3 Days in Sardinia & Milan

I feel like my life after having a baby consists of a lot of running. I want to get everything done before I pick up Mila from daycare because I want to be with her without thinking of anything I forgot to do or need to do or should be doing.  I do not even know what it means to be bored anymore! That being said, I absolutely love being a Mom and everything I do now has an added purpose of wanting to create the best life I can for my little girl. Never mind that she’s just so darn cute! However, it doesn’t change the fact that I have virtually no free time or time for myself anymore. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be doing a 5:30am workout class just so I could fit in a workout twice a week. So when one of my best friends asked if I wanted to come over to Sardinia, Italy for his 36th Birthday for FREE for 3 days, I said, ‘heck yeah!’

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Adam and I have been friends for 16+ years. I knew him before he was ‘out’ and he knew me before I wore makeup and still put Sun-in in just my……bangs (oy). Adam is the poster child for studying hard in school to give yourself loads of opportunities. He completely put himself through college and later through business school, all the while working as a fancy schmancy consultant which requires him to travel a LOT…which is why he has so many frequent flier miles and hotel points, thus being able to use some of them to fly me over to Italy!

IMG_3315Although the trip was only 3 days, it takes an entire day to get to a small island in Italy from the panhandle of Florida. I was very grateful to my husband for agreeing to take care of our little one for 5 days while I went off on a quick vacation! I actually enjoyed the 7 hour flight to Europe because I got to mindlessly watch movies and read my book…which was amazing!

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As soon as I arrived, Adam and I went to Hotel Cervo which was a super luxurious resort on the coast of Sardinia. It was amazing. If we had to actually pay for our rooms I may have been a tad more “am-I-getting-my-money’s-worth” but seeing as tho we didn’t…it was absolutely perfect! The incredibly sweet staff left a bottle of bubbly in our room, probably assuming we were on some romantic vacation instead of a married woman and her bff enjoying the fruits of his labor. We immediately put on our bathing suits and asked the resort to take us by boat to their private beach. We were quite enthralled with the large yachts that surrounded us. If someone were to tell me Jay-Z and Bey were on one of those yachts I would not have been surprised. (Although the crime-drama-watching part of me thought it was drug lords with their mistresses behaving badly).

 

Adam and I noticed that we were the only Americans at the resort. At least, from what we saw. We also noticed that, in true American fashion, we were a few decibels above everyone else, we talked and joked with the staff, and generally made the most out of our short stay.

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So later, we decided to check out this beach bar/club called Phi Beach. Ah-Maz-Ing! I absolutely loved this place. Completely outdoors with awesome, chill music, and the crowd was just families and groups just having a good time i.e. no sketchy 20-something males standing in the corner oggling all the girls, no weird old guys with model ‘girlfriends’, and generally no one looking for anything but a good time with the people they were with. There were even some children there! Sounds weird, but oddly appropriate in Sardinia. Adam and I hung out there for a while until it was time for our dinner reservation. If I lived in Sardinia, that would be my SPOT!

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Dinner was perfect. We ate at La Rocca. Perfect weather, perfect ambiance, perfect food. Unfortunately, we were way too busy enjoying an amazing Italian meal in a beautiful restaurant to think to take pics, but it was amazing!

We did a lot of exploring on our trip and did some walking which made me feel like I at least got some exercise. The island was absolutely gorgeous and photos just do not do it justice.

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For Adam’s Birthday celebration, we went to a restaurant / club called “Billionaire”. There were some extremely attractive men and women there! However, I’m pretty sure the girls at the table next to us were doing drugs in the bathroom. In any case, we had an amazing dinner and then headed downstairs to the club. I haven’t been to club like this since my NYC days. Adam and I danced around for a while but eventually hopped in a cab back to our hotel. It’s too bad I didn’t think to take a picture of us when we  weren’t  in a dark night club – we looked really cute!

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The next morning we planned to take a quick flight to Milan and spend the day there, so that my trip back to the US wouldn’t be quite so long. I had not been to Milan since I was 25, broke up with my boyfriend in Boston, and took a solo trip to Italy to “regroup” before I moved myself to NYC. Best credit card debt I ever racked!

