Postnatal Workout Update

Alright, we did it. We completed the first 5 weeks of Focus T25, the “alpha” round, as it’s called. I have eaten healthier, not exactly healthy all the time, but healthier. In fact, didn’t eat any chips, except while we were in Texas. But, how can anyone go to the land of Tex-Mex and not eat chips and salsa?! They couldn’t and wouldn’t. Actually, we did a great job sticking to our “get healthy” postnatal workout plan except the time spent in Texas. We were on vacation and visiting family so we may have splurged a little when it came to food aannndd we may have missed a couple of workouts. Woops.

Even after having an entire “cheat week” I am still seeing results and feeling stronger. This T25 business is for real. It is an intense workout with zero breaks and I am still sore almost daily, especially after double days! Speaking of double days I’d like to point out this isn’t exactly a 25 minute workout.. Monday through Thursday is a 25 minute workout with a 2 -3 minute cool down. I guess you could skip the cool down if you are really set on only doing 25 minutes. Then, Fridays are “double days”, meaning you do not one, but two of the 25 minute workouts plus both cool downs. So, Fridays are basically an hour. Again, you could just skip the 2nd workout, but it seems silly to do the program, but not do it full out.


Since we have a newborn there have been some challenges added to our daily workout regimen. Sometimes I squeeze in a workout while Luna naps, sometimes she’s happy to watch us from her oscillating chair and sometimes I have to stop halfway through to tend to her and finish the second half later. We often even hold her during the cool-down or while doing some modifications. “Whatever it takes” and “no excuses” are our mottos lately.

My health is better too. I am down from 16 blood pressure pills after having Luna to only 2 a day, and I will hopefully be down to zero in the next month. Yay me! I also feel 90% back to normal.

We still have about 2 months left (the beta and the gamma rounds), but here’s my progress so far:



First picture is 6 weeks postpartum and second picture is 11 weeks postpartum.

I’m 11 weeks postpartum and I’m proud of my progress and hard-work. I’d like to see my abs tone up, but I think that won’t happen until I really cut out the crap in my diet. Can’t wait to see how strong I am at the end of this program. I hope to be 100% feeling normal, off all my blood pressure medicine, happy and healthy!


New Friend Friday: Meet Stacey!

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to someone I have known since I was very young. In fact, she was actually close friends with my older sister. Nowadays, the two of us keep up through Facebook and one anothers’ blogs. This productive and creative friend of mine is a stay-at-home Mom of 3 who blogs and runs her own (Mom Upcycles) Etsy shop. She is super thrifty and crafty and blogs about how to turn the crap you would have thrown away into a holiday wreath or a new sweater. I’m getting ahead of myself. I should just let her tell you everything! Oh and she’s giving away one of her beautiful hand-embroidered hoops to one of you, don’t miss your chance to enter!

Meet Stacey:

I’m so excited to have been asked to contribute to Hilarie’s amazing blog! Thank you!

I am often asked, “how do you manage it all?” The blog (which has been on my back burner as I work on my new shop, with only once-a-week posts), Facebook and Instagram social networking, my new Etsy shop, cooking, cleaning, a marriage, 2 babies under 3 and a teenager, not to mention our monthly 4 hour round-trips in to see family. (Whew, that was a lot to type!)

Well, a hint is that I’m typing this in the notepad app on my iphone.

In my yoga pants.

With a baby in my arms.

The answer is that I don’t manage it all. I do the best I can, in the best way I know how, and have made peace with that.  This post is to reassure all the moms out there who may feel like they are failing if they can’t do everything that they are NOT a failure, and that it’s okay to do what you can, when you can.

I dream of leisurely days, where I can awaken, have a hot cup of coffee, shower, get dressed in real clothes, put on a bit of makeup, fix my hair, clean up the house, and then get to my other pursuits–my blog, shop, and social marketing and networking.  That’s all a day like that is, though–a nice dream.

