name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day : May 2016


The Summer Bucket List - Part II

Hip hip hooray! We are inching closer to summer - lazy days, swimming, not packing lunches, no rushing out the door...I am ready! Last year, I posted this bucket list for summer fun, and we have created this summer's list, too. Big brother is excited; I'm excited {I may sing a different tune come July, but for right now, let there be peace on earth!}

We live in a suburb of a big city, so if we want to do something in town, it takes a whole day and a lot of planning. And with a busy toddler, I can get lazy and prefer a day at home. Plus, I LOVE her naps more than she does and covet that time when all is quiet and calm. Many of my plans revolve around this nap - tired toddler moms, can you feel me? This nap can be frustrating for her older brother so I have made him a deal. One big thing a week - the zoo, the beach, the museum, etc  - and I won't worry about a nap. It's getting CRAZY up in here.

My goal for this bucket list is to keep it simple - here's what we are doing for our Summer Bucket List - Part II.

Simple. Toddler-friendly. Big brother-approved. We will hang up this list and mark as we go. I want this summer to be one to remember; I want to throw caution to the wind and let loose. We've had a rough go as of late, and we need some good old-fashioned fun. I am want to kick the anxiety out the door and be with my littles. They need sun, fun, and a worry-free me.

I will share updates as to what we are doing and how it's going. Those parfaits? The lemonade? I know both will be big hits.

What about you? What would be on your list?

Happy summer, my friends! Make it a great one!

PS - Check out where I'm linking up this week!


The Healthy Mama Series - Meet Vanessa

I am so excited to share a mama who believes in health and wellness. Hearing other stories about how busy moms incorporate fitness into their lives inspires me to be better. I know you will enjoy her story as much as I do. Thank you so much for sharing, Vanessa!

I’m a mama. Most of you reading this are probably mamas or mamas to be. Let’s be real for a second. Mama life is wonderful AND challenging, but mainly wonderful and sweet, with exceptions to those really rough days that make you forget you can totally do this beautiful job you were called to do. Because there are many days as a mom that you can barely go the bathroom, and who has time to style their hair? I’ve been a mom for eleven sweet months. There have been many up and down days, more up days though! But even though I’m a mama and I take care of my son 24/7 and rarely have downtime, there is one thing I try and make sure I always have time for. And even if that means waking up half an hour earlier, I do it.

So what do I make time for? Exercise. You know why? Because when I get a quick work out in every single day (or at least 5 times a week), I feel empowered, strengthened, and energized. I need that. I need those 20-30 minutes of just Vanessa time. I want to be a fit mom so I can keep up with my son. But that’s not my only reason.

So I definitely don’t have that child who has slept through the night from six weeks on. In fact, he’s eleven months now and still wakes up at least once throughout the night. And let’s be honest right now. Sleepless nights suck. LIKE BIG TIME. It’s so easy to lose your focus on whom you really are and become super depressed and frustrated because lack of sleep will totally do that to you. There have been countless nights where I slept on the sofa or paced the living in circles trying to get a baby to sleep. But you know something I’ve always tried to do? Work out. That is something for ME. And the second I finish an intense kick butt work out, I feel as if anything can come against me today.

Some mornings I manage to finish my workout before Eli wakes up. Other mornings I’m jumping around him, lunging next to him, using him as a weight, and working on my workout while also trying to occupy him. Those mornings are challenging but just like anything else, I don’t give up because I love to see the results my body has made. It is incredible to watch the progress your body goes through. Seriously, you can do anything with your body as long as you keep up with it. The hardest thing for me is consistency because being a mommy definitely means your little routine you had before babies goes out of the window and everything changes. I’m a control freak so I’ve had to learn to accept the changes that come with every single day. So now I wake up at 5:30am every day just to get a work out in before the little one wakes up. I want to be a strong mommy. I want to show my son that health and fitness are important.

Most of the times I just finish my workout, sweaty and all, and I hear Eli in the bedroom, awake. So I put my mommy smile on, open the door, and greet my sweet baby. Truth is I don’t really have a lot of time to fit my workouts in. I have a baby that needs mama. I have housework that needs to get done. I’m married to a Navy man so I’m mainly alone and parent solo. But I do what I can, when I can. And that makes me feel worth it. My baby comes first, BUT mama also needs to look after herself. And for me, working out feels good for my body and also does wonders for my mind!

Do something for you every day. You are worth it.

Vanessa is mommy to an 11 month old and a wife to her sweetheart who serves as a Naval Officer. She loves to blog, stay fit, enjoy a beach day while eating watermelon, and coffee and Jesus are her thing! Make sure to check our her blog and over on Facebook and Instagram.

