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2018 – The Year of Focus

FOCUS. This is my word for 2018. As I sit down to write this post, I realize January is already passing by quickly. 2018 is off to fiery start and I feel myself feeling like I am drowning in my to-do list and all the things I want to accomplish. I wrote this post earlier this year talking about keeping focus. After re-reading the post, it inspired me to chose focus as my intention for 2018. It’s so easy to get distracted with everything going on in life and to spread yourself thin trying to do it all. Focus on the task I am on or the moment that is happening. I plan on working to minimize my distractions and allow myself to be fully present this year. This is going to require me to put my phone down much more. People can say what they want about social media but it has brought so much positivity in my life. I have made real life friends, felt connected on days I only talk to a toddler and been inspired to continue living my best life from these tiny squares of Instagram. However, this year I’m focusing on my family more and hoping to put my phone away a little more.

Even with focus as an intention for 2018, I did want to list out a few goals I have for myself. My list of goals is extremely long but I am focusing on a select list this year.

  1. Obtain another Pilates certification – I obtained my Level One certification with Peak Pilates in 2015. Currently, I teach one group reformer class weekly and a few private reformer sessions out of my house. Pilates truly changed my life and I hope to keep learning more. Honestly, I wish I would not have obtained my certification with Peak Pilates. I learned so much but don’t feel like the support after the training was worth the money I spent for the training.
  2. Try one new recipe each week – Meal planning is one of my least favorite tasks. We eat at home almost every night so this task I don’t love ends up taking up a lot of my time. Amazon Fresh pick-up and delivery has been a life savor for me. I am able to order and pickup groceries without ever leaving my house or getting out of the car.
  3. Grow my social media presence on Facebook and Pinterest – I spend most of my time on Instagram but want to grow my numbers on Facebook and Pinterest. At the end of the day, I really hope to inspire other moms to live a healthy and adventurous lifestyle. Connecting with my followers is the reason I getting putting work into my blog and social media presence.
  4. BE PRESENT – This goal isn’t exactly measurable but I’m putting it on the list. I want to look back 5 years from now and remember how great these days were with my boys! Living in the moment is important to me this year.

I also wanted to share my happy space at home. This is my office and home Pilates studio. During nap times and late at night, I escape to this place while also teaching a few privates each week. I recently added a diffuser to the space from Saje Wellness. I’m a little late to the world of diffusing essential oils but they really are a life changer. This diffuser is going when I’m working out or trying to get some computer work done in this space.

 

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Office Chair // Office Desk (similar) // Bookshelf (similar) // Saje Wellness Diffuser // Saje Wellness Diffusing Blends  // Live Localish Leggings // Letter Board

 

 

 

 

Staying Active into the New Year

As the holidays and end of 2017 comes to a close, I am hoping to get some time to sit down and reflect on all the memories from the past year. I love taking a few minutes to see what all we accomplished over the last year and use it for ideas to set intentions for the New Year.

New Years Eve is a lot different than it used to be. There is no more getting all dressed up and going out but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My ideal New Years Eve would be with close friends and family at a cabin in the mountains. Not this year — we will be home and likely won’t even make it to midnight. Good thing we can celebrate with the East coast at 9pm when the ball drops in Times Square!

Since we were blessed with a magical white Christmas and didn’t get out for our Christmas Day hike, we are planning to try for a New Years Day hike or a family run by the water. Running is always better when you have gorgeous scenery like these photos down by Golden Gardens. One thing I have learned over the last year with two little ones is have a plan but be prepared to go with the flow. The plan we envision never becomes reality but somehow the memories we make end up better than that plan we made!!

I’m sharing a few ideas on how to be active on New Years Eve or New Years Days:

  1. Hike – hiking is free and gets you outside!
  2. Go for run or walk – Another inexpensive way to get fresh air and get the heart rate up.
  3. Sign up for a workout class — I personally recommend a Barre3 if you have studio near you!
  4. Home workout — find a service online like CodyApp and stream a video.  You don’t even have to leave the house.
  5. Find a sport you love and make it competitive with family – I am sure we will create more family traditions around sports as the boys get older.

Hope this motivates you to have an active New Years Eve and New Years Day! Start the new year off right!! Make it fun!!

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A Holiday Wish List for the Wellness Minded Mama

Fly-By Hoodie // Ghost Crop // Go-To Tank // PureFlow 6 Shoes

Instead of doing Holiday gift guides this year, I put together some of my favorite products centered around fitness and wellness. I am calling it “A Holiday Wish List for the Wellness Minded Mama.” These products are from some of my favorite companies including Brooks Running, Terez, Alala, Saje Natural Wellness and more.

