Things I’m Loving Friday #149

Good morning, my friends! How are you? I hope your week was a good one. I didn’t mean to disappear from the blog yesterday but I was tying up some loose ends, checking a few last minute work-related things off my to-do list and dashing around the house in an effort to pack everything we needed for a long weekend away in West Virginia. We hit the road after dinner last night and made the six-hour drive to Snowshoe Mountain where we will be spending the next three days! (If you’re familiar with the area, I’d love to hear any recommendations you may have!)

We’re hoping to spend 99 percent of our time outside, hiking with Chase and Sadie (wish us luck because we bought a new hiking backpack to try) and playing in the pool and lake near our townhouse rental. I’ll be sure to share a recap of our first vacation away as a family of four (Sadie always counts!) on Monday.

Until then, I wanted to stop by to share my weekly Things I’m Loving Friday blog post with you guys and, as always, encourage you to participate in the fun by sharing a little bit about what is making you smile in the comments section of this post!

Have a great weekend!

Things I’m Loving Friday

Julie Alyssa Brittany Eating Bird Food

A recap of Alyssa and Brittany’s visit last weekend never made it on the blog earlier this week, but it was so nice to have friends in town when Ryan and I were in serious need of a good distraction last weekend. Alyssa and Brittany arrived in town on Friday night and we filled the weekend with time on the lake and lots of yummy food and drinks (Brittany made a s’mores dip that was amazing and her strawberry frosé was the perfect summertime beverage). I’m grateful for the internet for bringing these two wonderful women into my life and we had a blast getting to know their guys better, too! We’re already talking about planning another visit soon! Thanks for making the drive to Charlotte, Brittany and Alyssa!

Reginald's Nut Butter

There’s something special about nut butter you discover at a local farmer’s market and I can absolutely see why Brittany and Alyssa fell in love with Reginald’s Nut Butter at their local Richmond farmer’s market. It’s made with delicious roasted Virginia peanuts, a dash of oil and, depending on the unique flavor, a small handful of other natural ingredients. Brittany and Alyssa brought me their two favorite flavors – Nana Honey Peanut Butter and Wedding Pretzel Crunch – and I can absolutely see why Reginald’s is a staple in their houses. I’ve mostly just been eating it straight out of the jar (still my favorite way to enjoy peanut butter), but it was also amazing drizzled on top of a hot bowl of oats for breakfast yesterday. Yum!

Benefit Ka-Brow

Is it just me or are people completely brow obsessed these days? What is it with eyebrows right now!? Truthfully, I’ve never really given my brows much thought and apparently it shows because I had someone send me a message on Snapchat recommending that I fill in my brows a bit since they are so light. It’s something that’s been on my radar for a while now but eyebrow pencils scare me and after a bad experience with a makeup artist years ago, I was super weary of overly bold eyebrows.

As fate would have it, I ended up stumbling upon an eyebrow station at Ulta a few weeks ago and took some time to experiment with a few different products. I ended up walking away Benefit’s Ka-Brow! Cream Gel Eyebrow Color. The brush allows for buildable color which is perfect for me since I can lightly layer it on until my brows start to appear more defined (and not too crazy-bold!) and fill in some of the splotchy parts of my brows. It has awesome reviews on Ulta.com and I’ve been very happy with this random find!

Moroccan Oil

Last month, when I got my hair done, at the end of my appointment, my hairstylist rubbed a bit of Moroccan oil on the ends of my hair. Now that I’ve started coloring my hair, I cannot help but ask a million questions about hair care since I know coloring can damage the hair and I want to keep my hair as healthy as possible. When I asked about the benefits of Moroccan oil,    my hair stylist explained that it’s great for conditioning the hair, decreasing breakage and adding shine without residue.

Years ago, during a Fitness Magazine event, I received a sample of Moroccan oil and used it for a little while before I completely forgot about it. Thankfully, my latest experience at the hair salon reminded me of my old bottle and I found it in the back of a drawer in my bathroom. I’ve been applying it to my hair (avoiding the roots) before bed and love the way my hair soaks it up overnight so it doesn’t look greasy in the morning. Anything to keep my hair healthy!

honest company overnight diapers

I’m sure you guys know by now that I am a big fan of The Honest Company’s diapers. I’ve been subscribing to their diaper bundles for months (<—a great way to save money if you’re also a fan of their diapers!) and recently added a pack of overnight diapers to my order. They are wonderful!! Even when Chase wakes up to nurse in the middle of the night, I try not to change him (unless, on the off chance, there is a number two in there…) and the overnight diapers definitely seem to hold more in and keep Chase dryer for longer. Plus, the sleepy sheep print is too darn cute! The overnight diapers are now a bedtime staple in our house!

