All About That Bass

Loving this song lately — really funny lyrics with some pretty awesome messaging. Now I’m all about being a healthy size and weight, but positive body image is most important. You can’t have a healthy body if your mind is in a bad place. And in a society where so much value is placed on appearance, we could all use a little reminder once in while.

“Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.”

Enjoy!

First Trimester Essentials

Can you guys believe I’m already 17 weeks? It feels like I just passed the first trimester, but I’m really already a month into my second! Time is flying.

While it’s still (relatively) fresh in my mind, I wanted to share my first trimester essentials that helped me through those first 13 weeks.

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one || crystalized ginger || I don’t know why it works, but trust me on this one. Candied ginger helped more than anything else to combat my morning sickness. I didn’t go anywhere with out this stuff. Yes, it tastes like ****, but I got over that pretty quickly when I realized how much it works. Oh, and don’t bother with the ginger or flavored hard candies — go for the real deal.

two || fitbit || Low to moderate intensity exercise is very safe and is actually essential for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Since my doctor recommended I back off on my normal fitness routine, I relied on my trusty fitbit to help motivate me to move enough throughout the day, especially during a time when I was honestly feeling pretty lazy.

three || prenatal vitamins || Prenatal vitamins are an absolute must throughout the entire pregnancy (and especially early on), to support fetal brain and eye development. The Nature Made prenatal vitamins + DHA have served me well, but a word to the wise: take them shortly after eating a meal or that ginger will come in more handy than you hoped!

four || baby center app || Pregnancy is full of so many unknowns. Is what I’m feeling normal? When will I start to show? What can I expect at my first prenatal appointment? Mark and I decided to only share our pregnancy news with immediate family and close friends during the first trimester. As you can imagine, my brain was full of questions and I had few people I could talk to! The baby center app is a great resource for week by week updates and lots of Q&A.

five || unisom || Despite being so fatigued, I struggled to get a good night’s sleep. Between the frequent bathroom trips and all the excitement and fears surrounding becoming a new mom, I experienced horrible insomnia (which I’m told is extremely common). My doctor recommended taking Unisom and what a LIFESAVER it is. I’ve found that a half a tablet is plenty for me to avoid that groggy feeling in the morning.

six || healthy snacks || Pregnancy hunger is no joke and for me personally, I basically felt like I was starving throughout the first trimester. I learned to never leave the house without a few snacks. Chilled green grapes, protein bars, and almonds were some of my first tri go-to snacks.

seven || palmer’s cocoa butter || I am all about stretch mark prevention, so when a coworker gave me a bottle of this stuff with a high recommendation, I started using it daily and never looked back. I also use their skin soothing oil to relieve dry, itchy pregnancy skin.

eight || loose clothing || During the summer months, there’s nothing worse than tight, restrictive clothing…unless you’re also pregnant and your body is changing daily. During the first trimester, I lived in either a flowy top and comfy shorts or a loose-fitting dress. It’s all about comfort these days!

I hope this helps out all the newly pregnant and future mamas. Plus, who am I kidding – with the pregnancy brain I’m experiencing these days, if I don’t write it down, there’s no way I’ll remember when baby #2 is on board!

Did I miss anything? If you’re a mom, what could you not live without during your first trimester?

Fall Fashion Must Have: The Ankle Bootie

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 || B.P. Train Wrap Belted Bootie || $120 ||

I’m not going to lie, saying goodbye to summer is always a little hard. The long sunny days are fading fast and even though it’s still quite warm hot here in SD, I’m already dreaming of the autumn days ahead. If there’s one thing that can get me out of my post summer slump, it’s fall fashion. Every girl loves the fall season, right? Sweaters and boots and scarves, oh my!

I’m totally digging the ankle bootie trend that is so hot again this fall. The only problem is I can’t decide which pair to add to my beloved shoe collection. Which is your favorite?

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 || Vince Camuto Harlen Bootie || $170 ||

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 || Clarks Rosepoint Dew Bootie || $140 ||

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 || Vince Camuto Winta Leather Bootie || $200 ||

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 || Sam Edelman Louie Bootie || $130 ||

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 || Franco Sarto Linden Leather Bootie || $130 ||

Are you loving the ankle bootie trend as much as I am? What are some of your fall fashion staples? 

Life Lately: Labor Day Weekend / Our 2nd Anniversary

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<< The Grande Colonial >>

The hubby and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary with a little stay-cation by spending the weekend in our favorite place in San Diego: La Jolla, CA. It was the perfect weekend. Oh, so relaxing and just what we were in the mood for.

