Spring + Summer Baby Items Haul

It’s Bethany and Tera here on the blog today, and we’re so excited to share our favorite baby and toddler items for the Spring and Summer! Baby stuff can get so overwhelming because there’s so much, well, stuff. We are proud thrifters + D.I.Y.ers , but we thought it would be really fun to share our favorite special items, and we’ll save our thrifting list for another time (although we couldn’t help but to add a couple). Whether you’re searching for some new brands to follow, fun items for a friend’s baby shower, registry ideas, or you’re just doing some digital “window” shopping, we’ve narrowed it down to some our favorites!

spring and summer baby haul

◊ MEET THE MOMS + LITTLES ◊

Bethany (@bethanympoteet)

If we haven’t met before, I’m Bethany, and my husband Denver and I have an infant boy named Oliver Finn. I’m a work at home mom (which gets a little bit crazy) and I enjoy taking Oliver on little weekend adventures. I’m figuring out this whole boy mom thing, and it’s such a fun and crazy ride!

Tera (@terapianalto)

Hello, and to all the newbies here on Oak and Earth, I’m Tera! I’m a wife, homemaker, and mom to two little gals, Norah and Elsie. This stage of life is a lot of messy bun and t-shirt days, coffee breaks, and peanut butter bread crusts for lunch. We’re embracing this new season of crazy and having a blast along the way!

◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊

◊ HATS + BOWS ◊

Madrenido Bonnet: Ash (Bethany’s pick)

We use this bonnet, or as Denver likes to call it, hood, all the time! I love it because Oliver doesn’t have much hair, and it’s provided sun protection without having to have on a hot beanie. I love this small shop, and they have both boy and girl options. I hopped on the boys-can-wear-bonnets trend pretty quickly and I haven’t looked back!

Little Green Radicals Sunhat: (Tera’s pick)

This bonnet has been one of my favorites for Elsie, mainly because really, who can resist a baby in a bonnet? I love it because aside from it’s practical functions, it’s such a cute design, the fabric is lightweight, and of course, #baeinabonnet. C’mon.

Kinship Cap Co: Infant cap (Bethany’s pick)

This is one of my favorite items on my list. I searched long and hard for an infant 5 panel flat bill cap. This one can be used through 12 months of age, so I decided it was worth it for me to purchase. I have NOT regretted it one bit. We use this every day on walks and especially on weekends when we are out and about. It provides eye protection as well as head protection, and I finally found one simple enough to match so many of his outfits.

Amelia Hand-tied Baby Bows:  (Tera’s pick)

I was on the hunt for some cute hand tied baby bows for the girls, and I stumbled upon Ames + Olivia Etsy shop. She has lots of sweet hand tied bows in tons of colors for some really reasonable prices, and you have the option of ordering them as a one size headband (SO soft and comfy), or as a clip! I ended up ordering some of each, and we wear them nearly every day right now.

◊ SHOES ◊

Starry Knight Design: Sea Glass Sunrise Sandals (Bethany pick)

Tera and I both love this brand.  These moccs are really well made + they have breathable cutouts for spring and summer, and it’s the best pair I found for boys (as many boy moms can attest, not an easy search)! It’s so hard to choose a color with their massive selection!

Starry Knight Design: Mint T-strap Sandals (Tera’s pick)

I love these little baby moccs for Elsie! They are so comfy and soft, they’re versatile, and the design is adorable and perfect for spring! Plus, there are so many color options available for them–I’ll probably order another pair for fall!

Pretty Brave (Bethany’s pick)

Oliver was gifted a pair from a shop I collaborate with, Minted Method Shop, and we absolutely love them. It’s another great brand for boys!  I’ll admit that before having a babe, I never understood why babies need shoes. Oliver’s feet are pretty much always ice cold, and he likes to put leg pressure on surfaces, so I like having his feet protected. These are on the higher end of a shoe budget , but again, they would make for an investment piece (like sandals for all summer), or a splurger registry gift! The cutest stinkin leather shoes you ever did see.

Salt Water Sandals  (Tera’s pick)

So Norah’s little Sun Sans sandals were a consignment find, as is much of her wardrobe, but I added them to our list because she wears them All. The. Time. They’re comfortable on her feet, great quality, and so versatile! I’ve linked toddler’s salt water sandals because they are very comparable in price, and almost identical in style!

◊ PLAY ◊

Hazel Village: Oliver Mouse  (Bethany’s pick)

This was also gifted to Oliver by Minted Method Shop. Oliver the mouse (a beautiful coincidence in names) quickly became a favorite of ours for many reason. From day one, Oliver loved playing with all the skinny limbs, it’s small enough for us to put in the travel pocket of the diaper bag, it’s made of organic cotton fleece, and it has stood the test of time of Oliver’s biting + pulling.

Wooden Sensory Rattle + Lexy Pexxy: Wooden Teether – The Baily  (Bethany’s pick)

These wooden teethers and rattlers are fantastic for on the go entertainment! Oliver loves shaking these and chewing on them when his gums are sore. They’re practical and can double as a nursery decorations as well. I get asked on a daily basis where I get them both, so here you go!

◊ MOMLIFE GEAR ◊

Solly Baby Wrap (Bethany’s pick)

This is my practical pick! I love the Solly Baby wrap for spring and summer because the material is light and I take a lot of walks! As a mom you really need 16 arms, and I feel like this is as close as I’m going to get.

Milk Snob Cover (Tera’s pick)

These little multi purpose covers have been a staple for us since Elsie was brand new (one of Bethany and Oliver’s favorites as well). We still use it almost daily, only now, if I’m not using it for a car seat cover, Elsie is using it as a lovey (don’t worry, it’s constantly being washed)! It’s so funny how it’s become a security item for her after being around it since day one. I love these covers, and almost 9 months later, we’re still getting daily usage out of ours!

Plum and Sparrow Moses Basket (Tera’s pick)

Another piece that we are still using a ton is our Moses basket! We ordered it for Elsie to sleep in during her newborn stage, and though she’s since been upgraded to her crib, we still love to use it during the day as a play place! She loves sitting in it when we’re outside for a picnic, or more likely watching big sister do “super good gymnastics,” as she calls it. I love how portable it is, and it’s still one of my favorite baby purchases I’ve ever made!

Tadpoles Palm-Woven Moses Basket (Bethany’s pick)

I wanted a simple basket for Oliver, and I couldn’t be happier with this thrifted find. We found this basket at a consignment shop for a $15 steal, but it’s less expensive than most Moses baskets, even at full price. We use this for picnics, and when Oliver was a newborn we used this as a napping basket. When he’s not in it, we use it as a really cute storage basket in his nursery.

◊ BLANKETS ◊

Muslin Swaddle Blankets – Modern Burlap (Bethany’s pick)

Our organic cactus muslin swaddle is probably the most “fun” item I had on my registry, and it’s been a favorite of ours! We have a few of their swaddles, and I can’t say enough about them. We used it for newborn swaddling, and now we use it for play and a light blanket to pack for travel. I LOVE these for spring and summer because they’re so light. Oliver loves the black and white patterns, and I also use them for decor in his room. Win, win, win, win… you get it.

