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    Fitness

    How I lost All My Pregnancy Weight

    Lately I have had some of my friends ask me about my secret to loosing all my pregnancy weight. So how did I do it? How did I loose all 35lbs of my pregnancy weight? Well first let me give you a little background of myself before I got pregnant.

    Three years ago I moved to Florida to pursue my career. I was unhealthy, I drank, I ate whatever I want, partied till the light of day, and was in the worse shape of my life. Moving to Florida gave me a wake up call, and I decided to pursue a healthier lifestyle. I gave up drinking, eating out, and even entered myself in a bodybuilding competition. I was probably the fittest I had ever been in my life.

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    Fashion, Fitness

    4 Steps to a Healthy Start for the Mom on the Go

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    As a mother, having a set morning routine is a must for a life that may not always go as planned when you have a child. My morning routine sets me up to have enough energy to last through the day, and also keeps me on course for a healthy lifestyle.

    We all know how easy it is when we are on a rush to forget breakfast, the most important meal of the day. And when we don’t have a healthy breakfast it ultimately can lead to an unhealthy spiral. Trust me, I’ve been there, and usually it becomes more costly at the end, and for me it usually ends up spending $15 at Starbucks, on a 200 calorie coffee drink, 300 calorie breakfast sandwich, 420 calorie cheese Danish, and of course I can’t leave without a 170 calorie cake pop, totaling 1090 calories, all just for breakfast. And for someone like me that’s already two thirds of my calorie intake in a day. And trust me all those carbs and sweets will only lead to an energy crash later in the day, and not to mention a build up of fat.

    So what do I do to have a healthy start? Here are my 4 steps:

    1. Eat a well balance breakfast. If I’m in a rush I have protein cereal. It has a good breakdown of carbs, protein, and fat, and is delicious during these hot summer days. You can see more of what I eat by following my IG or Facebook page.

    2. I take my ID life personalized vitamins. I love these vitamins because they are convenient, individual packed for the person on the go, and I save so much more on quality supplements than what you would find if you bought each of your supplements individually. Why is it important to take supplements? Because the normal person does not get all of their daily nutrients through food consumption. You would literally have to eat 10,000 calories worth of healthy foods a day to get all your daily nutrients. If you would like to take a free health assessment click here.

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    3. Drink water and take it to go. It is easier to drink water when you have it with you at all times. Water keeps you hydrated and also helps keeps you feeling full. I love adding a little IDLife energy to my drink to give me  a little boost!

    4. Make a protein shake. This is the easiest thing to do and a great way to supplement your meals. All I do is mix water, ice, frozen fruit, Macrogreens, and vanilla whey protein in a blender, and take it to go with me in a tumbler. I swear on protein shakes. They are great for keeping you full, getting your protein in, and it is so refreshing in this hot Texas heat.

    It is really that simple of a morning routine. It preps me for a great day with my baby, or a long day of work. What do you do to start your day off right?

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    Outfit details:

    Wifey baseball tee/ Rock Revival Shorts/ Floral Canvas Shoes/ Aviators/tote bag  IMG_0759 IMG_0761

    <3 Dawn

     

    Family

    How to Save Money by Making Your Own Baby Food

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    Like most mom’s I want the best for my child, especially when it comes to what I am feeding him. I’m a big advocate in making baby food, not only because of the health benefits with less preservatives, but also because you save tons of money by doing so. An individual container of baby food cost at least $1.50. If you feed your baby 3 times a day for a whole month it would cost you roughly $126. But making your own baby food would save you at least $100 a month. Below I will show you how I make baby food in bulk for the week, using the products below. Consult your pediatrician to make sure your child is ready for whole foods.  We started when Jayden was 4 months after getting the ok from our doctor.

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    Ingredients:

    I am a big fan of frozen veggies and fruits. They have a great selection of ready to steam veggies from peas, to broccoli, to mix blends that make great baby food. I like to blend veggies and fruit together for taste. Apples and bananas are easy fruits to blend and works well with veggies. It’s honestly personal preference and what your baby likes. Usually for every bag of veggies I mix two apples.

    Directions:

    1. Set out bag of veggies and let it thaw out.

    2. Once thawed out blend veggies and fruit separately (I use a Nutribullet for all my blending needs)

    3. Combine in large tupperware

    The smaller tupperware is how I measure out how much to prepare for each meal. I fill 75mml of blended baby food and warm up in microwave or bottle warmer. I mix the food with a scoop of formula and two spoonful of rice cereal for a thicker consistency. The rice cereal is optional, but I like it because it is filling . One bag of veggies usually last him a week.

