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Monday, August 29, 2016

6 Months Body After Baby Update | 40-Day Fitness Challenge

Back to Monday friends!  How was your weekend? We had a big one!  On Friday afternoon, we had an after school play date and Jordan got her 'first kiss'!  If that isn't the sweetest thing ever, I don't know what is!  Friday night we celebrated my baby brother's engagement with all our immediate family (there's gonna be a March wedding!!!), then a birthday party on Saturday morning for one of the cutest and sassiest 4 year olds I know, and finally a couples' date night with our wonderful friends (hi Ali-Shaun if you're reading this!) on Saturday night, which was such a much-needed adult treat!  We spent most of Sunday lazying around, but now it's back at it with my weekly workout with my trainer. Which brings me to today's 'body after baby' update and fitness post.
Moving Comfort sports bra (so good for running, especially for larger chests) | shorts (black)

Bringing you back to the beginning, after I had Jordan, I wasn't consumed with losing the baby weight like I was after my first pregnancy.  I felt like I had reached a very comfortable place in my life with a healthy perspective on how our bodies change during pregnancy and I truly felt fine in my own post-pregnancy skin.  I'm not saying I was in the best shape, just that I happily accepted where I was physically.  Since the minute I found out I was pregnant with Jordan, I've just been so.very.thankful. I'm 41, so I wasn't even sure I could get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy.  I don't take it for granted for a minute.

similar top (runs small)

dress XS | jean jacket XS | necklace | sandals (on sale)

When you have a newborn baby, there is so much other stuff to focus on and enjoy and worry about and just the basics of eating and sleeping take priority.  The baby's eating and sleeping and your own! I was happy to have friends bring meals for a long time after Jordan was born and I'd thankfully eat whatever they brought!  Especially the dessert!

I started walking after about a month and got the doctor's clearance to exercise after 6 weeks, so I did, but not that much.  First of all, I was still really tired and not getting great sleep, but also with exclusive breastfeeding, it's just hard to fit it into your day.  I got a big boost in the sleep department when I transitioned Jordan to her crib and she started sleeping through the night! #praiseGod!!! I weaned her to formula at about 5 months, and I'll share more about that soon, but the reason to transition her didn't have to do with my health and fitness.  However, because I'm not tied to those feedings anymore, I do have more opportunities to workout.


Jordan 4 months old

I gained 35 pounds during my pregnancy, and continued working out until I delivered, and have been 5 pounds away from my pre-pregancy weight since about 4 months.

But, during that time, I lost a lot of the muscle I used to have.  When I got pregnant, I weighed 105 pounds, but was also about to compete in an NPC bikini competition.  Now that I'm just over 6 months postpartum, I've got the itch to get back into great shape and build back up the muscle I've lost and put more focus on me in the physical fitness department.


I'm on a new meal plan, which is similar to my bikini prep meal plan, but now I'm tracking my macros in the My Fitness Pal app on my phone.  Doing this allows you to clearly see how much calories, protein, carbs, fat a day you are consuming and you can set goals to keep you from going over. I want to get more into My Fitness Pal and what I've been eating in a separate post because I want to be detailed and it would be too much to add here.  


What's most important when you're dieting or trying to get in better shape is to define for yourself why you want to do that.  The truth is dieting is hard.  Exercising is hard.  It's not just physically difficult, but it's hard to make the time to workout and devote that energy to your healthy meals and meal prep.  Keeping the commitment is the challenge.

Some days, or maybe even every hour, when you don't FEEL like doing it anymore or you find yourself questioning, "Why in the hell am I eating grilled chicken breast for the umpteenth time?!?!" you need to dig deep and remember why you wanted to do this in the first place. 

Your why could be any number of things from wanting to be able to actively play with your kids instead of sitting on the couch saying, "mommy's tired" to wanting to lose inches from your waistline to wanting to feel better about yourself, to lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease, to get your zest for life back, to wake up with more energy, to challenge yourself and be better than you were yesterday, or simply to look hot!  I'm not above admitting vanity plays a role. Whatever your reason, there is no judgement here and only you can authentically know why you want it.  But I do encourage you to find your reason because you'll need it when the going gets tough.


