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10 Things I Love about Fall!

Fall is finally in the air!  After summer heat that never seemed to end, we finally got a cool day yesterday in the high 50’s/low 60’s and the trees are starting to really show their beautiful fall colors!  I could not be happier!  Fall is my favorite season.  I like it better than Spring, Summer, and (of course!) Winter!  There is something so refreshing to me about the cooler temperatures, the change of the colors on the trees, and all the Fall things that go along with it!  I decided to put together a list of my top 10 favorite things about Fall!

  1. Cooler temps! – As much as I enjoy summer, the hot temperatures get old after a while and I am always happy to welcome the cooler weather that Fall brings!  Especially this year since I am 9 months pregnant, this girl can’t handle the heat anymore!  There is nothing better than going for a walk outside in a light jacket when the temperatures are in the low 60’s!
  2. Beautiful trees – To me, there is something about the beauty of the trees in the Fall that just doesn’t compare to the other seasons.  Also, the fact that they don’t stay this way very long always reminds me to be in the present moment because the season is so fleeting.  If you don’t take a moment to enjoy the pretty colors, you could miss them completely!
  3. Pumpkin EVERYTHING – I love pumpkin.  Pumpkin candles, coffee, pie, PSL, and everything in between!  Not to mention pumpkin picking, painting, carving, toasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin yogurt, pumpkin ice cream.  I could go on and on.  Yes, I’m one of those people that goes crazy over pumpkin in the Fall! 🙂
  4. Sweaters and boots! – Ahhh yes.  When I can finally get out my cozy sweaters and my fall boots, I am so happy!  It’s a great time to switch up the wardrobe and I love the cozy feeling of wearing my favorite fall classics again!
  5. Football season! – I went to Penn State and I had season tickets 5 years in a row, so Fall is always a bit nostalgic remembering some of my favorite college memories at the football games!  I still love watching the games while cuddled up on the couch with a blanket and some of my favorite tailgate foods!
  6. Back to school season – Okay, I know I haven’t been in school for almost 10 years (what?!), but there is something about “Back to School” season that gets me really excited every year.  Maybe it is the memories of anticipating a new school year with new friends and new beginnings, or going to the store to pick out some new back to school outfits, or the fact that school supplies are on major sale (which I still take advantage of!).  Something about back to school season reminds me of fresh starts!
  7. Visiting farms – One of my favorite Fall activities!  Apple cider, pumpkin picking, donuts, hay rides, apple picking!  I definitely want to make this a yearly family tradition once our baby arrives!
  8. Fall runs and races are the best! – Fall is my favorite season to run (or walk!).  The temperatures are just right, the scenery is on point.  I ran my first half marathon in the Fall.  After a long training season in the Summer, it is great to look forward to a race in the Fall!
  9. The holidays are coming soon! – So many great holidays are on the horizon – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years!  I love the anticipation, the decor, the parties and family time, and getting in the holiday spirit!
  10. My baby’s birthday will be in the Fall! – A personal favorite reason why I love Fall is because I get to meet my baby in the Fall!  He is due in less than 2 weeks!  I will always love this season because of the fact that we will get to celebrate his birthday and this will be a brand new reason to love Fall on top of all the other reasons!

 

What’s your favorite season?

What do you like the most about Fall?

Any fun Fall plans or ideas of fun Fall activities?

fitness, Health & Fitness, Parenthood, Pregnancy, Running, Uncategorized

A Little About Me

So I figured that since this is a brand new blog, it would be a good idea to introduce myself a bit more and share more about myself and why I started this blog.

I’m Lauren – I am 30 years old and currently live in New Jersey with my husband Jeff and our dog Colbie.  Jeff and I met almost 10 years ago during an internship in college and we have been together ever since.  We have been married for over 4 years.

I grew up in Pittsburgh which is about 6 hours from where I live now.  Most of my family and friends still live out there and I love going to visit them.  I’ve lived in New Jersey for almost 8 years now, and I work full time at a large private company as an Operations Manager and I love it.  I think having fulfilling work is so important to having a fulfilling life.

