friday I’m in love {april}

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Hello Friday, it’s been awhile! Life gets busy and it is easy to just shrug off extra work, but I do miss creating (& sharing) these Friday posts. So I have decided that instead of doing them weekly I will do a monthly post instead. Seems reasonable, right?

So here’s my Friday loves this month.

{one} Keenz Stroller Wagon.

You may have seen on my Instagram recently that I picked up this wagon and it is LOVE! I have been thinking about getting a wagon for the girls, especially for the summer, but was waiting until Daphne was sitting really well (um, that’s been happening for a while!) and the weather got nicer. I had my eye on the Keenz wagon since probably last year, but the price point gave me pause. But then the Target heavens opened up a few weeks ago and there was a deal for $100 off, so I frantically searched the Seattle area for one and ended up driving 45 minutes out to Issaquah one afternoon to pick ours up. We have been using it as an alternative to our stroller and I cannot wait to take it out on all of our summer adventures to the park, zoo, and splash pad!

You can get one here, here, and here.

{two} Madewell jeans.

I have professed my love for Madewell jeans in the past and will continue to do the same here. I was already a convert with the 8″ rise that I had previously purchased but the 9″ high rise skinnies are true LOVE! Guys, these are really so good that I refuse to purchase any other brand of jeans. Seriously. The rise is perfectly high (without being too high) and there is no bagging or sagging and they are skinny all the way to (just above) my ankle. Plus with the higher rise you can wear cropped tees and sweaters without showing too much skin (or feeling to hipster). My advice is to go down a size than your normal (WIN) since the fabric has a bit of stretch.

{three} Instant Pot Mac N’ Cheese (with veggies).

Have I talked about our Instant Pot? Aaron got one for Christmas and recently I have been really trying to use it, so at least once per week I plan a meal using it. And actually last week I planned three meals with it since it was spring break and I knew I would be short on time (and patience) by the time 5 o’clock rolled around. There are lots of amazing things you can do with the Instant Pot, including that it is an amazing rice cooker and it can cook frozen meat so quickly (you don’t even have to defrost it). But our favorite recipe, by far, that we’ve made in the Instant Pot is Mac N’ Cheese!

This is the recipe we use though there are about 7,000 on Pinterest and floating around on the Interwebs. When we make it, I make sure to get spiral-y noodles and use only about half of the evaporated milk. (And you can get organic evaporated milk at Trader Joe’s!) I also add veggies to make it feel a little healthier and more like a meal (rather than a side, though it would do that well too) like roasted broccoli or cauliflower, or defrosted peas or broccoli. *Also, if you haven’t used an Instant Pot before, this recipe says it can be made in 4 minutes which is true for actual cooking time, but it takes more like 20 minutes since the Instant Pot takes some time to pressurize before cooking.*

{four} Nutcase helmets.

As we are getting into spring Eloise is more frequently asking to ride her bike (she has this Miir Bambini pedal-less one which we love) when we go out for family walks in the afternoon or evening. And about a month ago we were headed out the door and realized that Eloise’s old helmet did not fit… but we LOVED her last one (and will save it for Daphne) and got her a new one from the exact same brand which is our favorite: Nutcase! (And Aaron has one too.) Eloise’s old one was this Baby Nutty in Moo and her new one is this Little Nutty in Cake Pops. You can find these helmets locally (at Gregg’s Cycles) and on Amazon as well. We love them because they are easy to adjust, have super cute prints, and the chin buckle is magnetic (super easy for getting off and on).

{five} ASICS x Liberty shoes.

As you know from Instagram and my recent blog post I have been doing the BBG workout program along with my regular Pure Barre class each week to stay in shape. Once I finished the first 12 weeks, I decided it would probably be a good idea to get a new pair of workout shoes. Embarrassingly I haven’t bought a new pair for many years! And while I still need to get a good pair for my walking cardio, I spotted these beautiful ASICS x Liberty shoes and was sold: my new BBG shoes. My love for Liberty fabrics goes back a while and this was just too perfect (I got them in the Sprout Green). Plus, this style of shoe has good reviews for a BBG-type workout and I wouldn’t have gotten them just because they were so pretty! And after a few workouts, it is still love (and they are super light weight too)!

{six} Date Nights.

