This Page

has moved to a new address:


Sorry for the inconvenience…

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Along Abbey Road | A Lifestyle And Family Blog : March 2015


9 Of The Most Beautiful Illustrated Children's Books Every Kid Should Have

9 Of The Most Beautiful Illustrated Children's Books Every Kid Should Have

Books are a big deal to us. There is nothing quite like cozying up with a kid in your lap and going on adventures in stories. I obviously love color and art and paint, so I am always looking for beautiful illustrated children's book that take my breath away and have me eating up all the details and colors. This list could go on for quite a long while, but I decided for now to narrow it down to these nine amazing illustrated books every kid should have.

1. Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers. I like how messy and whimsical his drawings and illustrations are, and it is a spin on learning the alphabet in an engaging, new way with each letter going on their own adventure.

2. Alexander Girard Colors. The legendary designer made this book for kid's to learn colors in 1972, and it obviously possesses that flawless design which he was so famous for. This one is eye candy for kids and the design obsessed parent!

3. What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry. If I had a dollar for every time Luke asks me about what EVERY SINGLE PERSON is doing, I would be a millionaire. Obviously, this book is the answer to all of the questions AND you it should be an absolute staple in your kid's library. His characters and illustrations are some of my most favorites with all of their details and bright colors.

4. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I was watching East of Eden a few days ago, and went on a mad history search of James Dean's short but passionate life. One of the many facts I learned was that this book was his favorite as a child. Anyway, it is a classic every little boy should have in his possession and this pop up version makes it even more special.

5. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelans. This is one of the great classics we have all read and most likely own, so naturally it needed to be included in this roundup.

6. The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant by Jean de Brunhoff. The story of how Babar came to life is equally as fascinating to me as the actual story itself. You should read about it sometime. Also, elephants are one of my favorite animals and there are so many lessons to be gleaned from this story!

7. Henri's Walk to Paris by Leonore Klein and illustrated by Saul Bass. If you like vibrant colors and funky prints, this book is for you and your little one! This book is one visual explosion after another.

8. A Coloring Book: Drawings by Andy Warhol. So, I am not how certain this illustrated book is for children more than it is for parents, and I am not sure it is a must have, but either way it is cool and I couldn't help but include it. Your kids (or you) can bring ole' Andy's drawings to life with their own colors and imaginations. Also, this thing is teeny tiny which I think is adorable because mini things are just that way.

9. The Bear's Song by Benjamin Chaud. I clearly have a thing for the French in regard to their illustrated children's books. Dare I say they just have a certain je nais se quoi? ;) They really do it so well, though (along with every other aspect of life). Anyway, this book had me smiling and pouring over the pictures the first time I read it to Luke and Wes. He also recently came out with another book called The Bear's Sea Escape that is equally as wonderful.

I would like to leave an honorable mention about Vivaldi by Helge Torvund and illustrated by Mari Kanstad Johnsen. My mouth dropped open as I scrolled through all of the illustrations. It is only available for purchase in Norway from my quick search, but I really wish I could buy it. (Or that it will someday be translated into English and sold in the US.) If any of you live in Norway, feel free to send a copy my way! ;)

Hope you enjoy these beautifully illustrated children's books. And please share with me your favorites so we don't miss out on any good ones!

Labels: , ,


Painted Easter Egg Balloons

Painted Easter Egg Balloons
We made painted easter egg balloons for tot school yesterday. It is an incredibly easy and pocket-friendly kids craft (inspired by this post), and these balloons are perfect for playing the balloon pop game during your Easter egg hunt! Do you remember that game from the birthday parties of your childhood? It usually ends in tears for some and bruised ankles and shins for others, but it is a classic!

Painted Easter Egg Balloons
Painted Easter Egg Balloons
To make these adorable painted easter egg balloons and to play the balloon pop game you will need:

-Balloons in the color of your choice
-Paint and brushes
-Washi tape
-String (about 2 feet for each kid)


1. Blow up two balloons per kid, or however many you would like. Paint your balloons in any patterns or colors, doodle all over the surface with markers, or get creative with the washi tape.

