Finding peace in dark times.

bethereasomeonesmiles

Pay it forward is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor.

What can I say, life is crazy. Bad things are happening all around us. It’s easy to let these things get to us and perhaps prevent us from doing anything to help. In the midst of a sad, angry and anxious state of mind we often want to escape it all and ignore it. I don’t have any answers as to why bad things happen to good people, but I do know the best remedy for the sadness you may be feeling about all of the tragedy occurring right now: help someone or something in need.

Helping others and showing we care is the best way to get out of our depression and possibly prevent more bad things from occurring. It’s been proven that when we perform unselfish, philanthropic acts it enhances our ability to heal and energizes us to keep going and do the next right thing. It’s also the best way to help our society by alleviating the ills of those who suffer increasing their ability to be a positive, instead of negative, force in society. Making contact and showing you care is a great way to do this.

These acts can be as simple as making a small donation to a cause you care about or even holding the door for someone. Everything counts. I am so grateful when someone stops to let me perform a left turn! Or another example is when the person in front of me at Starbucks buys my coffee. These are small examples, big ones could be becoming a mentor to a child who needs guidance and love, volunteering at your local boys and girls club, homeless shelter or hospital, going on a mission with your church…

Choose a cause you care about and think of ways you can help. It doesn’t have to be complex, simple gestures make a big difference.

What is a cause you really care about? It’s easy to get overwhelmed by this question, try and narrow it down to one or two that you can dedicate a little time and energy to.

xo,

Hilary

 

 

3 tips to start your weekend off right.

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Happy Friday everyone! In many people’s minds the weekend is time to party. And that’s ok, you should relax and let loose a little. But if you want to achieve your physical, mental and life goals, you can’t take too long of a break. I know it’s hard to hear but if you are a person that craves a great body, mind, spirit… the work doesn’t stop for very long. I’m in pretty good shape but every day something taps me on the shoulder and says “when are you going to workout?”. I of course take days off, but always have a plan in the back of my mind to get back at it.

Here are my 3 tips for staying on track with your health and wellness goals (or getting on track depending on your circumstances) this weekend.

  1. Plan your workouts. It doesn’t have to be a trip to the gym. If it’s family time you crave plan a hike, a bike ride or to play a little football with the kiddos. But start thinking about it now and make a plan to get some good exercise in this weekend.
  2. Plan your diet. The weekends are a really tough time to stay on track nutritionally. It’s ok to indulge a little but have a general plan for what you will eat, when and how much. Think lots of vegetables, maybe some fish… if you want some tips email me.
  3. Do not drink too much!!! This is where many people fail. I know it’s been a long hard week of work and taking care of family but don’t take it out at the bar room. A drink or two is fine, but you will inevitably fall of the health, wellness and success wagon if you drink too much. Most of us know the consequences of this: extreme fatigue, sickness and eating anything in site to feel better. Anxiety is also a big side effect of boozing. Besides, do you want to be hung over playing with your children on Saturday and Sunday?

What are your tips for a great weekend?

xo,

Hil

Sleek and toned.

IMG_0527I talk about this all the time, you need to mix up your workout if you want to amp up your results. Classes are a great way to do this, but if you’re like me you’re not that big of a fan. Admittedly this comes from the virgo / control freak side of my personality. Plus, having been exercising and interested in all forms of the practice starting at a young age, I have developed a fairly good arsenal of workouts I do on a regular basis.

If you don’t have this, classes and trainers are surely beneficial. But you can also go on-line and view lots of different cardio and strength training routines that will help you as well. For example, I love spin but I don’t care for an hour-long class. I don’t want to spend all my time on a bike. I want to get my cardio in along with strength training almost every time I go to the gym. This is the only way you will get that sleek, toned physique you are looking for, by combining cardio and strength.

Back to my original story, so I love spin, don’t want to spend an hour doing it so I do a routine that I found on YouTube that I love. It’s a 25 minute interval training class and perfect for what I’m looking for. It gets me sweating and my heart rate up, I really feel like I worked hard at the end. Then I can squeeze in 10-20 minutes of toning. That’s all it takes!! Don’t get discouraged when I tell you to combine both, now you will be in the gym for almost an hour (if not more) but it flies by when you are combining different workouts and always mixing things up. Having a diverse routine is not only better for your attention span and keeping you interested, but makes a tremendous difference in how many physical “gains” you make as a result of your workouts.

I’ll post the spin class I did on my Facebook page later today.

What’s your favorite form of interval training?

xo,

Hil

My favorite trend on the Emmys red carpet and 3 ways to wear it.

Velvet. I love this look by Ralph Lauren on Shailene Woodley. The color is perfect on her and velvet is so luscious and is not only a great material for a red carpet occasion but very on trend and stylish for any occasion. Below are 3 ways I suggest wearing it this season.

shailene-woodley-emmys-2017-red-carpet-01

Shoes. These adorable Sam Edelman revised Mary Janes are sophisticated and cute at the same time. Paired with jeans or a pencil skirt there are so many options for this modern take on a classic style. Click the image to shop.

sam edelman shoesPants. These cranberry ones from ASOS is luscious and perfect for work or a night out. Even casual, with a t-shirt and sneakers looks on trends and super cute. Click the image to shop.

velvet pants asos

Jackets. This one from FRAME is a beautiful option, I especially love that it comes in the trendy blush tone. This color and fabric go with so many things, denim, leather, cotton… click the image to shop this jacket.

velvet jacket

Start your week off right!

