fitness. motherhood. life & style.

Beating the Holiday Bloat

I'm pretty sure most of the weight gain we feel post holidays is from holding onto water weight and bloating. Either way, it's probably the only thing I dislike about the holidays!! Over the years I've gathered a few tricks to de-bloat quickly so I'll be sharing them with you just in time for 2018.

  • Have a hot cup of water with fresh squeezed lemon juice and a sip of apple cider vinegar every morning on an empty stomach. FYI, when I say a sip of apple cider vinegar, I mean a very small sip. This stuff can literally clean you out and trust me, you don't want that!
  • Drink lots of water! I aim to drink at least half of my body weight in ounces of water daily.
  • Hit the sauna daily. I LOVE the sauna because it helps me to sweat out toxins and I feel great after at least 10-15 minutes in there.
  • Use a belly wrap (not waist trainer) while you workout or sit in the sauna. A few years ago my friend Jenny suggested this Everlast wrap that basically helps you sweat out all the water weight in your mid section. I love it and I've linked it below!
  • Drink weightless tea daily. I've linked this tea below and it can be found just about anywhere. It's supposed to help you shed water weight and it also tastes pretty good.
  • Watch out for extra salt. If you keep eating heavily salty foods then you will have a much harder time losing that water weight.
  • Eat healthy and stick to your normal workout routine. There is no need to overdo the cardio post holidays and it'll get you into a bad binge/restrict cycle. I have always found that I quickly lose water weight if I stick to a normal routine instead of overdoing the workouts.
These tips are not only helpful to shed water weight but they're also good to practice with your normal routine. Hope this helps and here's to kicking your 2018 off to a good start!!



Mia's 3 Month and Postpartum/ED Update

I can't even believe Mia is three months already! It's crazy how fast time flies. I'll miss her being tiny but I love watching her become more interactive. She loves to babble and eat and we are lucky to still be breastfeeding. Lately, my favorite thing that she does is smile at me. It is the best feeling ever to see her smile at me when she wakes up every morning. We aren't following a set schedule but she has created her own schedule. She sleeps through the night most nights so I'll enjoy that before the dreaded four month sleep regression! I know that I love being her mom!!
As for my own update, I have a new appreciation for the human body. It's crazy to me just what the body can do from growing a human to being able to continue to feed her. I'm back in the gym and it's been rough let me tell you. I wish I would've had a super fit pregnancy and while I was active, I wasn't able to lift like I wanted to due to just being freaking tired and some back pain. Now I'm lifting again and the soreness is real. What I will say is that if you've somehow fallen off the wagon or haven't been working out for some reason, it's a lot easier to get back into it. Yes, I'm sore but I'm not starting from the bottom (muscle memory) and I'm more motivated than ever.
I ended up hitting a new low weight that I haven't seen since 2014. If you've been following me for awhile you know that, that year was the peak of my disordered eating. I remember being the weight I am now after binge eating and calling my mom crying because I was "huge". I was only a few pounds from my high school weight but at that time, that was huge to me. It made me think that I've come a long way and while I still have little hints of weight anxiety, I now know how to handle it. If you're in the peak of any type of disordered eating, just know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I was worried my weight anxiety would hit me hard postpartum and I've been able to control it by reminding myself that this body gave me Mia. Practicing self love instead of beating yourself down will help you and should be practiced daily! Right now I'm not as focused on weight as I am on gaining my strength back. I'm happy with this weight that I once saw as huge. I'm the happiest I've ever been with my body and I actually think it's because I've seen what it can do. Keep looking for that self love and that light at the end of the tunnel. If you have serious body dysmorphia, reach out to someone to help you. If you can change the way you see yourself then you can find happiness!

Target Gift Guide, Under $25

Hi all!

I decided my last gift guide would be a Target gift guide! Because who doesn't love Target. All of the items I either own or have gifted and everything is under $25, including these shoes above. I can go pretty crazy at Target so I tried to just pick a few good items. Enjoy!



