EASY & DELICIOUS CHIP-LESS NACHOS


*Photo courtesy of SkinnyTaste

Hi Everyone! A few weeks ago I decided to start the F-Factor diet and have been making a ton of healthy meals! I made these Chip-less nachos after seeing them on Skinny Taste. I found that as delicious as these were, I didn’t have the time or patience to measure out all the seasonings and it was a bit too in depth for me. I decided to change up the recipe and do a few things differently and they came out SO DELICIOUS! I wanted to share this recipe with you guys since a lot of you asked me to on Instagram. I would also like to point out that I am a novice cook and not very good, so please take my advice and directions with a grain of salt…see what I did there ;)!

Ingredients:

  • Lean ground turkey (I usually get the Trader Joe’s 99.9% lean ground turkey)
  • Olive Oil cooking spray
  • 1/4 white onion
  • Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning (or any type of taco seasoning)
  • Mini Bell Peppers (sliced in half with top & seeds removed…I usually buy two small bags of them at the grocery store)
  • 1 cup-ish Low fat Mexican cheddar cheese (use as much or as little cheese as you like)
  • Parsley

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  • clean and slice the mini bell peppers in half sideways so they lay flat. Place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper
  • Dice 1/4 of a white onion
  • Heat a pan to medium and spray the olive oil cooking spray and sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the ground turkey and taco seasoning (follow the directions on the package as to how to add the seasoning) until the turkey is cooked
  • Disperse the cooked ground turkey onto the sliced mini bell peppers evenly across the pan
  • Sprinkle the cheese on top of the turkey and mini bell peppers and add any toppings of your choice! Some yummy options include jalepenos or black olives
  • Pop these babies into the oven and bake for 8 minutes or until the cheese has melted
  • While the nachos cook, chop up the fresh parsley. You don’t need much, maybe a sprig or two
  • Take the nachos out of the oven and garnish with the parsley
  • EAT!

I usually serve a side of guac and salsa to go along with these nachos. They totally fulfill my mexican craving without the guilt and are super easy to make! I hope you guys enjoy! Let me know if you guys make them!

xoxo-J

 

POLKA DOTS + 5 WAYS I’VE CHANGED SINCE BECOMING CHARLEE’S MOMMA

Photography by Shadi Garman

Dress: Asos Heels: INC Brand Purse: Mansur Gavriel Earrings: Nordstrom Rack

Happy Thursday everyone! I can’t believe we are already to Thursday! This week has FLOWN by and I love it! It means we are one day closer to our trip to the Bahamas! Matt and I decided to take our first trip away without baby the first week of May and I am super excited. I am also totally dreading being away from Charlee for 4 days but I know it will be super special and a wonderful and much deserved trip for Matt and I.

How amazing is this dress?! I saw it online and just had to have it. It has everything I look for in a dress! Statement sleeves, flutter skirt, open back, and polka dots! On top of all that, it’s under $100 so it’s a win win in my book ;)!

I have been wanting to write a post about how I have changed since having my daughter for a while but didn’t know how to set it all up, so I figured i’d include it in an outfit post!I have been holding out because I felt that I needed more time to really reflect on what exactly has changed for me since having Charlee. If I were to be honest, I feel like absolutely everything in my life has changed in some way or another due to having Charlee. My relationships have changed, my lifestyle has changed, my body has changed…you name it and it’s changed!! Sometimes it can be overwhelming how much change really occurs after bringing a new life into this world! I think we have no idea what we are really getting into until after the babies arrive! I wouldn’t have it any other way and I know I have changed for the better, but I figured I would share the most impactful personal changes that have shifted since having her.