Holiday Activewear Favorites

 

Athletic Shoes

As an active Mom and Pilates instructor, I spend most of my days wearing athletic shoes.  Brooks Running is my go-to brand for shoes. They are Seattle based, produce the best running shoes in the market, and put a focus on giving back to the community. Recently, they partnered with UNICEF to help benefit some of the world’s most vulnerable children and you can read more about it here.

 

Wellness Products

I love companies that strive to help you feel better naturally. Saje Natural Wellness products contain pure ingredients and are free of parabens, petrochemicals, synthetic colors and artificial fragrances. If you haven’t heard of this Canadian company, you can thank me later.

Wellness products in photo:

Saje Pocket Farmacy: This cute travel case consists of Saje’s top five essential oil roll-ons. You can use them to help you feel better naturally whether you have a headache, stomach issues, sore throat or need something to help you relax.

Saje Silence Candle: I love to burn candles in the winter and this one smells heavenly. We don’t have a diffuser in our living room (YET) so this helps set the mood in the evening.

Saje Unwind Face & Body Mist: I use this spray after all my home workouts. It helps to restore a sense of balance with its blend of essential oils. It instantly makes me feels refreshed & relaxed.  Hopefully, Saje will open a retail location in Seattle sometime soon!!!

 

My Favorite Fitness Accessories

My Favorite Nursing Sports Bras
I wear my Bravado Designs Nursing sports bra the most and it works under non-activewear too.
XOThree is the nursing sports bra I will continue wearing past my nursing days! Some of their bras are on promotion until December 9th and you can get an additional 10% off using code SARAHBG10.
Cadenshae is another company with cute nursing & postpartum activewear. I am wearing the Smoothie Crop below.
HAPPY HOLIDAY SHOPPING!!!!

Soccer Shots Seattle – Fall Season 2017

Sports were an important part of mine and my husband’s life growing up. My husband played tennis in college, coached as a graduate assistant in law school and is back in sports with his career.  We certainly don’t want to force our kids to play sports but want them to be exposed to as many sports as possible. We will let our children decide what sports they want to continue playing as they get older. Hopefully, they will share our love of playing and watching sports.

Logan started Soccer Shots this Fall and this Saturday morning ritual has been one the family looks forward to every week.  Logan learned and loves to say toe-tap, toe-touch and airplane when he sees a soccer ball.  Most importantly, Soccer Shots has helped Logan learn to listen and follow directions.

I can not say enough great things about Coach Victor and Soccer Shots Seattle. Ryan was working a lot of practice mornings. I was there solo, baby wearing an infant, and attempting to get Logan to listen. Logan normally lost all attention span at the 20 minute mark and Coach Victor ended up carrying him around the remainder of the time.The practices last thirty minutes and that is the perfect amount of time for this age.

 

ENJOY SOME VIDEO CLIPS FROM THE SEASON:

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Deception Pass & Whidbey Island Day Trip

Rain, wind, and more rain is the best way to describe late Fall and Winter days in the Pacific Northwest. Our day trip to Deception Pass and Whidbey Island was a typical Pacific Northwest winter day.

We left the house early Sunday morning and headed north for the one hour and a half drive to Deception Pass State Park. If you haven’t been to Deception Pass, you need to put this on your list. Deception Pass is simply breathtaking and has amazing Pacific Northwest views. You don’t even have to hike for the views. We drove across the bridge and parked in the first parking lot after entering onto Whidbey Island. We took the short .3 mile trail down to North Beach. It was a fairly easy hike but all downhill. Once we got down the beach, we noticed there was parking lot. Later we learned this road was currently closed but it’s good to know for the future you can drive to the beach area.

After our short hike to North Beach, we headed back up the hill to the car. At this point, it was pouring. We got back into the car and starting driving towards Coupevillle. The main entrance to Deception Pass State Park was just a little further down the road. We did a quick drive-thru and decided West Beach would be another stop for us in the future.

Next up was lunch. We stopped to eat at Christopher’s in Coupeville and it was delicious. Ryan couldn’t get enough of the Penn Cove mussels. The prices were reasonable and the chocolate mousse dessert was more than a healthy serving — enough for four to share. Coupeville is an adorable little town. If it had not been pouring rain, we would have explored more.