Thank you so much for sharing and for the reminder of how beautiful and strong we all are - every single day. We ARE so worth it.

To see other mamas in my Healthy Mama Series, you can check out Kristin here. Or, to see how fitness continues to be valuable in my life, you can check out my transformation here. If you are interested in sharing how health and wellness are valuable to you, please contact me. I love sharing strong mamas!


Friday Finds {Vol. 28} - Everyday Mom Style {Grapic Tees PLUS a Treat}

Happy Friday! After a few days of worry, we need a little fun. AM I RIGHT? And, you know what's fun? NEW CLOTHES.

We are gearing up for a weekend of sports, the school carnival, and some family time. It's getting hot in Texas, so it's time for some shorts and my current obsession - the graphic tee.

There are so many cute shops out there who have the best graphic tees for a busy, tired mama. Seriously - how cute are these? I just can't decide which one (or two or three) I need.

Left // Top // Bottom

But, if you need your graphic tee fix right now, I have two places for you to hit - TJ Maxx and Kohl's. You can find the most comfortable tees for the best prices.

This outfit is going to be my summer uniform. Do not be alarmed if you see me in this get-up multiple times during the next few months.

Shorts // Shirt // Shoes

And, you can't go wrong with these recent purchases. They are cozy, soft and give just a few clues into my crazy, caffeinated life.

Both tees from TJ Maxx

I'd love to hear of more shops/places to grab some fun new items for my closet - especially the graphic tee. I'm all ears!

Have a blessed and FUN weekend, friends! Thanks for the love this week. I can FEEL it :)

And to add a little spice to your graphic tees, check out Rocksbox! My first box came this week and LOVE! I am currently obsessed with my new Kendra Scott studs in Peach Illusion. Want to know more or create your own dream Rocksbox? Check them out and get a FREE month with this code - alwaysanewdayxoxo - you will love all the goodies. Don't we all deserve a sparkly treat?


Friday Finds {Vol. 27} - Workout Round-Up

It's Fri-yay! I am so ready for another girls' weekend - yep, I am a lucky gal and get to hit the road again to see some friends. Right now, I am clinging to friends who just let me be me. Can't wait to share our trip - and yes, we followed all of these tips for a perfect weekend!

But, there's one thing I am trying to do while gone, and that's not go overboard on all the food. Weekends are my weakness. Stress is my weakness, too, if I'm being honest. I try very hard to move a few times a week because more than ANYTHING, I workout so I don't wig out. It's therapy for me. Plus, it makes me feels a wee bit better when I dig into that queso.

I am lacking on posting some Friday Finds, but I wanted to round-up some of my favorite workouts so you can see just how awesome a good workout makes you feel. Now, let's get to sweatin'.

Tabatas are my jam - they are quick, tough, and effective. Check out how they are done as well as my favorites:

Cardio Tabata

Legs Tabata

What if you have a busy toddler? Try this park/neighborhood workout.

The Toddler Workout

The best workout advice I can give is to find an accountability partner - check in, celebrate, support, encourage, and share. I love my accountability partners - I have a few because I need that much help. My dear friend, Megan, gets me and pushes me. Since my transformation has transformed back, I am hanging on to her more than ever.

And, if you are ever in need of guidance, but finances and time are tight, use Pinterest. Here are some I have saved and use at home.

The 20-Minute Workout

The 20-Minute Glute Circuit

The 18-Minute HIIT Workout

30-Minute Shape-Up Session

What's your fitness routine look like? How do you stay motivated? It is NOT easy, but we need to take care of ourselves to take care of everyone else. Have a great weekend - get outside and get moving. So many benefits - and we love a happy mama, right??


5 Things I've Learned My First Year of Blogging

Confession - I still have no idea what I am doing in this blogging world. At the end of 2015, I made the goal to start a blog to share my words with whomever wanted to hear them. I published this post last May and just jumped right into all of it. There went my words - out in the open for anyone to see, read, and comment. Yet, the comments didn't come; heck, neither did the views. Fast forward to now, and while I feel more confidence, I am still sitting in a world of experts and vast amounts of information on taking your blog to the next level. And truth be told, I don't even know what level I am trying to reach. I just want to write - to take a minute out of "adulting" and have a space to let it all go. I am a worrier; I have OCD. And to make it even more fun, I am in the midst of another grief journey. I don't know what's happening emotionally from one moment to the next, but words help me muddle through all the dirty to find the good.

