Forever 31 Friday

Hi friends!!  Hope you all have had a fabulous week!  I thought this was a great versatile dress that could be dressed up or down.  I’m kind of obsessed with the low back dresses and rompers at the moment.  The dress photographs lighter, but it is actually a beautiful light blush tone.  The necklace is one piece of a whole layering set.  The layering necklaces are really versatile as you can pick one of the set (like I did), or a couple, or wear the whole set!  All links down below.  Have a great holiday weekend!!

laurie-75 laurie-77 laurie-78 laurie-79-2 laurie-82 laurie-83Dress Forever 21, $34.90 <link>

The necklace is also Forever 21, and is no longer available, however check out all of the other fun layering necklaces they currently offer!!  <link>

All photos by the lovely Tien Austin!  www.tienaustin.com

The Baby Weight: How I managed to gain and lose 60 lbs…

Love him.  #otherhalf #partnerincrime #loveofmylife

Love him. #otherhalf #partnerincrime #loveofmylife

I really didn’t want to (and am way too embarrassed) to post a before pic.  If you want to see, go to my FB and look at the “Vivi Baptism Album”.  She was around two months at the time, and I still had about 40 lbs to lose!

So the “baby weight” starts with the first part.  Gaining the weight. I gained sixty lbs when I was pregnant with V! How??  By eating for two, eating two giant slices of commissary carrot cake a day, and basically eating guilt free for the first time in my life ever.  I have a health and fitness background and knew all of the “right things to do” (but didn’t do them, obviously).  I just ate, partially because I was making a human and was just plain hungry, and partly because after the years and years of ballet, I was eating guilt free for the first time EVER.  I also wasn’t teaching anymore and wasn’t too active during the dreary wintertime in Germany.  I remember at about pound 47 my doctor telling me to “take it easy with the food”, that I would be really mad at myself afterward when it was time to get it off.  I wanted to slap her across her face at the time, but this proved to be true.  My first part of the advice is to try not to eat for two.  Yes, listen to your body, but the extra 300 calories a day isn’t two giant pieces of carrot cake, a platter of homemade mac-n-cheese, or a whole cast iron of queso and tortilla chips!!  When it is time for me to have the next baby I am going to try my best not to gain as much weight, mainly because it was a bitch to get it off!!  I always compare it to my short lived pixie hair cut I had about five years ago.  Yes it was fine for a few days but then it was a bitch to grow out, going through embarrassing Justin Beiber phases along the way!!  The same with the baby weight, it was sure fun to eat to my hearts content while I was pregnant, but it was a lot of hard work initially to get those pounds off!!

Recently I have had a lot of friends seeking advice on how to get the weight off.

The first thing is:

1.  TIME.  Vivi is over two years old and my body is finally at a place with where I’m happy with it.  Do not get discouraged when it takes longer than expected for the pounds to come off.  They will once you decide that you want to commit to do it.  I had very unrealistic expectations.  I thought I would be able to lose all of the weight in a couple of months.  Not the case.  It took nine months to put the weight on, so give yourself time after you have the baby.  Not only that, when you have a newborn the last thing you want to do is workout or hop on a treadmill when you have a couple of moments peace.  I did not actively start trying to lose the weight until Vivi was about 8 months old.  And looking back now, I really wish I would have just enjoyed Vivi more as an infant and not been so wrapped up and worried about losing the weight.  Some of it does come off with nursing, but I would say I still had a good twenty pounds to go when Vivi was eight months and finished nursing.  Your body changes when you have a baby.  There is extra flesh in places there was never before which leads me to the next tip…
2.  SHAPEWEAR. Way before Kim Kardashian started blowing up her Instagram with pics in her waist shaper, I was using the bad boy called the SQUEEM.  When you first put it on you will be like “what the hell?”  Flesh will be oozing out of the top and bottom.  Buy some high waisted shape wear panties to tuck in underneath the SQUEEM. Wear this thing as much as you can.  Sleep in it if you can.  I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that it is comfortable because it is not. Start off with a belly bandit right after you have the baby and once that thing is too big head to the SQUEEM.  It will really help you get your “shape” back as the pounds start coming off.
3.  HIIT. High Intensity Interval Training.  For the first time ever I was at a place in my life where I had to get my body into a fat burning mode.  HIIT was key.  Also any class at the gym that offers “power” type training.  The Insanity workouts are good.  Don’t worry, you will probably pee yourself when you first get back into the gym.  It is ok, you are not alone.  I would pee myself almost every time, then that would be the end of my work out and I would drive my sad, pathetic ass home and tell Chris I peed myself yet again.  Those muscles come back too don’t worry.

