Honest Social Media

I’ve read a fair number of opinion pieces about how people lie on social media. Presenting an overly perfect, positive facade for the world, leading to feelings of inadequacy and envy in real-world moms. I don’t think anyone would accuse me of being one of those people (the missy McPerfectPants of the web). In fact, other than full-time bloggers staging a shoot with amazing lighting and perfect settings, and people who make a living off Instagram ads, I think most people are pretty real about their lives (or just don’t share very much). I mean, why would you want to share that your kitchen table is so covered in clutter you can’t use it?! Not that ours is… it is…Okay, it is, actually. 

Well, since I’m a chronic oversharer, I thought I’d give y’all a little glimpse of our imperfect paradise right now. I’ve only been sick a few days and my husband is keeping our heads above water as best he can, but the reality is that we are drowning in our own everyday mess right now. Super glamorous, I know. 

I’m sitting on my sofa, which has been peed on 2 times recently and puked on once by my sweet 2 year old angel. That’s right. We haven’t had covers on 2 of the cushions for a few weeks cause they’re dry clean only and we haven’t managed to take them in yet.

While I’ve managed to keep the laundry moving, (yay me!) there are perpetually about 3-5 loads worth sitting in laundry bins waiting to be folded and put away. 

Our floor is riddled with debris blown in from the patio.

We are in a losing battle with the dishes. 

No one will sleep. Alone. Through the night. I expect that from the baby, but come on 2 year old, you were doing so well? What happened?? 

So, there you have it. The glamorous reality we’re living in. I’m sure there are McPerfectPants out there thinking “I had 2, 2 and under and my floors were still clean.” Well, to you I say congratu-freaking-lations. Aren’t you special. 

Maybe in a few days (or weeks) we’ll have successfully crawled out from under this marvelous mess we’ve made… maybe we’ll be back with our heads safely above water and an only mildly gross living space, per usual. I know, the days are long but the years are short. This too shall pass, yadayadayada. 

Until then, in the words of Dory, “just keep swimming.” And, mediocre homemakers, over-tired mamas and papas, and even you McPerfectPants of the world, unite in honesty. Sometimes we’re all in a little over our heads. 

Party of 4: Adjusting to life with a new sibling


We’re almost two months in to this new gig as a family of 4 and it almost seems that the magnatude of the level of change is only just starting to hit us. The sheer logistics involved in managing daily tasks and  outings is enough to make your head spin! 

All in all we are doing pretty well in my book. Brian and I are like a team of elite disaster prevention specialists juggling intricate procedures while under sleep deprivation. Ziva is both a little cautious and a little protective around her little sister. When Arielle cries Ziva comes running yelling, “Get her mom! Get her!! She crying! Get her!” But when Ziva is feeling fragile and in need of her mama’s lap she’s not afraid to tell us, “I want daddy to take her,” so she can have her spot back in my arms 😂. 

I’m not totally naive, come on. I knew there would be big changes ahead. But, going from 1 baby to 2 is hard in different ways than I expected, but also exactly as everyone said:

Managing both babies’ needs is hard.

Managing your partners needs at the same time is super hard.

Managing your emotions about the whole thing at the same time… even harder. 

Ziva, like the champion adjuster and go-with-the flow kid she is, she hasn’t put up too much of a fight about the big changes in her life. She is, however, 2, and her new found anxiety about her place in the family comes out with some big emotions at times, and some subtle sadness and uncertainty. 

What I didn’t expect is how hard it is to sit back and watch my beloved big girl go through these big emotions and changes. Even if they are normal and necessary changes, it’s hard to see your little one in any amount of distress. I want to scoop her up and just hold her and squeeze her and help her be her usual perpetually happy self… but often my arms are occupied and Arielle is nursing and I just can’t.

I didn’t realize how having your heart in two places at once can wear you down a little. I feel so for Ziva and her feelings of uncertainty, and yet I want to give Arielle all the care and attention I know she deserves as well. 

Gradually, we are all learning how to rearrange ourselves to make room for this new little part of us who we all love so much. 

Arielle may be tiny, but like all new babies she’s made big waves in our family. So far we’re all keeping our heads (mostly) above water. 🌊 And it’s s all worth it when she cracks a smile 😍. 


