5 Things You Need For Your Next Half Marathon

half marathon training couple

A few months ago a dear friend managed to convince our whole friend group to travel across the country together to run a half-marathon. I’ve run a few before (6-ish… *’ish‘ because I stopped at mile 4 once, but I’ll spare you the details until later) but it’s been a few years, one new baby and a move to a new city since my last race. I’m a month in to half marathon training and I’m proud to admit that I’ve already trained harder than ever before in terms of miles run. Our bodies (even after bearing two children) are strong, resilient and fierce as hell! Of course, uncontrollable factors can and probably will make training difficult (sleep-deprivation, stress, obligatory seasonal colds) but there are things you can control to make your next half, or first half, one for the books. Here’s a few things you need to set yourself up for success…

husband and wife runners

1. Good shoes. I’m not going to recommend a specific shoe despite being hooked on Nike Frees because they may not be good for you. Do your ankles pronate? You might want supportive shoes. Do your hips hurt after logging several miles? You might want different supportive shoes. See where I am going here? Head to a running store with treadmills and fit specialists to look at your gait and recommend a shoe that is best for you.

onzie yoga apparel

2. A great over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder. You’re going to want a wickedly supportive run bra even if (like me) you are not well-endowed. I love Sweaty Betty’s Ultra Run Bra for it’s padded shoulder straps. By mile 5 or 6 you’ll be figuratively patting yourself on the back for getting yourself a bra with padded shoulder straps. The bra also boasts compression panels which helps keep the muscles in your chest from reverberating (jiggling) because who wants to their tatas wiggling about?

workouts for parents

3. A Nutrition Plan. Remember earlier when I said I stopped at mile 4 once? Well, I had eaten a turkey-bacon and egg sandwich pre-race and it was ugly. I felt heavy and tired. It was way too much sodium for my body. I probably would have kept going had my knee not also hurt, but we’ll come back to that later. Good nutrition — whatever that means to you is key. For me, that’s a small protein bar or a green smoothie and some energy chews. Kaare crushes aforementioned turkey-bacon and egg sandwiches and feels great. You’ll want to eat something before you run or do any type of exercise since your muscles can store only about six to seven hours’ worth of glycogen for energy, so each morning you wake up depleted.

fit parents ab workouts

4. A strength training regimen. A study published in ’08 assigned well-trained runners to either a control group or an intervention group — both groups performed a series of half-squats three times a week for eight weeks. Both groups continued their regular running regimen. While V02 max and body weight did not change, the strength training group’s time to exhaustion at maximal aerobic speed improved by 21.3 percent. Pretty impressive, no? Aim for a strength training session once a week to become a stronger, more efficient runner and decrease your chance of injury. Adding strength has helped me ensure I never stop before the finish line again.

fit parents

5. Stretching, foam rolling and yoga. Okay, that’s three things, but they all fall in to the same category: recovery and repair. Yoga will help strengthen your posture and loosen those tight runner’s hips. Stretching and yoga will lengthen muscles and help them recover faster by loosening lactic acid. Foam rolling loosens tissue in ways that stretching alone can’t and although it can be painful while you’re on it, it provides pain relief and increased flexibility that you’ll be thankful for in the long run (pun intended). This one is my favorite and much to Kaare’s dismay, I keep it somewhere visible in my living room so I remember to use it.

onzie peek a boo bra

Thank you for reading and good luck with your training! xx, BA

half marathon training tips

Top and leggings from Onzie / Photos by Lydia Hudgens

Two Easy-Peasy Snack Recipes


Being constantly on-the-go means reaching for anything nearby the moment I become ‘hangry’. Often the nearest thing is not the best thing which is why I try to have health-conscious snacks on hand. Don’t get me wrong, I would probably eat chips and guac twice a day if I could, but in trying to set a good example for our kids I have to supplement some good-for-you treats too! Plus, it can be difficult to carry chips and guacamole in a diaper bag.


Both of these recipes are made with LÄRABAR Cashew and Almond Butter, a new item available exclusively at Costco. The rest of the ingredients are pretty easy to find — you probably have most of them at home right now. I did and that’s why I made these. Feel free to adapt these to utilize what you’re working with in the pantry. My ingredients are below and this video has instructions!

