Sunset on the Ridge

Thursday, March 30, 2017

People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.
"Wild Awake” by Hilary T. Smith

In two weeks exactly, our wedding weekend will have begun! We have friends and family coming from all around the country to join us in the woods of northern Sonoma county for a 3-4 day love-celebration-getaway.

Right now my brain is filled to the brim with decor and travel logistics and brunch menus and lawn games and hairstyles and vows and beauty appointments and honeymoon plans. And love and love and more love. The planning process has been intense but in the very best way :). I know it's going to be a weekend to remember.

I wanted to share these gorgeous photos taken back in the fall by our friend Jake Murphy from Love + Wolves Co. I can't BELIEVE how lucky we are to have him as our wedding photographer -- just look at their stuff! These photos make me so incredibly excited to move into the next chapter of life with this sweet, adventurous, imperfect, lovable family of mine :).

Simplifying Health: Rev32

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

So, you've probably heard this before (or been through it yourself)...but it turns out, the rumors are true. The baby making-carrying-birthing-rearing business puts your body through the wringer. I think I have done a good job embracing the changes as they come along, and as a whole (despite the extra softness and poundage) I'm actually more in love with my body now than I ever was before having Rowen. (Hello, look what it can do!!). But I admit that I've also had more than a few moments of missing my 2015 (and before) body.

So with the start of a new year and my wedding coming up in April, I began 2017 with some very real health goals in mind. Sure, I want to look great at my wedding, so weight loss was part of my reason to get serious. But even more than that, I was missing my pre-baby energy, and I was looking for a way to put myself back onto my short-list of priorities.

Luckily, right around the time that I joined my local gym, they were about to kick off a new session of Rev32, an 8-week program created to build a healthier body from the inside out by focusing on developing metabolism through exercise and nutrition. The advertised "before and after" photos were tempting but I was skeptical, wondering how on earth I could make time for the commitment.

Then Jim and I talked and realized how important it was that I try this. We have always been confident that our healthiest selves are yet to come. We want to be 40 (and 50 and 60 and so on!), hiking and running and playing with Rowen. And I needed a kick start. What better time than the present?

I'm currently more than halfway through the intense 8-week program, and I feel amazing. But what I love most is how it's taught me exactly what I need in order to fit health simply and seamlessly into my life.

Why Rev32 is perfect for a busy mom, or anyone trying to keep life simple:

Tell me exactly what to do.

I don't have time to brush my teeth these days let alone spend time figuring out how I can most easily accomplish my health goals. I love how clear and simple this process has been. There was one nutrition session at the start that explained how to eat for blood sugar stabilization and micronutrient balance (the goal of which being to support the release of body fat and the increase of lean muscle). We were given clear eating guidelines and a strict workout plan. There is even a shopping list provided for exactly what groceries to buy at Trader Joes and Costco. I like 'em bossy!

Hold me accountable.

I have four small-group, interval-style workouts scheduled every week with professional trainers. It's not really an option to skip a day (if you do, you can make up the class elsewhere, but I don't have time for that!), so miraculously, I've been consistently going to the gym 4x a week. I also send in my food log to a nutritional coach at the end of each day and am held accountable for my diet - she gives me tips and feedback and helps to make sure I'm going by the plan.  It's so much easier than counting calories and nutrients in detail (sorry, Weight Watchers), and the direct feedback is invaluable.

Don't deprive me!

I'm tired enough these days due to lack of sleep - I can't afford to be malnourished too! Almost every "weight loss" plan I've tried in the past has left me hungry at some point or another, but Rev32 nutrition guidelines keep me full and more importantly energized ALL DAY. Moreover, if any health plan I'm on makes me feel like a guilty failure every time I "slip up"... that isn't the plan for me! Rev is all about balance...occasional glass of red included ;).

Make it feel like "me time".

This one was big for me. As a new, working mom, I get time to myself ohhh about NEVER. It was daunting to imagine fitting a health plan into my already overloaded routine. But the Rev community, the positive and high energy workouts, the spa time afterward (steam room, hot tub, baby-less shower, oh my!), hell even the time in the car listening to podcasts to and fro the gym - it has all turned into MY time. Allie time. For me. Don't take it away :).

So far I'm feeling extremely strong, and I've lost about 7-8 lbs. I'm not sure if I can keep up the strict workout schedule forever, but I know I'll be strongly motivated to, at least until the wedding! I'm hoping I'll have an excuse to do one more wedding dress alteration ;). And I have a feeling that the nutrition part will stick around, at least in some form - it would be hard to go back to "normal" now that I know how energized and healthful I can feel with balanced eating. If you're curious, I'll check back in in a couple of weeks when the program is done to let you know about the final results! 

One of my yummy Rev32 breakfasts!
Check out for more info on Rev32. This post is done in partnership with The Studio. All content and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the folks who help keep Minimallie going!

Family Photo Sesh: Rowen at 4 months

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Guys, I just went down memory lane so hard with these photos! Look at this little sweet treat I've got in my arms here! She has already grown SO MUCH since these photos were taken back in October. 

I haven't really done much blogging about this whole Baby thing. It's pretty hard to express in words. I now have a huge appreciation for those mom-bloggers out there who seem able to do it so eloquently (Megan and Erin come to mind). But if you know me, you know how obsessed I am with taking photos to document life - and this is why. If in the future I ever wonder how I felt, or how life looked back in fall 2016 when Rowen was 4 months old...these photos will remind me in an instant. In our faces I see elation, exhaustion, pride, effort, cluelessness, and overwhelming gratitude. You may not see it, but believe me, it's in there ;). 

Many thanks to Michelle Feileacan for taking these beautiful shots of our little family!

All photos by Michelle Feileacan.