I'm a Mom. I Also Work Out.

I'll be the first to admit that I didn't exercise one lick when I was expecting Caroline. Between the hyperemesis, (read: constant puking), and the lethargy that came as a result of that, working out sounded about as appealing as a DIY root canal.

Doing our "Monday" workout yesterday.

After the little bambina arrived, I decided that I wanted to try to eat healthier and start exercising again. I really want to always set a good example for her. I want her to know that it's important to fuel your body with good food, (and the occasional Sonic Chili Cheese Coney), and to make health a top priority.

I'll be honest, I did purchase a few workout DVDs, but the weather has been so nice that I've found myself outside nearly every day cardio-ing it up with Caroline.

Here's a sample of what my weekly "workout" routine looks like right now:

I will say, I'm at home all day with the baby Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so we do a lot of our working out in the mornings around 10:00 a.m.

30 minutes of HIIT with the jogging stroller (breakdown is below)

-5 minute warm-up walk
-10 two-minute intervals of jogging, running and then fast paced walking while pushing the jogging stroller
-10 minute cool-down walk

20 minutes of mommy and me yoga
You can find some of the moves we do here.

30-35 minute incline walking with jogging stroller or baby carrier
(We walk in our subdivision since it's really hilly.)

20 minutes of mommy and me yoga
Moves are here.

Total body workout with baby. Here are the moves we do!

I'll be sharing a few of my meal plans next week, so stay tuned for that.


The Easter Song

I post this song every year on Good Friday because, for me at least, it tells the Greatest Story of Love and Sacrifice more beautifully and more simply than I've ever heard. It's called "The Garden" by NEEDTOBREATHE, one of my favorite bands.

I hope that wherever you are this upcoming Easter weekend, you realize that God loves you fully and unconditionally.


Can You Find Happiness for 100 Days Straight?

You've probably all seen the "100 Days of Happy" thing going around Facebook and Instagram lately. I know I have. And I absolutely love the thought behind this. (You can find the website here.)

Do something, anything, every single day that evokes a feeling of pure happiness and record it through a photo. Simple enough, right?

For most of us that are on Instagram, we post a picture darn near every day. Mine, admittedly, are almost exclusively photos of my kiddo, something for which I refuse to apologize. She is one of my greatest happinesses, as is my husband, (but I think it might be a big gag-inducing and slightly awkward to dedicate a photo a day to him), but I love the idea of challenging myself to look for happiness in less obvious places, too.

Anyway, I love the idea of starting this little project. Taking one photo of something that made me happy that day. It can be as simple as a perfect glass of Chianti or as emotionally charged as seeing my daughter hit a major milestone. It just has to be happy.

I've seen others using the hashtag #100happydays (fitting...ha!)

I plan to start tomorrow, so please let me know if you intend to play along. My username is ablondeambition and you can also find me here.

Anyone doing this currently? Anyone else want to take part in this with me?


Summer Hair-spiration + New Beauty Find!

Know what I love most about warmer weather? Fun and easy updo hairstyles that are perfect for the season. Like every other woman on the planet, I tend to revert back to the tried-and-true messy bun when the going gets...well, humid.

I'm hoping to step my game up a little bit this summer and try out some new 'do(s) when the heat hits. Here are a few that are on my "must learn to recreate this" list:

Inverted Bun Thingy

I love that this looks a little dressy, but could also be worn with a baseball tee and denim shorts. I looked high and low for a tutorial on this, so if anyone else can find it, I'll give you the Golden Ticket to the Chocolate Factory.

via Pinterest

Update: This tutorial looks like it would achieve the same look!

Update #2: And this tutorial shows how to get this style without the headband.

The Braid 'n Tuck

This one actually looks really easy. I couldn't find a tutorial for it, but it looks like the hairstylist did a normal braid on one side of the head, then pulled it across the back of the head, rolled it inward, then pulled a section of hair down over the top of it to give it the illusion that the hair section was holding it in place. (Let's pretend that wasn't the worst run-on sentence in the history of written word, shall we?)

Excessive verbiage aside, isn't it a beaute?

via Pinterest 

Not Your Momma's Side Pony

Or maybe it is. I don't know your mom. 

Tutorial here


For all you sulfate-free shampoo fans out there, I found another shampoo/conditioner duo that I really like AND it's by Redken. Still loving my Davines, too, so I'm just alternating the two.

