Apple Oatmeal

Good morning! I have a yummy recipe to share with you all! It’s been awhile since I’ve made anything worth writing about. Truth be told, Larry’s been doing a lot of the cooking and dinner prep this month. I’ve been either too tired or too busy running around getting ready for baby #2.

September is one of my favorite months of the year. I love the cool, crisp mornings and the warm afternoons and  early evenings. I woke up Monday morning to a cool breeze coming in through my window and I immediately wanted baked oatmeal and a coffee from Colectivo. Fall is definitely in the air! But, since I really didn’t want to get up and get myself and Madelyn dressed just for oatmeal, I decided to make something similar on my own. My for the first time in probably years, I cooked up some oatmeal on the stove instead of the microwave. I chopped up an apple, threw in a cinnamon stick and added some other things and I had a delicious & hearty breakfast for the two of us. With leftovers for the week!


-1 cup of oatmeal
-2 cups of milk
-1 apple cubed
-1 cinnamon stick
-2 tsp coconut sugar
-1 tsp cinnamon
-honey to drizzle
-pecans to top it with

Cook the oatmeal according to the package. Add in cubed apple, cinnamon stick, sugar, cinnamon and honey. Cook until apple is softened and oatmeal is done. Spoon into bowl and top with pecans (optional). Enjoy warm! For this particular recipe I used Trader Joe’s gluten free oatmeal & almond milk and it turned out just as wonderful as the oatmeal at Colectivo!


