January 2019 | Balancing in High Heels

Hi there!

Balancing in High Heels is a fashion + lifestyle blog written by Ryann Donahoe. This blog is a source for everyday, affordable style, the latest beauty finds and all things lifesyle with a touch on motherhood.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Truth About Breastfeeding During the Newborn Days




You slowly roll out of bed, make your way to the bathroom (very hastily) and sigh with relief. You stretch your maternity tank over your belly and think to yourself,  “There’s no way I can go another four weeks.” You grab the dog leash, hook it to the collar and head out of the door to the park. While you’re there you see a mom. She’s walking behind her toddler, baby-wearing an infant and breastfeeding. You would never have a clue that she was nursing in the carrier. How does she do it so discreetly? 
Later that night you go out to what might be the very last dinner for two. You look over and see a mom. She’s sitting in a booth, nursing a baby without a cover. You think to yourself again, “How in the world is she being so discreet? Breastfeeding will be so easy. I can do it anywhere and ever have to worry about packing bottles, pumping or formula.” Let’s start off by me saying this. I breastfed all of my babies. It was the best experience in the world. I was actually sad when those journeys ended.

 I just wish someone would have told me but no one did. Why did no one ever tell me about the horrific cracked nipples, mastitis, and crazy hormones. Why did no one tell you about those sleepless nights where you’ll roll over and want to kick your husband because clearly he’s no help in this department! Do you wanna know what people did tell me though? They told me about the bonding I would have with my child. They told me about the fact that I could get away from company if I felt like I needed to. “Sorry guys, looks like the baby is hungry!” 

I’m here to tell you the truth. Yes those first few weeks are hard. Even the most experienced breastfeeding mamas think about giving up.  Whether you make the decision to breastfeed or formula feed just know that you are a good mama. We are all just trying to figure this thing out together- one diaper change at a time!




Monday, January 14, 2019

Five Steps to Starting Your Postpartum Fitness Journey





Top | Nordstrom, Pants | Nordstrom, Shoes | Nike


Happy Monday Friends! 

My time away from my social media was so nice. I don't know exactly how long I took off but I think it was around two weeks? Which is crazy with this being my job but I didn't have any sponsored work lined up for the first couple of weeks in January and I felt like I needed a little break. Don't we all? 

Today's post I wanted to talk about my postpartum fitness journey. Up until a couple of weeks ago it's been pretty non existent. I have ALWAYS loved fitness. My whole life I have loved working out, eating healthy and staying fit. It has just always made me feel so much better. I'll give you a little recap of my weight throughout the years. Not that this matters but it's just to give you an idea of where I am right now. 

Pre Marriage and Babies- 110-115 
First Pregnancy- I gained roughly 35-40 pounds. By her first birthday I was around 112. I started working out and eating healthy when she was four months. I always give myself time to feel normal again. 
Second Pregnancy- About a year before I got pregnant with our second baby my husband and I went into major fitness mode. I'm talking meal prepping, no carbs and running (four miles a day) Five times a week. So when I got pregnant I weight about 105. This was Probably the lowest I had been since junior high. I didn't intend on getting that small. We kind of became running obsessed! I gained about 30 pounds and ran up until I was eight months pregnant. I bounced back pretty fast after this one! I got down to about 115 a few months after. 

Third Pregnancy- I never got back into my intense running after number two however I worked out five days a week. It varied between running 2-3 miles a day and at home workouts. The last three years my normal weight was anywhere from 115-120. When I got pregnant with number three I was about 117. 

Now this is where It gets tricky. My current weight you guys.. (deep breath Ryann!) 145. Yep, at my two week postpartum visit I was 136. Normal right? Well things I won't talk about right  now happened in June. It pretty much sent me into some sort of depression. Our lives had changed for a moment and my milk supply was suffering. So I ate anything and everything to keep my supply up. In the end it didn't work so at six months old we stopped completely. What did I do after weaning? Start working out and eating healthy? Nope. Wrong. Continued to eat like I was breastfeeding and enjoyed my wine because I was no longer pregnant or nursing! From June to October I gained ten pounds. 

