Be Grateful. Be Thankful. Be Joyous. Give Love.

Hello.

Harry is napping so I figured I’d take a little time to do some house chores and write a blog post. It’s been a few days but that’s OK. Life gets busy. Ruthie is currently snoring next to me as I sip a vanilla latte from Starbucks. All is good in the world.

Sam tells me I’m never appreciative for the things I have in life so I’m trying harder to think about that every day. He is right. There’s a warm roof over our head. Sam and I have the best dog and son in all the land. I am able to drive a car that has an amazing heated seat that burns my bum. Being able to work allows us to put meals on the table (or in our case the arm chair of the couch). Nature has graced our house with a lovely Fraiser Fir this year. Yes, I am thankful. I also appreciate Sam so much. He is such a wonderful dad and makes us laugh every day. He is one of the hardest workers I know and would do anything for his family. Yes, we are lucky.

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Polo Baby loves daddy

Last week was a very festive one. Harry and I spent some time with Grandma Dee making cookies and other Christmas treats. Of course we did the classic sugar cookie with the most tasty frosting. I love decorating cookies but typically by the end I get bored and just sprinkle sugars on them. This year was different. Every cookie got time spent on it. Every cookie was different. I may have eaten 3 dozen by myself. Usually I’d be like wtf you gross human. But this year is different. I am enjoying whatever I want this holiday season because I can always get back on the healthy eating train in 2019. PS can you believe it’s almost 2019? I think it’s gonna be a good year ūüôā

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Santa’s workshop

Gramma Dee and I also made chocolate dipped pretzels and the pretzel rings with Hershey Kisses and M&M’s. So easy and so tasty. She also made toffee and fudge and let me tell you…it tasted like it came straight outta the bakery.

Yesterday we went to Sam’s school and Harry met Santa. It was just a blast. He was a little unsure in the beginning but then realized this guy is going to be his favorite every December 24th for the next oh…10 years. He even smiled at Santa as he tugged on his beard. Oh to be a child.

Today we are planning on decorating our Christmas Tree. Yes, we got a real tree this year and the house smells amazing. I’m planning on turning on Santa Clause or Elf and drinking a large peppermint mocha. I’ll post a pic later.

I also bought a whole chicken to try in the instant pot for dinner. I sure hope it turns out! Trader joes has all the fixings for a lovely chicken dinner complete with stuffing AND mashed potatoes. All that’s missing is the pumpkin pie but we have pretzels to eat so I guess that will work.

Hoping to get a speedy workout in here sometime today but lately, if I miss a workout I don’t care because carrying an 11 pound baby around the house is a workout in itself. Maybe we will walk up and down the stairs like 10 times or something IDK. LOL.

I hope you’re enjoying this Holiday season. Remember to take time each day to jut live in the moment otherwise before you know it it will be January and the Holidays will be over. Be grateful. Be thankful. Be joyous. Give love.

XO

-Hales

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Be Thankful

It’s snowing and it’s magical and all I want to do is decorate, drink coffee, and write down goals for the next 3 years of my life ūüôā

I hear today is like the biggest party day of the year since not many people have to work tomorrow (if you do, I’m sorry, that’s shitty…unless you like it, then it’s great!). I will be enjoying a grasshopper for sure tonight with my fam. Can’t wait for some minty goodness.

Since Sam has been on break from school this week, I’ve been able to get to a few classes at Alchemy and it’s been so nice. My bod is def slowly getting strong again and it feels so good to move. However, having a baby takes away any core strength I once had. I’m focusing on slowing down and building up those muscles one ab at a time.

This morning I did a super fun workout at Anytime to get in a good sweat before Turkey Day. I did a bunch of different squats mixed with some rowing and then finished off with the following:

5 sets of 5 reps: Power Cleans

Then…3 rounds as fast as possible of:

10 Box Jumps

9 Hang Power Cleans

7 Front Squats

5 Strict Press

I did this all with a 45 pound bar. I finished with 10 minutes of walking at an incline. So great. I got home an instantly downed 2 protein muffins complete with whipped cream and peanut butter and 2 eggs with avocado.

