Sleep training our infant. How we stopped the madness!

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If you’re up googling “how to get my baby to sleep through the night” TRUST ME, you’re not alone! I was so happy to get a few long stretches of sleep, then—BAM!—the 4 month sleep regression hit,, and some days you’re left questioning how to be a functioning adult.

If you can keep your eyes open long enough, I hope this post will help!

What Is the 4 Month Sleep Regression?

“The 4 month sleep regression is when a baby’s brain makes a developmental leap and his/her sleep cycles change. Though referred to as the “4 month” sleep regression, it generally happens between 3 and 5 months of age.”

A newborn’s sleep is not structured and is not directed by the circadian rhythm. They fall asleep easily, but never enter a true deep sleep, sleeping at odd intervals throughout the day and night.

Around 4 months, their sleep becomes more like an adult’s, with 45 minute sleep cycles governed by the circadian rhythm. 

However, unlike an adult, your baby hasn’t learned to fall back asleep. So believe it or not, babies need to learn how to sleep!

This 4 month sleep regression is hard, especially since it often comes just as your baby was getting into a good sleeping groove! I was already back at work and not getting a good night sleep turned my world upside down.

It took a while for me to realize that this is not a result of anything I did (or didn’t do), and theres nothing wrong with baby! This too shall pass.

We started sleep training at 4 months, and at this time we moved the baby into his own room. It was very important to introduce a bedtime routine

·      Dimming lights

·      Giving a warm bath

·      singing a lullaby and turn on the sound machine

·      Reading a story and saying a bedtime prayer

·      Final nursing session ( bedtime bottle)

·      Goodnight kisses and rocking him to sleep until he was very drowsy, but not asleep.

Obviously before a certain age your baby needs night time feedings to make sure they’re thriving. After doing research I found a few criteria that your baby needs to hit before its safe to start sleep training:

  • 4-6 months old

  • 14 + lbs

  • Transitioned out of the swaddle.

  • Not to start when sick or cutting teeth

Here’s what we did for our training: disclaimer- if you’re not comfortable with sleep training you do not need to follow what we did! Keep in mind that there's nothing magical about these waiting periods. You can choose any length of time you feel comfortable with- just passing along what worked for us!

 

Step 1
Put your baby in his crib when he's sleepy but still awake. Say your goodnights, snuggles, and kisses.


Step 2

Lay your baby down drowsy but awake and leave the room. Do something that will distract you, catch up on chores, watch a movie, maybe have a much needed glass of wine. We had the video monitor close by but decided to turn the sound off. Decide on an interval that you’re comfortable with: the first night we started with 3 min, 5 min, 10 min, 20 min ext.

Step 3

After the timer goes off, go back into the room for no more than a minute or two to pat and reassure your baby. Leave the light off and keep your voice quiet and soothing. Don't pick him up. Leave again while he's still awake, even if he's crying. It will break your heart but keep strong mama!

Step 4
Stay out of the room for a little bit longer than the first time and follow the same routine, staying out of the room for gradually longer intervals, each time returning for only a minute or two to pat and reassure him, and leaving while he's still awake. I always did a quick check for dirty diapers when I went in.

Step 5
Follow this routine until your child falls asleep when you're out of the room.

Step 6
If your child wakes up again later, follow the same routine, beginning with the minimum waiting time for that night and gradually increasing the intervals between visits until you reach the maximum for that night.

It took us about 5 nights for him to catch on. 5 very hard nights! But in retrospect it was the best thing we’ve done.

Some practical tips.

  • Set yourself up for success- before you try sleep training, develop a daytime (we used Babywise and started this for a daytime schedule at 8 weeks) and nighttime routine and stick to it! Babies crave consistency!

  • Develop a solid plan and make sure you and your significant other are prepared before you begin sleep training – both practically & emotionally.
    On the practical side, choose a weekend where you’re ready to loose some sleep.
    On the emotional side, create the plan together to make sure you’re both on the same page and you set guidelines. That way you'll be able to support each other and prepare yourselfs for a few difficult nights.

    • We decided to work in shifts- Aaron took the 11-3 shift and I took the 4-7 shift. That way each of us at least got a few hours rest.

  • Once you launch your plan, stick to it. Consistency is the key. Unless you realize that your child simply isn't physically or emotionally ready and you decide to put the program on hold for a while, follow through with it for a couple of weeks. When your baby wakes you up at 2 a.m., you may be tempted to give in and hold or rock him, but if you do, your hard work will be wasted and you'll have to start over from square one.

  • Expect relapses. Even after you've "finished" sleep training, you can expect your child to regress occasionally, like when he gets sick or when you're travelling.

I promise it will get better, John is now 18 months and has been sleeping 12 hours straight and has consistently since he was 9 months. Make sure to take time for your needs as well. Ask for help, it takes a viliage :)

Typical Day On The Go!


A day in the life of Fitgirlxtina (YAS that's me!) 

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6:00 am - Wake up call! I turn off my alarm and set the phone down, making it a point not to scroll till I'm finished with my AM routine. Grab a water bottle, put on my favorite Fabletics set and head down to my home gym, or outside for a run if its nice. I sometimes grab a banana with almond butter before going but I don’t mind doing fasted workouts. I’m 5 weeks into a new workout program & here’s one of the circuits from the workout I did today.

 

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10x shoulder press

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24x shoulder taps

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10x paralell press

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6x wide to narrow push ups

           

6:30- 7:00 - Sweat it out, take a shower, eat breakfast ((& drink my coffee)), get ready for work, and pass the baton to our nanny before the little guy wakes up!

8:00 – 3:00- Time for work. On my drive in I love listening to podcasts or audiobooks. One I’m listening to now is “The Go Giver”. It’s a great reminder before I start my day of caring for patients the reason why I got into dentistry.  Of course I miss my little bubs while I’m away but getting to create healthy and beautiful smiles is so rewarding! The highlight of my workday today was creating a smile for a 13 year old patient who had lost his 4 front teeth to radiation treatment of his suborbital region when he was 3 years old.

3:30-6:00 - After a busy afternoon of dentistry I come home and get to spend time with my little mini & our two dogs. I typically spend this time catching up on things around the house: tiding up, laundry, dishes, ect.

6:30  Time to make dinner! Now that the weather’s changed, we've been grilling so much and experimenting with different ways to cook food we'd normally make on a stove. It's tastier too! After dinner we go on a family walk! Our labs have a lot of energy and need a lot of exercise and it’s a good time for my husband and I to catch up on our days.

