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Hi friends! How’s the day going? I taught a barre class this morning, and am catching up on a bit of workout stuff before the rest of the afternoon/evening whirlwind. 

I finally got the chance to try aerial yoga! Soooo it wasn’t exactly my first time using aerial yoga silks – I totally played on them at my old gym in San Diego. Do as a I say, not as I do – but first time in a real class environment. You know, with actual instruction, instead of trying to get into tree pose and spinning around the entire time while people swing kettlebells around me.

My friend Julie asked me to join her for class, and I was so pumped when the timing worked out. The Pilot came home from work and took over for the kiddos, and I met her at Hang Out Yoga for a fun, restorative and energizing class.

So, what is aerial yoga?

Aerial yoga uses silks or fabrics to assist with the poses. It’s an effective way to take the stretches even deeper than usual, and also provides support for balance postures. Many people find that they’re able to do poses with the silks that they might have a more challenging time without them. 

What to expect?

I kind of expected classes to be similar to the way I did it when I played with the silks on my own. “Try...

This post is sponsored by Embrace. If you have new or old scars you’ve been wanting to treat, check out their site here and enter the code GINA10 for 10% off!

It’s hard to believe that 5 1/2 months ago, I wasn’t able to get out of bed by myself, and now I’m doing [slightly-modified] HIIT intervals. The human body is such an amazing thing! A few readers have asked why my post-surgery updates have been sparse, which I totally get because it was an intense surgery, but thankfully, there hasn’t been a lot to report. My recovery has been fairly uneventful for the most part, and I’ve been slowly but steadily working my way back to *normal.*

I can confidently say I’m so, so glad I did it. My implants were coming out either way because they were causing me so much pain, but I was on the fence about the muscle repair and skin removal (a full abdominoplasty since my abs were separated above and below my belly button). I talked with a few close family members and friends about it, and let them know I was hesitant about doubling my recovery time, and the few people I spoke to about it to told me to go for it. They knew that I had regular physical therapy for 8 months (and my ab separation was at...

Hi friends! Happy Monday! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. We spent a lot of time here at home, enjoyed brunch as a fam and caught up on life. I watched a new episode of Chef’s Table (SO good!) and did some blog prep for Winter Shape Up. The fun starts next Monday! (I’ll be posting everything here on the blog, but to get the info early, be sure that you’re on my newsletter list.)

For today, we’re spending it celebrating Liv’s birthday. 

I can’t believe this sweet, imaginative, sensitive and smart little lovebug is 6 years old today!

6 years ago we had finished up one of the most intense nights of my life, with the best possible reward at the finish line. At 12:18, Liv came into the world, alert, moving her head around, and trying to decipher and understand the world around her. The midwives couldn’t believe how AWAKE she was, and she’s kind of been that way ever since. From those initial moments, nights blurred into days and I have so many beautiful memories of snuggling with her on the couch, watching Bella...

Hey hey! Happy Sunday! Hope you’re having a great weekend. We’ve stayed in town, which has been nice after a stream of road trips and holidays. We’ve been enjoying relaxing at the house and catching up on life.. and our fave TV shows.

Can we just talk about The Bachelor for a second? (No spoilers, don’t worry!)

I’m only into The Bachelor occasionally, and really only liked it last year because I’d go to Kyle and Meg’s house and drink wine with them while we watched. This season: I’m genuinely enjoying it so far. Maybe it’s the fact that there’s a lot of crazies (lemme grab my popcorn), or that the bachelor himself seems like a nice, fairly normal person. And he kind of looks like a salt-and-pepper version of the Pilot? I don’t even know but I’m digging it and am thankful it filled the void last week while I’ve been anxiously awaiting the return of This Is Us.

Before the girls are up and I start their fave buttermilk waffles, I’m stopping in to share this week’s fitness plan and meal ideas.

 I’d love to hear what you have on the menu! 

Next weekend, we’re taking a special birthday vacation for Liv, but are still enjoying some meals at home before we hit the road. 