◊ THREADS ◊

L’oved Baby via Minted Method Shop (Bethany and Tera’s pick)

We love these because they’re great for all seasons! They’re soft and come in the sweetest muted pallets. We have footed ones as well the kimono body suits + the long sleeved ones come with built in mits (cue hallelujah chorus). A fantastic gender neutral registry gift!

Sparrow Designs (Bethany’s pick)

About 90% of Oliver’s wardrobe is consignment based, but I added this to my onesies’ list because this material is super light and soft for spring and summer, and they’re perfect graphic onesies for minimalists! I get asked about these frequently, and they’re some of my favorites for sure!

Old Navy: Cami Rompers  (Tera’s pick)

These little cami rompers have legit been a staple at our household! I love how easy they are–I mean one piece for a whole outfit–PLUS not to mention how stinkin’ cute those little baby rolls are in them. They’re just cute, simple, trendy, and a score.

Toddler Jersey Shorts +Toddler Sleeveless Swing Dress (Tera’s pick)

Modest is Hottest, right? Well, that’s my motto. I’ve added these shorts because we really have gotten a ton of wear out of them this season, because A). You can wear them with t-shirts and tanks, and they come in dozens of colors and prints…so cute! And, B). As I said before, with Norah constantly wearing dresses, I usually always have her slip a pair of these shorties on underneath for a little underwear coverage, and they work perfectly! Go on and flip, spin, run, and twirl to your heart’s content, Norah.

So, I don’t typically buy my girls a lot of “new” clothing–we find a lot of our wardrobes for them at consignment sales and hand me downs. Ain’t no shame in my game. BUT, when I do “splurge” on them, it’s most usually at Old Navy! They just consistently have the best sales on kids clothes! These little swing dresses are a huge hit for my dress lovin’ little gal. They come in lots of colors and styles and they have a great price point. These have by far been Norah’s favorite for her spring and summer wear.

◊ SWIM ◊

Grovia Swim Diaper – Onyx (Bethany’s pick)

I wanted a really simple swim diaper for Oliver, and this one has done the trick + it has appeased my stripes addiction. It keeps all his messes contained, and then we can wash it when we are done!

Swim Zip // baby + toddler suits (Tera’s pick)

Okay, so I found Swim Zip on Instagram a few months back, and when I checked out their site and browsed their suits, I knew right away I’d be ordering some for the girls! We got ours in the mail a couple of weeks ago and they’ve both already been in them multiple times! I love the patterns, they have different styles, and the price point is really great. We’re leavin’ on a jet plane (aka in my super cool mom van) in a little over a week for the beach, and these will be perfect for protecting their sensitive skin from the harsh sun rays!

◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊

We hope you enjoyed our spring + summer haul for our fun items! We want to reiderate that we are very real moms with very real budgets, and these are some of our special pieces that we mix in with our thrifted items and these are pieces we get asked about frequently! You asked, we answered! We have a few ideas in mind for our next tag-team #momlife posts, but we would love to hear from you! What would you like to see next?

To keep up with our crazy motherhood adventures you can follow us at @BethanyMPoteet and @TeraPianalto. We would love to keep in touch!

XOXO

-Bethany + Tera

 

Downsizing: The Simple Life

My husband and I began talking about a pretty significant idea back in April of last year: downsizing. (Side-note: I cannot believe 2016 is now past tense…where does the time go?!) It was our 4th anniversary weekend, and we had sent our oldest with some family and had a mini stay-cation at a nice hotel here in NWA. Being just the two of us, we had all the time in the world to discuss things that are many times otherwise interrupted and pushed aside these days. On our last morning “away,” while we ate our breakfast, we flipped our hotel television on to our favorite channel: HGTV. Of course a show popped on that we didn’t ordinarily watch, but it was immediately intriguing to us so we kept it going; it was a show on ‘tiny living’. “That is so cool, but I just don’t see how these families do it. Especially with kids!”

I remember saying this to Jer a few times while we watched these families (some with kids, some without) take their belongings and their space and condense it all into a space of about 400 sq ft or less. We marveled at the idea, and slightly envied the people who nipped America’s stereotypical house in the bud, dropped 80-90% of their belongings, and headed straight for the simple life. It was a concept that we just couldn’t get out of our heads.  “What if we did this?”

At first we thought it would just be too hard. After all, we had one toddler and had recently found out we would be having a second baby in the fall. How in the world would we make the (lack of) space work? We lived in a decent size home, about 1800 sq ft, and we had “stuff” in every room! I should also note that we had only moved into this nice home months before, adding even more insanity to our scheme. But what we finally realized, was that much of our living space was not utilized; it was just holding all the stuff we’d accumulated over the course of our marriage, much of which we could certainly live without.

The idea of simplifying our lifestyle grew more and more compelling to us, and the more we researched and read, the more we loved it. Not just for the mere fact of getting rid of “things,” though that was a large portion of it. We also loved the idea of taking our girls out of the cycle that we tend to get caught up in of not being content unless we have the latest and greatest, the nicest, the biggest and best, [insert ‘thing’ here]. Taking them out of this cycle and raising them in an atmosphere that was safe, promoted creativity, created closeness, and of course was always truly ‘enough.’ We were sold.

Downsizing Simple Life

A few days after listing our house for sale, we placed an offer on a small home in my childhood hometown, and were accepted. A couple weeks after our house was on the market we were under contract, and thus officially began our downsizing! “Simplify” quickly became our word for the remainder of 2016. Bit by bit we sifted through our things, donating a substantial amount of our belongings that we would no longer have the space for. A few weeks later we packed up what was left of our things and moved into a home that is just under 1000 sq ft. Of course, this was our version of a big downsize, and we didn’t move into a truly tiny home. But those of you with kids know that moving a family of four into a very small, 2 bedroom home is quite a feat! Simplify.

It is in no way an easy thing to accomplish, especially with kids, and we are still in the process of slowly downsizing more of our things even 6 months later, but as we’ve moved into 2017, we haven’t once looked back! I believe our word to live by this year is “intentional.” One of the biggest things we’ve had to do in our downsizing process has been to be so intentional with our space and how we utilize it. Do I love this piece, and does it make me smile? Like (Emily Gilmore, anyone?) Every piece we own must serve a purpose, and if it can serve for more than one purpose, even better!

