocados but sometimes she turns them away. I know it’s just a phase, but it can be frustrating at times! Mixing veggies in with foods she already likes helps as well. Also, she LOVES my KIND snacks! Anytime she hears me rip open a package from the pantry she comes running and holds her little hand out for a bite. It’s so cute, but I usually end up having to open a second bar so I get enough to eat!

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As much as I think it is important to be kind to yourself, it’s also important to be KIND to those around you. I grew up doing volunteer work though my church and was raised to always keep others and their needs in mind. We can always do more to help others, and I think doing first hand work with those less fortunate is something that is very eye opening. One such experience happened to me this time last year, and has still stuck with me. I had the opportunity to help out with a Feed the Children charity event in New Orleans in conjunction with the Run Rock n Roll Series. We spent the afternoon giving food and toiletries to needy families in the area, and it was such a blessing to me to get to chat with some of these people, hear their stories, and do a little something to brighten their day. I truly believe we need more KINDness in the world, and that if we can all do a little more, things could be amazing.

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QOTD: What are you doing to Live KIND. every day™ for your body, the world, and your taste buds?   Check out how we “Live KIND” on our blog, http://www.kindsnacks.com/blog/, and follow KIND snacks on  Twitter/Instagram/Facebook – @kindsnacks and chat with them using #LiveKIND.

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of KIND.

Disney Fantasy Cruise 2016: Mr. Sanchos

We woke up the next day in Cozumel. We have been to Cozumel many times before on previous cruises, and we typically go to the same beach, but wanted to try somewhere different this time. I had heard great things about Mr. Sanchos through various message boards, so we decided to give it a try. Mr. Sanchos is an all inclusive beach club that has  pools, drinks, tons of food, the beach, free wi-fi, and many other amenities. It is kid friendly, and open every day except Sunday.

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We were so stoked to go bask in the sun and drink fruity drinks all day…until we woke up to a storm. When I say it was raining…it was raining, yall.

In true Disney fashion, we were handed awesome ponchos as we exited the ship. We trudged up the pier in the driving rain, getting soaked along the way. We made it to a taxi, and were headed to the beach. As soon as we got to our destination, it stopped raining! This was a miracle because it was supposed to rain all day.

Excited to get going, we headed to the entrance and were greeted by our server for the day. We were told what was included for us, and what was extra (the inflatable water toys are extra but because of the weather, they didn’t even have them out, also things like massages, hair braiding, wave runners, snorkeling, and horseback riding were extra.) If you don’t want to go the all inclusive route, there are al la carte options as well.

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You get a LOT of stuff for the price! I am married to a garbage disposal, so I knew he would eat over $55.00 in food alone, and well, I like my fruity drinks. We were shown around, and explained that there was a buffet but we could also order from the menu. Because of the weather, there were not many people there, which was fine with us! There were plenty of lounge chairs and tables with adorable straw umbrellas.

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We set up our little spot at a table, and ordered our first round of drinks as well as some chips and guacamole.

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The drinks are good, yall. I didn’t taste a ton of alcohol, but they were delicious. My favorite was the Blue Sea. The chips and guac were amazing as well. II t was so nice to know we didn’t have to look at food prices all day!

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I decided to take a walk around to get some photos while Bobby read a book. Also, the free wi-fi is up by the buffet under a giant pavilion, so I brought my ipad up there to check my email and text my mom to check on the wee one.

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I also checked out the bathroom which were very clean, for those wanting to know (this is always important to me!) In fact, everything was very clean on the whole property.

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The pool looked really awesome with the bar at it and there were tables and chairs IN the pool which I thought was neat.

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Anyone care to swing?

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Hammock for a nap maybe?

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Our server was very attentive and balanced that very hard line between coming to check on us too much and not enough, he really did a great job.

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After a little reading we ordered some more food. I got the quesadillas, Bobby got the shrimp tacos as well as coconut shrimp, and I got more of the delicious guacamole and a bottle of water.

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We also ended up ordering a couple other things but I can’t remember now, however everything was tasty!

