Wanted: Motivation.

It seems that I have fallen victim to the cold Chicago Winter, and I’ve got the dreariness to prove it.

My lack of energy, exercising, and eating healthy (per my New Year’s resolution), have all fallen by the way-side and I don’t know how to climb out of this hole.

Does anyone else feel this way?

I signed up for a 5k that I am actually running (read: walking) on Saturday. I signed up because I knew that the New Year resolution inspiration would ware off quick and I needed something to keep me going. Can I be honest? I failed. Or, gave up, is probably more suitable. I gave up before I even tried. I have never run a 5k before and my first one is going to be a complete catastrophe. I am not prepared even a little bit, and when my aunt (we’re running it together) said “It’s just for fun, I’m not really practicing either,” that was all I needed to justify my lack of preparation.

Aside from the 5k, I also wanted to eat better, and cleaner. For lent, I gave up fast/fried/greasy food, and even got Dominic to join me. There is no one I spend more time with than that man and him and I have the same eating habits. We’re terrible. We’re enablers. If only we followed the diet of the other person we spend all of our time with (little miss), we’d be thinner in less than two weeks!

Which brings up another point, why shouldn’t we be eating what (and how) Olivia is eating? We are so set on making sure that she doesn’t know what french fries are, eats a ton of fruits and vegetables, and there is always tons of color on her plate (don’t worry, she definitely knows what ice cream is, we’re not that terrible.) We want our beautiful girl to live this healthy lifestyle but how can we ask that of her if we don’t follow suit?

Well no more.

Diabetes runs in my family. In both of our families, actually. And that is the main reason why I have tried to monitor what Olivia eats so carefully. We don’t want her to suffer with health problems, and we want her to live a very long, healthy, life. I also want need that for Dominic and I. We want to be around as long as possible to watch Olivia grow up into the beautiful woman that we know she’s going to become.

We’ve talked and talked about what we need to do to ensure that we live that long, and the answer was simple: we need to be each other’s conscious, instead of enabling each other to eat unhealthy and not workout (or at least be active), we need to push each other to get to where we want to be.

We’re obviously not going to be axing out all food completely, we’re just eating smarter, and everything in moderation. I’ve already started to pin a few recipes to my Pinterest Boards so that we can eat healthier, without having to switch to a boring boiled chicken and steamed vegetables diet. I’ve also looked into different exercises OTHER than running because running is just not my thing. I really want it to be, but it’s not.

We need to do this for ourselves (hello, we’re getting married in September and we want to look good!) but more importantly for Olivia. We need to be positive examples and stick to the healthy lifestyle that we so quickly push on her. Our unhealthy-ness has gone on long enough.

And if you’re wondering, this post has definitely served it’s purpose. I feel happy, I feel excited, I feel motivated. And it feels good.



P.S. Last night for dinner, I made one of my bffs and I Weight Watchers Enchiladas and they were amazing! I ate those suckers up so fast that I forgot to take a picture! I can’t wait for Dominic to try them when I make them again!

P.P.S If you have any recipes, tips, or tricks you really like, I’d love to hear them!

P.P.S.S A little dose of Olivia to get you through your day:



The One Thing I Didn’t Want Her To Get From Me.

If you read my About Me, I mentioned that I was the pickiest eater that you’d ever meet. I really was not exaggerating. It takes a lot for me to try new things, and I usually stick to the same foods, just different variations of that food. Like chicken. I will try so many different variations of chicken, but if it has even one ingredient that I don’t like (i.e. Tomatoes or onions) then I won’t even think of eating that dish.

It seems that our dear, dear child has taken the same, bland path. Poor girl.

Dominic is the exact opposite from me (now us, I suppose). He will try/eat just about anything and has only a few dislikes (like mushrooms….and ironically, I could eat mushrooms all day everyday. LOVE.)

When I was pregnant, people would joke about how I was going to make Olivia become just as picky as I was and I always defended myself (though I know I didn’t have to) by denying such claims and telling them that I did not want that for her. And that was the truth. I really wanted her to have a larger food palate. Dominic and I both did. Once Olivia was born, I breastfed her exclusively. We didn’t introduce her to solids until she was 6 months old and for the first week, she ate that rice like a champ. She even tried and liked sweet potatoes and carrots. She did not like the fruits, I think she didn’t like the sweetness of them. After about 2 weeks, she would keep her mouth completely shut. She did not want the baby food. I knew that she was getting everything that she needed from breastfeeding, so we didn’t push her. When we knew that Olivia was in a good mood, we would sit her in her bumbo, and try to give her (jarred) baby food. 98% of the time, she would spit it out. I got the baby bullet as a gift from my mother before Olivia was born and I finally decided to take it out, and put it to use. I actually really loved making baby food, and I loved that I got to use my breast milk instead of water. However, Olivia didn’t like home made baby food either.

