styling my new-mom-self – summer edition

Last summer is a complete blur of sleep deprivation, learning about babies, and trying to transition to a work-at-home mom. I don’t even remember what I did or how I looked when I did it. It’s crazy to think it’s been 16 months since having a baby, because I still feel very much post-partum.

This summer feels different, in that I’m actually rested enough to know what season it is. 🙂 I feel a bit more like me again. I *finally* made time this last week to color and cut my hair. I’m off the henna. It just takes too damn long! I gave all of my stash away. 😦 So I did a DIY box color during Hannah’s nap time one day, and my mom watched her while I went and got a haircut. It’s a really choppy-layered long a-line bob. It does the messy-wave thing quite nicely, and I love that style because a little heat and humidity doesn’t mess with it too much, and I can extend it a few days with just a couple of touch ups, some dry shampoo, and sea salt spray. Hooray for low-maintenance! Perfect mom hair.

new hair frontnew hair side

Hubby and I have been talking about actually going on dates again. We need it. Well, at least I do. I need conversation without distractions and I need a break from the 24/7-ness of having a toddler. But it’s embarrassing to admit that I have (nearly literally) nothing to wear to go out. At least not in the warm season. At least not if I don’t lose the baby weight. There’s enough guilt and shame in our lives to have to apologize for not “bouncing back” immediately (or 16 months after..cough cough) after having a baby. So I’m not apologizing for it, OR making excuses for it. I’m working on it.

But the meantime is awkward. I don’t need, or have the time, to feel crappy about myself. I know it’s not so much about my size, as it is the futile attempts to look put together when nothing I own is doing me any favors. So, because my birthday is coming up, I am going to use it as an excuse to get myself something decent to wear for a nice summer date. Maybe with a reason to wear something other than yoga pants 90% of the time I’ll be a little more motivated to eat kale.

Here are a few ideas I put together (the first for casual day-dates and the second for slightly nicer evenings out) that will (theoretically) flatter my mom-bod AND keep me cool when it’s 100 degrees. (I have some items similar to a few things shown here).

summer casual styleFor the casual styles, I basically picked belly-hiding tops with wear-to-death denim. I don’t mind showing a little leg if the upper half of my body is covered with distracting colors, prints and layers. 🙂 My favorite is probably the second from the left – floral shorts are different and fun and I have a similar vest.

summer date night style For the evening looks, I picked mostly darker colors (more flattering on me and fine for summer evenings). My favorite item on this board are the shoes from the second look and the top on the third look. The third look is actually a bit too trendy for my liking – on someone else it’s great but I’d feel a little self-conscious. The last look is easiest though – I already have the top and similar sandals and earrings.

The hardest part is actually shopping for things I like – thus gathering ideas ahead of time. It saves me time when I can shop with a mission rather than wandering aimlessly. Any faves from the outfits? And any fun summer date ideas for me? I’m truly out of the loop with it all! 😉


fall cleanse – october is detox month!

It doesn’t seem possible it’s October already. I’m almost done with a class I feel as though I barely started, and starting another in two weeks. Work has been chaos. Our NYC trip is fast approaching (mere DAYS!).

The last few months have been way too hectic. I miss the days when I could keep taking on more and more and just use a little concealer under my eyes to hide the fact I was sleep deprived. But I guess aging means minding the important details and taking better care of myself because lemme tell ya.. it’s starting to take its toll.

Since it’s a new month, I decided it was a good time to come up with a new regimen for myself – one that focuses on taking better care of myself and reducing stress. It’s nothing too crazy, but I have incorporated a few inexpensive and simple healthy activities to my personal care routine, and I’ll be focusing on holistic detoxing.

(Please forgive the lack of detail on these, but I’ve linked to the information I am following. As a newbie, I am trying these tactics by-the-book, and I didn’t want to re-write the processes here until I make them my own (meaning, once I have established a real routine I will post about what’s worked for me). I’m no expert, so I’m linking to more information for anything that may interest you. I’ll report back on these at the end of the month.