Redken Color Extend Magnetics Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner


Caroline Rose: {Six Months}

Weight/Length: We don't go for her six-month check-up and shots until next week, but our scale at home indicated 13 pounds 13 oz. She's definitely getting longer, too! I think she's close to 24.5 inches now.

Yes, still a peanut, but her cheeks are so squishable and perfect! 

Hair and Eyes: Hair is still a pretty shade of brown. And her eyes are still the brightest of blue. 

Diapers: Size 2 Pampers Swaddlers diapers finally fit her booty.

Clothing: Believe it or not, she can finally wear her 3-6 month Carter's sleepers - woohoo! Most of her everyday clothing is 3 Mo., but at least we've moved out of Newborn sizes ; ) We also purchased some swimsuits last month and have been adding to our growing collection, all in preparation for the boat this summer. 

Favorite Things: Her Sophie the Giraffe toy, her Exersaucer, riding in her stroller, sitting in her Bumbo and watching me cook, having books read to her.

Wearing our "birthday" tiara!

Likes: Right now, our petite princess loves: Strangely, she loves thunder. It all started last week when it was stormy one day. There were several big claps of thunder and, to my amazement, she laughed so hard. Maybe she has a career as a storm chaser in her future?

She also loves looking at books, (thank the Lord this girl loves books like her momma!), listening to the Duke Ellington/Billy Holiday station on iRadio in the car, being outdoors in her stroller, watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the iPad, stretching on the floor and her doggies, Ruby and Ari. 

Dislikes: People with super loud voices or a loud laugh (I think it startles her), the pipe organ at church (I can't blame her for that one...ick!), getting OUT of the bathtub. Girlfriend loves water.

Milestones: With rolling over from tummy-to-back and vice-versa out of the way, the next big milestone was sitting up. I thought sitting up might happen during her sixth month, but she surprised us and sat bolt upright this past month.

On April 7th at 5 mos., 3 wks., she sat up for the first time! She stayed that way for 23 seconds before tipping over. Ever since that day, she just...sits...and sits...and sits. She can go a half minute or so without assistance, which is really cool to watch. 

I don't know of anything quite as fun as watching your baby grow and develop. 

Eating: We began solids last night. I'm really glad we held off until she was six months old, just because I don't think her tiny tummy was ready until now. (Our pediatrician doesn't like to start sooner than that anyway, but I do know that every baby is different!) 

We don't plan to use the pre-packaged baby food, so I'll be buying her veggies/fruits and pureeing them. Definitely a cost-saver! We will try avocado next, probably Thursday, just to make sure her tummy tolerates solid food well. 

Other Changes: She loves to blow raspberries and will also imitate the long "oo" sound when we say, "boo", which is funny. She belly laughs multiple times per day, which we love. She will also randomly squeal and "sing" all the time. (Especially when mommy is on the phone, ha!)

Sleeping: She is a wonderful, wonderful sleeper. I realize this could all change on a dime, but from 8:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. or so, she sleeps. Sometimes (especially during growth spurts) she'll wake for a quick feeding, then it's back down to bed. 

She takes one long nap around 10:00 a.m. for two hours, then another nap around 1:30, then her final one around 4:30 p.m.

Mama Thoughts: 
Month five was a little more challenging for us, only because she's getting to the stage that she realizes when one of us has left a room. She's definitely quite attached to her mommy and daddy, so we have to remind her that when we walk away to do something (put laundry away, load the dishwasher, etc.), that we're still close by. This behavior also has its perks, though. For instance, she LOVES to be held super closely and rocked during her naps. 

Her demeanor reminds me a lot of her cousin Luke when he was a baby. She's very mellow and smiley, and will "talk" to anyone who's willing to listen. I'm glad she's a social baby. 

I'm still really, really enjoying my part-time work schedule. I love our Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at home together, but I also look forward to the adult interaction and challenging projects on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It really has been a good solution for our family and I don't imagine we'll change anything in the near future. 

We've been enjoying the awesome weather together daily with long stroller walks, which is great cardio for momma, too! It feels great to get moving again. I've also started trying to eat better and incorporate tons of veggies and fruits into my daily eating routine. I ate a lot of junk toward the end of the pregnancy, which I'm sure didn't help my sluggishness. So I'm working to change that. I want to set a good example for Caroline to enjoy healthy foods and always be open to trying new things. 

Until next month, friends.