The Tummy Team Prenatal Core Foundations Program

Bachman Vitaro Rentler-111

Photo courtesy of Twinkle Photo

Prenatal Introduction

Last year I decided to do the Core Foundations program as a way to help strengthen my body in preparation for another pregnancy. I had debated trying the Prenatal Core Foundations Program but I’ve had a pretty rough pregnancy and couldn’t imagine having the time. But thanks to a surprise summer sale I decided to take the plunge.

Because I’ve done Core Foundations, I expect to find some of this information to be review, but I’m also looking forward to new pregnancy specific info.

I had between a 1.5 and 2 finger separation left after gaining a bit of weight since my core rehabilitation. I also have a small umbilical hernia that has become larger and more pronounced as my pregnancy has progressed. No doubt my diastasis recti has also gotten larger, but I stopped worrying about it.

One of the facts mentioned in the intro is that splinting is not necessary for all pregnant women. But I have found it to be very helpful for me. It helps encourage better alignment and support abdominal and groin muscles to help reduce pain and strain.

The intro to The Tummy Team prenatal program contains some great information. Much of it wasn’t new to me, but it was a good reminder nonetheless.

Core Strength and Pregnancy

Diastasis Recti

Anatomy of the Abdominals

The Transverse Abdominus

Emotional and Spiritual Considerations

Splinting in Pregnancy

Usually Kelly Dean recommends preparing to reduce your exercise schedule during abdominal rehab, especially if you are very active. I have already been reducing my activity by necessity, but I am going to maintain a certain level of exercise as a way of controlling my gestational diabetes. Fortunately my preferred exercise of choice is Fit2B Studio which is tummy safe and complements abdominal rehab well. (Kelly Dean even guest stars in many of my favorite work outs).

Tummy Team Prenatal Core Week 1: Awareness

Tummy Team Prenatal Core Week 2: Connection

Tummy Team Prenatal Core Week 3: Neutral Pelvis and Core Strength

Tummy Team Prenatal Core Week 4: Pelvis the Floor of Your Core

The Tummy Team


Greening Your Beauty Routine: Lip Color and Mascara


Photo Credit: M J M via Compfight cc

This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

I’ve shared before about how after my miscarriage I went on a quest to remove unnecessary toxins from my life. For me this included my skin care, makeup and toiletry products. (Except for my deodorant. I just haven’t had the guts to give it up yet. When you’ve suffered for years from excessive sweating and have finally found a solution that works most of the time, it’s hard to consider giving that up.)

Some makeup items were easy. I love my powder and blush from Everyday Minerals.  But there were two things I could never find good substitutes for: mascara and lipstick, which are often touted as major offenders when it comes to additives and toxins. But fortunately, I’ve now found some great solutions.



Redeeming Beauty

Last spring I made my first order from Redeeming Beauty. One of the products I was most excited about was the mascara. While I don’t use it daily, I do like it when I’m dressed up. (It should be noted that this product is smudge proof but not water proof. But I haven’t had any problems so far and it’s definitely easier to remove than most conventional mascara.)

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Cowgirl Dirt

I only recently discovered this great company whose products are both organic and made in the USA. I may not be out working on the ranch, but I appreciate the hardworking woman image this company portrays. Sure, I spend half my week smeared in various bodily fluids produced by my small offspring. That doesn’t mean I don’t want great skin or to look nice sometimes.

Lipstick, Lip Gloss and other Lip Coloring

Everyone has a different idea of what makes good lip color. Some people want the heavy color and staying power of lipstick, others of us want a lighter touch. Fortunately when you are trying to find healthier products, there is now a decent selection of choices.


EveryDay Minerals Tinted Lip Butter

This is kind of a compromise between lipstick and lip gloss. It isn’t super shiny, but it also doesn’t color the lips as heavily or as long lastingly as lipstick. But it makes a creative everyday color choice. I have two or three shades and love them all.


Madeon Hard Lotion Tinted Lip Balm

Three choices of color for the lip butters. This will give you a thicker texture, more like lipstick, but the color is still subtle. I also like the plain and the peppermint is comparable to Burt’s Bees. I love supporting small businesses when I can and this is a great business selling a great product. Try one of the versions of their famous hard lotion bar too, if you suffer from habitually dry skin, especially in the winter.

