Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thursday Thoughts, Stuff and Things

Happy Thursday! This week seems to be flying by. Maybe because it's the last week of March and Father Time is playing a funny trick on me and making time flash before my eyes even faster. Can y'all believe we're a quarter of the way through the year?

The annoying thing that comes with today being the last day of March is that tomorrow is April Fools' Day. As a kid, April Fools is awesome. Kids play adorable little pranks that most of the time don't make sense or end in "made ya look!" I remember the year that my Grammy died, we were up in Illinois with my grandpa and he played several trickster jokes on us kids. Looking back its a cute, fond memory, and probably the only April Fools I truly remember. As an adult, April Fools just isn't funny. Maybe it's because I'm far too gullible and don't like feeling dumb. Maybe it's because people joke about serious and sensitive subjects that just aren't funny. Don't let me damper your April Fools by any means, but please, please, please remember that pregnancy is NOT a joke! I'll get off my soap box now.




JP and I have been booking a very special trip over the past few days! It's official...we're going to San Francisco in May! We were planning two kind of mini trips; an overnight trip in April for our anniversary and a long weekend somewhere within driving distance in May for JP's 30th birthday! We thought about it and decided that we would rather combine the two and take an awesome 30th birthday trip! JP totally deserves it. Cue quick husband brag. He works so hard for Chloe and I. It's because of him that I'm able to only work 2 days a week. In fact, he's told me that I can quit if I'd rather be at home with her! I'm so thankful to have a hard working, career driven, family man to call mine. I want to make sure that 30 is the best birthday for him. Better than his 21st birthday when he went with his dad to Vegas! Now we're just deciding all the best things to do.
Who's been to or lives in San Fransisco? 
What are our MUST do/see adventures? 
What restaurants should we try? 
What part of town should we stay in? 
We will have a rental car to help us get around, and we're planning on driving to Sonoma for a day trip! So go ahead and throw out any and all San Fransisco advice now!




We absolutely love to travel and actually didn't travel in March with no plans to travel in April! If you've been following along with A Balancing Act for any amount of time, you know that we love traveling, and having a little baby won't even stop this girl! I mean, we went to Europe for our Babymoon/Anniversary trip and to Disney World when Chloe was 4 month old and AGAIN at 5 months! Considering we're always planning our next trip and we're constantly on the go, it's kind of crazy that we're so content relaxing in Houston. Okay, relaxing may be a stretch. We always seem to have somewhere to go in town or people to see. The thing about living in such a huge city is that in order to see everyone we want, we're constantly driving! I have close friends and family to the North, Northwest and Southwest. All take at least 30 minutes to get to from our central location and can take over an hour to get to some in traffic. One day I met up with a friend in Sugar Land with our babies and then headed North to Spring to spend the rest of the day relaxing and catching up with a good friend {and blogger} Rachael. 30 minutes to Sugar Land, 45 minutes to Spring and 35 minutes back home again. JP calls days that I do this a "tour de Houston." I used to hate driving, but don't mind it so much with Chloe in the car with me. If driving is what it takes to spend time with people I care about then let's do it! I'm lucky to have that may people I care about to spend time with!




I love these random posts because I can babble about anything on my brain. I successfully rambled fairly seamlessly about April Fools to our trip to San Fran to driving in Houston. I don't have a seamless intro into my final ramble unless I tie in the driving because I wanted to share Easter pictures which were taken in Sugar Land! Not from Houston? Look at the image above. I live in the city and my family lives in Sugar Land {it's really two words} and I drive out there a lot. 30 minutes without traffic. Okay, back to pictures. I love them, take a look!

My little family {minus the pups}




Timmer kids



The original 6 ;)


Me!


My sister took a few new pics for me that I'm hoping to use on the blog!

That's all for today! Enjoy your last day of March and don't forget to link up!



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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Chloe Grace: 8 Months Old


Today is the day! Chloe Grace is 8 months old today! I say this every month, but I can't believe how fast time is flying and how big my girl is getting. She's gone from a squishy newborn, to a tiny baby and now she's a little human. She's learning so much and soaking everything up like a sponge these days!


This little bug has become an expert at posing for pictures. She still makes us work for those smiles, but she always give us the sweetest faces. Okay that's a lie, they aren't always the sweetest. Sometimes we get the most hilarious faces from this little beauty. She's been incredibly expressive since day one. I love how you get a glimpse into what she's thinking based on her face: scared, unsure, happy, excited, angry, confused, pooping. She's the best.

