Welcome Little Valerie

I decided to let my spot here sit for a little too long when life got hectic. Now, after classes, job changes, moving, pregnancy, and birth, I think I’m finally ready to pick back up and say…

Welcome to the world, my little Valerie!

Baby Valerie

At 41 weeks (exactly 1 week “late”) Valerie was born on March 23rd, 2016 at 7:23 PM after my true labor started around 2 AM. My healthy little girl weighed 7 lbs 12 ounces and was nearly 20 inches in length. My life is forever changed with my new found love as a mother, which truly is greater than I imagined!

Valerie at the hospital

How is baby now?
Valerie is 3 weeks old this Wednesday and is still a completely healthy girl with a healthy appetite. She wakes up every 2.5 to 3 hours a night on average to eat/get a diaper change and hates falling asleep unless she is laying right next to or on top of mom or dad.

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Sleepy Valerie

Valerie loves walks when she is worn in her Lille baby carrier (*review soon!) & is soothed by constant movement.

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Our first walk with the Lille Baby carrier <3

Valerie lets us know she’s gone to the bathroom with little smiles and smirks, but I’m confident we will have a real, non-bathroom related smile soon!!!

How is mom?

After birth, I had 3rd degree tearing, a hematoma, hemorrhoids, and postpartum SPD (symphysis-pubis-dysfunction). Today, my biggest struggle is with the pelvic pain from SPD. For almost two weeks, walking and sitting were not options due to the pain. Everything was swollen and hurting down there and inside. Laying on my side seemed to be the only position I could manage.

Fortunately, I’ve had tons of improvement with healing from labor and birth, but I’m not ready to jump into my normal fitness routine quite yet. In the past week, we’ve managed 30 minute walks with far less pain and discomfort than before. I’m happy to say all is on the up-swing on the recovery front!

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1 Week Postpartum (left) vs a few days after birth (right)

During the course of my pregnancy, I had gained almost 25 lbs. Though not a concern if mine,  I lost all of my pregnancy weight in the first few weeks, likely with the help of breastfeeding & the consistency of workouts before birth. I even worked out the day before Valerie was born!

41 weeks pregnant, the last bump picture the day before Valerie was born!

My birth story is not a fun one, so I’m hesitant to share. But I think I’ll be ready to publish in a few days. I just don’t want to scare any soon-to-be moms, because your little one is worth it, I promise!

For now, I can’t promise daily posts as we continue to adjust to life as a family of 3. But I’m excited to continue to share our new lives with you all!

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Snuggles with Valerie

Pizza Party; Weekend+End of Week in Review

varuni_us_smGood evening and hello – long time no post, I know.

I’ve been a bit busy with working and spring cleaning but you haven’t missed much… except some yummy pizza, workouts, lots of walking, & not so fun cleaning.

Thursday – Work followed by a patio party hosted by Scoutmob varunipizza_wr_smat Varuni Napoli

in Midtown Atlanta, near the Ansley Mall area/Piedmont Park. This place offers outstanding and authentic Neapolitan pizzas; they even import their flour, olive oil, olives, some cured meats, tomatoes, and buffalo mozzarella (my favorite!). Seasonal produce & herbs are fresh and locally sourced, and the dough is naturally fermented. If you couldn’t tell, I’m in love with real Italian pizza & their One Year Anniversary Patio Party was a perfect opportunity to sample more of their pizzas & handcrafted drinks.

varunitrees_smThe evening was fun – plenty of pizza choices and lots of eager people to feed. We slightly wished we had not stayed on the patio once the sun lowered due to some pesky gnats, but we still didn’t regret our time there. The pizza (and apps+meatballs!) were plentiful, the drinks were refreshing (I mean, how unique is an Arugula spritzer!?), and it just reinforced the fact that Varuni Napoli is one of my favorite pizza spots in town ever.varuni_gift_sm

Also, check out the view when we looked up! Trees and cute lights strung above! Gorgeous, and very romantic come sunset! We also got a unique little gift bag with a red pepper stitched on (right) before we left along with a perfect cannoli, which is one of my favorite desserts, hands down. <3


Friday brought more work, cleaning

& a sweaty buddy workout with Jeremy & a friend. After a walk to the gym and a warm-up, the workout consisted of:
060615_sleeeeed4 Rounds: 5 Chin-ups (from full range of motion, dead hang), 2 “sled” pushes, 100 mountain climbers (50 per leg), and 10 Thrusters (I used 20 lb dumbbells- a weight that was safe but challenging in reps 9, 10). This one left some puddles of sweat from all of us.

