Real Men Wear Pink! When Breast Cancer Hits Home

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, this is the perfect time for us to bring attention to a cause that is near and dear to my heart!  My mother in law is a breast cancer survivor.  Thanks to innovative medical equipment and early detection, she is alive and well with us today!  PTL!  Millions of Americans face this scary disease every year but thanks to the American Cancer Society, through their funding and research, many lives are saved!  While others aren’t as lucky, it is important that the research continues so that hopefully a cure will soon be found!

I’m sure you’ve seen the slogan circulating on social media, stating to “Mammogram Your TaTa’s, not Instagram them!”  While this slogan may give you a giggle, I hope it also hits home.   Often times our society focuses on all the wrong things (I’m equally guilty of this.)  Take a break from your very busy lives and know your risk factors; know if you’re at a higher risk and seek preventative care if you are.

My Husband, Caleb, has personally experienced the deep pain that cancer can inflict on a family.  Caleb has lost both of his grandmothers to cancer and his mother is a survivor.   This year he was asked to take part in a Nationwide Campaign to bring awareness for Breast Cancer Research.  Without hesitation, he said YES!

Now here’s where you come in! Caleb is an ambassador for the State of West Virginia.  Below is a link to his personal page on the ‘Real Men Wear Pink’ campaign website.  Businessmen from various professions, across the nation, have been asked to wear their pink and take part in this very important fundraiser.  {Let’s be real – have you seen Caleb’s closet?!  That man LOVES pink and he LOVESSS his momma!  So this was a no brainer for him!}  We ask that you consider making a donation to Caleb’s Real Men Wear Pink campaign.  Let’s make West Virginia Survivors proud!  Nearly everyone I talk to has been personally affected by Breast Cancer whether it be their mother, grandmother, sister, daughter or them personally.  How has breast cancer affected you?

We would love to hear your stories and know that we will be praying for your loved ones who are actively battling cancer or in successful remission!

To access Caleb’s Campaign, click here!  We appreciate your donation more than you’ll ever know!

XOXO

Jill & Caleb

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MISSION: Lasik Eye Surgery – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

Who: ME!

What: Lasik Eye Surgery

When: July 2018

Where: LasikPlus, Columbus, OH

Why: Unassisted perfect vision, yo!

I have thought about getting Lasik eye surgery for the last 10 years. I’ve seen each of my family members get Lasik and ask me “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??”. My first evaluation was about 10 years ago. I got the “go” from the doc, despite my astigmatism and young (*ahem*) age. Besides the fact that I’d have to pony up 3 months worth of rent (in DC!) for the procedure, it just didn’t feel right. From what understood, my eyes should be stable for 1-5 years and many times prescriptions will change after pregnancy. At that time I wasn’t married and there were no kids in sight, so I backed out.

Fast forward 10 years and after suffering with increasingly itchy eyes around the spring and fall allergy seasons, it was time to take the plunge. I didn’t really plan to get Lasik this year, (if I had it to do over, I would have maxed out my FSA!) but after my brother’s pseudo-spiritual experience (😂) with Lasik, I had to get on the ball.

After copious amounts of research, I settled on LasikPlus in Columbus, OH. I made an appointment and because of scheduling, took my 4 year old.  He was playing a game on his Kindle and would yell, “YEAAHHH” or “WOOOO”, which freaked out the opthamologist checking my eyes. 😅 She double checked both eyes to make sure the side comments didn’t cause any mistakes. The appointment lasted about an hour and I got my results the same day. I was told I had a beautiful optical nerve and lots of cornal tissue which made me a candidate!! (Do they say this to everyone?) This news was so exciting that I made my surgery appointment on the spot. I had one month to mentally prepare myself.

 

DAY OF SURGERY:

So, if you read our aerial yoga blog post you know that I have a serious fear of the unknown. I have been known to dive head first into “fun ideas” only to FREAK OUT the night before the event. There were lots of thoughts running through my head before I went in for surgery (check out the Glitter Jungle InstaStories).

