October Goals

I am still trying to get myself together in terms of balancing staying home full time with my baby, writing, and working as a writing tutor.  I struggle with feeling like I didn’t accomplish what I intended to at the end of each day.  Partially, I set my goals so high, that there is no way I can possibly do everything in the 24 hours we are all given.  I have decided to take a good look at my schedule and what I want to do with my day, and focus on the most important things.  Heather gave me the idea to set some goals for October, and then revisit them at the end of the month to see how I did.


Move everyday

I have given up on the idea that I will complete a formal workout everyday.  My baby is a really bad sleeper, and there are many, many days when I need to take a nap in order to survive, and that takes precedence over working out.  Now I have decided to focus on doing something everyday- whether it is a nap time yoga flow, a run with the jogging stroller, or even just a nice long walk outside, something is better than nothing, and that is what I will focus on for October.

Eat more veggies

I have been horrible lately about eating vegetables.  I usually eat some fruit during the day, but no veggies until dinnertime.  My goal is to eat some vegetables with lunch everyday.


Settle in to our new home

We are renovating a house and hopefully it will be done in October.  I’ll be doing a full post soon.  I just want to move in and start getting settled in, without getting stressed out.  The thought of unpacking a whole house full of things with a crazy 8 month old baby seems quite daunting!


This is an ongoing, unattainable goal.  I have been better lately about taking a nap when I am sleep deprived.  In the past I would just try to power through the day and drink extra coffee, but when I am super tired, I am unproductive, I get sick, and I am crabby, so sleep is a priority.  Once we are settled in to our new home, I am going to do some form of sleep training, but in the meantime, napping is my saving grace!

Wash my face each night

Kind of tied into the no sleeping thing- once bedtime rolls around I’m pooped and the thought of washing my face seems too exhausting.  I am trying really hard to change this bad habit.  It only takes a few minutes and my wrinkles will thank me later ūüėČ


Do lots of fall activities

Fall is my favorite time of year, and I plan on taking full advantage of the month of October to go a pumpkin farm, go on a hayride, and eat apple cider donuts!





Starting from scratch with running

Very early on in my pregnancy I stopped running. It didn’t feel good and I was too nervous to push myself. I’m sure it would have been fine, but I was a first time preggo lady and I was scared. So I stopped running cold turkey. Fast forward to 6 months post partum and I still haven’t run much. I had a long recovery, and have found it hard to get back into running and exercise in general. 
I really miss running and everything that I get out of it. I am a super slow runner, but have run 3 half marathons. I run to push my body and stay in shape, but I mainly run for the mental benefits. Sometimes I zone out and blast music, and sometimes I use it as a time to think and sort things out. I have really missed running, and have started to slowly get back into it. 
Since I am starting at square one, I decided to do the Couch to 5K plan. Couch to 5 k I am on week 3, and while it is frustrating that I feel like I mainly am on a walk, I already feel that I am getting better. I was really sore the first few weeks and now I’m not anymore. I’m excited to continue this program and maybe get back up to the mileage I was at before. I might never run a half marathon again, but who knows! 

A half marathon right before our wedding! 

Return to healthiness

I’ve taken a hiatus from blogging for a while. I’m a little unsure of what direction I want to take the blog, and am considering some different options. I also have a colicky little baby to tend to so I haven’t had much time for anything!
 I have been focusing on my health a lot! Since I’m 11 weeks postpartum I am finally feeling almost like myself again! I’m cleared to exercise moderately and am ready to return to my old self, or a new version of it. 

I am currently in physical therapy because of my rough delivery, so I can’t do much but I’m not letting that bring me down! 

I know I can’t just jump back into my old fitness routines so I’m taking it slow. Right now my daily routine is: 

Walking everyday 

Squats and lunges 


Push ups 


Yoga from Yoga download

Or a stroller strides class or workout dvd 

I’m starting small and can’t wait to be back in shape enough to return to running and hot yoga! 

In terms of eating my plan is: 

Veggies and/or fruit with each meal

Lots of water

One treat a day- either a small glass of wine or a piece of chocolate so I don’t feel deprived 

So far that’s it! Nothing crazy or super disciplined since I’m navigating mommy hood and also nursing so I can’t restrict calories at all. I have decided to be happy with my new body. Yes it’s curvier and I weigh more than I used to but it is for good reason! 