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We left around 3:30 as all aboard for the boat was 4:45 and we still wanted to shop for some tequila. One thing to note is as you walk in and out you have to pass by a bunch of people trying to sell you things and some were kind of…persistent, and I just told them no thank you, but just a heads up for those who get anxious by those types of things. Some ladies came around a couple of times asking if we wanted a massage or hair braiding and we politely declined. They weren’t annoying or pushy though which was nice.

Would I go back here? Absolutely! Hopefully on a sunny day, and I would ask for double shots in my drinks. When I weighed out the price of the food and drinks alone, we would have spent more than $55 a person, not to mention the use of the facilities and what was super important to me, the free wi-fi. It’s great to be able to check in on work or family without paying the ridiculously high prices for data on board the ship!

All in all we had a great day at Mr. Sanchos despite the weather. If anyone has any questions about it I would be happy to answer! (Be sure to follow them on Facebook for updates and great beach pictures!)

QOTD: Have you ever been to a beach all inclusive? What do you do on a rainy port day on a cruise?

Disclosure: I was provided with two complimentary day passes from Mr. Sanchos, however all opinions are my own.

A Weekend in Houston

Hi friends! So I spent Thursday-Sunday with my parents and sister in Houston, TX. She bought a house in the summer and needed my dad’s help to do a few things, and since I haven’t been to see her yet, she asked if I would come. First I went to the gym Wednesday to run 5 miles on the treadmill.

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That afternoon Bobby’s mom came, and I drove down to my parent’s house and spent the night with them. We went out to dinner and turned in early because my dad wanted to leave at 5:00(!) the next morning.

The drive to Texas was uneventful, and we arrived around lunch time to these two sweet girls, Cadence and NOLA.

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It’s so funny to be around these huge dogs when I am used to my nine pound toy poodle! They think they are lap dogs…

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We hung out at the house and did some cleaning that night, and the next day my sister had to work so we drove up to the Woodlands to visit some of my parents friends. We had lunch at Panera, then headed back down to Houston to do more work around the house and get ready for dinner. We went to this really great Mexican restaurant that had delicious food, but the drinks were expensive and we had to valet park. I’m not meant for city living yall!

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Saturday we did even more work around the house, and then headed to the Galleria. I had never been, and man that is a big mall! Ice skating? Fun!

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My dad and I hit up the Disney store while my mom and sister did some shopping, and he got a couple of things for Emma Kate. I’m glad he doesn’t read my blog, because he might kill me for posting this picture. (Mom, don’t show him, mmkk?)

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We were going to go out to eat again that night but were so tired we decided to just order pizza. My sister and I walked to go pick it up, and we just relaxed and hung out watching Netflix. I’m now hooked on House of Cards. Anyone else?

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We got up early Sunday morning and left, and were able to meet up with Karen in Lake Charles for a few minutes to grab some PJ’s coffee. We couldn’t stay long but it was great to see her and Baby Seal!

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We made it back to my parents, where I then turned around in my car and drove home. As soon as I got home me, Bobby and Emma Kate headed to a Super Bowl party. To say it was a long day is an understatement. But it was a good day, and I’m glad I joined in on the visit!

QOTD: Have you been to the Galleria? Go nuts in the Disney store?

Spread Cookie Joy Giveaway

Confession: I am not much of a cook. I work a lot, and by the end of the day, I usually just throw together whatever is the easiest, quickest thing I can make. However, there is one exception to this, and that is baking around the holidays where I love to spread cookie joy! I grew up making Christmas cookies with my family, and hope to continue the tradition with Emma Kate.

Baked goods (cookies more specifically!) make great gifts as well, and I have made them many times as Christmas gifts for family and friends. spread cookie joy

Krusteaz brand cookie mixes are not something I have used before, but when I saw all the delicious flavors, I knew I had to try them! I made some of the Snickerdoodle cookies for Thanksgiving, and then decided to make the butter vanilla sugar as gifts for some sweet friends. I knew I wanted to put icing on them, so I knew the butter vanilla sugar would be my best bet for decorating with red and green icing and sprinkles. spread Christmas cookie joy

I used the recipe on the back of the box for the cookies, and for the icing I used a tried and true simple recipe:

1 cup powdered sugar

2.5 tablespoons 2% milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla

5 drops of neon green food coloring

-Stir until smooth, and decorate!

