That’s A Wrap!

Happy Friday, I hope everyone has such a great weekend 🙂 My family is coming to visit and we can’t wait for them to arrive!! I am sharing some news with you all today and I cannot tell you how many times in the last two weeks that I have started this blog post and couldn’t finish it. But today is the day! I apologize for the poor wording and babble that is about to take place but…this is my final blog post on My Goodness Blog so I’m going to fit a lot in this post. My stomach gets weak even typing that but it is a decision I finally made and feel okay about after a LOT of prayer, discussion with Nick, my Mom, and some close girlfriends. This was a really tough decision for me, much harder than I ever imagined and although that may sound silly to some people who are not close to me, it’s true. Maybe this is the right thing, or maybe I will regret this decision but I have to trust my gut on this. Let me attempt to explain why I am stepping away from my blog.

I have always had a fire inside of me to help others! My Goodness Blog helped me do that by creating my own platform to spread around some goodness 😉 Throughout the last 3.5 years I have had SO MUCH FUN sharing tips to live out a healthy lifestyle, sharing recipes, workouts, designing personal workout programs for people literally all over the country, building some everlasting friendships, expressing myself, collaborations with some amazing companies, spreading around grace, joy, and love! None of that has changed for me. My fire and passion to help others is who I am and that will continue to show in me and personally and throughout my other social media platforms, but my fire to make this blog what I have dreamed for it to be has started to fade. So instead of dragging something out, I would rather close this chapter while it’s still something I am so proud of! I have said it more times than necessary, but becoming a Mom has changed me in ways I could have never prepared for. It changes everyone. And figuring out how to navigate through life with these changes is exciting and challenging.

I remember when I told one of my girlfriends I was pregnant, she said how she could already picture my blog. The transformation of my blog turning into how to live out a healthy life with a family.  Posts about our experiences, baby nurseries, breast feeding tips, challenges we face, and everything parent related. At that time, that thought got me so excited! I could picture it and couldn’t wait! And then our daughter was born. Not even touching on the obvious time struggle it has been attempting to keep up on blog posts as a full-time working momma who is trying to stay present in her friendships, marriage, family, and faith roles. Besides that, I found myself not wanting to share all about JoMarie’s little life. Something about drafting blog posts about our nursing story, sleep routines, and family time just did not feel right to me. This feeling was a struggle because I have made so many amazing relationships and receive many emails from loyal readers of my blog who I would have no problem sharing all of this with. But just knowing anyone could stumble upon such personal information and detail was not sitting well with me. Sure, I could share nothing about Jo and my family and only focus on health and wellness but that isn’t fully ME. I’ve always done my best to keep it real on my blog and having a blog and dedicating so much time to it and not posting about my family just wouldn’t be real life for me. Let me be clear, I LOVE social media and think it is a wonderful thing (has it’s downfalls obviously) and I will continue to post cute moments and not so cute moments as well on other social media outlets. There are so many mommy bloggers who I love to follow and they are amazing!!  I’ve just realized I can’t make my blog what I envisioned it to be when I was pregnant with Jo and that is okay!!

My husband and I recently had a date night/monthly financial meeting. We got to talking about the school year starting (he is a teacher for those of you who do not know) and what we have on our plates and things we have to look forward to. I sat there and soaked in every word he said and that is the night I knew I was ready to be done with my blog. He LIT UP talking about how excited he was for the school year to start and things he will be doing to be the absolute best teacher he can be. He looked at me and said “why would I just do the work to get by, I want to be the best at what I do.  In all aspects of my life” and this just set a light bulb off in me. If I’ve realized I can’t make my blog what I wanted it to be, then to us it just makes sense to move on instead of getting by and not putting my all into it. We talked about how our time is so much more precious now that we are parents and there is no time to do things or be around things that drag us down. We discussed how we strive to be so much more intentional in all that we do instead of just going through the motions. We agreed that when we are apart and doing our own things (which is very important to do), that is time away from our family so why waste it not being fully present.  This talk made me realize that God is placing this decision on my heart about my blog because it is time to move on and embrace these changes in me 🙂

I want to thank each and every one of you. Sincerely, thank you so much for your love and support throughout these super fun almost 4 years of blogging. I will absolutely miss catching you all up on some goodness BUT I promise I will still be sharing little moments and health/fitness inspiration on my Instagram, FB, and snapchat. You can find me on Insta and Snapchat under “Jordynashley” THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!!!!! This is not easy for me as I can’t express the time, love, and hard work that has gone into My Goodness, but I can walk away saying I am proud at what I was able to do through my blog in these last years and that is a very fulfilling feeling. Thank you for your support with this decision!!!