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Cowgirl Dirt

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Yee Haw Lipstick, Bodacious Botanical Lip Gloss, Bulletproof Lip Glaze

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Loving the lip stick and lip gloss so far. Especially Georgia Peace lip gloss and War Admiral lip stick. I’ve also tried Cow Bell and Barn lip gloss and Sweet Tea lip stick. I love that they offer samples for just a $1, which provides me with several opportunities to try a new color before committing. These are by far my favorite products I’ve founds so far. I haven’t had a chance to try the recent addition, Bulletproof Lip Glaze, but I’m looking forward to it.


Redeeming Beauty

The lipstick is nice color wise but the application is rather fussy. I always seem to make a mess of it. I also don’t find that the shea butter base coat is nearly moisturizing enough. I wish she offered some kinds of samples the way Cow Girl Dirt and Everyday Minerals does, but as a small business I can totally understand why.


Check Out Samples

Both Everyday Minerals and Cowgirl Dirt offer low cost or free samples of many of their products. This is great because it lets you try a color before having to purchase a whole lot of it. (I wish Everyday Minerals still offered sample eye shadow for this reason. It takes me a long time to use it up and I hate to be stuck with a color that doesn’t really work for me). These also make great stocking stuffers.

My favorite for lip color is definitely Cowgirl Dirt, even though it is a little pricier. They have a wide selection of products and colors but applies and looks most like conventional makeup. Plus, the low cost samples allow me to make sure I like something before investing in a full size version.

Fit2B Mama Week 1



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Fit2B Mama: Week 1

It’s been quite a wild ride this pregnancy and I can’t quite believe that I’m only at 30 weeks. But at least I’m at 30 weeks right? I know that my exercise plans are likely to change and adjust a lot in the next few weeks (including my additional focus on healing and maintaining my core while working through The Tummy Team prenatal program), but I’m going to try to give it my best effort.

This and the next two weeks, I’ve put together combinations of exercises that I feel work well for pregnancy. The first week is on the simpler side, and if I did nothing else for the rest of my pregnancy, I would probably repeat this week over and over again.

It feels good to exercising semi-normally again. If I was being honest this is probably my favorite way to exercise. Core work, aerobic, stretching (maybe add some weights if I’m especially ambitious). It’s just how I like to do things. It feels balanced. This is the philosophy I’m trying to maintain for my pregnancy. I know I can’t handle really long workouts anymore, it’s just beyond my stamina, especially if I’m trying to use proper form.

So my goals are as follows: core work everyday (usually Foundational Five put possibly some other beginner core work), aerobics at least three days a week, light weights or other upper body two days a week and stretching daily. Will I manage it? Not always, but it remains my goal.

Day 1

Totally Transverse II
Basic Aerobics II
Pregnancy Stretching

This is one of my favorite combinations of workouts. I feel like I’ve really worked, but I also don’t feel so tired that I can’t function for the rest of the day. Each of these workouts are old favorites of mine, but I will keep coming back to it anyway because it’s comfortable in a good way, I know what to expect, I know the kind of workout I will get and my brain doesn’t need to be as engaged because of the familiarity. (This is great when I’m feeling extra tired and can’t think clearly).

 Day 2

Mula Bandha
Kelly Dean’s Wall Workout
Foam unRolling

I always love the Kelly Wall Workout because it’s short and yet very effective, working both the upper and lower body plus the core. The Foam unRolling is more of a list of suggested movements than a workout, but I still find it helpful to hit this one occasionally. Mula Bandha is one of the Foundational Five which becomes even more important during pregnancy. This whole combination can be done in less than 30 minutes at a stretch or divided into a few short segments throughout the day.

Day 3

Totally Transverse
Basic Aerobics III
Neck Routine

This is another great combination of core work, aerobics and stretching. While I’m sure the Neck Routine would have been more relaxing had my three year old not been climbing on me, I still found it helpful given how much stress I carry in my neck.

