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10 Ways to Have a Healthy Pregnancy

10 easy ways to have a healthy pregnancy.

I was very lucky with my first pregnancy two years ago–my OB would continually tell me I had a “textbook pregnancy.” Before I got pregnant the first time, I was at the bottom of the accepted weight range for my height. I had a super fast metabolism, and I worked out when time allowed. I got pregnant during the school year–I was teaching at the time. Between forcing my husband to cook, standing all day teaching, and the stress of my job (and the fact that I had a posterior placenta), I didn’t gain a lot of weight during my pregnancy–about the minimum recommended. However, I wasn’t the healthiest during my pregnancy either. Again, I really didn’t have time with being a first year English teacher!

After I gave birth, I got within 10 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight, then was diagnosed with PPD. I was given medication, which slowed my metabolism but burned my energy quicker. So, I was hungry more often, but storing the calories rather than getting rid of them. When I got pregnant this time around, I was 30 pounds heavier than before my first pregnancy. Due to that fact, and the fact that I am now a Stay-at-Home Mom who doesn’t stand and walk around as often, I am determined to make this pregnancy healthier.

10 easy ways to have a healthy pregnancy.

1. Drink your water!

Drinking water is always important, pregnant or not! As a “retired” teacher, I am used to always having a water bottle at my side. And honestly, I don’t think there is much that is better than ice-cold water. But, water can help curb your cravings and subside headaches. It also helps you sleep better and gives you more energy. If you do anything for your pregnancy, I would highly suggest drinking more water. If you are going to have a soda, drink 8 full ounces of water first. Have water with you when you go out on errands. Keep a water bottle at your desk, on your nightstand, on the table with each meal. Your body and your child will thank you for doing it.

2. Get your sleep!

I know getting 8 hours of sleep at night is sometimes difficult, and many of you wonderful women have full-time jobs. But sleep while you can. Right now, I make sure I go to bed at 10:30. My two year old isn’t allowed out of his crib until 6:30. That’s 8 hours. Plus, right now he is taking an hour and a half nap in the afternoon, and I sleep while he does. Seriously, it doesn’t matter how little or old your baby is…the mantra “sleep while your baby sleeps” can still apply to toddlers and preschoolers! I know I’m lucky that I can nap in the middle of the day, but I couldn’t during my first pregnancy. However, I still took naps. During my lunch break, sometimes I’d lock my classroom door, put my head on my desk, and took a quick 20 minute cat nap. Or, I’d nap when I got home…around 4:45 pm…and take an hour nap. Sleep while you can!!!

3. Take your medications!

Make sure you take your daily prenatal vitamins. Not only will it help to supplement your healthy diet (hopefully you have a healthy diet), but those vitamins also help your child’s growth! Two for one! And, it gives you more energy. I can honestly say I can feel a difference between the days that I do take my prenatals and the days I don’t. Also, if you are on any other chronic medication, talk with your OB about staying on it and the pros and cons and possible side effects. Like I mentioned, I take an anti-depressant/anxiety pill. There are *some* inconclusive studies about side effects it could cause my child. But, after talking with my OB (who prescribed it and knows me and my mental/physical history) and talking to my cousin who is also a doctor, they both recommend me staying on it. My medication affects my mental and emotional health. Did you know that your mental health can affect your physical health? And your physical health affects your baby’s health? Therefore, your mental health affects your baby’s growth. I am a much happier, healthier, calmer person with my medication, and staying on it will help me, therefore helping my baby and outweighs the *possible* cons.

4. Be smart in food choices!

I have cravings, too. With my first, it was potstickers and Sonic chili cheese tots and Sonic milkshakes. With this baby, it’s tamales and Pepsi. But, like April said, we have to keep them in check. I have been loving making tuna melts (another craving this pregnancy). However, I’ve stopped putting it on bread. I make a salad and put the warm tuna, cheese, and balsamic vinegar on top. I use lettuce instead of a bun for hamburgers. I chose to have oatmeal or eggs in the morning instead of cereal. I bake my desserts and dinners rather than fry them. I stay far within the recommended amount of caffeine during pregnancy. I buy fresh meat rather than packaged deli meat. I don’t take medications that aren’t recommended for pregnant women. Thankfully, I’ve never taken drugs or smoked or drank alcohol before in my life, so I don’t have to worry about that. But, for those who have, drink grape juice instead of wine.

