Teaching Little Ones Kindess (made easy!)

Y’all, being a parent is tough! We have to keep them clothed (okay that’s kind of fun!), fed, clean, AND teach them to be good humans. I’m tired just writing about it. One of my major challenges lately is teaching my children, in an age appropriate way, about kindness, gratitude, and service.

It can be difficult for little minds to understand why we give back to our community and even more difficult for them to put themselves in another’s shoes to truly understand kindness and empathy. And honestly, as a parent, it can be exhausting to come up with simple ways to SHOW them. That’s why I’m absolutely obsessed with these Kindness Cards from Minor Details CLE! Her claim to fame is her gorg custom wedding and party invitations for celebrations + milestones, but she also creates adorable creations of all kinds. I’m kind of obsessed with everything she crafts for littles, including her fill in the blank thank you cards and family adventure cards.

Intended to be led by a young family member (think preschool-1st grade in my opinion), these kindness cards take all the guess-work out of instilling kindness with fun, family activities. While there are a few that are holiday specific, many can be used year round, which is what we’re doing with them! 

My plan is to use the Christmas-specific ones over the next two weeks, and after use one a week until we finish them off! I’m going to write the date on the back when we complete it and save it for next year. (Honestly, you could even start them after Christmas, doing 1-2 per month in the new year, then using the holiday ones next December!) I don’t know that she’ll have them again next year, so I’d snag them now while you can!  

We completed one earlier this week, No.15 Sing Christmas Carols, at McKenna’s holiday performance. She loved pulling the card and writing the date on the back! 

As the year goes on, I’ll be sharing updates both here and on Instagram with how we’re using the cards and tagging Minor Details CLE. We’d love for you to take part in the kindness with us, because after all, we’re all trying to raise happy, healthy, KIND humans! ❤

{Psssst: you can head to Insta and enter to win yourself a pack of cards! Go find the post with Kindness Cards and follow the easy, peasy instructions to enter}

This post was created in collaboration with Minor Details CLE. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Pure Barre, Busy Mama: Worth It?

It’s no secret that I LOVE all things barre related– I’ve been a Stroller Barre instructor for 2 years, a barre-client at numerous studios over the years, and grew up with a strong affinity for the ballet. When I found out there was a Pure Barre studio just a few miles from my house, I let out a little squeal! I wanted to join so badly; I NEEDED to switch up my routine as I felt like I was hitting a plateau. But honestly… in this season of life… it’s so dang hard to find the time, not to mention the motivation, to get to any sort of workout that doesn’t involve my littles. Would it be worth it?

Enter the Pure Barre Challenge. I saw an ad on Instagram for a 31 day challenge. Complete 20 classes in 31 days and see your body change and your confidence soar. {Inner dialogue “okay… this sounds slightly insane and really hardcore, so yeah, COUNT ME IN.”} I wasn’t really sure how I’d make it work, but I figured even if I decided I didn’t want to keep up with it after the challenge, it would be a great way to break through a plateau and get some (much needed) mama time for myself.

The Classes

Pure Barre Classic: this is THE Original. Rooted in classic technique, this is the fastest, most effective full-body workout. The instructor leads you through a series of low-impact, high intensity movements that are designed to strengthen and tone your body in ways that no other technique can. 50 minutes.

Pure Empower: similar to classic, but more cardio. Like, a lot more. According to their site, “Pure Empower is a fusion of barre and interval training designed to elevate your heart rate, build strength and rev up your metabolism. For 45 minutes, you’ll use multi-directional, dynamic movements with ankle weights and a plyometric platform to target different muscle groups simultaneously – all at an invigorating pace.

Pure Empower equipment: hand weights, ankle/wrist weights, platform

Pure Reform: a hybrid of resistance training and pure barre. Still a total body workout that targets, shapes, and defines all major muscle groups, but this time through resistance‐based strength training. This class will challenge your strength, coordination and balance by using resistance bands, sliders, and the barre. 50 minutes.

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What I love about Pure Barre: Honestly, these classes make me feel SO strong. Every single class, regardless of format, is a crazy challenge. The instructors are super knowledgeable and use hands-on correction to ensure your tiny one-inch movements are giving you the most bang for your buck. Also, they have early morning (5:45 am) and late evening (7 pm) classes, so I can leave the kids with the hubby either before or after work, which is an issue I found with a lot of group classes.

What I wish I could change: Selfishly, all the things I want to change are personal problems! I wish the early classes were everyday instead of MWF, because T/TH is when I truly need them. The other biggest factor is obviously the price. Trust me, the cost is totally WORTH it, but my midwestern bargain-hunter, sale-only roots run deep.

