Life Lately

So I miss blogging. A lot.

I wish I could blog more, but right now life just does not allow it. And you know what? That’s ok! All in due time, right?! Smile

Just wanted to pop in & give you a little peak into my life right now…because I know you are all DYING to know. Winking smile (Please notice the sarcasm!)

So right now I am currently studying to get my personal training certification, with a ‘specialty’ in women’s fitness. I am thrilled to train people, and especially women that are pregnant, post delivery, and just knowing how to train women better in general is SO EXCITING!! I’m hoping to take my test by the end of the year…hopefully. It’s hard to get studying in between my job (I work from home), being a Mom and just life in general. You know how it is- we are ALL busy in different ways!

As for my bundle of PURE JOY….

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(she’s like, look guys, I’m TEN months!)

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She’s WALKING (unassisted), which is INSANE to think about. She started walking, on her own, September 2nd. (oh yes, I do know the EXACT date Winking smile )

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And she is a bit of an odd ball, EVERY where we go, all she wants to do is eat leaves.

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She’s like, yep Mom, totally know you are watching and I’m STILL going to do this. Little stink. Now I give her spinach leaves as part of her dinner and tell her they are leaves. Seems to be working???!

I CANNOT believe it, but I’m planning her first birthday party!! I picked out the theme and have purchased a few items already. Pinterest & Etsy are my party planning best friends. 😉 And you guys, first birthday outfits?!??! I’m DYING because I don’t know which one to get. We may need a few outfit changes throughout the day. No lie.

As everyone says, it DOES get easier. It really does. Those first few months are HARD. Not that it’s ‘easy’ now, but you really UNDERSTAND each other. You understand your child, and you and your partner KNOW what to expect…usually Winking smile 

I cannot lie, it was HARD….REALLY hard on our marriage initially with Gabriella. Just because it’s something TOTALLY new in your life. COMPLETELY unpredictable, and it felt as there were new ‘issues’ that would arise EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. But you know what, one day I just told myself, we will get through this! We WILL make it work. Just like anything in life, you have to realize what your priorities are and what you WANT in life and MAKE IT HAPPEN. Yes, of course, there are still rough days here & there, but you know what? I’m SO blessed that I get to spend my ENTIRE life with my BEST friend, my husband. The one who is by my side NO MATTER WHAT. We also have this little lady to share our life with too…

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And, God willing, she will have sibling to share US with. Open-mouthed smile 

So other than that, I’m REALLY focused on training these days. Gabriella and I run every morning- well, she rides in the BOB. Smile I try to do at least 10 miles everyday, and vary what kind of training it is- whether speed, endurance, etc.

I have six races in the next four months…and I CANNOT wait!!! One 15K this Saturday, four half marathons and one full marathon in December. Race season is FINALLY here…what I have been training for ALL summer! All of those long, hot, sometimes VERY hard runs, are going to be completely worth it!!!

So for now, the blog is on hold, but I may pop in here and there. I really miss Google reader, so much…I was able to keep up with some of my favorite blogs. Any suggestions for sites like Google reader?

For now I’ll leave you with these pictures of Gabriella playing with her water table and bubbles. Girl is OBSESSED with bubbles. It’s hilarious!

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And just one more…because it’s too cute not to share…

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‘Flying’ with Daddy. Smile

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Learning to Relax

Isn’t it funny when you realize that you just had an ‘ah – ha’ moment?

I had one of those yesterday afternoon.

Craig is always telling me that I let Gabriella affect my mood too much. Sometimes I agree, but then other times I want to tell him to hush it…in the nicest possible way, of course. Winking smile 

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I honestly can tell you that I’m pretty sure I don’t give her enough credit. I am constantly thinking that ‘she’s not ok,’ or ‘she can’t do that, it’s too out of her routine.’ WRONG. Gabriella is SMART. And she is a PERSON, she can adapt. She is no longer an itty bitty baby (and yes, I know, itty bitty babies can definitely adapt too), she can get thrown out of her usual ways and she will BE OK.

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(She’s like I’m totally fine, Momma, DUH!)

It’s just hard for ME to remember that. I don’t know if it’s a first time Mom thing, or if it’s just a ME thing but I am constantly worried about making sure her environment is just right for her. Does that even make sense?