I'm still loving the Zella jacket and shorts I got during the awesome Nordstrom Anniversary sale.  I ordered them online with free shipping and they arrived right away.  I've been wearing them ever since.   This jacket comes in 4 colors and is fantastic quality.  The material is so soft and stretchy. 

The shorts are very lightweight material with perforated, vented sides.  I personally like the 3-inch inseam and higher cut sides.  They make my short legs appear longer.  The waistband is nice and wide and super comfy.  These are perfect for running outside on hot days, but aren't lined, so you may want to wear boyshorts underneath.

Our bodies don't change overnight, but every day, those small changes add up and over time, you will see results if you stick with it.  A typical bikini prep is 12 weeks.  I've learned that that's a long time, yet also a relatively short time to see such drastic changes in your body.  For me, it always took about 6 weeks of strict compliance with the diet and exercise to really notice a difference.

I've been on my new fitness kick (for lack of a better term) for a little over a week now and I've already had to resort to my own WHY several times.  It gets easier down the road when you actually start seeing results and you'll probably question your motivation less then.  My WHYs are all of those mentioned above and not any looming contest date.  

I wondered if I could be strict about getting in shape without such a contest to kick my butt and scare the crap out of me, but I'm reminded to just do this for me, my health, my kids and husband and also with you to share and hopefully help any of you on the same journey. 


I haven't ruled out the possibility of competing in the future, but right now, I just want a short-term, attainable goal, so I'm doing a 40-day challenge of sticking to my meal plan, with one cheat meal a week.  My challenge actually works out to 39 days because on the 40th day I travel to NY for the Better Homes & Gardens Stylemaker Event, but "39 Day Challenge" doesn't really have the same ring to it!

My 40 Day Challenge Goals:  

1.  Macros: 1400 calories, 35% carbs, 35% protein, 30% fat which equals 123g carbs, 123g protein, and 47g fat.  Ideally, I'd actually be at 100 grams of carbs, but the calculation worked out that way on MFP (My Fitness Pal).  I chose 1400 calories because I know my BMR is around 1250. Your BMR is the number of calories that reflects how much energy your body requires to support it's vital functions if you were resting all day.  You can calculate your BMR with an online calculator, but I'm not sure how accurate it will be.

I can't tell you where your macros should be, but one way to help you find out is to use MFP to track every single thing you eat for at least 5-7 days to find your average calories consumed.  You have to track it all and not diet for it to be accurate, but once you do, you can start by cutting your calories by 15-20% to lose weight.  Again, I'll get more specific about MFP and how to use it in the next post, but you can also input goals there and let it calculate for you the calories, protein, fat, carbs, etc.

2.  Exercise 5 days a week.  I train once a week with my trainer, but the other 4 days are up to me.  I want to incorporate more strength training than cardio because running is what I had been mostly doing and I want to keep/build muscle.  If you need an at-home workout, this post is for you.

3.  Drink at least 64 oz water.  Ever wonder where the fat goes when you 'lose' it?  Scientists say you actually exhale the fat, but you also lose it through sweat and urine.  I have been so bad about drinking enough water lately, so I made it one of my goals.  I fill a 32 ounce cup twice a day, but while I'm exercising, I also drink another 24 ounces.

4.  Get 8 hours of sleep.  For me, that means going to bed at 10pm and waking up at 6am or 10:30pm/6:30am.  You need that sleep to give your body time to rest, renew, and regenerate those muscles from your workouts!



Starting Stats:  Height 5'0 , Weight 109.7, Body Fat 22.7%
Goal Body Fat: 19% 
p.s. As far as my height, I think I am actually 5' 3/4", so I've called it 5' or 5'1 in past posts.  I'm gonna get my husband to measure me again so I can be certain. 

I chose 19% body fat because I know what my body looks and feels like at that percent.  I remember feeling good with lots of energy at that percentage when I've been at it before.   I was at 19.5% body fat in this picture.  I don't have a goal weight because I'm okay with weighing more through muscle. The biggest thing will be losing fat and not muscle during this challenge.  That's why I eat so much protein and strength train.

