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Shed for the Preg: Third Trimester Update

#33week bumpie. Enjoy my messy bathroom.

#33week bumpie. Enjoy my messy bathroom.

Well the countdown is on… baby Shea will be joining us so soon! Our due date is July 21 so we are in the final stretch. Lil dude is very active. I swear he has the hiccups at least 3x/day. He is tracking exactly to his due date, so we guess he will be average size. My blood pressure is normal, weight gain on track. All in all, fortunately very uneventful so far! Thank God. 🙏

Check out those swollen feet and ankles! :) Pufffffy!

Check out those swollen feet and ankles! :) Pufffffy!

We just came back from an epic family vacation/babymoon, a European river cruise. We hit up 4 countries and did a lot of walking, but everything was great! The biggest issue was some feet and ankle swelling.

Reflecting on this pregnancy, I realized it mostly has brought out the more chill side of my personality. I haven’t stressed overly about what to eat (but don’t worry I did plenty of research about it first! :)), and occasionally will indulge in a glass of wine. But at times, I wonder if I’ve done baby a disservice by not being hyper-vigilant. For instance, should I have changed my water filter on my fridge? Should I have really tried to stay away from dairy and refined sugars? Should I have exercised more vigorously? These questions plague me, often, but mostly I hope that my more laissez-faire approach will affect him positively through his demeanor. This sums up pretty accurately how I feel like this pregnancy has been more mentally challenging than physically. Yes, the physical changes are hard, but nothing compared to knowing that everything I do for the rest of my life will affect this kid. Sheesh. This is why we waited awhile before embarking on the parenthood train!

Currently, I am doing a lot of thinking about the birth plan. Doula or no doula? Epidural or try to go natural? My doctors have a very low c-section rate, which is important to me. If I have to have one, of course, let’s do it, but I really only want that if it is absolutely medically necessary. There are so many little details that go into it, I want to have a clear head while I can, knowing we are making the right moves for the little guy.

The other big thing is getting the nursery set up. We have to move a lot of furniture and junk currently in the room. So while we have a crib and lots of baby gear in there- we can’t really get set up until we get the other beds and desks out. If anyone has any organizational recommendations, I would seriously appreciate it! Cleaning is not a strong suit of mine.

Current symptoms:

  • Feet swelling. This was particularly bad when we were on our Euro trip last week. The plane made them huge! They almost didn’t fit in my shoes!

  • Running hot. It’s been so weird going from someone who was always cold to always hot. My hands, my feet, ice water is my new BFF. Summer is going to be fun!

  • Waking up. If I don’t wake up several times in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, that’s a win. It isn’t so bad except for when I can’t fall back to sleep right away. Pretty standard, but only getting worse I’m afraid.

  • Weight gain, duh. I’m at a little less than 30 lbs from my starting weight as of today (doc says less, I’m not complaining!). For not really trying to manage it–I’m happy with it. It’s weird feeling just letting my stomach takeover, but I’m kinda loving it.

  • Acid Reflux. I used to think this was something that could be avoided, but apparently the relaxin hormone that “relaxes” the muscles to make room for babe also relax the sphincter (the lid between the stomach and esophagus), allowing stomach acid to make it’s way north. So really if it’s going to happen to you, it’s going to happen. This has gotten progressively worse with time. So hello, Tums!

  • Hormonal emotions are back. I cried at the end of Pitch Perfect this week. Yeah, new low. 🤦🏻‍♀️😅

So that’s it for the current update! Apologies if I have been as present with the wedding content, my head is just in baby land right now. :) Thanks for following along on this journey! -AHS

Morel of the Story

foraging morel mushrooms eat local

I don’t quite have the words to capture the magic I feel in this place. Particularly in this rainy spring weather. The birds in chorus. The forest full with fresh greens. Moss covered trees. Fungi on everything. Damp bark, the clean, fresh air. Little tree frogs. Red tailed squirrels. A white tail frolicking away from us. The energy of trees that are hundreds of years old. The view of the river bluffs carved from the same glacier that made the ole Mississippi.

I’m at my dad’s (no longer working) farm, that has been in our family for almost 200 years. The farm land (consisting of corn and soybeans as crops) was sold a few years ago. What’s left? 150 acres of woods, creeks, ponds, and furry friends!

Sup lil brah

Sup lil brah

fungi on bark
I want his shell to be replicated into art for my home! So pretty!

I want his shell to be replicated into art for my home! So pretty!