Let me explain.

Gabriella and I came up to visit my parents for a few days in Jacksonville, just to spend some time with them and to catch up. Yesterday, while she was napping in the afternoon, the power went out. The second it happened I went into panic mode.

I immediately went straight to her room to make sure that she was still sleeping since her sound machine went off. We keep it on white noise while she sleeps- both for naps and bedtime. Honestly if I could go back, I don’t think I would use a sound machine…BUT, like her pediatrician told me ‘If that’s her only crutch, then you are doing just fine.’ Anyways, she was still sleeping but because I went into the room to try to turn it back on (the power was out just for a bit), I woke her up.

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I was frustrated. I was frustrated with my self, but didn’t realize that in the moment. I was actually mad at the city of Jacksonville for making this power situation happen. I mean, really Holly, really?!!? LIFE HAPPENS, get over it! But at the time I didn’t see it that way.

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Since I ended up waking her up, she started crying, but I decided to wait it out a bit to see if she would fall back asleep. I went in the other room to see my parents and asked how long the power usually stays out when this happens. They said it could be anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 hours- no one knows. Of course they could tell something was wrong, and asked if everything was ok. I got all ‘huffy puffy’ and said, ‘well, no, Gabriella is now awake because her sound machine went off.’

First of all, that was only half of it, the real reason that she was up was because I just HAD to rush right into her room to make sure I had the sound machine ready to go in case it came back on. STUPID. She was FINE. I could have just let her be.

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(^how hilarious is that?! She is in the sink at my parent’s house Smile )

My parents then said, ‘well we don’t even hear her crying, are you sure she is still up or did she fall back asleep?’ I responded with ‘yes, she’s STILL up, I JUST walked past her room and she was crying.’ (I sound like a real FUN daughter, right!?!?!?! Winking smile God bless them.) So my Dad went to listen near her door & she didn’t make a peep. Little stink, she knew she was going to prove me wrong. Smile I really had just walked past her room & she WAS crying, but she had stopped at this point.

Guess what? She fell back asleep. She was ABSOLUTELY FINE. And she didn’t NEED the sound to sleep, I just MAKE it seem like she does. SILLY SILLY ME. Sometimes I just want to slap myself across the head and say WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!?!?!

There was NO NEED to freak out because of a power outage, or a silenced sound machine. LIFE GOES ON. GABRIELLA SLEEPS ON. CHILL OUT HOLLY, CHILL OUT. I’m capitalizing these things for myself- I swear it’s like a mantra I need to tattoo on my forehead.

The main thing is that I think it’s just a ‘live and you learn kind of thing.’ Babies don’t come with instruction manuals…although I swear that would be MUCH easier. You have to learn each other- you baby has to learn YOU, and YOU have to learn your baby. Nothing about being a parent is easy, but I PROMISE it’s all 100% worth it & I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, other than the fact that I need to learn to relax a bit. But, then again, I am just a work in progress. Smile

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(I just LOVE her in her bathing suits! Smile )

Every day is a new day, and every day I feel like I learn something new. It’s actually pretty neat to realize, even if it is a hard pill to swallow.

Day in the Life of an Eight Month Old

While we were in Jacksonville for the 4th of July holiday, something else happened that I haven’t mentioned yet.

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Gabriella hit the big 8 month mark! So hard to believe!

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Instead of doing my normal ‘I can’t believe she is already 8 months old… and the whole ‘each month keeps getting better’ (which it REALLY does!), I thought I would do a post about the day in the life of an eight month old. I figured it might be a bit more fun, and you can see what my day consists of. Smile

So here you go, a day in the life of Gabriella:

Between 7am & 7:30- She wakes up. (I actually set my alarm & wake up anywhere between 5am & 6am- depending on how much work I need to get done.) We bring her downstairs, and play with her for a bit before feeding her breakfast.

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This morning happened to be a little bit of oatmeal, fruit and homemade baby pancakes. (recipe to come!)

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I feed her after Craig leaves for work (around 7:45am) and we watch a bit of the Today Show before heading out for my morning run.

Most days I will nurse her around 7:45am/ 8am before I run, to top off her little tank. (& also for some relief- ha! Nothing like running full of milk. Winking smile )

8am – 10am/ 10:30am : We run, well, I run and Gabriella naps.