Holiday Gift Guide, My Top Ten

My next highest voted for gift guide was my top ten picks. I've listed them below and can I just say I love Amazon fashion, they have the best prices! Also, I couldn't help myself and I already purchased the black slides, lol. They're pictured above and VERY comfy. Most items are well priced with a few splurges. Enjoy!

katie lynn

Fitness Lover's Gift Guide

I love a useful fitness gift so I wanted to share a gift guide for the fitness lover in your life! Or for yourself :) I have almost all of the items below and use them a ton. Happy gifting!

katie lynn

Winter Cozy Gift Guide

I wanted to do a few fun gift guides this season and I'm most excited about this one! I'm a sucker for cozy winter items and I also think they're great gifts. Also, because of Cyber Monday, all of these items are on sale! I've linked the stores below and their sale details or you can click on each item to check them out.

Anthropologie-20% off and free shipping on orders over $100

Express-50% off everything and free shipping

Gap-50% off and free shipping with code CYBER

Loft-50% off and free shipping with code CLICK

Old Navy-50% off everything! Free shipping on orders over $50. Stuff is going fast!

Target-15% off

Urban Outfitters-$15 off $75 and $50 off $150


Men's Gift Guide with Jord

This season, Christmas came early with a Jord wood watch. I know most men would love this based on my men's gift giving tips. I picked the walnut and black wood watch from the Hyde series and it's gorgeous! It's timeless and unique. Today, I'm partnering up with Jord to share my tips on picking the perfect gift for that special man in your life. Also, I have a special treat for my readers at the end.

My first tip is to think timeless. I always aim to find something that won't lose interest within months and remains useful. Classic, timeless gifts are always appreciated and never end up in the back of someones closet.
You'll also want to shop for durability. If I'm picking out something wearable I'm looking for something that will last through working on cars, working outside, daily work wear, etc. It goes hand in hand with being a timeless item. The same goes for tools, etc. Men will keep things forever so you want to make sure it will last.
A unique item is best. It's hard to shop for men who seem to have everything they want so I always look for a stand out item that'll really impress them instead of another sweater or power tool.
Find a wide range of uses. If I'm looking for tools or electronics, I want to make sure it has multiple uses not just a one and done item. If I'm buying a wearable item then I want to make sure they can wear it for work, play, and everything in between.
Lastly, match their style. You know the man you're buying a gift for best, so go with what you know they will like. Most likely, they'll love what you choose for them and their style!

As a special gift to all my readers, you can click here to enter your email and receive 25% off any Jord wood watch!

Today only, you can click here then click the Black Friday logo five times to access the Black Friday sales (hint: you can save over $100 on some watches!).

The mens shop can be found here and you can shop the stunning wood watch I picked here. Also, I can't forget my ladies who can shop the beautiful women's wood watches here.
katie lynn


My Weight Anxiety

Weight anxiety is something that I think most women struggle with. Maybe you aren't comfortable with your current weight, you just lost weight and don't want to gain it back, or you're just worried about gaining weight. I think we've all felt some form of this anxiety.

I've always struggled with worrying about weight especially when I was dealing with dieting and binge eating. For the most part I've learned how to handle it but it never fully goes away. Now that I've lost my baby weight I can feel that weight anxiety creeping back into my life. I can feel the pressure to keep that weight off and that's when I start to focus too heavily on my weight. What's worse is the holidays are near which is basically the international season of weight gain (especially when you love holiday foods and flavors). I'm sure some of you are reading this and get weight anxiety when I mention the holidays! On top of that, I have a wedding coming up which adds even MORE pressure to watch my weight. However, I promised myself years ago that I would never let that weight anxiety creep back into my life and take control. Weight anxiety keeps you from making any kind of body progress. I want to share how I'm controlling that anxiety for those of you struggling with something similar.

First off, I remind myself to STOP GETTING ON THE SCALE. This one is hard for me but I've trained myself to avoid the scale when I know I might be carrying some water weight from a meal the night before. Don't put yourself through that stress, just walk away from the scale. Use the scale sparingly not routinely. It's a lot better to measure your "weight" off of how you feel. I've had days where I feel great and the number on the scale changes my mind. I'm about five pounds away from the scale number I would like to be, however, I actually feel like I look much better at my current weight. When I'm not obsessing over a number, I'm a lot happier in my body.