Our space is very intentional. One of the main things we wanted to fit into our small home was our full size dining set. We wanted to have a space to bring people into our home and have good food, good discussion, and close relationships. I have my reading corner, the girls have a play space…every part of our home has been thought out, and is utilized! As far as the girls’ things go, we haven’t cleaned them out of all their toys, and they have a substantial book collection in the making, but we do have regular “sorting” days where we filter through and weed out the toys that have since become unexciting, and make room for the new. I can tell you our oldest never misses a thing!

downsizing simple minimal

Since downsizing and simplifying, we’ve decided we love it so much that we are working toward ways to simplify even more! There is such a freedom in knowing that there isn’t a wrong or a right way to “live,” and for us this lifestyle has been so rewarding! Don’t get me wrong, we see nothing wrong with consumption, and having “things.” We still have things, and we still love to buy certain things! But where I have seen a difference in our consumption is in the intent behind our purchases. Is it compulsory, or is it intentional and for a purpose? Let’s be real, in this small space we live in, there isn’t room for anything but intentional and purposeful–and I love that!

My favorite thing about downsizing has been that it consistently makes us reflect and consider the things that are most important to us, and then the freedom we feel when we condense down to only those most important things! Living small may or may not be forever for our family, but the idea of working toward more freedom with how we use and spend our time and where will be a theme that sticks with us wherever we go from here on out.

I am excited to share more about our downsizing, different projects that have ensued in order to make a small space the most efficient, and updates as we progress to an even more minimalist lifestyle. My husband jokes that our next downsize will be our wardrobes…okay, he’s only half joking (insert nervous sweating emoji).

For more updates and peeks into our day to day, follow me on Instagram ( @terapianalto ) and be sure to follow all of Oak and Earth’s social media accounts!

Here’s to a fresh start to your 2017!

Tera, xo

 

 

Three Years a Mama

One thing you hear a lot when you are expecting a baby is, “your whole world is about to change,” and it’s true. Nothing is ever the same after having your baby! I learned this myself after having our first daughter, Norah. A month and a half ago, we welcomed our second daughter, Elsie, into our family, and again I say, our world has forever been changed. Of course I mean this in the best way possible! She has been such a treasure to get to know and love, and we are all smitten–especially her older sister!

img_0180

Elsie Jo Pianalto:: sweetest little pumpkin

Along with the life changing experience of becoming a mother, and then again recently for the second time, I’ve learned some life lessons for myself and my fellow mama friends who may be reading this. So with this being my first post up since Elsie’s arrival, I felt it appropriate to compile that list on here today!

First, I’ve learned that no matter what stage or season of motherhood you are in, you’re a mama! Whether it’s the first week of baby’s conception, or your last week of pregnancy, you’re a mama to that sweet life inside you. Whether you only carried your baby for a short while here on earth, you are a mama. Whether you are an adoptive parent, a foster parent, or are still waiting for that call, you are a mama. This is something to take pride in.

I’ve learned that your heart triples in size when you have your first baby, and that a mother’s love is rooted so deeply into your soul that nothing here on earth can quite compare to it. When you welcome your second (or fifth) baby, your heart triples again, and that unconditional love is equally felt for them.

I’ve learned that no two pregnancies are the same. Not your pregnancy and your friend’s pregnancy. Not your first pregnancy and your second. Stop comparing your beautiful preggo baby body and be thankful to have a baby body.

I’ve learned that no two babies are the same. Don’t place expectations on your baby to match your first baby or your friends’ babies; they wont meet those expectations! Enjoy getting to know your baby, enjoy watching your baby meet his/her own milestones, and soak it all in.

I’ve learned that when it comes between a nap and a meal, many times, a nap wins.

I’ve learned that when it comes down to having that nice shower you were hoping to get, and lying on the bed with your baby because it’s the only way she’ll sleep right now, you decide that your shower can wait.

I’ve learned that your baby body will linger, and that’s okay. Those extra pounds and stretch marks won’t go away over night (or in two months). Your post baby body is a beautiful representation of being a mother…it’s part of it. Allow yourself some grace to give it time to heal!

With this, I’ve learned that when your baby pounds do come off, your body really won’t ever be the same. Sure, you may fit into your old jeans and bras, but you’ll notice your boobs have taken a new shape, and your hips maybe changed ever slightly. You’ll take on a new woman’s body, and it’ll never be what it was before children. It’s okay; it’s beautiful, it’s sexy, it’s a new you.

I’ve learned that breastfeeding comes easily to some women, and to others, like myself, it is a huge obstacle. It hurts, you bleed, your supply isn’t overly abundant, your baby doesn’t latch to you, it puts you into a depression. Or, it works. No matter what end of the spectrum you are on, that’s okay.

Along with this, I’ve learned that fed really is best. There is no right or wrong for you, mama. Is your baby happy, and growing? If so, it does not matter what route you take. Don’t cause yourself so much stress and angst over this–your beautiful baby will be absolutely okay.

I’ve learned that you just can’t compare yourself to other mamas. Be inspired? Sure. Be encouraged? Yes. Ask advice? Okay. Learn from? Absolutely. But you can’t compare. Stop comparing.

I’ve learned that sometimes, the days seem never-ending, but I promise when you blink an eye you’ll be staring at your once tiny newborn who now is a beautiful, spunky, witty little girl. During those midnight feeds when your tired body and brain are tempted to wish for the day she sleeps through the night, try, try to remember this, and soak in every last hour with your sweet baby. Every day they are growing to need mama a little bit less, and someday, you’ll wish these days back.

I’ve learned not to sweat the small stuff. It’s okay if you can’t get your picky toddler to eat anything but a pouch and a hot dog for lunch one day. Tomorrow, they won’t even like hot dogs! It’s okay that you napped with baby instead of doing that load of laundry today. Soak all that cuddle time you can get; laundry will be there tonight.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to say no to some things. If you aren’t the mom type who has a Pinterest home, goes to social gatherings every day, runs a small business, has a homemade meal in the oven every night, spends quality time with your kiddos and saves an extra hour for a bubble bath and a book, I deem you normal. It’s okay to say yes to some things and not feel guilty to say no to others! Say yes to the things that are Kingdom work, and say no to the things that aren’t purposeful and intentional.

I’ve learned that you are watched every minute of every day. Be intentional with what you watch, listen to, say, how you treat others, how you react to things. Our kids’ minds are soaking it in and learning from our actions.

I’ve learned that children are the easiest way to bring us to our knees in prayer. It is a blessing and a privilege to be a mother, and we need to be in constant prayer for those sweet babies.

I’ve learned that our children are our biggest and most important ministry.

I’ve learned that raising children is the best way to grow yourself; in patience, in character, in wisdom, in love, in creativity, in discipline, and on a spiritual realm. Norah and Elsie bring out the best and the worst in me, but they also make me want to be better!

I won’t tell you I’ve mastered all of these life lessons, but I am thankful for all that my girls have taught me so far! Being a mama to Norah and Elsie has truly been my biggest blessing, and the greatest adventure that my hubs and I have ventured on together! To my fellow mamas out there: what are some of the most important things you have learned on your motherhood journey? I’d love to connect with you and hear!