We had a leisure breakfast, took in a few sights, then headed to the airport. We had NO idea we’d be met with an enormous line! There was no way we were making our flight. Adam, being the scrappy, MBA holding world traveler, asked a desk clerk if he could pay to skip all that nonsense (doesn’t hurt to ask, I guess!) Well, for 10 euro we were able to jump in front of the check in line, skip the long security line, and get to our gate in time for me to do some souvenir shopping! Thanks, Adam!

We got to Milan with almost the whole day ahead of us. We were exhausted from the night before (30-something clubbing is way different than 20-something clubbing!) but we did manage to go to a cute farm-to-table restaurant called Un Posto a Milano in the middle of the city, walk around the Duomo and grab some gelato before we just had to nap it.

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I couldn’t nap for too long but Adam seemed pretty beat so I headed up to the hotel roof for a beautiful view and  a glass of vino.

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For dinner we went to a cute little (well, it was kind of big and crowded) area called Navigli along some bridges and had some really good pizza and great conversation about life. Afterwards I went back to our hotel and crashed, while Adam went and checked out the pool and of course met some boys who wanted to take him to a Milan nightclub… oh the life.

My 3 days were just what I needed for a quick break from “running”… ! However, I was super excited to get back to my little munchkin. One day I’ll tell her about my trip and then bring her on some adventures with me.

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OK last but not least…. is this man carrying a purse?! He was walking with a woman, who was carrying a small bag….is this an Italian thing? Well anyway, to each his own….purse, I guess!

In the end, I had an amaaaazing time…. but always super excited to get back to my sweet baby!

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Week 21: Tons of reading, organizing, and being really anti-social

I have accepted the fact that I really do not have any desire to do anything but work (which, I love my job so I enjoy getting up every day!), learn (I listen to a ton of audio books), and read. Some may call it anti-social, I call it hormones. I’ve always been an introvert and on in to my 30’s I’ve enjoyed cooking a good meal or going out for a nice dinner and getting to bed at a good time rather than taking everything to a bar for late night partying. Or maybe my body has just finally decided that it’s done with the last 10 years of weekly bar outings…hmmm…

I’ve read a lot of books lately so here are the best of the best:

If you want a book that will consume your life til the very end:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - book cover

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Fiction) – Wow. If you haven’t read this yet, you’re missing out. Nick Dunne’s wife, Amy, disappears on their 5th wedding anniversary. A search ensues, but all signs seem to be pointing to Nick, the husband, who claims his innocence. A simple sounding plot, yes, but you’ll have to read it to find out why it’s utterly gripping storyline and “oh my gosh, this could actually happen,” events make it one of the best books in a long time.

girl on the train review

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Fiction)- This book was so good I could not put it down. I read it while walking my dog, while walking to my car, even riding in a car even though it makes me carsick (it was seriously that good!) Rachel takes the same commuter train in London every day, and looks out at the houses she passes, even starting to feel like she knows the inhabitants in the houses. One day, she sees something that she probably isn’t supposed to. She decides to get involved, in ways that become such a tangled web that it gets her in quite a bit of trouble. You just have to read it to understand how crazy good this was. This was the epitome of a ‘page turner’ and should be the book you read this summer if you only read one.

the luckiest girl alive review

The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessican Knoll (Fiction) – If the Girl on the Train and Gone Girl were so intense that you need to read something that calms it down a bit with some chick lit mixed in all the suspense, this might be the book for you! Ani is an NYC girl who works at one of the top magazines, is engaged to the perfect guy, and has everything she ever wanted. However, your past and the real you is always still there, no matter how much money you are using to cover it up, right? This book unfolds her past like an onion, more intense and twisted with each layer. I would rate this one as PG-13 with some of the events that happen, but absolutely a great book and quick read (because you’re not going to be able to put this one down either).

If you’re still longing for the days of the Twilight Saga and teenage angst:

mortal instruments reviewThe Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare (REALLY Fiction)- They made this first book into a movie which was teeeerrrrible (althought Lily Collins is so adorable). The books, however, will absorb you right in!  I read the first 4 books in the series. Enter a world of shadowhunters, downworlders, fairies (the scary kind) and even vampires and get completely hooked. Yes it sounds ridiculous, but trust me, this alternate universe will suck you in so much that you’ll wonder if some of it is actually true. Nevermind that all the main characters are sub 20 years of age. Nevermind that you have to buy it in the YA section of the book store. If you’re looking for some good old fashion story addiction that isn’t filled with fake monster porn (hello Trueblood) this is the series. It’s ok for your 12 year old and just as additive for the older folk (ok, me).

never never reviewNever Never by Colleen Hoover (Fiction) – If you do read this, please do not send me hate mail. This book is very short (about 200 pages) and is part of a series. They haven’t released the 3rd book and it’s kind of agonizing. In fact, there are already complaints online! Charlize and Silas have been best friends since they were babies, and have been in love for most of their life. Then one day, all of a sudden, neither of them can remember who they are, who each other is, who any of their friends or family are…it’s like their memories have been completely erased. You’ll be hooked (I was/am) as you search with them to put together the pieces of why this is happening.