Day 4 

Basic Transverse and Mula Bandha
Big Band Workout
Foam Rolling

Big Band Workout is a surprisingly good upper body workout, but without the stress or strain of weights. I still had to work very hard to make sure I was properly engaging my core at all times, but this is a great, short upper body workout, especially if you haven’t exercised that part of you in a while. It will definitely make my post partum list. Foam Rolling was also interesting and has the potential to be quite relaxing, but I don’t think it’s ideal when pregnant. Basic Transverse and Mula Bandha is a great workout if you are tired and feel like you just can’t do anything else. It’s even done sitting down.

Day 5 

Kelly’s Core Cardio
Kelly Dean’s Total Body Stretching

Transitions is a great workout on its own, but it also serves as a good warm up for something more upbeat, like Kelly’s Core Cardio. Technically it’s considered the next level up from the Foundational Five, but I’ve always considered it a great beginner level workout. It turns out that Kelly’s Core Cardio is a great maternity workout! The phantom hula hoop motion is very helpful in maintaining pelvic mobility when (at least for me) things seem to stiffen up. Sometimes I couldn’t hold my arms up the whole time, but at least I got through it. If you don’t have the energy for an additional stretching routine Kelly does a good job of stretching at the end of this workout. Kelly Dean’s Total Body Stretching has a lot of education in the video, so you may want to fast forward here and there if it moves too slowly for you and you’ve done it before. But sometimes I find that if I do extra long stretches while Kelly talks I really get a longer stretch than I would do if I was stretching on my own. This is very soothing on it’s own, or after a good workout. If I could manage it, I probably should do this or the Pregnancy Stretching each morning and evening.

Day 6  

Align it Flat

Trying to do this while pregnant is like experiencing it for the first time. It feels as though my body’s whole alignment has changed, so this workout was much harder. Trying to figure out where my bones and joints are supposed to be and which muscles and ligaments should be used to support them is quite a challenge. Plus, things change so much from week to week that I know I will have to continue to keep this workout around to help me remember to adjust my alignment as needed.

Day 7  

Maternity I

This workout continues to surprise me by how hard it can be for me in parts, but I continue to appreciate how well balanced it is. Other than being very cautious with the portion at the end lying on my back and moving gently during the side leg series, I found it to be very soothing.

I definitely found it difficult to get through all these exercises in one week. Don’t feel pressured to do it all. Just pick one combo to do on whatever day you choose to work out. At this point, I’m very much clinging to the idea that something is better than nothing.

Fit2B Mama Week 2



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Preventing Frugality Fatigue While Trying to Get Out of Debt


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For most of the last six years, we haven’t had a regular line item in our budget for things like fun or eating out. This can be a tough way to live and can result in what I call “Frugality Fatigue”. My definition of frugality fatigue is when you have been living very leanly for a long time. Your definition of leanly and long will probably vary. For us it means a basic pre-paid cell phone (no smart phone), no cable. Periods of time without a streaming service like Netflix as well. Rarely eating out, and mostly just not buying things that aren’t necessities (by which I mean food, some clothing, rent/mortgage and utilities).

I remember my husband once told his classmates this when he was in college and they looked at him like he was crazy. How do you survive without buying things you want? Well, it isn’t always easy. Sometimes it makes us feel resentful or bitter. When that happens we are more likely to make a poor choice, like buying things we really shouldn’t. Is the smartest thing always to pay off debt or save any extra money? Yes, absolutely. But sometimes that $25 credit card rewards check doesn’t feel like it makes much of a dent in a very large debt (like student loans bigger than your yearly income), and it can make a small effort to relieve frugality fatigue. (I should note however, that if you are carrying a balance on your credit card, points or rewards should be immediately applied to the balance. If you carry a balance, any interest you are paying more than outweighs any small rewards you are earning to using the card.)

Because I’ve discovered that it’s unrealistic for most people to never get a pizza for five to ten years while they pay off their debt. Yes, it may be the “best thing” to do. But most of us are human. Frugality fatigue will kick in at some point instead of getting a pizza once every month or two, we might decide to splurge on a week long cruise to the Bahamas charged to the credit card and then paid off over the next year at 14% interest. Better to create small kinds of “luxuries” in your life than to get frustrated and make large, poor choices that have long term impact.

I know there are those in the debt free/frugality financial movement who disagree with me. That’s fine. But after 12 years of mostly living in frugality mode, I’ve learned that sometimes it’s better to cut yourself a little bit of slack.