I also want to thank all of the amazing companies who have worked with my blog and provided so many fun giveaways, discounts, and products to my family as well as my followers!!!! Forever grateful!

Some logistics: I have not decided if I will keep my blog out there so that you can still search previous posts, or if I will make it private to keep out there for myself when I need to go reference something. But if it does go away, you can always email me with any questions or posts you would like sent to you. My personal email is Jordynelioff@gmail.com. I am also 100% open to helping any of you with fitness plans and healthy lifestyles in general!! I am very blessed to have the partnership I do with IdealFit and I am still an athlete for them and that will not be changing 🙂 The only thing that is different is that my discount code is now JORDYN at checkout so you can use that now instead. Living out a healthy lifestyle and sharing that with you all is not changing!!

big decisions equal big opportunities to put your trust in God

Thank you!!! 🙂

JoMarie’s Baby Book

Good Morning!! I hope you are having a great week so far. I have been excited to share something with you that I am really loving right now! I have previously mentioned that throughout my maternity leave that I started a journal for JoMarie. It was fun to document this special time in our lives for her and I have always loved to write. I want her to be able to look back someday and read what life was like for us when she became our first baby. There were many times throughout my pregnancy and first months with Jo where I wondered what those specific stages were like for my mom. So I wrote it all down for Jo and I…What Nick and I are like, who our friends are, how much love and support we had from our families during this time, what’s important to us, what some struggles have been, what we did with her in her first year with us, and just for her to see what a little miracle she was and is to us. And to be honest, my brain and memory has gone down the drain since having a baby so writing it all down for myself as well 😉

Writing in a journal for Jo to read someday has been fun, but it was time for a baby book!! As much as I wish I was creative and had unlimited time to sit and decorate the perfect baby book for my daughter, that just is NOT the case. I wanted a simple, cute, and special book to fill up! I received the perfect baby book from Polka Dot Print Shop and it is everything I wanted in a baby book and I have had such a fun time filling this up with so much goodness.

There are pages to fill in that I would have never thought of to add to her baby book and I am SO happy the book includes these pages. For example, there are pages for me to write our birth story and a also write a little note to JoMarie about our first moments together. There is also a page for Nick to do the same. Pages to tell her how Nick and I meant, our love story, how we reacted to finding out we were expecting this sweet little baby. They have literally thought of everything! There are also pages for each month where you can put the cute monthly photos and what stages your littles are at during that month. I fell in love with the style of these books and knew I had to share!

Polka Dot Print Shop also has toddler books and bump books that are so neat!! Welllll I know I have many mamas and expecting mamas who would love these books so for the next two weeks, you can use code MyGoodness to receive 15% off your book. You can find them in Instagram, Facebook, or right on their website. I know many of you will love these books as much as I do.

Have such a great rest of your week ladies!! We are taking a long weekend to soak up our last days of summer and I am really looking forward to some family time and relaxing! Thanks for stopping by today 🙂

IdealFit’s Clothing Launch

Hi Ladies!! How is everyone’s week going so far? It’s time to TREAT YOUR SELF 🙂 With the exception of going to work and the occasional outing where I have to dress in “normal” clothing, you will find me in workout clothes. Not necessarily when I’m just working out either. My around the house, weekend, and anytime I can, gear is always workout clothing. That being said, I’m a big believer in quality over quantity. I use to have 10+ pairs of black workout leggings and I would only wear 4 of them because the others were not great quality.

It was time for a revamp of the active wear section of my closet. I donated bags of stuff I never wore and decided to invest in some high quality and nice workout gear both both working out in and just wearing in general! IdealFit’s new line is pretty great ladies! I am so impressed with the items I have been trying out and I want to share this goodness with you all. I work my booty off to live out a healthy lifestyle and as ridiculous as this sounds, I get better workouts in when I’m in comfortable workout clothing that I love. So… thank you IdealFit!

YES I partner with IdealFit and you all know that, but that genuinely is because I love their products and really believe in what they provide, so it’s a perfect partnership to share on my blog. You will never find me sharing anything with you all that I have not personally tried and that I do not really like! Pinky promise 🙂 IdealFit’s clothing line launched TODAY and there is a limited number of each item for this first launch so if you are interested, go check it out by clicking HERE. or on any of the images in this post. There are great discounts already AND you can get an additional 10% off by entering code: MyGoodness at checkout.