You're worth much more than a number on the scale.

Second, it's important for me to keep enjoying my life. I can't stress this enough! If you want to go have a burger with your friends, then go. Don't live a crazy strict lifestyle if you don't need to. I am healthy, I don't have weight to lose, and I know if I restrict myself I won't be happy and my anxiety will skyrocket. If you're enjoying yourself, your mind is going to be a lot less focused on what is giving you anxiety. I'm also much more in control of my working out and my eating choices if I give myself a break sometimes. Listen to your body!

It's also important to enjoy working out and healthy meals. If you find things you like then you're able to make a lifestyle change, not just a temporary fix to lose some weight. Knowing that I made a lifestyle change years ago, gives me comfort that I'll be fine during the holidays and fine leading up to my wedding. A lifestyle change is key for so many other things besides just weight. It's important for health and for happiness.

Last, managing my weight anxiety is easier when I share it with you all! Being honest and sharing what I'm going through is hopefully helping someone else going through the same thing and that gives me comfort. It's always nice to know you aren't alone! Talk to someone, feel free to contact me, and face that anxiety head on.

You can also find my old post, on beating the holiday lbs, here.

Always aim for self love!

katie lynn

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for many reasons. I love the family time, food (duh), and pumpkin pie!! I also love that this holiday gives me a reason to dress up. If you're struggling with what to wear this holiday, I've planned out a few Thanksgiving outfit ideas and linked them to shop below. Enjoy!

This outfit is for the more casual Thanksgiving dinner and it's perfect for cold weather. I love this puffer vest that I just picked up from Old Navy for ONLY $15. Everything in the store is 40% off and that will go to 50% off for Black Friday (win).

I love oversized sweaters, especially on Thanksgiving (food baby coverage). I dressed this outfit up a bit with the OTK boots and black choker.

I wanted to have a simple look planned out as well and this is my new favorite sweater because it's so soft and has those awesome bell sleeves! It's also on sale for cyber week and going fast!

Last, I have a dressier look planned out with this fun faux fur vest and pretty statement necklace.

Happy Thanksgiving!

katie lynn

The Best Nursing Tops

I don't know about you guys but after Mia was born I quickly realized that finding flattering and nursing appropriate tops was a challenge. It's already difficult trying to feed her in public and it's even harder when your top won't cooperate. I've rounded up just a few of the best nursing tops that are still cute like my look above. Just because you're a nursing mom doesn't mean you have to lose your own personal style!

-The pink top is a basic button up and those are my favorites for nursing. I own a ton of them and they're great for work or casual wear. This one is only $17!
-I love the loose gray nursing top and I also wore it when I was pregnant. It doesn't even look like a nursing top and it's work appropriate.
-These nursing tanks like the white one above are a must. They make great sleep tops and can be worn under any other shirt.
-I love the red wrap top from Nordstrom! It can be worn multiple ways, is another easy nursing top, and has that great red color for the holidays.
-The short pink hoodie is great when paired with a nursing tank underneath because it's easy to lift up and cover the baby.
-I picked this maroon zipper cardigan up while it was on sale and it's one of my favorite tops for nursing.

You can click the pictures above to view the items. Happy shopping!

I wanted to add the top I'm wearing below to the post because it's my new favorite nursing top. It's only $29 today (12/12) and I'm wearing size small. It's also big enough to use as a cover while you're nursing. Seriously, the best nursing top and really cute!!

katie lynn



Express Sale Picks

Happy Sunday!

Until Monday, Express is having a 40% off everything sale! Express is one of my favorite stores for classic styles so I put together a few of my picks from the sale. You can click the pictures to shop. Everything here is under $60!

katie lynn

At Home Workout Routine

Hi all!