Painted Easter Egg Balloons

Painted Easter Egg Balloons
2. Allow the painted balloons to dry for an hour or two. You can accelerate the drying time by using a hair dryer on the cool setting if you so desire.

3. Tie a foot of string to each balloon end and securely tie around your child's ankles.

Painted Easter Egg Balloons

4. Line everyone up and count to three. Let the kids run like crazy animals and attempt to pop the other balloons while keeping their balloons intact. The child with the last balloons standing wins!

I would like to note that I think this game is appropriate for kids ages 3 and up. I also feel like this game isn't only for kids. I could actually see this balloon pop game being more fun for the adults at an Easter egg hunt, or anytime for that matter! 

If you need more ideas on how to ramp up your Easter egg hunt, be sure to check out this list of creative ways to supercharge your hunt this year! 

Happy painting and popping!

Painted Easter Egg Balloons

Painted Easter Egg Balloons
P.S. This is what the painted balloons look like after they have been popped. I think they are so cool! Also, please be sure to keep a close watch if you have little ones playing around the balloons. They can be a joking hazard and should be removed if they try to bite the balloons or put them in their mouth.

Painted Easter Egg Balloons

Labels: , , , ,


Dealing With Anxiety As A Mom

Dealing With Anxiety As A Mom

Anxiety wears many hats in my world. Some days it decides to show up when I am hanging out with a group of friends, consuming my mind with feelings of doubt and insecurity. Then other times it takes hold of my body and plants a nasty, knotted tangle of black weeds in my stomach, which rise through my chest, practically suffocating me and resulting in a panic attack. And then there is the sporadic day where everything seems doomed and I am stricken with worry but I can't quite pinpoint the reason for it.

All of these situations are irrational, but very real to me. Unfortunately, they get the best of me every now and then.

The real stink of it all is when an episode strikes and it feels as if there is a looming sky of concrete waiting to crush me. All of those panicky, stone demons are simply waiting to pounce and knock me to the ground. I run as fast as I can, my heart pounding in my ears, but it seems to catch me. It will crack into my blind side, just as I thought I had finally outrun it.

So, how does this relate to me as a mother?

Well, it's frightening and debilitating. I can hardly stand being inside my own head, let alone having the pleading and needy voices of two small children making it a discordant trio. I have to fight back tears, and put on the show of bravery for them, although that armor sometimes cracks, too.

Just the other day, I was lying in bed crying. The anxiety was hot in my chest and the only way to release some of its venom was through those tears. I heard Luke's footsteps echo through the hallway to our bedroom door. "Mommy, you sad?" he said. I replied, "Yes, sweetie. Sometimes mommies get sad." He climbed up next to me with an uneasy and curious look on his face. "Don't cry—that's for babies!" And with that he slid down and jetted out of the room.

Admittedly, I couldn't help but get a good chuckle out of his simple consolation. It felt like a droplet of a precious antidote to calm my racing and worried mind.

My other concern with anxiety is of the social variety. I have had a moderate case of social anxiety my entire life. Some seasons it is almost non-existent where I can carry on my normal daily routines; other periods it is absolutely crippling and can interfere with the health of my social life and mental and physical state.

The root of social anxiety is an intense fear of judgment or criticism from others. I constantly battle with myself in thinking, Abbey, why does it matter what other people think? Be yourself. If people don't like you for who you are then you don't need them in your life. You can't please everybody. Get over it and do your thing. 

But my fears of criticism from others can reach into an extreme and irrational plane. I get major butterflies when I have to talk on the phone. Meeting new people scares the hell out of me. (I am positive they are just going to think I am the weirdest and most awkward person, EVER.) Don't even ask me to speak in public—I cannot think about anything else or eat for weeks. Most social events sound like torture unless I can bring a trusted friend with whom I feel safe. There are even times when I get nervous and fidgety out of the blue while simply hanging out with good friends. Sometimes I get really weird about eating around people and feel like I can't swallow my food, or I get panicky while I am driving. The main symptom that made me finally come to the realization that I suffer from social anxiety is the urge to urinate when I am in situations that make me uncomfortable. I get hot and flustered and then it is this horrifying tingling sensation that I am on the verge of peeing my pants, which then makes me even more anxious and agitated.