  1. Daily coconut oil-pulling. Have you heard of this process? Essentially this entails vigorously swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil (or another oil – olive or sesame are cited in a number of pieces written about this) for 20 minutes a day upon waking, prior to eating or drinking. You then spit out the oil and rinse with water, then brush/floss as normal. (And yes, it’s a long 20 minutes, but it’s doable). This process cleanses the mouth making your teeth and gums healthier (and healthier-looking), and supposedly absorbs/flushes the mouth of bacteria and toxins that invade into your system causing a myriad of health problems (they say most diseases begin in the mouth). The benefits are things like clearer skin, decreased joint pain, better digestion, better breathing, lessened PMS symptoms, reversed gum recession, etc. As I’ve only been doing this for 4 days, I am not yet sure what benefits I will experience, if anything, but I can vouch that my mouth feels clean and my breath stays fresh, and my teeth look brighter (which in my opinion is the number one thing a person can do to look younger quickly!) After 30-40 days I will follow up on the experience.
  2. Daily body-brushing. Remember the impact that Alicia Silverstone’s book The Kind Diet made on me? One of the sections in the book discusses some of the ways you can be kind to yourself, other than revamping your diet. She mentions body-brushing as a way to brighten your skin and “love yourself” in her happy hippie-dippy way. I think that was the first time I’d heard of it but since then I’ve seen it mentioned all over the place, so I finally started giving it a try last weekend. This is a detoxing and exfoliating process – ridding the skin of environmental toxins effectively, and allowing for better absorption of moisturizers. It increases circulation which brightens and tightens the skin, so it’s supposed to reduce cellulite. I bought a long-handled natural brush and followed Alicia’s instructions. I do this every night before a shower. I love the tingliness after dry-brushing, and my skin does feel softer (I think). I’ll follow up on this one later, too. (
  3. No-shampoo. ‘Poo-free, if you will. I’ve eliminated washing/conditioning my hair. After switching to henna color, I also switched to a natural shampoo, with mixed results. I loved the feeling initially. But after a week, my roots felt incredibly greasy, probably due to the fact that for the first time ever, my scalp had to produce some oil. I tried extensive daily brushing to better distribute the oil, but that made it worse. I’ve never, ever had oily hair in my life and I couldn’t get used to having to wash every day. Such a hassle. So, I’m trying a new hair regimen: baking soda and apple cider vinegar. And for the first time since using the natural shampoo my hair feels clean! And the cost is pennies. Literally. Maybe 2 cents a batch. This may change my life. Again.. I’ll follow up after my trial month.
  4. Weekly hot-yoga. I’ve signed up for this and can’t wait. I’ve been upping the cardio the past few weeks, but my yoga class is too early in the day to get to them on time these days (working more hours) and I’ve been missing it. The studio I was taking Belly Dance classes from offers a hot yoga class I’ve been meaning to try to now’s the chance! And if you don’t know what hot yoga is, it’s exactly what it sounds like. The room is cranked to 95 degrees and you sweat out the bad and get super bendy. It may turn out to be my personal idea of hell. But I’m gonna brave it.. and I think I will love it. (I’m heading back to belly dancing this week, too!).
  5. Vegan-for-a-month. (It’s World Vegetarian Day today, by the way!) This one’s obviously the bigger commitment, but shouldn’t be much of a stretch for me. I’ve been lazy, lazy, lazy with my diet and feeling a lack of energy (and totally horrible about myself – it’s all connected!). So I’m going to kick off my healthy month with an immediate strict dairy-free diet.

So that’s my inner and outer detoxing plan for the month. Happy, healthy October!

a yoga playlist for your sunday

Beastie Boys – Namaste
Baird Hersey – The Charioteer
Jalebee Cartel – Fade Away
Sacred System – Black Lotus
Beastie Boys – Sabrosa
Moby – We Are All Made Of Stars
Massive Attack – Teardrop – 2006 Digital Remaster
Makyo – Naga – Tribal Dub Remix
Moby – In My Heart
Tricky – Bacative
Sacred System – Amrita Flux
Beastie Boys – Transitions
Goldfrapp – Strict Machine

back with a mac//catching up//random thoughts

Well, friends, I am back. After making a valiant but fruitless effort to replace the hard drive in my old Dell laptop, then considering the option to get another cheap PC to hold me over until I get what I really wanted, I just went for it and got myself a MacBook Pro. It’s taking some getting used to, but I know I’ll just love it! If anyone’s got tips for me, please send em’. I’m learning the WordPress photo uploader is a total no-worky with Safari (Apple’s browser) and I’m resorting back to Firefox. Sheesh! First World Problems, eh?

I missed a Practically Free Friday post and I know how sad you all are about it (hehe) so I’ll be back with two next week. I’ve actually been doing lots of fun projects since I’m on a break between classes (start back up August 13).