  1. I am more sensitive: Now this may come as a shock for those of you who know me personally because even before becoming a Mom, I was SUPER sensitive. I have always had a tender heart and felt empathy very easily. Now that I am a Mom it’s totally different though. My sensitivity runs DEEP you guys. Some days I can barely get through a sappy commercial without crying haha! No but really, I am super sensitive to the needs of my daughter after becoming her Mother. I feel such conviction in making sure she is happy and taken care of. I am sensitive to her needs and what is best for her. If she is having a tough moment, I always try and take a step back and realize that this isn’t her fault and my poor baby is just going through the motions. This helps me from getting frustrated in the hard times because I remember that Charlee is just doing her best! I am sensitive to other Mothers around me and have found almost a kinship with strangers. I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I see another Mom on the subway, walking down the street, or in the grocery store, I find myself feeling like I know her somehow. Is that weird?! Who knows! I guess I just feel a deeper sensitivity and I am more aware of it now.
  2. It’s OK to say No: This has been a hard one for me, and even to this day I struggle with saying “No.” I am a people pleaser, and I have been my whole life. I always want to make sure everyone around me is happy and content. I hate inconveniencing others and before baby would go out of my way to accommodate them even if it was an inconvenience to me. Well, after having a baby, that doesn’t really work! My baby and her needs come first, so oftentimes I find myself saying “No” to things. Surprisingly, people are WAY more understanding when I say “No” to things. I used to think I had to really explain myself, but through postpartum therapy I learned that no explanation is ever really necessary. Just saying, “Unfortunately, that’s not going to work for us” is enough! Most of the time, whomever you are saying “No” to is like, “Ok cool, we can figure something else then!” and it seems silly that I felt weird saying “No” in the first place!
  3. My best is enough: There are times that I feel very overwhelmed. There are days where I don’t feel like I am the best Mom, friend, colleague or wife and I can beat myself up about it. In those moments I try to remind myself that I am doing my best and that is enough. Unfortunately it’s impossible to actually do everything 100%, so I have been practicing forgiveness and letting myself do my best without judgement (Easier said than done!). I truly believe as long as I am doing the best that I can, it’s enough.
  4. I care less about what other people think! This is a big one. I honestly, really don’t give a %^^&^ about what other people think. I have a new found confidence after giving birth. It completely changed my perspective. Social media is a funny thing and people are very open to sharing their opinions about me and my child! You would be surprised some of the comments I have received! What’s kind of nuts is that because I know the kind of Mother, friend and person that I am, I really don’t care what others think of me. I know that I am doing my best and I don’t need anyone else to validate that.
  5. My husband is even more important to me. I fell deeply in love with my husband immediately after I met him, but somehow have fallen even a little bit more in love with him every day since. When you have a child together, it really changes your dynamic. I find that I need Matt a little bit more than before we had Charlee. We are a family now, and we have a great team and system that works for us. I really can’t imagine life without him. He is the father of my baby girl, and is pretty much her favorite person. I have a need for him that runs deeper than before now that we have our baby girl. It’s pretty amazing and I feel so lucky to have him as my Husband.

I hope you guys have a wonderful Thursday and a beautiful weekend!

xoxo-J

A STATEMENT SKIRT + 5 THINGS

Top: Asos Skirt: Asos Shoes: Marc Fisher (white sold out) Earrings: BaubleBar Bag: Mansur Gavriel

Photography by Shadi Garman

Hi Guys! Happy Sunday! It has been so gorgeous here in NYC this weekend and it is giving me LIFE! I got this outfit last week and was so excited to wear it but it was of course FREEZING, so I paired it with a sweater and boots. Once the weather changed to warm I was super excited to style the skirt for a spring day! The skirt is currently on sale for $30 and available in all sizes so go scoop it up! The earrings are also 50% off. I am sure you guys have noticed me wearing them ALL THE TIME. I wore them here and here as well!

I hope you like this outfit post! I was thinking it would be fun to include a random list of 5 things that have been on my mind for the past week so here goes!

  1. Have you guys heard of the F-Factor diet? I had been following Tanya Zuckerbrot for a while (She is the founder of the diet) and finally decided to start it! I read her book and started 10 days ago. I am 5 lbs down in 10 days! It’s amazing and doesn’t feel like a diet, more of a lifestyle. You can even have wine and cheese on the diet! Here is a link to her diet book if you’re interested.
  2. I just started watching Lost in Space on Netflix and it is SO GOOD! I used to babysit Mina Sundwall who plays Penny in the show. She is of course my favorite part!!! Everyone go watch it!
  3. Charlee just started crawling this week and it’s SO cute. Good thing I introduced the baby play pen early. She loves being in there with all her toys.
  4. I got a makeover at Sephora a few weeks ago and I can’t get enough of my new CC cream by IT Cosmetics! It seriously makes my skin look luminous!
  5. I may be late to the party on this, but I just found the most amazing self tanner at CVS by Loreal. It’s really easy to apply. I took a shower and exfoliated my skin before applying the tanner. It’s a great option because it comes in a spray bottle and applies evenly. You don’t even have to rub it in. You just let it dry for about 15 minutes. Then I went to sleep and woke up tan and bronzed! I highly recommend!

