Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Cupcakes n Crunches

Sunsets, Sandals and Salty Air

Posted by on Apr 8, 2015 in Family Fun, Trips | 6 comments

Last week we traded in our snow boots for sandals and took a break from the freezing northern temperatures and our every day work routine to head to San Juan for a vacation filled with spectacular sunsets and salty air. It was glorious. It was good for my soul.

IMG_8661We stayed at the Ritz Carlton and as always, their customer service exceeded our expectations. Dave and I were greeted with drinks {a virgin cocktail was made for this pregnant mama) and Atlas was given balloons, a stuffed animal and a pair of sunglasses upon our arrival. The resort’s property was a bit small, but it still made for the perfect home away from home.

DSC_3491It was Atlas’ first time seeing the beach and let me just tell you; We found that kid’s Heaven. When he saw the ocean for the first time he took off running as fast as he could straight into the waves, giggling the whole way down the beach and screaming “waaaa waaaa”. ←his way of saying ‘water.’ It was such a sweet moment and one I hope to never forget.

IMG_8742He is definitely a little fish and so for 6  days we alternated between playing in the ocean and swimming in the pool. He was absolutely fearless when it came to the water, which made for such fun memories.

IMG_8782

DSC_3629Atlas actually slept surprisingly well in our hotel room (although it was a little tricky getting him to fall asleep at night in a new environment). We woke up each morning around 8am (except for one morning Atlas slept until almost 10am…and all God’s people said, “Amen!”), immediately threw on our bathing suits and headed out for the entire day. We enjoyed breakfast outside every morning before going directly to the pool/beach where we stayed until about 5pm each day.

Beach_Baby

IMG_8823Atlas napped outside every day, usually falling asleep on me or in his stroller. He would literally play until he couldn’t hold his eyes open anymore and fall asleep within seconds once he stopped moving.

IMG_8665It has been months since Atlas has fallen asleep on me. Trying to rock that boy to sleep is like trying to wrestle with a greased pig. It’s actually a little dangerous because he flails about so wildly. I seriously worry he will break my nose in his thrashing efforts. So, him sleeping on me in the afternoons was like my own little piece of Heaven because it was such a special treat to have him so calm and relaxed in my arms.

Beach_BoysDave’s work schedule has been pretty intense the last several weeks and it was terrific to see him disconnect (as much as he could) and just soak up time with Atlas and me. Dave & Atlas adore each other and I know one of the best parts of the vacation for them was just having so much quality time together.

DSC_3651Everything about the trip was wonderful. We had perfect weather. Atlas was happy all day long. He actually traveled great – he played on the iPad and with a water bottle for most of the flight. The food was delicious. I’m so thankful for the time we got as a family and the memories we made. The only things missing were Ob & Marley.

DSC_3516In the spirit of transparency, I will say our evenings were rough because Atlas gets very cranky and irritable when he’s tired. After being in the sun all day he was totally spent, which meant dinnertime was meltdown central. We had that kid at dinner – you know, the kid that is sitting at the table next to you screaming and throwing silverware and it makes you want to skip dessert (okay, fine – get it to go – let’s not be crazy) and leave immediately to call your doctor to have your tubes tied? Yeah. We had that kid at night. I’m confident we may have ruined a night or 2 of a honeymoon for some poor couple sitting across from us. We rolled with it though and decided after 2 failed dinners out that room service was the way to go. We would get Atlas dressed and take him down to the beach to play while we watched the sunset in the evenings and then we would eat dinner in our room on our bed and he was happy as a clam. I’m not complaining though – room service in your pj’s ain’t all bad. But vacationing with a toddler definitely has it’s drawbacks, I guess.

IMG_8757We are back home now and while I’m so grateful to be in my own bed with my dogs and have Atlas in his own crib, I am missing San Juan. Mainly the sunshine and salty air. It is 45 degrees here today and that is about 30 degrees too cold for April.

Now, the countdown is on though. Less than 12 weeks to go until we meet our baby girl! Unless, of course, she’s late. That’s a very real possibility since I struggle with time management and I think that’s genetic, no?

Bikini Bottom Workout

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 in Circuit Workouts | 1 comment

I’ve been meaning to share this workout on the blog for a few weeks now. I almost titled it, “The Last Workout” because it was the last workout I did before having my exercise routine restricted for the sake of this pregnancy. But “The Last Workout” just sounds sort of ominous, doesn’t it?