8:00 Bedtime for baby & after that I might be finishing up on blogging work. I LOVE staying busy :)

9:00- My husband and I will probably be watching something on Netflix, we’ve been really into The Umbrella Academy lately and I can't wait to watch The Act on Amazon Prime.

10:00 - I go through my nightly oral hygiene and skincare routine and head to sleep, I have a preeeetty early morning after all ;)

Thanks so much for reading about my day! I'd love to hear in the comments how you stay active during your busy days!

 

Aloha baby, Lets travel!

Hawaii. Our happy place. John is 14 months and we made the hop, skip, & jump over the Pacific ocean to Hawaii.

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We went into our trip with ZERO expectations for our 13 hour travel day. Actually, I take that back, I expected multiple freak outs, inconsolable toddler screams, & rolling eyes of nearby passengers. Luckily, we didn’t encounter ANY of them! He was such a trouper! We packed tons of snacks, (baby food pouches, nutrigrain bars, peanut butter crackers, cereal puffs, ext). I went to the dollar store the night before and found a few new toys as we all know toddlers only like to play with their toys for a few min before they’re forgotten. We also brought along the iPad and had some nursery rhyme videos downloaded for those urgent needs.

We did encounter a hiccup, but as a nervous traveling mama I was prepared. On the last leg of the flight there, I noticed baby John felt pretty warm. I thought all the sleepy plane cuddles could have been causing it, but when he was still warm when we got to the hotel I unpacked the thermometer and it read 104.0. UGHHH not exactly how I saw our trip starting out. Long story short, he had a viral infection Roseola & his fever lasted a little over 24 hrs luckily with no other symptoms other than a rash after his fever broke. So make sure to pack all the “first aid” essentials. For us it was a thermometer, infant Motrin, gas drops, & diaper rash ointment. Hopefully you won’t have to use it but better safe than sorry when you’re already feeling helpless.

Okay, now back to a few more tips on traveling time distances with a little one. Obviously traveling to Hawaii once with a toddler doesn’t make me a expert whatsoever but hopefully our experience can help any other anxious mamas traveling with their little one!

If you are traveling east to west and the time difference just isn’t feasible to maintain your same time zone, try adding in a catnap to help your little one make it to bedtime. For example, John typically goes to bed around 8:00 pm in Ohio. While visiting Hawaii, that would equate to a 3:00 pm bedtime. This simply isn’t possible. We didn’t adjust him COMPLETELY to the 5 hour time difference as we thought the adjustment after vaca would be a little easier. So instead of 5 hour difference, he adjusted to about a 3 hour difference. Some days he would take a mid afternoon cat nap and other days he fell asleep in the stroller while walking into dinner and stayed asleep the entire time which, hey, I can’t complain about! We just went with the flow and tried to accommodate to whatever scheduled he let us to.

When adjusting to a different time zone, make sure to use light to your advantage! During your baby’s awake time, be active and exposed to as much daylight or even bright indoor light as possible. This naturally helps your baby to adjust to the local time. As for early morning wakings: please be sure to keep the baby’s room as dark as possible. This will help to keep your baby from waking up quite as early in that unfamiliar environment.

Where we stayed & what we did:

Hilton Waikiloa Village



This resort is huge & requires stamina to get around beautiful grounds. I do have to say, with transporting a toddler around in a stroller, there were not enough elevators around. We stayed at the farthest tower so it was easily over a half a mile walk to breakfast (the other side of the resort) each morning, we could have taken the monorail but waits were always long and felt like we walked faster than it moved. But the views were excellent and there are a few restaurants on location that are so convenient with a little one. I enjoyed the lagoon at the hotel because it offers protection from the surf and even the littlest of babes can enjoy the serenity of the water.

Waipio Valley Hike

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This is not a kid friendly hike, we kept the baby back at the hotel with my parents. The road down to Waipi’o valley is one of the steepest roads on the island. On the steepest part, it rises 800 ft in only 0.6 miles. The average grade of the road is 25%, but peaks at 40%. Walking or driving down this road will give a good tilt to your horizon :).

To get down to the valley floor you must either have your own 4WD car, or be willing to pay for a tour, hike down, or hitchhike down. If you do decide to drive yourself please only do so in a true 4WD car (no AWD) and only if you are comfortable driving on steep and narrow roads with traffic (both ways!). Remember that up hill traffic has the right of way.

Alternatively to driving yourself, you can join a tour that will take you down to the valley floor.

The black sand beach of Waipi’o valley

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To get to the beach, turn right as soon as you reach the valley floor. After a few minutes you will reach a black-sand beach. The beach is split in two by the river coming out of the valley, and depending on the amount of water it can be difficult to cross.

The beach looks beautiful and is a very good place to relax after coming down into the valley, but take care with going into the water.  This beach is known for its rip currents and high surf, making it a dangerous place to go swimming especially during the winter months.

Manini'owali Beach (Kua Bay)

Kua Bay was by far my favorite beach on the Big Island, and I must say, it is a beautiful turquoise water beach with soft white sand. The color of the water is stunning and it's probably the only one I might consider white sand. We were able to swim in the water and it was crystal clear. It was pretty popular when we were there, but we found a spot no problem. We had to park far away but we got to the beach pretty late in the day. We also brought our own sand umbrella which was perfect because there was no shade. We didn’t bring out stroller & it would have been very tough if we did, there are a few rocks to step down when you first get there. I would definitely suggest checking this spot out!!

Lavalava Beach Club

Venturing out to dinner was hard with a toddler but we managed to have the most perfect evening at Lavalava. Our hotel had a shuttle to the Marriott & we walked to Lavalava along the beach from there. Baby John fell asleep during the walk over and stayed asleep the entire time, even through all the noise in the restaurant, so it was kinda like we had a kid free evening. If you go to Lavalava expect a long wait, theres no way around it. But we sat on the beach and had a few cocktails which isn’t the worst way to wait for dinner. We ordered the ahi nachos which were DEVINE, I tried the coconut shrimp and pineapple fried rice. Aaron got the teriyaki steak and I found myself stealing bites of his thought dinner! The view of the sunset from our table couldn’t be beat!

Any other great tips? Comment below, we all know anything any input can be helpful when you’re traveling with little ones!

Xx

Working Out When You’re In Vacation Mode

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No matter where you’re traveling, one thing is certain: Our normal routines get completely thrown out the window:

• If you work out in a gym, suddenly you might not have access to any equipment.

• If you run around your neighborhood, suddenly you no longer have a familiar path to follow.

• If you usually prepare your own meals, suddenly you don’t have a kitchen or fridge.

• If you’re used to a good night’s sleep, suddenly you’re sleeping at odd hours in different time zones.

