best decisions by caroline

July 29, 2014 in Best Decisions, Blog, Blogging, Guest Post by lindsaymwright

Another “best decisions” post (for more, just search in the sidebar – there are many!)  One of MY recent best decisions was housing a caramel apple from the Kilwin’s down here in Destin!  Is there anything better?? 

Many thanks to Caroline for filling in for me!  Take it away, friend!

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The Best Decision I Ever Made… was getting my master’s degree in clinical mental health and clinical addictions counseling!  Through my two years in my master’s program, I learned so much great information that, when applied, can lead to a fantastic, healthy life!  I really enjoyed all that I learned in grad school (and my subsequent counseling experience since that time), and I’ve been really thankful for all the changes that resulted in my life because of my decision to go to school. Here are some of the biggest changes in my life that have occurred because of that one decision:

Because I decided to go to grad school, I ended up doing my thesis on wellness (yes- it was more specific than just “wellness”) and behavior change.  In writing those 80ish pages, I realized how much work I had to do on myself.  I made a promise to one of the people on my thesis committee that I would start working out as soon as I graduated; I kept that promise.  It’s all about being proactive in our health, right?

Because I did my thesis on wellness, I realized how much my lack of exercise impacted other areas of my life, so I started to work out more and I started to run! It’s truly hard to imagine my life without exercise, as running half marathons is such a big part of my life. (you can read more about “my journey to running” here).

Because I started running, I started to do pilates, which has become a big staple in my workout schedule. I love the mind-body aspect of it, and it is not only a stretching and strengthening activity, but it’s also great as a stress reliever. Doing pilates also lead to me becoming a pilates and pilates/barre instructor, which I really love ( I also love getting to do barre classes for myself! ) IMG_1968

Going to grad school also taught me all about having healthy boundaries and trying to decrease the use of cognitive distortions (especially great for those dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression!)  Not only have I noticed big changes in my mental health and my worries and thoughts since grad school, but these things also impact the physical health choices that we make as well!

There are obviously far more changes that resulted from grad school as well.  Running led to triathlons and connection to some of my family members in very different ways because of this.  Grad school led me to meet some of my very closest friends, led to a speaking and writing career, and led my to my dream counseling job.  I never thought that one “little” decision like grad school would lead to a snowball of other changes as well.

That’s the thing, though.  So many of our decisions, whether big or little, will lead to a cascade of other things in our life.  As you make your decisions- choose wisely.  Think about how your decisions might fit into your future goals, and if it will take you closer to or farther from health.  And once you’ve made your choice, hang on and enjoy the ride!  It may take you places you could’ve never dreamed of or planned!

Now it’s your turn to share! What’s one of the best decisions that you’ve ever made? What other things did it lead to in your life? DSC_0563_2

 Hey! I’m Caroline, a counselor, half marathoner, and Pilates & Barre Instructor. If you’re interested in running, biking, pilates/barre, traveling, and mental health issues, you can find me at the following places:

Blog: http://www.thelittlethingsblog.com

Twitter: @kalolainastar

Instagram: littlethingscaroline

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/littlethingscar

favorite workout roundup!

July 28, 2014 in Blog, Bootcamp, Core, Favorites, HIIT, Pinterest, Workout by lindsaymwright

I’m coming at you today with five workouts that are fun and sure to make you SWEAT!  They’re all perfect to do at home and with minimal equipment!  Pick one out and do it TODAY!!

Tip:  If you’re a Pinterest user, use the “Pin It” button on your computer and save these to your Pinterest account for quick reference!  I’ve got tons of workouts pinned if you need any new ideas.  Go here!

5 Workouts That WORK!

1)  Everybody JUMP!

A jump rope workout that will leave you sweaty!

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2)  “Plank” You Very Much

Perform this core circuit 2-3 times per week and feel more confident about your core!

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3)  Project Zero Hero

A total body strength training circuit!

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4) Tabata Mama

Short on time?  Try this 4 minute tabata workout today!

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5)  Track Star

Load up your jogging stroller and head down to the local track for a great total body workout!

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QUESTION:  What’s your favorite body weight move??  <-Call me crazy but I really love burpees and any variation thereof!

splendid…lindsay

summer entertaining with blue diamond

July 22, 2014 in Blog, Blue Diamond, Review, Snack by lindsaymwright

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.  All opinions about the nuts and soccer are my own.