Bit by bit they are becoming sisters, and that is enough to melt my heart. 

Introducing Arielle Rose!

Born March 24th, 2017, little Arielle Rose joined our family and stole our hearts! She was 7lbs 10oz (exactly as I predicted, down to the ounce!) and just over 19 inches long. 

Arielle “Ari” Rose is named for her paternal great grandfather, Leo (Ari and Leo both mean Lion), and her paternal great-great aunt Rose. Both of my great grandfathers also had names starting with “r” so her name is also a nod to them. 


Ziva loves her baby sister and is already an attentive big sis, though there are some pain points around sharing “nuk” (her word for nursing). It’s adorable when Ziva asks to kiss baby sister goodnight, or when the baby is crying and she comes running, yelling “Get her mama, she crying! She crying! Get her!” 


So far Ari has been a pretty great, one might say easy, baby. She wakes up a couple times a night, and cries when she is hungry or has tummy trouble, but that’s all to be expected. She is a big sleeper so far, and eating like a champ. I was a bit worried we wouldn’t get lucky and have another chill kid, but so far things are looking pretty good!


Welcome to the family, kiddo, we are so glad we are yours. 

Postpartum fitness after baby #2

I’m a mixture of excited, nervous, and relieved. Tomorrow I’m starting my first fitness program since having Arielle! I spent the afternoon today studying the meal plan, making a shopping list, and picking up everything I’ll need to stay on track this week! 

I’m starting about the same size as I was after having Ziva, but I’m starting at 6 weeks instead of 6 months this time, and I now know I have the resources to get the job done:

✨Beachbody on-demand & DVD programs

✨Nutrition & portion control meal plans

✨Challenge groups & Coaches for support

✨Plenty of motivation and discipline

I know this could take a while, especially since my top priority is keeping my breastmilk supply up (despite popular belief, breastfeeding does NOT melt away the lbs for everyone).

What am I starting with? The 3 week Yoga Retreat! (Why is there no yogi emoji??)


I figured this would be a great way to ease into my postpartum fitness. I’ll be focusing first on flexibility, strength, and balance in low impact daily workouts. I do hope to lose some of the extra “fluff” I picked up while pregnant with Ari, but mostly I’m hoping to ramp up my momentum and physical capacity to take on whatever program comes next! 

So, get ready for my fitness and nutrition posts to start up again… now! Seriously, I find it motivating to watch other people on their journeys, and sharing with you all keeps me on track. So I can’t stop, won’t stop. 😉😘

Catching Up: life as a pregnant working mom

Wow, it’s been a while. How ya been? 

Me, you know, just makin’ babies and pushing through. NBD. 

Actually, it felt like a pretty big deal. In fact, it took everything in me to get through work, baby cookin’, parenting our rambunctious 2 yr old, and everything else on my plate the last 6 months! 

Here’s a quick recap:

I was pregnant. Super pregnant. And my body, despite being pretty fit and active at conception, went into full blown pregnant blob mode. My brain worked about as well as a last generation iPhone who won’t install new updates… and my ligaments were as stretchy and unsupportive as my maternity wear spandex. 

My anxiety about possible miscarriage definitely impacted my activity for the rest of the pregnancy, and my diet was sort of survival mode. I ate Gf bread with Swiss cheese more days than I’d like to admit… not even as a grilled cheese. We’re talking “I’m so tired just give me a slice of cheese and a piece of bread and leave me in peace” (It was a sorry sight). 


By 36 weeks I started having regular, intense contractions almost daily in the afternoons and evenings. Some of it was probably triggered by lifting and chasing after Ziva, and some by sitting and working on my couch (working from home the couch was the only spot that didn’t lead to hip pain after sitting for long periods on the computer). It made it nearly impossible to focus on my work, and I became convinced baby girl was coming early. Working full-time, having a 2 year old, and being super-pregnant meant we had not done almost anything to prepare for the baby’s arrival, so at 37 weeks I decided to take advantage of California’s maternity leave. I stopped working so that I could prepare myself emotionally, physically, and our home for the arrival of our little rainbow. 

