Prioritizing your health

I get asked all the time how I fit so much into my day: Corporate Job, Fun Job, 2 young kids, working out, cooking, regular chores, maintaining a social life, etc. There is nothing special about me (I’m not a vampire who doesn’t need sleep or food, I don’t have a time turner to fit more into 24 hours) but I do have some tips to help you prioritize that which is important to you. Don’t worry if your priorities are different than mine, the same general rules apply.

  1. Figure out what is important to you. What are your “life conditions”? For me its Time with my family (including healthy meals), exercise, and earning a living. Everything else is secondary.
  2. Prioritize what is important to you. This is where most people struggle – they think “I want to workout” but then don’t. My husband is a prime example of this (when it comes to working out). Some things I do is I make a personal contract with myself. If I tell myself I’m going to workout at 5 am tomorrow (gah the early exercise regime) – I put it in my phone, I write it in my planner, and I set an alarm. When my alarm goes off, and I undoubtedly don’t want to get up, I remember my contract. If I had promised a friend I would workout with them would I flake? No. So why would a promise to myself mean any less? If you decide you’re going to do something, enter a contract with yourself that you won’t break. Once you do your mentality will totally change (at least mine did). 327C67B1-5BD9-4375-AFE3-CC11DE8E91A5
  3. Make a planner. I don’t care if it is digital (I use Awesome Note), on paper (see my post on Bullet Journaling), or a combination of both (which is what I do), but “write” it down. I have a task that pops up on my phone daily at 6 am called daily routine which includes: Wake up by 6, Brush & floss teeth, Cardio workout, Yoga/stretch, Make Bed, Wash face, Make coffee, Make protein shake for family breakfast. Every day I shoot to check all of the boxes (don’t get me wrong some days I don’t do cardio and I do it later in the day or I skip yoga). It really helps set intention for my day. image
  4. Meditate. Anyone who knows me will tell you my mind runs at 1000 miles per hour. It never stops. I always thought meditation was impossible for me, but once I really committed (i use the headspace app) I found that it made me much more in tune with my mental and physical states and helped me to relax more generally.
  5. Set your goals. I always set goals in 4 categories: Career, Family, Health, and Personal. I try to do it annually and check it quarterly. Make sure they are attainable and will give you a sense of accomplishment. Examples: Career = Get a positive mid year rating and complete “X” project on time. Family = Get child in Swim lessons and do dinner at the table with not TV 4 times per week. Health = Fit into size 4 jeans and be able to do 20 pushups. Personal = Meditate 4 times per week and stretch to touch your toes. NOTE* when it comes go health goals I strongly encourage you to make them about something other than weight. Make them size or strength or food related. Weight is arbitrary – I could care less what i weigh if I fit into my clothes well and feel sexy.
  6. Lastly, put yourself first. Yes your spouse is important, yes your kids are important, yes your friends are important, but if you don’t take care of yourself you can’t take care of them. When Mama is happy everyone is happy.

XOXO

Kendall

Shop my look HERE

Taking time for yourself post-baby

With two kids under 13 months (yeah…we’re gluttons for punishment) it’s easy to get wrapped up in the kids, and keeping the house clean, and feeding everyone and all of the other Mom to-dos that come with a full house. A friend of ours says you’re not really a parent until you are on one-to-one coverage or higher and man do I agree. Having two kids is a totally different playing field than one, and we are adjusting as fast as we can. But that being said – it is SO important to take a little “me-time” to do what you love and relax.

For me, I have a few guilty pleasures that are my non-negotiables. These can be different for everyone but for me they’re:

  • Coffee – I have to have an iced Macchiato every day. Otherwise I’ll get a headache or fall asleep like a narcoleptic or just be generally cranky. Don’t come between this mama and her coffee. Thanks to my Mother’s Day gift I no longer have to run to Starbucks for coffee. My husband spoiled me with THIS amazing espresso machine and now I make my lattes at home.
  • Working out – this is my stress reliever. If I don’t workout my anxiety runs rampant and I become super tightly wound. I need the release.
  • Reading – even if it’s only 30 min a day (or right now 15 min every 3 hours when I pump) I like getting lost in a good book. I don’t really watch TV so reading cheesy teenage paranormal books is my equivalent of trash TV.
  • A good night’s sleep – not really super possible with a newborn but to the extent that I can sleep, I will. I am as close to a narcoleptic as you can be without actually falling asleep random places. I LOVE SLEEP.