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and cheers to the best week ahead!

xoxo-J

STRIPED

Photography by Shadi Garman

Dress: Asos Red version here Heels: INC BAg: Louis Vuitton Earrings: 14th & Union

Hi Guys and Happy Friday! I hope you all had a wonderful week. Tonight is date night for Matt and I and I’m super excited. I really cherish when Matt and I take time for each other. It’s very important to us :). We have been doing a date night a week since Charlee was two weeks old!

Anyways, I really love this dress! I am so tempted to buy the red color too. It’s super comfortable and easy to style. I paired it with nude heels here, but you could pop on a pair of white sneakers for a casual brunch look too. I will say the size runs a little big so size down unless you want the sizing to be a bit relaxed like mine is in the photos.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

xoxo-J

TIPS & TRICKS FOR TRAVELING WITH BABY ALONE AND WITH PARTNER


Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic Easter weekend! Matt, Charlee and I just got back yesterday afternoon from a long weekend in NC visiting my side of the family. It was a wonderful weekend and the most exciting part of it was that my sister announced to the world she is having a baby!! We are so excited and thrilled that Charlee will have a cousin so close in age! Baby Miano coming October 2018!!

This past trip was Charlee’s 6th round trip flight since she was born. I have travelled once alone with her and the other times Matt has been with me. I wanted to round up my tips and tricks for traveling with baby. Keep in mind that Charlee is currently 7 (almost 8) months old so these are tips for ages 0-8 months. I am sure my tips will change once she becomes a bit more mobile 🙂

  1. Before I get in to logistical tips, I want to tell you all to make sure you add your baby or lap child to your ticket. Matt and I didn’t realize we had to do this until we arrived at the airport! It doesn’t take long to add the baby, but it’s way easier to get it done ahead of time. You can call the airline to add your baby. Also, I’d bring a picture of your baby’s birth certificate just in case they need to see it. Some airlines do, but a photo suffices.
  2. Tips for packing baby’s suitcase:
    • If you’re traveling somewhere that you won’t have a washing machine, make sure to bring two outfits MINIMUM for baby per day. Charlee used to spit up a lot so we would have her in multiple outfits per day. I would love to say that I am a minimalist packer, but I find that overpacking (or just packing more than you think you need) when it comes to a baby makes things way less stressful. I hate not being prepared and by making sure I have what I need (even if I don’t use it) lowers my anxiety and helps me relax when traveling. For baby, I always make sure I have enough diapers and wipes in her suitcase for when we get to where we are going. Sometimes I’ll buy them when we get to our destination but I prefer getting to where we are going and not having to stop at CVS to pick stuff up.
    • Use ziplock bags to keep tiny items organized. I organize her baby shoes and hair bows in one large bag, her medicine, nose frieda and basic baby toiletries I use for her in another, and her socks and bibs in a third. This keeps me organized!
    • The first time I traveled with Charlee, I had a carry on filled with all of her clothes, diapers, pacifiers, wipes , extra formula etc. I was panicked that we could potentially lose her bag and then be screwed upon landing if we checked it. This ended up being more of a hassle than it was worth because we also had the travel stroller, carrier and diaper bag so we just had so much crap with us to carry around the airport. I would recommend checking your baby’s bag UNLESS you are going somewhere that you aren’t comfortable finding your baby’s necessities in local shops if your bag gets lost. I would most likely carry on Charlee’s things if we were traveling internationally. Domestically, I am totally comfortable finding what she needs at Target!
  3. Tips for packing baby’s diaper bag:
    • First, I can’t stress enough how amazing it is having a backpack diaper bag in life and especially when traveling. I had a regular diaper bag for the first few months of Charlee’s life, but when I switched to this backpack by Skip Hop I realized how much easier it was and what I was missing! Having your hands free is a game changer. In Charlee’s diaper bag I always have these items packed for flights: 4-5 diapers, wipes, boogie wipes, pacifier wipes, travel size diaper cream, travel size toy sanitizer spray (I use this all the time since her toys land on the floor constantly when we travel), Pacifier in a pacifier holder, diaper storage bags, travel diaper change pads, baby toys (I usually bring a noggin stick, baby keys, and her banana…small but distracting toys), a small bag of puffs, her formula in this formula travel pack already pre-measured, two extra bibs, a change of clothes for baby and yourself (usually a onesie with footies attached) and a large muslin blanket.

