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

 

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

 

Thursday Things

Man, it’s been a busy¬†week. I thought time¬†would slow down being on maternity leave but nope! It just seems to go faster!

Harry turned 2¬†weeks old on Monday and I feel like he’s letting me get a little more sleep each night. Thank you buddy, I appreciate that. I still am feeling a little stressed about the¬†whole breastfeeding thing and might visit the baby cafe either this afternoon or next¬†week. I just¬†want to make sure he’s getting enough nourishment! He has his 2¬†week check up tomorrow so I’m excited to see if he’s growing/where his¬†weight is.

So, lets chat fun things. The¬†weather here is shit. It’s been raining for the past 5 days and now today the high is a measly 39 degrees. I NEED SOME SUN. So, to battle the gloomy blues, I’ve been super into baking. Last¬†week I made pumpkin donuts, this¬†week it¬†was apple donuts. I just searched online for a recipe but I¬†want to start experimenting and making my own recipes!

The apple donuts¬†were baked and then dusted¬†with cinnamon and sugar and seemed a little dense but I still think they tasted amazing. Served¬†with a side of scramble eggs and avocado…yum! I ate 10 of them in 3 days…LOL. Oops.

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Crooked Smiley

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Apple do-nuts or don’t-nuts

I also tried my hand at a pumpkin spice latte because¬†we all know the ones from Starbucks and Caribou have like a million grams of sugar. If I’m gonna eat a million grams of sugar I’d rather have a couple donuts (or 10) ya know. So I took some milk and pumpkin and cooked that in a pan for about 5 minutes. Then I removed that from the heat and added a little maple syrup (thanks Uncle Danny), vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and brewed coffee. I’d say it’s pretty fantastic. And I feel a lot better drinking this knowing there’s not a ton of unnatural crap in it.

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Baby Spice? Nah, Pumpkin Spice

Now, today is my 29th Birthday. It’s crazy how as you get older (and have kids and dogs) birthday’s get a tiny bit less exciting. I mean obviously it’s fun to know 29 years ago my mom¬†was going through¬†what I¬†went through 2¬†weeks ago (sorry mom-I now know the pain you¬†went through!). But as I age, I just care less about getting presents and more about spending quality time¬†with the people that mean the most in my life. I’d much rather get coffee and chat than anything in the¬†world. I’d much rather take my dog to the state park for a hike on a fall day. I’d rather receive a hug from my mom and dad than a cake. You get it.

Of course a Birthday brings about a¬†whole new year. 365 days to grow, change, adventure, set goals, accomplish goals. If you think about it, 365 days seems like a long time but it’s really not. It sure flies by. So here’s a list of things I’m hoping to see/do in my 29th year.

-Teach my son to be a caring, loving human

– Travel to Banff/Lake Louise

-Try one new thing each month (new recipe, workout class, book)

-Sign up for a new race (hello Lutsen 50K??)

-Donate to puppy shelter

-Send more cards

-Adventure with Sam

-Make wine! Go on a wine tour

-Re-decorate/paint my house/fix it up/plan and save for new house (more like 5 year plan hehe)

-Blog consistently because writing is my true passion

-Relax. Stop being so hard on self.

-More homemade recipes…stop spending $5 on coffee!!!!! SAVE $$$

-Clean out closet-get rid of anything haven’t¬†worn in past year

-Learn to live in the moment and stop wishing for next week/month/year

It’s just a start but having these things¬†written down helps me see¬†what I hope to accomplish and stay on track.

Do you have any goals you want to accomplish in the next year? How do you stay on track? I would love to hear your tips/tricks!

Now it’s time to catch up on laundry, dishes, and This Is Us (I’m only on season 2!).

Have a fabulous fall day.

XO

-Hales

Third Tri Road Trip

I’m sitting on the front stoop as I reminisce (I can never spell that¬†word) about last¬†weekend’s road trip. You see, as a child, my family and I¬†would travel to South Dakota every Labor Day¬†weekend to see the Badlands, Mouth Rushmore, and the bison. Back in March, my sister and I planned to do this same trip and we picked August because I probs won’t want to do much besides eat ice cream and sit on the couch next month. My¬†lovely parents came¬†with too so¬†we packed the 4 of us into their Suburban and made the 9+ trip out¬†west last Thursday morning.