5. Move your body (part 2)!

April mentioned continuing to workout and being active. I, personally, try my best to have a low-intensity workout at least 3 times a week. However, I still move my body every day. If you have little kids, take them to the mall. Let them play on the playground, then when they are done, put them in the stroller and take a few laps around the mall (I currently do this). Go swimming. It’s summer! It’s hot! Get in the water! STRETCH! This is very important! I have a bad back and have been getting tension headaches from my neck aches often. I have to remember to stretch every day. (Just be careful stretching your legs if you are in the third trimester–you could get seriously painful Charlie Horses.) Get a message ball or beg your husband for messages often. Stand when you could be sitting. Play more with your children. I have written a previous post with 7 ways to “exercise” at home…check it out!

I definitely know that April will continue to have a great pregnancy and I’m super excited to see pictures of her beautiful baby girl come November! I know that I, too, will have a healthy pregnancy by following these tips. They are all super easy for anyone to follow. Make sure you do!

I have a good friend (and client) of mine who is also pregnant right now. She is expecting her first child, a girl, in November. April is a beachbody coach, and staying healthy and fit is important to her, no matter what stage of life you are in. She also has a few tips on staying healthy during pregnancy.

So this is my FIRST pregnancy and we are due with our baby girl November 2016! I want to state that I’m by no means an expert because this is my first rodeo, but I do want to share my tips on how I tried to have a FIT{ish} and healthy{ish} pregnancy! I say ISH because I know that I could have made smarter decisions, I could have worked out more, ate LESS crap, but I am allowing myself grace AS YOU NEED to because your body is doing an AMAZING thing.

As easy as it would be for me to say, “Don’t eat that, or workout 30 minutes a day”, we all know our BUN IN THE OVEN may have other plans for us! So here are my tips to have a healthy and happy pregnancy!

1. Listen to your body in the beginning!

I could tell you, “DON’T eat too many carbs or watch your sodium,” but the truth is, sometimes pregnancy in the beginning is DOWN RIGHT HARD. If all that sweet baby wants is carbs and if that’s what you can stomach, you have to listen to your body. What I did, was let myself eat the carbs and french fries I wanted, but I really tried to not ENGORGE MYSELF. For example, if the baby wanted pizza, I would allow myself 2 pieces but stop there and CHUG water, because I needed my belly to know it wasn’t hungry, it was just being greedy and the baby was trying to brainwash it into EATING ALL THE CHEESY GREASY GOODNESS! Sometimes, you just have to remind the baby you’re the boss, and you gave it what it wanted lol!

2. When you have a sweet tooth – GO FOR FRUIT!

I never had a sweet tooth before baby girl took over my body lol! I can’t say I haven’t made my husband go get me Reese’s or M&M’s, and I’m actually eating a bag of Honey Mustard and Onion Pretzels right now… BUT, 9 times out of 10 watermelon has hit the sweet tooth spot! I also have loved sliced peaches and nectarines when I’m craving sweet! PLUS, the watermelon helps to hydrate you, which is also awesome, because I feel like a CAMEL and that I can never quench my thirst! SOOO, instead of texting your hubby to bring home cookie dough ice cream, try a juicy piece of fruit or all natural fruit popsicle!