Feel free to ask me any questions you have. Here are some questions I have been asked already that might help you as well.

True to size: YES!

Color of clothing match how it is pictured online: YES!

Can I double up on discounts: YES!

How are the leggings: WONDERFUL! They sit high on the hips which I really like and you can move in them comfortably all day long. PLUS, the mesh is pretty cute!

I hope you all enjoy checking this line out as much as I have! Happy Wednesday!!

4 Ingredient No Bake Chocolate PB Bars **Vegan, Gluten & Dairy Free**

Hellllooo!!! Happy Friday to all of you! I hope everyone had a good week and are ready for the weekend. I tried a new little treat this week that I wanted to share with you all. You can thank me later 🙂  I have a new obsession with Beaming Baker. If you do not follow her on social media, you are missing out on some goodness. She make so many yummy treats that are mainly plant based and allergy friendly. WIN!

I recently was drooling over another one of her foodie pictures and decided to try her 4 Ingredient No Bake Chocolate PB Bars. YOU GUUUYYYSSSS! They were so simple, even I couldn’t mess them up and they are pretty delicious. My husband and I can’t stop eating them and I knew I had to share them with you all. These curb a sweet tooth very quickly and another bonus is they are pretty sweet so they are an indulgence that you really only need one little bar at a time and you’re good to go. If you’re looking for a healthier treat at home, try these out. I promise you will not regret it. Ever since having JoMarie, I get a little sweet tooth almost every afternoon. I have been bringing one of these little bars to work each day and grab it when that sweet tooth kicks in and I’m good to go.

One thing we did notice is they are awesome when you first make them but we enjoyed them more the second day after they had plenty of time to chill in the fridge. The PB layer stays soft and the chocolate layer hardens and yum. Just yum. Try it out, let me know what you think! They literally took me 10 minutes to make and they will likely be on repeat in our house. Have a wonderful weekend and do whatever it is that makes your heart the happiest.

4 Ingredient No Bake Chocolate PB Bars **Vegan, Gluten & Dairy Free**

Ingredients

  • PEANUT BUTTER LAYER
  • 1 cup natural unsalted peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • CHOCOLATE TOPPING
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup unsalted natural peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Line an 8X8 baking pan with parchment paper
  2. Mix your PB layer ingredients together
  3. Spread your PB mixture in the pan
  4. Combine your chocolate topping ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring between, until the chocolate and PB is all melted together
  5. Spread your chocolate spread over your PB mixture in your plan
  6. Freeze for 30-40 minutes and cut into 16 square pieces
  7. Store in fridge
  8. Enjoy!!
http://mygoodnessblog.com/2017/07/14/4-ingredient-no-bake-chocolate-pb-bars-vegan-gluten-dairy-free/

The Trend Is Turning: The “Clean Eating” Myths That Have Been Researched

Popular topic today: CLEAN EATING!! Nutrition is such a vital aspect of our well-being, so it’s no surprise that it has become such a focus in recent years. The internet has given us all the power to have more control of the food we eat and how it’s sourced than ever before. No longer do we just have to accept what’s on the back of a packet as being good for us – we can go and check, verify, and even test the claims that people make. But just like most popular subjects on the internet, there is SO MUCH information and it can be so easy to have no clue what is healthy and what is not.  

Image result for clean eating

Being healthy has always been important but it seems to be at a new level these days. How to be my healthiest self, constantly hearing of new healthy things and needing to try it, “fueling” our bodies, pinning hundreds of healthy recipes that we someday might try, this popular interest in healthy eating developed the over used term, “clean eating”. When this term was first thrown around it was all you would see on the popular blogs, all about living out a life with “clean eating”. It dominated the blogosphere which meant in time, it spilled into traditional media as well. Anyone who cared about their nutrition wanted to ensure that they were doing it in a “clean” way; they wanted to know what foods to shun, and what foods they should introduce into their diets. Honestly, as annoying as the phrase “clean eating” can be, because it is overused so much, what a great annoying phrase it is! Just like everything new, sparkly, and exciting, it was a bit over the top but really, what is wrong with people wanting to nourish their bodies with clean food and having a genuine interest in what they are putting into their bodies? The negative perceptions on clean eating in my opinion is not on actually eating clean, its on the annoying term CLEAN EATING. 