I was finally cleared to work out last week!! I've been working out at home or outside because honestly, I just haven't made it to the gym to start my membership back up. New mom problems! It's been nice because I've been able to start back up slowly with body/low weight. I wanted to share my workout routine for other new moms out there or for those of you who are just busy and need to workout at home. This should get you started. No excuses! I've even done a few leg workouts with Mia in my arms. All you'll need is a resistance band and a set of dumbbells with your choice of weight. My workouts typically last about 45 minutes and I do some of them till failure (as many as you can) because my dumbbells aren't as heavy as I would like them to be. Adjust this according to the weight you know you can lift or just do more reps with body weight!
Legs-2x per week
  • Start with 10 minutes of cardio (I've been running my stairs) but you can do some jump rope intervals, burpees, etc. just make sure you're warmed up
  • Alternate with squats with a resistance band around your thighs 3x10 and calf raises 3x as many as you can
  • Alternate jumping lunges 3x10 and wall sits 3x30 seconds
  • Walking lunges around your house as far as you can go (I get like 10 in per leg) 3x
  • Alternate squat jumps with a resistance band around your thighs 3x10 and sumo squats without the band but with one dumbbell holding it between your legs 3x10
  • Pulse squats with the resistance band around your thighs again 3x10
  • Dog leg raises with the resistance band around your shins 3x10 example here (I could be naming this wrong but just go with it, it burns!)
  • Leg lifts on all fours (again weird name, good workout) with the resistance band on both ankles 3x10 example here
  • Finish with various ab exercises like leg lifts, crunches, sit ups, etc. As many as you can do!
  • Stretch
Shoulders & Back-1x per week
  • Start with 10 minutes of cardio
  • Alternating shoulder press 3x till failure and bent over rows 3x till failure both with dumbbells
  • Alternating upright rows with dumbbells 3x till failure and then I take my resistance band in both hands and pull it apart while pinching your should blades, you should feel this in your upper back and if you don't move your hands closer in on the resistance band 3x10
  • Alternating front raises with dumbbells 3x till failure and lower back extensions 3x till failure example here
  • Lateral raises 3x till failure
  • Again alternating shoulder press and bent over rows but have your resistance band under one foot and use it instead of dumbbells
  • Hold the downward dog position so you feel it in your shoulders then come through your arms into a plank and hold for 30 seconds, 3x
  • More ab exercises!!
  • Stretch
Biceps & Triceps-1x per week
  • Start with 10 minutes of cardio
  • Alternating bicep curls 3x till failure and bent over tricep extensions 3x till failure both with dumbbells
  • Tricep push ups 3x10 (all I can handle now since post baby core strength is non existent, lol)
  • Bicep curls to shoulder press with dumbbells 3x10
  • Alternating hammer curls 3x till failure and overhead tricep extensions 3x15 both with dumbbells
  • Push ups 3x till failure
  • More abs (doing the most this day)
  • Stretch
I am also walking/jogging 1-2x a week with Miss Mia. I'm not doing much cardio because I'm more concerned about gaining strength! Post baby makes your core a disaster so if I'm too sore one day for core work outs I skip them. I worry about injuring my c-section area! You can also do most of these with just a resistance band. I use these bands because I can tie them to wrap around my legs or untie them to use for arms. Target also has great dumbbell sets linked here. I'm not a trainer, just throwing something together until I can get back into the gym. If you need a good and AFFORDABLE online trainer, I suggest Jenny Chu! Check out her Instagram here. She can help with your nutrition too and she's #bootygoals.
Happy working out!

katie lynn



Sephora VIB Sale Picks

Hi all! Christmas is right around the corner so it's a good idea to start thinking about gifts! Luckily, Sephora has their annual sale for VIB members so you can save on some really great gifts or treats for yourself. I rounded up a few of my Sephora VIB sale picks and linked them below.

Make Up Forever Artist Rouge Lipstick: This is my all time favorite matte lipstick. It's not drying AT ALL and stays on really well. I highly recommend this lipstick and they have awesome color selections.

Benefit Cosmetics High Brow Pencil: With a new baby and less sleep than normal, I need all the help I can get to look well rested. This pencil can be used under your eyebrows, in the corners of your eyes, and along your bottom lash line to brighten up your eyes. This is my new makeup staple!