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Let’s talk soccer here for a second.

Point blank.  It’s a “meh” for me.

I grew up playing basketball, softball, and running track and cross country.  I think I might have played one year of youth soccer – I vaguely remember seeing a picture at my mama’s house the last time I went through old pictures.  I guess since neither of my parent’s played, they didn’t encourage us to play.  (Isn’t that how it goes?  You might encourage a love of all sports but deep down inside you love seeing your little ones choose the sports you played.  Every time I see Henry run, I feel a little happy that he might take up running.  Time will tell.)

Anyway, Travis absolutely ADORES soccer.  Like adores!  Watching it, playing it….those are all the soccer verbs I can think of right now.  He told me that when the World Cup was on twelve years ago that he would get up at 2am every day just to watch the games.  That’s LOVE, you guys.  I get up to nurse a child and only because it shuts the crying up – I can’t imagine getting up in the middle of the night to watch soccer.

Blue Diamond sent us some of their almonds (whole natural and rosemary & black pepper) to party with this Summer.  Since we HAD to watch the World Cup finals, I figured this would be the perfect chance to share our bounty (aka create a situation that was fun for the girls.  Snacks and gossip with a side of soccer background noise).  I made a simple trail mix with the whole natural (equal parts almonds, craisins, crushed pretzel chips and white chocolate) and we paired the rosemary/black pepper with some good German beer.  You know…to show our support (and it worked!!).

Rah-rah soccer!  You’re still a “meh” for me.  Sorry.  But I’ll “watch” you for the snacks.

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QUESTION:  Love soccer??  What’s your favorite sport to play?  To watch??

splendid…lindsay

that which should be unitasked

July 21, 2014 in Blog, Blogging, Goals, Inspiration, Intentional Living by lindsaymwright

It’s Monday.  And I’m happy!

I know.  I know.  I know.

We’re all supposed to be pissing and moaning about this worst day of the week but I just cannot help but smile real big.

Because the beach.

We leave THIS Friday.  As in this week.  As in I need to start packing.  As in can we please just skip over these next few days and get this lady a margarita ASAP.  Except I can’t drink (nursing).  And if I can remember back far enough, past the six years of pregnancies and nursing, I believe I’m more of an Amoretto Sour girl.

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[From our last trip three years ago.]

I mentioned last week that I’d be taking our beach vacation as a time to UNPLUG.  All next week, I plan to do a DIGITAL DETOX – no blogging, no instagram, no FB, no Pinterest (although I can’t remember the last thing I pinned.  Just looked.  It was these Apple Pie Bars.  Yum.  I should really make those.  But probably won’t.).  I DO have to check in a few times for a Verizon campaign I’m obligated to (which ironically is about living a #connectedlife), but aside from that, I’ll be unplugged.

This will be hard for me.

And I really dislike saying that about myself.

I just read a great article that Lindsay shared with me (I love her).  The article was about how we as Christians are allowing our phones to distract us (and this applies to non-Christians as well obviously).  I loved the entire message, but one quote in particular stood out:

“We are multitasking that which should be unitasked.”

Hold the phone.  (no.  actually throw the phone away because it’s distracting you.)

I don’t think I can add more to this perfectly descriptive sentence.

But I’ll try.

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Multitasking that which should be unitasked.  Like most people, women in particular, I must multitask.  It’s inevitable.  It’s how I get the dishes done and the schooling done and the baby nursed, all these things at the very same time…while my washing machine cleans our clothes.  I fear that if I didn’t multitask, we would live in a disheveled house with empty bellies.  I think it’s ok to do these chores simultaneously.

The key to the sentence is here –> “that which should be…” 

  • Sitting Henry on my lap and listening to him read.
  • Looking Travis in the eye every night during our #15minutesforyou.
  • Playing calico critters with Clara.  Getting down on the floor, into HER world.
  • Reading my Bible. Talking, listening to God.

Things which should be unitasked.  With all my focus.  Without a phone in my hand.  Without a blanket response because I’m really browsing Facebook and didn’t hear a word you just said.  To my credit, I’m getting better and better at this.  But I still sometimes catch myself …. because I live in this flesh body with worldly distractions.

I remember a time not so long ago when I didn’t have a smart phone.  Before blogging.  Before sharing every second of my life online.  And nothing was missing.  I was perfectly content with a life disconnected.