I don’t know about you, but Oak and Earth is super excited for the upcoming holidays! Keep an eye out for some fun holiday inspired posts that will be coming your way really soon! Follow @oakandearth on instagram, and my personal handle @terapianalto for blog updates and my every day snippets!

img_0954

 

Peace and Love,

Tera -xo

Our New Normal

As my second pregnancy comes to the finish line–nearly 36 weeks and counting–I suddenly feel the reality hitting me of going from a family of three to a family of four. I anxiously and excitedly prepare for and await the arrival of our second daughter, and though I daydream about how incredible it will be to watch our little girls growing up together and the bond that we pray and hope they will share, tears come to my eyes at the thought of our sweet Norah going from our baby to our oldest daughter as we welcome our newest little one into the family. So many blessings that await our nearly family of four, yet such a bittersweet-ness to saying goodbye to our budding family of three.

These thoughts that have been on my heart recently have me truly soaking up every bit of my Norah that I can before our new love is here. Not because I feel I am losing anything by adding a sweet new blessing, but because I know that my care, my time, my attention, my energy are all about to soon be divided.

shutterstock_424191577

Soaking up even the long, hard days of raising a sassy toddler because I know that soon, the moments of just Norah and mama will be a rarer thing. Our every day routine will be shared with our new baby. Though I know this will bring even more special moments with my girls, my heart clings a little bit longer to Norah’s hugs. I will myself to remember the  special and tender moments of holding my first girl, the countless times I’ve read “Where are You Going, Smitty Baby?” as she sat on my lap begging for just one more book, and the undivided attention that allowed me to cave in (most times). The endless hours I’ve sat on the floor with her and played with her dolls, and the extra time (mostly from saying: “the dishes can wait”) that I had to sit and marvel at how creative and sweet she was (is) as she plays with her toys and brings them to life. The extra snuggles at night that make my heart swell as I listen to her say her sweet and innocent prayers, and sings her favorite songs. I want to cherish these times more than ever before because I know these last few weeks of just she and I will be fleeting, and they’ll all feel like just a few moments.

I know these moments won’t be totally lost on me; I’ll make time for my oldest treasure, and she and I will continue to have special memories together. But another part of me realizes that these moments will have to be fought for. That our new little love will become a part of our new normal, a part of our story time and our play time, a part of our nighttime prayers. Life with two babies will be a whole new ballpark and learning experience for me, and Norah’s role will go from being our only baby, to being an older sister. My heart bursts with anticipation and pride as I picture this new normal, though I realize the changes and adjustments that Norah and I will have to make may not be as easy for a while. I am so excited to grow our family and begin a new journey, but also so nervous about this transition.

shutterstock_229273192

I look at Norah, and I picture how big she will look standing next to our newborn, but also how much of a baby she really still is. How dependent on her mama she still is, and how I hope (and to be transparent, worry a tad) that she never feels like she can’t depend on me. How she was entrusted to me by the One who gave her life, and how much I rely on Him to help me raise her (and our next) with grace. During my last few weeks of pregnancy, I’m seeing how God is doubling my love. How much love I have for my sweet Norah, and already the love I have for our unborn daughter. How I would do anything for Norah, and already could say the same for our littlest. Though there are moments with my first born that I will miss, there is nothing that I anticipate and look forward to more than becoming a family of four. The bittersweet-ness it is to say goodbye to one season that holds so many memories so near and dear to my heart, and to trade it in for even more love and more precious memories to be shared together.

I am so thankful to God that He extends His love and grace to us so that we can give it. Multiplying the love of a mother so that though her life may look different by adding a new baby to the mix, she doesn’t have to divide her heart and her love for them. Giving mama’s of multiples the energy to get through a sleepless night with one baby, and still do the ‘mama thing’ with the kiddos the next day and with a thankful heart. I am thankful that God has painted a picture of our family and that His picture includes both of our sweet babies.

My time with Norah as my only baby is coming to an end, and it is a precious season that I am thankful to have gotten with her. And though I will miss these moments with her, I am so blessed and grateful to begin our new normal.

-xo,

Tera

IMG_7727.jpeg

My sassy, yet oh so sweet Norah 🙂

D.I.Y. Pom Sandals

Hey, readers! I hope you’ve all been enjoying the warm summer sunshine! My family and I have had a crazy busy few weeks, but we’ve managed to hit the water park a couple of times, and we’ve indulged in quite a few milkshake nights…it’s how we like to roll. If you follow my personal instagram or Oak and Earth’s instagram page, you may have seen that us girls of O&E have recently started participating in the Whole 30 meal plan (basically a diet eliminating grains, dairy, and legumes and of course any processed foods). We plan to share with you guys how each of our Whole 30 experience goes, but so far I can tell you it’s been a challenge on my end! I am keeping some dairy and tiny bit of grain in for pregnancy purposes, but for the most part, those things are not in my diet. I’m a lover of bread and pasta and cheese, so this has not been an easy feat! Aside from this lifestyle change, we have some big house news going on that I’ll share after things settle down a bit, AND not to mention we are on the homeward stretch to meeting baby girl (10 weeks left) EEK! Starting to feel a little bit of stress and a lot a bit of crazy, but we are trucking through. Nothing a fun little DIY project can’t distract me from for a bit anyway!

I’ve been so excited to share this post with you because I really love how these sandals turned out! It’s such a fun accessory to add to your summer wardrobe. These pom sandals are super trendy this season and they’re all over Pinterest and Etsy. It plays up any outfit, so you can be comfy in your boyfriend shorts and a tank, and slap these puppies on, and BAM! You’ve gone from comfy casual to super adorable in .5 seconds! The best part? If you go online to buy these pom sandals, you’ll see that many of them are selling for $100+…I was able to buy my supplies and shoes all for around $30! You can look super cute and trendy without it costing you an arm and a leg, which is always my kind of style!

These did take me a full day to whip up, mostly because it’s a bit of trial and error–especially for the first sandal you assemble. So this makes a perfect summer weekend DIY where you can either spend a Saturday creating them, or split it up over two days!

IMG_8005

Okay, now for the fun part! To make your own pom sandals, you’ll need:

  • Sandals  (Here are some similar ones to mine)
  • Pom Poms
  • Wooden Beads
  • Mini Tassels (if wanted)
  • Thread/Needle*
  • Scissors

* I chose to stitch my materials on to the sandals to make them a little sturdier, but there are some great Pinterest DIY’s for these that just use a hot glue gun!

IMG_8036

To assemble these, I started with trying the sandals on in front of a mirror and placing poms (with a sewing pin) in the desired areas. This part took some trial and error to get them where I wanted them! You can leave sewing pins in place or just make tiny marks with a pen to remember where you want them. Once you have an idea of where you want your poms, unlace the sandals and before making the poms permanently attached, string the wood beads along the sandal straps in desired places. I tried my sandals on during this process a few times to see where I wanted beads once the sandals were actually wrapped around my leg. It helps to do this so that you can see where the pom poms are, and where you’ll have some naked space on the straps! Here is a photo of mine about midway through my second sandal: (You can see I had the beads strung in place and the poms are temporarily pinned with sewing pins)

IMG_8028

After the beads are placed along the straps, then you can begin stitching or gluing your poms into their permanent place! I just did a couple simple stitches to secure them to the sandal, and voila! It was the easiest part of the process. For the strap around the toes, I bought some pom pom trim (from Hobby Lobby), measured across, cut, and stitched. Other than figuring out placement for the poms and beads, it was the most time consuming part of the project. I think hot gluing would do just fine for this part and would save you a good chunk of time!

