Hi, friends! We made it to the end of another week! While we usually talk about favorites on Fridays, today, we’re going to switch it up a bit and talk about … well, life.
1. Gone babymooning in SoCal
This weekend, Dave and I are heading off on our “babymoon.” I first heard the term “babymoon” a few years ago, and it’s a great idea. If you’re not familiar — basically — we’re taking our last big trip as a child-less couple before the baby comes (outside of a Florida trip I have coming up the first week of August!).
While we had grand plans to make it back to Hawaii or to go internationally, when the events of the summer played out, Dave and I instead decided on a short road-trip to Southern California to a destination where neither of us has been — Santa Barbara — which came highly recommended to us by our friends. We’re spending several days at a lovely resort on the beach and have very little on our agenda but hanging out, relaxing, eating and soaking up the sunshine.
By the way, even though we’ve done quite a bit of traveling, we haven’t been on a beach vacation in two years. The last time was our Maui trip in August 2015, and here’s a little throwback to that trip with a pretty awesome background for our shot … hello dark hair …
By the way, if you ever find yourself bored, remember, there’s a whole travel page with all sorts of our older adventures you can peruse for entertainment.
As far as what you can expect from the ol’ blog in my absence next week? A post! I do have something ready to go live on Monday, so head back for that.
2. Loving “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” way
I think this is now the fourth time I’ve mentioned Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” but it’s for good reason — this book is awesome, but you have to go into reading it with an open mind and be ready to do things differently.
While it’s a fairly short read, Kondo’s book gives you super useful tips on how to get your space in order. And here’s the kicker: Kondo says that when you get your things in order, your entire life starts falling into place better. It totally makes sense!
Here’s a very high-level overview of her method …
- Instead of just picking things out of your closet and drawers that you don’t want, you remove ALL items from all closets and spaces that are of the same category and put them on the floor. Then, you put each item in your hand, feel it and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, thank it for its service and discard it. This method alone, in which you pull everything out before putting things back, is huge. It helped me to eliminate MORE than half of what I owned.
- You follow the discarding pattern by category (NOT by location), and you go in this order: clothing, books, papers, miscellany, and finally, mementos. You see, you get better at discarding as you move along the process, so by the time you get to mementos, it’s easy to toss things.
- When you are thanking your items for their service, this is the time you think about the good memories that you have from each item. It’s a great time to “say goodbye” to stuff, and it helps you to get closure on that item and perhaps that time in your life. So cool!
- Minimize organizational tools and instead, fold your stuff so that things stand on their end and not flat. And fold more and hang less. Kondo is not about buying tons of containers and bins to store your stuff, because that just creates more clutter and encourages you to keep more stuff. Instead, she thinks you should just fold as much as you can and arrange things from dark to light. I redid all of my drawers by folding things in tight little logs, which has been a game-changer for utilizing space. She talks a lot about how to fold things (you even fold your socks and underwear), and that is probably the most practical application from the book for most people.
Here are some great quotes from the book …
- “People cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking.”
- “Effective tidying involves only two essential actions: discarding and deciding where to store things. Of the two, discarding must come first.”
- “To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.”
- “As you reduce your belongings through the process of tidying, you will come to a point where you suddenly know how much is just right for you.”
- And here’s the best: “By eliminating excess visual information that doesn’t inspire joy, you can make your space much more peaceful and comfortable.” Amen to that!
Over the past three weeks, Dave and I have completely finished discarding things that we don’t want anymore and tidying our space. I dropped multiple bags of stuff off at a local church and sold a ton on Poshmark too. And I can absolutely say that without a doubt, I was able to purge strategically, because of Kondo’s book. It feels good! It’s partially a “nesting” thing before the baby, I’m sure, but who doesn’t love a good summer clean out done with a plan? Anywho, if you have an open mind, I would totally recommend this book.
3. Saying goodbye to Les Mills BODYPUMP for a while
This week, I taught my last BODYPUMP class before I go on a maternity leave. While I’m still teaching Bootybarre for a few more weeks, I made the decision to leave the front of the room for BODYPUMP. I do plan to continue to take BODYPUMP once or twice a week as a student though.
Now hear me out: I’ve alluded to this before, but many women choose to teach BODYPUMP much further along in their pregnancies than I have chosen. And I applaud them for that if they are feeling up to it. However, I know that with my own body and current abilities, I do not want to push things, and I’ve felt some abdominal pain and strain from a few moves (like planks and push-ups and overhead presses). I’ve tried not to alter my lifting weight too significantly, nor take too many modifications as the instructor — because personally — that is very important to me to still be a “role model” at the front of the room. I do NOT judge anyone else for continuing to teach, and if they have to, make some changes to the moves to fit their growing bodies and drop their weights down quite low, but that’s not what I wanted to do, and so I’m not doing it.
I felt pretty mixed feelings after finishing up the cool-down of my last class this week. And here’s why: of all the changes and big things that have happened in my life over the past eight years — switching careers and jobs, marrying Dave, moving from Orlando to San Francisco, becoming a personal trainer, moving from San Francisco to Walnut Creek, getting Rudy, going through hypothalamic amenorrhea, recovering, trying to get pregnant and getting pregnant, until now — well, teaching Les Mills BODYPUMP has been a constant. I started teaching BODYPUMP in September of 2009 and have never taken more than a few weeks off from teaching since that time.
So as I said goodbye to my class on Thursday, I was a little sad that I don’t know when I’ll return. Because the times of the classes that I teach are during Dave’s work hours, and the fact that I won’t be able to use the child-care facilities for many months, I don’t have a definite point that I will be returning, so it will likely be well into 2018 — and WOW — that’s crazy. Nonetheless, I know for sure that this was the RIGHT time for me to take a step back, and perhaps I’ll return sometime next year stronger than ever and ready to teach a ton of classes. We’ll just have to wait and see! Until then, you can find me in the back of the BODYPUMP classroom doing push-ups on my knees and lifting plates overhead instead of the bar — because, safety first! (Check out more on how to modify a BODYPUMP class when you’re pregnant here, by the way.)
And let’s lighten the mood to finish this off with a picture of Rudy wearing his bow-tie …
Some of my favorite links from the week …
- Cooking: Live more, worry less with these crowd-sources time-saving kitchen tips
- Fitness: I love this post about common excuses for not working out and what you can do about it. Is yours on the list?
- Weekend chatter: Summer weekend, MNT Studio and my weekly workouts at 25 weeks pregnant
- Clean-up: Have you guys ever used Unroll.me? I know I’ve mentioned it before, and it’s a super useful tool for cleaning up your email inbox. I used it again this week and am feeling free!
And one of the biggest sales of the week …
It’s the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale through next week, and that means LOTs of markdowns. Don’t miss out on your chance to do some online shopping this weekend. I did some poking around, and I’ve got my eye on these, this, this and this. And speaking of online shopping, that’s almost ENTIRELY how I’ve outfitted myself throughout this pregnancy, and I don’t think I’ll ever want to go back to shopping in stores again! Would anyone agree? 🙂Travel, fitness, cleaning up your life and more. Check out the latest from @apstyle ... Click To Tweet
Questions of the day
What’s one good thing that happened in your week?
What’s one destination on your must-see travel list for the future?