      That sounds like a lot but it actually all fits comfortably in this backpack. All of these items are necessary for us to travel with but I wanted to explain a few of them. The disposable diaper change pads are awesome because you can just throw them away after you use one. Public bathrooms are yucky and you just never know what kind of germs are on the surface. I used to hate putting my own diaper pad down and then putting it back in my diaper bag with all the germs on it. These pads eliminate that worry! I also wanted to share how helpful a muslin blanket is. Charlee likes to sit up and play on her own so bringing this blanket makes this a lot easier. I can lay it on the floor of the airport and spread out her toys so she isn’t in contact with the germs. I also use this blanket on the plane as well. Charlee gets very stimulated and has a hard time sleeping when people are moving around. I’ll pop her under the blanket and sway her to sleep. The muslin fabric is very light weight and keeps her from getting hot.
  4. Curbside check all of your items if you can. Obviously this doesn’t work if the weather is really cold, but I find this super helpful when traveling without Matt. It can be a circus trying to get baby from the car, our of her car seat, into the carrier and all of your luggage into the airport and in-line. Thank God for curbside check! I really recommend checking your car seat, unless you plan on buying a seat for your baby and putting them in the car seat. We have never done this and it seems like it could be a lot more work just lugging it through security etc.
  5. Buy a carseat travel bag. I really recommend this one. Bags that are checked aren’t really secured in the airplane so with turbulence things can get damaged. Using a great travel bag for your carseat is going to really protect your car seat. It also protects the car seat from germs too!
  6. Use a travel stroller when traveling. Matt and I bought a great travel stroller by Mountain Buggy. It’s super lightweight and folds down super compactly making it easy to take on to the plane and put into the overhead compartment. It also reclines very low so I was able to use this stroller when Charlee was around 4 months old. I love the Mountain buggy.
  7. If your baby is old enough for toys, pack small but distracting ones that attach easily to a paci-clip. This is so ideal since the ground is gross at the airport. I would clip Charlee’s noggin stick or banana teether to her bib and let her play. She was able to drop it and I wouldn’t have to worry about germs.
  8. Ask for help! People love babies and are so willing to help you. I asked for help when I was traveling alone with Charlee and it made it so much easier.
  9. Take your time. There is no rush! Getting through security is stressful, and trying to do it quickly is even more stressful. People can wait! Just take a breath and take your time.
  10. Wear your baby! Wearing your baby gives you free hands and more mobility. You also can go through the security line with your baby on you. If you have them in a car seat, they will make you take your baby out before going through so keep that in mind for naps etc. The only time you are not able to wear your baby is for take off and landing, so try to keep your baby from falling asleep in the carrier before you board, unless of course they transfer out of the carrier well!
  11. You can pack as many liquids as you need when traveling with a baby, but note that you WILL get a bag check. I would recomend putting all of the liquids into a plastic bag so you can just pull it out when they check your bag. I used to do a bag of the formula and then another bag with wipes and diaper cream. All of these items set off the alarm and will get tested and checked.
  12. Get to the gate early if you can. We always leave 2.5 hours before out flight leaves to give us extra time to get where we are going. You are able to board first if you have a child with you. Take advantage and be at the gate early!
  13. If you are traveling alone, sit on the aisle. If you are traveling with a partner, sit by the window. When I was alone traveling with Charlee I loved being on the aisle in case I need to hop up and walk her down the aisle without bothering anyone. When traveling with a partner, the window seat is better and can be great for baby. Charlee loves to look out the window.
  14. Bring Snacks! I pack a ton of snacks for Charlee because it’s a great way to distract her. I will pack baby Mum Mums and puffs and let her eat as many as she wants. It sometimes buys me an extra 30 minutes of her sitting in my lap!
  15. Change your baby before you get on the flight! I have not had to change Charlee on a flight before because I always did so right before we took off. Keep in mind the flights have been max two hours for us, but it definitely helped to change her right before!
  16. Remember, babies cry. It’s sad but true! It’s the only way they know how to communicate. If your baby is crying on the flight, just take a breath and keep calm. Try not to think about other people. Your baby will feel your energy and be more upset. One time Charlee was very upset and wouldn’t stop crying for 10 minutes! That felt like a lifetime!!! I stayed calm though and rocked her back and forth and finally she just passed out on me and slept the whole rest of the flight!! In the end she cried for 10 minutes and that’s it. No sweat off my back or anyone else’s!
  17. Dress your baby in layers for the flight! I have been on flights where the temperature is FREEZING and then another where the plane is so hot. I always try and put Charlee in footie PJ’s with a sweater on top, a cotton hat, and booties (I just got these booties and love them! They stay on really well and are under $10). If the plane is too hot, I can take off the sweater, hat and booties and monitor her temperature.
  18. If you can, fly out in the morning. Babies are their happiest in the morning after a good night’s sleep. We try and leave around 9 or 10 in the morning and that has been the best time to travel with her so far. Obviously we can’t always do this, but morning flights tend to be a bit easier.
  19. If you are traveling alone, don’t sit in the first row of the plane. You will have to put your diaper bag above for take off and landing and it’s super annoying. That said, Matt and I always sit in the front when we are together because  there is a ton of room and I can pop Charlee on the ground on her blanket and let her play with toys. I only do that when we are together though because we have two sets of hands!
  20. Bring a change of clothes for yourself! I always bring an extra shirt for myself in my diaper bag. I have used it a few times! Once because of a spit up incident and another because of a diaper blowout!
  21. Have fun!! You and your baby are on an adventure! I’ll never forget how nervous I was to take Charlee on our first flight just us. I had anxiety for weeks! It ended up being SO MUCH EASIER than I thought it would be and really fun! It was a Mommy and Charlee adventure and a memory I will always cherish.