The last thing I did was assemble the mini tassels to the ends of the straps for a cute added touch. I just looped them on the end of the strap and stitched them to make sure they were secured.

After this was done, I had some super adorable and colorful sandals! They look super cute gladiator style, which is how I wore them here, but they also looked super cute wrapped and bunched closer together! I deemed this to be a very successful DIY and can’t wait to wear them around town!

This was such a fun and cute DIY for summertime, and for the steal of a price, I’d do it all over again! I’m obsessed over this look right now!! We can’t wait to hear what you all think of these pom sandals!

Keep up with us by following our social media pages, and stay up to date with all Oak and Earth happenings! Until our next summery post, stay cool and eat ice cream!

 

Peace and Love,

Tera -xo

5 Ways to Know You and Your Tot are Totally BFFS

Hey, readers! Self proclaimed nap time writer is back at it this week (it’s me, Tera). When I’m not drowning in last night’s dishes and days of laundry, I love getting to use Norah’s nap time to squeeze in a little down time for myself, and let’s be honest, sometimes a nap of my own (second trimester insomnia has me dragging these days)! Today’s nap time is consisting of a few of my favorite things: a bowl of fresh raspberries (all to myself), burning the best candle ever made (Capri Blue’s Volcano…mmmm), and this–blogging!

Since motherhood is one of the biggest roles in my life, I love getting to share little snippets of my everyday happenings and experiences, mom fails, and mom successes! This week, I wanted to share something light-hearted and something that all moms of toddlers (maybe even more specifically, moms of little diva tots) can relate to. We mom’s need to give ourselves a break every now and then from the pressures we feel with doing this mom thing the “right way,” and just have a good laugh. Motherhood is messy, tiring, never ending (I mean like 24/7 all day, everyday, whether you work or stay home), humbling, and completely wonderful! Now, have I done research and created this compilation based on facts? Yeah, basically. No better way than living it first hand, #amiright?

So, with that, I share with you my list of 5 Ways to Know You and Your Tot are  (Totally) BFF’s

Mother and daughter

  1. You’re Attached at the Hip

You and your tot go everywhere together. You’re the inseparable duo, two peas in a pod. You’re the peanut butter to their jelly, the glaze on their donut, the cheese to their macaroni–catchin’ my drift? So much so, they want to go everywhere with you. Literally. You wanna just run and pee really quick? Not without the ying to your yang you don’t! Thinking about taking a nice bubble bath to soothe your sore muscles at the end of your day? Funny you should think that, because that’s exactly what your tot would like to do–and look! You’ve got it all set up and everything…how convenient! Wanna make a quick run to the s-t-o-r-e for a few to grab a couple groceries? They see that glance over to your spouse. Spelling the words don’t help, they know that glance, and they “pobby need to come get sum snacks too, tay?” In true best friend fashion, you two are attached at the hip; many times, very literally. They don’t want to be separated from your actual hip. If this sounds anything like you and your tot, this could mean that you two are BFF’s.

2.  You Tell Them Everything

Here’s the thing: it’s not a true BFF unless you tell them everything. You tell your tot the things you never imagined telling anyone! I mean it. You don’t tell just any friend not to eat your family dog’s dog food, or to please not pick up said family dog’s poo from the yard to bring inside to show you that said family dog did indeed poo in the yard. No, this is BFF level talk. I’m fairly confident you wouldn’t inform just anybody that yes, panties are a must when walking out of the garage, and no, wearing them on top of your head is not an acceptable form. “Get down,” and “don’t jump off of that!” and “no, we don’t poo in the yard like the family dog,” might not be things you’d say to the average Joe of a friend, but BFF’s get down to the nitty gritty. You’ll tell each other the things that no one else will. Is your tot an actual good secret keeper? Negative. She’ll tell every stranger at Walmart that she saw mom’s boobies today (speaking from experience). BUT, you can expect some real honest talk moments–like, “Let’s not talk about mom’s boobies to people, ok?” If you tell your tot things you don’t tell anyone else in the world, you might just be BFF’s.

3. You Share All the Things

Best friends share the motto, “what’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is yours.” Mom’s food tastes better. No, it doesn’t matter that it’s the exact same thing…it might taste completely different on mom’s plate than it does on theirs. Or, that last cookie you hoped to enjoy to yourself…it won’t matter that you’ve already given your tot 2 cookies to eat, they will still give you the sad begging puppy eyes and ask “petty peas, jus one more bite?” until you give in, and it’ll be a bite the size of a large mouthed bass. That warm bubble bath we mentioned earlier? Your tot will insist that it’s more enjoyable if they join you. I mean you could run a separate bath for them, but it just isn’t the same as the one you currently have waiting for you; no, yours is way better and bubblier and the perfect amount of water. Your ice water is what your tot prefers. Not their ice water, not their juice. Your ice water. “I hab some of your dink, mom. Iss perfec’ for me,” they’ll tell you. In the early am when your tot sneaks in to your bed for some morning cuddles, your pillow becomes 3/4 their pillow. No need for them to bring their own pillow; your pillow will suit them just fine. You share potty time together, movie time together, you toot together and laugh together, all day. Have you been an excellent sharer lately? I’m sensing some BFF action–sharing is caring.

4. They Wanna Be Just Like You

Monkey see, monkey do. There is no greater role model in your toddler’s life than you, mom. You’re the bee’s knees, the cat’s pajamas. Whatever you do, wherever you go, your tot wants to do and go also. When you leave your bathroom with a fresh face of makeup, little tot will sneak in and apply that bright red lipstick on her lips (and let’s be real, her cheeks and forehead). She’ll layer her neck with half a dozen of your blingiest necklaces, because she wants to be a superstar like mom. Your tot sees the strange contraption you wear across your chest, and they want in on this action. You’ll need to find a nearly identical bra and assemble it for them, and yes, it’ll be a fight to get it off when you need to leave the house because, “mom wears her bra!” If you’re leaving the house in your sandals, your tot won’t leave until they change out of their sneakers, and into (you guessed it) their own sandals. Are you wearing your sunnies? Well, then I hope you brought a spare! And when you say a phrase that is deemed the funniest phrase ever spoken (by your tot of course), be prepared to hear that phrase for the rest of the day, from them. You’re a rockstar, mom! If only we could get our tots to copy cat us when we ate all of our veggies at mealtime (sigh). If you have a little mini me at your heels all day, then I’d say you’ve found yourself a little BFF.

