Friday, April 24, 2015

Five Protein Bars I Keep on Hand

Happy Friday!

My days at home with the baby are numbered... enter big sad face. I seriously can't believe how fast three months have gone. One thing that hasn't change is my need/love for trail/protein bars. While I was pregnant I enjoyed either an apple or some type of bar every afternoon. This didn't change once the baby arrived. A hearty snack helped with milk production.

Here are five bars currently in my pantry.

I love the original LARA BAR and recently decided to venture out and try their other bars. Enter ALT. This my new favorite bar! Because it's packed with protein without using soy or whey. I enjoy this bar as a pre/post workout snack.

TWO | LARA BAR über 
I love nuts and chocolate and this bar combines the two. über makes for the prefect afternoon snack and curbs any sweet tooth craving. It's really more like a candy bar and I typically treat it as such. Of course a bag of peanut of m&m would do, but this is still better for you.

THREE | Kind Plus
While I was pregnant I felt like I lived on Kind Bars and Apples with nut butter. Seriously, so good and so many flavors to choose from. We purchase the variety pack from Costco, but it only has two flavors so I tend to pick up a few other options when they're on sale.

A gluten free protein bar that packs a punch. Perfect as a snack on short hikes or pre/post workouts. I personally grab this bar on my way to the GYM for early morning workouts. For instance it's 5 a.m. I just nursed or pumped and I'm of to the GYM for a Spin class and my own circuit. It's way to early for breakfast and I don't want something heavy. The SMART bar is perfect and only 130 calories!

When you're really burning the calories this bar is key. Think intense training, long day hikes or even a long bike ride. The only down fall is that is tastes like a protein bar, which I'm really not a fan of. My husband doesn't seem to mind the taste so I keep them around for him. Luckily, as a Fitfluential ambassador we received a box from Detour to sample. I might not like the bar, but it turned me onto the brand and I sure do like their Smart bar mentioned above. You're not going to like everything you try and that's ok.  Just keeping it 100% real.

Linking up with September Farm & A. Liz Adventures

What trail/protein bars do you keep on hand?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Emerson Quinn // Birth Announcement

Good Morning!

Well we survived our first vacation as a family of three! Miss Emerson was a trooper on all four flights! While I unpack and fill our fridge I'll leave you with our birth announcement. I sent them out a bit late, but better late than never.

Of course we used Minted and I absolutely love how they turned out.

Over the last few years Minted has been my go-to for Christmas cards (20132014) so naturally I turned to Minted for our Birth announcements. After narrowing it down to a few different designs I decided on this one. I also took full advantage of their pre-addressed envelopes. It's minimal work once the cards arrive. Anything to help out this mama!

Minted always seems to be offering some type of discount too. For instance, now trough April 27th you can save 20% on all their foil-pressed products with code SPRINGFOIL. There are so many cute cards and prints! I'm eyeing this, this and this.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Eco Friendly Products

Happy Earth Day!

I'm a consumer and like the rest of america I buy and buy. However, when I can I'll buy eco-friendly products even if it costs a little more. Our family recycles, shops at the farms market and uses reusable items among other things. These are just a few products I love and you should too!

Eco Friendly Products

1. Chico Bag -- Did you know that California is the first state to pass a state wide plastic bag ban?! Yup it goes into effect October 2015. I first heard of Chico Bag four or five years ago and it's one of my favorite reusable bags. Hello, it packs into a little pouch! I usually keep one in my purse so I'm never caught without a bag. They offer various styles and sizes.

2. Burt's Bees Lip Balm -- I love lip balm and probably have three in my purse at any given time. Burt's Bees is one of my favorites though.  

3. Honest Diapers -- We've tried a few different eco-friendly diapers and these are the best. Don't waste your money on other brands. If you wanted to be super green you could always use cloth diapers. Sign up for a free sample here.

4. Klean Kanteen -- Living in Tahoe we're lucky that we have amazing tap water. I'm reminded of this every time I visit family in So Cal. Over the last few years I tested out a few water bottles -- Klean Kanteen and the Hydro Flask are my favorites.

5. Baby Wipes -- Seventh Generation makes a number of eco-friendly products, but I really like their baby wipes

6. Method Cleaning Products -- I love a clean house just like the next gal. It's nice to know the products you're using are also good for the environment. I love their dish soap!

