if you want to, but think you can’t, you can

the girls
the girls the girls the girls the girls the girls the girls the girls the girls These kids are a ball of energy. It’s been almost exactly 4 years since I started working out consistently. It was a month after I had Soul, I was just feeling kind of blah, and I was hoping exercise would change that. Having the girls back to back to back at that point made my body just feel out of it and I needed something to boost my energy levels. I know it’s going to sound cheesy, but I started doing P90X. Yup, those informercial workouts! Ben bought it several months prior and I figured this was as good as I was ever going to get to having a personal trainer.

This was back in the day when True and Brave used to nap too, so I would put them and newborn Soul to nap, and I would pop the DVD in and start working out. After a consistent month of working out 6 days a week, Ben decided he wanted to join in, so we both started waking up early to do the workouts together. That was 4 years ago and we’ve been doing it like that ever since!

I did get pregnant with Glow after almost exactly a year of consistent exercising 6 days a week, and since my body had been used to such rigorous exercise, my midwife said it would be fine to continue while pregnant and I did! I think I missed about a month during the first trimester due to feeling sick, but as soon as I was feeling well, I was back to my morning workouts with Ben. I continued to exercise 6 days a week my whole pregnancy up until I gave birth. You should have seen me, I was full on still doing jumps, pushups, and (assisted) pull-ups with this ginormous belly! I am sure if my mom or MIL saw me working out, they surely would have made me stop (and freaked out!). We wished we would have taken a picture of it then, but we didn’t even think about it. It would have been fun to look back on the picture and just laugh at how ridiculous I looked. I took another 6 week break after I gave birth, but once I was cleared, I was back at it.

Exercise gives me the energy I need throughout the day. I don’t drink coffee or soda, so this is my boost to get me energized to deal with the demands of the girls. Ben and I do the exercises together still and we wake up to do it before the girls wake up. Of course, he wakes up first and then he wakes me up, and I still always have trouble getting out of bed, but I just have to remember how good it feels after.

Four years later, I’m thankful for the time we have invested to strengthen our bodies. If you been following here for awhile, you know how much I love doing the “fun runs,” especially with obstacle courses, and it really has helped us in all we do in our garden. All that shoveling, digging, and maneuvering around really requires muscles, so I’m glad to have strengthened them over the years.

I must also mention that along with working out, I generally eat pretty healthy. I say generally because I do have a hard time saying no to desserts. Moderation is hard when cakes and chocolate is involved (like yesterday’s post), but otherwise eating healthy is not a problem. Being married to a dietitian makes this lifestyle of making good food choices kind of easy. Have I ever told you about how when we started dating I lost 15 lbs?! Usually, the opposite happens when a couple starts dating, but not in my case.

If you ever think you can’t ever possibly get to a place where you’re consistently working out, I’m proof you can! I was never an exercise person prior, but I knew something had to be done to prevent my body from feeling sluggish. The first 2 months are tough, but you just have to keep pushing yourself. Once you get those couple of consistent months in, you’ll be motivated to keep going. It also helps to get your spouse (or a friend) to do it alongside you, it really helps keep you both accountable.

A little disclaimer though… my body looks nothing like the informercials talk about. After 90 days, I didn’t have abs of steel  (and after 4 years, I still don’t!), but I definitely feel stronger and healthier, which really does feel so good. I have more to say about it, but I will save it for another post since this one is long enough already. We’ve moved past P90X and have done a ton of other DVD workouts, so I will have to do a breakdown of each one we did and my pros and cons of them.

So yes, it’s doable to be active and have 4 kids! It takes time and dedication (and someone who will wake you up in the morning to do it), but seriously, if I can do it, you can too!

on me: vintage style shirt, c/o old navy. sweatshirt, c/o old navy. active compression capris, c/o old navy. shoes, new balance. on true: shirt, mightee kids. dolman sleeve hoodie, c/o old navy. pants, molo kids. shoes, new balance. on brave: striped sweatshirt, c/o old navy. active jersey pants: c/o old navy. shoes, nikes. on soul: dress and pants, old navy. shoes, new balances (she’s way into sneakers right now!). on glow: dress and leggings, misha lulu. sweater, vintage. shoes, freshly picked.