So our “real” push sled was stolen from our gym late last year. I was super bummed out because sled sprints are one of my favorite things to include in workouts. Well, my genius husband decided to put a plate on a Bosu ball to push across the turf strip… and voila! We have our “sled;” it’s not quite the same but definitely gets the job done (and may be even harder!) 😉


Saturday– Jeremy & I walked a lot! The FIFA Champions League final

060715_citywalkingwas scheduled so we decided to walk a couple miles to Taco Mac Metropolis to catch the Juventus vs Barcelona matchup. I actually wanted Juventus to win – they put up a great fight but in the end, missed too many chances & sailed too many shots over the goal. Oh well… Barca wins again but at least I can respect Messi as one of the best footballers to have ever graced the field. We put in a few miles walking, and check out the sunshine in my city <3


Today i woke up early (couldn’t stay asleep) and got a cardio/sprint session in. What else would i do?

060715_pool_smAfter breakfast, Jeremy & I spent about 45 minutes by the pool before a grocery run and Goodwill stop to drop of some of the crap stuff we dug up while cleaning.  Afterwards, I snuck in a leg workout (deadlifts, weighted step-ups, and lunges) before getting this post finished.

Confession… I actually sneaked in some relaxing pool+reading times on multiple occasions this week (I know, shame on me for not using my downtime to update sooner). Don’t worry, I have a few things in store for the upcoming week. I’ve also just finished trying all of the Krush bar flavors I got to try, so the review is coming up soon!


Do you have any gym trade-offs/tricks that worked for you when you didn’t have the right equipment available to do the exercise(s) you wanted to do? What are your go to workouts/exercises?

Aight, I am  to watch the NBA game, hope everyone has enjoyed their weekend, too!

20 Questions Tuesday

060215sunsetGood evening!

Can we take a moment to admire the gorgeousness of the sunset in Midtown Atlanta, tonight? Alright, done? Good! So I found a fun 20 Questions survey that I thought would be fun to share. Hope you enjoy!

1) What is one of your favorite ways to spend a Saturday?

  • playing soccer games!
  • working out with Jeremy (love our buddy workouts)
  • reading by the pool in the summer

2) List your top three favorite TV shows.

  • The Vikings (History Channel)
  • Archer
  • Family Guy

3) Would you rather be in pictures or take them?

Take them, but it’s fun when someone else has the camera every once in a while. I always forget to get photos of Jeremy & I when we are out.

4) Why do you blog?

It gives me a place to put some of my creative energy to use, and I can both keep track of & share the things I try with people who may be interested!

5) Share five websites that you visit regularly…

  • Suppversity
  • WordPress hah
  • Weather channel (does the phone app count?)
  • Pulse reader
  • Facebook

6) If you could have lunch with one two persons from your Twitter list who would it be? 😉

@ProfDrAndro – Adel Moussa of Suppversity. A genius regarding things fitness & nutrition.

also … Ingrid Visser (@orcaingrid) – she researches & swims with the killer whales in New Zealand

7) List a few of your favorite snacks.

  • organic cream top yogurts, especially from Kalona
  • candied ginger
  • beef jerky
  • Quest bars

8 ) Do you have a pet? If so, what kind?My brother's German Shepherd

My husband counts, I swear! We don’t, but one day when we have the space and a yard, I’d love a German Shepherd like my brother’s.

9) Which three material possessions would you struggle to live without?

Cintiq tablet, my Canon Digital Rebel, and mascara.

10) What’s your favorite drink?

Kombucha and Hot teas of all sorts. Alcoholic? Beer – I enjoy a good craft beer (like Dogfish Head Indian Brown – one of my favorites)

dinner_05021511) Do you enjoy cooking?