That's where we are now.  I'm starting my postpartum fitness journey nine months after having a baby but that's okay. At least I've started. Two weeks ago I started making the changed and I already feel so much better. I started slow and walk/ran on the treadmill about four times a week. Right now I'm just watching my carb and dairy intake, eating smaller portions and focusing on protein to keep me from mindless snacking throughout the day! I've taken before photos but right now I'm not ready to share them. I don't really recognize myself in the mirror right now. When I see myself I feel like I'm about six weeks postpartum. Tomorrow I start the 12 week BBG program by Kayla Itsines. I did about four weeks or it and then I found out I was pregnant last year so I stopped but really loved it for those four weeks! I wanted to share the top five things I did to start my journey. 

  1. LOVE your body- It took me a while to just love my body the way it is right now and trust the process because it WILL get there. But loving your body in every phase is so important . 
  2. Don't weigh yourself often-  I'm forcing myself to not get on the scale. I tend to be hard on myself and know I'll find disappointment if I haven't lost the way I think I should. 
  3. Increase your water intake- I didn't realize how little water I was consuming until I started making the change.  I aim to do AT LEAST 75 ounces a day. My fitbit is helping keep me on track with the water. 
  4. Go for healthy snacks- If I'm starving in between my normal meals  I try to grab things like bananas, avocados or hard boiled eggs. In the past I would reach for the bag of my kiddos chocolate animal crackers. Ugh not lying! 
  5. Give yourself some grace- It's hard to come to terms with the fact that your body has changed and It's going to take some time to change again. I focus on the 80/20 rule when it comes to healthy eating. For the most part I did REALLY well last week so Saturday I rewarded myself with my friends homemade pasta, bread and wine! Sunday morning I was right back on track- eating an egg for breakfast, salad for lunch and chicken with veggies for dinner. 
I'm so excited to finally be sharing this struggle with y'all. I plan to post weekly updates every Monday. Let's call this one the first one! 

Friday, January 11, 2019

A Mother Is


A Mother Is.. 

Have you ever wondered? What exactly is the definition of a mother? I'll tell you exactly what I think a mother is. Someone who loves unconditionally, would give anything for someone and is completely selfless. We should really be called superhero shouldn't we? Motherhood is the hardest and most rewarding job there is. 

I got to find out what being a mother was like before I ever gave birth to my first child. I was blessed with a precious five year old when my husband and I got married. Anyone that has known me knows my love for babies and children. I love everything about being a mother. If it were possible I would have at least one more baby.

Remember in my post last week where I talked about simplicity in the new year? I mentioned at the end of that post that I was focused on getting back to more of the things I loved pertaining to this career. One of my first jobs after I became a full time blogger was writing weekly blogs for Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine talking about all things pregnancy during those nine months. At the time I didn't realize exactly how big of a deal that was. I wasn't a big time blogger that took gorgeous photos. I was sharing real life pregnancy moments and taking snaps with my iPhone (unedited) and they loved it. As I go back and read the post I sometimes cringe because I was SO new to that world. I remember sitting in the waiting room at the doctors office flipping through one of the P&N magazines and seeing a picture in the bottom left hand corner and thinking, "Wait that's me!" 

As we were approaching the New Year something kind of hit me hard. It's easy to open the Instagram app kind of feel disappointed in yourself. There are bloggers posting new posed photos everyday in their brand new outfits. Every time I turn around I feel like I see someone else, "Hey I'm starting a blog!" Don't get me wrong I LOVE the blogging community. I think theres room for everyone! I just mean that as in this- I'm a super busy mom. Most of the times I have big plans for blog post and Instagram post but then life happens. So it can be normal for someone who has been doing this for almost six years to sometimes feel defeated. All that to say this. The past few months I started really asking myself where I saw myself in ten years. I could have never dreamed that I'd have such a fun exciting career that I can do from anywhere in the world while spending time with my babes. So where do I see myself? Instagram could end tomorrow. It can sometimes be fun to focus on the numbers and your following there but let's be honest. That is not what I started this blog to be about. 