This post was sponsored by Old Navy. Check out Old Navy’s latest fashion lineup in store or online at oldnavy.com. Thank you for your continuous support of this space and my sponsors. xoxo

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pass the chocolate cake please!

chocolate cake DSC_4070 DSC_4068 DSC_4041 I love chocolate. I have an unhealthy love for chocolate. Actually, for anything sweet really. It’s a dangerous thing for me to have at home. I get weak and I can’t resist. So when it’s birthday or holiday time around here, I get nervous because I know there will be an influx of sweets galore. Moderation, what’s that?!

This cake was made for Soul’s fancy fourth birthday, and since it was “fancy,” I felt a good chocolate cake was needed. I pinned it here, followed it to the recipe and made it. It’s basic and easy and I definitely give it a two thumbs up. My change is that I separated the batter into two smaller ones so that we’d have a double decker chocolate cake. The best way to eat this is to warm some up with the gooey ganache goodness, and maybe if you’re feeling wild, pile a scoop of ice cream on top. It’s dangerous, but it’s okay to live dangerously once in awhile, right?!

What’s your go-to chocolate cake recipe?

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loving: pink on pinterest

87cad0c691e665af7dd5d72caa2ea145 Pink doughnuts via Maison Cupcake by April Carter.

0cb7797e2d7257d7055527c4f81e0211 Nareen Holloway’s colorful home via Inside Out Magazine

b93f9a61314f82890ca2f3eabf3139d2 pink bicycle via it.me

6.1Michelle Pink pouf via DesignSponge

I love Pinterest, it’s totally addicting. I find I go through random phases/patterns as I pin, so my most current pattern is pink. What have you been pinning lately?

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this yard of ours

gardening new year's eve gardening new year's eve gardening new year's eve gardening new year's eve gardening new year's eve gardening new year's eve gardening new year's eve gardening new year's eve gardening new year's eve We honestly have never ending backyard projects going on. We make mistakes, learn from them, and have to try something else out. Ben’s been working on building another garden bed and we’re going to be doing a switch-a-roo and switch the placement of our fruit trees and our veggie garden. Then, there’s this big plot of dirt we have on the side of the house that I can’t exactly decide what I want just yet. Seriously, the outside project list never ends.

As much as I complain that we really don’t get much of a cozy winter her in SoCal (I’m a cold weather gal!), it is a perk to still be able to garden and be able to play outside in the winter. This particular day, actually New Year’s eve, we all just hung out outside. I was watching Ben work (and helped him here and there), the girls were playing (and fighting), and it was just kind of slow paced and nice. We didn’t get around to planting a winter garden this year, but our citrus trees do have some pretty fruit on it; Ben’s had one of the tangerines and he said it was so juicy and sweet!

Making decisions for the backyard honestly stress me out. I have my garden pinterest board that I always look through, and one minute I know what I want to do in an area, then I change my mind the next minute. I wish I had the brain of a landscape architect to help us with some decisions. Ben is already talking about completely redoing the front yard to put an edible garden there too, but I’m telling give me a couple more years for that, my brain can only take so much! HA!

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family meals: week 57

udon soup Spicy Udon & Kimchi Soup. Spicy? Yes, please! I made two batches, one non-spicy for the girls, and one super spicy for us.

Week of 1/13 – 1/17
Monday: Fish Tacos
Tuesday: Seafood Stir Fry
Wednesday: White Bean Chili
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Pizza/sushi night

I’ve made a couple other meals this week, but never got around to taking a picture of it, so all you get to see is our soup. My best friend took us to her favorite Korean market and we love it! The produce and prices are good and we can’t wait to stock up on more groceries there later today.

Meal planning definitely helps save time and money. When I look back at all our meals, I can’t believe all the different recipes I’ve cooked. It has for sure been a lot of fun learning and growing in the kitchen. Ben used to be the one to cook every day, but he pretty much only cooks on special occasions now. Who’s in charge of cooking in your home?

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