How I Make Money Blogging

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Yesterday on Instagram, I asked you guys to vote on which post you wanted to see up on the blog today: Momiform 101 or How I Make Money Blogging. The majority voted for the latter, so Momiform 101 will be going up later this week, and How I Make Money Blogging will be today's topic!

I get asked about this ALLL the time. People are always a little confused and unclear about what exactly I DO as a blogger. In fact, some people don't even realize that it is a legitimate job that provides me with an income. And those that know a bit about blogging usually are dying to get in on the action, because blogging really is the funnest, most flexible, most creative job. :)

So, people's biggest question is always HOW to make money as a blogger. Well, there are two main ways:

1. Sponsored content. This is when a brand pays to have their product or brand featured in a blog post or in social media posts. As a blogger, I get contacted all the time by different companies and people offering to send me products to try out, or wanting to sponsor posts to have their products featured. For me, it is EXTREMELY important to ONLY partner and work with brands and products that I genuinely LOVE and legitimately would use in my daily life.

As a blogger - especially a NEW blogger - it can be so tempting to just accept every offer that comes your way. But let me tell you, your audience will be able to see right through that and will be able to tell from a mile away if you are featuring or talking about brands that aren't a genuine fit with your style. And that is reeeeaalll unappealing, because it comes across as sales-y and fake and like you are selling out.

So, my advice is to be picky when it comes to accepting collaborations and sponsorships. Choose wisely, and keep it real so that you can be honest when talking about how much you love and endorse a brand.

2. Affiliate Links. If you're on Instagram, you most likely have come across bloggers posting pictures and talking about LiketoKnow.it. I do! It's a great way to provide your audience with easy access to items that are featured in your photos and blog posts. Everything linked through LiketoKnow.it uses affiliate links, so when products are purchased through those links, the blogger/influencer who posted them receives commission. This is a really big way that a lot of bloggers make a good portion of their income.

There are a ton of other great programs out there, as well as a lot of other ways of getting set up with affiliate links, and often times brands will reach out and offer me affiliate links and codes to use. Again, I ONLY promote things that I 100% genuinely love and think that my audience will love too!

There you have it...the two main ways that I make money as a blogger! Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions!

I know some people think it's a bad idea to share tips and how I make money as a blogger with other bloggers...but the way I see it is, the industry is SOO saturated already! There are SOOO many bloggers, that helping NEW bloggers get their footing and find their way isn't a threat...it's women helping women (or men of course!) and when we help each other out, it's a beautiful thing! :)

We should lift each other up, encourage each other, and support one another, because we EACH have something totally unique and wonderful to offer!

Do you have a blog? I'd love to check it out! Leave your link in the comments below! <3

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One Year Old Update...We Have A Toddler!

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Hi friends!

Long time no talk! Life has been so crazy busy/wonderful lately, and I have SO much to fill you all in on (life update blog post coming soon!!)!

But, in today's post, I'll be focusing on one of the biggest things that's happened recently: James turned one year old! Isn't that so crazy?! The past year has gone so fast.

His birthday was July 23rd, so he will be 14 months old here in a week or so. He started walking around 13 months, and now he walks EVERYWHERE! It's so much fun! He seems to love the freedom that walking gives him and he always has the most proud look on his face when he is toddling around. It's so cute!

He has 10 teeth, including two big molars, and his hair is getting longer although it is still blonde and whispy. :) Just like mine was! I didn't have real, substantial hair until I was two. It was so blonde you could hardly see it, and that's how James' is.

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James LOVES water. Ben was away in Idaho hunting for elk the first two weeks of September, so James and I stayed at my parents' house on the lake. James had so much fun playing on the beach and wading, and he even stuck his face in the water and splashed around as I held him out in the deeper water. He loves it!

He is fearless and SO curious about everything. It's so different from how I was as a child and am today...I've always been timid and scared of getting hurt or getting in trouble. James has no fear...he charges ahead with enthusiasm and bravery and excitement, and it is so inspiring!

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Next Tuesday, James and I are starting a music class at the local children's museum! He really enjoys music and clapping and dancing, so I think he is really going to love this class! It's every Tuesday morning through December and I'm hoping we can make some mommy and baby friends!