In order to keep my routine fairly normal and fight jetlag, I make sure to choose ONE healthy meal a day and get a workout in when I can!

Fitness classes or gyms can be hard to find when you’re traveling, especially in Hawaii. So unless a gym in your hotel, it’s really pricey to get a drop-in guest pass. 

Therefore hotel room workouts a.k.a stop drop and workout routines really come in handy

Here’s one you can do anywhere! I did mine on the beach.

I made it a 30 min timed circuit style and used a lava rock as a weight. I did this work out 3x while I was on vacation with my family and it definitely made me sweat and feel good!

HOW:

Set a timer for 15 minutes and complete the first circuit as many rounds as possible (aim for 3x through but remember to focus first on form, then on speed). Rest for 1 minute after the timer goes off. Then, move onto the second circuit and set the timer for 15 minutes (again aim for 3x through) and remember to hydrate!


Circuit 1 (15 minutes)

15 Weighted Squat + Press with weight  (find a water bottle, a duffle bag, book etc)

15 Weighted Squat + Press with weight (find a water bottle, a duffle bag, book etc)

30 Skaters

30 Skaters

40 Kick Backs (20 per side)

40 Kick Backs (20 per side)

15 Squat + Lateral Leg Lifts

15 Squat + Lateral Leg Lifts

Circuit 2

20 lunges with a weight (10 per leg)

20 lunges with a weight (10 per leg)

15 Hip Raises

15 Hip Raises

50 Jumping Jacks

50 Jumping Jacks

15 Jump Squats

15 Jump Squats

30 minutes later your workout is done!! I’m wearing the Resistance 2-Piece Outfit. It’s light weight and airy- perfect for humid weather and sweaty workouts.

 Hope you enjoyed this post!


Xx.

Christina | @Fitgirlxtina

Healthier Christmas Cookies

The Christmas season is packed with friends, family & ALLL the goodies! It’s December 1st and I’m feeling that festive spirit, so I whipped up some Tera’s Organic Whey versions of my favorite holiday fav, CHRISTMAS COOKIES! These cute cookies perfect for decorating parties and cookie exchanges! Plus, they’re a complete source of protein that’s organic & non-GMO ! Now that’s a smart cookie :)

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Make a batch with your little ones (because whats cuter than littler helper hands!) and have them help decorate or make a dozen before friends arrive for a party and let them cool while you chat and sip your favorite holiday beverage.

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SERVINGS

1 dozen

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat or oat flour

  • 3/4 cup Bourbon Vanilla Tera’s Organic Whey

  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar

  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder

  • 1 banana

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

  • 2 eggs (whites only)

  • 3-4 pitted dates

DIRECTIONS

STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

STEP 2: In a small bowl, stir together all dry ingredients.

STEP 3: In a large bowl, mix together the coconut oil and sugar until smooth. Mix in egg and pitted dates.

STEP 4: Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet.

STEP 5: On a lightly-floured surface, roll out the dough. Use cookie cutters to cut each cookie out.

STEP 6: Bake for 8-10 minutes, then let cool for at least 10 minutes.

STEP 7: For frosting to decorate, mix 1 can coconut cream with 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 Tbsp. maple syrup.

Enjoy & Merry Christmas,

Xx


Wild One

Hi Friends! John turned 1 on November 7th, 2018 and we’re so excited to celebrate his wild first year! This whole party was DIY, it took some planning but I’m pretty proud of the outcome!

There are so many people who have been a huge part of our lives during John’s first year and I wanted them to be there to help us celebrate. We hosted this party at our house for 60+ people.

John’s party was truly one of my favorite days. He is such a blessing and the perfect addition to our family. It’s hard to imagine life without him now. The party felt magical and whimsical. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate our precious little guy! I can’t wait to see what this next year brings.

The Story of You :: Artifact Uprising

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As parents we are constantly adapting to best accommodate children’s needs. There seems to always be a list of new things we want to do, and sometimes it includes things we want to improve on, or things we wish we would have done different. One thing we’ve done, maybe too well, is documenting our kids’ beginnings. Thanks to camera-phones there will be no shortage of photos for our little ones to look back on. The first month baby J was here my dad made the comment, “ I think you have more photos of that baby than we took of you you’re your whole first year of life.” I laughed and agreed! I think this is true for most families in this digital era we’re living in. Still, I feel we would be shortchanging our kids if all we left them were hard drives of data floating around a cloud. I have a special place in my heart for real, attainable items and I’ve felt it’s important to create a ‘baby book’ to look back at these important moments.

With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, it’s made me reflect on the first 6 months with my baby. It has reminded me of how my mother has shaped my path. Collectively we share a common ground in our beginnings- they all start with her—with mom! I still have the baby book my mom made for me and I’m sure as my baby grows he will love looking through it! For John’s baby book, I selected Artifact Uprising and their beautiful & modern The Story of You Baby Book.

Thankfully cameras, photo editing and printing have been as easy as 1, 2, 3. And thanks to Artifact Uprising, making a gorgeous baby book for John is almost too easy. For his book I chose the smoke fabric with gold foil. The book itself is bound with a high quality hard cover and nice paper within. The design and layout is sophisticated & polished, ((not trendy)), giving the album a timeless quality which I think is ideal as one of the main reasons to make this is for John to enjoy it 10, 20, 30 years from now.

Beyond its attractiveness, The Story of You is simple. It came with everything I needed to complete John’s book— including a pretty gold pen and the 2-way tape for adhering the photos – plus page headings and well considered sections to help me organize my photos and thoughts. I love the little prompts, which are there to help guide you towards documenting the everyday moments rather than typical milestones.   A sets of Everyday Prints in the 3.25” x 3.25” square format are also included with each book!

John’s birth and his first six months are now beautifully documented, with plenty of pages for all the fun to come. We’re so pleased to have this lovely keepsake.

If you’d like to create your own book, you can now receive a 15% discount with code FGX15 (valid through May 4th, 2018)

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This post has been sponsored by Artifact Uprising, and all opinions and images are my own. I am proud to partner with this wonderful company

Living Room Gallery Wall

We have been in our house for over 6 months and are slowly feeling like we’ve made it ours. This blank wall was something I wanted to save for last because it’s such a main focal point.

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Since our living room is a main focal point we wanted to create a gallery wall that was really meaningful to us, where the pieces have a special meaning or memory behind it. Not all of those pieces were typical “photograph” pieces – some were art pieces from Minted to bring color into the space. I can be a bit of a perfectionist and overanalyze every single detail, so I had to map out everything and rearrange it 20 times because I am so indecisive lol.