    So for all you Mom’s who want to save money, save time, and give your baby the best, try it out, and let me know what you think! And if you love this simple and easy tip share it with a friend!

    <3 Dawn

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    Fitness

    Be Comfortable in Your Own Shell


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    This month I partnered up with DesignR to promote a positive self image and encourage a happy healthy lifestyle with clothing made for the active style conscious woman on the go. Their motto “Embrace the Turtle”, and “Be comfortable in your own shell,” really speaks to the idea that getting fit is not a race. Everyone’s journey is different, and fitness looks different on everyone. It is not a quick fix. It doesn’t happen over night. It is a every day choice to be healthy and happy and loving yourself every step of the way. Fitness is a way of life.

    There are so many benefits to making fitness a priority in your life, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. As a wife and mother, here are my top 5 reasons why I make fitness a part of my life:

    1. It lowers my stress levels. As Ell Woods put it,  “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” I know my husband can appreciate this lol.

    2. It is something I do for myself. After a long busy day of working and taking care of my family, it’s nice to take 30 minutes for myself to workout. It gives me time to myself where I can wind down and do something to improve myself.

    3. It pushes me mentally to be stronger. There are many times where my body wants to give up, but my mental strength has pushed my body where I never thought it could.

    4. It strengthens my faith. When all else fails and I feel like giving up, my faith has been the number one factor to keep me going. Believing in something greater than myself has helped me in my fitness journey.

    5. And last but not least it gives me confidence in myself. All the factors above contribute to added confidence in my life. I can look in the mirror and know I can make a difference. I have all the right tools God gave me to improve myself daily.

    A healthy lifestyle is a happy lifestyle. And fitness has helped me become a better person, a better wife, and a better mother.

    Don’t forget to check out the details of my outfit below, and make sure to stop by DesignR and checkout all their cute and comfy active wear!

    <3 Dawn

    top: DesignR/ capri: BKE Sport/sports bra: New Balance/ shoes: Nike (similar style)/ water bottle: Design R

    P.S. The capris I am wearing are reversible and on sale! Check out the colorful print on the other side in my previous post here.

    IMG_0146(This post was sponsored by DesignR)

     

    Fashion

    Zoo Date – Yellow and florals

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    My Goof ball hubby photo bombing my photo shoot, and Yes we are coordinating lol!IMG_0494

    This past weekend we went to zoo for the first time with our little one. Unfortunately we got rained out before we got to see the new gorilla exhibit. I love my outfit I wore to the zoo. I bought this straw hat to keep the sun from my face. It’s a perfect summer hat for all your summer activities. It coordinates with everything. My top is a fun floral sheer, off the shoulder, crop top paired with my favorite BKE Mollie shorts, and gladiator sandals from my previous
    have these shorts in 3 other different colors because they are a great alternative to denim shorts. My bag is my newest purchase. I love it because its nautical stripes are perfect for the summer, and it’s also big enough to double as a diaper bag for our trip. My husband decided to make a guest appearance in this blog. He is such a goofball.  Check out his amazing hybrid shorts. Even though we had to run in the rain and were all soaked and wet, by the time we got home his shorts we already dry! How awesome is that land/water technology! Perfect for golfing or going to the beach! His and her outfit details are below.

    His:

    RVCA VA All The Way Trucker 
    DC Trase TX SE/ Oakley Sungalsses
    Oakley Men’s Hybrid Cargo Short
    Old Navy Men’s V-Neck Tees

    Hers:

    FOREVER 21+ Classic Straw Fedora/ BKE Mollie shorts
    CALL IT SPRING Call It Spring™ Nickles Tote
    Not Rated Women’s Radiant Gladiator Sandal
    FOREVER 21 Floral Tie-Dye Off-the-Shoulder Top

    <3 Dawn

     

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    Fitness

    The “Mom” Diet

    I know some of you are wondering how I lost the baby weight so fast, and honestly I can credit a majority of it to my “Mom Diet.” So what is the “Mom Diet”? I know I’ve mentioned it a couple times in my previous post so I wanted to explain it you. I never knew about it until I became a mom. It’s an exclusive diet only mothers would know about, and only mothers can relate to.

    I remember the first week I was home with my baby I was exclusively breast feeding. It was one of the hardest and yet most rewarding thing I had ever done. But it was also one of the factors that contributed to my “mom diet”. They say when you breast feed you will loose your post baby weight faster. I did’t realize why until now. I remember every 3 hours breast feeding my baby with no breaks in between. I felt like a cow at a certain point because it was literally all I did for days. I rarely got any sleep, and nor did I have time to eat. I was too tired and too stressed to even think about eating. All I could think about was my baby eating and being happy.  My nutrition was no longer a priority in my life.