We stayed at The Grande Colonial Hotel which we quickly fell in love with because of the location. We were in the heart of downtown and could walk to the beach and all of the little shops and restaurants around town. It is such an iconic and historic place to stay in San Diego – it’s over 100 years old! And a little bonus: we got upgraded to an ocean view room for our anniversary!

We mostly relaxed at the pool and on the beach, went for lots of long walks downtown and of course we went to a bunch of our favorite restaurants. For our anniversary dinner we went to our favorite place, Eddie V’s, where we were treated to an ocean front table covered in red rose petals.

It was so, so romantic and the best way to celebrate our last anniversary as just the two of us, before our little one arrives.photo 3

2013-11-02 13.47.39<< La Jolla Cove >>

1<< beach essentials >>

2013-11-06 18.18.08<< La Jolla Sunset >>

photo 4<< poolside loungin >>

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<< martinis and mocktails before dinner >>

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Our 2nd Anniversary

Together_064Even though we celebrated over the weekend, today is officially our 2nd wedding anniversary!

It’s so cliche, but oh so true — where has the time gone? It feels like yesterday, my favorite girls and I were getting our hair and makeup done in my house, giggling and chatting the morning away. I contemplated how to wear my hair for the big day, anxiously awaiting the very moment I’d see my groom waiting for me at end of the aisle. The moment every little girl dreams of.

And what a dream it was.

The day came and went, faster than any other. I’d give just about anything to relive every minute of our wedding day, just once more. Instead, I try to replay the day in my head from time to time, in hopes that I’ll never forget a single thing from that day. Every little detail, in the order I remember. The way I felt. The things they said. The look on his face.

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Together_063Our wedding pictures make me so happy. I tell Mark if our house was ever on fire, there are three things we should grab: our two doggies and our wedding album. Marriage is such a beautiful thing. It really does bond a couple like nothing else.

So, two years. Here we are, embarking on this journey into parenthood.

Mark, I am so lucky to have you by my side, every step of the way. As we embark on this journey to becoming parents, I am so thankful you’re the one doing it with me. There’s no one I’d rather do this with. I love you.

 

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

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Labor day weekend holds a very special place in my heart.

Sure, it marks the end of summer, the start of a new school year, and some of the best sales of the year. Oh, and who can forget the good old fashion rule: we can’t wear white after labor day. Totally old school in my book. Rules are meant to be broken, especially in fashion.

But besides that, it is the weekend my husband and I chose to get married. Our intent was we’d celebrate each anniversary with a little weekend getaway.

This year we decided to do a little stay-cation in La Jolla, CA and just take a few days to enjoy the beautiful coast right in our own backyard.

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Stay tuned for pics!

Tell me: What are YOUR labor day weekend plans? 

P.S. Skinny tips for your summer cookout!

How Safe is Exercise During Pregnancy?

Healthy pregnancy.I was shocked to hear my doctor’s advice on exercise during pregnancy: “You should exercise at least 30 minutes a day up until the day you give birth, but avoid anything that increases your heart rate above 140 BPM, and absolutely nothing over 150.

Now, you all know I’m more than happy to exercise every day, but I had always heard: whatever you did pre-pregnancy, you could continue throughout pregnancy as long as you listen to your body. So since I was used to seeing my heart rates upwards of 160-170 quite often during workouts, shouldn’t that still be ok?

Nope.

Apparently, when your heart rate gets above 140, your blood starts rapidly fueling your muscles — and not baby.

According to Baby Center, the best way to keep your prenatal exercise routine safe and effective is to use your body’s responses as your guide.

The goal is to keep your intensity in a range that is moderate to somewhat challenging. That corresponds to the level of exercise your body can do without feeling so out of breath that you can’t talk. If you’re feeling out of breath, that’s your signal to reduce your intensity or take a break. The great thing about using this method for monitoring exercise intensity is that it allows women of every level of fitness to continue to exercise in a zone that keeps them fit.

Remember these tips when exercising during pregnancy, whether you’re continuing or starting a fitness program:

  • Keep your intensity at a level where you can carry on a conversation without feeling out of breath.
  • Reduce your exercise intensity or take a break if you start to feel out of breath, exhausted, or dizzy.
  • Modify your exercise routine as your pregnancy progresses. Remember that your growing baby adds weight to your body. So as you move through pregnancy, it’s as if you’re carrying a backpack that gets heavier each week. Whatever you’re doing when you’re 10 weeks pregnant will feel much harder at 30 weeks because you have to support more weight.
  • Listen to your body and discuss your exercise routine with your healthcare provider if you experience any discomfort, pain, or extreme exhaustion.

After hearing the advice from my doctor and doing my own research, I decided that quitting Fitwall would be best for me and the baby. I’m happy to report I’ve been able to continue exercising 30 minutes a day by modifying my workouts and slowing the intensity.