I had another full eye exam to confirm the results of the exam a month ago. During one of the exams, the tech put numbing drops in my eyes and asked if I wanted a Valium. Before I could answer, my husband said “yes, she would like a Valium.”😒 (I, of course, agreed with him). Once in the final waiting area, I watched a couple of people go in before me and literally walk in and out in 5 minutes, like nothing happened. My name was called and I didn’t even have time to stress.

MOMENT OF TRUTH:

Once I was in the surgical room, (aka giant fishbowl that everyone could see into) I was ushered into the first chair where a plastic dome was taped to my left eye. My right eye was fitted with another device that held it open. The surgeon explained that I would feel some pressure, my eye would go black and then it would be over.  I started my deep breathing and he began the 30 second countdown. My right eye was suctioned to the machine and felt some pressure. My vision went black, but it didn’t freak me out because I just imagined that I had closed my eye because of the pressure. The surgeon got to 3, 2, 1…and I let out a sigh of relief. NO pain at all. They switched the plastic dome to the right side and my left eye was propped open and suctioned. Same 30 second countdown, deep breathing and boom, off to the second chair. Did anyone else initially freak about not being able “to hold my eye open that long” or “thought I might look away”? Yeah, no chance of that with the kind of suction that was going on here.

Once in the second chair, I was informed that I would see a series of Green and Red lights and was instructed do my best to keep my eye on it until the 30 second countdown was over. At this point, I had the plastic dome taped to my left eye and my right eye was held open with a metal device. It wasn’t hard to keep looking at the lights. Towards the end, I did notice that the surgeon had folded the flap back into place and looked like he was painting my eye with a small paintbrush. Kind of disturbing, but I didn’t feel a thing. Same story for the left side.

Here’s how it all went down:

After the procedure, the surgeon asked me if I felt ok and advised me to get home and take a 4-6 hour nap. Just like the three people before me, I donned my sunglasses they provided and walked right out of the office. Luckily our hotel was in the same complex and it took us 10 minutes to get to our room. Let me stop here – I am a championship napper. I have joked that I should write a book about how to nap. Of course this day, I could not nap. The nurse told me that there would be 3 uncomfortable stages if I couldn’t nap. The first would be a feeling of onion juice being poured into my eyes, the second would be non-stop watering and third, dry eyes. Each stage lasted from 30 – 60 mins. I kept my eyes closed the majority of the 4 hours. I would not suggest peeking (oops) because that’s when I felt the pain. My suggestion would be NyQuil, if you aren’t a good napper.  I should also mention that I was given a series of 3 different eye drops and vitamins to take over the next few months. These are super important! After my “nap” John and I went to dinner (I wore sunglasses) and walked around Easton. I don’t know what was more impressive, that I didn’t have contacts in or glasses on, or that we were out past 10pm with no kids. 😂

The next morning I woke up and felt great. I put my eye drops in every couple of hours to keep my eyes from getting dry. Waking up and being able to see without glasses was awesome; even better was being able to watch a show before bed without glasses! No more falling asleep with glasses on. Hooray!

It has now been about a month and my eyes feel great! I would definitely recommend Dr. Thomas at LasikPlus in Columbus. He was great and I felt like I was in good hands. It sounds completely cliche, but this was one of the biggest quality of life changes I’ve made in a long time.

Have you had Lasik? What was your experience?

XOXO,

Lauren

 

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The Hidden Danger Of Splash Parks! The Incident That Landed Us In The E.R.

Ok, I’ll be the first one to admit it; I am the safety queen!  I’m always analyzing risk and calculating hazards in my head.  There is constantly data running through my brain – sometimes I drive myself crazy.  I’d say this is mostly a side effect from my day job and, honestly, it makes my husband want to jump off a cliff at times; but here I am still living the worried mom life.  I used to be wild & care free and now I’ve somehow turned into that “be careful mom” that frets over everything (you know who you are!)  The mom who’s always yelling “BE CAREFUL” any time your kid does something even remotely dangerous and you stand there with your eyes closed just praying they’ll land safely.