This past summer was crazy for us. I started to think back to a time since I started blogging that I was the happiest with what I was doing. My days writing for P&N magazine kept filling my mind. I'm thrilled to announce that this year is starting off amazing and I've got fun news to share! I'm the newest weekly contributor to the blog A Mother Is. The new blog created by one of my most favorite maternity brands Ingrid and Isabel! If you are or have ever been pregnant you know exactly where I’m coming from. When I told my husband my fun news he was excited but clueless. The blog is an excellent resource for mamas to be and mamas. Sharing their experiences, talking about pregnancy + postpartum journeys and everything in between. Read there blog here! For some reason it’s a lot easier for me to get more personal when I’m writing in other places (something I’m working on for my own blog!). So my first post is a good one. Find it Here. I’m my feelings about how a certain journey has ended for me and I’m not really thrilled about it. I’ll be contributing every Wednesday and I’d love it for you to follow along! 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Lazy Girl's Guide to Redoing Your Kitchen


When it comes to my husband and me there are definitely some differences. One of the main differences is- every time we move into a new home (We have moved six times in our six years of marriage.) is our style of homes. He prefers a "fixer upper" while I need "turn key." In the six homes we have lived in I would say that half have needed some things done and the other half have been a little more ready to move into. We moved into our current home a little over two years ago. When we were looking at different places, Barrett knew I feel in love with a few that were sleek and modern. However, here we are almost three years and I'm in our 1950's home. Before I go any further I just have to say I absolutely adore our home! It ended up being the most perfect one for us but at the time I hated it. We knew there were some things we needed to update. We did a lot of painting when we moved in but that was it for a while. Next came some floor changing and now we are on our second kitchen update! 

We are still working with the original kitchen. When we moved in that had painted the cabinets a white with white knobs. Eventually we want a completely new kitchen but we started exploring ways we could update it without doing a gut job right now. Our first update was eighteen months ago. We painted the cabinets, took the top cabinet doors off, and painted the horrible red countertops. We did a quick Pinterest search and found that chalkboard paint was the best alternative to a new countertop at the moment. It worked for a while but it wasn't my favorite. I'm a fan of lighter counters so the black wasn't my style. 

 A few months ago we started talking about another kitchen update- I searched Pinterest and Instagram again for inspiration. I fell in love with the Navy and gold theme. During this search I can across a company called Instant Granite. They give you the option to completely transform your countertops on a budget! Sign me up. I knew immediately who I wanted the kitchen to look and was thrilled to see that they had a marble option. Your instant granite comes with step by step instructions and is such an easy task to take on (or so my husband says!) Barrett did most of the work and I critiqued. 

Here are the pictures of our kitchen when we moved in and after our first update. I snapped the first photo on my phone hours after we moved in to show my sister how horrific it was and I do believe it's the only photo I have of it that way! I also have no idea why we came in and put one hundred things on the refrigerator.
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( I honestly can't believe it looked this way- eek.) 

We painted cabinets, changed out the hardware (to cheap) and put up a backsplash and painted the countertops with Chalkboard paint. 

Here is a photo before the paint went on the countertops. 

Here is the first finished update. The chalkboard paint worked what I wasn't crazy about it. I prefer a lighter countertop but it was so much better than the red! 


And drumroll please.....
Our latest update! 

If you are looking to update your outdated kitchen then these next steps are for you. 

First step- Pick a theme. I searched Pinterest for weeks and decided on the
Navy and gold. 

Second Step- Coutnertops and Cabinets. We just decided on our paint color and did them all in one afternoon! For the countertops we went with the Marble vinyl from Instant Granite. (more on this below!) 

