Lately…

Well hello there!

It’s been over a month since I last posted, but it feels like I just blinked and here I am?

Life as a family of three (four if you count Charlie and five if you count Cosmocat, which Matt wouldn’t count) has been going well!  Lots of changes (but still lots of the same, like I mentioned the last time I checked in).  Things just generally have a really hectic feel to them right now!

I think most of that is because we are getting used to our new routine as I have gone back to work after my three month maternity leave.  I sure do miss that time at home with my little Nolie, but the transition back to work has gone really well.  Just… hectic.

Things just feel constantly busy.  Between an hour long commute both ways each day (with a little babe that is not a fan of traffic at all!- neither is his mom!), day care drop offs, getting to work, the constant pump pump pumping throughout the day, visiting the little guy at lunch, the drive home, the bedtime routine, the washing of ALL THE BOTTLES, and the pump parts, and then making dinner for ourselves… by the time 8pm rolls around we’re absolutely spent!

We’ve fine tuned this routine a bit… making lists of what needs to be done each morning (remembering the bottles and the extra clothes for daycare and the pump parts), etc. etc.  The lists help us kind of keep track of all of this chaos.  But there’s still just this overwhelming feeling of constant hectic-ness that we feel kind of all the time.  Maybe that will get better over time, as we continue to get used to our routine?  The commute takes a lot out of all of us- that’s a rough one.  Nolan doesn’t love it, we don’t love it, and it makes a long, busy day even longer.  It also makes it so that we get home, left with not much time to hangout and play with our little human!

But honestly, it IS going really well!  I swear.  (Blogs are for venting and straight up honesty, right?)  We ARE getting a routine down, albeit a busy one, and that’s okay.  Nolan is doing really really well at daycare, and we’re really happy with the place we chose.  Getting back to work has been really good- my boss and co-workers are so supportive, and having some adult interaction has been a good thing.  I miss my little man tons, but I’m fortunate that the daycare we chose (and chose in big part for this reason) is right down the street from work, and I can visit him and nurse him each day.  On Mondays he is with his Nana and Grampy, and on Fridays I’m off with him.  I love Fridays!

And he’s doing awesome!  4 months now and he’s just the happiest baby ever!  Smiling almost all the time, starting to giggle which is just the best thing ever!, allllmost ready to roll over, loving his toes and any and everything in his mouth, and generally making us feel so very blessed every day.

Life is plugging along… time sure does fly.  Here’s a few pictures of our little guy from recently…

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Thank you so much for those of you who follow along on here, and on Facebook and Instagram where I post more pics of my little guy.  Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and suggestions on all things baby- from how to make long drives with crying Nolan more bearable, when you started solids, your take on when to start sleep training, and so much more.  I appreciate all of you!

On the new norm…

Blogging on a Saturday night.  Welcome to parenthood!?

I figure if I keep waiting to write here “when I have time,” it probably won’t happen.  Evenings tend to be the only time where time is really my own anymore.  While I’m totally fine with that, most often once 8 o’clock rolls around, I’m pretty beat, and you can find me reclined on the couch dozing off watching The Bachelorette, or heading to bed early to get some shut-eye before Nolan’s first wake up of the night.  What I’m saying is, I tend not to spend time on my laptop much anymore, unless I make a point to, like tonight!

Life as we once knew it has naturally changed in a lot of ways since Nolan arrived, but in many respects, things are the same, but with a hectic, whirlwind of a twist to them.  For instance, we still go out to eat, but we have a mini human with us now, and our meals are timed around when Nolan goes to bed, or if we’re going out, dining has brought about mastering the new skill of juggling a fork in one hand, and a bouncy baby in the other.  Nolan loves to nap sweetly or chill in his car seat until exactly when our meals arrive, and then he’s all “hold me!” “love me!” “hear me cry!”

I’ve gradually gotten back into an exercise routine over the last several weeks, which is something that’s always been important to me.  Shorter, HIIT type workouts are working well for both Nolan and I.  Until recently, since he’s started his naps in the crib, this is how we’d spend a lot of my workouts…

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Other things that have remained the same, yet different, are family walks with Charlie, except now we have our mini human, who we either take along in the BOB stroller, or one of us will wear him during our stroll.