And I will wrap up my April loves with something that Aaron and I have been doing since the beginning of the year and it is a definite LOVE and that is DATE NIGHT! Each month, we set aside one evening and hire a sitter and head out, just the two of us. I wanted to really focus on us this year and even though it feels like a splurge sometimes (holy cow it is expensive to hire a sitter for two littles!) but it is worth it. We’ve done manis and pedis, lunch, a birthday dinner celebration, and a few double date nights which have been so, so fun! And we have found a sitter that consistently comes and knows the routine with the girls which makes it that much easier.

What are you loving this month?

M

This post contains affiliate links.

my weekend in pictures.

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{We headed to Redmond on Friday to join the Sadliers for lunch. And these kids love this Daphne girl. #daphnesandwich}

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{And after lunch we had to get a scoop of Molly Moon’s!}

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{Daphne was pretty oblivious of not having ice cream once I gave her cup and a spoon. Plus, the stools made for great drums.}

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{I had to get a pint of this flavor to-go. It was amazing!}

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{We definitely didn’t need sunglasses this weekend, but Daphne didn’t seem to mind.}

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{Eloise taught Daphne how to collect rocks in the yard before it started pouring rain.}

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{And then it started raining and this kiddo refused to wear her hood. I guess she really is a PNW kid.}

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{We got to have dinner on Saturday with Uncle Ben and Aunt Sarah. We hit up a new brewery in Magnolia and the hibiscus cider was amazing!}

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{We had buttermilk left over from a recipe last week and then I found a chocolate cake recipe that called for buttermilk. A coincidence? I think not. So I made a chocolate cake.}

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{We went to PEPS this morning and one of the mamas brought over these construction hats. Daphne was thrilled to try them all on and loved playing peek-a-boo with them!}

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{And the older kids convinced one of the other mamas to read stories. An impromptu story time!}

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{I came home to this after my Pure Barre class this evening. Apparently no pants were required to make pizza for dinner.}

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{And this is the only picture Daphne would let me take. That’s her “mama, I want to hold your phone” grab. And look at that belly!}

We had a pretty low-key weekend that was so, so soggy. Seriously. I gave up and decided that our yard needed work and since the rain didn’t appear to be stopping, I spent the better part of an hour and a half in the pouring rain Saturday afternoon pulling weeds from our backyard flower beds. It was nice to be outside actually and the weeds came up pretty easily since the ground was so soggy. And then naturally today was pretty dry… oh well. My backyard looks amazing!

How was your weekend?

M

my weekend in pictures.

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{Eloise’s monthly theme at school for April is yoga, so she came home talking all about yoga this week. And we have this memory yoga game that we played on Friday afternoon while Daphne was napping.}

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{Friday night DATE NIGHT! We headed down to the Ave for dinner and an escape room with our friends. Thai at Thaiger Room was as good as I remember it from 10 years ago (yep, feeling old) and the escape room was Da Vinci themed and was so. much. fun.}

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{Eloise had her first swim lesson bright and early on Saturday morning, and she did amazingly well! We weren’t sure how she would do but talked about getting her into private, intensive swim lessons this spring. Looks like we’ll be at the (indoor) pool these next few months!}

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{Eloise sometimes changes into her jammies for quiet time and then falls asleep. I sent Aaron down there to get her up but when he didn’t come back up right away (and the monitor was quiet) I checked the webcam and found them snuggling.}

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{We took dinner to friends who had a baby last month and live just a few blocks away. Of course as soon as we decided to walk, it started to pour rain! Eloise decided that this giant umbrella was her umbrella.}

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{We tested out Amazon Fresh grocery pick-up this morning since there is one close by and it is free for Prime members. It was so fast I couldn’t believe it! Definitely doing this again.}

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{We headed out for a quick walk around the block after dinner since it was still light (yes!) and wasn’t raining, and we had to test out our new Keenz wagon. I drove all the way out to the Target in Issaquah to pick it up since there was a big promo on it and this was the only place it was stocked in the area. So 40 minutes out and 40 minutes back before I headed to Pure Barre was so worth it! They are out of stock online and locally in Seattle, but if you are interested, here is the link.}

We had a pretty quiet weekend that felt really grey and rainy. Boo. It looks like we’ll have a break in the weather tomorrow before the next set of storms come thru. Wish me luck since Eloise is on spring break this week so I will have both girls home all week with me! We are planning lots of play dates and easy dinners.