I can’t believe it’s August already. I know, I said the same thing about July. July 1 I started a kinda new job (my Government contract is in the hands of a new company). I’ve been busy getting a handle on my new and ever-growing list of work-tasks. I am just NOT good at handling work-stress. I overeat, under-sleep, don’t hit the gym, and drink too much wine. Subsequently I have felt like utter crap for weeks (duh) and the fit of my jeans tells me it’s time for damage control in the form of good ol’ healthy eating, yoga and gym time.

Which reminds me (hijacking my own post – awesome!) – if I started a blog of the healthy eating, fitnessy and natural hippy-dippy home remedy variety would you read it?

Welp, here’s what else I’ve been up to {Instagram is the laziest best way to document life, amIright?)

Finally! A long overdue date night this weekend!

@ City Creek in SLC. Just liked this shot.

My friend Matt is moving to the UK and he bestowed his paint stash on me – Whoop! Here’s my now quadrupled, co-mingled collection. Um, can I take a week off of work? I think I need a paintcation.

My sister-in-law planted my beet seeds {I ran out of room}. Look how pretty they are!! I am having lots of fun making weird garden-inspired meals. Today we are having these beet burgers from Post Punk Kitchen. I made them yesterday, doubled the recipe, and had 8 burgers to freeze. They look and smell delicious!

How cute are these dolls (@ Target!)? I want one!! But I got it for my niece instead.

Happy Sunday!

fitness-y goal update & some feet pics {you’ve been warned}

I realized today that the last 30 days have revolved around my feet. After running the half marathon, {how long’s she gonna milk that – I know right?} I was hobbling on an injured foot for about a week and a half. Even once I was through limping, I was still not able to run on the poor thing and was frequently thawing out frozen veggies on my foot for 15 minutes at a time.

Luckily with the race no longer looming over my head, I was able to get back to yoga guilt-free {yoga was once guilt-inducing? Yes – because it’s fitness I enjoy and how dare I enjoy working out while I need to be training?? That’s how my brain works.} I am so very out of practice with yoga but the thing I love about it, and have loved for the 10 years or so I’ve practiced {with various levels of commitment} is there’s not need to be competitive. Even with yourself. You can have goals, but it’s truly not about the perfection of it. I love that.

Back to my feet.

I skipped the Dirty Dash {which my brother-in-law ran in my place} so I got to watch him, and my husband, and the rest of my would-be team play in the mud from the sidelines. It was a blast. What a ridiculous thing everyone should do. My husband is the filthiest one, second row, second from the left.

Then last week this happened:

I stubbed my toe on a yellow lab, jumping over a beagle. Fer rills. It still hurts and actually looks worse 5 days later – swollen and weird. Husband thinks it could be broken. Anyone have broken toe experience? I did plank jacks on the poor bastard this evening and it doesn’t seem any worse than before {the during was excruciating when I wasn’t successful at favoring it..}

It’s so frustrating to be injured just enough I can’t do my normal ‘thang, and there’s always something, but I feel  like I’m at 80% now and ready to get back to it! I’ve got 9lbs to go {but more importantly I have lots of squishiness to firm up} and some damage control to do from my carb and ice cream free-for-all from the last couple of weeks. Plus, I bought a bikini for motivation.

So, here’s what my schedule’s going to look like for the next 4-6 weeks, barring more injuries {for my own planning/accountability purposes}:

  • Monday: Elliptical machine during lunch or run after work, 30 min// 6 Week 6 Pack {Jillian Michaels DVD} in the evening
  • Tuesday: Yoga class
  • Wednesday: Elliptical machine during lunch or run after work, 30 min// 6 Week 6 Pack {Jillian Michaels DVD} in the evening
  • Thursday: Walk dogs in the AM, 30 min. // Yoga class
  • Friday: 6 Week 6 Pack {Jillian Michaels DVD}// 6 Week 6 Pack {Jillian Michaels DVD}
  • Saturday: Hike, walk, bike, dancing, etc – something fun and different.
  • Sunday: Jog with the dogs in the AM, 30 min. // 6 Week 6 Pack {Jillian Michaels DVD}

I’ll try to review 6 Week 6 Pack at the end of the program. I started it tonight and I loved it and hated it, and I’m hopeful for some toning results. There’s more to it than abs, so it’s a good total-body workout that focuses mostly on core, which is my trouble spot hands-down. Friggin’ apple shape, anyway.