Pregnancy + The Barre Code

Happy Friday! Any fun plans for the weekend? I’m looking forward to a low key weekend with my girl after celebrating her three years of life last weekend. We have a date to the farmer’s market and a baby room to get in order.
Speaking of babies… I’ve been very fortunate this pregnancy to be able to keep exercising without zero complications. Now that I’ve entered my third trimester (wait what?!?!), I’m definitely slowing down-but overall I still feel great and I credit that to staying so active through my pregnancy.
While running has officially been put on hold until after baby is born, one workout that remains constant in my pregnant life is barre, specifically classes at The Barre Code.
When I was pregnant with Madelyn, there were no barre studios in my area, so I did Barre DVDs instead. While they were good, nothing compares to taking an actual class and staying accountable.
The one thing that I love about The Barre Code as opposed to other traditional barre studios is that they offer a variety of other classes, specifically those that are cardio based. So far, I’ve been able to modify all the classes that The Barre Code has to offer. While I tend to stick with mostly barre, I sometimes try to sneak in a cardio class. Some days, no matter how pregnant you are, a good sweat session is just necessary.
Here’s a run down of all the classes that The Barre Code in Milwaukee has to offer and how I was able to modify them through my pregnancy, the first two trimesters.
Brawl-(description taken from website) Brawl, which has been recognized by SELF magazine as one of the best workouts in the country, is an intense class that combines cardio kickboxing sequences with strengthening work for the thighs and glutes. 
-Such a fun cardio class! I like it because you actually have to remember and think about what’s coming next, so it’s good for the exercising the mind and body.
First trimester modifications: Not too much to modify in the first trimester. Keep an eye on your breathing and make sure not to get out of breath. That’s the main modification for most of the cardio classes. I was able to still get a good workout in, but definitely didn’t go all out like I did pre-pregnancy. I used to leave that class drenched.
Second & third trimester modifications: Range of motion when doing any core twisting exercises has been limited. You’re supposed to avoid any twisting when you’re into the second trimester, so as the belly started growing I avoided this. Instead of twisting, I would just keep my core center and move my arms (in a punching motion). I’ve also had to dial down the cardio. A few weeks ago, we had a segment that was hook left, hook right, burpee. Repeat. I was able to keep up in the beginning but through out class when I felt like I needed a little break, I just kept doing hooks in place of the burpee and skipping out on every other set of burpees. For moves like diagonal knee raises, instead of jumping I would just keep my supported leg on the ground for every other. That helped control my breathing a little bit. You know your body, and you know what you are capable of.
TBC & Interval (Interval has now been replaced with HIIT)-(description on their website) I combined these two classes because a lot of the moves are the same, it’s just the layout of the class that is different. TBC has a cardio section, but is mainly toning. Where as Interval is mostly cardio with a small section of strength training sandwiched in. I will focus on the modifications I made to the cardio sections and talk about the toning modifications in the barre section.
First trimester modifications: Same thing as Brawl, make sure that you are able to still talk, never work so hard that you’re losing your breath. Always have water with you and drink it throughout class as needed.
Second trimester modificationsThe belly’s starting to grow and jumping, burpees etc are starting to get a bit more challenging. For mountain climbers, I took them to the barre. You can still get your heart rate up and keep your core engaged while placing less strain on your core. On days when I couldn’t do burpees, I would either walk one foot back at a time or walk my hands out to a plank, hold it, and walk my hands back in toward my feet. Things like jump squats, I eventually just went to onto my tip toes and never left the ground. A-Jacks also became non-existent sometime in the second trimester.
Barre Code-(Description taken from their website) A full-body workout that consists of isometric holds and heavy repetition, working muscles to fatigue to develop muscle stamina and endurance. A range of different props are used in each class to challenge the body and engage the mind.
My favorite prenatal class to take at The Barre Code.
First trimester modifications: In the first trimester I didn’t have to modify anything. I kept working my core as long as I could to help keep it strong for labor and delivery.
Second trimester modifications: I didn’t have to start modifying abs until I was well into my second trimester and the bump became evident (somewhere around 20 weeks). Some days I could lay flat on my back without zero problems, but other times I’d get short of breath and I’d have to place the playground ball behind my lower back. It all depended on how the little one was positioned in there but at around 20 weeks I stopped laying down, used the playground ball and kept the “crunching” moves to a minimum. Any movements where the instructor had us in prone position, I would either do on all fours or standing, depending on what it was. Some seat movements started to get tricky. There’s one move that works your hamstrings and seat where you have one foot on the barre and the other in the air. For that tricky move, I just kept my feet on the ground and did hip raises. At 27 weeks, any balance work on the green disc became non-existent. It was challenging enough for me just to do one leg lunges into a high knee without the added challenge of the disc and so I set it aside for later use.  Planks/push ups mostly stayed the same with a few plank modifications and taking rests when I thought I needed it. Thighs and arms for the most part didn’t need any modifications either, which is why I think this class is my favorite for my pregnant belly.
I’m so glad that I’ve been able to keep working out through my pregnancy. I wanted to write this post because when I was doing a google search for pregnancy modifications at The Barre Code, nothing came up. There were a lot of blog posts for other studios that offered traditional barre classes, but I was more interested in the cardio classes and some portions of Barre Code since it is faster pace and intense than most barre classes.
A few *Important* things to keep in mind:
-This is just advice that has worked for me. Every pregnant body/pregnancy is different from one person to the next.
-If you’ve never taken classes at The Barre Code, I wouldn’t advise starting when you’re pregnant. Save it for post-baby. I felt comfortable keeping up with this workout because I’ve been doing it consistently for nearly 2 years now.
-Finally, tell you’re instructor that you’re pregnant!! You may not want to tell everyone right away, but it’s important for the instructor to know. They can offer you different modifications at various stages of pregnancy. Take time to ask them questions before or after class. If I get there early enough, I will usually ask the instructor what she has planned for abs and just adjust my own routine as necessary. My PT gave me a few ab exercises to do that are safe throughout all trimesters of pregnancy, so I usually just stick to those. You might feel funny doing something completely different than the rest of the class, but as they see your growing belly-they’ll get it!IMG_2513-2For more tips on how to make workouts lower impact, check out this post!

Wellness Mama DIY Deodorant Review

Happy Monday friends! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Ours was pretty productive and today we are taking Madelyn to her first amusement park for the day. I can’t wait to see how much she loves it.

This past weekend involved a much needed haircut, a bachelorette party, and attempting a DIY deodorant.

I’ve been on the market for an all-natural deodorant for awhile and haven’t had much luck with one that I love. A few weeks ago, I came across one that I really like by Kiss My Face. While it didn’t last as long as my usual deodorant (Secret Clinical Strength) I liked the way it smelled and it had so far been the best all-natural deodorant I have tried.

In my recent research of essential oils in labor & delivery, I came across a blog post for DIY deodorant from Wellness Mama. The “recipe” looked easy enough and I already had most of the ingredients in my cupboard.