Final Verdict: Did I complete the challenge? Absolutely not. I completed about half, due to traveling and general #momlife. Buuuuut I did love it so much that I’ve decided to tackle a few more months and see what kind of progress I can really make. Oh, and for you, sweet friends: a deal! New clients can use the code JESS20 to save $20 on an intro month. That makes it just $79 for unlimited classes*, and if you haven’t snagged a free week yet, you can stack that on, too!

*this deal also works with their current Black Friday specials, making your total cost only $59 for an unlimited month of Pure Barre! Valid in Round Rock and Cedar Park through 11/25/18

Fall Family Bucket List

Lists– you either love making them or hate it. If you’re a list-lover, YAY! You are my people. I live and die by my planner and to-do lists keep my forever-forgetful mom brain in line. If you’re a list-hater,  you’re in luck, because I am HAPPY to do it for you 😉 I am a sucker for creating traditions, so I present to you: The Kilbane Fall 2018 Bucket List! I decided to leave the name off (even though I’m a sucker for monogramming and personalization), that way you can download and print your own copy.

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Love it? Download Yours Here:

(sans any typos on my first copy, above!)

Fall 2018 Fam Bucket List

 

 

4 Fall Trends Moms are Rocking

While NYFW is amazing and inspiring, it usually doesn’t scream “mom-friendly fashion”. This year, I decided to look for the big takeaways and use them as starting points for re-vamping my Fall wardrobe. While I’d love to buy #allthethings, I’m going to stick with trends that can be seamlessly blended into a stylish, FUNCTIONAL mom wardrobe! Just because we’re mamas chasing toddlers around, wiping up drool, and doling out Purell like it’s made of gold doesn’t mean we have to look like slobs.

Check out my 4 fave trends below, with links to some of items I absolutely adore for Fall {this post is not sponsored in any way and I will not make any money from you buying these items… just my good ‘ole honest picks}!

Leopard – because leopard will forever be a neutral

 

 

             H&M Trumpet Sleeve Blouse | Steve Madden Calf Hair Loafers | Half-Zip Leopard Print Denim Skirt | Universal Thread Slides 

Interesting Plaids – more than your boring boyfriend flannel

 

 

Ruffle Plaid | Peplum Plaid | Checked Swing Blouse | You Belong With Me Blouse

Jewel Tones – rich, gorgeous colors to compliment neutral basics

 

 

Satin Camisole | Floral Print Swing Dress | Ruffle Front Top | Bell-Sleeve Romper

Chunky Knits – cozy, but with eye-catching details

 

 

Frappe Fringe Knit | Cable Knit Puff Sleeve | Nestled Up Cardi | Cuteness on Sleeves

Which trend are you most excited about? 

 

No Excuses: Mama’s Guide to Working Out with Littles

Before having kids, I honestly wasn’t too interested in exercising. I did it, sure, but for all the wrong reasons. I did it solely because I wanted to “be skinny”– it had NOTHING to do with my physical being and everything to do with being superficial. These days, working out has a whole new meaning to me. Granted, I actually really do love working out now, but it isn’t just about me anymore. My goals have changed from wanting to “be skinny” to wanting to be strong and lean (have you ever tried to carry a four year old and a two year old, in the 100 degree Texas heat, while also singing a rendition of “Old MacDonald” and not drop your coffee or diaper bag?).

As they get older, they not only get squirmier and harder to carry, but they start to really understand what exercise is and why we do it. Sure, you could drop your little at the chain-gym childcare, but you could also keep them around and get the same results.

Sound too good to be true? Sound like something only a SAHM can accomplish?

(insert an image of me doing a sneaky “I told you so” smile) While I honestly love to sneak away and hit the gym/yoga studio solo, #momlife means that isn’t always an option. Good news: you that you CAN get the results you want *and* you can bond with you littles and show them the value of good health.

FIT4MOM classes 

If you know me or have followed me for a while, you know that my love for FIT4MOM runs DEEP. It is my life blood and honestly I can’t imagine where or who I’d be without my village. Killer workouts? Check. Make mom friends? Check. Entertain and engage your littles instead of leaving them sitting on the sidelines? CHECK. They’re nationwide, so find your village here or message me!

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Load the crew up for a jog

A good jogging stroller is worth the investment, hands down. We use ours for running, hiking, and anywhere that might have even slightly rough terrain. I usually run with both kiddos, but now that M is getting a little bigger, she likes to ride her bike! Does it slow down my runs? Yes. Is it worth it to spend time together and let her also exercise? Also yes!