We have some big life changes ahead because Jeff and I are currently expecting our first baby!  I’m due in 2 weeks with a baby boy and I can’t believe this pregnancy has gone so fast!  It feels like it’s been super long and I am at the stage now where I am ready to meet the baby and move on from being pregnant!  It was fun while it lasted but I am ready to kiss my little guy’s face!

Some of my favorite hobbies are having an active lifestyle, running, cooking, reading, writing, spending time with my husband, friends and family.  I am very type A and I absolutely love planning, organizing, budgeting, creating training plans, etc.  Organization is one of my biggest strengths!  I love to read blogs and I have been inspired to create a blog for a long time.  I have always loved writing and I have been a huge fan of journaling since I was a kid.  I also love the idea of connecting with others through common goals and interests!  The idea of community really drew me into the blogging world.

I started running for the first time in my life about 4 years ago.  After my first 5k, I fell in love with running races and I’ve run 2 marathons, 4 half marathons, tons of 10ks and 5ks, and even a sprint triathlon.  Running became like therapy to me and it has helped me to grow in so many ways!  When I found out I was pregnant earlier this year, I decided to take a break from running for a while and find other ways to stay active instead.  Now that the baby is almost here, I am really looking forward to getting back into running and incorporating my favorite hobby back into my life as a new mom!  I am truly looking forward to crossing the finish line at that first 5k and having my husband and son there to welcome me!

My goal from this blog is to connect with and inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle and be the best that they can be.  Something that I have learned is life is all about balance, so I will be striving to find balance as a new mom and can’t wait to learn from others too!

Thanks for reading and if you’re interested in connecting and reading more from me, feel free to subscribe to my blog and leave a comment!

fitness, Health & Fitness, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

The Benefits of Walking During Pregnancy

Walking is highly recommended as one of the best forms of exercise during pregnancy.  There are many benefits to keeping up with a regular walking routine.  I am typically a runner, but I have enjoyed walking throughout my pregnancy and I’m still going strong at 37.5 weeks!  For me, one of the best parts of walking has been that it makes me feel great!  There are many other benefits too.  Below, I put together a compilation of the top benefits of walking during pregnancy.

Disclaimer:  You should always talk to your doctor before taking on a new exercise routine during pregnancy.

  1. Healthy baby – walking helps to keep both mom and baby’s weight at a healthy level.  With the baby’s weight in check, this can make the delivery more easy and natural.  It also makes it easier for mom to lose the baby weight after baby arrives.
  2. Lower risk of Pre-Eclampsia & Gestational Diabetes – Walking helps to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at a healthy level, therefore reducing your risk of developing pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.
  3. Stress Reliever – This is a big one for me!  Pregnancy can be very stressful!  Walking helps to relieve stress, anxiety, depression and mood swings because it releases endorphins (the feel good chemicals) into your body.
  4. Bonding with significant other – This has been another huge benefit for me!  My husband has been joining me for almost all of my walks, and it has been a great way to unwind together, bond, and talk about our new lives with the baby.  If your significant other likes to walk, bring them along so that they can enjoy the benefits of walking too!
  5. Relieves aches and pains – There are lots of different aches and pains that happen during pregnancy.  I have had my fair share!  Walking helps to loosen your joints, ease your muscles, and relieve some of the pain you may be experiencing.  For me, this has mainly been hip pain.  I have noticed that if I go a few days without walking, my aches will be much more noticeable.
  6. Easier childbirth – So many people have told me this throughout my pregnancy, and I did a little research and it looks like it is true!  Walking increases flexibility and tones the hip muscles which can make for an easier/faster delivery.  When you are in good shape, your body is more prepared for childbirth.  I am hoping and praying that this is true!  I’ll let you know in a few weeks! 🙂

 

Something that is very important while walking during pregnancy is to listen to your body.  If you need to slow down, slow down.  If you need to take a break, stop and rest.  During pregnancy, the point isn’t to push yourself too hard, so be sure not to wear yourself out.  Also, don’t compare yourself to others.  Everyone’s journey is different and it’s important to remember to make decisions that are best for you and your baby.