I also chose 19% body fat because it's a realistic goal, but maybe not for 40 days.  I'll likely get back on the challenge after NY. If I do another 40 days, I'd end around November 10, and be able to spend the holidays and rest of the year in maintenance mode and then hit it hard again at the new year.  At that time, I can consider if another contest is in my future for 2017.  Why knows??  I'm not dying to do another contest, but I sure enjoy the challenge and seeing my body transform in that amount of time.  At the end of the day, it just makes you feel strong and fulfilled to set a target goal and accomplish it.

But for now, let's just focus on the next 40 days and see what we can accomplish in that time. Wouldn't it be nice to head into the holidays already ahead of the game in terms of our physique and level of fitness?!





And if you need a good sports bra, below are some to check out.



Who's in with me for 40 days??!! 

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Big thank you to my friend, Leticia Carlson, for her talent in taking these fitness pics and making me laugh along the way! She got the toe touch pic on the first try- thank God! ;)



Friday, August 26, 2016

Weekend Steals & Style Spotlight : Cold Shoulder

Yippee for Friday!!  Do you have any fun plans?!  We have a jam packed weekend with two birthday parties and a couples date on Saturday night.  It's Houston Restaurant Weeks now until Labor Day, and we'll be going to Cinq at La Colombe d'Or, which I'm super excited about, especially since I've never been.  And, it will be my first 'cheat' meal in a week and I've earned it!  On Monday, I'll bring you a fitness update and share what I've been doing to get in shape (lose fat/build muscle), which is a tricky combo to do at the same time, but I'm trying! 

I've got a date night look for you today too, one of my favorite pairings - a cold shoulder top with my go-to bootcut jeans (similar).  Yes, us shorties CAN wear bootcut jeans!  The trick is to get the fit slim, wear heels, and have the length perfectly hit the floor.  Get your bootcut jeans altered in the length if you need to and take your heels with you- it's even better if you wash them first for the most accurate hem.  If your pants leg is puddling at the floor, you'll look squatty. Having them hemmed just right makes you look long and lean. I'm so fond of this jean that I have it in two sizes, 25 and 26 and I'm wearing the 26 in these pics.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

5 Ways to Wear Your Plaid Button Down Shirt

Rise and shine friends!  I'm up early (before everyone for a change!) to get some things accomplished while the house is quiet.  This is actually nice and so peaceful to drink my coffee in silence before the day gets buzzing. I mentioned Monday that I've gotten serious about getting back in shape and I'm on Day 5 of a 40-Day Challenge/Mini Cut (more on Snapchat @honeywerehome) and so far so good!  I read all of your comments about how you are interested in my meal plan and workouts, etc. so I'm glad that we can be on this fitness journey together.  

I'll be sharing more details here on Monday, but in the meantime, I have a giant Wardrobe Wednesday post for ya featuring 5 ways to style that Fall staple in your wardrobe - your plaid button down shirt. This post part of a collaboration with Nordstrom, my favorite place to shop online.  Okay, who am I kidding, my favorite place to shop in general!  They just make online shopping such a breeze and do you know of a store with better customer service?  Always so friendly and helpful.  

I showed you this shirt in my last Weekend Casual post and love the frayed-hem and higher cut sides for a more flattering look, but also the color and soft cotton.  It runs true to size, I'm in XS. I found a similar plaid top here if you like this look, but want to spend less.  


This first look is a dressed-up way to wear your plaid shirt, with a feminine midi skirt, heels and a statement necklace.  Tucking the top in lets the skirt be the star and creates the illusion of a smaller waist.  You'll get tons of compliments on this look at your office or on a fun night out.  My skirt is old from Nordstrom, Halogen 0P, so I linked some similar below. 

These heels are a classic black pump, and actually pretty comfortable as far as high heels go.  They also come in nude and are 30% off now.


fringe hem plaid top (XS) | similar skirt & here | heels 30% off | sunglasses | similar purse | earrings | necklace | watch | similar ring

Monday, August 22, 2016

Back to School Routine with 1st Grader & Baby

Is today your kids' first day back to school?  If so, I'm sending you hugs and congratulations for making it through the summer with everyone in tact!  I might have squealed the tires out the driveway on our first day back, but maybe you have more restraint. ;)  Our son went back early, so we're already on Week 3 and Labor Day weekend is on the horizon.