Because of these things, I tend to overly avoid social situations. Before I had kids, I hardly ever went to anything without Matt and he usually had to drag me like a stubborn dog on a leash. But, having kids changed things. I have to get out of my comfort zone for the well-being of Luke and Wes. I want them to be socially comfortable and confident in who they are. So far, it seems like they are on the right path with warm and engaging personalities.

Obviously, forcing myself into social situations has made it easier to interact with people. But again, WHY DO I CARE SO MUCH? WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES ME FEEL SO SCARED? It boggles my mind. I've been to therapy on and off. I have tried my hand at anti-depressants, but all of that medication makes me feel like a soulless robot. I would rather live in the deepest despair and feel something, than live in a chemical-induced haze with no real emotion.

I also have this theory that people who are extremely active on social media have some degree of anxiety or shyness. It's the perfect world for us introverted, social phobics. There is still connection, but no unnerving small talk or having to worry about how we physically present ourselves. I can have meaningful conversations in the comfort of my own idiosyncrasies. And if I am obsessing over something I said, I can go delete or edit it! (Why, oh why can't life have an edit button?!) Obviously, this isn't entirely true because I have—ironically—met  plenty of friendly and extroverted social media enthusiasts. But I still like to think it is ;)

I guess what I am getting at here is that I kind of have some serious issues, but I am learning to overcome them. It is imperative that I do it for my boys and myself. I try to focus on the happy and the positive because I want my life to reflect those attributes. I go to therapy, I try to exercise and get adequate sleep, and generally try to avoid excessive amounts of caffeine. I also have the most supportive and encouraging husband on the planet. The combination of those lifestyle habits and a good support system generally keeps my anxiety under control, and if I am having issues, it is usually triggered by one of those things being out of sync.

While I struggle with anxiety and depression, they don't need to define who I am as a person. That is important for me to remember. I AM NOT MY ANXIETY. Those little voices in my head telling me that other people think I am weird/annoying/awkward/unlikable are generally an assumption made up in my head. And even if certain people do have that view of me, it doesn't matter! I feel like it's a good time to cue Stuart Smalley's Daily Affirmations ... "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!" (Laughter is the best medicine!)

But in all seriousness, here is my ending declaration: Let's recognize our self worth and believe in our talents and capabilities. Let's have more courage and gratitude. Let's all try to be more kind and gentle with ourselves. Let's love ourselves for who we are.

image source

Labels: , , , ,


What Naptime Looks Like When Kids Share A Bedroom

What Naptime Looks Like When Kids Share a Bedroom
What Naptime Looks Like When Kids Share a Bedroom

"Wes will go down easily in his crib, and Luke will lay quietly in his bed until I shut the door. Then all hell breaks lose. Toys are flying through the air, crashing like bombs in a war zone; cars and blocks are scattered so violently you'd think the toy box contracted a nasty case of food poisoning."

A few months ago I wrote a post for What to Expect about the battle called naptime when kids share a room. It seems as if the sleeping gods are against you and are purposely trying to drive you to the looney bin—I know, I hear ya!

Naturally, I wrote an ode of sorts about the very real struggle of this nappy situation, so come on over and read the entire post here!

Also, stay tuned for a little bedroom tour coming soon!

Labels: , , ,


5 Classic Romantic Movies To Watch On Netflix This Weekend

I will have you know I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this month's list of Netflix suggestions. There was much scrolling, many thoughts of how in the WORLD do people get these horrible films made?!, and many exclamations of wanting to watch at least a dozen more movies I didn't even know existed or were on the Flix. My list is terribly long already, so what's another 20?

I need a legitimate Netflix vacation. Think how awesome that would be to tell your boss...

"Um yeah, Jerry? I'm gonna need to use my last two Netflix days. I feel a terrible binge coming on."

Or in my case, it will be like those hilarious Nyquil commercials.

"Luke and Wes, I need you to take a seat. I hate to do this to you, but I have to use up my Netflix vacation before the year is up. Yes, I know it's only March, but it's just something I have to do. Thanks for understanding, little fellas."

When I am president someday, I will be sure to enact Netflix time off into federal law. You are very welcome.