If you want a book to make you think about life:

art of racing reviewThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (Fiction) – I’m normally not a fan of books that are written in the first person of a child, an animal, or the like. It feels like we have to spend a lot of time in their heads trying to figure out simple things like opening a door. However, this one is told by an insightful (we’re talking Gandhi-level) dog, who occasionally shares his wisdom with you while telling the story of his life, which is more about his master’s life and his trials and tribulations. It’s actually a very heart-warming and sometimes funny book about a very good guy.

girlboss review#Girlboss by Sophia Amorusa (NasyGal founder) (Non-Fiction) – I wish I would have read this book when I was 25 (of course, when I was 25 Sophia Amorusa was still dumpster diving and had not even begun her life she has now). I love reading books about how people got from nothing to get everything, and this one I liked because she is a VERY modern day rags to riches tale. She tells her story, and really emphasizes that there was no “luck” but instead of a lot of mistakes and bad choices and trial and error and perseverance before getting to where she is. I love the advice she gives younger generations. She’s been criticized for writing a book after only being in business 7 years, but she just puts it all out there and I really love her for that.

If you want a book to inspire you to change and/or improve your life:

life changing magic reviewThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (Non-Fiction) – By now you’ve certainly seen this book somewhere. It’s been all over the best sellers list! I refused to read this book for a while, thinking, nothing can be more boring than reading about how to organize. Plus, what the heck can this woman tell me that I don’t already know? (aside: I’m a terrible organizer, so I’m not sure why I had this attitude). Wrong. It really did change my life. Discard what you think you know about organizing, stop looking for new ways to store things, and just read this book. If you follow her advice to a T, magical things really do happen. Oh, and it’s not boring and a VERY easy read.

7-habits-of-highly-effective-peopleThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (Non-Fiction) – This is one everyone has heard of, but not everyone has read (because if everyone had read this, the world would truly be a more compassionate, better place!) You can Google the habits and see what they are, nothing terribly remarkable, but if you read/listen to the book it really reminds you and teaches you how you can change your life, your outlook on life, and how you are in control of how you respond to events that happen and you can truly be in control of your life. I like the audible version of this book.

 41vi-V+18sL10% Happier by Dan Harris (Good Morning America guy) (Non-Fiction) – I’ve tried reading the Oprah talked about “Power of Now” (Eckhart Tolle) and similar books about living in the moment. They all made sense in terms of, yes, we should quiet our brains, and live in the now instead of worrying about things that haven’t even happened. But none of them actually explained how to do this. 10% Happier made it all make sense. Not only was the book interesting and funny, but instead of some robe wearing guru telling you parables and words of wisdom, Dan actually tells his story of how he, a real person with real problems, made his life a little bit better and learned to calm his crazy mind.

If you’re looking for the next “Devil Wears Prada”

the knockoffThe Knockoff  by Lucy Sykes/Jo Piazza (Fiction) – Imogen Tate is the editor-in-chief of Glossy magazine, and very well respected in the industry. When she comes back from a 6 month hiatus to find her former 20-something assistant running the entire show, turning her precious magazine into an app, she has to make some necessary adjustments to keep her place in the fashion world. Very easy read and very entertaining. Great book and a nice break from the dark and suspenseful books I mentioned up at the beginning 🙂

If you’re looking for a book to get you healthy:

brain maker 51lPZw1WaOL__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Brain Maker and Grain Brain (2 books) by David Perlmutter  (Non-Fiction) – If you want to get the very LATEST research on the most likely causes of all the auto-immune diseases out there, why you have a hard time losing weight eating sugary breads and processed foods, why anti-biotics are terrible for you, and why you really are what you eat, read these books! Finally, a guy who actually cites valid research with his claims. I recommend the audible versions of these as well.