Flash forward to now and I’m rarely found without my phone in my hand.  I take it everywhere – it’s my phone, my camera, my connection to others.  I feel a little lost without it.  The part I struggle with is finding that perfect balance between living life IN THE NOW and living life DIGITALLY.  Because I do enjoy sharing bits and pieces of our life on Instagram.  I DO enjoy taking the pictures and updating Facebook with Clara’s latest quotes.  I enjoy it.  It’s not a stress in my life.  In some ways, I’d even say that it enriches my life.  Can social media do that?!?  I think yes in a way.  In fact, I believe that’s the point behind it.

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I loved this moment and wanted to capture it.  So I did.  But is that “living in the present?”

It would be ignorant for me to attack my cell phone or my computer for they are not the problem.  The problem is my heart and my focus.  To live a life completely “off the grid” just wouldn’t work for me personally.  But to live a life of intentionally investing in relationships and people, both offline and on, that’s where I wanna be.  Sometimes that requires a phone and sometimes it (purposely) doesn’t.

I’d love to encourage YOU to take a digital detox with me.  Even if it’s for a day.  You might be surprised by how often you’re reaching for your phone or computer without knowing.  I’m hoping to come back from this vacation with a refreshing.  Will you join me?

QUESTION:  Are you addicted to your phone?  To your computer or blog??  How can we live more “in the now”?

splendid…lindsay

what’s in your shower?

July 18, 2014 in Blog, Blogging, Crazy, Favorites, Rambles by lindsaymwright

I was in the shower yesterday, singing and sudzing, when I looked around at all the stuff in my shower and thought up this post idea.  Kinda corny, but I know this – people are nosey, myself included.  I wrote a post a couple of years ago titled, “What’s On Your Fridge” and had a lot of fun with it (there’s was a linkup so others could show their fridge – you know, like magnets and papers and schedules – it was fun to see.  I’m a goof.).

In that same spirit, today I bring you, “What’s In My Shower.” Please don’t judge any mold or mildew you might see – I hopped out of the shower, snagged my phone and took these pictures.    I’m the QUEEN of shower products and get easily bored with using the same thing over and over.  I like all of these products*, am loyal to most, but by next month I’ll probably have something new in there.  It just makes showering so much more fun.  Plus, the smells – I love trying out new smells!

Let’s see what’s in my shower….

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^^Since my tub and walls are a bright turquoise, I needed a fun shower curtain that coordinated.  Found this Waverly one here.^^

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^^Arbonne body scrub from forever ago + EOS lavender jasmine shave cream.^^

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^^Rodan + Fields Body Micro-Dermabrasion + Old Outdoor 76 cup for rinsing Clara’s hair.^^

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^^Since our tub has ZERO storage space, I got this corner shower caddy from Lowe’s.  Holds so much and it’s sturdy!^^

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^^Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System + a Schick Hydro 5 razor <-do you use “men” razors too?  They’re by far the best!^^

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^^Oxy Daily Defense Exfoliating Face Scrub + Rodan & Fields Revive face wash (review to come!)

+ Equate face wash that I DON’T recommend and need to throw away + PedEgg foot file ^^

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^^Blue loofah.  I generally buy a “girlier” color like purple or pink.  <-why?!?!  it’s a freaking loofah!^^

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^^Pantene Pro-V Moisture Renewal shampoo & conditioner + Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy shampoo and conditioner <-BEST smell ever!^^

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^^Love this Dove Nourishing Oil Care conditioner.  I use it once or twice a week and it leaves my hair super soft.^^

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^^Both of these body washes were coupon purchases (the Tone was FREE!).  I usually try to have one antibacterial soap and one nice smelling soap – one for after workouts and one for any other time.  Saying that out loud sounds totally crazy.^^

Annnd that’s the tour, folks.  Happy Tuesday!

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QUESTION:  Are you product loyal?  What’s your favorite SHAMPOO or BODY WASH?

splendid…lindsay

*Full disclosure here – there are some Amazon links – I tried to find the most Amazon Prime options because that’s how we buy most of everything you see. Thanks for supporting our family ice cream habit!!

three months postpartum

July 16, 2014 in Baby, Blog, Postpartum, Update by lindsaymwright

I think I’ll always say this but TIME FLYS.  It scares me when I look at my children and see that they’re outgrowing their clothes or when the toys that they once thought were “the coolest” are now being passed to down to Porter (but I appreciate the sharing).  Henry is now old enough to really help me with chores and with Porter – it seems like not too long ago, he WAS Porter.  Part of my heart just cries as I see them grow and I know that I’m truly blessed to get to SEE it all each and every day.  Some mamas aren’t afforded the chance to stay home.  I’m very grateful.  VERY.  It takes a lot of sacrifices for us to make it work but I’ve never felt more in love with a “job.”