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My fave breakfast

So, what else have we been up to lately? Harry is the wiggliest little monster ever so I’ve been trying to find ways to entertain him. I’ve also discovered that every day he looks more and more like his dad. He’s a mini Sam and I’m 100% ok with that because I think Sam is pretty cute ūüôā

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Mini Sammy

I’ve also been trying to taste all the lavender lattes in MN and got one from¬†Spyhouse¬†yesterday and while it was $6, I’d get it again and again. So good, so lavender-y. I mean my homemade version wasn’t terrible compared to this one but I think I need to pull the trigger and get that espresso machine…especially if I’m going back to work in a month. Yikes.

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I like you a whole latte

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I can’t effing believe it. My fave day of the year is already here and there’s SO much to be thankful for. I love going around the table and having everyone say one thing they are thankful for this year. Here are a few on my list:

  1. Healthy family
  2. Harry, Ruthie, and Sam
  3. A roof over our head
  4. The best friends who are always up for adventure
  5. The ability to dream big dreams
  6. A family that believes in me
  7. Food and coffee (duh)
  8. Having patience
  9. The ability to vote
  10. Living in a country where women are being more valued every day
  11. Snow, Hallmark, and Christmas music

OK, now I must go pack up Harry’s room as we get ready to head to my parents for a few days. I wish you safe, yummy, loving Thanksgiving. Stay cool ya Turkeys!

XO

-Haley

 

La La Lavender

I’m currently having a breakfast appetizer of banana bread as I wait for my steel cut oats to cook. This is my first time making steel oats and I didn’t realize they take 20 minutes to make! I’m used to my 90 second oatmeal but was in the mood for something a little heartier. I will probably top my oats with some milk and brown sugar…maybe a little coconut yogurt and a chocolate chip? LOL who am I kidding more like¬† 5 chocolate chips.

I also went to Target yesterday to get more Almondmilk Creamer (have been obsessed with the Toffee Tidings flavor) and got distracted by the all the holiday flavors. I left with Sugar Cookie instead of the Toffee Tidings. Marketers sure know how to get me. Argh!

So it’s been cold. Freezing cold. It’s OK because I usually spend my day snuggled in a chair with Harry and Ruthie so we stay warm but we’re starting to go a little stir crazy staying inside all day. So yesterday Harry and I ventured out to do some errands and pick up ingredients for a¬†lavender latte!¬†I love lavender lattes and seeing the one in Duluth over the weekend made me want to make my own.

First things first. I had no clue where to get lavender buds…wtf is a lavender bud even? Target or Trader Joes do not have them. My next thought was whole foods but I didn’t feel like driving into the city. After fearing defeat, we drove past a little store called Fresh and Natural on our way home. Sure, what the heck. Might as well try, right?

BINGO. Fresh and Natural def has lavender buds. And many other fun/odd/cool things. The nice thing was that the buds were in the bulk section so you could take as many as you wanted. I love the smell of lavender and filled my little baggie up…the price per pound….$53! Thank god lavender weighs like nothing. I think my total for the lav was $3. I’ll be getting more of this stuff.

I also grabbed some decaf coffee (also in the bulk section) to make my latte because I’m trying to only drink one fully caff coffee a day (my morning cup with said Sugar cookie cream). Before leaving I tried looking for collagen because I am curious about the stuff and wanted a sample jar but only saw a large tub for like $40. Don’t need my hair and nails to grow that bad. Anyone have thoughts on collagen?

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Lavender ‚̧

Back to latte. I started by making the lav syrup in the recipe. I boiled the water and buds and let it simmer. It smelled amazing. I’m adding a small strainer to my XMAS list because all we have is a giant spaghetti noodle strainer and a handful of the buds made it into my drink which was fine but not ideal.

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Sup bud?

Next step was to boil water and sugar then add the boiled lav juice to the sugar water. Pretty sure I may have burned my sugar a tiny bit but it was still yummy.

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See the little buds floating?

Then you basically let the syrup cool, brew some coffee (I used my French Press), and pour that into a mug. Now for the coolest part…the milk. All you do is heat up your milk (I used Fair Life Non fat because I like this kind the best and almond milk has not been my fave lately) for like 30 seconds then give it a good ole shake. Bing. Bang. Boom. Pour that on top and you have a lovely lavender latte.

