Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Faves

I don't think I have ever been so glad to see a Friday before!! Matt has been out of town all week and I am so, so, glad he's home. 
Since today is Friday, I am going to give you a few Friday Faves! 

1. 
This girl in her new Hello Kitty snow boots. She is obsessed and I love it! 
I am so thankful for my cousin in law, Tiffany, who graciously passes on her Chloe's well loved hand me downs to Ellie. Thanks Tiff!!!! 

2. 

I made the mistake of going into Target today and I am in LOVE with their colored handbags for Fall. 
So cute!!

3. 
All. Things. Halloween. 
I am waiting until after Ellie's Birthday Party to put up the Halloween decor, but as of September 14th, game on. 

4. 
This stuff is magic. I don't leave the house without this on my face and some mascara on my lashes. It's super quick to apply and makes my skin look flawless. 

What are a few of your favorite things? 

All My Love,
Meg

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why can't my son be a Princess for Halloween?

What is it about being alone that makes my house suddenly start making noises like a poltergeist has been lurking in it undetected for the last year? Matt is out of town for the next few days and last night was night 1 of his trip. My house decided to come alive with creaks, groans and banging piano keys{I forgot to close the piano lid and my lovely kitties decided to jump onto the keys with gusto}. Thanks to my overactive imagination, the absence of my love lying next to me and the piano serenade that haunted my dreams, I slept very little last night. 

Today, I am participating in Wednesday Wishes with the lovely Anne @ Love the Here and Now.

Love the Here and Now
We have been asking both Littles for the last few weeks what they would like to be for Halloween.

Every.single.time. that I ask, Mason tells me that he wants to be Elsa and that Ellie can be Anna{from Frozen. Both of my Littles are OBSESSED with all things Frozen.}
This was something I wasn't ready for as a parent. I don't mind that Mason wants to dress up as Elsa for Halloween. There are so many parts of me that want him to dress exactly how he wants. I want him to be exactly who he wants to be and if that means dressing in a Malibu blue dress and trick or treating in a tiara, then I want him to feel comfortable and supported. In fact Ellie gets to wear superhero capes, play with trains and cars, get dirty in the mud and scrape her knees racing her brother to get first dibs on the blocks at the library. This doesn't make her any less of a "girl" Why can't Mason put on a princess crown, make necklaces and bracelets, take care of a baby doll, or walk around the neighborhood with a plastic pumpkin in a Frozen costume? Why does this immediately make him less of a "boy"?
He is free by all means to do so, but how can I prepare him for the looks, the stares, the jeers, the comments about his costume of choice? How can I prepare myself for the same? I don't mind his costume of choice, but others are not quite so gracious or understanding.
He is only three after all, so I am ultimately in control of what I buy, make or allow. As a parent, I know that it is my job to mold and shape him, but that doesn't give me license to ignore who he is so that he will fit into who I think he should be. Where is the line? There is no easy part of parenting. If I don't allow him to be Queen Elsa, will this be the moment in his life that he remembers that I stifled his individuality and made him be something he didn't want to be? If I do allow him to be Queen Elsa, how will I handle the judgement as a parent? There is no easy choice. 

My wish for today is that we make a graceful choice. I also wish that there was some sort of Parenting Instruction Booklet we could refer to right about now. 

How do you deal with difficult parenting choices?

All My Love, 
Meg

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Quick Living Room Full Body Workout

I have been holding onto this post for a long time now and I am super excited to finally share it with you guys!!
My good friend Dane is kind of a bad ass and offered to put together a workout for me for the days when I don't run but still need a full body workout. Also, Dane just recently completed the Alcatraz Shark Swim in under 58 minutes which is pretty awesome. You can read a short recap of his swim here.  So without further ado, take it away Dane!



Hey hey hey. I’m Megan’s friend Dane. I have no fitness certifications or degrees. However, I’ve been working out for quite a while, and I’ve picked up a few things along the way. I’ve been reading Megan’s blog since she started it, and have sometimes browsed her followers’ blogs (I don’t even know if that’s the right term). It seemed to me that sometimes folks don’t know what to do if they can’t go run outside. That led me to ask Megan if she’d be interested in having some quick workouts that can be done in the living room using bodyweight and occasionally household items. So… here I am. I know that if you’re not sure how to do bodyweight types of workouts, it can be daunting. Then you google “living room workout” and are directed to a webpage with a workout, but no directions on how to do the movements. I’ll make it simple for you. YOUTUBE. I’ll post links to the videos. I am really going to break it down Barney style for you.
Basically, I want you to have a few full body workouts that you can do in your home. I also want them leaving you gasping for breath.
A few of the very best bodyweight exercises that there are include pushups, pullups, burpees (which I hate!), and squats.
Pushup-
Being able to do a pushup is important to a bodyweight routine. However, if you can’t do a normal pushup, no big whoop. Do them on your knees. Seriously. It’s better to do them on your knees then not do them at all. Eventually, you’ll get to where you can do them without your knees being on the ground.
Pullup-
We are going to put pullups in the more advanced category, and we’ll get to that some other month.
Burpee-
If there is one body weight exercise that was thought up by satan, I think it is the burpee. However, they work so many different parts of your body, and when done to for conditioning, they will wear your ass out.
Squats-
I’m going to level with you: You want to do squats. They are not pleasant, but you want to do them. Most of Megan’s readers are ladies. If you’re interested in fitness enough to be reading this right now, you’re most likely interested in having nice legs and a nice ass. (Meet squats).