7. Cutting Board -- Cooking is my jam and a cutting board is a essential kitchen tool. Why not have one made of recycled materials?!

8. Reusable Produce Bags -- These bags are perfect for the farmers market or the grocery store. I love them and they wash up nicely.

What eco friendly products do you love?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Favorites // Popcorn, Breakfast & Planks

TGIF! I love Friday because it means my hubby starts his weekend. We have a pretty fun weekend planned with family. But first let's chat about what I'm loving.

ONE | Earth Balance
I feel like I hit the vegan snack food jackpot earlier this week! Earth Balance seriously hooked this gal up. My husband laughed at me, but he's not complaining either. So far I've tried this popcorn, PB Popps and Coconut Peanut Butter. Heaven on Earth! The popcorn was actually way better than I thought it would have been and you can count on me buying the PB Popps and Coconut Peanut Butter in the very near future.

TWO | Breakfast
I've always loved Acai bowls and this week I discovered smoothie bowls. Ok, maybe I'm late to the game, but better late than never. I whipped up two this week for breakfast.

via Daily Burn

THREE | Best Workout of the Week
Do you follow FitMiss on instagram? Well, you should. They post some great workouts -- like this one. I only completed four rounds, but I was so sore for the next two days.

FOUR | This Girl!
Her smiles just brighten my day! Oh and I shared her birth story earlier this week.

FIVE | Summer 
Spring has been amazing, but I'm ready for summer. Bike rides, beach, cold beer and BBQs -- among  other things.

Linking up with September Farm & A. Liz Adventures

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Emerson Quinn // A Birth Story

I toyed with the idea of not sharing our birth story as it's a special and private time in ones life. However, I enjoyed reading other birth stories leading up to our delivery. Although our delivery wasn't smooth it had a happy ending. With that said, I thought it might be helpful to others. You should know this is a birth story that didn't include an epidural or photos. Whether you're pregnant or not read at your own risk.

Emerson was born at 12:39 a.m. on January 29th, but in hindsight I started having contractions Monday night, January 26th. Monday was like any other day I went to the gym, then work and then spent the evening relaxing on the couch. I remember telling the hubby at one point during the day I felt really dizzy and nausea, but it didn't last long so I thought nothing of it. Around 11 p.m. the pain kicked in. From that point on I was up every other hour either going to the bathroom or pacing. Walking circles around my house helped.

Again on Tuesday morning I went to the gym. It took all my effort to make it through the 6 a.m. spin class. At this point the pain had stopped so I went to work. Throughout the day there were moments I just didn't feel right. I even told my boss I thought the baby would be here before the end of the weekend. Later that night the "contractions" started in again. Maybe they were braxton hicks. Once again I was up all night. This time I probably slept a total of two hours. I remember walking into our bedroom at 2 a.m. in tears because I couldn't sleep. I also remember waking Nick up to tell him to get ready this baby was coming in the next 24 hours.

Wednesday morning around 7 a.m. I sent my boss a text telling him I would be working from home because I was so uncomfortable. I actually had my 40 week appointment later that afternoon too. With the contractions coming quicker I called my doctor's office to see if I could be seen earlier, but they told us to head straight to the hospital.

Luckily my doctor was on call that day and she helped us get settled (Hello small town). A L&D nurse checked to see how far along we were at about 9:30 a.m. and unfortunately I was only 2 centimeters. They had us walk the halls and checked me again in an hour. Since there wasn't any change they actually sent us home. We were told to go to our appointment later that afternoon, but said I could come back at anytime.

While at home I took a nice warm bath which helped tremendously with the contractions. Nick had lunch and I tried to not focus on the fact I was in labor. I managed to stay at home until 2 p.m. before telling Nick I couldn't take it any longer. There were definitely some big alligator tears. You have to remember I didn't really sleep the two nights prior. Once back at the hospital we found out I had progressed nicely and was at 4 cm. At that point we were admitted and started to prepare to have a baby.

Our nurse was amazing. She asked if we had a birth plan and we said, "as natural as possible." She never even mentioned an epidural. Around 4 p.m. my doctor came in to check and see how things were progressing. At this point the contractions were strong. Well it's because we were at 6 cm! About an hour later I asked the nurse if I decided I wanted an epidural when did I have her let her know. She responded with, "if you can make it another few centimeters you can make it all the way." Between the nurse and Nick they helped me focus on my breathing and didn't judge when I had to yell it out. Yup, never thought I would be a yeller, but some of those contractions got the best of me. I even labored in the shower for about 45 minutes! Ladies the shower and tub are where it's at .