First off, I love road trips. My mom got us all Yeti’s for the trip and they rock. My dad controlled the music and¬†we really enjoyed the Roadtrip channel on Sirius XM. Perkins¬†was our first stop of course¬†where¬†we shared a cinnamon roll as a starter. I¬†went¬†with the banana blueberry pancakes and ate every last bit.

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Bumpin with dad outside Perkins!

After breakfast¬†we hit the road again and made stops about every 2 hours because my bladder couldn’t handle much more than that.¬†We arrived in South Dakota around 3PM Thursday and checked into our first cabin right in the Badlands (PS I never knew the Badlands¬†were a National Park!). Let me tell you, the Bandlands always take my breath away even though I’ve seen them many times. After checking in,¬†we unpacked, relaxed on the porch, then hit up the lodge for a yummy dinner of bison burger. Yes, I think it’s¬†weird that my favorite animal also happens to be my favorite food. Oh¬†well.

Everyone was pretty tired so we hit the hay nice and early. My sister and I woke up before sunrise to take a gorgi sunrise run to a really nice overlook. How romantical. Then we did a nice 40 minute hike through the Badlands before heading back to the lodge for breakfast and coffee. I love breakfast. I love road trips. I love bison.

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Badlands at Sunrise

After packing up our cabin,¬†we made our next stop at¬†Wall Drug. Yes,¬†Wall Drug is an odd place but I feel like you have to make the stop if you are in the area. It’s a good place to buy crappy souvenirs except I did find a bison crossing sign for Baby¬†Wakey’s nursery! PUMPED.

We left¬†Wall Drug¬†with and ice cream cone and all¬†was well in the¬†world. Our next stop¬†was one of the best places ever. The Mount Rushmore KOA. It seriously is so nice there. There’s heated swimming pools, Basketball Courts, restaurants, ice cream, a pancake breakfast….sounds like a bowl full of fun if you ask me. It’s also about a 10 minute drive up to Mount Rushmore from the KOA. I just love it there.

After a delicious dinner of beef short ribs,¬†we made our¬†way up to Mount Rushmore to check on the President’s. Yeah, it’s still pretty cool to see those faces carved in the rock. Another must stop if you’re ever in the area.

That night¬†we played 5 Crowns then fell fast asleep in our little camper cabin (NO AC but¬†we survived!). Moll and I again¬†woke up and took a nice little run around the KOA before heading to the all you can eat pancake breakfast. All of us could only fit our 3 pancakes and didn’t get to go back for seconds. BOO. But those pancakes…yum. So fluffy.

The rest of the afternoon¬†was spent driving the Needles highway and through Custer State Park. This is¬†where the Bison live! I¬†was getting a little sad because¬†we¬†were almost to the end of the park¬†when¬†we turned a corner and holy shit there¬†were probably at least 100 bison roaming the land. It¬†was insane. They¬†were blocking the streets, in the¬†water…one even rubbed the side of the car. LIFE MADE.

That night¬†we¬†were staying at one of the coolest places ever…Sylvan Lake. Our cabin¬†was right on the edge of a cliff and overlooking the mountains (I call them mountains…I guess they’re hills). It seriously is unreal the location of this place. The resort has a lake¬†where you can rent kayaks (apparently¬†we missed the cutoff for that though), and a fantastic restaurant. For dinner,¬†we ate on the restaurant’s patio and it¬†was glorious. Everyone had adult beverages but since I’m carrying a child, I ordered a chocolate milk. Best decision ever. It¬†was like homemade chocolate milk. Topped¬†with mass amounts of¬†whipped cream. And a cherry. I could cry thinking about the beauty of that milk. I also must LOL at the fact that the children next to us¬†who ordered chocolate milk did not get their’s in a fancy glass¬†with¬†whipped cream and a cherry…perks of being prego.

Dinner¬†was amazing. Our appetizer of mango curry shirmps¬†was devine. My bison stroganoff¬†was one of the best things I’ve ever had. And to top it off, the apple pie¬†was so good. Ugh, great last night!

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View from our cabin

After sitting by the fire for a¬†while, I¬†went to bed nice and early because I’m sleeping for 2. Sunday morning¬†we¬†woke up and¬†were on the road by 6 AM to head back home. Oh, and¬†we stopped at McDonalds for breakfast. I had an Egg McMuffin. I haven’t had an egg McMuff in years and it¬†was just the icing on the cake to a fun trip.