Bikini_Bottom_CircuitI can’t wait until I’m able to really push my body again. I’ll be revisiting this circuit in hopes of toning up fast, once this chick I’m carrying hatches. It is a killer on the booty…hence, the bikini bottom name. If you’re searching for exercises to make those bikini bottoms fit just right for summer, I definitely suggest giving this one a go. Those surrender squats are no joke.

Here are some links to a few of the exercises, in case you’re unfamiliar with them.

After taking almost a month to rest, I’m feeling much better and I have started walking and doing some (very) light exercises this week. I miss running, but I’ll be grateful if I can continue with long walks for the last 13(ish) weeks of this pregnancy! 3rd trimester, here we come!

Oh, and if you need motivation to complete the above workout, buy some cupcakes from Baked by Melissa.  They are the most adorable little cupcakes you’ve ever seen and because they are bite size, you can eat 24 of them and it only counts as like 2 cupcakes. Dave brought home 2 boxes for me on Wednesday night. Don’t ask me how many are left. Also, they ship nationwide. You’re welcome.

 

 

All the Fruity Things

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Smoothies, Sprinkles | 1 comment

The euphoric feeling that overtakes me when I stroll the Easter candy aisles at Target is actually hard to describe. I’m like a kid in a candy shop (sorry – couldn’t resist that pun).

Easter_CandyI finally realized I timed this pregnancy perfectly. I’ve been craving all the fruity/gummy/sour candy since getting knocked up and what better time to buy candy than Easter? There’s currently 4 aisles filled with Easter candy at Target and that’s been my happy place the last few weeks. I snagged a few bags of these starburst jelly beans last week and I suggest you do the same. If you find the sweet and sour starburst jelly beans, get those too. Trust me. And while we are discussing jelly beans, can I just tell you that Atlas can enjoy 1 jelly bean for 25 minutes. ONE! It takes him longer to consume 1 jelly bean than it does for me to consume the entire bag. And he only likes the blue ones (or as he calls them “boooo”).

Since my fruit cravings are going strong, I’ve been infusing fruit into my water.

Fruit_Infused_WaterStrawberry + watermelon + lime + ice + water = the taste of summer. I think this would also be delicious with mint added in.

Since I’ve been loving the fruit flavored water, I purchased this sparkling water on a whim from Whole Foods and I was surprised by how much I love it.

Watermelon_waterIt is sweet, but not overly sweet. And I actually like the fizz (I don’t normally like bubbly things). It makes me feel fancy. It also sort of reminds me of a cocktail. That should tell you how long it has been since I’ve had a proper cocktail.

And while we’re talking fruity liquids, I’ve got a smoothie recipe you should try.

Green_Machine

  • 1 banana
  • 1 green apple, chopped (I leave the skin on)
  • 1 handful spinach
  • juice of half a lemon
  • cold water

Throw all that in a blender and voila! You’ve got a sweet and tangy green smoothie. Atlas actually drank some of this, so it is kid approved. I wake up in the morning craving this. Well, this and jelly beans.

Before I sign off, I want to show you these flowers Dave got me last weekend. I love seeing all the IG pictures of fresh flowers people are posting lately so I couldn’t resist sharing a picture of these when they showed up in my house.

FlowersAren’t they gorgeous? From time to time, Dave will surprise me with chocolate or candy (because rule #1 is know your audience – duh), but this week he changed it up and brought home flowers. I can’t get over how pretty they are and every time my eye catches them, I smile. They remind me that spring is coming…and that I married a marvelous man. :)

 

Things the Baby Books Didn’t Tell Me

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Baby Atlas, Motherhood | 8 comments

I’m in the process of creating a baby book for Atlas. I’ve been sifting through thousands of photos  in hopes of picking just a few of our favorite moments with Atlas to highlight in a custom made book. It is amazing to me how much he has changed in less than 2 years. How much our lives have changed. How much my heart has changed. Being Atlas’ mom is such a beautiful balance of work and wonderful.

