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I recently renovated my teenage daughters bedroom; new flooring, painted walls, and décor. Let me reiterate this is the bedroom of my daughter, who is a teenager, and dislikes everything I like.

Let’s just say there was potential for stress in this scenario.

Add a bit of teen drama to my general lack of flooring know-how and subsequent lack of confidence, and we were faced with real potential for a meltdown here.

My daughter would most likely have a meltdown as well.

I am happy to report that after four days, three trips to the home improvement store, and no more than a mini meltdown (or two), the room is complete. And we both love it. While taking pictures of the new room, I realized that I have yoga to thank for keeping me sane in these situations.

How does yoga help remodel a bedroom?

Yoga is a mind, body, and spirit connection practice. The proven list of yoga’s physical benefits are numerous: lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, increase bone density, increase cardiovascular health, improved lung capacity, and improved cognitive function – just to name a few.

The mental benefits of a yoga practice are just as applicable to our everyday life, if not more so.


Being mindful means focusing on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting the feelings and thoughts surrounding the moment.

No, I don’t have a lot of skill in home repairs and, yes, this scares me, but I am here pulling up carpet and it is going to be okay. I need only focus on this one task in front of me right now. When it is time to move on, I will again stay mindful and focused solely on the task in front of me.

When I was having trouble getting the laminate flooring to connect properly, I felt myself getting very agitated and anxious. I worried I really wasn’t capable of this project. Instead of sitting in the middle of the room and crying, I got up and took a break. When I returned, I calmly sat on the floor. I held the boards. I studied the boards. I felt the grooves and visualized how they should match. By staying calm and mindful, I was able to keep my mind clear enough to analyze the problem and attempt a solution.


My hands can lay flat on the floor in a forward fold and my right hip will finally release in pigeon pose. The flexibility of my physical body not only makes me feel better, but it also allows me to move through my daily life with ease and less risk of injury.

This helps me to be much more flexible in life as well. When things don’t go exactly as I would like – such as being sold damaged laminate flooring which is therefore not usable – I am able to easily transition to an alternate plan. Instead of getting so bent out of shape that I stop everything and fail to move forward, I acknowledge feeling discouraged about paying for a damaged product. This path didn’t work so I will find an alternate method.

This attitude shift allows me to go with the flow, reducing my stress level and allowing me to enjoy the remodel project. The happier I am, the stronger my immune system, the better quality of my sleep, and the better overall state of my general health as well.

Just as I shouldn’t force my body in to a pose it’s not ready for, I also couldn’t force those flooring connections together. Being flexible means knowing when to let go and move on.

The physical flexibility I gain in yoga also helps me in my everyday list of projects: squatting to paint trim, having the balance to stand and reach on a ladder, and utilizing my upper body strength to carry heavy tools.

My body is used to a moving physical practice, therefore my body can physically adapt to whatever movement I require.

Progress, not perfection

In yoga, there is no perfect pose. It’s always a progressive path toward achieving perfect for our individual body. No one comes to yoga already an advanced yogi. We all started as beginners and have progressively worked our way through the asanas.

I am new to home improvement projects and shouldn’t expect to already have the skill base for each project I undertake. I needed a yoga teacher to show me how to safely get into headstand; why shouldn’t I also need a teacher to show me how to rewire a ceiling fan? I certainly shouldn’t expect the seemingly perfect finishes I see in DIY television shows.

Although I’ve been told to ‘measure twice and cut once,’ I apparently needed to learn that lesson for myself. A couple times. I also needed practice sawing a straight line and hammering nails in straight. The first few pieces of trim in my daughter’s room don’t quite fit together as well as the last pieces of trim. Rather than focus on my mistakes, yoga has taught me to instead proudly point to my advances.


There is a reason yoga classes begin by focusing on the breath. The breath begins the movement and the body follows. Breathing consciously has a biological effect on your mental, emotional, and physical state.

If you breathe shallow and quick, your heart rate will increase, and the sympathetic nervous system will be activated. This will trigger the fight or flight response in your body causing muscles to tense. Conversely, deep slow breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system. The mind quiets, muscles release, and relaxation endorphins flow through the body.

When faced with a difficult or stressful situation off the mat, it helps to breathe deeply before taking action. When the nail gun jammed up and wouldn’t work, I could feel my breath become forced and shallow. The tension in my body soon followed, and my brain raced through a few expletives. I put the nail gun down. By controlling my breath, I could quiet my mind enough to figure out the problem.

Taking a moment to calm your breath, on and off the mat, allows for greater focus and improved mental and emotional health.