Hey hey! Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a great week. I loved reading all of your mom hacks yesterday! Thank you so much for chiming in with your awesome comments.

What’s going on this weekend? We don’t have anything planned and I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend here at home. I always say that, but then we often end up taking an impromptu road trip or finding some type of adventure to get into. I’m excited to catch a yoga class, and am going to work on finishing up all of my tax stuff. Adulting is real.

It’s time for the weekly Friday Faves party! This is where I share some of the things I’m loving each week, and get the opportunity to hear about your faves, too. Please shout out something you’ve been enjoying in the comments if you’d like!

Road trips: 

We’ve gone to Jacksonville twice within a month just for shopping, eats and Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s. Last weekend, we had an awesome lunch at Corner Taco. They make their tortillas and chips in-house, and everything was extremely fresh. I had the chicken jerk taco + the tempeh taco,

plus lots of chips, salsa and guacamole. Everything was so good!

After lunch, we headed to the mall since the girls had Build-A-Bear gift cards from their Aunt Shannon.

Hey hey! How are you? Hope you’re enjoying the morning. No Sugar January is off to a strong start! I probably should have specified that it didn’t mean zero sugar at all (wine is technically a sugar, fruit is a sugar. This can get a little extreme) but no sweets or added sugar. For example, I’m having protein powder and MCT oil in my oatmeal instead of a giant drizzle of maple syrup. 

Workout-wise, I got in a killer legs and HIIT workout Monday, and a nice aerial yoga class yesterday. (I’ll share the details in a Focus On post soon!) This morning, I’m teaching barre, and getting in my personal workout during naptime. I don’t really love working out during naptime since it’s my chance to blitz on work, but I’ve found that if I don’t work out during P’s nap, it gets harder and harder to squeeze it in as the day goes on. Before I know it, I’m cleaning up from dinner, giving the girls baths, and ready to crawl onto the couch for the night.

Something that has helped a lot with my motivation to get moving and stay active throughout the day has been my Apple Watch. I’m a huge fan of fitness trackers – I’ve used multiple Fitbit models, the Tom-Tom Spark 3, Garmins, Polars, I’m kind of a nerd about fitness trackers – and the latest fave is the Apple Watch. It’s sporty but cute enough to wear every day, and the stats...

Hey hey! How are you? Hope you’re having a great year so far. We’re slowly getting back into the routine over here and enjoying the last few days of the girls’ vacation.

It’s officially *that* time of year. The time to be flooded with an Instagram feed of fitness goals, meal prep, and PR dreams. I look forward to seeing positive changes to health, whatever that looks like, but as a personal trainer, I also hear a lot of unrealistic goals/expectations. Part of my job is to help clients focus on attainable goals that make them excited. When you set yourself up to do too much too quickly, it’s a quick recipe for burnout.

Some of the things I like to think about when I’m setting my own goals, or talking with clients about their own:  1. Do you want to do it forever? 

If the answer is “no,” then RUUUUUUUUUUN. 

Here’s the deal: our body gets used to the types of demands and requirements we place on it. It’s quick to adapt in order to shift its resources to solving other problems or obstacles that appear. (“Ok, since I run the same 3-mile path every day, I’m switching into cruise control to focus on boosting our immune system...

Hi friends! HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you’ve enjoyed the holiday fanfare and are relaxing this morning.

I always get excited about a bright, shiny, new year. While I’ve never been a huge resolution person – I’m a believer that if you want to change something, do it now instead of waiting for the pressure of a specified date – I do love taking some time to jot down my goals and general direction for the upcoming year. I’ll be sharing some of my goals for 2018 in an upcoming post and would love to hear yours, too!

At the start of a new year, it’s also fun to look back on the previous year and breathe in all of the moments: the good, the challenging, the transformative, and even the not-so-fun ones.