What's nice about our hospital is you labor, deliver and recover in the same room. Each room even has it's own bathroom and pull out couch for the dads!

Over the next few hours I labored in the shower, on the birthing ball, standing, in the bed and even walking around our room.

At 6 p.m. my doctor checked me again. I was about 8 cm. At this point she broke my water. This is when everything started to get really fuzzy and becomes a blur.

Over the next few hours I was given pitocin because the baby was getting stuck on my cervix. To help with the extra pain the pitocin brings on I was given some pain killers through an IV. Oh and then I started throwing up. Just lovely! I was surprised since I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast and I didn't have much at that.

Around 9:30 p.m. it was time to start pushing. What a relief! The bad part was the clock was on the wall behind my doctor so I could just see the hours creep by.

I was in and out of it at this point and practically falling asleep in between pushes as it neared 11 then midnight! I even asked a few times how many more pushes... yes, I knew they predict how many more.

At midnight my doctor knew she had to get this baby out. I had been pushing for way too long. She mentioned something about suction and I said whatever it takes.

This wasn't pleasant... I'll leave it at that. Once everything was set up on the next push she tried to pull the baby out. The suction popped off. Then she tried again and again it popped off.  On the third attempt the baby came right out!

I remember...
+ The whole room in shock because she was sunny side up. Which is why I was having such a hard time pushing her out.
+ Saying "oh that feels so much better"
+ My husband saying "wow your stomach is gone"
+ The baby on my chest for not even a second before they took her away.

What happen next...
Everything happen so quickly. I didn't know what was going on. Nick didn't know. They weren't telling us anything. I didn't hear her crying and kept asking what was going on. They kept saying everything is fine, but we knew that wasn't the case. I do know she wasn't breathing so they started to resuscitate her. Within minutes after delivering a group of ER doctor's stormed the room. Yes, in all my glory.

Next thing we know she was being taken out of the room while a nurse asked if she has to be transported whether we prefer Reno, NV or Sacramento, CA! Talk about unsettling.

Within an hour the pediatrician on call explained what was happening. I was half there and just couldn't wrap my head around it.

At 4:30 a.m. I was able to see her for 5 minutes before they transported her to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, CA.

It was scary because we didn't really know what was going on. We later found out that she also had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck.

I'll save our NICU experience for another day,  the short of the long is...

Our girl was there for a week receiving a cooling treatment. She had a whole team of doctors watching over her. In the end there were no signs of any brain damage and she should live a very normal life. She will have additional tests over the next few years to make sure she continues to meet milestones, but the doctors weren't concerned at all. Talk about a sigh of relief.

We're blessed to have had such a great support system through out the process. Just know there's always a light at the end of the tunnel.

If you're still with me ... you rock! I'll be back next week chatting about body after baby! This is one you won't want to miss.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Day in the Life // If I was a SAHM

First and foremost, I'm still currently on maternity leave (working remotely here and there), but Im pretty sure my days would look the same if I was a SAHM (stay at home mom). Of course every woman debates about returning to work once having a baby. Come on trusting a stranger with your three month old?! Not easy. As of today I'm set to return to work in May, but it doesn't mean I wouldn't prefer to stay home with Emerson. Any one know of a great job I can work at home with baby?!

This is a real day in the life of me and Miss Emerson

4:30 a.m.
It's Tuesday morning my alarm goes off, but I've already been up for ten minutes because Emerson is stirring. I've been debating about pumping or waking baby to feed. She decided for me (she slept for seven hours!). Nick changes her then she nurses. This morning she only nurses for 15 minutes before going back to bed. Luckily I switched half way so I'm not worried about pumping.

4:50 a.m.
Once I know the girl is fast asleep I start getting ready for the GYM.

5-5:15 a.m.
Say goodbye to the hubby and grab a banana, hard boiled egg or bar (Kind Bar or Lara Bar) and head to the gym.

5:15 - 6 a.m.
Workout - Set up spin bike, walk/run for 20 minute then circuit with weights and abs.