Example workout you can do (I did this workout consistently for two months, along with Insanity classes at Gold’s Gym a couple of times a week, with a short Tone It Up arm or full body workout every now and then) : Alternate walking one minute and jogging one minute on an incline for eight minutes. Then get off treadmill and do thirty lunges (switch lunges jumping as you switch legs to take it up a notch if you want) followed by a one minute plank. Repeat this five times through (treadmill, lunges, plank). If you can get in light weight training three times a week on top of it that would be even better (try any Tone It Up workout, many are free on YouTube or at www.toneitup.com).  Tone It Up is a great resource I use a lot.

SECRET TIP. If you want to take the workouts up a notch I will tell you the extra thing I did.  And you may all judge the hell out of the psychopath ballerina that I try to deny who exists but still comes out … I wore a neoprene belt and shorts (over the shape wear) while I worked out. Then I would just wear some sad baggy ass sweatpants over and go to Gold’s where I could work out in the “woman’s only room”, as if any man would have looked my way anyway lol.  Everyone has their own opinions about wearing stuff to make you sweat and shapewear.  All I’m doing is sharing what I did…

I only had to really focus on getting to the gym consistently for a couple of months to drop the majority of the 20 lbs I had left (this was when V was about 9 months).  The rest of the weight fell off this past year by getting back into teaching ballet six days a week, chasing a toddler and leading an active lifestyle.  I will be completely honest and tell you that since we have moved to Hawaii I do not work out consistently if at all.  If I have the urge I do, but between teaching and chasing Vivi I just don’t have all that much time or energy.  But we ride the bikes or walk to the beach and take family hikes on a regular basis.  We lead an active lifestyle.  If I need to clear the space in my head, I will practice yoga at home.  Exercising at home has gotten more fun now that Vivi is older because she mimics what Mommy does.  So it’s entertaining.  But I did bust my ass in the initial “lose the baby weight” push when V was around eight or nine months old.

4.  DIET.  I cut the sugar, gluten and dairy for a while.  I started eating healthy again way before the initial gym push, so it helped me drop some weight gradually.  Chris actually told me that he could never eat quinoa, salmon and roasted vegetables ever again because we ate it so much.  These days if I want pizza or a Buzz’s Jack Daniels burger I will have it, but I eat clean the majority of the time.  Obviously I didn’t while I was pregnant lol. Again listen to your body if you are breast feeding.  Do not be a psychopath.  Part of the reason I had to wait to start dieting and exercising was because I was nursing and I would notice a difference in my milk supply when I would try to get back.  If you want to take the diet to the next level, lower the alcohol intake.  I do notice a huge difference when I cut back on the vino.  But at the same time you gotta live people!!!  If that is your treat at the end of a long day there is nothing wrong with that.  Extremes never stick….
5.  SUPPORT.  Find a buddy.  Tell the hubby your goals.  I’m sure he would gladly watch the little one for an hour for you to start feeling better.
6.  SET REALISTIC GOALS. If you gained 60 lbs it is not going to come off in two months like I thought it would!!!  Try two years!!!  Do not get on Insta and look up #6weekspostpartum and find some freak of nature that has her six pack back after six weeks.  It will just send you on a downward spiral!!!  Your age and activity level pre baby will be huge factors in how long it takes to come off.

A few months is not a long time in the grand scheme of things.  Enjoy your baby and remember the miracle that the whole process was and the miracle that is a woman’s body!!  I hoped some of these tips help. Again, I am no doctor.  These are just a few of the things I did that helped me.  Your baby and nursing (if you chose to do that) are the most important things!!  If you have any more questions, or want any more workouts please let me know!!

Forever 31 Friday!!

Hope you all have had a great week!!  It just flew by for us!!  It is already Forever 31 Friday again!!  Today it is rompers and kimonos!!

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I couldn’t find the exact romper online but here is a similar one, Forever 21 romper, $12.90 <link>.

Same with kimono but here is one similar, Forever 21 kimono, $27.90 <link>.

I actually like this combo better than the one I have lol!!  And it’s cheaper!

Earrings, Forever 21, $4.90 <link>.

Necklace, Forever 21, $6.90 <link>.

Sunglasses, Forever 21, $5.90 <link>.