I don't know what it is about these Netflix posts, but I ALWAYS go off on a tangent about something. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing, but I like to think Netflix brings out the best in me. Until I have a Netflix hangover the next day because I stayed up until at 4 am watching 54 episodes of who knows what. Buuuutttt, other than that it is almost always a great thing. I am even contemplating getting this wedding band.

Okay, enough with this rambling garbage. Let's get to the classic romantic movies you need to watch this weekend!

1. Funny Face. The story! The cinematography! The wardrobe! The Audrey! Just watch it, for crying out loud.

2. Houseboat. This is the movie in which you will find yourself wanting to be a seductive Italian woman (kudos to you if you already fit that description) who lives on a houseboat and marries Cary Grant.

3. An Affair To Remember. There is a 99% chance you have already seen this. However, if you fall into that 1% category, I am not judging you, but I don't know how you are a real human being. Either way, 100% of us should be watching it this weekend. Also, the classics section of Netflix should just be called the Cary Grant section. He is in all of them! Not that I am complaining, though.

4. Love Story. If that movie title doesn't convince you that you need to watch it, then I don't know what else will, but I will certainly try my best to persuade you. A) It is a 70s film, which was one of the scariest, craziest and best eras for film in general. The style, the look, the feel. I just like it. B) Ali McGraw will have you parting your hair down the middle and channeling your groovy babe vibe. C) It will make you cry in that sappy, overly-sentimental way. And sometimes we just need a ridiculous reason to melt down into an ugly crying session. Those reasons don't sound very convincing now that I read over them, and I am sure there are much better ones, but they will have to do for now.

5. Breakfast at Tiffany's. I am rebutting my previous statement that the classics section of Netflix should just be called the Cary Grant section. It should actually be called the Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant section. And this is definitely a good thing. Anyway, this movie is clearly the queen of classic romantic movies and should be watched on a monthly basis. Doctor's orders! I also have the novella on my to-read list this year. It will be my first Capote book and I am rather thrilled about it.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Image source 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6



'Have A Cute Day' Floral Wall Art Printable

Have A Cute Day Free Floral Wall Art Printable The other week when I shared my "life is good" free wall art printable, there was a floral painting I talked about sharing, but I ended up making this cute little thing instead!

I don't really know where it came from. It just flowed out of my brush and onto the paper. And the result was OHMYGOSHTHISISSOCUTE! The inspiration for the words resulted from Kjrsten's old blog, but she now is a crazy talented film photographer. She was one of the people who inspired me to start a blog four years ago, so I thought it fitting.

Have A Cute Day Free Floral Wall Art Printable
Naturally, I had to share this floral wall art print with you! It is an 8x10, and yes, it is free! You can download it here. Please note that your monitor and the print itself may slightly vary in color, and make sure to print on high quality paper for the best results!

Also, I will be giving away an original (always more vibrant and full of texture and awesome) of this painting later today on Instagram, so be sure to follow along and enter!

Have a cute day, friends!

Labels: , ,


How To Make Your Own Natural Powdered Blush

How To Make Your Own Natural Powdered Blush
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and All You® and Real Simple® but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #SpringintoMeTime http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

My latest homemade, natural beauty creation is powdered blush. I am kind of a blush hoarder. I honestly have about 15 different blushes and cannot stop buying them! It was high time I made my own, and I am pleased as a peach with the results!

This natural powdered blush was inspired by the lovely cover of this month's Real Simple magazine and all of their amazing anti-aging tips. I've been a little burnt out in the mommy department lately, as I shared last week, and thought this simple beauty DIY would make for some good "me time." I picked up a copy on my weekly Target run and read it while drawing a nice bath with some chocolate, and I soaked up all the the inspiration. By the way, you can save $2 off any purchase of Real Simple®, All You®, or PEOPLE® magazine now through March 28, while supplies last. Oh, and you get another 15% off select magazines if you use the Cartwheel app through April 17, while supplies last. (Gosh, I love that app with all my heart. I am that lady holding up the line with all my coupons and deals! Ha. Sorrrry!)