The first thing you have to do is think of what you want to have on your wall- photos, artwork, kids drawings, ext. Then think of the color palate that matches your home. For me- we have lot of grey & white. So I wanted to bring a little color pop into the gallery wall. I decided to make all the photos of my family B&W and tie in blues & greens with artwork. Once you have a rough idea of color and types of artwork it’s time to design.

Photoshop made it super easy to build a visual mock-up so you can really visualize the pictures you choose for the space. I chose to do a gallery wall that looked very clean and crisp so I used all the same size and color frames (16 x 20 frame with 11 x 14 photos). I knew my wall would look fir 4 columns and 3 rows the best. I didn’t measure this but feel free if you’re not sure!

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Then, I started with a blank document, upload your prints or images (I took screenshots of the prints I wanted to buy from Minted first) and start arranging them. I’m such a visual person, I liked getting a true picture of what it was going to look like before I had everything framed & hung. Using Photoshop made it easy to see what photos looked nice next to its neighbor image. I was able to switch and swap them (and show my husband before getting them printed- money saver!!) This is such a crucial step and I highly recommend doing it before starting.

Once I found an arrangement I liked, the next step was printing. I used Minted for all the color artwork and printed our family photos at staples. They ended up being amazing quality. I wanted the design to be sleek but still light and airy so I decided to stick with thin white frames. I landed on the Pick & Mix white frames from At Home. I love how clean and minimalist it turned out for the space. And for only $12.99 each you can’t beat it. I actually used these frames for a different project in my home so I knew I liked them.

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Here’s what saved me hours with spacing!!! I used newspaper the size of the frames & taped them to the wall- (I also realized you can take out the stock photo in the frame and use this as a template if you don’t have newspaper.) I first found the middle of the wall & split the center with my two middle frames. I measured the space between them and used that measurement for the two outside frames to make sure they all had equal spacing and were centered on the wall.

Once the wall is mapped out hanging was the easy part! I hung my frames with one center nail and knew exactly where to pound it into the wall thanks to premeasuring and attaching the newspapers to the wall.

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I had so much fun putting this wall together and absolutely in love with the final product. I hope this helps you create a wall in your own home :)

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To say our home has come a long way is an understatement. See the complete before & after below!

My 5 favorite ways to #GetInMotion

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Happy February! It’s pretty crazy how the first month of 2018 is here and gone! With the little one around, I feel like January was the fastest month yet! I’ve been thinking about how my fitness routine, beliefs and even my gym style has evolved since being a mom. Staying accountable can be a struggle for a lot of new mamma's so I thought it would be fun to #GetInMotion for the month of February and I want YOU to join me!

It only takes 21 days to form a habit & that habit can change your life! In the month of February I challenge YOU to join me to workout everyday for 28 days straight by trying different types of routines: yoga, boxing, running, strength training, or even as simple (or maybe not so simple) as chasing the little ones around!

Hitting the gym is one of my favorite things to do for some “me time” but it can be even more challenging when you’re on your period. If you’re anything like me, your period can leave you feeling crampy, bloated, and irritable. Ugh! Exercise is often the last thing women want to do feeling like that! However, exercising on your period is not only safe; it’s actually GOOD for you!!! So this month, let’s push through our period and get in motion! In the past I’ve let my period keep me from staying active- but not anymore! I would always get anxiety about “springing a leak” in my tight workout pants & no one has time to worry about that you’re your running on the treadmill or doing squats.  Fortunately, you can keep your period a secret by using the right tools! This is where Tampax Pearl Active comes in. Tampax Pearl Active’s MotionFit™ Protection is my go to brand for everyday life and especially for working out! Since switching to Motionfit I’ve always been 100% leak-free during workouts which means I can reach my fitness goals sooner by not having to take those days off!

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Here are my 5 favorite ways to get in motion:

Strength Training: Build those muscles

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Strength training is an extremely important element of any fitness routine. Using heavier weights during your workout help prevent the decline of muscle mass, keeps your bones and heart healthy, and helps prevent pain and injury in everyday life. This year I started following Alexia Clark’s workouts and they are very heavily focused on strength training. I love the power I feel after I dominate a workout and can’t wait to build muscle after having my baby!

Utilizing Workout Buddies: Power in numbers

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Alexia Clark & BBG are great solo workout especially while you’re trying to fit in a workout during baby’s nap time, but I think there is a huge benefit in duo and group fitness workouts & I'm fully on board. There’s no better way to keep yourself accountable than to set a date with a friend or sign up for a class you can't cancel! Plus, the energy in group classes is absolutely contagious. 

 

Yoga: Let's get bendy

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There's no shortage of styles to choose from, including Iyengar yoga, power yoga, Bikram yoga, and more. Hot yoga is GREAT when it’s that time of the month and you’re trying to take it slow. After an amazing yoga practice I’m credited with mental clarity, stress management, improved balance and flexibility.

Baby & Me Workouts: Precious time spent

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Much cuddlier than a kettle bell, your growing baby can actually help you reach your fitness goals during your workouts. If you’re a new mom like myself, you're busy morning till night, but that doesn't mean you can't squeeze in an effective workout. Some simple moves work your whole body yet don't require hours of effort—plus, your baby will be front and center, so you can bond while you're working out.

HIIT-ing the Pavement: Feel the burn

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No equipment needed! And stroller approved. HIIT workouts may be short, but they definitely aren't sweet. As the name suggests, HIIT workouts are designed to be high intensity, and a major part of the appeal is that they're an incredibly efficient and effective way to get your cardio in and burn lots of calories (if that's something that matters to you) without requiring a ton of time. My favorite HIIT workout are sprint intervals. Sprinting for 30 seconds with a 30 second break in between for a total of 10 sets!

So get out there and give it a try! For participating in this challenge I have a year supply of Tampax Pearl Active to give away! To get active in this conversation tag me (@Fitgirlxtina)  and @Tampax on Instagram and use the hashtag #GetInMotion to show me how you are getting in motion this year.  From running around at the park with your kids or your daily neighborhood walks, to those high intensity workouts Tampax Pearl Active offers you protection while you #GetInMotion.MotionFit™ Protection moves with you to make leak-free workouts possible.

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Xx, Christina

 

This post was sponsored by Tampax*. All opinions are my own. 

A Look Back At 2017

Happy almost 2018! Crazy, right?!?  I am so excited to be spending it at home this year for the first time ever. Probably not even making it late enough to watch the ball drop but I’d say being cozy cozy cozy at home with my boys trumps that.

This year has been so beautiful, so tiring, so blissful, so challenging. Everything has drastically changed over the last 12 months, and yet I feel more at home with this life of mine than I ever have before.