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I Love Lav

I really want to learn how to make a flower or something with my foamy milk but I’m guessing I need a fancy espresso machine for that. Anyway, I’d highly suggest this recipe! It will hopefully save me $100 in fancy lavender lattes hehe. Then I can put that $ towards a nespresso. I found one on sale at Sur La Table and am hoping Santa brings it…or maybe I’ll get it for Harry LOL.

So the website that has the lavender latte also has a recipe for PB cup coffee creamer. I might try to make that today. Oh and pumpkin bread because you can never have enough pumpkin.

PS what do I use extra lavender buds for?

Cheerio!

-Haley

Harry Takes on Duluth

Good morning pals. Harry is currently having a day. He’s been awake since 5 AM and seems to only settle down when I hold him. I can tell he is super tired but he won’t fall asleep. Come on buddy, get your rest!

I’m also still¬† not confident in my breast feeding skills and have been pumping and feeding him the bottle…at least he’s still getting breastmilk right? I just love him so much and want to make sure he’s getting enough nutrition.

I can’t believe how fast the days goes with a baby. I don’t do a whole lot but I feel like every time I look at a clock another hour has gone by.

Over the weekend we took a road trip to Duluth, MN to visit Aunt Molly. We left Friday morning and arrived to beautiful snowfall. You know, the big fluffy flakes that make you feel like you’re in a snowglobe? The flakes that make you want to listen to Christmas Music, decorate, and bake cookies? Yeah, those flakes.

Once we unloaded the car (I feel like I need a moving van for all our stuff now) and fed the bear, my sister and I took a little trip to the craft store to find a Holiday project we could make. Here is a glimpse of the project we decided on.

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Turkey’s, Presents, and Trees…Oh my!

Dinner that night was at the Tavern on the Hill where I indulged in a lovely glass of wine and creepily stared at my baby. For dinner I went with the pork burrito bowl and we shared the fried pretzel sticks OMGSOGOOD.

Of course, we all had a craving for something sweet so we stopped at the grocery store for a Pumpkin Pie. Yum. My first pie of the fall.

Saturday morning arrived after about 4 hours of sleep and I decided I’d make a run to the¬†Lake Superior Bakehouse. This might be my new favorite place in Duluth. They had a huge case of baked goods and I was only to pick 3…my what a feat. I went with a pecan caramel roll, scone, and cream cheese frosted cherry coffee cake. BEST CHOICES. I also got the best vanilla latte I’ve ever tasted. I kicked myself though for not thoroughly reading the menu and missing out on the lavender latte (they are my absolute fave). I was almost tempted to get a second latte but didn’t. I should have. Oh well. Next time.

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Effffff

Saturday was very relaxing as it was cold AF. Molly and I did a little putzing downtown and went to the Duluth Coffee Company where I got the best decaf mocha and she got the cutest little cappuccino drink. I just want all the warm beverages right now obviously.

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Yum ‚̧

Saturday finished with a little baking and The Greatest Showman. I’m so mad because I fell asleep about 10 minutes in. I wanted to see that movie so bad.

Sunday came too fast and we arose to more beautiful snow. After a fantastic breakfast at the Vanilla bean (GET the wild rice porridge)  it was on the road and back to the cities.

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Going to try to re-create this!

Every time I visit Duluth I always want to move there. It’s so fun and beautiful, outdoorsy, and relaxing. One of the best places to visit.

I always enjoy getting home after a weekend away though and catching up on laundry, working out, getting back on track with eating and meal prepping. After unpacking all our shit yesterday, I took a trip to the gym for a speedy workout (I haven’t been going during the week on account of I have a baby so it’s nice to go on weekends when Sam is around). Here’s a snap shot of what I did:

15 minute alternating EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute):

Minute 1: 13 Squat cleans

Minute 2: 15 Squat throws

* Every 5th Minute-complete 60 seconds of Slamball Step Ups*

Then…4 sets of 5 reps Sumo Deadlift High Pull

Superset with 4 sets of 10 reps American Swings (heavish)

Then…5 sets of 400 meter sprints on the treadmill

Cool Down with walking and stretching

I loved this workout and am def a little sore today. Give it a try!