I spent 2 wonderful weeks clearing out space for a 4th human in our modest 2 bedroom apartment, walking and being as active as possible, spending “me-time” and quality time with my mom and sister, and just generally preparing myself for labor and being a new mom again. By my appointment at 39 weeks, I was more than ready to meet this little girl on the outside. 


At 39 weeks and 2 days, after having a few “real” contractions in the morning, I went in for a cervical sweep at 10am, only to find I was already 4.5 cm dilated! Long story short, I walked, bounced, and waited all day to let the contractions get stronger for “real labor” to start before heading into L&D to get checked. That’s when things got a little crazy, but that’s a story for another post 😉. 

2nd Trimester: Energy and Exercise

I did it! I climbed back on the wagon, stuck my trusty old 21 Day Fix DVD in the player, and FINALLY got back to a real workout! 

I know, I’m a freakin’ champion. Thank you, thank you. Now let me enjoy my reward:


That first trimester hits me like a ton of bricks. This was my 4th time dragging myself through the exhaustion, nausea, and fatigue… but the prize is worth the pain, and hopefully this time around I’ll get to hold a new little person in my arms in just 22 weeks and 6 days. But who’s counting? 

I’ve tried to keep moving by taking walks and doing dance workouts here and there, but I’ve seriously struggled with finding the time, energy, and motivation to do a more intense workout. 

Well, today I’m feeling pretty good. I got pretty solid sleep last night for one of a handful of times in last 19 months (thank you Ziva!) and there were no errands to run or business to handle. 

The stars aligned and my desire to move outweighed my desire to lay like a puddle on a pillow of cotton. 

What was my workout of choice? Total Body Cardio with my homegirl Autumn Calabrese. I started my postpartum weight loss with the 21 Day Fix, why not start my pregnancy fitness with the same? I modified some stretches to my comfort level, changed the ab workouts to avoid laying on my back, and went all in!  I used these alternative ab exercises from What to Expect in place of the round 4 floor exercises. 

I FEEL GREAT. I just wish I’d gotten back to it a little sooner since working out actually helps minimize my pregnancy symptoms. 

I’ll admit it, after losing the 1st baby and having the Sub-chorionic hematoma while pregnant with Ziva, and losing the 3rd baby, I have a bit of a semi-subconscious fear of doing anything with my body that could jeopardize the pregnancy. Even if many women and their doctors find it perfectly acceptable to continue working out at their pre-pregnancy capacity, I hold back and hesitate a little with each move. That’s okay though, I’ve decided, as long as I keep moving! 

What’s your Achilles’ heel? Mine is Anxiety


Honesty time.

Anxiety is my Achilles’ heel. Meaning? There’s nothing that can trip me up, pull me ten steps back, and completely derail my health goals faster than a bout of anxiety. I’ve tried so many things over the years to manage my anxiety to make real progress, but some things in life are big, and no matter what self-care, breathing exercises, and positive thinking skills I employ, there is just real anxiety that is a lot to contend with.

For me, the stress and anxiety of pregnancy… and pregnancy loss have sent me like a yo-yo through good times and rough times when I can’t seem to pull myself forward. It’s been about 3 months since my last loss and for the most part, I’m doing okay. I’ve even had some really great bursts of anxiety free energy! I finished a full round of the 21 Day Fix Extreme and lost 9 lbs and 8.5 inches, more importantly I was feeling STRONG, HEALTHY, and POWERFUL in my body. It was amazing to feel such ownership of my body again after the alienating feeling of betrayal and confusion following another miscarriage. But, I’m human.

I may have AMAZING tools at my disposal for managing my anxiety and staying on track physically… but I’m still healing and I’m still figuring things out. In this second round of the 21DFX, I haven’t been doing very well. I’ll admit it. My mind isn’t in the game this round. We’ve made so many big changes in our lives since April, losing the baby, moving across the country back to my hometown, changing our work situations (I now work from home full-time), and all the costs and challenges that these things bring… I think it’s all starting to catch up to me all at once and it’s been rough.