An atmosphere perfect for foraging morels. Morel mushrooms are incredibly good tasting mushrooms that can’t be cultivated. They (seemingly) just grow at random during the Spring. They are native to the midwest– and they are fabulously yummy. I’ve only come down to the farm maybe twice before during this time of year. I remember coming as a kid, and being very disappointed in the process. My husband has a joke he loves to say, “Alexandra vs nature”– well imagine a young kid version of this. Bugs? Cold? Rain? Looking in dirt? Yeah not so ideal. But adult Alexandra, while still hating insects in my space, handles all of this much better. And in fact, I kinda love it!

fresh morel mushroom spring illinois midwest

Walking in the woods, listening to the birds, the crunch of the branches beneath my feet. It is very much a magical, meditative experience.

Then comes the actual search process. This is the part I am learning I am not so good at. I thought being so distinctive, I would have no trouble with this. Pattern recognition is my jam. Well, finding them is a pretty random game. There needs to be some sunlight, so that the land isn’t too moist. And they tend to be close to elm trees, but not necessarily directly under them. Lots of rain seems to help them to pop up, too.

I’m embarrassed that my initial thoughts made me feel like I was in a real life version of Zelda. Searching for any oddities or things out of place. I felt like I was pretty good at that. I found a tree frog, countless spiders, a deer antler, various other types of fungi, deer fur, and more. But the morels… a bit tougher. I found the first one of the trip, but my beginners luck ended there. The thrill of finding one is addictive. It feels like finding gold–nature’s gold, that is! 

My dad really seems to have a knack for it. Miraculously, on day 2, my dad found the hot spot of all hot spots. We found an area with about 100 morels! It was like hitting the jackpot. So so satisfying, everywhere we turned we could find one! So satisfying. 

This is beyond farm to table. This is natural food, uncultivated, just created because mother nature is incredible, then foraged and immediately put on the table. I’m beginning to understand the appeal of hunting. I’m much happier with being the gatherer in the hunter-gathering scenario though! 😅

I’m so thankful for the experience: for the connection to the land and my food! “Morel” of the story: I came back after 3 days having a much deeper appreciation for all that our mother earth provides for us! -AHS

morel mushrooms pike county illinois
morels on burger with spinach
morels with butter and white wine

How to Prepare morels

In terms of preparation- simpler is better! My step mom lightly breads them and fries them. A delicious option if you are into crunch! After cleaning them thoroughly (and I mean thoroughly!!!) I prepared them in a large pan. I heated them and let them release their water for a few minutes. With some of the mushroom juice still available I added several pads of butter, and white wine! They pair beautifully with pasta, steak, or even a burger!

morel mushrooms midwest fresh

Hello Spring! And Hello Giveaway!

first day of spring giveaway shed for the wed yoga

So this was a big week. I hit my 500th Instagram post, which is just momentous in itself. Yesterday was the first day of spring, the international day of happiness, the last supermoon of 2019, #nationalproposalday (which I JUST found about), and my 32nd birthday.

I’m still processing my new age, but I also feel good knowing my life is moving into the next phase. While I will be hindering my freedom significantly, it’s freeing knowing that we are entering a new stage of life. I’m really excited of all this next year is going to bring!

…And to celebrate I’m doing a GIVEAWAY! I’m giving away 2 Shed for the Wed Gold Programs (valued at $299 each!) and 3 yoga mats! All you have to do is join my newsletter (below!), follow @shed.for.the.wed on Instagram, and tag a bride or friend in the comments! There will be 5 winners and the contest will run until next Wednesday 3/27.

Follow on @shed.for.the.wed on Instagram! Here’s a preview!

Good luck! Cheers to you, bride tribe! -AHS

Shed for the Preg: Mid-Pregnancy Update (with some fun prenatal yoga tips!)

I think after my realness posting on the first trimester, I think I gave a lot of people a scare. I wanted to check in and let everyone know that this trimester has been amazing! I’ve felt so good the past couple months! Mentally and physically.

The bump is definitely there! I’ve officially transitioned out of my normal pants and have been living in leggings. It is weird though, because it is still an in-between time and under clothes I think it looks like I’ve just gained a bit of weight. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I’m looking forward to it looking more official!