The tide is turning. There has been a backlash against clean eating for awhile now, to the point that some of its most famous proponents refuse to use the term. The reasons for concern are primarily psychological rather than in terms of nutrition (though there are dangers in this sphere, also). The idea that some food is inherently bad – i.e. dirty – is not a healthy way to think about food and not how we want our kiddos thinking of it either. Are we gross or bad for eating a cupcake? NO! Eat the darn cupcake, just do not eat 10 of them a day 🙂 

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Does “Clean Eating” work, or is it bad for you?

It’s not bad for you, but it can be if you take it too far. The idea of everything in moderation is one that applies strictly to clean eating, though people tend to forget that. It is not an all or nothing concept. Many people follow a “clean eating” lifestyle but remember that everyone is human and even those perfect eaters still indulge, just in moderation. 

When someone switches to a “clean” diet, they tend to have to throw out a lot of processed, high-sugar, bad-fat type food. Of course they feel better and lose weight when they do that! Anyone who reduces their intake of highly calorific food and replaces it with something more nutritious is going to feel the better. The benefits of removing processed food from your diet is undeniable. 

Why Change If It’s Not Broken?

This is a natural thing to wonder if you have been adhering to the “clean eating” rules for awhile now. The main problem with diving in 100% with the clean eating process is that it’s expensive; especially when you factor in all those “superfoods” we’re meant to want to eat or drink. It’s also time-consuming, which can lead to occasional fall-off-the-wagon moments when you’re rushed and it’s inconvenient to prepare a meal from scratch. This cycle isn’t eating in moderation which – remember – is the key.

What’s Wrong With Superfoods?

The problem with superfoods (as well as supplements and dietary additions) is that they don’t tend to be that well tested. Without scientific evidence, you can spend a lot of money for a benefit you’re never going to get.

Of course, some superfood, supplements, and dietary additions are indeed everything that they claim to be. The nutritional content of these foods can be checked and verified, or can be a solution to a genuine problem. So not all of these things are bad – in fact, some of them satisfy a genuine need, and shouldn’t be eliminated from your diet.

So Which Are Okay?

Again, it doesn’t have to be an all in, 100%, only taking in clean foods and eliminating everything else. This is not realistic and leads to frustration. If you want to supplement a healthy diet, then there are some foods and additions that can genuinely benefit your diet.

  • We know that chia seeds are high in protein, so they’re a fantastic source if you need a natural energy boost. 
  • Dietary additions such as sulfur crystals and magnesium flakes are also satisfying a need; the issues that industrial farming has brought to the nutrient quantity of our fruit and vegetables. This is a known fact, so using these items to try and replace what has been lost over the years is a great idea. I will say I have not personally tried this one but I had to share the research as it is very interesting. 
  • There’s a pretty great chart here which brings together all of the scientific evidence for the various superfoods. Garlic, olive oil, and omega 3 supplements all score well; superfood staples such as acai berries or alfalfa, meanwhile, are struggling. What?!? I thought acai bowls were an awesome thing, that’s what pinterest and instagram post have shown 😉 

Image result for chia seeds

What Should Proper Nutrition Look Like, Then?

So how in the world do we know what is right and what is wrong? The opinions and research are overwhelming and often over the top. If adhering to the core principles of the “clean eating” movement isn’t the best idea and you don’t need to spend a fortune on unnecessary superfoods and supplements… what do you do?

The truth is that nutrition is a complicated science, which means there is no “one diet fits all” available. Instead, you have to listen to your body, especially if you’re trying to solve a health condition. You could try an elimination diet , which can help you identify the foods that you have an issue with. I was having stomach issues years ago and I used the elimination diet to find out that I have a sensitivity to lactose. 

If you just want to eat well for general health, then many of the principles of “clean eating” are good to follow – there’s just no need to call it clean eating, that might just annoy someone 😉 for the love!  Instead, think of it as proper nutrition and keep it simple! 

  • Plenty of vegetables
  • Not so many fruits, as fruits are notoriously high in sugar.
  • Opt for low-fructose fruits such as blackberries and blueberries if you do want to eat fruit.
  • Grains and nuts should be incorporated into your diet.
  • Avoid highly processed food on a regular basis – it’s fine for an occasional treat, but not for a nightly staple.

And there you have it. Clean eating has, to an extent, been busted. The superfoods that cruised on the back of the movement have definitely – with a few exceptions that satisfy other “need” criteria – been busted. You don’t need to spend a fortune on nutrition to feel and look good; you just have to practice moderation, and never let yourself be convinced that anything is inherently “dirty”. Sometimes we need to step back and just do what works best for YOU and ignore all the newest trends. Do your best, stay realistic, indulge in moderation, and don’t be too hard on yourself! 