We closed on our first house the day we found out we were pregnant... talk about a BIG DAY! But in hind site, the timing of it all couldn't have been perfect for us.

In becoming a mother, I have more empathy and more patience. I am much more efficient with my time. I’ve learned to accept help and I’m more open to change.

I am so. very. tired. And usually always worried. Because let’s be honest, moms are always worried about their babies. It kinda comes with the territory.

I’m not exactly sure how I balanced life being pregnant and then with a new baby. My world sorta stopped being on bed rest and I had to learn to slowwww down. Not working was tough for me. I trained so hard to get to where I am in my career but my baby’s health was much more important. We literally can’t really do it all, but we can do it all imperfectly. With an army of help, anything is possible, and I am infinitely grateful for my husband and our family who kept me sane while spoiling our boy with love. Also, speaking of my husband-he is a rockstar dad who supports me in everything I do.  He continues to be so much better than any expectations I ever had.

2017 you were beautiful. Thank you for experiencing it with me. I’m so happy to have you along on this crazy journey with me and truly, I cannot tell you how much YOU have guided me in this journey. To read your supportive and encouraging comments on Instagram, to read your personal messages about your own triumphs (and struggles) of new motherhood, to see how so many of you have told me how inspired you feel to go after a career and a family you love and balancing it all with a healthy lifestyle … it has inspired ME so much, and I am grateful.

Here’s a look at my favorite moments of 2017…

Pre-Babymoon Bliss | Maui

Finding Out About Baby

Our First Home

Welcome To The World | Meet John

Merry Merry | Baby's first Christmas

MERRY 2017… AND HAPPY 2018! xxxx

How We Survived Our First 6 Weeks With A Newborn

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1. Honest Company Organic Nipple Balm

First off, let's start with the nips. Breastfeeding was an adjustment in the first few weeks (to say the least). Baby J came out of the womb looking for the boob. I remember the nurses put him on my chest ... and thinking okay now how do I do this?  Despite the stigma of breastfeeding being the most natural thing to do with your baby I will say there's nothing natural about those first few feedings. I fumbled through the first few latches and in turn had the worst nipple pain of my life. One of my besties who joined mamahood before I did put together a package of the sh*t you really need. This nipple ointment included & it was a blessing.  Luckily I had it and didn't have to go days or weeks without this stuff. So buy some because without it, it hurts... trust me. 

2. Medela Pump In Style

Attaching two suction cups to your boobs won’t ever feel normal, but if you plan on nursing, then chances are you’ll want a reliable pump. I didn't start pumping until week 4. I read was important to establish a good breastfeeding schedule before bottle feeding pumped milk. So I took that as waiting to pump too? Looking back I'm not sure why- maybe it's the pregnancy brain. I know a lot of mamas start pumping right away and it seems to be great for them! The reason I didn't pump until week 4 because Baby J was breastfeeding great and I was worried I would "mess up" my supply aka scared to get over engorged. Did you know you can get a free breast pump with your insurance?! Here's the link I used to get mine! Another mama hack is to stock up from your hospital room. I got an extra set of pump parts to take home which has come in handy between the constant cycle of cleaning, drying, ext. Now I pump 2x/day because I'm heading back to work in 3 weeks and trying to build a good stash!

3. Nursing pads

Trust me, once you sleep without nursing pads, you’ll wish you had them! I made that mistake and woke up the first morning wondering why our bed was soaking wet. You can either get disposable or reusable. I chose to go with reusable because they feel more comfortable & throwing them in the wash isn't that big of deal since you'll be doing laundry everyday! (will it ever end?!?) I got my set from .

4. Good diapers

Investing in a good brand of diapers will ensure leaks and wardrobe changes throughout the day. We started off with Pampers Swaddlers and love them! They have an indicator strip which turns colors when it's time to change the babe! A few weeks in we tried Parasol Co diapers and other than being artistic they do the job as well. It is a subscription base which is nice to not have to constantly go on diaper runs. I haven't had my second shipment yet but so far we have plenty left to hold us over. I do feel Pampers have more absorbancy (but have a more chemical smell than the Parasol brand) so we use these at nighttime. Make sure to not over buy newborn size. You will use a lot more of the size 1 diapers and will probably be putting your baby in them before the first month is over.

5. Halo Sleepsack Swaddle

Halo sleepsack's are a lifesaver and such a perfect baby shower gift, I could not have lived without mine! My son wears these with just a diaper. I own four and will soon buy the next size up. I will be sad when I can no longer swaddle him (as soon as he rolls over) but nice that I can continue to use this product with the arms free! Nice that it is essentially 2-in-1. Also making those night time diaper changes just a little easier is the zipper that zips top to bottom so you can unzip the bottom without taking everything off!

6. Munchkin Bottle Warmer

Now that we're introducing bottles I definitely think investing in a bottle warmer was gold.  I was skeptical at first wondering why I couldn't just run the bottles under hot water to warm them up? After the first bottle I was a believer. I chose this one because it was the less expensive option when I was on a Target run!

7. Owlet Smart Sock

Like many new parents I am terrified of SIDS. I'll admit the first few days we didn't use this thing because I was afraid of waking him up and we needed those thirty minutes of precious sleep. Now, we've gotten into the routine of putting it on before he falls asleep. Like with any technological thing we don't rely on it fully but it does give us peace of mind during the longer night stretches. We haven't had ANY false readings & I turned off those noisy notifications about low battery or sock placement issues ( I do still get the notifications on my phone but they don't wake me or baby)

8. Rock n' Play

If there was an adult version of this I would get it. This thing makes nap time so easy and comfortable for baby J. He loves the constant rocking (what baby doesn't) and it soothes him back to sleep if he fusses. We actually used this for about a week or two for night time sleep until we realized it's not safe for unsupervised sleep. WE WERE SO BUMMED because he was sleeping 4-5 hour stretches but like I said above we're super freaked out about SIDS so following the safe sleep guidelines we now have him sleeping in his bassinet.

9. Mustela No Rinse Cleansing Water

Two words: Baby Acne. I had no idea that a few weeks after babies are born they can wake up one day with white heads and red bumps all over their face. It first started around his T-zone and it felt like after every nap it was spreading to almost his entire face and chest. After some reading I found out baby acne is totally normal and it will run its course and go away on its own. Everything I read said between 4-6 months it should start clearing up. What!? Baby acne doesn't bother them but it bothered me that he looked like a full blown teenager so I started researching if there's something we could do. Mustela No Rinse Cleansing Water seemed to be the answer. We use it to keep his face clean between baths and it smells amazing. After about 5 days of using it his face is pretty much clear again! Definitely recommend this stuff, we use it once in the morning on a gauze square and once in the evening. 