100 Calories

During my pregnancy, especially in my third trimester, my workouts have changed drastically.  It was actually, one of the things I was most surprised about.  I thought I would be one of those pregnant ladies who kept up the same or similar workouts for the whole 9 months.  I was wrong!  I had to listen to my body and care for my baby and dial my workouts WAY back.  I used to be an avid hot yoga sculpt student, and loved running half marathons. I was used to pushing my body to the max, and I loved it!  This was a big change for me!  Throughout my pregnancy, I knew I had two choices:  throw all of my previous hard work out and eat whatever I wanted, or be healthy and moderate, in different ways than in the past. In general, I think I have done a pretty good job of being healthy and moderate.  Yes, I eat dessert everyday!  But that doesn’t mean I have lost all self control.  In terms of workouts, I decided to go with the matra that “something is better than nothing”.  There are so many ways to add or subtract 100 calories in a day . Hungry at 3 pm?  There are tons of snacks that are around 100 calories.  Too tired or time crunched for a full workout?  There are plenty of ways to burn 100 calories.  Here are some of my favorite ways to burn 100 calories, and some of my favorite 100 calorie snacks!


15 Minutes of Weight Lifting

Some mornings I wake up and feel pretty much like I’ve been hit by a train I’m so tired!  While it is SO tempting to go back to bed a little longer, or just go for the coffee, I oftentimes do a small workout.  Squats, lunges, planks, bicep curls, triceps, and rows are my usual go-to exercises.  It just takes 15 minutes to do these, and I feel like I’m keeping up my strength, as well as moving a bit.

20 Minutes of Yoga

Yoga has been my godsend this pregnancy.  I obviously have always been a yoga lover (hence the name of my blog!!) but of course had to change around the type of yoga I do.  While I miss a sweaty, hot, yoga sculpt class, I have turned to prenatal yoga to get the same benefits. I still feel the burn, get a good stretch, and feel mentally calm at the end.  I try to do 30-40 minutes, but sometimes even 20 does the trick!

30 Minutes of Walking

When the weather isn’t horrible (Chicago has been lucky enough to have plenty of mild days this winter) Jim and I make it a point to go outside after dinner for a walk.  We both have fitness trackers (Fitbit for me, and Garmin Vivo Fit for him), and it is fun to try t get all our steps in in a day.  Walking has so many benefits, and it always makes me feel less full and bloated after dinner.  Sometimes we go on longer walks, but always aim for at least a half hour.  It is always fun to check out the neighborhood and catch up on our day together.



Cheese and Apple

I like pretty much all cheese!  I usually have a string cheese or a Babybel cheese and an apple as an afternoon snack to tide me over before dinner. 


A container of Greek yogurt is a powerhouse for protein and calcium (which pregnant mamas need lots of!) and keeps me full for a long time.  I love adding a little cereal or granola to it to make it more exciting.I always gravitate towards Greek yogurt because it is all natural.  Other yogurts are loaded with sugar and preservatives.  I love the new Chobani Simply 100 Crunch because it is low in calories, and the crunch adds a fun, yummy addition to the snack.  Chobani Simply 100 has lots of really interesting information and even compares 3 types of 100 calorie yogurt.

Chips and Salsa

My other favorite afternoon snack is chips and salsa.  I always pick a natural, healthy version of a tortilla chip, and there are so many yummy varieties of salsa.  All you have to do is watch the portions, as they can quickly get to be massive with this delicious snack!





Sunday morning I took my first barre class at Pure Barre. I had taken a few barre classes at a yoga studio but wasn’t sure how it would be to take one at an actual barre studio, especially while in my 27th week of pregnancy.  I enjoy at home workouts, but I miss the vibe of a studio, and the energy of taking a group class.  I also know I push myself harder when someone is telling me what to do. I miss going to hot yoga SO much, but since that is not an option for a while, I thought this would be a good alternative.  When I arrived at the studio, the instructors were very friendly and welcoming.  They had me sign up and showed me around.  Then one of the instructors showed me the equipment I needed.  She told me I would probably feel totally lost during this class, because she did during her first class.  Then she showed me a handout about pregnancy modifications.  I read through the handout, and suddenly wondered if this was a mistake.  There were so many modifications, it seemed, and I had never even been here before.  What am I doing?  I thought to myself.  But soon the teacher came in and the class started.

