Personal Days and Ponchos (& why both are necessary!)

A personal day? What’s that?
If you are asking that question to yourself or thinking, “SERIOUSLY!” – hear me out! I’ve just recently discovered the single best #momhack #lifehack whatever you want to call it hack.
Early on after having Calvin and going back to work, a co-worker gave me the advice that I should schedule days off work to get personal things taken care of.. aka suggesting that I would have to plan ahead to be productive, a super foreign concept to me. I put this in the back of my mind up until now, as it seemed like a waste of a vacation day, or that it wouldn’t be worth setting aside work or emails for a full day.

It has been a busy and stressful summer & fall back at work, and I have slowly started to fall behind on “life.” So at the end of last week, I decided I needed a personal day – to keep both my physical and mental sanity!

My only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner.

[Every vacation day for the past 18 months has been spent traveling (usually to and from holidays), which in itself can be extremely stressful and tiring. If we weren’t traveling, they were spent at home in Cincinnati staying at others’ homes and juggling how we can maximize time with every loved one we want to see and while in town.]
This was not the personal day where I sleep in until 10am, slowly enjoy my coffee cuddled on the couch with a nice book and then make my way to the salon for a day of pampering.  It was time – this mama needed a day to herself to just get. shit. done.

I never thought I would be the Mom that was off work and still taking her child to daycare, but I can now put myself in that category. It is almost impossible to get anything done when taking care of an 8 month old at home, so off to daycare Calvin went. Because my personal time is so valuable, I did not feel bad… he did get to go late and was picked up early. Either way, Calvin loves daycare (thinking of writing a post on daycare pros & cons) so it was just another chance for him to play with his “friends.” 🙂
I honestly can barely even believe I was so productive. I felt “free” and was able to check so many things off of my to-do that would’ve otherwise eaten into my entire weekend or taken a lot longer than 1 day to accomplish.
Some ideas for fully utilizing a personal day:
Drink your coffee out of a normal mug as opposed to a travel mug (it’s the little things)
Clean/pick-up your home
Laundry
Work on your side hustle
Go to a work-out class
Grocery shop/buy items for a new recipe
Go to brunch or lunch with a friend
Shower and actually get ready
Spend extra time with your child in the morning and afternoon
*I may or may not have been able to do all of these things and more*
If you are a busy mom, or hard working professional and feeling overwhelmed with work, life and responsibilities, I suggest putting some time aside for yourself. Even if ‘personal time’ means you are checking things off your list that involve others – if it’ll make you feel better to accomplish these things that you know need done asap, it’s time.
As a mom, you likely schedule everyone else’s lives around you – what about scheduling some time of your own?

So – my top 3 reasons you should take some time for a personal day – 1) get a bunch of shit done in one focused day 2) revive your mental sanity and 3) you deserve it!


OUTFIT INSPO:

Boots (similar)

Dress

Necklace

The poncho I’m wearing in these photos is almost like a blanket, super big and warm. It’s from marshals, or maybe TJ Maxx last year and LITERALLY doesn’t have a brand on the tag. (You can probably tell by now that I’m not a big brand snob – I buy what I like, don’t care where it’s from or what the brand is.) I also swore by ponchos when I was pregnant and they are actually what inspired my very first post.  They are probably my favorite cold weather accessory and I’m so glad it’s finally chilly enough to pull them out! Here are some of my other favorites for you to choose from:

product photo

Image of Steve Madden Faux Leather Trimmed Zip Poncho

Image of Accessory Street Marled Knit Border Ruana

Product Image, click to zoom

Product Image, click to zoom

Tasseled Poncho

Fringed Plaid Poncho

Primary Image of Reversible Cape

Here’s to my two favorite things at the moment: personal days & ponchos! How do you feel about either? What is your plan of attack for completing “life” tasks and not getting overwhelmed? Any hacks I should know about?
Talk soon!