I went out and purchased a citrus scented shea butter and picked up a lavender essential oil. I chose lavender for it’s smell and the fact that it helps fight bacteria-something that will help cut down the smell. I made the deodorant in a small glass jar that I picked up from the dollar section at Target.

DIY DeodorantThe recipe was VERY easy to follow and the whole process took about 10 minutes to make. I made it on Saturday during Madelyn’s nap time, I applied it at about 3:30 pm after a shower. I went to my friend’s bachelorette party, woke up Sunday and walked to the park in 90 degree heat, played with Madelyn and by the time I got in the shower at about 2pm (about 23 hours from the time I applied the deodorant) I still had zero body odor smell. This stuff works better than any deodorant I’ve ever purchased! I’m pretty confident I will never buy deodorant again. The nice part is, you only need a very small amount (about pea size) for each arm so this little jar should last me awhile. I’ll probably keep a stick of Kiss My Face in my gym bag to use as a back up.finishedproductSo why natural deodorant? Since a co-worker of mine sent me this article regarding parabens and pregnancy, I’ve been even more aware of the contents of my beauty products, including deodorant. I’ve usually tried to stick with products that were paraben free for Madelyn and myself even before I became pregnant. I also wanted to eliminate the use of aluminum and other chemicals in my deodorant and every day beauty products. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and I want make sure I’m keeping it as chemical-free as possible when growing a little one.

Have you tried any DIY beauty products? What’s your favorite all-natural (non chemical) beauty product? I saw a DIY for blush, tinted lip balm and baby powder that I’m excited to try!!

Friday Faves

Happy Friday friends! I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am to see this day. The whole week has been pretty great actually, so let’s get down to some of my favorites.
This quote. Every. Single. Word. A few weeks ago, I was listening to the Another Mother Runner Podcast and they had Kristin Armstrong on discussing her essay in their new book, Tales from Another Runner Mother. She read part of her essay that unfortunately got edited out of the book, but I was able to find it on their blog. When Madelyn was born, I had a hard time mentally getting back into a routine. I felt guilty leaving to go on a run or take time away from her to go workout. I shortly realized that on the days I did workout, I was a more patient and energized mom. I realize that she’s only little for so long, but I truly believe that the best thing for your kids to see, is their mom taking time and taking care of herself. No mom should ever feel guilty or be made to feel guilty for taking some time away from her children to focus on herself. When I went back to work, my mom said something that stuck with me “It’s not about the quantity of time, but the quality.”
kristinarmstrongquoteSparkly Soul headbands. I won a free one via an Instagram giveaway!! These are by far the best headbands for my hair. I’ve tried a lot of them, but nothing stays put as well as a Sparkly Soul headband. I wore one while I ran my last Chicago marathon and I never had to adjust it. Pretty awesome.
Madelyn’s reaction to having her first ever root beer float. Summer is officially upon us in Milwaukee!
Unplugging for the week. I’m leaving for a trip up north with my girlfriends this weekend and then turning around and heading somewhere else for an anniversary/babymoon with hubs next week, so I’ll be (trying to anyway) shutting down social media and enjoying some time with some of my favorite people. I MAY stop in Monday morning for the results of that baby reveal party!!
Seeing this little face for the first time! I’m so excited to find out whether the baby is a boy or girl with all of our family on Sunday but I cannot wait to hold and kiss this sweet little face!
What are you loving this week? I’d also like to add that TRICARE is now offering free breast pumps to expecting moms and coverage for breastfeeding supplies!! Winning!

Happy National Running Day

Happy National Running Day, which is followed by National donut day (Friday, June 5th) which I also plan on celebrating as well.

How did you celebrate the day? I headed down to the lakefront with a few of my favorite ladies for a little fun run followed by a burger from Kopp’s which I shared, along with a milkshake, with my peanut. It was the perfect way to kick off “summer”.


To further celebrate this national day of awesomeness, I partnered up with Kristen from Jonesin’ for a Run to answer some interview questions regarding running.