3. Give into your cravings and don’t feel bad, but try to not give into the craving ALL WEEK LONG.

So, I had this freakishly weird craving of IMITATION CRAB MEAT {NO JOKE lol} and Cherry Coke. The first week, I bought 3 bags of it and ate 3/4 the bag in the car on the way home hahaha. This craving WOULD NOT go away all first trimester, so I would buy one bag a week because I didn’t trust myself with more and I let myself enjoy it. I also LOVED Cherry coke, so I would buy a 6 pack {no more} for the week. If you have a craving, KNOW that your pregnant self will not have much self control for moderation. SO, if you’re craving Cherry Coke, stocking up on the Deal of the week of BUY 3 12 packs get 2 free is a BAD BAD BAD idea lol! Your human, you deserve to feed your cravings, but again focus on moderation.

4. GET your body MOOOOOOVingggg!

Try yoga, walking, pilates, whatever!!! Just do it for 30 minutes because it’s good for you and BABY! Avoid abdominal exercises after the first trimester, but honestly just listen to your body. That baby is a lot more protected in there than you think! If you’re working out previously, just take the intensity down a notch. I was at my top fitness shape, so my first trimester I was doing Insanity Max 30 and just modifying jumps where I needed. I am actually a Clinical Exercise Physiologst and a Health coach, so if you’d like to talk more about a workout program, shoot me an email at april.pinkney@gmail.com and let’s chat! Obviously, you want to run things by your doctor, but if you are having a healthy pregnancy, you will most likely get a DOUBLE THUMBS up to keep you and that baby moving!

5. EMBRACE the extra FLUFF.

Yes, cellulite is not cool, but that’s a part of building a human, and it will be a long 10 months if you spend the rest of your pregnancy dwelling on it. FLUFF HAPPENS, embrace it. Yes, your thighs may rub together, your butt might jiggle for 5 minutes if you shake it, but, by following tips 1-4, you’re well on your way to keeping your weight gain under control. Sometimes I feel like saying, “what the heck? I’m not pregnant in my butt?!” But you can’t be upset or tear yourself down, because you know what?! YOUR BODY IS CREATING A LIFE! Cut yourself some slack, enjoy the process, know that it’s not all going to be butterflies and rainbows, but it will ALL be worth it in the end.

Remember that you are beautiful and you are creating a tiny human who you are going to love more than anything in this world the minute you lay eyes on him/her. Keep your eye on the prize mama, this is just a drop in the compared to all the amazing memories you have before you!


April McDonald
Registered Clinical Exercise Physiology
Founder of April McDonald Fitness www.aprilmcdonaldfitness.com

5x5blog // facebook // instagram // pinterest

April is a beach body coach who blog at BeYOUtifully Made. She is a #girlboss when it comes to starting a business and taking care of finances. She is always optimistic and believes that self-confidence and self-love is key to better physical health. April is married to her sweetheart, has a fur baby, and is expecting her first child in November.

Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Blogger Love, #LoveBlog Challenge

I believe love is reciprocated. To get love, you have to show love. But, you shouldn’t expect love back. You should always try to pay it forward. And I love the different ways that happens in blogging: mentions and links, #fridayfollow, etc. So, I, as a blogger, want to share with you the blogs that I love to read every time they post.

In No Particular Order…

Burke Does Emilie and her sister Laura talk about finances, life, goals, and trying to be a #girlboss.


Christine Everyday Christine gives advice on blogging, loves to host linkups to build community, and has a positive outlook.


Coming Up Roses Erica is full of #motivationalmondays and loves to experiment with fashion. She has also just rebranded and is ready to help you becoming a blogging #girlboss.


Danikan Skywalker Danica is actually a IRL friend. She is obsessed with the Office, Star Wars, and Diet Coke. She talks about fashion, her darling daughter Reese, and loves being sarcastic.


Enduring All Things Charlene loves to blog about marriage and uses an uplifting Christian viewpoint.


Love, Ashley Ashley is another IRL friend. She loves sharing her love of Christ and her religion, as well as her love of photography.


Macke Monologues Desiree was my very first blogger friend. She loves writing about her two darling kids and all the adventures they go on together.


My Little Sunshines Britt is another IRL friend. She is the sweetest, most humble Mormon I’ve ever known. She loves sharing her love of religion and her family.


My New Lines Sharlee writes about trying to be the best mother she possibly can be and how to love yourself.


