Friday, March 30, 2012

Pregnant | Two workout DVD's you can't afford to go without

When people ask me how I'm feeling, I can most days say that I'm feeling great and normal. You know, except for the fact that I'm carrying a beach ball in front of me and have to pee every 15 minutes. The reason for this has everything to do with these two DVD's that I want to share with you. If you're pregnant, I hope you'll pick them up and make them a part of your routine.

If you want a workout that molds to any schedule, is easily mixed up for variety, is modified pilates, won't baby your pregnant body, but you can be sure won't be too intense, and has great variety, then this is your video.

Things I love about it: 
1. The Pilates for Flexibility segment is great for lower back pain.
2. The Total Body Pilates segment really works the arms.
3. The way I can pick and choose which segments I want to do that day. I've also noticed that it's way easier to motivate myself to workout if I can just do 10 minutes. Without fail, if I do one 10 minute segment, I'm energized to do more.
4. Because this video isn't terribly intense, I find it easier to do on days when I'm tired or not feeling great.

This workout is divided into one 20 minute standing workout, one 20 minute mat workout, and the most incredible 10 minute stretch and relax segment. It is so intense, yet simple and relaxing at the same time.

Things I love about it:
1. All you need is yourself and a mat. There are no pillows or weights needed.
2. None of the moves require you to lie on your back, even in the mat segment.
3. This workout kicked my butt before I got pregnant. If you want something that will continue to challenge your whole body, while still being safe for your baby, this is it.
4. The whole video is relaxing and simple, making your workout a restful time.
5. This video should be among every pregnant woman's arsenal if for no other reason than for the 10 minute stretch and relax segment. It stretches your hips so well. I can't even describe to you how great I feel after doing this segment. Most of my tightness and pain is in the hips when I'm pregnant, and this segment has brought me so much relief. I'm actually sleeping now! Well, except for the 4+ trips I take to the bathroom every night.

With these two DVD's I have sufficient variety to my workouts and often mix and match the two videos based on how I'm feeling each day. I hope you're convinced that you need to buy these DVD's like yesterday.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Food | The Hungry for Change Film

Watch this film for free until March 31st: 

Friends, I just watched this and thought it was simply fabulous. I can't wait to start working on improving my diet. Hope you'll take time to watch the free online premiere!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Seb | Melons on a truck bed

Sometimes, you just get a good idea...

One moment, he was eating his melon, the next he was lining them up on his tray, and the next, they were stacked neatly on his truck. I love watching the gears turn in his sweet little head.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Style | Wiksten Tank

Anna from Rummey Bears. How gorgeous is that fabric!

Lissa from A Honeymooner's Guide to Living

Also Lissa from A Honeymooner's Guide to Living. She made it into a dress!

I'm laughing a bit to myself at how long since I've posted about style. Perhaps you've noticed that all I've been wearing lately is loungewear and sports bras? Yea, style doesn't play a big role in my life right now. It's gotten hot here, I've started working out almost daily, and now that I've hit the 3rd trimester, comfort is my middle name. All this to say that normal clothes don't make an appearance very often. But someday they will! And when they do, I'd love to try my hand at this tank pattern by Wiksten. I'm thinking it would make a lovely summer piece for after the baby arrives (Maybe with buttons for nursing...) I'm very inspired by these two creative ladies. 

Have you made a Wiksten piece? Tell me about it! I'd love to see it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

North Carolina | The Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Our first springtime visit

I thought I'd share a few humble pictures from our visit to the Duke Gardens on Friday night. If you're in the area and have never gone, you should! I just found out that parking is free after 5 and before 1 on Saturday and Sunday. Seb and I are most definitely going to make an excursion there next time we have a nice Saturday morning. Seb likes to watch the bugs on the sidewalk.

Hope you've had a lovely Sunday! If I remember, I'm going to post a link to today's sermon when it goes up online. It was so encouraging to me as a mom, and think some of you might like to listen to it, as well. We're so blessed to be a part of our church.

P.S. I made these cookies today and put butterscotch chips in them. SO tasty, oh my.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Home | Real life is very good

This morning marked the start of our lull between family visitors. I tried to keep the day normal with lots of time outside so that the transition would be as easy as possible for Seb. Did you know that little ones go through a little rough patch immediately following traveling or having visitors? I certainly didn't until I got this little man, and was given the heads up about it by my very wise mother-in-law. Seb tends to be very clingy and a little out of sorts after visits. My brother and future sister-in-law left only this morning, so I suspect tomorrow might be a little worse for Sebastian than today. It's alright, though; we're pros! It certainly doesn't hurt when Cody takes the late afternoon off and does a little roughhousing with Seb. After that, and our dinner of oatmeal, we went to the Duke Gardens and I soaked up the smells and took pictures while Cody and Seb played with his new ball.

The last picture is of nakey Seb sitting on my lap after his bath. It's one of his favorite rituals, and makes it very difficult for Cody to get him ready for bed... oh this sweet, real life.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Home | 27 weeks part II: Mommy's "ball" edition.