Know when to rest

In yoga, child’s pose offers a break from the vinyasas when needed. Every class ends in savasana, a time to lay quietly and allow the body to relax and restore.

I have a bad habit of working long into the night to get a project finished. It’s normal to find me painting at midnight. Although my mind is telling me to stay up and just do one more thing, I know my body will be better equipped to handle the physical and mental demands of this job once it has had time to recover and replenish.

Yoga is much more than poses. It has taught me to be in tune to my body and its needs. I recognize when I need proper nourishment, when I am moving in a way that could potentially cause injury, and when my body needs to stop and rest.

Yoga has taught me how to have a more peaceful life.

And, my daughter’s bedroom looks great!

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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When you're feeding multiple kiddos and figuring out meals for your own lunch and dinner, it can be difficult to find options that fit the bill for everyone. Our secret? Great kitchen gadgets and basics that make meal planning a breeze.

From the Instant Pot (yes, it's *totally* worth it!) to a cast iron pan, we rounded up some of our favorite kitchen basics every parent needs in their kitchen.

Make sure to add them to your cart today before Prime Day ends at midnight PT!

Ninja blender

Okay, so you might already have a blender—but you don't have a Ninja. It does everything from crushing ice for cocktails to pureeing baby's food and making hearty smoothies for everyone else. We love the sleek design that won't be an eye sore on any countertop.

Ninja Blender, Amazon, $49.99 (regularly $86.95)


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When model Mara Martin was one of 16 finalists selected to walk in the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swim Search show, she was thrilled to fulfill a lifelong dream. And when she woke up the day after the show to see that she and her baby daughter had made headlines around the world, she was thrilled all over again.

Martin breastfed her 5-month-old daughter Aria while walking in the runway, and the story spread quickly.

"It is truly so humbling and unreal to say the least," Martin wrote in an Instagram post Monday. "I'm so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL! But to be honest, the real reason I can't believe it is a headline is because it shouldn't be a headline!!! My story of being a mother and feeding her while walking is just that."

SI Swimsuit Editor MJ Day says the breastfeeding moment wasn't planned in advance, but it worked out wonderfully. Day was speaking with the models backstage when she noticed Aria was peacefully nursing away. Having breastfed her own two children, Day recognized this as a powerful moment in the making, according to SI Swimsuit.

"I asked Mara if she would want to walk and continue to nurse. She said 'Oh my gosh, yes! Really? Are you sure?', and I said absolutely! I loved the idea to be able to allow Mara to keep nursing and further highlight how incredible and beautiful women are," Day explained.

Martin hopes that her moment in the spotlight can help other mamas feel comfortable nursing when and where they feel like it, but she doesn't want to overshadow some of the other women who took part in the show.

"One woman is going to boot camp in two weeks to serve our country," she wrote. "One woman had a mastectomy (@allynrose), and another is a cancer survivor, 2x paralympic gold medalist, as well as a mother herself (@bren_hucks you rock) Those are the stories that our world should be discussing!!!!"

And thanks to Martin's powerful motherhood moment, now, people are.

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Dear Jeff Bezos and all who have anything to do with Amazon Prime Day,

I just want to start by saying—I know you are trying to be helpful. I love you all for that. I honestly do. But, you are kind of making me feel a lot of pressure today. Like, in a good way, but also, in an anxious way.

Let me explain…

On any given day, as a mother to three children, I have a certain level of anxiety. While it's not constant, I do have my anxious moments. Why? Because there are various versions of the following: Me asking my two older daughters to get their shoes on what feels like 500 times as I am changing my 9-month-old's very, very, very messy diaper while I am trying to figure out what I can throw on to wear in about five seconds while I am repeating brush your teeth, brush your teeth in my head so I, in fact, don't forget to brush my teeth.

Not even to mention the mental load that weighs on my mind every single day. Remember to flip the laundry, fill out the school forms, cancel that appointment, reschedule this appointment, order more diapers, figure out what we're having for dinner, squeeze in a shower, lock the basement door so the baby can't get down the stairs, find better eczema cream for my middle daughter, get more sunscreen...the list goes on and on and on.

But then you Amazon Prime Day me and I'm having a lot of feelings about that.

Because you're reminding me of things I need to order, to think about, to be on top of more.

The little potty that's on sale reminds me that I need to step up my potty training game for my 2-year-old. That super cute dollhouse reminds me that I need to think about my daughter's first birthday in two months (WHAT!). That face mask reminds me that I need to remember to wash my face before bed because I forget waaaay more than I remember which is terrible.

But then I realize, these deals are going to save my mental load by fixing my life. Right?