Speaking of smiles and facial expressions, someone got her first tooth this month! The bottom left tooth finally popped through after a few days of trying so hard to break the skin. I can't see or feel any others coming through, but that doesn't mean they won't make an appearance soon.


This past month Chloe has been chatting up a storm! She said her first word about 2 months ago, but now she says dada, hi, yeah and a lot of sounds that start with ga. She also loves to talk with her hands. They're constantly moving and flailing as she babbles on and on. I love having conversations with her and listening to her try and mimic my words. If only I could get her to say mama! We've been working on it, but I only hear it when she's really upset and just wailing. 


I think every month I say that she's in such a fun stage, but each month gets better. She's so aware of everything going on and interactive with her surroundings. She reaches out to pet things like her puppy or the bunny and goat she met at the petting zoo! She also reaches out for her friends. Most of the time she just pets their faces or reaches for their shoulders. Unless it's her cousin Camden, for some reason she always wants to reach and give him a big ol' kiss! It's adorable and hilarious. Reaching really is her favorite thing to do. She reaches for her story books, for people to pick her up, for toys in her toy bin, for food, for items on the shelves at the store. You have to be careful with this one!


I think her love of reaching for things has her on the verge of being mobile! She's not crawling yet, but she recently started pushing up to all fours and shaking back and forth. It's not rocking because really she's just bouncing her booty. She can scoot backwards, but not forwards.

Crawling may or may not come for this little one because all she wants to do is walk. She can stand and walk while holding my hands like a champion. She can also stand at her toy bin and reach in and pull out toys. If I let go of her hands, she can stand for a few seconds! WHAT? Slow down baby girl. I recently bought her a walker and this girl can cruise after just a few uses. I can put her in the living room and she'll find her way to me in the kitchen which isn't the easiest in our house. I guess we'll see how this plays out!

Since I'm talking about her being on the move, she also learned how to jump this month. She likes to jump anytime she's on a soft surface...thanks Nonna! Haha. She's a jumping queen in her bouncer and Exersaucer, so now we need to try out her Johnny Jump Up again!



This month's firsts:
  • First baptism {and only :)}
  • First tooth {bottom left}
  • First rodeo
  • First time to pull up unassisted
  • First St. Patrick's Day
  • First time to have friends over at her house
  • First birthday party
  • First petting zoo
  • First Easter 
  • First swim in the pool! {Actually we heated the hot tub to 90*F. She loved it!}



One last exciting piece of news is that Chloe is sleeping in her room finally! I'm still getting up about 1-2 times per night to nurse her, but that's not bad! Most nights JP is giving her a bottle for her first feeding, so I can get more sleep. He's the best daddy and is so good to this sleep deprived momma!


My Darling Chloe Grace,

Please tell me how this year is flying by so fast! Your first year of life is passing us by and I'm just trying to soak up every single moment with you. You continue to bring unimaginable joy to our family!

This last month your physical changes have been so noticeable! You are an incredibly strong little girl. Those thunder thighs aren't just chunk; there's muscle under there! You want to stand all the time. In fact, you fight us when we try to sit you down sometimes. You want to be on the go so bad, but crawling doesn't interest you that much, just walking. We bought you a walker this month to let you get around and follow us all by yourself. You're finding more and more things around our house this way, and momma seriously needs to baby proof!

You're learning so much and soaking your surroundings in like a sponge. You watch everything momma and daddy do and sometimes try to copy us! You listen to us when we read and sing to you. You talk back at us when we talk to you. You reach for us when we reach for you. You love playing with your toys, especially ones that make lots of sounds! You're also getting better about playing by yourself while momma tries to get a few things done around the house. I love listening to you jabber while you play with all of your toys and wiggle around. You're saying more words and copying sounds that people say when we talk to you! Dada is still your favorite, along with hi and yeah.

You still love to eat. You are a joy to feed because you love it so much! You don't take dainty little bites. You take big, hearty bites! The only thing you haven't like much is pears, but you seem to eat them fine when mixed with other foods. More importantly, you're still a boobie baby. You love to nurse and would nurse all day if I let you. The more access you have, the better! But that's okay baby girl, your momma loves it too and has no intentions of making you stop any time soon. You can wean yourself little one. Until then, momma's here. (Unless your 2, then we'll call it quits.)

Life gets better and better each month. Momma and Daddy love introducing you to new things and watching you grow and learn. I can't imagine that it will ever get old. We love you more than we could imagine and each day, our love for you grows even more. I thank God every day for letting ME be your momma. How could I be so lucky? Thank you for teaching me so much about life and helping me to become a better person simply by loving you. I can't wait to see where life take this little family of ours baby girl!