Banana Nut Butter Balls

1/2 cup packed whole pitted dates
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup LÄRABAR banana nut cashew and almond butter
1 cup gluten-free oats
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup raisins
1 tbs chia seeds

Coco Loco Smoothie

1 organic banana (cut into chunks and frozen)
1 1/2 cups almond & coconut milk
3 tbs LÄRABAR chocolate coconut cashew and almond butter

This post was sponsored by LÄRABAR all opinions are my own.

 

Life At Home

mothers day postbethaimalprint lifestyle blog post bethanimalprint mom style bethanimalprint dad and daughter bugandwink kidskids hair styles mothers day bethanimalprint Pinrose scents

Hi all! Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. We’re going to celebrate by riding a roller coaster that Harlowe has been begging to try! I can’t wait. These photos are from yesterday hanging around the house. After coming back from an adult-only vacay, hanging out at the house and stealing snuggles was all I had on my mind. I hope I never forget these moments because they go by so quickly.

Speaking of quickly, now that Gunnar is a sturdy 8-month-old, I’ve started using some of the beauty products I avoided during pregnancy and his early months. Perfume was one of the things I missed most. Without it I felt not totally dressed like forgetting rings you wear every day.

I’ve talked about Pinrose before and am still a fan of their unique scents. Their Merry Maker perfume was specifically designed with new moms in mind and is safe, and calming, for babies!  Studies have shown that infants can quickly learn to prefer certain scents if the smell is paired with cuddling, sooooo I guess Gunnar and I will be doing a ton of cuddling with Merry Maker.  Seriously, get some for yourself or the mom in your life.

For grandma, I picked up Pinrose’s Gilded Fox at Sephora. It captures the essence of a bold, sexy bombshell… just what grandma needs. 🙂

Desert Flowers

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This is my Spring Break. Yes, Spring Break is a real thing for this mama of two. A real week-long thing that forces parents to take a week off of office work to do the hardest job of all…entertain toddlers. This year, my plan of action was to take a trip to grandma and grandpa’s house in Mesa, AZ.

Spring is unquestionably the best time of year in Arizona. The weather is a dream, the desert flowers are blooming and you just can’t help but spend loads of time outdoors. You know, before temperatures reach the three-digits. 🙂 Under Spring conditions, I always catch myself thinking I will return here eventually. The more time we spend here, the more Harlowe gets familiar with the joys of having grandma and grandpa to visit with each day. I know it won’t be long before she asks us if she can move to AZ. I’m mentally preparing myself for that day already.

Luckily, no matter where we live, there are plenty of adventures to have and memories to make. For Easter, we drove down to Tucson to spend time with my grandma. She set up an easter egg hunt that I could map out in my sleep because I’ve hunted eggs in that backyard just about every year of my childhood. Harlowe promptly found all of the eggs and  asked Grams to hide them again…and again. They hid the eggs three times before she retired only to eat strawberry pie. It was my mom’s favorite Easter desert and has since become mine. It’s delicious and brings back so many memories.

Another favorite? Not Easter specific as much as it is Tucson specific — Eegee’s. If you find yourself in Southern Arizona, even remotely close to Tucson, you have to get yourself an Eegee and ranch fries. Get some for a friend or loved one too. They will thank you. Total cheat meal, but it’s totally worth it.

I hope you had a great weekend and Easter (if you celebrate).

*Banana Republic provided free product in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunny Disposition

Huxbaby girls clothes

Huxbaby girls clothes

Hi friends! I hope you’re having a great week so far. I’m reminiscing about family beach time and admittedly counting down the days until we can do it again! It looked cold outside on Sunday so I had everyone dressed for a beach picnic instead of splashing in the water (I don’t know what was in my Starbucks that morning…it ended up being pretty hot).  We ordered Mendocino Farms for curbside pickup (they have the best gluten-free bread!) and spent hours building sand castles with Harlowe, splashing in the whitewash (and feeding Gunnar).  I’m so glad we finally found a beach we like that isn’t too crowded and only 10 minutes away.

Huxbaby kids minimalist dress Huxbaby clothes kids black and white baseball cap beach style

Wearing: blouse / skirt / hat / Celine sunnies

What Harlowe Wore: High-low dress (on sale!) & she and Gunnar shared this sweet hat

Gunnar’s onesie Real talk: If his personality was a onesie it would be this one! (I’ll share more pics of him in it soon.)