I want to point out a few things before we get to the workout.
1. Nothing that I write will make you look like a female bodybuilder. If you are doing body weight exercises regularly (3 or 4 times a week), you will see a difference. Your legs could become more muscular and your butt could tighten, and yes, perhaps even get a bit bigger. I PROMISE you… it’s bigger in the good way. Your fellas or ladies (I don’t judge!) will love it.
2. You make the decision of how little or much you want to do. Listen to your body. Don’t overdo it. But don’t underdo it, either.
3. You’ll need to know a few terms.
Rep- short for repetition. If the       workout calls for 10 reps that’s the same as 10 pushups.
Round- the same as a set in gym terminology. If the workout calls for 3 rounds then you repeat the circuit three times.

Workout 1
What we are going for in this first workout is to alert your muscles (you have them) that they’re about to start working and getting tougher. We are also shooting for you to break a sweat (even in the air conditioning) and be breathing heavy.

Warm-up

25 jumping jacks
Then stretch out on your own. Make sure you’re really getting all those muscles and joints loosened up.

The circuit-

3 rounds (at your own pace)

8 pushups (on your knees is okay)
15 crunches
8 squats
5 burpees

Cool down- 
Stretch on your own.

If that workout was too easy… awesome. And see below. If it was too hard, then cut the reps in half and only do two rounds.
Want to make that workout more difficult? If you have a dumbbell or kettlebell at home, use that for the squats. That exercise is called a goblet squat. If you don’t but still want to make the squats harder, either do 16 reps per round or get an $0.89 gallon of water when you do your grocery shopping. Hold that in both hands as you do your squats. Damn water is heeeeavy.
That brings me to my next point… if you can afford it, get a kettlebell (like this http://www.amazon.com/Body-Solid-5-lb-Kettlebell/dp/B0012XIUP6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1403927977&sr=8-3&keywords=kettlebell or this http://www.amazon.com/Sunny-Vinyl-Coated-Kettle-10-Pound/dp/B003XFRGR4/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1403927977&sr=8-5&keywords=kettlebell). They are not very expensive, especially the ones for beginners (5-20 pounds). They carry them at Target or Amazon. A kettlebell is the single most versatile piece of equipment that anyone can own. AND… they take up almost no space. ANNND… you can take them with you when you travel and get a good workout in away from home.
*At Target, most of the kettlebells have a DVD workout program with them, which makes them more expensive. I’m sure that the programs are just fine.
Also... I'm posting this from my phone. It's not fancy and I can't embed links in here. Phhhhhhhhh. Dumb. 
Video examples of the movements-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwRLWMcOdwI&sns=em
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3g4wAsu0R4&sns=em
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKmrqcoCZ-M&sns=em

Thank you Dane for keeping my butt in such good shape! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Grateful Heart Monday

Ember Grey

Oh Grateful Heart Monday, I have missed you...
Thank you to the beautiful Emily @ Ember Grey Blog for this fantastic link up. Let's start our week with a grateful and happy heart.

This weekend was full of fun, a dash of shenanigans, and sprinkled with an ER visit. 
My dear friend, and hostess, Liz, dislocated her shoulder getting into the lake on Saturday, but rallied harder than anyone I've ever met. She was back at Girls Weekend within a few hours and came out dancing with us at Franky and Louie's Saturday night! 
I had so much fun! I have never been more grateful for great friends! I have had two weekends worth of my favorite ladies and it was just what my soul needed.

I didn't get a chance to snap many photos, plus what happens at Girls Weekend stays at Girls Weekend, but here are a few that I did manage to capture.
My view on Saturday. It was the perfect weekend to be at the lake!

My friend Sheri and I post dance break and wearing our Girls Weekend shirts. 

A shot from last weekends winery trip.

Mason and Ellie with her Godmother.