beautiful young mother daughter smiling each other summer green grass

 

5. You Could Talk for Hours

A sure sign of a BFF: you two never run out of words. Best friends never shut up (I mean this in the nicest but most sincere way possible). From the moment they wake up, to the moment their eyes close for the night, words are spewing out of your tot’s mouths. If your tot could text, you’d have 56 unread messages by 7 a.m. Questions of “what’s dat,’ ‘what happened,’ ‘what you sayin’ about,’ and ‘why?” are oh so commonly asked by your tot, many, many times in a day. You’re even graced with the occasional 3 a.m. wake up call from the monitor with: “Mom, I wake up!” and an hour’s worth of conversation that follows. No matter if you’re in the bathroom peeing or showering, there is never a short in small talk with your tot; they do not run low on exhaust. Cows, princesses, toots, boogers, feet, raisins…do you see what I’m getting at here? The conversation is endless. Throw in 500 questions in the mix of small talk, and you have a whole 27 hours worth of words exchanged! What’s that you say? There are only 24 hours in a day? If you’re close to losing your voice and your eyes are nearly crossed at the end of the day from all the question answering, pretend phone call taking, and smorgasbord of conversation, you and your tot may just be best friends forever status.

 

There’s no one that loves you, looks up to you, wants to be like you, and who’s always by your side like your BFF.

IMG_7809 (3)

Me and my BFF

Thanks for reading! We are excited to share some fun summer DIY’s, recipes, and more, so keep an eye out for more posts! Follow our insta page @oakandearth or my personal handle @terapianalto for updates, and more!

 

XO,

Tera

Waiting on the Lord

It’s no question that I am an impatient person. When I am working toward a goal or dream of mine, or when I have an idea in my head, I want those things to come to fruition right away! I want to see the fruits of my harvest before I’ve even taken the time to till the soil and allow my ideas to mature and bloom. I want immediate results with minimal time and effort. I am bad at waiting. 

So naturally, when it comes to waiting on the Lord’s timing for certain things, I struggle. When we have a need or a desire deep down in our hearts, and we ask the Lord to part the waters for us, we kind of mean, like, “now.” Sometimes, He does do this right away. But many times, whether it be for a short or a long duration, He puts us in a season of waiting. This is never an easy test of faith for me (and maybe some of you), and the wait to us seems unwarranted, especially when the intentions of our hearts are good and pure. In one of my very favorite songs, one line says:

“In the process, in the waiting–You’re making melodies over me.”

I love this song, as it speaks to my heart in a lot of ways, and this line in particular has always stood out to me; maybe because I’ve found myself in this season many a time. In any case, I love it, and I truly believe that is exactly what the Lord is doing for us in our times of waiting!

I think about how long Israel waited for their Messiah–thousands of years, and nearly five hundred years after the prophecies were made! God said He was sending a Messiah, and He was faithful to Israel; but, not before a long period of waiting. He made sure every last detail was in place and aligned first. Sure, it took thousands of years, but His timing for sending Jesus to earth was perfect! He waited until Jesus’ time and ministry on earth would be most effective and make the greatest impact–and boy, did it! I’m not saying God is going to make you or me wait a thousand years to fulfill our dreams and goals (thank goodness), but I do take comfort in knowing that He is going to wait until every little detail is just so for me, too–and you! Even the things that right now, we can’t know about or that we have no control over.

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. -Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

4DD8HVCE4T

Our season of waiting is so much more than what it seems. God is carving out every detail and paving a path for us to walk on. While we wait, He is making a beautiful melody over our lives. He is working on the toughest, darkest parts of our hearts. He is shaping us and maturing us. He is working on us to relinquish control over the parts of our lives that we cling to so tightly. He is growing our wisdom. He is teaching us that there are beautiful moments in our waiting, and that His timing for the things in our lives (that we want so badly right now) will bring greater blessing to us and glory to His name, rather than in our own timing.

I can’t help but picture a budding flower. Every flower has its season, and before that season approaches, the flower must change a lot. We tend to the soil, give the flower  plenty of water and sunlight, and protect the flower from damaging bugs and insects, or weather that can cause premature blooms, or no blooms. Eventually, when the right season comes to be, the flower blossoms, and it is beautiful! God is growing us and protecting us, so that when He says our season is here and our dreams and callings are in bloom, they will be the most impacting, most glorifying, and most fulfilling. He is preparing us while we wait, for when that time does indeed come to be, it is going to be even more magnificent and beautiful than anything we could have given ourselves.

Whether you are waiting on the Lord’s timing for motherhood, divine inspiration, a new opportunity, or the love of your life; in any season, take comfort and know that a beautiful story is being written over you, and  in the meantime, there is beauty in the waiting.

R27ZN6PJ4S

Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14 (ESV)

Love,

Tera   -xo

Amazing Avocado Chicken Salad

Hey, reader! It’s Tera here this week on the blog. I was inspired recently by one of my favorite go-to recipe sites (Six Sister’s Stuff) when they shared their avocado chicken salad. Being a devoted lover of all things avocado, I of course had to try this recipe for myself…immediately. I’m all about delicious and healthy food that is simple to make, that my family loves to eat, and that I can feel good before and after eating it. Oh, and everything avocado. I’m all about that, too. I tried out the recipe, and with some of my own tweaks to it, I wanted to share my rendition of the avocado chicken salad because it’s so delicious and seriously takes about 5 minutes to whip up!

If you keep up with our page, you may have seen the news that I am expecting our second baby in September! For a little lifestyle update, baby and I are doing well, and I am already nearly halfway through my pregnancy! Aside from some mild discomfort, I have my energy back since my first trimester, and I’m feelin’ good! We recently found out that we are having another GIRL, and we are so excited! Little Norah is especially excited for baby sister to get here, and she’s been telling us from the beginning that it was indeed a sister.

FullSizeRender

We’re pretty eager to meet her! Much like my first pregnancy, my appetite has increased a bunch these last couple of weeks, and I’ve been trying to keep healthy snacks around the house, along with some meals that are healthy and easy to prepare. Fortunately for me, my daughter (and husband) both love avocado, so anytime I make a batch of this stuff up, it’s gone in no time. What’s that you say? A healthy meal that my finicky toddler LOVES to eat? Obviously, you can count me in every time!

Let’s eat, shall we?

IMG_3514

I made this avocado chicken salad today for lunch–and seriously, I can’t get over how easy this is to prepare. The avocado is used in lieu of mayonnaise, so it makes for a super healthy and guilt free meal! (I apologize in advance for my poor photo quality; I used my iPhone to take these pictures)! Here’s what I did to tweak this original recipe to make it my own, and I think it turned out yummy!