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Speaking of Charlie, she’s been SO good with Nolan.  Very protective of him, and of me, and really good with him in general.  She’s still a pup, so she gets excited and goes in for a full face lick a lot of the time, but she’s doing well!

What else?  We still enjoy our mealtime together, but one thing we do miss is cooking together. We haven’t quite mastered that yet.  Usually Matt will cook dinner while I’m nursing Nolan before bed, or I’ll prepare something while he’s out for a walk with Charlie.  Also, we eat a lot later than we used to- more an adjustment for me than for Matt, as I’m always all about my next meal, and eating late sometimes throws me off.  It’s the new norm though; I’m getting used to it!

We’ve always both been morning people, and that sure does have a new meaning now, as our little dude also loves the mornings, rising around 6AM and raring to go for the day!  That’s okay by us, as in less than a week (sniff), I go back to work, and he’ll need to be up early for us to both get out, and for me to get him to daycare on time, and myself to work!  More on my thoughts on transitioning back to work in another post…

While I’ve never been a big night owl to begin with, that’s definitely been consistent.  Once we put the little man down for sleep, we eat and clean up from dinner, I’m lucky if I can stay awake for a full Bachelor episode!  Plus, knowing you’ll be up in a few short hours after going to sleep puts a new spin on bedtime.

All in all, our lives have obviously been totally shaken up (in the best way possible), but we’ve managed to keep some semblance of what our life pre-baby used to look like, and I think that makes things seem a little more manageable when they can have the tendency to feel stressful and overwhelming at times. We’ve always known it would be important to us to try to incorporate our new addition into our lives and our routine, instead of uprooting what we’re used to completely, like not leaving the house, not going out to eat, declining invites from friends, not having company, etc.  Of course our routine is now a bit different, and putting Nolan first and making sure he’s our number one priority and fitting a new routine around him is what we do, it has taken some getting used to, but it really feels like our new norm now– our old routine and lifestyle, with some new alterations!

We’re still getting used to this new parenting thing, and some days are damn hard, while others make us feel like we’ve got things down pretty good.  It’s a process and we’ll certainly be learning every day.  For now, we’re getting used to our new version of status quo, and we’re pretty smitten with it!

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We had a baby, it’s a boy!

Allow me to introduce our little man, Nolan Matthew!

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No, I haven’t been pregnant for twelve months, though it may seem that way as I up and left this space without so much as an update since 33 weeks of pregnancy!  If having a baby isn’t the best excuse to let things take a back seat here, I’m not sure what is!

Gosh, of course there is just so much to update about my life as a new mom, so many things I want to tell you about this little human who has just completely and utterly rocked our world and who has made my heart fuller than I ever imagined.

I’ll start with the basics, and maybe over the next few weeks (maybe?) I’ll be able to catch up and back track a bit… (or not!).  Maybe I’ll just end up picking right up where we are right now, and go from there.

In doing that, I will share with you one of my favorite pictures of Nolan…

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Smiling!  And this was after his two month shots!

Nolan Matthew was born on May 11, 2016 at 7:32 PM.  He weighed in at 7lb 9oz, and was 20.5 inches long.  Just a couple weeks ago at his 2 month checkup, he weighed 12lb 13.3oz, and was 24.5 inches long!  Little man is growing up a storm, and time is flying by so fast!

I’m not sure I can truly put in to words how full my heart feels since Nolan joined our lives and made us a family of three.  Each day you feel so much love for this little person, yet each day you find you love him more than the last!  My heart literally feels like it could explode with love! We are just so very blessed and so overwhelmed with joy.

Here’s a few more pictures, and then I think I’m going to call it a day, but I promise from here forward to come back with new posts and updates.  I have things I’d love to write about!, like how my life has changed since becoming a mom, the balancing act of new parenthood, how having a baby has changed our relationship as a couple, how my body has changed!, thoughts on going back to work in less than three weeks (sniff!), and so much more.  I hope you’ll read along and share in this new journey with us!  To my old blog friends who I used to keep up with regularly- you are not forgotten and I hope you are all well!  Now that a bit of a routine is starting to take shape around here, I hope to be able to get back to blogging a bit more, as it’s always been something I’ve enjoyed, no matter how much time I take off, coming back always feels good.