Urban Decay Naked2 Basic's Palette: This palette is under $30 before the extra 20% off! This was gifted to me and it was one of my favorite gifts. I use this palette daily because of the great neutral colors. The lighter colors are great for a simple day time eye shadow and then you can spice it up with the darker colors at night.

It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara: One of my favorite bloggers (with great eye lashes) has recommended this mascara and I have to try it. I feel like I've tried every mascara known to man and I'm a sucker for a good mascara!

Tarte Limited-Edition Artful Accessories Brush Set: Good brushes are a must but they can end up being pretty expensive. Tarte has this awesome gift set available right now that has five brushes that I use daily and it's under $50. I try to wait for these gift sets to come out to pick up some new brushes!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Sugar Glow Kit: This kit caught my eye because it has really pretty winter glow colors. This makes a great gift because it works for all skin tones and it's under $50!

Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Nude Lip: I've been searching for the perfect fall nude lip color so I will definitely be picking up this gift set! It has several different great brands and different shades of nudes to try.

Wearing the Naked2 palette below. Also, linked my outfit details! Happy Shopping!

The sweater is an older Old Navy v-neck (wearing small and most of their tops are TTS) and I linked a newer one here. The jeans are Fashion Nova's girlfriend jeans and I LOVE the fit also TTS and should fit a little loose, linked here. I suggested different jean options on my page. The watch I'm wearing can be found here but I do have it in a darker metal that isn't currently available. Last but not least, my fun shoes can be found here for under $40 dollars! Wearing a size 7, they are TTS and sooooo comfortable.

katie lynn

10 Quick and Healthy Snacks

Hi all! Staying busy means I'm all about quick meal ideas and also quick snack ideas. I like to make sure that I have a few options for on the go snacks as well. I've listed below my top ten favorite quick and healthy snack ideas.

1. Rice Cakes. Rice cakes are good when I'm not super hungry and possibly just bored because they are so low in calories. Sometimes if I am a little hungrier I'll add peanut butter for some protein. Sam's Club also has these really yummy rice rollers! Linked here.

2. Protein/Health Bar. These are my go to snacks because they're easy to take everywhere and filing. I use to love Quest Bars but the whey bothers my stomach :( so I've had to find other bars I enjoy like Luna bars and Kind bars. Lately, I've been loving these Fig Bars!! You have to watch out for the sugar in some of the bars as it can be pretty high and then you might as well just have a candy bar, in my opinion.
3. Fruit. Another easy snack to pack for the day and it's full of nutrients. Typically, I only eat one piece of fruit per day because I don't want to have a ton of sugar even if it's healthy sugar.

4. Veggies and Dip. I really enjoy snacking on fresh carrots and celery with hummus! There are some other veggie dips out there but beware of the calories they may have.

5. Yogurt with Granola and/or Fruit. I love low fat or greek yogurt with granola or fruit for a quick, yummy snack. Again, watch the sugar here especially with some brands of granola. I actually topped my yogurt with Kashi Go Lean cereal in this picture below because it has a lot less sugar than a serving of granola.
6. 100 Calorie Nut Packs. It's easy for nuts to be a very caloric snack if you're hungry so I like the pre-packaged ones that keep my calories in check. This is the perfect small but filling snack.

7. Protein Shake. I really prefer to make these at home with fresh cashew or almond milk instead of having it on the go with water (if you can't refrigerate it). I can't have most protein powders due to the whey content but I love this vegan one below! Tastes the best out of any vegan protein powder I've tried and it's about $20 for this whole tub.
8. Veggie Straws. Every so often I just want some salt and these are pretty good. Also, they're a little better than eating traditional chips. You can buy these is smaller serving bags so you don't binge on a large bag or have to bag up some to go.

9. Cucumbers and Tomatoes in Vinegar. As weird as this sounds if you like tart or salty things, you'll love this snack. I just cut up cucumbers and tomatoes and put them in a tupperware with white vinegar then salt to taste. If you are watching your sodium intake then this probably isn't the snack for you! Plain cucumbers and tomatoes are just as delicious if you want to avoid sodium.

