Sunday, September 10, 2017

Summer Is Ending...


It's Sunday and we just got back from an awesome family day Railbiking!!! Which I am writing a post about tonight to share with you on Tuesday. If you have Instagram, you can find our experience @itsLaurenRebecca. 

I'm sitting here on the couch with the windows open. It's about 72 degrees here in Saratoga Springs and I'm just bursting with excitement over this weather. We had a cold, rainy couple of weeks and all I could think was, it's way too early to be this cold! Ty is mowing the lawn and Scarlett just ran to the neighbors to play with the kids. Maxwell is splashing in puddles that he made from his water table and that smell of fresh cut grass is just amazing. I'm also burning my favorite Lemon Verbana soy candle. I know I've said this many times...Sunday is a glorious day. I feel really accomplished this weekend. The shutters are almost done. If you recall, I wanted to paint the hideous red awhile back. And they are now black. I will show you the before after photos as soon as they are done. My inspiration was Charleston. We took a trip HERE and ever since I've been obsessed with the magical houses that make up that lovely city. Since our house is pale yellow with beams in front, it was actually doable to try and give our home a little southern flair. 
On top of that, the house is clean, laundry done, outfits picked for tomorrow, meals planned and everything is prepped for another week of work/school. The only thing left to do is bathe our grubby little kids and put them to bed in a few hours. 

Summer always flies by.
But this summer's memories are nothing short of awesome. Although Fall is pretty beyond belief here in New York, I still can't seem to get super excited about the fact that the cold, long winter arrives shortly after. This year we made a decision to do a couple of winter trips to break up our winter blues. I imagine that will help tremendously. Anyways, here are some photos from this summer that I never got a chance to post. I hope you all had a great weekend!!





Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Routines.


There was about a week of cold weather here in New York and of course Maxwell got a cold which he passed to me, and now I'm under the weather.  That being said, there is just too much to do before school starts this Wednesday. I am one of those "Fall Cleaners" who must get everything in order before the new routines begin. I went through my house from top to bottom today and I still feel like there is more to do. I could take a whole weekend to organize and simplify. But I did what I could today, even being sick.
Scarlett starts 1st grade tomorrow and it's back to school schedules. On top of that, Ty and I are working out on a schedule and meal prepping to basically keep us both on track. It's hard to keep on track when life is busy. It REALLY is. And that is why I have to prep it all in advance in order for it to work for me. I have pretty healthy eating habits in general but I will graze all day long if I don't have a plan. Or I don't time block correctly and something gets left out, like working out. Someone asked me what I do to keep it all together once I'm getting up at 5am every morning for work, getting Maxwell to daycare, working full time and then getting home to get kids off the bus, dinner ready, baths done, spend some QT with the kids and still managing to work out in there somewhere. Oh, and I have a husband too.

It fails unless I have a plan. I must have a plan. So here is my plan and what works for us. I only work out 3-4 times a week because I know that if I try to do more, I will end up neglecting other priorities and feeling guilty etc etc. I have to spend some time with my kids and husband too. 

My meal plan and workout routine is as follows: (my husband has his own routine and the kids eat the same dinners) Everything we eat is Organic unless I absolutely cannot find it organic at the store. Sometimes if it's not in season, this is the case. Also, you will notice I DO eat chocolate or sweet things, I just make sure they are of good ingredients. You will see what I am talking about if you click on the links to some of the meals/snacks that I post below. You will also notice that on the days I work out, I have an extra snack or mini meal. That is because I am trying to gain muscle. The protein I use is HERE. Last, I drink 1/2 my weight in ounces of water each day.