It finally happened. Sebastian realized tonight that something was not quite right with my belly, walked towards me, pointed, and said, "ball!"

He can spot a ball even in the most unusual places, and just when I think he can't get any more adorable...

Home | 27 weeks

Relaxing on our patio with a good book, freshly painted toenails and my 3rd trimester tummy. 
Can't wait to meet my little boy.

And a gem for you from my book, because who knew that The Sword in the Stone was much much more than a fun Disney movie...?

"The day after Sir Grummore's visit was hot, sweltering for the men who toiled from milking to milking and then again till sunset in their battle with the sultry element. For the hay was an element to them, like sea or air, in which they bathed and plunged themselves and which they even breathed in. The seeds and small scraps stuck in their hair, their mouths, their nostrils, and worked, tickling, inside their clothes. They did not wear many clothes, and the shadows between their sliding muscles were blue on the nut-brown skins." 

The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Home | Windows

With the advent of warmer weather, our bedroom has become a sweet haven for me. We have two large windows, one facing East and one North, which fill the room to the brim with the most wonderful light—the pine trees reminding me daily that I live in the South. I sit on the floor in front of two vintage suitcases piled one on top of the other (my makeshift desk/landing spot) and read, blog and e-mail. There's plenty of space for some tea or coffee, too. I also usually do my workouts in our bedroom, as it's a large space. And when it's time for me to take a quick snooze, the bed is a convenient 3 feet away, and right next to the pile of books I'm working on.


These photos were taken from my spot at the suitcases. I was filled with such peace looking out at the white hot sky and smelling the delicious air wafting in from two directions. Of course, there's the frequent honk and rumble coming from the road, but it doesn't matter much to me; It's such a lovely space. Baby boy #2 is going to have to fight me for it come June!

Monday, March 19, 2012

DIY | What Seb wore (to a wedding), Vol. 3

The wedding we went to this weekend was black tie optional, so I knew I was up for a challenge when it came to Sebastian's outfit. I searched through his drawers and could come up with nothing more than a plaid button-down onesie + sweater that my mom and dad gave him for Christmas. Not exactly your traditional black tie optional choice, but 1) he is a toddler, afterall, and 2) the wedding was on St. Patrick's Day, so suddenly plaid didn't seem like a terribly inappropriate choice. And actually, the bride and groom both wore their family plaids during the ceremony. Score!

The outfit needed a finishing touch, however... enter, fabulous paisley yellow bow tie.

I used this great tutorial (I made the double fold bow tie version), altering the size to fit Sebastian, and since I didn't have any pieces to make an adjustable neck, used some velcro for a non-adjustable neck. Voila! It was simple, and fairly quick. I must mention that my mother-in-law saved the day when she re-filled the bobbins on my machine for me, and that she, Paw Paw, and Auntie Anna took Seb to the park, which gave me just enough time to finish the project! Without them, Seb would have attended the wedding sans snazzy bow tie.

P.S. Aren't my men handsome in their matching ties?! I feel way too spoiled to be getting yet another one!!! Three cheers for more excuses to make bow ties, haha.

Also, more of what Seb wears... Vol. 1 & Vol. 2

"Come ooon, Dad! Paw Paw showed me where the golf carts are parked!!!"

Sunday, March 18, 2012

North Carolina | A wedding weekend on Ocracoke

...because grandaddy is way too cool. 
cody and grandmother. this one makes my heart melt.

the beach

seb loved the water. he kept chasing after it when the waves would recede, and got very very wet.

26 weeks now!

the wedding. anna, grandmother and grandaddy.
it should be noted that grandaddy is wearing his very own wedding day tie: black. skinny. silk. knit. can you say stylish?

we could not keep him off the dance floor.
he was very perturbed when there was a break in the dancing for the toasts.
after the wedding, cody looked at me and sighed, "he loves to dance!" yes, seb is just like his daddy.

smokin' a cuban with uncle lee.
this had something to do with the grandbaby wars declared by uncle lee. maybe he thought he'd win if he taught his sister's grandbaby to smoke??

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Home | Preparations

"I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket." Psalm 81:6

Cody's mom, dad and sister arrive tonight, and we are beyond excited. This weekend will be filled with lots of family fun, as we are going to Cody's cousin's wedding on the Outer Banks. Immediately following the Strecker family departure from Durham, my brother and his fiance will arrive to spend their spring break with us, and then a after they leave, my mom and youngest sister catch a plane our way. Folks, that's 2.5 weeks of non-stop visitors. This of course is beyond awesome, but I also have a tendency to work my tush to pieces in preparation. Oh, you do that, too? I was hoping my energy would last until tonight, but after an adventurous morning grocery shopping with Seb, I am officially wiped, and now sit, completely unmotivated to do anything at all. (So glad I got the deep cleaning done yesterday!)

So amidst the clutter, I sit drinking my first cup of coffee in weeks, and read the daily office, which has become my new favorite ritual. I hope you're encouraged by the promise of rest found in Psalm 81, as I am. Have a marvelous weekend, my friends!