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I love wrapping gifts, and knew I wanted a cute and fun way to package my cookie creations. Zazzle has some adorable options and I ended up getting some cute little boxes, stickers, and personalized name tags.

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I love how everything turned out, and I can’t wait to spread cookie joy with my very sweet and deserving friends.

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If you are looking for more baking and gifting tips and Krusteaz prizes, a #SpreadCookieJoy Twitter Party will be held on December 14th from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm ET. I hope you will come!

The kind people at Krusteaz have offered a GIVEAWAY for one THLG reader so you can #SpreadCookieJoy with your friends, family, or neighbors. Giveaway includes everything below EXCEPT for the ball jar, so you would get:  two boxes of the following mixes: Shortbread, Gingerbread, Snickerdoodle, Butter Vanilla Sugar and Oatmeal Scotchie; an apron, tote bag, cookie cutters and frosting pen.

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To enter, simply follow the Rafflecoptor instructions below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclosure: I was provided with baking supplies and my own prize pack, however all opinions are my own. 

Birthday Bash Day 3

Even though we didn’t get to bed until well after midnight after the Halloween party, there was no rest for the weary, because Debbie had to leave that next afternoon and we had to see as much of EPCOT as possible in a few short hours. We ate breakfast and walked over to the transportation and ticket center where we hopped on the monorail to EPCOT.

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We had fastpasses for Spaceship Earth and Soarin’, and at 11:00 we headed to the World Showcase for lunch.

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We ran into this lady on the way and she had a very short line so we jumped in for a photo opp. I told her all about how I wore her yellow dress with lights in it to the Halloween party, and she didn’t seem all that impressed. I must have not explained the lights and the tutus correctly, because clearly it was an awesome costume.

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By the way, anyone else think her eyebrows are a bit much? Something just didn’t look right? (In my own little world I am convinced I would play the best Belle, so maybe that’s why.) We hit up a couple of food booths and headed back towards France because I really wanted my favorite drink and they don’t open until noon.

Hello Grand Marnier Slush, we meet again.

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I didn’t eat lunch with the others because I had plans with this fellow. Haven’t seen him since February and it was great to catch up!

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My mom and Debbie had already headed back to the resort to catch Debbie’s magical express bus, and judging by the time I figured I could make it back to see her off, so I hustled to the monorail and made it back to the Polynesian just in time to say farewell.

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Now it was just me and mom for a day and a half. Mom wanted to organize her things and shower before our dinner at Citrico’s, so I spent some time with another favorite family of mine at the pool.

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After catching up, I got ready for dinner and mom and I hopped on the monorail once again. No way she looks 60, right? (This hopefully means I won’t look 60 when I am 60!)

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Dinner was just “ok”. We have ebbs and flows with Disney signature restaurants, and there were a lot of screaming small children running circles around the tables this time around. (Note this is a white tablecloth restaurant, we were just a little surprised at the Chef Mickey’s level of chaos.)

It was here that I told my mom I had another SURPRISE for her after dinner, but we weren’t leaving until 8:30. To be honest, I wasn’t feeling great and was SO tired, and kind of wishing I HADN’T planned said surprise, but I would later end up being SO GLAD I didn’t bail because it was one of the highlights of the trip, and it deserves it’s own blog post!

QOTD: Favorite food and wine festival food? Favorite signature restaurant in WDW? Favorite menu item at a fancy restaurant?

5 Top Moments from Refresh Summit

Hello friends! I am back! I had every intention of having a blog post written Sunday night to go up Monday, but I did NOT intend to catch a bad cold and feel like crap when I got home Sunday night! I think I am getting better thankfully. What timing, huh? The sickness didn’t stop me form having a great time in Tennessee for Refresh Summit.

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We spent the weekend at the beautiful Deer Run retreat center just outside of Nashville.