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A year later and I FIIIINALLLLY feel like I have this mom thing figured out! I've totally fallen into stride and I've got a handle on things and life is just so beautiful and fun and relaxed now! :) I love being a mom so much, and James is just the most fun, wonderful, smart, sweet little boy. I'm so lucky to be his mommy! I love trying new things with him and watching him learn and explore. He is so friendly and bold, and it pushes me out of my comfort zone. Every time we go out in public, he makes friends! He waves and smiles at and chats with EVERYONE we pass, which forces me to come out of my shell a bit, because I'm so shy and like to fly under the radar, normally. It's good for me to be around James. I have a lot to learn from him! :)

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Anyways, I'm happy to be back blogging again. It was a much needed and very nice break, and like I said, I'll tell you ALLL about what I've been up to and why I stepped back from blogging/social media for a bit in my next post! Look out for lots of newness in the next few weeks, and LOTS of exciting collaborations and projects which I've been working on!

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What To Buy From The Nordstrom Sale!

Top // Jeans (not on sale)

Sweater (also love this)

Pull Over Sweater // Jeans (not part of the sale) // Sunglasses (smiliar, not part of the sale)

Dress (Fits TTS. Sold out, keep checking - they will restock!) // Heels (not on sale)
 

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is now open to the public through August 6th!! Woohoo!! Shop the sale here.

Above are pictures of just a few of the pieces from the sale that I purchased. I'll be sharing more here on the blog and on Instagram over the next week!

You can shop my picks from the sale here in my Nordstrom Sale Early Access blog post!

Sale items sell out FAST, you guys!! If something is sold out, keep checking - they will be restocking things!!

Here are a few more pieces that I LOVE from the sale:

 

Recipe Box: Healthy Baby Bars

Happy Monday!

James is turning one year old on Sunday (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??) and we are having a little Birthday party for him. Well...it was going to be little, but somehow we have over twenty people coming now! It will be fun to celebrate our sweet boy with our friends and family!

I am going to be baking James a cake from scratch, and I'm going to be using this recipe. It's all healthy ingredients and has no sugar in it. I make this a lot for James, but usually I cut it into bars for him to have as breakfast or as a snack. For his birthday I will leave it as a cake and I'm going to make a home made icing for it.

Anyways, here is the recipe I use for these healthy baby bars!

Here's What You Need:

  • 5 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup of sugar-free applesauce
  • 3 tbsp of melted coconut oil
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Here's What You Do:

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, add all of the dry ingredients. Then, add in the mashed bananas, apple sauce, melted coconut oil, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Mix well.

Coat a cake pan with cooking oil. Pour the batter into the pan, and place the pan into the oven. Bake for around 20 minutes. Check to see if the cake is done with a toothpick (should come out clean).

Let the cake cool.

Slice into bars, if you'd like, or leave as a cake!

Enjoy!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale - Early Access Picks!

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has begun and it is a GOOD ONE, friends!!

Early access goes through June 20th for Nordstrom card holders, and then the sale opens up for everyone on the 21st! Want to shop the sale early?? You can sign up for a Nordstrom card here! Otherwise, don't worry - Nordstrom is really good at restocking before they open it up for everyone after the early access ends! :)

There are SOOO many good things, you guys. Seriously...Best sale ever! I love the Anniversary Sale!!

I shopped the sale, and below are my top picks!

Click on each photo to shop the items, and click the arrows on the sides to scroll through all of my picks!

Happy shopping!!

5 Easy Beauty Hacks

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Hi everyone!

How is your week going? What's new? Have any fun plans that you're looking forward to in the coming weeks? Fill me in! I love hearing from you guys!!

I hope you had a great Fourth of July! Mine was super low-key. Ben, James, and I went to the cabin in Montana over the weekend, which was really fun. We came back Monday night, and Ben had to work on the 4th. James and I spent the day lounging around the house and recovering from the long car ride the day before. James was in bed by 6:30pm, and then Ben and I watched a movie and went to bed early. #parentlife :)

Anyways, I've been wanting to share some easy beauty hacks with you guys. These are things that you can incorporate into your day that will help you to look and FEEL glowing and healthy!

  1. Collagen I have recently started adding a scoop of this collagen into my morning cup of coffee, and also into my afternoon cup of tea. Collagen has SO many benefits, and I'll be doing a whole blog post about it soon, so check back for that, probably next week! Collagen helps to reduce wrinkles, it helps to heal your gut, it helps with joint pain, it's good for your hair, skin, and nails...it's so good. It's such an easy thing to incorporate into your daily routine, and I have seen a major difference since I started using it. I love this one - you can get it here.