Since I'm all about routines to keep our mornings running on the smoother side, I'm sharing how our weekday mornings look around here now with a first grader and six month old!  Gah! Can you believe Jordan is six months old already?! I swear sometimes I feel like I was just pregnant!

6:30 a.m.  Jordan is my alarm clock and I hear her stirring by 6:30 a.m. every morning.  I put my contacts in and hair up and go into her room where she's already on her hands and knees peering through the slats in her crib waiting for me.  I die over the giant baby grin I get when she sees me.  The sweetest thing ever! We do a diaper change and then head downstairs.   

bow | rug 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Weekend Casual

You guys seriously rock.  I was feeling so down about my hair when I first got it done and I was sure you'd be all, "poor girl" but you were anything but and totally lifted my spirits.  I was honestly surprised to hear so many of you say you actually prefer my hair darker!  Lots of you said it was classier and made me look younger. #Illtakeit! 

Of course, I know hair is a true first world problem and there are much bigger concerns in the world. But I do appreciate you taking the time to comment and give me your thumbs up, compliments and suggestions for my hair future.  I have decided to just let it be for now.  I'm curious to see how it will look as it grows out and my true natural color comes through because I can always tell how shiny, new and healthy that hair feels before I color it.  You guys actually gave me the confidence to hold my brunette-ish head high.  Thank you!! 

One thing I actually do like about my hair, is that when I pull it up, there's no big root line showing now.  It's been crazy humid here, so my hair lasts all of 10 minutes when I curl it and even then, I still put it up often because Jordan is at that hair-pulling stage.  Would y'all believe she's 6 months old already?!  It has flown by and I'm planning a baby update post soon!  I have to admit, it's kind of surreal to be in the baby stage again, after going so long between kids.  But more on that another time . . . 

For today, I'm sharing two easy to wear looks that are perfect for your weekend or casual days. First up, I'm ready for that "transitioning to fall" feel with a plaid button-down top, but this one is extra special because it has the cutest frayed edge hem.  And it's higher on the sides, so it doesn't cut you in half visually.  If you're short like me (and even if you're not) the higher sides are super flattering to your leg line. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Brunetteish

Gah! Why does hair have to be such a drama??!?!  It's been almost a week since I screwed up my hair got lowlights and I still haven't gotten used to it yet.  It has already faded/washed out some with lots of shampooing (even liquid dish soap!), but until I can get it 'fixed' I'm just living with it.  And I can't even look at my profile picture on the top right of my blog or I'll cry!  #passthetissues On the bright side, my roots are no longer a problem! And my hair looks more like Jordan's, which makes me smile.

When you change your hair color, suddenly clothing and makeup colors look different on you too. You can't go wrong with plain white, so that's what I chose to wear when sharing this new hair color. 

top XS | jeans (25 & hemmed to ankle length) | bag | heels | sunglasses 
bracelet (similar for lesswatch | similar necklace (on sale $21)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Calendared to the End of the Year

When school started last week, we did great with getting off on the right foot.  I was excited and proud (and frankly a little shocked) that James remembered how to get himself ready for school.  He's doing great and actually enjoying doing his homework (probably because it's math on the computer, so it's like a game- they're smart these days!) but all the little reminders about dates, school projects, doctors appointments, holidays, conferences, and we haven't even gotten the sports' schedules yet - was making me feel super anxious!  When all those things start swimming in my head, I know I need to write them down in one place so I don't lose my mind.  


I took a few minutes yesterday to download Jen's pretty printable calendar and get everything regarding kids, family, school and holidays all written out through the end of the year.  And I've got it right where I can see it in kitchen command central. I'm breathing a sigh of relief and doing a little happy dance now!  And the kitchen is clean, so Monday was extra good! 


I'll be sharing more of my sanity-saving calendar project over on Jen's blog on Thursday, so please stop by and say hi!
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