DSC_2874Looking at pictures of Atlas as a newborn obviously made me think of the journey we are about to embark on yet again when our baby girl arrives in June. I remember how scared and unsure I was when we left the hospital with Atlas. I found the whole experience quite terrifying, despite all the baby books/blogs/websites I devoured in the weeks leading up to his arrival. The reality is no book can totally prepare you for parenthood. Today I thought about what I wish I would have known back then. I thought about what I would tell myself if I could go back in time and what I will tell myself in June when I start over with a brand new baby and I start navigating life with 2 babies under 2 years old.

Things the Baby Books Didn’t Tell Me

  1. Stock up on the mesh undies the hospital gives you. Seriously, stuff them all in your suitcase. 2 week’s worth. Yes, they are hideous. Yes, they are worse than your mama’s swimmin’ trunks…worse than granny panties. But you’re going to want them. Actually, you’re going to need them. Disposable underwear for the win! Oh, and while we are on the general subject – you won’t be able to walk home from the hospital like you planned, but I promise you’ll walk normal again. In fact, you’ll even run again – faster than you ever ran before.
  2. Preparing your heart for motherhood is as important as preparing a nursery. Get off Pinterest and pick up your Bible. When you’re bouncing a colicky baby around at 1am you’re going to need a whole lot of Jesus. Spend more time trying to line your heart up with scripture and less time obsessing over getting that perfect Instagram photo of the new nursery decor. Your baby needs a mother who is overflowing with God’s love more than they need the best decorated crib. IMG_5944
  3. Don’t forget who you are. When you lose yourself, your entire family loses. You need you. Your husband needs you. Make time for yourself. Don’t feel guilty for leaving the baby with your husband while you go for a run or go out alone for an hour or 2 just to breathe. If you don’t carve out regular time for yourself you will wind up alone in a Starbucks at 9pm on more than 1 occasion sobbing into your latte. Trust me on this.
  4. Do what feels right. Read all the baby books, but in the end you have to do what feels right to you. If co-sleeping feels right for your family, do it. If the crying it out method suits you, go for it. If rocking your baby to sleep when they are 3 years old is your thing, then do that and own it. Trust your gut.
  5. Not every moment is magical. You won’t bond with your baby every minute of every day. Life with a newborn doesn’t always look like a Pampers commercial. Actually, it rarely does. It is messy and exhausting and it is okay if you don’t enjoy every second of the ride. Lower your expectations just a bit.
  6. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Cut yourself some slack. There isn’t actually a mom-of-the-year award so you can drop the super woman act. You won’t be able to run 8 miles, have a six pack, shower, do your hair AND make-up, read your Bible, cuddle your baby, walk the dogs, clean the house, make a gourmet meal for your husband, write that freelance project and research ways to help your baby talk before they turn 6 months old every day. In fact, you won’t be able to do a quarter of that. And that’s okay. Prioritize. Do what you can and forget the rest (except the shower – try to squeeze that one in everyday). Comparison kills contentment. Don’t try to look like a Victoria’s Secret model, cook like Ina Garten and organize like Martha Stewart. Do the best YOU can do and be proud of that.
  7. This too shall pass. Whatever you and your baby are going through together, remember – it is just a phase! The colic demon will eventually leave your house. Your baby will eventually sleep through the night. Breastfeeding will get easier. That tooth eventually pops through and your happy baby returns. Everything – the good and the bad – will pass…almost in the blink of an eye…almost. i-BRjmnF4-M
  8. You’re not alone. Every new parent is clueless. You’re not inadequate. You’re not stupid. You’re normal. Every new mom feels unprepared.
  9. Create a home filled with laughter, not perfection. Your life will never be perfect. Your baby won’t be perfect. Your house won’t be perfect. You won’t be the perfect mother. Embrace the chaos and laugh it off.
  10. Let your husband be right. There is more than 1 right way to do things when it comes to babies. Let your husband help and let him do some things his way. He may not pick out the perfect outfit or hold the baby exactly how you do, but that’s okay. He has a relationship to build with his child too and he has to find his own groove. IMG_3220

To all my mom readers: If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself after having a baby?

Albion Fit Giveaway!