Well, last week I told my sweet momma that she should take the kids to the splash park one afternoon….”it’ll be fun,” I said.   Famous.last.words.  While they were there, she had sent me a few sweet pictures of the kids playing in the water, splashing around.  My first thought was “WOW!  That water is spraying REALLY high.”  But, I’ve vowed to try to be more relaxed about things so i just let it go, looked at the pictures and smiled.   (I assumed I was just overthinking things again.)  Fast forward about an hour and I get a panicked FaceTime call.  Baby girl was crying so hard i couldn’t understand her and her eye was swollen shut.  (Ok, now I’m allowed to internally panic, right?!)

{Seriously though, look at the height and pressure of this water!  My oldest daughter is around 4’10” and it’s nearly twice as tall as her!}

So, as luck would have it, my youngest daughter (who just turned 4 and is much more vertically challenged) decided to lean over and look down at the ground right as one of the timed, pressurized water sprinklers went off.  The blast of high pressure water took her right in the eye and since she’s much closer to the ground, it hit her with a lot of force!  It immediately gave her a black eye and her eye began to swell shut.  Long story short, we rushed her to the urgent care because our main concern was eye damage or vision problems.  After they painted her eye balls with this orange serum and flashed all these different lights into her eyes, it was finally determined that they think she will be just fine (PRAISE THE LORD!)  They think the main impact of the water hit her check bone, just centimeters below her eye ball (truly a miracle!)  But talk about a scary wait and lots of praying.   Poor girl was just having fun.

Now, I’m in NO way saying to not ever take your kids to the splash park again – I’m really not!  BUT, I did feel like it was important to share this so hopefully other parents won’t go through the stress that we felt!  Be sure to educate your small children about not looking down or make them wear goggles (I’m ok with my kids looking like nerds at the splash park).  Anything to protect those precious little eyes!!  I mean, honestly, there is just no way that we are the only family this has happened to.

Prayers for a safe summer my friends.

XOXO

Jill

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Say NO to B.O. – Go Native!

B.O.  It’s just one of those things that is not socially acceptable, unless you are living in a commune or hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I don’t think any of those people are reading this blog. 😂

In my pre-teen or early teen years I started using deodorant (mostly because it was cool and a bit because I needed it).  I progressed from Teen Spirit to Secret to Dove and that’s where it ended. I have tried all varieties of Dove over the last 15 years, but recently noticed that it hasn’t been working as well.

About that same time, a friend of mine (thanks Jenna!), asked if I had ever tried Native deodorant. I had heard of Native but never really gave it a second look.  Since I am trying to eat/live more simply (I had a party in the Target aisle when I found a 4 ingredient granola bar for the baby), I thought I might as well try to do the same for the things I put on my body.

I love the fact that Native deodorant is aluminum free – which helps with the laundry situation and clogged pores.  (It is also parabens, phthalates, and talc free.) If you are like me, you might wonder if all of those eliminated ingredients would make the deodorant less effective, so I tested it out in several scenarios.  My first test was a day at the office, not much activity, but can we say stress sweat?!? 😂  The Native deodorant passed with flying colors! The second test was a high intensity workout AFTER a day at work. I didn’t reapply and jumped into the workout. This was another success! I was super sweaty but didn’t have that dreaded B.O. smell. The third test was a day at home with my two toddlers. It was an 85 degree day and we were in and out of the house. I probably sweated the most this day. While I didn’t HAVE to reapply, I started feeling a bit gross, so I swiped on a couple more times. 😂

Native gives some helpful tips when making the switch:

One drawback is that you can’t pick up Native in local stores. However, they do offer a subscription, so you aren’t stuck without deodorant! Also, it’s free shipping and free returns (music to my ears). I would definitely recommend Native and hope you like it as much as I do! If you order now, you also get a free travel sized deodorant, here: Native.

We’d love to hear your deodorant experiences. Let us know if you make the switch!

XOXO,

Lauren

 

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Making Kimbap with my Mom

Kimbap (or Gimbap) is one of my favorite Korean eats and in honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to show you how one of the best (my MOM!!) makes it from scratch.