From having done a few barre classes online, and at my old yoga studio, I was happy that I didn’t make a total fool of myself.  I kept up with the exercises, and since the instructor showed us the exercises, I was able to mimic her.  I had to modify the ab exercises, but most of the workout I could do just fine.  I loved pushing my body (safely within the limits my little passenger has set for me), and the upbeat music and encouraging words of the instructor motivated me to work hard.  I really like how you burn out a specific muscle group, stretch, then move on to another muscle group.  It was a really challenging class, and I felt amazing afterwards.  I signed up for one month unlimited, so I will be returning tomorrow!  Since I am a morning person, there are 6 am classes during the week that I can go to before work to get my sweat in first thing! I am happy that I got myself out of my comfort zone and tried the class, because I think I found a new type of workout that I love!

Friday Peaks of the Week

Starting School

It is our first week back at school, so I didn’t take many pictures, and most of my energy was focused on getting my first graders into the swing of things. Teaching first grade while pregnant is nothing short of exhausting! I could go to bed at 8:00 every night if that were possible! My class is adorable, as usual, and it seems that it will be a great year! 

Thursday Dinner Out

Jim’s best friend is getting married this weekend and his other friend is staying with us for the weekend. It’s definitely going to be busy and crazy so we went to a nice dinner last night. It was really nice to not worry about what we were cooking for once! I had bolognese pasta. Yum!  

  My date! 
Overnight Oats

I’ve seen people post about overnight oats for years now, but I never tried tj myself. I have been making them each night and they are so good and so easy for weekday breakfasts! I just throw in some oats, a Greek yogurt with fruit, and some milk. It sits overnight and becomes a delicious breakfast!   It doesn’t look pretty but it tastes good! This was yesterday’s eaten in the car. 


I used to rely on caffeine in the beginning of the school year- a cup of coffee in the morning, and another or a tea in the afternoon. Now I can only have about 6 ounces of coffee a day so I’ve been savoring it, and also having some decaf to try to trick myself into thinking it’s the real deal :-)  

  Quickie workouts

I’ve been relying more and more on 30 minute workouts this week because I have to squeeze it in before getting to work. I have still been loving yoga and T25. 

No Chip Manicure

I had seen the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel no chip nail polish in the store but haven’t tried it. Sally Hansen Miracle GelI figured I would try it out because my nails chip so fast usually. I don’t know how long it will last but hopefully longer than just a few days like normal nail polish.  


Prenatal yoga 

19 Week Preggo Tree Pose

I have always loved yoga (hence the name of the blog). I used to religiously do hot yoga and hot yoga with weights before I got pregnant. Hot yoga is not recommended for pregnant women, so I had to give it up. I searched endlessly for unheated yoga classes that were in the mornings but failed to come up with any that worked with my schedule and location. I was doing 21 Day Fix Extreme modified, and had let yoga fall by the wayside. Unfortunately, I hurt my back in high school, and it hurts when I don’t take care of it. ¬†I get pain in my back, hip, butt, and down my leg. ¬†I can’t wear super flat shoes, and I have to exercise regularly in order for it to feel good. Since becoming pregnant, I wasn’t wearing flats, and I was exercising regularly, but my back was killing me! I talked to my doctor and she said to do prenatal yoga. She also said her patients who do prenatal yoga have easier deliveries. Less back pain and a potentially easier delivery? ¬†I was sold!¬†I researched online for classes, and also for studios that offered classes. I decided to join¬†Yogadownload.com¬†and pay about $12 a month for unlimited classes. There are a ton of prenatal and other types of yoga classes on this site!

So far I have noticed my back pain is much better when I practice regularly. I haven’t done any yoga in about 4 days now, and my back and hip are killing me! That is a sign that I need to get back at it! I have also noticed that I am more flexible. Many of the classes are vinyasa-style classes, so they are challenging and incorporate lots of strength and core work.