  2. Apple Cider Vinegar I love taking an apple cider vinegar shot every morning to help wake up my digestive system. Apple cider vinegar helps with weight loss, it's a mood enhancer, it helps give you energy, it has natural antibiotic properties, it can assist in controlling high blood sugar levels...the list goes on and on! I like this brand (get it here) but any Apple Cider Vinegar WITH THE MOTHER (VERY IMPORTANT TO GET ONE THAT SAYS 'WITH THE MOTHER') will do. I mix about a tablespoon of ACV with about half a cup of pure, natural pineapple juice and a little honey. So good!!

  3. Probiotic Probiotics are good for a NUMBER of reasons. They help with digestive and urinary health, gut health, allergies, stress, immunity...just to name a few things! Taking a probiotic can be ESPECIALLY important for us postpartum mamas. I'll do a blog post about this as well, if you guys would like more information! Let me know. Anyways, definitely talk to your doctor before starting to take any supplements, including a probiotic. I take this one.

  4. Oils I've been battling postpartum hormonal acne for awhile now, and one of the things that has really helped has been using facial oils. I love this one so much! I was sent it complimentary for testing purposes, and I seriously LOVE IT. Get it here. I cleanse my face (morning and night) and then spray it with my Mother Dirt mist (see number 5 below!) and then massage my face with this oil before applying my moisturizer (I use this one). My skin is so much more moisturized and dewy and clear since I've started this regimen. Definitely recommend oils!!

  5. Mother Dirt AO Mist This is a spray that you mist all over your face (and body, if you'd like) that has live bacteria in it (the good kind). The thought is that with all of the cleansers and scrubs that we use in our daily lives, we eliminate the good bacteria from our skin. This spray puts it back. It is said to reduce the need for moisturizers and deodorants, and is made with family-friendly, simple ingredients. I definitely have noticed a difference in my skin since using this. Highly recommend it! Get the Mist here.

What are your ride-or-die beauty hacks? Please share - always looking for new ideas and things to try! :)

Fourth of July Outfit Ideas!

A little #TBT for ya...holy cow! haha This was me last Fourth of July...very pregnant and HUGE! When I look back on pictures of me towards the end of my pregnancy, I am always SHOCKED with how ginormous I was haha. I didn't really realize it at the time, but man!! :p I'm so excited to have James here with us this 4th! I got him this ADORABLE little patriotic shirt to wear! (Get the shirt here)

Anyways...let's get down to it!

Fourth of July is coming up quickly! I love holidays and dressing up for the festivities. The Fourth of July is no exception! I love all of the cute patriotic clothes that start showing up around this time of year.

This year, I'll be wearing this CUTE and understated USA tee. You can get it here! I'll be pairing it with my favorite cutoffs and some red lips!

Here are a few other pieces that I think are so cute and perfect for the 4th!

Click each photo to shop!

What are your plans for the Fourth of July??

Wild Eats: Green Muffin Recipe

These green muffins may look a little scary, but trust me - they taste AMAZING!! They are healthy, easy to make, and a great way to sneak in some greens. ;)

Here's What You Need:

  • 3/4 cup of almond flour
  • 3/4 cup of protein powder (I like Perfect Fit Protein)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • sprinkle of chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup of kale
  • 1 tbs of melted coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk

Here's What You Do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Combine all wet ingredients plus the kale in a blender, and blend until well blended. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Spray a muffin tin with cooking oil spray, and then pour the batter in. Bake for 20 mins, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Enjoy!

A Father's Day First

This year, Father's Day is extra special because it is Ben's first! Well, he was a father last year, but I was still pregnant, so this will be his first since James was born! I can't wait to celebrate what an incredible father Ben is. It has been so amazing and beautiful to watch him become a dad and to see his love for our son. James is the luckiest little boy in the entire world to have Ben as a dad.

In honor of Ben's first Father's Day, here are a few of my FAVORITE pictures from the past year. These are of Ben becoming and being a father, and they seriously bring me to tears to look at. I feel so very blessed to have such a wonderful, loving man as my husband and as the father of my children!

Happy Father's Day, everyone! ESPECIALLY to my amazing dad!! I love you, daddy!

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Floral Dress

Today, I went to a bridal shower, and I wore this floral dress that I absolutely LOVE! And the best part is, it was under $50 ... I mean, hard to beat that, right??