 

What I Wish I Knew in College about my Health

college-lifeA dear friend tagged me in an old college photo last weekend and it instantly brought us all back to the time and place we met. Looking back, college was full of SO many good times — now a million and one memories. While some days I’d give anything to go back for just one day, I can’t help but look at how much I’ve changed since then.

When I graduated from high school, I was “healthy” and “in shape.” But then again isn’t every 17-year-old? (The truth is: I didn’t know a thing about health – but that’s a whole other story, for a different day.)

And then college happened. And over those 4 years, the weight crept on. By the time I graduated, I didn’t recognize myself. Five pounds a year will do that to you!

I’m happy to say, after graduation I learned how to lose weight in a healthy way. I found a healthy balance between having fun and nourishing my body. And eventually I re-discovered my love for exercise.

I wanted to share a little on what I know now and what I would have done differently if I were moving back into the dorms today.

Drink smart // Let’s face it: every college kid is going to drink. A lot. Don’t waste your time with sugary flavored vodka and fruity mixed drinks. Remember, clear drinks are better choices than darker varieties and just say no to the 3am burritos.

Find a routine // The one thing about college life is that every day can be totally different if you let it. With class schedules different every day and parties popping up whenever/wherever, a routine is easy to get away from. Get a healthy breakfast every morning, get plenty of sleep and find a gym time that fits in with your class schedule.

Eat real food // Frozen dinners get you nowhere in life. Learn to cook real food, even if it’s just grilled chicken and brown rice. It will save you in the long run. Start simple and slowly add in spices and try new recipes to mix it up. Easy and cheap is not the answer.

Walk // College campuses are giant. Save some money, don’t buy a parking pass this year. Walk from your apartment/dorm to class instead. Those extra steps will add up and you’ll thank me later. Oh how I wish I had at Fitbit circa 2005.

What do you wish you would have known in college that you know now? How would you have been healthier?

Switching Gears

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Whether you’ve been a Skinny Opinion follower since day one or are a brand new reader, you probably know S.O. started as a health and fitness blog to encourage women to become all around healthier and happier people.

Over the months, I’ve found a love for writing about whatever is on my mind at the moment. And while it’s still primarily sharing my passion for health, nutrition and fitness, I’m also a real person who loves style, beauty, overall wellness, home improvement, decor, travel, friendships, family, marriage and now the topic that’s constantly on my mind: pregnancy and motherhood.

I hope you don’t mind that S.O. is switching gears to more of a (healthy) lifestyle blog and I’ll be sharing posts on all the topics I mentioned plus everything in between. I promise this will never become a full-on mommy blog, but I can’t help but write about whatever is currently running through my head.

Stay with me for the journey?

xoxo
Jenn

P.S. What would you like to see more of on the blog? What would you like to see less of?

First Trimester Symptoms

pickled cucumberThank you all for the sweet words on the blog and all over social media yesterday after I shared our big news!

Pregnancy is a crazy thing. I never expected my body to experience so many changes in just three months. While it’s fresh in my mind, I wanted to document a little on my personal symptoms during the first trimester.

Exhausted. Turns out, growing a tiny person is very hard work. The last three months have been extremely exhausting! I have never experienced so much fatigue in my life. There would  be days when I’d come home from work, take a nap and then literally go to bed at 8:00.

Emotional. I think my first clue I could be pregnant was when I cried watching Click starring Adam Sandler. One minute I’m laughing hysterically and the next I’m crying over something so silly. Thank you, hormones!

Nauseous. I’ve felt pretty sick throughout my entire first trimester, but thankfully didn’t experience full blown morning sickness (aka vomitting) like many women do. Some days I’d actually hope I’d vomit just to relieve some queasiness. Nope. Just a constant yucky feeling, similar to motion sickness.

Hungry. I’m not gonna lie, there were days when I threw my normal healthy eating habits completely out the window and probably consumed way more calories than I’d like to admit. Pregnancy hunger is REAL, my friends. I’ve had a few interesting cravings: pickles, fruit, cottage cheese, yogurt, and Chipotle (!!). Oh, and veggies / salads make me gag.

Oily. I have always been lucky when it comes to my skin and never really experienced breakouts or zits, even as a teenager. My skin is normally on the drier side, but lately I’ve felt like a total grease ball and am experiencing more acne than ever. Ugh!

Phew, I’m glad the first tri is over with!

As I’m writing this, I realize how horrible the first three months sound. Even though most of the symptoms aren’t very appealing, it has, hands down, been one of the most exciting seasons of my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Thankfully I’m starting to feel a lot more like myself these days!

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