For some people this means a weekly or monthly pizza. For others it means keeping the pricey smart phone or a daily latte. I think it’s OK to have a couple of things like this in our lives, as long as we count the cost. If you can, do the math. Use an excel spread sheet or an online debt calculator. Figure out how much giving up those daily lunches with co-workers or that unlimited cell phone data plan will actually save you. Then decide, is it worth it?

The problem is when we think we “need” all of these things. Instead of just one or two luxuries, we classify them all as needs rather than wants. It’s OK to enjoy something and want to make it part of your life. But if you can’t pay your bills every month or can’t get the debt paid off no matter how you try, it’s time to more closely examine those quality of life items and decide which ones will stay and which will go.

Choosing to take responsibility for your finances isn’t always easy. We’ve built a culture based on the concept that we should be able to have whatever we want, whenever we want it, regardless of if we can afford it. But the reality is, it comes down to math. Everything has a cost and we will pay it one way or the other. This doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun things in our lives; but it does mean we have to be conscious of how we spend our money, especially if we are still paying off debt or trying to build a savings account to protect us from future emergencies.

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 6


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Week 6 Goal: Complete 6 Fit2B routines of varying length

Thanks to a little bit of time off and some chiropractic care, I was finally able to tackle the final week of Fit2B Beginning.

Kelly’s Floor Core Workout

I will not be doing this workout again, because I’ve attempted it more than once and it is not working out with my pregnancy this time around. So please see below my former review of this. Hopefully I can get back to it after this pregnancy is over and I’m on the road to recovery.

This is a great workout if you need or want to be on the floor. It is entirely on the floor. As Kelly mentions in the workout, this will give you ideas if you are ever in a group fitness class and everyone else is doing crunches, so you don’t feel left out. I took a ballet class once where we did a ton of planks. I found myself wishing I had known a better alternative. (I usually opted for incline planes) So it’s nice to see a workout that includes one for crunches at least. Is this a favorite? No, because I prefer to work my core in a standing position. As Kelly also mentions, the core is stronger in a standing position so that’s what I shoot for. (That and my kids take any opportunity that I’m on the floor as a chance to wrestle).


Plain Ol’ Pilates

This is the second and probably last time I have done this workout this pregnancy. If nothing else, it has been an experiment in honoring my true range of motion and learning to modify movements. I was unable to do the series laying on my belly, so I opted to do some hands and knees work instead, splinting and engaging my core. During the final series laying on my back  I focused on heel sliders and belly breaths. I did briefly lift my knees to my chest to stretch which is how I discovered that while the chiropractic adjustments have been helping my mobility, my sacrum is still very sore. So I had to let go and just breath through the last section of this workout and accept that it just isn’t a good fit for me during the third trimester.



I was excited to be able to do this workout as prescribed with the dumbbells. Last time I made a lot of modifications, this time I had to make hardly any at all. Yes, it was hard, but not so hard that I wanted to quit. I’m excited to keep coming back to this to help with both my balance and my upper body strength.


Pelvic Floor Connections

The last few times I tried to do this video I had a lot of pain in sacrum. But I’ve been getting chiropractic treatment for the last two weeks and sleeping with much less pain so I decided to give it another try. There were definitely points, like during the shoulder bridge that I needed to really engage my glutes to makes sure I wasn’t hurting my lower back, but I was able to do it much more easily than in the past. During the final combination, I chose a large pillow instead of a stack of books and found that while I still had to be careful not to  turn the wrong way or accidentally tighten my lower back, I was able to do almost all of the final combination with less pain than when I had my sacrum resting on a stack of books. I’m not sure yet if I’ll keeping doing this regularly during the rest of my pregnancy. I may have to stick to Mula Banda for my pelvic floor work since it’s done standing. But I’ll definitely come back during my postpartum recovery.


Kelly’s Total Body Toning

I’m absolutely loving this workout, even during pregnancy. Yes, it is difficult and I almost always have to take a break during the arm portion, but it feels great to still be able to do a longer workout even when I’m this far a long.


Tummy Safe Tabata

I don’t know why I was so worried about this workout. I looked at the 30 minute length and remembered that it had seemed long in the past, but it actually makes a great maternity workout. The nature of Tabata is intervals of intensity with short intervals of rest. This is perfect for a maternity workout. I did choose not to do the final section of toe taps laying on the floor, but other than that, I was able to complete the rest of it without any real problem. Yes, it was hard work.