We had our mid-pregnancy ultrasound this week. It went very well! Baby is tracking on average. We are measuring a bit ahead of schedule, but not by much. I had to go back to get another one because lil’ man wouldn’t give us the proper view of his heart. And that’s right we learned it’s a BOY! We were absolutely shocked but our hearts are bursting! We really, truly believed it was a girl! But now fully readjusted and excited about all things little boy! We should’ve known that it was a boy because last weekend the baby was kicking me like crazy with Conor screaming in the last minute of the IU v Michigan State basketball game. A lil Hoosier fan in the making!

I finally started the process of registering for baby things. I spent 12 hours last weekend researching strollers. YEP. My mind is exploding about the strollers. I also realized that the cribs I like are almost impossible to find in the US. Classic me. I think I’m finally beginning to understand baby gear, which is huge up-leveling for me– and maybe overcoming a huge fear too?! Just another reason for me to get back to my Marie Kondo-ing of our condo! Lastly, beginning to understand this whole Mom tribe thing–I don’t know where I would be without all of my wonderful friends giving me advice!

I’ve been able to get back to my normal eating habits. Lots of eggs, sweet potatoes, greens, avocados, and all of the cucumbers (etc. etc. etc.). So my body is nourished, and has been full of energy! I’ve gotten back to yoga and even have worked in some cardio (more exercise thoughts below).

Cravings:

Still eating a lot of citrus–I’m blood orange and clementine obsessed. I am loving cucumbers (see photos!). I’ve continued to eat cereal and toaster waffles. I am definitely eating more sugar and carbs than my normal diet, but not too much. The actual cravings have not been extreme.

Aversions:

Not much, but still very weird around chicken. I still eat it occasionally as long as its overly seasoned.



Symptoms:

The biggest is nasal congestion. I wake up almost unable to breathe every day. Which is wild because thankfully, I haven’t been sick since the first week in January. This happened when I was in Florida too! Apparently it’s common but I hadn’t heard of it before this.

Acid reflux has kicked in a bit, unfortunately. I need to keep my meals small and more frequent rather than larger and less often.

I also have some low back pain. Nothing too troubling yet. Looking into pregnancy pillows to help solve this.

Every night is a new vivid dream. Every night. Some terrifying, some fun. But every night I’m on a new journey. 😂

Prenatal was my favorite part of yoga teacher training. Maybe it was a bit of foreshadowing?

Prenatal was my favorite part of yoga teacher training. Maybe it was a bit of foreshadowing?

Exercise:

I’ve been trying to work in movement 4x/week but it’s been slow getting back to my normal routine. I have gotten back to spin class, cardio has felt great! The one downside is that sitting on a bike, I feel like I have to pee the whole time. Yoga continues to be awesome. I’ve added in a couple different prenatal classes into my routine and feel incredible afterwards. That being said, I still need a bit of a push to keep my strength up so I also still go to my favorite regular level 2 yoga class, but have to make some modifications.

In case you are also pregnant and want to go to a regular (meaning not prenatal) yoga class here are some tips of what to avoid and to modify for:

  • Avoid hot yoga. Moderately heated (like 80-85 degrees) is fine, but skip the Bikram (105!).

  • Avoid intense twists. You can do some gentle twisting if it feels okay to you.

  • Avoid poses on your belly like shalabhasana (locust pose) and dhanurasana (bow pose). My guru (aka my favorite instructor) had me do a variation of table pose during this part of class where you extend opposite arms and legs while balancing, and alternate grabbing your foot from above your head. (Does that make sense? If you want more details on this pose send me a DM! 😂)

  • Avoid over stretching. Because of the relaxin flowing through our bods “relaxing” our muscles and ligaments, it can be easy to overstretch our ligaments which won’t ever go back to their original shape! So whenever stretching, be sure to engage your muscles to prevent over stretching of your ligaments. (This is also why it can be detrimental wearing flip-flops during the summer months when your pregnant- don’t overstretch those feet ligaments!)

  • Some people are fine with extreme back-bending like urdva dhanurasana (wheel pose). I attempted it a couple times because it has always been apart of my practice, but it never felt right. So I finally adjusted to a supported bridge position. It also can cause diastasis recti (where your abs separate)- and no one wants that!

  • No need to keep your feet together when bending at the waist, make room for belly! (uttanasana [standing forward bend] or utkatasana [chair] come to mind)

  • When going from a position where your head is below your heart, take your time coming back up to standing. Pregnancy can cause haywire on your blood pressure, so you want to give your body time to adjust.

  • Your center of gravity has shifted, know that balance poses will feel different. And be careful not to fall!