Later down the road, we tried giving her little pieces of soft things, like bananas, since she still didn’t have any teeth. No dice. I will admit that I was definitely nervous to give her foods, like softened carrots or rice, because I didn’t want her to choke. But little by little, we started giving her little tastes of food off of our plates. She is a carb girl, just like her mama. I’m serious when I say that literally the only thing she would eat at almost 10 months was mashed potatoes and bread…and she would eat Cherrios and those Gerber puffs every now and then.

Getting Olivia to open her mouth to try things is like an Olympic sport. Seriously. Even the mashed potatoes. I used to have to catch her off guard, stick a little in her mouth or on her lips and if she liked it, she would willingly open her mouth for another bite. Otherwise, she would shake her whole body to tell us no. Don’t get me wrong, the shaking her little body part was adorable, but so frustrating!

Now at 15 months, I sometimes still find myself having to go through great heights to get her to try something, or have her recognize that it’s actually something she likes, but, she is a little more brave about trying things without me having to do all of that. She is still very picky though. We just got her to start eating oatmeal in the mornings. And now she likes rice and peas. For a very long time she didn’t like anything sweet (she cried when we tried to give her her smash cake on her First Birthday), but of course that has changed, too. (Though we still try not to give her sweets… A little taste here and there but nothing extreme.) She likes all the things she isn’t supposed to. Like tortilla chips, and everything/anything that screams carbs.

At breakfast we have Oatmeal and she’ll snack on Cheerios and granola, and for lunch and dinner we give her a variety of things to try. I try to make it colorful, and full of different flavors/textures and we leave her alone. We don’t like to bother her by saying “Olivia, please put some food in your mouth.”  Instead, we talk about our days and pretend she isn’t there (although that’s pretty much impossible.) We found that by not paying attention to her, she is more apt to trying at least one of the things in front of her. We don’t want her to feel pressured. We want her to like food and want to eat it, not shove her meal down her throat. We do not push Olivia to eat anything; We’re not going to get anywhere if she is upset and/or fussy. We try to get her to try it once and if she doesn’t like it, then we wait a few days and revisit it. Or, if there are mashed potatoes involved, and I’m feeding her (as opposed to feeding herself), I’ll sneak in a small piece of chicken, or piece of carrot mixed in with the potato before giving it to her.


I also try to give her things that Dominic and I are also eating that night. We don’t want her to grow up thinking that she is always going to have different meals than ours, and sometimes knowing that we’re eating what she is, she’ll look at me eat something, find that same thing on her plate, and then put it to her mouth. Another thing that works for us: Positive reinforcement  Every time she actually puts it in her mouth, Dominic and I go, “YAY OLIVIA! You ate the ___! Good job!” and we’ll clap… and she laughs and thinks she is so cool, so she’ll put another piece in her mouth… Most of the time, anyway.

I feel like I’ve tried to give her some many different foods and she just sticks to what she knows and likes and the other things she doesn’t even give a chance. Like fruit. I cannot get her to eat one kind of fruit. Not even bananas.

On a positive note, not everything that she likes is bad for her. She loves corn, chicken, and ground turkey. Sometimes I can get her to eat one little sliver of a flour quesadilla, and as I mentioned above, she now likes oatmeal, rice, and peas. Every time she tries something new, I get so excited. Oh, and She’ll eat any kind of Gerber snack. And she loves pasta. But just angel hair, with red sauce.


I am honestly so in shock by the characteristics she got from me. I really did not think that this eating thing would be an issue and it’s actually kind of bizarre to me. She is not even one and a half and she already knows what she likes and dislikes. Not. Okay.

While we’re on the subject of Olivia and food, here’s a little story. Last night, Dominic and I had Jimmy Johns for dinner. I gave Olivia pieces of turkey, a little cheese, and some strawberries. She just stared at her plate.20130218_173549

But once I starting eating my sandwich, she pointed at it and said please, so I held it by her mouth to see if she would eat it. She took the entire thing out of my hand.

Once I got it back, I ripped off a piece, gave it to her, and she ate the entire thing. Oh, Olivia, you fickle, picky little person…..20130218_173739 20130218_173747 DSC00874 DSC00876


(obviously you can tell which pictures I took through my phone, and which I used wiht my actual camera…sorry about that)

Although this part of parenting is proving to be a little challenging, I look at it as learning new things about our girl, and I love that. I have looked into different recipes and I’m going to try to make some smoothies and maybe even banana muffins (I saw them somewhere this weekend, and now I cannot remember where!) to try to get her to eat more of the nutrients that she needs. I also saw a tip over on A Cup of Jo that if you hard boil an egg and peel it, instead of cutting it up, give her the whole thing and let her squish it and break pieces off on her own, she’s more likely to eat a greater amount of the egg that way. I can’t wait to try that one.

If you have any tips/tricks or if you just want to reassure me that I’m not alone with this kind of thing, I’d love to hear about it!



Valentine’s Day.