Unfortunately, this dress sold out after I posted it on my Instagram story..DARN! But here are a few other ones that I LOVE:

 

I paired the dress with my favorite espadrilles (get them here) and my all time favorite accessory: baby James! :)

It's so much fun getting to dress up! I don't get all that many opportunities to doll myself up these days, so when I do get a chance I take full advantage! This dress was perfect because it is so feminine and so on point as far as trends go, while still being really comfortable! It was comfortable and stayed put while chasing around and carrying a 10 month (almost 11 month) old baby boy - it passed the ultimate test! haha

What are you all up to this weekend? I am so excited to celebrate Ben's first Father's Day tomorrow!! Well, first Father's Day since James has been born at least - sorry Gunner!!

Have a great weekend, friends!

Workout Wear Lust List

The Bikini Series is coming to an end, and Summer is quickly approaching! I am more motivated than ever to get in shape and tone things up!

One of my favorite ways to motivate myself to get in a workout is by wearing cute workout wear! If I know that I have a cool new outfit to wear for my morning sweat sesh, I am 1000x more likely to hop out of bed and get it done. I love clothes, and workout clothes are no exception!

Now is the perfect time to reward ourselves with some new fitness apparel to give us that extra push to be our healthiest selves, and to look good while we do it!

Here are some workout clothing items that I am MAJORLY lusting after at the moment:

Click on a picture below for all the details and to shop it!

Treat yo'self! ;)

 

 

Beach Day, Baby + 10 Things

How was everyone's Memorial Day weekend??

The weather here was SO beautiful! It really felt like Summer and it got me so excited for all of the fun outdoor adventures that we'll be having with James! We went to a beach near our house and it was so fun seeing how excited James was. He was having such a blast running around on the stones and stepping in the water and watching Gunner dive for rocks. :) It also got me really excited for Summer clothes. This dress is so comfortable and lightweight - perfect for a hot Summer day. It's also under $30. You can get it here.

I've seen other bloggers do "10 things" types of posts and I always really enjoy reading them. So I'm going to start doing them every now and then as well! They'll just be 10 random things on my mind.

  1. I'm having SO much fun picking out all of the details for our new house that's being built!! But it's also a little bit stressful, if I'm being completely honest! I'll share more in my new real estate series that I'll be kicking off soon!
  2. James has learned how to fake laugh and it is the CUTEST thing ever. It makes me laugh so hard, which just makes him do it more!
  3. Ben and I just finished watching 'The OA' - so creepy and weird and GOOD! Looking for new show recommendations, so send them my way!
  4. James has started napping much more regularly and for longer periods of time, which has been really nice because I've been able to get so much more done! But, I MISS him while he's sleeping!! haha
  5. I feel like I'm in a bit of a slump at this point in the Bikini Series...needing to snap out of it and find my motivation again! A new bikini, perhaps?? Stay tuned for my Swim Lust List, coming soon! ;)
  6. I want to go to Italy so badly! I've been seeing all of these beautiful pictures lately of Lake Como and am planning us a trip there because - SO BEAUTIFUL!!
  7. I'm planning out all of the things that I want to make sure to document/do for James' 1st birthday! We aren't having a party, but I for sure want to do a smash cake, and maybe a ball pit for him and do something super fun on his Birthday. What are MUSTS that you other mamas recommend absolutely doing/documenting for a little one's first??
  8. I shared in a recent blog post that the mini pill was making my skin break out and giving me horrible cystic acne, which I've never dealt with before! I switched birth control pills, and my skin is definitely getting better, slowly but surely. I've also found a few products and tricks that are helping, and I'll do a blog post about them soon.
  9. Ben and I have been talking about FINALLY trying to do an overnight getaway without James...but we both really dread leaving him over night!! It's going to be so hard, but I think once we're gone, Ben and I would have a blast. So we're working on planning that for sometime in the near future.
  10. I haven't done my toe nails in over a month now...what in the world. #momlifeI should probably go get a pedicure, STAT.

Have a wonderful day!

Mommy Monday: What My 10 Month Old Eats

First off, I want to say 'Thank You', from the bottom of my heart to all of the men and women who have given their lives in service to our great country. As most of you know, my husband served in the United States Marine Corps, and we personally know many brave men who lost SO much protecting the freedom and way of life that we tend to take for granted in the United States. This Memorial Day, let's remember what it's really about. I'm forever grateful.

Ok, so James is 10 months old now, and his diet has evolved as quickly as he has!!