Here are some of the highlights of 2017:

2017 started off with a bang. We had just arrived in Tucson and were in a temporary house for three months. We were able to live in the same neighborhood as my aunt, uncle, and cousins, and had constant family parties and get-togethers. I got to enjoy lots of family and friend time, Liv went to the CUTEST preschool, and we had a blast. It went by WAY too quickly.

We moved to Valdosta,

I had a pretty huge surgery,

and we traveled quite a bit:

to Vegas,


Hi friends! How’s your weekend going? We’re enjoying the time together and getting a lot done around the house. 9 months later, we’re officially moved in! The Pilot unpacked the last boxes in the garage, set up the home gym and cleared out the office. We spent yesterday taking down the Christmas decorations – it was our last day to get it done before heading back to the normal routine – and the house feels so empty. At the same time, everything feels fresh, clean and ready to start 2018. (That rhyming tho.)  Happy New Years Eve!

We capped off the day of packing and cleaning with a little date night: dinner at Giulio’s. 

Here I am, Sunday blogging like the good ol’ days. I’ve had some requests to bring back my weekly meal and fitness post, especially since it’s a great way to share some fitness and eats motivation with each other. So I’m going to try it out for a while and if ya like it, it will stay! This is also when I’ll be posting the weekly Winter Shape Up info so you have it before each week begins. (The WSU fun starts January 15!)

I feel like so many of us are back into the meal planning and prepping mojo,...

Hi friends! Happy Friday! Anyone else feel like this week has been a weird blur? I feel like I’m just now crawling out from under the avalanche of cookies, cocktails, gift wrapping, and fun. I’ve been enjoying this in-between time a little tooooo much, and I’m kind of dreading the girls going back to school. We’ve been spending a lot of time playing outside (even though it recently got cold!), watching movies in our pajamas, and enjoying little adventures.

(Boots on sale right now)

Thank you so much for checking back in here after a couple of days off. I’m back to regular blogging action and have ideas for fun and fresh content heading into the New Year (especially after all of your incredible survey responses).

I’d love to hear about what you’ve been up to this week! Any fun New Years’ plans? We’ll probably order Indian food and watch the ball drop here at home. 

In usual Friday fashion, here are some faves from the week and around the web. Please share something you’re loving in the comments below if you’d like to join in the fun. 


Planning for the...

Hi friends! Happy Friday, and happy Christmas weekend! I’d love to hear what you have planned for the weekend. Did you travel or stay home? I’m looking forward to the weekend at home with the fam. We don’t have a lot of official plans, but will likely enjoy some Christmas movies, a drive around to check out the lights, and some delicious food.

(Some holes have mysteriously been poked into the bottom of the presents haha.)

I’s time for the weekly Friday Faves roundup! This is where I share some of my favorite things and finds from the week. If you’d like to join in the party, please comment below with something you’re loving. 

Fitness + fashion:

Still obsessed with this black sweater. I wear it all the time, and just ordered another one in grey. It’s the perfect throw-on top that matches everything.

The workout advent calendar is coming to an end! 4 days left! Here’s the link if you want to sprint out the finish with us.

Intense leg workout.

A workout you can do anywhere.

 Love + life:

The kindest surprise. Monday was a pretty hard day for me. I’m not going into detail at this point, but we’re dealing with a challenging and emotionally exhuasting situation. By the end of the day, I’d hit the wall. I was weepy and...

aka why I’ve been in a sugar coma pretty much all week. #worthit

Hi friends! How are you? Happy almost-Friday! What do you have going on today? I’m excited to catch a yoga class later, and also enjoy some last-minute secret Christmas elf shopping. We had been holding off on our *big* gifts for the girls – we couldn’t decide, and didn’t want to do a playset since we’ll be moving in a year-ish – but finally made our decision. While spending time with the family is the best part of any holiday, I get a kick out of surprising the nuggets on Christmas morning. 

There have been a lot of fun events going on lately, and a notable one was girls’ night at our house: a little cookie exchange.