How was your weekend?

M

the best car seats {by review.com}

Car seats. Ugh. Almost no other kids’ item gives me more anxiety than car seats.

If you know me, I am a bit of an anxious person and can keep myself together, but I am close to neurotic about car seats. There are so many choices and so much information, it is overwhelming, even to a non-anxious person. I tried to be pragmatic, but when I was pregnant, I spent hours and hours poring over blog posts, websites, books, articles, Consumer Reports, etc. about car seats. And then I asked every single parent that I knew what car seat they had and why they chose it. Every one is different and has different needs, but I got a lot of good information.

The first decision that Aaron and I made was that we would start with an infant seat. For us, it felt like a no-brainer because our stroller (ours is the Bugaboo Bee 3) had the ability to adapt to a car seat. Even before we were parents we knew the convenience of leaving the baby in the car seat (if possible) was worth it! For our infant seat, we settled on the Chicco KeyFit 30 (which we also used for Daphne) and I would highly recommend it!

But then, we had to start thinking about another car seat less than a year after Eloise was born because infant seats have such a short life (it is one of the cons of this type of seat) and babies get bigger, and in this case, longer. We moved Eloise into a convertible seat (rear-facing) just shy of her first birthday. And after hours and hours of research, we settled on the Britax Boulevard. Again, we highly recommend this seat and even bought another one (but with the Click-Tight feature) when Daphne grew out of the infant seat.

Enter: reviews.com. Specifically, the reviews on Best Infant Car Seat and Best Convertible Car Seat. Reviews.com is a local Seattle company that researches household items and goods and then posts reviews on the BEST products in any given category. Guys, this is life-changing! Imagine the hours you could save not googling or scanning 10,000 Amazon reviews. This is the information that I wish I would have had when we were buying car seats or really any household good!

Top Picks for Infant Car Seat

{image via reviews.com}

In each article, there is a quick synopsis about what product is the best so you don’t have to scroll and scroll to find the answer, and then there are highlights of the best two products, followed by a much more in-depth review of why and how the best products in that category were picked.

As the articles both state, all car seats have to meet the same minimum safety requirements, so when you are choosing a seat, it is features you are really shopping (and paying) for. And because incorrectly using a car seat is extremely common, the best car seats are really the ones that are the easiest to use. For example, most infant seats have a separate base that you leave buckled into the car so that you can easily take the seat in and out without having to secure it each time. And even convertible seats are getting upgraded features that help ease use, like the Click-Tight feature on the Britax seat that allows for much easier installation.

Featured Image for Convertible Car Seat

{image from reviews.com}

The emphasis on these easy-to-use features is a great way to simplify car seat shopping and help narrow down the options. And while you don’t necessarily have to buy exactly the seat that is recommended in the article (we have different versions/models of two of the seats recommended) it does save you from having 25 open web browsers to compare and contrast car seat features. (Yep, that was totally me!) I wish I would have had this basic guidance when choosing car seats for my kids!

Be sure to go check out the Best Infant Car Seats and the Best Convertible Car Seats!

And be sure to check out all of the reviews over on Review.com!

Disclosure: Review.com reached out to see if I would share these car seat reviews to my blog readers. I was not offered any compensation and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

This post contains affiliate links.

my weekend in pictures.

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{The girls and I headed out on Friday for lunch at U Village, and after the most amazing sammies at Even Stevens and a few errands, we hit up the playground. Both of the girls love these little coupe cars.}

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{A family walk after dinner on Friday. Almost immediately after this photo was taken, Daphne took a huge face plant. It was awful.}

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{We decided to keep Easter festivites low-key this year and attend the egg hunt at our local community center. For the little kids, the eggs were spread out all over the tennis court. Daphne got one egg (those kids were so fast!) and she was obsessed.}

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{My loves.}

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{The girls woke up this morning to baskets from the Easter bunny!}

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{And since it was rainy outside this morning, we did the egg hunt inside. I told the girls they had to wear their bunny ears if they wanted to participate. Ha!}

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{This little one LOVED all of the eggs. She only had two and that was more than enough for her to have the best time.}

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{Eloise with her new twirly wand.}

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{And matching shoes for the girls. These are the new release from Keds + Rifle Paper Co.’s kid’s line and the style of this one is the Daphne. It was meant to be, right?}

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{Cheese!}

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{Attempting to get a photo of the girls this morning was almost impossible.}

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{Eloise got this little puzzle in her Easter basket and she has been obsessed with it all day. She has done it a few times with me and Aaron, and about 10 times by herself. She is so proud of herself!}

We had a fun weekend celebrating Easter and the start of spring! I could have used some more sun and slightly warmer weather, but we are welcoming April with open arms.

