Zoo Buddies!

We LOVE going to the Nashville Zoo, but we recently had an extra special trip because we went with Luna’s best baby buddies!

buddies

Seriously, it doesn’t get cuter than this.

house

We showed up before the zoo opened with our wagon and a bag full of snacks. The weather was overcast and 70 degrees. It could not have been a more perfect day to visit the zoo. I was the only Mom who brought a real camera so I snapped away all day and got some adorable photos. Luckily, I transferred a few of my favorite photos to my phone as soon as I got home, because, long story short, EVERY photo got deleted off my camera before they were uploaded onto my laptop! (My own fault, BTW.)

Baby loves he wagon.
Baby loves he wagon.

Whatevs. At least I have the memories of Luna and her friends riding the train, playing in the best baby play pace, petting baby kangaroos, having a picnic and being stinkin’ cute all morning.

sleepy kanga

Lucky tots!
Lucky tots!

Can’t wait for our next play date!

bff

Cheers!

Pretty Churches

During our trip to the UK we visited lots and lots of old churches and cathedrals. Husband especially loves touring old churches. There is so much history, architecture, art and intrigue. The United Kingdom had some especially beautiful old churches, and we were lucky enough to spend lots of quality time in them.

york hubs

When we visited Westminster Abbey in London they were about to start services and weren’t allowing visitors, sooo we did the only logical choice and told the guard we were going to services, which we did. We sat and and listened to the choir and services start, but Luna wasn’t exactly enjoying it or sitting quietly, so we left after about ten minutes. Unfortunately, that was the only time we had in that famous Abbey, BUT have no fear, we made up for all of that lost time in the York Minster, my all time favorite cathedral, er minster? Does anyone know the difference?

york minster

The York Minster is HUGE. Huge and gorgeous. We spent hours and hours covering every inch, brick and stained glass window. We toured the basement, which goes 2,000 years back into the Minster’s history. Husband and Dad-in-law climbed the winding staircases to the top of the Central Tower. (I had to stay back thank to some baby and “it’s too dangerous for kids” rule.) I spent a lot of time in “the orb” It’s a new exhibit that gives you a very rare opportunity to see some very cool, very old ancient stained glass. I’m not typically a huge fan of stained glass, but I found a whole new appreciation for it after spending time in the orb, and in the Minster for that matter.

york mins more minster minster faces minster ceiling church minster roof

In Scotland, our favorite Cathedral, and Husband’s all-time fav church, with the St. Giles Cathedral. St. Giles is over 900 years old and is located in the center of The Royal Mile. It’s dark, mysterious and has some incredible stained glass windows. However, the most interesting part of the church is the Thistle Chapel. This little room caught Husband’s attention because it was off limits, due to theft. Obviously, he was intrigued and determined to go in, after a little research and a convo with one of the workers, the doors were unlocked and we were taken in right before closing for a little private tour.

stained glass more glass little room

I REALLY wish I would have immediately written down everything we were told because it was so interesting, but of course, i didn’t write down a single word. Here’s what I do know… The Thistle Chapel is a room created for the Order of the Thistle (Scotland’s great order of chivalry). There are 16 members of the Order. Each member has their own stall in the Chapel with their own “heraldic device” on display. After one member dies, another is invited to join the Order. The room is full of the most detailed and intricate carvings and designs. There are many symbolic details, and some silly ones too…like an angel playing the bagpipes. It was a cool room, made cooler by the fact that we got a private tour.

special room

Oh, so many gorgeous details.

arches

Where will our next ancient Cathedral be?

Cheers!

10 Minute Workout With a Toddler

What? What? Guess who is back with more workouts???

10minute

The last few months of juggling life, Luna and the blog have been challenging. I am trying so hard to manage everything without ever having a sitter (like, ever), and it’s tough. Just last week, I went through my stats and realized that I am getting tons of hits on my “10 Minute Prenatal Workout” blogs and I am stoked! I LOVED exercising during pregnancy and love even more that I have been able to keep it up since having Luna. Thank you so much to everyone trying out the prenatal workouts!

I wish wish wish I would have written about working out with a newborn and an infant, but you know, you live and learn and now I’m back and ready to share new workouts with you! Since having Luna I have completed Shaun T’s T25, P90X3 and am almost done with the 4th month of Insanity Max 30. I have also picked up running and walking. Luna is with me during each and every workout (unless she by some miracle is napping). Having her with me has taught me a couple of things about the challenges of working out with an infant and toddler. I’ve learned a lot.