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She will usually fall asleep about 30 minutes into my run, and then I will run anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours- just depends on if I am doing a long run, speed work, or an easier run day. I typically run at least 8 miles a day, and once I finish my run I will walk until Gabriella wakes up. (& to cool down) Once she is up, we head to the park.

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She loves just watching other kids run around, she will just stare & laugh. Once she is done at the park, we walk home while she chugs her water. (it’s hilarious!)

11:15am – 12pm: Pool time!

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I’ve been trying to take her at least three times a week. She loves it, and she really tries to swim- I believe it’s a natural instinct that they have. She kicks her little feet like a frog and LOVES to be dunked under water. The very first time we ever did it, she cried for a second, but then was fine. Now, she wants me to do it! Crazy little girl. It’s definitely a good thing though, I don’t want her to be scared of the water. She is a water baby! I almost have to drag her out when it’s time to go home. She’s always a little prune when she gets out. Smile

12pm – 12:45pm: Craig comes home, I make him lunch & he will play with Gabriella for a bit. She will also have a little snack.

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She loves Gerber Puffs or plain Cheerios. That day happened to be vanilla puffs, which are also my favorite. Bite for me, bite for G. Winking smile

Sometime between 1pm & 1:30pm I will feed her (nursing) and then put her in the crib for her nap.

Between 2pm – 3pm (sometimes, if I’m lucky even 3:30pm) She wakes up from her nap. It’s ROUGH when she only gets an hour nap, which was yesterday. Eek! Little time for me to do ANYTHING. I use her nap time for work and to clean the house once my work is done. But Tuesday she had other intensions…and those intentions were NOT to work.

Around 3:30pm: Snack time

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^a picture that I plan on showing her future boyfriends Winking smile

This girl LOVES yogurt. I always have a ton of Stonyfield in the refrigerator for her, but I happened to see a new line from Yoplait for baby yogurt, so I tried it.

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I think Gabriella was getting mad at me for stealing a bunch of bites. Ooops Open-mouthed smile It was SO good!!!

Depending on her nap, anywhere between 2:30 & 4pm we just play. Lately her favorite thing is seeing how far she can ‘test Mommy.’ We have a ‘baby jail’ around the entertainment center & stairs so that she can’t get to these things.

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That would be the whole process above. The whole time while she is crawling over there (OH, and girl can CRAWL full on now, there’s no stopping her), I am saying ‘Gabriella, NO. No Gabriella, come here.’ Repetitively. Hopefully this is not a sign of what’s to come. Winking smile

Her favorite toys happen to be ANYTHING in the entertainment center…especially DVDs. Thousands of toy & she wants those. Little stink Winking smile

4pm – 5:30pm: I go on another walk with her, usually I go with my neighbor. (She has a 2 year old son that Gabriella just adores.) Sometimes I will run again, just depends on where I’m at in my training. We walk/ run for an hour & then I’ll bring her to the park again sometimes.

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Between 5:30 & 6pm Craig gets home. He will take Gabriella and play with her, while I start dinner- or at least prep dinner.

Between 6pm & 6:30pm: Dinner time for Gabriella!

We decided to try giving her pasta (you just over cook it, so that it’s almost mush), and she liked it!

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She wasn’t quite sure what to do with it, she kind of played with it for a while but eventually figured out that it was for her to eat. She also had some sweet potatoes and apples. Girlfriend has quite an appetite. I say she gets it from her Daddy! Smile

Oh, and you may wonder why she is suddenly without clothes…well, we strip her down when it’s feeding time. – Meal and snack time. Just because she is very messy, as all babies are, and sometimes the food will stain her clothes even AFTER using stain removers and letting the clothes soak. (Mom’s out there: have you found a stain remover that really does remove stains entirely?)

Between 7pm & 8pm: Bath time, and then I nurse her to bed.

Since we have been sleep training, and it’s been going pretty well (I say that with caution because every time I’ve mentioned something about her sleeping better, she has a WILD night.) and she is also getting up to eat once- around 3am/ 4am. She may cry or fuss for a bit around midnight, but we just let her cry & it’s REALLY short and she puts herself back to sleep. Thankfully.