My Meal Plan:
Monday: 60-65 Oz of water
Snack: Cottage Cheese and a kiwi
Lunch: 1 Hard Boiled egg, carrots, PB on a wrap and 1 piece of organic dark chocolate
Snack: Protein Shake 
Dinner: Filet Mignon, Sweet Potatoes & Strawberry Spinach Salad


Tuesday: 60-65 oz of water
Breakfast: Chocolate Banana Protein Muffin (these double for great snacks for the kids) & Black Coffee
Snack: Cheese slices & almonds
Lunch: 1 Hard Boiled egg, Turkey wrap & raw coconut chunks 
Snack: Apples with peanut butter
Snack: Protein Shake (After workout) 


Wednesday:60-65 oz of water
Snack: Cottage cheese with cucumbers
Lunch: Tuna on Salad greens with 1/2 a whole wheat wrap 1 piece of organic dark chocolate
Snack: Coconut chunks

Thursday: 60-65 oz of water
Breakfast: Chocolate Banana Protein Muffin with black coffee
Snack: Cheese slices & almonds
Lunch: 1 Hard Boiled egg, carrots, PB wrap and 1 kiwi
Snack: Protein Shake (After workout)

Friday: 60-65 oz of water
Snack: organic turkey jerky strips
Lunch: 1 Hard boiled egg, salad and 
Snack: apples with peanut butter
Dinner: Guacamole Turkey Burgers (with no bun) 
Snack: Protein Shake (after Workout)


Weekend day 1: 60-65 oz of water
Breakfast: Omelets with a Protein Iced Coffee Smoothie
Snack: cottage cheese with kiwi
Lunch: Chicken, sweet potato and broccoli bowl 
Snack: Protein Shake (After workout)

Weekend day 2: Keep it healthy but allowing 1 cheat meal & an alcoholic drink or two if I choose

As for my workouts, I have had the help from a friend and personal trainer to obtain my goals...which is a curvier figure. I just began this work out last week after doing the Bikini Body Burn series for 11 weeks. I switch my workout days each week because it's literally impossible not to when you have kids. BUT, I make sure to keep it consistent and follow the plan according to days and rest time in between. For those of you who don't have a personal trainer, I would suggest doing the Bikini Body Burn series or trying Tone It Up, which I haven't personally tried but have friend's who have amazing results from it. Again I only work out 4 days a week but I try to add one day of outdoor activities in there also. 

Workout Days:
Tuesday: Focus: Butt & thighs
Thursday: chest, Back & cardio
Friday: Arms & Core
Saturday:  Focus: Butt & thighs
Sunday: Walk, bike ride or outdoor activity 


Then the kids lunches always look something like THIS. My kids love raw veggies and fruits so it makes it easy for me when it comes to packing lunches. I will post another post on what I meal plan for them soon. 



Saturday, September 2, 2017

Camping. Cape Cod.

I know this is a weird intro but stay with me....
Last Saturday, the Jehovah's Witnesses came to the house as the do every Saturday morning. Normally, Ty opens the door, welcomes them in and chats with them even though we are not JW. That's my Ty for ya, he loves everyone.  Anyhow, Ty was away in Florida this weekend and I was outside when they came. It was ironic because they handed me a brochure that read, "Are you doing too much?" He quoted me a verse from the Bible and then opened the brochure that read on the inside, "If you are doing too many things and are so busy with life, are you really doing anything at all?" 
For some reason, this struck a chord with me and I looked up into the sky after they left and said, "Okay God, I get it." I've always been one to load up the calendar. I take on so many things that I want to do and then I end up, often times, burnt out. This summer, I barely even tasted it. It's come and gone in the blink of an eye. We've done a lot this summer. Too much, maybe. And I thought to myself, "Did I really do anything that was worthwhile? Did I make our time matter?"
There were definitely times that I did. This camping trip for instance.  I have been wanting to take Scarlett and Maxwell camping for some time now. I told Ty that I wanted to do a family camping trip for the kids. Scarlett has been asking for awhile. So Ty took initiative to rent a camper and we stayed at a KOA campground in Cape Cod. Originally, I was going to make a few activities for us to do offsite of the campground but ultimately decided that it would be nice to do nothing but just relax there. So I went against what my inner voice would have normally done, and I made no plans whatsoever.
The entire trip, besides one dinner where we went out for seafood, we stayed at the Campground.  I was worried we would be bored, but it was quite the contrary. We actually watched the kids play. We actually relaxed with a drink and talked to each other. We thoroughly took in the outdoors. And it was really, really nice to do nothing. I should have taken note of this then but I didn't. So this little nudge was a good reminder to me as we go into the school year that I need to slow down and do what matters instead of trying to do everything and in doing that, not really accomplishing anything but stressing myself out.