After compiling this list I realized everything revolves around either eating or sleeping (ha!). It's amazing how many things there are to make life with a baby easier. It can be so overwhelming to figure out what you really need! I've taken the learn as you go approach so far. What are some of your baby must haves for months 2-3? I've heard there's some major fussy times in our near future!

** This post is in no way sponsored, these are all products I use and love and hopefully you will too! **

Our Birth Story

November 7, 2017

We're just over one week into this parenting thing and I'm running on naps for sleep so let's do this! Writing out the birth story.

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I'll start from our third trimester. During a regular checkup our doctor suggested an ultrasound because my belly was measuring smaller than normal.  She wanted to make sure either, a. the babe wasn't too small or b. I had enough amniotic fluid to cushion him. She concluded that my fluid levels looked low and recommended a nonstress test to make sure the low fluid wasn't causing him any distress. Cue a really intense emotional reaction I wasn't expecting! It's so hard to be told something might be wrong with your baby when you really have no control over what happens in there. My doctor recommended a modified bed rest (aka giving myself 90min/day to be on my feet). This was harder (emotionally) than expected. I was very active in my pregnancy and tried everything I could to be as healthy as possible.  They wanted to keep a close eye on me and the baby, which meant twice weekly ultrasounds and non stress tests. So after two weeks on bed rest and at my 39 week check - my doctor told me we'd be having a baby tomorrow! It was time to be induced. I had spent the majority of my pregnancy preparing to go into labor naturally. I was really nervous about the strength of contractions after being given pitocin and cervical ripeners (which usually come with being induced).

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We arrived at the hospital a little before 5am on Tuesday November 7th, 2017. They were all ready for us & the most upbeat and spunky L&D nurse walked in to greet us. She made us feel so at ease because I think she could tell these soon to be first time parents were a little nervous. 

I had an IV placed on my left wrist. I knew this meant business as the medication to start my labor would be flowing through the tubing and into my veins. It doesn't sound like a big deal but the placement of the IV also served as constant reminder of the restriction of movement in my left hand and it felt pinchy for whatever reason.

A little after 6am the ptosin was initiated. I was only 1-2 cm dilated ( and had been for the past 2-3 weeks ) so the nurses and doctor expected a pretty long labor, especially being my first. The medicine was at a very slow drip & therefor the next few hours were very peaceful- my husband and I took a nap while listening to some music all the meanwhile I was dreaming about what baby J would be like.

At 10am I was only 3 cm dilated, but it was time to break my water. I started to freak out inside but tried to keep my cool. Then, of course, they tell me to "relax." Funny, right...? When you see the amnio-hook about to slide into the cervix looking just like a long, flat crochet hook- it's hard to not be a little scared. The water's broken. It was very quick and no more uncomfortable than a regular vaginal exam—no great treat but no great trauma either.

Once that was finished my contractions started and all the fun began!

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I was super pumped and it started to seem like my body was naturally taking over the labor process, so they backed off the ptosin. My contractions started to get a little more intense and at regular intervals. At first, I used Aaron and a labor ball as my support, pretty much crumbling into the bedside every time an intense contraction hit while he pushed into my lower back to relieve the discomfort. Despite the pain I'll cherish those moments forever. I felt like I was at my weakest yet strongest point and he was there for it all.  Once the contractions started getting stronger, from a 4/10 to a  6.5/10 on the pain scale, I was ready for my epidural.

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At 1:00 pm and 7 hours in, the CRNA arrived to my room and was setting up her armamentarium for the procedure. I was worried about the size of the needle and the close proximity to my spinal cord. First a tiny needle was used to numb the area which was the worst of it. Being a dentist, I give injections all day everyday- I had the procedure pictured in my head like an anesthetic injection in the mouth, however the numbing medication that was injected through the needle burnt more intensely than it does in the mouth. It lasted for about five seconds- then that was it. The epidural catheter was placed perfectly and the medication started to work within five minutes and peaked in 10 minutes.

At this point the nurse checked me and I was 5 cm dilated- halfway there, and they estimated a delivery time in the early evening hours.

Okay, here's where things got crazy. Within an hour and a half of getting the epidural, I went from 5 cm dilated to having the urge to push. She checked me & to my surprised told me I was fully dilated and completely effaced-

IT WAS GO TIME!

The nurse rushed to call my doctor and told her to get to the hospital asap. Then the pushing began.

After a few good pushes with the nurses, they had me old off, only doing "half pushes" until my doctor arrived. She walked in and what seemed like two contractions later he was out! My healthy baby boy was born at 3:29pm weighing 6 lbs 7 oz, 19 inches. I was so amazed at what my body had just done but also how pain free and "easy" my labor was! Little did I know, the toughest part was soon to come.

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The next few hours after delivery were kind of a blur. I was wrapped up in all the emotions & couldn't keep my eyes off our precious angel. I remember the doctor telling the nurses something about watching my bleeding, but at that point it didn't phase me. We were moved into the recover room & throughout the night I kept feeling gushes of blood. The nurse paged the resident who told me I had uterine atony, Basically my uterus had so many blood clots inside that it couldn't contract like it should post delivery.  To removed these clots the resident had to preform a uterine exploration- the only time I cried & screamed the entire day. It was honestly the most amount of pain I have ever experienced and I would give birth 10x before wanting to go through this next procedure ever again. For the ones who don't want the details feel free to skip to the next paragraph...! After giving birth to a 6 lb baby and having sutures placed, they had to go back up into my uterus with a sterile glove and manually remove these clots while compressing my uterus from the outside. No epidural, No pain killers. This had to be done 2x throughout the night and just writing about it takes me back and gives me a gut wrenching feeling. I lost over 1000 cc of blood and was the most scared I've been in my life ( the surging hormones post delivery did not help the situation.) I became tachycardic, lost all the color in my face, lips, and gums, became super light headed & pretty much felt like crap. Regardless of my fear, I kept telling Aaron I was so happy the complications were with me and not the baby. They kept a close eye on me and we had to stay longer than expected in the hospital but luckily the issue resolved and having him with us now was well worth it.

We had the help and support of both our mom's while I was recovering at home- so much thanks & gratitude for those amazing women!