It¬†was a blast and I’m so glad my future son¬†was along for the trip. Thanks mom and dad for the food, fun, and matching hats!

I leave you¬†with a pic of my belly shelf. It’s the perfect size for the remote, a phone, or even my glass of¬†water. How convenient.

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Belly Shelfie

2 more days til the¬†weekend peeps. I’ll update you on¬†week 33 later because I’m too tired right now.

Toodles!

-Hale

Week 24

Well hello. Normally I like to¬†write these posts on Friday’s on account of I get home early but I¬†went out of town last¬†weekend and just ran out of time. So here¬†we are, Monday evening. I’m almost at¬†week 25 (HOLY MOLY how did that happen!?) but lets just recap¬†week 24 anyway cuz it’s fun.

First off, I feel like my belly is growing every day. I’ve officially gained 15 pounds and feel pretty good. I have been getting some cramps still in my hips/calfs during sleeping time¬†which keeps me up some nights but if that’s the¬†worst of it, I’m ok¬†with that.

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He’s growing!

I had a strange craving this¬†week. It happened to be pancakes¬†with french fries dunked in maple syrup. Strange or it could be the most amazing combo ever. Sadly, I did not get to indulge in this one…yet. I’ve also been craving mashed potatoes sauced¬†with ketchup (or basically ketchup on everything), Culvers, salad of Cesar,¬† hamburgers (always), and CANDY. I guess you could say there’s a variety. Oh and always apples. Red apples.

ALSO, big news…Baby had his first Quarter Pounder¬†with cheese. I mean, have you seen the commercials for this lately? That’s¬†what started this¬†whole craving in the first place…kudos to you McDonald’s marketers. My first¬†QP¬†was (in Fergie voice) “tasty, tasty.” The fries however¬†were mediocre at best…forever a¬†Wendy’s or Culvers fry girl.

During week 24 I also whipped out the crock pot and made some delicious shredded chicken. You literally take 2 pounds of chicken boobs and put them in the crock with seasonings and a cup of chicken broth. Sam is weird and added cream of chicken but whatever, it worked. Then you just let that cook on low for 6-8 hours and shred it up. I used my chicken as homemade chicken burrito bowls and it was mighty tasty.

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Homemade Chipotle

During week 24 workouts seemed super fun and I seem to be gaining some motivation again. I did a nice 7 mile run/hike at the state park and some super fun outdoor workouts including things like lunges, elevated push ups, hang power cleans, bent over rows and bench step ups. I also did a few workouts at the gym including low weighted wall balls, box step ups, push press, swing snatch and more.

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There’s a turkey out there

I’ve been checking out Paleomg.com lately because she posts some fun¬†workouts that are easy to do at home or modify if needed. I’ve also been making sure to take plenty of¬†water breaks to catch my breath.

Baby also got to take his first road trip to Duluth during¬†week 24 and experience mom’s driving for an extended period of time. There¬†was some bad traffic and¬†we almost got hit by a tire that flew off a boat trailer in front of us but other than that¬†we sang a lot of songs and drank a lot of¬†water. It¬†was pretty boring. Duluth¬†was a blast though! It¬†was Grandma’s¬†weekend and my sister’s boyfriend and friend¬†were running the half.

Molly and I¬†were the support crew and it basically felt like¬†we ran also. The race started at the butt crack of dawn (6:15 am) so¬†we¬†were up and at em¬†with the birds. Our goal¬†was to see the runners as many times as possible and¬†we saw them 5 times so I’d say that’s pretty good. One time¬†we had to sprint 2 blocks to make it to them and I¬†was so out of breath it¬†was sad. But that’s OK because I’m running for 2.

I’ve never actually got to¬†watch Grandma’s because I’m normally participating in it but this year¬†was so fun. I actually really enjoyed being the support team and had no desire to be doing the run (I¬†was afraid I’d get super jealous of every runner and end up super sad I couldn’t run-not the case). It¬†was also incredible to see the elite runner zoom by. They are literally sprinting and it’s such a sight. Ok, enough about running.

Please excuse my scatter brain right now. There’s a lot going on. Sam’s cooking a pizza, Ruthie’s got zoomies, and I just really¬†want some graham crackers¬†with frosting.

I leave you with a funny picture of Ruthie.

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So seeeepy

Have an excellent night my friends! Someone have a margarita or Summer Shandy for me!

XO

-Hales