Hell Week Day 2: Get in the Mode

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUSY MOM TIPS, FOR MOMS, GET FIT, HEALTH, Health and Fitness

Photo Jun 21, 3 47 49 PM

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen. All opinions are 100% mine.

I hope you have been following along with me for my Hell Week Challenge based on the book Hell Week: Seven Days to Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen. I introduced you to what Hell Week is all about, I talked about how I prepared for this challenge and I share how Day 1 went for me. If you want to get ready for your own Hell Week Challenge, order a copy of the book from Amazon. Use the hashtags #hellweekchallenge and #hellweektaomab to share your experience. I would love to follow along with you.

Hell Week Day 2

Wow this was rough! Not because it’s Hell Week, but because I was feeling sick. It started last night after I played 2 hours of volleyball. I just felt nauseous, so I left early (normally we play for 3 hours), I barely made it home and went straight to bed with Lexi, by 10 pm as I am supposed to. I couldn’t have stayed up if I wanted to.

Hell Week Day 1: Habits

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUSY MOM TIPS, EVERYTHING ELSE, FOR MOMS, GET FIT, HEALTH, Health and Fitness

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you have been reading my latest posts, you know I am participating in the Hell Week Challenge based off the book “Hell Week: 7 Days to Be Your Best Self” by Erik Bertrand Larssen. I explained what Hell Week is all about and shared about my experience preparing to take the Hell Week Challenge. If you want to join me or start your own Hell Week Challenge next week, grab a copy of this super helpful book from Amazon.

 

If you are completing the challenge with me, be sure to use #HellWeekChallenge and #HellWeekTAOMAB so I can follow along with you!

My new business, Melody Lane, and how it started.

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, BUMP UPDATES, Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, Fashion and Outfits, FOR MOMS, Friday Finds, Fun as a Toddler Mom, FUN TIMES, GET FIT, Health and Fitness, LIFE, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, Nursery, Other Recommendations, PHOTO, Photo Stories, Pre-CONCEPTION, PREGNANCY, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnancy Q of the week, Pregnant With Style, PRODUCTS, TODDLER, Tried and True

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THE WHOLE STORY

Some of you who follow me on IG might have noticed me mentioning Melody Lane  a few times and I am sure you saw the announcement  and I have finally found the time to talk about it and give you some background information on how it came to life and what it is. ( and a coupon just for my readers at the end)

Big Announcement!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in 52 Weeks of Experiences, Adventures, BABY, Best for Baby, Birthdays, BUMP UPDATES, BUSY MOM TIPS, Cooking, Daily, Disney, EVERYTHING ELSE, Fashion and Outfits, Florida, FOR MOMS, Friday Finds, Fun as a Toddler Mom, FUN TIMES, GET FIT, Green Products, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, Letters to Lexi, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, Monthly Updates, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, Nursery, Other Recommendations, Parenting, PHOTO, Photo Stories, Photography for Mommies Tutorials, Pre-CONCEPTION, PREGNANCY, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnancy Q of the week, Pregnant With Style, PRODUCTS, Real Life Photos, TODDLER, TRAVEL, Tried and True, VIDEO

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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

Some of you, who follow me on social media, might have noticed that for the last 6 months I have been working on a few projects. I am ready to officially announce the first one.

Together with a friend of mine, I started a new business, Melody Lane, a clothing store that is focused on making sure that women in all stages of their lives have access to comfortable, affordable and most importantly versatile clothing. (see below on details of a $500 giveaway!)

Pregnancy, motherhood, nursing, party, fitness, vacation, career, school – it’s amazing how many stages we go through as women that require a completely different wardrobe. So our goal is to offer clothing with versatility and affordability in mind. Items you could wear for several occasions and during several stages of your life. Clothing that is comfortable, yet still looks good, because I have to admit that since becoming a mother, comfort trumps looks, however I still want to look good.

Perfect Exercise Routine for Busy Moms

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Fun as a Toddler Mom, GET FIT, Health and Fitness, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, PREGNANCY, TODDLER

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UGH!

Can I start this post with UGH?

I really didn’t think I’d be here at this point, but whatever.

Let me start from the beginning. Or actually let me start with this phrase:

I was in better shape right after birth than I am now ( at the time of writing).

Bam! That blows! It took 3 years (pregnancy and 2 toddler years) to UNDO all the work I had done prior to pregnancy.