Week Six Bonus: Try to accomplish some light cardiovascular training for 25-30 minutes on two additional days. This can be cumulative, meaning that you do 10 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes after lunch. Also, be sure to take some time to CLICK over to The Tummy Team this week, especially if you feel like your core still isn’t responding due to deeper dysfunction.

Basic Aerobics IV

I realize that this workout is a little bit shorter than recommended, but I decided to do it anyway. I liked the idea of being able to actually complete a workout rather than having to cut short a longer one due to lack of stamina. I choose to use the weights this time and it definitely makes this workout more intense, but not painfully so. I appreciate Bethany’s continued reminders to make sure to engage the core. I also like that she frequently reminds us not to sacrifice quality for quantity; meaning don’t resort to bad form just to do more reps. Sometimes that meant putting down the weights or just taking a quick break between reps to do some belly breaths. I’ll definitely keep this one on my list as my pregnancy progresses.


This used to be one of my favorite workouts. Technically, I suppose it still is, but my pregnant body and I disagree about this. It was a very hard go round for me. I stopped often for drinks and to catch my breath, but I did manage to finish it. Not sure if I’ll come back to it this pregnancy or not, it depends on how I feel. But I’ll definitely be working back up to this postpartum.

Well it took me long enough, but finally I’ve finished the new Fit2B Beginning Pathway. I look forward to coming back to it again during my postpartum recovery. Up next is a few weeks of my own Fit2B Mama followed by Fit2B New Mamas. Plus I’ve decided to splurge on The Tummy Team Prenatal Program to help prepare me for labor and hopefully a quick recovery afterwards.


Just joining me? You can catch up here.

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 1

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 2

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 3

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 4

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 5

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership.

Or check out the Fit2B Store for other great healthy living products.

Shop the Fit2B Online Store

Fit2B Mama: Rest and Recovery Week


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I had planned to finish Week 5 of Fit2B Beginning this week, but, I decided to take a step back and do some more core building and relaxing workouts, while I wait on some chiropractic care for my every changing maternity body. Plus sometimes it never hurts to take a rest and recovery week.


Maternity Mix I

Soothing, slow moving mostly chair workout. Aside from the portion at the end on my back, this was a good choice for my recovery week. The side leg series was a little bit uncomfortable, but I survived as long as I moved carefully and tried to make sure to engage the right muscles.


Align it Flat

Returning to this has been so important since how my body moves has changed so much. This way I can reaffirm good alignment even as I continue to grow and know that I’m doing the best I can under the circumstances. (No doubt I ‘ll have to review all this again with my new postpartum body too).


Maternity Mix II

I love resistance band workouts and this is a good one. I found the length to be more manageable with my current loss of stamina, but at least I still felt like I was doing something. The side leg series was a little shorter, which I was very grateful for since I’ve been struggling with that especially.


Kelly’s Pregnancy Stretching

Sometimes when everything hurts, the only thing you can do is stretch. This is still one of my favorite choices for stretching. The Jesus pose at the end was a little bit difficult for my sacrum, but I managed. I just had to be careful getting in and out of it.


Maternity III

This was a much better Upper Body Workout than I anticipated. My triceps were quite sore the next day. But at the same time, it felt safe an attainable without injuring myself.


Neck Routine

There has been a lot of stress in my life lately. (Did I mention that my washer was broken for two weeks and that it took me even longer to get an insurance referral processed to get me in to see my chiropractor?) Since I carry a lot of stress in my neck, this was a welcome addition.


Kelly Dean’s Total Body Stretching

This felt great except for the Jesus pose at the end. I still can’t do anything that involves my sacrum being flat on the floor. Hopefully this will get better once I start getting some chiropractic treatment. Like the Pregnancy Stretching Video, you really don’t need the video to do these stretches. Just work them in throughout your day.

Hopefully next week I’ll be back to finish up the new Fit2B Beginning Pathway and then move on to more Fit2B Mama.


Just joining me? You can catch up here.

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 1

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 2

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 3

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 4

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 5

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 6


You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership.

Or check out the Fit2B Store for other great healthy living products.

Shop the Fit2B Online Store