How was your weekend?

M

daphne {month thirteen}

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{alligator: JellyCat // top: Carter’s // jeans: babyGap // shoes: Keds x Rifle Paper Co.}

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{And the outtake… that finger is just the same size as her nostril, so it must belong in her nose, right?}

{month thirteen} How has it already been a month since Daphne turned one?! It seems like yesterday and forever ago at the same time.

Daphne LOVES dancing to music and it is the sweetest thing I have ever seen. She claps her hands and sways her hips. I have been turning on music on Spotify on either my phone, the TV, or our speaker in the kitchen during play time or when I am (trying to) cook dinner. And Daphne just gets so excited! When she sees the display on the TV come on (or the lock screen on my phone which is a picture of her and Eloise) she waves. Guys, this age is the best.

Daphne is also pointing a lot with her pointer finger, the same one she uses to pick her nose. If there is something that she wants or sees, she will point at it. There is also a lot of waving happening these days. Daphne can wave “hello” and “bye-bye,” mostly on command when she hears those words. Sometimes though we are already gone from the person we were saying good-bye to before she will wave!

Peek-a-boo is still a big favorite around here, especially when someone is sitting in a chair and Daphne is standing behind it. She loves to peek around the chair and then laughs and giggles when you say “boo!” or “peek-a-boo!”

Daphne doesn’t really stand in her crib once she is awake until someone goes down to her nursery to get her up, but when she does, she has learned that she can turn the light switch on & off, plus move the dimmer switch. She is better at turning the light off so we haven’t had the issue where she will turn ON the light when she is supposed to be sleeping, though I foresee that in our future!

I am really into routines for not only my sake but for consistency for the girls, and Daphne is proving to be good with routines too. It is amazing what she is learning to do based on the familiarity of doing the same things. When we get out of the car, she will put any toys that she was playing with, including her paci, into the little bin we keep between the car seats; she will rub her hands together after wiping her nose or a diaper change when I am using hand sanitizer (hanitizer, according to Eloise) or washing my hands; she will put her arms out and back behind her for the high chair straps before meal or snack time; she will put her paci and lovie into her crib when we are leaving her nursery; and she will find a book off of her bookshelf to read before bedtime.

Aaron taught Daphne in the past few weeks how to blow kisses and it’s so cute. Sometimes her hand is near her mouth (and looks like the sign for “thank you”), but sometimes it is on the side of her head near her ear! Either way, adorable.

Daphne is also learning her body parts and where they are. She knows where her head is, and if you say “bonk” she will pat the side of her head. She knows that shoes go on your feet and tries to put them on herself. And we are working on other body parts which it seems like she picks up so quickly!

Daphne LOVES LOVES books just like her big sister which makes my mama-heart so happy. She will sit and read them for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. And will bring a book (or two) over for you to read though she likes to turn the pages pretty quickly! She also recognizes when books are upside-down and will turn them right.

Last week Daphne was taking her usual morning nap but then blew thru her afternoon nap for two days in a row. I know it is a little early for her to drop down to one nap (that generally happens between 15 and 18 months) but every kid is different so I thought I would take some action against her nap strike. So I tried keeping her up in the morning thru her usual nap time, had an early lunch, and then I put her down in the afternoon about an hour earlier than she usually goes down. We were successful for two days of this, but she seemed so tired all day. On the third day I switched her back to her regular schedule with two naps and she napped so well! But then just yesterday (the fourth day) she slept in the morning, but not in the afternoon. Hmm. Not quite sure what to do. The afternoons and evenings are much harder when she doesn’t get that afternoon nap, so if she is only going to nap once, I want it to be in the afternoon rather than the morning. We’ll see. I just need to feel this out and every day may be different depending on what we need to do!