10. Skinny Pop Popcorn. I love the 100 calorie bags, it's the perfect small snack and the popcorn is actually really good (this is coming from a serious movie theatre popcorn lover).
I am not on any specific diet right now just trying to eat healthy and get ready for the wedding! Having these quick and healthy snacks ready to go helps me stay on track when I'm running around. There are a lot of on the go snacks out there but sometimes they are not as healthy as they advertise. Just read the labels and know what you're eating! Trail mix and dried fruit seem to be popular but those are some snacks I like to avoid because they both pack a lot of sugar. My best advice is know what your goals are, what you're eating, and be prepared so you don't find yourself hungry and slip up on your healthy eating.

katie lynn


Why Mom Shaming Needs to Stop

Hi everyone and happy hump day! I've been wanting to write about mom shaming for awhile now because over the past few months I've realized how relevant and destructive it is. I think a lot of people don't even know they're doing it and honestly, I was probably guilty of it before I was ever pregnant. It's something that people need to be aware of and AVOID DOING IT. Mom shaming shows up in all different kinds of forms. Whether it's someone telling a mother she's doing motherhood wrong, judging a mom for something they can't control, or even being hard on yourself because of societal standards. I know I was very hard on myself for having to deliver Mia via C-section instead of having a normal delivery. Was it safer for her? Yes, so there was no question in having a C-section but it made me feel like less of a woman and less of a mother. I'm assuming this stems from natural births being so popular and the idea that those moms are braver than other moms who chose epidurals or end up with C-sections. Don't get me wrong, a C-section is not a walk in the park and the recovery isn't very fun either. Five weeks postpartum and my incision still bothers me a bit and it's not the prettiest mark on my body. However, what I should have focused on was the fact that I had a healthy baby and that in itself is amazing.

"No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother's love." -Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Now that I am a new mom, I've also taken to reading a lot of blogs and posts from other moms regarding mom shaming. The stories some of these women tell is absolutely astonishing. One lady said two strangers walked up to her in public and told her to be at home with her babies, not in the grocery store with them (um, sorry most people don't have personal assistants to get the groceries). Another woman said that she was told since she was a working mom she didn't care about her daughter. I wish I could tell the woman who made that remark, that she can come pay the bills so that mom can stay home with her daughter! Also, some of us honestly enjoy working. A lot of mom shaming comes from people who don't even have children so it leads you to ask yourself, where do they get off judging any mom out there? Even complete strangers feel the need to make comments to mothers they don't know! The worst is when other moms shame each other! There is not one single mom out there who is the world's only good mom. Hate to break it to you but motherhood isn't about competition. It really amazes me how inconsiderate people can be.

Every single mom I know has had a different journey. From pregnancy, to birth, to breastfeeding, to sleeping, etc. Motherhood isn't the same with each of your own children either! I've been very lucky that I've had a relatively easy time breastfeeding so far because that is not easy. I've slowly included various foods as well and she hasn't had any allergies! I know some women who have had a hard time with it and some who are weirded out by it. However, I would never tell another mother, "you're doing this feeding thing wrong" because I've been able to breastfeed. You just have to do whatever works for you. Every baby is very different so what may work for one may not work for another. There's all these books and blogs out there telling us "how to mom correctly" but in my opinion, there is no correct way! There's trial and error and finding out what works best for you and baby. There's nothing more frustrating and demeaning than finding what works for you but then being shamed about it. After hearing a comment about my motherhood tactics I realized that there is nothing more offensive than a mom shaming comment. You can tell me whatever you want about how I look, talk, whatever I don't really care but comment on what I'm doing as a mom (especially a new mom) and beware of my reaction. I'm sure plenty of moms can relate! Don't mess with momma!