Now, I’m hoping to make some gingerbread donuts today if my cranky baby allows.

Have a swell Monday and fantastic week. It’s almost Turkey Day, the best time of year.

XO

-Haley

 

Happy Halloween!

HELLO!

I think I got like 7 hours of sleep last night and feel like a gem. After feeding Harry the Zombie this AM I did a nice 20 minute workout then made one of my fave breakfasts.

Here’s a snap of my¬†workout in case you’re looking for a fun at home option:

EMOM (Every Min on the Min) for 8 minutes: 8-10 Burpees (leave at least 20 sec of rest)

Then…Alternating EMOM for 12 minutes (hit each movement 4 times):

10 Alternating Snatches

15 situps (did these very slow)

20 Deadlifts

Cool down¬†with stretching and coffee. You’re¬†welcome.

Now, back to breakfast. You see, lately I feel like my sugar intake has sky-rocketed. I mean I’m not mad about it but I had been having sweet breakfasts (french toast, oatmeal¬†with brown sugar) daily and then lots of snacks. I figured it¬†was time for something savory. I popped 2 slices of bread in the toaster, made 2 fried eggs, and compiled some avocado toast¬†with ham and a little bit of cheese because I love cheese (Ruthie always knows¬†when I open the cheese up and politely asks for some…I can’t resist her). YUM. Hoping this keeps me full til at least 11 am ūüôā

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Smashed Avocados

Also, I just finished my coffee so I’m guessing I’ll have to #2 v soon. HEHE.

Yesterday morning I had to cook for the first time since bringing Hare Bear home. Yes, I haven’t made a meal (besides cooking some spaghetti noodles) for 5¬†weeks. Sam and I have the best family/friends and people have been bringing us meals.

I clearly wanted something easy so I searched Pinterest for a crock pot chicken recipe and came across this!

Yes, it looks like barf in the crock but was so easy and cheap! My two faves when it comes to cooking. I probably spent $15 total on all the ingredients and it tastes amazing.

I served it up¬†with a big ole salad because veggies and some mini Pillsbury croissants because they are so buttery and delicious and a girl needs a buttery treat once in a¬†while. Highly recommend this dish if you’re trying to decide¬†what to make this¬†weekend. I could drink the liquid right out of the bowl (and might have).

So, it’s Halloween. I’m not the biggest Halloween fan (except I love the candy and pumpkins) and don’t usually dress up now that I’m almost 30. I did buy Harry the cutest Harry potter outfit but it’s gigantic on him so he¬†will just¬†wear his pumpkin onesie and pumpkin hat. Sam and I¬†will hand out candy tonight and I’m hoping to¬†watch some sort of Halloween movie (or maybe just Hallmark XMAS because¬†we only get like 2 months to enjoy).

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My lil punkin

So, Happy Halloween friends. I hope you get lots of treats and few tricks!

The rest of this¬†week is kind of busy. I’m getting my hairs did tomorrow and can’t¬†wait. I think getting my hair colored is one of my fave things. Yay. Harry and I have a bunch of errands to run and then Ruthie and I¬†will probably go for some¬†walks/runs. So fun.

Have a great mid-week day and we shall catch up soon.

XO

-Hale, Harry, and Ruth

PS My pits are so sweaty. Help.

Progress Over Perfection

Good Morning. As I¬†was about to fall asleep at 4 AM after Harry took a trip to the dairy queen last night (credit goes to my cousin Amber for calling it this LOL) I¬†was thinking to myself how lucky Sam and I are to have a baby that eats and then falls right asleep at night. KISS OF DEATH. Of course, instantly I heard Harry making noise. Lets just say I’ve pretty much been up since 2:45 am…God Bless Coffee.

Good thing about being up in the wee hours of the morning? Silence, time to browse all the home goods stores online, time to plan the upcoming week, and time to think.