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you have a great first day of summer 🙂

Little Lucy Co. Headwraps

Happy Monday!! How was everyone’s weekend? Is it just me or did Monday come around far too quickly? JoMarie and I spent the weekend at home while Nick was running a baseball tournament and it was so nice to be home and have no schedule. It was a HOT and WINDY weekend so we spent a lot of time inside reading books, trying new foods, and a few short walks. Little miss is changing daily and we are having a blast watching her grow. This mama has been full of emotions with all of the exciting changes Jo is up to right now but as much as I want her to be my small little babes forever, it’s so fun watching her personality develop more and more. I am excited to share some goodness with you today!!

JoMarie received the CUTEST head wraps from Jessica over at Little Lucy Co. You guys, these wraps are honestly perfect. They fit nicely and are not tight at all (Jo has a very large head so I was so happy that these were not tight on her) They are extremely soft, light, and she doesn’t seem to even notice they are on. We fell in love with these little wraps so much, that I wanted to share them with you all. Ladies, hook your little girls up!! Daughters, nieces, godchild, cousins, the neighbor girl 😉 whoever, they are worth it. It’s nice that they are not just in baby sizes either, they have toddler as well.

I loved the personal touch of the package. That always makes such a big difference to me for some reason. A hand written thank you goes such a long way with me and Jessica does a great job. You can find Little Lucy Co. on Instagram and Facebook. You just message Jessica your order and she takes care of you 🙂 The wraps are $10 and if you mention MYGOODNESS10 you will get 10% off your order. I was SO looking forward to our order arriving and it did not disappoint.

I hope you enjoyed this little dose of goodness on this Monday! I hope you all have a wonderful week and remind yourself to stop watering those weeds, it’s time to tend to the flowers! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Fitting In Your Fitness:: For Moms

I’m learning that being on the go constantly just comes  along with being a parent. JoMarie is still a little babes, I watch my siblings, cousins, niece and nephew who are all involved in activities and their mamas deserve a medal, there are just not enough hours in the day! If you are like me and attempt to juggle your work and home life, you probably struggle to find time just for you. “Me” time?? What is that? This is why our fitness can suffer and in the big picture, causes us to suffer. We all need a good level of fitness just to keep up with our little ones. I’m sure it can feel like a workout just running after those little feet, but that won’t always be enough. What you need is a good plan, and the skills to improvise to make sure you look after yourself just as well as you’re looking after the baby.  I have been pretty creative and have improvised often since beginning to workout again after baby. From calf raises while waiting at the copier to resistant band pulls at my desk, you just do what you can 😉 

Sneaking away and working out at the gym is great, but for me there is that inevitable Mom guilt. Right now, I do not love taking time away from JoMarie, to go workout. Don’t get me wrong, I do it and it is 100% necessary sometimes, but there are other options as well. Did you know that you can spend quality time with your child as well as exercise? Babies love to be a part of our everyday life. All you need to be mindful of is their safety. Stick to activities that work just one part of your body. There are lots of workouts you can try that focus on just the legs, just the arms, or just your core. I had to skip my shoulder worker the other day so little miss loved me pushing her up into the air and slowly coming back down. She giggled away while I got a killer shoulder workout in. WIN WIN! More on this further down 🙂 

Change it up a little so baby can come along too. Use a backpack style carrier or a sling if your baby is still small enough. Walking and hiking can then become a practical activity for you both. You’ll both enjoy the fresh air, and you’ll get an extra workout from your walk by carrying the extra weight of the babes. If you don’t have time to get out and about, try mixing in some cardio at home or at work by walking or running the step. It’s great for the calves, thighs, and ankles! 

Lifting your little one rhythmically can also provide some strength training to help tone your arms (insert this weeks shoulder workout). Even just ten reps before you change the diaper or pop the little one in the high chair for feeding, can work wonders. Do you ever dance with your baby? This is one of my favorites! Put on some uptempo music, and rock, sway, turn and wiggle with your little one. Have a look at websites like thestir.cafemom.com for track tips. As they become more steady on their feet, this will help secure their balance too.

Of course, there are lots of times when your little one is napping that you can fit in a few quick exercises. Although sometimes it feels more important to get those dishes done or start that laundry, time to feel great about yourself and get a sweat going is just as important! You can increase your fitness by taking on a little bit of your workout program at a time. Look at websites like topworkoutprograms.com to find individual exercises or entire fifteen-minute routines to fill your time. 

