Favorite things // v. 2

1. Hapiu rain suits for toddlers!

These are game changers for getting outside with toddlers, especially living in the PNW, where it rains at least 5+ months of the year. They’re awesome even on days it isn’t raining, keeping clothes safe from mud! It’s taken the excuse of bad weather away, so we are getting out every day!

2. Pretty coffee mugs.

I’ve replaced a few coffee mugs we had that were chipped/cracked, and it’s made me pretty happy! Theyre bright and happy, and this is my favorite shape for a coffee mug! Oversized, but still feels great in your hand! (This one is cute, and these ones are so pretty!)

3. Hand cream and mosturizer.

I know, a little weird. But I haven’t used either of those things much before. But this winter my skin has been so dry and looking awful. (My hands looked so old.) so I grabbed a big bottle of lotion at Costco, and it’s made a huge difference in how my skin looks and feels. I’m hooked. But I am looking for a more nontoxic option and very open to suggestions! (I would love to hear your favorite brands in a comment!)

At the zoo! 😊

4. Reading actual books.

When I was nannying before I had kids, I got into the habit of reading books in the Libby app on my iPad. And I love it! I don’t have to run another errand to pick up books, or get them back on time. We also live in a very tiny apartment, it’s been helpful to not have a ton of books to store. (I can’t wait to have a bigger space so that we can have our books out of storage, though!) But I have pulled out a couple books that were gifts, and it has been really nice to have the physical books. I really missed it. So hoping to read a better mix of both physical and ebooks this year.

5. Lists I can check off

I know goals, or New Years resolutions aren’t for everyone. I thrive with clear goals, to-do lists, progress checklists, etc. so I love the opportunity to set new (attainable) goals for myself, and see progress as I work towards them. At the beginning of January I made a progress chart with 52 weeks for my goal of running 15 miles a week, and it’s very exciting to fill my milage at the end of the week. It’s small, but helps my mindset and productivity!

6. Decluttering and organizing.

I started picking one space every day to declutter or organize the week after Christmas and it made a huge difference! It was so nice to clear out some clutter, clean little used spaces out, and just refresh our home. I’m trying to keep up with picking 2 or 3 spaces a week, to keep on top of it, and it’s been a huge help! Visual clutter stresses me out, so staying on top of keeping our surfaces and storage is key to less stress and a happier mama!

7. Paring down Instagram

Social media was becoming overwhelming. So I started unfollowing a bunch of accounts that I was no longer interested in, and making space for the people I actually wanted to see in my feed. It’s been a lot quieter, and I’m enjoying the app much more now instead of endlessly scrolling past stuff I honestly don’t care about!

8. Easy dinners

I’ve been trying to find a few simple dinners that are easy for busy days, and my favorite right now is rotisserie chicken (I grab a couple every time we go to Costco, debone them, and throw it in the freezer chopped so it’s easy to grab.) and a bag of prepared veggies/noodles/teriyaki sauce. (Our Fred Meyer has this in the bagged salad aisle. It’s quick, relatively healthy, and takes about 20 minutes to cook up.

What are some things you’ve been loving lately?

Running // my goal to a healthier lifestyle

In March 2021, I was five months postpartum with my second baby in two years. I was not in shape, exausted, and dealing with some major hormone issues that come with postpartum. Anxiety, depression, etc.

I was active all throughout my pregnancy, and walking postpartum, but it wasn’t enough to build up stamina or make a difference muscle-wise. With my husbands work schedule, I didn’t have the option of leaving my kids at home to go to the gym. So I bought a used double bob jogging stroller, a couple new pairs of leggings, and decided to try to learn to run.

The first time I went out, I just started running… And quickly stopped a few minutes later, heart racing, out of breath and in considerable pain. I jokingly told my husband that I could have gone in to the ER with symptoms for a heart attack and they probably would have believed me.

The very first run.

I did some research, and checked out several different apps that have been created to help beginners start to run. I settled on the Start Running for Beginners. It is super simple to use, affordable, (less than $5, a 1 time charge.) and did exactly what I was looking for; you click on the workout for the day, hit start, and it coaches you through you’re entire run, from warm up to cool down, when to walk, when to run, counting down the minutes, and letting you know when you’ve reached the halfway point. The ultimate goal in the app is to work up to running 60 minutes, and that took me 14 weeks and 143 miles. (I did one day extra per week). The program works you up so gradually that it doesn’t ever seem overwhelming, and you don’t get super sore at any point.

The last run of the plan

Once you reach the 60 minute goal, you can continue to use the app to track your runs, both with the freestyle option, or creating your own custom runs to work towards your individual goals. (Which is what I am doing now, working on getting my MPH up, and further distance.)

My current customized plan.

It’s been really amazing to have a consistent workout program, and to start to see actual results. I am excited to be working on my goals and getting better! I love the extra energy, and that I am building more muscle and stamina! I would really recommend using the Start Running app, or one like it, to help meet your own fitness goals!