I’m recommending that all Mamas out there take some time for your guilty pleasures. Carve out some time (min usually is during nap time) to workout, or read, or take a nap, but in general spend it doing something that RELAXES and resets you. NO! Dishes & laundry don’t count – I abhor an untidy house and compulsively clean but don’t waste your hour doing that. Take the time for yourself, and maybe assign a household chore or two to your husband to help. Or ask him to watch the kids for a hour so you can rest. Or take them to an hourly daycare for an hour or two a day. It’s OKAY!!!! Ask for help and don’t let your needs fall to the wayside in favor of everyone else. You’re a member of the family too and when Mama is happy: Everyone is happy.

Having kids requires comfy pajamas – that’s pretty much all I wear day & night unless I’m planning on leaving the house so here are 4 of my favorite pairs including the one I am wearing in the cover pic.

 

PJ1 – LINK

PJ2 (what I’m wearing in pink stripe) – LINK

PJ3 – LINK

PJ4 – LINK

XOXO

Kendall

WIMCW: Mother’s Day Gift Haul Edition

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, and me becoming a mother of 2 today, I figured I would collect some of my favorite gift ideas for your mom (or ideas for your husband).

Nespresso

Nespresso Machine: I love a good Caramel Macchiato and this makes quick espresso. Also, their newest machine steams milk as well.

IMG_1452

Drybar Curling Iron: I’ve recently gone back to a curling Iron instead of a wand and I really like it. this 1.25″ is perfect for long lasting curls.

IMG_1451

Rose Gold Earbuds: I recently ordered these for myself because they’re on sale 50% off and they’re so cute!!! (Plus they match my phone case)

IMG_1450

Cupcake Carrier: My friend Cori has one and I steal it ALL THE TIME. It’s so convenient and something every mom can use. Well…every mom who bakes.

IMG_1449

Fitbit Versa: I love mine! I plan on doing a whole review in a few weeks but it has all of the best parts of the apple watch but with a WAY better battery life. And its $30 off for Mother’s Day!

IMG_1456

David Yurman Bracelet: Is there anything more classy? If you’re looking to really spoil mama this timeless piece is gorgeous!

IMG_1455

Ugg Bathrobe: Okay stay with me. I bought an Ugg Poncho at the NAS last year, and then proceeded to get this robe. Because come on. OMG YES SOFTNESS.

IMG_1454

PranaMat: Last but not least something on my own list. This acupuncture mat is supposed to be INCREDIBLE. I haven’t tried it myself but I want to.

None of these products are sponsored – they are all really just great things I would love for Mother’s Day and think other moms would too. That being said, they are through Shop Style Collective if you buy through my link.

Happy Mother’s day…in advanced.

XOXO

Kendall

 

Bullet Journaling

My followers probably know by now that I LOVE to Bujo, and make lists, and organize. It’s therapeutic for me. A few weeks ago I put my newest BUJO pages in my IG story, and thought I would recap them here with some of my tips for staying organized with kids (and husbands because…yeah) and if you’re juggling multiple responsibilities (such as multiple jobs, communities/groups, clubs, etc.).

Let me start by saying: if you decide to Bujo you do NOT need to go the full artistic intense version that I do. In fact – I recommend starting simple so that you’ll stick with it (see my TIPS from my Bujo 101 blog post a few months ago). That being said, I personally find it easier for me to stay engaged with my journal when it is aesthetically pleasing so I spend a LOT of time prepping my pages so that I will use them.

All of that being said, here are my newest pages:

My Home Improvement & Gift tracker. No these don’t really go together. But I was using the full page so sue me. LOL. My home improvement just has a list of things I want to do in the house, semi-organized by their location in my personal home, and I check them off per my standard key (one line is in progress, 2 lines is finished). The gift tracker is by Family member so that when I have ideas I can put them on the list and when I buy them I can cross them off. I try to get gifts throughout the year AND keep track of ideas I have so this is super helpful for me.