This little trip was so much fun. The kids were thrilled over the bunk beds in the RV and spent just as much time in them as they did on the playground across from our campsite. We made campfire mac & cheese and s'mores, went to the camp's daily activities and spent time together in the pool. The kids played in the dirt (a lot) and made camp friends. We had such a good time that we spent a day looking at campers when we came back. We would love to travel with the kids and camp different places around the country. If anyone has any great family campgrounds that they recommend, I'd love the recommendations!  Anyway, here are the photos from our very fun family camping trip. And see the little video I put together at the bottom.... 
Follow me on Instagram @itsLaurenRebecca



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

33.

Get ready for post overload this week....Summer had me busy and I've once again, been neglecting to post.....sigh.

I turned 33 the end of July.

I'm posting a bunch of photos from that weekend but this post isn't going to be about that this year. I'm sure you can see by the photos that we had a great time. Polo match, dinner, drinks and friends. 

So much has changed in the last few years of my life. I've grown tremendously and I've found strength inside myself that I didn't know I had. Always growing stronger and wiser. We've had real, good and just happy days. We've had some of the biggest trials yet. And it's all been part of the journey. We've watched the kids grow and I've made new friends. We've tried new things and traveled to new places.

People always ask, "what has been your favorite age so far?"
For me, that was 25.
I was coming out of my crazy, wild years and learning who I was and what I was made of. 25 was a year of nothing but happy memories. And also the year that I met Ty which, if you didn't already know, was life changing.

But 8 years have gone by since then. A move to New York, 2 kids, a marriage, 4 houses and a lot of love later...here I am at Chapter 33.

And still I have so much that I want to accomplish. Quite a few things that have been sitting on that back burner waiting for the day that I say, I'm ready. And I'm ready to mark some things off of my life list. I started a notebook of things I want to do and also things that are important to me. I also made a list of all the things that I have accomplished from 32-33. When I write it all down, it becomes so much more meaningful and purposeful. But that's how I am. If you ask me to speak about something, it comes out all sorts of nonsense and rambling. Let me put it down in words and it's all clear to me.

I am so thankful for another chapter to add to my life. So many people get sad or down about turning another year older. I have to honestly say that it doesn't bother me. I am relishing in the fact that my 30's are some of my best years yet. Of course it's not as stress-free as when I was 8 but hey, what can you do? Ive been asked a lot if we want more children or if they are in the future for us. Here's my answer to that. We are a perfect family of four and we seem to be content with all of that. Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to adopt a baby. I feel that if we ever decided to expand our family, we would explore this option. Scarlett is adamant that our family isn't finished so who knows....

We never know what the future will bring, right? All I know is that I am enjoying every second of this new year. I have a happy, healthy kids, a loving husband and lots of to-do's to check off.....what more could I want? Hey 33, you're not so bad. Here's to another chapter in the book of Lauren Rebecca!!




Monday, July 31, 2017

A List Of My Favorite Fitness Things.


When I began this fitness journey 11 weeks ago, I knew I wanted to get in the best shape that I could. That was my goal. Along the way, I've learned so much. I learned that I am stronger than I thought I was and that I can lift pretty heavy weights without being too bulky. I learned that I don't need as much cardio as I thought I did. I also learned what to eat and that I didn't eat enough.

Rewind a few years ago...I was SO skinny. After I had Scarlett it was hard for me to gain weight and I just ate whatever I wanted because I figured I needed to gain the weight. Turns out there is a lot more to it. I have learned that I need more protein to gain muscle and that I was lacking magnesium and good clean foods. I was a bit of a chocolate lover. Funny thing, now that I don't eat junk, I don't crave it one bit. I never thought I'd hear the day that I would say I don't crave chocolate! I mean, I do still eat it now and again as a treat, but I choose a good quality dark chocolate instead of Mallowmars....
So as I've continued along this journey, and no I am not close to finished, I take with me all of the things that I've learned and the things that I've found that I love. I've compiled a list of my favorites for you. 
 Favorite Protein Powders:
My ultimate first pick is: SunWarrior Chocolate Plant Based Protein

My favorite Protein Bars:
I love  GoMacro bars! I've been eating them for awhile now. They have the best flavors and I was lucky enough to participate in their fuel your fitness campaign!! My favorites are: Protein Pleasure, Everlasting Joy and Protein Replenishment. Check them out HERE.