Here’s what you need: *This makes about 4 servings

-2 cups of (cooked) shredded chicken (I usually use rotisserie because I love the flavor)*

-1 avocado, rinsed, pitted and scoop out the pulp

-3/4 cup diced up apple

-1/2 cup chopped walnuts

-1-1 1/2 tablespoon(s) of lime juice

-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

-salt and pepper, to taste

ps. Here’s a crazy fact about me: I do not like cilantro. I know. Crazy. The original recipe (linked above) has cilantro, and if you love it, it would be a great addition!

IMG_3511

Feta makes it betta! (And, croissants of course).

In a medium sized bowl, add the chicken, apples, walnuts and avocado, and using a fork, mash the ingredients all together until the avocado totally coats them. Then, add the garlic powder, salt and pepper, and lime juice and blend all of these into the salad. It tastes the best when you can refrigerate it for a while after making it, but if you’re ready to eat it right away, like for me today, it tastes yummy at room temperature too!

Would you believe me if I told you that was it?! Because, it is! So fresh, and delicious! My family loves eating this salad on a croissant bun, but you could also add a scoop of it to your favorite spring salad and get some extra fruits and greens in your meal! It tastes great either way. The salad should keep for a day or two in the fridge if you seal it air tight, and the added lime juice is meant for both flavor, and also to help the avocado keep its color for a while longer.

Voila! I will be making this chicken salad all spring/summer long. And in case you are doubting the toddler approval of this meal, here is proof that my 2 year old picky pants loves to eat it as much as I do!

What are some of your favorite avocado recipes? I am always looking for fun ways to incorporate even more avocado into my life, because you know, avocado. Happy weekend wishes to our readers! Follow our social media pages to get updates and stay in the loop with our blog happenings!

Peace, love, and avocado,

-Tera, xo

 

Chasing Our Purpose

 

 

For me, and I feel for many of you who might be reading this, knowing our purpose and feeling like we are fulfilling that purpose can be something of a struggle. There are many days when I am sitting at home with my daughter, that I let my mind wander to all of the things I think God may have for my future: my purpose. My dream of running a children’s bookstore (I blame Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks for this), my passion for women’s ministry, my love for writing…I wonder if someday, one of these dreams will be where my purpose is fulfilled. I wonder if the plan God had made for me even before I was born will come to be in another 10 years from now, 15 years, 5?

I believe that while these may all be great things, there is a danger in waiting around for our moment. It is a skewed perspective and mind set to think that the purpose God has called us to is something that we work toward, and then one day we’ve arrived. I’m not saying that God doesn’t want or allow our dreams to come to fruition, or that if we work hard at something, we won’t be blessed with the fruits of our harvest! What I feel the danger is, is going about our day to day feeling as if there is no real purpose if it isn’t our ultimate purpose, and consequently, often times finding a lack of joy in our lives–especially when we are in a season that is less than joyful.

It’s easy to get in this rut! I’ve been there, many times, and I have to remind myself that there is such a meaningful purpose in every season I go through. As a stay at home mom, the schedule can feel a bit mundane at times, the days can feel doubly long at times, and it can be totally exhausting. Though Norah brings my heart so much joy and I truly love being able to stay home with her, these are the times when it is easy to feel like I am not doing enough; that maybe God has another hat for me to add to my collection (as if I’d really have the time). I lose sight of the great importance my purpose today holds with being a mother, even and especially in the mundane.

Sometimes, if we haven’t landed our dream job, or we’re working our way through college and are unsure about our major, or we haven’t met the one, or we’re a stay at home parent, we can get caught up in this rut. We compare our lives to a standard in our own heads, and when it doesn’t measure up, we start to wonder what our purpose really is. “What am I really supposed to be doing? When will I feel unstuck?”

Your eyes saw me when I was inside the womb. All the days ordained for me were recorded in your scroll before one of them came into existence.” Psalm 139:16 (NET)

IMG_7066

When my flesh is tempted to feel this way, this verse reminds me that not one of my days here on earth is unknown to the Lord. That God created every hour of my life with a purpose. I may never have a distinct moment of arrival for my purpose, because my purpose is stitched into each new day, and in every season of life I am in. Sometimes His purpose for me may be a waiting period, so He can stretch my faith and grow me before He unveils a plan with greater responsibility. Sometimes it’s to teach me, sometimes it is to let my heart heal, sometimes it’s to take me out of my comfort zone, sometimes it’s a time of preparation of my mind and spirit- (the list could go on).

I truly believe that God’s purpose for us today (yes, even in that place we feel is a rut) is just as important and imperative as His purpose for us tomorrow and the next day. There is purpose and reason for every circumstance! Whether we are waiting for a new job opportunity, or whether we are discovering our passions and chucking our way through school (one all-nighter at a time), or whether we’re at home with our little ones, where the days can seem so long at times–there is purpose. Shifting our focus from “chasing our purpose” to making God our purpose and our center, wherever we are at, allows us to see how He’s using each season to teach us and prepare us for the next season. Waiting for our “arrival” to our life’s purpose is a never-ending road; you’ve arrived already! Live out each day knowing that God has distinct purpose and importance within it!

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor. 10:31 (ESV)

IMG_7062

Peace and Love!

-Tera, xo

 

Easy Lower Body Workout Routine for Pregnancy

If you missed my last post, I shared exciting news that I am expecting our second baby in September! We were so thrilled and a little surprised when we discovered the news back in January when I thought I had come down with a stomach bug and ended up with a positive stick!

Though my husband and I had been talking about getting pregnant in the near future, one of my goals for myself beforehand was to get my body back in shape! Having had a busy summer and fall with moving and then settling in, and then moving again, and settling in, my workout routine had fallen by the wayside. We got pregnant sooner than expected (funny how that happens), and though I didn’t hit my main goal of running another half marathon before pregnancy, I was able to start back up a good routine to get my body feeling good and enjoying the sweat and burn! Fitness is something that I am passionate about and something I plan to incorporate into my pregnancy now, but preparing your body before getting pregnant will help you maintain a good routine after becoming pregnant!

IMG_1668

While I enjoy fitness, this pregnancy has really kicked my booty harder than my workouts have been lately! I feel like I may be turning a corner, but the exhaustion and the nausea have been real. It could be partly that it comes with the territory of having a toddler in full toddler-mode, and also growing a human being inside of me, but my lack of energy as of late speaks for the lack of motivation to hit the gym regularly! Sometimes Mama just wants to stay home and eat a s’mores pop tart. I’ll admit, one pop tart was consumed during the making of this post.

All this leads to my main point. Though I haven’t had as much energy these last few weeks to hit the gym more than a couple times a week, I can be motivated with a short, easy workout in my own home! I mean, come on. Bra, no bra? Real workout pants, pajama pants? No one knows! You’re able to burn some calories and feel great afterward regardless of what you’re wearing or how dirty your hair may be, and for me, that’s for many days the more realistic alternative!

