Friday, February 20, 2015


You guys. This salad is SO good and SO filling. I've been craving it (not pregnant) every day for dinner and sometimes for brunch over eggs. Mmmmm. Kelly Simmons from yesterday's nap time pilates post HERE created the yummiest healthiest salad, and she's letting us share it with you! Hooray! Actually when she came over for the photo shoot, she brought the salad for me as a yummy post workout lunch. I mean... come on! 
Kelly tells me that's a lot of siracha I added on there. I could have gone with more, but I'm a freak. I usually add a huge handful of extra steamed kale under the salad, and I'll throw some grilled tofu on top for me and grilled chicken for the hubs. I make a recipe of this in a huge pyrex covered bowl and it lasts the week. I'm usually in a rush to eat with the kids so this is perfect for just scooping out over kale, microwaving, and dousing in siracha :) Enjoooooy!

Here's Kelly (see her site and contact info HERE) with the recipe:


by Kelly Simmons

1.5 cups of uncooked quinoa
2-3 cups frozen broccoli
1 c frozen corn
1 c frozen edamame (shelled)
1 c shredded carrots 
1 c chopped raw green beens
2 cups of spinach or 2 cups shredded kale
Sliced almonds
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
Crumbled Feta
Optional toppings: Avocado, balsamic, teriyaki, siracha

-Prepare 1.5 cups of quinoa according to package directions, but boil in large pot, instead of small pot. Add salt to water. 
-While quinoa is cooking, put all of the veggies in a huge, microwave safe bowl (I like using a gigantic glass pyrex bowl, because I can then store the quinoa dish in it later).
-Cover the veggies with water, put in the microwave, cover with a micro-safe top and microwave on high for 10 minutes (or until all veggies are warm/blanched)
-When quinoa is finished, throw 2 cups of spinach or 2 cups shredded kale into pot with quinoa. Stir until greens are wilted. 
-Drain veggies. Put them back in the bowl. Add quinoa and wilted greens to veggies in the bowl. Add salt and pepper, a handful of sliced almonds, dried cranberries, feta, and avocado (optional). 
-Scoop out a serving size, and your favorite condiment (I'd suggest balsamic, teriyaki, hot sauce or siracha) and enjoy!

- Depending on how much quinoa/veggies you want, you can reduce the amount of quinoa to 1 cup, or increase it to 2 cups. 
- I like a LOT of greens, so before I dish out my serving, I put torn kale in a microwave safe bowl, then add the quinoa mixture on top of the kale. I cover the bowl, microwave for 1-2 minutes until the kale has wilted. Then, I add the feta. 
- For protein, the quinoa mixture tastes great with eggs, chopped deli meat, chopped chicken or whatever you'd like to add. My favorite combination is scrambled egg whites with a few pieces of chopped deli turkey, with avacado and siracha.


As a Certified Health Coach with the American Council on Exercise, Kelly helps people get well and stay well with tools and strategies for everyday healthy living.

To contact Kelly, visit or email
For fitness tips and healthful ideas, go to, find her on instagram @kellysimmonshealth, and follow her on Twitter at @ksimmonshealth.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


If you know me at all, you know I'd rather do anything than work out. It's tied with cleaning the house. Actually Jenni and I are both averse to expending more energy than it takes to chase our kids around. We've been saying, who has the time to work out? 
Fortunately for us, my good friend, Kelly Simmons, is a Pilates instructor and health coach (and I don't even hate her... I adore her actually). Kelly has come up with a 10-30 minute workout, easily accomplished at your kids' nap time- like in your bedroom, bra optional! That's the most I can deal with right now, ya know? The beauty of this workout is that you can do it anywhere at any time! No getting sweaty, no gym equipment, nothing. This whole workout was done in the corner of my bedroom- see, you can do this anywhere! I even do some of these exercises in the play room with my kids! 
If you're in the Nashville area, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post for all of her contact info and social media! She's THE BEST. Check out Kelly's gorgeous site HERE.
These exercises are perfect for an at-home workout, and can be completed quickly—in less than 10 minutes, or could be expanded for a full 30-minute workout. 

Full body move that’s great as the first and/or last exercise in your workout.

Start in a standing position, arms hanging by your side. Nod chin to chest, round the upper body over the waist, pulling the ribs up to the ceiling. Come back to a tall back by re-stacking the spine. The neck and head are the last to come up. Repeat. 
On the last repetition, roll all the way down, place your hands on the floor (bend your knees if needed) and walk out to a plank position. Hold the plank position for a few deep breaths, then go into a downward dog stretch and then back to the plank. 
More difficult: add push-ups. 
Reps/sets: 2-3 roll downs, 3-5 walk out planks/downward dog stretches.

This move targets the abdominals, but your arms and legs will also get involved.

Lie on your back, arms by your side, fingers reaching towards your toes. Bring your right knee to a “table-top” position (knee in line with the hip, shin parallel to the mat). Keep the 90 degree bend behind your knee and lower your toe toward the mat. Lower as far as you can while keeping your ribs pressed into the mat. Switch legs. Then, bring knees together and lower both legs together.
More difficult: Add the arms-- with straight arms, reach behind you as lower your toes.
Reps/sets: 5-10 reps on each side, 5-10 reps with both legs.

This is a great stretch that prepares your powerhouse for the next move.

Come into an all-fours position (hands under shoulders and knees under hips).
Lift ribcage high to the ceiling, tucking the tailbone under.
Then, reverse-- drop ribs down, press tailbone into the air.

Reps/sets: 5-10 sets (1 set = 1 cat and 1 cow)

This is a balance challenge and also works back, abs, glutes, hammies.