We workout in a fairly large room and basically let her have free reign. She runs around, plays with her toys, eats snacks and of course, interacts with us. She babbles, yells, pulls, points, pokes and climbs all over us. There are often occasions where I hold her and workout with her in tow. So, today’s 10 Minute Workout is going to include those exercises that her and I have found to be the most successful for Mommy-toddler workout time.

This workout uses no equipment and can be done virtually anywhere! Do each exercise move for 1 minute. I suggest doing this when you are a) Trying to squeeze in a quick workout. b) In need of a warm-up. or c) Trying to entertain your child while simultaneously energizing yourself. Of course, you could always do it three times in a row for a good 30 minute workout!

(I KNOW some of these photos are blurry. Blame it on the toddler.)

10 Minute Workout With a Toddler

1. Squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat, squat EVERYBODY! Hold that baby and get low. Remember, sit your butt back, chest up and don’t let your knees go past your toes.

squats

2. While lunging you can hold your baby facing you, or facing out while sitting on your thigh. Do 30 seconds on each side. Keep you knee in line with your ankle. If you are feeling really strong do an extra 30 seconds of pulsing on each side!

lunges

3. Luna is a big fan of knee lifts. The faster the better. Lift each knee as high as you can, tighten your abs and tilt your hips under.

knee lift

4. In hindsight, carrying your baby on your shoulders may not be the best idea. Hold your little one however you feel safe in comfortable and lift those heels up! Don’t forget to tighten that booty!

calf raises

5. The ab twist is another favorite of Luna’s. I usually have to switch her to my other hip halfway through, but she loves being twisted from side. Remember to hold your abs in tight, keep your back straight and knees slightly bent.

ab twist

6. The pelvic lift is so good! Lie back, tighten your glutes and abs, and lift and lower down. Luna tends to run over and jump on me for a ride every single time I try this.

pelvic LIFT

7. Time to work the arms. Clearly, Luna has made herself right at home. Keep your bottom off the floor, and lift and lower you body while making sure your elbows go back, not to the sides, as you lower down.

tricep dips

8. Time for some ab work. I love V-sits but it’s near impossible to do them when Luna is crawling all of me. The trick is to use your arms. It’s not considered cheating when a 23 pound baby is jumping on your chest. Just focus on squeezing your abs and using your lower abdominals to hold up your legs.

vsit

9. For your low plank, go to your elbows, keep you body straight (no butts in the air or sagging hips). Let your babe go wild. Luna enjoys crawling over and under me.

low plank

10. Finish it off with some cardio! Run in place! When the little one starts begging for attention, grab their hands and have them run with you! Fun for the whole family.

runinplace

Good luck peeps! Let me know what you think of the new workout and any new workouts you would like to see!

Cheers!

#14DaysOfMe Challenge Complete

Two weeks ago, I challenged myself to a #14daysofme challenge wherein everyday I must pick one thing I love about myself, capture it in photo and share it via social media. While aware that this may appear to be narcissistic, I did it to not only change my own inner voice, but to encourage you to change yours. Positive self-talk is one of the most effective ways to improve depression and anxiety, but it takes a lot of work to change that negative inner-voice. The #14daysofme challenge was my answer to kicking off better habits and thoughts about myself.

The first two days were easy. It’s simple to find at least two things you like about yourself, but by the third day it started getting a little challenging. I began questioning anything I liked… What if I share this and everyone thinks “really? she likes that about herself?” What if I’m wrong? What if I sound cocky? What if I don’t like anything about myself? I almost asked Husband to help me out a few times, but I never never did.  You know what? I found something everyday.

And, what’s more, everyone was super supportive. I cannot tell you how nervous I was to post each photo, but everyone single one was met with words of encouragement, agreement and even appreciation. It started getting easier to find what I like about myself. I began feeling more confident and am now very aware when that negative voice sneaks back in and tries to knock me down. THAT is a huge step in the right direction. Oh how, I hope hope hope my little challenge may have challenge one of you to do the same and change your inner voice!

By the end of the two weeks, I couldn’t stop thinking of things I like about myself. In fact, today, the final day, I had a list of things I could have shared, but after reading this beautiful essay by Glennon over at Momastery, I decided to appreciate my many faults. I highly recommend reading it if you have or know anyone who has any sort of mental illness. (addiction, anxiety, depression, etc).