Shopping for Versatility: Turning Scarves into Dresses

Some think that the secret to having an endless number of choices in your wardrobe is a weekly trip to the mall, but what ends up happening is you spend a lot of money and you end up not wearing half of your clothes more than once or twice a year. The key is shopping with versatility in mind and being creative with what you already own. That way, you save tons of money and put the items you own or purchased into good use.

One of the greatest investments for a woman is a wrap dress, as after doing a quick search on Pinterest, you’ll discover that the straps are convertible and that the ensemble can be worn in more ways than one. But for those that want more than the multiway dresses at American Apparel, here’s another idea: use your oversized scarves for a makeshift dress.

Although most of your scarves probably have bold prints, which if you turn into a dress or skirt may only be suited for the weekend look, as described by Lyst, there’s really no harm in experimenting in patterns. Only you can be the judge of what occasion your scarf dress is suited for.

Harper’s Bazaar has dedicated an article on ways that you can wear a sarong, which also can be applied to your scarves. While most of them are suited for the beach or pool, the one shoulder style would work as long as you wear a tank top and shorts underneath. To make this dress, all you’d have to do is hold the scarf vertically under one arm, tying the two corners over your shoulder, and then grabbing two edges at the waist and double knotting them.

Another way to wear your scarf is by channeling the Greek goddess silhouette. Beauty Blogger Michelle Phan demonstrates that the conversion process is simple; wrap the scarf behind you horizontally, wrapping one end over your shoulder and the other end around your waist, finally tying the ends together to complete the outfit.

If you’re curious about other ways to wear your scarf as a dress, YouTube has a myriad of easy to follow tutorials!

tie scarf as a dress

^Talk about #FlashbackFriday, the picture above is of my girlfriends and I in 2009. I’m wearing a pink multi-way dress from American Apparel and boy, has that thing gotten a lot of use!

*Thank you to Erin Edwards for contributing this post and thanks to you guys for supporting Bethanimalprint!

Instagram Diary: Shoe Game Strong

bethanimalprint instagram

  1. Harlowe was amazed when we got the same shirt and had quite the collection of poses to share for her recent ‘What Harlowe Wore’ post. Some days she wants nothing more than self portraits, while some days she isn’t interested at all. I can’t decide if I want to keep her series active.  Like most four-year-olds, she is so finicky it’s tough to tell if she likes it.
  2. Did you guys shop the Shopbop sale while it lasted? I was waiting for it eagerly so I could get these boots. The mail man can’t come soon enough.
  3. Dressing after baby is no easy feat. Your body is softer and rounder than it was before pregnancy, but not so round that maternity clothes still work. This dress is the cutest, softest, most-flattering post-baby dress I’ve found so far. It buttons down the front making it a great option for nursing moms. I want like a dozen of these. Oh and everything at Anthropologie is 20% off now. Use code FALLFUN.
  4. Okay, all of these moccasins are really for me. I love the luxe leather moccs from Freshly Picked, but recently came across this budget-friendly option that has be singing their praises. My girlfriend got Gunnar these red soles before he was born and I’ve been hooked ever since. They are painfully cute, and with their prices, you can pick up a few pairs!
  5. After six weeks of post-baby recovery, I slowly started working out again. After a fairly active pregnancy, I had some complications during delivery and spent the last six weeks rebuilding my blood supply so I could just walk and breath at the same time! I definitely have some muscle strength to rebuild. I’ll be documenting my progress on the blog and YouTube. Make sure you subscribe to catch the fun and struggle. 🙂 My goal is three workouts per week.
  6. No words could describe this picture other than ‘happy’. I LOVE him so much! I could use some more shut-eye though…okay, Gunnar?
  7. Obligatory #NationalHangbagDay post! This bag was actually a push gift from KW. You know, bags I get myself are more practical so this one really caught me off guard! I was so proud of him for picking it out on his own and so happy to have a really nice designer bag to call my own after 30 years of drooling over them in stores.
  8. Turquoise beads from Silver and Sage are the perfect bracelet, necklace, meditation companion and peace-bringer for Fall.
  9. These boots are a cool military green — a must-have color for Fall and they are perfectly comfortable!