Like, I never knew I needed an Instant Pot until you told me it was only $58. Now I am scouring Pinterest for meals I want to prep in my own. THIS POT IS THE TICKET TO GETTING MY LIFE IN ORDER.

Do we need more plates and cups for the kids? I mean really they only probably need about two plates and two cups each but YES. Yes I do need more cute kids kitchenware. THESE PLATES ARE THE TICKET TO BEING A GOOD MOM.

What would I do if I had five Echo Dots? I don't know, but let's find out because they're only $29! THESE DOTS ARE THE TICKET TO EFFICIENCY.

If I order a Vitamix at 30% off, I know I'll lose the baby weight. Think of all the smoothies I'll mix up! I mean, I just lost a pound even thinking about the smoothies that thing can whip up. THIS VITAMIX IS THE TICKET TO A SEXY BOD.

Buying this trendy, floral dress will step up my mom style significantly. THIS DRESS IS THE TICKET TO KEEPING MY COOL.

Okay, then after I add all the fixers to my cart, I realize… I have 99 things, but necessity ain't one.

I mean, I have everything from waterproof band-aids to bras to dresses for myself and my kids to an alarm clock and books. I basically feel like Oprah—You get an Audible subscription! You get an Audible subscription!—but instead of these products magically being paid for by Queen O herself, the money is coming from my bank account, which is a lot less fun of a game, TBH.

And if I am being honest, I don't need much help with my order-things-from-Amazon-and-pretend-it's-being-paid-for-with-Monopoly-money game as I am quite often coming home to an Amazon package wondering what it could be, opening it with the enthusiasm of a kid on Christmas morning—even though I am the exact person who ordered whatever is inside of that Amazon box.

But today, on Amazon Prime Day, you tempt me with all the deals. And yes, my anxiety, blood pressure and adrenaline rise. And yes, my bank account might temporarily decrease—BUT if we are being fair, with the savings I'm getting on things I would buy anyway, I am basically making our account increase overall. Right?

And while these things aren't going to make me skinnier, or cooler, or more put together—I'm okay with that. I am doing a pretty good job on my own. But some of them will actually help my life in a few different ways at a reasonable price, and I am grateful for that—for real.

Now, Bezos, please end this 404 error nonsense and let me purchase all the things!

Thank you for all the savings and excitement,

Mamas everywhere

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Usually when celebrities post swimsuit photos on Instagram they don't exactly look like your average beach-going mom, but former Bachelorette (and mom of two) Ali Fedotowsky posted a series of bikini photos on Monday that are both beautiful and relatable.

"This might be my most vulnerable post on Instagram ever," she wrote in the caption for the photos which show a postpartum belly that looks like a real postpartum belly.

"At the end of the day, I know it's important to be open and honest about my postpartum body in hopes that it helps even one person out there who is struggling with their own body image," Fedotowsky (who just gave birth to her second child in May) wrote.

In the first photo of the series she's wearing a sarong around her stomach, but in the second and third photos Fedotowsky reveals the kind of stomach many mamas sport: It's not perfectly taut, she's not showing off any abs, but it is definity beautiful.

"If you swipe to see the second photo in this post, you see that my body has changed. My skin around my stomach is very loose and stretched out, I'm 15lbs heavier than I used to be, and my cup size has grown quite significantly," Fedotowsky writes.

The photos are a sponsored post for Lilly and Lime Swimwear (a line made for women with larger busts) but that doesn't mean it wasn't brave. In fact, the fact that it's an ad makes it even more amazing because research shows that when advertising only shows us bodies that don't look like our own, women become "generally more dissatisfied with their body and appearance".

Ali Fedotowsky

On her blog Fedotowsky notes that a lot of comments on her previous Instagram posts have been followers remarking how slim she looks, or how much they wish they looked like she does postpartum. By dropping that sarong and showing her tummy Fedotowsky is showing other mothers that there is nothing wrong with their own.

"While I appreciate the positive comments, you guys are always so good to me, I keep trying to explain that I'm just good at picking out clothes that flatter my body and hide my tummy," she wrote on her blog.

"I bounced back pretty quickly after I gave birth to Molly. But things are different this time and I'm OK with that. I'm learning to love my body and embrace how it's changed. I hope I get back to my pre-pregnancy shape one day, but that may never happen. And if it doesn't, that's OK."

Ali Fedotowsky

It is okay, because our bodies are more than our swimsuit selfies. They the vessels that carry us through life and carry our children and provide a safe, warm place for those children feel love.

Loose skin is a beautiful thing.

Thanks for keeping it real, Ali.

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