And there you go, a day in the life of Gabriella! Needless to say, she keeps me busy!! Open-mouthed smile I LOVE every minute (or almost every minute Winking smile ) of it- I’m so blessed to be able to work from home so that I don’t miss a moment with her.

I also love that I have the best running buddy – she keeps me motivated. Smile Looking down at those chunky thighs while I run just cracks me up. I’m starting her off right….

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…with only the best shoes: Mizunos!!! I really think Gabriella needs some baby Mizunos to match her Momma!

Mom’s out there: If you stay at home with your child, how does your schedule look? Similar to mine? Favorite activity?

Runners: Favorite brand of shoes??

Weekend Wrap Up

What a fun weekend! I am so glad we were able to go up to Jacksonville to visit my family & friends.

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We didn’t make it to the beach, only because it’s a LOT for a few hours- trying to time nap time along with actually spending time at the beach, so we just decided to skip it this time. We are trying to plan another family vacation for September at the beach, which will be nice. Will make it MUCH easier with Gabriella, since we will be staying at a condo- easier to feed & nap the baby. Smile

We arrived Thursday morning and just spent the day with my family. My uncle was in town from New Hampshire, and then my parents were there (of course Smile ). Shortly after my Aunt, my Sister & brother in law & nephew and niece arrived.

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^That picture makes me laugh. It’s my niece, brother in law, nephew & my sister. My nephew is reaching for my sister- nothing like a mother & her son…and a father & his daughter. ❤

Gabriella THOROUGHLY enjoyed herself & we were SO impressed with HOW good she was. Not just on Thursday, but the whole weekend. Little miss social butterfly! She is really coming around to hanging out with other people, rather than just Craig and I.

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^She was having some bonding time with Grandpa. (please notice her gut. Cracks me up!)

On Friday I got to go running with my Dad, which I always enjoy. I was planning to take Gabriella in the BOB, but she fell asleep in the crib, so I was able to run BOB free! I feel so naked without that stroller- haha! But it’s a nice break, and it gives me a chance to really FLY!

Once we finished our run and I was able to shower (thank goodness Winking smile ), I met up with one of my best friends, Jayme. I just love her & so does Gabriella.

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We wanted to meet our other very good friend Tara’s new baby boy!! Sweet baby Ford. I fell IN LOVE and held him for about an hour- he just fell asleep in my arms and OH MY GOSH, totally did NOT help my baby fever. Winking smile

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He is SO very precious!! & it was SO nice to be able to spend time with Jayme and Tara. Love them both, I should say all three (must include little Ford Smile ) very much!

The rest of Friday we spent with my parents and Uncle. Craig bought rib eye steaks for everyone at The Fresh Market– LOVE that grocery store! And since I don’t eat steak (or beef of any kind), I got Seaweed Salad with smoked salmon.

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SO SO SO GOOD!! It was on the ‘seafood bar,’ and if you have a Fresh Market near you I HIGHLY recommend it. I EASILY ate a HUGE container all by myself. Way too good, and I’m so sad we don’t have a Fresh Market closer to us.

Saturday we actually decided to come back home, just so that we could have Sunday to get ready for a new week. I also spent the whole day making baby food- I plan on doing a post on that this week!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well! Looking forward to this week, I feel like it’s going to be a good one!!

Coming up on the blog this week: Baby food making 101, All about 8 months, a few new recipes & a must try workout!! Can’t wait to share it with you Smile

Anyone run any races for the 4th?? Did you PR??

Favorite part of July 4th?? Do share!!

Happy July 4th!

I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating our wonderful country! Enjoy the fireworks & BBQ’s! I know we definitely will be doing just that. Smile
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Oh & please enjoy my daughter’s nice string of drool! Winking smile 

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Since I obviously take WAY TOO MANY pictures of her, I just had to share the one above of her little tuft of hair. It cracks me up!

Anyways, enjoy the holiday! I’ll be back on Monday- taking some time off to spend with my family. We are heading to Jacksonville this morning. I’m about to go and run, and we’ll be heading out when it’s time for Gabriella’s nap time. Parents out there- you know what it’s like to plan all of your trips around your child’s sleep schedule. Smile 

Happy 4th of July!!

Grandma’s Visit & Sleeping traning

We had a special visitor this past weekend. Grandma came to visit us!