KaylaSignature-02

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Ordering Prescription Glasses Online [aka save money & look smart]

You guys – how is it already the last week in July? I seriously feel like Summer just started! Time sure flies when there’s not enough hours in the day….I mean, time sure flies when you’re having fun. 😜
Calvin and I ventured to Cincinnati this past weekend. I’m here for work and decided to come in early to visit family and co-workers in this office. I posted this weekend on instagram, asking for advice, since it would be his first flight, and my first time traveling solo with him. Thanks so much to everyone who wrote to me – so sweet and helpful! I’m usually super positive but not going to lie, it was actually more hectic than I even thought it would be. He was pretty good but this process definitely involved more sweating, burning arms, stuff flying everywhere than it should have LOL…I will likely write about traveling with an infant (driving vs. flying) in the near future. Well, maybe – if we make it home in one piece!

Alright dudes, well doesn’t it seem like almost everyone wears contacts or glasses these days? I wear contacts 95% of the time but noticed my eyes starting to hurt more when I didn’t get a lot of sleep – which is pretty much every night for the past 5 months. It’s so necessary to have a reliable pair of glasses to wear to work or for early in the morning when those little guys (contact lenses) just won’t go in your eyes.

I have Michael Kors prescription glasses that I LOVE – the problem is that they are from like, 2012, and even though the prescription was outdated and no longer accurate, I didn’t want to order new ones because they are so expensive! Even with insurance, buying lenses and frames the traditional route (through your doctor) can be hundreds of $$$. So I just wore glasses that weren’t “strong” enough for a few years. Probably the cause of a few headaches? 🤔
I was so thankful that the Glasses Shop reached out to me at the perfect time – just a few weeks before I went back to work (while still waking up every night with a baby) – to pick out a pair of glasses and try out their shop. These glasses are:
Affordable
I’m not going to lie, I was a bit hesitant to order from this shop because they were so affordable. I figured something so inexpensive would be so so cheap. Not the case at all. The frames are so sturdy and the prescription is just right. Super impressed with both the price point and quality. I literally don’t have one complaint.
Fashionable
They have so many options to chose from and I’ve gotten so many compliments on these frames. Remember when you’re little and wearing glasses was so dorky – you’re like embarrassed when you have to get them?! Well now I feel like glasses (and sunglasses) are the best accessory and can make any outfit look more exciting. Did I mention The Glasses Shop offers prescription sunglasses as well?
Also, I need these glasses to make me look smart and cancel out my mom brain (which is real BTW.)

Convenient To Order
Request your prescription and PPD (pupillary distance) from your eye doctor. Because I had an exam in the last year, I called my doctor to request those two pieces of information and they sent them over via email within the hour. This is the information you will send over with your order
If you go to the glasses shop site on a desktop, there is an option to upload a picture of your face and virtually try on different frames. It sounds like it would be iffy but you can truly see how each frame will look on your face. Game changer in making my final decision.

Use discount code GSHOT50 for 50% off your order – enjoy!

I am wearing the Beauvais Wayfarer in Black (SKU: FZ0647) in case you are so inclined to try the same style.🤓
PS – how sweet is Calvin in these photos? Mama bear and baby bear tops made by etsy shop @hellohandpressed. 🐻

If you try out the glasses definitely let me know! Such a great alternative to ordering traditional prescription lenses or prescription sunglasses. I mostly love that you can order multiple pairs and switch up your look as often as you’d like, for such a great price!
Hope you all have an awesome week and go swimming or something along those lines, it’s seriously so hot!
💕 Kayla

Achieving Body after Baby: 4 Ways to Mentally Prepare

I think I have referenced the #4thtrimester in more than one post – and let me tell you, it’s no joke. What an awesome, yet strange time for Moms everywhere, both physically and mentally! Not only are you trying to learn how to take care of a tiny baby, but you are trying to feel good in your own skin and stay sane at the same time. I think that this is SO FREAKING IMPORTANT – feeling good about yourself. I can’t do anything when I feel bad about myself. I feel sluggish, lazy, and unmotivated. I am a better Mom when I re-charge with physical fitness.
I’m just starting to get into that #fitmom life post baby. To be completely transparent – I lost ~70% of the weight I gained right away (within 2 weeks) of having Calvin. And from 2 weeks until now (9 weeks) post-partum have literally not lost one more lb. I’m not really concentrating on the scale or cutting calories as I can’t risk affecting milk supply, but I did think those numbers were interesting. I thought it would be more gradual and continual over the course of several months. It reminds me how everyone’s bodies are so different. I can already tell it’s going to take a lot of hard work, and even more patience to get back to where I started.
Outside of the physical challenges, I’m trying to mentally prepare, in order to set myself up for success. Although I’m no expert, I want to publicly talk through my thought process in hopes it helps out even one other mom to know she’s not alone, and to know “you’ve got this.” You can go through the motions all day, but the ongoing mental prep is the hardest part.