I was looking at articles on this subject to get inspired and came across one that was intended to be amusing but is actually quite sad. It made me realize how far I’ve come since my drinking days. On PuckerMob.com, a site I had never heard of, the article “Case of the Mondays, 8 Ways to Kick Start Your Week“, the author simply discusses immature and disgusting ways to nurse your hangover from a weekend long binge.

This used to be me. Rolling into the office trying to just get through the day, hating my job, myself and everyone around me. That’s no way to live. I live without a drink now and am so much happier. I know to some it seems like a fate worse than death to give up drinking, but really it could not only save your life but help you create the best life you’ve ever had.

As a sober, responsible and inspired human, Monday is a great day for me to reboot. It’s a new week which gives me the feeling that I have a clean slate. Here are a few things that help me start my week off right…

  1. Wake up with time to spare. I used to be a consummate late sleeper, snoozing until the last possible moment, then rushing around to get myself ready in the morning and rushing out the door. I still have a tough time waking up, it’s a little easier now that I have natural alarm clocks, my 3 sons, waking me up every morning before 7. I try to get up a little before they do to have sometime for myself in the morning whether to workout, have a cup of coffee or stretch and meditate, it really helps to have that time to myself before the kids wake up and it’s all about them.
  2. A healthy breakfast. I used to never eat breakfast. Now I can’t go without it. I’m not that hungry in the mornings but if I skip it I’m become ravenous later in the day and eat things I shouldn’t. Also, eating a healthy breakfast is so important to kick-start your metabolism for the day.
  3. Think about what I want to accomplish for the day / week and make a list. Once I’ve cleared my head a bit and my older 2 get off to school I like to think about the week ahead and what I would like to accomplish. What appointments do I have, when am I going to squeeze in working out and updating my blog, what fun activities am I going to do with Tommy, dinners for the week, who do I need to call or message etc… having this list in front of me is a good way to organize.

That’s all I’ve got for today. What suggestions do you have for starting your week off strong?

xo, Hil

My favorite fall trends.

It goes without saying that I love summer! Love the weather, the activities, the clothes, all of it. But, once September hits, even though it’s not quite fall yet, my mindset flips to fall. Especially when it comes to fashion. I’m ready to put on those cute jackets, chic blazers and sexy booties. Plus, with each new season I look forward to the new trends.

Here are a few of my favorites for Fall 2017.

(Full disclosure: All of the products below are taken from the Lulus site of which I am an affiliate, if you purchase any items from the links I have included on this page I will receive a small commission. As a customer of the site I can say I love their products! Thank you.)

  1. Burgundy and velvet. This dress from Lulus is a great way to wear the trend. Perfect for a special event or throw a jacket or sweater over it and wear it to work (depending on your dress code of course!). I would certainly wear this to my job at Saks, with a long black sweater and booties it’s perfect.

velvetdress

2) Motorcycle jackets. There are a myriad of them to choose from these days, I love one that has accents that differentiate it from the pack. Like this one with its exaggerated collar. I love the classic look wearing it over a t-shirt but also dig a moto in the atypical sense, over a cocktail dress or button down shirt. Click here shop the one below and for more style options and colors.

motorcyclejakcet

3) Rose Gold and platform sneakers. Sneakers can be paired with anything these days, I love mine with leggings and a t-shirt or dressing them up with a mini skirt, cami and blazer. Shop this pair by clicking the image below and to view more options.

rosegoldsneakers

What’s your favorite trend right now?

xo,

Hilary

 

 

 

 

3 tips on how to get rid of stubborn belly fat.

Having gone through 3 pregnancies and gaining a significant amount of weight with each, I’m no stranger to the woes of an increased waist line that takes some time and focus to get rid of. I’m in pretty good shape at this point but still have the excess skin that comes with gaining massive weight and then losing it. I’d need surgery to get rid of it all together. I sometimes look in the mirror and find myself pulling my stomach fat up to remind myself what me belly used to look like, but I also realize that it’s a reminder that I gave birth to three beautiful children that mean the world to me.

Alright.. enough cheesy stuff, here are my tips for reducing belly fat as much as possible.

  1. Run. Cardio is the best way to reduce excess fat and jogging is one of the most effective ways of doing this.  Running about 12 miles a week, which breaks down to only about 2 miles a day, has been proven to really amp up your metabolism and reduce body fat. If you’re not comfortable running any other exercise that gets your heart rate up is also effective, you just need to do more of it. I love walking and it’s such a great low impact workout, but you need to make time to do more of it if you really want to cut weight.
  2. Amp up the protein. I’m not a fan of diets that cut out carbs completely, they are essential for so many key bodily and mental functions, but I do think cutting back on carbs while mixing in more healthy protein in your diet is a good thing. Protein, carbs and fat are all essential components of your diet but you need to have the right ratio. According to Prevention Magazine, a break down of 30% protein, 30% carbs and 30% fat, has been proven to significantly reduce body fat. Examples of healthy protein are white meat chicken and turkey, Salmon, lentils, almonds, organic whey protein…
  3. Strength training. Combining cardio and strength training is the best way to get that sleek, toned physique you crave. Strength training is not just great for target toning but also building muscle, boosting your metabolism and burning fat throughout the day. Here are some of my favorite abdominal exercises to really help tone that waistline: Bicycle crunches, planks, high knees ( I like this partially because your don’t have to lie down, but make sure your core is tight to get the full benefit), leg raises, side crunches and windmills (also a standing exercise).

If you have any questions please email me: hilary@ugobabyfitness.com 

xo,

Hilary