This homemade powdered blush has only three natural and delicious ingredients. Yes, you better believe I taste tested it! I was this close to throwing some in a smoothie and drinking it. And isn't that always such a grand feeling, knowing that the products you are using on your skin are natural and safe? I think so, too!

How To Make Your Own Natural Powdered Blush

Homemade Natural Powdered Blush


Beet root powder
Arrowroot powder
Ginger powder


1. In a small tin container or empty makeup container (I used an old Altoid mini tin—high five for recycling!), put 2 tablespoons of beet root powder. (FYI, if you find your beet root powder is a bit coarse or has crystals in it, run it through a food processor so it is an extra fine powder.) Mix in 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder and about 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder. 

How To Make Your Own Natural Powdered Blush
How To Make Your Own Natural Powdered Blush
2. To make it a lighter tint, keep adding arrowroot powder. Conversely, if you would like it darker, add more beet root powder and less arrowroot powder. The ginger powder gives it some shimmer so feel free to adjust that based on the amount of glimmer you like in your blush. I personally like my blush a REALLY light pink so I added almost an equal amount of arrowroot powder. Also, my beet root powder was a bit grainy so I added a dab of water to my brush to break open the crystals for a more saturated color. 

How To Make Your Own Natural Powdered Blush

3. Grab your blush brush and swipe it onto the apples of your cheeks. The beet root powder base creates a beautiful, rosy shade, which looks wonderful on various skin types. All you have to do is adjust your tint! Enjoy, my beautiful friends!

How To Make Your Own Natural Powdered Blush

How To Make Your Own Natural Powdered Blush

If you love natural, homemade beauty products, be sure to check out my facial cleanser, exfoliating scrub, whipped body butter, and insect repellent!

Labels: , , ,


My Breaking Point As A Mom

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!" comes a high-pitched squeal from the bedroom. Then another shrieking voice joins in and it sounds like we are a family of wild birds.

I can only imagine what all the ruckus sounds like to neighbors taking an evening walk on the street down below. It's 6 pm and the windows are open to let the heat from the day escape through the slats of the screens, and it feels as if every shout and bop and wail is being broadcast to the world.

Soon the squeals turn into a tantrum or meltdown because someone has ripped the red barn out of the other one's hands.

And it's at that 327th scream of the day that I reach my breaking point.

Toddlers are fantastic little specimens. They are silly, they provide high value entertainment, they are smart, they are inquisitive, they love bigger than their bodies, and they are funny. But they are also incredibly exhausting. Fourteen hour days with a 3-year-old and 1-year-old are freaking brutal mentally and physically.

Our house is scattered with stuffed animals and wooden train tracks, and those tiny socks always seem to be missing their mate on the other side of the room. Many nights I just stare at the mess and feel completely overwhelmed from the events of wrangling the people who created the explosion of toys, and I want to dramatically collapse against the wall and cry.

I try really hard to be happy and positive. I think thoughts are powerful tools which should be wielded in goodness. But I have my off days, and sometimes I just need to vent. Some days I just need to bang my head on the wall and scream into a pillow and flick away those little devil fingers that keep trying to pinch the extra skin on the back of my arms.

And then that smug jerk called guilt walks into the room with its head held high. It says to me,

"Abbey, this is your job so quit feeling sorry for yourself and do those dishes already ... I just read on the news that the hot dogs you fed Luke and Wes for lunch AND dinner are going to give him cancer tomorrow. Oh! And one more thing before I go (as it consults its black memo notebook) ... Your baby probably hates you for putting him to bed an hour early and now he is going to suffer emotional trauma for crying it out. Have a good one, ma'am!"

Ah, crap.

And then I go and eat half an entire chocolate cake.

The moral of this story is that being a parent is hard. Trying to figure out how to raise HUMAN BEINGS is daunting. And scary. It hurts like hell when you make the wrong choice or see them suffer, and it sucks when you realize you are being the worst version of yourself.

But as parents, we need to remember we are human beings too. We are specifically wired to make mistakes. We are going to fail and lose our tempers. Our kids are going to have days where we are annexed from their hallowed best friend list or tell us they curse the day we were born—such is the life of a parent.