Starting this week, Daphne and I will be doing a music class once a week in the morning while Eloise is at school. I didn’t do any regular music classes with Eloise, but she loved the drop-in classes that we occasionally did. I think Daphne will really like something music-based and it will be nice to have something that she and I can do (without big sister) and maybe meet some friends her own age (since we didn’t do a PEPS group specifically for her). We are doing this Chickadee Music Together class in Phinney if anyone in (North) Seattle is interested!

One of the bigger changes we made this past month was not warming up Daphne’s milk during the day. We still warm up Daphne’s bedtime bottle that she gets but for her milk with meals and a snack, we just give it to her in a sippy cup straight out of the fridge. She is still adjusting to the temperature change since she spent an entire year (her whole life!) drinking milk that was body temperature, but it is going pretty well and it is SO CONVENIENT! Sometimes she will take a big drink and the entire mouthful will spill out of her mouth (and hopefully into her bib pocket) but generally she drinks it well cold. We will eventually drop the bedtime bottle so I am not worried about her taking this cold since drinking cold milk before bed sounds no bueno! {Side note: When Eloise turned one, her pediatrician told us we should transition her off of a bottle, stat. But at Daphne’s one year wellness check, her doctor told us that around 15 or 18 months we should be transitioning her completely off of a bottle and spending the next few months using a sippy cup. It’s crazy how different things are in just 2.5 years!}

And finally, Daphne’s fourth bottom tooth has made an appearance and is a little tooth bud. It didn’t seem to bother her too much, but any extra fussiness or nighttime waking we basically blame on teething! It looks like her incisors may be making an appearance soon because you can see them under her gums, but there isn’t anything to indicate her molars are coming soon (which Eloise was cutting at this point).

{weight} i would guess 25 pounds.
{hair} blackish brown.
{teeth} four bottom teeth, top four teeth.
{eyes} dark grey/brown.
{clothes} some 12 months, 12 to 18 months, 18 months (Carter’s), some 2T. (I am buying 2T in tops for the length – that belly Daph! – but no bigger than 18 months in pants because they are so long on her.)
{diapers} size 4 {from the honest company}.
{feeding} 2 to 4 oz sippy cups of milk at breakfast, lunchtime, after nap time, and at dinner. bedtime is around 7:30 with a 4 oz bottle.

{likes} watching and chasing the Roomba, picking her nose, eating, bath time with Eloise, watching big kids or babies, crawling, pulling up to her knees or feet, spinning on her back and belly, teething rings, chewing on anything, sitting in her highchair, banging on her tray, staring at her quilt (from Amanda), rattles, nursing, riding in the car (usually), her big sister Eloise, Sadie, singing, lights, paci, being bounced, being tickled, talking, her Lovie.
{dislikes} having a hat on in the car seat, seeing some type of food on a plate that she doesn’t have on her tray, having gas, lying down flat, being hungry or tired, not having a bottle immediately after seeing it, having her face or nose wiped off.

{nicknames} Daph, Daph Daph, Daphers, Bug, Snorty, Baby D, Daphne Doo, Daph-a-doo, Love, Lovebug.

And here is Eloise’s thirteen month update!

Happy Thirteen Months Daphne!

M

This post contains affiliate links.

 

 

BBG workout {how I got started & where I am now}

BBG

As many of you know, I have recently taken up a new workout program, specifically BBG (which stands for Bikini Body Guide). I wanted to share an update since I have had so many questions about the program. Spoiler alert: You should do it!

There is a lot of about BBG online as it is really popular with (female) bloggers, but this is my two-cents.

BBG Basics

BBG is a 12 week circuit training routine that is available either via the Sweat app or an eBook. Each week there are 3 strength training sessions which are 28 minutes each (two 7 minute circuits twice), 3 recommended cardio sessions, and a rest/recovery day. Each circuit is 4 exercises that you do for 7 minutes and then you switch to the second circuit,  and then repeat. The cardio sessions recommended are at least 15 minutes (to start) and include LISS (slow cardio, like walking) and HIIT (high intensity cardio, like running). In the early weeks, all of the cardio is LISS, but then HIIT starts to be included towards the end.

In the Sweat app, the workouts are timed and include little videos of each of the exercises in the circuit; plus, the cool down stretches are also timed and included as videos. In the eBook, each workout is listed on the page, half of the page is the first circuit with pictures of the four exercises and the other half of the page is the second circuit. Then in the back of the eBook there is a glossary of each of the exercises. The eBook for the original BBG 1.0 is really basic; the eBook 2.0 is much better!