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Gabriella LOVED her time with Grandma, she was SO good with her and would just sit and watch her. My Mom would move, and Gabriella would just follow her and the second my Mom looked at her she had this HUGE grin on her face. It was so sweet!

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I surprised my Mom for Mother’s day with tickets to the ‘CSI Experience,’ because she LOVES the show. (is it bad that I have NEVER seen one episode?!)

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It was a lot of fun! They send you along to investigate a crime scene & you have to figure out if you can solve it. We must be geniuses because we got it easily. Winking smile After solving our crime scene, we went to the Orlando outlets to do some shopping! Oh it had been FOREVER since I had a shopping day without Gabriella, it felt SO odd not having a baby attached to me. Smile 

My Mom had been saying that she wanted to get a bigger Vera Bradley bag (I got her hooked), and it dawned on me that there was a Vera outlet in the newer Outlet mall. I asked if she would want to go & she was all for it! I never turn down a good shopping day.

We were MEANT to be there. Not only did Vera have some great deals, but EVERYTHING was HALF off, just for THAT day. We both stocked up there & then I HAD to hit the Lululemon outlet as well.

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Not only am I addicted to their Run: Speed shorts, but now I have a favorite top, the No Limits Tank. Addicted.

She came down from Jacksonville on Friday night & volunteered to babysit for us so that Craig and I could have a date night (we were able to meet up with some friends too- even better!). They are few & far between, so we definitely took her up on her offer! Smile I got Gabriella to bed around 7:30pm & we headed out. I told my Mom that she really didn’t need to do anything since she was asleep, and even if she were to wake up to just let her cry. She RARELY wakes up shortly after being put down for bed, it takes her a few hours. And even after a few hours, I told her to just let her cry if she were to wake up. (Just in case we were out longer than anticipated, which didn’t happen, but I wanted her to be aware what to expect.)

The reason being is that we are sleep training. Yep, the inevitable & oh so fun sleep training. (I hope you caught the sarcasm Winking smile )

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It was time. And I finally got around to being ‘ok’ with it. It took me a WHILE. I was NOT ok with letting her cry…at all. The second I heard a peep I would rush in, but then after MONTHS of hearing those peeps every 2-3 hours it was starting to take a toll on me. I was getting up at 10pm, 1am & 4am EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT without fail. I didn’t mind, my body got so used to the lack of sleep, but it finally hit me- She is doing this out of habit. She KNEW that if she were to cry Mommy would head right in, scoop her up & feed her, which I think was be coming a comfort rather than hunger.

So a little over a week ago we did it, I should say I did it. Craig has been fine with her crying for a while. I’m the one with the issues. Winking smile 10pm came & she cried. She cried for close to 30 minutes, if not longer. But I HAD to do it. Eventually she settled down & put herself back to bed until around 2am, and then I went in and fed her. Only one feeding- and she was up for the day at 6:30am.

The first few nights were hard…she cried a lot, but would settle back in & cry again anywhere between 2am & 3am, when I would go in and feed her. But anytime before that we would just let her cry. I had to turn the monitor sound off, so that we would be able to sleep- and then once she stopped I would turn it back on.

Eventually I plan on cutting on night feedings, as she is old enough. But for now we are doing good with cutting it down to just one. I wanted to give her some time to get used to only one, and then I plan on cutting the other one within the month.

I have to say, it was easier than I thought. The main thing was that I waited until MY gut said it was OK. She would have been fine with sleep training a few months ago (I mean with getting enough food- there is no need for night feedings after six months old, of course it all depends on the baby- your baby may NEED additional feedings, but she was getting enough during the day.), but I was the one that had a hard time. I felt guilty. I wasn’t sure if she actually was full because she would nurse both sides every time I went in. But since she was feedings so much, they were not as full & she wasn’t getting much. So now with the one night feeding, my boobs are FULL & she takes both sides and falls back to sleep until 6:30/ 7am! Sometimes she even sleeps until 7:30am, which is lovely- allows me some time for work. We also moved her bedtime back (to between 7:30 & 8pm), which I think is part of the later wake up time in the morning.

We still have some work to do, but this household has been getting MUCH better nights of sleep!