I love you forever,
Momma




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Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Name Game

Hello and happy Thursday! I'm off work for the week and at home playing with my little ChloWorm! She's currently wiggling around in her exersaucer practicing her brand new jumping skills while I type away near by.

Today I wanted to do something I haven't done in quite a while, but with an added twist. A long time ago, I talked about my blog name and how I came up with it. Some of those reasons remain the same, but since 2013, it's safe to say my life has changed drastically!



So pretty much life right? I can't think of the last time I didn't have so many things running through my head without a care in the world. I think the only place you can feel like that is Margaritaville...or possibly Jamaica, and it's definitely been a few years since I was in the Caribbean. Every day I feel like I'm trying to find balance between my baby girl, work, eating healthy, working out, playing with my pups, giving time to my husband, working on this blog, spending quality time with my friends and family, and everything else in between!

When I first changed my blog's name in August 2013, I was going through a major life change. I was leaving my comfy corporate job and solid paycheck to become a full time health and fitness professional. I wanted this space of mine to represent my crazy life balancing health, fitness, running, my husband, puppies and traveling.

via

These days I feel like I'm trying to balance and juggle everything I have going on in this life of mine! I love fitness, and I'm still working 2 days a week. I still travel and love posting about our adventures. My running has taken the back seat for a little while; I need to let my body continue to heal after several injuries over the past year. Don't worry I'll continue to post about my running as a gradually fall back into it. My family has expanded and in the best way. I've always posted about my life and now, my life revolves around Chloe. She seems to be a recurring trend in my posts, but I'm trying to balance it all out. Finding a happy medium in life is what it's all about right?!

Speaking of Chloe and while we're talking about the meaning behind names. I thought I'd share a bit about her name!



We chose Chloe simply because we knew we wanted a sweet, feminine name. We ran through several names that we didn't necessarily dislike, but we knew it wasn't right for our little princess. Once we thought about Chloe and added it to the list, we couldn't stop thinking about it! It was one of those 'when you know, you just know' kind of situations.

I loved Grace as a middle name and 'Chloe Grace' had an elegant, feminine flow. I also love calling people by their first and middle name which is why I often refer to my girl as Chloe Grace. Grace is too beautiful of a name to leave out. In case you're wondering...here's the meaning behind Grace too!



I love my blooming little gift from God and her name more than anything. The gift from God part couldn't be more true. I am so blessed to be chosen as this girls momma.



So what's in a name? Do you know what your name means?
If you have a blog, what's the meaning behind the name you chose? 
I love learning about how people's blogs came to be!
In case you're wondering, Amy is French and means 'greatly loved'!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Hello Spring!


Hello Tuesday and hello spring! Shockingly enough, the first two days of spring we took a step back in the weather department. Our 70-80 degree days turned into 40 degree mornings and 60 degree days with crazy wind! If we could kick the wind, I'd be in Heaven! Another thing that spring has brought to me is a yucky bug. Yesterday I felt off while teaching spin and it got worse as the day progressed. I'm not sure what's up, but I'm taking today very easy in hopes of being back to normal by tomorrow. A girl can hope! I haven't been sick since last April and I know that my Kyani vitamins have so much to do with that! It's all about giving your body what it needs. Since I'm sick, I thought I'd do something easy and fun today. We're going to blast back through old A Balancing Act posts and see what I was up to and sharing the first few days of spring!

2011


To start of spring 2011, we got snow in Pittsburgh and we had visitors! My youngest brother, sister, sister in law and friend Julie came to visit us during spring break. We rode the Duquesne Incline, ate at Primanti Brothers, went shopping and explored downtown Pittsburgh!

2012


We spent our first days of Spring in College Station with my dear friend Kristin in 2012! We watched Aggie baseball, went out at Northgate (because I was still young and capable of bouncing back) and spent time with our family!

2013


In 2013, JP and I took at weekend trip to Dallas to visit JP's sister and run the Rock 'n Roll Dallas half marathon! As you can see from my attire, the weather was similar to the past few days here. It was in the 40's and SO WINDY! I'm all for cold running weather though; I finished in 1:53-ish!

2014


Spring is for racing! In 2014, JP and I ran the Neon Splash Dash with my friend Caitlin! It was her first race ever and we had a blast. A few weeks later she ran her first half marathon with me too! Now I'm trying to convince her to sign up for another.