I’m also back to using MyFitnessPal again – username is kbuelo if anyone else is on and wants to add me. I share my food diary with the world so if you’re into my over-sharing, and you just read a post about my feet so clearly you are -haha – I’m your motivation buddy!

What’s everyone else up to fitness-wise?


In November it seemed so far away, and the idea of it was just so fun. An excuse to buy a sport watch and make color-coded Excel training schedules. The Half Marathon I insanely committed to. Starting was easy, and working up to a few miles was fun-fun-fun! And then January happened. I injured myself the week before going to Vegas for Jonathan’s 30th birthday. A minor stress injury to my foot, but I further aggravated it by hobbling around in high heels up and down the Strip because I sometimes think I’m a bad ass (but really I’m just not that bright).

It threw off my training so much I felt back at square one. I decided to at least cross train and strength train if nothing else, until the weather cooperated and I could run outside. I had a new workout space to push me along, but I still thought I had all the time in the world to be ready to face it.

It was HERE before I even knew it. I was back to only logging 3 mile runs on a treadmill, stressing from school workload and job turmoil, trying to get my garden ready and feeling guilty that I wasn’t properly training. There was this moment when I almost bailed out. Then I calmed down and thought maybe I would be ok – I was cross-training after all- and should just lower my expectations.

And so I did. I gutted it out. I completed a 13.1 mile run, hobbling in the last 4 miles because I reinjured my foot.

It may not look like much, but when the top of your foot is bruised from the impact you put on the bottom, it hurts a lot, and it still hurts a week later.

Admittedly, everything hurt the next day. EVER-y-thing. And it was slow. I finished near the last in my gender/age category. An 80 year old man passed me during the last mile while I was limping along. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it. I ruined my yoga form temporarily, lost my favorite hoodie, and limped on an injured foot for several agonizing miles (I almost cried. A few times. Really), but I’m so glad I finished it.

Don’t let the smiley photo fool you. I am in in pain here at the finish. I was just so happy it was over.

And the first several miles were great fun! There really is nothing like that race day excitement, and now I get it. (Don’t mind the watermark. The event photog wants me to pay $20 for a digital copy of this. Umyeah, no thanks.)

^Mile 3ish? Before I wanted to die.

My second biggest concern, pre-race (first being, obviously, don’t die) was.. what if I run out of things to think about? It’s not that it’s generally a problem for me (the opposite, actually) but I’m talking.. what if I ran out of ways to distract myself from the pain? What if by mile 4 I’m already hating it and can’t think of anything beyond the utter suck?

I’m happy to report it’s nothing like the training. I made so many temporary friends during the race. Everyone was so encouraging. The scenery was so pretty I got lost in it a few times. The drink stations were surrounded by spectators cheering us on. My iPod playlist had me pumped up. It’s truly a memorable experience, worth doing to say I did and to understand why people do it in the first place.

Enough to make me try again, with the knowledge of what I’m getting myself into? Maybe. Probably. (No really.. I’m not that bright).


I’m extremely visually inspired, so I made myself a little fitspiration pin board to hang in my closet. My countdown to goal weight, little positive messages, and pictures of stuff I want to buy when I make it to my goal {or maybe before..}

As a bonus, hubby gets to check out VS models without having to sneak it. Ha.

This was just a cheapo art canvas I stapled some fabric to a long time ago. It was hanging in our old house in the basement and I just dug it out from a closet for this purpose. Push pins go right in and keep everything up securely. I could even hang some jewelry if I wanted to.

This will probably change a lot as I find things to pin. It certainly isn’t close to done now. But it’s a nice little reminder to get myself down to the workout room and put in my time.

Not to say I don’t love me some virtual pinboard, too! I have a board of things I collect online that also inspire me.

This one’s my favorite. So blunt, simple and empowering:

It’s my new mantra.

fear.less, Pt. 1

How would your life be different if you didn’t fear the unknown? Or didn’t make excuses why you shouldn’t try something new? What would you be doing? Would you live where you live? Would you hold the job you currently have, or be doing something different? Would you feel anchored to your possessions or more confident without them? What would you be doing?

Like most everyone, I’ve been held back by fear my whole life in one way or another. Choosing the practical over the fabulous. Not even taking a shot at something I want for fear I won’t get it. Holding off on things until I lose 10 pounds.