Shanndelier Shannon is a IRL friend who is a wife to a sous-chef. She loves sharing photos of her nature hikes and walks, as well as books she loves reading.


Silver Linings Brooke is yet another IRL friend whose daughter Claire is only 5 days older than Rhys. And now she’s pregnant with twins!! Brooke has begun her own Arizona-based photography business and loves gushing about her daughter and the adorable DIY crafts she does.


The Life of Bon Bonnie is a IRL friend who loves telling stories, talking about her students and what she teaches, as well as what is going on in her life.


Brooklyn Jolley Brooklyn is a IRL friend who lets the light of Christ shine so brightly through her eyes and her blog. She also writes about her marriage and goals.


A Prioritized Marriage Amberly focuses on making marriage a priority no matter what your stage in life is. She has a bazillion ideas!


Aubrey Zaruba Aubrey is a social butterfly. She loves hanging with friends and meeting new people and is always on the go!

Who are your favorite bloggers? Which blogs inspire you? How did you get into blogging? What do you appreciate most about your blog readers?

And now, I want to introduce two new friends, my lovely co-hosts for the #LoveBlog Challenge.

Meet Brita Long: Christian feminist blissfully married to Dan Fleck for almost two years. Lover of Paris, pink sparkles, sensible shoes, manicures, and books. Fueled by hot tea and mimosas.

Twitter // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Tumblr // Google+ // Bloglovin

Meet Pam of The Coastie Couple: Coastie wife married to Josh for a year and a half. Experienced at fending for herself after a year of long distance and multiple deployments courtesy of the Coast Guard. Teacher, writer, lover of puppies, obsessed with anchors, and adventurous at the core. Fitness and wine help her through the tough times.

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

And of course, Me: Mormon stay at home mom married to her best friend, Justin, for 3.5 years. Mother to 19 month old Rhys. “Retired” history and English teacher, runner, lover of video games, fantasy, books, and cooking. Consumer of Italian food, chocolate, steak, and strawberries.

Bloglovin // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest


Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

10 Kid Friendly Videogames // October Solidarity Sister

There are many videogames that adults can play and feel safe about their kids watching!

I love getting to know more bloggers on a one-to-one basis. That is why I love the Solidarity Sisters. This month, I was paired with Christine from Christine Everyday. She is a lifestyle blogger with a 3 year old daughter. She blogs about blogging, healthy lifestyle, and just every day life. She is so positive!

blog // twitter // pinterest // instagram

Today, we decided to collaborate about a guilty pleasure for both us and our husbands: videogames. However, just like movies have ratings with parental guidance for children, so do some videogames. So, today, we are giving 5 Wii (and Wii-U) and 5 X-Box child-friendly video games to either play in front of or with your young children!

Wii/Wii-U (Tayler)

Now, I feel like I am cheating a little because X-box is mostly geared toward older people, whereas Nintendo, the dominant game maker for Wii, gears it’s games toward a younger, more family-oriented audience. And, Justin and I love those types of games. So, we decided to focus on series of games rather than individual games due to how similar games in the same series tend to be.

1) Mario Games (Wii and Wii-U)
These include the Mario platformers, 3-D worlds (like Mario Galaxy), Mario Karts, and Mario Parties, Mario is such a classic, and really, anyone from a young age can play them. You can play these games as individuals or as families. I remember all my siblings and I playing Mario Party on Gamecube together as kids. My youngest sister started playing with us when she was 5 and she could easily play along. True, there is a bad guy (Bowser), and true Justin was actually scared of Bowser when he was a little kid, but it’s very cartoonish. The good guy always conquers evil. The music is light-hearted, the lighting and environments are colorful and bright. I have no problem playing Mario Games in front of Rhys.