When we first started him on solids, he was eating purees. All of his food was super blended and watered down with formula and basically soupy. I would make big batches of pureed carrots, bananas, green beans, spinach, avocados, yams... lots of different foods, and I would freeze them for the week ahead. James loved every food we gave him to try! He's always been such a great eater.

But the puree phase was short-lived... maybe three months? James quickly transitioned to eating table food. Now, he basically eats whatever we eat.

We give him whole bananas to munch on. He loves peas, and clementine oranges are his FAVORITE!

A lot of you have asked for me to share what I feed James, so here you go!

Breakfast

James has a bottle (around 8 oz) and then he'll usually eat some combination of the following items:

  • fruit: a banana, clementine oranges, berries, kiwis, steamed apples, etc...
  • scrambled eggs and toast
  • avocado
  • old fashioned oatmeal
  • egg and banana pancakes (mash up one banana and mix with one egg, and then pour the "batter" into a pan over medium heat and cook)
  • smoothie: spinach or kale, oranges, banana, mango, pineapple, berries, etc...
  • egg and veggie breakfast muffins

Lunch and Dinner

James will usually eat another bottle in between breakfast and lunch, and then a third in between lunch and dinner. Then for his meals, he typically has a combination of several of these:

  • shrimp
  • steamed veggies: spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, peas, onions, brussels sprouts, asparagus, etc...
  • ground beef
  • white fish (like cod or halibut)
  • toast with almond butter
  • fruit: berries, banana, clementines, steamed apples, etc...
  • chickpeas
  • black beans
  • tomatoes
  • whole grain pasta

I always give James a sippy cup of water with each meal, and he sips on it, but doesn't usually finish it.

I hope this is helpful!! Please let me know if I can clarify anything for you or answer any questions. Everyone has their own opinions and ways of feeding their children, and I respect that. This is what works for us! James has never had "baby food" or store bought pouches or cookies or anything. I make all of his food, and he loves it and we're happy with the way we've been feeding him! :) And of course, ALWAYS consult with your pediatrician.

Have a great day, friends!

Five Favorites

Happy Friday!!

I hope you have all had a wonderful week! It has been a really busy week for me, what with James turning 10 months old, and doing things for the new house, and working on some fun projects... Life is such a whirlwind right now, but I'm loving it! So many wonderful and exciting things happening. I'm feeling really really blessed!

Here are five things that I am really really loving at the moment:

1. These pretty wine glasses: Click here  // Also love these

2. This blush - so amazing: Click here

3. These cute shoes...AAALLLL the heart eyes: Click here

4. This GORGEOUS rug!! So beautiful: Click here

5. These adorable and fun pom pom slides: Click here

There you have it! Just a few things that I really like right now!

The weather here has been SO BEAUTIFUL this week...it's really feeling like summer!! 

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

My Picks From The Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale!

SHOP MY SWEATER HERE - IT'S 40% OFF AND COMES IN TWO COLORS! CLICK HERE FOR THE SWEATER

It's that time of year - the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale is here! Hooray! Up to 40% off!!

Sales can be overwhelming to shop because there are SO MANY GOOD THINGS to sort through. I went ahead and shopped the sale for you and picked out my FAVORITE pieces.

Click on the pictures to shop each piece!

What I Eat In A Day

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Half way through the week, and - for those of us doing the Bikini Series - half way through week 5!!

So, as promised, I am going to be sharing what I typically eat in an average day. I'll share some recipes that are my go-tos.

M1: A smoothie bowl, oatmeal, protein pancakes, or eggs and toast.

For protein pancakes, I just follow this recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 serving of protein powder (I like using vanilla or chocolate flavored protein!)
  • 1 mashed up banana
  • 1 egg
  • a splash of coconut milk
  • a dash of cinnamon

Directions:

Mash up the banana with the egg and the coconut milk until well mixed/blended. Stir in the protein powder and cinnamon. Mix well. Pour about a half a cup of the mixture onto a pan over medium-high heat and cook until you see bubbles forming on the surface. Flip the pancake and cook for a couple of minutes. You kind of have to just use your own judgement when it comes to knowing if the pancake is cooked enough. I top mine with maple syrup and blue berries. Enjoy!

Here is my favorite smoothie bowl recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 serving of chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • small handful of kale

Directions:

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend well. Pour into a bowl and add your favorite toppings. I love to top with coconut flakes, chia seeds, blueberries, sliced bananas, and cacao chips. Enjoy!

You can also find my Patriotic Smoothie Bowl recipe here. It's pretty similar to this recipe!