Before we left San Diego last year, our friend Cam hosted the most amazing cookie exchange at her house. She had gorgeous gift stations set up throughout the house, and it was such a fun way to get together with friends and share a variety of sweet treats. I knew immediately that I wanted to host one in Valdosta, and was pumped that the timing worked out for so many friends, as a lot of people are traveling for the holidays.

Here’s how a cookie exchange works:

-Each guest brings around 3 dozen or so of their favorite cookies, so there’s a huge assortment of different flavors and options.

-You pack up a mix of all of the offerings to take home.


Me: “Hi, what’s your name?”

P: “Princess Pink Popsicle.”

Me: “Oh, so nice to meet you! How old are you?”

P: “I five.”

Me: “Are you sure you’re not two?”

P: “No, you wrong. I five.” 




“Um. Excuse me?”

“Oh. I sorry. I being so rude.”



“Mama, you’re cute. Your hair is cute. I’m cute.”

The same day, while rubbing my face: “Mama, you so old.” 



[On a road trip]

“Mama, I thirsty.”

“Here ya go.”

“That’s not water.”

“Yes, it’s Smartwater! I guess it makes us smart?” (<— lame mom joke)

“I already smart.”

The post Penelope’s thoughts appeared first on The Fitnessista.

Hey friends! How are you? Hope your week is going well. Since I’m finally feeling better, I was able to hit up the gym last night – it felt so good to move again – and am getting things ready for girls’ night tonight at our house. I’m hosting a little cookie exchange and will definitely share some pics in an upcoming post.

For today, I thought we could talk about quite the beefy topic: motivation.

When I put the call out for help with my yearly blog survey (thank you again so much for sharing your feedback and comments with me!), motivation was a resounding theme: curating, discovering and maintaining motivation.

It can be so easy to lose our mojo, especially during such a busy time of year. We’re overwhelmed with additional social events and to-dos, in addition to traveling and end-of-the-year deadlines. I thought we could chat about some of the major areas where we can lose motivation, and share ideas to get over the slump! I’m going to break these into three posts since they ended up so long (!), so for today’s post, let’s focus on fitness. 

Fitness motivation: 

100% real talk: this is something that I’ve struggled with over the past few months. When I was cleared to work out again post-surgery, I was SO PUMPED to get back into action (safely and strategically, of course). Then I remembered where we...

Hey hey! Happy Monday! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. We ended up being seriously pummeled by this weird cold thing. I thought I was on the ups, but it ended up being a major fake-out. Most of Friday and Saturday were spent stuck in bed, or on the couch. After a lot of time in the inclined supine position, and finally succumbing to the glories of Mucinex and Afrin, the Pilot and I are doing so much better. (He caught the bug too. Poor guy.) I’m glad I can hit the week strong after five days off from the gym, and a lot of time in my jammies.

This week, I’m really looking forward to all of the fun ahead. I still need to gather up stocking stuffers, ship some gifts, and start the party and food prep.

Gifts for the Foodie and the Hostess

For today, I thought I’d share a gift guide for foodies and holiday hostesses. So many of us are gearing up for festivities, and while a bottle of wine is perfect in a pinch, I like to take unexpected little gifts to hostesses. These gift ideas are perfect for all of the foodies in your life (like my brother, mister chef), and even for yourself! 

Hi! Happy Friday! I can’t believe that it’s the last weekend before Christmas. I feel like December is coasting past me, and trying to make a conscious effort to enjoy all of it. We usually keep our decor up until New Year’s, but it still seems like it’s so close! I’d love to hear what’s happening in your world this weekend. We’re going to spend some time chilling at home, and maybe take a quick trip to Jacksonville for a Trader Joe’s stop (<— I need baking/cooking ingredients!). Fitness-wise, I’ve taken a couple of days off from the gym for a head cold (wah) but am excited to catch a Peloton class later today. Thanks to some wellness shots, I’m on the ups.

It’s time for the usual Friday Faves party! This is where I share some of the best reads/wears/finds of the week. It’s always fun to hear what you’re loving if you’d like to join in the fun! If you’re in a sharing mood, please spread the joy by shouting out one of your faves in the comments below.