Bujo1

Movies & Quotes (sometimes Quotes from Movies) I like to keep track of all of David and I’s “Date Nights”. Even if its renting a moving at home and ordering pizza (we watch a lot of movies) we try really hard to prioritize time together and this is a fun way to recap some of our date memories. I also like to track inspirational quotes for myself, from multiple resources, so that when I feel like I need a kick in the pants, I have one handy.

Bujo2

Books Read & DNF’ed (did not finish) I read A LOT of books. Like 200+ per year. I like to track my favorites on my “bookcase” (because sometimes Goodreads has a meltdown and doesn’t do what I need it to do) for quick reference when people ask for recommendations, and the ones I started but didn’t finish because I A) Don’t want to buy them and try them again and B) If I read 205 books but I started an additional 60 that were terrible – I feel like I deserve credit for that. Pat on the back.

Bujo3

My Future Log & Key. I like to know what appointments I have upcoming, what holidays I need to prep for, Doctor’s appointments, and weird social-media-holidays for our blog. On top of that I try to follow a consistent key across all of my pages regardless of tracker or monthly page, this helps me remember what that is. #Pregnancybrain

Bujo4

Last but not least – my Weight & Measurements tracker. For post baby. Cause I’m not dieting with a kid in me. But, I like to be prepared. This way I can track my monthly measurements and overall weight as I make my way back to my ideal weight over the rest of the year.

Bujo5

In addition to these pages I currently am only doing a monthly tracker (instead of weekly since I won’t be working over the next few months and my job has been on hold for the last month). I also have a Breastfeeding tracker & sick days for my kids. Cause I’m that mom. I give my kids dirty pacifiers to build their immunity but then I track every day they’re sick. Boom.

Feel free to reach out with any requests for pages or tips!

XOXO

Kendall

My Fitness Journey

I’ve written about some of my past fitness…decisions before, but thought I would touch on it again. Growing up my mom was a dietician so I knew about healthy eating and exercise, but like all adolescents didn’t REALLY grasp the importance (and even had a phase in high school where I pretty much ate 2 chocolate chip cookies a day…and that was all). For me “health” and “weight” was synonymous.

Fast forward past college, I was getting married to my now husband, and I met some people through instagram and got caught up in the Herbalife movement. Now – it wasn’t bad. I ate really clean, I exercised, I learned more about nutrition than I ever had in my life, and even did my first fitness competition. It was a period of incredible growth for me. That being said, an MLM is not for me and the more I learned about nutrition the less I wanted to drink really processed soy based shakes. Not hating on the company (I still have friends who do it who are in great shape) just that it ended up not being a good fit for me.

Then I was doing competitions with REALLY strict diets and A LOT of workouts. It wasn’t good for my mental health (or my marital health – its hard when you’re at the gym all the time, can’t eat/drink together, and your spouse doesn’t share your interest. Props to couples who rock it, but it wasn’t for us). It ended up making me a bit obsessive with my weight and then eventually totally burned out on exercise. It sucked all the fun out of it for me.

Introducing what I will call “current life stage”. I found Barre Code – which for me personally was more than a gym – it was a mentality shift. They really focus on strength and power, and not on body image or weight. I also met a bunch of ladies who eat well 90% of the time, workout regularly, and then go get pizza and margs. My kind of people. It really helped me changed my mindset from “eat less to lose weight and do tons of cardio” to “eat with balance and workout to become stronger”.

Fitness1

Want the proof? I weigh 22 pounds LESS my second pregnancy (my kids will be exactly 1 year apart so I only had 3 months of not being pregnant in between). Now, I also try to avoid meat and dairy now (I’m not vegan just wary) and I exercised very consistently this pregnancy, but a lot of that is my current mentality. I want my WHOLE FAMILY to be healthy and active, not on a diet and running all the time.

I’m not sharing this as an attempt to say “do what I do – I’m the best and all the other things are wrong”. No. What I’m trying to share is that it is a JOURNEY. It took time for me to start to really like myself and my body. It took time for me to find what healthy and balance looked like for me. It took doing things that didn’t work for me, to really appreciate what did. And I will probably change again in the future because…it is a JOURNEY. So don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t get frustrated. Try something new, strive for balance, and find a girl gang that makes you FEEL GOOD. I’m here if you need me.