  1. Why do you run? I run because I can. I run for my sanity after a stressful day. I run to be a more patient wife and mother. I run because I like pushing my body to the limit. I run to set a positive, healthy example for my young daughter. I run to feel strong. I run to set goals. I run because it’s therapy. I run because it’s my passion.
  2. How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day? By running 3 miles with my mom and my daughter in tow, and celebrating with a cheeseburger afterward.
  3. How many miles have you run so far this year? 112 miles. Not too bad for finding out I was pregnant at the end of February.
  4. What big events do you have on the race calendar so far this year? The biggest thing I’m training for this year will take place early to mid-November. Other than that, I’m just taking it month by month. Next weekend I’m running the Rock n Sole 5k in Milwaukee, Now I will have done every distance of that race which is kind of cool.
  5. Before I leave for a run you must have: My garmin forerunner. Headphones if I’m running alone. Sparkly Soul Headband (I’ve tried LOTS and these are the best) and or a visor/hat and sunglasses. And water. Always water.
  6. Do you have one favorite app to track your runs? Garmin Connect because it syncs up with my Vivofit and I can access it on my phone and computer very easily.
  7. Who is your favorite running partner? My one and only little love bug. And my mom. She keeps me motivated and provides me great conversation.
  8. What races have you ran so far this year? Next weekend will be my first one of the year so far. I’ve been a wimp during the cold winter months. June is usually the start of prime racing season for me in Wisconsin.
  9. If you had to give someone one piece of advice about running what would it be? Just have fun with it. It might suck at first, but fall in love with the feeling it gives you after. I’ve been running for years and I still have days where I feel “off”.
  10.  Describe your relationship with running in one word: Evolving.

How did you celebrate National Run Day? Anyone excited for National donut day?!?! I know this prego is!

Another Mother Runner Book Event

Happy Friday to meeee! I’m looking forward to a nice, extra long weekend filled with food, family and lots of fun. And of course yard work.
We are taking Madelyn to her first Brewer’s game on Monday. She has developed an obsession for Miller Park and the fact that the “Drewers” play baseball there. I hope she’s not disappointed when we get to Miller Park and realizes that it is indeed not the type of park she probably has in mind. We have really low expectations for how long we’re actually going to sit and watch the game. The other day we made it about 25 minutes into Frozen before wanting to move onto something else.
I swear she has ants in her pants. I chased her up and down a hill today and she cried when I told her it was time to leave. She was having the best time. I wish I shared in her love of running hills.
My mom and I have a fun run planned on Saturday morning, which involves running followed by flapjacks! I know that if I make promises of pancakes after a run in the jogger, Madelyn will be a happy girl, as long as she has her “dip it” aka syrup.
On Wednesday, we went to a fun event at Performance Running Outfitters. They hosted Dimity McDowell from Another Mother Runner. It was a fun and very inspiring book event where Dimity along with two other essayists read from their new book, ‘Tales from Another Mother Runner.’
It’s a collection of essays from mother runners and the two essayists that were there were absolutely wonderful. Both of their stories and experiences really hit home for me. The first essayist was Amy Bailey from Green Bay Wisconsin and she talked about her journey with running and food and what she does to stay motivated after you’ve logged all those miles and hours of training runs and then it’s just over. She reminded us all that it’s about the journey.
The second essayist was Heather Johnson Durocher who writes a blog at Michigan Runner Girl. She talked about running and about a dark time in her marriage in which I had tears in my eyes.
heatherBoth women were so real and I could relate to both of them. it’s refreshing to hear that you’re never alone in whatever it is you are going through.  It was a fun a event that kept my mom and me out way past our bedtime but it was completely worth it. We got a fun little good bag filled with running socks, GU, snacks and other fun goodies. Most importantly, the event got me even more excited about running and the community that comes along with it. I might not be training for any running event right now, but I’m still proud of what I can do. I also was reassured that I will slow down and I might even have to stop running altogether and that it’s okay. When I was pregnant with Madelyn, I decided to stop early on in my pregnancy because it felt weird and it was my first pregnancy and I didn’t know what I was capable of.
I’m so excited to read the rest of this book and write up a review on it. I highly recommend their other two books, Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother.
What’s your favorite running related book? What keeps you motivated to keep going on days you want stop? Anyone with a good mantra out there?
Also, head on over to Healthy Helper Blog for my featured guest post about barre & running!