My Favorite Workouts:
I am obsessed with BikiniBodyBurn right now. Loving the way I have transformed week by week and gotten stronger. Often I don't feel as though I'm working every body part but core exercises are miracles. 
And if I'm stuck or have questions or just need some help, my go to guy is one of my good friends, Fitregimen.  (unfortunately in Austin TX now) but he knows his stuff and always has my back if I need some tips. He can move to New York any day now!

If I could tell you my favorite specific exercises, I would say that they are squats with heavy weights, squat jumps (although they used to by my nemesis, I love them now), hip thrusts and all ab exercises. 

My Favorite Protein Packed Snacks:
Peanut butter, banana, almond milk Smoothie with a scoop of protein.
Cottage cheese
Apples with peanut butter
Yogurt 

When I'm Craving Something Sweet, I make these:

Promise to share more soon...


Monday, July 17, 2017

Father's Day Weekend & A Garden.

So you will notice my blog has some crazy notices all over the sides....PhotoBucket decided to change their policies and I will no longer be using them as my photo host. I'm currently creating a new blog facelift anyhow so please excuse the construction. :) Anyhow...this post has been sitting in my queue so here ya go!

I've been wanting to build a garden for awhile now. But it seems that there is never really enough time to take care of it in our household. Or that's the excuse I always give.  Maxwell is finally to an age where he can help and be involved with the garden and so we decided it was time to try a small garden. We opted to build a raised bed with a few.....er a lot of plants in it. The day before Father's Day, Ty bought some wood at the hardware store and then put together a new bed for Scarlett's beloved little sprouts. We went to the local greenhouse and put Scarlett in charge of picking out what we would plant. She chose everything from tomatoes to watermelon and corn. lol We obviously didn't plant ALL of those in there but if you see a watermelon or a few husks of corn growing in our side yard, you will all know why ;)

Maxwell was more interested in the building of the garden bed. He helped Ty with that. Scarlett ran to play with the neighbor until that was done and then came back to gently plant and kiss....yes she kissed each plant. She is one of a kind I tell ya! After all of our little sprouts were planted, we watered them and Scarlett sang them a song or two that she learned in school. I caught the most darling song that she sang to them while patting the soil. If you caught it on Instagram Stories, you know what I'm talking about. @itslaurenrebecca
"If ya got the sun and if you got the rain, and you plant a little seed in the ole' back lane, and you wish and you hope and keep the weeds down, you may find OH, you may find a root growing out from the seed in the ground....." 

I died when I heard this one because it really was the sweetest thing ever. Now we are maintaining them and watering them and hoping to see some tiny veggies grow soon. The tomatoes are already giving us hope. It's really more about the experience for us at this point. Maybe someday we will get out there and do an actual large garden, but for now, the raised bed in our patio area is just right. 

On Sunday, I took Ty and his father to the winery here in Saratoga. They have an outdoor area that does not disappoint. There is a large grassy area for the kids to run around and play. They serve wood-fired pizza and the wine isn't too bad either ;) We enjoyed wine/beer samples and delicious apps & pizza. It was a cheat day for me, for sure. Live music played and the kids danced while we sat in that glorious old sun. A good day indeed. I started a blog post to the kids that evening. It was a letter really. I wanted to write to Maxwell and Scarlett and tell them how lucky they are to have such wonderful men in their life. There father and both grandfathers are wonderful, loving people. I never finished the post because....you know, it was midnight and I had to be up to get 2 kids off to school/daycare and work. But I have every intention of finishing it and posting soon. The only thing missing from this great weekend was seeing my dad. I hope to see him this summer to make up for missing him on Father's Day. I hope that all of you dads, fathers and papas out there had a good weekend.