6 a.m.
45/50 minute spin class. Yup thats right I'm at the gym for almost 2 hours.

7-8 a.m.
I'm home. Hubby leaves for work. Baby is still sawing logs. I make a quick breakfast. This morning it  just happen to be steel cut oats with almond milk, walnuts, honey or agave nectar and fresh fruit. (Tip: I make a big batch of steel cut oats on Sunday for the week. My hubby enjoys this for breakfast too.)

While I enjoy breakfast peacefully I check and response to emails and catch up on blogs and the daily news.

If I have time I start on some house chores (i.e. make the bed*, unload and load the dishwasher, feed the dog, etc.).

*I make the bed everyday. There's just something about a made bed. Even if it doesn't happen until noon.

8 a.m.
If the baby girl isn't already up for the day I wake her up. This is probably one of the best parts of the day. Girlfriend makes some of the best faces. I change her then nurse.

9 a.m.
By this time we're taking a mid-morning nap. Mama is tired from working out and baby just likes to snuggle and sleep.

Some days we go to mommy and me boot camp.

10 a.m.
Mid-morning snack -- Green smoothie. Every day is a little different. I make two servings so the hubby can have a smoothie with his lunch.

Shower! Emerson usually chills in her bouncer in the bathroom. Sometimes she even takes a cat nap.

11/11:30 a.m. 
Nurse. Diaper change.

12/12:30 p.m.
Lunch. Hubby joins us :). Today's Lunch was a quinoa bowl with chicken and veggies. Quinoa is apart of my weekly meal prep.

After lunch and a few snuggles with her dad I try and put girlfriend down for a nap. She's not having it. So I throw on a movie, grab my laptop and snuggle with her on the couch. She passes out in no time.

Other days look like this:

If she'll let me put her down I continue with house chores (i.e. vacuum, laundry, pick up house, dust, etc.).

If she wants to be held I'll start doing squats, lunges or step ups (using my coffee table)

2 p.m.
Wake the little girl from her nap (if she's still asleep). Change and tummy time. Then we nurse again! Milk Maid open for business.

2:30- 4 p.m.
Mid-afternoon snack: Sliced Apple with nut butter (i.e. peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter, etc.). If I'm feeling crazy I'll top it with some chocolate chips. Yesterday it was snowing, but typically we get out of the house! This varies from day to day as well. What do we do? Walk the dog for at least an hour, run errands, etc. Since the weather was nasty yesterday we went shopping at TJMaxx. We picked up some new workout gear for mom.

4 p.m.
Cat nap for the baby girl, tummy time, check emails, write blog post, work, dinner prep.

5 p.m.
Change and nurse. (I do change her throughout the day, but I always change her right before or after nursing)

5:30 p.m.
Start to make dinner. Hubby comes home from work and plays with girlfriend and/or throws the ball for Roxy girl.

6/6:15 p.m.
Dinner + kitchen clean up. Last night was taco salad using shredded chicken from Del Real.

7 p.m.
Nurse and Change

7:30 p.m.
Night time ritual. Bath (every other night) and snuggles/play. Now that she's more aware we've started to read to her.

8:30/9 p.m.
Last feeding for the night.

9:30 p.m.
In bed and lights out.

What's the takeaway? Being a SAHM is a full time job and your baby is the boss! Could you handle that?

Psst: A winner was picked for the Lulujo Giveaway. Did you win?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Scenes From the Weekend

What a weekend! Sunshine and snow. My husband works four ten's so every weekend is a three day weekend for him. It's nice having the extra day to spend together.

Friday I taught my first mommy and me boot camp. I had one client... After breaking a sweat I went and got my hair done. The weather was gorgeous so of course we had to get outside and enjoy it.

We enjoyed the afternoon walking in the meadow just steps from our house.

Saturday we did some chores around the house and went for a mini hike. Roxy loves the water even if it's freezing. Crazy girl!

The views never disappoint.

Saturday evening we took girlfriend to her first Heavenly Ski patrol party. She slept.

Sunday was a blast celebrating her first Easter even if she didn't have a clue. We went out to brunch, but sadly she was asleep when the Easter Bunny stopped by so there isn't any pictures.

Emerson's first Easter basket! Summer clothes (this and this), bathing suit, hat, book, sunscreen, rattler, headband, and bunny lovely.

All in all I would say it was a great weekend!

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