Our last stop was Fort Casey State park. We spotted deer on the way in and Logan was officially on a deer hunt the rest of the day. It was soooo windy and cold when we got out to explore but at least the rain stopped for a bit. We walked around and up to the lighthouse. The views were amazing and I can only imagine how breathtaking the Olympic mountains would be on a sunny day. Logan enjoyed jumping in each and every mud puddle he could. When he decided to sit in the freezing cold puddle, it was time to pack up.

We changed Logan out of his wet clothes and were off to catch the ferry in Clinton. We stopped at Timbuktu Java Bar & Cafe for some hot drinks to warm up before our ferry adventure. The short ferry ride back was pure excitement for Logan. From Mulkiteo, it was only a thirty minute drive back to our house.  Our day trip was quick but gave us a good overview of Whidbey Island. We will be back for sure!

 

Diablo Lake

Y’all when I say there is no shortage of fabulous day trips in the Northwest, it’s the truth. We had seen a lot of photos of Diablo Lake on the internet and it was on the top of my list of places to see.

After some research on the WTA.org site, the plan for our Diablo Lake trip was to drive up to the lookout, hike the Thunder Knob trail and end the day with a picnic. Well — life with two under two never goes as planned. We made it to the lookout after almost three hours in the car. We knew lunch needed to be next on our list. We drove back down the mountain to the hike trailhead. The trailhead also happened to be at a campground/picnic area. Almost all the photos above were taken at the Colonial Creek Campground. After nursing Mason and eating our picnic lunch, we reevaluated all our moods. We decided it was best to pass on the hike and just hang out at the campground. We let Logan run around and play by the water. Hopefully, there will be a future visit and we can do the hike! It was still a perfect Pacific Northwest day trip!

If you are planning a trip to the area, I suggest making a stop at the Colonial Creek campground. Even though we cancelled the hike, we heard the Thunder Knob Trail had the best views out of all the area hikes. Everyone told us these views were better than the Diablo Lake trail.

How perfect was my Terez outfit for the bright blue Diablo Lake?!

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All you have to do for this view below is stop at the overlook from the highway!

 

 

 

 

Family Life Update

This creative space has been a little neglected the past few months adjusting to our new life with two kids. Raising my boys has been the most important and exhausting job I’ve ever had. Your children will only be babies for a short time. Make sure you slow down in life and focus on the moment and making memories with your family. Life with kids really is about learning to let things go. It’s ok to let the house get messy, it’s ok not to cook every meal and it’s ok to drink a little wine at the end of long day.

I am back to teaching one weekly group reformer class and a few clients out of my home studio. Logan is in preschool two days a week and loves his social time with his friends. Mason is a sweet baby with a calm demeanor who loves watching everything his big brother does. Ryan is loving his new career back in tennis. Seattle becomes more home to us everyday and we are excited to plan a few Fall and Winter weekend family trips. These photos were taken at Ocean Isle Beach when we were visiting family in September and it’s crazy to see how much our boys have changed since our trip. Ocean Isle Beach is special because this is where I spent summers growing up. It meant so much to me taking my family here for our memories.

Guess Who Turns 2 Today…

Our first year with Logan…

Our second year with Logan…

I seriously can’t believe this guy is turning two today!!! Life has been really busy and I haven’t had a chance to post on here much lately. I want to take a little time today and reflect over the past two years.

When they say children change your life, it is so true. Logan has taught me to love more than I ever thought was possible, appreciate the small things and live in the moment. I have always stressed and worried about everything in life. Logan has taught me so much of that doesn’t matter.

He is full of energy, independent, social and really loves to charm the ladies. I only wish I had his endless supply of energy! This Fall, he started Preschool and soccer. For the first few months of his baby brother’s life he didn’t give him the time of day. Now, he is starting to take more interest in his baby brother Mason Hawke. He loves to run up to him and say “heyyyyyyyyy” and it melts my Mama heart every time.

Now I am off to party prep since I decided to put together a last minute birthday party for Logan with some of our closest friends!! I love you Logan Thomas and can’t wait to see what you do in this world!!!

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Quick Baby Wearing Workout

12-15 reps of each, 3-4rounds! I use light dumbbells (2 or 3 lbs) but this workout can be done without weights too!

  1. Shoulder Press Sumo Squats
    • Make sure your feet are wide with toes pointing out. Arms start in goal post position. As you lower into a squat position, arms reach up. As you lift back up, arms lower back down. Work to keep a long, straight spine and keep the core engaged. Repeat 12-15 reps.

