Here's what I've got, babe...

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    I've been a mom for over a year now, so I think it's safe to say that I've had my fair share of experiences and can confidently give advice, mom-to-mom. This is one piece of advice that I'm reluctant to share, though, because it's a secret, but also so simple that it's almost stupid. Like, why didn't I think of this before?! So, here it is — my super secret advice on how to get rid of mom guilt and jealousy... come closer... a little closer now... okay, don't say anything, but my secret is... Don't have kids. Groundbreaking, right? I'm sorry to say that is literally the only way to get rid of mom guilt and jealousy. The only way! You can hide it, you can pretend it's not there, but you will never ever get rid of it. It's almost like the day I had my twins they said, "It's a boy! And a girl! Hold on, come back — and here's your your big huge helping of GUILT. Not so fast lady — you get two. There you go! Now, keep in mind that, like your babies, this guilt will grow with age. So, godspeed. Congratulations, again!!" And jealousy - boy, I thought I knew jealousy, having dated my hubby through some skank-filled teen years {oops, did I type that out-loud?}, but my teenage self would welcome some skanky competition {seriously though, don't try me} over the jealousy I have when the twinlets favor someone over their Mama. I have guilt for working a second job to pay for the nanny I'm jealous of. If that's not irony, then I'll never understand that damn song, Alanis. I once tried to track all the times I felt guilt and jealousy throughout the day so I could pinpoint the main issues and somehow come to terms with them. It was impossible to keep up, and I just felt worse at the end of the day. #wineporfavor I picked up Bubba before Beanie, even though Beanie was up first... but I could tell Bubba had pooped, so what's a Mama to do? But now she's standing there, wailing at me, while he's perfectly content. Which kid should I have chosen? Guilt. They go ape shit with excitement when the nanny walks in. Yea, they didn't do that when I walked into their room this morning. Jealousy. I took 40 minutes to myself to workout... but I could have taken that time to spend with them before naptime. Guilt. Beanie was crying so I picked her up, but of course she reached for Dada instead. Jealousy. Twin meltdowns, ALL the whining, fighting over wubbas, dishes until my fingers are prunes, exhaustion beyond contemplation, and I am SO over this day. But, I wanted this so badly — I dragged our lives through mud and back again to get these twinlets. How could I possibly be over it? Guilt. But here's the thing, right, what I would rather? No kids, and therefore no guilt? Or, for my babes not to have any amazing things and people in their lives for me to feel guilt and jealousy over? C'mon now {really though, I have to remind myself of these things more often than I'd care to admit}. So, the reality I've come to terms with is that, along with Bubba & Beanie, Guilt & Jealousy are firm fixtures in our family now. I sadly have no secrets for how to rid your life of them. But I do have three things that I try to remind myself whenever I get caught in a spiral of guilt or jealously {or, the dreaded: both}. I once witnessed a mom holding her kids back from an awesome opportunity because she wasn't the one who was able to give it to them. I told myself from the get-go that I would never hold my kids back because of my own jealousy. So every time I get super jealous because our nanny gets to take the babes to library school every Thursday and not me — I remind myself of this. {Also, yes, I'm jealous of missing library school — motherhood does stupid shit to you.} I have the incredible luxury of working from home the majority of the week and get to see my babes wake-up, and go to bed. And even though I sometimes work nights and weekends for my second gig — I still get a fly-by kiss as they head to bed. There are moms who have to go in to the office every day, sometimes before their babes wake, and then don't get home after they've hit the sheets. And how about the service women who work 24-hour shifts and miss full on days and nights? Or, the women who spend years of their childrens' lives over seas? Pretty sure I should quit my bitchin'. At the end of the day, what would I rather have? A Natzi nanny who hates my children, and twinlets who hate their Dada and will literally only come to me? I would most certainly need even more wine than usual. When all else fails — I dip my guilt in wine. They compliment each other perfectly. To all the mamas who carry their load of guilt and jealousy on their sleeves — you're not alone, and I'm gonna bet you're doing one hell of a good job. Because if you have guilt and jealously, it's because you love that babe{s} so much it hurts. Love really is a battlefield. #warriormamas #TwinMom #Motherhood #MomLife #rainbowbabies


    I remember the day when I used to hate running. And, I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not like — "Oooh, running day, I am counting down the minutes!" — but I do count down to that runner's high afterwards. Still, I'm not all about spending hours on the treadmill #boresville, so I aim to get my runs in quick and get up off that tread. Once a week I do a "long" run of 4+ miles while binging a CW-esque teeny-bopper show, and my other run day I get in a quickie 3 miles as fast as humanly possible. Yea, it sucks to run at 10mph, but it's quick, and fleeting, and then — you're DONE. And that's my ultimate favorite part of a run — being done. For this one I push my max every other minute. I sprint, then jog, then push my sprint harder, then jog, then push my sprinter even harder... and keep repeating until I've pushed my max all the way to 10mph. So what if your sprint starts at 4mph and your max is 6mph! I was there once, too. Swear it. But keep sprinting (just keep sprinting, sprinting, sprinting) and your max will climb before your eyes. Don't be afraid to push your max — because as my favorite Tone It Up girls say, "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you." #challengeaccepted #fitmom #fitness #workout #hiit