I’m currently working on a health/wellness post on how I lost the baby weight for you guys that I’m hoping to get up next week!!  Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!!

Photos by the lovely Tien Austin.  www.tienaustin.com

 

 

Mother’s Day

The soft rains that fall before rainbows appear,

the flowers that burst with color in spring,

cannot compare to the beauty that blooms within a mother’s heart.

-Christy Ann Martine

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 A mother wraps her love around the heart of her daughter,

keeping each beat steady through the rhythm of life,

until wings take shape and it’s time for the soul to take flight.

-Christy Ann Martine

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Huge thank you to Tien Austin for the photos, www.tienaustin.com

We took these photos at Maunawili Valley Neighborhood park, right outside of Kailua.  Vivi got some playground time afterward for being such a good girl on the shoot.  My dress is Free People, and Vivi’s dress is Yo Baby, purchased a while back on Zulily when they have those wicked federal holiday sales.  I think I paid $12 for it.

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Forever 31 Friday

This all started on a trip with my sister to the mall.  I wanted to go in and take a look at Forever 21 and Jenny says, “They need to change the name to Forever 31 for you.”  Ouch.  Ok, I’ll take that.  There are items in that store that I definitely do not need to be wearing at this stage in my life.  It’s a sad day when you see the stuff you used to wear in high school “come back”!  High waisted daisy dukes anyone?  I stopped wearing those back in ’99 I’m pretty sure…

Anyway, at the same time, if you take a look, Forever 21 still offers some trendy clothes for ladies/mommas that can be age/mommy appropriate, especially if styled right.  At the moment I am loving their cute and comfy rompers, kimonos, gauzy dresses, and dainty accessories that are great for the day to day.

I’m starting a “Forever 31” weekly post for the next month.  All outfits are also around 31 bucks!!  I’ll provide the links underneath each post in case you want to order online.

I know some folks complain about the quality of Forever 21 clothes. I have found it no different than places like Target or H&M, but I usually wash on delicate and hang dry to be on the safe side.

I loved the vibrant red, boho vibe, and versatility of this dress.  The dress is also offered in a pretty navy blue print.  You can dress it up or down depending on where you are headed.  It can easily go to a summer BBQ with flat sandals, or date night with some wedges.  I wanted to let y’all know that the top is lined (the whole dress is actually lined), which is awesome so you don’t have to worry about one of those sticky bras unless it makes you feel more comfortable.  I was really impressed with the quality of this dress.  Ernie and Ed were really pulling out their inner “Zoolander” for this shoot.

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Forever 21 dress, $29.90 <link>, Forever 21 necklace, $5.90 <link>

Pics by Tien Austin, www.tienaustin.com

Hope you enjoyed the post!!  Have a beautiful day!!

 

 

Advocare 24 Day Cleanse Challenge Results and Review

So I finished the Advocare 24 Day Challenge a few days ago. Feels good to have the last of those baby weight pounds off that had been lingering, and back to what I was before I had Vivien (or what I assume by how clothes fit/size, I haven’t owned a scale in years, numbers make the demons come out).  I didn’t take a before picture, but here is a results picture I took a couple of days after the cleanse was over.

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I had stashed a box of clothes away under the bed for “the day I can fit back into them”.  Now I realize that even if I can fit into those “pre-Vivi” clothes they may not necessarily age or mom appropriate lol.  I just don’t really wear anything too short or tight these days.  This was all to the benefit of one of my dance students, who got a big bag of hand me downs.

First of all, I wanted to say that I didn’t really do the cleanse to “lose weight”.  Every woman has her insecurities, but for the most part I had come to a place where I was really pretty comfortable with where my body was at.  But I did want to cut out the wine and coffee and see what impact it had on my skin and body.

I also have a close friend who was wanting to do a cleanse and was looking to reset. We decided to do it together to hold each other accountable.

Our family has fairly good eating habits established already. We don’t eat too much processed or fast food, and only drink soda on a rare occasion. I would usually eat very clean during the day time, and then eat whatever I wanted for dinner, which ends up being take-out more often than I would like to admit. There was also that daily glass or two of red that I have every night that I was going to have to cut out.  So dinner was going to be the biggest challenge.

The great thing about the cleanse is that it had products and supplements to help with the cravings. I enjoyed the the first 11 days, which was the Detox portion, way more than the days following where you take lots of supplements. The program has this drink called “Spark” which was great. Think Gatorade with a kick. It helped with any caffeine withdrawals and cravings. There was also a pretty tasty fiber drink. It cleaned you out without anything too crazy happening. There was definitely some stuff happening if you know what I mean, but none in the “shitting your brains out” variety. Ok, that is all I will talk about poop.