2015


Last year I was 22 weeks pregnant! Just past the halfway mark. I was in my 2nd trimester and getting ready for our European adventure! While I didn't love being pregnant for a good part of my pregnancy, I truly enjoyed this stage and even admitted it in the post!

2016


This year we spent our first spring weekend playing with friends, watching the Aggies in the NCAA Tournament, going to our first Easter event and birthday party and playing outside at Nonna and Poppa's house!  We're so lucky to have several friends with baby girls close to Chloe's age. Reconnecting with all of them has been one of the greatest blessings in my life!

So how do you like to start your spring days? 
Clearly we love to be outside! These are the best days to get out there, enjoy the weather and be active...so get to it! I will once I'm feeling better again!

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Mean, Green Lucky Seven

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today is kind of like a Friday Five and Thursday Thoughts combined into one awesome St. Patrick's Day post! I love holidays and dressing up and making people adhere to the rules. It all in good fun and it makes what may seem like a random Thursday much more entertaining...and green! I hope you're feeling lucky today because not only do I have adorable photos to share, but I have a recipe and a workout as well!



one.
How adorable is this sweet little girl? I've been putting her green outfits on her this week because she's my little baby doll. 




two.
It's been a tradition the past few years to have a pistachio muffin for breakfast on St. Patrick's Day! I mean, why not? They're green and delicious, so it only makes sense. Plus my friend/coworker Lauren and I both love them, but know how bad they are for us. Having something you love that's delicious and not nutritious is just fine every now and then!




three.
Looking for something green to eat that's a little bit healthier than muffins?! You have to try my turkey stuffed bell peppers! I don't make these as often as I should. There are several ingredients, but they're super easy to make. These bad boys are low cholesterol, low fat (especially if you get the 90-10 turkey or higher!) and gluten free. If you're not a fan of rice, try substituting quinoa!

Ingredients
1lb ground turkey
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 -3/4 (6oz can) green chiles and diced tomatoes
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 bell peppers, any color

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non stick spray. You can also line the dish with parchment paper if available.
  2. Brown your ground turkey. Season with salt, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon chili powder.
  3. Cut off the tops of your bell peppers. Remove stems and seeds from inside the pepper's cavity. Rinse thouroghly to remove remaining seeds.
  4. In a large bowl, combine turkey, rice, green chiles, corn, beans, tomatoes, cheeses, garlic, onion and chili powder (remaining 1/2 tsp), salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Fill each each bell pepper to the top. Place peppers on prepared baking dish and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through, about 25-30 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately and ENJOY!



four.
This is an old picture...like two years old, but I look pretty much the same and I'm wearing this shirt today! I don't know what other green shirt I would wear! Watch out cycle class...here I come! Rawrrrrr!




five.
Speaking of cycle class, check out this awesome St. Patrick's Day playlist I made! Looking for something a little different with some St. Patty's Day  spirit! Try some of these songs!




six.
I clearly love food, but it's not St. Patrick's Day without Lucky Charms. They're magically delicious! Okay, I didn't have these today, but I had a habit of eating these when I was pregnant. They were so delicious and I love eating all the carbs!


lucky seven!
I couldn't leave you with all this green food, a Celtic inspired workout play list and no workout to do! All you need is some sort of step which I refer to as a box in the above workout! You can use a park bench, a curb, a stair, whatever you have to make this work. Below are examples of all the exercises, but feel free to ask me questions about anything!

There you have it! I hope today is magical, lucky, green and anything else that St. Patrick's Day should be! Now get your bootie moving!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Chloe's First Rodeo!



It's Wednesday! Happy hump day y'all. And yes, I'm just now posting. Ugh, I just can't seem to get this blog ahead and schedule post thing together. Tell me...how do y'all do it? Seriously, I'd love some advice right about now!

I know that I've been busy lately, but I can't quite figure out where the hours in my day go. Someone asked me recently, "What do you do during the week?" {For the record, it wasn't in a rude, I know you only work part time so what do you do the rest of the week kind of question!} I realized that my answer wasn't exactly clear because I'm not sure what I'm doing with my time! I work 2 days a week and work plus watching Chloe after work takes it out of me. The other few days are spent tidying the house, meet ups with friends, blogging (some weeks!) and I'm not sure what else! We're constantly traveling and doing exciting things. This definitely fills my weekends! Which brings me to the fun stuff I have to share with y'all today...