Once you are at work, you might feel a little sleepy to your desk. This has been happening to me! I will be going 100 miles a minute in the morning while getting everything ready for the day and when I get to work and sit down, I get a little tired.  Try not to sit too much, spending a little of my time at a standing desk has seemed to help. Walk-and-talks with colleagues help keep your body moving, and we all know we should take the stairs. Go out of your building for lunch and walk a couple of blocks to your lunch venue, or go workout over your lunch break!

Becoming a Mom has put an entire new meaning to the word “selflessness” for me but that in no way means that I no longer find it important to stay active. Working out continues to show me how needed it is and how great I feel when I take that time for me. When and where do you find a few minutes to focus on active fitness?

Well Hello!

Hi!! I cannot believe it’s been almost two months since I have sat to write a blog post. As much as I missed blogging and sharing some fun goodness with you all, I must say it was a much needed break. I promised myself once I finished my thesis and my last graduate class, that I would put my laptop away for a bit and just enjoy all my free time with my family or actually sleep :). And that is exactly what I did! I knew my blogging adventure would take a turn once I became a mom but I just wasn’t sure what that turn would look like. If it was something I wanted to continue or put to the side permanently. After giving it some thought and hearing from some of you, I am just not ready to be done blogging completely. I will not be publishing tons of content, or sharing every little detail, but I love the connections I have made through this creative platform of mine, and when I am able, continuing to share some goodness is something I want to do. I recently put together three new workout programs for some pretty awesome ladies and it was exactly what I needed to remind myself how much I love helping others in their health and fitness journey and just bringing some light to others 🙂 SO thank YOU for sticking with me and following My Goodness. It was really nice to hear from many of you throughout these last couple of months!! I have some fun ideas planned for the blog and inevitably will be sharing some things we are learning with being new parents and will continue my health and fitness posts.  I plan to blog when it fits in and it feels right. I really enjoy it and never want it to feel forced or stressful. So that is where I am at with my blog.

How about a quick little update on things over here? And by quick I mean extremely wordy, far too long, and poorly written. Here goes….

First up is of course, JoMarie! Ugh you guys I could write about this girl all day long, seriously. I will just worn you know I am an obsessed first time mom who thinks her little one is the coolest person on this earth. With that, I will always keep it real with you guys and will not just be posting about how amazing my daughter is 😉 this parenting thing can be tough work and that is no secret to me! I have some specific posts planned about our first 6 months together so I will not get too detailed now, but a little update won’t hurt. Who doesn’t love cute baby pictures on a Friday? Jo is the sweetest little girl and has absolutely changed my outlook on life. She brings a crazy amount of joy to us and Nick and I couldn’t be happier to be seeing the world through her bright blue eyes. She is pretty great and I feel very blessed to be her mama! She will be 6 months next week and I’m kind of dreading it to be honest. This last month she has just changed SO much and I would greatly appreciate it if time slowed down just a little bit. She got her second tooth this week and I would be lying if I said I was excited. My baby is growing so quickly and this is just a reminder to not take a second for granted. JoMarie is so very loved and I always remember this special time in our lives!

Next up, me! Oh gosh, hmmmmm. I’m doing well 🙂 Life is much less stressful now that I’m officially done with my Master’s program. THANK THE LORD! I really loved the classes I took throughout the last two years and I learned a ton. But having a newborn and trying to balance going back to work, starting a new position at work, a new baby, and school, while trying to keep up with seeing friends and family, it just kind of sucked to be honest and I couldn’t have done it without Nick’s consistent support and our amazing families help! I love having that off my plate and off my checklist. Not much else has changed with me other than becoming a Mom! I really do feel like this is what I am made for. I think everyone says this, but becoming a parent really does change you in ways you cannot understand until you are holding your baby in your arms.  I was hit with this new level of gratitude and contentment. I have been thrown some curveballs these last six months, some great curveballs and some unexpected not so great, but there is just a new calm in me now, a new grace and it all came from adding this little life to the world. Things have changed BIG time and our focus, perspective, and outlook has taken a shift and it feels good! Life is too darn short not to live it being your most happy self, whatever that looks like for you. I am currently reading “Present Before Perfect” and oh my gosh to anyone who is a people pleaser, tries to do it all, wears 498094383 hats, or just needs a good read, I highly suggest it. It is reminding me when I need it the most to be present in every situation you find yourself in, reminding me that it is okay to say “no” and how I will never regret doing what is best for myself and my family. It’s a great book and is helping me stay centered during this exciting time in our lives!