    I worked out through my entire pregnancy — all the way up until the day before I gave birth. There were a few "rest" weeks thrown in there {doctor mandated}, but for the most part, I moved my booty {and that belly} almost every day. So when the doc came by to check on me a mere 12-hours after giving birth, I said, yea, yea, hemorrhoid cream, granny panties, ice pack - got it - but when can I work out again!? Don't get me wrong, I was perfectly fine laying around and getting in ALL the snuggles. I had newfound appreciation for my body, and all that jazz that new moms spin. But I knew that within a few weeks I'd start judging that pooch, feeling lethargic, and ultimately unlike myself. I would need that workout to feel like more than a mom with milk jugs. The doc said the norm, of course, it's a 6-week wait until your full workout routine. But she said, you know your body — if you want to take little walks and do light weights, go for it, just don't push it. {FYI: I did not have a c-section, so my situation may differ from yours!} Here were my go-to workouts for the first year postpartum, and how my body changed - and continues to change! {Weight recap: My pre-pregnancy weight was 138.9lbs. My weight the day before I gave birth was 171lbs. My weight today dances around 130lbs.} My workout for the first four days consisted of... c'mon guys, I'm not that crazy! I'm pretty sure my craziest activity in the first four days was taking a shower. Well, besides actually birthing the twins. Gosh, I would have loved to have seen what my FitBit said after that workout... My 21lb weight loss in the first four days was attributed to birthing a 4lb 10oz babyboy, a 6lb 4oz babygirl, two placentas, beginning to breastfeed, and sucking down water like my thirst was never quenched. By day six postpartum I started wearing the UpSpring Shrinx Postpartum Belly Wrap for a couple hours a day - whenever I could stand it. My three weight-loss weapons in the first — month, essentially — were the UpSpring belly wrap, my massive Bubba jug, and breastfeeding. Also, let's not forget that I was working out daily up until about a week before this, so my body hadn't forgotten how to take shape... or, at least, that's how I rationalized what was happening. Other than running up and down the stairs {not by choice, but because I'd constantly forget something #mombrain}, I wasn't back into any real workouts. I did, however, try my hand at a one minute plank, for shits and giggles. Yea, it was laughable. I was sore and shaky, and no where near pre-pregnancy form. I probably shouldn't have been trying my hand at a plank less than two weeks postpartum. But I pushed little-by-little for the next couple of weeks and I got stronger and less shaky each time. My stomach had a lot of retraining to do — not necessarily in looks, but in strength and stamina, because I hadn't worked my core in so long. About three weeks postpartum is when I really started to get back into "real" workouts. The twinlets were sleeping around 20-hours a day {praise}, and while I did get some cat naps in, I would also get... bored! So I weened back in with a mix of these workouts: 3.5-4mph walk on the treadmill with 3-5lb hand weights 1 minute planks once or twice a day to strengthen my core Prenatal Treadmill Incline Workout - modified anything above 4mph to stay at or under 4mph because I wasn't ready to go into any sort of "jog." Tone It Up {TIU} Bikini Arms with 8-10lb weights, 2-3x through for 15-20 reps {did forearm to high plank on knees!} Treadmill Shredmill Workout - did minutes 0-5, 16-23, 23-30 while holding 5lb weights. Modified speed on highest inclines to where I was comfortable. BeachBody Cize: In the Pocket Autumn Calabrese Postpartum Workout with 10lb weights By this point I was full-fledged back into regular workouts! I got the a-okay from my doc at 6-weeks postpartum and I promptly jumped into 21DayFix with Autumn Calabrese to get me back to a regular routine. {Bonus: the hubs did it with me! Find yourself a partner - it helps!} I needed something to follow that used little brain power, because my mom brain was lacking. I also needed something to help me get my eating and portions in check. I was no longer able to breastfeed, but I still still eating like I was! That, paired with the holidays made my portions and snacking all out of whack. Nothing gets you in check like a tiny yellow container that controls your carbs. After 21DayFix I dabbled in all things BeachBody. Do yourself a favor and buy BeachBody On Demand - you'll have access to every BeachBody program, including the newly released ones! I switched it up every day so I wouldn't get bored. I also got fully immersed in BeachBody groups through the new app. It really helped to keep me accountable, and everyone's check-ins push you to move your BUM. I'm not a gym kind of gal, but I am a workout-community kind of gal, and the app was perfect for that. My favorite programs to mix in were: Hammer & Chisel {I was loving to lift weights more and more} Core de Force {talk about sweating it out!} Yoga Studio {Vytas all day, every day} PiYo {old faithful} I still mixed in some TIU, and of course - my runs! I signed up for my first postpartum 5k right around the five month mark to push me to get back into running shape. It wasn't my best by any means, but I did it, and I had the best cheerleading team of my life on the sidelines! Let me be clear — I look like this on my best day, not every day. This was after I worked my bum off in order to take this one-year postpartum picture. I guarantee three days after this {and after gorging on chips & salsa and wine} that I went right back to my five months postpartum picture {or even two months postpartum...}. I don't strut around looking like this on the reg. I work HARD to look like this for occasions and then I ENJOY life. Rinse and repeat. I never let myself go too far so I don't have to start completely from scratch every time, but I do work harder in certain months and for certain occasions, and then rock a little more padding in downtime {aka, December}. Around this time I fell deeper and deeper in love with the TIU girls & program. I'm now a TIU Studio fiend. They mix a lot of weights into their routines, which I used to shy away from because I didn't want to be bulky or manly. Psssh, myths of yesteryears. I swear weights are what work best for me now. They shred while I sweat my bum off. I'm literally standing there, doing the lowest impact moves, and I'm dripping sweat. How can this be!? It can. It is. I'm not saying it's easy all the time {jump squats with 10lb weights — come at me}, but it's definitely a different way of shaping my body that I'm all about embracing. I'd like to think that I'm still on the postpartum fitmom-bod workout schedule — and probably always will be. Constantly fighting to tone my stomach that was stretched to oblivion to fit twins. Fighting to fit in a workout between feedings and naps and work and LIFE. Fighting the urge to take bites of the chicken nuggets and mac and cheese that should be making its way to the twinlets' plates, and not my mouth. What I'm sayin' is - it's an every day battle, but one that's worth it so I can be healthy and strong to run with my babes day-in and day-out. Not to mention the fact that it keeps me sane in this otherwise world of insanity that they call: Motherhood. #fitness #workout #fitmom #health #Motherhood #MomLife


    {Update October 2018 - I finally wore them down and became an official Beachwaver Brand Ambassador in October 2018!! Which means that I'll be bringing you my usual love for the Beachwaver, and all of their tools and products, and you get a hella good discount for following! Stay tuned to the bottom of this rundown for deets. XO!} I am not a spokesperson or sales{wo}man for the Beachwaver — but I might as well be! It is my absolute favorite iron of all time. It's quick, easy as pie {even the most uncoordinated can use it}, and it miraculously creates a curl that holds longer than any other iron I've ever used. Though my sister once said, "How lazy can you be — you're a hairstylist using an automatic iron...," rest assure, this is not your typical Conair hair-eating automatic iron of yesteryears. The Beachwaver was created by celebrity stylist Sarah Potempa, who was tired of explaining how to achieve the best beachwaves to... just about everyone. So, she went right ahead and made it possible for everyone to get said 'best beachwaves' in a cinch. {aka, stop bugging me} In case you need more proof, the Beachwaver is the iron for Victoria Secret model hair. If I had a dollar for every time someone requested VS hair... But, here's the conundrum — do you get the S1 (1 inch), or the S1.25 (1 1/4 inches), or the smallest size — the S.75 (3/4 inch)? In my world, you get them all. But in case you need to narrow to just one, I would say the S1 and S1.25 are the most used/requested, so here's the difference in their 'wave.' Tools >Beachwaver S1 >Beachwaver S1.25 The S1 will give you springy true-blue beachwaves, whereas the S1.25 will give you loose voluptuous Victoria Secret model curls. Top 3 tips: Don't get the 'pro' {albeit she's gorgeously pink} unless you are legitimately - a pro. DO follow Sarah on Instagram because her pink hair, celeb clients, and wanderer lifestyle will fill your feed with so many good vibes. #fangirl Keep an eye on Beachwaver on Instagram and Facebook because they offer insane sales like half-off their irons {yea, that's a thing}. But if you can't wait that long, use my ambassador code!! For 20% off anything and everything on, including on top of sales, use my ambassador code! Happy waving!! #beauty #hair #hairvideo #hairhowto #hairtutorial


    We made it to the third trimester! At one terrifying point the docs said to "prepare ourselves" for going into labor by the end of the second trimester. They also put me on "light rest" around week 24, but slowly but surely I was able to ween back into the fitness game. In all honesty, I grappled with the possibility of having to stop working out altogether at week 24. Every week I would ask the docs, "Sooo, things are looking good... does that mean I can workout again?" They would balk a little, the hubs would take that as a sign of a big fat "NO,", and I would walk out of there feeling like I lost a piece of myself. But, let's be real — the most important thing was not that I had toned arms, a taut tush, or even kept my sanity thanks to yoga — it was making sure those babes stayed put and baked for as long as possible. The docs did give me the green light, little by little, but I always always pulled back if I felt weird. I know it's hard to know "when," but just trust me when I tell you that you'll know. You know your body — and it will tell you when enough is enough. In the meantime, if it's on board, and you're doc-approved, give these third trimester workouts a whirl! {As always, I link to the workouts throughout, but once it's linked once I won't link it again - and again. Also, some of these workouts I own or subscribe to, but you can find a bunch of free ones on my Fit Bump pinterest board!} {This was a big week for us. I remember the doc saying he thinks we'll "make it" - and for the first time in eons, he actually told us we didn't have to come for two weeks. What will I do with my free time?!} Day 1: BeachBody Cize: Full Out {modified "kicks} Ya'll Shaun T and his dancin' shoes was my jam in third tri. It was super low impact and really easy to modify. Plus, it was as fun as a cardio workout could be at this point! Hilarious tip: try doing the full routine at the end in front of a mirror because nothing is funnier than a pregnant woman trying to get jiggy with it. Day 2: Autumn Calabrese Second Trimester Workout {I did the first, second, and third trimester workouts on rotation through the entire pregnancy. I loved them! But I certainly got bored. Autumn, give pregnant mamas a FULL workout program, would ya?!} Day 3: Diary of Fit Mom {DOFM} 8 Love Handles with 10lb weights; Tone it Up {TIU} Inner & Outer Thigh pin {modified last move to be plié squats instead of on my back} Day 4: Cize: Full Out {modified "kicks"} Day 5: Rest Day 6: Autumn Calabrese Third Trimester with 10lb weights Day 7: TIU Beach Babe 3 Arms with 8-10lb weights & Legs Workout pin with 10-15lb kettlebells Day 1: Cize: In The Pocket Day 2: Autumn Trimester 2, 10lbs Day 3: Leg Workout pin, 15 reps, 10-15lbs; DOFM 15 minute abs & core Day 4: Cize: In The Pocket Day 5: Rest Day 6: Autumn Trimester 3, 10lbs Day 7: 20-minute prenatal cardio workout pin {modified harder to add 5-10lb weights to boost some moves} Day 1: TIU Thigh pin; TIU Bikini Abs #1-7 & 9; 30 second elbow plank, rest, repeat x2 Day 2: Cize: Full Out Day 3: Autumn Tri 2, 10lbs Day 4: Haha, I wrote, "Something...but I forget! #mombrain" Day 5: Rest Day 6: Autumn Tri 1, 10lbs Day 7: Cize Dance Cardio with Chile {a little on the easier side} Day 1: TIU Bikini Arms - Circuit 1, 20 reps with 10lbs; Circuit 2, 15 reps with 10lbs Day 2: Autumn Tri 2, 10lbs Day 3: Cize Cardio - started it but wasn't feeling it, so I called it quits after I burned 100 calories. Shook it off later by going for a walk with 5lb weights for a mile. Day 4: Cize: In The Pocket Day 5: Rest Day 6: Autumn Tri 3, 10 lbs; Squat Challenge {through my BeachBody coach!} Day 7: BeachBody OnDemand Yoga Retreat Day 1: Core {modifications: skipped locust and modified some moves at the end, but otherwise a great low impact yoga}; Squats Challenge Day 2 Day 1: TIU Beach Babe 3 Arms, 10lbs; Squat Challenge Day 3 Day 2: Cize: Full Out; Squat Challenge Day 4 {I had a doc appointment this day and would always get in a really good workout beforehand, just in case they tell me that I'm back on rest and it was my last one!} Day 3: Autumn Tri 2, 10lbs; Squat Challenge Day 5 Day 4: BeachBody Yoga Retreat Stretch {modified to compensate for belly but needed, but felt SO good!}; Squat Challenge Day 6 Day 5: Nada Day 6: Autumn Tri 3, 10lbs; Squat Challenge Day 7 Day 7: DOFM Third Trimester workout, 12 reps, x3; DOFM Love Handles workout Day 1: Pregnancy Pure Cardio pin; Hot Mommy Cardio pin {great low impact cardio workouts - felt great to sweat!!}; Squat Challenge Day 1 {doing it again, because why not?! Squats help to strengthen your legs for push time.} Day 2: Autumn Tri 2, 10lbs; Squat Challenge Day 2 Day 3: Yoga Retreat Day 4 - Flow {modified cobra and locust}; Squat Challenge Day 3 Day 4: Cize: Go For It Day 5: Rest Day 6: Walk outside with 5lb weights for 1.8 miles; Squat Challenge Day 4 {and then apparently I said F-that - I've done enough squats.} Day 7: Autumn Tri 1, 8-10 lbs {modified boat pose with elbow plank} Day 1: Cize: Livin' in the 8s {53 minutes!! I must have had a lot of energy that day...} Day 2: DOFM Bun in the oven pin, 10lbs {modified to 30 second side plank intervals} Day 3: Yoga Retreat Day 5 - Flow on the go {I am finding it hard to hold my body weight up in some positions, and modified where my belly wouldn't fit, but otherwise good!}; TIU Arm Routine pin, 10lbs, x3 Day 4: 1.8 walk outside with 5lbs Day 5: Rest Day 6: DOFM Labor Preparing workout, 10lbs; 30 second elbow planks, x3 {trying to strengthen my core for delivery, and planks are the only way to do that with this belly size!} Day 7: Hot Mommy Cardio pin AND Autumn Tri 3, 10 lbs {burst of energy week!?} {This was a huge milestone week for us. It was my ultimate goal to make it to 35 weeks. I could not believe we had made it. From here on out, anything else was a major bonus.} Day 1: BeachBody Country Heat: Country Swing {a little too easy for this mama. I added 5lb weights to kick it up a notch at some points} Day 2: TIU Beach Babe 3 Arms, 8-10lbs; DOFM 15 minute abs & core pin Day 3: TIU Body Bliss, 8-10lbs {felt great to be back to "normal" workouts, but had to modify a lot, especially at the end with abs. Did floor work on all fours or on elbows.} Day 4: 1.6 mile walk with 5lb weights {tried to do a little jog every now and then but I had way too much pelvic pain, so I pulled back. I had quite a bit of pain later that night, so I knew I had overdone it and needed to rest!} Day 5: Rest Day 6: Autumn Tri 2, 10lbs Day 7: Nada {crampy! aka Braxton Hicks} {Clearly I had stopped worrying about them coming early because I had jumped back into "regular" workouts like I wasn't carrying a massive bump...} Day 1: TIU Tone, Burn & Flow, 8lbs {TOUGH. No surprise since I hadn't done this in forever, and it's a legit workout, even when you're not preggers! Had to modify quite a bit, but did everything that me and my belly could safely do. Instead of abs at the end I did more legs.} Day 2: BeachBody Turbo Fire 30 {felt so good to be back to this! Modified on the fire drills because I didn't want my heart rate to jump too high.} Day 3: TIU Inner & Outer thigh pin; TIU Bikini Arms, 10lbs, 10-20 reps per move; {modifications: only did 30 second planks and skipped supermans} Day 4: BeachBody Turbo Fire Stretch 40 {modified and took my time transitioning to different positions, but otherwise still a great workout, especially for my sciatica! Skipped the last couple minutes of floor/core work.} Day 5: 1.8 mile walk with 5lb weights Day 6: Rest Day 7: BeachBody Turbo Fire 40 {low on energy today so I started to fade near the end. Backed off where needed and cut it short - with 9 minutes left.} Day 1: TIU Bikini Arms, 10lbs, 20 reps, x2 {modifications: did planks and push-ups off the wall because my belly wouldn't fit under me! Changed last move to be lateral raises.} Day 2: I had every intention of doing a Cize workout after my doc appt...but instead, they sent me over to the hospital and the babes came on "Day 3"!! And thus begun the postpartum fitmom transformation. You bet your ass I documented that... coming to a blog near you, soon. #Motherhood #TwinMom #workout #fitness #pregnancy


    My husband hates — loathes — the mom bun. He says he'll take any style — anything at all — just not the dreaded mom bun. What is the deal with you men and the mom bun?! I've heard several other men complain about this innocent little bun, more than once. But here's the thing, the mom bun represents so much more that you're not noticing. Dear Men, In case you didn't know, we rock the mom bun because... ...Tiny hands yank on our long hair and give us hella headaches. They also pull out chunks — actual chunks. And all of this is after they've rocked our hormones and given us natural hair loss, leaving us with baby hairs that mimic pathetic bangs. ...We had 4.7 seconds to get ourselves ready before tending to tiny people and this bun was just about all we could muster. ...If our hair was down right now, it would have no less than two puffs, a school of golden fishes, banana slime, and potentially some boogers hiding up in there. Big buns = plenty of places to hide things. ...We're about to, or have just finished working out — which, by the way, keeps us sane {and you safe}. ...You insist upon us keeping our long hair, but ain't nobody got time for that. So, you want the hair to stay long, you will make nice with the bun. ...We're running around cooking & cleaning & chasing & cuddling & giving baths & about 40 million other things {all at once, might I add}, so anything more than a bun would be a waste of good energy, time, and product. #MultitaskingMom ...As girls, we've been rocking the ballerina bun for as long as we've had hair — why stop now? ...In case you weren't aware — topknots are like, totally in right now. So, we're really quite trendy. Mom uniform: Workout clothes, cute sunnies, bun. And, one last thing — for those of you men who still have hair — did you style it this morning? Because I'm betting you didn't. I'm betting you haven't even touched that tub of product that's been sitting in your bathroom junk drawer for 8 months. And if you can't bother to style all two inches of hair on your head, why do you expect us go beyond the bun? #justsayin All I'm asking is, before you complain about the bun, think about what it represents. Or, at the very least, appreciate the fact that we are keeping our hair long for the 5 days a month we actually do get to do it {if we're lucky}, and just look forward to those days... while keeping mum on bun-days. Sincerely, Women Who #RockTheMomBun #Realtalk #MomLife #TwinMom #Motherhood #Hair


    There's a reason why blowdry bars are so dang popular — because you walk in with god-knows-what kind of limp locks, and walk out with bouncy Victoria's Secret model hair. But, ain't nobody always got time for that. Or money. I rarely blowout my hair at home — maybe once a year, maybe. But that doesn't mean I don't rock the "blowout" look. I just... fake it. Products >Kenra Root Lifter >Kenra Mousse 17 >Kenra Blowdry Spray >Kenra Silkening Mist >Kenra Hairspray 25 >Kenra Silkening Gloss {You can go ahead and guess my favorite product line...} Tools >Blowdryer >Wet Brush >Clip >1 1/2 or 2 inch curling iron {I used Hot Tools} Steps Apply to damp hair: Kenra Root Lifter, Kenra Mousse 17, and Kenra Blowdry Spray. Rough dry hair until completely dry. Tip: flip your head upside down to dry for a bit so you get some instant extra oomph at the root. Note: I usually let my hair air-dry for a good bit before blasting it with the dryer to prevent it from being exposed to too much heat. Brush it out so you can easy move the iron through it. Then you'll want to go layer by layer, so leave a section down at the bottom and clip the rest up. Treat each layer with a light spray of Kenra Silkening Mist and Kenra Hairspray 25. Tip: I like to spray the hairspray right at the root underneath the section before curling so that the iron sets the root with some oomph and hold. Take a large 2-3 inch section and loosely curl the section while keeping the iron completely horizontal. Hold for just a few sections and then let out. Without overly touching the curl {touching hot curls will make them fall!}, nurse it so it lightly cups under. Continue throughout your entire head, going layer by layer, section by section. Once your last section has cooled to the touch, drop a small dollop of Kenra Silkening Gloss {the size of a dime} into your hands, rub together, and then pull through your hair. Finish with some Kenra Hairspray for hold. It may take you a little longer the first time around, but once you see how big of sections you can take, and how little time you need to hold the iron on each section, you will have this down in 10 minutes flat. Or less! #hair #hairhowto #hairtutorial #hairvideo #beauty #blowout #hairstyle #video #SilverLiningsSalon


    Fresh-faced {day five}, and post-workout, so — be kind. The New Year kicked off and everyone was all, "Let's detox!" And I was all, "No way, I was pretty good over the holidays!" But then the flu was all, "HA — yes way. Here's your mandatory flu detox — you'll want to take one dose a day for five days." Uh, thanks? So, instead of sipping shamps at midnight on NYE, I was sipping Theraflu. And instead of starting the New Year with a killer workout routine {a la my beloved Tone It Up girls}, I was routinely laying in bed, on the couch, back in bed, and sometimes even on the floor {ya know, twin-mom life}. After a few days of being sedentary I was starting to crave a workout, but that was only in my mind — my body was still telling me that there was no way it was going past a sluggish mph, lifting anything heavier than a tissue box, or twisting into any position other than that of the fetal position. I can probably count on my hand the number of times I've gone longer than three days without a workout, and they almost always come down to a killer sickness or surgery. I am one of those "sweat it out," sick-chicks, so when it's a measly cold I work through it — literally. But this was no measly cold, and there was no plowing through it, other than with time {and fluids, and rest, and yadi, yadi, yadi — whatever Mom and the doctor say}. When I was finally up to working out and my body was on board with my mind, I knew that I couldn't jump back in to where I was pre-sickness. While I may have *luckily* lost a few lbs from the flu thanks to the fact that your body burns calories from its gnarly fight {silver lining?}, I also lost a lot of strength and energy. Crackers and ginger ale will only get you so far on the treadmill. So, here are a few of my go-to workouts to get me back into the workout game, without sending me back into a state of sickness solitude: When in doubt, jog it out. I almost always start with a jog or brisk walk as my first post-sickness workout. Now, I'm not talking about breaking any PRs here — I'm just talking about breaking a few little sweat beads. I'm even saying to start at a fast walk and see what your body and lungs are capable of. I opt for a 2 mile jog or walk. Sometimes when I'm in walk mode I pump up the incline to make me work a little harder and get my heart pumping. Here's one of my favorite 20-minute walking workouts with inclines {modify as needed}! Nama-slay that flu! Seeing as how I've been laid up in bed for days, I am beyond stiff and sore. The only thing that's going to loosen me up is a stretchy yoga-sesh. I don't do anything too long or too strenuous. Something around 20-25 minutes with an easy flow, or even just a deep stretch. Here's a fav from those TIU girls I was dying to workout with when the New Year kicked off. Speaking of stretching. Here's a killer deep stretch from T-25 for when you're ready to dig deep and open up those tight muscles. Maybe on day three of your post-sickness workouts. Ayo, PiYo. We all know I'm a fan, because I've written about this time and time before. It's the perfect low-impact workout that will get you sweating and your heart pumping, without feeling like you've gone overboard {i.e. want to puke}. The aptly named PiYo Sweat is my favorite for the second or third day back into a workout post-sickness. Can you believe I'm saying...core?! I know it seems a little odd - focusing on your stomach when you've been hunched over and barely fueling the thing for a week. But, that's exactly why. My back always kills after a sickness because I've been laying around and weakly hunched over like a pathetic little Eeyore. Working my core with some very light exercises helps me perk back up and sit like I got some sense. Try this basic plank routine and make sure to suck in your stomach to support your core. {Hi, yea, on your knees is fine. Rome wasn't build in a day, and neither are your post-sickness abs.} All that said, my major disclaimer is — don't listen to a word I'm saying. Do what works for YOU and your body, when you're ready. If I would have jumped back in one day sooner, I'd be toast — again. I listened to my body and weened in when I was ready. For your more deep-seeded questions like, when you should or shouldn't sweat it out while sick, it's probably best to listen to the experts. {Day gig plug.} #workout #fitness #fitmom #health

  • New Year, New Everything: Making It Official

    It’s been exactly three years since I birthed my blog — which I remember being so proud of (and still am). But it was time for an upgrade — something new, something legit, something so-very-me. And, while I was at it, why not completely rebrand, launch a new website, makeover the blog, and rename my studio salon — all while wife’ing, mom’ing, and semi-slaying that day gig. Go big or go home, right? {Note: definitely go big on the wine pour during this process.} Every time I go to look up a new company and find out that they don’t have a website I instantly scoff. “Pssh, honey, you ain’t nobody if you don’t exist online.” Um, pot, meet kettle — it was high time I looked myself in the mirror. I sheepishly sent along my Facebook page when a new client or budding bride asked for a website or gallery. “Oh, um, I keep all of my pictures on my Facebook page…” LAME game. {Not to play the blame game, though, for those of you who are still rocking the ‘Book only. Been there! As in, last week.} It was about {damn} time I made things official. I am beyond excited to announce the launch of — a lifestyle brand about life, fitness, beauty, babies, and everything in between. I’m legit, ya’ll! While I was busy trying to wrap my head around doing a personal brand, hair brand, or all of the above, I went with “C” - all of the above. It’s an all-inclusive brand that represents me {the Nikki behind nikkicagle, in case that wasn’t obvioso}, and everything I’m passionate about. Read it and weep. Take a look around, browse, peruse, sip, smile — come back often. Ya know, love me like a bestie. If I was beyond excited to announce the official launch of my legit website then that makes me… infinitely excited to make my next big announcement? Just pick the biggest dang excitement word you can think of. Some 10 odd years ago I branched out on my own to do hair out of my kitchen, and on the road {holy cow, has it been 10 years?! Time flies.} While Creations a la Nikki was totes adorbs at the time, it felt like the time had come to re-brand with a name that fully encompasses who I have become over the years — and hopefully, one day, take me down a path to my very own real-deal salon {i.e. not in my living room, and preferably with a shampoo bowl, or two}. Introducing Silver Linings Salon & Style Bar. Same stylist, same studio salon — but a new grown-up name, and bigger aspirations. For the rumor-mill, no, I’m not going full-time just yet — I am digging the day gig too much for that {and I thoroughly enjoy faithfully paying my mortgage each month…}. But this name makes me dream and push towards my goal of actually going full-time one day. Stay tuned… {for like, ya know, the 5-10 year plan.} So, there you have it! ALL the announcements. And, with that said — I am now accepting newbie clients {past, present & future}, brides, collaborations {of the hair, beauty, fashion, fitness & baby kind!}, nudges for post ideas, and any silver linings you want to throw my way. THANK YA’LL for sticking with me and giving my blogs a quick read, my posts a double tap, my scissors some work, and my heart some serious love. P.S. Huge. MAJOR. Massive shoutout to Tracy Love for brightening my email inbox every damn day by turning my mile-long emails into gorgeous mock-ups that became this beautiful website, brand and logo. If she didn’t bake her own stunning creative confections through her own business, Whipped Cakes, I would totally bake her ass a cake. Thank you for the most beautiful site I ever did see. {For all of your Pinterest-and-drool-worthy wedding inspiration, check out Tracy on Instagram!} #SilverLiningsSalon #life #hair


    Even though we're now years past our first pinto bean that never was, this month is never lost on me—the month my Timehop goes from blissful secretive pictures, to complete silence. I didn't know how to think or feel, let alone put together thoughts for a social post. All I knew how to do was Google and read and listen—read stories of how others dealt with miscarriage, and listen to songs that would make me ugly cry - Kim K. style. There's a handful of blog ideas that I would keep notes on and promise myself that I would write one day, because I knew there would be a girl who would be late night Googling/sobbing, and she would need to happen upon a blog where someone just "gets" her. But the further and further I got away from that time in my life, the less brave I got to revisit it. Because even though I have the two most perfect babies on earth, I can still feel exactly how I felt when I would be hiding out in the guest room, tissues piled all around me, reading lyrics on YouTube and harboring the biggest pit in my stomach. Someone recently reminded me of how horribly lonely this grieving process is, and for that, I mustered up the courage—or whatever you want to call it—to share my go-to sob-list of music. There's the songs you want to morbidly play until tears fall out of your pores; there's the songs you skip altogether because you're afraid of how badly they'll hurt; and there's the songs that you listen to that remind you why you wanted to be a mom in the first place. *I'm going to include every video with lyrics, because that's how I would watch them—anticipating and pouring over the lyrics while tears streamed from my face. And yea, I cried through every single one of these songs when replaying them for this blog, because that pit in your stomach where a baby once was will always be there. And I kind of don't mind that - because why would I ever want to forget them? 1. Stone Cold - Demi Lovato "Stone cold, stone cold. You see me standing, but I'm dying on the floor... God knows I try to feel happy for you - know that I am, even if I can't understand." Who the heck knows what this song is supposed to be about, but all I know is that it's a song about pretending—pretending to be okay when you're really dying on the floor. One of my oldest friends announced her pregnancy after our miscarriage, and even though I was happy for her...I hated her. If we're being honest. I had never been more jealous of anything in my life—to the point of hatred. 2. Smile - Michael Jackson "Smile, though your heart is aching. Smile, even though it's breaking." Something about the violins that kick this off that make my nose tickle. And then MJ's sweet voice starts {am I the only one who was in love with MJ growing up?}, and I'm a puddle. 3. Fly - Maddie & Tae "So, keep on climbing though the ground make shake. Just keep on reaching though the limb might break. We've come this far, don't you be scared now. Cause you can learn to fly - on the way down." Gosh, I remember this song vividly. Ironically, I would listen to it when I was pregnant with pinto bean—feeling so proud of myself that I got through the infertility - that I kept climbing and here I was flying high. I listened to this song on a run at the beach, and then we went home and had the appointment where we learned we lost the heartbeat. For a while, I hated this song {let's be real, I hate all of these songs, to an extent}, but then I channeled that feeling that I had at the beach - the one that made me feel like I had finally done it - and I did whatever I could to get that feeling back. 4. Conqueror - Empire "We all make mistakes, you might fall on your face - but you gotta get up. We all make mistakes, you might fall on your face - don't ever give up!" Yea, so, Empire was newly big at the time, and this song gave me strength. Strength to get through infertility, and strength to get through the aftermath of the miscarriage. You may listen to fast-paced jams on the treadmill - I listened to Conqueror {and bawled - but that's neither here nor there}. 5. She Used to be Mine - Sara Bareilles "...And you're not what I asked for - if I'm honest I know I would give it all back for a chance to start over and rewrite an ending or two." ::Deep breath:: This is a hard one. I'm not saying I was obsessed with the woman who I was before infertility and miscarriage, but once I had been through it I would have given anything to get back to that girl. To start over. I replayed every move in my head over and over and wondered if I had done something to cause this. I wanted to take it all back and start over. To be the 'me' before this. {I later realized that the 'me' in the interim made me a better 'me' today. The battle in me then created so much peace in me now.} 6. Empty Handed - Lea Michele "If I came to you, empty handed - a barren ocean, with nothing at all... If I finally let you in, would you show me what love is? If I had nothing to give." Just kidding, this is the real tough one. You want to see an ugly cry - you should have seen me on the way home from work listening to this song - sporting the largest sunglasses I could find, and feeling so much guilt that I should have exploded. I knew that my husband wanted a baby so badly, and I felt like such a failure because I couldn't give him one. I would think to myself - I am a woman, and there's no other reason for me to be on this earth than to procreate, and if I can't do that - what am I doing here? I don't deserve to be here - I don't deserve him. My gosh I took the dramatics to the extreme. But when you're in it, the dramatics are the only thing that make sense. So don't ever feel like they're overboard - because if someone thinks they are, they've never been through this. 7. Silver Lining - Kacey Musgraves "If you're ever going to find a silver lining - it's got to be a cloudy day." Who am I if I stopped looking for silver linings? I didn't believe that there would be one - ever again. And then there was - and it was doubled. But you don't know that - don't believe that - until you get it. So me trying to tell you to search for one is pointless - and I respect that. 8. Broken - Lifehouse "I'm falling apart - I'm barely breathing, with a broken heart, that's still beating... In your name, I find meaning - so I'm holding on." I just came across this song, thanks to an amazing friend, and it punched me right in that pit. And then inspired me to finally get off my cloud nine and write this blog, for everyone who is barely breathing. *The next two songs aren't about miscarriage or infertility - they're about the other person in this scenario. The person who may not have had the miscarriage physically, or does the daily shots to the gut—but the person who holds you up when you're completely broken. I wrote this note to myself two years ago when I added these next songs to my list: "Remember that there is no journey or baby without you two - so take time off from baby brain and give in to each other. Now more than ever, you need each other. Sometimes you feel like you're not worthy because you can't give him a baby - let this song serve as his voice to remind you that he wants you no matter what." 9. Give Into Me - Country Strong {Leighton Meester & Garrett Hedlund} "I'm gonna wear you down. I'm gonna make you see. I'm gonna get to you - you're gonna give into me." Sometimes I would fight off my husband's love and comfort because I didn't love myself. But he would push, and I would give in. I'm so thankful for that pusher <3 10. Late to the Party - Kacey Musgraves "And who needs a crowd when you're happy at a party for two? The world can wait - 'cause I'm never late to the party if I'm late to the party with you." Note to myself back then: "A song for you two - remember how amazing you are as a couple, just you two." When we were #justustwo <3 Couldn't find a legit version with lyrics, so listen to the audio below while reading the lyrics here. I'm sorry for making you ugly cry—but also, you're welcome? #neededit #infertility #miscarriage


    When something says "try for free for five days," odds are, I'm going to say "why the heck not?" Especially when I've been lusting over Warby Parker glasses for so dang long. You know how when things are "free," they somehow don't end up actually being free? Well, much to my surprise, that was actually not the case here {for once}. The process couldn't have been easier - or free'er {is that a word? It is now.}. You can take this quick little quiz and they'll present you with some options to choose from, or, you can sift through the tons and tons of styles they have to offerand pick your own. {Hint: turn on the "Available for Home Try-On" button in the upper left-hand corner to avoid the "dangit!" moment of wanting ones that aren't available. #beentheredonethat} You pick your fabulous five, they arrive in a neat little package at the door within days, you get five days to try them on {a pair a day—as it were}, and then you drop them in your mailbox {or at the local post office} with the return slip that was included in your package - and that's it. No charges, no tricks, no requirements to buy. Unless, of course, you fall truly, madly, deeply in love with a pair {or two} and you're forced to buy—forced, I tell ya! But, at least it's at your own will. Now, the real challenge—narrowing my picks! {Laurel 17 - Rose Quartz} {Laurel 17 - Espresso Tortoise} {Percey - Crystal} {Vaughan - Eastern Bluebird Fade} {Chamberlain - Whiskey Tortoise} {And the winner is...} Laurel 17 in Espresso Tortoise! Even though I also adore Laurel in Rose Quartz... Oh, now I see - thisis how they get you. You're such a tease, Warby Parker. Psst...More of my latest obsessions: #style #beauty #warbyparker #accessories #fashion #glasses


    You know how sometimes I tell you that "this style is so easy, and you can totally do it yourself," and you're all, "oookay, lady"? Well, this time, I ain't lyin'. If you can't follow this simple tutorial, then I can't help you. Grab a scarf—any scarf—and try it out. I promise it takes a mere minute, it's not frustrating, and it doesn't include a single iron. That's something to dance about, no? All you need is a long-ish scarf, whatever pattern and fabric tickles your fancy, and a hair tie if you're wearing your head wrap with an updo of sorts {calm down—updo does not always equate to complicated and fancy. A top knot is an updo, people.}. See, less than one minute. Okay, fine, this is sped up, but, in reality it really did only take about two minutes to tie, so, ha. Me sportin' my quick and easy head wrap, and my mean mugger. Guys, c'mon, even my daughter knows how to do it. {Just kidding, Mama may have helped.} Now go on and make Aunt Jemima proud. Psst...another hair tutorial for the not-so-savvy: #fashion #style #hair #beauty #hairhowto #hairtutorial #headwrap