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We wake up feeling refreshed, rather than dragging…and relying on way too much coffee to get us through the day.

It’s amazing what a few extra hours of sleep can do for a person! Open-mouthed smile

Do you shop at Lululemon? If you do, what’s your favorite item?

Moms out there: When did you start sleep training, IF you did it at all?

Recent Obsessions

I feel like I go through phases with foods and beauty products. I am definitely my father’s daughter because I will get ‘stuck’ on a certain thing & buy it non stop, but then one day I’ll just be completely sick of it. Eventually I come back around & like it again, but it often takes a while.

Today I thought I would tell you about my recent obsessions. I think some of these have to do with the summer season, since it’s SO stinking HOT outside here in Florida. You can’t even step outside without sweating. GROSS!

1. Fruit Salad

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I can’t stop eating it. Especially the pineapple. I will make a big batch of it in the beginning of the week, and then eat it for breakfast, with my lunch & then often before dinner. Fruit is just SO good right now. Nature’s candy Smile

2. These two coffee creamers

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Salted Caramel Mocha & Vanilla Brown Sugar. I mean really?! Is there even a better way to start your morning than with these flavors?!? Mmmmmm. And since it is summer time, I actually only drink iced coffee. (of course I’ll drink hot coffee if that’s the only thing available, I just prefer iced in the summer) I get a TRENTA iced coffee from Starbucks with NO ice, NO sweetener & NO cream. Just black iced coffee. (If you like iced coffee, try it! Saves money & you don’t have to go out every day to get it! Win win.) Then that will last me for three mornings. The people at Starbucks know me & always have my iced coffee ready to go when I get there. Smile 

3. Summer Nail Polish Colors

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They are just so fun! I was only buying Essie for a while, but that’s pretty expensive ($7- $8 a bottle). So I tried the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri & I LOVE it! It lasts for a while, just as long if not longer than Essie, and it’s about HALF the price.

4. Quest Bars

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You guys, I have a problem. Do you see the stash above? That’s 20+ Quest Bars. It’s ridiculous. But I promise I have a good reason for having so many. I eat one everyday for breakfast, I’ll just stick it in the BOB & eat it once I’m done running. Gabriella is usually still snoozing & this is the perfect on the go breakfast. I also have water with me, and sometimes I’ll eat a banana too. I don’t know if other people are like this, but I really don’t enjoy eating a huge meal right after running. I have to wait a while and then I’ll have a bigger lunch. My stomach is just NOT into the idea of stuffing my face once I’m done with a run. And the chocolate chip cookie dough flavor is a MUST try if you haven’t yet. You can thank me later. Winking smile

5. Green Smoothies

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That’s usually my lunch. A HUGE smoothie full of spinach, protein powder, unsweetened almond milk & usually a big bowl of fruit. DELISH! Open-mouthed smile Another ‘summer thing’ I’m assuming, since cold drinks sound ideal right now.

6. Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 Workout DVD

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I do this DVD a few days a week before or after a speed workout. (so my run is a bit shorter) And I must be crazy because it KILLS. I don’t know if it’s because I’m already tired from running, but I DEFINITELY feel it! Of course I had to start with Week 4, because when I do something I have to go all out (good or bad thing…not sure Winking smile ) & I was hurting the next day. A good burn! This is actually the DVD Jillian recommends for at home workouts, she has said that she does NOT recommend the 30 Day Shred anymore. She said it is outdated. I only know this because Jillian & are pretty much best friends. No, I kid, (although I would like to meet her!) I am obsessed with her podcast.

And one thing that NEVER gets old is…

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Did you guess it?!?! I’m sure you all know my too well by now, and I must have a G picture in here somewhere.

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My big blue eyed girl. Stole my heart right from the beginning. ❤

Any ‘obsessions’ that you have right now? Please share, I may just have to try something new. Smile

Favorite summer fruit?? I’m torn between pineapple & watermelon. I could eat both of them ALL day every day. I would eat 1/4 of a watermelon nearly everyday while I was pregnant with Gabriella, and she would go NUTS! I figured she must love it, so I gave her some the other day. She COMPLETELY refused it. Turned her little head all the way to the side. Weirdo! Who doesn’t love watermelon?!?! Maybe she overdosed in my belly Winking smile