This weekend, Chloe rodeo'ed for the first time ever! It was such a fun experience!

This month is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo which I go to every year! Earlier last week, I went to see Miranda Lambert with Alison for a girls night. On Saturday, I saw Billy Currington with my family! My parents, my brother, his girlfriend and friend and of course JP and Chloe! It was Chloe's very first rodeo and the perfect day to take her.



We got there a bit later than planned because the lot that we had a parking pass for was completely full. Not cool HLSR, not cool. We managed to go out to the boonies and park in the pay lot and still got into Reliant Stadium in time for the rodeo to start.

A family friend gave us some tickets that he couldn't use and they were in the club level which is why it was PERFECT with Chloe! We didn't have to sit in our seats the whole time. We were able to sit out on the couches in the lounge area where it was quieter and Chloe had space to move around. She definitely took advantage of that space! She wanted to walk around and say hello to everyone. More importantly, everyone wanted to come say hello to her! She's kind of a big deal. We watch a majority of the actual rodeo out there. We saw buckin' broncos, bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing, you name it! Gotta love a good rodeo!

Eventually we went down to our seats for the most important parts: the calf scramble, mutton bustin' and of course, the show. Chloe was rubbing her eyes and getting sleepy, so I nursed her and she fell right to sleep with her baby head phones on. As always, my mom was dying to snuggle her, so we moved her to my momma's chest where she slept until the end of the concert! It worked out great for me because I was able to sing all the songs at the top of my lungs. I do love to sing, what can I say? I even jumped down to sit by my daddy when "Good Directions" came on because that's one of our songs. **Side story: In 2007, my cousin Sarah got married and I my daddy picked me up from College Station on the way to Austin, so I could be his date. (My mom had to work...boo!) This song came on his radio a few different times, so he was able to learn the words. Now it just brings back good memories for us!

Billy put on a pretty good show! It's hard to do much at rodeo because of the HUGE venue and short amount of time. I love when artist play their biggest and best hits and just throw in one or two new ones. Billy did just that which is a great rodeo performance in my books!

I'm so glad that we were able to take Chloe this year! Next year she'll be toddling around and she can say that "this ain't her first rodeo!" Well, I'll be able to say it for her at least!

Have you been to a rodeo? Where?
Would you take your little one to a big event like this? I find that Chloe seems to thrive in all environments. We got lucky to have such a flexible little baby. I think it helps that we immersed her in many situations after birth!

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

That time I turned a workout into a game.

Once upon a time I used to post workout around these parts! But then I became a mom and workouts and running became different. I even shared my thoughts on running in my Marathon to Mom post! Things change day to day. Some days I can take on the world. Some days I'm too pooped to get out of my jammies. It usually helps if my good days fall on days that I'm at work. This way, workouts are easy to get it! All I have to do is workout when I teach my classes. Mondays I teach cycle and tabata, and Wednesdays I teach kickboxing and a strength/cardio class.

Here are a few of my absolute favorite workouts that you can do anywhere! These are the style of workouts that I teach in my Wednesday afternoon class. Some days I change it up and add weights, resistance bands, stability balls and whatever I can find at the gym to get a good workout for everyone. The ones below don't require any equipment. All you need is you...and a little bit of energy and motivation! It can go a long way.







For the one above, start with set 1. Set a timer for 7 minutes and begin with the lunges, then tricep dips and last burpees. Once you finish, start again at the lunges. Keep going until your timer stops! Take a 2-3 minute rest and grab some water, then repeat for sets 2 and 3!

Recently I decided to take a simple game and turn it into an awesome workout! Or maybe I turned a workout into a game. It's up to you to decide!

Who has played UNO before? It's probably been quite a while right? Well I stumbled upon a deck of UNO cards while at the grocery store a few weeks ago, and came up with this super fun and creative workout. It makes your workout fly by because you don't know what's coming next. You could have 1 squat, 10 burpees or even 5 minutes of cardio! It depends on how you shuffle the deck!



I'm a firm believer that making workouts fun and changing things up with what makes your stick to it! So shake it up. Create a workout that goes along with your favorite tv show or movie. Turn a game into a workout. Find your favorite park on a beautiful day and do something new. Take a rainy day and turn it into something that gets you moving in doors. It's up to you!

Like I said before, some days I'm off and I'm tired and I don't want to do it! Find a balance. Shoot for a few days a week and go from there. You can find a way to enjoy working out. I did! And then I made a career out of it!

What are your favorite ways to work out? How do you keep it fun so you don't want to quit?

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