  • Lastly, you are carrying extra weight that wasn’t there before. Your practice won’t look the same, and that’s a good thing! Don’t try to keep up or overdo it. Listen to your body, and rock child’s pose if that’s what you need!

Soooo that ended up being more than a few tips, so I think this is a good place to call it. Thank you all for all of your well wishes for baby BOY Shea and joining me on this journey! xx - AHS

Thoughts on a Healthy Marriage

In all fairness, everyone looks happier on vacation. :) (Roma 2018)

In all fairness, everyone looks happier on vacation. :) (Roma 2018)

I am by no means a marriage expert. But in honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to share a quick little post on what a healthy marriage looks like to me! And while Conor and I are going on 5 years of marriage- we have been a couple since 2007 (😳) so we have learned and grown a lot together as people and in our relationship.

Understand your spouse for who they are and accept them unconditionally: the good the bad and the ugly. What I mean by this is that if you are married (hopefully!) you really know your spouse inside and out. If you fell in love, you know all of the wonderfulness they bring to the table. But let’s be honest, no one is perfect. We all have our shadow sides. And knowing the dark sides of your spouse isn’t a bad thing. Always try to bring out the best in them, of course, but also allow them to not be perfect. Accept their imperfections and love them for them.

Along those lines, don’t try to change their essence. This may sound obvious, but we all have a something unique we bring to the table. I’ll use myself as an example. I am often floating high above the clouds dreaming big. I have lofty aspirations. I’m a very woowoo Pisces who loves reading books on self-improvement. My husband is not into any of it (at least not in the same way!). But instead of trying to change me to be more like his practical self, he loves me for it (even though I’m pretty sure it drives him crazy sometimes!). Along the same lines, my husband loves sports (playing and watching) oh so much, and I couldn’t care less most days. But instead of trying to change that part of him I have leaned in to the most important games for him (Indiana University Basketball, in case you were wondering) and prepare myself with other things to do for other big games I can’t mentally care about. Obviously, we compromise- he would watch sports all day every day if he could, but instead we watch lots of other things that we both like (current favorites being Schitt’s Creek and Medici!).

Spend alone time together. Make time to recharge your relationship. Having a regularly scheduled date night will help keep things fresh and fun. It’s easy to have your weekends dominated by social plans with friends and family. But it becomes increasingly more important as you have less and less time for yourselves (yeah I’m talking to you young parents!). You need alone time in order to keep your bond strong and to feel connected. Related to that, it’s important to keep intimacy a priority. Yeah, I said it. It’s easy to let it slip away, but if you prioritize intimacy it helps your connection stay strong.

Lastly, remain independent. Remember you are an individual first and foremost. Don’t rely on your spouse to define you or fill every need you have. Friends are important. Family is important. Your spouse can’t be everything to you. Other relationships are important to our mental health too. I don’t expect my husband to understand all my woowoo inclinations- but I have a whole other tribe for that! Just like he has all of the bros to talk/play sports with. Take responsibility for your own happiness! It’s not your spouse’s job to make you happy. You make yourself happy and the rest will follow. If that isn’t romantic, than I don’t know what is! ;)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Treat your boo right today and every day! :) -AHS

Shed for the Preg (Announcement!) and Thoughts on the First Trimester

Facetune_25-01-2019-09-29-53.JPG

You may have noticed I’ve been a little different in my posting over the last few months. Well, that’s because, surprise surprise, we are pregnant! I’ve been dying to share all of this with you all!! We are so beyond excited and can’t wait to meet our little bebe!

Things have changed a lot in my world over the past few months. I thought that I was going to be awesome at pregnancy. I was going to be so active, eat so well–I was going to nail it. Well, things don’t always work out as planned. Pregnancy is hard AF yo. And it has taken a toll on me: mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Let me reiterate that we are absolutely thrilled. That first moment when we saw our baby on the ultrasound was absolutely incredible. Pregnancy really is an incredible experience so please don’t take any of this as complaining. I just want to be 100% real with you about my experience. I think that people make everything look so picture perfect in our social media driven world, and I feel a responsibility to share more of the gritty sides of life. Also, everyone’s pregnancy is different, what follows is my particular experience.

What have I been eating?

So yeah, the first trimester. Verrrrrry interesting. To sum it up in two points:

  1. Nausea: luckily for me, no vomiting here, but definitely extreme nausea set off my food smells most of the time. Horrible.