Cheers!

ONE MONTH!

ONE MONTH!

Smiles!

Smiles!

Chillin' in the sun...

Chillin’ in the sun…

My heart.

My heart.

TWO MONTHS!

TWO MONTHS!

Party of three.

Party of three.

2016 Non Resolutions

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Happy 2016!

So I’m a little late to the punch on the New Year wishes around here, but better late than not at all, right?

For the past eight years now, instead of joining so many of the masses and making grand statements and lists of Resolutions, I’ve marched to my own drum and made up a list of Non Resolutions.  Okay, so you might say, “but isn’t that still a different kind of pressure, one that you were trying to avoid by making a list of things you claimed to do in the new year, by making a list of things you will try not to do?”  And yeah, it is kinda/sorta the same thing, but to me, the different spin on it seems to make a little more sense.  If I don’t win on one of my Non Resolutions, then for whatever reason, to me, it doesn’t seem like as much as a big fat fail as if I don’t accomplish a big ole’ regular Resolution.

You with me?

So, here I go again.  But before I make my little list of things I resolve not to do this year, I have to say that 2015 has been good to me, and to my loved ones.  I celebrated weddings and engagements with dear friends, welcomed new babies into the world with other friends, ran a handful of races, worked to make our new house feel more like a home over the past year we have lived here, drank some really good beers on sunny patios and decks throughout the warm months, traveled a little bit here and there, nurtured friendships and my relationship, delved deeper into a meditation practice, and most recently, 2015 was the year we made little baby M&M and shared the news that he or she will be making their debut May of this year.

It’s been a good year overall, with many highs and a few lows (to keep the balance in check over here seeing as how that is the theme of this blog and all).  I feel blessed and grateful for what has passed, and excited for what’s to come.

Without further blabbing on and on, here are my 2016 Non Resolutions (some have made the list eight years going strong)…

In 2016 I resolve not to:

  • Get sucked into worry.  Every year this one has made the list.  I know, deep down the vicious cycle of worry I can get myself wrapped up in if I let myself, and I know even more, so much of worry has to do with choice.  I can choose to dwell, or I can choose to try to just be, try to live in the moment and have faith, that things will all work out as they are meant to.  Easier said than done, 95% of the time for me, but it is still something I can continually work on.  And resolve NOT to get sucked into, over and over.  I’ll share my favorite quote by Michael J. Fox as I have done in past years…

“If you get caught up in the worst case scenario and it doesn’t happen, you’ve wasted your time. And if you are caught up in the worst case scenario and it does happen, you’ve lived it twice.” 

  • Let things pile up as much.  This includes, but isn’t limited to:  laundry, junk mail, worry (ahem), chores, and clothes I need to put away.
  • Interrupt.  Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it, and truthfully, I do it more out of excitement rather than thinking what I have to say is better than what someone else is sharing.  It’s an annoying habit and it’s something I want to be better about (still- second year in a row for this one).
  • Think too much about what other people think.  (Unless it really counts.  Like it obviously matters what my boss thinks if I show up to work late every day.)  But other things- things like following my gut and being true to myself and then not overanalyzing what others think of my decisions.  This year I want to really embrace the mentality of being true to me, doing what’s best for me, and knowing in my heart that if that’s what’s ringing true to me, then what other people think shouldn’t matter.
  • Go a week without meditation, or yoga.  Both make me feel wonderful.  It’s lame to let a week go by without doing one or the other.  No excuses there.  It’s a must!
  • Go a week without exercise.  This one should be easy, as I can’t remember the last time this has happened anyway, but I know that with a little one on the way, excuses might come easy, but it will be a priority of mine to make some sort of movement on the regular.
  • Lastly, be so hard on myself.  (Again, a regular on the list.)  Life is tough, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves.  I want to be kind to myself, as kind as I would be a dear friend.  Nicer self talk.  Less judgement.  More self compassion, less comparison.

I think that’s a good start.  Would you care to join me in sharing your Non Resolutions for 2016?

Friday balance…

TGIF!

As I log in over here (and have to get an email reminder with my log in password), I’m reminded how quickly time flies, and how it’s been a while since I’ve spent some time here in this space.