Help us manage our fire, yes, but don’t try to extinguish us.Tweet: What we mentally different need is respect. Help us manage our fire, yes-but don’t try to extinguish us. @momastery http://ctt.ec/e11Cc+ ‎ That fire that almost killed us is the same fire we’ll use to light up the world. And so we don’t want you to take what we’ve got, we just want help learning how to use what we’ve got for good.  – Glennon

(Funny, how you find just what you need at the exact right moment.)

So here it is, all 14 days of me…

The challenge may be over, but it’s just the beginning to my new habit of loving and encouraging myself. What’s more, is this little boost of confidence is already empowering me to encourage and remind others how they too, are beautiful and wonderful. Like, you. You, my friend are beautiful, brave, kind and strong. And don’t you forget it.

Cheers!

The MOOsic City Run

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She loved running all over the park with her purse!

 

Another run and another sunny and warm weekend is in the books! This spring weather in Tennessee is wonderful. I don’t mind the rain a bit, and I’m soaking up as much outdoor time as possible before the unbearable summer heat hits. Plus, this was probably one of the most pleasant races we are going to be able to run until fall. Saturday morning we (our growing team!) ran the Purity’s Moosic City Dairy Dash benefiting Our Kids.

Always the entertainer... Luna stood on the winners' podium and dance for the crowd.
Always the entertainer… Luna stood on the winners’ podium and dance for the crowd.

Can you guess what we dressed as for this race?

IMG_20150411_074349897_HDR

Cows, of course! Our official team name was “Bellarie’s Bovines”. Unfortunately, there was no costume contest, but we did run at a 7.48/mile pace! I’m especially proud of that time because we have only been running once a week lately. I guess Insanity Max 30 is doing a good job of keeping my cardio up.

me and my little farmer
me and my little farmer

Aunt Amy (the newest team member) ran her second race with us and beat her previous finishing time by 5 minutes. That is incredible! I am so proud of her, and super excited about running more races together.

5k's are exhausting for babies
5k’s are exhausting for babies

When we finished the race we were treated with milk, chocolate milk, juice, popsicles, ice cream, mac & cheese and meatballs! I think Luna, our farmer, enjoyed the treats most. Her first sip of chocolate milk was definitely a hit.

And, THEN it was time to get naked!
And, THEN it was time to get naked!

We completed our race day tradition with breakfast and Starbucks. Then, we took a sunny 6 mile walk, played at the park, did our Saturday Insanity Max workout, worked in my flower bed, made dinner and got in bed by 8pm! That was not only a very busy very fun day, but the earliest I have gotten in bed in probably 15 years. It. was. wonderful.

It was the perfect day to run around the yard naked and play in the water.
It was the perfect day to run around the yard naked and play in the water.

Bring it, Monday.

IMG_20150411_172021114

Cheers!

P.S. WARNING- if you let your baby run around naked there is a good chance they will poop on your porch.

How to Pack a Diaper Backpack (video!)

I have been debating creating YouTube videos for the blog for a VERY long time now and am happy (and relieved) to say I have finally done it! It has been a long few days of recording, editing and learning new software, but it has paid off. My first topic? Well, it was actually requested by one of you!

One of you asked that I share what I packed in Luna’s diaper bag while traveling through the United Kingdom. I loved the idea and then thought, why not make it a video?

Hope you like it!

If you have any requests for future videos or blogs, let me know in the comments.

Cheers!

Easter + Passover = A Really Great Weekend

This weekend was Passover and Easter and it was such a nice weekend. It was full of food, friends, family, sunshine and spring-colored outfits. We did a lot of relaxing and spending quality time with people we love, and basically no time being productive. It was lovely.

easter

 

Passover was at a friend’s house who always host the most delicious and fancy Passover dinner. There’s wine, matzoh ball soup, charoses, yummy veggies and lots of decadent desserts. It was one of those rush around like crazy in the rain kind of days so we forgot to take one single photo. No worries, I made sure to make up for the lack of photos on Easter!

Easter basket! (She was way more excited about the fake Easter grass.)
Easter basket! (She was way more excited about the fake Easter grass.)
BFF's
BFF’s

highchair

 

We hosted Easter brunch at our house for the second year.  It was a potluck meal with about 16 people and SO MUCH FOOD. I attempted making eggs inside of hashbrown baskets. They were a little overdone, but they looked really nice.

eggsbasket

 

Luna had the time of her life. She skipped her morning nap and ran all over the yard climbing everything in sight instead.

smile fall down eggs climb

 

We spent the afternoon playing with plastic eggs at the park. We really couldn’t have had a better Easter. Unless, of course, our Texas family were with us.

park

Hope you all had a great weekend full of nice spring weather, love and mimosas!

Cheers!