  2. Food aversions: pretty much every healthy food I rejected. Kale, spinach, squash (my one true love!), sweet potatoes, quinoa, EGGS(!), CHICKEN (omg still makes me wanna 🤢), all of these things have been on my 100% do not eat list.

All I’ve wanted is carbs (hello toaster waffles for breakfast) and cheese (but sometimes cheese is still not ok lol). Cravings: Frank’s hot sauce, pickles and pickle juice, bloody marys (virgin, obvi), citrus fruits, miso soup, sushi, and orange juice. Basically all of the acid.

Well, as I mentioned, I thought I was going to be one of those super healthy pregnancy people (obviously!). Well shocking myself, I have literally have eaten the opposite of my usual routine. I’ve eaten many boxes of Annie’s mac and cheese, pasta of all varieties, toast, peanut butter and jelly. The smell of food preparation of any kind has grossed me out, so I have really been absent from the kitchen. One day tortellini (bread and cheese which are typically in the clear!) sounded gross, so I had gelato for dinner. Yeah, health life fail.

However in weeks 12-14 I’ve really started to feel more like myself, and my tolerance for healthy foods has gone up! I’d even dare to say I’ve started to crave some healthy food! I’ve been eating lots of eggs, and a lot more veggies. Mediterranean and Asian foods have been the best. I have been loving nutrient-packed tabbouli, fresh hummus, and falafel. Miso soup, and California rolls have also really been hitting the spot. You may have seen I started drinking celery juice- I think it’s my body’s way of making up for lost greens. Since I’m feeling better, and subsequently, eating better- I will share my preggo eats with you as time goes on.

physical symptoms?

I have been extremely tired, and my brain hasn’t felt like it was working properly. I’ve been taking naps (and typically, I physically cannot nap).

Because of the sheer exhaustion, I haven’t been working out which I think has only made the fatigue worse. Over the past couple weeks I’ve been slowly adding in some low impact exercises at home and some light weight lifting. This week I even went to a yoga class (not even prenatal!)! I’m hoping to get back into a normal routine soon.

Miraculously, despite my eating and lack of movement, I have put on very little weight so far, about 3ish lbs (they recommend 0-5 lbs in the first trimester and a lb a week after). I also had been Shedding when I got pregnant, so I was on the lighter side for my normal to begin with (highly recommend this btw!).

Also, now I have acne. On my face and on my chest (y tho?!). They say that’s a sign that it’s going to be a girl- so we shall see!

It supposedly get’s better in the second trimester, and I’m already feeling a difference–let me tell you, I am ready for it!

Emotions?

Emotionally this has been the most extreme. I’ve felt very isolated (working from home is tough), and oddly depressed. Besides random bouts of crying, life has felt exceedingly hard. It’s like this experience has shook who I am down to my core. I guess it is probably a side effect of my self constructed identity changing into something new. Usually, I bring my own magic to day to day life, and I just couldn’t bring it. Besides that, I had a perpetual feeling of nervousness that something would go wrong in the pregnancy. AND all the while, I’ve also felt overwhelmed with excitement and joy for what’s to come. So to sum it up–it’s been a really weird time.

The good news is that the morning I woke up on my 12th week of pregnancy, I felt like myself again! I felt motivated, inspired, and excited for the future. I still have huge swings in emotion sometimes, but overall, I really I think I have my magic back. 😉✨


Now that we are “out,” I will share more with you guys about the experience. I am going to keep posting my healthy eats with #shedapproved versions- because let’s be real, eating for 2 and shedding for the wedding are two very different experiences. I will try not to overwhelm you with too much pregnancy content- but I want to know, what are you curious to learn more about? Let me know here or on any of my social channels. Yay! Thanks for coming along for the ride. -AHS

Tidying Up Before The Wedding (written by a self proclaimed pack rat)

tidying up before the wedding marie kondo konmari method

Conor and I live in a 2 bedroom condo. We’ve been in a relationship for 12 years and we’ve lived together for about 7 years. We’ve been married for 4. We have accumulated a lot of mess during that time. And mostly its stuff we don’t use or need. We literally still have things from college around our place. I feel like I’m always getting rid of things, but we are always at max capacity–and to be clear, this place really is the perfect size for the two of us. There is no reason for us to live this way.