As far as day 11-24, I’m just not a huge fan of taking lots and lots of supplements throughout the day which is part of the cleanse after the initial detox phase, and just cannot take them on an empty stomach or early in the morning.

Throughout the entire 24 days, you ate clean meals (no sugar, gluten, or dairy), and even had some shakes as a meal replacement if you wanted which were pretty tasty. I liked the fact that there were no only straight liquid cleanse days, like there are in other cleanses I have participated in the past.

The best thing about the cleanse was that it was very easy to follow. There was an App that you could use and actually “check off” everything as you drank the drinks, took the supplements, ate your meals, and all the water you have to make sure you drink.

All in all, I would definitely do the Detox portion of the cleanse again if I felt I needed a reset, but I don’t know about the whole 24 days. But I am glad I did it. I love a challenge, and love the benefits that came along with it. If you are interested in participating in a cleanse or purchasing the Advocare cleanse lmk, and I can point you in the right direction.

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I had to post this one of HER.

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Thinking about doing a post on how I initially lost most of the baby weight if you guys are interested?  Or if you have any specific health/wellness post requests lmk!!  Have a great day!!

Big news!!

I’ve been hesitant to share this news because I just couldn’t believe it was real. But now that I actually have a plane ticket and flight itinerary in my inbox, I feel it is safe to share that OMG I WON A FREE PEOPLE YOGA RETREAT TO NICARAGUA!!

On Good Friday, I came home after the egg hunt on Ft. Shafter and lunch with Chris, to an email in my inbox telling me that I was one of ten of Free People’s Sur la Sol winners for an all expenses paid 6 day yoga retreat in Nicaragua. My heart raced. I re-read the email over and over again. No way! I’ve never even won more than a dollar on a Texas gas station Lotto ticket!!

So I waited for the Mr. skeptic of all skeptics lawyer husband of mine to come home and tell me it wasn’t real. He tediously read through all of the fine print. “It’s totally legit, Laurie.”  Since then, there has been correspondence back and forth with the Free People folks and it actually is “totally legit”!

I had posted a pic that I took a while back (you may remember the dancing pics in front of the Mokes at Lanikai) on my FP Me profile page since I was wearing a FP dress. By posting that picture, I was entered into the contest. I had totally forgotten I even posted the picture until I got the email.

This is the pic I posted:

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A few days after I received the initial email, the pic was posted as a favorite contest entry on the Free People Building 25 blog. Free People is my all time favorite brand of clothing. Again, I couldn’t believe it!!

Click here to view FP blog post: http://blog.freepeople.com/2015/04/mostloved-sur-la-sol-fp-uploads/

About a week ago I received an email to set travel plans that contained a description of the retreat.

“On this special Free People retreat, Koya Webb will guide a daily morning yoga class in the jungle studio, followed by a delicious and healthy breakfast to make sure the day couldn’t begin any better. Your days will be filled with equal parts adventure (surfing, yoga, swimming) and relaxation (hammocks, napping, reading). A highlight of the week will be sharing in delicious vegetarian/vegan meals under a thatched roof overlooking the ocean.”

What? You mean I’m going to heaven? Ok.

I do not know what I am going to do with myself! I will not have to cook or clean or wipe a butt for six whole days!! My mother in law is able to get over here to help Chris take care of Vivi while I’m away so things are worry free and set on the home front. Chris has been so supportive and happy for me to go have a real retreat. It means a lot. If the roles were reversed I have to admit that I would be way more than the slightest bit jealous.

I’ll be heading to Nicaragua May 26!!

Huge shout out and thank you to Tien Austin www.tienaustin.com.  That morning at Lanikai will always be tucked away into a special place in my memories.   It holds onto a magical moment of this beautiful and amazing life I have been so blessed to experience.

Enjoy your weekend!!  Love and light!

Beach Day, Cleanse Update, and Chris is Home!

Chris had to travel to Australia for work this past week.  He got home yesterday right as I got home from teaching.  He is usually not home on random Friday afternoons, so we decided to hit the beach after Vivi woke up from her nap and take advantage of the family time since he is having to travel again in a couple of days and be gone for another whole week!