I started this blog as an outlet, where I could visit and chat and vent and share, with like-minded people about the nitty gritty of real life happenings.  With many highs and lows of daily life, my goal has been to write about attempting to maintain a sense of all around balance in a life that can so often feel hurried, and frantic, and overwhelming at times.

Balance is important to me, and it’s funny how something that I consider such a priority is also something that can be a struggle at times.  Do you notice the same?  Things that are at the top of our list are sometimes those that we have to devote the most thought, and effort towards.

Here’s how I have been trying to maintain some balance in my daily life as of late…

  • With all the summer cookouts and excuses for beer and burgers and ice cream, I’ve made a commitment for the past twenty one days to exercise daily.

1381489_1552512508312621_2282268715550206855_n-300x300Balance is about working hard, and enjoying the little things…

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S’mores on our patio. #getinmybelly

  • We love to cook at home, and especially in the summer, grilling is one of our go-to’s.  Sometimes, on a Friday, we’d rather sit for drinks on a patio and have someone else do the cooking.  And we’re so pumped about one of our new favorite places not far from us, where we can bring our pup for dinner while dining alfresco!
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“Gimme that sangria, Mom!”

  • Summer cookouts don’t always have to be unhealthy!  Brought a little balance to the table a few weeks ago with this yummy app:
Strawberry Ricotta Bites

Strawberry Ricotta Bites

  • Reading.  I love to get lost in a good book, and with hot summer days lately, we’ve taken to cooling off in our finished basement and catching some Netflix shows.  I’m also trying to balance out the TV watching with some reading.  I feel like it’s easy to lose hours of the evening getting sucked into episode after episode of OITNB, or our new one, The Americans, but at the same time, I feel like I should be balancing things out with something more stimulating for my brain, like getting into a good book.  What are you reading now?

The bottom line is that balance isn’t always easy.  It seems like a good idea, and easy enough, but it can take some work!  It might not always look perfect, and some days will feel more balanced than others.  My goal is to try to focus on little ways to bring balance to my daily life, making small adjustments in my routine, taking the time to slow things down a bit and giving myself permission to not always having things exactly perfect.

How are you adding some balance to your life lately?

 

Things I know to be true

Ernest Hemingway once said: “write one true sentence.”

You may know of my affinity for Hemingway, and with Paris just around the corner, I was thinking of his writing and his life recently.  And then I thought of some of his most poignant quotes, which led me to thinking of things that I know, deep down, to be true.

  • I know that if I skip a run or a workout in the morning, putting if off for after work, 80% of the time I will come up with some excuse to not do it.
  • I know that I seldom can get out of Target spending less than $50.
  • I know that I have a true, legitimate addiction to chocolate.  Not just in a “oh I love chocolate and can’t get enough” kind of way, but in a way where if I have one piece, I pretty much can’t help but have two or three and unless I go cold turkey on it, I have trouble with moderation.
  • I know that every time I see cinnamon Trident gum, I will always think of my grandmother.  And smile.
  • I know that being by the ocean makes my heart happy.
  • I know that even if I’m not feeling it, a run almost always makes me feel better.
  • I know that I am terrible with directions.  I just got lost on walk with Charlie girl tonight before dinner.  And I went South instead of North on the highway the other day on the way to work.  I’m not exaggerating when I say I hands down suck at directions.
  • I know that I compare myself to others way more than I should.
  • I know that I’m far too judgey of myself.
  • I know that tequila and I do not mix.
  • I know that I can’t go more than a couple days without hearing my mom’s voice.
  • I know that I have a tendency to be all or nothing on a lot of things.
  • I know that I love a man in a blue shirt.
  • I know that I’m a morning person, but like to have the chance to sleep in and have no plans.
  • I know that I ask a lot of questions.  And that can annoy my husband sometimes, particularly.
  • I know that I have a tendency to stir the pot.  Not necessarily pick a fight, per se, but I don’t always let the small things go, and I know that I should be better about this.
  • I know that I can get sucked into YouTube videos for hours and not realize where the time went.
  • I know there’s not much better than an evening spent with my girlfriends, talking about adult things, or random things, being silly, and feeling safe knowing you’re with your people.

What about you?  What do you know to be true?

Where does the time go?