The reality of my day goes like this:

Awaken to a baby crying, nurse her, give her something to play with so that I can put on a T-shirt and yoga pants or jeans if they are handy. Run a brush through my hair. Change the baby, set her in her bouncer, make coffee. Catch up on social media while I finish half of my coffee. At this point, my 2 year-old cries and I get him out of bed, to the potty, and his breakfast made. Finish my now-cold coffee. Run up to brush my teeth, run back down to tend to my usually needing-to-be changed baby. The toddler demands his last few bite of oatmeal be fed to him (please, let this stage pass soon), and then he’s off to play. This usually consists of him pulling out every toy he owns and littering it around the house. I start a load of laundry at this point, and throw whatever is in the dryer on my sofa to be folded later…much later.


example of my chaos

I recently signed my toddler up for ABC Mouse online, so I do a lesson with him at this point and my next activity depends on if he is playing independently or not and if the baby is content. If both are true, I usually try to work on stitching an outstanding order. More often than not, though, my stitching waits for naps.  I’ll do some social marketing and networking during lulls in the day, usually. Also, while rocking the baby, I work online (like now). My Etsy shop requires daily maintenance, and my husband and I are even working on my very own store front as an alternate way people can shop for things he and I make, so that adds more online work.

Around 5:30, my teenage son comes downstairs to sit with the babies while I cook dinner.  I do enjoy cooking, and making my family home-cooked meals is important to me, so I rely on simple meals, many of which you can find in my blog. My slow cooker is my best friend. I also love “cook once, eat twice” meals. If all else fails, grilled cheese and tomato soup are a standard fall-back for dinner. I manage dinner by meal planning each week. I know exactly which meals I’m making, and shop for them, so there is no guesswork at dinner time.

The day goes on in much the same fashion, until bed time. My kids are big night owls, so this is usually around 8:30-9:30. Finally, ME time!

This is when I take my bath, package up orders that need to go out, work on things that require the desktop upstairs (a laptop is on my wish list), sew, and/or stitch as needed.  I go to sleep at around midnight every night.


stitching up an order

The bottom line? No, I can’t be Super Girl. I can’t do it all. Things that are sacrificed in my life are housework and sleep.

My house generally looks like a train wreck and is in desperate need of a deep clean, and my laundry will never be caught up (did I mention that until recently, I cloth diapered two babies and now cloth diaper one?) but I refuse to worry too much about it.

My husband is incredibly supportive and helps me clean on the weekends, and my teenage son is a great help to me during the week, doing small chores like dishes, and picking up items on the floor, most nights.  It’s a team effort in my house, and I’m really lucky to have an understanding partner.  He doesn’t get angry about the mess and always makes me feel like I’m doing important work.


As for the sleep? Well, I have 2 children under 3, that I’ve exclusively breast-fed. I wasn’t sleeping much anyway, haha! I am also a night-owl and the night time had ways been my favorite time.

I make it work; we make it work.  Some months we may not get to make the drive in to see family, and hopefully they’ll make the drive our way, or we’ll catch them the next month. Some nights are spent frantically picking up debris around the house, because I can’t take another second of clutter. Some evenings we have deli pizza or takeout.

My best advice for moms who are trying to maintain a household and a business, crafting, blog, strict fitness regimen, etc, is to not feel like you need to do and be everything. Let some things slide. You are human and your happiness matters.  A creative or physical outlet can be the difference in a happy mom and wife and a miserable one.  Surround yourself with people who understand this, and live your life doing the things you need to do to be happy.

I’ll end this with my very favorite poem, which is on my “to be stitched” list:

Song for a Fifth Child by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, oh mother, come shake out your cloth!

Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,

Hang out the washing and butter the bread,

Sew on a button and make up a bed.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?

She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking!


Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue

(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby, loo).

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due

(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew

And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo

But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.

Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?

(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.)

Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,

But children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.

So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.

I’m rocking my baby. Babies don’t keep.


Thank you Stacey! AND thank you for offering this giveaway…

photo 2

Stacey will send one of you this beautiful embroidered hoop and all you have to do to enter is:

1. Follow Positively Panicked and Mom Upcycles blogs.

2. Follow Positively Panicked and Mom Upcycles on Facebook.

3. Comment below and tell me where you’d like to hang this embroidered hoop. (I’d personally like this one in my entryway!)

photo 1

I’ll select the winner on Monday, April 28th. Good luck to everyone and don’t forget to check out Mom Upcycle’s Etsy store for more hand embroidered items.

Thank you Stacey for your wise words…I’m always learning from you!


Cloth Diaper Winner!