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Tone It Up app

I started using the Tone It Up workout app when they had a “bikini body series”, even though I have little intention of wearing a bikini! Team #onepiece or high-waisted swimmers for life! But what I fell in love with was the fact that they have daily moves, studio workouts where you can sign up for a virtual class, and on-demand workouts. They offer a ton of content for free, but also offer a paid version with more.

PopSugar Fitness or Fitness Blender on YouTube

Similar to Tone It Up, but you don’t need any type of app or membership. While there is a TON of free content on YouTube, these two channels are by far my favorites. Both have a huuuuge selection on what type of workout you can do, but they vary in terms of length and entertainment. PopSugar keeps me laughing, has motivating trainers, and is typically targeted to females. Fitness Blender is a little drier, but they have great countdowns on the screen that let you know how much time you have left, which is awesome!

Make it a Family Affair!

When we’re all home, we try to turn fitness into a game. It doesn’t have to be moaning and groaning to be a good workout! Kyle and I will alternate strength and cardio work, so that one person is always with the kids. If it’s just me with the kids, we’ll set O up with some trucks or other independent toys and M and I will workout to a video together! The most important advice here is to be patient. Get as much done as you can. I often have to split up my workouts when we work together and that’s OKAY. If you follow me on Instagram, I try to post some of our workouts in my story highlights. It’s about progress, not perfection.

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Do you workout with the littles, or fly solo? I’m ALWAYS open to chat working out, so send me a message! 

Good Eats: Weekly Meal Plan {9/16/18}

The Plan

Each Sunday, I’ll use Playdates and Prosecco to record our dinner plans for the week, including anything made during Sunday prep. I’ll link any relevant recipes and include some of my favorite products/staples in case you want to use ’em!

This Week

The weird thing about this “challenge” is that it doesn’t really FEEL like you’re in cleanse. We’re still eating real food and able to eat *most* of what we want, so that’s all around AWESOME. I will admit, the hardest part is not going out to eat so often. For us, going out to dinner is our social time as a family, so it’s a big change trying to cook every meal at home. Yes, we COULD go out and stay on the plan, but that’s not quite as fun 😉

Oh, and in other news, I’m only planning four meals this week because Friday morning we’re headed out of town for Kyle’s birthday! Hooraaayyyy– I LOVE birthdays!

Here’s what we’re working with:

The Meals

Prep

Spinach/Romaine Mix (cut, washed, and ready to eat in the fridge for salads)

Oats for work Lunch (not doing overnight oats, just prepping the ingredients the night before for quick mornings. I’ve been doing cinnamon, almonds, berries, and flax seed, then I add hot water at work and mix!)

Bacon (for all the things)

Entrees

This week we’re having:

  • Spicy buffalo chicken salad (whatever greens of choice and chopped veggies, top with baked chicken tossed in a “clean” buffalo sauce)
  • Venison sausage with brown rice and peppers
  • Turkey meatballs with zucchini noodles and Rao’s spaghetti sauce
  • Omelet w/ leftover veggies from the week & avocado (this is a new fav! So quick and easy, plus you get to use up all the veggies in the fridge)

I’ve linked recipes I plan to follow or at least use as a guide, so feel free to steal ’em!

What are y’all eating this week?

Let’s start sharing ideas!

Good Eats: Weekly Meal Plan {9/9/18}

The Plan

Each Sunday, I’ll use Playdates and Prosecco to record our dinner plans for the week, including anything made during Sunday prep. I’ll link any relevant recipes and include some of my favorite products/staples in case you want to use ’em!

This Week

So who’s done the Advocare 24-challenge? We are starting it this week! I’m SUPER excited and plan to actually utilize a lot of whole-30 recipes into our dinner plans, just to amp up the nutrient-density. I’m going to try to make this as exciting as possible, as we’re basically used to eating pizza and chipotle whenever we feel like it (but seriously, yummmmm). These next couple of weeks will focus on clean-eating by way of new spins on old faves!

Here’s what we’re working with:

The Meals

Prep

Spinach/Romaine Mix (cut, washed, and ready to eat in the fridge for salads)

Overnight Oats (currently experimenting here… I’ll link my favorites when I find some good ones!) 

Lots of washed fresh veggies!

Entrees

This week we’re having:

  • Spicy Garlic shrimp w/ zucchini noodles (drizzled in EVOO, salt, pepper)
  • Venison steak w/ asparagus (season with Slap Ya Mama cajun seasoning)
  • Baked lemon chicken w/ broccoli
  • Jalapeno venison sausage w/ red & yellow bell peppers, onions
  • Omelet w/ leftover veggies from the week & avocado

I’ve linked recipes I plan to follow or at least use as a guide, so feel free to steal ’em!

What are y’all eating this week?

Let’s start sharing ideas!