Sam and I are trying hard to decorate our house (we’ve lived here almost 4 years and nothing¬†we own matches). I have zero design style. Sam redid our basement bathroom last fall/winter and I love it. It’s dark gray, has a heated floor, and is real cozy to me. But it still needs to be decorated. Think art, a mirror, and succulents. Friday, I¬†went to Target to buy a storage organizer for towels and other bathroom necessities. I grabbed¬†what I thought¬†was a black cube organizer.

Once home and assembled, I realized it¬†was dark brown. You’ve got to be kidding me. Sam pointed out right on the box it stated “espresso”. How¬†was I supposed to know espresso meant brown? My design style SUCKS. I need serious help. I just¬†want my house to look like Chip and Joanna Gaines decorated it. So, I’ve started searching Pinterest for ideas and¬†we¬†will see¬†what¬†we come up¬†with…stay tuned for updates!

Anyway, my main point of this post is to talk about getting back in shape post baby and making progress over being perfect. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I love¬†working out but how I also need to ease back into it after giving birth. It’s been almost 5¬†weeks since Harry arrived and I’m in that antsy mode to hit it hard. I’m trying to find the balance between being active and taking it one day at a time (word to your mother, don’t scroll the search page on Instagram if you don’t¬†want to feel like a slug/compare yourself to the IG fitness models…sheesh).

You see, I love being active. I enjoy running, lifting¬†weights, cardio, hiking, biking…everything. But having a child to¬†watch, time is very limited for squeezing in sweat sessions. I either have to go at like 3 AM after a feeding (Hell to the no), go¬†when Sam gets home from¬†work (also hard because I’m usually V tired by then), do an at-home¬†workout (OK option but I like the gym because it has barbells), or just tell myself I’ll try again tomorrow. This has happened multiple days and I’m actually A-OK¬†with it.

So far I’ve found a pretty good balance. Harry, Ruthie, and I usually get in a nice¬†walk every day. I do bicep curls¬†with Harry (he’s a great 9 pound¬†weight), and I’ve made it to the gym twice. I’ve also gone on some lovely little runs¬†with Ruthie, and done a bundle of at-home¬†workouts¬†while Harry sleeps. I really feel like I gave myself enough time to recover from child birth and am super excited for a fresh start.

I’ve also learned that now I must make my¬†workouts super efficient. I like adding little sprint sessions into my lifting sessions due to time constraints. Friday night I did a fun little¬†workout at Anytime that looked like this:

5 rounds AFAP (as fast as possible):

6 Squat cleans

12 Box Jumps (I’m still doing step ups)

200 m sprint

Then: 5 sets

2 Thrusters + 2 Back Squats

It was a blast, I felt like I got a good sweat in about 30 minutes, and it was progress. Each day is a win in my books. Each day is a step in the right direction.

As for nutrition…I try to eat¬†well but I feel like I’ve been eating¬†way more desserts since Harry came along. I mean, I ate an entire 9×13 pan of pumpkin cake by myself in a¬†week. I ate 8 chocolate chip cookies in 3 days. I’ve had a heaping bowl of cookies and cream ice cream the past 2 nights topped¬†with Halloween candy. Not to mention the oatmeal monster cookie bars my mom made…I think I’ve had about 10 of those since Thursday. And the bowls of cereal at 2 AM. Holy monkies that’s a lot of treats. These snacks are just so easy to grab¬†when I’m feeding Harry and suddenly find myself ravenous. Plus, I feel like all veggies make me and Harry gassy. So¬†what else am I supposed to do!? ūüôā I’ll try to reel in the sugar this¬†week…try.

I¬†was looking through my pictures this morning (duh, I’ve been up for hours) and came across some photos from pre-pregnancy:

during pregnancy:

and post-pregnancy:

And you know¬†what…I’m not mad about how things have changed. I still don’t get¬†where all the skin goes from my big bump. Or if that line down my belly¬†will ever go away. But it’s kind of neat. Also a reminder of how insane our bodies are and how they can bring new life into this¬†world.

So here’s to setting goals for this¬†week to eat a few more veggies (and still enjoy a cookie or 5), getting to the gym 2 times, taking each day at a time/focusing on progress over being perfect, and enjoying all the snuggles¬†with Harry and Ruthie.

