Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday Training: Pure Barre Mile High 2 DVD Review

Last week I splurged and bought another Pure Barre DVD to do at home.  Since I enjoyed the Mile High 1 DVD, I decided to give the Mile High 2 DVD a try.  
Here are my thoughts on this DVD...

*It's very similar to a studio Pure Barre class, minus the $20+ per class. 
*You're done in less than 40 minutes. 
*The instruction is incredible. Carrie, the instructor and owner, does it with you as opposed to just telling you what to do like most DVDs. 
*You can use the back of a chair, the back of your couch (what I did) or a countertop as your bar. 
*I preferred the ab workout over the previous DVD.

*You will need a 5" rubber ball for this one as well. Pure Barre sells their own and it is perfect.  You can get it here.
*It also does not include the bicep arm workout, abs in round back or lifting of the seat at the very end of a studio class. 

 I give this DVD 2 thumbs up!  I love popping in these DVDs and getting a workout without having to leave Eli and spend $20 per class.  

Let me know if you ever try one of these DVDs. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Better Half

In all of my years of blogging, I don't think y'all have ever heard from Fred.  So when I saw this cute little Q&A on Christin's blog, The Southern Wife, I knew I had to get him involved.  Let's see if we're on the same page...
1. How long have you been married?
C: 4 years almost 5.
F: 4 years, 5 in April

2. Where was your first date?
C: We went to see Stranger than Fiction on Thanksgiving night at the Malco Cordova. 
F: Malco in Cordova and we saw Stranger than Fiction.

3. Where was your first kiss?
C: In my car
F: In your car outside my apartment.

4. Who first said, "I love you"?
C: Fred.
F: I said it first. 

5. What were your wedding colors?
C: Pink and Brown
F: Pink and Brown

6. What is her most commonly used phrase?
C: "ya know?"
F: "awww....pretty"

7. Who is her celebrity crush?
C: Ryan Reynolds
F: Ryan Reynolds

8. If she was ordering drinks for both of you what would you each get?
C: Some sort of wine for me and a beer for him.
F: You'd get a lemon drop martini and you'd get me a Newcastle

9. What is the best meal she has ever cooked you?
C: Easy, Cheesy Chicken Rolls
F: Easy, Cheesy Chicken Rolls

10. What is the worst meal she has ever cooked you?
C: My grandma's recipe for John Ben Getty
F: Healthy Fried Chicken

11. What is the most-played song on her iPod?
C: Some teeny bopper song. 
F: A Britney Spears song because you're a teeny bopper or a Foo Fighters song because you run a lot. 

12. What would she say is your most annoying habit?
C: Not turning off the lights! 
F: After I drink, I go, "ahhhhh" or is it not turning off lights? 

13. What is the last thing she does before she goes to bed?
C: Put on chapstick 
F: Put on chapstick.

14. What would you say is your favorite thing about her?
C: Not sure.
F: Sense of humor and you're hot.

15. What's her go-to drink at Starbucks?
C: Tall Vanilla Steamer Nonfat No Whip
F: Vanilla Steamer Nonfat No Whip

16. What's her blog's name?
C: Simply Smithwick.
F: Simply Smithwick.

I'd say we know each other pretty well and that he's a keeper.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Mom: Tips and Tricks

I've been asked by a few of you for some tips/advice on things concerning babies.  So, I wanted to share three things that I've found to be quite helpful for our little family....

1.  You don't have to use Dreft.  Before E was born, we decided to start using All Free and Clear because it doesn't contain any dyes or chemicals.  We wanted to find a detergent that would be safe for him to use and we wanted something we could wash our clothes in as well.  Laundry doubles and triples some days with a baby.  We also thought that since he'd be up against us and our clothes, we wanted something that was safe on his delicate skin.  All always has coupons available and they also sell those convenient little pacs.
2.  A little Karo syrup will help ease constipation.  We had this problem one day last week and it was resolved easily with one tablespoon of Karo syrup. I used the dark one, but the lighter one will work as well.  Buy a jar of this the next time you're at the store for your little one.

