One of my favorite evenings of our time in Europe last month was our last night in Spain, just the three of us. We'd spent the morning at the beach with friends, come back for naps, and then enjoyed a slow stroll along the pier until we found a restaurant. We dined outdoors in the evening light and Ben and Lincoln played at the park across the street while we waited for our food. They seated us on white couches and everything was about three times better than we expected. I learned that just because a menu is in seven languages doesn't mean the food is going to be awful and touristy.
Here are a few too many pictures and if you scroll to the bottom there are tips for eating out with little ones:
Okay, okay, NEED is a relative term. You certainly don't NEED five new pairs of shoes this summer, but, if you happen to be looking for a few great pairs, here they are:
1. Slip-on Sandals: When you're trying to juggle a toddler, a baby, and a diaper bag (or two), sometimes it just isn't feasible to also bend over and tie your shoes (or in my case, the 36 week baby bump makes it near impossible). I've been wearing this pair of Birksenstocks for over a month now and because as you wear them, the cork foot bed molds to your foot for comfort and support, they just get better and better. I also managed to hike (unplanned) to this remote beach in them while we were in Spain and I was so grateful I wasn't just wearing flip flops.
2. Sneakers: The athleisure trend isn't going anywhere fast which makes a cute pair of sneakers as functional as they are fashionable. I have this light blue pair from Asics (in grey) and they transition easily from a morning at the gym (or chasing kids around the park) to an afternoon of running errands. They come in a few different colors and are my most used shoe purchase so far this year.
3. Walkable Wedge: I love a beautiful pair of heels as much as the next girl, but my shoe taste is getting more and more practical as the years go on. Wedges are infinitely easier to walk in and are quite a bit more comfortable for your foot. I discovered the brand Kork-Ease a few months ago and ordered two different pairs from thredUP (at 70% off) in the past few weeks and have been amazed at how comfortable they are. One is a 4" wedge and this girl, who can't really walk in heels these days to save her life, wore them to church on Sunday - three hours of wrangling a toddler and no footwear issues! Basically you get all the perks of feeling awesome in a great pair of heels, while still being able to function.
4. Cut-Out Flats: Again, a win for something that can be slipped on without buckles or laces with the added benefit of being really cute. The perforations keep your foot a bit cooler in the summer and the color is fun while still going with everything. You could wear these running errands or for a date night out.
5. Everyday Comfort: Keds have been a summer staple (year round staple?) for me since I bought my first plaid pair in the seventh grade. They're cute, comfortable, and go with so much. I wore these all over Europe with everything from jeans to dresses and love the heather grey color. I also love that they're smaller and lighter than a full-on sneaker when packing for summer getaways.
P.S. The Nordstrom half-yearly sale starts tomorrow with up to 40% off!
The single biggest difference between my first pregnancy and this one is that I have another baby to take care of all day long. But, other than that (and realistically, because of it) has been exercise. With the exception of going out of town for a few weeks and a week or two of Lincoln being sick, I've missed less than 5 gym days (M-F) since I got pregnant in September. First trimester it was a lot of stretching, snacks in the locker room, and long, leisurely showers but but since its been weights + classes + cardio.
I've read and heard SO many contradictory things about working out while pregnant. There's the "don't lift more than 20 pounds or you'll harm your baby" (um, sorry, my child weights more than 20 pounds and he isn't going to carry himself for the next nine months) while at the same time there the "I didn't change weight lifting regimen until far into my third trimester." After talking to my doctor though, I just followed the "listen to your body" and in some ways feel more fit than I did this time last year.
By exercising throughout this pregnancy (aka: logging more fitness hours than I'm pretty sure I ever have in a given 8 month period in my life), I have a whole new appreciation for my body. First time around I was so scared any exertion was going to hurt little Lincoln or send my body into labor and yesterday I walked/jogged intervals for half an hour before a leg workout!
Ben keeps commenting that this pregnancy seems much easier on me, which is interesting because part of it feels SO MUCH HARDER. There's another tiny human to tend to, all the aches and pains started much earlier, and I've felt about 9 months pregnant since halfway through my second trimester. Part of what he sees may be the perspective that ANYTHING (for me) is easier than those first two months with Lincoln (sorry to all those moms who had to hear me complain about being pregnant the first time around - I had no idea how easy I had it, throwing up regularly and all), but I think another big part is the endorphins that come from my daily gym dates.
Another bonus? Its kept the negative body image thoughts at bay quite a bit longer than last time (and I like to pretend that at least part of the 37 pounds I've gained so far is muscle ;). Plus, I'm really eager to see how the changes I made this time around effect delivery and recovery.
And I have now run out of the peanut M&Ms I was snacking on while writing this post (its all about balance right?), so that's all for today. If you have any healthier snack suggestions, I'm all ears :)
P.S. Pictures from strolling around Mallorca, Spain in my most lived maternity workout gear at 33 weeks pregnant. The sweatshirt + leggings are both boobdesign and while I loved their shirts and dresses last time around, their fitness line blew me away when I ordered a few pieces back in my second trimester. I love that the tops are all maternity and nursing friendly so I'll get double use out of them (if all goes well) and the quality and comfort is top notch.