 Stay on all fours, weight balanced evenly across shoulders and hips, with the waistline cinched up. Stay in steady, balanced “table” position, and reach one leg out behind you, hip height. Take a couple deeps breaths. Switch legs. Repeat.
Do arms (one arm out at a time, repeat).
Then, lift one arm and the opposite leg.
See-saw the arm and leg, keeping the powerhouse strong.
More difficult: bring opposite elbow to opposite knee.
Reps/sets: 2-3 reps of lifting each leg and arm, 5-10 see-saws.

Strengthen your abdominals and back with this rotation exercise that will also make you feel taller.

Sit on your sits bones, arms in a “T”, legs mat-with apart, knees lightly bent and feet flexed.
 Sit tall, twist from the ribs, reach over the thigh to “saw” off the pinky toe with the pinky finger.
Come up to vertical in the twist, then unwind through center. Repeat on opposite side.
Reps/sets: 3-5 sets).

You may not feel as graceful as a swan as you do it, but this exercise is excellent for improving posture.

Lie on your stomach, legs together, all ten-toe nails on the mat. Make a pillow with your hands—palms down, one hand over the other. Put your forehead on your hands.
Lift your abdominals off the mat. Hover your head and shoulders a few inches off the mat and hold for a breath. 
Reps/sets: 3-5 reps.

Get your glutes, hammies, core and arms with this combo move.

Lie on your back, knees bent hip distance apart, feet flat on mat.
Curl tailbone up, follow by lifting the pelvis, middle back and upper back into a “bridge”— long line from shoulders to knees.
 Lower down by rolling through the upper back, middle back, low back until the tailbone touches the mat. Repeat.
On last rep, stay in the shoulder bridge, bring your right knee into your chest then straighten the right leg up to the ceiling.
Flex the heel, lower the leg to the height of the left knee, point the toe, and lift. Repeat 5 times. Bend the knee, lower the foot to the ground. Switch sides.
Reps/sets: 3-5 shoulder bridges, 5 reps of leg lifts on each side.

Stand with heels together, toes apart, zipping legs together. Arms out into a wide “T.” Imagine a corset around your ribcage to keep your abdominals working.
Lift onto the toes, look to the right, look to the left, look to center. Lower the heels. Repeat.
More difficult: close your eyes as you turn your head to each side.
Reps/Sets: 2-3 sets.

Kelly Simmons, PMA®-CPT is a Nashville-based, NYC-trained Pilates instructor who helps clients improve overall strength, flexibility and mobility. Through group fitness and private training, she focuses on safe, effective movement for full-body workouts that emphasize the core. As a certified Health Coach with the American Council on Exercise, she helps people get well and stay well with tools and strategies for everyday healthy living. 

To contact Kelly, visit or email
For fitness tips and healthful ideas, go to, find her on instagram @kellysimmonshealth, and follow her on Twitter at @ksimmonshealth.

Monday, February 16, 2015


She did it again! Our dear friend Shara (remember her Shark Party HERE?!) is blowing our minds with her son's dreamy gray and aqua nursery. It is styled. to. perfection. We've been stalking gently convincing her to let us show her whole house! One day, Shara, one day.... mwahahahaha!
When I was pregnant with my second, I was so sure I was having a girl that I went ahead and bought crib bedding and started planning out a perfect baby girl nursery. I was just SURE. Halfway through my pregnancy at the big ultrasound, the tech waved her magic wand, paused, and then asked me if I still had the receipt for that bedding... I was having another boy! I was shocked and kind of in denial, so I decided I didn't need to do up another room for baby boy - he would just share a room with his big brother once he was old enough to move out of the bassinet in my room. 

Fast forward to a month before my due date. The urge to nest suddenly kicked in haaaaaaard and I just HAD to have a nursery. Jenni had thrown me the most perfect "snowy sprinkle" baby shower (see it HERE), and I worked from that idea to create a gender-neutral winter woodland nursery. The room was already painted grey (Valspar's “Cement"), so I left it as is and used that as my starting point. Anyone who has been to my house knows how much I love the color aqua, so I (unsurprisingly) decided on a grey/aqua/white color theme, accented by warmer tones here and there to keep it from being too matchy-matchy or cold. It took more than a year to finish up the room - I had my hands kind of full with two little ones! - but I think that the extra time allowed the room to evolve into something even better than I had originally visualized. Now it’s one of my favorite rooms in the house!

PS. I never did return that girly bedding… it’s packed away carefully in hopes that maybe one day my pretty pink nursery will become a reality ;)


Tree decals - WallDecorative
Feather mobile - DIY
Dreamcatchers - DIY
Bedding - skirt from Land of Nod, sheet & chevron knit throw from Target
Aqua book cart - Land of Nod
Rocking moose - Ikea
Chair and ottoman - Little Castle “Charleston”
Polar bear blanket - Land of Nod
Polar bear “skin" - eBay
Lamps - Target
Squirrel nightlight - Modcloth
Tree wood bead puzzle - Skip Hop
Bird mobile - Boon
Changing pad cover - Land of Nod
Curtains - Amazon (blackout lining added DIY)
Dresser, end table, book ledges - Ikea
"Things" organizer - Land of Nod
Grizzly bear wood block calendar - West Elm
Fox, raccoon and owl art - Sass and Peril
Clock - Target
Rocking bird - West Elm
Ceramic fox figurine and white fox speaker - Target
Moon globe - Urban Outfitters
Marquee arrow light - Target
Forest Love screen print - Sass and Peril
Young & Brave print - Billy and Scarlet
Paper deer - Template from French Melody
Name letters - DIY
Woven baskets - Walmart, spray painted teal
Owl vase - Target
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