XOXO

Kendall

Friday 5

Its that day again – FRIYAY. Which means I get to share 5 super interesting (maybe not) things about me, AND in a surprising turn of events I’m also going to start sharing a 5 item flat lay each Friday. This week’s is made up of 3 items I purchased this week (1 is on SALE) and 2 of my more classic items mixed in. All the links are below. But any who – facts about me:

  1. I actually didn’t want children. I was so worried about my ability to raise them well, and how society was progressing, that I feared bringing children into the world. To be totally honest I worried that I was too selfish to be a good mom, that I wouldn’t be able to put their needs before my own. I’ve obviously pushed through those fears to have not only 1, but 2 (in like 2 weeks) children. But it was a huge issue when my now husband and I first started dating.
  2. While my pregnancies have been very easy and healthy (thank the lord) I’ve actually faced quite a few complications. I just didn’t think they were bad enough to really effect my day to day life but I did go through: Terrible Braxton Hicks (27 hours of non-active labor with my first), broad ligament pains (also worse with my first), pregnancy migraines (including ocular migraines which make me go blind for 30-60 minutes with my second), contractions (on and off starting week 26 with both), sciatic pain (second and luckily only at the very end), and lastly my second has Kidney issues so we are considered high risk and have lots of extra specialist appointments. I try to be a pretty positive person and I’ve been incredibly lucky that I didn’t have morning sickness or pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes or any of 100s of other hardships during my pregnancies but it isn’t always smooth sailing. You’re not alone ladies.
  3. I may have a shopping addiction. Not gonna say I’m at the therapy level yet (unless it’s retail therapy) but it’s pretty aggressive. LOL. I guess that makes blogging a good passion for me. If there is every anything you want to see more of (baby clothes, mom clothes, shorts, workout apparel, etc.) let me know.
  4. I plan entire vacations around food. Seriously. I wouldn’t consider myself a total foodie (my sister-in-law is though. She’ll eat anything and I always have a blast getting introduced to new foods by her), but I REALLY like to eat. When my mom and I went to New York a few years ago we planned our days around my food reservations. LOL. I like to eat, any and all recommendations are welcome.
  5. When I become independently wealthy…HAHAHHHAHAHA…but no seriously. I would travel all day every day if it was up to me. I love going to new places, experiencing new things, learning new languages, and generally just wandering around new places. I truly believe David is my soul mate, because he is the same way. We don’t need to stay in the nicest hotel or have a full itinerary, we both just want to wake up and experience wherever we are. It makes traveling together a blast.

Hopefully this gives you a bit more insight into my life. I’d love to hear from you guys what you agree/disagree with and some fun facts about you all!!! And then, of course, as promised – here is my 5 item flat lay:

flatlay

Shop these items: HERE.

XOXO

Kendall

Pre & Post Natal Fitness

Mentally prepare for me to get a bit preachy (sorry in advanced). Through both of my pregnancies I have been a certified fitness instructor and specialized in Pre/Post natal fitness. Shout out to MomMe Strong who taught me SO much during both pregnancies. I truly think that education is incredibly important when you’re pregnant regarding health and fitness. Doctors can give varying advice (and of course everyone who has ever had a baby wants to share their opinion as well) but let me address some of the most common things.