I’m back to work in a new position that I trained for, for the last two years and I am enjoying it! I am working out when it fits into my schedule, and when it doesn’t, it just doesn’t and that is okay. Getting use to my body after baby has been interesting but I’m learning to embrace the small improvements. I am still amazed with what our bodies are capable of. My outlook on eating right and working out hasn’t changed much. It is still important to me and I know if it’s important enough, I will find time for it. Working out continues to be such a stress reliever for me and sometimes it’s just best for everyone for mama to get her workout in. Overall, I’m doing well and really soaking up this stage!

Marriage! The question I probably get asked most from my girlfriends since having Jo is how Nick and I are doing. I do not know what exactly I pictured before, but Nick is really killing this new dad gig. I know how blessed I am to have such a hands on husband when it comes to parenting. I won’t get all mushy gushy on you but I will just say that it’s true when people say you fall in love all over again when you become parents and we have a bond stronger than ever. Has our marriage taken the back burner at times? Absolutely! We are learning to navigate through our routines with this new little sidekick along for the ride and there are times where every second we have together, is focused on JoMarie. She recently was sick for the first time and like all new parents I’m sure, it rocked both of us. We were both obsessed with getting her better and constantly checking in to see how she was doing or planning our next step to get her well. But even during those times, we are working as a team and I couldn’t do it without him. Let me be clear, there are absolutely those times of frustration or misunderstanding, we are human! We are doing the best we can and it seems to be working well for us and that’s all I can ask for.

Lastly, cannot forget our fur babies! They are doing very well with the baby. We try to still give them plenty of love and they have not acted out since bringing her home so that’s good. I do see a little jealousy with our Daisy girl but she is just requiring some extra cuddles right now which I try to give her when possible. They are reminded multiple times each day that puppy kisses are not needed on the babies face but they sneak them in sometimes. Guinness is always the first to hear JoMarie when she wakes up from her naps and Daisy is the first by her side when she’s crying.

WOW! Okay, I have to apologize, but I did warn you, wordy, long, and poorly written as promised. I hope you all have such a great weekend! It feels so good to jump back into my blog and as always, you can email me at mygoodnessblog@gmail.com with any questions or suggestions. I will say I do much better of a job updating my snapchat @JordynAshley and my Instagram @mygoodnessjordyn than I do my blog at the moment but that may change. Thanks for anyone who made it to the end of this post, you deserve a high five and a cup of coffee. For the love! CHEERS!

Let’s Get Social: Workout for Friends

Happy Friday to YOU!!! Oh my gosh it has been a minute since I have blogged and I have to admit, I have missed it a little bit 🙂 I have been a little busy lately and focusing more than ever on really being present to what is right in front of me and thankfully, what has been right in front of me lately has not been my computer screen 😉 More on that later! Today I want to talk about workout out with friends and using our friendships to keep each other motivated.

My aunt sent me a pretty funny group chap with herself and her girlfriends, talking about working out. You could be running a marathon together or texting each other workout jokes, whatever works for you! Friendships are great ways to keep each other accountable.  I have come up with a few things you could try with a friend or two.

When you first start out on your fitness journey, it can be difficult to keep yourself motivated. You can have a week-long streak, then stop because you missed a day and it’s hard to start again. Or boredom, self-consciousness, and doubt can get the best of you. In this case, why not get some friends involved in your workouts. Not only can you all keep each other on track, but you can also all have some laughs along the way.

Dance off the calories

Whether you sign up for a high-intensity Zumba dance workout, a mellow salsa class for beginners, or just enjoy yourselves playing Just Dance on Wii, dancing is a fun but intense exercise. It’s even more fun with a partner. A 30-minute session will burn between 130 and 250 calories, will challenge your brain as you learn the moves, will target your whole body to make you stronger, and will improve balance and coordination. The best part about this exercise is that you can do it anywhere. I would say if you were to walk into my house on a weekend, there is about an 80% chance you would catch me dancing in our kitchen with JoMarie. We love dance parties and the calorie burn is just a bonus. 

Join the gym together

Going to the gym can sometimes feel like self-imposed torture, which doesn’t help your motivation in the slightest. Getting a gym buddy might not make it feel any better, but at least you’ll have someone to cheer you on while you lift weights and push you to stay in plank for a few more seconds. There are even a few partner exercises you could include in your workout to raise the intensity. Having to motivate someone else to stay on track will also encourage you to stick to your gym schedule. In short, you stand a better chance of meeting your gym goals and reaching your targets if you take your friend to the gym with you. Even if it’s not the gym, maybe start a new program with a friend. This way you can keep each other accountable as you will be doing the same workouts as each other. 