Throwback to one of my bridal showers. (circa 2008)

For those of you unfamiliar with kimbap, it is basically the Korean version of sushi (but fresher and less raw fish). This dish is a healthy, super easy one to pack and take as a snack or eat at home (after your kids have gone to bed, because seriously, you aren’t going to want to share.) BEWARE – after you make this once, your family will be begging for it day after day. 😂

Ingredients:

  • Korean Seaweed (aka Kim or Gim) – Make sure you get the full sheets and not the snack size (at least 5 sheets)
  • Rice – Get the short grained variety for this recipe (2 cups, uncooked)
  • Eggs (2 or 3)
  • Carrot (1 large or 2 small)
  • Spinach (1 bag of baby spinach or 2 small bundles of fresh spinach)
  • Garlic Cloves (3 whole or 3 teaspoons of the pre-minced kind)
  • Salt (1 teaspoon)
  • Soy Sauce (2 tablespoons)
  • White Sugar (1 to 1.5 tablespoons – to taste)
  • Sesame Oil (2 to 2.5 tablespoons – to taste)
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Canned Tuna (optional) (1 can)
  • Skirt steak or tenderloin (optional) (.5 pound)
  • Yellow pickled radish (optional) (1 radish or 5 small strips)
  • Cucumber (optional) (1 large or 3 small)

Ok, this seems like a lot, but if you are like me, you will double it and have enough for a couple of days.

Directions:

  • Cook the rice (do yourself a favor and get a rice cooker if you don’t have one already).  A rule of thumb I learned from my mom is that you should rinse the rice at least two times to get it clean. After that, fill the pot to about an inch of water over the rice line.
  • Transfer the cooked rice to a mixing bowl and add .5 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil with a rice scoop or a wooden spoon.
  • You are ready to prepare your veggies!
    • Dice the carrots into matchstick sized pieces and saute them with a drop of vegetable oil and pinch of salt. (TIP: buy the precut carrots and save yourself a few minutes!)
    • Spinach (recipe here!)
  • Crack Eggs into a bowl, add a pinch of salt and beat. Spray or drizzle some vegetable oil in the pan (just enough to lightly coat the bottom) and add the eggs. Cook the egg on low and flip with a spatula before it gets too brown.
  • The rest is optional:
    • Steaks – Trim the fat from the skirt steaks and slice into ¼ inch wide, 3 to 5 inch strips. Put the strips into a bowl. Add 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 minced garlic clove (or 1 teaspoon of pre-minced), ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper,1 tablespoon white sugar, and 2 teaspoons sesame oil. (Let marinate while you are prepping the other ingredients.)
    • Tuna – Brace yourself…open the can and drain (whew!) – Many times I opt for this instead of the steak.
    • Yellow pickled radish or Danmuji – cut into thin strips.
    • Cucumber – cut into thin strips or dice like the carrots.

TIP: If you have all of these ingredients ready before you attempt to assemble, it will make your life so much easier!

READY to ROLL:

  • Place a sheet of kim (seaweed) on a bamboo mat (like this one) or just on a cutting board if you don’t have a bamboo mat.

  • Add a layer of rice on the kim (seaweed) on about half of the sheet.
  • Add the carrots, a few egg strips, and spinach in the center of the rice (in addition to tuna or steak)

  • Here’s the tricky part, use both hands to hold the filling and start rolling the kim. Check out the master at work:

  • Then, simply cut the roll into ¼ inch pieces.

If you really want to send this over the edge, dip the pieces in soy sauce or as I like to do, pour a few drops on each piece as you devour them! Ha.

Enjoy!

XOXO,

Lauren

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Be Your Own Valentine: 5 Tips For A More Confident You!

We live in a world that constantly reminds us that we’re not good enough.  We’re not tall enough, thin enough, tan enough, happy enough, healthy enough….the list goes on and on.  It’s exhausting, honestly.  We are hit with a constant flow of information, via the internet, that tells us exactly how we should look, act and think.  Our senses are on overdrive trying to keep up with the latest workouts, trends and technology.  All we want to do is better ourselves, but what ends up happening is that we don’t love the skin we’re in.  We’re always searching for happiness and chasing contentment.  We always think “if just this one things happens, THEN I’ll be happy.”  Or “if I find this kind of man, THEN I’ll be happy.”  The truth is, you don’t find happiness, you make it.  If you can’t find peace where you are, then you never will.  I’m as guilty of this as anyone else.  While I agree that it’s always important to move forward, grow and better yourself, it’s most important to stop and smell the roses and LIVE.  To enjoy the present and love ourselves and those around us.  While truly loving ourselves on the inside is a little bit harder to achieve, here are five easy tips that will boost your outer self confidence.  When you look good, you feel good.  Outer self confidence will start to boost your inner self love!