Yay! I get to giveaway another cool thing to one of you, woohoo! Now, before announcing the winner of the amazing Thirsties new one size pocket diaper I want to remind you all that the winner is chosen randomly by a name generator I find online. I very often want to pick the winner because of the cute comment, or the fact that I know them or because they’ve entered all my giveaway and have yet to win, but alas I never choose myself. It just wouldn’t be fair. Instead I let something cute and ridiculous like the fruit machine select a name a random.

Tonight, the fruit machine name generator selected one of you to win a diaper that Thirsties was nice enough to let me review, and the winner is….

Wanting to win for a friend who is due in July and wanting to go cloth.

Congrats Alicia! I hope your friend loves her gift and cloth diapering as well. Just email me your mailing info ( and I will pass along your info to Thirsties!


Stay tuned because I have LOTS of exciting reviews, giveaways, stories and whatnot coming up. Thank you to everyone who entered and huge thanks to Thirsties!


On the Boardwalk


While in Texas we decided to hit up Kemah and enjoy lunch on the Boardwalk. Kemah is a small town on Galveston Bay and is just a little south of Houston. There are lots of small towns in Texas, but they don’t all have the party on the water atmosphere Kemah has. The most exciting part of Kemah is definitely the Boardwalk. The Boardwalk has many popular restaurants, theme park style rides, food and drink carts, games, water activities and lots of little shops.


We ate seafood from the Flying Dutchmen with a nice view of the bay.

Aren't they cute?

Aren’t they cute?

Afterwards we (well me mostly) had to have some Starbucks.

Luna and PawPaw enjoying some bonding time over coffee.

Luna and PawPaw enjoying some bonding time over coffee.

It was sunny and 80 degrees in Kemah that day so we spent the afternoon walking up and down the boardwalk, feeding fish, watching birds, window shopping and enjoying the warm weather that I miss soooo much. It was actually sunny enough that my shoulders got red…can’t even remember the last time I felt weather like this.

catfish boardwalk bird

It was a nice relaxing day with just the family. We don’t get many days like this, which just makes these moments even more special. I just can’t wait until Luna is old enough to get on the roller coasters with me. Scratch that…I can wait. She’s already growing way too fast!

looks like trouble...

looks like trouble…

the family

the family


Friends In Texas

We survived our first trip with our newborn daughter and boy was it a great trip! We went to Texas to see my parents, relatives and many friends who met Luna for the very first time. Luna was an awesome happy baby on four flights. She drove all over southeast Texas, ate at many restaurants, shopped all day, toured the boardwalk, had her first crawfish boil and met a ridiculous amount of people. (Yet, still not everyone…there are just too many good friends to see!) It was one awesome and busy week.

My Mom loving on baby O

My Mom loving on baby O

Luna and I both crashed after getting home today which explains why I’m blogging at 11:30pm. I’m certain that the second I post this and get into bed, she will wake up ready to eat. Oh well, I kind of miss her when she’s sleeping so waking up in the wee hours really isn’t bad. Although, she’s so worn out she may sleep all night.

This little princess could not have been more excited to meet my own little princess.

This little princess could not have been more excited to meet my own little princess.

One of the best parts of being in Texas was seeing my friends, their babies and introducing them to my baby. One of my best friends had her 3rd baby boy the day before we flew into town! Seeing all of us with our babies together is really special. I feel so lucky to have such wonderful friends who are also Mom’s in my life.

There's one more important lady and baby boy missing in this photo!

There’s one more important lady and baby boy missing in this photo!

Welcome to the world baby Slade!

Welcome to the world baby Slade!

Luna getting to meet her Aunt Danica

Luna getting to meet her Aunt Danica

And her Nanny Sommer

And her Nanny Sommer

The entire week was spent staring at babies and talking about them. None of us can even remember what we talked about prior to having babies. We transitioned from crushes to colleges to marriage to breastfeeding and poopy diapers over the last 15 or so years, but it seems like no time has passed at all. Seriously? Weren’t we all just calling shotgun in our boyfriend’s pick-up trucks, skipping school to eat at Dairy Queen and having all night dance parties in our pj’s? When the hell did we grow up?

Having a playdate with Mr. Handsome

Having a playdate with Mr. Handsome

We just thought that high school was hard and dramatic. What, with its heartbreaks, bad grades, attempts to fit-in, prom disasters, eating disorders, after-school jobs and whatnot. We only survived because we had each other. I’m sure of it. Now, we have learned the true meaning of survival as well as friendship. Life after high school has gotten so much better, but not without it’s fair share of illness, miscarriages, loss, career choices, more heartbreak, moves and failures. Thankfully, we still have each other. Even though we are states away (some of us are even countries away) I am constantly leaning on them for support.