Week 22: harder to run, yoga is my friend!

I’ve never been great at yoga. I’m far from being flexible by anyone’s standards and to add insult to injury I’ve always preferred doing exercises that tend to tighten you up (running, boxing, boot camps). Therefore, yoga is very beneficial for me! I’m not a dedicated yogi, however, and it’s one of those classes I’ll go to when I just feel like mixing things up a little…not something I really go to on a regular basis. However, I try to do a little yoga after every run (which has helped so much!) it’s just hard for me to get motivated to go to an hour and a half long yoga class every week. That’s really no excuse, but since a lot of my reason for exercising is because I enjoy doing it, I tend to gravitate towards the ones I enjoy doing the most. So sue me! 🙂

In any case, I’m now 22 weeks – almost 23 – pregnant and have gained at least 12 pounds (it’s probably way more than that but I refuse to weigh myself except whe I go to my dr appointments). My feet actually began hurting yesterday (!!) from walking around so much, which made me realize that the struggle is real in pregnancy. My feet do not ever hurt and I run around all day all the time!

I’ve continued running, 4 miles max lately because it’s been so hot. I’m also significantly slower than my pre-pregnancy self but I’m totally ok with that. I love just listening to my body and going however fast or slow feels good. Then today, after running a bit too soon after eating, I barely made 2 miles! I’m hoping that the reason is because I was so full.

Which brings me to another little gift of pregnancy – I cannot eat big, or even medium sized meals anymore! I end of feeling SO full that I basically have to lie down to have enough room to breathe. If I stick to small meals that doesn’t happen. Thank you pregnancy Gods.

After my run, I found this great little 10 minute yoga video:  http://youtu.be/MX0L-iYnt5c I really liked it because it went through a flow, didn’t stop with tons of instruction, and was only 10 minutes! Again, I don’t like to do super long yoga classes but 10 minutes?? Yeah I can throw that in to my routine.

In just 10 minutes, I felt like myself again. It really made a difference this morning. Like I said, I do yoga (10-20 minute Youtube videos) after I run, but I normally am not feeling like such a big pile of poo.

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2nd Trimester: Energy (yay!) and “nesting”

About week 15, my energy *finally* came back! The energy is here some days (when I get PLENTY of sleep) and other days not so much. Or I feel great in the morning, but by 2:30pm I want to crash. That being said, this is a much needed relief from the 1st Trimester! Looking back, I’m honestly not even sure how I did the things I did during those first 3.5 months: took my husband to Boston for 3 days along with his sister and her husband (check!), went to an all day beer fest followed by more bar hopping (check!), did a Tough Mudder (check!), ran a 10K (check!)…..not to mention other outings here and there.

Surprises during my 2nd Trimester: I do not like loud noises. I don’t think I’ve ever liked them, per se, but I get a reaction to them now, loud bars included. Speaking of loud bars, I am extremely uncomfortable in environments with a lot of people around – being in a bar with a ton of people who are losing control over themselves is super stressful for me! I’ve never been this way. Even when I wasn’t drinking much while out, I didn’t have this strong of an aversion. It’s like I want to be in warm, cozy environments where I can “nest” and sit on my eggs, or something.

Two weekends ago I went on a camping – ok, glamping (glamorous camping) with my husband’s sister and her husband, and another couple. We stayed in a cabin by a lake in Blue Springs National Park, no tv, lots of nature, and a 4 hour canoe trip down the Suwannee river. I even managed to get in a short trail run.  It was perfect! Although I couldn’t last long through the Cards of Humanity while the others stayed up til the wee hours drinking and playing….I managed til about midnight and hit the hay. But other than that, I was able to keep up with everything else! And the cabin was so great. I would get up early (well, before everyone else) and read on the screened in porch and it was perfect. I highly recommend this kind of trip if you’re pregnant and feeling like you want to be cozy all the time.

10k while pregnant

Running and Boot Camp – 10 weeks pregnant

I have been lucky not to have ‘morning sickness’ or anything of the sort. I get nauseous if I do not eat as soon as I wake up (sleepless nights I wind up eating an avocado with honey!) and I do NOT do well without a full, solid night of sleep. I am pretty tired most of the time as well. However, I feel like this is pretty mild considering all the other posts I’ve read! In any case, I always feel like myself for at least a short while when and right after I’m exercising.