It's unrealistic and detrimental to hold ourselves to an expectation that only exists under the facade of perfection and idealism. It is only when we admit our flaws and weaknesses and surrender to our human emotions that we can become those superheroes our kids think we are.

Fortunately, that admiration and unconditional love I feel from my boys is the thing that keeps me going. They forgive me for my shortcomings as a mom and I find my renewal in that place. I like to imagine it as a pool of crystal, sparkling water. I feel drained at the end of the day because they are filling their pools with the love and sacrifice I give by nurturing and mothering them.

Without fail, they fill my pool back up with that pure refreshing water as well. Whether it's with their arms wide open reaching out to me for a hug, plopping themselves squarely in my lap to read a story, or the words, "I wuv you, mama," I find myself replenished.

Labels: , , ,


Bright And Colorful Bedroom Ideas For Kids

Bright And Colorful Bedroom Ideas For KidsChildhood is lively and colorful, so I think kid bedrooms should reflect that. Since I am always feverishly pinning any bright and colorful bedroom for kids, I thought I should share my favorite ones with you should you be looking for some inspiration and color for your own little ones!

Bright And Colorful Bedroom Ideas For Kids

If I ever have a girl, you better believe those walls are going to be plastered with pink! In fact, I wouldn't mind MY bedroom looking like this. I love everything about these colors and patterns! (image source)

Bright And Colorful Bedroom Ideas For Kids

I think black and white walls are such a great place to start for a boys room, and then it's fun to throw in all the pops of colors with pillows, wall art and toys. Makes me want to paint another chalkboard wall in Luke and Wesley's room like we did in our last place. Also, I am very seriously considering that we build house bedframes for their beds... except for the fact that we don't own any power tools... And don't know how to use power tools. Looks like this is the year of becoming a handywoman! (image source)

Bright And Colorful Bedroom Ideas For Kids

How fun would it be to build in a swing or a set of gymnastic rings into a bedroom? I can see Wesley's future as an Olympic gymnast already! ;) And again, those pops of color and natural light are perfect. (image source)

Bright And Colorful Bedroom Ideas For Kids

This yellow half wall with the pinks and mints make such a sweet color combination. And would you get a load of those nesting dolls? Too good! (image source)

Bright And Colorful Bedroom Ideas For Kids

Now it looks like I am going to need two baby girls so one can have this room, and the other one can have the room above! I really like the creative way this wall was painted, which could work for a boy or girl bedroom. (image source)

Bright And Colorful Bedroom Ideas For Kids

Alright, guys. Now the bright and colorful cuteness overload is getting out of control. In fact, I think this might be the mecca for bright and colorful bedrooms for kids. Right?! (image source)

Bright And Colorful Bedroom Ideas For Kids

And last, but not least, behold this amazing collection of colorful accessories. That shelf! Those pillows! Color explosion! I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up. (image source)

Labels: , ,


A Random Thing Or Two-sday

Old Navy Striped Shift Dress
Forever 21 Paint Splatter Cap
Converse Chuck Taylor Low Sneakers

1. This is my soccer mom outfit. Meaning, this is the outfit Luke, Wes and I played soccer in with a 2 inch ball. Luke is fantastically talented at kicking the ball in a straight line. He was more accurate than I was! Not sure that is saying much, but I think the boy has a future in the sport. Also, this outfit is comfy and good for mom duties in the heat. (Yes, it has been in the 80s here! Phoooey!)

2. Fact: By the age of two, a baby has had their diaper changed an average of 7,300 times. With the average speed of each diaper change at around two minutes, that would add up to three 40 hour work weeks (source)!

3. I went ahead and looked to see who won The Bachelor before watching it. I feel like it got a little boring toward the middle anyway, and I am WAY more excited about the next Bachelorettes! Yes! Plural! I am #teamkaitlyn for sure.

4. Today we are headed to Ojai for an overnight trip with some friends! It's going to be three gals and four babies out exploring! I've been wanting to go to Ojai for years now, and we are finally making it happen. You can follow along our quick adventure on Instagram!

5. Would you rather have silly string fly out of your nose whenever you sneeze or squirt orange juice out of your mouth whenever you yawn?