I honestly think about updating this blog every day.  Every damn day I think about a post that I might like to write, an idea will pop into my head on my drive to work, someone will say something that will make me think of something else that will make me think, “huh, maybe I’ll write about that…”

And then time passes.  And it’s 8:57pm on a Wednesday night and you’re just finally sitting down to relax.  And you realize, not only have the past few weeks flown by, but the last couple of months have whirled by too.  And you remember, life is short.  And it’s important to stop and take it all in, to actually press the pause button and enjoy the small moments that make up these days passing by.

Life is short.

Get dirty.
unnamed-12Get dirty with friends.

unnamed-13Soak in the tub.

unnamed-14Life is short.  Travel.  Laugh often.  Drink Bloody Mary’s on a patio on a Sunday afternoon. Enjoy brunch.

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Life is short.  Forget about eating “the right thing” once in a while and eat the things that taste damn good and don’t worry about it.

Life is short.  Get gussied up with your main squeeze.

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Life is short.  Laugh at yourself.  Let the small things go.  Get silly.

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Life is short.  Eat cupcakes.  Eat lemon cupcakes with coconut cream cheese frosting that your mom makes you for your birthday, and the next day eat dark chocolate frosted peanut butter cupcakes from your work wife.

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Life is short.  Take it all in.  Live in the moment.  Be kind to yourself and be kind to others.

And lastly, take naps, because life is NOT too short to enjoy a good siesta.

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This post is inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Kate!

Your turn!  Life is short… finish this sentence!

Believe Nothing

Agrees-With-Your-Own-ReasonI’m actually not even sure that this quote above is from Buddha.  Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s not from Buddha, which, kind of just defines the quote itself right?

From Buddha himself or not, I love this quote.  Because isn’t it true, that we’re kind of programmed in a way to be naive about certain things?  We read articles in magazines and pick up books off shelves at Barnes & Noble, and we believe what we are reading to be true.  We believe it to be true, especially if it resonates with us.

Say you’re trying to lose weight, and you hear a podcast on the “seven best diet tricks to shed those pounds!”  You’re pretty likely bound to believe that these tricks must be legit, but how do we really know?

I have a few co-workers who are often complaining about their weight, and this one co-worker perpetually is telling them that “carbs are bad!” and “you can’t eat a bagel, what are you thinking?!,” and these poor co-workers of mine who are trying to lose weight, they take this other co-worker’s advice as The Total Truth.  But come on.  Carbs aren’t the devil.  Bagels once in a while aren’t going to hinder your weight loss goals.  This is common sense, right?

I just find it interesting how, so often when we are looking for something, seeking out a tiny little nugget of advice or input, it can be so easy to take whatever we hear to be true.  Really, are you giving up the carbs because you know it to be the key to your success?  Does it agree with your own common sense?  With your own reason?

If it doesn’t- if something someone says or something you read somewhere feels a little off? Then you have every right to go ahead and say “screw it.”

Because the bottom line is, you don’t have to live by anyone else’s rules but your own.  At the end of the day, you need to be happy with your choices, and only you can know what the best choices for you are.  If it doesn’t feel right, if it doesn’t agree with your own reason, then who cares what expert (or co-worker!) said it.  Screw it.  Do you.  Follow your gut.  Go with what feels right.  Eat the bagel if you want to, and know that you aren’t doing a damn thing wrong when you do.

Do things that correlate with what you believe, and don’t feel like you have to follow anyone else’s “sage” advice.  At the end of the day, don’t you want to be comfortable in your own skin, with the choices that you’ve made, knowing you made decisions based on your own intuition and gut feeling?

(I’m fully aware that you may read this and very well say “screw this!” and move along. And thats the whole point, really.  (Not for you to say screw it and leave my blog forever.), but to take things with a grain of salt- if they speak to you and resonate with you, then roll with it.  If not so much, then that’s okay too.  It’s all about being true to you, and following your own inner voice, which, admittedly, can be difficult sometimes.)

 

Lions and lambs oh my

What’s the saying, in like a lion and out like a lamb?  That’s what they say about March, right? Not so much lamb-like around here on the last day of March.  It was chilly today, and just a couple days ago, no surprise really- more snow!  I’m really hoping for some lamb-like weeks on the horizon.  It’s spring and yet, it doesn’t really feel very much like spring at all.  I freaking can’t wait to have a solid streak of good weather.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, just a day in the 50’s or 60’s will do.  That weather right there to me is perfect running weather, and I can’t wait to get back outside on the roads again more consistently for long (heck, I’ll even take short) runs.

March kind of flew by for me here, what about you?  I think it’s because I was hit with a bit of the case of the Januaries that I felt like I really welcomed the past two months fully with open arms.  And they seemed to fly by!  We had a lot going on, so that’s part of it, but in general, time just didn’t seem to drag as much as it did in January.

Like I did a couple of months back, here’s what I’ve been up to lately.  I like to reflect back on a month- see what’s been happening, what went well, areas that seemed like a win, and places I struggled.

Here’s what’s up currently:

Reading:  Three books currently.  The Star Spangled Buddhist: Zen, Tibetan, and Soka Gakkai Buddhism and the Quest for Enlightenment in America by Jeff Ourvan, Paris Letters (thanks to a handful of you for this recommendation!) by Janice Macleod, and The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick (who also wrote Silver Linings Playbook).

Loving:  That the days are getting longer.  That there’s more sunlight. These new, all natural face products.  Andalou is a line of all natural products and they’re really easy on the skin- great for clarifying, rejuvenating, and brightening!

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Thinking:  About plans for summer.  Weekends away with friends.  Long runs.  Cookouts.  Patios and beers on patios with friends.

Frustrated:  The things that frustrate me right now are just little things, and instead of focusing on them, I’m choosing to just let them go…

Feeling:  Sleepy, honestly, currently.  But also happy, and content, and thankful.

Anticipating:  Getting a puppy!  We’re looking into either rescuing one or going the breeder route.  We’d love to give a good home to a puppy that needs our help, but that’s the other thing, we know we want a young dog, so we’re looking for the right fit.

Watching:  We’ve kind of gotten into that new show with Ryan Phillippe, Secrets and Lies. Anyone else?

Also, hi Ryan:

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Sad:  Hmm.  I’m sad right now about a situation one of my close family members is going through.  Life is tough, and hard, and shitty sometimes, and I just feel bad for what this person is going through and hope that they will come out on the other side happier, healthier, and in a better place.

Working:  I actually do have a bit of a new role at work as of the last couple of weeks.  That’s been going well and has been a bit busier.  See also, feeling sleepy.

Grateful:  Always for my health, and the health of my loved ones.  Also grateful for random early morning coffee dates with girlfriends, spur of the moment plans with friends, the ability to be spontaneous right now, discovering new recipes, cooking for others, that my back which had been injured is feeling a lot better, and for the new hazelnut cinnamon coffee I bought the other day- YUM.

Listening:  Still to books on CD on my commute to work, and to Pandora’s Hipster Cocktail Party pretty much anytime my husband and I are hanging out, cooking, cleaning, or throwing our own version of a hipster cocktail party.

Wishing:  For some good weather to come!  For some sunny days.  To be able to spend an afternoon with the windows down at home and to take a drive with the sunroof open again soon.

How about you?  Join in and share some of the things you’re anticipating, loving, reading, or watching lately. Also, what’s March like for you right now?  The lion or the lamb?

Treat Yourself Tuesday!

One of my favorite bloggers lately linked up with another new-to-me blogger, Becky, for a fun idea that I can totally get behind: Treat Yourself Tuesday.

Treat-Yourself-Tuesday-Badge

 

The idea is to be kinder to ourselves each day, and take time out of our busy lives to do something nice for ourselves.

We’re all about balance around here, and one of the things that helps us feel balanced on our insides is doing nice things for ourselves.  Doing nice things for other people is really awesome too, but today is all about the self love, and I think self care is so important, because if we can’t nurture ourselves, how can we be fully present and give our best to others?

A couple of ways I treated myself today included…

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A hazelnut iced coffee from Bruegger’s.  I LOVE Bruegger’s coffee- especially because the beans are flavored, rather than adding in artificial sweeteners that I generally dislike.

Another treat included a really good workout this evening.  And soon I plan to treat myself to some down time on the couch with my husband catching up on some DVR’d shows, and a little reading.

How about you?  How did you treat yourself this Tuesday?