Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Week in the life...with my Sarah Wells "Maddy" Breast Pump Bag!

I recently started using this bag and I LOVE IT! It seriously has made life so much easier with trying to balance my return to work and continuation of breastfeeding while I'm away from Aiden. I've used this stylish bag not only for carrying my breast pump to and from work, but also girl's days, gym sessions, and while working from home. This stylish, discreet and functional bag is incredibly useful to be used as a diaper bag and there have been several occasions where I've switched to using it instead of my normal diaper bag. The Sarah Wells breast pump bag provides ample space for your pump and accessories, plus the side pockets are so convenient for putting pumped bottles of milk with a ice pack (instead of feeling awkward using the employee fridge to store them).  If used as a diaper bag there is plenty of space for diapers, blanket, cover, toys and change of clothes. There is even a zip pocket to put the smaller items that you want easily accessible (like your wallet, keys, pacifier, etc.).

Monday & Tuesday:

It was my first few days back to work after maternity leave and I was definitely having some reservations about leaving Aiden at home. It was nice to have the bag to be able to pack everything up in so I wasn't running around last minute trying to find a bag that could safely hold everything and then be able to store everything I pumped at work.
But first, let me take a selfie!
It was comforting to have a private, accommodating spot to pump at work. I'm so thankful to work at a company that is fully, supportive of breastfeeding and make it easy for their employees to pump while at work. The Sarah Wells Breast Pump Bag had plenty of room to hold my pump, all it's parts, 6 bottles, hands-free bra, baby onesie (for scent to help letdown), magazines, deodorant, makeup, and even a padded pocket to hold my iPad to prevent damage...and there was still plenty of room.
Pumping station at work for all the pumping mamas!


The morning was spent doing some quick work to help out my husband with his home business before running some errands and going to the gym. I knew that I was going to have to pump before starting my workout so this was perfect for taking my pump discreetly around town (used as purse too) and into the gym. The bag is convenient because it fits my pump and it's accessories in the side pockets when on the go so I can use the large middle compartment for extra clothes. My favorite thing is that I don't have to remove my pump to use it either (which is great when in a locker room to avoid germs). I can just pull out the flanges, attach and pump while keeping the pump inside the bag.
Little desk work to start the day!
Great looking, right?
Isn't it fabulous? The perfect size for breast pump and other essentials.
 Another day of work. :(  It's starting to get easier to be back at work, but I dread the days I have to go in. Working second shift makes it tough because I miss bedtime and the evening bath too. I'm sure that it'll get easier over time though and I'm determined to continue breastfeeding. 

This bag is really convenient for saving time. It's large enough that I can easily put my breast pump and all of it's parts in it already assembled so that when I need to use it at work I can pull it out and starting pumping ASAP, instead of spending time putting everything together. I love that it doesn't scream, "HEY, I have a breast pump in here!!", since I have to walk through the whole hospital going into work and to the pumping rooms. Haha! I had quite a few co-workers compliment me on it and they couldn't believe that it was a breast pump bag because they were used to the frumpy, obvious pump bags that they've seen and used before. 

Friday - Spent the morning catching up on some work and then GIRL'S Day! Spent the day out with friends shopping, dining and catching up! It felt so good to have a day to just relax with the girls since it hasn't happened in forever! Used the bag as purse and pump bag through the day so I wouldn't have to use two separate bags. Less bags = less to lug around and less to lose (sleep deprived mom equals scatter brained). 

Saturday - Spent the day visiting with parents so we were on the go a lot. On days when I have Aiden with me throughout the day I nurse him, so on the weekends I use the bag as a diaper bag. It has plenty of room for all your diaper bag needs with the separate compartments. If we're bringing bottles I just put them in the side pocket with a ice pack to keep them cool for 4+ hours and the water resistant exterior and interior lining is a life-saver when you have leaky bottles - which we did. :( Nothing hurts more than wasted breast milk, but at least clean up was easy with a simple wipe with a towel. The large interior is perfect for extra change of clothes, diapers, wipes and some toys to keep Aiden smiling. The zip pocket is perfect for throwing in my wallet, a pacifier and sanitizer for quick and easy access. 

Packed and ready for a day with family. 
Obligatory baby Aiden pic! ;) 

If you're a working mom or currently pregnant and planning on being a working & pumping mom, I highly recommend this bag! It's high function, discreet and fashionable as well. An added bonus is the versatility because not only is it useful for a breast pump bag, but also as a diaper bag, purse, and overnight bag in the future so it will serve to be useful for a long period of time, not just while breastfeeding and pumping.

For more information check out Sarah Wells Bag website or buy directly on Amazon.

P.S. Don't forget....Mother's Day is right around the corner! ;)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lacing up those shoes: Cinco de Mayo 5/10k Run/Walk in Flint, Michigan

Hey guys! It's been awhile!

Life's been crazy around here with a new baby and being first time parents, but it's been AWESOME! Our lives have been flipped around and everything is new and each day is an adventure. We've been so blessed with an easy and laid back baby and for that I'm extremely grateful and I'll be sure to post a baby update very soon. 

Now that things have calmed down somewhat,  I've been getting back into a workout routine. I've always had a really hard time keeping myself accountable so one of my ways to stick to it is to sign up for races and other athletic events.  I've recently signed up for my first post-pregnancy 5k and it's the Cinco de Mayo 10k/5k run/walk on May 3rd at Swartz Creek Golf Course in Flint, Michigan. 

I LOVE themed events like these. It just adds a flare of fun to the events.  Not only is there the fun run to look forward to, but we get sombreros, Qdoba at the after party, Adirondack chairs at the finish line to celebrate in and tech shirts that I'm sure are going to be awesome (tech shirts are always a thumbs up in my book). I'm still trying to figure out my outfit and am thinking that my old work shirt from the Mexican restaurant I worked at might come in handy. ;)

To prep I've been running 3-4 days a week and adding in some circuit training on other days.  Hopefully all this will help me get back to pre-baby body. ;) I'm feeling pretty good so far with the distance but my pace sure has slowed down, a LOT. That's okay though, I'll get there and at least taking steps to get back to my prior level. Part of this race course is on the CRIM route with the hills, so I'm looking forward to checking it out since the CRIM is another potential run that I'd like to do this summer. It'll be a nice practice run for early season.

As for other races I'm looking forward too...I'm taking a HUGE leap and signing up for a TRIATHLON through TriToFinish! I'm scared, nervous and excited all at the same time. I can't wait to tell you more about it and how I am training for it, but for now I've a little teething baby boy to give some cuddles too. If you're thinking about doing one, let me know! :)

If you're interested in signing up for the Cinco de Mayo run let me know and sign up here. We have a small group running right now and would love to have more join us.  

How do you hold yourself accountable for exercising? 
Do you have any fun races planned for the summer? 
Any training tips (especially for speeding up pace)?