If you have read from the beginning, thank you! Thank you for your patience, your advice, your comments, and your love. In the beginning, my plan was to focus on fitness, but when life changed again for me, I knew my vision was changing too. Sure, I would love a million viewers and to have my words reach the masses, but I really want a corner to share. So, from this rookie blogger who is a hot mess of all things, here are some things I have learned this first year.

Be authentic.

In May 2015, I shared my fitness routine and plan for healthy living. I joined a group of motivated ladies and thought it was a perfect niche for a new blog. Workout, sell stuff, keep motivated. It felt right for a long time, but when my brother died, it no longer felt like me. I am now a mom who is grieving yet caring for her family too - it's a roller coaster. Sure, my workouts make me feel so strong, but my words give me a strength I did not know I had. My life right now is not predictable or easy, so I want to share those ups and downs. Should you want to start your blog, my best advice is make a list of your "special" topic areas - ones where you feel real and passionate. This post from one of my favorite blogging experts really helped me in narrowing my focus and finding areas where I could fully connect to the topic and then hopefully the reader.

Utilize Social Media.

I get my social media "fix" via Instagram and Facebook. I love finding other blogs and other mamas who share their journeys - the real, nitty-gritty ones that make you nod your head, cry your eyes out, and/or laugh yourself silly. When I have a new post or even one posted somewhere bigger, I share hoping others will connect to my words. The very idea that my life experiences are out there for someone to read and understand is surreal and a dream come true. So, if you want to write or blog, link up with other blogs or share your content on all social media platforms. Ask your friends and family to share as well. The power behind sharing spreads your message - you never know who needs to hear what you have to say. When I am struggling to parent "perfectly," I love the words I find. They help me be better for these two loves.

Find a community.

I have found such confidence when I became a member of a blogging group. Motivating mom bloggers surround me as I test, try, and tempt new ideas for my little blog. Not only has this group been beneficial for me, but I also reached out to a fab mom blogger who then became one of my closest friends. Kristy's patience for my multitude of questions has helped my confidence grow since day one. If you want to write and share, reach out to those you follow and grow your community. There is such great support here, and it has shaped my direction for this space.

Be patient.

There is so much I want to do with my blog. I want to make changes to the look and the layout as well as learn more about growth possibilities. Being patient with all these ideas swirling in my head is hard for my OCD problems. Each week, I try to look at something new to incorporate - a newsletter is next up on my list. But, I don't want to throw it together; I want this newsletter to be useful and fun for the busy mom. So, with this idea coming soon, I want to take my time in creating this newsletter. If you want to monetize your blog or even find your niche, take your time and do your research. My blog isn't perfect, but I will take my time in making the perfect space for me and my readers.


Learn as you go.

You could spend hours researching blogging techniques and tips. But just as with the patience, you have to take all these aspects in slowly and learn as you go. Start a Pinterest board for all your blogging research then take time pulling out what's best for you and your blog.

Or, join a group board of other bloggers so you can see their ideas that could best be used in your plans. I have to admit, I started so quickly because I was ready to see my dream become reality, but there are so many things I still need to learn. I plan to attend blogging conferences/workshops to keep learning. Even if I do get my blog where I like it, I won't stop learning. Plus, it's fun! And I need a little fun in my life.


These are not mind-blowing tips from a world-renowned blogger; they are just simple things to keep in mind if you choose to share part of your world with others. It takes bravery, a leap of faith, and a great deal of support. Thank you to those who have shared, commented, and critiqued. This little mess of mine is going to keep going as long as the words flow. I've got stories to tell about parenting, grief, mental health, physical fitness, and so much more. Hang on - I am not where I want to be, but I am so excited to learn more and share more with all of you.


A Mother's Day Reminder

I want to wish all of the fabulous moms a very Happy Mother's Day. Even on the days we do not feel one bit fabulous, we need to remember how awesome we are. We keep our little people going. We really just keep our crazy lives rollin'. So on the days you don't feel so hot or you question all your parenting, remember - YOU ARE AWESOME. {I am writing this post on a not-so-good day so I need this awesome reminder just as the next tired mama}

Mother's Day needs to be a starting point - a place to let all moms know they are so loved. I've been thinking back to that day 7 years ago when I found out I was going to be a mom - I didn’t say a word that entire day out of pure shock, fear, and joy. The months leading up to my son’s arrival were pretty much spent in research - birthing, sleeping, feeding, surviving; I needed to KNOW all of it. I even read BabyWise and sticky-noted the crap out of that book. You know, because I was going to consult my annotations at 3 am when my little guy just wouldn’t sleep. I spent hours packing my hospital bag over and over. The final result? I packed pre-maternity pants because I thought my gut was going to magically shrink over night.