3. New isn't always better.  We knew we'd be spending a fortune on things for Eli, so when it came to things like the swing and the bouncy seat, we bought them used from a local Facebook marketplace.  It's all the rage in Memphis and these were gently used items selling for less than half of the price you'd pay at the store.  All I had to do was add batteries, wash the cloth parts and clorox wipe the structure.  Hey, they work great and we saved money!

I hope you can use some of these little tips and tricks we've learned along the way.  Do you have any special tips or tricks you used for your little one?  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Man and Mom of Honor

Happy Monday, everyone! 

Yesterday, Eli and I were honored with another Sip and See given by my two aunts.  He hadn't met any of my dad's side of the family yet, so this was the perfect way to introduce him to all of my relatives.  Here are some pictures from the day...
my mom and E
Fred's mom and sister, Sara, with E
my two aunts who hosted the sweet party 
my mom and I with E
and E had finally had enough partying for the day!  
He actually managed to stay awake for the majority of this Sip & See. We had a fun time and we are so blessed to have such a sweet family who came out to celebrate his arrival.    

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Funny & Giveaway Winners

Hello!  I hope you all are having a lovely Friday!  I always get so giddy for the weekend and this little bit helped put me in that mood...

Unless you've given up the internet for Lent, I'm sure you've seen the "Harlem Shake" rage.  Well, here's my favorite version of it done by my friend, Natasha's, girls and their friends.

And I can't forget about the two lucky winners of my Meesh & Mia giveaway...

Congratulations to Rebecca Wade and Carrie Cousins! 

Please email me at to claim your $25 gift card! 

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday Training: Speedy

After my race on Saturday, one of my friends started calling me Mrs. SWIFTwick.  To be completely honest, these new PR's are surprising me more than anyone.  I often get asked how I run so fast and usually I'll reply with something like, "so it'll be over quicker" or "because I like to eat", but that's really only half of the truth.  

I attribute most of it to my training on the treadmill.  Since I get up before the crack of dawn (or before E gets up), I hit the gym for some time on the treadmill.  I really have a love/hate relationship with the machine, but I truly believe it's helped me with my speed. 
I've tried speed workouts that I've found online, but I get dizzy looking at them on my phone while I'm running or I forget what I'm doing.  

An average run on the treadmill for me is 4 miles on a zero incline.  I start out slower and get faster as the run goes on.  I used to really burn out at the end of my runs, but this training has really helped me to keep going at a normal pace and to not give up.  Here's my normal routine....

0 - 0.5 mile:  7.0 mph
0.5 - 1 mile:  7.1 mph
1 - 1.5 miles:  7.2mph
1.5 - 2 miles:  7.3 mph
2 - 2.5 miles:  7.4 mph
2.5 - 3 miles:  7.5 mph
3.0 - 3.1 miles: 7.1 mph
3.1 - 3.2 miles:  7.2 mph
3.2 - 3.3 miles: 7.3 mph
3.3 - 3.4 miles: 7.4 mph
3.4 - 3.5 miles: 7.5 mph
3.5 - 3.6 miles: 7.6 mph
3.6 - 3.7 miles: 7.7 mph
3.7 - 3.8 miles: 7.8 mph
3.8 - 3.9 miles: 7.9 mph
3.9 - 4.0 miles: 8.0 mph

This will normally take me about 31-33 minutes to complete.  It's great speed work for me and I can really tell a difference.

Like I said, I keep it at a zero incline because I just don't like the incline.  I'll save that kind of running for the road.    

What do you use for speed work?   

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Little Bloglovin'

Sometimes I don't know how I'd survive without the blog world.  

Thank you all for the encouraging words about the upcoming marathon.  You guys are awesome!  And I'm so happy to find out that some of my favorite bloggers, Courtney, Meghan and my real life bestie, Laura will all be there running the race.  Hopefully we can all meet up (at least for a photo op)!  