My Birth Story

newborn pics

I’ve gone back and forth about sharing not because I wanted to keep it private, but because I’m still digesting everything that happened. Before labor began, it was like any other night at my house. KW was making dinner, my in-laws were visiting on ‘baby watch’ and I was getting Harlowe ready for bed. My contractions started at 7pm and they weren’t too bad.  I figured I would eat dinner, try to get some sleep and then go to the hospital early in the morning to check progress.  Despite several warnings of “the 2nd kid comes faster,” I still expected this labor to be lengthy given the 26-hour labor I experienced having Harlowe.

newborn pics

By 7:30pm the contractions were averaging 2-3 min apart and lasting 30-45 seconds. I had KW call our doctor to let her know we might be in the hospital that night. I took a warm bath with Harlowe and used bath bombs from Lush (we are obsessed with those). At 8:50pm, the contractions were noticeably more painful so we headed to hospital while I fantasized about pain killers.

We got to the hospital at 9:00pm. I had another contraction before we walked through the doors of Labor and Delivery  – this time it was the kind you don’t walk or talk through. Sh*t was getting real. I doubled over in pain while the nurses asked if I was okay. I pulled myself together long enough to inform the nurses that I wanted an epidural, STAT.

panda newborn setnewborn swaddle set

After getting checked in, they looked at me and said in the nicest, most encouraging way possible that I wasn’t going to get an epidural and it was time to push. I couldn’t believe it. Needless to say, we hadn’t practiced breathing exercises or any of the things you would want in your back pocket to manage a natural delivery. I was nervous as hell, but I knew the harder I pushed the faster it would be over so as soon as my doctor came in, I pushed (and screamed) as hard as I could. After 21 minutes, my lovely doctor said, “Bethann, look down!” and I looked down to see little Gunnar’s sweet face.

I felt really good after delivery and even walked around the delivery room (Truth be told, I had to go to the bathroom!) One nurse that snapped this picture and remarked how it was atypical to be standing after delivery.  I have to admit, I was pretty proud of what we had accomplished in such a short amount of time and with no complications …not even a tear! I felt like the strongest, most athletic woman alive. newborn moccasins

By midnight, however, the adrenaline was dissipating and I was more tired than proud.  Lightheaded and with a full bladder, I called the nurses to help me out of bed.  The very next thing I remember was waking up to the smell of sulfur and looking up at the bathroom sink trying to make sense of why I was on the floor. I heard the nurses call for help saying, “the patient is hemorrhaging”.  I was scared as sh*t.

Soon after, my hospital room needed a revolving door to handle all the frenzied activity. Hordes of nurses came and went over the next hour. KW calmly held Gunnar and watched the chaos unfold. I knew he must be feeling completely helpless and I was super relieved that he was so calm. That kept me calm.

brother sister pictures newborn photos

Apparently, I had some massive blood clots and passed one as I stood up on my journey to the bathroom.  Once I was conscious and back in bed, my Dr. removed the remaining clots and the bleeding finally slowed.  I lost almost 2 liters of blood and felt VERY weak.  Two days later, I received a blood transfusion to replace some of what I lost.  (I’m pretty sure I got Beyonce’s blood because I felt 10x better after the procedure.) The staff remarked that I had handled the whole ordeal so well that I deserved something from Tiffany’s. I am still waiting for that special something. 🙂

We got to go home after three nights in the hospital and my bed never felt so lovely! It took a few days before I could walk around without shortness of breath or lightheadedness, but a few iron supplements and hamburgers made me feel brand new. I haven’t eaten red meat since I was 10 years old, but it sure helps when you need it!

taco bout cute toddle tee

I am so grateful for the nurses at my hospital, my amazing doctor and most of all, my husband and mother-in-love for helping nurse me back to health. Gunnar is healthy and happy…provided he’s well fed and being held. And I’m more than happy to accommodate. 🙂

4 Motivating Fitness Babes To Follow On Instagram

Inspiring Fitness Instagram Accounts

You know those days when you pack your gym bag and then it sits out of sight all day while you make other plans? Ahem, Happy Hour anyone? I mean, it is FRIDAY! In honor of #FollowFriday, I’m sharing 4 inspirational fitness babes that make hitting the gym mat, trail, reformer, etc. that much easier. Check out their blogs below be sure to give them a follow on Instagram; ‘fitspiration’ guaranteed.