My current plan for working out is:

Yoga 2-3 times a week

Strength 1-2 times a week

Cardio 1-2 times a week

We usually walk for about 2 miles each night, and I’m very active at school with my first graders, so I am more focused on yoga and strength training right now.

Yoga also helps me greatly with stress and anxiety. I am a worry-wart to the max, and yoga helps me to let go and relax. Additionally, when I’m stressed, I find myself returning to deep breaths to calm myself, and I never did this before yoga.

I hope to continue to do yoga for as long as it is comfortable. Right now I look forward to it, and feel amazing afterwards. Everyone should try some type of yoga! Namaste!

Friday Peaks of the Week

In my first grade class, my students all have a journal, and on Friday afternoons we journal about our “peaks of the week”. ¬†All the good things that happened in school throughout the week. ¬†I thought it would be fun for ME to do the same thing here on the blog! ¬†Here are my Peaks of the Week this week.

Summer dinners

I am loving grilled dinners.  The flavors are so plentiful, and everything tastes so fresh in the summer.

Here is one of our dinners- salmon, baked potato, and corn on the cob- all on the grill.

Another night we had burgers on the grill with carmelized onions. ¬†Mine was a mini version of Jim’s. :)

 Time with family

We went on a little trip with Jim’s family last weekend and it was really fun to hang out with everyone, and play with the boys!



On our trip last weekend Jim and I snuck out to get some coffee and breakfast before everyone was awake.  I love lattes from coffee shops and bakeries.  I wish I could recreate them at home, and have the same delicious taste.  I think it also has something to do with the fact that someone else makes the latte, and we are usually having fun on the weekend, that makes lattes taste so good!

 Cubs game

I wrote about this a little bit in my What I Ate Wednesday post, but we went to the Cubs game with my family this week. ¬†We went to celebrate my brother’s last week here before he heads back to college. ¬†The weather wasn’t very cooperative, but it was still really fun!


My back was really bothering me last week, and the week before we were on vacation, so I was happy to get back to some good workouts this week. I have learned I need to slow down and listen to my body more than I had before.  I have been doing lots of prenatal yoga, Piyo, and a little T25 for some cardio.  I am planning on writing a full post about prenatal yoga soon, because it has been amazing so far!

Summer Candles

I bought a coconut Yankee Candle at TJ Maxx earlier this summer, but never lit it until this week.  I have been burning it nonstop this week!  It smells SO good, and I want to fully enjoy my summer smells before it is time to move on to my beloved pumpkin for the fall!

Pregnancy Weeks 8, 9, and 10

Baby Size

Week 8- Baby is the size of a raspberry

Week 9-Baby is the size of a green olive

Week 10- Baby is the size of a kumquat

Weight Gained

Week 8- 0 pounds

Week 9- 0 pounds

Week 10- 2 pounds


Week 8- FATIGUE!! ¬†I’m so tired I feel like a zombie for most of the day. ¬†Lots of headaches that last for a long, long time, unless I take a Tylenol. ¬†I have tried to not take Tylenol, but sometimes have no choice. ¬†A very sensitive stomach—if I eat things that are too spicy, greasy, or hard to digest like nuts, I am super sick. It is also so hard to stay hydrated. ¬†I feel like I drink water all day long, and still am dehydrated half the time.

Week 9- Same as Week 8

Week 10- Same as Week 8 and 9. ¬†Also, I have had crazy hunger that comes on so incredibly fast. I’ll be fine, then all of a sudden, I feel so hungry that I feel sick. ¬†It’s nothing like I’ve ever felt before. ¬†I was at Ace Hardware with my mom and had to buy a bag of Combos to eat in the store I felt so crazily hungry!


Week 8- Piyo and walking

Week 9- T25 (modified), Piyo, and walking

Week 10- T25, Piyo, walking, and yoga

Food Aversions

Meat!! ¬†I can’t even think about chicken, ribs, pork, and pulled pork. ¬†Rib Fest was on our street during week 8, and i was dying with the smell and watching everyone eat ribs.