1.  Go-To Jeans

There is literally nothing more important than having a favorite, go-to pair of good fitting jeans.  A cute pair of jeans can really boost any woman’s confidence.  Find a pair of jeans that can be dressed up or down.  While I’m normally chasing a good deal, jeans are one thing that I don’t skimp on – I’ll pay top dollar for a pair of good quality jeans.  My favorite jeans are American Eagle High Rise Jeggings.

 

2. Good Skin Care Routine

I am SO guilty on this one.  Luckily, I didn’t have skin problems during the teen years.  While that is a huge blessing, it’s a curse in it’s own way.  Because I never had to take care of my skin, I didn’t.  Last year, at 33, I finally got on board with a nightly skincare routine and I can definitely see the difference.  I keep my routine simple, but I still feel like it’s important.  Nothing makes a person more self conscious than to have a giant zit on their face that everyone is staring at (at least that’s how it feels!)  All skin types are different, but here’s what works for me (bonus: you can get this at the drug store for cheap!)

These Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes are literally the bomb.  They get everything off while still being gentle on the skin.  I even use them on my kids delicate skin after wearing dance competition makeup.

After thoroughly cleaning my face, I moisturize with Olay Firming Night Cream.  This stuff will literally make your face as soft as butter – and it smells good, too!

3.  Lipstick!

Even though I keep my lip color very “nude” most of the time, I make sure to incorporate a bold, fun lip color on date nights.  It’s also fun to wear a bold lip with minimal makeup – to switch things up a bit!  Here’s one of my favorite looks:

 

4. Pearly Whites!

This one ranks right up there with good skin care.  A healthy oral routine is very important to me.  No one feels very confident if their smile isn’t on point.  I’ve had teeth problems my whole life (lots of cavities – *eye roll*, ugh.)  As an adult, I try to take really good care of my teeth.  I brush two-to-three times daily and use this Listerine Whitening Mouth Rinse.  I’m not even kidding, I can totally tell a difference when I’m not using it.  A warm, happy smile goes a long way – share yours with others!

5. Head Swag!

I can not stress this one enough!  As women, we are constantly doing our hair.  If you’re anything like me, you probably dread doing your hair – it’s SUCH a process.  You might even plan your hair washing days around your social calendar (not that I would know anything about that!)  Here’s a tip that will help you out majorly.  Find several different styles of hats that you like.  Create a collection.  I have hats for most all occasions.  If you’re in a hurry, skip the hair wash.  Just throw your hair up in a messy side bun and throw on a cute hat.  You’ll look trendy and your husband will be happy that he didn’t have to sit around and wait on you!

While I enjoy slathering paints all over my face and jacking my hair to Jesus, it’s not because someone else made me feel like I need to do that.  It’s because I like it and that’s what makes me feel confident!  It’s not even because of my husband.  In fact, he would much prefer me in workout clothes, a ball cap and bare faced.  But I’ve come to realize what’s most important is making myself feel confident and beautiful.  That feeling is going to be different for every single person.  Your job is to figure out what makes you feel beautiful!

Whether you’re spending your Valentine’s Day with your lover, your Galentine or you’re flying solo, make sure that you remember to love yourself first!

Hugs & Hearts,

Jill

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Flipping Out Over Aerial Yoga – Bent And Twisted!

As our focus on health and wellness in the new year continues, we are also putting a lot of effort into stepping outside of our comfort zones and trying new adventures!  It’s so easy to get caught in a rut – doing the same things, every single day, simply because it’s comfortable.  One of our goals in 2018 is to get adventurous, take you all along with us as we step outside of our ‘bubble’ and really experience the world around us.  True growth only happens when you put fear aside and walk into a situation that makes you uncomfortable, facing it head on.  You’re forced to dig deep in your soul and trust that you CAN do hard things and that you ARE strong enough to conquer whatever lies ahead.  It’s also really important to have a good sense of humor.  Being able to laugh at your small failures makes every situation in life so.much.easier.