@AshleyPitt_ALadyGoesWest: Ashley of A Lady Goes West shares my love of colorful workout apparel. Seriously, give me those pants! She’s a personal trainer, group fitness instructor and storyteller. Follow her blog for stories on her adventures with her husband and Rudy (her cuuuute pup. Follow her on Instagram for fashion-forward workout clothes and #Rudygram appearances.

@Fitnessista: Gina of The Fitnessista just wrote a freaking book (available on Amazon!) and if that’s not inspiring enough, the mother of one with a bun in the oven shares healthy living, recipes and fitness tips daily. Bonus: her family is stinking adorable.

@WhitneyLEnglish: Whitney of To Live and Diet in LA is a personal trainer with a pretty face with lots of brains. She used to be a Hollywood reporter and host and is now in school becoming a registered dietician. She’ll inspire you through healthy recipes (yes, she cooks!), her fun take on a fitness regimen and shots of her pooch, Mr. Chow.

@MoiContreLaVie: Caity of Moi Contre La Vie can be counted on for super stylish workout gear, healthy vegan and gluten-free dishes and absolutely stunning views of San Francisco, the city she calls home.

Do you feel like you’re friends with them already? Who are your favorite fit girls to follow on Instagram?

Staycation in Los Angeles

stacationLA

Last weekend we packed our bags and hit the road. While we love to travel, this family getaway was less than 30 minutes away. At 34-weeks pregnant, a staycation seemed to be the best way to get some quality family time and make a few more memories as a threesome. We stayed at the Residence Inn LAX and had a blast.

Family Staycation Ideas

With Harlowe’s wild mane, you’d think she’d been on a cross country flight, but nope! She’s just a Leo with a penchant for styling her own ‘do.

staycation1

After we checked in, we went to our room to change in to swim suits. The art throughout the hotel is LA themed with an emphasis on aviation since it was so close to the airport. Harlowe really liked that you could peek at LAX runways from one of the windows. We liked the full-service kitchen with residential sized appliances and table for four. We had dinner in our room that night, but in true-to-me fashion, we got food from one of the on-site restaurants. Who wants to cook on vacation?!

stacation 5

My husband takes most of the photos for the blog which is why he is never in them, but we managed to get him in one this time! Of course, he took it. Side note: this was his 2nd selfie ever. His 1st was also part of a trip diary!

staycationLA1maternity swimmaternity friendly swim suitharlowe swimming

Next stop was the pool. As a former swim instructor and coach, I thought I could definitely teach my own children to swim, but I was wrong. I don’t think Harlowe or I have enough patience with each other for me to teach her water skills. I ask her, “Can you blow bubbles like a fish?” and she’s like, “No, mom. You blow bubbles.” After a few failed attempts at coaching her through water skills, I decided to get her swim lessons outside of the family and reserved our pool time together for fun. It’s been easier on all of us. 🙂

LAXAX - Fire Pit

We had some quality time at the fire pit after our swim so we could warm up!

what to pack for staycation

My essentials for one night are pretty lean (by my standards). These organic cleansing towelettes from Acure are the best travel companions because they don’t leak and I can use them on the kiddo when she inevitably gets a little messy. I take them with me when I travel, run errands or go to the gym. No matter where I go, I like traveling with this Brush On Block. This one is great because there is no tint, so it’s another product that can be used on the whole family. I’m trying out this gorge ‘I’ll make you look amazing daily spray‘ and am not yet sure about it. My hair didn’t seem AMAZING after using yet (read: frizzy), but I’ll give it points for adorable packaging and note that I didn’t style it with heat tools after use, so it deserves another chance. 
staycation 6lemons make lemonade tee

We ended the day by taking Harlowe to see her first-ever movie in a theater. We saw Minions since it came out that day. KW and I were bored, amused and gluttonous (ahhh, popcorn!) while Harlowe was riveted. She loved every minute of it which of course, is all we wanted. When we got back to the hotel she fell right asleep… as did we.

Huge thanks to the Residence Inn LAX for a fantastic stay! Such a fun and relaxing trip!

What I Wore:

What Harlowe Wore:
outfit 1: Eberjey dress from Gilt, J.Crew shoes from ThreadUp
outfit 2: Rags to Raches romper
outfit 3: Kate and James tank, Old Navy shorts, Tom’s shoes

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