Have a lovely day and Go Pack!

PS please excuse my rambling post today…I’m hopped up on caffiene.

XO

-Hales

 

Give Yourself Credit

Hello. Here¬†we are again, Friday. Sweet because then Sam gets to be home all¬†weekend but also not sweet because time is going¬†way too fast and I’m already getting anxious about going back to¬†work. Just live in the moment right? But that’s freaking hard. Since Harry came a¬†week early, I get to go back to¬†work on Christmas Eve day (I should be thrilled to have a job to go back to) and I’m already crying thinking about leaving my son the day before Christmas. Any helpful tips on how to transition¬†would be greatly appreciated ūüôā

So, yesterday Harry and I¬†went to Gramma Dee and Grandpa Fletch’s house for a little visit. Since¬†we still don’t have laundry, I brought along a couple loads and my mom (she’s a literal angel) prepped us a couple meals. Hello instant pot pot roast, chicken pot pie, and these bars!. Our little fam is so lucky to have you mom!

Anyway,¬†while at their house, I got super anxious about little Harry not eating enough. He has some super great feedings¬†where I’m like, “man,¬†we got this down.” And then he has a bunch of shitty feedings¬†where I’m like “I suck, he’s going to lose¬†weight and have to go to the hospital. I’m going to just start feeding him formula.” It seriously stresses me out every single day. I try to remain calm and tell myself he is eating enough since he’s pooping and peeing and he’s not asking for more. But how can I be sure? I just¬†want to¬†weigh him every day to make sure he’s going in the right direction.

To try to relieve some stress, I took myself to the State Park for a nice run/walk (FYI I am incredibly sore today…the hills really got me). The Park is my favorite place to go¬†when I need to chill the eff out because it is beautiful there and during the¬†week it’s pretty much empty. Just me and nature. Let me tell you, for the first half of my run-hike, I could not relax. I kept thinking…what if Harry is hungry (Haley, you left a bottle),¬†what if Harry is crying (Haley, he’s a baby, he’ll probably cry)…Haley, you left your 1 month son, you are a crappy mom (Haley, you are not a crappy mom, you can take an hour for yourself…Haley no you can’t). Yes, these are the exact thoughts that consumed my mind for the first 4 miles.

I even¬†worked myself into a nice headache due to this stress. Then¬†with about 2 miles left, I finally chilled the eff out. IDK¬†what it¬†was but something just changed and I felt calm. I knew Harry¬†was in good hands. He had everything he needed and he’d be alright for an hour.

I just don’t know¬†why I let myself get so stressed. It doesn’t make anything better at all. I feel like one minute I’m so confident in everything, and the next minute I’m in a panic, questioning everything. Ask Sam, he’ll tell you. One day I’m like “OMG Harry slept all day, he is growing!” The next day I’m like “OMG¬†why is Harry sleeping all day? He must be ill?” Or “Harry’s belly is growing, yay!” “Harry’s belly is full of gas, get it out!”

However, I feel like Harry can sense my stress and that stresses him out (I know Ruthie can sure sense my stress) so I need to keep reminding myself to settle down. Plus, I hate being stressed…I’m mean, I stinky sweat, I get headaches. STOP BEING A STRESSED LADY, LADY.

So, how does one not stress¬†with a baby? Take a stress relief bath? Drink a glass of¬†wine? Talk to my support system? Go for a¬†walk (LOL see above)?¬† Sure, these things might help temporarily but I don’t think it’s possible to not be stressed. But I’m going to try my best to remind myself that¬†we’re doing the best¬†we can.

This is all new territory and¬†we¬†will figure it out one hour, one day at a time. As long as Harry is fed, changed,¬†warm, and snuggled, he is OK. Being a mom is the most rewarding yet hardest thing I’ve ever experienced but us moms need to give ourselves some credit. Bringing a human into this¬†world is INSANE. This little being that¬†was growing inside is now on the outside and¬†we have so much to figure out together.

Here’s to all the mom’s out there. You are amazing. You’re doing the best job. Keep your head up because it’s not easy but it’s def¬†worth it.

XO

-Mama Hales