Lately though I have felt the overwhelming urge to start saying YES to myself. The last two years have been the healthiest in my life. I went vegetarian. I (re)started practicing yoga. I started training for a half marathon. I started cooking mostly vegan. I’ve been inspired to do more good for myself and my health. Finding reasons why I should instead of shouldn’t. Some stories:

Late last year, I took a yoga workshop. I’ve taken yoga classes off and on for almost 10 years, and have been consistently doing it twice a week through all of 2011. I’ve wanted to advance my practice but was feeling nervous about leaving my comfort zone. I went for it and signed up for the workshop (it helped I didn’t go home and think about it but registered on the spot). This studio is on the creaky third floor of an art gallery, run/frequented by advanced yogis, and exactly the atmosphere I told myself I would some day practice yoga in (as opposed to the all-levels class next to the racquetball court at my gym!) This was by far the best yoga experience of my life. An entire hour was dedicated to understanding the history and healing powers of yoga. (As someone who healed my gimpy, weak, chronically hurt wrists, I am already a believer!!). Followed by an hour of practice more advanced than I am used to, but that I happily could keep up with. I’m so glad I didn’t talk myself out of going.

In November 2011 I took my first belly dancing class. Ever since seeing belly dancers as a kid, I wanted to do this. It’s even on my list of 30 things to do before I’m 30. But I never did because I was afraid I would look silly. I LOVE dancing of all kinds but there’s just no place in the adult world for it, unless you MAKE a place for it. My notions about it were so wrong. I thought everyone would be very good at it and I would be the awkward girl.  Truthfully, once I was there, I didn’t compare. I noticed and appreciated the talent of some of the others, but it didn’t make me feel inadequate. It made me feel inspired. It makes your curves, the same ones you curse and pick apart in the mirror, look beautiful – you need curves to make belly dancing look good. Empowering! I went back for more until my school schedule changed and overlapped the class. However, it got me in that door and I frequented lots of weird things at that studio since. Pilates, Zumba, candlelit yoga. In a studio run by a renowned pole dancer. Really. When my wrists really strengthen up I’m going to try Pole. Can’t wait.

I’ve since been bouncing around from obsession to obsession, getting my fitness on in weird and awesome ways. I just finished Ripped in 30 {Jillian Michael’s program} and moved on to p90x this week. A year ago when my husband started p90x I said there was no WAY I would even try it. It took a year of baby steps but last night I was doing pullups from a door frame in our basement and chanting “FIGHT FOR IT!!” over and over. Who is this girl?

I am a firm believer in writing life lists and making goals. Had I not put “belly dancing” on my 30 before 30 list, I wouldn’t have gotten around to trying it, and I’d be missing out on a positive, women-centered, empowering experience.

I’m writing my bucket list right now and plan to post it, for accountability/cheerleading/inspiration purposes, knowing it will evolve, grow, adapt, but also knowing that putting it in print helps me make great things happen.

I challenge you all to try something new, or start working on your bucket list now. Let me know if you do! We can cheer each other on.

home workout space

Plans for decor in the new home gym? You betcha. Here’s the look I think I have in mind for the space:

Some art on the walls, some earthy tones and blues, a weight bench, plants and a mirror for form-checking. Curtains are the first priority, but hoping for something similar to, but less spendy than, the $120-each Crate and Barrel curtains shown.

So far loving my little yoga and cardio space but can’t wait to make it pretty.

basement project: phase 1

Here’s the latest project we’ve been up to: Phase 1 of the basement project. We had (until now) a completely unfinished basement. This was just our storage and treadmill area. Pretty, eh? This is where I’ve been trying to work up the motivation to spend time 5 days a week.

Here is what that same area looks like now:

Lets take a peek! our new workout area! Isn’t is lovely? Hubby finished it all in his down time and it looks so fantastic!

The TV components are in the closet behind the TV {brilliant!}.

The cantaloupe-colored walls are so cheerful! The flooring is rubber interlocking anti-fatigue mats.

The French doors are my favorite feature! Eventually the unfinished area outside those doors will be a family room/party room. In the plans: wet bar, walkout basement to a patio underneath the deck, and game area. On the other side of the wall on either side of the French doors we are putting built in bookcases for storage and prettiness {the orange outside walls are temporary}. This could be years away, but planning ahead is always productive and fun!

For now, totally loving this cheery space for the treadmill. I have big plans to further spruce it up and make it an inspiring space. I’ll be sure to follow up!