Third Step- Change our your hardware. As you can see in the second two pictures we had silver hardware. I was never crazy about it. Changing it completely changed the look of the kitchen. 

Now on to my favorite part thus far! The countertops. I have struggled since we moved into this house with these countertops. When I stumbled upon Instant Granite on Instagram my life was complete. I started watching video's on how to install it and I was on board (knowing that Barrett would be the one doing the work lol.) 

THE PROCESS 

The process wasn't hard at all. You have to make sure you have a good bit of time set aside for the installation. Make sure you read ALL of the instructions and most importantly use the hairdryer! This process would have been so much harder if we would have tried to do it without one. Barrett did most of the work but I was there to help use the hairdryer while he was applying. 

TIME

It took us around four hours from start to finish. This includes all of the applying- trying to perfect the corners (tricky tricky!) and using caulk to fill in the placed that needed it. 

OUTCOME 

Obsessed- the only word I have to describe it! I went from having a kitchen I hated to absolutely loving it. For the first time I'm sharing completely unedited iPhone photos so you can get the full affect. 









Thank you to Instant Granite for sponsoring today's post! 













Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Packing For Nashville: The Start of Simplifying my Life for 2019


Do you ever struggle with what to pack for those quick trips? That's me. No matter how often we take these sort of trips I always spend a good hour staring at my suitcase. It use to result in me packing ALL of the things. When we arrive I unpack and before I know it we are packing up to head back home and I have worn a total of one outfit leaving me with approximately 23 unworn. It use to be a big problem. I would get severe anxiety packing for a trip. Barrett would say, "You just need to pack light-we are only going for two days." and the next thing you know I could have stayed for a whole month. 

For our Nashville trip we were spending some down time with the family but we were always going downtown for lunch and such. Three months ago I would have packed six outfits to pick from- for that ONE LUNCH. Please tell me I'm not alone in this. Here are the things I do to simplify my packing now. Nashville Trip being the first success! 

1. Plan- I use to never look at the weather before a trip. I'd pack things for every season pretty much. Now I check and plan. 

2. Pack the things you know you love- Pick two of the outfits you have worn before that you know you'll be comfortable in. Not just comfort wise but things you know you won't be tugging at for four hours. 

3. ASK- If we are going somewhere and we are going out, to an event etc I always make sure to ask what others are wearing. 

4. The shower necessities- I wash my hair every 4ish days. IF I know we are going out of town I'll wash my hair the day before we leave. It cuts down on what I have to pack and it takes less time getting ready. The same goes for my razor. 

5. Make a list and check it twice- Before you even start the packing process make a list of the things you know you will need. Once you finish have all of your things ready to put into your bag see if there are things out that you don't have on this list. Chances are you probably don't need them! 

Here's what I packed in my overnight bag for our three day Nashville trip! 

(plus the unmentionables you can't go on a trip without along with a pair of pajamas- done!)

I have a few goals for the new year and one of the main ones is to Simplify. Not just decluttering but simplifying every singe aspect of my life. Spending more time with my family, less time stressing about my social media accounts, less time posing pictures for Instagram and to write daily blog post. I feel like bloggers (ME being very high on this list) Forget about why we started this journey. For me it wasn't to only post pictures on Instagram and blog once a month. This year you'll be seeing a post on the blog Monday through Friday. If I remember to post about it on social media to let you know that it's up I'll do that but I didn't start this five years ago to be a "Social Media Influencer." I'm a blogger. I have been for five years and that is where my career will stay. One of my favorite times in my career was about two years in. I  had just started exploring the ropes of having this be something I would do long term. I landed my first paid job and it wasn't a sponsored campaign for Instagram- it was writing weekly articles for a Pregnancy Magazine. I have some similar things in the works for 2019 and I can not wait to share that news with you! Heres to 2019- getting back to the basics. Signed, Ryann Donahoe- Blogger, content creator, contributor. Let's do this!