2) Wii Sports and Dance Games (Wii and Wii-U)
These include Wii Sports games, and Just Dance games. Some Just Dance versions are rated E 10+, but that is because of the song lyrics themselves. So, as parents, you already know what songs on the radio you want your kids listening to or not, so you can choose which songs you play with. But, these are active games–it’s all about the movement: bowling, dancing, archery, golf, etc. Your kids will see you be active and a lot of times, they’ll want to play with you–especially with Just Dance. Our nieces and nephews all love to dance to the songs on Just Dance, whether or not they have a Wiimote in their hands!

3) Disney Infinity and Skylanders (Wii-U)
Justin and I actually don’t have these, but we I really, really want Disney Infinity. I mean, I’m obsessed with Disney! It is a world-based game, like Sims or other on-line community games. You buy the figurines of different Disney characters, or Marvel and Star Wars characters (since Disney owns Marvel and Star Wars!!!!) and then you can play as those characters in the world. It’s basically the Disney version of Minecraft. And I love it because it focuses on imagination and story-telling. And, obviously I love Disney morals. We’ve already decided that we are going to get Rhys (and our future kids) into Disney Infinity once they’re old enough to actually understand how to play video games. And I can’t wait because that means I can play it with them! Disney Infinity is basically based off how Skylanders is set up–it was the pioneer of the game type. It is Spyro the Dragon based and a lot of times you can defeat the bad guys and turn them good. What a great story line and concept–bad guys can become good guys!

4) Lego Games (Wii and Wii-U)
This includes Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman, Lego Indiana Jones, really any Lego series. Legos, especially the smaller model-like ones, are a huge hit with young (and teenage, and adult–Justin–) boys. So, being able to play with them and see them move and use their abilities rather than just imagine it, is so fun! The worst “violence” is the Lego character breaking apart–and what little boy hasn’t knocked over a tower of blocks or Legos purposefully anyway?!?! The Lego games also tend to include a lot of jokes and silliness to their games. Justin can’t wait to start playing our Lego Star Wars games with Rhys.

5) Legend of Zelda: Windwaker (originally Game Cube, but redone for the Wii-U)
Now, we had to chose a specific game from the large list of Legend of Zelda games. We are absolutely in love with the series and have played almost every game, and will definitely be raising our children on the series, but there are only a few that are on the Wii and Wii-U platform (the rest are Nintendo 64 or GameCube) and most have a tiny bit of a darker fantasy side, so for young children (8 and under), it might not be as light-hearted. But, Windwaker is definitely geared toward a younger audience. It is a very cartoon-styled game, whereas the rest of the series is more serious in their graphics, and there is a lot more joviality to Windwaker. It is a great intro game for younger kids into the series.

Xbox One (Christine)

The Doctor and I used to be pretty hardcore gamers. Even while pregnant with our daughter, I went to the midnight release of one of the Call of Duty games (I can’t remember which one right now…three years is a long time). We still look forward to the release of new games, and play every chance we get…although those chances are severely limited these days. We love Call of Duty, Gears of War, Halo…pretty much anything in that line. We also have some games we enjoy that we can actually play in front of our daughter, though.

1) Child of Light
This game was actually available for free to Xbox Gold members a few months ago, and I downloaded it not knowing what to expect. The basic premise of the game is that you are a princess who got transferred to another world and you have to find the light in order to escape. But what’s really great about this game is how innocent yet fun it is. The beautiful colors and imagery of the game are perfectly complimented by some lovely music. My daughter loves to watch me play this one, and so I can have fun without worrying about her seeing things I don’t want her to see.

2) Halo
As you probably noticed, this is actually one of the games that my husband and I really enjoy. While there is some violence (shooting lasers at aliens), it is nowhere near the level of Call of Duty or Gears of War. And what’s better is that there is no cursing. It is the only FPS game that I have found that is safe to play around my daughter.

3) Too Many Me
This may be considered a kid’s game, but honestly, I find it hard to use the controls as instructed, so I don’t see that a kid would be able to, either. This was also a game that was offered to Xbox Gold members for free at some point, but it is actually super adorable. You are this little blob character who was copied multiple times in a freak accident, and as you play through the game you encounter different incarnations of yourself – all with different attitudes. It’s cute and enjoyable, with the bonus of being definitely innocent enough for kids to watch (and play, if they can figure out the controls).