There are a few different versions of BBG, the most basic being BBG 1.0 which is the original 12 week routine. There is also BBG 2.0 which is a continuation of the original BBG and includes routines for weeks 13 to 24. In addition, there is BBG Stronger (introduces gym weights), BBG Post-Pregnancy (geared for post-partum mamas), BBG PWR (gym-based), and BBG Body and Mind (Vinyasa-style yoga). These additional routines (except for BBG 2.0) are only available via the Sweat app.

As I mentioned above, BBG is a popular workout at the moment and there is a large online community of women who are supporting each other thru the program. There is a Facebook page and an online forum specific to BBG, and many other blog posts and forums (if you are interested in that sort of thing)!

Why I chose BBG

I had been wanting to start back into a good workout routine last fall (more than just one Pure Barre class per week), especially since we were approaching the holiday season. When Aaron decided to take his remaining 6 weeks of paternity leave just before Christmas, I knew that would be my chance to really get into a good routine. I wanted to find something that I could commit to and was realistic for my current situation (which is that I am home with between 1 and 2 kids all day). Paying for a babysitter to watch one or both kids while I worked out didn’t seem worth it, so being able to do something at home was important. It seemed like so many of the women I was seeing do the BBG program were moms, so I was definitely inspired by that.

And it just so happened that I was starting 12 weeks before Daphne’s first birthday which gave me the exact amount of time to do a 12 week workout routine like BBG. So I hit the ground running (ha, pun intended!), bought the Sweat App and started that next Monday morning.

I did my strength training circuits at 6:30 am on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday mornings along with cardio on Tuesday and Thursday. I originally took my rest day on Sundays, but then after the holidays, I reincorporated my regular Pure Barre class back in and it took place of my full body training circuit. (And if you have ever done a Pure Barre class, you know it is way more than just a regular full body workout!)

My intention with BBG, and working out generally, is not to lose weight (though that is a result) but to be in better health and be stronger. I love seeing Eloise after a workout and have her say “Mama, you look so strong and independent!” I want to be a role model for my girls and I want to be the healthiest mama I can be for my family.

As expected, one of the reasons BBG works for me is because you can basically do the entire thing at home. I do the weight circuits in our office with hand weights, a yoga mat, and an IKEA step stool. And working out at home means you don’t have to factor in the driving time either. I can complete a workout in almost exactly 30 minutes (plus a few minutes of stretching). Once Aaron headed back to work, I did my weight circuits during nap time, and frequently did my cardio (walking) with Daphne either in the Ergo or in the stroller. It wasn’t ideal, but I made it work. I didn’t have access to a treadmill or a rowing machine at a gym, but it was nice to get outside for my cardio sessions.

**Just a note that I started BBG using the Post-Pregnancy program but I quickly found that it wasn’t as intense as I wanted. If I would have started BBG at 6 or 8 weeks post-partum, I probably would have liked this slower workout, but since I was already 9 months post-partum (and in pretty good shape) I wanted something that was going to push me a bit physically.**

Nutrition

In addition to the workouts, there are also nutritional guides that are included with the Sweat app (and available as a separate eBook). Since I didn’t follow along with the nutrition part of the plan, I don’t know much about what is included, but it is worth checking out if you are looking for some food guidance!

And while I didn’t follow any nutritional guides for BBG 1.0 (or have plans to do so in the future) I do know that “abs are made in the kitchen.” This is so true! You can workout and sweat and run (forever), but if you eat like crap, your body is going to reflect that.

At the time I started BBG, I was still nursing Daphne 4 times per day so I didn’t want to do anything in regards to my diet and nutrition that would have negatively affected my supply. Plus, increasing the amount that you are working out also means you need more calories. So, I started really watching what I was eating. I don’t like to restrict what I eat (because then that is all that I want), but moderation works. Like dessert is fine a few times per week in small portions. I also focused on having a good protein at every meal and making sure I was drinking a ton of water!

As an adult, I tend to be able to consume a good amount of calories for my daily activity level (less if I am sedentary and more if I am active) and mindless eating is not really a thing for me. But, I did start tracking my food intake with the Lose It app (the basic version is free) to keep myself accountable. While my food decisions are usually pretty good, I did catch myself not eating something because I didn’t want to add it to my food log!