  • Constructive Feedback and Some Final Thoughts

This week I received some similar comments from a handful of blog readers who were frustrated with the vague way I approached sharing our stress surrounding Chase’s blood work on the blog. I have thought a lot about these comments and I completely understand where they are coming from and wanted to address these concerns here this morning.

One blog reader left the following comment on Wednesday’s blog post:

“I hope you will elaborate on the story more soon, as I feel your vagueness is allowing readers to form their own opinions that this isn’t that serious. I don’t think that was your intent, but that is the way it is coming off. This seemed like more of a scare and pale in comparison to what other parents may be going through. Again, because of the vagueness. My advice as a reader is full transparency or none at all.”

Truthfully, I think her comment sums up the way a handful of you may feel right now and so I wanted to share my response to her constructive feedback with you below. I am always, always learning and know that I make a billion mistakes as a blogger but I appreciate those of you who left constructive feedback and want you to know I take it to heart.

My response:

“Thank you for your feedback. I can understand where you are coming from and apologize if my vagueness is upsetting to you and others. As a blogger, I sometimes struggle with what to share and what not to share in such a public space. At the time I initially shared what we were going through, I had no idea what the end results from Chase’s blood work would be. I hoped and prayed and believed they would be good, but I didn’t know. And I was scared.

As I briefly mentioned before, the follow up blood work we had done was not directly related to Chase’s small size but something more serious that truly frightened me and my family. When a mother hears the words ‘bone disease’ mentioned by her child’s doctor it is hard not to worry, cry and feel helpless. I didn’t feel comfortable not mentioning my worries on the blog and pretending like things were happy and fine when the past week has been filled with a lot of stress and uncertainty while we waited for results from his follow up blood work.

I realize that receiving good news now may make this whole ordeal seem small, but when I shared what we were going through, I didn’t know what the results were going to be and I was scared and unsure how to handle everything. We are feeling optimistic, but still have some follow up testing in our future. I am believing all will be okay.

In retrospect, maybe I should’ve kept this off the blog altogether. It was a struggle for me because not mentioning something that directly impacts the biggest thing in my life – my son – felt fake, inauthentic and disingenuous. I didn’t know how to handle it and maybe I didn’t handle it well, but I hope you can understand where I’m coming from and that it was not at ALL my intent to make others feel bad or bring about comparisons to other family’s health concerns. I think you’re right about full transparency or none at all in the future. It’s something I spoke at length with Ryan about yesterday and I know that in the future, I will likely keep things like this to myself. Thank you for reading and for your feedback. I truly appreciate it.”

I am sharing my response with you today because while I think sharing highs and lows on this blog is important, I know that some things truly are better off discussed outside of such a public space. I now know my son’s health is one of these things.

Your comments are not dissuading me from being authentic in this space but there are certain things that affect me and my family that I am learning should not be shared so openly. I apologize to those who were upset by the way I handled everything and, more importantly, I apologize to those facing health scares within their families who were upset by my posts. I truly, truly wish only the very best for all of you.

  • Friday Flashbacks

10 Make Ahead Breakfast Recipes (A roundup of 10 of my favorite breakfast recipes that can easily be prepped ahead of time.)

10 Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes - Everything from frittatas and muffins to overnight oats and paleo breakfast ideas!

Total Body Pyramid Workout (Begin by completing 20 reps of the five exercises listed in the 20 reps section before moving onto 40 reps of the four exercises in the 40 reps section and 60 reps of the final three exercises in the 60 reps section. Then go back down the pyramid and complete the 60, 40 and 20 rep sections in reverse order.)

TOTAL BODY Pyramid Workout

  • Around the Web

Food: Spinach Banana Muffins // Healthy Mexican Shrimp Salad // Watermelon Rosemary Popsicles

Fitness: 12 Minute Tabata Workout // Do What Made You Happy As A Kid // Yoga Flow for Digestive Health and Relaxation

 

Question of the Day

  • What is one thing you are loving this week?

Jump Rope Upper Body Workout

Jump Rope Workout - Upper Body Jump Rope Workout

The past week has been an intense and emotional one and while I am trying to regain a sense of normalcy in this space and share a jump rope upper body workout with you guys today, I feel the need to say thank you, yet again, for allowing me to be vulnerable on the blog and lean on all of you for support. We still have some follow up appointments … [Continue reading...]

Joy, Relief and Gratitude

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Waiting

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Things I’m Loving Friday #148

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This week has been a hard week. I am sure I will fill you guys in on more of the details soon but for right now, I am trying my best to keep my thoughts positive and look ahead and focus on the happiness and joys in my life. There are some unknowns in my life right now that are stressful, scary and hard not to think about but overall I am feeling … [Continue reading...]