(Caro wishing for some Sunbasket)

Blog survey! Thank you SO MUCH to all of you who took the time to chime in on my yearly blog survey. Your feedback is invaluable to me, and I genuinely appreciate your thoughts and...

This post is sponsored by RetailMeNot. Be sure to enter the amazing $250 giveaway at the end of this post!

The holiday season is filled with so many of my favorite things:

baking all of the sweet treats, 

(and enjoying them with the little ones who inherited my sweet tooth)

decorating for the season,

(I read a meme that said if you leave a toddler alone with a Christmas tree it quickly becomes just a regular tree. It made me laugh pretty hard because #truth. I don’t even know how many ornaments have been broken at this point, but it’s at least five.)

We enjoy so many family memories together,

simple packages entertain the girls for hours,

and I have a valid reason to participate in my very favorite sport: online shopping. 

We still have quite a...

Hi! Happy humpday! Hope you’re enjoying the morning. Sorry I’m a little later blogging than usual today! We went to a get-together last night and I’m moving in sloowwwww motion. I also woke up with a gnarly head cold (WHYYYYYY) so lots of wellness shots happening. 

As an appetizer for last night’s girls’ night, I made two loaves of homemade sourdough bread, and broiled it with butter and a little salt:

(along with this legendary spinach and artichoke dip)

+ a dairy-free spinach-artichoke dip. (One of the girls can’t have dairy at all, so I wanted to make something she could have, too!)

We had rosé and cocktails, appetizers, and a “favorite things”-style gift exchange. The idea was to bring a gift that was around $30 and something that you LOVE. I picked a couple of my can’t-live-without beauty items: this tarte mascara primer and a small bottle of Moroccan oil. The primer makes a huge difference for long lashes – I think it conditions them too, because my lashes always seem longer and healthier after I’ve been using it – and the girls and I all use the Moroccan oil on our hair. It smells lovely and helps to keep it shiny/healthy. I came home with a gorgeous Magnolia pitcher and can’t wait to use it for next week’s cookie exchange.

Some more fun things from...

Holiday spice sangria! It’s made in advance of any holiday soirees, and the flavors just get better over the span of a few days. It’s perfect to take to parties, as it’s a fun switch-up from the usual bottle of vino. 

Cheers to the morning. 

We have girls’ night tonight, and I’m looking forward to all of the upcoming festivities.

I need to take a moment and question the fact that no one in Valdosta seems to have crazy holiday lights or lawn blow-ups?? I know our neighbors aren’t total grinches – they’re actually the best ever – but many neighborhood streets are still dark and kind of glum. In Tucson, it was almost like a competition to see who could have the most obnoxious lawn. When ours wasn’t twinkly enough the first year, our neighbor came over and added to our decor hahaha. It was amazing. In San Diego, we totally decked out the yard with lights – anything goes in OB – and in Valdosta, we have a moderate display since everything seems so low-key. It’s funny to see how things change with each location. 

I’ll definitely miss Christmas with the fam in Tucson. Christmas Eve at my dad’s house with nana’s enchiladas, cousin shenanigans and lounging on the couch with the best eggnog. Christmas morning at my mom’s house with coffee cake and A Christmas Story while we open gifts. As much...

Hey hey! Hope you’re having a wonderful morning. We’re back from a quick trip to Orlando – I’ll share some pics soon. We took the girls on the Polar Express and it was fantastic – but in the meantime, I wanted to share some more gift ideas for those of us still making it through our Christmas list. Thankfully I’m pretty much done, but I still have a few things to pick up. And then there’s the great wrapping party…

These are some ideas for your best friend. I feel like they’re the easiest to shop for since you know them so well, but it’s also fun to choose some unexpected treasures. This is one of those gift guides that can also double as a wish list for yourself! If your hubby or partner has been pestering you for ideas, you can just send them this little link and there ya go.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 Gift guide for your BFF: Jewelry:

Monogram pendant necklace. Love...