I've been having a little hip pain, so I went to see Christin for some new shoes to help relieve some of the pressure.  Not only did she sell me these fabulous new shoes, but she also set me up with a free PT screening in March. 
Thanks to Leah, I can finally get to organizing some of my daily blog reads.  Hello, I always need an idiot proof tutorial!

I have no idea how Laura manages her 6 kids, but I think she's truly Wonder Woman.

Carolyn always has the best vacation pics.  She's either going to be my travel agent or I will become her stow-away! 

Shari always knows how to get my mouth watering and she makes me actually want to get into the kitchen and cook!  And yes, this delicious fondue pic is hers!
Thanks to Elle for the daily motivation!  This girl kicks serious butt in the gym! 
If you're not following these ladies, you should be.

It's not only these ladies, but so many of you inspire me and help me without even knowing it.  Thank you for being such wonderful ladies (and bloggers)! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Just Keep Going

On Saturday, I ran in the Move it Memphis 10K.  Last year the Move it Memphis 5K was my first official race ever.  
So, I set up a challenge to myself that the next year I would run the 10K.  And I did.  
I did better than I ever have and got another personal record this year with a time of 50:10.  This awesome time also put me in first place for my age group!  It was another awesome run, but it was cold.  And I mean like never left the 30's cold.  The entire last mile was directly in the wind too, but that didn't stop me.  I had a goal and I was going to complete it!

 It's not a great pic, but I had to take a picture of my name in the first place slot for my new age group!  I think I was happier about this than my actual personal record.
Official Time:  50:10
Average Pace Pace:  8:05

And if you're friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, you already know that in October, I'll have another item to cross off of my bucket list....
 Yes, I will be running the Chicago Marathon on October 13.  Obviously I like a good challenge.  I will be registering at noon today and I will be running with Team Ronald McDonald House Charities and I'll will be running with several ladies representing Alpha Delta Pi sorority!
I am so honored to have been asked to join this team and so excited to give back to a charity close to my heart with my sisters!  It's a strange feeling to be so excited and so scared at the same time!  But, I just keep remembering...

This is a huge endeavor so any advice and encouragement is welcome.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

Weekend What Nots

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you are all well rested.

This weekend, like any other, was another busy one.  

Fred and I started the weekend off with a post-Valentine's date night to Ruth's Chris.  Neither one of us had been there and we loved it!  Our steak was cooked just right and the sides were all to die for!  I even had one of the best salads of my life there.  Fred's mom and dad were sweet enough to watch Eli so we could enjoy a dinner all to ourselves.  
On Saturday, I went to a bridal shower honoring one of my oldest friends.  We've been friends since middle school, but now she lives in Florida.  It was so fun to see her and to catch up! 
I also enjoyed spending time with this little guy and his brother and daddy.  He is such a happy baby and so stinking cute, if I don't say so myself.  
On Sunday, we managed to finally make it to church and on time at that.  This was Eli's first time at church.  He did great through the service (I'm not ready to send him to the nursery).  He was awake for the singing, but fell asleep soon after the preaching started. Oops!  We also managed to go out to lunch and run by the grocery store before he woke up for another feeding.  :)
So, how was your weekend? 

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Sweetest Day

This Valentine's Day put the icing on the cake!  Not only do I have an incredible, loving husband, but I also have a handsome, sweet baby boy and an adorable pup! 
I may be partial, but I think Eli looked so adorable in his Valentine's onesie from Aunt Leah's, Simply Made with Love shop. 
After a morning of playing, napping and eating, Fred's mom came over to give her grandson his Valentines then she, Eli, and I headed out to meet Fred for lunch.  Fred surprised me with these roses, chocolate covered strawberries and a card from Eli and Knox.  It was so sweet!
After lunch, Eli took an afternoon walk with my parents and I. They later came over with my grandfather to dote on him some more and to give him his Valentines.

After work, Fred came home and gave me his gift, a Tiffany & Co. "mom" charm.  On the back are Eli's initials.  I was so surprised. I just love it! 
And when I thought Valentine's was over, Fred surprised me once again with these delicious little Baskin Robbins cakes from him, Eli and Knox! 
My cup truly runneth over!  I love my boys so much!  