  1. You shouldn’t workout while pregnant – FALSE. The most common belief here is that you shouldn’t start any NEW kinds of activities while pregnant. The reason doctors say this (in my opinion) is that if you don’t workout before you’re pregnant there are a lot of increased risks if you start new activities. For starters – if you aren’t super aware of your body, muscles, and correct form it is MUCH easier to hurt yourself while pregnant than when you aren’t. Not to mention, your energy levels tend to be lower when pregnant so you could over exert yourself, become dehydrated, or get sick as a result of new movements/cardio activity. To be totally honest, a lot of instructors/PT also don’t know what they’re doing with pregnant clients so they could give you bad advice. I highly suggest spending time with someone who is certified in Pre/Post natal fitness to develop routines/regimens that will work for you.
  2. You shouldn’t work out your core while pregnant – Yes & no. the big risk to your core is Diastasis Recti. Basically this is when your two sides of the abdomen separate. This can be due to baby’s pressure from the inside out and from over taxing the center of your core while pregnant. The best way to avoid this is to avoid pressure on your center column and ALL twisting core moves. Once again, I recommend getting a routine from a certified professional, but some of my favorite pregnancy moves are Bird Dogs, Beast hold, Reverse Plank, Side plank, Piston breaths, Marching High knees (standing), and glute bridges (which strengthen all the way around your core). I would avoid russian twists, crunches/situps, forearm planks, push-ups, and of course anything laying on your belly.
  3. Eat whatever you want “it’s for the baby” – FALSE. Keep in mind a healthy weight gain while pregnant is 15-25 pounds. You lose about 20 pounds in delivery (placenta, baby, liquid) and everything else is excess. Now, I would NEVER recommend dieting while pregnant or restricting, however you are not a “bad mom” if you eat lots of veggies and stay away from cake. I gained 37 pounds with my first pregnancy (despite working out) mostly due to the influx of sweets and fried foods in my diet given to me by OTHER people. My second pregnancy I gained 10. My second pregnancy the baby actually weighed MORE and was healthier at birth. You don’t need to gain a lot of weight for your baby to be healthy. The best thing you can do for your baby is be healthy yourself.
  4. You’ll never workout again after having a baby – FALSE. I actually got in BETTER shaped after Kensington than I was before. It’s all about priorities. If it is a priority for you, you can make time. For me – I started taking daily walks the day AFTER I had Kensington and kept that up (with some light arm work) until 6 weeks postpartum when I could get back to Barre. You can do it – just keep the same core advice as above until your Diastasis is healed (if you had it).

I’m super passionate about maintaining activity while pregnant. I take the stairs, I park away from the building, and I workout 5-6 times per week. I feel like the better health I am in, the better my health for delivery, and the better health my baby is in. Not to mention exercising your core & pelvic floor can help with recovery after the baby is out and help prepare them for delivery (since they will grow accustomed to your core being engaged and contracting on a regular basis similar to pushing).

image005

Now all of this being said, if you have terrible morning sickness (or all day sickness), sciatic pain, dehydration, your doctor advises against physical activity, pre-eclampsia, migraines, etc. DO NOT BE HARD ON YOURSELF. If you skip a workout (or 6 months of them) to be healthier for you and your baby – that is the right move! You shouldn’t push yourself to exhaustion trying to workout. There are very valid reasons for skipping your workouts and maintaining a lower level of physical activity. I would still recommend walks when possible, but you know your body better than I do (or your doctor for that matter) do what YOU think is best.

And of course feel free to reach out below or on insta DM and I’m happy to share my story or provide additional advice.

XOXO

Kendall

Social Media and the Comparison Game

Life is daunting already. There is so much pressure (especially on women) to be “perfect”.   The perfect parent, employee, spouse, sex icon, fitness enthusiast, fashionista, the list goes on. Not only do we feel pressure to be perfect in ONE of these areas, we are pressured by social media and friends/family to be perfect in ALL of these areas. And it is daunting (can also use words like terrifying, overwhelming, frustrating, depressing, etc.  synonymously here). Then we layer on top of that this wave of Social Media. Some of us subject ourselves willingly to the censure and judgement of other, and some do not. But EVEN IF you are not out there blogging and writing about your personal life, odds are you scan through your feed and think “OMG she’s perfect. Why can’t I be more like that?”.

My best friend constantly tells me “Her kids still throw up on her”, “She hasn’t eaten anything but lettuce in weeks”, “We can get tequila for that” in an attempt to help me remember that all these people on social media are human. They may curate their photos better than I do, they may be craftier than I am, they may be thinner/smarter/have better hair than I do, but they are all still regular people. It is unfair to YOU, if you are constantly comparing yourself to others. Don’t get me wrong, I am SUPER guilty of this as well, but what I’m trying to say is that we all need to make an effort to appreciate who we are as individuals and stop the comparison game.