4) Zoo Tycoon
Who doesn’t love a good simulation game? This one is really fun. You build and run your own zoo. That’s the long and short of it. There is nothing here to offend the sensibilities, and it’s a great game for kids to watch and play. They even have the added benefit of learning a little bit about caring for animals, running a business, and conservation. Win win!

5) Zumba (requires Kinect)
This one is a great game that is not only safe to play in front of your kids, but is awesome to get them involved in, as well! Get yourself a great workout with lots of fun music and easy-to-follow dance moves, and encourage your kids to get up and some exercise as well! It is easily played with two people, and you can have some friendly competition to see who can score higher. This is a great way to involve your kids in your workouts.


What video games do you feel comfortable playing in front your kids? What video games do you play with your kids?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Creative Closet // Sweater Weather

I love fall! I love the coziness of the season, the warm and comfortable clothing. One of my favorite fall and winter shirts is this brown sweater that I have owned since I can’t even remember when (either high school or college freshman year).

Creative Closet: Sweater Weather!

sweater: I can’t remember!// pants: Wet Seal // boots: Payless Shoes // boot socks: Runway // necklace: gift

I have participated in Jana’s Creative Closet linkup numerous times and have loved it. It allows me to reimagine my clothes and think outside the box with what I already own. I have wanted to co-host for a long time and this week was perfect.

Jana always has the perfect outfits. I absolutely love her style and want all her clothes! Speaking of which, her Bouvardian clothing shop is now open and how I want all of the clothes! Maybe one day when I actually have spending money!!


Come link up with us!

What kind of fall and winter sweaters do you like to wear?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Full on Friday 10/16

You know what, it felt like Friday three times this week: Wednesday, yesterday, and today! But, at least, it is Friday now, finally!

Awesome Moments
1) Subbing at an awesome, technology driven college-prep high school chater. Now I want to teach there!

2) Having a date night with Justin in the middle of the week and going to the Temple, while mom watched Rhys all night.

3) Being able to go to the gym three times this week, and having two successful workouts while Rhys actually had fun at the daycare!

4) Watching my baby sister kick butt with her high school’s marching band at the regional invitational at BYU. Their music was different songs about flying and air, including some excerpts from Wicked’s “Defying Gravity.” So, they had Newton’s apple, clouds, flying capes, Da Vinci’s flying machine, and in the last picture, you can’t really tell, but the band is in the shape of an airplane, and the color guard in front is spinning propellers and the color guard in the back is waving cloud flags. They moved down the field like that and it was AWESOME! (My sister is the super short one.)

5) Watching all the Chopped episodes on Netflix with Justin, and “playing along”. Once the basket ingredients are shown, we would pause and tell each other what we would do with them, then watch to see if our ideas were similar to any of the chefs’. We also thought this would make such a fun theme for a double-date, but where would we get a kitchen big enough for two couples cooking at the same time?

Grateful List
1) Being able to go to the temple and listen and pay attention to the words of the Initiatory. It was a nice boost and reminder to my testimony.

2) Rhys starting to get used to the daycare at Vasa Gym!

3) The opportunities I am getting for earning a little pocket change.

Awkward Moments
1) Rhys having a 2.5 hour nap and sleeping almost 13 hours at my mom’s house whereas he only has an hour nap and sleeps 11 hours at night with us.

2) Getting behind on blogging and all that comes with it.

In Case You Missed It
Fried Zucchini Sticks
5 Tips for Having Toddlers Do Chores
Brazilian Style Fish Stew

Check Out My Lovely Sponsors
Sharlee changes the perspective of exercise
Rachel remembers breaking into her own home in a foreign country
Britt writes a heart-felt letter to her first-born as she gets closer to having her second child

Looking Forward To
– Many cool projects coming to a blog near you!
– Blogger Sleepover Soiree next weekend!

 photo Friday Link Up Image_zpshjxlmjwo.jpg

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.