So one of my goals of this year is to clear the clutter. Get rid of what we don’t need, use, or in the words of the great Marie Kondo, “spark joy”. I received Marie’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” as a gift a few years back. I started reading it, and was learning a lot, but stopped because without executing I felt like I wasn’t actually making progress. I ended up converting a few of my drawers to her signature trifold method, but they eventually were messed beyond repair- and TBH, without getting rid of {enough} stuff, it was hard to have space for everything.

This is an example of a the KonMari method trifold FAIL. Note: It is important to know the size of your drawers! Keep scrolling for “after” success pictures.

This is an example of a the KonMari method trifold FAIL. Note: It is important to know the size of your drawers! Keep scrolling for “after” success pictures.

Fast forward to 2019– I was super sick the first week of the year, and during that time I binged “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix. And I know I am not alone. There are reports of thrift shops being filled to the brim with all the excess goodies inspired by Marie. I caught the bug and began the process. My goal is to complete the KonMari method by the end of Q1, freeing up space in our home, and setting up our good tidying habits for life!

If you are not familiar with Marie and her work, I will give you a summary but first– why should you tidy up before the wedding? You have so much going on in the months pre-wedding, why make time for this now?

Well, first and foremost, you are about to receive SO. MUCH. STUFF. Between bridal showers, bachelorette’s (often with a lingerie shower included), and just your general wedding registry, you are about to own more stuff than you ever have before. Yep. I said it. You are going to have more stuff than you ever have before!!! If you don’t live with your significant other, you are about to merge all of your stuff with another human. Don’t be like me and bring everything. You don’t need it. If you do live with them already, you are going to make room for your new goods! Lastly, having a clear, clutter-free space feels awesome. It helps your mind have space to think. You are approaching a new life phase- head in with a clear head!

The KonMari Method

I am not an expert at tidying. In any way (*cough, pack rat, cough*). So, I am taking my cue from the expert. Marie Kondo’s “KonMari Method” is a 5 step process. Instead of going room by room she goes by category:

  1. Clothes

  2. Books

  3. Paper

  4. Komono (Miscellaneous: includes kitchen items, bath, decor, office, cleaning, etc.)

  5. Sentimental Items

I like this for several reasons- you have to take everything out of its place before you put it back in a more organized fashion. It forces you to deal with things that haven’t been dealt with in eons. I also like that you do sentimental items last. Like most things, tidying up is a muscle and you are building strength by going through the process. By the time you get to the tough stuff, you have built up the muscle. This is also why it’s important to do all categories within a relatively quick period. Otherwise you lose the strength!

This is my before picture. Does it give you anxiety?? It sure made me feel horrible. These are just my clothes- my husband’s are not included.

This is my before picture. Does it give you anxiety?? It sure made me feel horrible. These are just my clothes- my husband’s are not included.

I am on the clothes section right now. I have done my tees, sweaters, pants, dresses, shorts, scarves, and bathing suits. I haven’t finished shoes, underwear, socks, jewelry, coats, belts, handbags, or hats. What I struggle with the most with getting rid of things is the nostalgia of it. Sometimes an old teeshirt will remind me of the best times in college or those were the jeans I bought when I studied in Italy. Marie encourages you to thank every item you give away. A lot of people laugh at this step, but it has been such a gift for me! I can say thank you and honor our time together- it helps me get through my sentimentality.

Another one of her criteria for all possessions is that they should “spark joy” for you. It is also really helpful when evaluating. That being said, there hits a point where you know (for example) your kitchen knife doesn’t spark joy, but you use it everyday. So then the question to ask is “do you want to bring it into your future?” - a great question for all brides-to-be!!

This is just the beginning of my process and I am perpetually reminding myself that perfection is not necessary. I’m also hoping that this process will help break some of my sentimentality around objects– the less I care about them, the happier I will be! I’m really looking forward to getting to the Paper step (omg this is the worst for me) and kitchen! I cannot wait to get rid of a million excess water bottles and organize my drawers. 😂😂


In summary, tidying up as you embark on your next phase in life will put you in an awesome position to start your marriage! What’s better than starting your journey will a fresh slate and a beautiful tidy home?!

If you are inspired to get started, I highly recommend you watch a couple episodes of Marie’s show on Netflix or buy her book. I will say, the show makes it really seem within reach. If you guys want to hear more about my tidying process, let me know and I’ll continue to post updates.

Happy tidying! -AHS

Setting Intentions for 2019

setting intentions 2019 core desired feelings.jpg

Note: I laid out my entire goal-setting method (which I’m obsessed with) here, so if you want to read all about that, that post is for you! This post will cover the changes I made to this years process and my personal journey with setting my new year intentions.