I am also grateful for a husband who is such a fun daddy. Matt and the Littles had a fun weekend eating pizza and corndogs, exploring the nature center, going to Church, having breakfast with my Grandparents and visiting Papa Toby at his meat shop. Mason went on and on about his fun weekend with daddy when I got home yesterday. 

My last bit of gratefulness is for Fall's pending arrival. It is my favorite time of year and I am already counting down the minutes until our apple picking trip, decorating the house, pumpkin patches, hayrides and Halloween costume prep. Our neighborhood does Halloween in style. Last year we had almost 400 trick or treaters... This year we know what to expect and it will be even more fun than last year.
Sheri and I did a little shopping on our way home from the lake and I picked up a few more pieces for our Haunted Halloween Home. 
I am ready! Bring it on Autumn! 

How was your weekend?
Are you prepared for all things pumpkin?

All My Love, 
Meg



Friday, August 22, 2014

Shotty wireless has been defeated!


Ah, my dear blog land, I have missed you so very dearly! We finally have {decent}internet!! It has only taken us 3 months to get it figured out, but here I sit comfortably across the room and not huddled next to the router to get any type of signal. Summer has absolutely FLOWN by and I have been so disconnected from all of you. I have so much to catch up on!

I must first confess to you all that this summer has been rough on my diet. We have been dealing with a lot of negativity and personal issues within our extended family and it has really caused an enormous amount of stress. I haven't gained any weight(thank you Dane Brown-for keeping my workouts going and inspiring me not to be a total lazy jerk, ThermoFit and Fat Fighters!), but I just feel gross. This last week I finally decided that my health and happiness, as well as the health and happiness of my familiy, is so much more important than trying to fix something that is permanently broken. Having accepted that I can only control my own behavior and no one elses and deciding that I care very little for what these particular individuals think of me, I have kicked my eating back into gear and I am feeling so.much.better. already. It is amazing to me how much eating well can make such a HUGE difference.

That being said, I have so much to share with you!! We have done so many things this summer and since I don't think I can possibly squeeze it all in, I will give you the short version - It was awesome.
We vacationed in Chicago, celebrated a wedding, went floating, camping, swimming, played outside, enjoyed the fabulous and uncharacteristically cool weather, reconnected, grilled, and spent so much time together making memories.

Mason has started Preschool and he LOVES it. We were so concerned about his listening skills, but he only has a few other kiddos in his class and we have heard nothing but awesome reports from both of his teachers! He loves helping his teacher, Mrs. Mandy, and his favorite activities so far have been playing in shaving cream, painting and playing in the gym. I am so thankful!
Ellie is following in her headstrong brothers footsteps and is definitely declaring her independence. My sweet buggy has moved on to bigger and better things, like jumping from the ottoman to the couch, having full conversations with me about kitties and singing and dancing exceptionally well to Frozen's Let It Go. My snuggles are becoming rare. The baby itch has started.

Matt has had a busy summer at work and he is looking to have a busy Fall as well. I am so thankful to have a husband who makes time for us, regardless of how many hours he has put in at work. I probably don't tell him that enough, so Matty, thanks for being a kick ass provider, father, and husband!

In July, Addy joined us during the day, so I have my hands full during the day with a three year old and two almost two year olds. I also have my friend Sheri's oldest, Addison, before and after school. We are two weeks into our new schedule and everyone is adjusting pretty well so far.

Last weekend, my two best friends were both in town for the first time since Christmas and we got to spend an ENTIRE day together. We consumed a gross amount of calories and burned it all off laughing. I never laugh as much as I do when we're together. It was definitely needed.
This weekend I am headed to the Lake for a Girls Weekend with a huge group of super fun ladies, including my bestie Sheri, and I am pretty excited. Two weekends in a row filled with laughter and friends is just what the doctor ordered for my soul.

We are also planning to re-tile our shower in the next few weeks, so home reno tips are so appreciated! I'm looking at you Lindsay @ Broke and Bougie.

I cannot wait for next week! I have new posts planned, including a workout from my friend Dane Brown, some new recipes to share, and a recap of our Girls Weekend. I am so glad to be back!
All My Love, 
Meg





Sunday, August 10, 2014

Small Update

I promise I'm not ignoring you and we are all alive and doing so well!! I miss all of my bloggy friends and I can't wait to reconnect with all of you :) Summer is winding down, Mason starts preschool on Tuesday and we are pricing new internet providers to ensure quality internet instead of this hit or miss nonsense we currently have, which has deleted more blog posts than I can handle. I have so many things I want to share with all of you and I am hoping to be back full time very soon.  We have had a lot on our plates this summer. Don't give up on me yet!
All My Love,
Meg