On Sunday, Dominic informed me that he was not able to get the day off for Valentine’s Day. He told me that he was going to work in the morning, and that he’d be home by 4, in enough time for him and I to go out for a little Valentine’s dinner. Since we agreed to not really do anything other than a dinner, I was okay with spending the whole afternoon with our Little Valentine.

At 6:30 this morning, my phone rang.

“Babe, I’m really sorry to wake you–”

“Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, I just think I forgot the trainer schedule on the table, can you check to see if I did?”

“Sure, hold on….babe, you left all the lights on again–”

And as I’m reprimanding him, I smell something, and as I walk to the table, I couldn’t believe what I saw. Really, I couldn’t.


Remember how I told you that I was the one that went big for holidays, and Dominic didn’t? Well, this year proved to be the opposite. (Dominic never takes the price tags off of anything, fyi.)

I went upstairs, and woke up Olivia. Her daddy did us both good, and she deserved to not have to miss a second. Not only did he buy her first bouquet of flowers, he also bought her first cheesy Valentine’s day stuffed heart. It’s huge. She’s very indifferent about it. Okay, she’s kind of terrified of it.


We also bought her:

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And the other day, while I was enjoying a little alone time, I surprised her with a Valentine’s balloon. Olivia LOVES balloons. She calls them “boos”. Cutest thing ever. After today, Olivia accumulated 4 “boos”. One from me, two from Dominic, and one from my sister aka her godmother. Needless to say, Olivia is in balloon heaven.

Anyway, so after breakfast, Olivia and I hung out downstairs, watched some cartoons, did a little cleaning, a little playing…and Dominic took a nap. He was running on 3 hours of sleep because he had to keep up with his “I have to work on Valentine’s Day” story and left the house at 5am! That man…..

I was trying to get her to play with the giant heart, and I did get her to kiss it once, but she was still pretty terrified..I really don’t know why… Oh, and don’t mind the Santa’s on her feet, they are the only red pajamas she has and we had to be festive, duh.

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As if our morning wasn’t festive (and cheesy) enough, I put pink heart-shaped milk ice cubes in her milk:


I’m that mom, and I am sooooooo okay with that.

After Dominic woke up, we got dressed.

Before I show you what Olivia wore, I’d like to start with how she looked at this time, last year. Little bitty Olivia on her First Valentine’s Day. I cannot believe this is already her second.



(look at those legs!!)

And present day. I absolutely loved her outfit:

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(PLEASE disregard my dirty house. I promise that it’s not always like that, toys are always around the house, yes, but it’s a little more organized….usually.)

After our mini photo shoot, and my attempt to get a decent picture of Olivia looking at the camera while also smiling, we finally left the house and stopped at my grandma’s house because Olivia had a few gifts there. We ate pizza for lunch, and then left to go have cupcakes in the city. We went to a place called Molly’s Cupcakes. Dominic and I LOVE to go here. It is such a cute little place with the best red velvet cupcake you’ll ever taste. Olivia got her first taste of a Molly’s cupcake and although she preferred Dominic’s Nutella cupcake to my red velvet, it made me happy to see her enjoying it nonetheless :) We don’t really give her sweets, but on special occasions such as the beloved Love day, we just can’t resist. Oh, and guess what else? As I was walking into Molly’s, Elsie and her husband were about to walk out. I was kinda star struck, not gonna lie. I love her blog.

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She is a city girl already. We really wanted to walk around and let her walk off some of her soon-to-be sugar high, but it was much colder than we thought, and she ended up passing out in the car anyway.

We were out and about all afternoon so when we came home, we just kind of relaxed for a little while. Dominic’s parents came over around 6:30 to watch Olivia for a few hours, and Dominic and I went on a little date. It was nice to do something just the two of us, but we really missed Olivia. (We always do when she’s not around.)

I really had a taste for steak, and I really wanted to go to Outback Steakhouse (does anybody else really love it there?). When we got to the restaurant, we were informed that the wait for two was an hour and a half. Absolutely not.

After a lot of back and forth about where we should go, we decided to come back to Downtown La Grange and go to a little BBQ spot called ‘Q’. Before I knew Dominic, I wasn’t really a meat eater. And now, I just can’t hide my love for steak and ribs and pork. Of course Dominic and his family are to blame (Thanks, Guys!) Anyway, the food is always really good and I really enjoyed getting to have some real one on one, face to face conversation with my beautiful Valentine. Did you know that this is our last Valentine’s Day as a non-married couple? Weird.

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We left feeling full, refreshed, and ready to get back to our baby. We made one last stop to pick up some milk and a movie, and went home.

We made it just in time to sneak in a few last tickles and snuggles before our Little Valentine went to sleep.

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We ended our night with a movie, The Perks of a Wallflower, but we were way too exhausted to finish it.

In case you couldn’t guess, we had an amazing Valentine’s Day. I can’t say it enough that we are the two luckiest girls to have such an amazing man here to make us as happy as he does.

I hope you all had a wonderful little hallmark holiday, I would love to know how you spent your love day if you’re willing to share!

Happy Weekend!