This January, my goals have not been as free flowing as in the past. Normally, post-Christmas, I know exactly what I want to work on in the upcoming year. And while I definitely have this drive in many areas of my life right now, this upcoming year is going to look different than years past (more on this in posts to come), and I’m not going to lie- it has thrown me! I feel a bit less in control of my life and thus, are having a harder time really connecting with my goals. Especially the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) aspects of them.

For that reason, I have decided to focus on my core desired feelings for the year, and to set my intentions, but without using monthly SMART goals. (Again, if you need a debriefing of these terms, read my original goal setting post!) As time goes on, I may choose to set monthly SMART goals, but right now, I’m keeping it loose. Typically, I would not encourage this in clients of mine. You need to get very clear on what you want in order to achieve it! But you also need to know yourself, and right now, that feels a bit counter intuitive to my own nature. And as you will soon see, one of my words is grace, and that is what I am giving myself!

The two words that have come through the most strongly for me this year are Connection and Flow. This is not the first time these words have come to me. I believe that these words, at the end of the day, are apart of my soul’s mission. I need to have meaningful connection with others first and foremost. And re: flow, I need to go with the natural rhythms of life, and not work against them. And bonus points because it also ties in with my yoga practice! My other core desired feelings for this year are: joy, grace, and prosperous. The key with Core Desired Feelings is that you should want to feel them inside your core. Sit with them.

These words are more higher arching ideals, and normally I have a tangible work word(s) like “focus” or “discipline” like last year! But those feel off to me this year so I think this is a year to enjoy the ride!

So to summarize, my core desired feelings for the year are:

  1. Connection

  2. Flow

  3. Joy

  4. Grace

  5. Prosperous

Next I’ve set intentions for the following pillars of my life: health, career, family, home, community, spirituality, and travel. I won’t lay them all out for you here but I will share a couple examples.

In the home area of my life, I have decided to Konmari method our condo in the first quarter of the year. (Yes, I binged Marie Kondo’s Netflix show when I was sick the first week of the year!) Both my husband and I tend to keep things longer than we should, and sometimes it feels like we are busting at the seams. Her whole essence behind tidying up is that your possessions should “spark joy”- and that ties directly with one of my core desired feelings for the year, so I am fired up about this!

In the spirituality area of my life my intention is a bit more vague. My intention I set for this year is to make meditation and prayer a priority. I could make it more tangible like, meditate 5x/week for 15 minutes or go to church every Sunday- but I’m allowing for grace with this intention (and with all of them!). It may not seem like this is a very exciting goal- but I can tell you, I can feel the difference in my life when I do not make meditation and prayer a priority- and it’s not pretty.


Overall, my net takeaway is be in tune with yourself and where you are at. Feel free to adjust your sails accordingly as time goes on. And remember that new intentions should light you up and feel excited! I wanted to share my own personal experience with you, because I think it’s important to trust in yourself first and foremost. There are a million people out there telling you what to do and how you should do it to see the best results- but at the end of the day- you know you better than anyone else. Go deep within yourself, you know what you need. And at the end of the day, give yourself some grace with the process and enjoy the journey!

What are your intentions for 2019? Leave me a note and tell me about them! Holler if you want me to check in on you (for free!) to see how they are coming! Xo, AHS

How He Asked

The pictures from our 2013 phones are really not great quality. So this is from our engagement session the following Spring. Photo by Kristin LaVoie Photography

The pictures from our 2013 phones are really not great quality. So this is from our engagement session the following Spring. Photo by Kristin LaVoie Photography

Yesterday was the 5 year anniversary of our engagement! In honor of the occasion, I wanted to share the story of how he asked!


The year was 2013. The town, Chicago. Conor and I had recently moved back to the States after a glorious year living down unda, in Sydney, Australia. While we had lived together when we were there, when we returned home, he got an apartment close to his office, and I moved back in with my parents. So to see each other, we would often have weeknight date nights after work.

That fall I had started volunteer tutoring with an awesome organization, Chicago Lights, located on Michigan Ave. It was a tutoring evening, so when I finished he picked me up and told me we were going to this sushi place in his neighborhood.

We were driving towards dinner, and I notice he missed the turn, and then he turns the opposite direction from sushi. At this point, I’m thinking, “What’s going on? Where are we going? What’s happening?”