Run together

A running buddy may make this exercise a little more exciting. Having someone to run with is an excellent way to see if you’re pushing yourself too hard; if you find it difficult to maintain a conversation while running, you should probably slow your pace a little. However, if your running partner is slightly better than you, then you have a free running coach telling you when to pick up the pace. Why not sign up for a charity run to further motivate yourselves to stay on track? I am currently working on signing up a group of my co-workers to do some charity runs together this year and also using this as some team building 🙂 can’t wait!! 

Relax together

Once you’ve committed to working out together, you and your buddy should make sure to enjoy your rest days together. By keeping each other in line, you can get right back into your routine the next day. Get in the kitchen with a friend and experiment on some new healthy and fun recipes to try!!

Our best girlfriends are special gifts that we should never take for granted! Surround yourself with your friends who are cheering you on as loud as you are cheering for them, there is nothing better than that!!

“When women support each other, incredible things happen”

Kick Back & Relax: Your Health Depends On It

Hi!! How the heck is everyone? With how busy we all can get, I have been reminded the importance of taking even just 5 minutes a day to let myself relax and center myself. I will literally go crazy if I don’t 😉 CRAZY I tell you!! Trying to find a balance with everything we all have going on in our lives can be tough, but struggling through and not letting your mind and body rest at all is actually really bad for you. Let’s talk about kicking back and relaxing a little bit!

Working long hours, looking after a family, maintaining a social life, hobbies, exercise and other commitments can be a struggle. Many of us are balancing so many different things, life can easily become stressful and overwhelming. And with so much to do, kicking back and relaxing is probably the last thing on your mind. Like many of you are probably laughing at this post with me even suggesting you “kick back and relax” right?!? I get it, I’m the exact same with myself…. I have no time to RELAX, but I have learned pretty quickly that I need to make time or I suffer even more.  It’s so important to do so for the sake of your health. You make the effort to eat well and exercise so why not take the time to de-stress and unwind when your body needs it? Here are some of the ways you can go about it… EVEN if you’re a super busy person like many of you! 

Massage

The benefits of massage are pretty great and I was not fully aware of it until I went in for a couple of prenatal massages. As well as easing tense muscles and lowering blood pressure, massage actually causes the release of endorphins (which are our brain’s ‘happy chemicals’) leaving you with an improved sense of wellbeing. Different types of massage will use different techniques and are used in different ways. For example deep tissue massage is effective for injured muscles and can promote healing. Holy Hannah though, those deep tissue massages can be a killer. It is for sure that “hurts so good” kind of thing 😉 Hot stone massage can ease muscle stiffness and reduce tension. Aromatherapy massage can help to relax as well as promote healing in different ways. For example, eucalyptus and pine can provide a decongesting effect, and lavender can promote relaxation. There are essential oil reviews all over that you could check out online if you wanted to try self massage, or get a partner to help. hint hint…back massages tonight?! I think so 😉

Hot Baths/ Hot Tubs

Okay so honestly, hot tubs gross me out a little bit but they can feel so good.  Hot Bath’s became my best friend at the end of my pregnancy and I can’t express enough how much it helped with my sore back and helped me relax. Being submerged in warm water helps to lower heart rate and reduce blood pressure. Hopping in the bath after a long and stressful day is a cheap and accessible way anyone can relax, plus it’s a calm place away from everywhere else where you can just clear your mind. This is something I’m going to try to do again once a week. Allow myself some time to take a bath and just relax. We will see how that goes! 

Meditation

Meditation focuses on mindfulness– bringing the mind to the current moment. This is my favorite way to relax myself and something I highly encourage you to try! During meditation it is so nice to not stress about the past or worry about the future. You can concentrate on your breathing and allow your body to fully relax. It taps into a deep level of calm, and has been scientifically proven to be beneficial in many ways. I partner up a lot of my time to pray with a little meditation and there isn’t anything that centers me more than that! It helps improve memory, self awareness and perspective. It lowers heart rate and blood pressure and can lead to a deeper and better quality of sleep. It’s simple to do, and looks different for everyone. If you are new to meditation, there are many apps you can download to help you get started. I personally like to have some tea, grab my bible, and spend some time in silent prayer and deep breathing. It is crazy how much of a difference this makes in my day

Do you make time to relax, for the sake of your health? I’m suggesting even 5 minutes a day… just try it 🙂