And as we all know, it’s a matter of survival the moment that little miracle is born. I never read that book again, and I wore my stretchy maternity jeans until he was over one. A friend told me the greatest advice when he was tiny, and I still hang out to it nowadays with two kids. This too shall pass. Not the sweet moments - we know we want those to linger forever as though time stops infinitely. The lack of sleep, the teething, the potty-training, the frustration, the temper tantrums, the I-can’t-remember-when-I-washed-my-hair look, the lack of adult interaction. All of those yucky times will pass. And you will still be awesome.

Maybe you read and utilized every single word of that important baby book, and maybe your child slept through the night at 6 weeks. But, maybe not. Maybe you had the baby blues. Maybe they lingered longer than you expected. Maybe you were afraid. Maybe you missed the pre-baby you. But, your babies thrived. At some point too, you thrived. Why? Because you are AWESOME.

This mom role is no joke - it’s chaos one minute then complete bliss the next. It’s pure exhaustion followed by pride with your little one’s newest accomplishment. You bottle-fed or you breastfed; you organically fed or you consider the fact that you got the toddler to eat that processed waffle your greatest accomplishment; you worked or you stayed at home. The list is as long as the comments on a Facebook mommy war post. No matter how you did it, you did it with love. And BECAUSE YOU ARE AWESOME.

So celebrate your awesomeness on Sunday. Then on Monday, high-five your mom tribe and tell them how great they are. Hug your kids because they know how great YOU are. And be kind to all the moms out there. Let Mother’s Day be a starting point because we do not know the battles each other faces, but I do know this fact - moms can do HARD things. Guess why? We are so damn awesome.



The Perfect Girls Weekend

I just returned from my annual girls weekend with my college friends. A long weekend of laughing, lounging, eating, and conversation was good for this mommy's soul. How in the world did we make a 3-day weekend happen in our busy mom lives? It all started with an idea a few years ago and a commitment - and there you have the perfect girls weekend.

#1 - Start a Facebook Group

We started with an idea at one of our weddings and this turned into a private Facebook group where we could plan, coordinate, and discuss the weekend's itinerary. We could coordinate flight pick-ups, menu ideas, games, and then share our favorite moments from the weekend long after they happen. I love our little group and starting this Facebook planning group was just what we needed to get the weekend in motion. 

#2 - Pick Your Weekend

We always do the last weekend in April. This year, we already committed to our 2017 weekend so now we can head home, inform the husbands/work, gather babysitters, and start the countdown. Sure, we may miss soccer games or other events, but it's just easier to have this weekend set. No one flakes or makes other plans when this weekend is set. Make it a long weekend, too - we love our 2 full days and 3 nights of girl time.

#3 - Rent a House

Each year, we have rented a house in the same area with a full kitchen and a pool. We room with other friends and get cozy. All you need is in one space. The main idea is to not have plans - we sit in the pool and do not let time constrain us. A hotel getaway is great, but we like the ease of a home with all the amenities.

#4 - Keep It Simple

On our first evening, we conquer the grocery store. We partner with another friend and take a meal. This last trip, my friend Libbie and I had dinner. We chose the meals for the rest of the weekend and purchased our ingredients. We also have breakfast and lunch squared away with some snacks in between. Each year, I also learn a new recipe or snack idea I take home and use in my meal plans. Win-win!

Another way to keep it simple is to not make any plans. You are needed so much in your regular life and pulled in a thousand directions to take care of others, so it is nice to DO NOTHING for a few days. We like not worrying about time or places to be - it makes the weekend just simple and perfect. A bonus - I don't think I wore make-up once while there. Oh, and I stayed in my bathing suit/cover-up too. 

#5 - Grab Some Party Favors

This tradition just happened on its own. I had cups monogrammed for our first trip, then sweet Libbie had these koozies made with our college nicknames. The cups were perfect for some margaritas and the koozies kept our beers cold. I love these little treasures, and we make sure to bring them on each trip. My friend, Emily, also brought us fun water bottles too - a color for each of us!

I am sad it is over, but I am beyond blessed to have this group of ladies in my life. We met over 20 years ago, and we still pick up like no time has been lost. We support each other, crack each other up like crazy, and stick together even when we are apart. Thank you, sweet friends, for a great weekend - one I desperately needed.

Go start your group and get to planning. What a treasure you will have with your dear friends. I can't wait until we are rockin' our koozies at our girls weekends when we are old and gray. Now, THAT will be a good time. 

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