Here is my favorite way to have oatmeal:

Make one serving of old fashioned oats. Stir in honey, pinapple chunks, coconut milk, blueberries, chia seeds, and flax seed.

M2: Usually a banana, egg muffins, a protein shake, or a TIU approved muffin from the Nutrition Plan! My favorites are the Lemon Poppyseed muffins!

I also love making this smoothie:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup of frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • small handful of frozen kale
  • 1 clementine
  • 1 tbs coconut flakes

Directions:

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend well. Pour into a glass, sprinkle chia seeds and coconut flakes on top, and garnish with a slice of pineapple! Enjoy!

M3: Turkey Chili, Tray Meal, Quinoa Salad, Salmon, or leftovers from dinner the night before!

For Turkey Chili, here's what I do (it's super simple):

Brown ground turkey in a pan. Then combine the turkey, a carton of organic low sodium vegetable broth (or make your own broth!), chopped up bell peppers, chopped up yellow onions, black beans, chopped garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper, ground black pepper, paprika, organo, and garlic powder in a big pot. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for a bit. Enjoy!

M4: Square from squareorganics.com (Use the code 'ANNAMCOHENBLOG' at check out for 20% off - nothing in it for me, just sharing the goodness! :)), Aussie Bites from Costco, Tuna with red onion, or greek yogurt.

My favorite way to make greek yogurt is to take one cup of greek yogurt, and stir in honey, chia seeds, coconut flakes, and cacao chips.

M5: Zoodles with Red Sauce, Salmon with Brussels Sprouts, Steak with Broccolini, Bratwurst with Onions and Bell Peppers, Beef and Broccoli, Steak and Cauliflower, Tacos, Hawaiian Pork Tenderloin... Those are the main meals on rotation at the moment! I *almost* always do a protein and a veggie.

Ben and I make our own marinara sauce:

Just mix chopped up tomatos, olive oil, red wine, chopped garlic, basil, and oregano in a large pan and bring to a boil. Then reduce it to a simmer for a long time...hours preferably, but just as long as you can. Ben has his over pasta, and I like making zoodles. Here is a nice spiralizer if you're looking for one: click here for the spiralizer

I usually have a handful of dark chocolate chips every night, because I HAVE TO, hahaha. I have found that it doesn't work to completely deny myself, so I definitely allow myself little treats here and there. I love making these tasty and healthy chocolate treats too! Click here for the recipe.

I hope this was helpful!! Please let me know if you have any questions, or if I can clarify anything!

Mommy Monday: 10 Month Old Baby!

James is 10 months old tomorrow...how did this happen??

This is for sure my favorite age so far! James is so much fun!! He has the BEST personality and has quite the sense of humor. He laughs and giggles and gives me a sly smile when we're in on a joke together. He makes funny noises and cracks himself up. He feeds off of my laughter, which in turn makes me laugh more until we're both a big pile of giggles.

He's CONSTANTLY exploring and on the move. For a few months, he was army crawling and scooting around on his stomach, pulling himself around by his arms. He was FAST doing this!! But now he officially crawls, and oh my goodness, the kid can cover some serious ground!

James has been pulling himself up to stand for a couple of months now, and has recently started letting go of whatever he is holding onto. He falls pretty much right away, but always pulls himself right back up. He'll be standing on his own and walking before we know it. His pediatrician guessed within the next month or so.

Speaking of his pediatrician, he went in for his 9 month check last month. All is well and on track! But it was hilarious: they couldn't get a measurement for his length because as soon as we set him on the table and tried to get him to lie down still, he would start screaming and thrashing around. The minute I picked him up and he would grin and giggle and give us a sly look. hahaha It was hilarious. Then we tried to get his weight, and again as SOON as I set him down on the scale he was screaming and thrashing and rolling around. We had to weigh him by having me hold him and then having ME get on the scale. Then I set James down and they weighed me along and THEN subtracted the two weights. Not super accurate, but according to that he was almost 20 lbs.

Anyways, when the doctor came in she said, "so I see here that the nurse put that the patient was combative and we couldn't get a length for him." HAHA Ben and I are pretty proud that our nine month old was labeled "combative" in his medical chart. So freaking funny! And James was just grinning and laughing at us...he knew exactly what he was doing. We're going to have our hands full!!!

James eats pretty much everything that we eat. He eats "table food" and has never eaten baby food. I've always prepared everything he's eaten. I made our own purees out of fresh fruits and vegetables and meats, and now I cook him healthy, whole foods for his meals.