Posted by on Mar 13, 2015 in Sprinkles | 6 comments

It is no secret that I live in gym clothes. I’m not proud of that (but I’m also not as embarrassed by it as I probably should be). I’m officially done with running for the remainder of this pregnancy. Not running is hard, but I know my running shoes will be waiting for me at the end of summer. I think the hardest thing about not running is figuring out what to wear each day when I don’t begin  it with a run. When I don’t start my day in gym clothes, I tend to stare deep into my closet for long periods of time wondering what the heck to put on. I suppose normal people reach for jeans, but since my day involves chasing Atlas around I prefer something more comfortable…but I don’t want to wear my running clothes if I’m not running because that just feels like a horrible tease. Add in my growing belly and my refusal to buy maternity clothes, and you’ve got yourself a wardrobe predicament (#firstworldproblems).

Enter Albion Fit.

DSC_3420

I recently discovered Albion Fit via Instagram. After perusing their website, I decided to order some clothes because they looked comfortable, flattering, and stretchy! I ordered the go long crew with thumbholes in mint along with a pair of the petal pants.

From the moment I put the clothes on, I was in love.

DSC_3426They are as comfortable as my workout clothes (and dare I even say my pajamas), but they are truly beautiful and feminine pieces. The ruffles on the pants are so delicate and the shirt is very flattering, even on a pregnant belly. I love that the shirt is long. Even though it isn’t a ‘maternity’ shirt, it still covers my entire torso comfortably.

DSC_3359

I made a comment to Dave that it was the most comfortable shirt I owned and because he’s a true gem, he surprised me with 2 more of the go long crew shirts in different colors. They are practically all I’m wearing these days. He also surprised me with these glacier sweat pants and I’ve got to be honest – I’m not a sweat pants sort of girl. I find them to be generally unflattering and unattractive on my barely 5’4 frame, but I am living in the glacier sweat pants because they are gorgeous! They are fitted at the bottom, which I think gives them a more tailored look.  They are perfect for running errands around NYC with Atlas.

11058484_10205181501910795_3496481300997144416_nMoral of the story: I have yet to receive something from Albion Fit that I didn’t instantly love.

Giveaway!

And now YOU and a friend have a chance to win my favorite go long crew from Albion Fit!

When the opportunity arose to partner with Albion Fit for a giveaway I jumped at it because I wanted to share the love with you guys. You and a friend can win the go long crew shirt in the rust color.

DSC_3355

The rust (pictured above) is a nectarine orange in color. I think the color is perfect for those early spring days that require light layering because it is so bright, but the tone is still warm enough to pair with a blanket scarf in September and October.

To enter the giveaway, first go to Instagram and follow Albion Fit (@albionfit). Next, go to my account (@ashleyandrews6) and find the most recent post detailing the giveaway and leave a comment tagging a friend who you would also like to see win the Albion Fit shirt. The giveaway will close Monday morning at 9am and I will announce the winner, along with their tagged friend, Monday night!

In the meantime, check out their swimsuit collection. We are heading to Puerto Rico at the end of this month and I’m currently lusting after these suits…

albion_fit_swimTheir strawberry daiquiri suit is supposed to transition well into a maternity suit, so I’m thinking that may wind up in my suitcase to the Caribbean. What do you think about pregnant chicks rocking bikinis – Yay or nay? I’m on the fence. Part of me wants to stick with a tankini for the duration of the pregnancy, but part of me wants to let the baby bump hang out in all its glory.

Thanks for reading, friends! I hope you have a fabulous weekend and good luck in the giveaway. And don’t worry – since you just got more photos of me in 1 post than you probably care to see in a year, I’ll refrain from posting anymore bump pictures for a while. ;)

A huge thanks to Albion Fit too for hosting such an amazing giveaway! I’m truly honored to partner with such a fabulous company!

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Motherhood, pregnancy | 5 comments

We finally announced that we are welcoming a baby GIRL into the world this summer!

its_a_girl

I’m already dreaming of a beautiful trunk filled with dress up clothes, tea parties and easy bake ovens (OMG – I get to own another easy bake oven! Almost as exciting as the baby girl herself!). I cannot wait to see her little face in June. I can’t wait to see Atlas when he sees her for the first time since he loves babies (although he may not love her quite as much initially when he learns he must share with her). She already has Dave wrapped around her finger and she’s not even out of the womb yet. Dave is all, “Did you eat today? My baby girl needs to eat.” Pretty sure he’s referring to the fetus inside me when he says that because he’s never questioned my food intake before. And he’s already purchased a ridiculous amount of clothes for her. Yeah. You read that right. He’s buying all the pink things. It’s adorable. We pretty much can’t stop buying all the pink Kissy Kissy baby sleepers. Obsessed.