People often ask me how I stayed so fit and “skinny” after birth. Before, I could have told them something worthwhile. Now I just chuckle. I looked good after birth because I was REALLY fit going INTO pregnancy.

What went wrong?

Morning and Evening Bike Rides

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Daily, Fun as a Toddler Mom, GET FIT, Health and Fitness, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, PHOTO, TODDLER

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A while ago when Lexi was 1.5 years old, we decided that it was time to start biking as a family. Prior to that time, we weren’t so sure that Lexi would even sit in a bike seat, since getting her to sit in a stroller was pretty challenging as it is.

So after looking around for bike seats, I narrowed it down to one seat that I felt was absolutely perfect for Lexi, Yepp Mini. It was a front facing bike seat made of a softer material and had the potential of actually helping her enjoy the bike ride versus sitting in the back and not seeing much but our backs. It was sort of like using a carrier when she was little- she would absolutely refuse to be back carried or be rear-facing. It had to be front facing at all times. So pretty excited about the prospect of actually being able to go on bike rides with Lexi, we got the seat, installed it and took off for a first ride.

It was PERFECT! I cannot recommend the seat enough! Even though she hated any other mode of transportation, riding a bike was fun for her. She was facing the world and the wind and seeing the sights and it was fast and exciting. I really feel it was the seat that made a huge difference in how she perceives biking.

The shape of you. The shape of me.

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, GET FIT, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, LIFE, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, PHOTO, PREGNANCY

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The title of this post might give you an idea of how much Dr. Seuss I read on daily basis.

Ok, so I’ve been asked to write about this multiple times and I have looked forward to writing about this, as well. Kind of. Sort of. The only but is that I don’t really have much to say on the topic of postpartum body and getting in shape. I have done absolutely NOTHING. :( So I’ll write a bit about what changes my body went through from pre-pregnancy to now and what I am planning on doing about it.

There are a few “quirks” about my body that need to be known to understand where I am at after giving birth.
Number 1: My strong spot is my abs. It’s virtually impossible for me to gain fat in my tummy. And when I gain weight, my belly is the LAST thing to grow (after boobies) and even then it still has some definition to it.
Number 2: My weak spot is my legs. That is the first place where I gain weight and it shows immediately. So the rest of my body will be fine, but my legs and face will show whether I am heavy or thin.
Number 3:

Maternity Activewear and (Pre-)Pregnancy Fitness Test

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in GET FIT, My Pregnancy, Pre-CONCEPTION, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnant With Style, PRODUCTS

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Hey, guys! Hope you’re having a great Wednesday and doing all the things that make you happy.

I am in my blogging chair, with my Klean Kanteen full of fresh water, listening to the new AWESOME Blink-182 album and editing some photos from last week.

As I wrote in my last post about non-maternity maternity clothing, I have found a few maternity companies that made me think differently on the whole clothing situation during pregnancy. It’s easy to hate maternity clothes, exposed to the ordinary all-too-familiar brands when you’re used to buying clothes off of more obscure trendy online shops, so with some looking around I found a few places I liked.

So I want to start a series of posts, featuring certain maternity brands ( and maybe some giveaways) that I’ve tried out and approve of.  These will not be your run of the mill Gap, Old Navy, Target clothing. We all know about their maternity lines. It will be shops you might have never heard off that have either GREAT styles or offer unprecedented comfort. Because those are the only  two things that matter when it comes to maternity clothing.

When I got pregnant, I knew right away that when it came to exercising, I will have to get a whole new wardrobe. If boobs that grew two sizes weren’t enough to convince me of that, the ever expanding belly did. None of my stretchy tight sports bras fit anymore. My work out pants, while stretchy, pressed uncomfortably when I put them on mid-belly, and felt like they’d fall off if I roll them down.

It was very clear that if I wanted to continue exercising outside, I needed clothing designed specially for  pregnant bellies.

This brings me to THESE PANTS

3 in 1 Maternity Yoga pants by Oceanlily sold at MaternityActivewear.com

When I first put them on at home when they arrived, I refused to take them off. I spent hours wearing them around the house. The pants are made out of a thick and taut fabric, which made me think that I was going to die from Florida heat in them, but surprisingly enough, after about 30 minutes of taking pictures in the scorching sun, my upper body was wetter and hotter than my lower body. So apparently, they stay cool and dry better than my skin.

My favorite part, though, is that they are super versatile.

Everyone will tell you that the worst thing about buying maternity clothes is the understanding that you might never wear it again for the rest of your life, or if you do, it’ll be for a few months. So I’ve always LOVED the idea of maternity clothes that transitioned with you into mommyhood and beyond.