Aaron, the dogs and I have slowly fallen into a routine of little sleep but I think together we make a pretty killer team! We've managed to both take showers, keep our house clean (some days lol), and we even put our laundry away (big deal for us)! It's crazy to look back and think that only a little over a week ago we were in the hospital waiting on our baby to make his arrival! Giving birth is such a weird experience, no matter how you do it or which way things go on the day of every experience is unique and beautiful. I'm so happy he is healthy and finally out of my belly!

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What was your birth experience like? Did it go as planned or were there bumps in the road? I'd love to hear all about it! Leave some love in the comment section below.

X

Baby K's Nursery

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I am so excited to share with you my little one's nursery. Venturing into boy territory is a whole new world and the nursery was kind of my first run at it.  It took me awhile to finalize how I wanted it to look, but well worth the wait. I knew the room had amazing natural light with big windows & I wanted something bright, airy, & soothing. It is a little extension nook right off our master bedroom which will be perfect until he's ready to move into his own room down the hall. Right now it's my favorite room in the house!

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The dresser was actually mine as a baby (my parents kept it in storage for me to use for my children). Aaron and I gave it a little facelift with a fresh coat of Amy Howard At Home One Step Paint & some new hardware. I think it's so special to include something from my baby nursery into my little one's.

 

I'm obsessed with the gold round mirror & got it for a very reasonable price! Our little changing station

Delta Children designed this gorgeous rocker for his room. It looks so perfect in the nursery & looks like Rylie already found her favorite spot!

I love this Madrot Glass Globe light fixture from the Project 62 collection. It couldn’t be more perfect for the room.

This nature mobile brings beauty and wonder into the space. It's a favorite piece for his nursery. A fun, dreamy touch for him.

The crib has a mid-century modern feel & I also love that it can convert from crib to toddler bed to daybed as your babe grows.

I love added pops of green to bring in some color. This bunny was a shower gift and it is so incredibly soft!

The wall decorations above the crib are what I struggle with finalizing. I had so many ideas but since this is part of our master bedroom I didn't want to attach anything TOO permanent. I thought about removable wall paper but to be honest, the thought of putting it up was too much of a hassle.

 

The shelves are simple & elegant.  I love how it plays off the mirror and all the  gold accents in the room.

I love elephants & was so excited when I found this print at Home Goods. The author is Simon Te & I think his animal drawings are perfect for a nursery.

An oversized storage crate adds a whimsical touch to a corner of the room. It's also a perfect place to house all the cute muslin swaddles.

I hope you loved baby K's nursery and I hope you can find some inspiration for your own home!

Baby coming soon! First trimester recap

If you follow me on instagram then you probably saw our big announcement – we’re pregnant! Baby Kryszan is due in November and we couldn’t be more excited! I found out at just 4 weeks so it’s been a big secret for awhile now.  It feels great to have it out in the open, you have no idea!

My first trimester was not filled with the horror stories I’ve heard {thank goodness!} but to be honest the first trimester can really suck.  I definitely didn’t feel like myself – lots of sleeping, zero energy, tons of carbs, no working out, and food aversions. Not to mention how excited you are to be pregnant-- but no one knows. You're not showing (maybe a little bloated), and you are too scared (or superstitious) to really celebrate. You aren't supposed to tell anyone and the biggest news of your life is not a big secret. 

With that being said -  it feels incredible to be in my second trimester. After almost 3 months of not working out (maybe the occasional yoga sesh when I didn't feel like a complete zombie) I'm finally able to get in my workouts (with a few modifications). Eating healthy was out the window the first few months as well... bagels & cheerios were my go to! and cheese....lots of cheese. Now I can't get enough veggies & fruit! So many changes going on in and outside of my body, I'm trying to fuel it with the best possible nutrients to keep up with the demands!

I'm learning new things everyday about being pregnant and soon to be motherhood, it should be an interesting ride! Thank you for all of the love thus far, it made us so much more excited about what is to come.

{It's been fun watching our friends & families reactions}

How I protect my skin with Shiseido Sport BB WetForce

Hi everybody!

Today I’m reviewing the Sports BB Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce which is an innovative, long-lasting BB tinted sunscreen with ultimate sun and WetForce protection technology from the Japanese brand, Shiseido.

The Sports BB Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce comes in a sleek grey and orange dispensing bottle. The cap unscrews to reveal a fine nozzle that controls the flow of the sunscreen for easy application. In terms of texture, it has a fluid consistency and you need to be a little careful while pouring it out. The bottle  should be shaken well before use to make sure all the layers are well mixed when you dispense the sunscreen. I absolutely love the consistency and feel of this product. I felt as if the formulation spreads evenly over skin and provides ideal coverage. A little goes a long way!

The formula has a natural finish and doesn’t feel greasy or cakey. Anyone who dislikes that tacky, heavy texture of most sunscreens needs to give this a try!

It’s available in three shades: light, medium, and dark. I tried the medium shade first and it was too light for my skin. The dark was a perfect shade match and left my face looking fresh,  natural, and protected.

The WetForce technology actually boosts UV protection when exposed to water or sweat which makes this product ideal for people who love staying active outdoors! To be honest, sometimes I feel self-consciouswearing zero makeup to the gym but I also hate wearing full face makeup because, well… it makes me break out. I’ve been using this product for a week and even through the sweaty gym sessions, it hasn’t caused a single break out! It also makes my skin have even natural without all the makeup.

I don’t know about you all… but some days I sneak in my workout whenever I have time.  And most often than not, I don’t always have time to put on makeup between going to the gym and grabbing coffee or brunch with friends (thank goodness for athleisure!) so for me, Shiseido’s Sports BB Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce is an absolute must!

Overall Thoughts:

  • Pros: It has a great natural  finish you’ll  love during the hot summer months! It provides amazing protection from the sun and I can wear it to the gym, get sweaty, and still have a flawless look.
  • Cons: Color matching might be difficult, I initially thought medium would be my shade however the dark was a better match to my skin tone. Also it has a higher price point, (Price: #38.00 for 1oz/30mL ) but I do see myself splurging on this as it has the best texture and consistency out of all sun-protection products I’ve ever used! Sun protection is one thing you should never compromise on.

 

Let me know if you try this product out, I’d love to hear your feedback!

x

This post was sponsored by Shiseido, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

How to Keep Your Gym Clothes Smelling Fresh

Workout clothes can be pricey & they take a beating from your body, soaking up all your hard work & sweat. Let's be honest, they need some more TLC in the wash than your shirts and socks.

From your expensive sports bra to your fitness leggings & even your gym shoes, find out my favorite tips and products to get your sweaty stuff clean & smelling fresh in no time!

 

Here’s how I wash my activewear to keep them vibrant, clean, and stink-free:

  • Start out by flipping your clothes inside-out to protect colors. Plus, most of the gross stuff (sweat, dead skin cells, ext.) tends to build up on the inside of your gym clothes.