Food Cravings

I haven’t had any real cravings. ¬†I always want sweets, but I don’t think that is related to pregnancy. ¬†ūüėČ

Baby-related purchases

Week 8- I bought Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter.

Week 9- Nothing–wayy to nervous to buy anything for the baby yet!

Week 10- Same!

Week 8-10 Milestones

I had my first doctor’s appointment! ¬†I also had my first ultrasound during week 7 (which was actually week 6). ¬†I was SO nervous to go to the ultrasound, and as soon as we saw the little tiny baby and it’s heart beating, I felt so overjoyed and happy!

Looking forward to:

Going to the doctor next week to hopefully hear the baby’s heartbeat!! ¬†I feel like after this, my first trimester will be over, and I will be able to really start to enjoy my pregnancy, feel better, and start SHOPPING and planning!!!!

Fun Stories

Telling our families and friends! ¬†We told our immediate families right away, and they were so happy. ¬†We told most of our friends during week 8, because we had people over for a party, and it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t drinking. ¬†My friends were SOO excited and hugging and happy, and it was such a special moment.

My Workouts Before Pregnancy, and in the First Trimester

I have three types of workouts I love- Beachbody (currently 21 Day Fix and T 25), running- (I love half marathons!!), and hot yoga.

Before Pregnancy 

Hot Yoga

Before I got pregnant, I attended hot yoga burn classes 2 or 3 times a week at  Zen Yoga Garage. These classes were at a local yoga studio that I was a member of, and I would go at 6 am, get ready for work, and tackle the day.  These classes were hot- about 90-100 degrees, and were vinyasa yoga classes with weights and HIIT mixed in.  I was addicted to yoga burn!  The workout was amazing- a combination of strength and cardio, plus all the benefits of yoga-clarity, calm, and my favorite part-savasana.  I knew that when I got pregnant I would have to give this up, because your body temperature cannot get too high when you are pregnant. I hoped to still attend other classes like prenatal yoga and their barre classes that are not heated.


I have like running for my whole adult life.  I have struggled with knee pain, which stems from tendonitis in my knee.  Basically, if I add too much mileage or speed onto my training plan, my knee hurts.  I have learned how to work around this, and have been able to successfully run 3 half marathons in the past two years.  Last winter I trained for a half marathon by myself for the first time (previously ran with Jim), and did almost all of my training before work, in the dark, outside, in the middle of winter.  I thought there was no way this would work and that I would probably not finish the training or run in the race.  However, I ended up loving it!  I ran the half marathon in April, and kept running afterwards.

Beachbody Workouts

I have been a¬†Beachbody customer for almost 10 years, and love doing these¬†workouts when I don’t go to yoga or run. ¬†They are always quick and efficient, and a great way to fit in a workout at home.¬†juliaschachtfitness.com

First Trimester Workouts

As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I stopped going to hot yoga. ¬†I¬†continued to run but didn’t stopped¬†fairly early on,¬†because I was spotting. I took it easy, and decided to¬†switch to more pregnancy-friendly¬†workouts like Piyo. ¬†Eventually I tried running again, but it felt weird. ¬†Really weird. ¬†I was¬†hoping be a running¬†pregnant lady, but that is just not in the cards for me. ¬†So instead, I have been doing T25, Piyo, and 21 Day Fix Extreme. ¬†I modify all of them, and don’t do the jumping parts. ¬†My doctor said as long as it feels good I can continue. ¬†The jumping didn’t feel good, so I decided to modify. ¬†I still get a good¬†workout in! ¬†I have also been doing prenatal yoga classes online. ¬†I would like to go to a studio soon for prenatal yoga, because I miss the studio vibe, with good music and positive energy. ¬†I have also been walking. ¬†Each night we go for a 2 mile walk, which is a nice way to digest dinner! ¬†I am¬†hoping to continue with my current level of fitness as long as I can. ¬†I work out for 30 minutes a day, 5¬†days a week not including walking and yoga. ¬†My fatigue goes away for a while after I workout, and it is the time that I feel most like “me”. ¬†It also doesn’t hurt to release some endorphins everyday!