SOCKS WITH SANDALS: HOW TO ROCK IT!

 

Photography by Shadi Garman

Jacket: Banana Republic Earrings: Baublebar Pants: Banana Republic Top: H&M Sandals: Gucci Socks: JCrew

Hi Everyone! Hope you are all having a great week so far. I am so excited that we are one day closer to warm weather. I am deep into spring transitional dressing with this cold one day, cool the next weather. I love a great cold weather look don’t get me wrong, but I am a spring/summer girl through and through. I just got these beautiful Gucci sandals and I couldn’t wait to wear them, so I decided to pair them with a fabulous pair of socks! I have been seeing this trend all over the place and wanted to try it. This trend is a great way to add a little “extra” to a basic look. My only advice when trying to rock socks with open-toed heels and sandals is to stick to socks that are delicate and not so bulky. I linked some awesome sock options here:

I really love this trend since it extends the wear of your summer and spring shoes! Here are some of my favorite ways blogger and celebs have styled this type of trend!

Blaire of Atlantic-Pacific can really do no wrong in my book. She always looks so amazingly put together and rocks some pretty outrageous looks but makes them look seamless and curated!

(photo courtesy of www.atlantic-pacific.com)

This look is amazing!! I love how unexpected her socks are! It really adds an element of fabulous don’t you think?!

I love this look. The socks are super understated but still fashion forward. SUPER cool.

I love this heel and sock combination. I think a chunky platform heel works really well for this type of look.

Hope you guys have a fabulous rest of the week!

xoxo-J

THE BEST BABY TOYS

 

Photography by Shadi Garman

Hi Everyone! I hope you are all enjoying the second day of spring. We are currently in the middle of a snow storm in NYC (insert eye roll here). This winter does not want to let up! Hoping it takes a turn for the better soon!

Despite this seemingly never ending winter, living in NYC is one of the best experiences of my life. I knew from a young age I wanted to live here. That said, space has always been issue. Apartments with tons of extra space is considered a luxury in NYC. It’s what you have to give up in order to live here! Add a baby into the mix and things get tricky. Apartment living with a baby can be challenging but I’ve made it my mission to try and create a kid friendly atmosphere without sacrificing on interior style. I keep all of Charlee’s toys in this gorgeous woven basket with a lid.  I purchased a really pretty play mat as well. It has been a challenge to keep our apartment from looking like a baby factory and I am sure it will get harder the bigger Charlee gets but so far I’m happy with how our apartment looks! One thing Matt and I have done thus far is to not overload the apartment with baby toys. I’ve been very strategic in purchasing toys that I think Charlee will love, but not over-buying. I’ve also gotten a few toys from friends as well! I put together a list of the best toys for babies ages 0-6 months. Charlee still uses these toys today at almost 8 months old!