Not only can you wear them post-partum ( to hold that belly jiggle), but you can also position them 3 diffferent ways ( hence the 3 in 1) below the tummy, mid-tummy and over the tummy.

This  was my first pair of pants with the over-the-tummy option and it felt strangely comfortable and secure. When we went for a walk later that evening, I found myself pulling the band up over the tummy, even though it was still hot and humid. There’s something about the tautness of the material and the support that makes your belly feel secure. Do you, other preggos, ever find yourself holding onto your belly while walking, sort of to protect it for the movement? Well, I do and these pants totally do the job for me.

During the day though, I usually opt for the below the tummy option, especially if I am wearing a short top, which feels really good and firm too.

 


Another bonus is they come in 4 lengths: short, regular, tall and extra tall. Unfortunately, I got tall instead of extra tall, so they’re a bit short on me. But that’s a huge plus for tall girls like me, or shorter than average, since getting pants to fit right lengthwise is usually a big pain. You can get these yoga pants and other maternity activewear here

Maternity Activewear has quite a few retail locations in US and Canada, but if you’re an online shopper like me, feel free to check out their website: www.maternityactivewear.com for more maternity yoga pants, leggings, sport tanks, tees , shorts and more.

 

There’s no sales tax and free shipping over a certain amount.
And just for a limited time just for my readers,
you can use code 144698 to get 15% OFF at www.MaternityActivewear.com (valid till Sunday night, October 2nd)

And since we are on the fitness topic, I’d like to post something that I should have posted A LONG TIME AGO:
(Pre-) Pregnancy Fitness Test.
It’s a test I found in Pregnancy Fitness book and mentioned in one of my old pre-conception posts before I was even pregnant. I’ve had quite a few people ask me to publish that test, so here we go.

Basically, it’s a very simple, very basic flexibility and strength test to make sure that you’re at least in the minimal shape before getting pregnant. Or if you’re already pregnant, it might give you a clue as to what you should work on to prepare for future pregnancy challenges and labor. It really helped me identify my weak points ( ankles? lol) and motivated me to work on my Kegels more

CLICK TO VIEW THE FITNESS TEST HERE (PDF)

I’d also recommend buying the book. I’ve been doing their 1st trimester and 2nd trimester exercises and really enjoy them.

GET FIT GET HEALTHY CHALLENGE WEEK 17

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in GET FIT, HEALTH, VIDEO

RULES:

1. If you haven’t yet, join the challenge here: GET FIT and GET HEALTHY
2. Every Saturday come back to The Art of Making a Baby and ShutterMama to read the tips on how to be fitter, healthier and more confident.
3. Weekly write a post about your progress, following the questionnaire below, take a self-portrait (optional) and link up with us.
4. Don’t forget to grab the GET FIT challenge button on the sidebar and display it proudly on your blog or GET FIT post.
5. Link your post with
Selfie Saturdays if you took your week’s self-portrait.

My entry for week 15

1. Height: 5’11, weight: 136 lb

2. Your fitness challenge(s) for this week: Special exercises designed for pregnancy to increase flexibility (daily) + Kegels (twice daily). An hour of walking/running + 20 situps every hour of the day

3. Your health challenge(s) for this week: Continue eating whole grains, veggies and fruits only with a few servings of kefir and sardines daily (sardines are low in dioxins and mercury)

4. How well did it go:

Fitness: I wasn’t able to work out the whole week for for very good reasons. So i don’t feel too bad about it.
Water: Drinking 64 oz a day
Food: Still not eating any sweets for some reason. Even my granola cereal without any added sugar tastes too sweet. I have been going crazy when it comes to potato chips (kettle cooked salt and pepper only) and roasted potatoes. I’ve been good about not allowing too much of them. Also I’ve been entering all the food I eat into a tracking website and making sure that all my vitamins, minerals, omega 3s and protein were at 100% or above. And I can proudly say I’ve exceeded 100% on most nutrients (except for zinc) and protein.
5. Failures and slip-ups: I’d say kettle cooked potato chips. I tend to eat about a serving or two of them a day, which is fine since I don’t eat ANY sweets at all. Otherwise, no complaints.

7. Advice to fellow GET FIT members: Honestly, I think I’ve given everything I have for now.

8. Self Portrait: This week’s challenge was a STOP MOTION VIDEO and I had so much fun making it!