Yes, but my cooking tends to be random and experimental! (for example, my dinner of taco seasoned ground lamb, red lentil/rice/quinoa mash, guac, plantain chips, and stir fried okra. haha. (Pictured Left)

12) Do you have children?

None, but plan to in the future. Continue reading

Trader Joe’s Haul/Favorites this May

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Good afternoon – I’m typing this up as I’m watching some dark rain clouds and storms roll across Atlanta. It’s making me feel a little tired because it looks so much later outside than it actually is! That’s alright though, because it gives me an excuse to stay inside and finish my post.

Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip – simply delicious. I’m a fan of Greek yogurt based dips, and this one has been a weekly staple in the fridge. Great for a quick post workout snack on the plantain chips, carrots, tortilla chips, crackers… you name it!

raw milk Cheddar Cheese – this is also a go to for Jeremy & I. We like to eat it melted on eggs, on burgers, or just cuts slices and eating them plain while we are prepping dinner. I also like the fact that it is unpasteurized, meaning many of beneficial factors, including probiotics, are left intact. I won’t do a write up on some of the research I’ve found right now, but you can read more about raw milk and allergy prevention here, http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749%2811%2901234-6/abstract or find a more general write-up here: http://www.drdeborahmd.com/health-benefits-raw-milk . I’m not sure how “raw” the milk actually is, but I can taste a difference.

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TJ’s Roasted Plantain Chips and Chunky Spicy Guacamole– Basic and perfect for potato chip cravings. Slightly thicker than a typical potato chip with just the right amount of salt. I dip these in salsa, the TJ’s Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip, or eat them straight from the bag. The Guac is not really spicy at all, but delicious and fresh tasting!

tjfruit)052615_smDried fruits – I am not a fan of over-sweetened dried fruits, as I think that the sugar already in the fruits is sweet enough; why add more sugar? That’s why I love some of the dried fruit options at TJ’s. My current favorite is probably the TJ’s Dried Persimmons, which have 6 grams of fiber per serving. I just discovered fresh persimmons last year & have trouble finding them, especially now that they are out of season. These make a perfect sweet snack, along with the Dried Unsweetened Just Mango slices, which remind me of a healthier version of the flattened fruit snacks I enjoyed as a kid.

Stockyard Otj_beer_052615atmeal Stout – Jeremy’s pick, but I love it too, even in the summer – it may seem to go against the popular summer beer choices, but this stout is refreshing. A solid 6 pack for $6.99 – really hard to beat and I put it “up there” on my list as one of my favorite stouts.

Ancient Grains Pizza – We love this pizza and try to have one in the freezer for nights when we are low on time or short on groceries; for $4.99, this pizza is a perfect option for minimal food prep. We just preheat the oven, bake for 12-14 minutes,

tj_pizza_052615and BAM – a great meal option. There are 3 servings, each with a bonus 5 grams of fiber with your pizza fix. The crust has a great texture and I love that you can tell there are whole grains in there.

Alright, off to the gym and to pick up Jeremy from work! I had fun with this post, but please feel free to leave feedback if I missed any details, if you have questions, or just want more posts like this!

-HD

First post; a quick tabata

First, I want to share a quick photo of the awesome storm that rolled through Atlanta last night. No damage here, but some awesome looking clouds!

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Since I am between semesters, the past couple of weeks have been mostly dedicated to some needed stress relief (including workouts!), a vacation to Pensacola, and some lab research hours thrown in here and there.

Today I was still sore from Jeremy and I’s two soccer games this past Saturday & Sunday, but decided a quick run to the gym and mostly upper body tabata would be ideal. I did a quick bench press strength lift, then I proceeded to do the following tabata with Jeremy:

Arms Afire Tabata – 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 8 rounds of each exercise, 32 rounds total

  • Ring rows – as close to parallel with the floor as possible
  • Toes to Bar – slow and full range of motion
  • Burpees – full push up and tuck jump
  • Kettlebell Swings – 35 lb for me, alternating between single arm and double arm

Left me with a decent burn, for sure! Followed this with a cool down walk home and a lunch of eggs and homemade marshmallows.

Now I’m off to do work for a client, with a little more energy thanks to this morning’s quick sweat. Let me know if you try the work out. Jeremy and I rotated through the exercises so that we both started and ended with something different.

-HD