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Instead of recapping everything we did, I just wanted to share my 5 favorite moments:

1.) 80’s glow in the dark Zumba party: OH MY GOSH so much fun. Zumba has never really been my “thing”, but this was a BLAST. Since it was Halloween, we had an 80’s theme. We turned out the lights, donned a ton of glow in the dark jewelry, and danced our booties off to 80’s music. It. was. amazing.

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2.) Sharing my heart in my workshop: I had the privilege of leading a workshop twice, sharing my heart about social media, the negative side of things, the comparison trap, and having a healthy view of social media. (I fully intend to make this into a blog post at some point, so hang tight.) I had forgotten how much I enjoyed speaking and sharing what God is and has done in my life, and it lit a fire in me to do it more often, so hopefully I will have the opportunity!

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3.) Chatting with friends: Old friends and new alike, I enjoyed each and every woman I met at the summit. Everyone had such a unique story, and I am so happy to have met them all. I will admit, at first I felt a bit like the odd man out since a large portion of the people there had attended last year and all knew each other, but it didn’t take long to jump right in and get to know everyone. That’s one thing I loved about this particular retreat, we got to have some down time to get to know each other instead of just GO GO GO non stop.

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4.) Meals: Ah, the food. We had some amazing meals at Deer Run put on by the staff, then we also had a breakfast sponsored by Love Grown, and a lunch sponsored by Chipotle! Both were delicious. So many good eats all weekend long.

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5.) Worship time: We have several times where we sat and sang/worshiped. and we had the privilege of being led by the wonderful Rhyan Shirley. She wrote the song “You Are” that you may have heard Colton Dixon sing on the radio. She did a great job and I truly enjoyed her music and guitar playing. unnamed (55)

All in All, Refresh Summit was amazing, and the hosts put in so much hard work to make sure it was a great experience for all, and I was grateful for their hard work, and blessed in so many different ways. If you have a chance to go next year I highly recommend it! There will also be one out in California in April if you live on the west coast.

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QOTD: have you ever gone on a fitness or women’s retreat?

Fall Fun

Happy Monday! We had a fun filled weekend with amazing weather down here in Mississippi, and I’m so sad it’s all over. I wish the temperature would stay like this forever! On Saturday morning, my dad drove up here early to hang out with us. There is an annual car show here in Madison, and we decided to sell Orange Leaf frozen yogurt from a booth this year. Bobby left early to set up, and my dad and I arrived later with Emma Kate. (My dad came up for this same car show last year so it was fun to do it again!)

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This was only our second time at the car show, but apparently this was it’s 12th year. There were a lot more cars that had awesome access systems than last year, so apparently it just keeps getting bigger and bigger!

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Yes, this is an old blue truck with a corvette engine in it.

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Transformers?

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Emma Kate decided to practice her walking skills.

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Dad and I walked down to McAlisters for lunch with Emma Kate just like last year. It was so fun to do the same things as last time but this year Emma Kate is walking!

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Below is a picture from this same weekend last year. Crazy how big she has gotten!

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After lunch we headed to the store to get grilling supplies for our BBQ that evening. We had a great time relaxing on the back patio grilling and eating and Emma Kate was such a trooper the whole day and didn’t get fussy until just before bedtime.

Sunday morning, dad left right before Bobby and I headed to church.

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After church we hung out at the house before attending our church’s annual Fun fest. It’s like a big carnival with jump jumps of all kinds, games the kids can play and win candy, food trucks, puppet show, photo booth, a clown, etc. It’s free to the public, they just ask that you bring some canned goods for their canned food drive.

All the kids dress up in their costumes, and it’s just a really fun family time.

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We watched the puppet show, then let Emma Kate practice her walking skills and she thought she was hot stuff walking around the festival. It was so cute.

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I had a delicious hot dog from a food truck, and capped off the night with a cheesecake caramel apple. I don’t know about you, but the fact that they will slice it for you at no extra cost is amazing. I haven’t had a caramel apple in years because they are just so gosh darn messy, but this, this I could deal with!