 

Pull and Sing Puppy by V-Tech: This little puppy rolls around and has a little leash attached. It sings a bunch of songs, has buttons and the ears swing around. Charlee just loves it.

Fisher-Price brilliant basics boppin’ activity bugs: Charlee got this as a gift and LOVES it. She plays with the little bugs and pops them up and down. It’s also a great way to teach your baby what “up” and “down” means! We play that game a lot with this toy.

Nogginstick: This has been our go-to since Charlee was super little. It was her first toy and she STILL loves it! It’s been through the ringer though and only glows red now (used to glow green and blue) but she doesn’t care!. It’s a great toy.

Baby Maraca: I bought this toy randomly at Buy Buy Baby when Charlee and I were shopping there. I had forgotten to bring a toy for her so I picked this up out of a random bin and she LOVED it. It kept her entertained the whole shopping trip. She loves anything that makes lots of sounds she can control.

V-Tech Moosical Cow : This is another V-Tech toy that Charle loves. It has a lot of songs and buttons and lights.

Baby Banana Toothbrush: My friend Katie gave us this little tooth brush and it has been a lifesaver. It’s a teething toothbrush that feels really good on Charlee’s gums. It also has two little banana peel loops on the side which make it easy to attach to a paci holder. I like to keep it attached to her so she doesn’t drop it on the floor when we are out and about.

Nuby Teether Keys:  These are great! You can pop them into the fridge and it helps to soothe babies gums. Charlee isn’t teething quite yet but she loves chewing on these.

Sophie the Giraffe:  I think every Mom would agree with me that Sophie the giraffe is the best. There are so many parts to chew and Charlee loves it. I always bring Sophie with us wherever we go. It’s a must-have!

I hope you guys found this list of toys useful. I do my best to rotate the toys so Charlee isn’t overwhelmed with constant distractions. These have been our go-to’s and they continue to be even at 7 (almost 8 months old). I will be sure to post a follow up toys post down the road!

xoxo-J

POLKA DOT STREET STYLE

 

Photography by Shadi Garman

Dress: Asos (tall) Regular size here Boots: Stuart Weitzman Coat: Asos (sold out) similar here Earrings: Bauble Bar

Hi Guys! How was your weekend? Ours was great but it was SO cold we barely went outside. I’m so sick of this weather I can’t WAIT for spring to officially start. I got this dress to wear this spring and unfortunately haven’t been able to wear it without a huge coat on top quite yet. I have been wanting a polka dot dress and when I saw this one I scooped it up. I got it in a tall size but it also comes in regular which I linked above. The only good thing about this winter lasting so long is that I have gotten good use out of my winter coats and boots!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

xoxo-J

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT GETTING FIT AFTER BABY

 

Jacket: Lululemon Leggings: Mono B Sneakers: Nike

Photography by Shadi Garman

Hi Friends!  I have been wanting to put together a blog post about getting fit after baby for a while. Not because I’m super fit or am any sort of expert in the area of fitness, but because it’s so much harder than I thought to get fit after having a baby! Before I got pregnant, I was working out 5-6 days a week. I felt great and was strong and lean and fitness was a huge part of my life!

This picture above was taken the month before I got pregnant. I am also hailing a cab the WRONG way for this photo which makes me chuckle. We do weird things sometimes to get the shot lol! Anyways, once I got pregnant I had all the intentions to continue to exercise throughout the course of my pregnancy. I had visions of myself with my belly at 305 fitness dancing my little heart out. WELL the universe had other plans for me! Early on in my pregnancy, I pulled my neck out. That sounds weird but it was essentially like when you pull your back out, but in my neck which was HORRIBLE. I could barely move you guys. This was also around the time that my morning sickness started to hit so you can imagine it was a bit of a tough time for me. It took me about 2 months to really heal my neck which meant no exercise for me at that time, clearly! Once I felt well enough to start exercising again though, my back pain started. Throughout my pregnancy, the back pain got worse and worse and by the third trimester I could barely brush my teeth without pain (I had sciatica). If Matt and I went anywhere, I would bring a small pillow with me so I could have something comfortable to sit on. I was really frustrated that I couldn’t exercise and by the end of my pregnancy I had gained close to 55 lbs! A lot of that was swelling, but it was super uncomfortable to carry around that weight.