After conquering Acro Yoga a few weeks ago, we had a boost in confidence and decided that Aerial Yoga would be our next adventure.  Although our yoga instructors assured us that we could do it, there were still some nerves involved.  Aerial Yoga seemed easier in the sense that we didn’t have a partner that we could injure or fall on, but then it seemed harder because it fully 100% depended on our own strength and ability.

While we were driving to class, Lauren’s fear of the unknown started to take over.  She went into a full on panic attack.  I mean, we’re talking deep breathing, wanting to vomit, couldn’t eat breakfast, level 1 nervous breakdown.  Jill comforted Lauren the best way she knew how – by laughing until she cried and by ‘snap chatting’ Lauren’s Britney Spears 2007 style breakdown (*spoiler alert* no shaved heads).  It was honestly the best.thing.ever.  So that you can fully understand the hilarity of the situation, we’ve compiled a short video of our snaps to show what it was like inside that car on the way to class. This is the perfect sneak peak into our real lives; probably the best video we’ve ever posted – you’ll want to watch this one for sure!

 

Once we arrived at our destination, the nerves started to calm and it was time to man-up.  Just like acro yoga, before we knew it, we were knee-deep in the class; we were “flying” within minutes.  Here’s our breakdown on what to expect if you’re on the fence about aerial yoga.

A lot of you are probably thinking “I’m not sure I can do that.”  Actually, our first joke was “I wonder what the weight limit is on those straps?!?”  (You know you were thinking that too!)  Funny enough, one of the first things our instructor said was “there’s a 2,000 pound weight limit on the silks, so there’s literally nothing you can do to break them!”  (Shew!  Major fear calmed right there!)   There were all different body shapes and sizes in our class.  Some people were very physically fit, some people didn’t seem to be athletic at all and most of the class was just your average women.  The workout was adapted to all levels of fitness and you were able to opt out of any pose that you didn’t feel comfortable with (our backup plan was to chill in our hammocks if we got really scared.)  Luckily, we didn’t have to stoop to that level.  This class does require a certain amount of flexibility and upper body strength.  Because of that, I would suggest taking the class with a buddy; someone that can provide extra support getting into the tough poses.  As much fun as this was, DO expect to be *slightly* sore following the class.  Your body will be in positions that it may have never been in before (stretch really well before class if possible!).  The silks will definitely “hug” your legs (sometimes you’ll feel like your legs are getting squeezed in half – but, no worries, you’ll be just fine!)  Also, expect your hands to be tender after the class (you’ll be amazed how tightly you grip those silks!).  We had actually read that you could wear gloves to keep your hands from getting sore but we didn’t want to be those people….but, honestly, you should be that person – at least until you condition your hands to the workout.

 

 

 

This was super fun experience and we would totally recommend that you try it out with your group of friends. Yoga Power in Charleston was one of the most impressive studios we’ve visited! They have a coffee bar, retail area, tons of space to store your stuff and even a “foot cleansing” station! Be sure to check out yogapowerwv on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow them to get the latest on upcoming events and the aerial yoga schedule!

XOXO,

Jill & Lauren

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Mom Approved Workout Gear – Affordable, Durable and Cute!

While we have all resolved to workout and improve our health this year, we also want to look good doing it! Here are some options that don’t break the bank, are durable and totally mom approved!

Yoga Pants:

Zella – These aren’t called “Live In High Waist Leggings” for nothing! I got a pair of these for Christmas and are an item that I could wear from lounging at home, to the gym, to the grocery store! They really SUCK you in, so if you are between sizes, size up. Who doesn’t love a high waist?? If you’ve never tried it, it is a game changer. 🙂

Victoria’s Secret – I’ve had several pairs of the Victoria Sport Anytime Yoga Pant since college! These are really thick and hide some of those bumps and rolls we are trying to work off. Ha. They are super durable and seems to keep their shape well after several washes.