A blogger I follow always posts her clothing sizes when she lists things and she’s a size 23-34. Really? That is approximately the size of one of my thighs. Now, I’m not hating on her. Good for you girl! Maybe she’s naturally thin or she works her butt off (literally) to wear that size. Either way – good for her. But for ME to wear a size 24 I would have to never eat again and give up my butt. Odds are, neither of those are happening any time soon. But there is a second, when I look at her shopping haul for the week, where I think “OMG she’s so thin. And I’m not.”

WHY?

Why do we do that to ourselves?

Why not just say “She is so thin and fabulous  and I love those shorts! I wonder if they have them in my size?”? Why do we instantly go into the comparison game?

So this is my call to action. Not only for you all but for myself. My goal of 2018 (after reading the power of habit book this month) is to maintain a positive self image. I’m starting with not saying “snarky” things about myself or my relationships out loud. Things like “I look huge” or “I guess she likes you better”. Instead focusing on the positive “my new reddish hair looks super fun” and “She was so happy to see me when I got home”. Step One is saying TRUE things out loud that are positive.

Step Two is changing the way I think. This step will ALWAYS be a challenge, but I (and my guess is many of you out there) need to work on thinking about the good instead of the bad. Being proud of someones craftiness, does not mean that I have to be disappointed in my own. I can appreciate the goodness in others, or parts or me, without focusing on the negative. I just need to decide to do it.

One last thing (in this otherwise really preachy and long blog post) – If you are an internet troll or the kind of person whose inner jerk is unleashed by the confidence you gather from your computer screen, give up. 1. Your horrible comments will not bring us down. 2. You’re only hurting yourself.

I am officially anti-hater. I am pro-people. I am pro-you. I am pro-me. Bring on the fabulousness of other people. I can handle it.

XOXO

Kendall

Big Magic Book Review

At the start of this year, I kind of went on this big “self improvement” kick. Not like the traditional New Years Resolutions, but like a soul deep interest in improving myself as a mother, spouse, employee, manager, and person. I started tracking Habits in my Bullet Journal, Reorganized my home (and renovated the closet which made organizing possible), and started a self development book club with a smorgasbord of women across my professional organization, gym, & personal life. Each month I read 1 Self Development book with them, we meet up for brunch & booze, and then we tear these poor authors apart. Its a grand old time.

This month in addition to my book club book, I also read “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s on our roadmap to read later this year, but I heard great things about it and might’ve gotten a bit impatient. Let me start by saying – the writing style took what I thought I knew about Self Development books and BLEW IT UP. Check your preconceived notions at the door with this one ladies and gents. This book is like nothing I’ve ever read before.

  1. While it is…instructive, it’s like getting advice from the world’s best barista. Casual, full of colloquialisms and candid delivery, and honestly really fun to read.
  2. I found around 700 taglines for my life in this book. Even if you didn’t read it, the quotes that could be derived from Gilbert’s expert delivery are enough to make you want to reshape your life.
  3. I have found that with many Self Development books you take away 1 big theme. For “The Magic art of tidying up” by Marie Kondo (February’s book) it was put stuff away. Oh and fold it. For “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg it was replace your rewards and change your habits. For Big Magic? Be yourself. Express yourself. Push yourself. Allow your own self to flow creatively through the world. Don’t look down on yourself or your abilities. You can do it. Ugh – all the positive feels.

This might be in my top 2 favorite Self Development books (I’m not sure that anything will move 7 habits from #1 for me just because it is so instructive), and something I revisit frequently. Just to showcase for you I pulled some of my favorite quotes/excerpts for you guys below.

book rev 3

  • “We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world” – Whitman
  • “Live the most vividly decorated temporary life that you can”
  • “Do whatever brings you to life. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever becomes a revolution in your heart. The rest will take care of itself.”
  • “It’s not what they call you, its what you answer to” – W.C. Fields

I love that Gilbert describes ideas as living entities that swirl around in the universe beside us like ghosts, calling upon the willing, open-minded, creative to bring them to life. It seems both grandeur and humbling that one of these ideas could chance upon us and strike through our souls with an innate understanding of how to give that particular idea life. It has changed the way I contemplate expression and creativity.

ook rev 2

All in all I highly recommend reading this book. Do you have any other recommendations for me/my book club? DM me or comment if you’re interested in joining the book club virtually.

XOXO

Kendall

%d bloggers like this: