My First Mother’s Day

My first Mother’s Day this past weekend was truly a special one. It was a weekend filled with my loved ones and it doesn’t get much better than that.

So thankful to spend time with my wonderful mother, mother in law, and baby daughter. Read on for how we spent the weekend and for a pretty photo overload!

We kicked off the weekend on Saturday with a ladies day I planned for my mom and mother in law. A local tearoom was hosting a ladies Kentucky Derby themed lunch so we dressed with complete with headbands and enjoyed a light and tasty lunch together.

 

 

The quiche with sangria iced tea

Those chubby legs 😍

 

Sunday started with coffee in bed with my lovies. After a morning of lounging we got ready and headed out to a surprise (to me) brunch at one of our favorite local spots! They host brunch with delicious bottomless mimosas but what the moms in our group didn’t know was that they also have a speakeasy! We travelled down a secret elevator and enjoyed a seriously delicious brunch with bananas foster bread pudding, salad with homemade dressings, and an omelet bar. Plus the bottomless mimosas..prickly pear (below) was my favorite…so hot pink!

 

 

 

 

It was such a special weekend and my first Mother’s Day that I’ll never forget. Hope everyone enjoyed their day and spoiling their loved ones too!

Back To Your Roots

I felt like I needed to do some soul searching and decide if I really wanted to keep my lil ole blog up and running. I have always had big dreams and plans for this space, but have felt uninspired lately and like I’ve strayed away from my main goal for creating this blog. It’s felt a bit all over the place and has little direction which is obviously the opposite of what I want! I also have gotten super discouraged because I barely have any traffic. Consistency helps and I’m sure some direction will help too, but hopefully I can build a little community of bloggers and readers who will stop through here and connect with each other!

I want to get back to my blogging roots and share the things that make living in FL such a thrill. In my adult years I’ve really come to appreciate The Sunshine State and want to what living like a vacationer is all about. From staying healthy in the theme parks to  

Though I’ve drifted, I realize how badly I want to get back to it. I’d love any feedback anyone may have! What would you like to see? What are you interested in reading? Do you like connecting with others in your fitness journeys? What helps motivate you?

 

 

The Key to Building your Breast Milk Supply: Breastfeeding a Newborn

I’ve partnered with registered dietitian and friend Kaitlyn LeBrun to chat about some tips for breastfeeding. I shared my breastfeeding journey which you can read here and when Kaitlyn and I decided to collaborate, I knew I wanted to ask her the tips she has for successful breastfeeding! Though it doesn’t work for everyone, me included, her tips will be really helpful for moms out there struggling with getting the hang of things. Thanks Kaitlyn for the great tips..and just remember bottle or breast, fed it best. ❤️

__________________

 

You want to breastfeed. You know how healthy it is for both you and your baby. But you’re overwhelmed and not sure what to expect. 

Today I’ll be sharing with you the 8-step guide to breastfeeding a newborn. But before that, there are two things you need to know. 

You need to believe that you can be successful with breastfeeding. And you need to be flexible.

Newborns, especially if it’s your first, are anything but predictable. Learn to go with the flow, and have confidence that it’ll all turn out well in the end with a happy, healthy mom and baby.

This guide focuses on the first 6 weeks of breastfeeding because these weeks are the most important for setting up success! They will likely be the most difficult as well, but I’m giving you the guide to help it go smoothly! 

Breastfeeding is based on supply and demand. The more your baby takes from you, the more your body will make. And the less your baby takes from you, the less your body will make. 

The first 6 weeks are so important because you and your baby have to figure out how breastfeeding is going to work for both of you. Remember, every child is different, so breastfeeding each child will be a new experience. Your baby also goes through a lot of changes in these 6 weeks. Your body will need to learn to keep up with growth spurts and changing sleeping patterns. 

Remember, you gotta be flexible! But YOU CAN DO IT!

Here is your 8-step guide to feeding a newborn:

1. Have confidence in yourself. 

Go into breastfeeding believing that you will be successful.

2. Expect your baby  to lose 10% of her body weight after birth. 

Babies should be back to their birth weight by 2 weeks. 

3. Feed your baby whenever he’s hungry. 

Newborns typically feed every 2-3 hours, so breastfeeding 8-12 times per day is normal. 

4. Expect your baby to go through a growth spurt at around 2 weeks and 4 weeks. 

During this time, your baby may want to feed every hour. This is completely normal! It’s not that your body isn’t making enough milk for your baby; it’s that your baby is growing rapidly, but her tummy is so tiny that she needs to eat more frequently. Don’t worry, this will only last a couple days.

5. Track wet and dirty diapers because what goes in must come out! 

By the time your baby is about a week old, he should be having at least 6 wet and 3 dirty diapers a day. Poop should be yellow, seedy, and runny. 

6. Limit  bottles as much as possible, even if it’s with pumped breast milk. 

This can cause what’s called nipple confusion. Bottles flow faster than your breast, and your baby may prefer this. 

It’s important to have your baby latch on to your breast as this the best way for your body to make milk. Our bodies typically aren’t as efficient at making milk when we use a breast pump. But of course pumps are quite handy and helpful when necessary.

7. Minimize supplementing with formula. 

If your baby isn’t taking that milk from you, then you’re body won’t make as much. Mothers who supplement with formula in the first 6 weeks are less likely to be successful breastfeeding long term. 

If you do need to supplement because of low milk supply, add in a pumping session. You’ll want to pump for an additional 2 minutes after the last drop of milk comes out to help your body know to make more.

8. Take care of yourself! 

Drink plenty of water. Take your vitamins. And eat. Breastfeeding burns an additional 500 calories each day! In comparison, you only need an extra 300 calories during pregnancy.

Related: Does your breastfed baby need a vitamin supplement?

And don’t forget to believe in yourself! You can be successful with breastfeeding. Life will throw you curve balls and a newborn will be throwing lots, but be flexible, try not to stress, and enjoy the experience.

If you’re worried about your supply, contact your lactation consultant. They can help you determine the best course of action to keep your baby happy and fed while building your supply up. You can also contact me directly at SimplifyingNutrition@gmail.com if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help!

Kaitlyn LeBrun is a Registered Dietitian and nutrition counselor helping moms with topics ranging from breastfeeding to dealing with picky eaters. She also blogs at SimplifyingNutrition.com, where she provides quick and easy nutrition tips, workouts, and recipes for busy women. 

 

Thanks Kaitlyn for the great tips! Breast feeding is certainly a rollercoaster ride..I’ve been there! Don’t be too hard on yourself, be positive, and seek help if necessary!

Breast Feeding Doesn’t Work For Everyone

Bottle or breast, fed is best. I repeat fed is best.

Moms face A LOT of pressure. In my short time as a mom (4 months!!) I’ve faced some pressures..mostly ones that I’ve placed on myself.

 

Before delivery, I was so optimistic that I would exclusively breast feed. I’m a dietetics student, a profession where breast feeding is promoted for all it’s wonder benefits, so I was dead set on it working for us. But it didn’t. And that’s totally okay!

In the hospital after our sweet girl was born and it just wasn’t working out, a nurse said the most important thing is that our newborn eats. Well, duh…That statement obviously struck a cord because HELLO baby’s gotta eat! But it took a little for that to click..

I wanted to share my breastfeeding story with any other moms who are struggling to feel at peace with themselves regarding their decisions on how to nourish their babies. The most important thing is there should be no judgement on moms for how they choose to feed their children, because bottom line is they’re getting fed. They’re happy and healthy and that’s the most important thing. I’ll be the first to admit that this took me a little while to fully appreciate, so that’s why I wanted to get it off my chest and share it. 

 

I haven’t shared our birth story here..let me know if you wanna hear it..I do love telling it 🙈 but my labor was induced on Friday, December 9th. The two hard issues I didn’t want to budge on in the birth plan were skin to skin contact right away and to initiate breast feeding immediately.

Everything went as according to plan as birth and afterwards can go. I was thrilled to have skin to skin with our new little bundle just moments after she was born.

We also tried breast feeding right away too…it’s important for newborns to eat pretty much right after they’re born, Honestly, I do not remember the first session because after birth was quite a bit of a blur, but I’m told it happened lol

We were moved to the mother and baby room where we’d call home for the next few days, working with nurses, lactation consultants, and doctors. The hospital we chose had a big breast feeding program, so it was completely staffed for support.

Once we were settled in our room, we were given instruction to try to get feeding started. The lactation consultants weren’t there since baby was born at night/on a Friday, so we had the nurses helping.

We were instructed to feed her no more than every three hours. So we’d feed her, change her, burp, pump, and then by the time that was through, we’d have to start the entire routine again. Holy shit talk about exhaustion.

In that first overnight, we exclusively breast fed. I was instructed to pump to maintain supply, but it was becoming clear that she wasn’t latching properly..so next morning we met with the hospital LC. 

She helped with positioning and we kept plugging away with MUCH struggle. With the whole routine that they instructed us with and the latch issues, no one was sleeping and we were beyond frustrated. Then a cluster feed hit us and then it was Sunday and we thought we’d be going home for some much deserved peace and rest!

Unfortunately no, we didn’t go home, but that did give us opportunity to work with the LCs again. Somewhere in between it all, after baby dropped from her birth weight (totally normal after birth, up to a certain percentage) it was advised that we supplement with formula.

I was so devastated.

But HELLO. Baby’s gotta eat!! That’s what the nurse said and again DUH. I say duh because when you’re exhausted and sleep deprived and in pain you forget these types of things so they don’t seem as obvious as they do now.

So we started supplementing and giving her the formula with an oral syringe to avoid nipple confusion. After three exhausting days in the hospital we were going home! And baby started gaining the right amount of weight!! I was also still super determined to figure out breastfeeding at home.

A day later we had her first appointment with her pediatrician, who also happens to be a lactation consultant. Thank GOD for this woman. We walked in (me still SORE, all three of us exhausted) and she said words that were music to our ears. She was going to make all this easier. We were still following the strict hospital regime of wake her to feed every 2-3 hours (and the whole damn routine nearly took two hours after I finished pumping! So we slept like 30 mins every couple hours omg I’m tired again just reliving it!)

She helped with latch issues and we had our new routine which allowed for us to get more sleep in between feedings. We were still supplementing with formula. We still had latch issues mostly because she was so tiny so she couldn’t figure out how to get up on there.

But one of the keys to breast feeding is to stay positive (extremely difficult) and to preserve (which I totally did).

Then the day before Christmas Eve I was hit with some clogged ducts which turned into mastitis and then I was SO SICK. Mastitis is NO JOKE. We had an on call doctor call in meds for me and thankfully it cleared up in time to holiday celebrations but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone! 

In between all this, we couldn’t figure out the latching and I was so sick, so we kind of made the decision to stop trying to physically try to put her to the breast. But I kept pumping. Me and my breast pump are BFFs.

One of the best things to do during clogged ducts and mastitis is to keep feeding/pumping.

I was on antibiotics for a week and then by New Years found that my supply was basically no more. Wtf. 

I called all the lactation consultants for help. I was told to power pump which isn’t as fun as it sounds, lol, to try to get my supply back. I tried the herbal supplements which totally messed up my stomach, which I also learned that if it messes with me, then it’s probably messing with baby. Then I tried to get a prescription for a drug that helps with milk production, but my OB wouldn’t prescribe it for me.

This was probably the lowest low for me. I was unrealistically hard on myself, because I was trying to TRY everything and it just was not working for us. I felt like a failure and I was letting her down. I was crying all the time over it. And that’s when Brian said that my sanity 100% mattered and that at the end of the day it just wasn’t meant to be.

During this time we saw my daughter’s pediatrician for her one month well baby checkup (holy shit a month already!?) and I was so nervous that she would be discouraging and judgmental since she was an LC who obviously wanted breast feeding to be successful.

That couldn’t have been farther from what happened. I was met with so much support and she gave me some encouraging words: that my sanity matters and to be the best mother I can be, I need to not be so hard on myself. She told me I did EVERYTHING I could to make this work and it just doesn’t work for everyone.

After a week my supply was so diminished I decided to say fuck it whatever happens happens it’s just not meant to be. My body was calling the shots and I had to just accept it. I kept pumping though since I was still getting some milk.

Then maybe a week or so later once I stopped stressing so much about it, one pumping session, I collected a ton of milk. 

And then just like that my supply came back. And I’ve still been pumping every day (which TBH is really draining, literally and figuratively, lol) but my sweet baby is still getting some breast milk (!!) and I’m not stressed, we’ve hit our groove, and I haven’t put unnecessary pressure on myself. I feel like that’s important.

Here’s the take aways from my little story.

  • Fed is best. 
  • Stress affects your supply.
  • Stop the judgement of others, you don’t know what they’ve gone through.
  • Enjoy your sweet little babies and stop being hard on yourself. 

happy, healthy, and gaining tons of weight!

 

Breastfeeding is important. But so is your health. If it doesn’t work, it just doesn’t. So don’t beat yourself up because we’re all just doing our best!

So that’s my story. Later this week, I’ll be sharing some tips about supply and breast feeding from my RD and blogger friend Kaitlyn!

Bottom line: It’s hard enough being a parent. Let’s support one another and everyone’s decision is their own decision. Let’s stop the judgement. Here are some breast feeding resources that really helped us and remember:

 

 

 

 

Blog Update, Birthday Celebrations, and St. Patrick’s Day Pilates

Happy Monday and Happy First Day of Spring!

It’s been quiet over here for a couple weeks..I’ve been working on some technical things on here and it’s so time consuming! I figured I’d pop in and do a quick recap post of the last couple days..they’ve been busy and fun! My new logo is up in the header and there’s small little touches throughout. I’m working on editing my recipes, workouts, and Florida life pages, so stay tuned for that.

 

Let’s go back to last Sunday which happened to be a Sunday Runday with my running partner Lindsay! We ran a great three miles and ended with a delicious brunch of mimosas and breakfast tacos. Can’t go wrong with that combo!

The rest of the day was spent baking some healthy (box mix!!) banana bread muffins and lounging with my little family of three with Halo Top and movies on the couch

 

After the weekend, I went to visit my parents at their new house and helped plant a vegetable and fruit garden with my Dad. We have cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, red kale, romaine, spinach, cantaloupe, and carrots to look forward to in a few weeks! 

 

 

Baby hugs after gardening!

 

At the end of the week it was time for some green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! Baby’s St. Paddy’s Day onesie and headband were a big hit while we ran a few errands. After running around for the day, Mom and I headed to a St. Patrick’s Day outdoor Pilates class, but not before a quick Starbucks visit for their new spring cups!

It was the most gorgeous evening for an outdoor workout! Pilates was fun and challenging and I was definitely feeling it the next day! The class ended and a little cocktail hour began..mom and I sampled some Irish cheeses and other crudite, with a delicious cranberry vodka cocktail. No green beer, but it was a fun way to spend St. Patrick’s Day!

 

Saturday was spent with some family friends and an outdoor BBQ at my parents new place. Our dear friends gifted baby her first Minnie ears! Can’t wait to take her to the parks and when she’ll grow into them!

 

After our cookout, we headed to my girl Lindsay’s to pickup this GORGEOUS birthday cake to celebrate my mother in law on Sunday! We requested a devil’s food cake with lots and lots of chocolate and our friend delivered! If you’re in Orlando (or not, they actually ship!) checkout their dessert page for other amazing confections to order!

 

Sunday it was time to celebrate Brian’s mom! We had a great dinner catered from Tijuana Flats, special cocktails called WooWoos, and the devil’s food cake that was definitely the food highlight of the night! We had so much fun celebrating and it was the perfect way to end the weekend.

 

The cutest party guest!

 

So that was my weekend! What did you do? Anything good happening for you this week??

 

5 Ways to Show Some Love for National Nutrition Month + Giveaway

The entire month of March is National Nutrition Month and RD’s and RD2Be’s get a whole day to celebrate on March 8th! Though I missed celebrating RD day this week due to the stomach flu, I want to be celebrating everyday with lots of fruits and veggies, exercise..and wine…hey, we ALL need a glass here and there! 😉

For anyone who’s new to reading, I decided to go back to school in 2015 to become a registered dietitian. Though I’m taking a break from classes right now for ‘maternity leave’ I had to do a roundup of the ways to show a dietitian some love for Nutrition Month. I couldn’t leave out my fellow students and RD’s during this special month! I’ve teamed up with The Sarcastic Nutritionist, who have made a line of hilarious and honest gear for health enthusiasts and nutritionists alike!

In honor of National Dietitians Day, here’s five ways to show an RD (or health nut) some love…plus a giveaway at the end! This is my first ever giveaway, so make sure you leave a comment to enter!

  1. Eat Your Healthy Shit

RD’s want to hear that you’re eating your veggies, so this tank explicitly tells them you are!

2. That you’ll still drink with them

RDs and especially RD students understand the value of a great glass of wine..and it’s just an added bonus that the calories don’t count..especially if you’d don’t add them to your tracker!

3. You don’t leave them out for #treatyoself

Everything in moderation! Except pizza. 🍕

4. You’ll zen out with them

Exercise is a key part to a healthy lifestyle…so is low stress, so calm down with a nice mug of chamomile ✌🏼

5. you’ll help them study

RD school is no joke! Spend a little quality time with them and help a student study..or for all health foodies, store your delicious recipes in one of their super cool wooden binders!

 

So there’s a few ways to celebrate National Nutrition Month!..to be entered to win these tote bag and badge reel, share with me what healthy shit you’re eating this month and we’ll pick a winner to receive a badge reel and tote bag! Also, make sure to checkout more of The Sarcastic Nutritionist’s gear…seriously they have the cutest and funniest stuff!

 

 

4 Things to Do in Florida That Aren’t the Theme Parks

This post was originally written for Curious Sarah’s blog. Checkout the post featured here on and read the guest post she wrote and shared here for ways to fit travel into your busy lives!

When you think of Florida, you probably think of the theme parks or world famous beaches. And while those are definite must see attractions in the Sunshine State, Florida is home to so many amazing things to see and do. Most activities in our state revolve around the great outdoors..that’s one thing Florida doesn’t lack is sunshine! Just pack your sunscreen and read on for some serious FL wanderlust.

Things to Do in Florida That Aren't the Theme Parks | Fresh Fit Florida

The Florida Trail

Things to Do in Florida: Trails | Fresh Fit Florida

If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, then you must check out The Florida Trail. This trail spans from the Everglades to Pensacola and is over one thousand linear miles. There are trailheads in most communities across Florida and is a great way to see the state by foot. The Florida Trail is only one of eight National Scenic Trails in the United States and a big draw for hikers and those seeking an active adventure through some of Florida’s best nature and scenery.

More Information here and here.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Things to Do in Florida: Key West | Fresh Fit Florida

Key West

Key West is most definitely a Florida tourism hot spot, but did you know that just seventy miles offshore, there’s the Dry Tortugas National Park? Made up of seven islands and only accessible by boat or seaplane, this National Park is rich in history and nature. There’s something for everyone at this park: camping, snorkeling through shipwrecks, observing marine life, exploring Fort Jefferson, and don’t forget about the crystal clear waters and pristine sandy beaches

More information here. 

St. Augustine

Things to Do in Florida: St. Augustine | Fresh Fit Florida

The nation’s oldest city is home to so many fun attractions! St. Augustine really has it all. Visit historical landmarks like the Fountain of Youth or the Castillo de San Marcos ..  there’s ghost tours, distillery visits, shopping, nightlife, and so much more. There’s so much packed in this city, you can definitely make a vacation out of visiting here! It’s one of my favorite weekend getaway destinations!

Things to Do in Florida: St. Augustine | Fresh Fit Florida

More information here.

Florida Springs

Things to Do in Florida: Natural Springs | Fresh Fit Florida

At Weikiva Springs

Did you know that there are more natural springs in Florida than any other state? These natural springs are all over the state and there is so much to do at each one. Springs are camping hot spots, a great setting for snorkeling, cave diving, or scuba diving, and a fun place for all types of boating and water sports..my favorite is paddle boarding! There’s launches and slips along the way for easy access to the springs and miles of waterways that you can tube down and soak in the Florida sun. 

More information here.

Things to Do in Florida | Fresh Fit Florida

I’m in serious need for planning a trip now! Have you ever travelled to Florida? What’s your favorite thing to do and see here?

Race Morning Routine

Princess Race weekend is here!! This is my first race postpartum and I cannot wait to run through Epcot and cross the finish line with a glass of champs waiting for me. I’m hitting the expo tonight!

Princess Race Weekend is one of my favorite Disney running events. It was the first race I ever did and the perfect half marathon for your first time. I’ve run a race during Princess weekend every year since, with the exception of last year because of my marathon just a few weeks prior. 

After doing lots of races, especially Disney ones, I’ve nailed down my routine for race weekends. From the (super) early wakeup calls to pre-run fueling, I wanted to walk you through my process!

The Night Before

It’s race weekend tradition that me and my best friend have a sleepover to carb up the night before and then get ready and leave together for the race in the morning.  This is the little routine we’ve nailed down over years of doing races together!

Before the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC 2014!

I always set out my clothes, fuel, and every thing I need for the morning. Who wants to run around and pack up stuff at 2:30 in the morning?! See the wakeup call.

Then it’s time to carb up! For a half marathon, we usually do a whole wheat pasta with meat sauce or grilled chicken. I personally like to avoid alfredo or cheese sauces, because to me running and cheese don’t mix. For a 10k, we’ll usually grill some turkey burgers with chips and salsa or oven baked sweet potato fried..and we don’t skip out on a wheat bun! And dessert!! 😉

I make sure to chug a lot of water and make sure my running buddy is as well. Gotta stay hydrated!! Hydration is KEY. You definitely need to begin hydrating for a race the days leading up to it.

Then it’s bedtime! We try to go somewhere around 9 to get in a decent amount of sleep before the morning. See you in the morning!

 

2:30-3am. Wakeup call. UGH. SOEARLYWHY. This wakeup call is much earlier for Disney races then most others. 

Immediately begin drinking water. Then I start getting ready, taking about 20 minutes or throw on some mascara because #RACEPHOTOS, brush my teeth, and put any of the last few things in my bag to check.

I usually snack on a banana while I’m getting ready before I leave the house. It’s easy on my stomach, loaded with electrolytes, and holds me over for my big morning ahead!

Time to hit the road! We aim to get to the Epcot parking lot no later than 4am. We give ourselves PLENTY of time because of traffic, road closures, and anything else that comes up. See tips below!

Typically for Disney you need to be in your corral place for 5:30am. Again, we plan to give ourselves a lot of time because there’s usually a .5 mile+ walk to the start line, major lines to bathrooms, and any other issues that could hold you up. 

Before checking our bag at Gear Check, we hit the porta potty lines. The lines before gear check are ALWAYS the longest. There are porta potties as you walk to the corrals, but we hit those too. After a pee break, we stash our bag with gear check.

As we walk to the corrals, we share a PBJ that we packed the night before. After one last potty break, we’re in our corral for 5am. 

And that’s it! We eagerly wait for the race to begin, marked by fireworks at every corral start and then we’re off!

 

Last Few Tips

  1. Plan for road closures and know you’re going. Disney has bunches of roads closed for their races, plus they shut down the roads getting you to the start line after a certain time. It would be so unfortunate to miss out on a race you trained hard for because of transportation!
  2. Get there earlier than you think. Long bathroom lines will most definitely hold you up..especially since you’ve been hydrating!
  3. If you’re running with a buddy, share a bag for gear check. After the race there can be long lines as everyone wants to pickup their stuff. Saves time to just check one bag!
  4. Make sure to get waters from the store in a bottle that you don’t mind tossing. I always buy the big smart waters to have the morning of so that I can dispose of it before the race begins. I don’t want to lose one of my good reusable water bottles!
  5. Have your cheer squad figure out runner tracking BEFORE the race day. Sometimes you need to download an app and it’s better to figure it out before the race so you’re not worried about figuring it out and missing your runners go by!

So there’s some tips and my no fail race routine! Checkout some of my other runDisney posts below! Are you running Princess this weekend?? See you at the 10k on Saturday!

Star Wars 10k Recap

My First Half Marathon

My First Marathon

Ariel Princess Race Outfit Inspo

Beauty and the Beast Race Outfit Inspo

Princess Weekend Outfit Inspo

 

This ‘beast mode’ tank from Raw Threads is perfect for the Beauty and the Beast themed weekend this year! I absolutely love that there’s a coordinating men’s shirt so you could match your significant other either during the race or for dranks around the world at Epcot!

People who have run in Sparkle Skirts swear by these bottoms. I’ve yet to try them, but runners all over adore these skirts…and it’s hard not to. How cute is this Belle inspired skirt??

I always throw a pouch or wristlet into my gear check bag that holds my money, ID cards, travel cosmetics, keys, and basically anything on the smaller side I don’t want getting lost in the large, clear plastic runDisney bag. I’ve loved the Disney Dooney and Bourke purses for years…I’ve always wanted a wristlet in this doodle print! 

You definitely need coffee for the 2:30am wakeup call so many of us runDisney fans know all too well. Might as well theme it to the race right? I love that you can download this printable from Etsy and iron it on or apply it to anything you want!

Ever since my first half marathon, I’ve worn these princess crown earrings I’ve had…and I swear they bring me good luck! 🙂 I love including some cute bling for a Disney race and these red roses are a perfect Belle inspired option!

The girls need to feel like princesses too, so a supportive sports bra is a MUST. Since having a baby and doing the whole breast feeding thing, getting fit for a good sports bra is such a must. I love the VS zip fronts…and I found some on Amazon??? I won’t question it…especially since they have some Prime options! Love the red for a cute pop under a top…another nod to the enchanted rose…

Another sweet Etsy find, I am obsessed with this Chip iron on! It’s sometimes hard to find a running top that’s the right material, so I love that you can customize one of your favorites. Also, Mrs. Potts is there too telling us the finish line is near. Check it out in the link! I love these tanks I found on Amazon…$12, deep arm holes, and a great material perfect for workouts, plus they come in a TON of colors!

 

Are you running a race during Princess Weekend this year? Share with me! I’m doing the 10k..it’s my first race postpartum and I’m super excited and only a little nervous! 

How To Fit Travel Into Your Busy Life

One of my goals for the year is to travel more! It seems like a lofty goal, however, since having a baby, but with a new RV, a boat, and living in a huge tourism destination, I think it’s totally doable with my friend Sarah’s tips below! She blogs over at CuriousSarah.com and shares vacationing tips and ideas for budget travel. Definitely bookmark her page to help plan your next vacation!

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If you’ve ever “liked” a picture of an astounding foreign landscape or searched for low priced airfare, chances are you’ve come across one of those bloggers who travel year-round and “lives a life of travel”. And it goes without saying that at some point in your internet binge, you felt jealous. Right?

“That’s great for them”, you mutter to yourself. “But I’m not going to sell my home and quit my job for the sake of wanderlust”. And I don’t blame you. 

Perhaps you got wrapped up in the rat race; the mortgage, student loans, car payments and maybe baby car seats. Don’t feel bad. If you postponed your dreams in the pursuit of the American dream don’t feel guilty because you love your family, and you’re grateful you have a place to call your own and you needed a car. Millions of people around the world would, and do, sacrifice everything to have that.

My point is that it’s ok if you’re not one of those permanent nomads. Embrace your life and your responsibilities. But find a balance. Maybe you’re not a self-actualized vagabond but everyone needs a vacation at least once a year. With some strategy, planning and a little resourcefulness, you too can recharge in whatever way is most fulfilling to you.

Whenever I have a seemingly huge task ahead, I try to break it down into its elementary parts and take baby steps.  

What do you need to take that vacation? In most cases, it’s just two things.

Time and Money. 

So let’s tackle those two variables one by one. 

Time.

If you’re fortunate enough to have vacation time, even paid vacation time, good for you. Problem solved and you can read the next part. If you’re not one of the lucky ones, here are some suggestions to carve out a week or more of free time. 

-Think differently about your raise/promotion. Huffington Post writer, Wendy Simmons, says that by forgoing a raise that works out to be another $40 per week, opt for another two or three days of (paid) vacation instead. 

-Talk to your boss about working remotely. Businesses all over the country are starting to adopt this trend, even for just a day out of the week. Studies show that employees who work from home are generally happier and up to 13% more productive (according to Nicholas Bloom, Professor of Economics at Stanford University). Tell your boss they can save on office supplies. 

-Plan trips around holidays. Sure, the lines will be longer and everything a bit more crowded but if that’s the only time you can take, go for it.  

Money.

If you feel a bit strapped for cash on a regular basis, it can be difficult to set aside funds for a trip. The good news is that with a little consideration, many of us can find wiggle room in our budgets. 

There are already a ton of posts and articles about ways to save money (my favorite website is The Penny Hoarder so I won’t go into that. However, there are two simple concepts that seem to go untouched in this category. 

-My first and favorite strategy is to take a detailed look at your finances. Look over expenses for one month and study each and every transaction. Then categorize them, even if it means writing it down and color-coding. 

Pay special attention to your fun/entertainment budget. Are there unnecessary recurring purchases like eating out, coffee, beer and so on? For the most part, you can’t do much to lower your electric and Internet bills so don’t worry about that. Focus on the variables over which you have control and work on those. It may take a couple months to see what works. 

If you usually have a Grande Mocha from Starbucks every morning on your way to work, putting that change into savings could give you $1,172 in one year! 

My second strategy is to make a habit of squirreling away money. So many people are discouraged against saving because after all their bills, they only have a small amount left and they figure, “what’s the point?” What’s important isn’t the size of your contribution, what really makes the difference is establishing the habit and letting time work for you. 

If you save just $20 per paycheck (assuming you are paid bi-weekly), you’ll have around $520 at the end of the year. You could have even more if you saved all your change. With just a few simple changes, you can save $1,672 for your yearly vacation. 

“But Sarah,” you ask. How am I supposed to have a vacation for $1,672?

If you travel hack using credit card miles (like The Points Guy), you can earn a free or cheap flight. Using this method, I have flown to Mexico for $27 and Spain for $5.50. In a nutshell, find a credit card that offers you rewards for things you’d buy anyway. You could use your rewards for airfare, hotels, and sometimes a credit on your statement. 

Using AirBnB or any of the various home stay websites out there, you could get a week in a private apartment for $100. And you have $1,500 to spend however you please. I’ve used Couchsurfing to stay for free in three countries and I used WorkAway to organize a volunteer stay for about $3 per day (with all the homemade food I could eat). I’ve heard great things about House Sitting websites to which you pay a small annual fee that is less than a quarter of a nice hotel room, and you get more space and a kitchen!

These suggestions might not get you a luxury vacation in those over-water bungalows in Fiji (although you could certainly implement these tips to accomplish that) but all we need is time away in a new place. If it really means that much to you, which it should, make traveling a priority.

And when I say “traveling,” that doesn’t mean you have to get on a plane or cross any borders. There are plenty of adventures to be had in your own backyard.

The Dalai Lama suggests that we go somewhere new once per year. Listen to one of the wisest people on Earth and make travel a priority. And don’t feel guilty if you decide to take your vacation instead of flying back home for Thanksgiving. 

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Sarah is a writer loving life in the Pacific Northwest. When she’s not reading to her baby in Spanish, running her husky or drinking wine with her husby, she’s either hiking, writing or reading about budget travel. She has also been known to practice calligraphy with her morning coffee from time to time. For more details on how to fit a vacation into your busy life, or what it’s like to get tattooed in Thailand, visit CuriousSarah.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

So will you be using these tips for travel? Where are ya headed for your next vacation?! I’m hoping for a camping trip to the Keys or the Ocala National Forest..sometime before it gets WAY to hot in Florida!