Tops

Old Navy – I love this Go-Dry Racerback tank because it is breathable but provides a lot of coverage! I’ve had the black one for a couple of years and it still looks brand new.  The cut covers the front and the tush! Also, it’s not clinging but doesn’t balloon up. It’s a super cute and affordable option!

Nike – This Dry Training T-Shirt is a classic. It’s a littler longer than your average workout t-shirt which is great for those of us getting back on the workout train! The material is super soft and I love the color options.

Shoes

Adidas – My brother introduced me to the Ultra-Boosts. They are the most cushiony tennis shoes I’ve ever owned. If you want to feel like you are floating on clouds, this is the shoe for you. (I’d also recommend the NMDs…my husband swears by them.) Make sure you are wearing the right shoe for you, it can make all the difference in your workouts.

Sports Bra

Nike – This Classic Swoosh Support Bra is what I’ve been using forever. It is total wash and wear and has tons of color options.

If you’re looking to burn a few extra calories or intensify your workouts just a bit, I highly suggest this Gold’s Gym Neoprene Waist Trimmer.  I never workout without one!  This really warms up your core for a good healthy sweat.

If you’re looking to shed some pounds quickly or really step up your workout game, then you should try the Gold’s Gym Sauna Suit.  While I realize this contraption is anything but stylish, it really works.  You will absolutely pour the sweat!  I recommend wearing this during your home workouts.  Your workout buddies might be slightly embarrassed if you show up at the gym sporting this rubber made beauty.

If you’re like me and really enjoy the weight room (or even just the Nautilus Circuit) make sure to invest in a good pair of Gold’s Gym Wrist Wraps.  These will provide vital support when lifting heavy – your wrists will thank you!

As you may have already noticed, we’re really focusing on living a fab, fit and fun life in 2018.  Stay tuned for more workout adventures – I wonder what we will be up to next?!?

Make sure to like, comment and subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss anything!

XOXO

Jill & Lauren

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Flying High With Acro Yoga; We Thought We Were Going To Die!

 

How many times have you gotten into something that you weren’t really planning on doing, but your friend asked you go, so there you are?!  Well, that’s exactly what happened last week.  Lauren sent a text that said “OMG, Acro Yoga popped up on my Facebook feed, it would be hilarious, any chance you want to try it??”  In Jill’s adventurous nature, she replied with “let’s do it”.  Before we knew it, we were booking an Acro Yoga workshop class on the MindBody App (we had absolutely no idea what we were getting into – neither of us even practice yoga regularly) but the rest is history.

The next day we had the normal text conversations, you know, like “still on for tonight?” And, most importantly, “what are you going to wear?”  As if one of us was going to reply with a “sundress and wedges” (why do girls always do this?!?  I’m the worst for it.)  We made a plan and we were all set.  Lauren arrived at the yoga studio parking lot first and called Jill.  At this point, panic was setting in!  As Lauren was watching the yoga regulars walk in to class she started to feel as if we had made a HUGE mistake.  While we were on the phone Jill talked Lauren ‘off the ledge’ and arrived shortly after.  When we walked into the yoga studio, we both began to giggle nervously as we got ready for class.  The lights were down low, soothing music was playing in the background and the regulars were already warming up (mind you, we don’t even know how to properly warm up for acro yoga.)  Sooo….in true blogger fashion, what did we do?!?  We found a better lit room and began to take a few selfies (I’m not even kidding.)  About this time, Jill realized that she forgot to even bring a yoga mat (I mean, isn’t that like yoga 101?!?)  Luckily, the studio provided a mat but I’m pretty sure this was the first hint that we didn’t really know what we were doing.

 

After a few minutes of waiting anxiously in the foyer (and deep breathing), we finally worked up the courage to walk into the studio.  To our surprise, the instructors and other classmates were overwhelmingly warm and inviting.  We quickly ousted ourselves as newbies, but luckily, that didn’t really seem to matter.  The instructors were amazing; so very patient, kind and encouraging.  They talked us, and the rest of the class, through every movement.  They kept us safe, and most importantly, they provided a really fun learning environment.