"Life doesn't come with a manual, it comes with a mother." -Unknown

This post is a little bit of a rant and a little bit of a reminder to everyone to be mindful of what you say to a mom, or a dad for that matter. Society is already hard on women for just about anything and we don't need to make motherhood harder than it is. It's difficult for most women to find self love so let's not make that any worse. If you have an opinion on someones parenting style, keep it to yourself. I've decided if anyone wants to mom shame me I'm going to have some fun with my remark back to them and let it roll off my shoulders. I suggest you do the same and instead we can share all of our funny clap backs. Don't let someone else bring you down! Love yourself for being a mom and band together with all the other mommas out there!

Also, had to share another picture of our tiny human because I can't help myself :)



Cilantro Lime Black Beans and Rice

I've been trying to come up with some creative and easy to make sides for dinner. This week I experimented with fresh black beans! I much prefer to use dry beans instead of canned beans. Below is what you'll need and how to make this yummy recipe!

-1 lb of dry black beans
-2 cups of white rice (can add more if you want more rice in the mix)
-1/2 bundle of cilantro, chopped
-2 limes
-4 cloves of garlic
-Garlic salt to taste

-Place the entire bag of beans in water to soak for a few hours ( they should absorb a lot of the water)
-Add the beans, four cloves of garlic, and six cups of water into a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours
-Before the beans are done, cook your rice and rinse out any excess water
-Mix the beans, rice, cilantro, and add garlic salt to taste
-Finish off by squeezing the two limes into the mix and then serve!

I love slow cooker recipes because you can cook them all day while at work and add your easy finishing touches at night for dinner. This mix can serve about 6-8 people. Enjoy!

katie lynn


New Mom Must Haves

Mia is already one month old today! In this last month, I already have a list of products that I would highly recommend to make life with a new baby a little easier. I'm listing my new mom must haves below in no specific order. I'll also link where you can find these items. Swaddle blankets, burp cloths, and all those typical baby items are most important but I wanted to list a few special and specific items that gave me some extra help!

A small portable bassinet. This has been helpful if we are going to someones house for a long amount of time because I know I can put her down in a safe place to sleep. It will also be good for traveling and I use it during the day so she can be in the living room with me when I'm home. The one I use can be found here.

The Boppy Pillow. This pillow is a lifesaver especially for nighttime feedings. Mia and I can comfortably prop on the pillow while she nurses. This pillow is also meant to grow with baby so she will have different uses for it at three months, six months, and nine months. You can find the pillow here.

Boppy Pillow and Mia mid hardcore power nap.. lol

A Wubbanub Pacifier. Mia's mouth is so tiny that she has a hard time holding onto a pacifier. She also didn't like any other pacifier except for the Soothie's that are attached to this one. The animal on the pacifier helps me from 1- losing the darn thing and 2- keeping it propped on her so it doesn't fall out of her mouth. The Pacifier hasn't caused her any nipple confusion either so that's a plus. The pacifier can be found here.

A nipple shield. This was something that a nurse gave me in the hospital and I wouldn't have made it through the first weeks of breastfeeding without it! It helped with the pain, it taught Mia how to latch, and it saved both of us a lot of tears. Even now if she gets a little frustrated latching I will use it to help her and then take it off and she latches just fine. I would wait and see if you need one, I know some women may not have any latching issues and a shield may over complicate the process. A lactation consultant can be your best advice here. If you do need to buy one you can find the one I use here.

Milk Snob Cover. This cover is the best because it has so many uses. I can use it as a nursing cover, a car seat cover, a scarf, and a grocery seat cover. It's a thin fabric that isn't hot when we are nursing or when she's in the car but it still keeps the light out and gives us privacy. It's also tight around myself and the car seat which make it a lot easier to use instead of a lose fabric cover. The cover can be found here.

Milk Snob Cover

Medela HydroGel Pads. These also helped me through the first few weeks of breastfeeding because it was so painful! They're instantly cooling and can be reused. These are seriously like heaven! I found mine here.

A diaper bag insert. Personally, I never found a diaper bag that I liked more than my purses. I did find that Totesavvy makes these awesome purse inserts that can turn any bag into an organized diaper bag. I can also easily pull it out and switch to another purse or a backpack. I picked mine up here.