I decided to pull some of my favorite exercises for my butt and legs (and core!) and create a short, 10 minute workout that is safe (in most cases) for all trimesters during pregnancy, and also, I believe, a great workout for moms to get back in the groove post-pregnancy! Ten minutes may not seem like a lot, but trust me…I’ve done this routine myself, and you definitely feel a good burn! The other great thing about this simple workout is that you don’t need much more space than the size of your own home! Scoot a couch back a few inches, crank some music, and you’re good to go!  If you’re feeling ambitious, repeat the steps one or two more times and make a 10 minute workout a good 30 minute one! Ready?!

Tera055

Cardio

Start your workout with some cardio to get your heart pumping and start burning those calories! You’ll continue burning calories throughout the workout once you stimulate your body and get it pumping!

  1. Butt Kicks- 45 seconds   This is a really simple step and if you haven’t done them before, it’s basically like jogging in place, only make sure to bring your foot all the way up to your butt. Go at a steady pace, but always listen to your body!
  2. Knee Highs- 45 seconds   This is another simple exercise to get your blood pumping. Holding your hands out, lift one knee and bring it up to your parallel hand, then switch and bring your other knee up to its parallel hand. Again, keep a steady pace with this to get your heartrate going!
  3. Lateral Shuffle-45 seconds   With this exercise, bend your knees and keep your core balanced and upright. Shuffle a few steps to your right, then shuffle a few steps to the left, and repeat for the 45 seconds. The more swiftly you do this move, the more you will feel it!
*Stay in tune with your body and never push yourself farther than what you are comfortable with!*
–water break–

Standing Exercises

These exercises will focus on your butt and thighs and most can be done *optional with weights! It’s a great way to add an extra challenge and also throw some arm muscle toning in too.
  1. Standing Lunges- 1 minute (weights optional)   For this exercise, you should be very careful to keep good form to avoid injury. The bigger the belly, the more you need to make sure your body is in good balance! Keeping your spine straight throughout the duration, step back with your right foot about 2-3 feet. You can keep your hands down to your sides, or hold some 2 or 5lb. weights like I did above. Lift your back foot so that your toe makes contact with the floor and your heel is off the floor. Then, bend both knees (the goal is for both knees to hit a 90 degree angle). Make sure your right knee doesn’t bend over the right toe line. Hold for about 5 seconds, and then repeat the steps with the other side.
  2. Squats- 1 minute (weights optional)   I LOVE doing squats! It’s an exercise you’ll feel today and tomorrow. The best way I can describe doing a squat is to first set your feet about shoulder width apart. You can hold your belly to help you balance, or hold onto some weights like I’ve shown above. Keeping your core centered, spine straight, and butt back as you go down, squat down and act as if you are going to sit in a chair, and slowly come back up. Keep your butt tight as you do these for best results. If you choose to use the weights, a great way to incorporate them as you squat is to do a punching movement each time you are squatted down (squat, right punch, left punch, back up). You can sort of see the movements I used in the above picture!
  3. Plie Squats- 1 minute/ Pulse- 30 seconds   This is an alternate style of squat that is very effective and again, gives you a burn right away that lingers a day or two! Set your feet about a shoulder’s width apart, this time with your feet pointed out (think of a ballerina). Hold on to your belly if it helps you stay balanced, and keeping your thighs and butt tight and core centered, squat down and slowly come back up. After your minute is up, go into your squatted position and slightly bounce up and down in a “pulsing” motion. Don’t come all the way back up when doing this; the goal is to stay squatted and lightly bounce, keeping thighs and butt tight. Feel the burn!
  4. Wall Sit- 45 seconds   For this, find a flat wall (easy enough to do!) and stand with your back against the wall and your feet about shoulder’s width apart. then, keeping your back straight, go into a sitting position (really just like you are sitting in a chair). Make sure your knees do not go over your toes. You can hold the baby belly, or keep your hands in your lap as you “sit.”

–water break–

Sitting Exercises

For these, it’s helpful to have a mat for some cushion, though not necessary! They will also focus on core strength, which is so beneficial during and after pregnancy when our muscles are totally shot!

  1. Arm and Leg Raises- 1 1/2 minutes   Start on all fours, and slowly lift one leg, and the opposite arm (like in one of the pics above). Make sure to keep your butt tight as you lift your leg back. Then, slowly come back down and repeat the opposite arm and leg. Keep your butt tight while you do these, but this will also help your core and arms! As you get further into your pregnancy, it may not be safe to raise your arm while doing this exercise. If it is uncomfortable for you, keep both arms down and use the same lift and tuck movements with your legs like normal. You’ll still get the burn in your glutes and core strengthening without the risk of losing your balance.
  2. Side Leg Lifts- 1 minute + 20 second circular movements per leg   Lay on your side and stabilize yourself with your arm (like shown in above pic). If your belly is bigger, make sure your whole side is flat on your mat. Slowly raise one leg up as high as you can, and bring it back down. After about 30 or so seconds on one side, add in 10 seconds of small forward circular movements, and 10 seconds of small backward circular movements. To do this, raise your leg just about 6 inches, and with your foot, make forward (or backward) circular movements. Repeat with your other leg.

–water break–

*Try repeating the whole work out for double or triple the muscle and calorie burn if you’re body is feeling good!

I was so excited to formulate this routine and share with you all, as a way to encourage you to keep you feeling and looking great during your pregnancy, and also to hold me accountable to keep at it throughout my own pregnancy! Obviously, our goal during pregnancy should never be “weight loss,” or doing some major body sculpting; rather, it’s to maintain a healthy weight, keep those muscles toned, and feel amazing during these 9 months. It’s so beneficial for mom and baby to exercise and keep moving! Whether you’re in tip-top shape, or a very early beginner, you can do these simple workouts at your own pace and time! Only have energy for half the time? Cut it down in half and start there! Any effort is a great start, and your body will thank you for it!

*I do want to state that it is always safe and a good idea to check with your doctor before any type of exercise during pregnancy. In most cases, you’ll get the okay, but for some with complications there may be restrictions and limits to what you should and shouldn’t do!*

I hope I gave you a great lower body workout that will keep your butt and thighs feeling tight and looking hot during and after your pregnancy! What are some of your favorite workouts that are safe for pregnancy?! I would love to hear what you all do to stay moving! If you don’t follow Oak and Earth on Instagram yet, we have created a new page (@OakandEarth) that you can follow! I also have my personal Instagram @terapianalto that you can follow and stay up to date on blog happenings. Plus, now you can find us on our Facebook page (Oak and Earth)!

Can’t wait to see how you all enjoy the workout! Here are the steps, without the how-to’s:

butt kicks (45 seconds)

knee highs (45 seconds)

lateral shuffle (45 seconds)

standing lunges (1 minute)

squats (1 minute)

plie squats (1 minute)/pulse (30 seconds)

wall sits (45 seconds)

arm and leg raises (1 1/2 minutes)

side leg lifts (1 minute per side with 20 second circular movements per side)

*Repeat if you want a good sweat!!

IMG_1810

 

Peace-

Tera, xo