 

Thoughts from Jill:

I’m not really sure what I expected going into the class.  I vaguely knew what acro yoga was but I wasn’t sure what all we would do at the workshop.  I did a quick google search of acro yoga poses (isn’t that how we learn everything these days?!?)  I was equally nervous and excited as I browsed through all the photos of acro yoga.  As I looked through the poses, some of them made me think “I can do that.”  But some of the more complicated poses gave me heart palpitations.  I quickly told Lauren that I would be the base (person on the bottom; the lifter.)  Strength has always been my thing but my flexibility is not what it was 10 years ago.  As it turns out, Lauren was a much better base.  At first, I felt like my legs were just too short to get the flyer (the person being lifted) properly in the air.  Towards the end of the workshop I finally figured the base thing out, but surprisingly, I liked being the flyer.  There is something very freeing about hanging upside down, in the air, suspended by a stranger’s feet and totally trusting that they won’t drop you!

The workshop was roughly 2.5 hours long.  Going into it, that seemed like a really long, overwhelming amount of time.  But we enjoyed it so much that time literally flew by.  Before we knew it, it was time to leave and we didn’t want it to end!  Overall, Acro Yoga was much more about trust and team building and very little about skill.  Now, don’t get me wrong, the teachers have A LOT of skill and they’ve obviously worked very hard at their craft.  They’re amazing.  But they were able to give us the quick-n-dirty on acro yoga and within the first thirty minutes I was flying upside down.  I never in my wildest dreams imagined that would happen.  I figured we would mostly watch them and maybe do something really simple.  In the pictures below, you’ll see the crazy positions they had us in.  I’m still kind of shocked, but I can’t wait to do it again!

Sidenote:  When I told my BFF’s that I was taking this class, they had every joke in the book – including information for the Orthopedics Department at the local emergency room.  I’m not even kidding – of course it was all in good fun.  But honestly, I think this would be a really cool girlfriends retreat experience.  Because we had no idea what we were doing, we laughed sooo hard (we didn’t really bring tranquility to the class, but we’ll work on that next time I swear.)  We also felt really great accomplishment when we landed a pose.  It was the most uplifting environment.  If you’re in good health, I would totally suggest giving this a try!

 

 

Thoughts from Lauren:

So, as you saw above, I was totally freaked out about this after I signed up and to be honest, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into.  One of my facebook friends was “interested” in this class, and I thought it would be a fun, different kind of yoga class to try. I am not a full on yogi, but have taken my fair share of meditative/restorative/bikram/prenatal yoga classes. Once I started googling pics to see what I was in for, I totally lost it.  There was everything from 3 to 4 person pyramids to crazy bendy people in all kinds of unnatural positions. I immediately regretted my decision. For some unknown reason, I tried to get affirmation that I could do this from my husband and friends, but they immediately laughed me out of the room.

I was a basket case before I left the house; I was trying out poses with my 3 year old.  Soooo, just a little insight into me, I like my personal space…the thought of randos holding me up with their FEET and vice versa, had me basically needing a paper bag to breathe into (I really didn’t think this through did I?!?!).  Once Jill arrived and we made our way inside the yoga studio, everything was calm and serene. You know those times (like in school or church) where you aren’t supposed to laugh but you can’t control yourself?? Well, this was one of those times. It was laugh or cry – I was so out of my league.

As uncomfortable as I was going in, the instructors Angie and Nate, totally turned it around in the first five minutes. They were so knowledgeable and encouraging. It took an incredible amount of trust, focus and stability to take the first leap, but after that it was super fun. (My middle school cheerleading career didn’t hurt in helping me get up in some of these poses – I was definitely “pinching a penny”! Ha!) I hit my stride and the 2.5 hour workshop flew by. (I wasn’t even freaked out by the personal space issues!) I would totally recommend this class/workshop to anyone looking for something outside of the box. Here are some of the crazy/fun things we got into:

 

 

For more information on Acro Yoga check out Angie Edmunds at Yoga Power, LLC in Charleston, WV or her workshops at Studio 8 in Huntington, WV.

Namaste my friends.  Cheers to a peaceful, fun, uplifting week.

XOXO,

Jill & Lauren

 

 

 

 

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