My Totesavvy

This is not a sponsored post by any means, just my own personal recommendations to help new moms. Enjoy my recommendations on new mom must haves!

katie lynn

Postpartum Diet & Breastfeeding Diet

Hi guys!!

I'm officially over two weeks postpartum and feeling pretty good! I was finally cleared for light exercise this week (just walking but I'll take what I can get) and my core is feeling a lot better. I gained, at the most, 22 pounds while pregnant and I've now lost 23 pounds since having Mia. I was 144 pounds and 22% BF pre baby and living a balanced lifestyle with my diet (also, I'm 5'7"). During pregnancy I was 166 at my heaviest and I ate pretty good but some days I would have horrible food aversions and just eat whatever sounded good (hot dogs, lol). Currently, I'm 143 pounds and 23% BF. However, my body is totally different! I lost a lot of muscle from mainly doing cardio while pregnant and that's what I'll be working to get back. I'm feeling pretty loose/skinny right now and I prefer a much stronger body! I've been trying to follow a pretty healthy postpartum and breastfeeding diet for Mia's health and for my own health. That'll help me when I'm back in the gym as well.

Two weeks post baby

I've been watching my intake on a few foods because I was concerned about anything that would affect breastfeeding through my diet. I've avoided things like broccoli, cabbage, beans, and spicy foods completely because I was concerned about those items giving her painful gas and an upset stomach. I've also kept dairy low because I was concerned about cows milk lowering my milk production. I eased into drinking almond milk and eating peanut butter and Mia doesn't seem to have any nut allergies. I'm also still keeping my caffeine intake low.

Since breastfeeding is going fine and Mia seems pretty happy then I'll probably start introducing some of these foods back into my diet. I feel like if I have a balanced diet we will both be just fine! I'll still monitor my cows milk and caffeine intake just because those won't help my own diet/health goals if I consume them in excess. I am not counting calories so I don't stress myself out but I am making sure I'm getting plenty of good meals into my day because breastfeeding does burn extra calories. I'm also eating a lot of healthy fat for my breastfeeding diet. Below is the schedule I'm following:

Carb, protein, healthy fat
Nutritional bar
Carb, protein, veggie, healthy fat
Something with more healthy fat
Carb, protein, veggie
SNACK (sometimes if I'm hungry)
Something small with more healthy fat

I also wanted to list examples of what I'm eating for these meals!

Turkey bacon, two ingredient pancakes (one banana mashed with two eggs, SUPER easy) topped with natural PB
Fig bar, love these
Tuna sandwich on wheat bread (gluten doesn't bother me), and carrots
Lactation smoothie (posted this recipe here)
Chicken cooked in garlic olive oil, rice with fresh garlic and a little light butter, and veggies also cooked in the same olive oil
Almonds & Rasins

Two Ingredient Pancakes

I keep my meals pretty simple and easy since I'm busy with Mia and I'll spend most of my cooking efforts on dinner. These meals change daily because I like to mix it up and I'm not stressing over stuff like using a little bit of butter, etc. Being a new mom is the only thing I need to worry about, not stressing terribly over my diet!! Keep it easy, simple, and healthy. I reached out to my girl friends for some help on getting more fiber in my diet so I'll be adjusting a few meals (more veggies!!).

Also, a reminder that everyone's post baby journey is different and I am lucky to not be holding onto weight. This diet is working for me by keeping me full and feeling good. The weight loss is just how my body reacted right away but since I'm breastfeeding I'm definitely not trying to be in any crazy calorie deficit. I'm also still adjusting to my new body and I'm antsy to rebuild and see what happens! It's crazy what the body can do. If you're adjusting to your new body too, don't be discouraged! I'm trying to see this as a new path with nothing but room to improve my, "mom bod". I'll be eating good and walking my way through the next four weeks until I'm hopefully cleared for the gym! Then, I can see where I'm at and readjust my goals.

If you have any questions, always reach out :) I'm not a nutritionist- just sharing what works for me.

One week post baby
katie lynn
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