Would you guys like more information on the types of foods and meals that I make James? I could do a sample menu post or something like that, just let me know!

James loves music, playing peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake, walking around non stop holding onto his walker or our hands or the furniture, playing with Gunner (he throws the ball for him, it's SO cute to watch them play together!!), being outside, playing with blocks and buckets, and he LOVE LOVE LOVES BATHTIME!! He sticks his face under the water and giggles and splashes and just has the best time! :)

As far as how things are going for me 10 months postpartum, here's an update:

I feel like my old self. My tummy is tightening up more and more as I continue to focus on exercise and healthy eating. I still have stretch marks and my belly button is all droopy, haha, but I've learned to love those parts of me because of how I got them!

The one main update is about birth control! I have been on the mini pill since my postpartum exam at 7 weeks pp. Over the past few months, I've gotten HORRIBLE ACNE, which I have never had an issue with before in my life!! It's been so frustrating, and I tried everything - different cleansers, new makeup, NOT wearing makeup, changing my diet, supplements ...everything! Then after doing some research, it hit me: THE MINI PILL. My HORMONES were the issue, and the mini pill is the culprit. So, I went off of the mini pill a couple of days ago and switched to a new birth control pill. We'll see if things start clearing up!!

I'll keep you guys updated. I was also having SUCH irregular periods...like, having one for three weeks off and on, then skipping a month, then only having one for a day, etc...seriously messing with my body. I've read horror stories about the mini pill...any of you have any experiences with it??

OH! And I had my first Mother's Day!! Well, first one with James out in the world, that is! :) It was so special, and we got to spend it with my parents too! It was fun to celebrate my mom AND me being a mom this year!

Alright, that's it for our 10 month update! Let me know if you have any questions!! I'm planning things for James' first Birthday already. I don't think we'll have a party...maybe just a SMALL get together with close family. I definitely want to bake him a healthy smash cake (let me know if you'd like me to post the recipe!!) and I have a few other things planned for him!

Have a great week, friends!

Life Lately: Lots of updates!

Hello friends!

Sorry I've been MIA for the past few weeks! So much is going on, and I have been so busy! But things are calming down a bit and I'm back and ready to hit the blogosphere full-force!

I have a lot of super exciting content planned for the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned...here are some topics you can expect to see covered:

  • What I Eat In A Day
  • Workout-Wear Lust List
  • Five Favorites
  • Father's Day Gift Guide
  • Mommy Monday: 10 Month Update
  • Summer Reading List
  • Swim Lust List
  • Green Muffin Recipe

And a lot more! Get excited!! And as always, let me know if there are any topics that you'd like me to cover!

Ok, so ... life! What's been going on in my life. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I've been asking for prayers, positive thoughts, and good vibes the past couple of weeks.

A couple of weeks ago, I found a lump in one of my boobies. Needless to say, I instantly was worried and got in to see my doctor right away. He referred me to get a mammogram/ultrasound/biopsy, so I had to wait for that.

But today, I found out that all is well - it turned out to be nothing! Woohoo, praise the Lord! Thank you all for your prayers and sweet messages!! You all are seriously the best and I am so grateful that I can always count on you for encouragement and support when I need it most!

I found another lump a few years ago, which also turned out to be nothing. But let me tell you, now that I am a mom...things are just so completely different. I was SO MUCH more afraid this time, not of being sick or dying or anything, but of not being there for James. The thought of it made/makes me sick. Motherhood brings with it a slew of anxieties and new fears, all based around your child. The thought of something happening to me that would cause sweet little James to not have his mommy there for him...to not have someone care for him in the exact and special way that only I can... it just was devastating to even begin to consider. And at this age...he wouldn't even remember me. Ugh. BUT I'M OK!! haha Thank you, God!!

So, needless to say, that was a bit consuming and I haven't had the head space or drive to do much writing. But, now that that worry is behind me, I'm ready to dive back in! I feel rejuvenated and motivated and excited to write again!!

In other news...we bought a house! It's being built as we speak, and Ben and I are SO SO SO excited!! This is a huge step for us, and we are really looking forward to this next chapter in our lives! I'll be sure to keep you all updated!

Would you guys like to see posts about the home building/buying process?? Let me know!!

I have so many fun projects and collaborations that I'm working on that I can't share with you YET, but I am really excited about what is to come and as always, thank you for following along on the journey!!