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I’m on day 11 of my Advocare 24 day Challenge and have found it really user friendly (it has an app) and easy to follow.  We eat clean the majority of the time, so the diet change wasn’t too crazy, but I had to add in clean dinners (dinner was always where I would indulge) and I cut out the wine at night.  I’ll do a full post about the cleanse once I am finished.  I have already noticed results, the best being that my skin has really cleared up.

Chris always brings Vivi and I sweet gifts home from his travels.  He always does a very thoughtful and great job, but this time he really got it right :)

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Beautiful ethnic print dress and beaded jewelry to match for me, and koala tee (which she won’t take off) and wombat for Vivi.  Thanks babe.

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Hope you enjoyed the post!!  Have a great weekend!!

 

Narnia

I told Vivi that we were going to visit a magical fairy forest on the steep drive up to St. Louis Heights, also referred to as “Narnia” by the locals. Vivi and I stayed right at the head of the trail to take the photos, but there is some great hiking at Waahila Ridge State Recreation Area, right off of the neighborhood of St. Louis Heights.  I would love to make it back for the hike when we are not in tulle and lace.  In Hawaii it is not uncommon to drive through a neighborhood and right into an entrance of a State park or hiking trail.

Vivi had loads of fun chasing the local chickens and searching for fairies.

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My dress is a Free People gem purchased on the app Poshmark.  It is actually still on the FP website for $500 and I purchased it for $45 on Poshmark!!  It was my lucky day.  I feel that it is a classic silhouette I can keep for years.  I made Vivi’s “Tutu LaCour”, inspired by the very expensive Tutu Du Monde tutus that cover my “Vivi” Pinterest board.  It cost about $30 to make.

Huge thank you to Tien Austin!  Please check out more of her beautiful work at www.tienaustin.com.

Hope you enjoyed the post!  Have a great day!!

 

 

Big Ed finally joined Instagram and other highlights of the week :)

Hi friends! I hope everyone has had a great week! I’m trying my best to keep up with the blog, but I’m teaching ballet six days a week a the moment!  It has been a great balance of work and play this week…

Some highlights of the week:

-I have a student I recently started teaching private lessons to twice a week. Part of the arrangement was that her mother would watch Vivi in the lobby for me while I teach her daughter. This has worked out fabulously so far. I have a little studio baby now! Vivien never met a stranger, and she had the best time visiting with all the staff at Ballet Hawaii. My student’s Mom brought Vivi into the studio at the end of her daughters lesson and Vivi danced and danced to the grande allegro music, even requesting one more song after. I can’t lie. It made my heart sing.  I’m going to try to get some pics this week.

 

-On Wednesday, my friend Kelina and I started the Advocare 24 Day cleanse challenge. I haven’t done a cleanse in a very long time so I am excited. I think it will be easier to stay committed since Chris will be gone for two weeks this month (no Boston‘s Pizza requests), and my friend and I can hold each other accountable. Hardest part for me will be cutting out the vino at night, but I’m curious to see what changes my body may experience cutting out the alcohol. So far the cleanse has been great!  I have a ton of energy and the program has an app that makes it super easy to follow!!  Be ready for a full review and blog post once we are finished.

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-Starting to get back in shape. I have an exciting event coming up at the end of May (more details once everything is set) and I want to be in the best shape possible. The Tone It Up Bikini Challenge starts next Monday so if you are interested in participating in it with me let me know!  I have been a huge fan of the Tone It Up girls, Karena and Katrina, since the beginning, and love their FREE videos and easy to follow weekly plans.  They are all about HEALTH, and are super positive and inspiring!!

Click here for details of the plan:  Tone It Up Bikini Program

TIU Bikini Program

 

-Lunch with Giselle.

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-Little girls, tutus, and silver tap shoes!!  What more could I want??!!  Our neighbor had a dance recital and invited us to come watch her perform!  What a treat.

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-The Marine Base has a splash pad for the kiddos!!  Took Vivi on Thursday morning.  They have lounge chairs for the mommas and it is fenced in so the kids are contained!  Had a great time catching up with my good friend Nikki, and Vivi had a great time playing with her bud, Jack.

 

-Beach afternoon.

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-A lot of people have been telling Big Ed that he needed an Instagram account so I finally convinced him to set one up!!  You can follow him at https://instagram.com/bigedlacour/

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Chris and I are looking forward to a date night tomorrow night!  We are headed into Honolulu for sushi and to see a Trombone Shorty concert!!  Hope you all have a great weekend!!!!