Trying to get a photo with little Nolan!

Trying to get a photo with little Nolan!

Seeing our kids meet each other is so special. I wish we all lived closer, but hey, at least they’ll always have reasons to travel!

Luna had her first Easter Bunny picture taken with her best bud!

Luna had her first Easter Bunny picture taken with her best bud!

Love you all!


Scarf Winner


Okay, I’m a day late and I’m SO sorry, but I do not have wifi at my parent’s house in Texas. I am currently sitting in a Starbuck’s in a Target to write this, which really isn’t a problem because well…Starbucks and Target, how can anything be wrong?

I am super duper excited to have this giveaway and announce the winner because I LOVE this product. Since reviewing Marie Nohr’s scarf/nursing cover I have used it numerous times. In fact, we are almost always on the go so I’ve used the scarf almost everyday and it always works perfectly.


Now, what you’ve all been waiting for….the winner of this Infinity scarf from Marie Nohr is


I love this! I have only seen it once before, but I was skeptical. Now that I’ve read this post, I’ve gotta have one! As I mentioned in another comment, I am pregnant with my first. Due in about 5 weeks. I plan on nursing, but I am a little weary of nursing in public or around male family members. Maybe this item would help ease that awkwardness. Besides, a cute scarf…? Who can pass that up?

Congrats Ciara and good luck with the new baby! Email me your info ( and I’ll get the scarf to you ASAP!


Don’t forget  Marie is also offering a discount code to all of you. Just use the coupon code: NEWMOMMANURSING for 20% off of her ready to ship items. HUGE thanks to Marie Nohr, you are awesome! Also, keep an eye out for her pieces on Zulily!

And, stay tuned because I’ll be announcing the winner of the cloth diaper on Thursday! We are flying home tomorrow and I cannot wait to tell you all about our adventures here in Texas!


Baby’s First Flight

First flight!

First flight!

Yesterday, Luna had her first flight! We got up at 3am for a very early flight to Texas to see my parents. In fact, we took two flights to get there, and our little girl was quite the trouper. (Yes, I documented every moment with a poor quality cell phone photo, and yes you are now forced to look at them.)

Checking in

Checking in

It takes a lot of planning and some research to figure out what you need to fly with a baby (not much), but Husband and I managed to travel with only 2 carry-ons each, and Luna in a car seat. I think we brought everything we need, but we still have 6 days to go… once we are back in Tennessee I’ll write a post about how to travel and pack with a newborn! I’m sure I’ll have some do’s and don’t’s.


going through security

caffed up and ready

caffed up and ready

We didn’t purchase her a seat, since babies fly free if you hold them. We carried her through the airport in her car seat and planned to put the car seat away on the flight. Luckily, neither flight was full which means we got to keep her in her car seat and put her in a seat next to us…no holding necessary.

watching the sun come up

watching the sun come up

She slept all the way to Dallas and only woke up to eat during our layover. On the second flight we ended up taxi-ing around for almost an hour. After half an hour Luna got restless and started sounding fussy. I decided to pick her up before she started crying, but I must have accidentally hit her on a buckle or something because she went from quiet-baby-fussing to unbearable-ear-splitting-screaming in a millisecond. I don’t think I have ever heard her scream as loud as she screamed the second I picked her up. Too terrified to look around at the passengers who were probably very unhappy, I kept my eyes glued to her and did everything possible to console her.

taking the monorail...yes I documented every moment with a photo

taking the monorail

strapped in and content

strapped in and content

It took only 2 minutes (which felt like 20) to calm her down. By the time we took off she was perfectly happy and didn’t make one more peep the rest of the flight. Whew.

American Airlines tweeted us for her first flight!

American Airlines tweeted us for her first flight!

We landed safely in small town Texas and were picked up by the happiest Grandparents ever. In just one day Luna took two flights, went grocery shopping, played dress up at Grandma’s store and even got to visit a new baby at the hospital. It was such an eventful day that she slept for 8 full hours last night!



We have a busy week in Texas ahead, can’t wait to share more of Luna’s first adventure!