App vs eBook

I started out using the Sweat app which I think was a good decision. I liked having the guidance in the app thru my workouts because it was a no brainer for me. When I started, I committed to 12 weeks so I planned on paying for the app for 3 months. The app is about $20 per month, though you can get it cheaper by pre-paying for 3, 6, or 12 months. My only real complaint with the app is that you can’t look ahead at the workouts or the app will reset the activities in your workout calendar. I am someone who is visual so seeing my workouts (both completed and planned) is important to me; I put all of my workouts into my Gmail calendar since that basically runs my life! Also, if you have an Apple Watch, the Sweat app will sync with it (most of the time, it’s a little buggy) and your workout will run on your watch.

For the eBook, you pay about $50 and it includes all of the circuit sessions for 12 weeks (either 1.0 or 2.0). The eBook 2.0 is MUCH better though, in comparison, and includes pages of stretching and rehab (i.e., foam rolling). The eBook is a downloadable PDF, but I have opted to print them and have them spiral bound. If you do this, I would recommend printing in black & white – WAY cheaper than in color – double-sided on slightly thicker paper.

Results

A big part of any workout program is results. That’s why we do all of this activity, right? Probably the easiest and most popular way to see results is to weigh yourself. You have a starting weight, an ending weight and a goal weight, and the idea is generally to see a decline in that number and have it close to the goal. I did weigh myself before I started, maybe twice during, and once at the end, but since we don’t have a scale, it wasn’t a good system of measurement for me. Basically, I didn’t use the scale as an indication of my “success” in my first 12 weeks. However, I did lose weight (maybe 7ish pounds?) and am stronger.

With BBG, a big part of the program is taking before, during, and after pictures. If you see anything on social media about BBG it is almost always a before and after of a woman who has gone thru the BBG program. I did take before and after pictures (but I decided not to share them on the Internet!) for a few reasons. But honestly, there isn’t a huge (visual) difference between my before and afters. That’s not to say there isn’t a difference though (hello baby abs!), but I can feel it in the way my clothes fit and I did lose one clothing size. Again, my goal was to start BBG (and continue it) to be strong and healthy, not for a crazy, drastic change, so CHECK!

My current workout program

I did take one week off the week of Daphne’s birthday which felt strange after completing 12 weeks of 6 workouts per week. But as much as my body felt weird during that break, my brain needed that time to sort out what things would look like going forward. Realistically I am not going to continue with 6 workouts per week because then that means I am literally only doing workouts during my “me” time each day. Even though I feel immensely better after a workout, I have to have other ways to self care.

So, going forward the weekly plan is (at least) one Pure Barre class, two BBG 2.0 strength workouts, and one cardio (or HIIT) session. I also may try to incorporate a Zumba class or a Pure Barre Empower class into my week as a cardio option; the only time these classes would work for me is late in the evening which is the worst time for me to workout (personally).

  • Sunday: 50 minute Pure Barre class
  • Monday: rest
  • Tuesday: BBG leg circuit workout (during naptime)
  • Wednesday: rest or walking cardio (with Daphne)
  • Thursday: BBG arm or ab circuit workout (during naptime)
  • Friday: rest or walking cardio (with Daphne)
  • Saturday: BBG workout, HIIT workout*, or cardio

*For HIIT workouts, I don’t run but I have found some good HIIT workouts on Pinterest which are basically really fast circuit workouts.

And because it worked so well the past 12 weeks, I have already put my workouts into my calendar (indefinitely) since I feel committed at that point. I am a person that puts EVERYTHING in my calendar, so I can honor the workouts already scheduled but still plan other things too.

Also, I switched from the Sweat app to the eBook 2.0 for weeks 13 to 24. It makes more sense for me (financially) since I am only doing two BBG workouts each week, and then I can resume using the app in the future if I want to have a more intense workout program.

Bottom line: I highly recommend BBG and think it’s a great 12 week workout program. At any fitness level, I think BBG can be helpful. After completing the first 12 weeks, I know that for me personally I can’t commit to the full BBG program each week, but I think I can incorporate a few of them into a more flexible workout program that suits my needs.

Do you have a workout program or have you tried BBG?

M

This post was not sponsored. All opinions and thoughts are my own.