Labels: , ,


6 Simple Exercises For Toning Your Post-Baby Belly

I am so excited to introduce you to my good friend and fitness guru, Becca. We met four years ago, and at the time I was pregnant with Luke and she was a boot camp instructor, so I obviously drilled her with question upon question about how to be fit and healthy. She is honestly one of the most fit and amazing women I know and is such a huge inspiration to me. (And I am constantly texting her for workout, healthy eating, and cleaning tips! She is a GENIUS, I tell you!) Luckily for us, she has an amazing fitness and healthy eating Instagram where she shares daily tips, which you need to follow, like, immediately.

Today Becca is sharing her workout routine for getting that post-baby belly nice and toned! She is a mother to two of the cutest little girls—a 2-year-old and 6-month old, to whom Luke and Wes are betrothed ;) Yes, she only had a baby a few months ago and she has a rock solid tummy. I think we all need her advice. I already did these exercises this morning and I could feel everything squeezing and tightening already. I will stop talking now and get on to her exercises!

Take it away, Becca!

The number one complaint about body image for women? The tummy. Especially post-baby... Am I right? So what can we do to tone those muscles back up after being stretched to infinity and beyond? Do CORE exercises... Notice I did not say "ab" exercises. This is because when you work one muscle, you must also work its opposite. So when working chest, you want to work back. When working biceps you want to work triceps as well, and when working the abdominal muscles, you want to also work your lower back. I have put together 6 simple exercises for toning your post-baby belly that shouldn't take too long to squeeze into your busy schedule, and it will help all you new moms, old moms, and just women in general!

Exercise 1: 10 Burpies

Start in a standing position, then squat down and place your hands on the floor.

Jump back into a pushup position like so. Make sure to keep you back as straight as you can and keep that booty down. Then jump back and return to the squat position in the first image.

Lastly, jump up! Try to make this as fluid as possible, almost like one continuous motion. You will hate these, I promise you, but you will thank me (and yourself) later for doing them.

Exercise 2: 20 Double Crunches

Lie flat on your back with your knees up and bent, hands behind your head.

Next, Lift your butt up and pull your knees in and head/shoulders off the ground and meet in the center. Then return back to the first position. Again, make this as fluid and continual as possible and do not pull on your neck.

Exercise 3: 30 Mountain Climbers

In a push up position, bring one leg into your chest.

Then, put that foot back down and switch legs. Keep this motion going, almost like you are running on the floor with the weight on your hands. Do these as fast as possible while keeping your head looking straight, back as flat as you can and booty down.

Exercise 4: Side Plank with a Leg Lift (15 on each side)

Start in a normal side plank, but put all the weight on your outer leg, tucking the bottom foot behind.
Now, lift your bottom leg up and squeeze it in and up towards the ceiling. Then place it back down and behind your stabilizing leg. When you've completed the 15 reps, then switch sides. 
This is hands down one of my favorite exercises. You work your obliques, inner thighs, booty and even get a little arm exercise there. Success! 
Exercise 5: 20 Butt lifts with Leg Extension 

Start by laying flat on your back with feet flat on the floor, knees bent and arms down by your sides. 

Now, lift your bottom leg up and squeeze it in and up towards the ceiling. Then place it back down and behind your stabilizing leg. When you've completed the 15 reps, then switch sides.  This is hands down one of my favorite exercises. You work your obliques, inner thighs, booty and even get a little arm exercise in there. Success!

Exercise 5: 20 Butt Lifts with Leg Extension

Start by laying flat on your back with feet flat on the floor, knees bent and arms down by your sides.

While lifting your booty and back off the floor extend one leg up towards the ceiling. Then lower the leg and return to your starting position. Repeat by alternating legs. This exercise works your lower back, abs and booty.

Exercise 6: 30-60 Second Plank

Place your forearms, hands and elbows flat on the ground and push up onto your toes. Keep your back flat and your booty down (notice how much I say that, it's important). Hold this position with no movement. 
Repeat these exercises 2-3 times through for a complete core workout and shoot for doing this 2-3 times per week.(And remember to never start an exercise regimen before your doctor clear you.) Keep at it, along with a healthy diet and some cardio in there, and you will see results.

Be patient with yourself and remember these things do take time!