I’ve been physically active my whole life – I danced for 2o years, have run 4 half marathons, tried every fitness class in the book, started a corporate fitness bootcamp called @sweat_suits, kept up with my high intensity workouts until 20 weeks pregnant, and just generally enjoy working out. Actually, I just enjoy the benefits of working out and being active. The 2nd half of my pregnancy (20 weeks) plus the recovery time after (6 weeks) is the longest I have probably ever gone with so little activity – so you can see why I’m longing to get back into my old habits…the good ones of course 🙂 Here is what I’m trying to do to get back into the routine. These tips are great for anyone wanting to start a physical fitness routine, definitely not limited to someone who has just had a baby:

Start Slow

I’m more of a 0–>100 (real quick) type of person. Kind of like Calvin when he’s hungry. If I get something in my head I have to do it right then, all the way, no excuses. I once ran a half marathon, rested for weeks, and then decided I need to get back into it, so I ran 5 miles of hills at once. I paid for that one later. I’ve done multiple stupid things like that. So this time I’m starting slow. For example, I’ve had to start with slow walking lunges before I can get back into jumping lunges, and I am walking before I begin to run. If I am too sore or tired to take care of my babe, it defeats the purpose of exercising in the first place. If you’re too sore to work out the rest of the week, it also defeats the purpose.

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Set Realistic Goals and Intentions

This one is huge. I’ve seen so many friends decide to start exercising and set goals like, “I’m going to go to the gym every day!” or “I’m going to give up carbs completely starting tomorrow.” No you aren’t. You are setting yourself up for failure, in the nicest way possible. Start with a few days a week, and make them days you are actually likely to go. For example, don’t say every week day if you know you aren’t replacing HH (happy hour) on Friday for the gym, or if the only thing you want to do on Fridays is get home to your family (don’t we all?) I always do a mix of strength training and cardio on days I go to the gym, but I’m setting a goal of doing this 4 out of 7 days/week, doing outdoor stroller walks or a home workout on the other days… with the intention of re-gaining strength, stamina, and increasing my energy levels throughout the day. I’m being realistic in the sense that I cannot go to the gym every day, with a baby. I’m also not being TOO specific as I want this to be a part of my life long term, not consume it and set myself up to give up. I will re-set my goals and intentions after maternity leave when my schedule changes, in order to stay realistic. img_2308-1 
Don’t Compare

Ah, the old “everyone looks better or cooler than me on social media” game. It’s really easy to compare yourself to people on Instagram who likely only post the best or professional photos of themselves. That’s what Instagram is…a place to share your favorite photos. But it’s not necessarily reality. It’s also easy to compare to people you know, who might be going through the same things as you. Instead of comparing, we should use this as inspiration, create a community, and support one another, especially as new Moms.

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Learning to Love the Process

And what a process it is. It’s going to take time, dedication, and patience to start seeing and feeling changes. Learn to mentally love this process of bettering yourself physically. If you know your family and overall quality of life will improve if you commit to your goals and feel good about yourself, what is there to lose? I’m learning to love the process by knowing I’m doing the best I can, as often as I can. A short or small amount of exercise is better than no exercise. My body will likely never be the same again and I’m honestly okay with that. My body is now responsible for another. Changes on the inside result in changes on the outside, and what a life changing 2 months it’s been.  



Here’s to committing fully, reaching your goals, comparing only to the person in the mirror, and learning to love yourself all over again. Who’s with me?

❤ Kayla


Shop this gym look:

Jacket – Lululemon (similar)

Shoes – Nike (similar)

Leggings – Old Navy