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The festival was over at 7:00 so we left a few minutes before since Emma Kate’s bedtime is 7:00 and she was fading fast. She had a very full weekend but was such a trooper. We are loving this new stage!

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QOTD: Do you go to any fall festivals? Are you dressing up for Halloween?

Body After Baby: 12 Months

Note: This post is about body image, weight loss, and eating. If this may be a trigger for you, please feel free to skip this post and come back tomorrow. I have an exciting announcement for that post!

Well, here we are. I had a baby a year ago. Today is actually my due date, but we all know Emma KAte was a week old by the 30th last year!  The excuse of “I just had a baby” can no longer be used. trust me, I milked it as long as I could. Honesty moment: I always used to roll my eyes when people said they can’t get rid of the baby weight. I mean really, it can’t be THAT hard right? Well, it IS hard, but it is also doable. I have realized you have to really want it more than those chips and queso, and honestly, sometimes I just really want the chips and queso, yall.

In the beginning, the weight came off really fast. I got cocky, and thought I would be back to my old weight in no time. I think I lost something like 17 or so pounds in the first few days. (I gained right at 30).

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One month postpartum

I stopped breastfeeding after a month, and I know that didn’t help matters. Between November and March I actually GAINED weight while marathon training (I always gain about 3-5 pounds marathon training), so that was really frustrating.

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end of March 2015, 6 months postpartum

I looked at myself in April/May and was not happy with my progress and knew I needed to get serious if I wanted to see changes. I had a come to Jesus meeting with myself after I got back from Disney in May and had gained weight again. I was 8/10 pounds from my pre pregnancy weight, and 15 pounds form my “happy weight.” I knew it was my eating, because I was working out plenty, but I also knew I wasn’t doing the right kinds of workouts.

I decided right then that I was going to be more mindful of my eating . There have been some ups and downs since then, but overall my attitude towards food has greatly improved. I thought when we bought Orange Leaf, that I would gain a ton of weight eating frozen yogurt every day, but I actually LOST weight because in the beginning I was working 13 hour days at the store 3-4 days a week, running back and forth, on my feet all day, with no time to snack. So yeah, froyo was my lunch some days, but there was no mindless snacking all day long. However, because of my crazy work schedule, I have only been working out 3-4 days a week since August. My half marathon training plan got completely derailed, and I started just kind of floating through the weeks.

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September 2015, almost 12 months postpartum

My new plan is to continue running 3 days a week, but I am also going to sign up for a special 6 week HIIT class at my gym that starts the beginning of November. I think the accountability will be good for me and just what I am needing right now. Between now and then I plan to do some strength training on my own 1-2 days a week as time allows. I don’t really have much of a “plan” other than that right now. We have a lot of personal things up in the air at this moment so I feel I’m not in the best place to make concrete plans far out in the future. I know  I’m rambling a bit, I guess I’m just lacking focus an direction at the moment, but I know it is just part of it, and that it will come back to me.

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12 months postpartum

With that being said, I am currently ONE POUND away from my pre pregnancy weight. Of course I would love to be AT my pre pregnancy weight, but close enough, right? However, when I got pregnant I was about 5-8 pounds over my happy weight, so I still have a little bit to go, and I’m hoping the HIIT class will give my body a nice shake up and be just what I need. I want to gain MUSCLE and be STRONG. (PLEASE note, that I understand it’s not all about the scale. I could stay at this exact “weight” but have muscle mass and fit into my clothes better and be perfectly happy, I am simply giving a range based on the past.) I am happiest with myself when I feel strong, and I think that is what I have been missing since having Emma Kate. Sure my arms aren’t that bad from picking up my 24 pound child, but I feel quite flabby. I’m not after being skinny, I’m after being ripped! I think that will help with my running, too.

So, here we are, one year later. On the right path, but not there yet. I plan to “check in” again in a few months, maybe 3, maybe 6, I’m not sure yet, to check on my progress. I hope you will follow along with me. I have a lot to learn and a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I’m excited for it! Time to get stronger and faster!

QOTD: Have you ever been in a fitness rut? Do you struggle more with food or working out?