Enjoy!

Uncategorized

My Top 10 Pregnancy Must-haves

I am currently 37 weeks pregnant!  I only have 3 more weeks to go before our baby boy is here!  It’s hard to believe that time is flying by so fast, and I am getting close to the end of my first pregnancy.  I wouldn’t have made it this far without some of my favorite products which have made the hard parts of pregnancy so much easier!  I’ll be the first to admit that pregnancy can be hard!  While there is so much joy and excitement that comes along with it, there is also a lot of aches, pains, and not so fun changes that are happening to your body.  Take a look at some of my favorite pregnancy products that hopefully can make your life much easier too!

  • 1. Burt’s Bees Belly Butter – Something that I have been nervous about during the pregnancy is stretch marks.  A friend gave me the Burt’s Bees Belly Butter as a gift and I have been using it every single day of my pregnancy and so far, no stretch marks!  This has also been helpful to prevent dry, itchy skin!  It really makes your skin feel hydrated and soft.

 

  • 2. Full-size pregnancy pillow – So this was a definite must-have for me!  I am an avid back sleeper, so when I found out that you need to sleep on your side after week 20, I was at a loss!  This pregnancy pillow has made all the difference.  It is huge and takes up half the bed and my husband calls it “the giant tooth” because it kind of looks like a big tooth!  It is super comfy and makes side sleeping for me more bearable!

 

  • 3. Wedge Pillow – Much like the full-size pregnancy pillow, this has been a huge help with getting sleep and helping with the side sleeping.  I learned early on that I get some really extreme hip pain when I sleep on my side.  I started propping this under my side and it helps to relieve some of the hip pain.  I would definitely recommend it!

 

  • 4. Memory Foam Mattress Pad– I think by now you’re probably getting the picture that sleep during pregnancy has been an issue for me!  Even with the two pillows above, I still have been having a lot of hip pain while sleeping on my side due to the pressure of sleeping on a hard mattress.  To help alleviate the pain, I got this Bamboo Memory Foam Mattress Pad to put over our mattress.  This mattress pad is super comfortable and soft and has made a world of difference for my hip pain!

 

  • 5. Rotating fan – I learned early on that pregnancy hot flashes when you sleep is a real thing (especially when you’re pregnant during the summer).  We don’t have a ceiling fan in our bedroom so having a fan next to my bed was a must-have.

 

  • 6. Bella Band – At the beginning of the pregnancy, I wanted to extend the amount of time that I could wear my regular pants and shorts, and Bella Band was a miracle in helping me do that!  I wore this over my pants for most of the first and second trimester.  It worked like a charm and was definitely worth the investment.

 

  • 7. Nature Made Pre-Natal Vitamins – These are really important for all new moms-to-be for obvious reasons!  I started taking them a few months before we got pregnant, and I have been taking them every day since!

 

  • 8. Erin Condren Pregnancy Journal – I am a huge fan of journaling and once I found out I was pregnant I couldn’t wait to begin documenting my pregnancy journey through a pregnancy journal!  I did a lot of research and looked at different kinds, but Erin Condren stood out as my favorite!  Each week I have been filling out details about my pregnancy and I can’t wait to look back on this some day to remember every step of the journey!

 

  • 9. The best pregnancy book:  What to Expect when you’re expecting – This has been my pregnancy bible.  This book has helped to explain everything I needed to know about pregnancy and I have referenced it countless times.  The best part about it is that since it is such a classic, you know that you can trust the information in it.

 

  • 10. A pair of good maternity jeans – It took a few misses to find a pair of maternity jeans that I really liked.   Once I found them, I ordered 4 more pairs of the exact same jeans because good fitting maternity jeans are hard to find.