Porter celebrated his three-month birthday on Monday.  I celebrated being three months without nausea (which by the way went away in a snap…like right after I gave birth all of the sudden I wasn’t sick anymore.  Crazy hormones.)  Here’s how we’re doing:

Three Months Postpartum – Me

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40 weeks/1 Month PP/2 Months PP/3 Months PP

My Body

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  • I’m very satisfied with where I am physically.  I feel strong.  I feel fit.  I’m able to do most anything that I ask my body to do.
  • Still eating around 2,000-2,200 calories every day.  Like always, I snack my way through the day.  It’s my very favorite way to eat.
  • I have a pregnancy mask (also called “melasma”).  Most days, it looks like I have a mustache and a dirty forehead.  Lol.  I actually ordered the Rodan & Fields “Redefine” line and I’m seeing some results – I’ll share pics in a few weeks.  I do notice that when I’m out in the sun, the darkness and spots get worse so I try to always wear SPF 50 and keep my face in the shade.
  • Still have my linea negra, although it’s fading.
  • Still losing hair.  Can’t remember when this normally slows down.

My Fitness/Workouts

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  • I’m getting back to running! This week, I made it a goal to get out the door for a short 15-minute run EVERY DAY before Travis heads to work. So far, so good. Gets the blood flowing and serves as prayer time for me.  <-yep, still running!  Loving it!
  • On the days I don’t run, Travis and I are doing a kettlebell workout in the basement.  I’ll share that in a few weeks too.  I love working out with him – we push each other.
  • Every Saturday, I’m hosting a “Track Stars” workout down at the local track.  Every workout is different but most contain bodyweight exercises, sprints and plyometric work.  Last Saturday, we had ELEVEN people!

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My Mind

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  • I’m happy to say that I think most of my pregnancy hormones are a thing of the past.  I don’t feel like I need to cry for no reason. Smile
  • We leave for the beach next Friday and I’m planning a “digital detox” (inspired by Jess) while we’re in Florida.  No blogging, no Instagram, no Facebook.  Just being present.  I’m very much looking forward to it.  (I’ll have some posts set up before I leave so check in that week – I’m allowed a detox but you are not.  lol.)

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Moving on to the babe…

Three Months Old – Porter

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1 Month/2 Months/3 Months

Just like the last update, I’ll divide Porter’s update into three sections: EAT, AWAKE and SLEEP. We use (and have used for all three kids) the Baby Wise method and it works well for us. If you thrive off of schedules like me, you should look into this book (I also recommend, “Secrets of the Baby Whisperer.” Both books follow the eat, awake, sleep cycles that work well in my opinion!)

EAT

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  • Still loving the breast.  We exclusively nurse.  I’ve tried pumping milk and giving him a bottle – he’s ok with it but would prefer to cozy up to me.  I’m totally cool with that. :) 
  • He nurses every 2 1/2 to 3 hours during the day.  He cluster feeds at night from about 5pm until 9pm.
  • Nurses on both sides and takes about 15 minutes total to become satiated.
  • Still spitting up but it’s becoming less and less.

AWAKE

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  • Such a happy baby! Easy going and laid back.
  • He’s SMILING a lot!  He’s also just starting to LAUGH!
  • Likes: Nursing, smiling, his brother and sister, being swaddled, his swing <-same.
  • Dislikes: Being hungry, getting OUT of the bath <-same.

SLEEP

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  • In the last two weeks, he’s started SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT fairly consistently!!  Hallelujah, hallelujah!  He goes down at 8pm, dream feed at 10pm, nurses at 6am and then again at 7:45 or 8am!
  • We swaddle.  He loves it. (here’s the one I use)
  • Still sleeping in his bassinet during the night.  Naps in his crib or the swing (or carseat if we’re out running errands or at the pool).

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For more postpartum updates:

One Month

Two Months

splendid…lindsay