    I decided being a stay at home mom was not giving me the life balance I wanted. I needed to make myself a priority as well so I decided to go back to work part time where I could continue to pursue my passions yet be able to be there for Jayden. I was really thankful to work for a company that allowed me to make my schedule and prioritize my family first.

    After I started supplementing with formula and started to work part time my diet improved. I ate better at work, where I had a designated break time to enjoy my meals with no interruption. It was one of the perks of going to work. But at home the only consistent thing I was eating was my protein shake and protein peanut butter cups, still not enough nutrients or calories to keep and build my muscle. I had lost all 35lbs of my baby weight in less than 4 months.  With the “Mom diet” I was loosing weight the unhealthy way. It wasn’t fat I was loosing but muscles.

    Currently right now, I am no longer breast feeding. I still have days where I am so exhausted from staying up all night with the baby that I forget to eat all day. I never thought I would ever have a problem with eating, but it has become more of an after thought than a daily routine some days. My mindset has changed when it comes to eating. I have to remind myself daily my nutrition is important. It is hard for me when all I can think about is my baby, but I know in the long run I have to prioritize my health for me to be the best mom I can be. My friend recommended me to check out a website talking about  in a healthy way. After having a read, I realized just how important it was for me to get my diet and nutrition back on track before I end up making myself ill!

    The “Mom Diet” is not as glamorous as it may seem, and I would not condone it for any mother. Ask for help, take time for yourself, and know you are enough. Don’t feel guilty for wanting to make your health a priority. Don’t feel guilty if you take ten minutes to eat while your baby entertains himself. Yes he might cry for a bit because he just wants to be held, but he will understand eventually. Don’t feel bad if you can’t juggle it all by yourself. It takes a village to raise a child. Being a mom is a selfless job, and we would give more than an arm and a leg just to make our children happy. But if we don’t put or health first, we will end up just giving bones. We are more than just a mom, we are someone’s daughter, wife, sister, friend, coworker, ect. If we want to be the best mother we can be then we have to make ourselves a priority. Our health matters for our children’s sake. I know this is a common sentiment as well, I have a friend who regularly goes to the gym and she says it really helps her keep fit enough to keep up with her children.

    <3 Dawn

    P.S. Capturing my little man and his little attitude. He did not want mommy to put him down at all this day.
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    Family, Fashion, Food

    Roost

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    This weekend for my first Mother’s Day my husband took us out to the city for the day. We went to this cozy hole in the wall restaurant called Roost in Montrose to try their famous fried cauliflower and donut holes. It was amazing and I highly recommend anyone who wants to try something new. I loved their unpretentious feel and diverse menu inspired by local availability of farm fresh ingredients. After dinner my husband and I went to a local park downtown to take family pictures. I can’t believe my little man is trying to walk already. Love some of the candid pictures my hubby took of us. I know I will cherish these memories forever.

    Below is a more detailed look of my outfit. Can you believe my dress and heels are less than $15! It’s a steal for a momma on a budget. I posted links below where you can purchase the items. IMG_0324 IMG_0326IMG_0327  IMG_0328 IMG_0329 IMG_0332

    dress: sheinside/shoes: cicihot/ purse: guess/ belt: BCBG/ earring: Kendra Scott/ bracelet: Alex and Ani/ hat:(similar style)

    <3 Dawn

    P.S. Don’t forget to follow my instagram located below  @dawnpdarnell for more fashion and style post. Thanks and have a great day!

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    Fitness

    Helluva Life – Mommy and Me Workout video

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    Hey guys I wanted to share my first ever “Mommy and Me” workout video with ya’ll. This is a fun little video we did outside showing a couple of exercises you can do with with your baby. Jayden loves working out with me. He is at the stage where he is curious about everything and wants to be a part of everything mommy does. Not only is it a great bonding activity with the baby, but it actually helps him sleep through the night. Try it out and let me know what ya’ll think!

    3 sets, 1 minute each exercise followed with 1 minute jumping jacks and 1 minute burpees.

    • 1 min hip thrust
    • 1 min crunches
    • 1 min leg raises
    • 1 min scissor kicks
    • 1 min jumping jacks
    • 1 min burpees
    • 1 minute rest

    workout time: 21 minutes

    https://youtu.be/RsCj5W9jSwA

    <3 Dawn

     

    P.S. Stay tuned to the end for bloopers! Atticus our family dog wanted to be part of the video too!