  1. Tricep Kickback Lunges
    • Start with feet about shoulder distance apart. It’s ok to keep a slight hinge forward. Arms reach straight back as you lower one leg back into a squat position. Remember not to let the knee on the front leg track over the toes. 12-15 reps with one leg and repeat on other side.

  1. Curtsy Lunge Bicep Curls
    • Start with feet about shoulder distance apart. As you bring arms into a bicep curl, cross one leg back and behind the other into a curtsy lunge. Front foot stays flat and the back foot heel stays lifted. Work to keep a long straight spine and core engaged. 12-15 reps with one leg and repeat on other side.

I have had a few people reach out and ask about my postpartum workout routine. I am working on a long post but wanted to share a quick baby wearing workout you can do from home. Making your kids part of your workout can be distracting but it can also be fun! Being healthy and fit is a lifestyle so have fun with it! I might be doing this workout without the dumbbells in the airport this week.

As moms we do the best we can. We all have different circumstances but none of our lives are easy. Make working out a priority at least a few days a week and you will feel better mentally!

Thanks to K’tan for letting me try their active wrap. I own two of these and love them!! This company makes babywearing so easy and this active fabric is great for hot summer days, workouts and hiking!

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Hiking with Toddlers & Babies – Heather Lake Trail

Being outdoors and hiking is important to me and always relives my stress, inspires me and helps remind me what to focus on in life. In a world where we are so connected to the internet and social media, it’s always a great escape for a few hours. I don’t know if we will live in Seattle forever but I plan to take advantage of this gorgeous place and all the beauty only a few hours away while we can.

Hiking with a toddler and baby is not easy. It takes a lot more prep and patience. I am not a kid’s hiking guro but I do learn a little more about what we need and don’t need each hike we take. The list is always evolving.

 

Last weekend, we did our first hike as a family of four. We drove a little over an hour north to hike the Heather Lake Trail. When I am researching hikes, I always use the Washington Trails website and the WTA app. If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, it’s so awesome. It’s easy to save the hikes you are interested in and you can read people’s up-to-date reviews on the trail conditions.

Overall, the Heather Lake Trail was the perfect half day hike for us. We hiked a little over four miles roundtrip and it was the perfect challenge for carrying packs and babies. It took us three hours to complete. We maintained a pretty consistent pace to the lake and took breaks only to shed layers as we worked up quite the sweat hiking the uphill terrain. It took us an hour to make it to the lake and we spent an hour exploring, eating and taking in views. The hour hike downhill was much easier on the way back but I was really careful with my footing since I was carrying Mason Hawke. My biggest piece of advice for hiking with kids this young is to have patience. There might be meltdowns and extra stops for feedings but remember to enjoy being out in nature. Nothing made me more happy than to keep hearing Logan say “oh woooooowwww” the entire hike. He loves mountains and it makes my heart so happy to see his appreciation for nature.

 

Our Hiking Checklist (our list is always evolving!)

  • Osprey Pack – Ryan carries Logan on our hikes in this pack. We really like it  and it has great storage. We packed our small cooler with lunch food in it for this hike.
  • K’tan Carrier – I really like this cloth carrier. It packs easily and you can configure it to help give your baby support until they have complete head control.
  • Daypack/Diaper bag – We have some storage in the Osprey but with kids this young we always bring along another backpack.
  • Water – Always take lots of water!! We didn’t on this hike but it’s a good idea to take something to filter your water just in case. You never know what will happen out in nature.
  • Food – We packed a lunch for Heather Lake but some of our favorite snacks to take on hikes include: KIND bars, Pressed by KIND, KIND fruit bites, energy balls and fruit.
  • Diapers & Wipes – We only bring one diaper for each of the kids and a few wipes if they hike is only a few hours.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Hand Sanitizer

Mindset Checklist

  • Be Patient & Focus
  • Be prepared with water and food!
  • Take photos – It’s harder to take my Nikon camera with us these days but I make sure to have my iPhone out a few times to help us remember the memories. All these photos from this day were iPhone photos.
  • Enjoy the memories!! Take a few minutes every so often to stop, relax and take in being out in nature.

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I always dress in layers when hiking but since I am nursing, I think even more about what to wear. I wanted you to see a better shot of what I wore hiking. Nursing bras make life so much easier and I can’t say enough good things about this one from XOThree. It has hidden zippers and magnets to make access to breastfeeding as easy as it can be. It’s also a bra that I will end up wearing past the days of nursing because it’s so stylish and doesn’t scream nursing bra. There is nothing on the market like this and this brand is going to make a lot of noise in the maternity and postpartum clothing market in the coming years!!