Baby_Girl

This pregnancy hasn’t been a walk in the park, but my heart is grateful that soon we will be “Andrews, party of 6.” Obviously, Ob & Marley get counted in that.

I’m back on bed rest temporarily so I can let some ligaments heal. Turns out, shoveling snow, running sprints, moving furniture and wrestling with dogs all while carrying a 30 pound baby boy aren’t the best activities for a pregnant chick. While some of the above is obviously a slight exaggeration for humor’s sake, I definitely overdid it on the activity the last several weeks and ended up in the hospital. Honestly, I never felt like my workouts were too strenuous (I always stopped when I felt ‘off’) but I think my daily life was just too active and strenuous (I never stop throwing Atlas in the air – as long as he’s giggling, I power through). Thankfully God stopped me in my tracks before I went into early labor. But, I’m confident (as are the doctors) that I will heal and be up and running again in no time if I rest now. Technically, I won’t be running until after this baby girl arrives because my ligaments can’t handle that but I’m hoping for lots of long walks once the weather turns better. The resting part is hard for me, but I’m so thankful we have help this go around. Our neighbor is watching Atlas until my mother in law arrives this week to help. I initially didn’t plan on adhering to the doctor’s prescription for temporary bed rest (because who has time for that?) but when I insinuated that temporary bed rest didn’t fit into my lifestyle she was quick to tell me that if I keep doing what I’m doing I won’t be able to carry this baby full term and if my pelvic bones separate any farther I won’t be able to walk until the baby comes. She obviously won that battle. And just to be sure my stubborn butt stayed in bed, God slapped me with a sinus infection 2 days later. Message received.

So, here we are. This obviously isn’t ideal but it isn’t nearly as traumatizing as HG was. And the fact that I know I only have to do this for a few weeks makes it bearable. I’ve been wearing a brace recommended by the doctor and it has already helped reduce the pain in my lower abdomen. We are hoping to go on a sunny vacation at the end of March so I’m determined to rest as much as possible now so we are able to travel! There’s a beach chair somewhere down south with this mama’s name all over it.

And while we are talking babies, here are some other {random} pregnancy related things:

  • I’m craving Krispy Kreme hot donuts. Like, I go to bed thinking about them and I wake up at 5am thinking about them. We don’t have Krispy Kreme up here though. I’m guessing that’s a good thing.
  • I’m also craving Bonefish’s Bang Bang shrimp, Publix subs, a Dr Berk from my favorite sandwich shop in Jacksonville and Outback’s cheese fries. Basically all things that cannot be found where I live. The cravings with this pregnancy are intense. Baby girl knows what she wants!
  • Dave went out in a snow storm the other day for ice cream. Only, the ice cream wasn’t for his pregnant wife. It was for him. I am almost having an aversion to ice cream. I don’t crave it like I used to. I want so badly to want it. I ordered $15 worth of ice cream last week and I can’t eat it. It is like once it gets in my freezer, it no longer appeals to me. But Dave? He ate a whole pint in 1 sitting this weekend. I was proud. It is like he is carrying the torch for me.
  • When I’m holding Atlas and the baby kicks he looks at me and says, “No, no” if he can feel it. He doesn’t like it.
  • I am finally starting a baby book for Atlas. It’s my bed rest project. Nothing like waiting 17 months to get on that. I’m doing it through Snapfish. I think. Unless you tell me a better idea.
  • Real pregnancy fear: I’m starting to worry I won’t love this baby like I love Atlas. I know I will. I know it. But I just can’t imagine it because Atlas seems to have taken up my entire heart. My heart will explode this summer. I’m sure of it. I just keep reminding myself that I’m my parents’ favorite and I’m the 3rd child, so obviously it is possible for me to love this next baby a whole lot. And if my sisters are reading this – I’m totally kidding. Mom and Dad have never actually said the words that I’m the favorite. ;)

Any nosey baby questions you have? Ask away. I’m not good at the baby updates because 1) this is my second child so I’m busy caring for the first and my life is a blur and 2) I have no idea what people really care to know.