Fast forward to after I gave birth. I wasn’t thinking about getting back into shape. I really just wanted to focus and be present with my daughter. I lost about 30lbs in the first month after having Charlee. I like to think of it as deflating all the swelling! Then I had 25 lbs to go and I sort of plateaued. I slowly got back into exercising and started with yoga and would take soul cycle every now and again but nothing was really doing anything to change my body! It was frustrating to say the least. January rolled around and I still had about 20 lbs left to lose. That’s when I decided to start BBG. It has been such a game changer. For those of you who don’t know what BBG is, it’s a workout program that consists of three “resistance”  and three “cardio” workouts per week. The best part about the program is that the resistance workouts are only 28 minutes so it’s a program that is do-able and easy to complete. That said, it’s SUPER hard and challenging. In the beginning I could barely get through them. I still have days where I can barely finish! I love how easy and attainable the program is ESPECIALLY for Moms and people with limited time. You can always find 28 minutes in your day, and the workouts are designed so you can do them in the comfort of your own home. All you need is a light set of weights and a chair. The workouts consist of a combination of targeted workouts with cardio and body weight exercises. I like to run down to the gym in our building but if I can’t leave the apartment or I’ll set myself up on a mat in the living room. So far, I’ve lost about 6lbs in the 6 weeks iv’e been on this program. I’m trying not to focus on the weight though and instead focus on how I feel and how my clothing fits. I am excited to see how my results look at the end of the 12 week program. I recommend downloading the SWEAT App on your phone if you decide to try the program. It’s super easy to follow and it’s like having a personal trainer with you while you do your workouts!

The program has been great, but one thing I will say is how slow the progress has been. I have been working so hard and for me, my body just isn’t responding in the way it would have before baby. I still suffer from back pain and if I overdo it on the exercise front, I pay for it later. I have been training for a race that Matt and I are running next weekend and I have had a lot of back pain through my training. It’s been a struggle because I constantly keep comparing my new body to my old body which is NOT healthy and simply unfair to my current figure. I keep having to remind myself that I birthed a human 7 months ago! I am slowly learning to celebrate my achievements and doing my best to stop comparing my new self to my old self. One thing that really helps when I am being tough on myself is to look at my progress photos. The SWEAT App encourages you to take a progress photo every week. The below photos are my progress from week 1 to week 8. I can see a difference and  I am so glad I took these photos to remind myself of the hard work I’ve put in.

Week 1 vs. Week 6

Week 1 vs. Week 8

I am excited to share my progress on this program at the end of 12 weeks. There are so many changes that happen to us when we have our babies! It’s crazy what we as women go through. I think it’s important for all of us to support each other and honor the work and dedication we give to our families. I try to also give myself the same dedication and love. What are you guys doing for workouts? I’d love to see what is working for you!

xoxo-J

 

 

A LITTLE BLACK MINI DRESS

Photography by Shadi Garman

Dress: Tobi c/o Boots: Stuart Weitzman Earrings: Nordstrom Rack Bag: Gucci

Shop all Tobi here

Hi Everyone and happy hump-day. I hope this week has been off to a good start for all you lovelies! I feel like I’ve had quite the week already and I’m only halfway through. Yesterday, I took Charlee to her first swim lesson and she LOVED it. She had so much fun and it completely exhausted her and she slept 13 hours last night! It’s alway kind of a circus trying to do things with a baby, and each time I sign us up for an activity or play date etc. I get kind of anxious about pulling it off and getting to where we ned to go. I usually forget something, or am sweating profusely by the time we arrive. Yesterday, I forgot to bring a towel for her swim lesson and ended up drying Charlee off with my cardigan while I dripped dry and almost froze to death haha! That said, every time I do something for Charlee it totally works out and seeing her have fun makes it all so worth it!

Anyways, I wanted to share this adorable black sweater dress with you guys. It’s been way too cold to pull something like this off in NYC but now that the weather is hopefully taking a turn towards spring, I have been wearing it non-stop. I’ve worn it three times on date night already! Lucky for you guys, it’s currently $29!!! I sized up for the length, but it runs pretty true to size. I am wearing a large, but usually wear a medium.

What are you guys up to this weekend? I have been doing a TON of work on my blog and pinterest and styling business. It’s crazy how much work goes into the backend of blogs. Would you guys want to see a post on any of that?

Xoxo-J