We pull up at the Radisson Blu, in the Aqua building (Conor’s favorite building in the city at the time). He says, “Surprise! We are doing a staycation here tonight! There was a flash sale (lol not true) so I thought it would be fun!” This was not that far off from our occasional change up in routine, so it wasn’t completely out of character. But I was definitely deep in my head. “Is it happening? Or is he just being spontaneous? You’re imagining this.”

We get up to our room, and it has a killer view of the Wrigley Building and all of the Christmas lights along river. Even the bathroom had a view! We stepped outside on the balcony and it was freezing, and promptly returned inside. We then looked at the view from the bathroom for a while. Meanwhile, my mind is going crazy in every silent moment staring out the window. We finally got out of the bathroom (thank God!) and found ourselves in a cozy corner looking down at the Christmas lights. Next thing you know he starts saying all of these really nice, loving things, that I couldn’t repeat even if I tried, because a moment later he was down on one knee and I was mess. He asked me to marry him and the rest is history. 💘

I had never been that girl pestering and wondering when it would happen. And it’s interesting, for a really long time I didn’t want it to! We were so happy as things were- I didn’t want marriage to change things. Also, to be fair, I am a child of divorced parents who met in college (just like us!) and I did not want that fate for myself. We had been together for 6 years when I finally felt like we could begin to approach the subject of engagement! I know, I’m crazy. But when the time came, I could not of have been happier or more ready.

What I love about Conor and our relationship is that we know each other sometimes better than we even know ourselves. He told me later, he didn’t even know the night before he proposed, because if he knew, he knew that I would figure it out. So he had to surprise himself in order to surprise me! He had the ring for months before finding the right moment to make it happen. He also knew that I wouldn’t be keen on something large and public, despite the fact that he is super charismatic and thrives in the spotlight. It was a special night that was really just shared by the two of us- which made it all the more meaningful to me.

It’s funny because in someways your engagement is the beginning of your story, even though it can feel like a fairytale ending. There is so much ahead, both beauty and hardship. We have been through so much over the past 5 years (I mean really 11 years now!), and have so much more ahead of us. Being married is the process of falling in love, over and over again. 💖


So that’s our story! I would love to hear yours too! Comment below or send me a note on Insta or FB! Happy engagement season, beauties! -AHS

It's here... LAUNCH DAY

shed for the wed program launch buy now

Heeeello, friends! Today is a BIG day. First and foremost, it is my fourth wedding anniversary! (Some may say it’s our “golden” anniversary since we were married on the fourth!) Second and also very important–we are now LIVE! Meaning you can finally buy and download the Shed for the Wed Nutrition Program on our website! YAY!

My goodness, this has been a labor of love. And I am beyond excited to be able to share it with you. I have been working on this program for the past 4 years. While I’ve had many brides go through different iterations of the program - it is now here and packaged up neat and tidy and easily accessible for all of you! I’m not going to lie I feel like I birthed a child. Feeling a bit emosh right now.

To thank you for following me on this journey I have a special 20% discount on the Silver plan just for blog readers! Use code: TWOSHEA20 at checkout. Code expires 10/11/18!


Curious about the plan?

SHED stands for Soulful Healthy Eating Decisions. It’s what the program is all about. This plan makes you feel good from the inside out! When you eat this way you will find your way to the healthiest version of yourself, slimmed down for the gown, if you will!

The Shed Nutrition Plan has 3 components:

The Handbook

This is your comprehensive guide for healthy living during your Shed journey. 

With this helpful handbook you’ll set your goals to achieve while gaining essential nutritional education as well as 

  • Portion control

  • Dining out guide

  • Detox guide

The Cookbook

The life essence of the Shed program. 

The cookbook is comprised of original recipes that help you lose weight and taste great. All were created with three main goals in mind:

  • Anti inflammatory - zen for the body

  • Low glycemic load - low sugar

  • Nutritarian - phytonutrient dense

The Meal Plans

The 8 weeks of Shed for the Wed meal plans are the suggested sequence of meals for the 8 week duration of the program. 

Each unique plan is flexible so that your eating habits fit with your schedule.

The premium programs (Gold and Platinum) have one-on-one coaching sessions with yours truly!

To learn more about the plans check them out here:

Questions? Read this first!

Have more questions? Send me a note - alexandra@shedforthewed.com! Or slide into my DMs on Insta ;).


Cheers to many more adventures to come!

Cheers to many more adventures to come!