I know that the stressful times are a great test for any lifestyle change. If it doesn’t work for you even through the worst of times, is it really a lifestyle change or is it just a diet? I’m finding that for me, right now, I’m so grateful to have found my Beachbody family. I may not be making perfect progress at the moment, but I’m still moving forward, and doing so is one thing that can help me with my anxiety. Every time I force myself to press play, or at least get up and go for a walk outside so that I can participate in my accountability group, it helps lighten my mood. It helps give me even just the slightest lift so that I can see out of my anxiety haze. Knowing I have challengers watching and relying on me to be an example and a motivator helps me manage the urge to eat my emotions. I may not be making perfect progress every month, but I’m living my real story and being honest as I go.

I’m grateful that with Beachbody I have a ton of options to choose from, and even though right now my anxiety is too much and I am not up for pressing play on a hardcore boot camp style workout everyday, I’m grateful for the light-hearted options that allow me to workout with less pressure and lower impact. Sometimes all you need is a good dance, a little laugh, and to just get moving.

So, my weight loss story may be a little up and down, my ‘after’ photo may still look like a ‘before’, but I’m so proud of how far I’ve come in managing my hard times. I’m proud that despite wanting nothing more than to curl up in a ball under the covers, this community has pushed me to be the kind of person who gets up and gets moving.

So, despite my Achilles’ Heel, I’m finding ways to keep moving forward.

This got me thinking, for many of us who struggle with our weight and our fitness, there is something that trips us up and keeps us from successfully making the lifestyle changes necessary to allow progress to happen. But, if we are able to identify our greatest weakness. If we are able to figure out what triggers our self-destructive behaviors, maybe we can prepare ourselves to confront them more effectively.

Knowing what sets you off course means you can plan ways to try to keep the negative cycle from continuing.

For me, when my anxiety runs high and I want to hide and eat everything, the number one thing I need to do on those days is to get up and get moving. If it’s not my workout video, than it needs to at least be a walk outside. By breaking the downward spiral, often, I can start to pull myself back up.

On that note, time to go press play.

Country Heat Challenge Packs!


It’s Here!!!! The Country Heat Challenge Packs are live and available EXCLUSIVELY to Team Beachbody. 

I’m so excited to try all 30 days of this program. After 21 Day Fix Extreme I’m ready for some fun, boot scootin’, low impact fitness. 

So, you might be wondering “What’s in a Challenge Pack?” 

You get everything you need to get your best results:

  • Your first 30-day supply of Shakeology—the superfood supplement shake with dense nutrition to help support weight loss, healthy energy levels, and reduced cravings—delivered on Home Direct (monthly shipments)
  • The Country Heat program, featuring 6 workouts on 3 DVDs, a set of 7 portion-control containers, a Shakeology shaker cup, and the Country Heat Eating Plan to help you achieve your weight-loss goals.
  • A FREE 30-day trial membership to the Team Beachbody® Club, so you can start streaming Country Heat workouts on Beachbody On Demand, and hundreds of other proven Beachbody workouts, plus find all the support you need to succeed in your challenge. After your 30-Day Trial Membership is up, you will be billed quarterly for Club Membership, which you may cancel at any time. (OR- ask me about annual payment for HUGE SAVINGS).
  • ME AS YOUR COACH! The best part of Beachbody programs is that you can get them through Beachbody Coaches- your own personal cheerleader and support team. I’ll be there to push you, help you trouble shoot and guide you to your fitness goals. I want nothing more than to see you succeed and I’d be honored to help you do so! 


You have a few options to get started:

  • Country Heat Challenge Pack
  • Country Heat Kickstart Challenge Pack (comes with everything listed above PLUS- 3-Day Refresh Kit to kick-start your weight loss, break the cycle of unhealthy eating, and visibly lose 3–5 pounds in just 3 days!)
  • Sign up to be a Coach and SAVE MONEY EVERY MONTH on your Shakeology Home Direct order and get 25% off future product purchases. Just select Country Heat as your challenge pack purchase as you sign up! 

Pick your poison, and send me a friend request so that I can add you to my COUNTRY HEAT CHALLENGE GROUP kicking off soon!! 

Need help deciding? I’m available to chat! Send me a message or comment below with the best way to contact you and I’ll be in touch!!