10k while pregnant

I ran a 10K last Saturday. It was .11 over 6.2 miles and I ran it in 52 minutes. NOT my best time by any means, but it was very humid and absolutely no breeze! I got a little nervous struggling through it, since you aren’t supposed to put yourself in situations where you cannot breathe while your pregnant. The last mile – determined to push forward – I talked to myself a little. Ha! Luckily I was by myself and no one was around me to hear me sound crazy.

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I’ve been doing light boot camp style workout classes a couple of times a week and running here and there. Yesterday I tried a new class with a new girl in town. It lasted about 35 minutes and I feel like it was perfect for a pregnancy workout (although the trainer had no idea I’m preggers):

Warm Up:

– 1 lap around the park (a little less than a lap around a track). I ran.

– Squats with good mornings 20 seconds Jumping jacks 20 seconds, repeat 3 times

4 x Rotation:

– Mountain climbers – 40 seconds, 20 second rest

– Walking lunges – 40 seconds, 20 second rest

– Dumbell rows with 8lb weights while in plank – 40 seconds, 20 second rest

– Squats with shoulder press with 10lb bar – 40 seconds, 20 second rest

2 x each:

– Side shuffle to free throw line and back (we were on a tennis/basketball court) – 1 minute, 20 second rest

– Side shuffle five steps with rubber band around ankles (5 steps on direction, then back the other, repeat) – 1 minute, 20 second rest

With a partner (or you could do it without):

– Sprint to half court and back, then full court and back

– Other person does squats until you are finished and then you switch

Clearly not everyone has a basketball court to work on but you could easily estimate the sprints

run on the beach

6 mile run + Yoga for my Mid Back Pain

I have been experiencing some MAJOR mid back pain in the last few weeks.I mean, excruciating to where I do whatever I can to make it go away (without using any pain killers). It doesn’t happen all the time. In fact, I can’t figure out what makes it finally go away because when it’s not there I’m not thinking about it. In any case, I always wake up feeling fine.This morning I got up and it was unusually cold for this time of year (46 degrees!) which was great because I had planned on running 6 miles, and I haven’t been running more than 4 in the last few weeks so I liked the fact that I wouldn’t also be running in the heat. I ran 5.5 miles and then ran on the beach the rest of the way. Beach sand is tough to run on! Half a mile was plenty 🙂

mexico beach, fl

Afterwards my mid back was hurting again, so I decided to do a yoga video geared towards alleviating my issue. I usually do a 10-20 minute yoga video (I do different ones on youtube) after I do a run. I found this one today and really liked it https://youtu.be/Yy_B8T-XUOk

grover the great

I have two heartbeats! …and other freaky revelations

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I had read that animals can know if you are pregnant. Maybe I’m making this up, but I swear my dog (his name is Grover) knows. He started sniffing me and looking at me as if to say, “I know.” And then he’d lick me. It’s kind of fun being able to share this with him. Well that sounds completely weird. I do have actual people friends, I promise.

We went to our 2nd doctor visit yesterday and our little guy or gal has a heartbeat! 149 beats per minute. My husband commented this morning, after I told him I was up from about 1:30am til at least 4:30 for some crazy reason, that I have 2 heartbeats. So strange! For some reason, seeing the picture of the little person yesterday really made it all hit me again that I am pregnant. I am sure I was imagining things, but the picture of our baby looked like he/she was squatting/sitting up. This is clearly not possible since it doesn’t even have legs much less knees, but it put a little picture in my head. We could also see the heartbeat by a little light flickering which is just crazy. I have 2 hearts inside of me, beating at different rhythms. I think my husband likes me more because I’m more like the aliens in all the movies he likes to watch 😉

Now I am REALLY – even more so – concerned with everything I put in my body. Yesterday I exhaled the whole time I had to walk through a group of smokers, today I might jerk the cigarettes out of their mouth and yell at them.

I ran 4 miles yesterday morning, and had to run behind a few cars with exhaust who were waiting at stop signs, which normally I just try to breathe out, but now I may have to just completely take a detour.

I’ve been reading all kinds of things about what foods do what (it’s like my pornography – I love reading about nutrition and all the lies the government tells us about what to eat…don’t worry, I’ll post my research!) and I am now terrified to feel that little person anything that could harm his future, like refined sugar and hormones in our meat. Forget anything processed.

So on to day #1 of officially knowing I have 2 hearts inside me….