Tonight Fred and I are going out for our first real dinner without Eli.  I'm excited to spend some time alone with my main squeeze.  

How was your Valentine's? 

{Giveaway} Meesh & Mia

You may remember my super, cute USF shirt from Meesh & Mia that I reviewed here.  Due to your overwhelming interest and response to the post, I am offering TWO lucky readers a $25 gift card for your very own Meesh & Mia outfit!

Who said women have to wear frumpy t-shirts and hoodies to games anymore?  Here are just a few of their super cute options that are perfect for any sporting event:

Visit their website, look up your school and pick your favorite item to use the $25 gift card on today!  

For more information, you can also check out their Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages.  

To enter, simply follow the directions on the Rafflecopter widget below and you could be one of the two lucky readers to win a $25 gift card!!  The winner will be announced next Friday (February 22)! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My First Valentine

Cupid's arrow hit us right in the heart this year with this precious, happy, healthy little boy. 

To commemorate this time in our lives, I had to enlist my life-long friend and photographer, Melissa, for some Valentine's Day pictures of my little cupid.

It was amazing to see how much he'd changed since Melissa took his newborn pictures.  Here are some of my favorite pictures from the session...
You may remember these outfits from the post here

And Knox had to get in on some of the action too...
 I feel so blessed to spend such a loving holiday with these two boys and their sweet daddy!  Happy Valentine's Day! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I'll Drink to That

I've never really given anything up or celebrated Lent, but this year I wanted to do a little something.  I thought about giving up sweets, but then I remembered I have a couple of more Sip and Sees and I wouldn't want to offend the hostesses by not eating the yummy goodies.  So, I started thinking about this and I decided that...

I will drink at least 100 ounces of water a day.  
I don't plan on giving up my one diet coke a day because I don't want to become a grouch, but I do want to drink more water.

It helps my skin and it helps me feel better.  Plus, I burn a couple more calories having to run to the bathroom often.  :) 

I plan to keep track of how much water I drink with the Waterlogged app on my phone.

I'm always up for a challenge so this should be quite fun!   

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

10K the Way to My Heart

On Saturday, I ran my third 10K and first race of 2013.  As I've said many times before, I have a love/hate relationship with this distance.  

I mainly singed up for the race because it was supposed to be in the mid 60's, but if you know anything about Memphis weather, you know you should never go by what the weathermen say.  The temp was in the high 30s with a very stung wind when the race started, but by the end, I was quite comfortable.

Even with the cooler temps, I felt great running.  I didn't even check my watch until mile 2.  I felt the best running this race than any race before.  Perhaps my break from racing helped and with it being a Valentine's race, I'm back to loving 10Ks! 
On top of a great run, I got my first PR in 2013 with a time of 51:35 (my watch calculated me coming in at 51:03).  I was extremely pleased with my time since it was 4 minutes better than my previous 10K PR.  

The only disappointment I had was that I didn't place.  If I had still been in the 25-29 range, I would have placed third, but not in my new category.  :(  I thought the older you got, the slower you got.  Guess, I'll have to keep improving to win!  

Overall, it was a great run and I had fun!  On to the next race...

Official Time: 51:35
Average Pace: 8:12

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Weekend of Firsts

With our shots out of the way and the warmer temperatures, Eli was finally able to get out and enjoy his first walk in his stroller.  Although he slept, he really enjoyed it.
Eli also attended his cousin, Addie's, first birthday party on Saturday! 
 My cousin took this picture at the party and I just had to share.
 Eli also made his first trip to his Nana and Granddaddy's (Fred's parents) house to meet his Aunts Bettye, Terri and Margie! 
Eli also made his first trip to Target.  Like most men, he looked unimpressed.  
And after his big day out, he went for another walk with his mommy, daddy and brother, Knox.  
This was a BIG weekend for our little man and he did so well!  Here's to more and more firsts!