  • Use a detergent made for gym clothes. Since you're probably sweating up a storm, Persil ProClean 2 in 1 is a detergent specifically designed for high intensity / performance fear.

  • Wash your activeware in cold water. Hot water will break down fibers and can cause your favorite pair of leggings or track jacket to become one size too small.

  • Air dry your clothes, or use the lowest heat setting on your dryer. Because remember high heat can cause shrinkage or damage.

Persil works to protect my clothes so I can wear & wash what I love as often as I'd like without fear that they'll need to be thrown out due to an accumulation of stink.

Laundry isn't exactly my favorite routine, BUT saving money by protecting my clothes, it certainly helps make the task just a tad more enjoyable! And who doesn't love saving money when you have a seriously shopping problem?

Follow this link for a Persil ProClean 2 in 1 coupon

Thank you to Persil for sponsoring this post. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

 

Adidas Avenue A Fall Edition

If you all are ready to be amazed at this deal go check out Avenue A by Adidas. It's is a premium athletic subscription program for women, designed by women. I'm so obsessed with this concept & the goodies inside never fail to disappoint

This edition was curated by WELL+GOOD and features the Z.N.E. hoodie, Supernova 3Q leggings & bra, layer friendly black Performer Tank, and the adiZero Boston shoe, all for only $150.

Photo via :  adidas Ave A

Photo via : adidas Ave A

There 4 boxes per year, sent straight to your door, each featuring a mix of at least 3 premium items. This Fall 2016 bundle just crushes it-  I'm so over the moon about each product!

My favorite item is the ZNE hoodie. It's making huge waves on Instagram and I was so excited this item was included in this box! It's so perfect for fall - made of thick doubleknit fabric with plenty of stretch. It has an athletic fit and a high funnel neck, that is flattering on all body types.

adiZero Boston shoe & Z.N.E hoodie

adiZero Boston shoe & Z.N.E hoodie

The Supernova set has an amazing pattern & the color is just (heart face emoji). The bra has thicker straps and has an amazing & supportive fit.

Supernova 3Q legging & bra

Supernova 3Q legging & bra

Click here for more details and find out how to sign up for your new adidas Avenue A subscription box. Trust me, you're not gonna wanna miss the Winter 2016 Edition!

This was a gift from Adidas Women- all opinions are my own :)

Why Do Yoga?

The short answer is that yoga makes me feel better. While I love those heart pumping high intensity workouts adding a relaxing yoga practice into your routine can help balance your overall health.

 

Benefits of yoga

Yoga can make you more flexible and stronger. I love utilizing my practice to stay feeling limber and energetic. You'll also feel more focused and alert. And yoga can help you feel great and function better in your daily life. You'll also notice routine yoga will...

  • Reduce your risk for injury. Each yoga pose targets specific muscles. This helps you increase your flexibility and reduce your risk for injury.

  • Reduce stress. Yoga can help soothe the mind and lower stress levels. It does this by focusing the mind on the moment and the movements.

  • Increase your concentration. A main part of yoga is rhythmic, focused breathing. This can help you focus.

  • Understand the mind and body connection. Yoga requires you to focus all your energy on each movement or pose exactly. This can help you feel the mind and body work together.

  • Gain strength and stamina. More vigorous styles of yoga promote strength and stamina.

  • Improve balance and stability. Balancing poses require you to use your core muscles. This can help you improve your overall stability.

  • Improve posture. Yoga poses strengthen and open tight areas of the body like the shoulders and muscles of the upper back. This can help you keep good posture.

  • Develop body awareness. Yoga requires you to contract or relax specific muscles as you stretch into each pose. This can help you become more aware of your body’s strengths and weaknesses.

According to Medical Reviewer Holloway, Beth, RN, MEd

SweatStyle Review

If you’re a fitness apparel fanatic like myself, you’ll understand my love for SweatStyle. They’re a new subscription based company that provides fitness & fashion lovers a personalized shopping service that changes the way you buy premium active wear.

@ModernYogi  Racerback  Top &  Contrast Cropped Leggings

@ModernYogi Racerback Top & Contrast Cropped Leggings

So how does it work? Well it’s actually pretty simple! I’ll take you through how I ordered my SweatStyle box.

Customize your profile HERE:

Below are screen shots from when I filled out my actual SweatStyle profile. It's best to be as specific as you can to help the stylists choose the perfect items for you & your fitness needs. You'll select your favorite workouts, colors, patterns, fit, what items you need more of/less of, and you'll rank the importance of performance, fit, price, and brand name. You'll also fill out the frequency you'll like to receive a new box: whether it be every month, every other month, or every 3 months.

My favorite SweatStyle brands:

I love being introduced to new, smaller up-and- coming athletic brands. This is one of the looks hand picked by the stylists from my second delivery.

@Tarez  Audio Levels Performance Leggings    | @PheelStyle    Peekaboo Top

@Tarez Audio Levels Performance Leggings | @PheelStyle Peekaboo Top

Well known brands like @Alala, @SpiritualGangster, @Varley, and @VieActive are also apart of the mix. And it's cool to get shipped the latest styles before they hit retail stores.

@ LiquidoActive   Movement Bra    | @ VimmiaActive     VimmiaX leggings

@LiquidoActive Movement Bra | @VimmiaActive VimmiaX leggings

Have I ever not liked anything sent to me?

Yes, and it was a fitting issue. I received a tank top in my first shipment and it was super long on me but it was extremely easy to return. There was a pre-paid bag that comes with your SweatStyle delivery you just need to send it through USPS within 5 days free of charge!

Let's talk $$

Price is super important to me. Anyone who knows me knows I'm such a bargain hunter, constantly browsing TJ Maxx, Marshalls, & Kohls to find inexpensive gear. But every now and then I do appreciate and invest in workout apparel that is good quality and a flattering fit.

Thankfully there's no subscription fee with SweatStyle. They do require a $20 non refundable fee for each box & that fee will go toward any of the items if you decide to purchase.

Each box comes with 5 items and you choose which to keep & which to send back.

Tops range from $35 to $125

Bottoms from $55 to $140

Sports bras from $35 to $100

Outerwear from $50 to $250.

You can keep 1 item or all 5, you only pay for what you want to keep!

After filling out your profile, you'll see a special box for a PROMOTIONAL CODE! The kind folks at SweatStyle have granted a discount code for $20 off your first box AKA there's no risk to signing up & giving it a try!

You'll find the promo code box about 3/4 down the page

So here's what I got in my latest box!